Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I had a fun day today, a perfect way to spend the day before The Plan starts. Mum and I took the subway to the mall outside of town. They have a great play area there and Baby Girl had a blast playing with the other kids. Then we went and got some very greasy veggie burgers and fried zucchini sticks for lunch. So good.

On my way home, we popped into Whole Foods and I picked up the last thing I needed in the way of groceries: Some organic chicken breasts and some organic chicken and turkey sausages. I bought 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and asked to have them wrapped for the freezer in packs of 2. It worked out so well because when I got home I was able to just toss them right into the freezer without having to handle them. Same for the sausages (and WOW does Whole Foods have a million varieties!). In fact, I was told that meat freezes better in the paper anyway so it couldn't have been better or easier! And the whole thing cost less than $40 CDN. Not too bad considering that all the meat is organic and will feed 2 adults and 1 Baby Girl for two weeks.

I only have one thing left to do and that's to make an exercise playlist for my new iPod. I'll do that tonight while watching America's Next Top Model and eating my final indulgence - a Dairy Queen Blizzard. Oh, and my mum said she can watch Baby Girl while I go for my run tomorrow so the challenge of Husband having to work late has been successfully averted.

I'm also going to have Husband take those "Before" pics of me tonight (in a bathing suit, YES I am absolutely crazy) so I should have them up on this blog very soon, either later tonight or tomorrow.

I am so excited - and SO READY - to get started tomorrow, I feel like I'm counting the seconds. I am so tired of living like this, and so sick of lumbering around in this heavy body.

Tomorrow, everything changes. I am going to turn this mutha out. You watch.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Early To Bed, Early To Rise

It's not all just about eating right and working out. I'm also going to need to make another big change. This change is actually the pin that will hold the rest of The Plan together and I'm kinda surprised that I haven't considered it until now.


When I became a mum, sleep just sort of took a back seat to the rest of my life. There was always so much to do, and I became quite conditioned to function on a lot less sleep. The key word there is "function" because that is basically all I could do. I certainly wasn't living optimally.

Additionally, lack of sleep sends a message to the brain that energy is scarce. And when energy is scarce, the body often responds with feeling hungry. See where I'm going with this?

Part of my problem is that because I CAN function on little sleep, I often choose NOT to sleep (even when I am able to) simply because it is the only time that I have to myself. Please don't misunderstand - I absolutely love being a mum and I adore spending time with my Baby Girl, but when she goes to bed at night it's the only time I have to do what I want to do, adult things, ME things. I can email, surf, Facebook, blog, watch TV, shower, give myself a mani/pedi... all the things I can't do when I'm being a mum during the day. KWIM? I love this time, but I really need to institute some structure because staying up late is detrimental to my health and could possibly sabotage The Plan if I'm not careful.

I've gotten myself into a baaaaad habit: I stay up really late, even after Husband goes to bed at 10:00pm (not great for our marriage either). Then, when I finally get to bed, it feels like I get only a few hours of sleep before Baby Girl wakes up in the morning (the same time every morning - about 6:30/7:00am). I feed her and try to get her to go back to sleep so I can get some more sleep. I am usually successful and we wake up again at around 9:30am (essentially she just took her morning nap). Because we've woken up so late, Baby Girl's nap schedule gets all screwed up - she'll go down for a very late afternoon nap - and because of this, her actual bedtime turns into a battle. When we finally get her to go down again, I feel like I only have a few minutes to myself before Husband heads to bed at 10:00pm. So I stay up late. And the cycle continues.

This morning, Baby Girl woke up with Husband at her usual time. Instead of coaxing her back to bed, I just let her stay up and play. I did all the morning chores, we had breakfast nice and early, and she went down for a perfectly lovely morning nap at 10:00am on the dot. Baby Girl was sunshine all day and at her bedtime tonight, she went down like a champ. This is how the day is supposed to go.

