THANK YOU!

Thank youDear Amazing Readers and Incredible Friends,

Thank you so much for your words of wisdom.  When I wrote the blog asking for help I didn’t expect to have so many people reach out.  Below are all of your amazing suggestions.  I figured that I would post them for myself and that I would pass them on to anyone going through a similar situation.

Group 1: Books That Can Help:

A) Advice from my book club friend:

A workout video that will inspire you and make you laugh:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOZDN1UnZ9U

Group 2: People Who Can Help

A) Friend from University suggested:

Meghan Prince (Mom and Fitness Competitor and lives in London, Ontario)

Makes food and fitness plans for you and you can follow her Facebook account:

https://www.facebook.com/The-Fit-Prince-212104138914348/

B) Marilyn Denis Viewer (who lives in Stratford) and now friend suggested:

Diane and Grant Hernden (they were both the Phys Ed teachers at my high school in Stratford. They live in Stratford).

Their blog: http://www.comfortlife.ca/blog/tag/diane-and-grant-hernden/

C) Friend suggested:

http://www.sararogers.ca/

If I didn’t make an appointment with Lauren Brown, this was who I was going to go with. She works with people in Toronto/GTA.

D) My former personal trainer/friend suggested:

Jenna Karon is an incredible personal trainer who lives in Whitby. I highly recommend her and wished she lived downtown.

Her facebook info is: https://www.facebook.com/jenna.karon?fref=ts

E) Family friend suggested:

Nutrition program called “Healthy at Any Size: 12 Week Group Nutrition Program.” It starts Wednesday June 1st at 6 p.m. at the MCC Toronto and costs $150.00. This program looks incredible!

F) Cousin suggested:

Fitness coach at Beach Body Fitness. This is an online program and the next program starts June 6th. She seems really sweet and you can add her to Facebook if you wish. Her name is Nicole Woosley.

https://www.facebook.com/nicole.woolsey.3?ref=br_rs

G) Friend suggested:

Her own program where she works as a coach and helps women look at their weight loss goals while helping them learn to appreciate their beautiful bodies. She lives in Toronto.

https://www.facebook.com/search/str/Natalie%2BMusial/keywords_top

Group 3: Possible Lifestyle Changes

A) Family friend:

She suggested the GI Diet. It basically ranks foods into categories and lets you know how often you should be eating those foods (e.g. green foods mean you should eat all the time).

She explained that she lost 25 lbs and her husband lost 40 lbs and they have been able to keep it off for 6+ years. She also sent before and after pics!

Info on the GI Diet: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-g-i-diet-10th/9780307361530 item.html?ikwid=gi+diet&ikwsec=Books&ikwidx=1

gi

B) Cousin suggested:

The Ideal Protein Program

My cousin has started this program and feels so much better. She has lost an amazing 24 lbs and 22.5 inches over the seven years she has been/stayed on the program.

She also used to have headaches and now has stopped having headaches altogether because she feels a lot healthier now.

Info on the Ideal Protein Program: http://www.idealprotein.com/

ideal

Group 4: General/Helpful Advice

A) Friend from Highschool

Was reading an article about all of the junk in processed foods and decided to make a change. Looks at ingredient labels and says a big “F” you to the diet industry. Empowered with making own food choices.

B) Aunt:

  • Try to get up early and begin your workout. That way you don’t have any excuses. Even getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual is a start.
  • Mediterranean Diet – helps to slim down your stomach and get rid of bloating.
  • Eat your biggest meal earlier in the day and avoid eating late at night.
  • Try to eat non-processed foods (avoid low fat products).
  • Stop obsessing over a number on a scale.
  • Ask for wine spritzers instead of a full glass of wine. Perhaps you can even have a glass of water for every glass of wine you drink. You could also ask for a glass of ice water and put the ice into your glass of wine.

