Wednesday, December 21, 2005

How Long Is Too Long?

To go without blogging I mean? LOL

Sorry things have been so quiet around here. I have been pretty busy preparing for Christmas and going to the gym.

Yup, I am sticking to the gym. I have been managing to go at least four times per week, and I have already lost five pounds. My weight is still not back down to the number I have in my sidebar, but I am using that as motivation to get back there as quickly as possible.

Things at the gym are going very well! I alternate strength training days with cardio days. I do 45 minutes of strength training on said days, and a full hour of cardio on cardio days. Yesterday was a strength day and damn are my abdominals sore today! My muscle groups seem to take turns complaining. For the first week it was all about the arms and the pecs (apparently there are muscles under those sagging boobies of mine). The second weeks my legs felt like they were going to fall off. This week it is the abs that are taking the brunt of it.

The kids LOVE the child care, and Lincoln begs me every day to take him to play there. That in itself is good motivation, and it makes me happy to see them enjoy the gym as much as I do. Yesterday they informed me that my kids are there more often than any of the other kids are. I asked if I get a prize for that and the woman commented that I should get a prize, since it is so great that I am getting the most out of my membership. That made me feel really good.

I also LOVE my new Mio watch. The heart rate monitor works by putting your index and middle fingers on two censors on the watch face. It is very accurate (I compared it to the monitors on the cardio machines, and by taking my pulse myself). The watch also has a calorie counting feature. You plug in the calories every time you eat something (the watch included a little booklet full of calorie counts for common foods and beverages, which is so handy when I am out and about) and it keeps a running total. You can also enter your calorie goal and it lets you know (by displaying little bars) when you are getting close to hitting your max calories for the day. If you go over your calories it beeps at you (which translates into 'Stop eating fat ass!' LOL).

If that wasn't enough, it ALSO counts calories burned while you work out! You just start that feature when you begin your workout. Your weight and age are all pre-programmed in, and then you track your heart rate as often as you like throughout your workout. The more often you track it the more accurate your calorie count will be. At the end it will subtract (if you want it to) the calories you burned from the calories you ate for the day. Very cool.

It also has a stop watch option, alarm function, and it displays the current date. This watch is the coolest thing I have ever owned for weight loss!

For my eating plan I am following Dr. Phil's food recommendations (loosely anyway). I am also counting calories (not so tedious now that I have my watch) and just practicing common sense and portion control. I am drinking all my water and just avoiding the junk food. That seems to be working very well and I am averaging a loss of two pounds per week.

I should hit my first reward weight sometime around the middle of January, when I will no doubt me more than ready for that day at the spa, LOL.

I am still annoyed with myself for letting myself slide so bad back in September. Even last year at this time I was 10 pounds lighter than I am now, and I was on good track with my weight loss. Then Christmas came and it all went down the toilet.

Not this year. I am prepared for Christmas. The past couple weeks I have really seen that I don't have to deprive myself. I have been eating a Christmas cookie or two pretty much every day, I have allowed myself to eat a lot of things I like, I just keep the portions small and don't binge.

For Christmas day I plan to have ONE plate at supper, with everything I want on it. After that I will just snack on veggies and avoid all the baking and treats. If I am within my calories for the day (which will include an extra 500 calorie allotment) I will be able to have a piece of pie or something. I don't plan to starve myself all day before either, I will just be sensible and not let my tastebuds write cheques for my gigantic gut.

I am slightly worried about being away from my beloved gym for an entire week. Although I plan to take my gym bag along, with my workout stuff and my resistance band, so that I can go for walks and do a little strength training. I am only aiming for half an hour of exercise per day while we are away, that way I won't set goals that are unrealistic and thus I will have a better chance at sticking to them.

I don't know if I will be able to blog again before we leave (Sunday afternoon). So I hope that all my readers have the most joyous of holidays. Take care of yourselves and we will see you in the New Year!



Tuesday, November 29, 2005

They Gathered Around Me, And Before I Knew It, I Had Signed My Life Away

Thank you to my readers that offered their stories/opinions regarding Weight Watchers.

I decided NOT to join.

