Friday, January 31, 2014


I have a very sweet tooth. I love candy and sweets, and have a hard time moderating myself. I also have adverse reactions to sugar, which would make you think that it would be easier for me to avoid. Yet I always forget how I’m going to feel after, when I’m popping candies into my mouth. I’ve noticed in the last week or so that I now get a headache after eating candy. I suspect because I’ve been eating healthier lately, that the sudden rush of sugar goes straight to my head, literally. It also plays havoc with my blood sugar.

As a teenager I struggled with Hypoglycemia – the opposite of diabetes – where my body produced too much insulin. If I didn’t eat regularly and let my blood sugar drop, I would pass out. I have too many stories about passing out in strange and embarrassing places, before I learned to listen to my body and fuel it appropriately. Over time and likely with my weight gain, my body shifted to a pre-diabetic mode and I was dealing with the opposite problem. While I’m no longer considered in either state, I feel the effects of my blood sugar levels almost instantly. Within minutes of having a high dose of sugar, my cheeks and ears turn bright red and start to burn and I can start to feel light headed and sick to my stomach.

And yet it still doesn’t stop me from eating it.

I came across a group today that is running a 30 day challenge starting on February 1st. They are challenging people to change just one thing for 30 days to help your goal of a healthier lifestyle. While I always maintain that I don’t deny myself anything and that I’m not on a “diet” but on a new way of living, I am going to deny myself candy and sugary foods for the next 30 days. I don’t need them, they do nothing good for me and there are plenty of healthy, sweet altrenatives if I feel that I just can’t go on without some extra sweetness. I’m sure I will feel better for it too.

Are you interested in making 1 small change for 30 days? Come join us!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Nature vs. Nurture

Genetics can play a huge role in whether or not we are over weight. But so can our our environment. In our home right now, we have both spectrums of weight issues – I am trying to lose weight and we are always trying to get Liam to gain weight. Since both he and I are adopted, it has me thinking about the effects of nature vs nurture on our struggles.

Being adopted in a time of closed adoptions, I grew up with no idea of what my genetic family looked like. Did they struggle with their weight too? Or were my weight problems more because of the environment I lived in? My mom has been a member of TOPS for more than 35 years. I grew up watching her diet, measure her food and count calories. Her weight would go up and down over the years, until she finally hit her goal weight and stuck with it in the last decade. However, we always had chips, cookies, pop and ice cream in the house, and I remember freely helping myself to it all. All celebrations had a food component and all successes were rewarded with treats.

Eventually I was able to meet my birth mother and to see pictures of my half sister. They too have both struggled with weight issues all their life, with my sister being much heavier than I have ever been. So it seems that karma may have dealt me with weight issues from both the side of nature and the side of nurture.

We have more of an open adoption with Liam’s first family, but only on his mother’s side. He seems to be the only one that struggles with gaining weight. He also has the environmental component of being on medication that works as an appetit surpressant. So it begs the question – will he always be on the low end of the weight percentile, or could his genetic makeup kick in one day and even things out?

At the end of the day, the idea of nature vs nurture is really only academic. We can’t change our genetic makeup. We can however control our environment by making sure we are eating healthy food and staying active.

Do you think that Nature or Nurture has had a bigger impact on your health today?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Weigh in January 26

Last Week's Weight - 220.9
Current Weight - 220.2

Weight Lost This Week - 0.5 lbs

This was not my most stellar week, with a lot of extra food that I knew I shouldn't eat, but enjoyed immensely.  That to me is the point of this journey.  Enjoy life, don't deny yourself anything, just keep it all within moderation.

Hilary and I are meal planning for the week before we head out grocery shopping today.  Lamb stew, salads and chicken breasts, breakfast smoothies and steak are all on this week's menu.  Sounds yummy!

Do you pre-plan your meals for the week?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Speed Work

Speed is a relative term.  Speed to a snail might be considered standing still to the a jaguar.  The same applies for runners.  Liam can "dork walk" faster than I can run.   But even I have more than 1 speed when I'm running.  I can't (yet) maintain my faster speed for very long, and I've just introduced "speed work" in the hopes of improving.

