Wednesday, April 30, 2008

28 inches

Goal #3: A 28 inch waist.

July 11th - 7 weeks after I started Weight Watchers and just as I was able to button up my size 14 capris, I measured 37.25 inches at the waist. March 31st measurement was 30.5 inches.

You measure your waist at the smallest point around. See, I always thought my waist was the point above your hips where there is a natural soft spot. The spot my hands rest in and, when you're looking head on is where the curve to the hip begins. Usually this is also the smallest spot, too. It was before I gained weight anyway.

Today my smallest point is actually around 3 fingers above that ideal waist spot. Because it's there I now have ribs to deal with in my measurements.

What does all of this mean. Well, it means I have some work to do. And some action plans to ensure my goal becomes a reality.

Action plan #1: Ab routine 3 x/week involving a variety of moves. Think Superman, Roman twists, crunches, bicycle crunches, planks. The routines tend to be set up as circuits or supersets, depending. Corinne has a bunch of them and even has a few free ones posted.

Action plan #2: ST 2-3x/week. Why? The core area is involved when you work on other areas as well. It is difficult to spot train (abs only) and it is the entire core that needs to be affected. By focusing on upper body strength, the core will be engaged. For example, Bent-over rowes work the arm, but one of the first things I noticed was that it affected my lower back. As my back (core) got stronger I couldn't feel it there any longer. Now that I've increased my weights on this to 15 lbs/arm (I do both sides at the same time) I am feeling a bit of pressure in my lwr back again and have to ensure proper form.

Action plan #3: Continue to plan meals and eat healthfully and at a caloric deficit. I tend to consume 24-26 points per day. This includes daily points, weekly points and activity points. If I go over a wee bit it still usually leaves me in a deficit for weight loss.

So, I don't know how long it will take me to lose another 2.5 inches, but I suspect I can drop at least 1 of those as my tummy in front slims out and my 'waist' becomes my 'measured waist'. I seem to recall having a 28" waist at some point in the past. I don't want to focus on the scale so much for this and will say that, if I find this to be unrealistic I will not focus entirely on the tape measure either. What I mean is, my goal is 28", but if 29" makes me happy then that's that. If there's too much droopy skin in the way for the last .25-.5 inches, so be it. The idea is healthy, so that is paramount.

Tomorrow is measurement day. I'll be reporting on the scale for the past 2 weeks, my WW meeting, and inches lost/gained over the past month and reflecting on the results. Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Operation "Debt Down"

BIG Goal #2 - Thin out debt.

Like most American families we have far too much debt and far too little savings. In fact, most of my savings have been cashed in over the past few years to pay bills. Why?

In 2004 my husband was laid off from a sales job. After 9 months out of work he took a seasonal position that turned out to be less than profitable when he was forced to pay for repairs to the pick-up that he borrowed to run a personal errand. He then moved directly into another seasonal position with snow removal. That winter there was very little snow and he requested a lay-off as it was costing us for him to work (childcare, transportation and I had to pay for his coffee on a 3-4 hour shift, which was all he was being offered). Everything seemed to be going well at his next job, but after his boss left on disability the acting manager turned out to be someone who wanted a job at that location - closer to his home. It took him around 2 months before my husband was let go. My husbands replacement once the manager returned - the former acting manager. A while later he took a job at a golf course - end of season - and then segwayed into a waiter position. He decided to return to the golf course the following summer (last year) and when the season ended found himself unemployed again this winter. The golf course did call him back - a week after he accepted a position locally at a plant. Wow - busy boy.

His current position will involve seasonal lay-offs; however, he will have summer OT to help with employment insurance payments and we can anticipate and plan for them a little better. Also, I work a fair bit of OT during the winter and have negotiated getting paid for it.

My career has involved some job changes during this time as well, but I have never been out of work except for 1 week between jobs that I chose to take for a break. Call it a vacation after over a year without one. I make a steady income - not stellar, but steady and could cover most of the required household expenses if needed. What I can't cover is our debt interest.

As you can imagine, we have used debt as a means of covering expenses during times of unexpected lay-offs or just unprepared lay-offs. Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, Vacations, Childcare, Gas, Oil, sometimes even groceries have ended up on the credit cards. Not stellar choices for someone who is supposed to understand money.