Instead, today I joined a gym.

Our brand new Superstore opened today, and with it the GoodLife Fitness Center that is located upstairs within the Superstore (it isn't a full second floor, more like a mezzanine in the front-half of the store).

Anyway, the kids and I were there before lunch time today. The staff was very friendly and I was able to drop the kids off in the child-care center while I took my tour. The young lady that did my tour was very enthusiastic, and I was dazzled by the brand new machines and the impressive aerobics studio with floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides. There is also a huge change room, complete with half a dozen showers AND a sauna (I'm lovin that). The fitness classes look promising, and you get $500.00 worth of free stuff when you sell your soul, I mean, sign up for a year membership. The free stuff includes a Mio Ultimate heart rate monitor watch, an all season jacket, a dry fit t-shirt, a gym bag, and a free Visual Fitness Planner Assessment. Pretty sweet deal I think, I mostly wanted the watch ;) LOL.

The price was a little off-putting. It breaks down like this:

$39.00 Processing Fee
$19.00 Card Fee
$26.00/every two weeks for a year (minus the 4 weeks free you get for joining the cult..I mean, club)

So, that is about $725.00 for an entire year (including everything shown above). I had better look fabulous by next Christmas. I like to subtract the $500.00 of free stuff so that REALLY I only spent $225.00 for the year membership.

PLUS (for child care)

$19.00/child Card Fee (yes, they get their own membership cards)
$18.00 every two weeks (this includes both kids) for child care.

Another $467.50 for the year.

Yeah, I had better look DAMN fabulous by next Christmas.

They also throw in a free tanning session and free book written by the founder of this Fitness Club chain. AND I can use the child care while I am shopping for groceries, not just when I am working out. You can leave your kids there for a max of 2 hours, so I figure I can work out for an hour, shop for an hour, and I'll get my moneys worth. I am going to have to go at least 5 times a week just to justify spending that much money, but I know that it will be SO worth it.

I have been feeling so stuck in a rut and unmotivated since I stopped exercising. It is frustrating because I know how GOOD I can feel when I really try, so why do I allow myself to feel so awful?


Now I will be motivated by the money leaving my bank account, as well as the fact that I can work out during the day and I am not restricted by Jay's work schedule.

Way back when I started this blog, Jay had offered to pay me $10.00 for every hour that I worked out. Now that I will be working out at least 20 hours per month, my having a gym membership will actually save him money, LOL, since it will cost less to pay for the membership than it would to pay me to get off my lazy rear.

OK Caleen, stop trying to justify it and just embrace this opportunity to make yourself healthy and happy.

So, my orientation isn't until Monday (the Club is still under construction until then, and my orientation is the first one!) at 9:00 am. Between now and then I am going to work out my eating plan (something that they don't provide unless you want to give them MORE money). That way by Monday I will have a clear map of the changes I need to make in my eating habits at the same time that I make changes in my exercise habits.

I will succeed, I know I can do it, I just know that I can.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

I Looked Closer And Saw That The Grass Really WAS Greener On The Other Side

I am heavily debating joining Weight Watchers online. It is a tad pricey, but at this point I feel that I could really use the structure of the program. Everything is so hectic and there is so much to do around here, especially with Christmas right on our doorstep. It will be hard to keep my weight loss together over the holidays, and I think that if I had a solid plan I would be more successful. I REALLY want to go into the New Year well on my way to hitting my goals.

Sorry that I can't write more, I just have a lot to do and time just keeps slipping away like so much sand through my fingers. Anyone who is on WW or has tried it (either with success of failure) I could sure use some advice. I know that some of the wonderful women, who's blogs I read, are on it, and I am learning lots about the plan through them. Still, anyone is free to share their opinion :) I am all ears.


Monday, November 07, 2005

Like Snowflakes, There Are No Two Of Us Alike...

I know it has been quiet around here. Apparently my small number of readers were not that interested in my last post about my fish *SOB*.

I am feeling less overwhelmed today. We are S-L-O-W-L-Y getting unpacked and settled in. The house is starting to look like a home and not just a disaster area. I WILL get some updated pictures on here as soon as I can.

