Friday, December 28, 2007

What a GREAT Christmas!

Yup, That's right! I ended up having a great time. Parts were kind of stressful - like staying up late 2 nights running trying to get everything wrapped. Putting up a second Christmas at Mil's on Sunday NIGHT - Thank you Superstore for Christmas tree in a box (ornaments to dorn a full-size tree) and Bargain shop for tinselly and cardboardy hangy things. Oh, and Mr. 3M for Scotch tape. Some old paper, ribbon and bowes found in the basement to wrap up the pictures on the wall and hubby tracked down a light-up Santa head for the wall and, voila, the front sitting room was magically transformed into 'Tacky Christmas'.

My best gift - the squeel and knock-down hug when Ci opened up her TV. Considering we don't have cable I'm surprised that she was surprised to later open a DVD player. I think I was her age when I learned "Dear old Santa Claus, When you get to me, I don't want no mittens, I just want my own TV" - I got mittens. J loved just everything. She went from one thing to another all day Tuesday, Wednesday and most of Thursday. I was so glad to get home last night - whooo.

Overindulgences: I mayyyy have gone over my points last week. Don't know. I was doing really good, then came Christmas eve snacking. We had rice casserole, egg rolls, spring rolls, meatballs with dip, and sil brought over brie, goat cheese and fig pastries, babaganooshe and pita. All of it sampled and I may have had too much of some things. Christmas day was actually much better. I was cooking and able to get a bowl full of potatoes before the butter and milk went in. The girls and I used small plates and I heaped it up. I had some gravy and left the dinner table satisfied - not stuffed. I picked here and there until we left mil's, having some truffles and gum drops. Also, some wine was consumed through the week.

Now, there are a few days before New Years Eve. Eat healthy, stay on points, and watch Chinese food portions on Monday night. We're scheduled to have ham on New Years Day, so I'm looking forward to that, too. All told, I will be watching what I eat as I'd like to have a no gain for next weeks weigh-in.

Hope everyone had an awesome Holiday.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas shopping blues - part deux

Hubby and I made the dreaded trip to the basement last night and categorized, strategized and prioritized. Who did we miss? Is there enough for each bambino? Does it look even?

  1. MIL - I know what I want for her and will brave WalMart tonight.
  2. SIL - Got it - Body Shop and Liquor store, here we come.
  3. SILs long-time beau - Uh, liquor store
  4. 18 year-old niece. I was told to by SIL to just give her money. I really don't like that. Really, really don't. Yet, the look of constant disappointment whenever she opens a gift for us makes shopping for her really, really not fun.
  5. My niece and nephews in Newfoundland - Their's will be delivered direct to their home (yeah for on-line shopping at Toys R Us).
  6. My family - we don't exchange anymore, but I am sending out Christmas cards - yikes, that should have been done already!!
  • Bambino's - Well, the TV looks awefully big for the 9yo, but toy-wise she really needs something else. I also need to get a couple of movies for them and get to Old Navy for an outfit each and Chapters for at least 1 book each. I think I need a few more trinkets like make-up, jewellery and craft stuff, too, like from La Senza girl, Ardeen's or WalMart.
  • Hubby - 1 more thing - I have it in my head and know where to look.

My Mom didn't want me to 'waste' my money on her, but I did give her a bunch of my clothes, like my Nygard suits and some of my large shells that I loved. I hope she's enjoying them.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Christmas Shopping Blues

OK, First I went to weigh-in last night and have nothing to report. The scale read 158.0, same as 2 weeks ago. My home scale was actually up a bit from where it had been - figures.

I am sucking at the whole Christmas shopping thing and I hate stores at the best of times. Despise the malls at Christmas. I'm gonna look at everything tonight and 'categorize, strategize and prioritize' (another classic - Flintstones with John Goodman, and a bunch of other famous people). I did have 3 small items that I just left behind when I saw the line-up.

What else sucks - feeling guilty because I'm supposed to only take a 30 minute lunch. How can you get any shopping done in 30 minutes?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Woot, Wooooot!

