Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 48 through 50: Rachael 2.0 .. and Other Updates

I got my hair cut today. It was desperately needed. Wanna see? Of course you do.



I really like it.

Also, I got a new scale. Finally a good one that (hopefully) won't go all wackadoodle on me. I'm taking her for the maiden voyage tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, it's Husband and my anniversary! SEVEN WHOLE YEARS OF WEDDED BLISS. I feel so lucky to be married to my best friend. Life is good.

We are going out to dinner to celebrate tomorrow night. Should be interesting as it is not a Cheat Day for me, so I'll have to really order carefully. Good practice for me I think. The Plan continues very well and I certainly don't want to throw a wrench into the works.

I didn't get my usual Cheat Day yesterday because I'm doubling up for my birthday weekend coming up. Normally I would not want to double up but under the circumstances, it just can't be helped. But I have decided that I am honestly going to try to just eat as healthy as I can, and while I do plan to have birthday treats, I hope to enjoy them in moderation.

Oddly, I haven't really missed Cheat Day this week. I thought about it a few times during the day yesterday, but some part of me seemed almost relieved to just have another good ol' day on The Plan. Makes me wonder if I should change Cheat Day to a bi-weekly or even monthly thing. I'm really going to have to think about this.

Anyway, off to bed for me. An early morning run awaits. 'Night!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 47 through 50: Dipped

I am so pleased to announce that my weight has officially dipped into the 140's. 149.5 to be exact. So proud!

I'm twenty pounds away from being the lowest weight I have been in my adult life and about twenty-six pounds away from my goal weight. I really am making progress and it feels great.

In the spirit of progress, I wanted to share with you some screenshots of my iPhone diet software (Lean Me Pro).

This one shows my projected vs. actual weight loss.


And this one shows my daily weigh-ins charted on a graph.


The Plan is working. And faster than I expected. I would love to keep up this momentum but I am fully aware that this may not happen; as I get smaller I suspect the weight loss will slow down by some factor. But I'm keeping hopes up that I will indeed reach my goal weight sooner than I originally planned!

I am loving the fact that my progress is seeming more and more real. At first, it was just the subjective "feeling better" and "pants fitting less snugly". Then there was a real change in the way my clothes fit, as well as a few compliments. Now I can say that I am officially down 15 pounds and there is no mistaking that I am losing weight.

Husband, Baby Girl and I will be attending a wedding in San Francisco in May next year and we've decided to make a mini-vacation out of it and stay for a week. The idea of traveling while being thin sounds fantastic. Especially in the Spring. The though of wearing cute vacation clothes, shopping in San Fran's little boutique stores, and just being active and having fun all around the city is sounding so exciting to me. Increases my motivation to keep going ten-fold. I have never once had a "thin" vacation. Sounds strange to consciously desire such a thing, but I do!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 44, 45 & 46: Fed Up

I am feeling so done with Cheat Days. They are, almost without exception, always disappointing. Yesterday was no exception, save for a delicious Thai meal that I was able to share with my friend. But for the most part, I ate crap and felt like crap for pretty well the whole day.

Neither my body or the scale thanked me this morning. And you know what? IT JUST WASN'T WORTH IT.

I have been dieting and exercising with such momentum over the past couple of weeks. It's been lovely to see that scale go down down down. I guess it's true what they say: Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.

However, I can't just cut out Cheat Days. Or rather, I won't. I think they're extremely valuable for learning how to eat as well as for hormonal regulation. So I've decided to try something radical in light of all the recent Cheat Day disappointments: I am skipping next week's Cheat Day. I'm a little nervous about this because despite the constant disappointment, I always do look so forward to Cheat Day. So here's the thing - I will take TWO Cheat Days in a row the following weekend.

This plan was borne more out of necessity than science. My birthday is coming up and on November 27th, we're having a big family birthday party and on November 28th, I'm having a birthday lunch (and spa day!) with a friend. There truly will be no easy way to even remotely count calories at these events. So, since I have to take two Cheat Days in a row in two weeks, I am skipping next week's Cheat Day altogether.

I hope this will accomplish three things:
1. I will actually enjoy a Cheat Day.
2. Since there are 2 Cheat Days in a row, I won't feel the need to pack a bunch of crap into 24 hours.
3. I will have two solid weeks of awesome dieting momentum. This weekly break, while it certainly hasn't hurt me, always does throw things off a little.

And you know what? Instead of intentionally gorging myself on whatever crosses my path, I'm really going to try to just behave. And eat like a normal person. Of course there will be birthday cake and such which I fully plan to enjoy, but the rest of my day doesn't have to be unhealthy.

This should be interesting.

My big bowl of plain oatmeal has never sounded so appealing this morning. That's the one great thing about Cheat Day - eating on The Plan sounds so fantastic the next morning by comparison. I know I'm going to eat well and feel great all day and I love that.

Another 2 pounds are gone and my BMI is now right smack dab in the middle of "overweight". Since I started on the cusp of "obese", I'm quite happy about that.

Getting there. Slowly but SURELY.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 42 & 43: Skinny Jeans

Well my friends, can you guess what I wore today? Yup, you guessed it. As the title suggests, I pranced around town in my smallest jeans today. And they fit perfectly. Well, almost perfectly - they are a very very low rise cut and honestly, not the most comfortable. Especially when it comes to bending over, which I happen to do all the time now that I spend my days chasing after a very mobile 14-month-old.

I even tucked my pants into my Ugg boots, a look that I was never that comfortable pulling off before. I must admit, I looked good today.

Baby Girl and I stopped by Husband's office to say hi and we ended up staying for a few minutes (Husband wanted to introduce Baby Girl to some of his coworkers). One of his friends who I met once before about 6 months ago, made a point of mentioning to Husband after I left that I looked like I'd lost weight. When Husband came home tonight and told me that, I was really flattered. Another compliment! I could get used to this.

On a completely unrelated note, I am thinking of straightening my hair. Permanently. I am considering having that Japanese Ionic Hair Straightening done. I went and met with a salon today for a consultation. In addition to being crazy expensive, it is QUITE the procedure. First of all, it takes about 4 hours (what would I do with Baby Girl?). Second, you can't get your hair wet for 3 days afterward and you can't use any clips, headbands, hats or anything else that would put a dent in your hair for at least 7 (SEVEN) days afterward. My first thought was - how the heck would I be able to run or go to hot yoga? Both involve (at the very least) sweating. Profuse sweating. Not to mention hair clips and showers. I'm really going to have to think about this.

Alright, pointlessly meandering post, this one. Just my random thoughts for the day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 40 & 41: Rewards

Folks, I'm starting to feel like I'm in a rut. The Plan is indeed working, but this weight loss thing is starting to get a bit... boring. It's a looooong journey to be on, and while it is going very well so far, I need some entertainment. A little game to play that will help keep me focused.

While I do believe that losing weight is its own reward, I have come up with some Weight Loss Rewards that should hopefully add a little spice to the trip down the scale. I thought this might keep me more engaged, with mini-goals to hit along the way.

So here is what I'm planning to indulge in:

1st 10 pounds lost - I get a 75 minute massage at the spa. Since I've already lost my first 10 pounds (check!), I have already booked the appointment. I am going with a girlfriend at the end of this month and we'll have a lovely leisurely lunch afterwards. I'm very excited.

When I get down to 140 - I get a new haircut (needed badly! as evident in my last post! hope I can wait that long!) at a posh salon, complete with a colour/highlights (again, needed badly!).

