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.