C) Friend:

  • Ask your MD if they have a dietitian available (there is even one for free at most Loblaws stores).
  • Supper works can help you make meals and learn how to prep meals.
  • Personal training/boot camp.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            D) Friend:

See if you can talk to someone through EAP (Employee Assistance Plan).

E) Friend:

Use a gym buddy because it is so easy to make excuses on our own. We are less likely to bail if we have a gym buddy.

F) Multiple Friends:

Never ever compare yourself to someone else. Their weight loss journey is completely different.

Group 5: Helpful Apps

A) Friend:

Nike Training Club – videos with exercises that go over proper form.                                              ntc

B) Friend:

MyFitnessPal – keeps track of what you are eating/calories.

mfp

Thanks again to everyone for all of these suggestions.  52by52 is officially over and hope you will join me on my next blog (coming soon!)

Can you help me?

help  I am stuck in a food rut and need some help.

After being a Weight Watchers member for seven months I’ve lost 11 pounds.  Sometimes I attend the meetings and sometimes I don’t.  I almost always track my food but find myself super hungry because a) I am not eating the healthiest things and b) because I don’t know that much about making and preparing healthy food.

I’m tired all the time.  I get sick all the time.  I feel bad about my body and bad about myself yet can’t get out of this cycle.  I’m a yo yo dieter, a binge eater, a yo-yo exerciser and can’t stay motivated for more than a couple months.

Food is my BFF but I want a healthier relationship with food.

I’m looking for some help with these issues.  I’m trying to find someone who can help me make meal plans and deal with how picky I am with food.  I’m looking for someone who is patient enough to sit down with me every week to help determine my weekly health goals and who can help me get less focused about a number on a scale and more focused about living a healthier life.  If they can teach me how to cook healthier meals it would be an amazing bonus!

I just want someone to help coach me to live a healthier life.  Of course I would pay you for your help and would love it if you are somewhere around the downtown Toronto area.  That being said, when I researched this I kept seeing costs of $1000.00 for 12 weeks which is way too much.  Right now I pay about $60.00 a month for Weight Watchers and would love something around that price range.

Yes I could read books and start a bunch of random fad diets but I want a full lifestyle change.  I’m ready to introduce new foods into my life and to develop better habits.  Please help me.

If you know of anyone who could help with something like this please have them email me at sarahwreford@hotmail.com.

Thanks so much and have a great day!

Learning to Run

Total Loss = 11 lbs

Health Goal = Keep Running

Run

You know how people always suggest finding an exercise that you like so that you stay motivated to work out? Well what if there isn’t any exercise class or sport that you really love? That’s how I felt months ago and recalled the fact that I had loved running years ago. If I had loved it in the past, why couldn’t I fall in love with it right now?

Step one in my quest to start running again began with creating a really good playlist on my phone to use while running.

This is my playlist (please don’t make fun of these cool tracks).

  • Omi – Cheerleader (Warm Up)
  • Beyonce – Run the World
  • Icona Pop – Emergency
  • Britney Spears – Work B**tch
  • Pitball – Fireball
  • Icona Pop – I Love It
  • Destiny’s Child – Bootylicious
  • Usher – OMG
  • Kelly Clarkson – Stronger
  • Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen
  • Beyonce – Crazy in Love
  • Fergie – A Little Party Never Killed Nobody
  • Florence and the Machine – Dog Days Are Over
  • Mariah Carey – Beautiful (Cool Down)

To me, my playlist represents my favourite songs from the 90’s 00’s and present day that either have an amazing beat OR have a message that inspires me to keep running.

My second step was to find clothes that make me want to work out. If I feel gross in workout clothes, I’ll never hit the gym. Somehow, now, all of my workout tops are purple and my running shoes are purple as well so I always end up looking a little matchy matchy at the gym but I don’t care. For whatever reason, I feel most beautiful in my workout clothes. Maybe it is because when I put them on, I feel proud of myself for doing something good for my body.