So, I have unleashed "Operation Debt Down". I will apply the same principles to this as I have to weight loss. Seek out information from people who have succeeded (MSN Money articles, web research, and my favourite "Total Money Makeover" and other Dave Ramesey articles - he also has an on-line support group, so I may even join that). Then journal progress, review when slips occur, correct, try new things, and move forward. This process has proven successful for dropping 39 lbs - a task that seemed overwhelming a year ago, so I have no reason to believe these principles will not work to make my finances look as attractive as my legs, LOL.

I have read a few things that are leading me towards my first action plans. Fortunately I am already working on my 'Emergency fund". I had started it as a Vacation and Health fund, and will continue the contributions based on money not spent on WW meetings and gym membership as well as $50/each of mine and hubby's pays and $400 from our tax refund. The plan is to build up to $1,000 then re-direct these funds towards principle pay down of the smallest credit card. We only have a few, but most of them are doozies. As each gets paid I will cancel it, except for the last one - our joint Visa - which I will keep for on-line purchases and reservations. I will reduce the limit on this as it gets paid down.

Well, this should take some time - like a couple of years - and then I want to start building a savings account for rainy days equivalent to the debt I have now. That will mean building on my emergency fund. Since I won't be fighting against interest, this stage shouldn't take as long. Oh, I'm sure there will be further stages, but for now, I will work on my $1,000 emergency fund (currently at $138) and that pesky HBC credit card - I think I owe less than $300 on that. This should take a month or so.

Action plan #1: Creat household budget. Be sure to leave wiggle room in the grocery department. I have started a 'loose' plan and will work on making this hubby friendly.
Action plan #2: Make minimum payments on all credit cards.
Action plan #3: Contribute as much as possible to emergency fund.
So, this week we each get a paycheque. I'll let you know next Tuesday how it goes.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Project "Manipulation"

I have a few goals and one of them is to be able to motivate and direct others by positive influence. This article on How to Train People to Give you What You Want speaks to me. This kind of thing comes naturally to some, but to me it is often not my first (or even second) reaction. My friend has dubbed this goal as "Project Manipulation" and believes that I could have my husband eating out of my hands. Now, this isn't exactly the motivation for me, and of course, I have shared all of this with my husband so he is not an unwilling participant. In fact, I think the quantifiable goal would be to eliminate arguments at home and minutes/hours spent frustrated due to incomplete tasks.

To ellaborate on why I want to do all of this, let me first reiterate that I am, likely, a stereotypical accountant. Not really good with people and more comfortable doing things on my own. When I 'ask' for something from a co-worker, it often comes across as an order. In short, I need to work on my soft skills. So, I ask for something to be done and, once done, I will say "OK, thanks." Now, for myself, I know that if I got that response I would think that whatever I did wasn't so important and may not give it priority the next time I'm asked. Umm, yeah, my co-workers feel the same way. Try this, "Thank you so much for getting that done so quickly. Your efficiency really helps with my getting reports to management on time."

Next, I go home and my counter is clean. I think, "It should be like this all the time." and don't say anything. The next night it is teaming with dirty dishes and crumbs. I grumble and complain. My husband disappears and I miss out on his company which makes me grumble again and complain about him 'hiding' all the time. So, what would happen if I thanked him for cleaning, gave him a hug and told him how nice it was. Flip side of same coin, but how motivated would he be to take the few minutes needed to tidy the counter every day?

So, I am making this my MONDAY report. The thinning out of negativity. Right now I am simply concentrating on being thankful to others - Finding them right - and I will keep you informed on how this affects my daily life and, hopefully bring news on tasks that are getting completed (by others) without my getting upset.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Yeah, well, this week I managed to work Monday, around 3 hours on Wednesday, and am trying again today (Friday). Yikes!

The 4 yo spiked a fever and I stayed home with her on Tuesday. Sent her to daycare on Wednesday only to get a call that she was reading 39.5 (whatever that means). Basically, pick her up. Got her in to see the good doctor that afternoon and he swabbed for strep, which came back negative. By the time the results came back yesterday she was already on the mend.

Wednesday evening I missed WW and getting my awards (for the second week in a row, since I only weighed in last week and had to book). The 9yo had a Fun night event at school. It's a once a year thing with games and activities set up in the gym and several class rooms. I ended up taking her since J had to stay home.

