Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Just between you and me

ME:  I promised a Wednesday Weigh-In, so here I am.  158.8 lbs

YOU:  You're down, good for you!  What did you do the past week? 

ME:  I tracked all my Weight Watchers points and stayed WITHIN my points by eating lots of veggies, fruit, and lean protein.

YOU:  So, let me get this straight...  Eat well, lose weight.  Eat poorly, gain weight. *your eyebrow slightly raises*

ME:  *blush* Huh. Who knew?

Sunday, 9 June 2013


I know... I have been a bad, bad blogger.

Life has kicked into high gear, and my weight certainly reflects it.

I haven't reported my weigh-ins on here in over a month, but I have faithfully stepped on the scale every Wednesday.  I have hit a bit of a plateau.  Although it isn't a typical plateau where I'm doing everything right and the scale isn't budging.  It's a plateau of not doing all the things I know I'm supposed to do.

Here are the numbers from over the past month:

May 15 - 162.2
May 22 - 158.6
May 29 - 160.2
June 5 - 162.6

Here are some of the excuses events that contributed to the rollercoaster:
- house hunting in our new city = dinner out every night for 5 nights
- preparing the sale of one of our current houses (painting, cleaning, etc.) = quick, not-always-healthy dinners on the go
- surprise birthday party for my father-in-law at our house = leftovers from party for days afterward
- evening seminars twice a week with snack food tables to pick at
- a general lack of exercise

This week I have re-committed myself to following Weight Watchers and tracking everything.  I have also started half-marathon training because, damn it, why not?

See you again on Wednesday - I promise!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

general ramblings :)

I've managed to undo the damage from last week and weighed in today at 160.8.  My goodness, I can't wait to break through into the 150s!

I have to admit I've been feeling kind of "blah" over the past week.  Although I am finding ways to stay active, I haven't had a solid exercise routine since finishing Body Revolution a few weeks ago.  Perhaps that is throwing me off.  I continue to run 2-3 times a week, but I'm having a hard time with that as well.  I make sure my blood sugar is on the higher side before I begin (I usually need to start in the 10.0 to 12.0 mmol/L range), and even drink a 1/2 glass of juice before starting as well, but I always seem to return home with a low blood sugar which means even more juice and calories (not to mention having that drunken-like feeling as I stumble up my road to get home).

I do know that my stress level has been gradually elevating with thinking about all the things we need to do to prepare for our big move.  Mr. McMuffintop still hasn't received the official "green light" from his physical (although he is overweight and his cholesterol was elevated, the person who did the physical said it shouldn't prevent him from getting hired; the hold up is simply that the company's doctor hasn't had a chance to review and approve the physical yet).

So until he gets that green light, everything we need to do to prepare is on hold.  We have been searching MLS for house listings, but we really need to get out there and look for ourselves.  We can't decide whether to buy a house or a condo.  We want to adopt a child/children so a house would be better, but if for some reason it doesn't happen then a smaller condo would suit us just fine.  Gah, I wish I could see the future!

Ok, back to positive thoughts. :)

This weekend I am hosting a Mother's-Day-slash-birthday dinner for my family, so I plan to prepare as much of the food in advance as possible so that I can enjoy the day rather than be running around in a frenzy.  I already made some cupcakes last weekend and immediately put them in the freezer so that they would be out-of-sight, out-of-mind.  McMuffintop 1, delicious food 0!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Mr. McMuffintop joins the party?

Although Mr. McMuffintop has essentially been offered a new position with a new company, in order to officially be hired he has to pass a background check and physical.

For the most part, Mr. M is healthy and in decent shape.  Even at my heaviest weight of 208 lbs. he could easily pick me up (now he can pick me up and flip me upside down).  However he has a little belly and has known for a while that he should lose a few pounds.  He was pretty upset a couple of years ago when his pant size went from 34 to 36, but as time passed he became used to the new size and hasn't thought much more of it.

Well after having his physical yesterday, he now realizes that he needs to jump onto the weight-loss train with me.  At 5'9" his weight is just under 230 lbs.  That puts him at a BMI of almost 34.  He was pretty shocked to learn that it means he is obese. 

I've known that he was considered obese, and gently mentioned it when I first started my weight loss journey in January because I thought he should try to lose some weight too, but at the time I don't think he really wanted to do the necessary work (a mindset I've been in many times myself).  I didn't pester him about it because, as I know by experience, it's something that one has to decide to want to do for one's self.

But I am hoping that hearing the words from a doctor he is serious about wanting to lose weight with me now.  Mostly for his own health and well being, but also selfishly because it has been a real struggle every time he comes home from work to manage my own attempt at weight loss.  I know that the food I put in my mouth is my choice, but it's really difficult to choose not to eat bad things when they are constantly in front of me for two weeks at a time.

We have tried to lose weight together before and at the time it made me miserable.  You know, the whole "guys-tend-to-lose-weight-faster-than-women" thing.  But this time I have a good head start, so I feel positive about doing it together again.  In fact, I welcome it because it will help keep me on the right path.

Anyone else trying to lose weight with their significant other?  I'd love to hear tips on how you manage to do it together or issues that cause conflict.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Binge Eating

I missed reporting last week on Weigh-In Wednesday.  The scale read 161.8 lbs. (a loss of one pound from the previous week)

Today: 164.6 lbs.  *insert big sad face here*

It's totally all my own fault, and I'm sure at least one pound can be attributed to sodium intake and lack of water.  But I have been on a self-sabotaging binge streak for the past 5 days.  The following contributed to this gain:

- french fries & hamburgers
- fried fish
- beer, lots of beer
- ice cream
- pancakes & maple syrup
- potato chips
- left-over Easter chocolate

As I look back on these foods, I feel gross just seeing it written out. 

