Monday, 20 February 2012

Feeling very positive!

I've been working hard on eating healthy and exercising. I haven't been perfect but I wasn't aiming for perfection. I've been eating only when I'm truly hungry, making healthy foods, exercising with the My Fitness Coach on the Wii, and eating minimal treats.

Yesterday my son and I went to visit friends. They have a workout room and a pool in their condo and we went downstairs to exercise for a half hour (then relaxed in the hot tub afterwards... what a treat). I've been wanting a picture of me exercising for my diet scrapbook but don't think cameras are allowed upstairs at the Y. I've never seen anyone taking a photo up there and they don't even have pictures of the exercise area on their website. First thing I did was get my son to take a photo of me on the elliptical.

I exercised with the My Fitness Coach this morning then went out for a walk with my Dad and my son (and my sister's dog). I made a big pot of lentil-vegetable stew for lunch today too (with plenty of leftovers for work).

I weighed and measured myself this morning and have lost two pounds. I've also lost half an inch off my neck, arm, hips, and thigh and an inch off my waist. Then I went onto SparkPeople and looked at my beginning numbers there from January 1, 2009 to compare to now.

January 2009..........February 2012
Weight: 212lbs........Weight: 170lbs
Waist: 44in...............Waist: 37in
Hips: 46in................Hips: 41in
Neck: 16in...............Neck: 14.5in

It didn't seem like much of a difference, day to day, but it sure adds up. Each "that food was so yummy but I am truly full and there will be yummy food again... I'm not getting seconds"... each "I'm not going to eat chocolate just because it's there... I'll wait until I truly want some than have a little bit"... each "I'm going to start my day off right with some exercise, I'll feel better than if I slept for an extra 20 minutes"... they all build up and make a huge difference by the end. One drop of water, by itself, is tiny. All together they make the ocean.

Last May I was so excited because I dropped down to 169lbs... for a day... after a wicked chest cold (I'd barely eaten anything that week). This time I know that I'll be in the 160's the next time I weigh myself and it won't be because of illness and lack of food. And I'll keep doing better from there.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Every day's a fresh start

When I first started trying to lose weight, I weighed myself once a week to keep track of how I was doing. After a while I found myself *splurging* during the week... convincing myself that it was okay to have a chocolate bar or an extra mug of hot chocolate or a bowl of chips because I'd have time to work it off before I weighed myself again.

Of course that didn't work out well. Eating healthy for two days of the week didn't provide any sort of weight loss. And I was spending those two days panicked about what the scale was going to say (on top of feeling guilty during the rest of the week). Then I decided to weigh myself daily to keep myself accountable. That backfired too. Weight fluctuates and I'd find myself feeling negative when the scale jumped up by a pound or two. Plus, while it's frustrating when you stay the same weight two weeks in a row when you're weighing yourself once a day. It's brought to a whole new level of frustration when you've weighed yourself 14 days in a row and seen the same weight all 14 times. Chuck in a pound of water weight on the 15th or 16th day and that's when I give up and dive, face first, into a bag of chocolate chip cookies.

I briefly tried weighing myself once a month but that didn't work out well either. Picture three and a half weeks of *splurging* with half a week of panicked "I'm going to weigh myself soon". The end result wasn't pretty.

The thing is, I did lose 40lbs almost two years ago and kept them off (I've been on a plateau since the summer of 2010). I know I can do it. I think the biggest issue right now is mindset. I just can't picture getting below 170lbs. I can't picture me being in the 160's.

So now, I'm taking things one day at a time (someone get that farking soundtrack out of my head now please). I'm doing my best each day then letting the day go. I'm not striving for perfection... just for doing my best.

Yesterday I exercised with the Wii My Fitness Coach for 15 minutes in the morning (I try to do this daily) then went out for a walk in the green space across the street in the afternoon. I cooked a healthy dinner (vegetable tomato sauce over fibre rich pasta) then went to the gym for an hour long Bars and Plates class. Today I was stiff and sore but still exercised for 15 minutes this morning. Now I'm walking to my doctor's office (a half hour walk) to get the results back from my cholesterol test, which I took back in December. Tonight I'm making a healthy dinner (pasta with homemade pumpkin sauce) and treating us to homemade chocolate mousse. Not the healthiest choice but it's Valentine's Day and that's my one treat. Tomorrow will be a new day.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

My tips on searching for facts on the Internet

Let's face it, we all have opinions (you know that old saying... and if you don't then you're probably not old enough) and, since this is the Internet, we can all find information to back up our opinions.

