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Archive for September, 2012

my favorite season

fall splendor

Fall is, by far, my favorite season of the year. I’m pondering what is it about Fall I love so much as I sit here sipping my morning coffee. I’m going to try and put it into words.

Fall is…

the cool, crisp air which leaves a blush on my cheeks

how a warm sweater seems just like a big hug

the splendor of the deciduous trees especially the beauty of the sugar maple canopy

the way the leaves spiral to the ground in the gentle breeze

the crunch of fallen leaves beneath my feet as I walk through the woods

meals that comfort and warm me after a day exploring outside—soups and stews

Thanksgiving dinner leftovers

cranberries, apples, pumpkins and the scent of cinnamon and ginger permeating the house

hot cocoa or hot apple cider served from a Thermos during a long hike on a favorite trail

cuddling up on the couch with my favorite throw and a good book

Fall is a season of comfort for me.

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this or that?

This little post was inspired by a blog I follow called Fab Fitness, Food and Fun on a Budget.  I loved the premise and thought it might be fun for my readers to learn a couple things about me, using the same questions. I hope she doesn’t mind.

Run or Work Out in the Heat and Humidity or the Freezing Cold?

My absolute favorite weather to run in is the cooler type. I especially enjoy one of those days where I think I might have under-dressed because I’m freezing my assets off during my warm-up walk. I’ve only run like that in the Spring so I am definitely looking forward to Fall. Winter, well I’ll have to get back to you on that if I don’t hibernate again this year.

Have Washboard Abs or Flat Abs?

I’m aiming for flat abs. I’ll let you know when I get there.

Dr. Oz or The Doctors?

I do like The Doctors but I don’t really watch either show. I’d rather be running.

Cardio or Strength Workouts?

Cardio, for sure. Does hoisting a toddler around count as a strength workout? Probably not!

Cravings: Protein or Carbs?

Carbs. That’s a no-brainer. I’m a chocolate amaretto cheesecake craving machine.

Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper?

Hands down, Jillian. Bob is way too sweet to be motivating and I adore Jillian’s bitchy side. She’d motivate me.

Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream?

Maple Walnut Fro-Yo or Peach Earl Grey. What flavor I like changes with my mood but I prefer the taste of frozen yogurt over ice cream.

Strength Training Upper Body or Lower Body?

Lower body but I seriously need to work on the upper body.

Protein Powder or Food with Protein?

Food with protein. I write cookbooks for a living so that’s a given. That said, I do like the odd smoothie made with Manitoba Harvest’s Dark Chocolate Hemp Protein, bananas, and berries. Yum.

Lunges or Squats?

Lunges.

Sweet or Salty?

Sweet… refer to the cravings question.

Workout Attire: Cute or Comfy?

Comfort first, cute second. That said, I like to be color coordinated which I blame on my girly side.

Body Pump or Heavy Lifting?

I don’t do either but I’d likely prefer Body Pump.

Yoga or Pilates?

I like both but Yoga is definitely something I do more. I started Yoga when I was 375+ pounds and I also used Yoga to be fit during my last pregnancy. I find it centers me and is a great way to deal with stress.

Nike or Adidas?

Nike but only because that is what fit nicely and the price was right. I actually ended up returning the one Adidas shirt I bought. I have Nike capris, running shorts, and running tights.

Running: Treadmill or Outdoors?

Had you asked me this 10 months ago I would have said treadmill without even batting an eyelash. How things change. Give me the great outdoors any day, even if it’s raining.

Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s?

I’m in Canada so it’s Whole Foods in Oakville or the local Farmers Market.

Summer or Winter Olympics?

Winter. I love the bobsledding, luge, and skating.

Exercises Classes or Exercise Videos?

Videos. I’m a bit of a hermit and I’m cheap resourceful.

Steamed veggies or roasted veggies?

Roasted. Better flavor. Better texture.

