December 31, 2013

Family Tragedy

We have had a very sad end to 2013 in our family.  If you live in Southern Ontario, you may have heard in the news, about a terrible snowmobile accident in Thorold on Boxing Day.  Two young men were killed and a woman seriously injured.  Those two young men were Jim's cousin's only two children, aged 25 and 28.  The older one had a baby girl, 8 months old.  You hear about these horrific things in the news, but it is always other people.  It is still so surreal.  I just can't get my head around it.

The funeral was this morning.  I cannot even begin to imagine what they must be going through.  We just have to try to move on.

December 18, 2013

Pre-Christmas Craziness

It's been busy, with getting ready for Christmas and having my birthday and one of my sisters' birthday 5 days apart, getting together with friends, and packing for our trip to Halifax to spend Christmas with Sarah, Matt, Lily and Emma.  I can't wait!  Talked to them on the phone this morning and they are very excited!  I've been watching the weather closely and am hoping things will go smoothly.  There are systems moving through, but it looks like it should be ok for when we are flying.  We leave Toronto Island around 2:30, with a one-hour flight to Ottawa, half hour stopover there (we don't have to change planes) and then about 1 1/2 hrs to Halifax, so we should get there around 7pm Halifax time.  (They are an hour ahead).

I weighed in this morning at 230.4.  That's not too bad, since I had gotten up to a little over 232.  I will have to stay focused and make good choices.  I will have a few treats, but try to make thoughtful decisions and not let myself be mindlessly munching.  Matt was given a 25 lb turkey from work, so we will have it coming out of our ears after Christmas!  Of course, Christmas Eve will be tourtiere (I still haven't figured out how to use the bilingual keyboard for the e with accent grave). 

I didn't run last night.  I usually visit my mom on Wednesday evenings and we watch a movie together.  Since we are leaving tomorrow, we did our movie last night (running night).  I'm kind of glad anyway.  Jim said it was pretty sloppy out and they had to be really careful.  That would be the last thing I would need...to slip and twist something right before our trip. 

I'm not sure how much I will get here over the holidays, so if it's not 'til after Christmas, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014. 

December 16, 2013

Birthday Brunch

Saturday was my birthday and I got up and made some coffee.  Jim hadn't said anything, so finally I just said, "Happy Birthday Honey!".  I was going to just wait until he remembered, but figured I would just end up getting mad at him. 

Jim hadn't set the alarm, so I just left it.  We woke up around 7:30...too late to get to the group run at 8:00.  That was OK.  I don't think I would have gone anyway.  It was snowing lightly and blowing a bit.  Later, when we were out doing some errands, I was glad.  The snow was slushy and very slippery.  That really scares me.  And, I wouldn't want to fall and hurt myself just before going to Halifax. 

Sunday, we had the family over for a birthday brunch.  One of my sisters was sick, so there were 16 people here.  It was kind of crowded, but we managed to sit everyone down.  I always leave things to the last minute.  And every time I say next time will be different!  Maybe one day I will learn.  So, I was finishing up with setting the table and putting out a few candles when everyone was arriving. 

I made 2 different crustless quiches.  Ham and asparagus with Havarti cheese, and red and green peppers and onions with cheddar cheese.  We also had meatballs in the slow cooker.  I had planned to make homemade, so as to not have wheat fillers, but convenience won because of the time crunch.  Fruit, veggies, gluten-free crackers and cheese.  I also made the Maple Bacon butternut squash casserole that I made recently when we had a turkey dinner.  I tried a new recipe as well:  Pineapple Coconut Slaw, which was really good.

For dessert, I made my own birthday cake!  It was my choice.  I was looking for a paleo-friendly carrot cake recipe and found this amazing looking one.  When I saw the picture, I knew that was the one I had to try!  It certainly wasn't inexpensive to make, with almond flour and cashew butter and a whole slew of other items, but it wasn't very difficult.  I made a few changes by checking on the internet.  It called for 8" pans and I had 9" ones, but saw in the blog comments that another reader had just used 2 of the 9" pans, instead of 3 - 8" ones.  I also used honey instead of agave nectar and butter instead of palm shortening.

One ingredient is coconut butter.  We did find it, but it was around $12 for a small jar, so I didn't get it and thought I would search the internet for a suitable substitute.  It turns out that coconut butter is super simple to make.  I just put 5 cups of coconut in the food processor and let it go, stopping occasionally to scrape the bowl.


 

When it came out of the oven, it looked and smelled pretty good!  I used chopped cashews instead of walnuts for the garnish.  Mine didn't look as pretty as the blog picture, but it tasted good and everyone really liked it!  
  