I had to put a train on the Christmas challenge tracker because I'm really feeling like the little train that could. I'm slow and steady, but eventually I'll get to where I need to be. So, Woot, Wooooot! Watch out, I'm comin' though. Maybe not tonight at weigh-in, Maybe not next week, but my goal is still in tact. Guess I just won't be meeting it for this challenge. I will struggle to get to the top of Gordon's Hill (anyone else a Thomas fan?). I may falter, need a shove from a friend to keep me moving on this upward trip, but my path is there and all I need do is follow it.

If you're slipping off the wagon, or have taken a nose-dive into Christmas treats, remember that it's the first and last bites that you'll remember, but all those others in between that you'll be fretting in January. I guess I'm trying to say, proceed with caution. There were also a lot of crashes on Thomas - and although I loved Ringo's telling of the crashes - we don't have little men digging us out. In January, we'll be the ones working to get those bonbon's off our hips.

If you're feeling the slip start, check out the links to Holiday Survival plans. I read them over periodically and KNOW they've been a great source of motivation for me over the past couple of weeks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Want to Look GREAT!

It's never been easier to look great. As Corrine pointed out today so many people don't really know how to work out. I thought I knew how to eat (lift food, put in mouth, chew, swallow) until Weight Watchers taught me a thing or two. I also know that when you join most gyms, you just get the standard circuit training session which is included in your membership fee, then have to pay for more personal training as you go. This doesn't give you the ability to switch up your routine as needed and ensure you (and your muscles) don't get bored. This doesn't address your personal questions or concerns as you go and allow you to ask questions about things you didn't even know you didn't know.

Now Corrine is teaching us how to exercise right. This is something our mothers never had. Today she has posted links to several of her materials, including the introductory and intermediate work-out schedules. (Check them out) Thinking of introducing strength training into your eliptical or treadmill routines? Check out this material.

*This is an unsolicited plug for both PhitNPhat and Weight Watchers because of all of the wonderful things they have to offer.

Here's to a healthy and happy 2008. And to steal someone else's cliche (Sparks New Years challenge team name) here's to a Happy New Rear.

Monday, December 17, 2007

As time Flyes

Can you believe it's almost Christmas? Wow! I usually ask for...not much. This year I've got a list. I need some new clothes and lots of accessories to help with my weight loss and strength training efforts. Looking for a heart rate monitor, some whey isolate protein, cardio videos, an exercise bench, more dumbells...
Oh yeah, I'm working the dumbells. I'd like a bench for my dumbell flyes - it's hard to keep those elbows off the ground at home. I've been tossing between feeling pretty damn good about how far I've come and pretty sheepish about how far I have to go. Joining phitnphat has been an extremely humbling and rewarding experience. I have learned so much over the past 7 months and have been extremely grateful to everyone. Phitnphat has made me realize that I have sooo much more to learn. And if I want to be thin and still flabby (calves, thighs, arms - all getting quite flabby as the fat melts away) keep going as I am. If I want to be tight, something else is required.
If you asked me a few months ago if I'd ever wear a 2-piece bathing suit that didn't come with a long enough tank top to cover my tummy I'd have laughed. I'm not saying skimpy bikini, but a regular 2-piece that comes up far enough to the belly button to cover the forest of stretch marks is actually something that I think could be attainable - maybe even next summer. Wow, the thought is invigorating, thrilling..... daring. Understand, I am now a 38 year-old Mom of 2 who at the start of last summer was wearing bathing shorts and flowy top to the pool to hide the perceived sins.
Over at PNP, Trish has been helping us do up Storyboards. Those in Weight Watchers have used this tool (or not, I never put much thought into them except to jot down some food goals). She has given basic ideas and left the creativity of these to us. A living proof of our goals and what we need to achieve them. I'd like to share mine here and hope that it inspires someone else to try something similar. Many of the girls used photoshop with color strips, but I'm still technically incompetent and did mine in Word. I know it's hard to see/read.

