SANDRAREGINA's SparkPeople Blog SANDRAREGINA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 2013 Goals Last year I accomplished a lot. I'm very happy with the goals I set and met. This year, I need new goals. Most of the standard goals, I've met or exceeded. I don't need to 'eat healthier' - I'm quite happy with my current eating habits. I don't need to 'get more active' - I'm quite happy with my activity level (doable, not excessive, but enough to show results). I don't need to 'lose weight' - in order to lose much more, it will require some rather unhealthy diet restrictions, and besides I'm... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 14:39:36 EST New Year So today is the start of a brand new year. Lucky 13th. :) <BR> <BR> I've gotten the year off to a great start - three short workouts adding up to a half an hour, and a half hour walk in the bright sunshine. It was cold but the sun made it bearable. I took the loop through the park behind my apartment, and the parking lot and laneway were full of cars and people, as the tobogganing hill was packed full of families all out enjoying the sun, the snow, and just the day in general. <BR> <BR> Bot... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 15:55:27 EST Elora Gorge Today I hiked along Elora Gorge with my best friend. We didn't 'power walk', because every minute or so we had to stop and take a picture! The leaves were out in full force today, and while the air was cool and the sun kept hiding behind the clouds, it never got really cold or windy. We saw a blue jay (though he vanished before either of us could get a picture), a ton of black squirrels busily prepping for the winter, and a very lovely, very friendly black cat who came up to us in the park fo... Tue, 9 Oct 2012 23:31:08 EST Happy Thanksgiving Today in Canada it is Thanksgiving Day, and today I like to think of the reason for the holiday - the thanks. It may seem a hokey ritual, but I find it very helpful to remind myself of all the wonderful things that are going on in my life. There is so much negativity it is easy to be lured into the trap of thinking that's all there is. But its not. <BR> So, things I am thankful for: <BR> 1/ A wonderful, amazing group of friends. I wish I could show my younger self, who was in despair because ... Mon, 8 Oct 2012 13:39:55 EST BADASS DASH <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Yesterday I completed a major fitness challenge in my life. In January, I would not have thought this was possible at all for me. I still don't think of myself as an 'athlete'. But I am so very proud of myself for doing this. <BR> <BR> A bit over 4 miles of trails, up and down ski hills. Steep ones. <BR> <BR> 15 obstacles, including a 3 ft deep pool to wade through, climbing up and down nets, climbing up a rope, ... Sun, 7 Oct 2012 10:08:00 EST Vacation Time Next Monday is Canada's Thanksgiving holiday. But more than that, I am off for the entire week. <BR> <BR> I need it. <BR> <BR> I am planning on going to Elora Gorge on Tuesday with a friend, for some hiking, as long as the weather cooperates. I am also hoping to go up to Hamilton one afternoon to visit another friend, who is recovering from surgery. The rest of the time, I plan on doing some major housecleaning (including cleaning out the spare room, and putting it back in some kind of act... Fri, 5 Oct 2012 16:57:15 EST October Sunshine Woke up feeling good this morning. The sun was just starting to rise over the trees, the radio clicked on to a nice, upbeat song, and the cats jumped up for their early morning pets. I could have stayed in bed, but I got up right away. The apartment wasn't too cold - putting on the electric radiator overnight really helps, since its not cold enough yet for the apartment managers to turn on the main heat in the building. <BR> <BR> Tanis has diarreah, though, which was less than pleasant to wa... Mon, 1 Oct 2012 11:54:08 EST Little Things Appreciating the small things in life. <BR> <BR> 1/ Running around the backyard with my neice Ofelia, being able to pick her up, swing her around, carry her on my shoulders. <BR> <BR> 2/ Relaxing on a Saturday morning with the cats, a hot mug of tea, and Sparkpeople articles on health & wellness <BR> <BR> 3/ Listening to Oingo Boingo on Youtube. :) <BR> <BR> 4/ Modern technology - having a quick video Skype call with my parents last night, while they are on vacation in Cape Cod, and I'm ... Sat, 29 Sep 2012 11:04:32 EST Still Here Yesterday was a very