When I get down to 130 - I get a facial at the spa AND new makeup and skin care products. Good ones too. None of that drug store crap.

When I get down to my goal weight (123) - A NEW WARDROBE! I'm going to need it anyway, because nothing will fit me! I plan to spend about $1000. I'm not sure if this will be enough for all 4 seasons but I'll do my best to get some good quality basics to start with.

I haven't talked to Husband about all this yet so hopefully he'll approve!

What do you guys think about this? Do you believe in setting mini-goals with a reward system in place? What kind of rewards do you like to treat yourself to? I really want to know!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

1 Month Progress Photos!

Okay so to preface, it would appear that I really need a haircut. Yikes.

Here we go...

FRONT - BEFORE
FRONT - AFTER ONE MONTH
SIDE - BEFORE
SIDE - AFTER ONE MONTH
BACK - BEFORE
BACK - AFTER ONE MONTH

Not a huge difference, but I think I can see some small changes. Anyway, my clothes are definitely looser and I've gone down one, maybe even two dress sizes. Just over 10 pounds lost - about 30 more to go!


Day 38 & 39: Born Again on Sunday

A wicked Cheat Day was had yesterday, and although it wasn't perfect, it was certainly the best Cheat Day I think I've had yet.

Complete with extravagant oatmeal (topped with banana and shortbread cookies!) for breakfast, a salmon sandwich with pretty much an entire bag of Sweet Onion Kettle Chips for lunch and pizza for dinner. You think I stopped there? Oh no I did not. I also purchased $10 in mini-cakes from the fancy french bakery downstairs and ate them all up, leaving not a crumb, and ohhhhhhhh. You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to desserts.

And I even managed to squeeze in a nice long run.

All in all, pretty darn good. My scale is only punishing me with one pound this morning so I really can't complain. And I suspect much of that 1 pound was from the salty chips. Whatever. It's all good.

And it always feels so wonderful to wake up the day after Cheat Day, feeling satiated and happy, and eager for some plain, healthy food. I can't believe I'm saying this but healthy, energy-giving food sounds so much more delicious than high calorie, sugar and fat laden food right now! My bowl of plain oatmeal and apples this morning was fabulous. I almost get the same high returning to The Plan that I get from embarking on a Cheat Day. Nice.

So today, I'm going to go for a night run (weather permitting) and a hot yoga class in the afternoon. Good times!

I also hope to finally take and post those darn progress pics later today. I'm anxious to see if you guys notice any difference.

And with regard to photos in general, I have been slacking. I don't know why. Will try not to be so lazy and be better at including more pics in this blog going forward.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 36 & 37: First Compliment

Hello and Happy Friday! (Or as I like to call it, "Cheat Day Eve"!)

I'm meeting a friend for a run this morning so this will have to be a short post. But I did want to share two significant things that have happened to me in the last couple of days.

Yesterday: I got my first compliment. I bumped into our building caretaker on our way out and she exclaimed, "You look slimmer!" I was so flattered, it was the first time someone (other than Husband or my mum) has said something. What made it so special was that she had no idea that I have been dieting trying to lose weight. It was a compliment borne of pure observational honesty. Love it. Don't things like that just make your whole day?

Also yesterday: I had planned on going to yoga all day with my friend. She cancelled on me at the last minute because she wasn't feeling so great after getting her flu shot. I decided that since I was running late myself, I may as well bag it and go for a run instead. I was really excited about the unexpected opportunity to go for a run because I was thinking about it all day and wishing I could run instead of go to yoga. It just felt like a running day, ya know?

So anyway, I missed the evening class of yoga and made my arrangements to run instead. I put Baby Girl down for bed and announced to Husband that I was going out for a run and I'd be back in about 45 minutes. He looked at me like I had lost my mind. He exclaimed, "A run?? Are you CRAZY?? It's POURING RAIN!!"

I was shocked. I had no idea. Like, seriously zero clue. I should mention that we live in a condo, way up high and completely removed from the elements. And I had been inside most of the day with nary a glance out the window. I stepped out onto our patio and sure enough, it was torrential out there. Huge gusts of wind, sheets of rain, it was just gross. So I didn't get to exercise and honestly, I was truly bummed!!

What a strange sensation. I though the fact that I had honestly attempted to exercise and then was given a last minute reprieve would have been a secret relief. But nope, I was totally sad about it! I never ever thought I would be the kind of person that not only enjoys exercise but actually gets depressed when it's not available for me.

So weird. And cool! I guess I am changing, inside and out.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 35: 10 Pounds Lighter

Yup, as the title of this post suggests, I have officially lost 10 pounds as of this morning. Hooray!

Had another great run tonight. Yin yoga tomorrow.

I'm glad that The Plan seems to be working because I have been so hungry all day. I guess some days are just "hungry days", aren't they?

10 down, about 30 to go...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 33 and 34: Faster and Stronger

Naughty blogger. No cookie.

Sorry I haven't posted my 1-month progress pics. Husband has been busy and I keep forgetting to ask him to take the photos. Ah well. Will do it this weekend.

I just came home from the most amazing run. I went after Baby Girl went to bed so it was quite dark out, which was a bit unnerving (I live in the middle of downtown Vancouver), but other than that, night running is where it's at. I am so proud of myself; I am really enjoying running now and can run for what seems like forever without getting winded. It actually feels really good the whole time. It's amazing how fast improvement happens. To think that only one month ago, I could barley run for 30 seconds and now, I can run for at least 40 minutes and I'm loving every second of it.

Hot yoga is also going well. In one of my classes last week, I really felt like I was starting to "get it". And the best part was that after class, the instructor pulled me aside and said (and I quote), "You have a beautiful yoga practice." What a compliment! I pretty much walked home on a cloud.

The Plan is going great. I am sticking to it like glue and the weight continues to come off. Slowly. Very slowly.

I have written far too much about Cheat Day over the last few weeks so I'm not going to get into it again in this post, save to say that I am still finding Cheat Days challenging. I look so forward to them all week but once I get to Cheat Day, I am just not finding them satisfying. It's really weird and I don't understand it.

Anyway, nothing too exciting to report! Oh, except for this: None of my bras fit me properly anymore! Haha...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day 30, 31 & 32: One Monthiversary!

I have officially been on The Plan now for ONE WHOLE MONTH. And you know what? It's working!

I have lost 9 pounds and a few inches. Not bad! I am feeling not only leaner, fitter, healthier, smaller... but also really proud of myself.

I don't expect that I'll keep losing at this rate, I just don't think it's possible. But as long as I'm moving in the general downward direction, I'll be happy. Actually, truth be told, this losing weight thing has not been that hard. Sure, I've had my good and bad days but all in all, I'm not finding it that challenging. (Of course, now that I've typed this and had this thought in my head, I'll probably start struggling from here on out...haha)

The things that have helped keep me going strong so far are:
1. Having a well stocked kitchen with lots of healthy groceries.
2. The ease of having some great calorie counting and tracking software (the Lean Me app for my iPhone).
3. Oatmeal.
4. 100-calorie snack packs.
5. Fruit! Veggies! Spices!
6. An encouraging family.
7. Hot yoga.
8. Cheat Days.
9. Water.
10. The feeling of my clothing getting looser and looser.

