Saturday, February 28, 2009

Green Pancakes

After a heated game of Junior Monopoly, I compared DJ to Donald Trump. Well, that comparison still rings true!

Today was the annual Scout Pack 144 Pancake Breakfast. It is a big fundraiser - and lots of fun. There is an amazing silent auction (fingers crossed I won at least one of the items I bid on!) and lots of pancakes, syrup and laughter.

Tickets are $3.00 a single or $10.00 a family.

DJ volunteered to help. He was very proud to be asked to be a server.

Oh! How my heart melted as he approached a group of senior ladies and said, "Hello. I'm DJ. I am a Beaver. How many pancakes would you like?"

One of the ladies asked for two pancakes. So, off DJ went to the kitchen. He returned clutching a plate with two pancakes. He then asked the other lady how many pancakes she would like to eat. "Surprise me!", was her reply.

DJ looked perplexed. So, the kind blue-haired lady leaned over and said, "You decide how many I should have. Surprise me! Here is my ticket."

DJ took two steps back. leaned over to me and whispered, "She wants me to decide, Mommy! I get to decide!!!!" He was now visually excited.

I noticed the pancake line was long, and did not want DJ getting side-tracked, so I joined him in the wait to place his "surprise order".

DJ looked up at me grinning! He was all excited.

We got to the front of the line and his Leader asked, "How many pancakes do you need, DJ?"

DJ looked at me and smiled and said, "I would like one small pancake please."

What? One? I smiled and said to DJ, " Honey, I am sure that nice lady wants more than one small pancake. She asked you to surprise her - you should maybe get 2 or 3 pancakes for her."

"No Mommy. I want to surprise her with one small pancake. She sure will be surprised when one pancake does not fill her up and she has to buy another pancake ticket...then Beavers will make lots of money!"

CHA-CHING! I could see the dollar signs in DJ's eyes.

I straightened out DJ's hat and kindly said, " DJr, it is all you can eat, if you only give her one, then you will just have to get her some more later....for free."

DJ, with his beautiful grey-blue eyes looked up at me and with a thick air of innocence and disgust asks, "How the heck do you make money like that?!?!?!?!??!"

Yep, I think I have a little entrepreneur on my hands!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Fitness Friday - Race Day Countdown

Yippeee! It is Friday! I am very glad this week is over! I usually gush about my job - how much I love it, despite the hours - but things have been a bit, I welcome the weekend!
It has been a great workout week.

Saturday - Wanted a movie - so jogged to the Blockbuster! Jogged 25 min there and then took a shorter 10 route home
Sunday - went sledding withe the kids and then played soccer AND did my 45 minute post game workout!
Monday - Jogged 5.8 km - I did walk 3 times - but it was windy, cold and miserable outside!
Tuesday - Turbo Jam video
Wednesday - Turbo Jam video in the morning and boot camp in the evening!
Thursday - Ran @ 1.2 km, then walked @ 5km and then ran 2.2km
Friday - hmmmmmm...not much yet! but may do Wii Fit tonight!

OK. Now I need your help!

I remember this day, like it was yesterday!

This photo was taken in May, 2001. My first and only road race.

While I remember the day, I do not remember the training leading up to the big race - hey, if you need a good laugh, click HERE and read about my 5km race being more then 5km!

So, for all the runners out there, I need your help.

My first road race since my first and only, is in 2 weeks. It is another 5km race. I have no idea how I should structure my training between now and then. I usually run on Mondays and Thursdays and try to run once on the weekend - so really, I do not have much time left.

How do I make sure I build to the 5KM distance? Should I go light on the running my last few days before the race? Am I being a bit silly for getting all worked up by a short 5KM? Should I relax and just run it? What should I eat and when should I eat before the race? Will I be the last to cross the finish line? Will they need to send out a rescue team for me?

OK - honestly, I realize 5KM is not a long race - nor may it seem like a feat to many - but for me, it is a big thing. I am celebrating my 67 pound weight loss and my desire to lead a healthy lifestyle. It is the start to my new life and it is a start to running a 10KM race in May and a TRY-A-THON and then, hopefully a half marathon in September.
For my last 5km race I did a group training program and this time I am on my own - I am a bit more nervous and I am feeling a bit unprepared.