emotional day at work. The departmental cuts we've been dreaded since the beginning of August finally happened, and eight people were laid off. There was a lot of sorrow among my coworkers. Then there was a meeting to discuss the structure of the department going forward - and it came out that, come the financial year end (February, for us), there is the possibility that our department would be outsourced and we'd all be out of a job. Whee. <BR> <BR> The silver lining i... Wed, 19 Sep 2012 10:36:54 EST Weekend Insanity This past weekend was just crazy. It was a gaming weekend, two LARPs in two days, both in Toronto. So I arranged with friends ahead of time to spend the night, to reduce the commute. So that helped. But the city of Toronto closed down the Gardiner, and I am so glad I decided to go into the city early - it meant that I wasn't late. Traffic was horrible! Of course, I hadn't really thought too much about food plans, which was a bad idea. Plan ahead! And I forgot. So my eating choices ended up ra... Mon, 17 Sep 2012 22:00:04 EST Stress Sleeping I know a lot of people are 'stress eaters'. When they're stressed, they eat. I'm not that kind of a person. I have my own issues with food (mindless grazing, and social pressure are my biggies), but reaching for food when stressed isn't one of them. <BR> <BR> No, my issue is sleep. Or lack thereof. When I'm stressed, two things happen. First, I can't sleep. My mind races, I find it hard to fall asleep, and then I wake up often during the night, jolted out of sleep by panicky thoughts that ma... Fri, 14 Sep 2012 08:18:01 EST Work Stress So my employer has been laying people off. Lots of them. Our department has not yet been hit with the cuts, but they're coming. Yesterday our Director was let go - and that means those cuts are now imminent for our department. They've been on the horizon for a couple of months now, and a lot of my stress and anxiety (and poor sleeping) lately has come from waiting on those cuts. I'm actually at the point where I would welcome being laid off, just to get the tension of waiting over with. (note... Thu, 13 Sep 2012 13:58:00 EST Gamer Girl? Game day! I mention it a lot in my status updates and in blog entries, so I thought I'd clarify. I'm a role-player. I play role-playing games, primarily Live Action ones (LARP). I also play table-top games, but I'm not that into computer games (either PC or console). I don't have any issue with them, but they're not my cup of tea. <BR> <BR> Live Action games fall in to two types (basically), one a more social-political game, where combat is highly stylized and symbolic, and most of the 'acti... Mon, 10 Sep 2012 13:20:00 EST Rainy Day I'm not having a good day today. I've been exhausted all day, since the moment I woke up (was woken up, by my mom calling to find out if I was still going to market) until now. I've been angry, frustrated, bitchy, the whole thing. I feel like a horrible excuse for a human being. <BR> <BR> But, even on dark days there are good things, right? So let's get to them. <BR> <BR> 1/ Another birthday party. Low-key, but my neice was there to play with and she's always fun (if exhausting) to keep up... Sat, 8 Sep 2012 21:02:17 EST The Weekend! I'm looking forward to the weekend coming up. Not much is happening, just game on Sunday, but it should be nice and relaxing compared to the last few. I might get some needed club work actually accomplished! Wouldn't that be sweet! <BR> <BR> Good things from yesterday - <BR> <BR> 1/ I got my new glasses! Got them properly fitted and everything. I think they look snazzy. <BR> 2/ Finished Lies of Locke Lamora. Found out a third book in the series is coming out this autumn and we'll finally ... Fri, 7 Sep 2012 17:19:59 EST Good Life Three good things for today: <BR> <BR> 1/ 28 day bootcamp in the morning, curves in the evening. Getting in that activity, yes! <BR> 2/ My new glasses are ready! I can't pick them up until tomorrow evening, but now I have something to look forward to for tomorrow <BR> 3/ Christine and Josh, two of my favourites, are the two finalists on MasterChef. Yes, I am addicted to 'talent' shows dealing with food & fashion. Its a vice, but since I've given up eating and laying slothfully on the couch, ... Wed, 5 Sep 2012 16:24:03 EST Doctor Who? Three good things from today: <BR> <BR> 1/ It rained. Proper rain, all day long. We need more days like this. Drought is no good for anything. <BR> <BR> 2/ Pizza Pizza has decent, lifestyle friendly menu