Saturday, January 31, 2009

Attention All Desk Jockeys

Being that I sit behind a desk almost all day I found this article quite interesting:

It's not your imagination: Sitting at a desk all day really can make your ass as wide as your swivel chair. In a recent survey by, 49 percent of office workers said they had gained weight at their current jobs, and 28 percent of those had piled on more than 10 pounds. Try these easy adjustments, so you can work 9 to 5 without gaining 10 to 20.

Keep Reading: Whittle While You Work

I love these women.

They are no nonsense, straight to the point, honest, realistic and wickedly hysterical.

Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine teamed up in 1994 to write Ready to Wear, a down-to-earth weekly style guide for The Daily Telegraph. Their phenomenally successful column ran for seven years.

In 2001 they joined the BBC to present What Not to Wear, a makeover programme that entered the national consciousness like no other. The show moved from BBC TWO to BBC ONE running for 5 series and was also broadcast around the world.

Their no-nonsense style books What Not to Wear, What You Wear Can Change Your Life, What Your Clothes Say About You and their latest, The Survival Guide have been number one bestsellers in Britain and the United States and have been translated throughout the world.

10 LBS!!

Its official, I have lost TEN POUNDS!!! And all that in just 31 days!!

January 1: 138 lbs
January 31: 128 lbs
That just proves that with diet and exercise you can and WILL lose weight.

You just have to be honest and take ownership of your situation and you will do it.

I knew I was bloted and retaining water this week so when I saw the Week 5 numbers I was bummed out. But today the sun is shining and the I am so motivated and can't wait to see next weeks results

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A New Form of Chemical Birth Control?

Like eveything else, we are messing up not only the planet, but also out bodies:

New research published in the journal Human Reproduction reveals that women with the highest levels of Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in their blood are 150% more likely to have difficulty conceiving a child.

PFCs are commonly used in non-stick cookware, and eating off non-stick cookware inevitably results in the consumption of these chemicals. Even so-called "diamond" non-stick surfaces are easily scratched. A previous report by NaturalNews exposed the truth about so-called "diamond" non-stick cookware surfaces.

Keep Reading: Non-Stick Cookware Chemicals Cause 150 Percent Increase in Infertility

Keep Reading: Common chemicals found in non-stick frying pans 'can harm fertility

Rev it UP!

Thats it! This week I go for the intervals:

If the recent bout of frigid weather has chased you indoors, you may find yourself working out in unfamiliar territory. Getting your cardio workout in the gym -- as opposed to outside -- takes a bit more savvy than knowing when to pull on the long johns.

Before you look around to see what everyone else is doing, keep in mind that there are plenty of newbies in the gym at this time of year, most of whom aren't the best role models. That being said, it's not always wise to rely on the sage advice of gym veterans either, as even they aren't immune to bad technique or funky training practices.

To help get you on the right track, here are some tips for anyone and everyone who hits the cardio machines at the gym.
Keep Reading: Putting heart and smarts into cardio

Once the domain of elite athletes, interval training has become a powerful tool for the average exerciser. And it's not complicated -- it just means that you alternate bursts of intense activities with intervals of lighter
Keep Reading: Get an energy burst -- add interval training to workouts

The Kid's Don't Have a Chance

U of C study finds early diet critical:

Feeding infants high protein diets between when they are weaned and into early adulthood may set them up for a lifetime battle with obesity and Type 2 diabetes, according to a study being released today from the University of Calgary.

Researchers weaned 60 rat pups onto one of three diets: a high-protein diet, a high-fibre diet or a balanced diet that served as the control. When the pups reached four months of age (considered young adulthood), they were fed a high-fat, high-sugar diet for four weeks.

Rats from the high protein diet group fared poorly; those on the high-fibre diets emerged as the winners.

Keep Reading: Childhood diet affects obesity risk later in life

Baby Einstein is a Crock

Baby Einstein, Baby Genius and Brainy Baby, its all crap & I have always though that (really now, come on, your kid is 4 months old, can't even hold up their head properly, but you think they are getting something out of a flood of annoying songs and flashing lights?? - They don't even know what they are experiencing!).

But now I have a bit more to back me on up that statement:

Far from providing the brain-boosting advantages promised by specialized programs aimed at the youngest viewers, TV time for children under two does more harm than good, according to a newly published review of international research.