So, my bloggy-running-friends, any comments, suggestions, words of advise or encouragement you can send my way is appreciated! Hey, and cool running tune selections are also welcomed!!!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Weight Watchers & Steroids

I attended my second Weight Watchers meeting last night. According to their scales I am down one pound since my last weigh in with them - and their reading of 179 pounds is exactly what my weigh in at the hospital was on Tuesday night. So, we are all on the same page, or, well, should I say on the same weight???!!!

The meeting was packed - it is a very large group. We celebrated some successes: 5 pounds, 15 pounds and obtaining goal weight. It was nice to outwardly and publicly recognize people who are succeeding on program. (more on that later!) The main topic of the meeting was on tracking and the difference between journalling everything you eat and the simply satisfied strategy. I am a tracker - and I NEED to be a tracker - so, the meeting simply helped me to further commit to writing down EVERYTHING I eat and drink. By tracking and documenting and portion control, I think my weight loss will continue.

The team leader, while not super thin, was very energetic, encouraging and enthusiastic. I enjoyed her style and look forward to our next meeting.

Two side bars:

  1. My co-Weight Watcher joining friend had a GREAT first week - she lost 3 pounds!!! Ya for DC!!!!!! (hope you do not mind a call out in this forum!!!!) LOVE YA! See you tonight for our walk!

  2. I mentioned my blog at the meeting last night - hello all new Fringe Walkers - Welcome! It felt a bit strange to publicly mention and give the url of my blog to basically a room of strangers - but I look forward to meeting new Fringe readers and sharing, learning and loosing together!

Ok - now, back to my post for today.

Did you see my title? Confused? No, Weight Watchers is not pushing steroids! No, when I applied, interviewed and accepted a spot in my Weight Management program I figured the 2 hour weekly meetings would be like Weight Watchers' meeting - only kind of like WW Meetings on Steroids. I was excited - I am an extrovert and thrive on group discussion and such.

As I mentioned the other day, I only have one more weekly session for my program - then I have 6 additional sessions. Overall, I am very disappointed in the weekly sessions. Over the last 25 weeks I have committed to the program and have not missed one session. I have learned new strategies and have taken new lessons from many of the sessions - but overall, I found the sessions unprofessional and basically lame.

Initially, I was super excited about having sessions by a behaviour specialist, a nutritionist, and an exercise specialist. Very quickly, it was apparent that the nutritionist was the MVP of this group of professionals. The behaviour specialist was very nice, knowledgeable, and able to draw on her own experiences on the product - but she lacked a dynamic feature that the Weight Watcher leaders I have seen so far seem to have in over abundance. The sessions did not have a structured flow and I felt like much time was wasted on pop-culture items such as Oprah and here weight struggles. I also found that the behaviour specialist, while very friendly and empathetic to our struggles was too concerned about being politically correct and should have been a bit more stronger in preaching concrete weight loss strategies and habits.

I was utterly disappointed in the exercise component of the program - perhaps since I have always been active - but just the same, the young, perky gal was a bit of a flutter-cake who did not deliver any of the exercise examples and programs as she promised. Three sessions were used up, when the content she provided could have been done in one session. I would have liked to have seen one intro to exercise session, one session on defining and sticking to an exercise program and one session on evaluating and setting future goals.

As mentioned, the nutritionist was great. She gave good talks with lots of information. She was very knowledgeable and friendly. I found her very approachable. I enjoyed the session on reading labels and learned so much. I really enjoyed the taste testing session where she made healthy, quick items we got to try. I have suggested they have more sessions like that in the program - one guy in the program just eats cans of beans, and perhaps if we made, tasted and saw food choices he could graduate to other items!!!! I know I always appreciate hands on knowledge gathering on food and cooking items.

Another element that I really like at WW and found lacking at the Weight Management Program was the aspect of celebrating milestones. Unless we discussed our successes, and failures amongst ourselves, the leaders rarely drew attention to our weight losses. Especially while on product, you could see the weight coming off the participants - but there was no class celebrating. I realize this was for a reason, and that Weight Watchers really totes the successes - but it is easier to stay motivated when you know your hard work will be acknowledged. For this reason, I prefer the WW method.

In terms of the doctors - I looked forward to the weekly doctor sessions - though sometimes they were a bit lame. How are you doing? Look at you! WOW. See you next week! This program is toted as "medically supervised" I think more attention should have been paid to our routine blood work and really discussing our weight issues with the doctor, instead of just reviewing scale numbers.