options. Who knew? Okay, two slices of pizza was still 12 points, but for dinner (with a side salad & dressing for a point more) that's decent. Grilled veggies & goat cheese, on a solid multigrain crust - it filled me up, for sure. <BR> <BR> 3/ Dr Who! Finally saw the opening episode for t... Tue, 4 Sep 2012 22:20:10 EST 77 Days In keeping with the theme of 'starting over' - in a good way - I've joined the 77 Days of Autumn challenge. Its not an 'official' challenge, but that doesn't matter. There will be daily and weekly tasks to help focus me and keep me on track. I find following challenges to be very helpful to keep focus and motivation. I am doing a slight modification - because I'm currently only tracking food in e-Tools (weight watchers), I am looking at keeping to 26 points, with an allowance of up to 2 AP p... Mon, 3 Sep 2012 21:54:42 EST Three Things Here are three good things that have happened today (and its not even 1 pm yet!) <BR> <BR> 1/ I got 7 1/2 hours of solid sleep last night. What a nice thing, to wake up feeling refreshed, not exhausted. <BR> <BR> 2/ I got in both a yoga and a cardio workout this morning, and I'm ready to head out for an hour's walk. Its good to have time to be active on a Sunday. <BR> <BR> 3/ My cookies and salad for today's party were finished last night, so no prep to do - I just have to pack the car and... Sun, 2 Sep 2012 12:51:11 EST Starting Over At Weight Watchers this week, the theme was all about refocusing, restarting, re-energizing, and getting back into it. With the start of Autumn comes a feeling of starting new - its the new school year, after all, and even as adults that feeling persists. <BR> <BR> So. I'm "starting over". Not that I ever really stopped, but over the summer things kind of petered out in stages. I took photos of my dinners but stopped posting them, for example. <BR> <BR> These are habits I have acquired and... Sat, 1 Sep 2012 13:37:46 EST August 8th Someone at work today asked me what my 'secret' was, because I had lost so much weight. Well, I think I still have a long way to go yet, but it was nice to hear. Still, there is no secret, and I told her that. I quit eating junk - even when I eat out (like today), I try to choose healthier options. I started moving more. I started watching my portions, and doing strength exercises, and lots and lots of walking. <BR> <BR> (Speaking of moving, I did get in my Curves workout tonight, and I'm ge... Wed, 8 Aug 2012 20:39:52 EST August 7th Today was a very busy day. My schedule was so tight, in fact, that a 15 minute delay due to construction meant I was unable to get my Curves workout in (due to when the circuit closed). That really bummed me out. I didn't get my walk in until after 10pm, which meant sleep was delayed until midnight. Again. <BR> <BR> On the plus side, however, I was able to find a nice pair of shoes for my cousin's wedding. The red of the shoes matches the dress perfectly, and they are a nice compromise betw... Wed, 8 Aug 2012 11:32:27 EST Weekend Noms Sunday and Monday - the Civic Holiday - were so packed and busy I barely had enough time to do my regular tracking (and take photos), let alone update this blog. <BR> <BR> Sunday I was in Toronto all day - it was game day (Mage the Awakening); I had a great time but because it was a holiday on Monday, we stayed for afters and I didn't get home until after 2 am. Again. <BR> <BR> Monday I hiked 6.5 km with my parents. We took a while because my dad came too, and he is not used to walking so f... Tue, 7 Aug 2012 17:31:22 EST August Meals (Day Four) I went to a party yesterday. Oh, the food! Most of it could classified as healthy, as long as you don't eat too much. I hope I didn't, but I did graze, so I can't really track it. That's the failure. <BR> <BR> On the positive side, I got on a bike for the first time since high school, and I didn't fall off! I tripped getting on the first time, but once I was on, I did fine. I even figured out how to turn without stopping. <BR> <BR> I went for a short walk, as well, while thunderclouds pile... Sun, 5 Aug 2012 16:02:47 EST August Meals (Day Three) Today I had dinner at my parents, and we went to the Mill Race Folk Festival in Cambridge. <BR> <BR> I won peach jam from Allison Lupton, one of the singers there. She was using the lure of free homemade jam (made with peaches from her garden) to get the crowd to sing along to her self-confessed 'corny' song about the love of gardening. I ended up winning. :) At the end of the