"Infant TV viewing is associated with delayed language, with shortened attention spans and with delayed cognitive development," says Dimitri Christakis, a pediatrician and professor at the University of Washington. "The scientific evidence of benefit is just not there and the best available evidence suggests harm."

Keep reading: Baby TV time slows development: Research

Baby Einstein, makers of popular DVDs for infants as young as three months, has stopped billing its videos as educational, following a formal complaint from a U.S. advocacy group that the Disney-owned company was making "false and deceptive" claims that it can give babies a leg up in learning.

Gone are promotional claims that the DVD's such as Baby Wordsworth "fosters the development of your toddler's speech and language skills" and Numbers Nursery will "help develop your baby's understanding of what numbers mean."

Keep Reading: Infant DVDs won't mould a baby Einstein

In August 2007, the Journal of Pediatrics published a preprint version of the results of a study by researchers at the University of Washington on the effects of television and DVD/video viewing on language development in children under two years of age. The study, the second conducted by the same researchers as part of a larger project, was a correlational study based on telephone interviews with parents of children aged 2 to 24 months.

The study's authors, Drs. Frederick Zimmerman, Dimitri Christakis, and Andrew Meltzoff, concluded that, among infants aged 8 to 16 months, exposure to "baby DVDs/videos" — such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby — was strongly associated with lower scores on a standard language development test. This result was specific to baby-oriented educational videos and did not hold for other types of media, and was not related to shared parental viewing. Among toddlers aged 17 to 24 months, the study found no significant effects, either negative or positive, for any of the forms of media that were viewed. Daily reading and storytelling, however, were found to be associated with somewhat higher language scores, especially for toddlers.

Keep Reading: Controversy over effects on language development

Mom, What part of the cow is the hot dog?

Makes me a little nervous, as I was a hotdog maniac when I was little:

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children who regularly eat cured meats like bacon and hot dogs may have a heightened risk of leukemia, while vegetables and soy products may help protect against cancer, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among 515 Taiwanese children and teenagers with and without acute leukemia, those who ate cured meats and fish more than once a week had a 74 percent higher risk of leukemia than those who rarely ate these foods

Keep Reading: Cured meats tied to childhood leukemia risk

Week 5 - Disappointing

Oh well, it was bound to happen. The dreaded Plateau.

I know that I have not missed a work out this week or have slipped in the eating department, but maybe the high stress of this past week and the fact that my whole cycle seems to be a state of insanity, as I have been spotting for the last 3 weeks (I have been on the Pill for over 2 yrs at this point after taking a 5 year break) has something to do with it???

I'm going with that is nothing to worry about and it will sort itself out. I know I will reach my goal and this minor setback will not be an issue.

Weight: 131 lbs
Bust: 36 in
Waist: 30.5
Hips: 40

Week 5 Overall Weight & Inches Loss:

Weight: - 7 lbs
Bust: -2 in
Waist: -2.5 in
Hips: -1 in

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Fads, promises, wonder detoxes, they are everywhere. It can be overwhelming and down right unnerving to know where to start.

Newsweek took the time to help us sift through the bunk and shed some light on the current diet book epidemic:

If you've visited a bookstore this month, you probably weren't able to avoid the giant pyramid of diet books that magically appears right after Jan. 1. Whether you find those titles inspiring or just guilt inducing, one thing is certain: many of them sound too good to be true. And often they are. These popular weight-loss fads usually aren't all that new, but they come around every year with new names—and maybe even a fresh celebrity connection. Here are the six basic diet trends, why they don't work and why they may even be unhealthy. You won't find these exact titles on a shelf near you, but hopefully you'll be able to recognize the gimmick when you see it no matter how it's been tarted up.

Keep Reading: Worst Diet Fads

Do As Your Mother Tells You!

If your Mother (like mine) ever got on your case about slowing down and enjoying your dinner, maybe she was on to something:

People who eat more slowly tend to be thinner. We've heard that one for a long time and now there's some proof it works.

Of 3,300 Japanese adult participants in one study, those who ate fast were nearly twice as likely to be overweight, and those who ate until they felt full -- bad idea -- had twice the risk of being overweight.