#1 - At home beginner strength training, Pump out the cardio 3x a week, and focus on the core. Measurements monthly

#2 - Increase water to help muscle re-build, Choose more protein for muscle development, Focus on Core food choices with lots of fruits and vegetables

#3 - You have an amazing support system. Each one is a special gift along this journey.Use them. (The runners caption says, To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.)

#4 - Get over weight-loss hump and get to Weight Watcher goal of 150. Be able to flex and have stronger arms than ever before by Valentines.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Pictures

I've got a few. First, Christmas in Nova Scotia:

This was taken on my way to work the other day. The spots are not marks on my camera, but rather falling snow caught by the flash.

Next are the comparative photos of me: The first at around 177lbs just fitting into a 14, and now, around 20 lbs later: The current outfit is my weigh-in outfit, although I missed weigh-in this week.

Finally, some breakfast selections from this week.

I also included some instant coffee in my smoothie. 1/2C each of juice and LF soy drink and cottage cheese, a banana and 1/8C Wheat germ (and 1tsp instant coffee). I had 1C and hubby had around 2/3C. I'm looking to move into tweaking this and adding protein powder, but I haven't boughten any yet. They try to push the soy protein on me at the store, but as you will see, I think I get enough soy. And Corrine says Whey is better for strength training.
The wrap is a fried egg in olive oil with 1/2 small onion, some salsa and 15g LF cheddar + 1/2C LF soy drink
Then the old staple. Throw around 1-1.5C mixed frozen berries in the mic, then add a serving of whole grain cereal and 1C LF soy drink.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Menu for Friday

See what a cool thing I can do? Now I've just gotta figure out how to get the web addy to say "Menu" instead. Mandy? A little help here...

OK Mandy - Here goes



No Spaghetti and Meatballs - I Hope I've Made Myself Clear

(Can anyone else remember that song?) Should I feel guilty? Should I say No to Spaghetti and Meatballs? - Don't be rediculous!!! So much we didn't know or have in the 80's

Like: Weight Watchers Carrot Cake, Spaghetti Squash, measured 1/4C servings of pasta sauce, and Low Fat Italian Meatballs (5=2.5pts). Including the cake, this was a 6pt lunch and ALMOST made me feel a little guilty - nah, bring on the spaghetti (squash). Pizza and Beer to follow.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Oh Brother!

My BIG big brother called the other night. I have 2 ya know, and this was the oldest. Haven't seen Kari in, well...FOREVER!!! He lives in Texas now with his wife and amazing family while the oldest boy goes to university here in Nova Scotia. I don't know why I always go back in my mind to times when the oldest 2 were babies - I lived with them for around 6 months and I don't know how they put up with my immaturity. I had sooo much fun with the kids on playdates, making mud pies, dancing around the living room with someone on my shoulders, and eating chives out of the garden like they were going out of style, and the effects of others doing the same:0). That's living, baby!

I took a picture for them of the snow on my way to work yesterday because I'm sure they miss it (and for Steph who is surprised snow really happens at Christmas - 70 degrees! - she tries to make me jealous? Let the games begin!) . In truth, the roads were nasty, but I made sure Tim Hortons was in the background. That always warms the soul, LOL. Anyway, having trouble finding the software to install on my new computer so I can actually upload the pictures (grrr). Also finally took an update of moi. So, the pics will follow 'cause I really want to share the joy of snow and cold with ya'll - REALLY. And for those who are experiencing similar winter weather, you can see how great I look now compared to the last photo in July. I'm sure you're all on the edge of your seats, haha, but you'll have to be patient.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We a Happy Crew

J is not smiling because someone is actually looking at her and talking. If we weren't on a sleigh ride she'd be huddled behind Daddy's legs. Ci was playing hard in the playground before we climbed on, has ditched her jacket and removed her hat half a dozen times. Can't see Mark's eyes and mine seem awefully dark. I saw it and said "Perfect!" This is us, in all our glory.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2007

OP Weekend (And I feel Great)

What an awesome weekend. Didn't get into the office like I had planned, but maybe that's why it was so great, lol.