My diet went totally downhill before and since the move. I have just been eating everything I want, not exercising beyond housework, and generally being totally unhealthy. I can make all the excuses I want about not having time or energy or whatever, but the truth is I just wanted to give myself permission to be a lazy sloth. I know I have gained back some weight, but I am too afraid to get on the scale.

The snow has arrived and that does nothing for my motivation. Winter makes me want to store up a thick layer of fat and go into hibernation. I don't want to exercise outdoors, don't want to pass up all the delicious holiday treats, don't want to miss out on cooking and baking all kinds of sinful meals and desserts. I feel like a two year old having a temper tantrum. I DON'T WANNA!!! And that just makes me feel more ashamed that I have let myself slide.

However, things aren't totally doom and gloom here. I think that this house is giving me something very important, a fresh start. I feel like this new place is giving me a chance to start over, with a clean slate. New house, new furniture, new me!

I have learned a lot about myself since we got this house. Through doing all the tile and painting, I know that I can do anything once I set my mind to it. I can teach myself skills that I need, to finish tasks that seem impossible. This house is still in progress, like me. I have to keep telling myself that Rome wasn't built in a day. I can't expect myself shed 50 pounds overnight, just like I can't expect all of my little house projects to be finished as soon as I start them. Baby steps. One must not bite off more than they can chew (and I am practically famous for that).

I am recommitting myself to my health and to my weight loss. Although I plan to stay away from the scale for a few weeks, so that I don't get too discouraged right off the start.

On a separate note, I made another cake last week, for a 70th birthday party that took place on Saturday. You can see pictures of the cake here. Let me know what you think. I am hoping that once the house gets organized and I have a bit more time, I can actually go into business making cakes for weddings and special occasions.

Anyway, I still have lots to do around here :) I hope that everyone is doing well and taking better care of themselves than I have been. Hopefully this post will be better received than my writing about fish ;) LOL.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

The move has come and gone. It was a good move, as far as moves go. Everything got here in one piece, our friends and family that helped us move were fantastic.

We're still not unpacked (we have A LOT of stuff), and actually I am feeling rather overwhelmed by it all, so I don't feel like writing much more about the move at this moment. I promise more details and plenty of pictures in the very near future.

As many of you do NOT know, I am a Betta enthusiast. I have had Betta fish nearly constantly for the past 5 years. Shortly before we moved our fish, Skippy, died. I put off buying anymore for as long as I could resist, but yesterday I caved and purchased two new Bettas at 50% off day (at Petland).

One of them is a Copper Crown Tail, and I named him Copper (original huh, LOL). He would have normally cost about $22.00, but I think that the kid working in the fish section got confused when I started asking questions about the obvious case of fin rot that poor Copper was suffering from. The 50% off thing normally just applies to the fish that are regularly $10.00, but the kid quickly marked Copper as a fish for $5.00 even though I had taken his bowl from under a tag that clearly said $22.00. I didn't bother saying anything because the fish has fin rot anyway and probably would have ended up dead (like another beautiful fish that I saw in the display that was belly-up).

Since he told me that it was 50% off day, I decided to let Lincoln pick out another Betta. I looked at a few of the regular priced Bettas (some kinds of Bettas are more common, and therefore cheaper to buy. Some are more fancy, and are priced specifically based on rarity). I took down a couple of male Crown Tails that were pretty (they were all pretty commonly colored) and let Lincoln pick between them. He chose one and we went on our way. Two fish for $11.00 (after GST) so not bad.

When we got home I asked Lincoln what he wanted to name his new fish. He said "Carrot" and he wouldn't give it up, so his fish is now known as Carrot. Copper and Carrot, the new additions to our household.

You can see pictures of our new pets here :)

Anyway, blogging might be slow for a while, trying to get a lot of stuff done. Hope everyone is well :)


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

When You're A Celebrity...

Jay and the Glad Man

Jay is so lucky. This is a picture of him standing next to the real live Glad Man from the Glad garbage bag commercials (the Glad man is the one in the white suit, in case you weren't sure ;) LOL)

The Glad Man looks a lot older in this picture than he does on T.V. Jay says that when he talks he sounds exactly like he does on the commercials.