My third step was to find good quality running shoes. Years ago, my Uncle Peter told the family that if you are ever planning on going running, you need to go to the Running Room for shoes. When I went there, I could totally see why this piece of advice was so important.

While at the Running Room, they watched me run, analyzed the arch in my foot, and recommended a great pair of shoes for me. From there, the sales rep came out with three pairs of shoes for me to try on that would be perfect for my feet and they were all amazing.

So I looked like a runner but my body did not really look like a runner. It is so depressing when you go on the treadmill about you have had a long break. I think the first time I ran on that treadmill again (with my excess body weight and being entirely out of shape) I could run for one minute. After once being able to run for 30 minutes, I just wanted to quit. What the hell?

The worst thing you can do when starting to run is to look at yourself in any type of mirror. What I saw in the mirror was a disgusting overweight woman whose body jiggled from side to side.

Feeling as though I wanted to quit, I figured I would stop looking in the mirror and find other ways to become motivated.

That’s when I turned to friends who said they would join me in a 5K and I also signed up to run with teenage girls from my school where I teach.

Since then, I have been trying to run three times a week. I’ve downloaded an incredible app called “From Couch to 5K” and love watching my app because it shows me when I can walk and when I can run. It breaks everything down so I don’t end up feeling discouraged.

Couch to 5K

The other day I ran/walked my 5K in 38 minutes which may seem extremely long for you but for me it showed progress. Right now, I can run without stopping for about 15 minutes which is huge for me.

One of my goals was to show my female students that you can run no matter what your size or weight. I had planned on running a 5K without stopping but I think it may take a miracle for that to happen.

That’s when I talked to a friend who ran beside me the other day and did a 10K on the treadmill in about the same time I did my 5K.

“You can totally stop” she said. “You just try and if you need a break, you take a break. I ran my 10K last year and had to stop at 4K because I had a cramp.”

So if true athletes can stop to take a break, I’ve decided not to be so hard on myself and take break(s) if I need them.

Will I be under 30 minutes in my two 5K’s in May? Hell no! If I am under 40 minutes I think I’ll celebrate. What I’ll be celebrating is that I actually got my ass to the gym and that I’ve been running and training for something.

Wishing everyone a great week!

Pressing the Reset Button

resetTotal Loss = 11.7 lbs

I didn’t intend to write a blog this week.

Last week I was so angry with my lack of weight loss and lack of motivation that I just decided to go without writing a blog. That was going to be it. Sure I had promised myself I’d write for a year, but every blog was sounding the same – I am trying to lose weight, here are the things in my way, here is my action plan, cut to a week later with no weight loss.

Normally I reach my goals so I thought that if I just didn’t write for a week and shrunk into a little corner, no one would really notice.

“I think it’s time for me to say good-bye to Weight Watchers” I said on the phone to my sister. It was Thursday night and I was completely drained. All I wanted to do was to have a night of self-pity and quit dieting forever.

“Maybe you should try the GI Diet” she suggested.

“Maybe that’s what I need” I said. “I’m just done with this and with everything.” As usual, I was so dramatic.

After my phone call with my sister I headed to my favourite store across the street – The Food Market. There they had every type of candy you could want. I stood and stared at a pint of chocolate and peanut butter haagen daaz and remembered when I would go there almost every day to consume an entire pint of ice cream.

“What the hell?” my inner voice said.

Still needing something to binge eat, I opted for something “healthier” instead – a Mars bar and an entire package of gummy candy.

I ate everything in one sitting – the gummy candy, my dinner of ravioli, and I followed it up with a Mars bar. Then came the tears – the shame, the fact that I had failed at my mission thinking about the possibility of just making myself sick to get rid of the calories. I went to bed soaked in wet blotches on my pillow from crying.

I was a failure. I was always going to be fat. My sister legit had a baby and lost all her pregnancy weight in the time it took me to only lose a sad 11 pounds. Poor me.

Then I woke up.

