Journey to the best health of my life (yes, the journey includes olives)


Whole30 made me feel beautiful

I’ve finished my second round of Whole 30. In fact, I finished a few days ago.  I have been wanting to write a post, but (and I’m being brutally honest here!) I had mixed feelings on the day I finished.  I was extremely proud of myself.  I still am.  I did 30 full days of sticking to the rules.  By the seventh day I noticed that my shirt was feeling loose around my tummy.  By the end of Whole30 my pants were falling off as I ran up the stairs for the train.  My energy was up; my skin was glowing; my system felt clean.  Result!  Why wasn’t I jumping up and down? (aside from the fact I did not want my trousers pants to fall off!)

I had to think long and hard about that question.  Like many of you, I have been struggling for years with my weight.  Even with Whole30 success it did not feel like enough.  I started Whole30 weighing in at 238lbs.  I finished 16lbs lighter at 222lbs.  Before you all go crazy and jump on me – I get it, 16lbs is a GREAT loss.  I’ll be honest – it was not enough for me.  I wanted to lose 100lbs yesterday.

I spent the last few days changing the way I think.  My brain needed to be retrained.  Success is measured in small steps, and not just one big step.  It’s all about the small steps we take on our journey that will turn into that big change we want to see.  That decision I made to not consume something off plan was a small step.  That decision I made to to exercise was a small step.  That decision I made to give 110% to Whole30 was a small step.  Small steps are enough.  Small steps lead to big changes.

My results are enough.  To me, the weight loss is a small step. It’s a small percentage of the long journey ahead of me.  However, it took a lifetime for me to get to where I am today and I cannot expect to lose 100lbs overnight. In addition, I now truly appreciate all the results.  I am on this journey to be the healthiest version of myself that I can be.  I have seen many positive changes while completing Whole30.  They are all small wins.  If I can continue the small wins I will reach my goal.

Whole30 did not just guide me to eating nutritious well-balanced meals. Whole30 challenged my mind.  It led me through a path of emotions that has truly changed my life.   It forced me to open my eyes and now I view my successes differently.  I am going to stop putting myself down and instead celebrate all my successes – big or small!

I looked in the mirror this morning and I felt beautiful.  Beautiful because my body is well-nourished; beautiful because I am taking small steps to improve my health; beautiful because I am true to myself; beautiful because when I smile I’m truly smiling.  My husband tells me all the time that I’m beautiful, but rarely in my life have I truly believed it. Today, I believe it.

I have no affiliation with Whole30 – I just think it’s an amazing FREE program.  Check it out here.  Also, I would strongly recommend reading It Starts With Food.  It’s a fantastic book!  



Encouragement from a stranger [at the gym]

Photo by @Foxy_O taken June 2014 – Stratford, Ontario

Photo by @Foxy_O taken June 2014 – Stratford, Ontario

I love to workout and I’m definitely a bit of a gym addict.  In this post I told you how awesome my personal trainer is, in the this post I mentioned how a smile at the gym put me on cloud 9 and in this post I spoke about how I stood up to insults at the gym.   A few days ago I had another interesting moment at the gym that I want to share with you all.

I went to the gym, as usual, and worked hard, as usual.  I was focusing on an overall body workout.  I hit exercises that hit all the muscle groups, I moved between exercises quickly, I didn’t waste any time sleeping on a machine (oh, I’ve seen it being done!), or talking.  I focused and I had a great workout.