Also, I think a session with a qualified professional - almost like a one-on-one shrink session - would have been a great addition to the program. People could explore their eating issues in confidence and with a professional. I did not feel I could really talk about certain elements of my weight struggle in front of the group. Further more, there was a session when one topic really hit a nerve with another participant and her reaction to the topic screamed for professional help. I am certain some of her eating issues stem from abuse and having a secure, professional therapy session may have helped more than skimming over her issues in the bug group. I for one also would have appreciated the one-on-one time to discuss the more emotional and deep-seated eating issues I have been working on.

Finally, the list of additional information sessions they distributed last week was a joke. The topics covered in Weight Watchers are more concrete and interesting. I have to choose 6 sessions to attend and not one session offered this spring interests me....not sure what I will do!

OK - once again, my post is getting long, and winded. I am not even going to proof read this post since I do not want to keep adding to it!!!!!

Like every program, there are definite pros and cons to The Weight Management Program. Like I said before, I will NEVER regret participating - but I am also ready to move on. I am excited to see what Weight Watchers has to offer...and I am even more excited about keeping focused, keeping committed and succeeding in redefining my eating habits, my relationship with food and loosing more weight!

Almost 67 pounds lost...about 30 more to go!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sam or Georgia

Mommy, do you like the names Sam and Georgia?

Yes, DJ. Those are nice names. Are they friends of yours?

No, I was just thinking when you have another baby we could use those names. I like Sam for a boy and Georgia for a girl.

OH. What makes you think Mommy is going to have another baby?

Well - I am all grow'd up and Anderson is all grow'd up and Madigan thinks she is all grow'd up and she is almost all grow'd up. I am 5 and Anderson is 4 and Madiginny is 2 and so now we need another baby.


Plus, your tummy is still big enough for another baby to get in. So, I think you should have another baby.




I think you should have another baby cause you have a big enough tummy and cause you are the best mommy in the world. Those are good reasons, right, Mommy?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weighing In

Weight loss wise, this has been a fairly good week. I have stuck mainly to my food plan and have been exercising a lot. I am anticipating a loss at tonight's weigh in.

Last week I had a gain, as I had predicted. I had gone up two pounds - I could list 4 issues that negatively impacted me last week. I am not upset or frustrated - heck, in 23 weeks I have lost consistently, only gaining in two weeks for a total gain of 2.5 pounds! I am very glad, I was able to regroup and have a good week. Even if the scale does not say a loss tonight, I know it has been a good 7 days.

I only have 2 more weeks on my hospital monitored weight loss program. I thought perhaps I would weigh in on the program.

One one word: extreme.

Yes, it was an extreme weight loss strategy to attempt. Going off food and following a low calorie liquid diet is not for everyone. It is a controversial way to loose weight. But I think, in some cases, this method could and is very beneficial. I think I am one of those feel-good stories.

I have always been active, and was finding it harder and harder to keep active since my weight was, well, weighing me down. I was beginning to suffocate under extra pounds, emotional eating and mindless eating. Deep down, I knew if I lost pounds fast, that I would get motivated and focused. I knew this would be a good kick-start to my new lifestyle - actually, a kick-start to returning to my old, pre-kid lifestyle.

That is exactly what happened. I am now active 6 out of 7 days doing some sort of physical activity. I am leading an active lifestyle - taking stairs, eating healthy, and being more aware of what my body and mind need to be at ideal function-level.

Going on an all-liquid diet taught me a few lessons:
  1. the body actually need very little (compared to what I had been giving it!) fuel to function,
  2. Number one is especially true when you are using high-octane fuel such as veggies and healthy alternatives,
  3. food does not have to control me...I made it through emotional and stressful situations with no chocolate, or junk food - I coped with only a shake, now I know I can cope without turning to food,
  4. I like good, healthy, interesting food - junk food is just that - JUNK,
  5. and finally, I never want to loose control again - and I will never turn to a liquid diet again - I am determined to eat a healthy and sensible diet for the rest of my life.

I am very glad I did this program. I am very proud that I did this program. I am proud, happy and motivated by my 65+ pound loss in less than 6 months.

Unfortunately, I am still coming to terms with me HAVING to resort to this extreme method of loosing weight. how could I not care to such an extreme that I could let myself balloon to such an unhealthy weight. I still beat myself up for past mistakes. Oh, and how I fear I will fall into old habits and destructive behaviour. I do not want to be THAT girl who lost tonnes and tonnes of weight, only to have it all creep back on...

I guess awareness and acceptance and forgiveness are all areas that I still have to work on during this lifelong journey and process.