It started on Friday when I caved in to Mr. McMuffintop's suggestion of having burgers (and beer) for dinner.  We had spent the entire day cleaning our house from top to bottom to eliminate all the accumulated drywall dust from renovations.  I felt I "deserved" a treat knowing how many calories I'd burned throughout the day and didn't feel the least bit guilty indulging that evening.

But after our dinner and 3 beers later, I remembered that we were going to a pancake breakfast the next morning, something that had been planned for weeks.  "That's ok," I thought.  "This evening's dinner was a little bump in the road, and I already knew about the pancakes so I don't need to feel guilty about that either.  Once tomorrow morning is over I can get back on track."

So I ate pancakes.  A big stack.  With delicious, fresh maple syrup.  And breakfast sausages.  Oh my.

And then we went fishing and caught so much fish we had to give some away.  Saturday night we had the fish for dinner.  Fish is healthy, right?  Not so much when you batter and fry it.  And drink more beer with it.

The maple syrup on Saturday morning triggered my sweet tooth and on Sunday I found myself searching the house for anything to satisfy it, which led me to polishing off some Easter chocolate that had been stashed in the freezer.  Apparently it wasn't enough because when I was at the grocery store later that day to pick up vegetables to make a healthy salad, I found myself leaving the store with a tub of vanilla ice cream.

After eating vanilla ice cream for dessert that night, I felt like I needed to balance the sweetness with something salty, which is when potato chips entered the picture.

But all this binge-eating didn't stop on Sunday night.  I figured I'd blown the week already, and Wednesdays are the first day of my weigh-in weeks, so I continued the madness on Monday and Tuesday.

I feel bloated and actually have a bit of a headache this morning (first headache I've had in months).  I didn't sleep well last night.  All proof of how toxic sugary and fatty foods are.

So today I'm picking myself up, dusting myself off, and getting back on plan. 

Next goal: kick the 160s to the curb. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

So close!

My height is 5' 1¾" (I knew I was a little under 5'2", but I measured a few days ago to know for sure).

The BMI formula is: BMI = [weight in lbs./(height in inches)²] x 703

This means that for me to move out of "obese" status and into "overweight", my weight needs to be 162.7 lbs. or under.

My weigh-in this morning?  162.8 lbs.

So close! (Fingers crossed for next week!)

p.s. The LilySlim tracker on the right only considers height to the nearest whole inch (62 inches) which is why the slider shows a BMI of 29.8, but my actual BMI at 61¾" is 30.0.

Monday, 15 April 2013

A few recipe reviews from JM "Fat Burning Meal Plan"

Over the past few days I've been making good use of Jillian Michaels' Fat Burning Meal Plan recipe book that came with the Body Revolution workout (I know, I talk about her plan a lot.  I'm beginning to feel like I'm advertising for her, but I swear - I am receiving NO MONEY to talk about it!).  I originally didn't bother with these recipes when I was doing Body Revolution because on first glance, like, whoa.  Each recipe seems to have so many ingredients, and ingredients I'd either never heard of or thought there was no way my local grocery store in my teeny town of less than 1,000 people would even carry those things.

Did you know:
  • scallions = green onion?  (apparently it is simply U.S. vs. Canada lingo)
  • capers are not found in the produce section but in the pickles/olives section?
  • tamari tahini (oops)
Small lessons, but all in the goal of becoming a better, healthier cook.

Anyway, it turns out that all the recipes I've tried so far were actually fairly simple to put together.  They did take time (lots of prep and chopping), but the results so far have been, for the most part, very tasty and satisfying.  I have followed the meal plan for the past 5 days and have had no urge to eat anything other than what is on the plan.

The meal plan includes breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner.  The calorie and rough Weight Watchers points breakdown looks something like this:
  • Breakfast:  250 calories (6 to 7 WW points)
  • Lunch:  400 calories (10 to 12 WW points)
  • Snack: 150 calories (4 WW points)
  • Dinner:  400 calories (10 to 12 WW points)
For a total of 1,200 calories per day and an average of 28-30 WW points.

In regard to the WW points (for those who are familiar with WW), it should be noted that I have entered all the recipes into the Recipe Builder, so all the fruit and vegetables in the recipes are counted points-wise.

Here are my thoughts on the recipes I've tried so far, especially for anyone who has the meal plan book and hasn't tried them out yet.  And because I'm too lazy to type them all out myself, throughout I will provide links to the recipes other people have already typed out for anyone else who wants to try them (thanks random people who already did the work!).


First of all, I already mentioned that I baked all 3 of the different breakfast muffins from the book the other day (Banana Blueberry, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, and Pumpkin Cranberry).  The pumpkin-cranberry muffin is my favourite one BY FAR!  It is perfectly moist and has a great flavour.  I love, love, love this muffin.  The other two were simply "meh".  I found them both quite dry, so if I make them again I will maybe add some apple sauce or something to the recipes to try to moisten them up a bit.

I also tried the Steel-Cut Oats with Apples and Pecans.  So, so good!  I've made similar steel-cut oats & apples recipes before, but I've never had them combined with a touch of maple syrup.  It's a nice flavour.  I will definitely be making this one often.

And finally I made up a batch of Quinoa Crunch to combine with greek yogurt and berries.  I'm not sure about this one.  I like the flavour of the Crunch, but I found it impossible to actually chew and just ended up with lots of quinoa and flaxseed stuck in my teeth.  I have enough left over for 7 more servings so I will use it up, but I'm not sure whether I will make it again.


What felt like the biggest undertaking of all the recipes was the Roasted or Grilled Vegetables with Romesco Sauce (I roasted mine).  Soooooo many vegetables to roast!  But the preparation was fairly easy as the vegetables are to be cooked in very large pieces.  I have to say though, with all the work of this recipe the result was FANTASTIC!  I really, really loved the flavour of the romesco sauce, which was basically roasted tomato and roasted red pepper pureed with toasted almonds, garlic, and oil.  It is VERY garlic-ky, so I would probably cut back a bit on that next time, but otherwise it is delicious.  The vegetables are to be served with poached chicken, but I had mine with fish because I'd eaten so much chicken in other meals - I just made sure that the calories of the fish worked out to about the same as the chicken would have.