Just as I was leaving the workout area a man (I would say in his 50s) stopped me and randomly asked how long I had been training for.  I felt nervous, and like I wanted the ground to swallow me up whole.  The last thing I needed was someone judging me.  If you look at me then you may think I don’t workout.  I answered that I’d been training for a few years.  He said he’d been watching me and that I was doing everything right.  My form was great and I was doing a good job.  I didn’t know whether to be mortified (I’ve always operated under the assumption no one’s watching me!), or to be happy that someone thought I was doing a good job.  He went on to ask me if I ate a ‘clean diet’.  I said yes.  He spoke about how important a clean diet was – with no cheats.  He encouraged me – told me to keep going and that I’ll get there.  He was bigger in the past and once he started working out and eating clean the weight just fell off.  I was touched.  He was just showing that he cared.  He showed a genuine interest in me, and really just wanted me to succeed.  He appreciated that I was doing all the right things and encouraged me to keep going.  My faith in humanity was once again restored – not everyone is insulting me, laughing at me or waiting for me to fail.


Feeling tired


I’ll get straight to the point. I’m tired. Just tired. I’m in a slump. It’s been a rough 3 weeks or so. When things get rough the focus on my health disappears. I’ve tried so hard to not let it happen this time, but I’ve found that this one (big) bad habit is difficult to kick.

I’ve tried to take my own advice – one meal at a time, one workout at a time. I’ve tried to stay positive. However, when that decision moment arrives I make the wrong choice. I know that I’m doing it, but it doesn’t seem to matter at that moment. Then, after, I feel even worse. I regret my decision. The cycle starts again.

I want it to feel like it’s “my time” again, but I don’t know how to get there. I feel like I’ve lost my way. I feel weak, but I want to feel strong. I feel all lumpy. I’m starting to get aches and pains again. I feel like I’m carrying a negative vibe with me. I just don’t feel like myself.

I need to create my own energy.  I need an action plan. I need to get on the right track. I’m starting with the gym today.  Today I’m going to create a positive day.


Time to weigh in! #2


I’m taking part in the STMC challenge. It is helping me stay accountable and focused. However, the last 2 weeks have been difficult personally on a number of levels that I won’t go into. My food has been on plan but my exercise levels have dropped. There was no change in my weight from my last weigh in 2 weeks ago. I’m actually relieved as I thought for sure I had gone up. I’ll take it!

Today is a new day. There is a pizza lunch at work for the hockey game. I’m prepared – I have my own (yummy) lunch. In addition, my gym bag is packed and ready for this evening. Tomorrow the office will be overflowing with chocolates. I will need my motivation list to stay on track, but I WILL keep to plan!


Time to weigh-in! #1

As part of the STMC there are periodic weigh-ins (and an opportunity to submit progress photos on the same dates). I’m trying not be all about the numbers, but at the same time it’s important to me to understand my progress overall. Even if my weight goes up, I will try to remember all the positive things my healthy lifestyle is bringing me. At the same time, I’ll try to figure out what I need to change to keep trying to reach my goals.

Having said that, my weight this morning was 230.5lbs! I’m very happy. That’s a loss of 6lbs since I did my first official weigh-in for the STMC on January 10.  The next weigh-in is February 13 so I’ll check-in again then.  I’m not sure when I’ll do my progress photo update, but I’m sure it will be at some point during the STMC.

My weight January 30, 2014

My weight January 30, 2014


Motivation list

I know that I have power over what I eat and that I can choose whether or not to exercise.

However, some days it’s really hard to stick to the plan.  On those days, in moments of weakness, I need to find a way to keep myself motivated to do the right thing for my health.  One way I do that is by glancing at my motivation list.  My motivation list reminds me why I am taking this journey to be the healthiest woman I can be.  Below are 10 motivating factors on my list (of over 30!), in no particular order.

Some of these may seem trivial, but they all provide me with motivation.  Do you have a list?  What motivates you in moments of weakness?

My motivations: I look forward to…

1. …a healthier body

I would like to have a child.  I want to be the healthiest version of myself before I get (if I get) pregnant.  I know people of all shapes and sizes have healthy pregnancies, and healthy children, but I need to know that I have tried my best to be as healthy as possible before carrying a child into this world.  I’m at high risk for so many things with the fat percentage I currently have that it is a necessity for me to lose weight – not just for me, but for my possible future child.

