Saturday, July 27, 2013

6 ounces!

A couple of months ago I seemed to be playing around with 2oz, I would lose 2 oz, gain 2 oz, lose 2 oz and on and on it went.  Well....this time around it's 6 oz.  Since my weigh in June 21st to Friday's weigh in on July 26, 6 oz keep showing up, getting lost and reappearing!

I was up 6 oz this week!  I had a massive loss two weeks ago, followed by a little loss last week, so I was expecting to be either the same or a smidge down or a smidge up so I'm not too worried about the 6oz.  Add into the whole mix a lunch out at a restaurant on Thursday afternoon with some awesome volunteers, and having no ankles due to the heat and I'm actually glad that it was only 6oz.

I've always retained water easily.  Eat a pickle gain 3 pounds of water weight.  Get hot, lose my ankles and my fingers swell up.  It has been something I've been dealing with since high school when my feet swelled so much inside my boots that two of my friends had to cut the boots off of my feet for me!    A few weeks ago, the swelling in my feet got to be too much, I couldn't get a pair of shoes on to save my life and the water retention was causing pretty painful leg cramps.

My family doctor suggested compression socks as a resolution/aid in the whole thing.  I went to my local running store and picked up this snazzy pair of compression socks.
I love how they put a grey L and R at the toes so you would put them on the right foot!
I can honestly say I think it is the best money I have spent in a long time.  My feet have been so bad this past week, that I'm coming home from work and fighting to get them on, and once they are on I instantly feel relief.  The burning stinging sensation leaves and I'm actually comfortable again within an hour.  The other night in the middle of the night, my feet were swollen, my ankles were gone and my feet hurt so badly that I was in tears.  I managed to get the compression socks on at 2am in the dark and after about an hour was comfortable enough that I was able to finally go to sleep.

Today is another of those days.  I woke up this morning with sore feet and legs but I wanted to go for my walk with Angus, so on went the compression socks and I had a great walk.  We didn't break any speed records as Angus was not in the mood to do intervals today, although I did drag him along with me when I tried to run (tried being the operative word when you have a dog trotting along behind you moaning and groaning with every step).  After getting home and showering I was heading over to take my mom shopping and decided to just wear my regular old socks.  I don't mind the bright pink socks, but they didn't quite go with the blue shirt I was going to wear :)

Half way through our running around I told my mom that I had to stop by my house and pick up my socks for when I took her home.  My legs and feet were killing me and were so sensitive to the socks I was wearing that it was painful to walk. When we got back to my parents house, after hauling all the shopping in, the very next thing I did was put my compression socks on.  It was struggle as my feet were swollen but after a few minutes of grunting and tugging I finally had them on.  Within an hour, the horrendous ache in my feet and legs was gone.  I am so thankful that I finally found something to give me a little bit of relief.  I fully realize I need to go to the doctor to let him know that the socks are helping but that the swelling and the pain are getting worse.  It's been about a month since the severe pain started.  I just need to figure out what's happening with my poor tender tootsies!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Giving up the Gym

Recently while looking at our monthly budget, my husband and I made a mutual decision to give up the gym.  It costs us over 100.00 a month and neither of us are able to get there on a regular basis.    So I know some people are going to say, she's done for, she's going to start gaining weight, or what a silly decision giving up the gym!

But it's not a silly decision for us.  When we joined the gym, I worked just a few blocks from it and I would go two to three times a week, and every Saturday or Sunday with my husband.  When I took the contract for my current position, we knew it was going to be a waste of money but we had signed a 2 year contract so we were stuck with it.  I would go to the gym once a week for their Zumba class, until they moved it to an earlier time it wasn't possible for me to attend anymore.  Then it got that I just popped in when I felt like.

I attribute my weight loss to getting moving, my midday walks at work and my long walks on the weekends.  Add in that I'm doing starting to do intervals and I think I'm doing pretty good.  So yes, we're giving up the gym.

However,  mother nature has provided us with all of the equipment we need!