I took Friday off from work and started doing some research on diets and healthy living and kept seeing time and time again that Weight Watchers was number one plan for weight loss. That’s when I decided to press the reset button.

I’ve promised myself that I am going to give Weight Watchers another try until June 1st and I promise to stick with the plan. Over the past while I found myself slipping from the plan and missed three meetings in a row.

Who knows what will happen but right now I’ve pressed reset and I am literally taking one day at a time. Thanks for reading this and thanks for all of the messages and texts that came in last weekend when I didn’t write my blog. You all help to keep me motivated and I literally couldn’t do it without using a blog as an outlet and without the support of all of you.

FOMO

fomoThe other day I was sitting across from my friend listening to some issues that she is going through right now. As I looked at her I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that she needs to just slow the f down and take care of herself. When things get tough, she fills her days with a lot of different things to make her focus on anything but the issue she is experiencing.

Sitting there, I realized that I was doing the exact same thing when it comes to weight loss. There are so many things that I would rather do than go to a gym. Most of these things include going out with different friends and being social. I’ll plan time in the back of my head as to when I plan on going to the gym. The problem is that things come up and when someone says “do you want to do this?” I think “HELL YEAH. Guess I can’t go to the gym now.” It’s brutal.

Like many people I suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out). There are so many fun things that I can do instead of focusing on myself. In fact, I absolutely suck at focusing on myself so why I would want to do that? Why don’t I go out with my girlfriends and drink copious amounts of wine while complaining about weight loss and how I don’t seem to be losing any weight? Why don’t I take some time to write a blog about weight loss instead of going to the gym?

Last night I was hanging out with my sister telling her that I was getting up in the morning to go to the gym. She seemed so proud of me and texted me this morning asking me what I was doing with my day. Within the eight hours of seeing her I had planned my entire Sunday full of things that surprise, surprise do not include going for a run.

I am a weight loss mess. I have the best intentions in the world and have a goal I’d like to achieve. That being said, I self sabotage at every route. I have this fear that if I don’t hang out with friends and start saying “no”, that my invitations will decrease and that I’ll spend my weekends by myself. Logically, this is entirely insane since I keep saying “yes” to old friends as well as new friends. As a result, I am booked up and “can’t” hit the gym.

This week my goal is to follow the advice that I gave to my friend and slow the f down. I plan on saying “no” to at least two possible plans that creep up. I’m also going to fill out my phone with the important times that I should be going to the gym and I’m treating those times as meetings and treating them as the same time commitments I would have made with my friends.

The craziest thing is that last week I was teaching a bunch of students about time management and we were filling out sheets trying to figure out how each of us personally could find more time in a day to do the things that we wanted to do. Looks like the teacher should have filled out a freakin timesheet. Damn I’m good at talking about things instead of doing them.

Wishing everyone a happy Sunday! I’m off to meet someone for breakfast and then after that I have made a promise to myself to hit the treadmill.

Can you still be social if you are trying to lose weight?

Woman sitting alone at party
Weight Loss: 11.7

Health Goal: Try to find some sort of balance between eating and being social.

For the past two weeks at Weight Watcher’s I have lost 0.3 and 0.4 of a pound. What an amazing weight loss (please note the sarcasm).

At work, I will sometimes complain about how I am trying so hard to lose weight and not seeing results. Some people will give me their input about different things to eat or suggest different workout trends. Yes I listen to everything they suggest but do I really implement it? Not so much.

This week I was telling my co-workers about how I was heading to an event and also mentioned that I “may be hungover tomorrow.”

“Do you know how many calories are in alcohol? Why are you drinking so much if you want to lose weight?” my co-worker/friend asked.

At first, I didn’t know whether to cry or to bitch slap her but then I came to the realization that she was right.

“I like to have fun” I said.

“And you can’t be fun without drinking?”

It sucked because she was right. I love having fun and think I may actually be one of the people that can be fun without alcohol but why would I want to do that?