Some challenges that I've noticed so far include:
1. Evenings after Baby Girl goes to bed. I start wanting sweets. Bad.
2. The fact that being pregnant has left me with a small amount of loose skin under my belly button. I don't think it will ever snap back. It's not terrible or anything, but it does bug me and the more I lose weight, the looser the skin seems. Considering plastic surgery when all is said and done. Crazy?
3. Being a mum. Don't get me wrong, I LOOOOOOVE being a mum. My daughter is my whole world. But it does make for a wonky exercise schedule because I have to workout around Baby Girl's schedule and sometimes that's not so straightforward.
4. Lack of exercise video for me to do while Baby Girl naps. See #3 above. Working on fixing this today.
5. The fact that my pans are stainless steel and not non-stick. I'm actually really picky about my cookware and prefer stainless steel above all else. And I don't believe in using Teflon anyway. But a stainless steel pan does not make it easy to prepare food without using oil.
6. A blister that I got on my heel recently. It sucks! And I wish I could say that I got it from some sort of intense physical activity but no, it was from wearing a new pair of shoes. It made it kind of painful to run for about 2 weeks. (But I still ran. Yay me!)
7. Never feeling really satisfied on Cheat Days. I had another questionable one yesterday. I'm not sure what's going on but I think that's another post.
8. Wanting. Let's face it. It's hard to avoid seeing, smelling and craving all the glorious foods out there in the world when one is on a diet. I am constantly wanting. It's no fun passing up delicious and readily available items when they are so desired. I just buttered a waffle for my daughter. Drool.
9. Cooking items with many ingredients. Like vegetable chili. Sure, it's easy, healthy, and delicious, but trying to figure out the calorie counts for a zillion ingredients, and then figuring out the per-serving count is confusing and time consuming. I admit that it's prevented me from attempting dishes that would probably be wonderful additions to my diet. Math is not my forte.
10. Patience. While it's true that the weight is coming offer faster than I thought it would and I am doing very well indeed, I am still fully aware that there is every likelihood that I will be on The Plan for at least another 6 months or so. That's a long time to be in a caloric deficit. And I haven't even begun to think about maintaining my weight loss. I will probably be counting calories for at least another year an a half. That seems daunting.

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Life is good, The Plan is working. I am happy with my progress so far but I still have a long way to go.

I will be posting some 1 month progress pics tonight. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 29: Short and Sweet

I had to wear a belt yesterday. On my tightest jeans from my "fat pants" collection. Just had to share!

And PS - 1 Month Progress Photos coming on November 1st! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 28: On Indulging

Well now. This post has been on my mind for a few days now. It's just now solidifying into a cohesive thought as I type this.

If you've read my blog in any capacity before, then you know I am a big believer in having a Cheat Day. However, my last couple of Cheat Days have been disappointing yet highly educational, especially in hindsight.

I've been approaching Cheat Day thus far with several planned indulgences in mind - stuff like buttered rolls, Indian food, gobs of almond butter and of course, that godforsaken Pumpkin Pie Blizzard. Over the preceding week, I have built these treats up in my head so much that by the time I get them, they almost can't help but be disappointing.; the buttered rolls were too starchy, I never got my Indian food, there IS such a thing as too much almond butter, and please do not get me started on that disgusting Blizzard (which I'm still lamenting).

Additionally, because I've got these treats so square in my mind for Cheat Day, I've found myself ignoring my natural desires for what sounds good right then and there. In other words, just because I crave Indian food on a Wednesday does not mean that I will still want it on a Saturday. I think I've done myself a Cheat Day disservice by deciding - days in advance - what I will indulge in for Cheat Day.

There is also one more problem that I haven't mentioned until now. Cheat Day - while it is meant to be a day of relaxing about food - does not necessarily mean that I have to go apeshit on the treats. I do not have to eat like I'm never going to have another meal, or another Cheat Day again. As much as Cheat Day is about relaxing, it is also about spending one day a week learning to eat like a real person who is not on a diet. In other words, it is about learning how to be intuitive about my eating. By stuffing myself full of guilty pleasures and ignoring what actually sounds good on that day, at that moment, I am actually robbing myself of the opportunity to learn how to eat.

So. Going forward.

I will still have FULL PERMISSION to eat whatever strikes my fancy on Cheat Day, whether it's Fettucini Alfredo, red velvet cupcakes or steamed broccoli. But instead of planning in advance all the things I want to indulge in and writing the menu for Cheat Day before it even arrives, I'm going to try to just go with the flow on Cheat Day. Waking up, without any expectations about food sounds grand; and definitely bang on with the spirit of Cheat Day.

So here's to some delicious eating AND some delicious learning for many Cheat Days to come.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 26 & 27: Now Weight Just a Minute

Well hello!

I need to go grocery shopping. It is dire straights in my fridge and cupboards. So much so, that I've had to get really inventive. Behold what I came up with for lunch yesterday:Your eyes do not deceive you. You are looking at a spinach sandwich. I toasted two slices of multigrain bread and spread on some light onion and chive cream cheese. Then, I stacked as much spinach as I could reasonable get between two slices of toast and voila! Spinach sandwich. It was actually pretty good! The spinach was very fresh and had a satisfying crunch and the flavour worked very well with the cream cheese. Those are pink grapefruit slices you see in the background there. Citrus always gets eaten last around here, probably because it keeps so well in the refrigerator.

I found some leftover frozen vegetarian chili that I made on October 10th and had that for dinner yesterday. Not picture worthy.

I had my usual oats (1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 tablespoon almond butter and fruit of choice - today was a green apple) for breakfast this morning and then went on a nice long run in the sun. I was hesitant about going but once I was out there pounding the trail, it felt amazing. So glad I went. On my way home, I splurged on this:
More of a financial splurge than a dietary one, it was just a non-fat decaf latte. But it was very well made and it really hit the spot. Note on the bottom of the cup it boasts "Vancouver's Best Cheesecake!" This is not a word of a lie. Last cheat day, I had the privilege of a little taste and wow. No words. I am actually thinking of ordering a small cheesecake for my birthday this year (November 29th, so you better start your shopping now!). The only tough part is that they have a zillion flavours and it'll be agony to decide on one... Thinking about this...

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Okay so I've decided I hate my scale. Not the act of weighing myself, no, the scale itself. It is a royal piece of crap. It consistently weighs all over the map - plus or minus up to 10 pounds sometimes!!! I checked out the reviews on Amazon (I really should have done this before I purchased it) and found out that I am not the only one experiencing this problem. In fact, it only earned 1 star for the rating. And of course, I've long since discarded the receipt and the box (big mistake on my part) so I can't return or exchange it either. Poo.

So, in light of this, I have decided to purchase a doctor's scale. I know it must seem crazy, but I really need some accuracy in my regime. Having a wonky scale makes it so hard to see my progress and that in and of itself is discouraging. So I'm doing my research and I'm getting one. Fortunately, they're not as expensive as I originally thought they were - only about $150-$200 for a decent one. I just have to do a bit of looking around to decide which one I want to order.

Weighing myself everyday seems to work well for me. I am past the point of getting discouraged or excited by minor fluctuations. This small semblance of control really helps to keep me focused and maintain a tight rein on weight. It's not for everyone. But I think for me, it's an important part of The Plan. And long term, I expect I will weigh myself often just to make sure that I don't regain any of my hard-earned weight loss.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 25: Back on Track

After a fairly unsatisfying cheat day, I am right back on track with my diet today and it feels great. Funny how after a day of eating too much not-so-great fare, my plain, wholesome, low-calorie food tasted extra fantastic today.

