Back On Track, But On A Different Path

Building a habit is such a funny thing.  I think that when beginning something new, your enthusiasm gets you started, and excitement keeps you going, but after a while, when things get a little tough, it can get harder to keep on track.

Such was the case with me.

When I started my journey in November, I was amazed at how well I adjusted to the new way of eating.  Then the Christmas holidays came, and unfortunately instead of moving forward in January, I came to a complete stop.  Oh, it didn’t get bad straight away, I was still reaching for healthy things most of the time, but then the ordering in started, and it spiralled from there. My preparation fell by the wayside, and because I wasn’t prepared, I started eating the wrong things.

As a distributor for a health and wellness company, and combined with the fact that I was starting school on March 21st to be a holistic nutritionist, I wasn’t really walking the walk any longer, and I needed to get back on track.

I’ve mentioned before about all of the research that I was doing.  The more I read, the more I kept being pointed to vegetarianism/veganism.  Shortly after my daughter came home from school in February, she announced that she wanted to look at that way of eating as well.

So, based on a recommendation from a blog friend, we went to Chapters, and bought The China StudySkinny Bitch, and The Vegan Planet Cookbook.

This past Saturday, off I went to Whole Foods, the Organic Garage and Bulk Barn, with my list of things I needed.  On Saturday I made my first vegan meal – pizza.

It doesn’t look too bad, does it? Homemade 12 grain pizza dough, and the rest is all vegan – pepperoni, sauce, and cheese. (I wouldn’t eat the cheese on it’s own, blech, but not too bad on the pizza, and it actually melts)

Right now, I’ll probably be using a lot of transitional foods (vegan cheese, vegan lunch meat), but hope that with practice and time, I will be able to ease away from these into a fully plant based diet. I’m not worried about missing the meats so much, but I think dairy is going to be a challenge for me, although I’ve found that rice milk and almond milk are quite yummy.

I’ve had a few interesting reactions from people when I state I have made the choice to be a vegan.  Many people are worried that I’m going to get sick.  I had one person tell me “that’s stupid”.  In each case, I have told everyone that this is my choice, and not one that I am going to push on anyone to do.  My son is not making this choice, and my daughter has decided on ovo lacto vegetarianism, while I am going full vegan.  Our meal plans are certainly going to be interesting and I’m sure challenging, but we all support each other fully, and will make it work.  My choosing veganism was purely health based, although I am starting to see the ethical side of it as well, but as I mentioned, this is my choice, and will talk about it, but will not push it on anyone.

Is veganism/vegetaranism something you’ve ever thought about it?  I’d be interested to know what made you choose it, and what challenges you have faced or are facing.

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March 14, 2011 at 6:18 pm 6 comments

The First Step Towards Getting Somewhere Is To Decide That You Are Not Going To Stay Where You Are

Martin Luther King, Jr. said “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Dissatisfaction with the career I was in, and the life I was leading, was taking its toll on me. Past grief and old issues, combined with my excess weight, were like chains I was dragging around with me daily.  If 50 was the new 30, I wasn’t feeling it.  I felt that each day was just like the day before, with a endless vista of the same old thing ahead of me. The only lights in my life are my children, but at 17 and 21 they are beginning their own lives, and I realized that I needed to do something for myself fairly quickly, or I would be the proverbial cat lady my children joked I was becoming. I have wonderful friends, but they have their own spouses and families, and weren’t responsible for providing me with entertainment.

After being laid off from yet another job in September, I knew that I didn’t want to go back to that type of work again, and I thought about going back to school.  Wow, back to school in the year I was turning 50.  Did I really want to do it?  I knew that I didn’t want to go back to school unless it was for something that I had a passion for. I toyed briefly with chef/cooking school, because I love to cook and entertain, but it just didn’t grab me. So, I pushed that idea to the back burner along with everything else.

Having the time off from a full time job, gave me a lot of time to think. For the first few weeks of being laid off, it felt as though I was on holiday, but as time went on, I fell into a rut. In October, there were many things that happened that made we question where I was going, and what I should be doing.  I was financially struggling, and was becoming complacent about my house, and my life.  I took a part time job to supplement the employment insurance I was receiving, but that started to become another chain around me, knowing that I didn’t really want to do it, but that I had to do it to stay afloat.

I truly believe that the Universe provides us with what we need when we need it; we just need to open ourselves up to recognizing it when it’s given to us.