Why do speed work?
Speed work doesn’t just make you run faster. It makes you fitter, increases the range of movement in your joints, makes you more comfortable at all speeds, and it will ultimately help you to run harder for longer. Source: Runners World

 There are hundred's of articles and how-to's for adding speed work to your running regimen.  I took the simplest approach.  On every fifth lap of the track I would speed up to my maximum speed for the last straightaway section.  Then I would keel over slow down, catch my breath and try to keep going.

Surprisingly, while the speed work is hard, it feels great!  For the first time I'm moving fast, not just shuffling along.  I see a glimpse of the runner I want to become.  I should also add in Hill Work, but that will have to wait till spring, since the track is pretty flat.

Do you add speed or hill work to your runs?  What is your strategy?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Raynaud's Syndrome

I live in a place that is cold at least 4 months of the year.  It may not be as cold as other places in Canada, but when you have a disease that is affected by the cold, you are certainly aware of the dips in temperature.

 What is Raynaud's Syndrome:

Raynaud's (ray-NOHZ) disease is a condition that causes some areas of your body — such as your fingers, toes, the tip of your nose and your ears — to feel numb and cool in response to cold temperatures or stress. In Raynaud's disease, smaller arteries that supply blood to your skin narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas.  Source: Mayo Clinic

If I let myself get cold, my fingers, toes and even my nipples lose all blood flow, turn white and I have no sensation in them.  It's not just a matter of wearing warm socks and gloves (or fur lined bras).  I have to keep my core warm too.  I spend the better part of Nov - March wearing a minimum of 4 layers - tank top, short sleeve t-shirt, long sleeve t-shirt and sweater. If I'm really cold I will add a hoodie or wrap myself up in a blanket.  I wear oven mitts to get things out of the freezer or to hold a bowl or glass that is cold to the touch. We have a bucket full of hand warmers and I use a heated bag every night when I go to bed to keep my hands warm as I fall asleep. I always have gloves and mittens with me, and use the fingerless gloves at the office so that I still type.

Once I do start to warm up, the blood comes rushing back to the area with a lot of pain and discomfort.  It can be like having pins and needles from sitting on your leg for too long, but much more intense. On a bad day I can have 3-4 episodes which is very unpleasant.

I do take a medication that is a calcium channel blocker to help relax and open up the small blood vessels.  It doesn't cure the problem, but it does help decrease the frequency of attacks.

I have lived with this disease for more than a decade now.  I'm still fascinated to watch the transformation of my fingers from regular skin tone to white to bright red as the blood rushes back.  It freaks out cashiers when I hand them money with fingers that look like they belong on a corpse.  While there is no cure, I have found ways to work around it and to minimize the impact on my life.  The only "cure" would be to move somewhere warm where I would never get cold.  Maybe one day.......

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


In my Christmas stocking this year I got some lovely cup of soup style Miso Soups. Just add water and you have a lovely mug of warm, comforting goodness, complete with squares of tofu and bits of seaweed. I’ve always loved miso soup, so having it to take to work seemed like an awesome idea. And it is!

One packet of Miso soup has only 35 calories. It’s certainly not a complete meal on its own, but it makes for a great mid afternoon snack, or an add-on to a lunch of cheese and crackers. Miso also has many health benefits. One study associates it with lowering the risk of breast cancer1. Other studies link it to weight loss2. Nutritionally it is packed with vitamins from the B family, especially B12 (on that I often suffer from a lack of), antioxidants and it is a complete protein3.

What exactly is Miso?

Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans. While that doesn’t sound very appetizing , it has the texture of butter with a satly/nutty flavor4. It can be used in a variety of recipes, though the most commonly used for Miso soup.


2) LiveStrong
4) Natural News

Do you eat Miso?  What is your favorite recipe?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rules for Living

An article was published by the Canadian Press today about the 9 rules for living that author Bruce Grierson  has penned. Grierson recently published a book, What Makes Olga Run?, about 93 year-old Canadian track star Olga Kotelko. I’m looking forward to reading the book because WOW! what an inspiration. Olga didn't take up track and field events until she was in her 70s and sounds like the kind of old lady I would love to grow up to be.