Instead of starting the day with my usual oatmeal, I was in a crazy rush this morning so I had this instead:A piece of toasted whole grain bread with almond butter. It was faster to prepare than oatmeal and we had to get out of the house fast in order to make it to my mum's house in a hurry. She agreed to babysit Baby Girl while I went for a run, but she herself had an appointment to keep later that morning so I had to shake a leg.

I had a great long run. That toast really held me over. And by the time I got home, I was ready for a real breakfast so I had this:My oats! But I fancied them up with a cup of cottage cheese (great addition to oatmeal, btw) and a crispy fuji apple. And of course I topped the works with LOTS of cinnamon. I was quite full after this meal.

I was planning on going to a yoga class in the afternoon. I put Baby Girl down for her nap and started getting ready to go. But then, this powerful wave of exhaustion washed over me and I proclaimed to Husband those famous last words, "I'm just going to close my eyes for 15 minutes. Wake me up if I fall asleep." Well, he did wake me up after 15 minutes as instructed, but by then I was a lost cause. I decided to skip the 2pm yoga class and go to the 4pm class instead. I just really needed a nap! Baby Girl had the right idea! So I had a delicious Sunday nap and it felt wonderful.

I woke up refreshed at 3pm and again, had every intention of going to yoga class. But somehow I got caught in a weird sort of alien time warp and next thing I knew it was 3:45 and I wasn't even dressed and there was no way I could have made it to class on time. So I missed yoga altogether today. Ah well. Baby Girl and I shared this snack:
My dad stopped by shortly thereafter to pick up his computer (which Husband was fixing for him). We decided to go downstairs to the coffee shop for a quick latte as neither one of us had our coffee for the day. I had an unpictured (forgot to bring my iPhone) tall non-fat decaf latte and it was good, although very bitter today.

I threw together an early dinner. Realizing that I hadn't really had any vegetables yet, I boiled some whole wheat pasta and made a sauce that I threw together out of red peppers, yellow peppers, onions, garlic and wilted spinach. I also added a little bit of jarred tomato sauce just to give it more of a sauce-like texture. Plus lots of italian seasoning.
It was pretty good, actually.

I even had enough calories leftover to enjoy this little treat after Baby Girl went to bed.
Nothing like a cuppa tea and my current favourite 100 calorie snack pack.

A perfect end to a lazy Sunday.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 24: Oh for the Love of Cheat Day

What a weird day for eating.

My day started with this:
A big bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon, almond butter and bananas. I had planned to have one of my crusty rolls with butter and a cup of tea but oddly, my usual oatmeal just sounded better somehow. So I went with it.

Afterwards, I went for a run with my dad. And on the way home we stopped at a new coffee place and I got an unpictured non-fat decaf almond latte. It was good, if not maybe a bit too sweet. I also had a sample of a white chocolate and raspberry scone and a teeny bite of pumpkin cheesecake. Yum!

For my daughter's lunch, I whipped up some Annie's Organic White Cheddar Mac & Cheese and thought I'd follow suit for my own lunch. So we decided to share the box. While it was cooking, I had this for an appetizer:
A gorgeous toasted flax bun with butter. Drool.

To make lunch a little healthier, I added some green peas, some wild pink tuna and a dash of black pepper.Then I did something that most people will think is crazy. But in my family, we ALWAYS put ketchup on our mac & cheese! Yeah baby! This was a total "comfort food" kind of meal. And because I've been craving bread with butter, I paired lunch with this warm buttered roll.The mac & cheese was pretty tasty but the roll was disappointing. I wanted something crusty and this was more powdery. Eh.

Holy carbs, right?!

After Baby Girl woke up from her nap, I took her to the park where we met some friends. My girlfriend and I shared a few bites of chocolate together - some individually wrapped dark chocolate squares, smaller than the size of a matchbook. I had two. But they weren't that great, kind of waxy actually, and I didn't really care for them. And I forgot to take pictures!

Husband met us at the park and walked us home. I guess all my talk about my big Blizzard plans started to get to him because he decided that he wanted a milkshake. I had a few sips of that. Soooooo good.

Dinner got all screwed up. Because Husband had a late lunch meeting today, AND a HUGE milkshake on the way home from the park, he proclaimed that he would not be wanting dinner. He said, "If I get hungry, I'll just have a piece of fruit or something." Now normally, I'd be very supportive of the idea of not having to cook. But, since we were going to order Indian food tonight, I kinda had my heart set on it. And since our preferred Indian place has a $25 delivery minimum (and is just a few too many blocks to walk to) I had a conundrum on my hands. Certainly, I could not eat $25 worth of Indian food on my own. And I really didn't think I could deal with having leftovers in the house. So, after a lot of back and forth, and a solemn promise from Husband to make it up to me next Cheat Day, I decided to just go downstairs and grab some sushi instead.

California roll, yam roll, agedashi tofu and miso soup.
It was good, not exactly what I wanted, but good nonetheless.

I devoured it.


And for the big finale, the much anticipated, long awaited PUMPKIN PIE BLIZZARD:
And guess what? IT TOTALLY SUCKED. It was pretty gross and tasted so fake and yucky. I couldn't even finish half of it. Never EVER again. After all that waiting, I was so very disappointed.

So it was a Cheat Day that had it's ups and downs and sadly, for the most part, did not live up to my high expectations. Ah well, there's always next week. I am now sitting here at my computer at 10:30pm feeling full but still wanting something.... But I'm really scared of what the scale will say tomorrow. Especially after all that salt and soy sauce! Yikes. If you hear a loud shriek early tomorrow morning, rest assured, it's just me. Screaming from Canada.

And I must admit, after all the indulging I am REALLY looking forward to three healthy, light meals tomorrow. And a nice long run and a very hot yoga class. That is all sounding so good right now. And that's the thing about Cheat Day - Makes the dieting sounds like fun all over again.

Lesson learned from THIS Cheat Day: Going overboard isn't the answer. Feeling stuffed and knowing it's from eating all the wrong stuff just doesn't feel very good. It's not that I'm feeling guilty at all, I just feel like, 'what was the point of all that?'

This is only my 3rd ever Cheat Day, so it's still quite a novelty and I'm definitely still learning. But I think from now on, I'm going to try to keep this lesson in the forefront of my mind. I will still have absolute and full permission to eat whatever I want, but if I'm honest with myself, eating crap just isn't as satisfying as I think it will be. It never really is, is it? I think just larger portions of good, wholesome, healthy foods - plus a little taste of something sinful - that's the recipe for a really awesome Cheat Day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 21, 22 & 23: Hello, Clavicles!

Wow I have been wanting to post for the past two days, but as I've been dealing with a poor sick Baby Girl (she has a nasty cold) coupled with all the running and late night yoga classes, I have just not been able to find the time. Finally sitting down at my computer and catching up!

So two nights ago I was at yoga, and my mat was square in front of the mirror. I'm such a narcissist! As I was sitting cross-legged with my palms on my knees, I looked at my reflection. I could have sworn I saw a faint hint of muscle tone in my arms. My waist might have seemed a wee bit smaller than it did a couple of weeks ago. And what's this? I saw some old friends I haven't seen in a long, long time... My clavicles! After hiding under a layer of fat for a couple of years now, my clavicles are emerging triumphant once again and my chest now has some definition. Granted, those lovely clavicles are only just starting to peek out, but yup, there they are! The Plan is working. My body is indeed (slowly) changing shape. I'm loving it!