 
This is getting rather long, but I just have to share what our kids gave us.  This was a gift for my birthday and for both Jim & I for Christmas.  There were 3 envelopes, marked #1, #2 and #3. 
 
 
The first was money for the GO train to Toronto.

 
Next was a gift card for dinner.

 
The third was tickets to see Les Miserables! 

 
I am so excited.  I saw it twice back about 20 years ago, and loved the recent movie.  I really wanted to go to Toronto again, but we really don't have extra money at the moment for theatre tickets.  I was fine with that, but very pleasantly surprised when I opened this gift1 
 
 

December 9, 2013

Frustrated and Weigh In

This leg is driving me crazy!  It's not extremely painful, but when I try to run, it hurts enough to make me limp and before long, the pain goes right down to my ankle.  I went out Saturday morning to the group run.  The washroom lineup made me miss the warm up, so Jim & I  just walked a little further than the others at the beginning and did a few stretches while we were walking.  We ended up only running for one minute, but continued walking up to the corner before turning around, so we did get in just over 2 km.  I'm not too concerned yet, but if I am going to do the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon on June 1, training will need to start shortly into the new year.

I saw this on Facebook today.  It was posted by From Fat to Finish Line - the documentary .  It is about 12 strangers who lost at least 100 lbs each and got together a team to run a Ragnar Relay from Miami to Key West in 2 days.  They are making a movie about it.  There are very inspiring stories...check it out.

 
I think this is very important and something I need to remind myself of.  I think I should will print this up and post it on my fridge! 

Eating was not great on the weekend.  We put up the Christmas tree yesterday, so I sent our oldest daughter Hillary a text to see if she and William would like to come and help.  They did, and brought some of their homemade gingerbread cookies. 

 
 
William had fun helping with the Nativity set as well!
 
Jim had also brought me home a coconut butter tart from the market.  I like it that they sell them individually wrapped, so I can buy just one occasionally.  I shared it with Hillary.  It would be very bad if I brought home a package of 6!  Dinner ended up being takeout pizza and wings, although it was only 20 wings for 5 people, and I had 2 pieces of pizza, so again, it could have been worse.  We finished it off with Candy Cane Fudge Crackle ice cream. 

I have just been kind of "winging it" with my eating lately, and I am back to maintaining up and down with about 5 lbs.

That reminds me...I guess I need to report on my Monday Weigh In.  (I just tacked that on to my post title!)  I was 233.2 this morning.  UGH!  I need to get back to tracking my food and keeping track of my calories and carbs to get my sugars back down.  They haven't been great either.

I was mentioned in a blog!  A while back, Shelley at My Journey to Fit wrote a post about being visible when running at night.  I passed on a link to a Canadian company that sells iron on reflective designs.  Shelley tried them and wrote a review on them today!  You should check out her blog.  I love it.  It is one of the blogs I make sure to read if I miss a few days and get behind.        

December 6, 2013

Happy to be Obese?

I was reading Shannon's blog over at Tatlock's Truth.  She posted a picture of her BMI results, which now classify her weight as "normal".  Woohoo!!  Congratulations Shannon. 

That got me to thinking about my own BMI.  I haven't calculated it in a while, so I went to an online calculator and punched in my numbers.  The result showed a BMI of 39.5!  I know that's really high, but it just brings me into the category of "obese" and that makes me happy!

You see, at my highest weight of 323 (and at 5' 4"), my BMI was 55.4...SUPER morbidly obese!  I lost a bunch and gained some back.  Back at the end of June, when we started our Whole 30, I was 257, which is a BMI of 44.1, or morbidly obese.  So, now, to be just obese is my next step towards better health.  I just need to keep moving forward towards being simply overweight, and then eventually normal...one slow step at a time!

I am planning to run in the morning with the group.  I saw the chiropractor today and will do a bit more stretching and foam rolling tonight.  I am hoping for 30 - 40 minutes, but after last night, even 20 minutes would be good and better than nothing. 

December 5, 2013

My Angry IT Band

My IT Band does not like me today.  I had a very deep massage on it yesterday, and it has been quite tender all day.  I decided I would go running and play it by ear.  I did the warm ups and started walking up to the corner, where we would start to run.  It was already a little sore walking, but I started to run and right away it hurt.  It is right in the lower glute  I kept going, because often it will kind of work itself out, but soon I started limping and aching all the way down my leg.  Maybe I could have gone further, but I remember reading once that, if a pain is altering your gait, then it is a good idea to stop.  I hate to be a wimp, because I know that I can sometimes be overly cautious, but I thought it better to get this fixed now, before I start training for something.  I have another appointment with the chiropractor tomorrow.  Our massage coverage is just about finished, but we still had $500 to use at chiropractor (by the end of the year), so I figured I might as well take advantage of that. 