Keep Reading: Eating Blindfolded is Catching On

Neat Gadgets

Here are a few other gadgets that can help you figure out all sorts of health and weight loss information:

Desirable Body Weight Calculator

Nutritional Needs Calculator

Calorie Burner Counter Calculator

Interactive Body Guide

I'm a Squash

As bad as that may sound, its not!!

I've always been well aware of the health implications of carrying weight around your waist, especially for us ladies, so when I found this neat little gadget I was eager to see where I fit in.

This is what my Waist-to-Hip Calculator says.

Current Waist: 30.5
Current Hips: 40

Based on the information you provided, your waist-hip ratio is 0.75

You are squash-shaped and seem to store a moderate amount of fat around your abdomen.

What Your Results Mean:

Good for you! Your current waist-hip ratio is not associated with significantly increased health risks. You can continue to maintain a healthy waist-hip ratio with good eating and exercise habits.

In general, the greater your waist-hip ratio, the greater your health risks. One study indicates that women who are apple-shaped are more than three times as likely to develop heart disease than pear-shaped women. Women who are squash-shaped have a greater risk of developing heart disease than pear-shaped women but a lower risk than those who are apple-shaped.

Risk for diabetes also appears to go up in relation to higher waist-hip ratios. A recent study indicates that women with waist-hip ratios of 0.86 (squash-shaped) are three times more likely to develop diabetes than women with waist-hip ratios of 0.70 (pear-shaped).2 Another study suggests that women with high waist-hip ratios are over 14 times more likely to develop diabetes than those with low waist-hip ratios.

Other research has shown that people with higher waist-hip ratios are more likely to develop high blood pressure than those with lower waist-hip ratios.

Having an increased risk for a particular condition does not mean that you will necessarily develop it. However, knowing you may be at an increased risk may encourage you to work with your doctor to make changes that could help lower your risk.

Check yourself out here: Waist to Hip Calculator

More Reading: Yet Another Study In Support of Flat Bellies

Guilty as Charged

I admint, I am always forgetting (or just not wanting) to stretch it out after my workouts.

I know I should and starting with tomorrow workout, I will ... I promise

Have you been skimping on your stretching? When pressed for time, most people skip the stretching portion of their cool down, but that really is a fitness no-no. Keeping flexible is important for staying injury free. You work your muscles and they tighten up. Then you stretch them so your joints stay mobile decreasing the chance of hurting yourself.

Keep Reading: Don't Forget to Stretch

Monday, January 26, 2009

Be Less Effective and Waste Your Own Time ..

Does that sound like something you want to do?

Didn't think so.

So DONT and follow these 10 tips:

1. Must have a Change in Lifestyle
2. Must include a Water Drinking plan BEFORE Meals
3. Must include a systematic plan for reduction of sweetened and diuretic beverages.
4. A Muscle growth program
5. A program that focuses on the growth of the aerobic Type 1 muscle fibers.
6. You must want to lose weight.
7. A Nutrition plan that reflects personal individuality.
8. The plan should never come with food restriction.
9. It must have a component that includes aerobic walking or jogging.
10. The program MUST be sustainable relative to your daily workload and commitments.

Keep Reading: Does Your Weight Loss Plan Include These 10 Essential Steps?

You Are What You Eat

We've all heard that one before right? And we all know its true.

There is no denying that what you put in your mouth will have an effect on your weight and your health.

I found some of the points in this article rather insightful:

It's a common scenario. A slightly overweight person decides to start exercising. She diligently visits the gym and performs her exercises to near exhaustion. After three weeks, she's shocked to step on the scale and find she's gained a pound. Unfortunately, many people unconsciously increase their food intake in the belief that they're burning it off through exercise. While exercise does burn calories and boost the metabolism slightly, the effect isn't dramatic enough to compensate for that extra cream filled doughnut eaten as a reward for exercise.

The way to overcome this common food mistake is to have a healthy eating plan and stick with it. Plan your splurges carefully and keep them within reason. It's fine to reward yourself for exercising but don't always make food the reward.

Keep reading: Common Food Mistakes that Keep You from Losing Weight

Follow Up

To follow up on my last post, I just finished an interesting article on the site:

A clinical trial in Ontario will test a new technology that aims to detect very small breast cancer tumours that may be missed by current screening.