The Mediterranean Tuna Salad Rolls and Chicken Salad with Red Grapes and Toasted Pecans are both pretty simple to make and quite delicious as well!  I'm a girl with a sweet tooth, so the red grapes in the chicken salad are a nice way to satisfy that.


I'm a bit of a dummy when it comes to making smoothies.  I know it's such a simple thing to make, but I always make it too thin or too thick, or I make way, WAY too much of it.  The Banana-Almond Smoothie is tasty and makes the perfect amount for a snack.

The Trail Mix is pretty straight forward and is like any other trail mix.  But it is sodium-free and the dark chocolate chips satisfy my aforementioned sweet tooth.  I can't find a recipe for it already typed so, quite simply, combine:
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds (I used dry roasted, unsalted almonds)
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin or sunflower seed (I used sunflower)
  • 1/4 cup 70% dark chocolate chips
The above makes 4 servings.


Oh.Em.Gee.  I can't wait for Mr. McMuffintop to get home to make the Almond-Crusted Chicken recipe for him because I know he will love it too.  The fresh lemony-almond flavour dances on the tongue - seriously, yum!  It is paired with a Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw which, honestly, I could do without.  I love a creamy coleslaw, and this one severely lacks in the dressing department.

I also made the Beef Stir-Fry with Broccoli and Shiitake Mushrooms recipe.  This is where I screwed up and used tahini instead of tamari, so the flavour might not have been what it was supposed to be, but it was still quite delicious!  (p.s. - tamari is essentially soy sauce, whereas tahini is toasted sesame seed butter - the stuff used in hummus.  The recipe also uses toasted sesame seed oil, so it wasn't an odd ball flavour to have screwed up with).

I know all of this cooking sounds like I've made a ton of food for one person since each recipe usually makes 4 to 6 servings, but as I cook I portion the leftovers and freeze them for easy, future grab-n-go meals.  I highly recommend doing this while trying to lose weight because, come mealtime, you don't have to think about what to make, especially if you're feeling lazy.  I find it's at those times when I make poor decisions (hmmm, I don't feel like making dinner.  Let's order pizza!).

Sunday, 14 April 2013


As I've mentioned a few times, Mr. McMuffintop goes away for 2 weeks at a time to work in another province on the other side of the country.  It isn't easy, but we work really hard at keeping in constant communication with each other to keep our marriage on solid ground.

But it has gotten old.  Really old.  When he comes home it's great.  It's almost like we get a bit of a honeymoon every two weeks, which is fun.  But when he's gone we miss each other like crazy.

On Friday he received a new job offer.  In the same province where he works.  An offer too good to resist (i.e., we could likely semi-retire in about 10 years - Mr. M is 39, I am 38).  But the job requires him to live there full time.  And since we already hate being apart from each other 2 weeks at a time, it means we are moving.  To the other side of the country.


I/We always knew it was a possibility.  We have talked about it continuously over the past year and have mentally prepared ourselves for this.  It is not permanent, so we plan to keep our existing home because we have put a lot of work into it and always envisioned it as being our retirement home.  Since it is on a beautiful lake it will be our "cottage" over the next few years and we will always come back every summer, Christmas and probably at least one other time during the year.

Here is a list of the pros and cons of moving I've been battling with over the past couple of days (although, we are indeed moving):

  • Mr. M's high income allowing us to retire early.
  • More/better job opportunities for me, as we currently live in a teeny-tiny town where there are very few opportunities.
  • I can actually see myself fitting into the new community more than I do in my current community (there are a lot of older, retired people here).
  • There are a lot of beautiful walking/running/biking trails in the new community, which fits in with my current efforts of getting fit and healthy.
  • We will be far away from our families.  In particular, it bothers me a bit that we will be so far from our parents.  I already lost my father two years ago and my mumsy isn't getting any younger.  Note to self: teach mom how to use Skype sometime over the next few weeks.
  • I am really afraid to give up my current doctors because they are amazing (general/family doc and my diabetes doc).  And if you are from a small town in northern-ish Canada, you will understand how difficult it is to find a doctor accepting new patients at all, let alone a GOOD one.
  • The cost of living in our new community!! (Yes, double exclamation point on that one!)  Although we will be able to afford to keep our existing house AND to purchase a house there, my goodness the houses there are expensive.  EVERYTHING seems to be so, so expensive.
  • We will have to give up on the public adoption process we had begun in our province.  We weren't very far along into it (because it such a loooong process), but it has already taken almost a year for us to get to the point we are at.  We will likely try private rather than public adoption in our new province in the hope that it will be somewhat quicker.
We are still waiting for details from the company Mr. McMuffintop will be working for so that we have a better idea of the timeline we are working with.  But from the little bit we do know, it sounds like we will be residents of our new province by July.

So. Much. To. Do. So. Little. Time.

p.s.  I am determined not to let the upcoming events derail me from my weight loss efforts.  I know busy times are ahead, but I will not let it be an excuse to not exercise or eat properly.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

just another weigh-in wednesday

Actually, not really.  I've been sitting on exciting news all week, but I wanted to wait until official weigh-in day to share.

A couple of days after my disastrous weigh in last week, as much as I knew I shouldn't, I stepped on the scale two days later and I saw 166 lbs!  I guess my gain on weigh-in day had a lot to do with the Easter debacle and I was retaining some crazy amount of water. 

So today, on official weigh-in Wednesday, I am 164.6 lbs.

Not only did I break back into the 160s, but I have cruised half-way through!