Speaking of training, my dear husband has been telling ladies at the running store that I am thinking of running the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon on June 1.  Well, I AM thinking about it, but now it is out there!  My friend Sandra put this on my Facebook timeline the other day.

 
I like it, and it is so true.  I remember the very first time I started running.  I think had done my first 5k and I was looking back at my training schedule, reflecting how, back at the beginning, even running for 2 minutes had seemed like it would be impossible.  It was a really good feeling to see how far I had come.
 
It was the same this time around.  My first run in September was 6 repeats of run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute.  It was really hard, but gradually the walking breaks disappeared and the time increased, ending with a 5k last Saturday that took me 49:24.  I will never be fast, but I  know that it will get easier in time.  And, I am hoping that getting some more weight off will also help. 
 
One of the greatest memories I have is when I was training for my first 10k (Ottawa 2009).  On the long run, you get to a point where your legs start to complain and you have to push through.  One particular Sunday, I think my run was 7 or 8 km.  So, we are running along and I got the familiar, "enough is enough" complaint from my legs.  Then it struck me...we were at around the 5k point!!  I had gone what had once been an impossible distance for me before I really had any struggle to keep going! 
 
I made another loaf today that turned out pretty good.  It used coconut flour and had crushed pineapple in it.  I also added some shredded coconut and raisins. 
 
Lily's quilt is finished!  I am very happy with it.  I can't wait to give it to her.
 
 
 
We leave in two weeks, so we are going to have to start thinking about packing.  We are having the family over next Sunday for brunch, for my birthday, so that menu has to be planned and the house cleaned and hopefully decorated a little bit.  (It has been rather neglected while I have been doing this sewing, and I am not the most diligent housekeeper in the first place).  Add in a few dinners and get togethers, and it is going to be a very busy couple of weeks.   
 
 

December 2, 2013

Monday Weigh-in and My Pretty, New Phone

I guess first things first.  I was a little surprised and disappointed this morning.  First thing after I got up at around 5:30 AM, I stepped on the scale and it said 229!  So that was up 1.4 lbs.   What the heck?  I thought I had a good week and wasn't expecting a huge loss after last week, but was hoping for at least a pound.  In the past, I have had the experience of getting on the scale again, after I have "woken up" a bit, and getting a better result.  So, I did that...

 
 
Better...only up .4 lbs.  Oh well...I know that my body fluctuates...sometime a LOT.  When I was younger, if I had been eating poorly and then got back on track, I have lost as much as 13 lbs in one week.  BUT on the other hand, I have also gained that much in a bad week.  So I keep on plugging away at it.  It will all come out good in the end.  And it's not the numbers that are important, but that I am making healthy choices.  This year, I have seen my nightly insulin dose go from 65 units down to 10 units, as well as improvements in my blood pressure since I started running again.

I have been busily working on Lily's quilt so that it will be done in time to take to Halifax, in just a little over 2 weeks.  I have finished the machine sewing and just need to flip the binding over and do the hand stitching on the back.  I turned the TV off while I worked, so as not to get distracted.  So, I have been enjoying my Christmas CDs.  Right now, I am listening to the heavenly voices of Il Divo.  They are incredible...and not too hard to look at either!  :)

 
I forgot to mention in the Mock 5k report, that everyone got prizes!  This year, all the men got socks and the ladies got headbands!  I chose a pretty turquoise/green one.  When I opened the package, I found out that there were TWO headbands!  There is a silicone strip inside them, so they don't slip.  I tried one on and it felt great.  I can't wait to try one out on a run!
 
 
My phone has been giving me grief for a long time.  Even though I had only a couple apps on it, it kept giving me a message that I was short on storage space.  There was plenty of room on the SD card, but it wouldn't let me move some things over.  When I searched the problem on the internet, I found that a lot of people had the same problem.  Then, when I went to the company website, I found out that this model has been discontinued!  No surprise there!  Yesterday, Josh wanted to go to the Koodo kiosk and change his phone, so I went along and got a new one.  I got an iPhone.  I have been wanting one so I could do Face Time with Sarah and the girls.  Koodo had some protective cases, but just solid colours.  There was a kiosk right next door with tons of pretty cases, so I went there and found a really pretty one that was also $10 cheaper than the one at Koodo!
 
 
I still have lots of stuff to learn that comes with getting a new piece of technology, but I got to talk to and see the girls yesterday for about 15 minutes!  I saw their Christmas tree and the stocking that Lily was decorating for her Snow White bear, and watched Emma make her silly faces.  It was wonderful!