The weight loss has continued to go very well this week - I've lost a little over 2 pounds since Sunday - but I'm sure that I must just be experiencing a lovely windfall that will be short lived and not indicative of the general trend. I kinda think that's how weight loss goes. In fits and starts.

Tomorrow is Cheat Day! Oh how I adore you, Cheat Day! Here's what I'm planning to indulge in:
-a hot crusty roll with butter (maybe for breakfast with a cup of tea?)
-take-out Indian food for dinner (I am craving my favourite chickpea dish)
-that gosh darn Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from DQ. You know the one. The one I should have had last cheat day. It's my obsession of late.
Other than that, we'll just see how the day flows! So excited.

I swear, Cheat Day is the best thing I could have ever imagined. It works so well for my purposes. How? Why?
Because:
1. Obviously, it's lovely to satiate my cravings and enjoy some delicious food (especially those that are challenging to fit into a low calorie regime).
2. It's a chance, once a week, for me to practice eating like a real person who is not on a diet.
3. It keeps me motivated and strong through the rest of the week because I never feel deprived and I know if I want something I only need to wait until the next Cheat Day to have it. I think I very well may have given up on The Plan long ago because I would have felt deprived, would have probably started resenting The Plan, indulged, lost focus, felt bad about myself, continued indulging, vicious cycle...
4. Everyone deserves a break.
5. I can eat whatever strikes my fancy and I don't have to weigh, measure, or record anything. The only thing that's not allowed on cheat day is guilt. And you know what? The worst I've had so far was some of those 100 calorie snack packs and a monster bowl of cereal. And it was Special K at that. I almost feel like because I can have anything, I feel like I don't need to eat a bunch of crap. Does that make any sense? Of course, even if I did eat a bunch of crap, that's OK! It's Cheat Day! It's all good.
6. And no matter how much I eat on Cheat Day (and honestly, usually I'm pretty well behaved because I'm running on a week's worth of momentum), I really don't gain more than a pound - if even that - and most of it is probably just due to too much sodium the day before anyway. Think about it: I would have to eat an additional 3500 calories, over an above what my body requires in a day, to gain even a pound. That's not very easy to do in one day. It's not like I'm going to go out and eat 5 Burger King Whoppers (which would be about 3000 calories). I guess my point is that one day - heck, one WEEK - of anything really doesn't make that much of a difference either way. In my opinion, the key to weight loss success is consistency, not perfection.

Ironic that Cheat Day actually helps to keep me focused on my diet, eh?

On to some food. Here are my lunches from the last two days.

Wednesday's lunch was:Some fat free peach Activia yogurt, black plums and cinnamon with a side of whole wheat toast with almond butter. I needed to eat something that would sustain me through a run and a yoga class, so I put together this meal. It was just OK. I wish I would have had plain yogurt instead of the Activia because the fake-peach taste just did not work very well with the plums. But the addition of the almond buttered toast sure was tasty. And the meal as a whole did work as planned - I was full but not overly so and my energy was high through both my workouts with nary a hunger pang in site.

Thursdays lunch was:A chicken salad sandwich and cherry tomatoes. The chicken was leftover spicy BBQ marinated, and instead of celery, I employed some leftover aspargus in the chicken salad mix. It was really good. This whole lunch was delicious and truthfully I'm surprised it turned out so well because Baby Girl was just starting to feel sick and and being very surly while I was making it and I was absolutely starving by the time I sat down. I can't even believe I had the wherewithal to take a picture! I will be having a repeat of this lunch today, I think.

It's rainy and grey today, Baby Girl is still sick and I'm starting to feel a tickle in the back of my throat. I have decided to take the day off from exercise and just take it easy tonight. I've got the fire going and I'm already in my pajamas and it's only 2:30pm. Nothing like a lazy day at home to warm the soul. Now, if someone would just come over with some low-calorie chicken soup and crackers I'd be all set.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 20: My Sneaky Little Snack

Yoga class was awesome tonight! Gosh that heat felt so nice after a couple days' break. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

So The Plan is still going really well. And I've made peace with the scale. Today was the first day that I just didn't care what it said. Well, okay, maybe I did care a little.... Probably in light of yesterday's shocking discovery that my not-so-trusty scale sometimes fibs, I just weighed myself, recorded the number and went about my business. Up or down, it didn't really matter. I am feeling good and my clothes are getting looser by the day.

I'm starting to understand that weight is a range, not a fixed, tried and true integer.

In other news, I found something wonderful, quite by accident, in the snack aisle of the grocery store today. Behold:(Don't mind the French, I live in Canada.) I am a nut butter - especially peanut butter - slave (not that you could tell by this blog) so when I found these, I just couldn't resist. ) Quaker Crispy Delights Peanut Butter Crunch rice cake snacks - They are soooo good!What an awesome treat for when I need a little sumthin sumthin.

Okay, I know there are a lot of controversy over these 90 or 100 calorie snack packs. Yes, they're not real food. Yes, they're loaded with all kinds of chemicals and junk. Yes, they're just empty calories. And Yes, sometimes you need to put the contents of the package under a magnifying glass to see what you're about to eat. And don't get me started on the environmental impact of all that extra packaging. I get all that.

But ya know, sometimes you just need something. Something to remind you that you're not on a diet. A little taste of a snack that you used to love. All in a safe protective package that keeps you from over indulging. A treat that you can easily sneak into your diet without a lot of sacrifice. Hell, even if you go NUTS and have TWO, you're only into them for 200 calories. No biggie.

So YES, I admit it, I am a big, BIG fan of the 100 calorie snack pack.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 18 & 19: Scratch That Itch

I finally broke out of the 160's this morning! Hooray! That must mean I'm doing something right.

Although I also discovered this morning that my scale is not really that accurate. When I first weighed myself, it showed that I was 158.8. I jumped for joy. Then a few minutes later I wanted to show Husband so I got on again and I was 162.2. What?? Booooo. But that seemed weird to me. So I then proceeded to bump, move, step on, step off, relocated and reset the scale. Now I'm 161 even. Without moving the scale, I stepped on a few minutes later. 159.8. I have no idea what was going on but I decided to just keep that last number as it was kind of the average of all the numbers I got this morning. And an important lesson was learned: That number really does mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. So next time I'm celebrating a 2 pound loss or mourning a 2 pound gain, I'm going to have to take that number with a grain of salt. Because apparently, it's really give-or-take 3 pounds.

So, unfortunately (and embarrassingly), I already failed my 50 day yoga challenge. I want to say it was beyond my control, but I think I let it happen. I was exhausted and when Sunday got too busy for me to fit in a yoga class, I relented and kinda gave up. I went for a long run instead.

I'm not too upset, I certainly did try and I'm definitely going to keep going to yoga everyday if possible. I think if I alternate running and yoga that would certainly make for a good fitness recipe. I will be going to yoga tonight, hopefully, as long as I can get Baby Girl down for bed at an early time.

Running has been going great. I am really getting into it. I can run for 30 minutes - no problem. (Although it should be noted that I run really slowly, at a snail's pace). And when the 30 minutes is up, I always feel like I could do more. That's just where I want to be for awhile. It feels great! I am so pleased with my progress.