There's also this: When I'm tired, I eat more (especially sugar); it's only natural - my body is looking for extra energy. I feel like there's no balance in my life.

So this is a very longwinded post about how I just need to get more sleep and stick to a better schedule. With that in mind, I banged one out on my iPhone on the subway today on my way to grocery shopping. Here's what I've come up with:

Speaking of grocery shopping, I went out and got EVERYTHING I'll need for the first TWO WEEKS of The Plan. Check out my fully loaded fridge. Look at all the colours in the produce drawers! My preparations are officially complete!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Weights & Measures

So I picked up the last of my preparations today and, save for the actual groceries, I think I can now say that I am ready to go for October 1st.

I got these:

and this (cue scary music here):

The iPhone app I'll be using to track my calories - Lean Me (Pro) - uses height, weight, and body measurements to calculate BMR and calories spent during any given exercise. In the interest of being thorough, I am going to take all my measurements on September 30th. That's also the date that I'll be posting my "Before" Progress Pic of me in my BATHING SUIT. Yikes!

I'm getting very excited.

Unfortunately, despite all my planning, I ran into a small bump in the road already - no biggie - but Husband just informed me tonight that he has a late meeting scheduled for Thursday (October 1st) so I can't go running on my first day of my plan. (Because he's the one who would be watching Baby Girl while I go for my run.) But that's okay, I'll probably just do some brisk walking for the first week anyway to build up my endurance so I can just take Baby Girl with me in the stroller. When there's a will, there's a way.

And there is definitely a will!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Big Plans & Tiny Tunes

Well friends, I am happy to report that I have the first two weeks of dinners all figured out. I made the meal plans and used the Shopper app on my iPhone to create a nice big grocery list. I am on fire!

Wanna know what delicious fare I'll be dining on starting Thursday October 1st? Of course you do.

Day 1: Seasoned Chicken Breast on Salad Greens
Day 2: Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry and Brown Rice
Day 3: Herbed Chicken, Brown Rice and Carrots
Day 4: Veggie (Onions, Peppers, Tomato, Mushrooms) Omelet with Fruit Salad
Day 5: Ravioli in Marinara Sauce and Salad
Day 6: Soft Tacos Made with Spicy Ground Turkey (I'll be making a double batch and freezing half to have later)
Day 8: BBQ Baked Chicken, Brown Rice and Sugar Snap Peas
Day 9: Turkey & Vegetable (Onion, Garlic, Peppers, Yam, Carrot, Corn, Mushroom) Chili on Brown Rice
Day 10: Veggie Burgers and Raw Veggie Sticks (Carrots, Celery, Cauliflower, Tomato, Cucumber)
Day 11: Pasta with Turkey Bolognese Sauce
Day 12: Taco Leftovers (from Day 6)
Day 13: Frozen Casserole (not sure exactly what yet, but I'll pick up something from Whole Foods) and Salad

There you have it! I'll probably mess around with the order of the meals, especially the Cheat Days, but this is MY OFFICIAL MEAL PLAN!

I know there is a LOT of poultry happening, but I don't eat red meat (I'll post on why that is someday) or pork and I'm really gun-shy about cooking fish. Not sure why, I've just never really done it before. So yeah, we eat lots of chicken and turkey 'round these parts. But I'm okay with that for now. I also eat canned (wild) salmon at least twice a week for lunch so I think (hope)I'm getting enough omega 3s.

I'm almost fully prepared! Just need to go and buy a measuring tape (yikes!) and several cheapie sets of plastic measuring cups and spoons. I have a great stainless steel set from Crate & Barrel but since I'll be measuring everything I'm going to want to have plenty at hand (and not have to wash the same set every time). I'm trying to make things as easy as possible.

