What I’ve Gained is Much Greater than What I’ve Lost

I kind of fell of the map. I was blogging daily and then suddenly stopped. What happened you ask?
I lost 24lbs.
I initially started blogging to document my journey as I tried to get healthier and tried to take my family on the journey with me. I thought that if I could write about it and feel I was accountable to my readers that it would be easier to lose the weight and remain committed. But after weeks of blogging I was no further along in my weight loss and if you look back at my post you’ll notice I avoided the issue all together, Thank goodness that my kids offer up enough material that no one seemed to notice.
I started seeing a trainer on August 24th and as of today November 1 I have managed to lose 24lbs. I have never been able to lose so much weight so quickly and the best part is that I have never felt better. I’m not hungry, I’m not grumpy and my cravings are almost non existent…almost. I have complete eliminated refined sugar from my diet which is challenging especially f you refer back to my post: Why Work is making me Fat. In order to get around all the cake eating at work I now don’t sit at events and instead stand very close to the door. I stay for the presentation and necessary speeches but as soon as the cake starts being cut I make my exit. 

I weight train twice a week with my trainer, do cardio classes three times a week and have recently taken up hot yoga on Saturday mornings. (That experience is a blog all to itself. Stay tuned) It is amazing how far I have come physically in such a short time. I can keep up during the cardio classes and have moved up to some of the more challenging options in order to keep my heart rate up. I can feel muscle definition in my arms and sometimes when I pass a mirror I don’t even recognize the person on the other side.  Then this last Friday I checked my blood pressure and it turn out my heart rate has been reduced by 18 beats per minute.

But enough about the weight loss, something completely unexpected has happened, my kids are showing an interest in exercising. The boys have always been active in sports but now they want to do push ups and burpees. They like to grab my arms and feel my muscles. My Baby girl has even put on her shorts and joined me doing squats. MrLibertyDee is eating much better and has set up a gym in the garage and is using it.

I have spent years trying to get my family to eat better; I have spent endless hours telling the boys how important exercise is. I have spent the last 11 years taking care of the kids, the household and working full time but in all that time I was actually using these things as an excuse to not eat well myself ( “I have to eat on the go” ) I was making excuses to not go to the gym “ I cant’s just leave the kids” “I have laundry to do” “I need to spend sometime with my husband” “I’m too tired from work” “ I haven’t spent time with the dog” .

Then on August 24th I left the house to go meet my trainer. The kids lined up at the door like I was going off to war to say their goodbyes, MrLibertyDee made a face as I went out the door, but I left. I put it all behind me and I left. When I got back I was exhausted. I had not been physically challenged like that ever and I felt great. The next couple of visits to my trainer were pretty much the same but I kept going. Then one day, I left for the gym and everyone just said: “see you later mom” My excuses have stopped. There have been times I have to be at the gym at 6:00pm and I’m exhausted on the train and I stat thinking” maybe I’ll just go straight home” but then I force myself to go anyway and guess what I feel more energized by the time I get home. I caught a cold and again I thought maybe I shouldn’t work out but I pushed through and once at the gym I felt fine.

I have stopped telling everyone what they should eat. I have stopped telling them about the importance of exercise. I stopped worrying about them in that way and instead changed myself. Guess what’s happened?  I had been raising the kids in a “do as I say not as I do manner” without any success but now the kids see what I’m doing, see the results and want to do the same.

And so although I have lost 24 lbs, lost 2 dress sizes, and lost my excuses what I have gained is so much greater than what I have lost.

Why There’s a Bottle of Scotch on my Night Table

When I see my doctor for my yearly physical I always dread the question “do you drink?” I always go into a long story about how I don’t think I drink too much and then I go on to pretty much detail every drink I’ve had over the last year like I’m in confession or something.
I absolutely know that I could simply say yes or no but there’s something about my brain-to-mouth connection that just keeps my mouth moving once I start. About 5 minutes into my long winded drinking explanation she’ll usually cut me off and say something like ” so you have a drink once in a while”.
We have been having this same conversation for 11 years. Actually I guess It’s 8 years because I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol while I was pregnant. Although I craved red wine so strongly that it became a bit embarrassing for MrLibertyDee. Every time we went out to dinner or had an event and he left the table, he would come back to find me with my nose in his wine glass, inhaling deeply.

By this point you may be wondering then why is there a bottle of scotch on her night table if she’s supposedly not a big drinker?. The answer is this: Mosquito bites. It turns out that scotch is an amazing itch reliever.
I came back from my vacation with lots of mosquito bites on my legs and the itching was driving my crazy! I couldn’t find my “After Bite” itch ointment ( I remembered putting it somewhere safe which is similar to throwing something into a black hole because I rarely remember where that was) MrLibertyDee had the brilliant idea to “Google”  some home remedies and we were presented with three options
1. Aspirin – mash it up and apply to bites
2. Salt – mix it with a bit of water to create a paste and apply to bites
3. Alcohol- use a cotton swab and apply to bites

I didn’t have any Aspirin, the salt mixture sounded bit messy to apply to my legs and I didn’t have any rubbing alcohol. That’s when MrLIbertyDee had his second

brilliant idea. He pulled out a bottle of scotch and a roll of paper towels. I wet a paper towel with some scotch and held it to the bites. Within seconds, the itching stopped! It was a miracle!

I have suffered from mosquito bites all my life. I can be outside in a crowd of one hundred people and I will be the only one who gets bitten. Then the itching lasts for days, interrupting my sleep and making me cranky. By using the scotch, the relief was almost immediate. I woke up only once that night with some itching. I put some scotch on it and went back to sleep. The itching hasn’t bothered me again since.