The research project will be based in Hamilton, and will evaluate whether new molecular imaging probes detect tumours earlier than current tests.

The goal is to detect a tumour at an early stage, when it can ber emoved.

Keep Reading: Ontario trial tests new breast cancer detection technology

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Breast Cancer: My Own Story

While reading this article: High Omega-6 Fatty Acid Intake Linked to Breast Cancer, I felt it was time to come out and tell my own story, not one that most people know:

At (almost) 30 years old, sadly I can say, that I have already had my own scare with breast cancer. Luckily it was just a benign cyst, but at the time, it seemed like my life had come to a complete halt.

It was a total fluke that I found the lump in my left breast when I did, as it was a normal Sunday night, with me flaked out on the couch watching re-runs of Beverly Hills 90210. It was the episode when Brenda finds a lump in her breast and, understandably, freaks out.

While I was watching the show, it crossed my mind that I'd never really checked myself out. So I got up off the couch, wandered into the bathroom and started to feel around.

And in 2 seconds, my life seemed to change.

I felt something. And not just a little something, a BIG SOMETHING. It felt like a large marble, moving a bit beneath the skin, but not all over the place. I was shocked and completely taken aback.

And then I became scared ... very, very scared.

My family has a rampant history of cancers and my Nana (Mom's Mom) had been diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before her passing (not cancer related, she had a massive heart attack and passed in here sleep, peacefully). Knowing this only made my fears stronger.

I had no idea what to do. It was 11:00 pm on a Sunday night. My Mom lives 40 minutes away in Mississauga, I have no car and do I even really need to get out there right now? For what? What was that going to do, other than get my Mom all worked up and have both of us in a state?

A few minutes later as I was back sitting on the couch contemplating what to do next my cell rang. It was time for my nightly chat with my far and away boyfriend, Phil (who was living in Vancouver, while I was still in Toronto). I answered with every intention of not mentioning the new findings until I had spoken to my Mom, but when I went to say "Hi Babes!", I barley croaked out a tight "hhhhhhhhi". It was obvious that something was up and he knew this instantly and wants to know what's going on. I didn't know what to say. I had no idea how to say this and I knew that as soon as I did say something then it would be all the more real and I would have to deal with what could be a potentially life threatening situation.

After a few moments of silence, I managed to get a few words out, but not before the tears started to flow. He attempted to calm me down; still not knowing what the heck was going on. I collected myself the best I could and blurted out "I just found a lump in my breast and I am scared shitless".

Silence on the other end of the phone. Clearly, he was just as shocked as I had been when I felt the lump and also didn't know what to say.

Finally, we both managed to get our wits together and started to talk about the new development. We both agreed that there was nothing that could be done at the current time, but that as soon as I got up I was to make an appointment to see my Dr and get things looked at.

I attempted to sleep that night, but as you can imagine that was not an easy feat.

The next day I bailed on work, trekked out to the 'Saug to meet my Mom and went directly to see my Dr, who when I called her in the morning, immediately insisted that I get to her offices ASAP.

Sadly, the Dr did confirm the presence of a lump, and a rather big one at that.

I was sent directly across the street to the mammography clinic to have a mammogram and an ultrasound. And let me just say this, for any woman who has had to have her boobs mashed between to cold glass plates - OW!!!!!!!!!!!! What a process.

Once I was finished being squished and smashed it was off to be greased up for the ultrasound, something I had never thought I would have unless I was preggers.

And again, the lumps presence was confirmed. I was told that because of my age (only 27) that my breast tissue was still very dense and hard to read and that the only way to be sure of what we were dealing with was to biopsy the lump.

Now there is a side note to all of this that I have failed to mention so far: I was scheduled to pack up my life and start a cross country road trip to Vancouver in 7 days. I had already quit my job and signed off on my lease contract, had my bags packed and was ready to go.

Hello?! Can we all agree that this whole new development put a major kink in my plan?

After consulting with my Dr., family and Phil, we all decided that it was still best for me to go on with my plans to move and to have my Dr. in Ontario refer me to a Surgeon in Vancouver to deal with the biopsy and any further developments.

So Wagons West it was and I was off on a new life adventure, both in a positive and negative way.

Throughout the course of the trip I never once let the pending meeting with the Surgeon get me down or wreck our awesome adventures.