And speaking of being prepared, check out this cute little baby Husband picked up for me today. (Believe it or not, this tiny thing is an iPod! It holds 2GB - or about 5,000 songs and clips to your clothing. Holy crap!)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Full Circle

Alright, so tonight's ridiculously sinful treat consisted of yet ANOTHER cookie sandwich from Whole Foods. Similar to the peanut butter one that I described a few nights back, this one was vanilla frosting sandwiched between two soft dark chocolate cookies. Damn. In other news, all my clothes are getting tight.

But I digress.

I was thinking today about a couple of things:

Firstly, meal planning. I really need to get on this. This weekend, hopefully. I've been wracking my brain to come up with some great, low-calorie meal ideas, and what I've decided (since I'm still breastfeeding and not really into chemicals and stuff) is that I can pretty much make anything and just eat less of it than I normally would. And, of course, if I'm loading up my plate with lots and lots of veggies then I probably can't go wrong, right? Having said that of course, I think I'll try not to use at much fat and sugar in general when I cook. There must be ways around this BESIDES stupid Pam and stupid Nutrasweet/Splenda/Saccharine etc.

Secondly, I was also thinking about how inspired I've been by other bloggers out there. There are so many motivational stories out there, women who have really taken charge of their health and lives, overcome literally years of unhealthiness and many, many, MANY pounds. It leaves me thinking: If they can do it, I can do it. And I love that. Ya gotta love the blogsphere.

I know in my heart and soul that this is it. That sounds so corny as I'm re-reading the sentence that I just typed. But really, I am SO feeling this! I KNOW I am going to be a lot healthier. I KNOW I'm going to be a lot smaller, stronger and more energetic. I KNOW my life is going to change.

By this time next year, I hope I'm inspiring someone else out there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

From Blech To Elec(tric)

Have you ever felt just utterly uncomfortable in your skin?

Well, that's where I'm at now. As I sit here typing, I'm quite literally bursting out of my Juicy sweats and feeling just all around uncomfortable, encumbered and slow. I crave strength, health, balance and leanness. I want that buzz, that energy that can be felt in every muscle, joint and bone when the body is strong and healthy. That energy that radiates through your body when it's in balance. It's almost electric.

I'm so tired of this feeling of heaviness. I can almost imagine that simply lifting my arm or leg would be akin to lifting a truck. I feel so laden and weak.

I will be starting The Plan one week from tomorrow. And let me tell you, not a minute too soon. I feel like I am counting the seconds until October 1st. Having said that, setting my date and giving myself a few weeks before starting is maybe the best thing I've ever done. Not only has it given me ample time to prepare, but it has instilled a drive and focus in me that I haven't felt in years, maybe even ever. I have never been so motivated, inspired and READY to get healthy.

I have spent a lot of time over the past week visualizing myself as healthy. I have been consciously and subconsciously thinking about how I will feel, look and live as a balanced, lean, strong and confident woman. And I am seriously excited to meet that woman! If it's true that visualizing the goal is half the battle, then I really am half-way there.

PS- I will be taking (or, rather, have Husband take) some starting progress photos of me on October 1st. I am seriously considering putting on my bathing suit for this. I want to be totally honest here and let's face it: There is NOTHING more honest than a girl in her bathing suit. Do I dare? Can I really do it? For the entire blogosphere, the entire INTERNET to see? I've got a week to decide. Thoughts?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Coming Clean

I told my best friend all about my big plans this morning. My theory is that if I tell everyone I know what I'm doing, it will help keep me accountable. Of course she was supportive and interested and that just makes me even more excited to start! I also told my mum and she will be starting her own health plan around the same time so hopefully we can cheer each other on. 8 days to go...

I've almost got everything I need ready to go for October 1st. Check out this little baby I picked up yesterday. (I bought one for Husband too.) If you're wondering about those pesky BPA's that Nalgenes are notorious for, relax -- this is a BPA FREE Nalgene bottle, dishwasher safe, sturdy, odor resistant, and as far as I can tell, every bit exactly like the old version minus those estrogen-mimicking, hormone-altering chemicals.