Back to Grierson’s 9 rules for living. Some of his rules seem like no brainers: “Begin Now” - “Don't Do It If You Don't Love It” - “Keep Moving”, while some made me pause and think about them a bit more: “Be Opportunistic” – “Believe in Something” and "Be a Mensch"  . It made me think. What rules for living do I have? At the young age of 43, I’m no expert on longevity, but I realized I do have a few “rules” that I try to follow. Hopefully they help lead to a long and healthy life. And who knows? Maybe I’ll be setting records when I’m in my 90s!

Andy’s Rules for Living

  1. Laugh every day 
  2. Tell the people you love that you love them every day 
  3. Drink plenty of water 
  4. Eat fresh vegetables 
  5. Get out and walk 
  6. Get enough sleep 
  7. Be kind to yourself 
  8. Own pets 
  9. Believe in yourself 
What are your rules for living?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Weigh In - January 19

Last Week's Weight - 222
Current Weight - 220.9

Weight Lost This Week - 1 lbs

Slow and steady wins the race!

It's so nice to get on the scale and see it going in the right direction.  I'm not looking for the huge losses, because I know that it's not sustainable.  If I can stick with losing a pound a week, I'll be quite happy.

Over all it was a good week.  I didn't exercise as much as I would have liked to.  I missed TKD on Wednesday due to leaving work late and bad traffic.  And I just didn't have it in me to go for a run on Friday.  Instead I went to the mall and walked around for an hour.  Some movement is better then no movement after all.

The plan for this coming week is pretty much the same.  The shopping is done and  the meals are planned.  TKD and running are penciled in.

I continue to BELIEVE that I can do this.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

What's in your cart?

Being prepared and having the right foods on hand is key to eating well.  If you don't have everything you need to get through the week, it's too easy to fall back on eating out, grabbing quick snacks and suddenly you have undone all your hard work from the week before.

On Saturday Hilary plans out our meals for the upcoming week, we discuss what I want to take for lunches and have for breakfast each day, we make a list and head to the grocery store.   We buy very few "convenience" foods, preferring fresh items that we prepare ourselves.  Except waffles - one of the few foods Liam will eat (and nope, he won't eat Hilary's amazing homemade waffles.  Oh well, more for me)

If you aren't used to planning, shopping, preparing and cooking I can understand how it can seem overwhelming to eat healthy, homemade foods.  I'm doubly blessed that Hilary is not only an amazing cook, she is also a domestic goddess that has all of this planning, shopping and preparing stuff down to a fine art.  Mostly I'm just along for the ride (I usually don't even get to push the cart; sometimes she lets me cross things off the list, but I think that is just to keep me busy and cut down on my opportunities for impulse purchases)

I read somewhere recently that you should only shop for items around the outer aisles of the grocery store.  That keeps you away from the canned and packaged goods and steers you to the fresh produce, cheese, meat and seafood counters.  The majority of our shopping seems to be done in the fruit and vegetable section, so I think we have this "rule" down pat.

What is in your shopping cart each week?

Friday, January 17, 2014


Getting support from people is so important on this journey. I'm lucky that I have the love and support of my partner and many friends. Beyond them though, I have found support from what I refer to as "the people who live in my computer".

I've been active online for more than a decade and have forged some great friendships with people that I've never met in person. They have been there for me through all the major (and minor) ups and downs of my life. While our friendship may have started on adoption forums, they  have grown such that adoption is no longer the main focus, but just like IRL friendships, we talk about all aspects of our lives. Now that my focus is on health and wellness, they are supporting me through that as well. It can be comments here on the blog or on Facebook, “likes” on posts or private messages cheering me on. We also connect on other health sites like MyFitnessPal or FitBit. Every comment and nudge brightens my day and makes me feel empowered to keep going when I might feel like I’m at the end of my rope for the day.

I’ve also recently joined a private support group on Facebook for a 6 week “accountability” group. We are a group of strangers who come together every day to support, encourage and help each other on whatever our current journey is.  They are a great group of women and I hope that after the 6 weeks is over that we continue to stay in touch and be there for each other.