Once in Vancouver and settled, it was time to meet with the surgeon for that date with a big needle, something that I was not at all looking forward to.

Phil met me at the Dr's office and waited with me, holding my hand before the procedure.

The nicest, old Dr came out to call me in to the examining room and I was terrified. He asked me to undress from the waist up and put on the surgical gown and lay back. He noted that this was going to hurt but that it was just for a moment and would be over before I knew it.

He started by feeling my breast, trying to locate the lump ... and guess what ... he couldn't find anything ... WTF?? I had just felt it the day before when I was obsessively checking, hoping that all of this was just a really bad dream and nope, it was still there. So where the hell was it now?

He checked some more, reference my charts, mammogram and ultrasound results and looked at me perplexed. Where was this lump that everyone had seen and felt just weeks before??

His deduction was this: It was not a solid cyst, but just a fluid filled cyst that with my menstrual cycle may have become engorged and then drained itself. It was possible that this was something that would reoccur or hopefully, not.

Regardless, I was shocked and beyond relieved. He told me to keep diligent with my self-exams and if anything ever felt wrong or I had any questions to call him.

I then got dressed, and in a fog walked out into the waiting room. Phil was waiting for me and jumped up as I came out of the room, since I had only been in there a few minutes and he had been expecting to be waiting at lease an hour. He asked what was going on, and I my state I didn’t want to get into it in the waiting room with all the other patients around so I simply said “Let’s talk about it in the car” and headed for the door.

Now in hindsight that was probably not the best way to phrase that, as it only got him more concerned, but I was still in shock.

Once in the car, I replayed the events of the examining room for him and watched his face go from total panic to total relief. We hugged (and I cried) and decided that this FANTASTIC new called for a tall, stiff drink.

That was almost 2 years ago and I continue to do my monthly self-checks in conjunction with my menstrual cycle and I am more than happy to report that there has not been one instance of a lump arising again and that I am to be in perfect heath at this time.

Vaccine Shot Causes 500 Percent Increase in Allergic Reactions ...

A few years back when I was re-entering the dating scene, I was advised by my Dr. to think about getting (at the time fairly new) HPV vaccine shot Gardasil.

I chose not to, as I was not planning on bed-hopping, but if the option to get freaky did arise I strongly adhere to the mantra "No Glove, No Love" (when not in a committed relationship).

And now I am starting to think that was one of the best decisions I've made in a while:

(NaturalNews) The "cervical cancer" vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) is between 5 and 26 times more likely to cause severe, potentially fatal allergic reactions in young women than other vaccines, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, Australia, and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Keep Reading: HPV Vaccine Shot Causes 500 Percent Increase in Allergic Reactions Compared to Other Vaccines

Friday, January 23, 2009

mmmmmm Smoothies

I have reconnect with my love of the smoothie, forgetting just how yummy & satisfying they can be.

With a little skim milk, frozen fruit and some protein powder (I'm a chocolate fan myself), it can be the best way to start you day or a great anytime treat. I have them for breakfast a few days a week & as my post-workout treat.

I have taken to keeping frozen sliced bananas (which add a lot of volume and keep the tummy full) raspberries and strawberries my freezer and am now always smoothie ready.

Just a few minutes in the morning and BOOM! You’ve got high protein, low fat drinkable goodness. Plus, they are totally portable. Pour them into a travel mug and you have the perfect Meal-On -The -Go.

AND they have awesome benefits too:

Homemade fruit smoothies are packed with ingredients proven to keep you full for hours: fiber from whole fruits, soy or whey protein, essential fats, wholesome yogurt, etc.

Scientists from the New York Obesity Research Center found that people who used GNC's soy-based shakes lost three times more weight than those who consumed the same amount of calories eating regular food.

Read More:
How Power Smoothies Promote Weight Loss

Here are some great sites for all sorts of recipes that anyone can take on:

I knew it was bad ...