I have been really lazy about photographing my meals lately. Or maybe it's more that I'm so freakin hungry by the time I eat that I'm not thinking straight. But anyway, here are the highlights from Cheat Day:

Chicken and vegetable yakisoba (homemade with leftover spaghettini noodles) mixed with lots and lots of edemame beans. Yummers!
And of course, lots and lots of almond butter. Mmmmmmm.

For dinner, I made some turkey tacos which turned out just OK. No pics.

The funny thing about my last Cheat Day is I wanted something but I couldn't figure out what. In hindsight, I realize that it was that Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen that's been all over TV lately. To satiate myself, I tried eating lots of almond butter, a 100-calorie snack pack of chocolate covered pretzels, and a HUUUUGE bowl of cereal but by the end of the evening I was stuffed, but unsatisfied. And the scale was not kind to me the next day so to me it really wasn't worth it.

My valuable lesson learned on Cheat Day: If I'm going to indulge, at least make it count. It's not worth it to eat for the sake of eating. If it's not delicious then I shouldn't waste my time.

I spent all day thinking about that Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from DQ and I never got it because I was trying to behave myself. And now I wish I'd just gone ahead and satisfied that craving, rather than eating a lot of other stuff that didn't scratch that itch, KWIM?

Now I know.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 15 & 16: I Amazed Myself

I'm writing to you from my second weekly Cheat Day! Hooray! I started the morning with a GIANT bowl of oatmeal with a creamy swirl of almond butter mixed in and topped with bananas. So, so good. Too good, actually, because I could only eat half of it!

On Thursday I arranged with my mum to look after Baby Girl so I could go for a nice (stroller-free) run. And run I did. I ran for 30 minutes. Albeit slowly, but without stopping. It was awesome! Truthfully, I probably pushed myself a little harder than I should have by I was just glowing afterwards. I totally amazed myself. I finally feel like I'm on the road to becoming the runner I used to be.

Good news! I dropped a dress size. From size 14 to 12. I discovered this yesterday, quite by accident, when I need to find something to wear and I was behind on the laundry. Out of curiosity, I tried on a pair of corduroy pants that I haven't worn in awhile and wow! They fit! Very comfortably! Made my day.

I'm feeling good and strong. So good in fact, that despite the fact that it's Cheat Day, my mum offered to give me some of her amazing hot-out-of-the-oven cookies and I declined. I did have a couple of nibbles (OMG were they good!) but I didn't want any more than that. I didn't need any more than that. I just want lots and lots of healthy food. Okay, okay, I admit, I am still thinking about that Pumpkin Pie Blizzard haha...

Went on another run today - this time with my dad. He is out of practice but he did really well. It was nice to run with some good company.

I took a few pics of my meals lately, but, well, I just don't feel like posting them. They're nothing all that exciting. I'm feeling lazy. And it's Cheat Day so I can do what I want!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 15: Two Weeks

It's official. I've completed TWO WEEKS on The Plan. I've followed my diet to the letter and I've exercised every day. I am very proud of myself.

And my hard work thus far was rewarded this morning by some really good news on the scale. I have dropped to the lowest weight I've been since I've started the plan. I'd love to hope that maybe I'm finally out of this weird up-and-down weight fluctuation/plateau thing that has been plaguing me lately, but I'm smarter than that. But I'll take this little accomplishment and keep it in my back pocket. I weighed exactly 160.0 today. I'm one-tenth of a pound away from finally getting out of the 160's!!

Cheat Day is coming the day after tomorrow and of course I'm already daydreaming about what I want to eat. Almond butter tops the list again so I think that will be incorporated into my breakfast. I've also been eyeing up that Pumpkin Pie Blizzard that Dairy Queen has been advertising recently. I don't know if I will go as far as to have one but oh wow do they look good.

My mum is having a family party on Sunday and I thought about using my Cheat Day then, but the main course is going to be a beef dish and since I don't eat beef, I figure it's not worth it to use a whole Cheat Day up just so I can eat side dishes. I'll just pack my lunch instead! And if anyone asks why I'm not eating, I'm just going to be honest and tell them that I am on a diet.

I've been really focused on exercise over the last couple of days. It's almost impossible not to be when I've been going to nightly yoga classes. It's a bit hard, but not because the yoga itself is difficult (although it can be pretty intense). It's more of a challenge for me because evening after Baby Girl goes to bed is my time, when I get to relax in front of the TV, blog, check email, surf the internet. I am missing my shows! But my health and fitness is definitely worth more than an episode of America's Next Top Model and I just keep telling myself - it's only 50 days. I can get through anything for 50 days.

Here's my lunch today!An open-faced herbed cream cheese and spinach sandwich with a side of bright, beautiful cherry tomatoes.

Mum is going to babysit Baby Girl so I can go for a run today. Nice!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 13+14: Just a Regular Old Post with a Bonus Pep Talk at the Bottom

I couldn't get around to posting yesterday because I had a late yoga class. Actually, I have yoga classes at night all this week so hopefully I'll have time to keep up my blog during Baby Girl's nap time.

The weight update: I'm still teetering up and down, but down more than up (I think/hope) so I guess there is some slow progress happening there. Much slower than I'd like, mind you. I'm still in the 160's. I just keep hoping to dip into the 150's one of these mornings -- man oh man that will be a good day. Patience, patience.

The food front: I haven't been taking pics of all my meals, partly because I keep forgetting and partly because they're just not that interesting or pretty to look at. But I did manage to snap a shot of last night's dinner (except I only remembered half way through eating it).It was Jamaican jerk chicken, wild brown rice and steamed seasoned carrots. It turned out really good, except the chicken (which I bought pre-marinaded from Whole Foods) was not that flavourful. Didn't stop me from finishing every last bite though. Husband liked it too.

And I had to take photo of breaky this morning. It was my usual cinnamon oatmeal but I topped it with something very special - fresh raspberries and strawberries. A great combo. It hit the spot!

And lunch today (which I'm munching on right now as I type this) is just some of the leftover vegetarian chili I made with a slice of whole wheat toast.You can't tell by looking at it but man is it spicy! I'm kinda wishing I had enough calories to throw in some cheese and sour cream to cool down this bowl of fire.

The running run-down: It's raining today so I couldn't take Baby Girl to the park this morning (which means I couldn't run there and run back for a bit of exercise). Boo. We ended up taking the subway to the mall outside of town where they have a kid's play area. She loved it. I guess some days I'll just have to take mandatory breaks from running. I do have a 90 minute hot yoga class tonight which promises to be brutal, so I'm not feeling too guilty about it.

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So here's something I've known all along but I've decided to verbalize right here and now: Failure is not an option. This is happening, I will lose this weight. It will probably take a long time and it will definitely be hard work. But I'm in this for the long haul. This is a promise I've made to myself and I will not break it. No way. I will succeed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 12: Physics and Math

Ug. This morning I got myself into such a snit because I discovered upon waking that my scale was being a jerk again. The numbers went up. Again. Two days in a row.

Not a lot, mind you. Barely half a pound. Which I realize means nothing. But it truly was discouraging to see, especially in light of the fact that I've been working out like crazy and sticking to my diet perfectly. Am I eating too many calories? Not enough? How is it possible that my body is defying physics AND math? I always thought weight loss was a calories-in-calories-out kind of equation. What am I doing wrong??

I even had to call my mum to vent. She didn't have any answers for me but she was very supportive, as usual.

I am so tired of complaining about this.