Mother Nature's Variety setting on the Stairmaster
Mother Nature's natural Stairmaster

Mother Nature's Treadmill
Mother nature's Hill Climb setting on the Treadmill
A great fitness buddy!

Who needs to pay for  a gym when you can have all of this for free?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Great week!

Wow that week went by so fast!  There was all sorts of activity, a night out with my co-workers, date night with my husband and a good weigh in.  It's nice to know that I can face challenges and come out ahead!

The week did really go by so quickly.  Monday and Tuesday were super busy at work and on Tuesday I didn't get my mid day walk in, but I made up for that in the evening.  I've discovered that I have to have a contingency plan in place so that I can be successful.  Wednesday was a great day for activity and managing a challenge.  My Boss at work celebrated her 50th birthday last week and as a group a decision was made to take her to a spin class taught my another of our coworkers and then drinks and appy's afterwards.    I didn't feel that I was up for a spin class, I'm getting in shape, but to be perfectly honest, my caboose is still much bigger than the average person's and I don't think I would have had the stamina to keep up.  I decided that instead, while they were at spin class I would go for a power walk and then meet up with them.   So after work, when everyone else headed out for the spin class, I found myself power walking through downtown.  I decided to walk to the restaurant to scope out the parking situation and then back to the office to change and get the actual car.  I did about 3km's in just under 40 minutes which was great.  ( ).

Then for dinner I had scoped out their menu before hand and knew that I was going to order a salad with a grilled chicken breast on it.  I had salad for lunch, so I knew that I needed to get some protein in.  Here's where having a contingency comes into place.  We got the restaurant to find out that their oven had died and that they couldn't serve quite a few of their menu items.  One of the items was what I had chosen for dinner.  I had to change my plan and was a little nervous as I was trying to stay as close to on plan as I could, especially considering that I had weigh in under 48 hours!

Turns out I didn't have anything to be nervous about.  The points I had available for my dinner were 22, and I ended up using 16..  That made me feel great.

It paid off on Friday, when I went to weigh in I was down a pound!  I'm only 2 oz away from having lost 65 pounds.  So yes, those pesky 2oz have shown up again, but that's all right, I'll show them who's boss next week!

Step Count this Week
Saturday 13,545
Sunday   15,141
Monday 12,789
Tuesday 9,862
Wednesday 17,218
Thursday 14,748

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


It's no surprise that I've had a couple of difficult weeks with my weight loss.  I had two weeks of gains, followed by a huge loss on Friday.  A loss that I was very thankful for.  Something else happened on Friday.  I gained a little bit of perspective of what I've done in the past six and a half months.

When I first started working in Vancouver,  I secretly dreaded taking the train.  It wasn't because it was a long ride (70 minutes) or that the hours were long (leave the house at 610am get home at 630pm), it was the stairs that I had to do when I got to the train station.  The parking lot is on one side of the train tracks, the platform on the other.  You have to go up a series of steps (86 on one side, 82 on the other) and along a walk way to get from point A to point B.

I had a hard time with the stairs.  I would huff and puff my way up.  Walk slowly to catch my breath along the walk way, walk down the other side and think whew!  I made it!  I would then go to my pod and sit there still huffing and puffing for a few minutes.  It was a challenge to get my 300+pounds up and down those stairs.

I've been noticing that the stairs are much easier, I wouldn't say I breeze up them, but I don't have to stop and I'm no longer huffing and puffing my way up and down them.  There's no need to catch my breath or to sit huffing and puffing all the while hoping that no one is noticing how heavy I'm breathing.

At least until Friday.  When I came home from work on Friday I had a SWAG kit for one of the Dragon Boat Teams that we sponsor.  The kit weights roughly 30 - 35 pounds and shipping for the kit is about 50.00.  Since I live where the kit was going to I volunteered to take it home and drop it off at the Dragon Team Captains house.   As I was going up and over the stairs carrying the kit,  I got to the top and thought to myself Hey, I'm a little winded, I haven't had this feeling in a long time.  And that's when it dawned it on.  I have lost the equivalent of two of these kits.  Looking at this package I was carrying it dawned on me just how far I've come.