I find there can be a vast difference between "information" and "facts". I'm sure I could search right now and find tonnes of information on how cats really do suck the breath out of babies or detailed instructions on how to turn into a true life vampire. Somehow I think those pages would be totally void of anything resembling facts.

If anyone's wondering, here's how I search out facts online.

1) I don't take anything at face value. If a page says their information comes from a trusted source, I look for a link going to that trusted source. If they don't have a link then I go to the source and search the information there. Anyone can say they got their information from WHO or Snopes or a big newspaper. I want to see their proof. If I told you that I know that Big Foot is alive and well and living in the Rouge Valley (he was seen in the McDonalds on Kingston Road), would you believe me? After all I read about it in the Toronto Star.

2) Look at where the information is. If you're researching something specific (especially medical research) and the only proof available is someone's personal blog, chances are you should run like hell. Run faster if they're selling the cure. Flag down a taxi and bolt if they claim the information's only on their site because the media AND the medical profession are all holding a vast conspiracy and the blogger is the only person able to share the *truth*.

Seriously. If you managed to get all the media and/or medical profession together in one place (I don't even want to know the logistics of this), chances are they'd only agree on a couple of things 1) the date and 2) where they were. And, most likely, people would argue over that too. Think about it... Fox News, Huffington Post, The Toronto Star, and The Sun are all media... do you really think they're all conspiring together?

3) A picture means nothing and the more graphic and heart-tugging the picture is, chances are it's false. You get an email or a message on Facebook and the picture is a small child, covered in bandages and bruises... and that child needs your help. Human nature urges you to provide that help. But stop and think for a second first. Even if the child is real and you can help, a couple of minutes on Google is not going to hurt. Check Snopes and if you can't find anything there, check other urban legend sites. Search the child's name, or the hospital, or the location. If none of that information is even available then how much help can you provide? And remember no one is checking your forwards. If the email is claiming someone is donating a monetary amount for each forward (whether it's Facebook, Microsoft, a hospital, or a cancer organization), just delete it.

Also, pictures are faked all the time. Just because you find a picture and it looks real, doesn't mean the photo is real. I've got a photo in my dining room of my son holding my daughter in his hand. They both have wings and are standing in a forest glade. Does anyone here think that really happened? No matter how nifty it looks, if it looks too fantastic to be real, chances are it's not. If you can't verify the picture then don't forward it as true. The photo that comes to mind first is one of a child taking a photo of a cloud shaped like a teddy bear. Of course it was passed along as a real photo, no mention of it being lifted from a movie.

4) If it's too good to be true... We all laugh at the badly written missives sent from across the world to our inboxes in all their various guises. People we've never heard of who, for some reason, have discovered our email address because we're so trustworthy and want to give us millions (either outright or to give to someone else, with us getting a large monetary bonus). And they all can't spell and have lawyers with email addresses. They send out those emails because, sadly, people do fall for them. Then come the people who send out emails claiming to be a friend in need (using the friend's name after hacking that friend's address book), asking for money to be wired because they need help now. If you get a bizarre email from a friend, email them directly and let them know. If you get a link from a friend, email them back and ask if they sent it. Never click on a link until you've verified it.

The saddest one of these is the fake job scam. Someone gets an email from a company regarding their resume. They email back and forth and get offered a job doing something specific like data entry or accounts receivable. The email sounds professional and the person has a company name and title. The company is overseas. Then comes a variety of scams, all aimed at someone who's floundering financially and desperate to find a real job. All sound a *bit* reasonable. Direct deposit information for your paycheque... paying for a background check... answering security questions. One job even claims to set you up as their contact in your country, handling their financial information. The first ones set you up for identity theft and stealing from your bank account. The last one leads you directly into money laundering and/or dealing with multiple bounced cheques from another country.

If someone's going to leave you an inheritance, it will not be by email. You will get real mail and a phone call. You will meet them in person. There will be tonnes of paperwork. And their lawyer will have a full address and an email address that's not by

If you get a job offer, google it. Get an address and phone number and call the number. Find out if the person, who ostensibly sent you an email, works there. If it's real, you will turn up concrete information about the company and the person wanting to hire you. If it's not, you will dig up all sorts of information proving that too. If you're poor at Googling, ask friends. That's how I found out about these scams in the first place. And I'm glad that the person who did get the email, took the time to ask friends before replying.

So basically, read, then read some more, and take it all with a big grain of salt. Happy reading everyone!