Who do you get your support from?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Finding time for yourself is important.  If you don’t recharge and relax you can never be the best person for those around you.  But finding that time can be hard.  Work, commuting, dinner, house cleaning, homework, sleep, grocery shopping, bedtime routines, family time, date nights and every other little detail of life still need to happen.  It can seem overwhelming to try to add in exercise on top of it all.  Yet if we don’t make the time, it will never happen.

Some people wake up early, before the requirements of the day begin and run or work out then.  I’ve managed to do that a grand total of once.  I value my sleep just as much as being active.  Actually, I might value sleep a wee bit more. 

One of the ways that I’ve added in the time to exercise without feeling guiltyier about taking away family time was to join Tae Kwon Do with Liam.  That way I’m still getting 3 hours of exercise a week, but I’m still spending that time with him. 

Finding time over and above TKD to fit in running is currently a struggle.  I don't get home from work till after 5:00, and even if I'm out the door by 5:30, it's after 6:30 before I'm home, changed and ready to engage in family life. It is doable, and I have an amazing family that is supportive of this, but I find it hard sometimes to just go, Go, GO! 

How do you balance all the requirements of life with finding time to exercise?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

21 nice things about me

The lovely ladies over at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans offered up a mini-challenge last week to go along with their New Year’s Weight Loss boot camp. While I’m not doing the exercise part of their boot camp and I am following along with the group. I’ve never been very good at self-discovery or being able to talk about myself in a positive way, but I did enjoy this challenge.

This Week’s Mini-Challenge

I want you to say, write, type, paint, or WHATEVER medium you choose, THREE NICE THINGS about yourself this week. Starting today and ending next Tuesday. That would equal 21 nicey-nice things about you. You can share them with the world, or keep them to yourself. But honestly, you probably should share them, because it will make you feel so much better, and then we can agree with you and make you feel even more spectacular. So do it, m’kay?
Here are the 21 nice things I have to say about myself:

Tell me 3 nice things about yourself!

Monday, January 13, 2014


Drinking more water every day is part of my plan for healthier living. Luckily I have always loved water and it is usually my go-to beverage when I’m thirsty.

Benefits of water.
  • Helps to fill you up. People often mistake thirst for hunger. If you feel hungry have a drink of water and wait 10 minutes. If you are still hungry then go looking for a snack. 
  • Drinking cold water helps you burn more calories as your body works to warm the water up.
  • You get in extra steps each day because of the extra trips to the washroom. 
 This is one I didn't know:

  • Drinking water also helps your body burn stored fat. If you're not drinking enough water, your liver will be forced to help your kidneys detoxify your body. When you drink plenty of water, your kidneys don't need any extra help, so your liver will be able to metabolize stored fat more efficiently.  Source:

How much water do you need?
The old adage of “drink 8 glasses a day” isn’t very accurate. Glasses come in as many shapes and sizes as people do. A better calculation is 1 ounce of water for every 2 pounds. So a 200 pound person should drink 100 ounces or 12.5 cups of water a day. And as soon as you add in exercise or a hot day, you need to drink even more. While it seems daunting, if you spread it over the (approx) 17 hours a day that you are awake that’s less than 1 cup an hour. Source:

How to drink more water

  • Keep water with you at all times to sip from.
  • Have a glass of water before and after eating. 
  • Add flavor – slices of lemon, lime, cucumber or even a few crushed berries will give your water a nice taste without adding calories. 
  • Keep track of your how much you drink. You might think you are getting enough water, but when you start writing it down you might be surprised. 
  • Replace at least one non-water beverage a day with water. 
  • Eat more fruit, especially watermelon
  • Black tea and coffee can even count towards your water intake each day.

How much water do you drink every day?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Weigh In - January 12, 2014

Last Week's Weight - 225
Current Weight - 222

Weight Lost This Week - 3lbs

That's a great way to start things off!  

Even though I was not 100% on plan with my eating this week, and had a couple of days that I was over my calorie goal, I still managed to lose 3 pounds.  I'm sure that this is because I'm back to exercising. I managed to get in 3 days of Tae Kwon Do and 1 run this week.  We are also back to not having a car for the first time in weeks, so I'm walking a lot more too.