In October, I asked to be given what I needed,  and knew that it would come. I just hoped that I would recognize it when it came.

Shortly after, I had the opportunity to sign up with an outdoor activity group, but when I went to the first outing I felt out of place among all of those fit people.  They were very nice and extremely encouraging, but I knew that I needed to get into better shape to really enjoy being in this group.

A few days after this event with the activity group, I read about a woman of about my age who decided that she wanted to live her passion.  She had sold everything and chucked her “old life” in Texas to pursue her passions in L.A. Unfortunately, she was struck and killed by a van not too long after moving out to L.A.  I had never met her, but when I read of her passing, it brought home to me that life is very fragile and far too often fleeting.  I was sorry that I didn’t get to know her, especially when reading about her life, and how she touched so many lives, both IRL (in real life) and on the blogmunity that she belonged to.  People who “knew” her only from her words, grieved her loss as greatly as those who were in her life on a daily basis. Her story and her decision to live her dreams, made me more aware that I needed to stop doing the same old thing, and find my passion.

I took my first step on November 1, 2010 with the goal of being in better health by the time I turn 50 this July.  Little did I know what wonderful things I would discover along the way.

I knew that I didn’t want to be where I was anymore, but I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go.

Since that time, I have definitely accomplished quite a lot of things.   With my oldest in her 3rd year of university, and my other child preparing to start his university career in the fall of 2011, I realized that I don’t need this huge house that I am living in, nor all of the “stuff” that fills it.  I have de-cluttered my house and simplified my life. What a great feeling that was to completely purge! I’m sure the charity shops didn’t know what hit them! The time off also helped me accomplish getting caught up financially.

When I made the decision to be in better health before I turned 50 this July, I was only thinking of the physical aspect of that, not realizing that it would help me mentally and spiritually as well.  Because of the people that I have met and the insights and information I have have discovered in my health journey, I now know what I want to do when I grow up.

I will be going back to school to take a holistic nutrition course.  When I am accepted to the school I want to go to, I will be starting school in March. When the one year course is complete, I will be a R.H.N. (Registered Holistic Nutritionist) and the possibilities for me are huge.  Both of my children will be in university and starting their new lives, so I can downsize my house, and live anywhere I want to.  I have a list of goals and plans once I have my certificate, but, baby steps for now.

The rest of the staircase is still ahead of me.

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January 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm 5 comments

Changing Yourself From Within

Are you noticing the glut of commercials, radio and TV talk shows, reports, etc., about weight loss, healthy living and gym memberships?

This is definitely the time of year when gym membership registration soars, and people are flocking to weight loss centres.  I was shocked to read that over 92% of people who make resolutions never keep them!  And 45% of them fail by the end of January! Part of the reason is that most people set out to change things for the wrong reason.

Author and columnist Andrea Rains Waggener, says that “People start from a place of being not okay. They think they need to change something in order to be okay, in order to be happy.”

Wow, that was me.  Totally not happy with my life, and thinking that if I only did this, or did that, somehow magically I would be happy again.

As my kids would say “FAIL!”

Once I realized that quick fixes weren’t going to do it, I took a long hard look at my life, and realized that I needed to change who I was inside first, before I could change who I was outside. And I couldn’t just say I was going to do it, I had to do it. Am I there yet?  I believe that we’re constantly changing and evolving based on where we are in our lives.

I definitely look at life differently now, than I did in my 20’s and my 30’s.  As I enter my 50’s, I will likely look at things differently than I did in my 40’s.

I know that I am happy based on who I am, and not what I look like, or what material possessions I have. I’ve simplified and de-cluttered my home and my life. Negative people are absolutely not allowed in my life, and I’ve learned to recognize those people and avoid them as much as possible.

One thing that I believe is different about me now, is that I truly am living my life based on how I think I should, and not on what someone thinks is best for me.

Who are you changing your life for?

If your first answer isn’t YOU, sit back and ask yourself, why not?

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January 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm 4 comments

Living My Life Intentionally

Five years ago this March 9, my world tilted.  In the space of 3 months, three different losses changed my life as I knew it.  March 9, 2006 was the day that I came home from work to find half of my furniture gone, as well as everything in my bank account.  The explanation – a note that read “sorry things haven’t worked out, I won’t be back”  The next month I lost my job, and the following month my father passed away.  A trifecta of  boots to the head and heart. As much as I wanted to curl up into the fetal position and wish the world away, I had two young children who needed their mother.  I couldn’t and didn’t want to fail them.  I pulled up my socks, and got on with it.