Now just gotta get a new iPod shuffle. I have my heart set on a red one (to match my Nalgene of course).

A few people have asked me recently, "Why October 1st? Why not just start now?" The answer, my friends, is that I am a planner. I like to have all my ducks in a row before I commit to something, especially a complete life change like this will be. For me to be successful, I need to have my plan thought out, meals planned, kitchen stocked, equipment at the ready. More importantly, I need some time to mentally prepare for all this. That takes time.

I've decided to start a "How I'm Doing This" (not sure if that's exactly what I'll call it) column on the side of this blog. It's basically going to be the rules, tips and tricks that I discover along my way as I proceed with The Plan. I figure this will be a dynamic list and one that I hope will serve as a rough guideline for myself and anyone who's interested in what I'm doing and how I'm doing it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I was unpleasantly surprised to discover today that my biggest, fattest, fat pants actually fit me again. Uncool. But not undeserved. I have been hitting the sweets pretty hard over the last few weeks.
I am feeling oh so ready to get started on my plan. I am just feeling so bloated and flabby and yuck today. The next 10 days can't go by fast enough. Seriously.

And for that reason, I'm glad I'm doing it this way. Rather then starting right away like I usually do, and feeling unprepared and deprived, I am feeling totally willing and ready to start on my journey to get fit. Plus, I am truly exhausting my cravings for sweets; as I type this I am eating a peanut butter cookie sandwich (2 glorious peanut butter cookies sandwiched around even more glorious peanut butter creme) AND a vegan spelt brownie - both treats from Whole Foods. And while they are beyond delish, I am starting to feel like I've had my fill. Now, and in general. I just feel so... greasy. Heavy. Laden.

We are lucky to have a great community centre about half a block from our condo. Husband, Baby Girl and I popped in today because I wanted to find out what time the baby playgroup drop-ins happen. I discovered that our community centre offers a ton of 'baby and me' fitness and yoga classes! I think I'm going to check them out and add a couple of days of this to my workout schedule.

I am brimming with inspiration right now. And anticipation for what lies ahead. Time for a change.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I Am Inspired By:

  1. Cindy Crawford's thighs
  2. Ashley Judd's decolletage
  3. Kelly Ripa's arms
  4. My husband's morning runs (twice now!)
  5. Kelly Osbourne's weight loss (I think she's kind of a douche but holy crap!)
  6. My wedding photos
  7. Jessica Biel's ass
  8. My city (Vancouver)
  9. Katee Sackhoff's back
  10. My friend Mel

Friday, September 18, 2009

Runner Up

T minus 12 days until I start The Plan! Much to do! (Can you tell that I am the kind of person that needs to feel ridiculously prepared?)

When I used to run 8 years ago, I remember getting started by using Hal Higdon's Website. He has a great beginner training program that worked beautifully for me, and I'd like to employ it again.

Speaking of running, Husband surprised me this morning by going for a run himself! Anyone who knows my husband knows that he never runs unless chased. But this morning, he just went for it - and made it a whole mile and a half! I am seriously so proud of him right now. Proud and inspired. And happy! My own weight loss regime will be a lot easier with Husband doing his thing.

I just ate TWO Klondike Bars. Sick, right? I told Husband that I am allowing myself to indulge in anything and everything I love to eat for the next 12 days and I refuse to feel bad about it. I am living it up with no limits until midnight of September 30th.

I hear you, I know what you're saying, you think I'm being stupid and borderline detrimental to my health by going on what is essentially a two-week binge. Relax. I'm not being insane or anything, I'm just eating a some extra sweets here and there. And maybe some chips. Limits or no limits, I can only pig out so much.

And it's weird, every time I feel like I've indulged a wee bit too much, it seems to strengthen my resolve to get healthy and lose weight. Isn't that strange? The more I eat and couch, the more I want to cut back and get active. I am starting to crave the feeling of having a body that's treated like a temple and functions like a well oiled machine.