Fundamentally, I enjoyed the weekly sessions. It kept me motivated and focused. I am actually a bit peeved that at week 26 of the program we stop going weekly. In fact, I went and joined Weight Watchers last week to keep the social, learning and educational component of my journey going in full steam.

OK...this post is getting a bit long winded! I have lots more to say about the different leaders that we had over the last 26 weeks and the doctor and participant, I think I will end this post and divide my thoughts into a series of posts that will be a sort of de-briefing of sorts.

I am both positive and realistic. I am facing the life-long challenge of keeping my weight and my eating in control. This is not going to be easy. Over the last 24 weeks I have learned many coping strategies and I have explored my inner-most thoughts and attitudes...I may not have will-power, but I have knowledge-power. I have a plethora of tools, tricks, strategies and ways of combating destructive behaviour, unhealthy temptations and even every-day-ordinary situations...I just have to keep at it, one day at a time.

This is me, 2 weeks before I started the program.

(Approximately 246 pounds)

This is me with only 2 weeks left on the program! Even in my winter coat, you can see a huge difference shedding over 65 pounds can make!!!

(approximately 179 pounds)

I promise more before and after photos soon...the main challenge is FINDING old, fat, me photos since I stayed away from cameras!

PS - guess what I did last week????? I registered for this, and this, and even this! YAH ME!!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Menu Monday - I'm Backkkkkkk!

Check out more Menu Plan Monday entries at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

I'm backkkkkkkk!

Now that I have disbanded my little cooking business, I am back to planning on a weekly basis! And since I ma not cooking for anyone but my own family, I am excited to start experimenting and trying new recipes.

OK. Since I last checked in with Menu Plan Mondays, I have continued to keep to eating healthy and working towards loosing weight. I have successfully transitioned to real food from my liquid diet and am eating between 1200 and 1500 calories a day. My weekly program at the hospital will be ending soon, so, I decided to join Weight Watchers with a friend. I have lost about 65 pounds to day, and would like to loose about 30 more.

So, here is my menu for this week:

Breakfast - Steel Cut Oats with banana and 1 tbs organic peanut butter
Lunch - Mixed salad veggies with baked tofu and Asian Spray Dressing
Dinner - Left over chicken and veggies

Breakfast - Steel Cut Oats with banana and 1 tbs organic peanut butter
Lunch - Veggie Soup with roasted mushroom caps filled with peppers and cottage cheese
Dinner - Mixed salad veggies with grilled chicken and red wine dressing

Breakfast - Steel Cut Oats with blueberries and 1 tbs organic peanut butter
Lunch - Veggie Soup with roasted mushroom caps filled with peppers and cottage cheese
Dinner - Protein Shake for me before my Boot Camp Class and for the family: Salmon Loaf with green beans - Recipe below

Breakfast - Steel Cut Oats with blueberries and 1 sm container of yogurt
Lunch - Left over salmon loaf and beans
Dinner - Mixed salad veggies with unstuffed turkey cabbage casserole

Breakfast - Steel Cut Oats with blueberries and 1 sm container of yogurt
Lunch - Mixed salad veggies with turkey and cottage cheese/dressing
Dinner - Broiled Shrimp and veggie pasta

Breakfast - 1 egg and 1 egg white omelet with lots of veggies with 2 Stone Mill pieces of bread
Lunch - Tuna melt wrap with beef broth soup
Dinner - Mixed salad with left over shrimp

Breakfast - protein shake
Lunch - homemade veggie pizzas
Dinner - not sure - going out for dinner with my soccer team!

My food-related goals this week are:
  1. to journal EVERYTHING!
  2. stop taste testing and picking at food while cooking

That's about it!

Have a great and yummy week!

Salmon Loaf

2 cans of salmon, drained

2 eggs, well beaten
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 cup chopped veggies (I usually use assorted peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, and shredded carrots)
1/2 cup bread crumbs - I usually use a mix of whole wheat bread crumbs and ground all-bran and oatmeal: just toss the two into your blender and blend away - makes a great filler! (I also add ground flax seed to the mix!)
1 cup skim milk
Crushed garlic
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients in order. Pour into greased or "Pammed-sprayed" pan.

Bake at 400 until brown. (45 mins to 1 hour)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Security for Obama

Yesterday was a big day here in Ottawa - Obama came to town.

Security was tight - all RCMP (Royal Canadian Military Police) were on high alert....

...except for this guy!

He was either sleeping behind his snow covered windshield, or he was out looking for a snow brush!!!!!