The conversation played in my head over a couple days. My weight loss is only 11.7 pounds in 6 months. When I totalled that up I realized that I have lost a total of 0.16 pounds a week. That number made me laugh and then cringe because it is far from my weight loss goal of 1.0 pound per week.

So this week my question is, how the hell do I lose weight if I want to maintain being super social and seeing friends? I crave friendships and social interaction. Yes I could probably do that at the gym but the gym isn’t a time when we spill our secrets or have a wild adventure.

Can you really have both?

Living in downtown Toronto there is always something to do. I probably average going out for dinner, drinks, etc. with friends, fam or with a boy a minimum of three to four nights a week.

If you are like me, you may be having problems with being healthy/having fun and you may benefit from some of this advice from the pros.

I googled “can you be social and still lose weight” and here are some tips I found.

  • Mentally prepare yourself beforehand. Remind yourself of your bigger desires (i.e. “I want to be healthy, I want to be able to run a 5K and not wake up with a hangover tomorrow.” thegabrielmethod.com
  • Suggest a night with friends doing something active (pole dancing class, barre class, rock climbing, ping pong, etc). womenshealthmagazine.com
  • Take a cooking class together with friends OR have everyone bring food to your house instead of going out to eat it. That way, the food is more likely to be healthier. womenshealthmagazine.com.
  • Strike a deal with yourself – if I run this 5K in the morning, I am allowed to consume two glasses of wine tonight. besthealthmag.ca.
  • Pace yourself. Sip water between every bite and keep putting your fork down. That may cause you to eat a little less at your favourite restaurant. besthealthmag.ca.

So I read articles for about an hour and those were the only tips that I found helpful. Now I am going to create my own list of things I am going to do.

  • Go out for dinner once a week and drinks once a week.
  • Start saying “no. “ I do not have to attend every single event.
  • Study the menu so I know what I will be eating/drinking before I enter the restaurant.
  • Order first so I am not tempted by what other people order (they ordered a 9oz glass of wine so a 6 oz glass of wine won’t do).
  • Plan for one big night out a month where it is okay if I consume more than normal so that I don’t go cray.
  • Remind myself that if I keep going at this rate, I will have lost all of my weight within about three years.

Please feel free to write any tips you may have below. See you next week!

Running

runnerssss_1

Weight Loss: 11.4 lbs

Health Goal: Start training for a 5K

About eight years ago, I used to consider myself a runner. Running a 5K was something that I could easily do on any given day of the week. Overall, I was in shape and working out several times a week and running provided a time for me to clear my head and to deal with any anxiety.

During a floor hockey game about eight years ago I noticed that I had done something to my knee. From there, I made an appointment and was told that I have arthritis in my knee. The doc went on to explain that the only other person he had treated with a knee as bad as mine (and around my age) was a champion figure skater.

How the hell could that happen when I sucked so much at sports?

Despite my arthritis, I wore a knee brace and ran as much as I could. Then I stopped running, got married, divorced, and gained a bunch of weight. In trying to lose weight the very first activity that I wanted to try was to begin running again.

It wasn’t that easy. Not only was my knee bad, but I also put on 52 pounds. You can only imagine what the extra weight would have done to an already bad knee. I also could only run for one minute. One minute???? Hideous!

A little while ago, my sister, brother-in-law, uncle, and uncle’s girlfriend all completed the Scotiabank Half Marathon. As I watched them run that race tears filled my eyes because I knew how intense the training would have been. I knew the dedication that went into preparing for something like that. Would I ever be tough enough to do something like that?

Now that I’ve been trying to workout more, I will sometimes jog on the treadmill. At first I could only jog for a minute straight but the other day I was able to jog for ten minutes straight. The greatest part though was that my knee didn’t bother me at all. Small steps to progress.

Last night I decided to set a health goal of running a 5K in May. Somehow I was also able to talk two friends into running with me in Toronto at Sunnybrook Park.