Here is a small visual of my weight-loss progress so far:

I've noticed an almost-trend over the past 3 months.  My weight loss can be broken down into 4-week cycles:
  • Week 1:  4-6 lb. loss.  Mr. McMuffintop leaves for work this week and I always go back to doing a week of Jillian Michaels' 7-Day Kickstart Your Metabolism meal plan.  Lots of veggies and lean protein are the base of this loss.
  • Week 2:  1-2 lb. loss.  Mr. McMuffintop is still away for work and I am able to continue in my healthy-ways routine.
  • Week 3:  1 lb. gain (except for January where I actually went on to lost another 4 lbs.).  Mr. McMuffintop comes home from work.  I continue to exercise and watch my food portions, but the food is not as clean and healthy and probably has more salt than I would use or isn't as lean.
  • Week 4:  0-1 lb. gain.  Mr. McMuffintop is still home from work and I continue to exercise but also continue to eat a bit less healthy (especially if it's a holiday or special occasion... I'm looking at YOU, Easter!).
I should also mention that a couple of those gains in weeks 3 and 4 can be attributed to "that time of the month", so there's that too.

But overall I have still managed to lose 25 lbs. in 3 months at an average of 1.9 lbs. per week.  Yeah, I'm patting myself on the back a little bit.

I can now fit back into ALL of my old clothes that had been packed away for the past 6 years.  THAT is an incredible feeling.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Muffins by McMuffintop

I've been a busy, busy bee this morning.  This McMuffintop is trying to turn into a HEALTHY muffintop, therefore I have been in the kitchen baking various healthy breakfast muffins courtesy of the cookbook/meal planning guide that came with Jillian Michaels's Body Revolution.

I baked all 3 muffin recipes (at 12 muffins each = 3 dozen) to freeze so that I have something quick and easy to grab on those mornings that don't allow for much planning.

I wish I could give you a review of each muffin recipe right now, alas that would mean sitting here and eating THREE MUFFINS at 250 calories each.  Once upon a time, is was a very likely possibility that I would have done that, but since this muffintop is dedicated to getting healthy, I will let you know how they are once I've had a chance to sample each one over the next few mornings.

By the way, the 3 flavours are:
  - Banana Blueberry
  - Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
  - Pumpkin Cranberry

Now before you get all "whoa, Whoa, WHOA McMuffintop, are those REALLY healthy?"  The answer is yes, Yes, YES! 

I followed all recipes to the uppercase Tee.

 - The banana-blueberry and oatmeal chocolate chips are each full of healthy walnuts.
  - The chocolate chips used were 70% dark chocolate.
  - Olive oil was used as the... oil (duh).
  - Honey or pure maple syrup were used as the sweeteners.
  - One recipe includes plain yogurt, the other two coconut milk.

You get the idea.

Bee Tee Double-U, I never use canned pumpkin.  I make my own pumpkin puree in the fall from a REAL pumpkin and freeze it (in portions equivalent to a 15-oz can) for pumpkin goodness all year.

p.s. The pumpkin cranberry muffins are so pretty!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Friday Pondering

One thing I've always found curious about weight loss is when other people notice the loss and say, "Wow, you're looking great!"  I know, I say it too when I notice someone has lost weight.

When a person gains weight, no one ever says, "Wow, you're looking terrible..."  Well, not usually.  Someone did say that to me once.

It was a lady I worked with around 15 years ago.  She didn't say I looked "terrible", but it was strongly implied.  I think her actual words were, "Oh, you've gained some weight haven't you?" with a tsk-tsk look on her face.  I'm guessing it was a cultural thing (i.e., I don't think she realized that in North America, commenting on someone's weight to their face is generally bad etiquette).

I'm hearing a lot of the "wow-you're-looking-great"s lately.  Which feels... GREAT!  But I can't help but wonder what people were thinking as I gained the weight...

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

If at first you don't succeed...

My disastrous self-sabotage continued after my last post.  I feel like I must now refer to March 27 through April 2, 2013 as my Week of Shame.

Easter dinner at Mr. McMuffintop's parents' was another glorious gluttonous free for all.  Ham, potato, turnip, 4 types of pie... oh my!  So many starchy, carb-filled, tasty foods to choose from.  My portions were fairly small during dinner, but the pie.  Oh the pie!  I sampled two flavours at dinner and since Mr. McMuffintop brought home a big plate of leftovers including the other two flavours I HADN'T tried on Easter Sunday, on Monday I ate the other two kinds.

Yeah, I was a total mess.

I was so far over on my Weight Watchers points that I stopped tracking.  And since in my twisted mind I knew that my new week didn't start until Wednesday, I gave myself permission to continue my downward spiral on Tuesday.  My mom had given me a chocolate bunny that had been staring at me since Friday.  Yesterday I ate the whole thing.  Every. Last. Crumb.

I spent about 10 minutes last night feeling really terrible about myself.  Why is it when I fall off the weight-loss wagon I fall so damn hard? (answer: probably because I still have 170 lbs. of me fighting gravity... hahah...).  But instead of feeling bad, I shook it off and said to myself, "Self, only you control you.  So hop to it.  Get back on that wagon and make better choices starting NOW."

And that's what I'm doing.  I began this morning back on Jillian Michael's 7-Day Metabolism Kickstart.  This week will be full of lots of veggies and lean protein while I kick all the sugar out of my system again.

In terms of exercise, I really am amazed with myself on how hard I worked during the past 12 weeks.  I actually did all 12 weeks of Body Revolution without missing a single day.  For me, that is a HUGE accomplishment.  The old me would have probably given up by week 5 or 6. 

But now that I am finished the program I need to figure out a new exercise routine.  I could do Body Revolution over again, but I feel like I need to change it up.  I am really enjoying running outside, so much so that I bought a GPS/heart-rate watch last week to track my runs (the Garmin Forerunner 410 at Costco for $154.99 - great deal considering anything comparable at MEC was at least $300).  I have every intention on entering a charity run sometime this summer, but for now I have to wait to register for anything because I'm not sure yet which part of the country I will be in this summer (but that's another story for another day).

