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On the Road to Healthy - Part 1

Sunday, October 06, 2013

My mother and I share similar histories of gaining weight. Both of us were slim from childhood to young adults. And, we both gained weight after we got married and we both gained weight after we quit smoking but she also gained weight from bearing 5 children, which I didnít.

In August 1998, my mother was dying from lung cancer and she was losing weight. She jokingly said to me that sheíd always wanted to lose weight but this wasnít exactly the way she had been thinking. But, then she also said that she didnít want me to lose my weight the same way.

When I was a teen, I ate whatever I wanted as a teen but given that we lived in an area that didnít have public transit and given that our family only had one car and 3 teenage girls vying for it, I found it was just easier to walk everywhere so I did.

My weight gain started when I got married. My marriage start weight was 130.

We each had a car and so we didnít walk everywhere anymore. And, we both loved food so we ate whatever, whenever and however much we wanted. Within the first 5 years we were married, I gained 50 pounds. And, then in 1988, I quit smoking and gained another 50 pounds. And, then just randomly over the years between 1984 and 1998, I gained a further 30 pounds so in 1998 when my mum said that she didnít want me to lose weight with a terminal illness the way she did, I weighed 260 pounds.

The way that my mum persuaded me to do this was by offering to pay for me to go to Weight Watchers. So, I agreed and I went. At the end of the first week after I had followed the plan perfectly, my second weigh-in was a shock because I had actually GAINED 4 pounds! And, I stayed there for SIX WEEKS! Now, a lot of people would have given up at this point but my mum was very encouraging and told me it would come and to just stay with it. Unfortunately, the first week I actually lost on the scale was because my mum had died in November 2008 and I just couldnít eat. I quickly found out that I canít eat when Iím upset/ stressed/crying, et cetera.

However, that said, between 1998 and 2003, I lost 70 pounds in total and I was probably happier more of the time than sad.

To be continued...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 10/11/2013 7:52AM

    Thank you for sharing our story! Way to honour your Mother's memory by turning your life around!
I too, was a skinny child and young adult. It wasn't until the second, more severe flare up of my RA when it attacked most of my joints that I got laid up and was unable to exercise that I started packing on the pounds. Was a Rollar coaster ride after that!
Looking forward to hearing more!

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JMOUSE99 10/9/2013 9:59AM

    emoticon thanks for sharing!

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NANABNANA11 10/9/2013 9:17AM

    Thanks for sharing your story Joanna.....you are such an inspiration to me and your Mom would be SO proud!

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SEATTLE58 10/8/2013 10:58PM

    I can see and feel your determination in your story so far and I know that it will continue to be felt big-time! emoticon emoticon emoticon I admire you so much much for your perseverance through thick and thin! I admire you for how much you exercise and can! Wish that I could do it too like you. Keep pushing! emoticon emoticon

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SPACEYSTACY 10/7/2013 8:59PM

    Wow! You lost an amazing 70 lbs! I don't even recognize you in the "before" picture.

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 10/7/2013 4:38PM

    We are so alike in some ways it's scary. I was also skinny when young. I gradually put on my weight over the years. However, it took me being diagnosed with RAD to make me take it seriously. That and hitting an all time high, just 1 pound from a weight I'd sworn not to be, because my grandmother died of diabetes complications and weighed about that weight.

I'm glad you didn't give up and kept moving forward, even when you probably didn't want to. Congrats on your successful loss and getting healthier.

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ROCKPORT9 10/7/2013 11:50AM

    You have been on quite a journey. It looks like you have strongly recmmitted to health and have been losing. I can't wait to hear more. Hugs, Laurel

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GLASSART43 10/7/2013 10:32AM

    You are taking care of yourself and doing well. emoticon

I agree, your mother would be happy and proud.

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LADYJ6942 10/7/2013 9:25AM

    Thank you for sharing your story and woo hoo on 70lbs. That is something to be very proud of.

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DEDICATED2HIM 10/7/2013 7:25AM

    thanks for sharing Joanna. Me too. Skinny. I didn't weigh 100 lbs soaking wet as a teen. Life happens. And it all affects our relationship with food. For me it was numerous hospitalizations on IV steroids ....I gained weight with every hospitalization. A bout of encephala spinal meningitis got me VERY thin...but again I wouldn't recommend that either!