Yes I was hard on myself last week when I gained.  Yes, I was frustrated and disappointed with the turn of events.  But coming home from work on Friday with that kit, gave me the perspective I needed.  I've done well, and I'll continue to do well as long as I stay focused and don't give up.  It's kind of nice to know that a SWAG kit gave me the perspective that I truly needed.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bouncing Back

I had a very challenging week this week, I took it back to basics, weighing and measuring everything, recording every BLT (Bite, Lick, Taste) and I put in a lot of activity.  I went back to doing my intervals and I hoped for the best when it came to weigh in on Friday morning.

I was glad to be at my regular WW meeting.  It felt good to see my usual leader and the great assistant's that weigh everyone in.  When I got up to the scale my leader mentioned that he missed me last week.  I explained that I was off but I went to the meeting at home and I had gained over 3 pounds and it didn't make any sense to me.

The first thing he asked was did I do something different activity wise.  I told him that I had my 5km race on Monday and on Thursday we had gone on a 6km hike.  He nodded and said that the gain made sense then.  My leg muscles were probably holding onto water as I had used them so much and used them doing things I don't normally do.  He smiled and said that I would probably have a decent loss this week and he was ready when ever I wanted to stand on the scale.

I was nervous getting on, because I really did want to believe that it had been water weight and that everything would bounce back into place.   Well bounce back it did, with a resounding 7.8 pound loss!  Not only did I make up for the two weeks of gains but I lost a little extra just for good measure!  I was so happy to see that number move back down, and my total weight loss go up to 63.8 pounds.  I was so relieved!

This morning I took Angus for our usual Saturday morning walk.  Some days he isn't in the mood to walk, and other days he is.  I did my intervals earlier this week without him and I wasn't planning to do any intervals today.  However, Angus had other plans this morning.  He was in the mood to trot along and that's just what he did.
Angus leading the way.
Usually when we're walking on the country road he's right beside me or a little bit behind me but today he was out in front most of the way.  I don't know what got into him but we ended up doing intervals as I was walking so quickly to keep up with him.

Intervals along the country road
It was great to do the intervals and we did fairly well.  Angus had a little bit of an issue with the people picking blueberries along side of us at one of the farms.  He seemed to feel the need to bark at all of them as we passed them row upon row.  For some reason, he can't seem to walk/run and bark at the same time.  Once we got past the farm it was full speed ahead again.

It was a great morning for a walk, and we did our 3.25km walk in 40 odd minutes.  I think that was pretty good considering we had to stop for a couple of street lights along the way.  I've misplaced my heart rate monitor somewhere in the house.  We've searched high and low and can't find it so I've been judging my walks based on my pace.  Today our moving pace was 11:54 per minute, our best pace during intervals was a 7:35km pace.  Pretty good I think.  I wish I had set my Garmin up for intervals before we left, but as I said it wasn't on the agenda today.  I may set it for intervals tomorrow morning, just to see if Angus is in a cooperative mood or not.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A weekend of getting Refocused

Friday's weigh in really threw me for a loop.  I was so upset with myself for having gained that I took some time in the afternoon to go back over my tracker the past two weeks to see if I could see where I was going wrong. 

It was as I was looking at all of my entries over the past few weeks that I realized I wasn't really doing anything wrong, but I wasn't giving it my all.   I think I had become complacent in my journey.  I wasn't paying as much attention to my portion sizes, I wasn't listing everything that I was eating and maybe I was giving myself too much credit for the activity that I was doing.  Did I really earn those 16 activity points?  Yes, I went hiking and we were gone for 2 hours, but was I working hard those full two hours?  Was I working up a sweat?  Was I exerting myself to the nth degree?  Probably not.