Today's weigh-in:  171.2.  Yeah, that's another 0.6 gain, however I thought it would be a lot worse after my Week of Shame.  So back on the wagon I get, and here's hoping that I see the 160s again by this time next week!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter weekend!

It has been a busy, busy, busy few days in the McMuffintop household.  We are knee deep in a bathroom renovation (it's looking so pretty!) which we are trying to get done by Monday, so I haven't had time for much else.

But I did have time to squeeze in my daily work outs, so I'll give myself a pat on the back for that!

Unfortunately, that is about the only good weight-loss-slash-making-myself-healthier related tidbit I have to report.  Meals this week have been a disaster, and I only have 5 Weight Watchers weekly points left until my new week starts on Wednesday.

On Thursday I tried out a lemon cupcake with raspberry icing recipe in preparation for my sister's anniversary party this summer.  And guess what happened?  I licked the bowls while making the cupcakes and just had to have one that evening after supper.  I logged 50 Weight Watchers points on Thursday.

I brought the remaining 11 cupcakes to my Mom's house on Good Friday so others could give their opinions on the flavour (with a couple of small tweaks it looks like it's a winner, by the way!).  We had a Good Friday fish fry, so not only did I eat another cupcake yesterday, I also ate pan-fried fish.  I calculated the day at 42 points.

Today has been better because the cupcakes are now out of the house and out of my reach.  I am ending the day at 29 points, and the only reason it's that high is because I battled a low blood sugar after my run today and had to drink 8 oz. of orange juice (3 points).

Tomorrow we have a family Easter dinner at Mr. McMuffintop's parents' house to get through.  I think I'll probably be dipping into my Activity Points, which I never do (I usually manage to keep myself at 26-28 points total per day).  I seriously can't wait for this week to be over!  And I seriously envy those who managed to not be tempted by treats this weekend.  It's not easy, give yourselves a huge pat on the back!

Oh, and if you haven't already noticed I am way late on my weigh-in report.  The scale was up 1 pound, and I am already dreading this week's weigh-in.  BUT, it will be a new week and I already have a master plan running through my brain to get back on track (i.e., following Jillian Michael's 7-Day Kickstart meal plan again)!

p.s. I only have 2 MORE BODY REVOLUTION WORK OUTS TO GO!  I am OVER THE MOON EXCITED if you can't already tell.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

WI Wednesday

Weigh-In Wednesday: 169.6 lbs

Why hello 160s, nice to see you again!  Do pull up a chair and stay for a bit, but not too long.  I'm hoping to have a date with the 150s soon...

After the dinner I had last night, I thought for sure the scale would be up.  I solved my vegetable problem and made an assortment of roasted brussel sprouts, carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms to go with my 3 oz. of chicken breast.  I was so stuffed I could have sworn I'd just eaten a Big Mac and large fry.  Even when I woke up this morning my belly still felt a little heavy.  But hey, whaddya know.  A full belly of nutritious calories rather than gross, fat laden calories = a loss on the scale.  Now why didn't I think of that sooner?

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Takin' it to the streets

Since starting the Couch to 5K running program a month ago I have been not-so-patiently waiting for warmer weather and the snow to melt so that I can take my running skills from the treadmill to the great outdoors.  I swear, on every one of my designated running days Mother Nature has simply not co-operated with my plans.

Therefore, it was no surprise this morning when I woke up to see snow falling from the sky AGAIN.  But I checked the temperature and it was a mild 0°C, so I said "screw the snow" and laced up my outdoor runners.

I mapped out my run to match the 5 km I've been logging on the treadmill each session (I don't exactly follow the Couch to 5K plan... I do the "prescribed" part, and then continue to walk/run til I complete 5 km - gotta earn my Weight Watchers Activity Points somehow!).  Surprisingly, my time came in close to my usual time on the treadmill, although it took me a couple of minutes longer than it should have because I had to tiptoe through the first and last 0.5 km of my route.  The road my house is on is VERY icy.  I think what saved me is all the core strengthening I've been doing - everytime I'd hit a patch of ice and feel myself start to slide, my abs would immediately contract and keep me upright!

But it felt so good to be outside breathing in fresh air.  Final verdict?  Outdoor running kicks treadmill running's butt any day, even while being forced to step carefully on ice and through slush.  Hopefully the first day of spring tomorrow will finally bring some sunshine to melt all this nasty stuff!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Veggie Tales

I just turned on the t.v. as I sat down to type here.  I'm not sure which channel it's on, but the program is a documentary on the making of goat cheese.  So now all I can think is, "Mmmmmm... goat cheese...."

Okay, focus McMuffintop, focus.

I went away for a few days and managed to squeeze in morning work outs due to bringing my work out gear and laptop (with Jillian Michaels videos on it).  I also did not gorge myself on delicious treats (although I could have).  My only indulgence was a beer on Thursday evening, and it hardly counts because it was one of those Molson Canadian Sublime thingies.  67 calories, thank you very much.

I'm beginning to tire of salads at almost every meal though, so I need to start thinking of new ways to eat vegetables.  Ironically, someone on the Weight Watchers message boards posted a similar comment about veggies a few days ago and I suggested making a vegetable soup.  I suppose I should follow my own advice, but I'm not in much of a soup mood right now either.

Anyway, with getting tired of salads and not having many other vegetable options in the house, I haven't eaten much in the way of veggies today at all, and my stomach is making it known.  It is 7:00 p.m., I just ate dinner an hour ago (a small plate of high fibre pasta with meat sauce) and my belly is yelling at me for more food.  And yes, I have had plenty of water. 

What to do, what to do?

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Reasons to pat myself on the back today

  1. I got up early this morning to run on the treadmill before packing up the car to head out of town for the rest of the week.
  2. Among items I've packed I have included my workout gear and hand weights.
  3. I have also packed up some of the veggies from my fridge so that I have healthy options over the next few days (and so they don't go to waste).
  4. I tried on a pair of pants from the box of clothes I haven't worn in almost 7 years and THEY FIT!
  5. Since I won't have access to my scale tomorrow on official weigh-in day, I weighed myself this morning. *Drumroll please* ....... 171.0 lbs!