But not this bad:

About two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, putting them at an increased risk for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, osteoarthritis, stroke, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and respiratory problems and even some cancers.
Keep reading: Obesity: America's epidemic

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Week 4 Weigh-In

It's week 4 & I am super stoked to report this week’s numbers:

Weight: 131 lbs
Bust: 36 in
Waist: 30.5
Hips: 40

WOOO HOOO! That an overall weight and inches loss of:

Weight: - 7 lbs
Bust: -2 in
Waist: -2.5 in
Hips: -1 in

Bikini Bod HERE I COME!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kick Those Cravings to the Curb

If you are anything like me, you’ll admit to have daily, if not hourly, cravings for all things bad for you: chocolate, cookies, cupcakes, fries, chips, sour kids … the list goes on. Basically, anything rammed full of carbs or sugar. For me, it’s the refined carbs and anything starchy: potatoes, preferably deep fried, peanut butter and toast, cookies,

Woman’s Health had an interesting article on how to manage these cravings:

If, in the next 30 seconds, you don't think about a gooey slab of warm chocolate cake, Evan Forman, assistant professor of psychology at Drexel University, will mail you a check for a million dollars. Forman loves to pose this mind-screw to his study subjects because he knows that thoughts are like zits—they pop up whether you want them to or not. And that's the problem with cravings. "While there are things you can do to manage cravings, you can't stop yourself from thinking about the foods you love," Forman says.

Unlike run-of-the-mill hunger, cravings—intense desires for certain foods—seem to be linked to our brain's reward system. Emotions, situations, or pleasant associations (Grandma fed you Little Debbie snack cakes) can trigger a craving, says Susan Roberts, Ph.D., director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the Tufts University Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. When you eat a food you crave, your brain releases dopamine, a natural chemical related to pleasure. It's the same reward system you get from sex or illegal drugs, "but it's at much lower concentrations," Roberts says.

So what to do the next time you start jonesing for a pumpkin spice latte when you're already stuffed from lunch? The following stay-slim strategies will boost your ability to just say no. And don't miss "Laws of Lasting Weight Loss" for more craving-cutting tips.

Keep reading: Craving Mad - Outsmart any urge with these stick-to-your-diet tricks

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What's Your BMI?

The magical BMI. We've all heard about it, but do you know what it is?

According to Wikipedia:

The body mass index (BMI), or Quetelet index, is a statistical measurement which
compares a person's weight and height. Though it does not actually measure the
percentage of body fat, it is a useful tool to estimate a healthy body weight based on how tall a person is. Due to its ease of measurement and calculation, it is the most widely used diagnostic tool to identify obesity problems within a population. However, it is not considered appropriate to use as a final indication for diagnosing individuals.[1] It was invented between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing "social physics".[2] Body mass index is defined as the individual's body weight divided by the square of his height. The formulas universally used in medicine produce a unit of measure of kg/m2. BMI can also be determined using a BMI chart, which displays BMI as a function of weight (horizontal axis) and height (vertical axis) using contour lines for different values of BMI or colors for different BMI categories.

I know mine, do you know yours?

Find out here: Body Mass Index

It’s all in our heads

Now this is interesting. A recent study may shed some light on yet another reason why women are vastly different from men:

Faced with their favourite foods, women are less able than men to suppress their hunger, a discovery that may help explain the higher obesity rate for females, a new U.S. study suggests.

Researchers trying to understand the brain's mechanisms for controlling food intake were surprised at the difference between the sexes in brain response.

Gene-Jack Wang of Brookhaven National Laboratory of Upton, N.Y., and colleagues were trying to figure out why some people overeat and gain weight while others don't.

They performed brain scans on 13 women and 10 men, who had fasted overnight, to determine how their brains responded to the sight of their favourite foods. They report their findings in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"There is something going on in the female," Wang said in a telephone interview. "The signal is so much different."

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Pleasant Surprise

Today started off like any other Monday. Up, shower, mix up a protein shake, catch the bus, get to work, check email and voicemail, get going on the daily grind.

Nothing really to report, other than …

This morning at work while I was in the large workroom putting the finishing touches on a listing presentation and having a conversation with one of our graphic designers she asked me what I was doing because I was looking great! To quote her “Erin, you are looking tight”

WELL HELLO! What a compliment!

To know that my hard work is not only making me feel awesome, but that it’s also now being reflected on the outside is more than enough to keep me going.

AND to end the day on a killer note, my fancy new body mass, water level scale arrived.

As soon as I got home I ripped into that bad boy, got it all set up for my height, age and gender and made the first tentative steps on to it … and guess what?