Honestly, only in Canada!!!!

But hey, what an amazing day!

* This was the scene on Parliament Hill when I delivered my morning report to the Prime Minister's office at 6:45am! People were already gathering to catch a glimpse of Obama!

Can you say Obama Mania, eh?!?!?!?

Thanks Obama for restoring hope and integrity!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When did David know I was the one?

The photos I posted the other day were taken in June of 2002. I love those photos - no matter how embarrassing or hilarious they are to others. To me, they represent love, and I think of that evening back in June every Valentine's day!

I was looking forward to our dinner out. David, my fiance, and I were meeting up with one of my dear bride's maids and her boyfriend for dinner. It did not seem odd that they had agreed to go to an expensive fish restaurant - even though Cara hates fish! It did not seem odd that a group of kids were hiding behind the bushes and giggling. It did not seem odd when David stopped just before Cara's apartment and turned me around and planted a wonderful kiss. Nope, it all seemed perfectly normal.

Till I knocked on the apartment door.

Cara certainly was not dressed appropriately for the restaurant, for starters.

And secondly, her apartment was over crowded with all our mutual soccer friends.

A surprise bachelorette party for yours truly.

Ok. So that explains the huge pen*s and my get up! And, yes, the drinking. But how does that relate back to Valentine's day or true love.
Like all totally awesome bachelorette parties, mine involved a few drinking games. One in particular is dear to my heart.

Cara had cornered David at work and drilled him with a million questions. She asked him tons of questions about his likes, dislikes, our relationship, his childhood - no topic was off limits.
From that interrogation she compiled a long list of questions to ask me. The idea was to see how much I knew of my true love...and how much I did not!

If I got the answer wrong, I had to take a shot - or at least what my friend Lynn thought was a shot - which was more like 3-5 ounces of really terrible "girlie" liquor!
At the beginning I did pretty well. More right than wrong...then I was asked, " What was the name of David's first dog?"

CRAP. CRAPPITY CRAP.... Princess? Queenie? I knew it was something "royal".....
DRINK UP! The right answer is Duchess!
For a bunch of questions I was so close, but yet so far...what a slippery slope...soon I was really feeling the effects of my wrong answers. Like my father always says, close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades!

Oh, I got David's favorite colour, his favorite restaurant, what we did on our first and third date right, there were some doozies...some challenging, some easy, then came the big question:

When did David know you were the one?

Hmmmmmmm.....When did David know I was the one? hmmmmm...when???

I knew for me, it was after our FIRST date that I gushed to my girlfriends I just knew he was the one....could he have known that early???

No. Probably not. OH! Could it have been at this time? That would make sense...

Yep. That had to be, I confirmed, that was my final answer.

I held my breath...

Cara yelped a big, "Nope - it was when your ski broke, or something like that..." and Lynn poured me another drink to chug!

I accepted defeat, and slugged back my "punishment" and started to reminisce about the night my ski broke... even in my drunken state, I could remember it perfectly!

David knew I was the one when one cold February night we went downhill skiing. I was not a skier - had not been for years. So, I dusted off my 10 year old skis I had lugged to Ottawa when I first moved to the area, but had never used. And, hoped for the best. David had suggested I rent newer skis - but I insisted mine were perfectly fine.

I had great fun. I stayed mostly on the smaller hills and slowly started to get the hang of it. So midway through the evening, the bunch of us decided to go to a more challenging hill.
During the chairlift ride David and I held hands. I was loving it all!

We did the top half of the slope. Met up, and then continued down the hill. All was going great.
I zipped passed David and then he zipped past me.

David finished the run before me and waited at the chairlift line.

And waited.

And waited.

He got a bit nervous, and started to make his way back to the ski run. He turned the bend, and little did he know that the next 5 minutes would change his life forever!

There I was, walking down the hill, carrying my skis!! And boy, was I giggling!
When we met up - I burst out laughing and gave him a big hug. He looked so concerned and worried.

You see, my ancient binding had exploded...yep, exploded.

I was in the middle of making a turn when I heard a strange noise and then I saw my ski take off down the hill...without me!

I went tumbling down the hill!

After getting up, dusting myself off, I could not stop giggling...I picked up all my equipment (I would later learn that it is called a yard sale wipe out when you loose your equipment all over the hill in a spill!)

With skis in hand, I walked down the rest of the hill. Laughing.

All I could think about was, "Wow, this is sure going to impress David! NOT! Hope he asks me out again, but I will have to buy new skis!"