Very proud of my big girl. They also had a book swap this week at school and she took 2 in to trade. She came home with 2 basically new Scooby-Doo books for the LO - nothing for herself. Apparently she had a book for herself that another girl really wanted, so she told the girl to help her find another Scooby book and she'd trade. This made everyone involved quite happy, since my daughter was so tickled at doing a good deed for her friend and sister. She's growing up so fast.

Got in my 2 STs this week, but not my cardio sessions. Still lots of time over the weekend. I can imagine it'll not be spent relaxing at home since I'm so far behind at work now.

Cheers, Candace

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Crazy Week

This week has been insane. In mostly a good way, but you be the judge.

We had some good family time over the weekend. Dance class for the LO, went to the city and bought a used dresser that I'm going to re-finish, Chapters turned out to be a bust, and company in the evening for a movie. The 4yo was clearly coming down with something though.

Sunday rang in some LR cleaning. Had a picnic in the backyard with the kids at noon before they went on a play date and hubby and I had some alone time. What to do...what to do??? Well, what would you do?

After the kids came home it was a quiet evening as J was clearly working on fighting off a bug. Got some more cleaning done, but didn't stress.

Monday was uneventful at work and I didn't feel I had much to post. Hubby ran out Monday night for some Motrin as J's 'cold' was fast turning feverish. Yesterday I stayed home with her as she sweated out her demons. Actually, after sleeping most of the morning and she was in pretty good spirits. Her appetite was down, taste buds off, but other than that she just hung close to Mommy. During her morning nap I went through the pantry, cleaning shelves in anticipation of the ants showing up any day now. I still need to bag and seal a lot of the food, but the re-org and cleaning phase is complete for now.

Oh, on Monday evening I finally got the trampoline up. It gets used mostly in the spring and fall. By summer the days are too hot and the evenings bring mosquito's. The 9yo has been enjoying it and has been re-teaching all of the games to the 4yo whenever she's up to it. All-in-all, it's been a good weekend for me.

I also made my appointment with the physiotherapist this morning. My assessment is April 28, so looking forward to that. Oh, and those Mountain Climbers this morning probably weren't worth it this morning. My knees are both 'itchy' under the bones now. Gonna have to find a sub for those. I think full push-up plank position will work many of the same areas, so that will be it.

That's all for now. Take care and have a sunny day.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's a Lifetime

In the right corner, we have Candace weighing in at 147.2 lbs, 2.8 UNNNNDER GOAL!!! In the left corner, we have a series of supporters, including Weight Watcher leader, workers and members, Blog friends and motivators, and PnP drill sergent, moderators ANNNND members. Finally, ther is family and friend supporters.

Last night I officially made lifetime status. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! Thank you all for helping me along this fat loss journey to build a healthier me.

As you're aware, the journey doesn't end here. Now it's maintenance and continued loss until I feel I am in the right 'place', physically, for me. 150 is arbitrary and designed for a lifetime, but for today I want more. Also, as you will see in the coming weeks, I am expanding my weight loss knowledge into other areas of my life to achieve thinner stress (at work), thinner clutter (at home) and thinner debt. All in all, I believe I have gained enough confidence in myself to take other steps to improve my life. I look forward to sharing my continued Journey to Thin with you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

McDonald's - You Suck

Today I was craving a Grilled Chicken Oriental Salad from McDonalds. So, I made my way down there and tried to order. According to the website, these are still a part of the menu.

Why then is it not on the menu of the Burnside McDonald's restaurant. I did order a Grilled Chicken Ceasar salad, but until McDonald's Canada gets its head screwed on straight that will be my last trip to their drive-through.

What a disappointing way to spend almost $7

Monday, April 14, 2008

Protein Bars

Because Cara's Mom asked, this recipe is very similar to the one I use. I add the dried fruit and nuts for hubby and use real maple syrup. For myself I use the low fat syrup and leave out the extras. I also use 4 scoops of pp and extra egg white and cook for around 20 minutes for a chewy texture or longer for a cakey testure. You can sub other grains, but I like the old fashioned rolled oats. Play with it and enjoy.

Also, I was given an elliptical on Friday evening. I have been waiting for today (the last day of my gym membership) and am very excited to get started working out at home again. Peggy and her husband also gave me several York weight discs including several 2.5 lb discs, which allows me to make 15 lb weights. I'm still thinking about buying a 12lb set, but that is really all I need. After that it is "Do I want any more resistance bands?" which are, really, really cheap.