ANOTHER Surprise! My weight registered in at 132.8 lbs!!! That’s a whole 2.7 lbs LESS than I thought I was at.

If I can keep this rate up, then I will no doubt be at my goal on time.

Now, it’s off to the gym - What a great day!

Keep Fit, Stay Sharp

Found an interesting read on the site.

This one hits rather close to home, as it was just 18 months ago that I had the hard, but necessary duty of helping my Dad place my Grandmother into a nursing facility, as she had recently been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia.

The formerly feisty old gal had been suffering with long undiagnosed symptoms and sadly it took a fall in her apartment for her to get the help and treatment she needed. I am happy to note however that she is now doing wonderfully, enjoying her new surroundings and friends, and even though she may not be 100% the lady she used to be, there is still some fire in her eyes.

Being fit and active is not just for the young. Its had long lasting benefits well into the Golden Years.

Being physically fit helps older women stay on top of their mental game, an Alberta study suggests.

In an upcoming issue of the journal Neurobiology of Aging, Marc Poulin of the faculties of medicine and kinesiology at the University of Calgary and his colleagues said they found a clear relationship between physical fitness and cognitive function in 42 healthy women with an average age of 65.

Compared to the sedentary group, those who participated in regular aerobic activity:

* Had resting blood pressure that was 10 per cent lower.
* Showed five per cent better blood flow in their brains when exercising.
* Scored 10 per cent higher on cognitive skill tests, such as memory, speed of thinking and ability to multi-task.

"Being sedentary is now considered a risk factor for stroke and dementia," said
principal investigator Marc Poulin, a physiologist at the University of Calgary.

"This study proves for the first time that people who are fit have better blood flow to their brain. Our findings also show that better blood flow translates into improved cognition."

The implications are "huge" given the aging population of baby boomers, and the number of age-related diseases that affect the brain, such as Alzheimer's, stroke and dementia, Poulin said, "Our results point to a simple intervention — exercise — to delay the onset of age-related brain afflictions."

Keep reading: Why keeping physically fit helps women stay sharp

I profess; I love Woman’s Health Magazine.

It gives straight up information in an easy to read format with no fillers. It’s aimed at helping women get healthy and fit with our specific needs in mind. We’re not like men and what applies to them not always applies to us.

Today I was perusing the site and came across a few articles I thought worth sharing:

Every time you turn around in the supermarket you are bombarded with LOW FAT this and SUGER FREE that, but is it all it’s cracked up to be? Sometimes you can smell the rat a mile off, sometimes it’s not that easy. Here are a few articles that review some of those sneaky foods that you may or may not have known about (some were certainly news to me):

§ 13 Worst "Healthy" Foods in the Supermarket
§ The Best And Worst Breakfast Foods
§ Eat this NOT THAT!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The New Year is the New Me!

Well hello there, thanks for stumbling into my world. Hope you stay a while and take a read.

Let's not mess about and get straight to the point here: I have been waging a personal battle of the bulge for as long as I can remember.

I was an active kid always running about playing with friends and hoping on my bike to explore the neighbourhood trails and creeks and as a teenager I was a committed volleyball player both on the girls Jr. and Sr. teams as well as co-ed teams and tournaments. I was so into the sport I went so far as to go to a volleyball camp for weeks each summer for the duration of high school.

But even still I had always been insecure about my looks and weight. Why, I don’t really know. There had been some negative comments directed toward me over the years as I got more muscular as a teen and I was forever being called a “solid gal”, which to me meant BIG.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it affected me. But I managed to leave high school weighing in at about 127 lbs, a pretty decent size for my frame really. Not thin but also not overweight. I was a fit 127, mostly muscle and next to no body fat. Probably the best shape I have actually ever been in.

Once graduation came and went I moved out and in my mind became and “adult”. At 19 I was living with my boyfriend and a roommate downtown Toronto, taking health science classes at George Brown College, anticipating my future as a RN.

And as we all know, those “Freshman 15” pile on easy when left to a diet of booze, fried foods and minimal activity. There were no college teams at my school and there was no lack of bars and clubs now just outside my door. All and all, it was easy to see, in hindsight, how the weight piled on. By 22, I was creeping up on 145 lbs, which on my small 5 foot frame is quite hefty.