Anyway, Happy Friday all! This weekend, I'm going to buy my new water bottle, an iPod shuffle and we're going out for dinner at one of my favourite Italian restaurants!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What's For Dinner?

While I haven't officially started my big shiny fantastic new plan quite yet, I have been mulling over the details and have come up with a couple of questions.


How will I stay inspired and motivated? (but I think I'll save that for another post)


What the holy hell am I going to make for dinner?

The dinner thing really is a tough one. Husband is pretty non-adventurous when it comes to eating and really only likes a handful of meals. And trust me when I say that he has improved greatly since we got married (when we met he was all cheeseburgers and pizza). Still, I certainly couldn't get away with serving him up a big plate of baked tofu, steamed broccoli and quinoa or anything.

Plus, I have a one-year-old who is not only limited in terms of what she can eat (she only has 4 teeth after all!) but is also extremely picky.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't want to make THREE meals at dinnertime, but I also don't want to compromise my diet.

I'm going to have to stew on this one, and maybe start looking up some recipes. Ideally, I'd like to have an arsenal of (at least) two-weeks of menus at the ready, that I can repeat twice a month. The recipes will need to be husband, kid and diet friendly and also must be quick and easy to make, freeze well, and inexpensive. I feel like I am asking for the moon here.

I've got some work to do! Luckily I enjoy meal planning and at such time that I am finally able to figure out this dinner conundrum, I promise to share my magical carte du jour with the blogosphere. And if anyone out there has any ideas, I am all ears.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On Having a Plan

Yes, yes, I have a plan!

But before I get to that, I must interrupt this post with a little confession (and if you can't be totally honest in your own blog than what's the point). I just finished polishing off a medium half Oreo / half Reese's Dairy Queen Blizzard. It was heaven and I felt entitled to it. It was a long day. Just had to get that off my chest.

Anyway, so about this plan...

The big fat question: How am I going to get healthier, stronger and lose all this weight?

There are so many options out there, it does feel a bit overwhelming. I've never been much of a dieter - honestly I've never believed in them. However, recently my belief system is starting to crumble. I have seen a few friends experience amazing success on Weight Watchers. I have another friend who counts calories and runs like a madwoman; she's lost 66 pounds so far. I know another woman who has embraced the low-glycemic thing and has seriously BANGED IT OUT. She went from a size 12 (I know because I got all her hand-me-downs) to a size 2. She looks fabulous. They all do!

Baby Girl went for her 1 year doctor's appointment yesterday and while we were there, I mentioned to our family doctor that I was ready to lose some weight. I asked for her doctorly recommendations. She said, "There's only one thing that really works and that's counting calories - calories in and calories out." I also asked her about Weight Watchers and she said it also works very well but pointed out that in essence, it's just modified calorie counting.

So, based on her recommendation, I think I'm going to start counting calories. I've already downloaded several calorie counting apps for my iPhone, including this one that I'm really excited about.

I've decided on a plan start date of October 1st. I don't really have a great reason for not wanting to get going on this right away, except to say that I would like a couple of weeks to prepare (mentally), and enough time to get some meals planned and the kitchen stocked with everything I need. I also want to buy an iPhone arm case that I can exercise with.

Speaking of exercising, I've chosen running for my cardio and lifting Baby Girl for my strength training. Running just feels right, and I used to really enjoy it so I hope I can get that groove back again in time. And I figure I lift my daughter about a million times a day anyway, may as well tweak it a bit and make it an official exercise. She is 22 pounds right now, and loves it when I toss her in the air and swing her around when we play. Crazy?

I plan to purchase a nice new water bottle (I like those BPA-free Nalgene bottles) as a commencement gift to myself and will drink at least 64 ounces of H2O a day. I know the whole 8-glasses-a-day thing has recently come under debate but I just know that when I'm hydrated I really do feel better.