Once he confirmed I was ok. He asked if I wanted to go home - I quickly replied, "No way - let's stay, you do a few more runs and I will wait in the chalet. Go have fun, but promise me you will help me buy a new pair of skis!"

David gave me a hug, and said, "Sure, I am so glad you like skiing..." he hugged me again, kissed me and told me, "love you lots".

I never imagined that at that moment, he was realizing that I was the one. The ONE for him.
All I knew was no matter what we did, no matter what, I always had fun with David. Even in the midst of huge wipe outs, I super enjoyed being with this man. Little did I know, that during our night of skiing, David was coming to the same realizations about me!

I waited in the chalet and watched the man of my dreams ski a few more runs. I was happy. Truly happy... and I still am today!!!!

Now, every Valentine's day, I give David a big hug and innocently ask, "Remember when my ski broke?"

And David replies with a grin, "I certainly do!"

Then, I giggle and say, "Remember my giant pen*s?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?"
(I will not post his routine response...just in case my mother or mother-in-law are reading!!!)

Happy belated Valentine's day everyone - I hope you had a wonderfully happy day with your loved one. Me, I went skiing!!!!

With the man I love with all my being...

... and with two of the three products of this mutual love!


and I was happy!

PS - sorry for the delay - my access to Blogger is a bit wonky!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Page Loading issue

It appears that there is a page loading issue on my blog...sorry!

I have gotten a few hilarious comments about my recent photos...and was told to put the link directly on a separate post so that others click through!!!

So, click here, to see my initial Valentine's Day Post!

I promise to post part two later today!

Hee Hee!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I knew you were the one, when...

A few photos to spark your interest...the real love story to follow...stay tuned!

OK. With photo evidence like that, can you just IMAGINE the story I am going to tell next post?!?!?!?!?!

Off to go celebrate Valentine's day with the sweetest, most wonderful man in the world......catch ya later!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

We're even, poolside grandpa!

Every Wednesday I take the kids to swimming lessons. The boys are in a class together and I am in a Parent and Tot class with Madigan.

With my recent weight loss, I was in desperate need of a new bathing suit. During our bi-weekly Costco shop I saw a great deal on suits. I hummed and hawed and finally decided on a nice, simple rust colour one piece. With no change rooms, I inquired about return policies and I was told no problem as long as liners and tags were still on the suit.

When I got home I tried on my new suit. It was a little revealing - but both my hubby and my mother agreed it was still acceptable for public swim lessons.

I wore the suit this week to swim lessons.

A few of the other moms commented on my new hair cut and my new swimsuit. And to them, I say: THANK YOU. Your kind words and encouragement really made my day. I still have more weight to loose, but every compliment and cheer of support keeps me motivated.

To the poolside grandpa I say: We are even! Ya old man, I saw you sitting waiting for the public swim to start after our classes. Ya, I saw you checking me...and my boobs out. Yep. I did. I saw you smirk at me and then remain in your chair even after the public swim buzzer sounded. Yep. You made me feel self conscience and a bit uncomfortable with your glare and smirk...but I would guess you felt even more self conscience and uncomfortable when you nonchalantly picked up your towel and laid it over your lap. So, grandpa, we are even - good for me for loosing 66.5 pounds and wearing a flattering swim suit...and, well, um.... good for you for still getting it up!

While, it will be a few more pounds lost until I am brave enough to post a swimming suit photo - here is a recent photo. I am actually wearing pants I bought at value village for $4.99 - they are the smallest size I have worn in 6 years. Even better, I am wearing the jersey that I wore on my first ever date with hubby - 7 years ago. Back then I thought I looked good in it...and now, while it fits me a bit differently, I cannot begin to tell you how great it makes me feel!!!!

66.5 pounds lost - February 12, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Successful Failure

My home-based business is officially a successful failure.

A couple of months ago I identified a business opportunity I thought I could capitalize on...and went about creating a marketing and business plan. Nothing too complicated, but I got all my ducks in order and quickly realized the potential.

Here was my starting premise:

After a long day at work do you wish you could send out a S.O.S for dinner?
Do you wish you could improve your diet by focusing on low calorie, low glycemic index foods?Are you on a tight budget and looking to stretch your food budget?
Do you wish you could provide your family with delicious, home cooked meals with wholesome ingredients?
Do you want out of the kitchen?

Introducing: Sensational Orders by Storrie - your dinner time S.O.S.