I've refocused what I'm doing.  I'm back to measuring, and weighing everything that I'm eating.  Friday night was date night, my husband headed over to the golf course driving range and then we were having dinner there.  I chose to walk the 2km's to the golf course.  I chose my dinner by opting for season fruit instead of fries or caesar salad with my dinner.  When we went to the movies, I bypassed the soft drink and took water instead.  I asked for a tray so that I could measure out some popcorn from my husbands bag and count the points accordingly.  Saturday and Sunday I started the day with a quick walk with the dog.  By quick I mean fast paced for 45minutes.  I'm truly working up a sweat on my walks, and it's not because it's warm out but because my heart rate is up and I'm walking as fast as I can.  I had become complacent with what I was doing that I lost my focus.

I'm refocused, energized and ready to rock this weight loss.  The gain last week didn't bring me down, it made me more passionate to be successful.

Friday, July 5, 2013


I'm confused.  I'm off work today so instead of going to my regular WW meeting in Vancouver, I went to the meeting here in Abbotsford.  I've had a great week of eating and a tonne of activity.  I earned 15 activity points on my hike alone yesterday, according to the Garmin I burned almost 1600 calories yesterday on our hike.  I was expecting a loss this week, with the amount of activity I put in, I was expecting to lose what I gained last week and maybe a little bit more.

Instead I had to fight back the tears as I read my log book.  I gained!  AGAIN!  Bigger.  I gained 3.2 pounds this week.  I don't know how.  I don't know why.  I'm at a total and complete loss.  I didn't have a single day where I went over my points.   In fact I had a few days where I didn't use all of my points.  But the fact of the matter is, in two weeks I have gained over 5pounds.  That to me is huge!

I'm frustrated and confused and I do wish that I was in town today so I could speak to my usual leader. I know that he would be able to sit down and help me work through where I'm going wrong.  There has to be a reason for it,  I just don't know what it is.

My initial reaction was anger.  Why am I putting so much work into this if I'm not going to see any results.  I've put so much effort into my activity and watching what I'm eating.  I've gone without things because I didn't have the points, only to gain weight anyway. 

I'm terribly frustrated today, but I'm not going to let that ruin the great week I've had.  Although the great week didn't show itself on the scale today, it's showing in the way I feel. 

I will stay on plan, I will stay on track and I will figure this out.

Big difference in the little things.

I've noticed lately a big difference in the little things that I do.  I walk every day now, a year ago that wasn't the case, yes I walked the dog, but it was a short little fifteen minute walk around the block.  Now we go for almost an hour at a time.  Better for me, better for the dog.

The week I started at my job,  there was a welcome lunch down at a restaurant on the waterfront.  I wasn't able to keep up with everyone else although I felt like I was walking as fast as I could.  On the way back to the office, it was uphill and I was out of breathe and trying not to let the others see that I was huffing and puffing.  Now that hill is part of my daily walk, I walk it purposely so that I remember how out of breath I was walking it that first day and how easy it is for me to walk today.

I used to have a hard time keeping up with my friend and co-worker on the way to work from the train station, again up hill and I didn't want her to see me huffing and puffing.  I started taking the skytrain so that I wouldn't have to try to keep up with her.  The skytrain pops us out behind our building.  No hills and no huffing and puffing.  If you didn't count the stairs we had to climb, which would leave me out of breath.  I walk to work from the train with the exception of really wet days, if I do take the skytrain, I do those stairs with ease.  The best part, I'm able to keep up with her now!

Take the dog and my husband and go for a 6km hike the same week I did a 5km race.  Never would have crossed my mind as I simply wouldn't have done either.
Around the 3km mark, and still going strong.

Except I do that now!  I did the Canada Day Rock on the Rock on Monday and on Thursday, took the day off to spend with my husband.  We didn't want to sit around the house, so we took the dog and off we went looking for some trails to walk.  We eventually ended up at Hicks Lake, just east of Harrison Hot Springs.  There is a mountain trail that is 6km's around.  The guide book suggested it would take 2 hours to do.  We did it in just under that.    I felt really good doing it, there were sections that were quite steep and I wasn't huffing and puffing my way up the hills.  My husband didn't have to slow down for me or wait for me.  We kept a good pace on route and the dog had a great time.  

