Friday, 27 December 2013

Quickie After Christmas Post

Traveling over the holidays and I've now a day at home to grab some prezzies for the next set of relatives, wash some clothes and get other chores done. This morning I weighed in at 194 lbs. Up a .8 from the last time, and honestly, I'm not feeling bad about it. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I did eat food that I normally wouldn't: a few cookies, a couple of candy canes, some ham, gravy on turkey, cranberry, tourtiere (meat pie), lemon meringue pie. 

However, I watched my portions and didn't have second helpings. There was a crate of mandarin oranges from Maroc so I turned to those instead of chocolate. I wasn't able to get in too much outdoor activity due to an ice storm and slick sidewalks. Oh well, we spent a lot of quality time indoors with the family... and that is what the holidays are really all about :)

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Holiday treats

Holiday atmosphere in the office and everyone is letting loose.  Lots of treats galore at the little get-togethers, in common-rooms and at assorted desks.  Clients bring in treats for us and colleagues bring in baked goodies and boxes of candies and chocolates.  I admit I did partake of some of the baked goods, but it was planned and I only had ONE, that's it.  I always keep a big mug of coffee or tea at these office party things and smile and join in conversations: no looking and drooling over the tempting treats.  Must remember my January Jeans pledge!

The stock image below is much like the spreads here in the office--just turns my stomach remembering how much of that stuff I used to be able to wolf down!
I love my job and I'm good at what I do... however, I hate that it is so sedentary. I'm chained to my computer and sit a desk for most of the day. I do get up and stretch often (sometimes a downward dog in my cubicle when no one's looking LOL), take a walk or take the stairs, ect., but the fact remains that I'm inactive for a good part of the day.  I have been pondering off and on a job change for something a bit more active, but that would mean a paycut, likely a dramatic one and at this point, my man can't make up the difference on his salary. For now I'm here and have to be active on my own time.

My potlucks and get-togethers with friends have been going very well. Planning in advance helps so much, especially when going to a restaurant and they post their menu online!  It's easy to make decisions ahead of time.  Thanks to Gwen for the tip about smuggling in lemon slices to the restaurant as dressing for salad. This particular restaurant didn't have lemons when my friends also asked the waitress for some.

I did have trouble getting out for walks this week due to the cold and windy weather. I'm not talking a cool breeze here but -30C/-22F (without the windchill) and frostbite warnings. I cut my walk on Saturday short and continued the workout on my elliptical at home.  I'm not fond of the elliptical (or treadmills or cardio classes at the gym) but it's an option when I can't get outside.  I do have to go outside to shovel the snow... which burns a calorie or two. So far this season, we've received over two feet and more is on the way.

Weight this week down to 193.2 lbs. I'm eating the right foods, example of my food plan posted here, but according to the tracking I do on MyFitnessPal, my portions recently are larger than usual and I'm still slacking on the exercise. Will do better this coming week. Remember, every little bit counts!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday and January Jeans

Stepping on the scale this morning, I knew the number wouldn't be good. The cravings for salty snacks, the fatigue during the past two days, now the cramps, the bloat: I'm at 196lbs.  I know this is temporary water weight, but still I hate to see the number on the scale go up.  Ggggrrrr! I'm going to make sure that number goes down!  I'm drinking lots of water and I'm eating light.  An hour-long walk outside through the snow is on the schedule for tomorrow. 

This coming weekend and through the week next week, there are five different parties: Three with friends and two at work. The food at two of the friends' parties should have a lot of healthy choices, especially since I'm bringing some veggie dishes. The other party is at a restaurant, but I took a look at their menu online and they have very very limited healthy choices. It'll be a Chicken Caesar salad with no dressing for me. Shhh... I'm smuggling in some cherry tomatoes to add to the salad because I can't stand the flavourless pink winter tomatoes restaurants use!

Work is a different story. Both work parties next week are food-fests of baked goods. I'll bring my big mug of coffee and... I don't know yet what strategy I'll use. I do have to be there. I do have to mingle for a good period of time because the bosses will be watching and they do remember who was naughty or nice! 

January Jeans 2014!!! I'll be keeping this mantra in my mind through all these upcoming temptations this holiday season. Spilling out of a pair of tight jeans in a few weeks is not what I want.  I'd rather be forced to have buy a new pair of jeans in a smaller size :)  

Monday, 9 December 2013

Ah Nuts!