As excited as I am that my pants fit again, there is one thing that I am not as excited about... MY CHEST HAS SHRUNK!  I mean, on one hand I'm glad that it has, but seriously I had to buy a couple of new sports bras last weekend because, er, I keep falling out of my old ones when I jump up and down.  Well, I bought a freakin' size MEDIUM!  I have never, ever worn a medium-sized sports bra in my life.  Even when my weight was down before, my chest still stayed at a large.  My mission this weekend is to hit up La Senza (bra/lingerie store in Canada) to get re-measured because my regular bras are getting also getting too big.

I guess it's the price I need to pay for becoming fit and fabulous!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Why is it the one thing I'm good at is the worst thing for me?

One of my downfalls is my sweet tooth.  And that I am really good at baking.  Like really, REALLY good.

My sister called on the weekend to make plans for her 25th wedding anniversary this summer.  She asked me to bake the cake (actually, after long discussion we decided on cupcakes instead) because her son has a severe food allergy and she doesn't trust commercial bakery items.

I am more than happy to do this for her.  But I am a little scared.  No, VERY scared.

So far I have been able to avoid sweet temptations.  I do not have any in the house, however on the one occasion in these past two months that I went to a dinner where dessert was served, I had not just the pie but ice cream on top too.

Now do you see the problem?

Furthermore, when I bake something I like to taste test for quality control, especially when I use a recipe I've never used before.  It would be awful to bake cupcakes for 60 people and not have them taste good.  Right?  RIGHT?!  (I'm so good at using logic to justify why I'm overweight)

Anyway, obviously this is something I will need to work out.  I do have to say that when I had that dessert at dinner a couple of weeks ago, I was not tempted to have it again the next day which is usually what happens (when I fall off the wagon, I fall off HARD).  So that's a small victory, right?  I just need to keep my head in this weight loss game and remind myself that reaching my goal is much more important than giving in to old habits.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Before and After Sneak Preview

Eeek!  I can't believe I'm about to do this, but I figured it's time for some progress pictures... Since I'm not at my ultimate goal yet, consider this a "preview" before my REAL after pictures.

I knew that I could feel a difference in my clothes but it wasn't until I took pictures this morning and compared them to some "before" pics that I could REALLY see the inches I've lost.

I obviously still have a long way to go, and I WILL get there!  I'm excited to see where I'm at in another 15-20 lbs from now.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Weight Watchers

I decided to join Weight Watchers on Saturday.

For the most part I'd been counting calories for the past 8 weeks, but I find it tedious.  I'd been considering Weight Watchers for a while now because I like the idea of their point system.

I do find it a bit easier, but I am confused as to why fruits are not given point values (even bananas!).  Maybe it's the diabetic in me, but I feel like I NEED to acknowledge that fruit has sugar and therefore calories.  Weight Watchers considers it a "free" food (although they do state that they expect it to be consumed in moderation). 

Anyway, today's weigh in is going back in the right direction:  174.8.  I think it is mostly due to losing the bloat from "that time of the month" because I certainly made some very bad choices this past week (*ahem* family dinner with gravy-covered meat and potatoes and not one but TWO decadent desserts *ahem*).

But I am staying on top of my exercise routine and I have to say that I am very impressed with myself in that department.  Tomorrow I begin the last phase of Jillian Michaels' Body Revolution and on cardio days I have been on the treadmill following the "Couch to 5K" running plan (I just finished week 3 of that).  I'm thinking of entering myself into some charity runs in order to motivate myself to continue running throughout the summer. 

Ahhh summer.... I can't wait for this snow to be gone!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Wrong Direction

Welcome to another edition of Weigh In Wednesday.  Today's program is brought to you by the number.... 176.4.  Ugh.

I am up one pound from last week.  My weight is going in the WRONG DIRECTION!

A part of this could be that Aunt Flo is due to arrive any day now, so perhaps I am retaining some water weight.  It could also be that Mr. McMuffintop has been a bad influence on me (but I know I can't blame him, the things I put in my mouth are MY choice).  The past week wasn't perfect, but despite the odd indulgence, I kept a close count of calories and did not exceed my daily allowance.  I exercised my ass off (unfortunately NOT literally), but perhaps not enough.  I have been managing to squeeze in 2 work outs most days but the past week I have only been working out once per day.
In my weight-loss history, a plateau always seems to occur right around now (when I hit the 175 lb range).  My weight hovers there for a good month before I see it begin to drop more.  That is, as long as I don't give up before the month passes.

Mr. McMuffintop leaves for work travel again next week so it will be an opportunity to kick myself back into high gear.  I need to work on staying more disciplined while he is around though.  While Mr.McMuffintop is verbally very supportive of my efforts, his actions do not always match his words. 

A few weeks ago I had made a mini-goal to be back at the weight I was when I met Mr. McMuffintop (165 lbs) on the anniversary of the day we met (at the end of March).  That gives me one month to lose 11 lbs.  Which means that I really shouldn't have baked that loaf of banana bread today.....

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Reasons to Ignore the Excuses

Yesterday was weigh in day and I lost 1.4 lbs last week bringing me to 175.4.  I know a loss is a loss, but it's hard not to feel frustrated that the number isn't bigger knowing how hard I worked.  I have to remind myself that "slow and steady wins the race".  Actually, I think I need to lay off of watching The Biggest Loser... seeing their big weight loss numbers each week can really play mind games for people doing it at home without trainers and a controlled environment.

Anyway, to remind myself of the reasons why I'm doing this and not let myself get derailed, the following is a short list of reasons I need to ignore the excuses I listed the other day:

- To be at a healthy BMI.

- To look good in a pair of skinny jeans.

- To feel confident when I'm naked in front of Mr. McMuffintop.

- To like seeing pictures of myself on vacation.