I have to go find a place to hide now before Jay discovers that I posted this picture on here, LOL.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

And when it was finished, the statue really looked more like a dog than a giraffe...

I added new pictures to my house photostream!

You can take a look at the mainfloor painting and at my recent tiling. Let me know what you think of the paint color :)


"I'll Take Home Improvement For $500 Alex"

Sorry that blogging here has been sparse. Since we got the keys to the house I have spent a great deal of my time over there. So far Ronnie and I have managed to paint the entire mainfloor a magnificent shade of dark sage green. It really is beautiful, and I promise that pictures will be uploaded soon so that all of you can marvel at my interior decorating skills.

Yesterday was the first day of tiling. I am doing all of the tile setting myself. Yup, just me, alone with a tub of mortar and nearly 200 square feet of tile to be laid in various room around the house. Until yesterday I had never laid a tile in my life, I swear. I felt intimidated, yet confident. Using the wet saw for the first time was terrifying, but as you can see I am here typing today, so I have managed to retain all of my fingers thus far.

Tiling isn't nearly as complicated as I had feared. I bought a book called "Tiling 1-2-3" a couple of weeks ago and memorized the steps to laying tile. Yesterday I went to Rona and a very helpful (not to mention attractive) young man got me all set up with supplies and everything I would need. I rented the wet saw and carted everything back to the new house.

I started with the backsplash behind the counter in the main bathroom upstairs. That was easy enough, no cutting involved. The tile looked good. Then I started on the row of tile around our tub/shower surround. The best thing is to start at the front, top corner and work back and down (you will see what I mean once I get the pictures uploaded). Both at the back and at the bottom I had to make a cut. I went out to the garage where the wet saw was set up (it sprays water to lubricate the tile while you are cutting it) and looked at it with dread. Then I lined up the tile, adjusted the guide, and flipped the switch. The circular blade whirred to life, spraying water directly into my face. A word from the now-wise, stand to one side of the wet saw. Anyway, it was almost exactly like using a table saw (I am no stranger to power tools for wood working) and it cut through the tile like butter. No shrapnel shooting everywhere, no sparks flying, pretty simple actually. I was relieved, to say the least, and I went on to make quite a few more cuts after that.

Today I am tiling the tub deck and the backspash in our bathroom. I may not get all the tiling done this weekend (I only rented the wet saw until Tuesday afternoon) but I am not going to stress out about it. I may need to go buy more tile at the tile store (I love that place) anyway, which isn't open until Tuesday.

Some people think that I am strange for doing all this work on a BRAND NEW HOUSE! I mean, why not wait and do it later (the painting anyway)? Why didn't we have our builder do the tile? Why saddle myself with such an undertaking?

Basically I don't think of these things as Home Improvement, I think of them as Home Personalization. I am a unique individual with very creative ideas. I love interior decorating and I am extremely decisive when it comes to that sort of thing. I know what I want, I don't need to live in a place to 'get a feel for it'. I designed our kitchen, picked out appliances, and made many decisions about the house without ever seeing it in real life. I have the ability to see things clearly in my brain just from looking at drawings and paint chips. Why on earth would I complicate the process by waiting until the house is filled with furniture? Like I said, I am a unique person, and I want my home to reflect myself and my family. I didn't want to take the crappy tile that our builder offered, and have that in every bathroom in the house (and the kitchen). I wanted different tile, to go with different paint colors and to give a different feel for each room. I didn't even stick to one color of cabinetry throughout the house. I also do not want to live in a dead mushroom. I want my house to have BOLD colors, to be expressive! I want people to walk through my house and think 'WOW'. I don't want it to look like every other new house they have ever seen, drab and beige and Boring with a capital 'B'. Because that is just not me, and I have spent the past 4 years living in places that are not me. This house is actually ours and I don't have to worry about selling it anytime soon, why not make it feel like home? This is my way of making this house 'ours'. It won't be a house when I am done with it... it will be our home.

Pictures in the next few days of the paint and the tile, I promise :)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my Canadian readers!