In other news, any long-term readers may remember my mentioning that last years vacation didn't go so well. This year I have already made steps to take some day trips for 1 week and rent my mothers cottage for a week. The kids do love it there and having secured it in lots of time there should be no problems this year.

Hope everyone had a good weekend and has lots of healthy foods with them for today. Take care.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Progress pictures

Hoo boy, I can't believe I am DOING this, but I'm going to post the side profile before and after pictures from the 12-week Blast the Fat Challenge at PnP.

My daughter took the afters and I didn't have the heart to ask her to try to get the same distance and profile as the befores. I also couldn't find my shorts. I daresay the belly is shrinking though. I'm going to really focus on this in the next few months before NS beach weather.
The nice thing about this is, even with any flaws, the current after is going to be a before in a few short weeks. Onward and downward (the waist that is).
Oh, and I lost at WI last night. A nice 3 lb buffer between me and that WW 'goal'. Next week will be my last paying week - woohoo.
Cheers, and have a great day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Phattie and Phittie

Say Hi to my Phat buddie. I call him Phat Pig. He and I are going to pack this little cooler every day with lots of healthy choices and stick to a menu plan we will draft each Sunday. Little Phattie isn't up to much exercise lately - he's a bit soft. Hopefully he'll be able to start a routine in a few months after incorporating some Phat eating philosophies.

I have a Phit buddie too. She is a faster runner, but I can lift heavier. Please excuse the bra straps. This was taken after a workout at home.

Meal in a Cup

So, hubby wanted a meal in a drinkable form. And this morning I wanted coffee.

Did some looking around yesterday and found some interesting ideas for the blender. This morning I had me a rum-flavoured latte.

1C coffee that had been sitting in the coffee pot for over 2 hours (usually yuk and I'll wait, but work with me here)
.75C LF soy drink (my 'dairy' of choice)
1/2 banana
rum extract
scoop vanilla protein powder

Whirrrrrrr, Enjoy. It was luke-warm. I could have heated up coffee and soy drink first, but was running late. Time was of the essence.

Now, I read that you could also add oatmeal to your shake. What? I've added Wheat Germ, but oatmeal sounds a little....meally. What do you think? I gave it a go this morning for the girls.

1.5C soy drink
1/2 banana
some frozen strawberries and blueberries (purple was requested)
around 1/3C oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 scoop banana nut pro powder (I thought twice about this, but it's minimal for each of them)

Whirrrrrrr, more honey was requested, Whirrrrrr. Every. last. drop. gone.
So, for breaky, each of my girls is equipped with fruit, dairy, carbs, protein and energy (ahhh, honey). Not bad and I hit all 4 food groups.

I also read about adding some almond in at the end and only giving a quick whirr, depending on the texture. I'm leary about adding egg or egg whites, especially for the girls. Hard to believe egg nog with raw egg was a normal thing growing up.

If you try something different in your shake, let me know. I'm really hopeful to find a few good recipes that will keep for hubby during the mornings. He takes 'lunch' around 9am, so it's not super hot or anything, but a shake would have to be prepared around 4:30.

Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Butcher, The Baker and the Candlestick Burner

Random thoughts:

Hubby is the cook in our house these days. I love it. This past week we have had spaghetti squash with pasta sauce and ground hamburg, pork chops, salmon and chicken. He's been buying lean and always cooks to perfection. He's come a long ways, my boy. We'll see how he handles raw ground meat this summer during BBQ season. A butcher he'd not make.

I do the baking though. As does the 9yo. Last night she had her hand on some LF Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies, a favourite. I made some protein bars. I've also been making some 'muscle' bread of last, which is a nice variation on the pro bars. These recipes I got off the PnP site and they've quickly become favourites in our house. Hubby has a 15-minute break over 8 hours and is looking for a 'drinkable' meal loaded with stuff. Gonna see if we can find him something that will keep 4-5 hours in a cooler over the summer.

The kids have started getting up earlier now that Mark is back to work. I wonder when they'll start going to bed earlier instead of being cranky all week. I wonder, because that will mean I can go to bed earlier too.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Six words

Everyone is doing it. Summing up their life/journey in six words. Check around - I've found this on several blogs yesterday and today and thought I'd give it a whirl. There's a book about six word memoirs out there. Some of the excerpts are neat, others quite sad. Amazing what can be said in 6 words.