So there you have it. You might have even learned a little about me. Now I’m off to get the boy and I some Maple Walnut Fro-Yo before I go and read Jillian Michaels’ book, Unlimited.

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This has been such a long journey and some days I can’t believe just how far I’ve come, but here I am… finally down to losing those last 20 pounds. I’m almost there and it’s time for the final push. Why is it that the last 20 pounds seems so difficult to lose? Back when I was over 375 pounds I could drop 20 in week or two without blinking an eye. Yet now, with my body being leaner than it ever has been, 20 pounds will take a decent amount of determination and effort. I’m ready for the challenge. It’s going to mean changing up my routine as well as adding in more resistance and toning exercises. Bring it on!

Being here has brought out such a range of thought and emotion. Some of what is going through my mind is difficult to articulate, however, I will attempt to put it into words.

First of all, I didn’t get to this point alone. I have had much support from Bryan, Tobias, my in-laws, and my dear friends. Having people believe in me certainly helped when I had those dark moments where I felt like throwing in the towel before I used it to wipe the sweat from my brow. I am grateful to all of you.

I’ve changed so much from that girl I used to be that she is a distant memory to me—a stranger. Memory is a funny thing and while I try, I can’t remember how it felt to be her from both a physical and emotional perspective. You see, she was really chubby for as long as I can remember. Even in kindergarten she was the big kid that everyone teased because she was different. As an adult, she was scared and unhappy—trying to protect herself in her own strange way, from the plethora of abuses she suffered in her youth. I know that she didn’t have a lot of energy. Even going up and down stairs was a monumental effort for her. Through all the grief and struggles her weight reached a level where she was slowly killing herself. That girl shut herself off from the world because there was less risk of getting hurt and less risk of being seen as a failure if she ever attempted to follow her dreams. Somehow she transcended all of it.

One day this scared and timid girl decided she was the author of her own life and decided that she was going to be the one to write the ending. Her way. She chose a path of her own making and she mapped her own course rather than let the emotional vampires of her past, lead the way. She quit listening to people who were so unhappy that they put her down to make themselves feel superior. She started to follow her dreams and with that began a metamorphosis into the person that has become… me.

I was borne out of those experiences and I will never regret them. I’ve learned from both the negative and the positive. Experiences have allowed me to feel empathy and compassion for others struggling with their own journey. I’ve discovered that there is not a single obstacle that can’t be overcome. Sure, there are people who still try to hold me back, but I now realize that it is often because they are not content in their own lives.

Another thing that runs through my mind surrounds being a Mom. To be quite honest, I don’t know how I would have had the energy to be Mom to Tobias and Kaia when I was so morbidly obese. This rings especially true with Kaia who is just over 2 years old. She’s busy. Really busy. When she takes off at the park I have to run up the hill to grab her before she makes it to the road. My former-self would have collapsed. Seriously.

I look in the mirror and don’t quite recognize my body. That’s a good thing. I no longer hide  in uber-baggy, oversized clothing out of shame. I actually wear things that are fitted, including my running clothes. You can’t get much more fitted than that! While I still have some work to do, I am so proud of where I’m at. I’m somewhat fascinated with my own body and seeing concrete changes to my physique. There are bones that I can feel and see—bones that I have never been acquainted with before. I found a lump. I freaked out. As it turns out, after seeing my doctor, it wasn’t anything scary. The “lump” was merely one of my ribs. Oops. Sure, I’ve always had them, but they were covered with a lot of padding so I had no idea what they felt like. I also have muscles. When did that happen?

It is impossible for me to be any happier. I’m overjoyed with myself for persevering and taking my health seriously. I am also very thankful to those who continue to believe in and support me. Even though this journey isn’t over, I’m okay with that because I can see the finish line.

You know about finish lines, right?

There aren’t any. Finish lines are merely an illusion; they are the starting lines for the next adventure.

PS When Bryan returns from Chicago I will get him to take a recent “after” photo to share with you all.

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