Anyway, I ended up meeting a friend for coffee and a walk this morning, which got my mind off things. And by the afternoon I was feeling much better. I sort of came to the realization that if I'm going to weigh myself every day, I had just better start getting used to the discouragement and not let it affect me (as much). And I need to focus more on the indisputable fact that I'm feeling great, strong, and healthy and my pants are starting to feel a bit looser.

I had a great lunch today - I made an open-faced spinach and (light) cream cheese sandwich which was delish. Paired it with some cherry tomatoes and had a grapefruit for dessert. It was the perfect lunch before yoga class today, as it was nice and light and digested very quickly and easily. I forgot to take pictures of it, so instead I'll post a photo of yesterday's lunch: A toasted flax bagel with light herbed cream cheese, a sprinkling of canned salmon (my daughter loves this stuff so we shared) and a pile of carrots. I would have killed for some dried dill to sprinkle on top but alas it was not meant to be.The carrots were a bit disappointing. I usually buy organic carrots but the ones I found at my last visit to the grocery store had an expiration date a little too soon for my liking. So I bought regular carrots. Not as sweet.

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I had an AMAZING yoga class today. It was fairly challenging and I was one very sweaty pretzel by the end of it. It was only a 60 minute class but it sure felt like twice that. And afterward I felt great. Energized, yet calm and happy. Gosh I love me some yoga. It really seems to be treating me well.

I was feeling so great, in fact, that I decided afterwards to extend my workout and go for a run. Which I did - and that also went very well. One of the coolest things about running is the rate at which a new runner can improve. To think I just started running 12 days ago and today, I ran for a full 30 minutes (albeit slowly), only stopping twice to walk for about 2 minutes each time. That is a HUGE improvement and I really feel proud of myself for that.

Of course, I am pretty sore now, and I think tomorrow will be brutal so I will likely take the day off from running. Because I'm doing yoga every day for the next 47 days, I'm allowing myself to ease up on my running a wee bit. I *might* have overdone it a little today.

I know I shouldn't get so hung up on that silly number on the scale, but it sure would do my heart good to see some progress tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 11: Rock and Roll

Wow! I woke up this morning with SO MUCH ENERGY! I had a great sleep, and couldn't wait to get rockin' and rolling today. Baby Girl and I had a nice breakfast together - I had a big bowl of oatmeal with banana and cinnamon (I'm sparing you the pics - you've seen enough oatmeal for awhile) and then you know what we did? We went for a RUN! Well, I ran and Baby Girl sat in the stroller while I pushed her along.

Okay, we don't actually have a jogging stroller per se, but I'd say we did pretty well all things considered. I didn't go for a long run - just 15 minutes to the park, stopping to let Baby Girl have some fun on the swings and the slide, and then 15 minutes back. I worked up a nice sweat and it felt great. I am excited to know that I can now go for runs with Baby Girl, as opposed to being dependent on Husband's schedule so he can watch her while I go. My only complaint is that my upper arms are kind of sore, I think from holding the handlebars of the stroller. But I'm sure that will fade in time. All in all, an AWESOME morning.

I absolutely certain that my energy and mood today are thanks entirely to yesterday's yoga. In fact, I was feeling so great this morning that I didn't even freak out when I weighed myself and discovered that yesterday's Cheat Day resulted in a weight gain this morning of 0.8 pounds. Whatever. I'm not even thinking about it.

And because today is Sunday, I've updated my "Numbers" in the sidebar to the right (as I will do every Sunday). As you can see, I'm officially down 3.5 pounds. Not bad. But I've fluctuated so much over the last week, I'm starting to wonder if I'm ever going to get out of the 160's! What a great day it will be when that happens.

Anyway, I'm feeling fantastic, energized and healthy today. I think I'm going to make a big batch of homemade vegetarian chili for dinner tonight, even though it's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. Yes, it's a very un-Thanksgiving meal indeed, but I'm cool with it. We're just gonna take it easy.

Monster hunger is starting to set in. Must go forge for lunch!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day 10: Such a Nutty Day

I went to my first hot yoga class (in 5 years) today and it was just lovely. I had one heck of a workout, and sweated enough to fill a bucket. I struggled a bit from being out of practice, but I remembered most of the poses and the heat felt wonderful.

So today is Cheat Day and it has been very nutty. Literally. I guess I've been craving nuts - they're so hard to fit into a low calorie regime - so today I really went nuts with the nuts!

Breakfast was the first thing on my mind when I woke up this morning. I knew exactly how to start Cheat Day. With this:A toasted flax bagel positively slathered in almond butter. Drool. But, then I decided it was missing a little something so I added:Half a sliced banana and (of course) a sprinkling of cinnamon! I think cinnamon is my favourite spice ever.

Around noon, I decided I'd better eat again so I'd have lots of energy for my 3:30 yoga class. After much rummaging through the kitchen, I decided on a big bowl of oatmeal with raisins, the other half of the banana, lots and lots and LOTS of walnuts, cinnamon and skim milk. See?That little bowl of yum turned out to be quite a powerhouse because it kept me full and energetic straight through yoga. Awesome!

When I got home from yoga, however, I was absolutely famished. I snacked on an unpictured granny smith apple but that barely made a dent in my hunger so I knew I'd have to eat some dinner soon. Because it's Cheat Day (la dee dah!), I convinced Husband to order some take-out from our favourite Thai place, just around the corner from our loft. We split an order of cashew chicken with extra cashews (told you it was a nutty day!) and some brown rice.It was soooooo good. It was the perfect amount of spice, the veggies were crispy and the cashews were toasted to perfection. It didn't take Husband and I very long to inhale every last bite.

Now, I'm sitting here feeling a wee bit hungry again and thinking about a snack. Will it be a bowl of cereal? A piece of toast with almond butter? Some 100 calorie chocolate? All three??? VIVA LA CHEAT DAY!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Day 9: Bring on the Almond Butter, Bring on the Heat

Well friends, here I sit on the eve of Cheat Day. Wahooooo!

I don't plan on going crazy tomorrow, really. But just eating whatever and whenever I feel like it, and not recording every single calorie, well that just sounds lovely. I am going to thoroughly enjoy my big gobs of almond butter (yeah baby) and I'm not going to worry about it. I am so excited.

I am also excited because tomorrow is the first day of my 50 DAY YOGA CHALLENGE. My muscles are primed and rested and I am ready to sweat!

Tonight's dinner was really good. I heated up some Fillo Factory Spanakopita that I bought from Whole Foods last week. They're all natural and 4 pieces were only 210 calories. Not bad! I threw some fresh tomatoes, cucumber and asparagus on my plate to go along with it. Decadent, filling, delicious and totally satisfying. I will definitely buy those again. Baby Girl really liked them too!

Here's what dinner looked like:
That's all for tonight! Gonna watch a movie with Husband and have a cup of tea and some 100 calorie chocolate. Mmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why I Love Lululemon

Let me count the ways...

Lululemon is my new favourite store. Why?

Well, it's not because they have the cutest and best quality workout clothing. It's not because they offer free LIFETIME alterations. It's not even because the salespeople are knowledgeable, helpful and friendly.

It's because AT LULULEMON, I AM A SIZE 8. Wheeeeeeee!

Every other store knows me as a size 14, so comfortably fitting into a size 8 is just too thrilling. I'm not sure if it's their stretchy Luon signature fabric, or if they are onto some kind of a fantastic marketing gimmick, but fitting into a size 8 anything pretty well makes me want to buy up the store.