Somehow we have to find a way to maneuver our way amongst the tangled path either of us travels, withOUT letting it determine our weight. Not easy.
You are off to a wonderful start. Your dedication to exercise has impressed me. Now if I could just siphon off some of your energy and commitment.....

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VERA_LU 10/6/2013 9:03PM

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. That is amazing that you were able to lose 70 pounds - and that you didn't give up! Keep up the great work! emoticon

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LINDA! 10/6/2013 7:45PM

    I can identify with your youth. I also never had a problem with weight as a young person. I gained after bearing children, eating too much and sitting all day in an office setting, etc. My parents passed away and I also gained.

I think it is wonderful that you have lost weight. I know that your mother would be happy for you. emoticon Keep going!

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Best Laid Plans

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Yesterday morning, I went grocery shopping with my MIL and then the plan was to come home, eat lunch, have a nap, sit on the deck and enjoy the sunshine while reading and then get ready to meet up with DH's family for dinner before the Canadian National Sprint Car Races. Ever heard about best-laid plans?

First of all, I got an email from my BIL just before I went for my nap saying that he was sick and didn't think he could come. Bummer. He said he had the chills and shakes so I told him to take care of himself and I'd see if I could get a couple of nephews to take the tickets. However, not only were he and his GF supposed to come with us but he was supposed to drive DH's cousin in from Toronto as well. So, he said the cousin could borrow his car if he still wanted to go and he would try to get hold of him.

In the meantime, I went for a short nap because I really was tired but it was hard to sleep thinking of all this. I had been looking forward to seeing all of them and I hadn't made a backup plan. After I got up from my nap, I texted Mark (the cousin) telling him that Tavis (the BIL) was sick and couldn't come but that Mark could borrow his car if he still wanted to come or he could catch the train and DH would pick him up at the station and that's eventually what happened because Mark didn't exactly know how to get to our area driving.

After talking to Mark, I decided to go outside and sit on the deck and enjoy the sun for awhile and read because who knows how many more nice days we were going to get. But, our neighbour was running a wood chipper and it was extremely loud and annoying so I ended up going inside because it was just too annoying. I told DH that just once I'd like to get a neighbour who was quiet on the weekends. Our last neighbour had a dog who barked all the time when we were outside. It's enough to drive someone crazy!

In the meantime, I had 2 extra tickets that I had paid $45 each for and I wanted someone to use them. DH was at the McMaster University football game with my niece and nephew, their parents and my dad so I texted him to ask him to ask if anyone with him wanted to come to the races with us that night but no one did so then I called and texted my other local sister and her eldest son to see if he and his younger brother wanted to come with us? I got a call back saying that Alexander (the older brother) would come but his brother didn't think it was a good idea because they wouldn't get home until midnight and he thought that was too late for him (he's 12 - I thought this was pretty mature of him). But, I was happy that at least one of the two tickets was going to be used.

In the meantime, DH had come home from the game and was racing around trying to figure out what he was going to wear to the races and packing warm clothing and a blanket for others and him to use if what they wore wasn't warm enough.

And, our dinner plans had to been changed because DH was picking Mark up at the train station at 5:45 and then his mum at 6:20 and then me around 6:30 and then we had to go get Alexander and then head to the races because they started at 7:30. So, we decided we would just get something from the concession stand for dinner (not the healthiest option but if we wanted to get there on time, there really wasn't another option).

However, I actually decided to eat my rice and cucumber/nectarine salad while DH was gone picking up his family so I wasn't even that hungry at the race although, I did buy some caramel coated popcorn and had that at intermission. Oh well, I did stay in my calories for the day but not by much.

The races were good but I was freezing. It was around 55 but with a wind coming from my left (my left side was on the aisle) so I was cold. I was wearing jeans with tights on underneath plus a t-shirt, two fleece hoodies and a hat.

My friend, Mike actually builds engines for sprint cars and that's why we were there and for the final race, two of his cars had qualified in the previous races and were in the top 10 for the last race, which involved 30 cars doing 35 laps of an oval 3/8th mile dirt track. So that was pretty good.