Over the next few years, the only word that could describe my life was “SURVIVE”

Each person handles grief differently.  Two years after these events happened, I really thought I had it all back together, but looking back, I realized that for every two steps I took forward, something would always knock me back one step. I hadn’t dealt with the losses, I had just pushed them really, really far down.   A good friend of mine said to me at the time, that it would be at least 5 years before I fully recovered, and dealt with my grief.  She also said that I shouldn’t expect to have anyone in my life until I completely healed.

I read somewhere that you hold your weight where your body holds your grief.  All of my weight gain was in my torso, exactly where I pushed my grief down each time I couldn’t deal with it.  I have been told many times over the past few years that I needed to wrap my feelings and grief in healing white light and release it out with love and forgiveness to the people who caused my pain.   I finally did this just before I started this journey that I’m on, and I truly believe that part of my success is because of releasing that trapped grief.

It has been a long five years, but with the turning of the clock on January 1st, I am in the home stretch of this 5 year period.

This is the year that the words that will describe my life will be “BELIEVE” and “ACHIEVE”

This year I intend to live my life intentionally instead of accidentally.  I’m going to be an active participant in my life, instead of a spectator.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I don’t make resolutions, but I do make goals.

Here are the goals that I will be starting 2011 with

  • Participate in the 100 days of intentional movement (read here for more info on how you can participate)
  • Walk 2011 miles in 2011 – this breaks down to 5.6 miles per day.  I will be buying a pedometer and using a tracker from (I have added a page entitled 2011 miles in 2011 so you can follow my progress
  • Continue my healthy eating and exercise program
  • Will continue to monitor my weight loss, but will embrace the Non-Scale Victories as well
  • Lower my body weight by 10% by February 1st, 2011 (19 lbs, of which I have already lost 12 pounds)
  • Lose the next 10% of body weight (17 lbs) by April 1, 2011
  • Read at least one book per month that provides spiritual sustenance or enlightenment.  (I will blog soon about the book I am presently reading)

Today, I started my first day of the 100 days of intentional movement and walked approximately 8 miles during my 2 1/2 hour hike.  I belong to an outdoor activity group, and there were 32 of us participating today.

It was great weather, -4 degrees C with very little wind, and a light snow. Great views of Lake Ontario with Toronto on the horizon, and great conversation!  Our next event is next Sunday when we go ice skating at the Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail Can’t wait!

What are you doing to live your life intentionally?

PS – when searching for an image for living life intentionally, I discovered a book by that exact title.  I will be looking for this book shortly to add to my reading list.

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January 2, 2011 at 6:59 pm 2 comments

Resolutions? Or Goals?

First of all, I want to wish everyone a healthy, happy and prosperous 2011!  I still can’t believe we’re in the second decade of the millennium.  Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday that we went through Y2K?

Did you make any resolutions for this year? If you did, here is an interesting article on How to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions.

I’ve stopped making resolutions at 11:59 p.m. on December 31st.  I decided a while ago that resolutions can be made at any time of the year.  I believe that resolutions are more likely to be kept when you’re ready for them.  November 1st was the day I made some resolutions in 2010.  And for the most part, they’re still being kept.

Over the Christmas holidays, I was worried that I might not be able to maintain my healthy eating, and there definitely were a few things that I ate that put me over my food limit for the day.  However, I didn’t obsess over it, or give up completely.  I just made sure that I ate correctly the next day.  The one thing that I didn’t do very well though was drink all of my water every day or take my vitamins regularly.  That’s ok though, it’s a new year and I’m back on track now! (note – this is not a resolution!) Smiley

Today, for the first time in over 2 weeks, I weighed myself.  The last time I weighed myself,  was December 8, and this is what I saw on the scale.

So with some anticipation, and intrepidation, I weighed myself this morning.

To my delight, here is what I saw.

I managed to lose 1.5 lbs over the Christmas holidays.  Pretty darn good, if I have to say so myself.

Here are some of my NSV’s that I achieved over the past 2 weeks.