This past weekend, there was a little get-together amongst friends and friends of friends. Although the buffet spread had mostly healthy choices, which was great,  there were also some natural nut mixes in little bowls here and there. After taking three handfuls, I stopped and asked myself what I thought I was doing (but I used much harsher language).

I was able to stop myself, analyse the situation and get a grip! I realised I wasn't hungry but there was a lull in the party and I found myself sort of awkwardly on my own. Everyone I knew went off on a beer run or a wine run.  Rather than mingling, I retreated to the nuts. I was just feeling a bit shy, that's all. I got away from the food, grabbed a club soda with lime and went and asked a girl where she bought her cute sparkly pumps. 

See how a couple of minutes of social awkwardness can cost an unplanned 500 calories or more? 

I guess I've grown accustomed to my own group of friends. I haven't been in situations lately where I've had to mingle with strangers in an intimate setting like at a fundraiser, gallery opening or other similar event. Sounds like this could be a New Years Resolution... get out and mingle with new people!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Ghosts of Holidays Past

Some time ago, in the not so distant past, the holidays with my family were a time of feasts, sitting, napping, snacking and feasting again.  Lurching away from the table with a belly full of food was a requirement.   A few times I retreated to a bedroom with a cold cloth on my forehead!

One would have chowed down on turkey with gravy then ham, then a slice of traditional tourtière (meat pie) with chili sauce, some boiled veggies, and mashed potatoes with butter and cream.  And don't forget the cranberry from a can!

Not only were the portions huge during mealtimes, but the desserts... well there were usually at minimum a half-dozen to choose from.  At least two kinds of pie, cookies, bars, squares, tarts,french pastries, cake and don't forget to jack that up with some ice cream!  Usually four or five kinds to choose from.

Large varieties of snacks placed in bowls around the living room were plentiful.  Chips, popcorn, Nuts and Bolts, fudge, Satin Stripe Candy, "Chicken Bones" candy, canes on the tree, and at least two boxes of chocolates were always open: Turtles and Pot of Gold.  We would then gather around the television and watch a dozen cheezy Christmas movies on VHS my Mom rented if she got her way, or watch football if my Dad got his way.  As teens, we would trudge our way down to the basement to play video games.

This was the way for many years we'd "celebrate" the holidays.  This would almost be a binge. Pretty sad, but I know we weren't the only family who celebrated this way.  Or that still does.

When we moved out, as young adults, we'd come back home for a week or two and would be bombarded with food and treats.  And we'd be given a duffle bag-full each of food to take back our respective cities at the end of the holiday. One year, my brother and I decided this had to change.  As adults, we would usually take a long walk on Christmas Eve while the parents were at midnight mass.  This time, he said he was tired of gaining ten pounds through December and January. For a slim guy, that means he has to go up a pants size.  I always gained between fifteen and twenty pounds.  I wore track pants.  Or I wore my black fat pants.

It took an intervention of sorts with my mother and ten years, but things slowly changed.  You read correctly, ten years!

Now moderation is in place:
  • There is either a turkey breast or a ham on Christmas Day, not both.  
  • We still have meat pie but we have it on Christmas Eve.  
  • No more boiled veggies, they are roasted.  
  • There is a spinach salad with dried cranberries or pomegranate.  
  • One dessert, usually an apple pie or apple crisp. 
  • My mom still bakes, but it's for a charity bake sale. She'll freeze one tray of cookies for us but we usually don't eat them all. 
  • One kind of ice cream for my brother and mother.  
  • No more snacks laying around.  
  • There's always a bowl of fresh fruit and two cases of mandarin oranges.  
  • If a box of chocolates comes into the house, it's re-wrapped and re-gifted as a present for someone else.  
  • We will watch one or two holiday flicks, 
  • Go for a walk every day, visit some of the neighbours, check out the crazy decorated houses
  • if it's snowing, we shovel out random people's driveways! 

It's never too late to change family traditions. Don't let your holiday memories be of food and lethargy like many of mine.  Let them be of loved ones, laughs and love!


Wednesday Weigh-in 192.5lbs. The scale is still going down, slowly but surely.