song, she asked all the 'best singers' to come on up to the stage. Well, I'm not the best, but I wanted that jam, so... Fri, 3 Aug 2012 23:50:35 EST August Meals (Day Two) I was supposed to post this last night, but I was exhausted! After work I had to grab dinner quickly, get to Zumba, get my grocery shopping done, and get my walk in. I got home after 10 pm and after putting everything away I was *done* for the night. <BR> <BR> Any way, here is Day Two: <BR> <link><BR>gust-2nd-14362648/ </link> Fri, 3 Aug 2012 08:38:52 EST August Meals (day one) So I am trying this new journalling thing to get a handle on what I eat. Not just tracking it in words, but in pictures. I set up a separate blog and am uploading pictures of my meals for the day along with descriptions and Points Plus values so I can *see* what I'm eating. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ust-1st-14342571/ </link> <BR> <BR> Looking at these questions over the month: <BR> <BR> Do I have enough 'colour' and visual interest in what I'm eating? <BR... Wed, 1 Aug 2012 22:02:39 EST Wonderful Weekend This past weekend I was free. No previous engagements, no games, cons, or other pre-scheduled activity. So I called up my Aunt, and asked if she'd mind if I came over to her cottage to hang out for the weekend. And she said yes. <BR> <BR> My parents came up on Sunday, but I went down on Saturday, to have the whole weekend to hang out lake-side. And it was a very, very good idea. On Saturday, I actually ended up showing up before my Aunt by a good two hours. She is notoriously late for every... Mon, 30 Jul 2012 15:23:26 EST Amusement Park Wow its been a while since I blogged. I really should get back into the habit. <BR> <BR> Last weigh in, pre-vacation, was 177 lbs. I'm at high school weight, and getting into very unfamiliar territory. I'm scared that I will plateau and 'settle' here - it was good enough when I was 18, after all. I can fit into my wedding dress again. Etc. But I do NOT want to settle her. I still have a gut, and I want to get rid of it. I want to do a pull up. I want to be able to tackle the stairs. I have c... Thu, 5 Jul 2012 11:07:00 EST My Challenges Sparkpeople has given me Challenges to do and overcome. And I'm loving it. Some are more successful than others, but they keep me going. <BR> <BR> For the Spring 5% Challenge, I lost more than my 5% goal, though I kind of fell off the wagon in terms of tracking on my last week. Not that I wasn't exercising, I just never got around to crediting it to the group. I do feel bad about that. However, I did it. I made it to - and beyond - a 5% weight loss from the start of April. <BR> <BR> I'm ... Mon, 14 May 2012 11:31:35 EST Random Thoughts So. I've made it half way. 30 lbs lost (and a bit). Its been interesting, since I started in January. I'm eating better, much better, than before. Eating less. Getting fuller, and feeling fuller longer, despite eating less. I haven't had a 'ravenous' day in a long, long time, where no matter what I ate or how much, I just never felt full. I'm cooking more at home, bringing my lunch more often (and not just frozen dinners, but actual home-cooked stuff). Eating better when I'm out. I found that... Thu, 3 May 2012 10:02:38 EST Punishment Time So, we're encouraged to reward ourselves when we do well. A non-food reward of some kind - a treat, some time to ourselves, a new haircut, whatever. <BR> <BR> What about when you screw up? When you run a stop sign, sure, you don't give up stopping. When you spill something on the floor you don't dump the cupboards out. This is no time to slack off or give up. But, you get a fine and lose points off your license, or you have to clean up the mess and maybe lose a priviledge as well. <BR> <BR>... Wed, 11 Apr 2012 09:34:30 EST Home Again I am back from vacation and I am exhausted. I could barely do the exercise I did today, and its the first day in a long, long time I didn't go for a walk. But my body is very firmly telling me no, and I'm not gonna push it. Bed is likely to happen in about a half hour, if I managed to stay awake that long. Renormalizing sleep patterns is exhausting. <BR> The road trip was a ton of fun, and although I probably ate a bit more than I should (portion control was not as controlled as at home), an... Mon, 26 Mar 2012 21:22:32 EST Busy Busy One of the reasons I joined the Spring 5% Challenge was because of the extremely busy me that has been happening last weekend and all this week. It would be so easy to just let