At the 4km mark.

The big difference I noticed, how happy I am in the pictures, I'm feeling better, and clothes that were too tight to wear last summer, are actually too big on me now.  That's a big difference in the little things.

Back at the Car 6km later.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Canada Day Rock the Rock 5K Recap


What a beautiful day to have my second official 5K race.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue and it finally feels like summer has arrived!

The alarm clock went off bright and early at 6am for me to jump out of bed and get ready for race day.  I was very excited but a little nervous as well.  My husband and I drove out to White Rock to pick up my race kit yesterday and we decided to check out the route.  The volunteer at the kit pick up said that the 5K route was easy but there were a couple of hills along the way.  There went my hope that the race was actually going to be along the waterfront on the promenade but oh well, you can't have everything.

When we arrived we managed to get parking right at the park which was nice.  We were a little early so we stayed in the car for a bit and then headed up to the road for the warm up.  I was expecting a staggered start as that is what the website said, however I guess the Emcee changed the plan and had us all line up at once.  As I was a 5k'r and a walker I headed towards the back of the line and I'm fairly certain I was one of the last people to start.

I walked a pretty steady pace until I hit the 1km mark and then I started adding in my intervals.  I didn't do a lot of running as 1, it was UPHILL, and 2.  It was hot!  While I was on the flat stretch at about 1.5-2 km's I did my intervals and tried to keep up with a couple that were ahead of me but they were walking much quicker than I was.  I did manage to pass a few people as I walked so at least I knew I wasn't the slowest one in the field today :)

The route was a 2.5km loop, before I even made it to the 2km sign the 5K Runners were already heading past me.  That took a little bit of wind from my sails for a little bit but I kept plugging along.  I was very thankful that I took my own water bottle with me today.  I was drinking before the 1km mark and the only water station was at the turn around.

I struggled a little bit with the hill on the way out, it was a little steeper than I was expecting it to be but I managed to keep my pace steady at a 12:05 pace while going up it.  I made up a little bit of time going down but as I went down I got a little worried, I was going to have to go back up this hill!  The 2km mark was the beginning of the hill, the 3km mark was half way up the hill.

The hill just kept going and going and going!

The scenery was beautiful coming down the hill towards the park.  I don't know why I didn't notice it before then, I guess I was focusing on making it up the hill, keeping my pace and my breathing . My asthma kicked in a little bit, I think because of the heat and the hills but I didn't have to stop to use my inhaler so I'm happy with that.

Lovely scenery coming down the hill

Once we made it down the hill, we had one more incline to go up, I won't call it a hill because after the hills in the middle of the course it wasn't a hill, just an incline.  As I started up the incline I had a lot of 10K runners passing me.  Several called out good job as they passed me and one man patted me on the shoulder as he went by telling me to keep up the good work we were almost done.  That gave me some energy to get my pace up again.   Before I knew it my wonderful husband was on the sidewalk holding his hand up for a high five as I started down the finishing chute.

I was so happy to be finished.  It took me longer than the Abbotsford Police Challenge but not as long as I figured.  My goal was to finish in an hour and ten minutes.  I finished the Rock on the Rock in 58:20.
Wahoo!  Beat my goal time by 12 minutes

I'm also very proud of my finisher's medal.  It made me feel really good to have that volunteer hand my medal and tell me Great Job as the Emcee announced my name after crossing the line.
Glad to be done, very happy with my time!
Then to top it off, my name was announced as one of the door prize winners.  I won a Brita Water bottle with a filter in it!  We hung around for a little while, had some breakfast and listened to the band before we headed home.  It was a great experience and I've already signed up for my next race  The Rubber Ducky 5K in October.