To be accepted. Family to love.
- Candace
I think most of my life I have converted to what others think I am, rather than being true to myself. My parents saw what they wanted and, even today, Mom tells me what I AM. Fact is, maybe she does know me better than I know myself; however, maybe she doesn't. Maybe who I am is a constant moving target. In my 20's I was in a relationship where I LOST myself. When he finally left the relationship one of my first thoughts was "No wonder he doesn't like me anymore. I don't even like myself." I spent several months re-finding myself and am very fortunate to have met my husband along that journey. He was extremely supportive of giving me the freedom to be me. I strive to give him that same gift. I think my mother is accepting more of me for who I am as time goes on. I remember hearing about a story being relayed to her about me around 8-10 years ago and her response was, "Candace is strange anyway." Obviously, whatever the story was, was something she looked down upon.
But today I have my family. We aren't perfect, but we try to accept each other as we are. To encourage each others strengths and support each others gifts. My 9yo has a great gift of independence, which can be extremely trying at times. However, on the bright side, if nurtured properly she will not be a push-over as she gets older. She has the potential to be a great leader - something I am not gifted with. My 4yo has such a soft heart and is hurt more easily than any of us. Where others would want us to 'toughen her up' I say there is a place for this. Yes, her heart will be broken more easily in the future, but opening up yourself to others and nurturing them can also bring with it great rewards. So, for me, I know my family loves me in SPITE of my many faults. And I love them because of everything they are.
Oh, and a special thanks to Douglas who broke my heart and gave me the beautiful opportunity to be someone that I could love. I'll never forget you.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Weekly Weigh-In and Explanation

WI last night was good. I'm down to 148 now. WOOT! I'd like to get to 145 by next month and leave a good buffer between me and that 'goal'.

Anyone leaving messages may have noticed that I've gone to the 'moderate' mode. Someone posted as though they knew me, leaving a link to trick myself or others. Anyway, I don't know how to delete it (if you do, please let me know). I used to require only bloggers and had the password and all, but I disabled that when I gave my brother my blog addy in case he ever left a message. He did once. Anyway, I still want to leave that door open even though we communicate through Facebook now. I'm not a fan of Facebook, but I get to see my brothers pictures since he live was down in Texas. Yeehaw.

Sooooo, alls well in the land of 'get here spring'. I know, we're all experiencing it. GET HERE NOW!!! I can't wait to run on the sidewalk without a wind chill factor causing extreme discomfort.

Cheers for today.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A New week

Yikes! It's been almost a week since I've posted. What's been going on in the life of Candace?

I got in 2 workouts the last part of last week and it felt good. I missed the rest of the weekend and this is why:

Mom got into town on Saturday morning and we went o-u-t. Normally I enjoy my quiet weekends at home and really need the time to refresh from the week. However, we picked up my wonderful nephew and his girlfriend and just hung out for the day. What can I say about Kyle? He's awesome! Plain and simply, I fell in love with him from the moment I laid eyes on him when he was 10 days old and am in love still. I moved away when he was just turning 3 and cried more nights for him and his sister because I missed them terribly. I'd get letters and pictures from him and cry so hard because he was so far away. Anyway, he's all growed up now and an amazing young man in 1st year university. His girlfriend is very sweet and I feel as though I've known her for a long time. It was a great day. After writing this paragraph I realize that I am NOT going to fare well when my girls leave home.

When we got home there was company in the yard. I was truly exhausted and spent Sunday recovering. Monday Mark started a new job and I had to get up and get the girls ready. By Monday evening I was exhausted. I think I'm finally in the game today.

Oh, I went pants shopping at Suzy Shier's on Saturday (before we picked up my nephew) and picked up 2 pair of pants in size 9/10. They fit snug, but not tight and I feel pretty damn good about that.

This is measurement week. I'm waiting until TOM leaves before dragging out the tape. Also, tonight is WI night. I've been mainly maintaining, so am not expecting anything this week. This is week 4 of maintenance. 2 weeks to go, but I won't be able to stay that night as Mark has to be somewhere.


  • I'm going to work on abs this month with the PnP gals. I'd like to lose another 1-2 inches in the waist for the end of June.
  • I need to take current pics and think I'll post with the Jan comparisons.
  • Switch up the 12 lb weights for 15's
  • BFI: last week it was 24.4. My current goal is to move to 24 or less
  • Focus on food and break the 148 (small steps now). Get to 145 by end of June.

I'm so glad the weather is finally warming up.

Year 2 - May 28/08-Current