things slide until things 'got back to normal'.Its giving me the extra push I need. <BR> So why am I so busy? The weekend was two games in a row, one in Toronto and one in Guelph - so loads of driving, eating out everywhere, and yesterday was also the Spring Revel, so there were props to gather and bring, and set up to... Mon, 19 Mar 2012 23:25:38 EST 5% Challenge Tomorrow starts the 5% challenge. <BR> I need to lose 11 lbs in 8 weeks. That's about a pound a half a week, which is very reasonable and I know I can do it. <BR> I need to keep going with my food choices and exercise regime, and maybe even step it up a little. The first week, I'm not going to lie, is going to be tough, with hours of driving and a convention, but I'm hoping keeping this challenge in mind will help me stay focused. <BR> This week we are 'flying' to Singapore. In order to max... Fri, 16 Mar 2012 15:34:13 EST Its Heavy Its good to get inspiration from wherever you can. Today, I was out in my parent's backyard with my niece. She was picking up small stones (aka 'dirt' and 'eggs') and handing them to me, or her dad, or putting them in a pile. She came across a rather large rock, and went to pick it up. It wouldn't budge. "Its HEAVY", she declared. Then she put down the small rock she still had in her other hand, and, using both, heaved that large rock up and carried it over to give to me. <BR> <BR> It was h... Wed, 14 Mar 2012 22:55:53 EST Neighbourhood Watch Last night I went swimming again at the Waterloo Swimplex. The pool was closed for an emergency cleaning when I got there, so the guy at the counter referred me upstairs to the open indoor track, free to the public, to use while I waited. The wind outside was biting and cold, and it was nice to be indoors where the temperature was steady. There was even hockey practice going on in the rink below, so I had something to watch while I walked around and around and around the 200 m track. It was n... Sat, 10 Mar 2012 19:33:13 EST New Umbrella Last week my awesome big black umbrella got totally destroyed when I tried taking it with me to shield me from the rain while I walked in a windstorm. The wind kind of took exception to my efforts. The poor thing got ripped up and the ribs all bent out of shape. It was not fixable. So, sadly, I consigned it to the rubbish heap. <BR> Today its raining again. I have no umbrella, my winter boots are NOT waterproof, as walking through slush has shown me time and again (and I hate wet feet). So, t... Thu, 8 Mar 2012 17:02:35 EST Mini Con This past weekend was Gryphcon in Guelph. It was like a trial run for my new lifestyle/diet changes and the realities of attending a gaming convention, and all the trials that come with that. <BR> <BR> Gryphcon was local, it was small, and I was able to go home every night to sleep. In a couple of weeks, I'll be in a hotel in Saint John New Brunswick for CAiNE, and in game proximity all day long for three days. On the plus side, there will be a pool and a fitness room. On the negative side, ... Wed, 7 Mar 2012 11:29:18 EST No Cheating I hear people in my weight watchers group talk about 'cheat days'. I don't have Cheat Days. <BR> <BR> Why? Its not because I never go "off plan" or eat things that others might consider "forbidden" foods. I have french fries occasionally, chocolate on a semi-regular basis, have cheese as part of my regular diet. Some days I have three meals and no snacks, and others I graze all day. I'm still working on meal planning more than a day or two in advance. <BR> <BR> But I'm still losing weigh... Tue, 28 Feb 2012 16:35:30 EST Being Hungry I want to make something perfectly clear. I am not starving. I eat and I'm full at the end of each meal. I'm not left 'wanting'. However, I do get hungry. And I'm learning that that's okay. <BR> I was watching a BBC documentary on youtube about dieting and hunger and food, and there was one woman they featured who said she had probably never felt hungry in her life. Not really. Any time she started to feel a bit peckish, she'd snack. And that really resonated with me. Now, I have been hungry.... Fri, 24 Feb 2012 20:56:38 EST Mount Trashmore I meant to post this Monday, and then again yesterday, and have pictures up and everything. But life got in the way. I'm pleased that blogging is what fell by the wayside and not my walks or eating right. <BR> <BR> Monday was Family Day. It was a lovely sunny day off and I enjoyed the heck out the day. I lay abed and read for a while, I spent time