My plan is to continue this week with more focus on making better food choices, especially snacking in the evenings.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Counting Calories

To count calories or not?

Counting calories doesn't actually make you lose weight.  If I ate a box of Oreos every day but diligently wrote it down, I'm still going to gain weight.

For me though, tracking my calories lets me have better control over what I'm consuming.  Before I started counting calories I had no idea how much I was actually eating each day.  Counting calories also forces you to weigh/measure your food in order to get an accurate calorie count.  When I look back at my food tracking from when I started this journey, it's really quite frightening the number of calories I was eating.

Over time I have learned better portion control thanks to tracking my calories.  I use MyFitnessPal and it also allows me to see other nutrient counts for food, so if I'm aiming for a low carb week, it helps me to plan it out.  I can also put in my food for the day each morning (or even the night before) and then plan if I'm going to be eating out or doing anything special for dinner.

The nice thing about counting calories, is that it's fairly easy.  All packaged foods in Canada have the calorie count by serving printed on the label.   I find this easier than other plans where you have to do math to figure out the "points" value of each food.  And sites like MFP have a great database for fresh foods, or even allow you to enter your own recipes so that you can track things that only you make and don't have an easy nutritional listing to find.

Overall I found counting calories to be a good way to keep my eating in check and to be aware of what and how much I'm eating.

Do you count calories?  If you use MyFitnessPal, feel free to add me in.  You can find me as echaos.

Friday, January 10, 2014

What to listen to

When I first started running Hilary made me an awesome play list of songs that all had something to do with running , walking or encouragement.

As I started running longer and longer I added in more songs; fast rhythm songs that made me feel like I could run fast.  I would pace myself to the song, finding that I could dig a bit deeper and move a bit faster to keep up with a favorite.

Around the same time that I started running I also discovered Overdrive, an app that allows you to borrow audio books from the library.   I've been a fan of audio books since the time they were called books on tape. Liam has the whole Harry Potter series and he listens to them constantly.  I love listening to books during my bus ride every morning.  It helps the time go by quickly when I let myself get lost in the story.

One day I was at a most exciting part of the book I was listening to when I was getting ready to go for my run.  So instead of my normal playlist of fast, upbeat running music, I listened to the audio book.  30 minutes of running never passed so quickly!

As long as I have a very interesting book on the go, I prefer it over music when I run.  Especially now that I'm running endless loops of an indoor track, where there isn't much to focus on.  Having a story read to me, usually by voice actors with amazing voices and accents, makes the run a pleasure.

What do you listen to when you run?

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Photo Credit: Sin City Farm Girl

One area that I struggle with is ensuring that I get enough protein each day while still keeping my calories in check. One food that is great for this is eggs. I’m not a huge fan of eggs, but I am trying to incorporate them more and more into my diet. You can eat eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner; they travel well when hard boiled and there are almost unlimited ways to prepare them.

Photo Credit: Sin City Farm Girl

While fresh eggs are always better, I have found that  the convenience of using egg whites from a carton to make a quick omelet before work really increases the likely hood of me eating breakfast. And having a protein rich breakfast helps to make me feel full for longer, cutting down on my mid-morning snacking.

Some Eggy Facts:

One large egg has

  • 6.3g of protein – that is 7% of my daily requirement
  • 70 calories - 50 from the yolk and 20 from the whites
  • Almost no carbs – 0.4g
Courtesy The Egg Nutrition Center

Eggs and Weight Loss

In a recent study, researchers found that people who ate two eggs and toast for breakfast lost 65% more weight, had an 83% greater reduction in waist circumference and had higher energy levels than people who ate a bagel and yogurt for breakfast.*
*Dhurandhar, N.V. Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. Presented at Experimental Biology 2007. [Research supported by the Egg Nutrition Centre and American Egg Board.] 


A new recipe that we have added to our dinner repertoire is not only yummy and nutritious, but quick to prepare.  