I am also going to give myself one weekly "Cheat Day". I've never done this before in all my attempts to lose weight. It's always been all or nothing for me. And I can't help but wonder if perhaps a "Cheat Day" is just what I need to keep me right on track. I mean really, everyone needs a break, right? It's exhausting feeling deprived all the time. I am old enough to know that weight loss success isn't borne of perfection, it comes from consistency.

So here's my plan in a nutshell:
  • I will count calories (number and expenditure to be determined by my iPhone app).
  • I will run 6 days per week, ideally working up to about 45 minutes per session.
  • I will do at least 15 minutes of purposeful resistance training daily (lifting and playing with my daughter).
  • I will drink 64 ounces of water per day.
  • I will allow myself one Cheat Day per week where I can eat and do anything I want. The only thing that will not be allowed on Cheat Day is guilt.
There you have it. My grand plan. Henceforth known as "The Plan". I am really happy with it. It feels great just writing it down and clarifying it in my own head. The first step is done, only about 40 more to go...

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Should Have Been Born in the 16th Century

I have always had the perfect figure for someone born in the 1500's. I've got an hourglass frame complete with a full bust, comparatively smaller waist and generous Rubenesque bum. I've got a round face and can definitely pinch an inch (or two). This would have been ideal for the cover of Farthingale Weekly, but unfortunately in 2009, my current shape just translates to 'chubby'.

And well it should. As I type this, I am sitting next to an EMPTY package of Whole Foods 365 Sandwich Creme Cookies. Ever since my daughter was born a year ago, my appetite for sweets has taken on whole new proportions. As has my poor unsuspecting body. I suppose I could try to blame it on my PCOS, recently diagnosed hypothyroidism, or the stress and hectic schedule that comes along with being a new mum, but that wouldn't be fair. I mean, I wasn't always like this.

I've never been considered thin (except for once - which I will elaborate on in a moment). But, by the same token, I've never been considered fat either. Even now, at very near my heaviest, I am lucky enough to be well-proportioned which makes it easier to hide my extra inches in strategically chosen clothing. That aside, however, I have always struggled with my weight. For as long as I can remember, I've hovered around a size 12 and have never felt comfortable with my shape and size. Except for once.

About 8 years ago, just before I married my husband, I spent the year prior learning how to be a runner. I remember hearing somewhere that "nothing tones a body faster than running," so I decided to give it a try. Within about 6 months, I was running 5-10 miles a day, 6 days a week. I felt fit, strong, and full of energy. My newfound fitness led to a holy host of what I considered then to be healthful dietary changes (though looking back I wouldn't consider my diet at that time to be necessarily healthy). I barely ate any fat at all. I swapped all the sugar in my diet for artificial sweetener. My daily afternoon snack consisted of a Diet Coke and a handful of Rold Gold pretzels.

But damnit, I looked good. I remember my weight getting as low as 129 (and of course, even then, I still felt like I should be 5 pounds lighter). It was the first and last time that anyone ever called me thin. And I looked great in my wedding dress. I've often wondered what my life would be like if I'd managed to maintain that weight.

And now, 8 years later, with carelessness, fertility treatments, pregnancy and age (literally) under my belt, I find myself out of shape, lethargic and chubby. I'm not sure how I got here, but I'm not happy. I am uncomfortable in my own skin, let alone my size 14 clothing. I know I can do better than this. I owe it to my daughter, and to myself.

Growing up, my own mum always struggled with her weight. It was hard for her; running her own business and taking care of two young kids meant that she always put herself last. I don't want to set that kind of example for my daughter. I want her to know that her mum values herself and her health. I want to keep up with her as she races around the playground. I want to take her kayaking, biking, and hiking. I want to meet her kid's kid's kid. I want her to be proud of me. I want to be proud of me.

This blog is therapy for me. And it's the first step in realizing my goal. I've got a plan. I've got ideas. And I know I can do this.

Goodbye sweets, hello La Dolce Vita.