- To enjoy sports and active outings with friends and not feel like I'm going to collapse halfway through.

- To have better control over my blood sugars, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

- To be able to chase after and keep up with children if that day ever comes.

- To live a long life.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


Excuses I've made in the past for eating badly/not exercising/not trying to lose weight:

- I'm too tired to exercise.

- I ate <insert bad meal choice here> anyway so I might as well have dessert too.

- Exercising will make my blood sugar drop too low.

- If I get pregnant I'm going to gain weight anyway and I will just have to diet/exercise all over again.

- (On days when the scale isn't showing progress) What's the point?  I'm not losing anything anyway.

- It's a special occasion, I deserve to eat as much as I want today.

- I don't have time to work out.

- It's raining/snowing/too cold/too hot outside (when Mr. McMuffintop suggests going for a walk).

- It's too hard (when I try an exercise I have trouble with).

I'm sure there are many more excuses, so I may periodically come back to this list as time goes on to add to it.  Coming up next time:  Reasons to Ignore the Excuses!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Channeling The Little Engine That Could

Today's work out was H. to the A. to the R. to the D.

I just finished the last 30 minutes of week 6 of Body Revolution which means I am now officially half way to the finish line (of the exercise series, not my weight loss journey).  I am feeling stronger and more fit (my love handles are shrinking and I'm down a pant size!), but I struggled to finish the work out today.  It felt like I had bricks strapped to my arms and my legs were made of lead.  I had to stop the video half way through for a minute to recover my muscles and catch an extra breath.  I am already dreading the next video because it promises to be even more challenging.

Traditionally, this is right around the time I would start to give up on my weight loss goal.  I would allow negative thoughts to take over and never really believe that I can get to the end successfully so I'd figure what's the point in trying.

But this time I need to remind myself of the old cliche, "Nothing good in life comes easy."  If I want to lose weight I DO need to work for it.  And if it isn't hard and I'm not sweating, then I'm not burning calories.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day ... Love Yourself!

Since Mr. McMuffintop is away for work purposes on this Feb. 14th, I will be spending the afternoon with a good friend snowshoeing (YAY for exercise!) followed by a healthy dinner (YAY for friends who are dieticians!), ONE 4-oz glass of red wine, and 4 delicious squares of dark chocolate (YAY for reasonable indulgences!).

Simply perfect...

Something I am discovering on this weight loss journey is that one reason I have been overweight for most of my life is that I have not loved myself enough, so today I am putting negative self-talk out of my mind and celebrating ME!  Celebrating how excellent it is that I have lost over 13 lbs so far.  Celebrating that I am a good person and how lucky Mr. McMuffintop is to have me (btw, I am totally lucky too - he is the most wonderful Mr. a woman could have).

If you want to start loving yourself too (and why shouldn't you?  YOU ARE AMAZING!), check out this great article: How To Love Yourself in 17 Ways.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Diabetes and Exercise

Before I bring you today's regularly scheduled blogpost *said in my deep announcer voice* today is Weigh-In Wednesday! 

Drumroll please...

176.8!  That equals 4.2 lbs in one week and 13.6 lbs lost so far.  I did work very hard this week and I think going back to the Jillian Michaels' "7-Day Kickstart" meal plan was a big key to this small victory.


Having type-1 diabetes can be hard when it comes to weight loss.  Diabetes is hard in general, but when you're chubby and need to lose weight, diabetes is one more (giant) thing to think about.

How so, you ask?

Blood sugar levels can be very sensitive to food and exercise, especially for someone with type-1 diabetes.  My blood sugar can fluctuate from 5.0 mmol/L (a good number within range) to 15.0 mmol/L (a bad, bad number way out of range) within an hour or two if I eat the wrong thing or don't calculate how much insulin I need correctly.

Conversely, when I exercise I need to make sure my blood sugar is a bit higher than normal (around 10.0) and that I back off on my insulin intake so that while I'm burning calories my blood sugar doesn't drop too low (below 4.0), which it often does.

And when it does drop too low I need to drink juice or eat something sugary to bring it back up.  Juice/food = extra calories I don't want in my body.

For a long time diabetes was a good excuse to not exercise hard and stay fat, but I'm slowly figuring out how to manage it. 

But to make matters even more complicated, sometimes an exercise I've successfully managed my blood sugars through one day can give me completely different results another day when I do the exact same thing! 

Another issue is sometimes hours after exercise (especially if I do strength exercises) my blood sugar will suddenly drop without notice.  More juice needed, damnit!

In a nutshell diabetes is complicated and doesn't always cooperate with my efforts.  But it can't be an excuse anymore because I'm seeing results and I know many other diabetics who successfully manage their blood sugar while doing great, athletic things (Why hello Mr. Ironman David Weingard!).

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Weight-Loss Rollercoaster

Here's a little history of my significant (20 lbs or more) weight losses and gains:

My heaviest in high school was 198 lbs.  At age 17 I suddenly lost 35 lbs without trying.  I was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes and after being prescribed a meal plan to go along with insulin injections I lost an additional 15 lbs bringing me to 148.

When I began university the following year I slowly gained 20-ish lbs back.  "Draft Night" (aka $1 beers) followed by 2 a.m. pizza slices will do that to you.  Let's say I was an even 165 at that point.

The summer between 2nd and 3rd year of university I lost 30 lbs without trying very hard from walking and biking to and from work all summer.  I was on my feet all day and probably only ate a couple of times a day (once before work and once after work).  I was at my lightest ever at 135 lbs.

It didn't last long.  Within 6 months I was back to 165.

I gradually gained more weight over the years and by the time I was 28 when I finally brought myself to step on a scale again I was back to my high school weight of 198.  I figured it had to be close to 200 considering I wore a size 16. 

I made a real concious effort to shed some weight at this point and got down to 175 within 3 months.  After indulging during a nice vacation followed by a major-ish break up with my boyfriend at the time, I gained it all back quickly.