Sprint cars weigh about 1200 pounds, have about 170 horsepower and go about 140 mph and it's way cool!

Unfortunately, first one of Mike's cars ran into the wall and then the second one had a spectacular crash with another car that ran into it. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 9/16/2013 6:09PM

    WOW! Crazy stressful, but you handled it beautifully. Glad you got to enjoy the evening at the races. Glad no one was hurt.

PS. Checked out the NerdFitness site... of course I loved it. LOL

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DEDICATED2HIM 9/16/2013 8:46AM

    I'm glad you got to go despite the snaffoo. It sounds like a good time. It's been cool here too. I think summer is finally gone. :(

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ANGEL1066 9/15/2013 11:09PM

    Sounds pretty exciting to me! Glad you are adaptable, and managed to enjoy most of it.

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_LINDA 9/15/2013 9:13PM

    What a disruptive day! Glad it mostly worked out for you in the end. Sorry your friend's cars crashed :( I sure couldn't tolerate cold like that. Its the one thing I hated about trying to be supportive of the old high school football team -it always seemed to be so cold at those games!!
Enjoy what is left of your evening!

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MABELL1WFTX 9/15/2013 8:40PM

    Wow what a change in plans. When I was a teen (some 56 years ago) my dad ran stock cars on a dirt round-de-round track. I got brave and ran with the men one night, but gave that up for running the powder puffs. Lots of fun and adrenilin flowing.

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SEATTLE58 9/15/2013 7:04PM

    How fun for you with having some of your relatives with you! And, I'd say that you did marvelous at the races with the eating! emoticon

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JMOUSE99 9/15/2013 5:00PM

    Got to say that watching cars go round and round while freezing is not my cup of tea, but glad you enjoyed it when you finally got there. And way to go on avoiding the concession!

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GLASSART43 9/15/2013 3:25PM

    Exciting race, Joanna.

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RORYLYONS 9/15/2013 2:23PM

    Wow a day full of busy plans... Glad everything worked out and nobody was hurt at the races......Down my way it will but be over 100 degrees. Thank goodness for air conditioners. emoticon emoticon

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CREEKLADY1 9/15/2013 2:19PM

  So glad your friend was not injured. My son loves the Sprint Car Races.

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BLC22 Success & Areas to Improve

Monday, August 26, 2013

1. What is my goal for between rounds?

My goal is to maintain my weight loss and to continue to exercise more days than not. And, of course, I will continue to track my food and fitness.

2. Identify at least one thing you did right in the last 12 weeks.

Overall, I've been consistent with my exercise. I've only missed 7 days of exercise since June 5th.

3. What is one thing you want to improve/change?

I'd like to be more consistent with my food. When I'm on holidays, I tend to eat out more and don't always make the wisest choices.

4. What is the plan for reaching your goal between rounds?

I will track every bite and every sip that I take. I will continue to exercise more days than not.

5. Take one action toward your plan for between rounds.

I have gotten rid of all the junk food we've had in the house over the summer and have replaced some of it with nectarines, plums, cantaloupe, watermelon, raspberries and strawberries. If I want salty, I will have nuts or popcorn.

I know I can do this.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUSIONFITNESS3 8/29/2013 2:46AM

    With such a positive attitude you can do this.

Joanna, you may not always have made the wisest choices when eating away from home but from what you've shared with the team you have had times when you made some very wise choices. You have inspired me with some of your ideas of how you make choices when away from home. You've been an example even though you may not have mastered perfection at this.

emoticon emoticon

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JMOUSE99 8/26/2013 6:54PM


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GLASSART43 8/26/2013 4:47PM

    emoticon Joanna!

Looking forward to the between round challenge :)

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ROCKPORT9 8/26/2013 2:55PM

    Between challenges/rounds is always tough. I tend to slack a bit. You have a great plan! emoticon hugs,, Laurel

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 8/26/2013 1:50PM

    WOOHOO! Sounds like you have great goals and good plans to get there. Wishing you success!

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THRIVE2DAY 8/26/2013 1:35PM

    You did emoticon to only miss 7 days of exercise since June. You should be commended! emoticon

Sounds like you have some great plans between rounds, too! Good luck to you!