Check out the recipe:  Eggs Baked in Avocado

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Who to tell

One of the first decisions you have to make when you embark on the journey to better health is “who do you tell”? For some people, keeping their goals private is of utmost importance. They don’t want people all up in their business. For others, like me, we gather strength and support from the people around us.

I work in an office with 100+ people, but work closely with a team of about 10. I’m not the only one who is trying to make better food and exercise choices right now. It’s the second week of January and New Year’s Resolutions are in full swing. Even if, or maybe especially if, I was the only one on this journey, it would be important to me to tell the people around me. I get a lot of support from co-workers checking in on my progress, murmuring understanding on days that I’m struggling and a lot of comraderie from sharing stories, recipes and ideas.  I directly work with 2 guys that eat out EVERYDAY for lunch. Before Christmas I was easily sucked into joining them more often than I should. I started out justifying it to myself that I needed the mental health break from the office and that I would just get a drink and enjoy the social aspect of lunch out. That quickly turned into me ordering lunch and even desert most days. Not good.

If I didn’t tell people that I was working on better eating, they wouldn’t know not to offer me all the junk food they bring in, or might think me a snob when I don’t share their birthday cakes or start to wonder why I suddenly stopped going out for lunch with them.

Outside of the office I share with friends and family too. This is not a journey I can do alone, and it’s also more than just a diet, or a short term thing. If I’m going to make this a lifelong way of living a healthier life, the people that love and support me need to know, and hopefully need to be on board and supportive. I’m very lucky that all the people in my life are supportive. I’ve heard from others that have people in their life that seem to only want to sabotage their success. I can’t imagine why anyone would do that, but I guess it takes all kinds.

Who do you share the details of your journey with? Do you have the support of those around you?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Who inspires you?

Today while I was on one of the websites that I use to help track my journey to health, I noticed that  a friend had updated her "what inspires you" section with ME!  She finds me inspiring!!

I don't know that I've ever inspired anyone before... especially for something like health and weight loss.

I however, am inspired by a few people.

  • My mom - she's struggled with her weight all her life and is now also dealing with diabetes.  She is at her goal weight and at 71, is more active than most folks my age.  
  • Hilary and Liam - they inspire me to be the healthiest I can be so that I can be active, have fun and enjoy life with them.
  • My SIL Sarah - she's a single Mum striving to live a healthy life and raising my awesome nephew to be an amazing man one day.
  • My friend Sandy - She has overcome cancer and lives with Celiac disease.  She carries on and is finding new ways to be healthy.
  • My friend Jason - He suffered a heart attack this summer that scared the heck out of all of us.  He too is finding new ways to be healthy.
And there are many others too.  Everyone who is on this journey to health and well being inspires me.  On days that I struggle to stay the course I have many people that I can turn to for guidance, support and inspiration.

Finding your way isn’t always easy. Life’s direction can feel like a maze. The gift of true friendship is that it takes us by the hand and reminds us we are not alone in the journey.”~ Unknown

Who inspires you?

Monday, January 6, 2014

5 benefits of Tae Kwon Do

I have been studying TKD for almost 2 years now. No one is more surprised than I am at how much I enjoy it.

Here are the top 5 benefits that I have derived from studying a martial art.

Flexibility and Coordination
  • 2 years ago if you had asked me to kick higher then my waist I would have laughed at you. Now, not only can I get my leg up that high to kick, I can do it with enough force to break a board. 
  • I have learned 5 patterns so far, with the highest level one having 21 movements. When I started I could never get my lefts and my rights sorted out for the simplest pattern. Now I have the coordination to move somewhat gracefully through 21 distinct (and complicated) movements. 

Cardio workout
  • An hour of TKD burns nearly 1000 calories! 
  • We warm up each class by running laps around the gym. 2 years ago I couldn't do 2 laps without having to take a break and walk. Now I can easily do 10 and could keep going.

Self Defense
  • I never would have thought that I was capable of throwing a punch at someone’s head before. Now I know that I can! It’s an odd feeling to actually hit another person, but once you get over the initial strangeness you soon recognize the power that you have. I truly believe that if I was ever in a situation where I needed to use self defense, my TKD training would be second nature now and I would be able to defend myself. 
  • We spend at least one class a month focusing on self defense overall, not just TKD. I know how to escape a chock hold, get out of someone’s grip and am okay with yelling and screaming like a fool to attract attention. In our society we always seem to feel the need to be quiet and polite, to not make a fuss. Practicing situations where it’s okay to fight back and make a fuss is very freeing. 