1st - After my ST session and some great smoothies, Hubby took kids to J's dance class. Another set of sissy's goes and the big girls get together and play for the hour while the little ones dance. They scored a 'sleeping play date' according to the 4yo. I spent half the time reading Roni's Women's World and the other half straightening the kitchen.
2nd - Once they got home we got ready to go to my staff Christmas party. A good time was had by all. My three cuties rode the mechanical bull, played outside, ate hamburgers, fries and hot chocolate. Mommy brought a protein bar and had a hot dog leaving most of the bun behind and a coffee. We petted some horses and headed home.
3rd - Shopping in Bedford. After a trip through a couple of stores I took them to McDonald's to eat. I tried to order a grilled chicken salad - no go, so I ordered the chicken wraps. Surprised to realize these were the snack wraps and not the fajita ones, so I only ate 1 and left the other for hubby later. It's getting late and we had to head home.
4th - Kids at sleepover. They should sleep well after the day they've had. Hubby and I began some culling in the basement. I think we tossed well over half of the area we cleaned. The garbage is piled on the back deck and will need to go to the curb in segments. We also burned a bunch of wood and cardboard in the back yard - good riddance to bad rubbish. Time to clean up and hit the sack at 11pm. It's been a long night.
5th - Sunday we were still alone and began cleaning the living room. Serious wall washing stuff. At 11am hubby headed out to pick up the kids and my Mom calls to say she's leaving home and heading our way. She'll be hear in around 2 hours. I also began to haul out the Christmas stuff.
6th - I can't wait any longer for Mom. J and I need to get to a birthday party at the rink. She's never skated before. Mom arrives just as we're heading to the car, but she won't be staying as she's taking Ci shopping. After getting skates sharpened and watching the zamboni, J and I hit the ice. It was great to be back on blades again and J did great - she's a natural I tells ya.
7th - The party food. I piled a plate for J and just took some veggies and a small piece of cheese. When the plates were handed around I opted for just a piece of brocolli. Yeah me. Um, well, then J have me a piece of her cake - she had removed all of the icing, and I (gulp) at it.
8th - Home to continue with some Christmas stuff. Hubby bought a lasagna (8pts for 1/4 of the thing - I had 1/4 + 1/8, or 12pts - call it my splurge day). I whipped up some salad (read - I opened a bag of salad) and enjoyed. Mom and Ci landed home and, after I secured the TV for 30 minutes of exercise tapes, we popped in "Three Fugitives" - a blast from the past with Nick Nolte and Martin Short. Nighty-night little ones.

I feel great about the weekend. It was not a lazy weekend, but so much fun. Hubby and I had a great work-out Saturday night cleaning out that basement. It felt great to purge ourselves of so much garbage, and we found a few things we'd been looking for in the process. We also filled a few bags for donation. And we were focused on only the work shop area. Amazing what 5 evening hours without the kids can accomplish.

Happy Monday,

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Weigh-In - 0.2 down

Well, I really expected to have a small gain this week, but the scale said I lost 0.2lbs and am now 158

I guess this means I should officially drop my points. I like to wait a few weeks into the new #s before doing this - and, I guess by trying to confine my FPs to 25 for the week I am, to some extent. So, it's official - my new daily points are 21.

On a side, my Christmas Challenge pants - the black ones I never posted a pic of - were definate muffin top at the start of the challenge and have been fitting quite nicely for a while now. In fact, they have recently started to slip (just a bit) in the hips. My Silver 33's are definately getting too big - even hubby commented. So, all is good in the land of wuz.

I keep asking people how they're doing on their Christmas shopping and am getting a lot of 90% done's. Anyone else have 100% to go?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday Wine

Hi ya'll!

Well, I suppose it's that time of the week to reflect on what I've done and not done that may affect the scale tonight. What a crazy week. I've been very busy at work and my sleep got thrown way off Sunday night to around 4-5 hrs only. Anyway, I'm still feeling it today.

Foodwise, my indiscretions on Saturday night I estimated as 15 pts - I have no idea what the actual damage was, but it involved shared handfuls of bits n bites and a couple bowls of potatoe chips - I have to move on and stop thinking about it because my mouth keeps watering. That coupled with 12 pts of beer Friday night and it put a good dent in my FPs. I've also gotten into protein bars this week a bit. A nice filler if you're waiting for dinner - I may substitute these on occassion as I usually have nuts. Same diff point wise, but when taken after work-outs could have added benefits.