  • I bought new pants and a sweater for myself at the Christmas sales.  I bought size 14 pants which are already loose on me.  Should have got the size 12 after all.
  • Baked and baked goodies for Christmas, but only had one or two, and gave the rest as gifts.
  • Hosted my Open House party for friends and neighbours, made loads of goodies and appetizers, and again, didn’t overindulge.
  • Pulled out the “party dresses” for the New Years Eve party I was going to, and tried to choose which one I would wear.  The choice actually was made for me, as the two black dresses that were tight on me the last time I wore them, were actually too loose to wear, and have now been added to the pile of clothes that I am going to have altered at my next 10 lbs loss.  Instead I wore a dress that I had bought a little tight, and have never been able to wear – until last night.  And I received LOADS of compliments on the dress.
  • I danced for 3 and a half hours last night, only stopping to drink water, and never once feeling winded or tired.  (my feet were sore, but only because I had on my 4 inch stilettos)

Last night as my friends and I hugged, kissed, blew noisemakers, wished each other Happy New Year, and sang Auld Lang Syne, I was pleased that I hadn’t made any resolutions, but that I had goals to look forward to in 2011.

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January 1, 2011 at 10:04 pm 6 comments

Time Goes By Way Too Quickly

I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.

(excerpt from Love You Forever by Robert Munsch)

Happy 17th Birthday Adam!




























December 9, 2010 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

I Know They Mean Well, But…

I’m sure you’ve run into them.  The people who know the “perfect” diet for you to try.  I’ve run into a few of them lately. People have started to notice my weight loss, and ask me what I’m doing to lose the weight.   I tell them that I’ve lost 10 pounds in one month by eating healthily and controlling my portion sizes, and combining it with exercise.

That response seems to confuse them, because I haven’t called it the “so and so” diet.  They blink, and then say – “You should try Atkins, or the Zone, or (insert any name of diet here)

Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate their interest in my weight loss, and their suggestions.  But if I’ve just said that I’ve had success in what I’m doing, why would they suggest something different?  I know that the ones who are suggesting these diets have never had to lose a lot of weight at any point in their lives, and they’re only suggesting diets that they’ve heard about.

Too often in the past, I listened to people who were suggesting this diet, or that diet, and in the end I tried a lot of the diets and systems that are out there – South Beach, Dr. Bernsteins, I could go on, and while I lost weight on them, I never ever felt that they were programs that were changing how I thought about food, and in the end couldn’t sustain the program, and gained back all of the weight (and more).

I’m not criticizing any of the weight loss plans out there (well, there are few that I would run screaming from), and if what you are doing is working for you, that’s great!  Stay with it!

So, to those people who have suggested I try other ways to lose weight, here is why what I am doing is working for me.

Starting weight – November 1, 2010 – 193.4 lbs

Today’s weight – December 8, 2010 – 183.4 lbs

Total Weight Loss – 10 lbs!

Inches lost

  • Neck – 1/4 inch
  • Waist – 1 inch
  • Hips  – 1/2 inch
  • Thighs – 1/2 inch
  • Chest – 1 inch
  • Calves – 1/2 inch
  • Total inches lost – 3 3/4 inches

Dress size down from 16 – 14

My goals for this week are:

  • Faithfully drink my water each day – 164 – 180 ounces.  I have much better success when I drink all of my water
  • Get exercise every day – it doesn’t have to be just at the gym- going for a walk, putting on some music and dancing around the house, etc., as long as I am moving and doing something, instead of sitting and doing nothing.
  • Eat more vegetables.  I was really good about this until about a week ago.  I’ve stayed under my calorie limit each day, but on some days there has been very little vegetable or fruit content.
  • Make a menu plan – again, did this really well for the first few weeks, but this past week was kind of a “grab and go” type of food plan
  • Prepare food to take with me to my part time job – not having a meal plan caused me to purchase meals while at work (while I still chose healthy, they were costly)

I’m doing well with the water, and preparing food etc., however, exercise has taken a bit of a backseat this week as life has been getting busier.  I have been taking walks outside each day, even if I haven’t been getting to a scheduled gym class.  My personal trainer appointment is on Friday, so I’ll know I’ll be getting my butt kicked then!

I’m celebrating my successes, how about you?

Cue the Happy Dance!


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December 8, 2010 at 11:26 am 8 comments

Older Posts

Goals for 2011

* Participate in the 100 days of intentional movement
* Walk 2011 miles in 2011
* Continue my healthy eating and exercise program
* Lower my body weight by 10% by February 1st, 2011
* Lose the next 10% of body weight (17 lbs) by April 1, 2011
* Read at least one book per month that provides spiritual sustenance or enlightenment.

Scale Goals for 2011
02/01/11 - 174
04/01/11 - 156.6
06/01/11 - 141

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