And while I didn't buy up the entire store, I did come home with these lovely gems:
and...
Yes, you're reading that tag right - I bought the Ta Ta Tamer. These 36 double D baby-nursing Ta Tas definitely need to be told who's boss!

My shopping adventure wasn't cheap. All told I spent just under $400. That's for two pairs of yoga pants, two tank tops, and a sports bra. Yikes. Thanks, Husband!

Day 8: Shopping, Almond Butter & 50 Days of Yoga

Well friends, hot yoga starts in two days and I've got to go dig out my mat, find some beach towels, and of course - do a bit of shopping here. I've already informed Husband that I plan to do quite a bit of damage and surprisingly, he was totally okay with it. I think I'm going to go today, just waiting for Baby Girl to wake up from her nap so I can feed her some lunch before we go shopping!

Speaking of Husband, he is STILL running (almost) every morning! I am so darn proud of him. I never thought he'd stick with it, but he is totally banging it out! He says when he skips a run, he really misses it. Amazing. He is such an inspiration and he truly helps me to stay motivated and focused. And my worries about Husband's eating preferences have been totally dashed. He even ate the vegetable lasagna I made (heated up) for dinner last night (I didn't take any pictures, it was nothing special) and liked it. I couldn't believe it! It sure makes dieting and exercise easier when your partner is involved, doesn't it?

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I've decided that my first Cheat Day will be on Saturday. I am so excited. All I can say are these two words: ALMOND BUTTER. It's all I can think about. I've been craving it since I started The Plan but as we all know, nut butters, while delicious and very healthy, are highly caloric and I find it a challenge to fit them into my low-calorie menus. So that's gonna be my big treat on Saturday. I may just have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Now, normally, I would give myself a day off from exercise on my Cheat Day as well. But since I'm starting hot yoga on Saturday, I'm going to give myself tomorrow off instead, so I can rest my muscles. Mixing up Cheat Day a bit. That's allowed, right?

Did I mention that not only am I starting hot yoga on Saturday but I will be doing yoga for 50 straight days? You read that right. FIFTY as in 5-0. Why? Because the yoga studio I am joining has a great new student promotion for three weeks and then, during the month of November, they are having a "30-Day Yoga Challenge". This challenge is meant to encourage students to attend 30 classes in 30 days. If completed successfully, the students' names are entered into a drawing to receive one year of unlimited yoga. I WANT THAT PRIZE! So I'm going for it. And yeah, these two promotions together equal 50 consecutive days of yoga.

I'm totally going to take before and after photos because I have a feeling that 50 days of yoga might actually yield some visible results!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 7: Feeling It

The most peculiar thing happened to me yesterday.

I went my run. The air was crisp and sweet, the sun was starting to set casting a warm glow all along my running path. My heart was pumping, my muscles were warm and... I felt thin. My body felt efficient. It was bliss. I have never enjoyed running so much in my life.

Unfortunately the feeling was fleeting, and as I started pushing through my workout it faded. Eventually, I became winded and I went from being full of energy to feeling like I was lumbering along, huffing and puffing. Happily, my quads have forgiven me and I my run wasn't painful at all, but having a taste of what running should feel like made me realize that I still have a long way to go in my practice. But, for the first time, I feel like I'm getting there. Slowly.

When I got home, I started making dinner - which was some chicken marinaded in half teriyaki sauce / half hot sauce, wild rice and snap peas. The chicken turned out beyond amazing, I am definitely making it that way again. I seared it on both sides and then baked it in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes. I wish I had taken a picture of the inside because it was moist and juicy and I enjoyed every single bite of my dinner.This looks like a lot more rice than there actually was (only 3/4 cup), I guess it's an iPhone optical illusion! I didn't need to eat the whole chicken breast (although I easily could have), so I saved a small piece of it for my lunch the next day... I'll get to that in a sec.

Continuing on in my oatmeal adventures, I created a masterpiece this morning:Oatmeal topped with fresh raspberries and banana, and OF COURSE a cubic buttload of cinnamon. It was AWESOME.

After breakfast, I went for a walk with a friend and our babies. I was famished when I got home, and it was perfect timing because Baby Girl went down for a nap so I was able to sit and enjoy my lunch and not rush through it (a very rare treat in Mummyland!). I chopped up the rest of last night's chicken and a stalk of celery, and mixed in some light mayo and some really good stone ground mustard. And voila! Another fantastic chicken salad.I threw the works onto a tortilla in hopes that I could create some sort of chicken salad wrap, but alas, the filling was too plentiful and I had to settle for a weirdly shaped, but very tasty taco thing instead.Those tomatoes really were as red, ripe and delicious as they look!

I am feeling really silly about yesterday's scale discouragement. I never wanted to be one of those girls who agonize over every little ounce. I realize that this is a process and it takes time. Weight loss is not a straight line from A to B, it's more like a "two steps forward, one step back" kind of thing, at least for me. But seeing that number, for better or worse, really does get under my skin.

It has been suggested that perhaps I should not weigh myself everyday and I couldn't agree more with that sentiment. Unfortunately, my iPhone calorie counting app does require that I weigh myself every day if possible, in order to provide the most accurate and up-to-date data. I think what I'm going to have to learn to do is weigh myself, record the number, and just forget about it.

I don't know what I was so discouraged about yesterday anyway. It was such silliness. Looking at the big picture, I have already lost about 4 pounds - in ONE week. That is great! Not to mentioned that I am already feeling better, and feeling fitter. I really need to stay more focused on my overall successes rather than the day-to-day numbers. Lesson learned.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 6: My Scale is Such a Jerk

I woke up this morning and weighed myself, only to discover that not only had I not lost anything, but I was actually up 2-tenths of a pound from yesterday. Now believe me when I say that I fully realize that 2-tenths of a pound means nothing. I know that. But I must admit that it was discouraging to see those numbers.

How is it possible that I am eating so well, exercising every day, and yet I actually gained a small amount? Am I eating too much? Too little? Is it water? Is it the fact that I demolished 10 prune plums in front of the TV last night leaving only this in my wake?

I'm trying to keep perspective about this whole scale thing and for the most part I am; it's just so easy to get hung up on those silly little numbers. *Sigh* Ah, but I digress.

Husband sweetly offered to buy me some new yoga clothes as a little gift for starting up hot yoga again. I am totally taking him up on this and I'm really excited to go shopping here on Friday. Not only is it one of my favourite stores, but they always seem to have just what I'm looking for in terms of workout clothing. I can't wait to show you all what I end up coming home with. And on SATURDAY (mark your calendars folks), I will be attending my first hot yoga class in 5 years! I am pretty darn stoked about it.

On another random note - this post is turning out to be all my random thoughts for the day - I am getting totally into oatmeal. No stranger to fellow food bloggers, oatmeal is the King of Breakfast and I'm starting to understand why. First of all, it's totally versatile and you can throw in practically anything. Second, it's cheap. Third, it's totally delicious and healthy. And fourth, it really keeps you full. Like, for HOURS! It sure keeps hunger at bay a lot better than my bowl of Special K was doing.

This is what I whipped up this morning.
Very simple, just threw in some apple pieces and stirred in lots and LOTS of cinnamon. It was great, low calorie, and oh so filling. I love looking at the photos and reading the descriptions of everyone's oatmeal breakfasts out there in the blogosphere. It gives me tons of ideas!

Tonight, after a good rest day yesterday, I'm going to attempt a run again. Wish me (or rather, wish my quads) good luck!