 4. Confidence
  • I wear white pants and a white t-shirt and drag my butt along the gym floor while we do a “Crab-Walk” warm up. I don’t have the arm strength to get my butt up off the floor, but I keep going. In a class full of kids (who could crab-walk all day long and never get tired) while all their parents watch and laugh. 
  • I can stand alone in the gym, in front of my instructors, while a room full of people watch and do all of my patterns during a test for my next level.  In high school I couldn't stand up in class to ask to go to the washroom. 

Stress Relief
  • Any physical activity works well as stress relief. Add in punching and kicking things with all your might and you can work out the kinks of a bad day in no time.
  • TKD has turned out to be a great parenting tool as well.  Since Liam and I both train together, we both have sparring gear.  That means that anytime we are having a rough day with each other, I can just say "go get your gear on" and we can duke it out.  All in the name of sport, so there is no need to call Children's Aid!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Weigh in - January 5, 2014

Current Weight: 225

This is the first year since I started this journey in 2010 that I have finished the year at a higher weight then I started.  Even though I got down to my lowest weight ever this summer, I have a net gain of 8 pounds overall.

Things went off the rails while we were on vacation in August.  I enjoyed myself and didn't worry about calories or portions or not drinking alcohol every night.  When we got home I never really got back into the swing of things, and it shows.  I stopped wearing my pedometer; I stopped tracking my food; I didn't go to TKD 3 times a week; I had wine with diner; we ate out a lot.  Little by little it all came together for a 25 pound weight gain in 4 months.

As discouraging as that sounds, I'm embracing it and moving on.  I went to TKD yesterday and had a great time.  I'm going to try and get out running twice a week (and by out I really mean in - at the track).  I'm back to logging everything in MyFitnessPal.  I've joined a great online group of women for a 6 week accountability support group.  Hilary and I are planning out my lunches and our dinners to help me be successful.

And even though this is really the first week in, I did lose 1/2 a pound since last week.  So the new journey begins.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Winter Running

Yesterday we had 2 feet of snow fall.  Last week we had an ice storm that has left ice buried under the 2 feet of snow.  Needless to say I will not be running outside until all of this foolishness is over with.

I have found an indoor track that works out perfectly.  It's more or less on my way to and from work, it's not expensive ($2.00 each time) and has recently been upgraded with nice shock absorbing floors. It also offers live entertainment, depending when you go.  The track is around the top spectator section of a hockey rink, so there are often practices/games going on that you can watch while you run.

Even though it's on the way, scheduling time to get there is still tough.  My goal is to get there Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. I'm hoping that this, along with Tae Kwon Do 3 days a week will help me get back in shape and ready for some races this year.

I've already signed up for 2 virtual 5k runs in March.  The Shamrock Shuffle on March 16 and  the Transform Lives race on March 22.  I will also be signing up for The Ocean Breeze race again. This year I plan to run the 10k.  EEK!  That means I have a lot of training to do.  Luckily that one isn't until June.

Do you run outside in the winter?  If not, have you found a good alternative?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My plans

Plans always seem to do better when you write them down and shout them out to the world to help hold you accountable.   So here are my long and short term plans.

Short Term

  • Start tracking my food again at MyFitnessPal
  • Drink more water
  • Wear my Fitbit Zip every day and strive for 10,000 steps a day
  • Go to Tae Kwon Do 3 times a week for the next 6 weeks
  • Run at least once a week
Long Term
  • Run my first 10k in June
  • Advance two levels in TKD and be a Blue belt
  • Lose 50 pounds
What are your plans for the year?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year = A New Beginning

I have decided to believe in myself and to make 2014 a great year.  I've struggled over the last 2 months with eating, exercise and taking care of myself overall.   That all stops today.

Here's to a new year and a new beginning!

Happy New Year!