Comment edited on: 8/26/2013 1:38:06 PM

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ITS_MY_TURN_NOW 8/26/2013 11:29AM

    You definitely can do this! You are an inspiration, Joanna. Good luck with your between the rounds plan. emoticon

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Feeling Sluggish? Try this...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

While comfortably seated, close off your left nostril with your left thumb. Inhale and exhale through your right nostril for 3 to 5 minutes.

Research shows that right-nostril breathing can elevate blood pressure, which can make us feel a grand dose of natural invigoration.

On the flip side, doing left-nostril breathing lowers blood pressure and can produce a calming effect.

From Fitness Magazine, July/August 2013 issue and Erica Wehrwein, Ph.D., an assistant professor of physiology at Michigan State University.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JMOUSE99 8/22/2013 7:34PM

    interesting - but I'm pretty skeptical. I'll remember to try it out.

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COUTURELADY 8/18/2013 9:48AM

    Love it, and I'll try it. Thanks for sharing!

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DRADDIE 8/17/2013 3:53PM

    Heh, that's weird!!!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 8/17/2013 3:21PM

    Interesting, very interesting. I'll need to try that at work next week.

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KATI5668 8/17/2013 10:24AM

    mmm interesting..gonna give that a try..

thanks for posting!


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Reflection - Part 2

Monday, July 22, 2013

When I say that I tend not to eat as healthily during the summer, I was kind of meaning that when eating out, I might get a hamburger and fries instead of a salad for example. I rarely do that but that's an example. Or, I might indulge in dessert for a treat. It's those kinds of things that I need to get better control of.

I recently read in my Eat Clean cookbook the following and it really resonated with me:

"Think of it this way: If you have a lot of weight to lose, you need to be stricter with your food choices until you have met your goals. The cheese (or whatever) isn't going anywhere. It will still be available to you three months, six months or even a year from now. If you have already met your weight-loss goals, you can be a little less strict with yourself -- although this isn't permission to get crazy with the Cheez Whiz. I do eat cheese myself but I eat it rarely and sparingly."

Good advice, isn't it? Or, as Roni would say, how bad do you want it?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVINGLIFENOW 7/28/2013 6:54PM

    Thanks so true. It's only a short time in the grand life plan. Thanks for the reminder.

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RONI122 7/28/2013 6:45PM

    Thanks Joana for reminding me! How bad do I want it? It's just food and it will be around after I reach m goal. So for now I need to say no to stuff that won'thelp me along my journey!

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_LINDA 7/24/2013 1:58AM

    That is very good advice. Cheese was a huge weakness for me before I managed to get it under control. Now I have only one slice a day or a light mini Baby-bel for a fix. I wanted to lose my weight more then I wanted to painfully haul it all around :P I was lucky with my pop addiction though. One day, for no particular reason, I just got sick of drinking it and stopped cold turkey. I wasn't on any diet or anything, I just lost interest in it. If only I could do that with the salty snacks!!
emoticon emoticon

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FUSIONFITNESS3 7/23/2013 7:58PM

    Joanna - Thanks for pointing me to your blog. Perfect read after writing my own reflection. How bad do I want it?

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 7/23/2013 5:19PM

    Great insight. Sometimes I think the cravings/binges come (for me) from thinking in my head that "I can NEVER have this again". Knowing I can indulge from time to time has helped quell the all or nothing perfectionism I tend towards.

You CAN do this.

(PS: As I've gotten further into my gluten free diet I've found the cravings are mostly gone. It's like my body has reset it's tastes and I no longer WANT these decadent (flour filled) desserts.

Have fun with this new lifestyle!

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ANGRITTER 7/23/2013 10:11AM

    I need this tattooed on the inside of my eyelids. I will say two words to you about this morning already: homemade Belgian Waffles. Thanks Dad!


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ROUNDTOWNMOM 7/23/2013 5:37AM

    I need to copy and past that paragraph and put it somewhere to see it every day............................


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A-STRONGER-ME 7/23/2013 5:03AM

    I think you want it pretty bad. You are darn good with consistency and your loss proves that.

You know what to do and you get it done!! emoticon

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