Almost exactly one year later from the time I started the next diet, I began again from the weight of 198.  6 months later I managed to reach 155.  However part of my weight loss was on account of high blood sugars so when I finally decided to get serious about controlling my diabetes (something I hadn't paid enough attention to in all of my 20s), a little bit of weight crept back on but not much.  I stayed at 165 for almost a year.

Then I met Mr. McMuffintop.

We loved eating together, snuggling on the sofa and watching movies together, and eating together some more.  We often went for walks, but nothing that could burn the calories we consumed.

By the time we married 2 and a half years after meeting I was at 185.  2 more years into our marriage I was at my heaviest ever at 208 lbs. 

After being diagnosed with high blood pressure I knew it was time to make a change.  2 years ago I successfully lost 28 lbs.  I held steady at 180 for a year before undergoing an unsuccessful IVF treatment last April.  The hormones helped put 10 lbs back on bringing me to the 190 I started at last month.

Phew, this weight-loss rollercoaster has been a long ride.  It's time to get off.

Monday, 11 February 2013

The Plan

Like most overweight people, I have tried a LOT of different diets and exercise programs.

I've had small victories along the way, but I never get to the ultimate END (i.e. a healthy weight).  I find myself satisfied after losing 10 or 20 lbs and quit.

Although I haven't figured out yet what is going to take me all the way to the end this time - because this time I really am determined to make it to the end (eek, how embarassing it will be if I don't) - I do feel like I've made a solid start.

For exercise I am currently rocking Jillian Michael's Body Revolution series.  Much to my own shock I have not quit and am on week 5.  I WILL make it through all 12 weeks, I WILL make it through all 12 weeks... The only alteration I've made is that I do not use the cardio workouts as I find all the jumping too hard on my knees and back.  On cardio days I use my treadmill and walk/run in intervals.

Diet wise I began with the recommended 7-Day Kickstart included with Body Revolution.  I found the meals pretty easy to make and for the most part tasty, although the lox/eggs/spinach recipe is NOT my favourite.  I dropped 5 lbs in that first week.  The second week I tried to just eat reasonable sized meals and a snack in the afternoon.  During weeks 2-4 I only lost 4.4 more lbs.

I think calorie counting will be essential for success.  During the Kickstart, daily caloric intake is around 1200 per day.  I was probably eating closer to 1500 a day when I started freestyling - on some days even up to 1800.  Again, I am just guessing.  In order to keep track of calories from now on I downloaded a calorie counter app onto my phone.  I can also track exercise and it calculates calories in vs. calories burned.  Very helpful!

To steer myself back on track I am doing the Kickstart again this week.  Although I am trying to keep my official weigh in days to Wednesday, I stepped on the scale yesterday morning and saw 179.4 (!).  1200 calories a week it is!

The Numbers

Goal setting has never been one of my strong points.

Whenever I try to lose weight I have it in mind that I want to lose weight, but I never specifically say, "I want to weigh <this number> when I'm done."

I suppose that is part of the reason why I fail at weight loss most of the time.  I lose a few pounds and start feeling better about myself, so I celebrate by slowly allowing myself rewards in the form of food and by not forcing myself to work out.  It's a mad, mad cycle.

So on this go around, I figure that I should make a clear goal for myself.  And in the interest of staying honest and holding myself accountable I will be open about ... THE NUMBERS.

First of all, my height is 5'2" (I actually think it might truly be 5'1½").  Let's refer to the following BMI chart, shall we?

Since I am somewhere between 5'1" and 5'2" my weight should be 120-130 lbs.

My current weight?  181.0 lbs. (as of Feb 6 - I weigh in on Wednesdays).

I actually began this weight loss journey almost 5 weeks ago on Jan 9.  On that day I weighed 190.4 which equals a loss so far of 9.4 lbs.

I should probably track inches too since I know that is more important than weight, but I have a hard time measuring myself.  I find I never hold the measuring tape at the same place or keep it at the same tension.  I did measure myself on Jan 9, so I will measure again this Wednesday to compare.  I know I've lost inches though because my pants are definitely fitting more loosely.

So here we go.  My goal is 124.0 lbs... 9 down, 57 to go!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

New Beginnings

I have been a fat girl for as long as I can remember.

For the most part during elementary school I was of average weight. In fifth grade I was actually even underweight for a spell when I suffered from a bowel-related illness. But for some reason in the sixth grade my weight ballooned. I was one of the shortest kids in my class (I'm guessing around 4'8"-ish) and weighed over 100 lbs.

I grew up in the 1980s pre-video game era, so I was a fairly active kid. My friends and I played outside from sunrise to sunset; biking, running, and exploring were daily events. Even when my friends were not available, I played in my family's large backyard on my own, climbing trees and bouncing balls off the back our house with a tennis racquet.

However my family's eating habits were atrocious. We ate take out at least once a week. Every second Friday I was allowed to bring a bag of potato chips and chocolate as my lunch to school. Obviously calories in far exceeded calories out.

One of my earliest memories of being teased about my weight was the summer between sixth and seventh grade. I was at a playground wearing a new shirt that just slightly exposed my midriff (like less than an inch). I heard some nearby boys talking about me. The words "whale" and "blubber" may have been involved. I remember trying not to let them see the tears in my eyes as I scanned the playground for the quickest exit.

Losing weight and being a "normal" size have occupied my thoughts almost every day since that encounter in the playground. My weight has been up and down a number of times over the years. I always seem to successfully begin diet and exercise programs, but then somehow get bored/sidetracked/become-complacent and gradually gain it all back (and sometimes more).

Obviously as I begin this blog my intention is to try to lose weight... again. So what's different this time, you ask? I'm not sure yet, but it just is. Something inside of me feels different - almost like my head is really in the game this time. Time will tell if I am able to stick to it or not, but I'm hoping that by starting this blog it might keep me accountable and motivated to stay on track.