Exercise - I've been thinking a lot about this - and finally doing something now. I've joined Phit N Phat and have a weekly work-out schedule. My schedule currently involves 2 strength training days and 3 cardio days. Each session takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. The ST sessions involve 4 supersets (for a superset you do a set each of 3 activities before breaking, such as 10 lunges, 10 this, 10 that, break 30-60 secs, repeat). Good stuff. I'm currently using 8lb weights and am ready to get some 10 lb ones for some of the bicep moves. I'm having a hard time with actually getting in the cardio sessions and owe 1 session before tonight - guess that's a walk at some point today.

So, because I've been working a lot I've eaten frozen dinners steady. Last night I finally ate 'real' food and brought 'real' food for lunch today, too. I've also been drinking water to flush the sodium out. A double-whamy is the retention the ST activities may cause due to muscle re-build holding onto some water. Anyway, I don't think I 'blew' the week, but just imagine what could have happened had I exhibited some restraint on Friday and Saturday evenings. As I've read over on PhitNPhat - it's week-end, not weak-end.

I'm walking into this weekend more focused (I know, it's only Wednesday already - but isn't that when we should be planning). We have my staff party Saturday - it's at Hatfield Farms (sleigh-ride, hot chocolate, Santa, etc) in the afternoon with kids and all. It should be fun and I'll be pocketing a banana or two and a protein bar. I'll have a hot chocolate, but will skip the hot dog or hamburger and fries. J was invited to her 1st birthday party ever for Sunday, so I will likely stay with her. I'm glad it's an at-home weekend and look forward to getting the house ready for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Just a quickie post as I've been busy at work. Eats post-Saturday were decent, but I haven't been getting the exercise in that I need. I'm gonna try to get some in tonight and go from there.

My home PC died and I'm picking up a new one today. I'm hoping that I can get my pictures off of it - very scary to think of losing them.

Haven't started Christmas shopping yet - yikes! Bad Mommy.

Take care and have a great week.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The incidents

Yep, there was more than one. Guess I need a kick in the arse. Friday night I had planned to go out with the dog and get in a good fast walk. I got home to supper cooked and a glass of Scottish Ale. The Pump House really outdid themselves on this one. After a dinner of questionable nutritional value (it included Uncle Ben's stuffing and canned gravy) I consumed 4 of those puppies. I woke up feeling less than rejeuvinated.

So, I took a couple Advil and was, fortunately, able to go back to bed. Finally up at 11:30 (thanks to the oil delivery that was making lots of noise outside) I did manage to shower and, after breakfast, decided to get in a strength training session. Probably a bad day to up the weights, but I did finish. I felt quite sickish when done, so I had a bit of yogurt and headed out of doors as it was the Christmas parade and the 9yo wanted to march with the school for the Virtues Project. I decided to go with her and picked up a protein bar on the way. Man, that did the trick. I got suckered into carrying one end of a banner and my fingers were crying out in pain. It was cold, cold, cold, and windy. So, I walked around 4km carrying a side of a banner. It was quite rejeuvinating. I'm glad we stopped to pick up a pair of boots for Ci before going.

The other, um, incident occured later Saturday evening when we went to friends for a movie. There were BitsNBites and potatoe chips. I don't even know why - I'm not a fan but they were both tempting me to have a bit. Thankfully J helped out with the BitsNBites and Doug was also sucked into the potatoe fiasco - I'm not impressed that he ratted me out to Mark, though. Busted, so I figured I'd come clean here, too. It was mindless and left me feeling yucky. So, I'm guessing I likely blew all my flexxies and then some, but will salvage what is left of the week.

So, I've decided that I'm gonna boycot salty snacks and beer for December. I'm done for the month. It's gonna be tough enough without having things I can have anytime.

And It's Here, Kids. Merry Christmas.

Year 2 - May 28/08-Current