In only 2 weeks my delivers went from 3 meals 3 times a week to 10 meals 3 times a week. And the number kept going up. In my first three weeks I had to reject 5 prospects since I had no idea if the business would fly and I did not want to over-commit.

The idea was simple - make dinner for my family - following my new food and eating plan - and make a bit extra and sell it for profit.

I had figured my main clientele would be my fellow weight-loss patients. I was totally wrong! Yes, a few ordered weekly meals - but the bulk of my quick-start business was co-workers looking for either lunch or dinner alternatives. Then, through word of mouth of a neighbour, four families started ordering weekly meals for their elderly relatives in a local nursing home.

I became an over night success - and I was totally loving it! It was not much more work than preparing my own family meals - in essence I simply started buying in bulk and preparing double. I delivered fresh, wholesome, healthy meals Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. the menu usually included a chicken or turkey and a beef or pork and a fish dish. It was easy - and fun! I basically was putting into practice everything I had learned at my weight management program.

I enjoy cooking - and it was fun.

Was fun. Was.

I quickly realized that yes, there was money to be made in this market segment. And, yes, I was making money. Good money. Some meals had a higher margin than others - but I was making a bit of money on every meal I sold. It was quickly apparent that if I grew the business just a little bit, then the margin would greatly increase, and the work load would increase a bit. The greatest impact would be the delivery, clean up and sanitizing of the re-usable dishes. An investment would be needed in the amount of containers required to grow the business. But I quickly realized the best profit margin was being about double the size I had originally thought to be acceptable.

I slowly expanded my client base and the fun continued. I saw great potential!

One of the main reasons I started the business was to help me remain focused on making and serving healthy, proper servings. Making meals for others forced me to plan ahead and organize healthy, creative, unique meals. It was great!

Very quickly I realized the major downfall of this business.

I wanted to ensure that the meals were tasty, and worth the money people were paying me. Without even realizing it old cooking and eating habits started to creep back into my routine. I started taste testing here. Taste testing there.

I became very frustrated, angry and disappointed in myself. How could I revert to old, negative habits? Why did I seem to have no control? Why did I insist on sabotage my wonderful weight loss success?

So, on one hand S.O.S was a great success. I identified a market - and boy, was (is) that market prime. This could have been a very productive and lucrative business.

Sadly, I cannot continue. I figure the only way to make this the success it can be is to grow larger - and by growing larger, I sacrifice more of my personal family time and I could sabotage my 64.5 pound weight loss.

So, my business S.O.S is a successful business - this week I have 18 paying customers - for an estimated profit of $87.00.

And, my business is a failure, and I am closing down shop.

If anyone is interested in a successful failure, please let me know - franchises licences are available!!!!

Full marketing and business plans available! Hardly used - just like new!

For your viewing pleasure - here are some of the meals I served over the last two months:

Apple and cinnamon stuffed pork with braised potatoes and veggies.

Three bean, veggie tofu chili with homemade whole wheat bread.

Moroccan spiced fish with wilted spinach and grilled veggies.

Lemon and ginger shrimp with jade rice and veggie stir fry.

Garlic and black pepper pot roast with carrots and cauliflower-mashed potatoes.
So, I guess I am a successful failure at a home business. Oh well - my priority is to keep loosing weight and leading a healthy lifestyle. I have no plans on becoming a personal chef or diet-planner! And now, I have no excuse for taste testing and no need to block off a few hours every other day to cook!
A successful, I am truly a oxymoron!!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

February 6, 2009 - 10:32 PM

My dear sweet Madigan,

Today you turned two.

After one last hug and birthday wish you toddled off to bed.

Once you were asleep, I tip-toed into your room. I stood over your crib and watched you sleep.

I was filled with pride, love, appreciation, gratitude and awe. You are a wonderful, fun-loving, caring, giggle-filled, stubborn little girl. I love you with every fiber of my being.

Today you turned two. You are not a baby any more. You are growing into a confident, happy, dynamic child - oh, did I mention you are also very stubborn?

You are my little girl. That is a very special bond.

You are my youngest. That is a very special bond.

As I stood over you, watching you sleep you took in a deep breath, sighed, then giggled. I leaned closer to you. I took a deep breath and held it, closing my eyes. My heart expanding.

Madigan, I hope that you always know and realize how much you are loved. I hope and pray that our relationship grows strong and solid and that it withstands any challenges we may face as mother and daughter. I hope that you continue to have a wonderful relationship with each of your brothers and that your eyes always sparkle when Daddy walks into the room.