2. …confidence for adventure

There are a number of things I want to try, but my weight has always held me back.  I want to go paragliding, parasailing, skydiving, ziplining … to name just a few!  I’m too nervous to do these things at my current weight, and I would never ever want photo/video evidence of these activities (looking like I do) – but then again, I would want to share photo/video evidence with my family and friends – see my predicament?

3. …not being the fat one in the group

I’m the largest person in my group of friends.  I was at at a baby shower for a friend where we played some games.  One of the games was guessing the circumference of the pregnant lady’s waist using a string.  I put the string around my waist and well, it was much bigger than her waist (at 7 months pregnant!).  It was heart-breaking.  I don’t want to be the fat/large/overweight one anymore.

4. …my husband sweeping me off my feet

Yes, literally.  I’m a hopeless romantic.  I see those pictures of men holding the woman they love in their arms.  My husband is very loving and gives me lots of hugs, but I want him to be able to carry me, to sweep me off my feet.

5. …not dreading vacations

My husband loves to dive, and he got me interested in snorkelling.  I really do enjoy it.  However, I hate the thought of going to the beach.  I hate taking off my sarong and getting into the water.  Instead of being truly excited about our exotic vacations, I stress about my weight, and how I will look on the beach.  I even love swimming and I know it’s great exercise.  However, I’m so nervous about going to the pool.  I’ve done it a few times, but it doesn’t get easier.  I hope that dropping the weight helps me feel more relaxed about vacations and swimming.

6. …being able to cross my legs

I am envious of all those woman who can elegantly put one leg over the other leg.  I can kind of do it, but it’s not comfortable and it looks far from elegant!

7. …being able to eat what I feel like in public

There’s a woman on my train who is constantly snacking.  I wouldn’t dream of eating in public like that – I’d be so embarrassed.  I feel like I’d be judged because I’m fat (ie: all I do is eat which is why I’m fat).  Being able to enjoy the food I eat and not feeling guilty about it, even when I’m in public, is something I hope to experience.

8. …having fun shopping

I hate shopping.  There’s a very small number of stores that I can buy from and nothing seems to look good.  When I find something that fits I buy it in all the colours.  I want to be able to buy from ‘thin people’ stores.  I want to be in a body where I can pick and choose what I wear – wear it because I like it, not because it fits.  I’m tired of hiding under large and long boxy tops!  I want to be able to wear short colourful tops and not worry about a huge tummy.  I feel like colours make me look bigger right now and make me stand out more.  I look forward to a wardrobe makeover.

9. …being in the front in a photo

I spend most of my time behind a camera.  When it’s needed I go in front of the camera.  I always try to hide at least half of me.  I want to be happy enough to show all of me.

10. …sharing before and after photos

I look forward to sharing my before and after pictures with my WordPress family (and the whole world!).  I want to be able to look back at old photos and feel really proud of my accomplishments.  I want to be proud of who I am, inside and out.


3lbs closer to my goal!

So I just had to take my weight today because I wanted to see the impact of my week away – and I was happy to see that I’m down 3lbs from my last weigh in!  Woo hoo! 😀

My weight - January 19, 2014

My weight – January 19, 2014

While I was away I was pretty much a slave to whatever I was given. There were healthy choices so I tried to pick them. However, as you may have read in my last post, I did have a lot of (very yummy) tacos.  On top of that, I took a few flights and did lots of travelling in a bus.  That leads me to ask myself – how come I lost weight?  Well, I was very relaxed and I was out working in the sun most days.  I’m sure that no stress and sunshine had a positive impact on my health overall.

The challenge for me is to incorporate less stress (and sunshine when possible!) into my daily life.  As part of the STMC challenge I’m starting yoga on a daily basis.  This will help with my stress levels.  I’m also sure that working out regularly again will help my stress (and of course being active is great!).  I feel so good after and sleep much better.  Sleep is so important for me!  I find that if I don’t get regular sleep it throws me completely.

On that note, I’m off to start my yoga challenge!