The only draw back to this remedy is that it’s hard to convince people you are not a heavy drinker when your whole body smells like booze and you keep a bottle of scotch on your night table.

Do you have any strange but true remedies for bug bites?

A Note to my Scale

How could you betray me like that? I have been working my a@$! off and you tell me I’ve gained five pounds? Seriously? I wasn’t expecting a miracle but no change would have been better than a 5 pound increase! You’re lucky you are owned by my gym, because if you were mine I would have picked you up and thrown you across the room and watched as your parts scattered across the room. As a matter of fact I fantasized about just that today. Maybe I could have even taken you out to the parking lost and driven over you with my car. Don’t you ever pull a stunt like that again!

10 Excuses and It’s Only Day 1

My smoothie maker

I arrived at the gym just after 6:00am on Monday which meant I had missed the spinning class I wanted to go to. (excuse #1).  I thought about just going across the street to the Tim Horton’s because I was still sleepy and hadn’t even had a coffee yet (excuse #2). I remembered that I had committed to the blogosphere that I was not going to make excuses and committed to myself to take better care of my health so I went inside.  I did ten minutes on the elliptical because “I should take it easy after being away from the gym for a few weeks” (excuse #3) I then completed the weight circuit and felt pretty good because I did manage to increase the weight I had been comfortable with previously. I was even home before 7am which is when my husband leaves for work.

Spinach  & egg whites
Spinach & egg whites

I was hungry by 7:30am and my fridge was looking very scarce (I avoided the grocery store this weekend because of Father’s day – Excuse #4).  I finally landed on making myself a strawberry oatmeal smoothie. I then had to figure out what I was going to take to work for lunch and I really couldn’t find anything in the fridge (see excuse #4). I saw a box of egg whites in the fridge and had the brilliant idea of making myself a spinach omelet for lunch, but I had to leave the house in 15 minutes there was no way I  had time to make an omelet . I guess I was just going to have to go to the food court (excuse#5) I again thought of my commitment to the blogosphere and made the omelet. It took 5 minutes!

Around noon I decided to head down to the gym that is just two blocks from my office and try out their midday Zumba class (more on that in a separate post) I had my gym clothes with me but there was no way I could get to the gym, do the class, get cleaned up and make it back to work plus I’d be all sweaty! Yuck! (excuse #6) I went anyway and so glad that I did. The class was great and yes I was rushing back and yes I was sweaty but guess what? I lived.

Timothy's Blended Coffee
Not worth the 29 grams of sugar

I did run into a bit of a “hic-up” on the way back. I was hot and sweaty and got a craving for a frozen coffee,  I have always loved Slushies and now that I can get a frozen blended coffee I’m in heaven. Starbucks can make a low fat no sugar added blended coffee so its basically a frozen coffee with skim milk. I  had also recently found a Starbucks gift card but the Starbucks would take me about two minutes out of my way when there was a perfectly good Timothy’s right by my work ( excuse #7) I opted for the Timothy’s and it turns out that their blended coffee is premixed with the sweetener.  I couldn’t possibly say I didn’t want it. What if I hurt the cashier’s feelings ( excuse #8). I drank my frozen drink and then looked up the nutritional info, turns out that I had just taken in 230 calories (not earth shattering) and 29 grams of sugar! Aughhhh.

I made it through dinner with some soup and chicken and as soon as dinner was done the kids wanted to go bike riding. They are still not “bike riding alone” age specially because my 3 year old likes to follow behind in her tricycle. So when the kids wasn’t to go bike riding it means I go for a brisk walk trying to keep my daughter from trampling over the neighbourhood gardens and dogs with her tricycle. It was 7:30pm, we had just finished dinner, the dishwasher hadto be unloaded and reloaded, and the kitchen need to be cleaned I wasn’t about to go out now. (excuse #9) I sucked it up and off we went, as we were going out the door I was already saying “Ok. Ten minutes, that’s it. Everyone understand? Ten minutes.”  An hour later we were walking back through our front door, we had gone around the block, up and down the trail by our house and even played a game of “I’m gonna catch you” at the park.

I felt great. I had walked off my dinner, spent some time with the kids and gotten more exercise than I would have ever imagined. The downside? With all those endorphins running through my body I just couldn’t get to sleep.  It was way past midnight before I even went to bed.  There was no way I was going to make it to the gym for 6:00am the next day. (excuse #10)

Riding Home

Wish Me Luck

I truly believe that I can do anything. There was a point in my life where I was working full-time, had a part-time job, went school and had two small kids. After making it through that I realized I really could do anything if I could just stop making excuses.  However I have been making excuses when it comes to my health for years. I’m generally healthy. No high blood pressure, no high cholesterol, no back pain. I don’t even get colds often.  I come from generations of very strong women who all lived into their nineties and lived the majority of their lives in good health.

The difference between them and me however is that they were all slim and were raised eating natural whole foods. I on the other hand have about 50 pounds to lose and although I make an effort to eat healthy, the convenience of prepackaged / pre-made / fast food frequently wins. The other huge difference is that all those women are on my mom’s side of the family and I tend to take after my dad’s side. My dad has struggled for years with Type 2 diabetes and recently suffered a heart attack.

I can go into my long list of excuses as to why I don’t have time for exercise, why I don’t have time to cook and how I just can’t turn down that slice of cake at work. And trust me I could write a few blogs on each one of those excuses but I know they are just excuses. I know I make choices everyday that will either help me reach my goals or work against me. I know that ultimately I am the only one responsible for my own health.

So here I aStep-Class-2m. It’s Sunday night ( I’ve been here before) and I am committing that starting this very minute I will take my health more seriously. That I will get some form of exercise everyday even if it’s just 10 minutes and that I will not binge on sweets and carbs. – Wish me luck.