At the time I didn’t really notice, not until I saw a picture of myself with all my chins and rolls. Not a pretty sight. I took notice and with the help of a friend, joined a gym and managed to shed 15 lbs and get back into the jeans of years gone by.

But alas, this did not last forever. Over the next 4 years the weight slowly, but oh so surely, came back. And again, I didn’t see it happening. I knew that I had to go out and buy bigger jeans but the size never fazed me. So what that I was 5’ and in a 34 jean? I was athletic … right? I could not have been more delusional.

It wasn’t until one day, I was out on a photo shoot to commemorate what would be a doomed marriage (that’s a whole other tale for whole other time) that I saw reality once and for all. I was no longer the petite, fit, athletic girl I thought I was. I was a 100% fatty. I finally seen the light, had an epiphany of you will. I knew that if I didn’t do something right then and there it was all over.

So I did. I took control and make some MASSIVE changed to my lifestyle and eating habits and adopted the teachings of the G.I. Diet.

Within 18 months I had lost almost 50 lbs, bringing my weight down from 161 lbs to a reasonable 112 lbs. Now that may sound like a tiny number, but again, remember that I am all of 5 feet tall.

I was ecstatic. It was the smallest I had ever been. I could wear whatever I wanted, nothing caused the dreaded “Muffin Top” and my confidence was through the roof.
And that was the case for the next 2 years. I stayed on track, keep an eye on what I ate and continued to feel great.

But then my life took a turn I had not expected. I became involved in a very emotional divorce and in an attempt to comfort myself I hit the fridge. Hello Old Friend, it’s been a while.

At first I was a slow gain, just a couple of pounds here and there. And I though “Ok, so what? 112 lbs was pretty tiny anyways. So long as I am under 127 (the high school weight) I’m fine.” And I just rationalised it away.

Once the divorce was on its way to completed, I started to feel better about myself again and broke up with my daily meeting with the fridge and freezer and actually lost a few pounds. I even decided to move across the country to start my life over again. And along with that a few more dropped of.

But then it happened … I feel in love again. Not something that I had been looking for, but welcomed with open arms. And we all know what happens when you’re happy and in love … you get FAT! What the hell is that all about anyways?

And so we are, begining the journey all again, the struggle of my life that this time I am determined to conquer once and for all.

It’s been almost 2 years since I left Toronto to make a new life in Vancouver and in that time I have managed to jump from 125 to my current weight of 135.5. (When I started the weight loss program I was actually at 138 but have lost 3.5 lbs in 2 week – Yes I’m a bit behind on the launch of this blog, but as you can see I have been busy)

Sure, that may not sound like a lot, but when I can’t get into the jeans I bought just last fall, its clear I have some work to do.

Hence this blog, it is my way of being openly accountable for my weight loss journey.

I evaluated the situation and set myself some goals:

To be 110 lbs (the BMI that is perfect for someone my height and frame)
To achieve that weight loss in a safe and permanent way
Goal Date: April 14. 2009 (14 weeks – not an unreasonable expectation at a 2 lb loss per week)

I’m already in my 3rd week of the “New Erin Program” and have been at my exercise regime 3 times a week: 30 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of abs and upper body free weight and balance ball exercises. And you know what? I don’t hate it at all. I have always sworn that I am not a “Gym Person” and that it’s just not for me, but something is different this time. Maybe it’s because I am older now (I only have a few weeks left to call myself a twenty something), or maybe it’s because I am more aware of the health implications, or maybe it’s because I’m just simply tired of not fitting into my dang clothes!!

Regardless of the reason, this is the plan and I’m sticking to it. I have a goal that I am determined to reach.

I’ll post weekly as I do my weekly weight ins and measurements.

Wish me luck!!

Week 1: (January 1, 2009)
Weight (lbs) - 138
Bust (cm) - 38
Waist (cm) - 33
Hips (cm) - 41

Week 2: (January 8, 2009)
Weight (lbs) - 138*
Bust (cm) - 37
Waist (cm) - 33
Hips (cm) - 41
*My current scale is messed up and is putting my weight all over the place, this week telling me I have lost 10 lbs (I wish!) so a new one is on its way – A fancy digital body mass, water level deal.

Week 3: (January 15, 2009)
Weight (lbs) - 135.5
Bust (cm) -
Waist (cm) - 33
Hips (cm) - 41