In preparation for this 5K I’ve downloaded an app that supposedly coaches you from being on the couch to running a 5K. More details on that to come!

Not sure how this will go or if my knee will be able to handle both my extra weight and the arthritis but I’m going to give it a try!

Please feel free to register and run with us at http://towomensruns.com/events/half-marathon-5k/

See you next week!

The Answers?

dietTotal Weight Loss: Unknown (sick with a sinus infection and couldn’t make meeting).

Health Goal: Took three days off work to get better and am using the beauty of March Break to get into a workout routine and to get caught up on sleep.

Last week’s blog was a lot for me to deal with. I felt as though I poured out my feelings and somehow felt emotionally drained. All week I have been setting aside time to try to look into the reasons why I haven’t been able to achieve my goal and somehow I still can’t figure it out.

Is it because I am not taking this journey seriously enough? Am I just making excuses? Do I actually subconsciously want to lose the weight? Am I just a food addict who needs to find a new way for dealing with stress? How do people stay motivated? How are other people successful? If I know I need to hit the gym, why don’t I just do it?

This is tough stuff and I honesty thought I’d be able to pull off a blog this week that answered all the questions. I thought I’d be able to fully understand what was going on with me but I don’t.

After I am done writing this blog I am going to create a chart. The chart will consist of things I am doing right (because there are some really great things happening) and some things I need to work on. From there, I want to create an area on the chart where I am going to address those weaknesses. Maybe that will give me some perspective.

I also have a story from this week that relates to everything that is going on right now. A couple weeks ago I ordered a beautiful pair of jeans from The Gap. The jeans were a size down from what I’d been wearing but I felt as though they may fit. When they arrived in the mail I tried them on and they were super tight and couldn’t button them up. HOT.

They were super skinny jeans and I realized that perhaps I had thought myself to be a little skinnier than I actually was. For the weeks after that, I struggled with trying to figure out if I should just order the jeans in a bigger size and have them delivered to my house.

There are so many times where I think I won’t achieve this goal or lose any more weight and it would be so easy to just order them in a bigger size.

I think this shows where my head is at and that I need to change things. Today I decided I am NOT ordering the jeans in a size up (even though they are on mega sale). Instead, I WILL fit in the smaller size ASAP.

Sometimes writing can be so therapeutic because as I write about my jeans story, I am realizing what is actually happening here. I’m so afraid of not reaching my goal and so worried that I won’t do it.

In the meantime, I don’t want to make this all about me because I know there are many readers going through the same/similar things.

So no matter where you are on your weight loss journey, here are some tips that might help you:

  • Eat only when hungry but don’t starve yourself. It turns out that skipping meals can actually lead to a binge (howtostopbingeeating).
  • Identify high-risk situations and feelings. For me, these high-risk situations involve going out for wine with my girlfriends. The “I will only have two glasses of wine” turns into a little bit more than that complete with some appetizers of some kind. This also looks includes people who are movie snackers, nighttime bingers, vending machine bingers, (howtostop).
  • Become a more mindful eating – i.e. avoid eating infront of the television, while driving, or while texting someone. Instead, light a candle, put on some music, and really enjoy your food (howtostop).
  • Moving away from a diet approach. This is a tough one for me because it says that with some work, one would be able to develop a better self-concept and should not try a diet. Instead, they would adapt a healthier lifestyle and only eat when hungry. This makes a lot of sense to me but I am not there yet (eatingdisorderhope).
  • Eat the right things. Always eat breakfast, eat every four hours, eat fiber, eat high volume meals which always involve protein (prevention magazine).
  • Take a pause and ask questions like, “why am I overeating?” You may even want to write in a journal (webmd.com).
  • Change your environment. If you are always sitting in the same chair, switch it up. Move around (webmd.com).
  • Give into cravings – in moderation. Yes you can eat a cup of ice-cream and not an entire package of ice-cream (wedmd.com).

 

Hope this gives you something to think about for the week! See you next week!