playing silly Facebook games, and cuddling the cats. It was a very lazy day. <BR> <BR> However, I also went for a long walk in the park behind t... Wed, 22 Feb 2012 12:37:12 EST Seeing Results I've lost nearly 10 pounds since I started weight watchers on January 17th. That's a big deal for me, especially since my mindset has been "I don't loose weight, I just gain it". Now, its not really 'showing'. I still have my gigantic gut. I still have a double (triple?) chin, and flab under my arms, and chunky thighs. I look as big as ever. <BR> However, I have noticed some very important things that are more important than sheer size. First off, I have more energy (not this morning, but in... Wed, 15 Feb 2012 09:49:10 EST Low Hemoglobin Well, I failed out again at the 'test the iron' stage of the blood donation attempt. I have yet to pass. This time, however, because of tracking my food on Sparkpeople, I *know* that I have consumed enough dietary iron. Previously, who knows. I ate way too much mac & cheese, cheese sandwich, and processed boxed lunches to really know if I was getting enough or not. Now I do know, and I am. <BR> But, my hemoglobin count is still very low. Not just 'too low for blood donation' low, as the cutof... Sat, 11 Feb 2012 13:15:38 EST Gala, Redux Last night was fantastic! I'm not sure what I was expecting (I've never gone before), but it was much larger and more well attended an event than whatever it was I was expecting. It was all a little overwhelming, at first, I must admit. When my mom and I walked it, we were confronted by a horde of people sampling treats, sitting and talking, or just wandering around. There were tables and tables filled with chocolate treats of all kinds - truffles, brownies, cakes, cupcakes, macaroons, cookie... Fri, 10 Feb 2012 15:37:06 EST Chocolate Gala Tonight I am going to what is probably a diet pitfall for many. However, my feeling on this journey is that I am making daily healthy choices and changes for the rest of my life, not just to lose a few pounds. That means that I will have days (and nights) of indulgence, and I will have to learn how to manage them sooner or later. This just happens to be sooner. <BR> <BR> A friend of mine is volunteering at a Chocolate Gala fundraiser for her local Sexual Assault Center. Its a night of choco... Thu, 9 Feb 2012 09:36:46 EST Right Track Today was another Weight Watchers meeting & weigh in session. As usual, I was nervous going in, but I was with a coworker this time, and she was even more nervous than me. Keeping her reassured meant I didn't have time to obsess so much about me. <BR> <BR> I was down again, and since I started Weight Watchers (and Sparkpeople, they've both been helpful for different reasons), I have gone down a whole six pounds, an average of 2 lbs per week. I know its not healthy to focus on the scale, but... Tue, 7 Feb 2012 15:37:32 EST Eat Slow When I was in high school, I was two blocks away from the main branch of the public library. If I scarfed down my lunch, I could spend most of my lunch hour wandering the stacks rather than hanging out in the Cafetorium (as they called it) with people I did not like and who did not like me. <BR> Then I got to University, and if I scheduled things right I could sleep in and be off campus fairly early - if I didn't stop for lunch. A quick wolf down between class would tide me over. <BR> Then I ... Mon, 6 Feb 2012 15:55:50 EST Worth It There is a little voice inside that says 'you're fat' or 'you're ugly' or 'you're a failure'. Images in the media, on the web, reinforcing that the only 'desireable' person is one who is skinny and absurdly fit, and that desirability is the only measure of a person's worth. People who are all too eager to point out your flaws, if not to you directly, than to other people you know look just like you, and therefore their conclusions about their unworthiness must apply to you too. <BR> So you tr... Thu, 2 Feb 2012 17:13:17 EST Walking Challenge I enjoy walking. It is exercise, yes, and going from 'lay on the couch all night' to 'go for a walk' has been a bit of a mental push, but I have been able to respond to that push because I enjoy walking. Its fun, I get fresh air, I get to see the neighbourhood, and it gives me time to think. <BR> So, starting today, I thought I'd make it even more fun. I was inspired by my sister-in-law telling me about her 'bike across Canada' challenge. But I'm a geek. And I don't own a bike, stationary or ... Wed, 1 Feb 2012 08:08:37 EST