May your love of life and your desire for adventure and discovery only grow. May you mature into a confident, strong-willed, even tempered, young lady. May all your dreams come true and all your hard work be recognized.

Madigan, I hope and pray that you one day experience the joy, wonder and beauty of being a the person you were meant to be and the person you want to be.

I love you my little princess - with all my heart. Happy birthday, and sweet dreams.

Love and kisses,


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Preparations have begun!

Preparations have now begun for the biggest event 2009 has seen!

Tomorrow Madigan turns two years old.

Today, we made her birthday cakes.

Chocolate cake for the family celebration.

A four layer (2 white and 2 choc) cake with triple berry cream filling.

This cake is (suppose) to be Boom Box from Judy and David - Madie's FAVORITE!

I left to put the cakes in the freezer and came back to my little helper...

Princess Diva, Birthday Girl!

Yep, That is our Mags!!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Fine Motor Skills

Like many 5 year old boys, DJ is not that interested in writing and letters. His teacher has suggested that we encourage him to write notes and lists. So we started with helping write the grocery list and now we are moving onto the chore lists.

I think he is getting better and better at forming his letters, don't you??!!

Diagnosed OXYMORON



(Didn't the great Paul Simon write a song about that? Oh, wait - that was a rock and an island! Well, maybe I am both of those too?!?!?!?)

I have self-diagnosed myself with a very serious newly named (by yours truly) medical condition called the JUMBO SHRIMP SYNDROME.

Now that I have a diagnosis, I am dealing with this condition a lot better. I am in some sort of remission.

For the last few weeks I have been a bit down, not as motivated as before, and a bit in a rut. I was constantly fighting the urge to hang up my running shoes. Look over at my side bar and you will even see a little blimp in my weight loss - for the first time since starting this process, I gained...a WHOLE half a pound. Unfortunately, with Jumbo Shrimp Syndrome, even a small, tiny, insignificant, water-retention, period-about-to-start, gain, can cause a spiral into the death grip of this illness.

Worst of all, I was hearing voices. Chocolate chip cookies that were stashed in the back of the pantry were calling my name; the chip aisle of the grocery store sent off a deafening roar of, " Come on over Laura, the snacking is good over here!" And extra helpings were begging me to put them out of their misery and finish them off.

And when I did exercise or dress in some of my new clothes (smallest sizes since 2003!) I was feeling sexy and skinny! Oh yes, I did. So much so, I went through the bottom drawer of my dresser - yes, the bottom drawer - the one with the lingerie and non-granny underwear.

Oh ya, baby! Alternating with the negative symptoms mentioned above, I started feeling great about myself. I started to really appreciate the change in my body. I started to like my new, healthy curves. I started feeling good about myself. I held my head up high as I exercised, I did not feel out of place at the gym, I did not compare my tickle-fight stance to that of a beached whale. I started to wear sexy underwear on weekdays and even slipped on a lacy number with the hope it would be torn off me (it was!). I started to think I was skinny.

These positive feelings of pride, self-worth and accomplishment would come crashing down with one look in the mirror. While I felt all skinny and great, one look in the mirror, and I would see a happy, yet, still over-weight gal. Insecurity and disappointment would quickly set in. And that would accentuate the negative symptoms of my condition. The happiness would vanish and I was left feeling fat, depressed and upset. When I really opened my eyes and looked at myself, I saw a Jumbo Shrimp.

Basically, inside, I felt all skinny and great, but the reflection in the mirror or the size on the clothing tag, or the annoying high pitch voice of the Wii fit/Madigan, would remind me that yes, I am still considered OBESE.

With tears in my eyes, I would here my inner voice say, "You're an OX, you MORON!"

An ox, you moron... an OXYMORON.

I have become a Jumbo Shrimp.

So, how does a treat Jumbo Shrimp Syndrome?

  1. Focus on accomplishments thus far - I have lost 64.5 pounds - that is AMAZING. I need to take pride in that accomplishment.
  2. Keep motivated - this is a process - I need to look at my weight loss as a journey and not dwell on a single step within this journey.
  3. Journal - I admit it, my journalling has become a bit laxed, I need to document EVERYTHING I eat and drink. I need to be accountable.
  4. Celebrate and anticipate - I need to celebrate my accomplishments (almost 65 pounds lost, in the smallest size of pants in years, ate a healthy, good choice breakfast...) and also anticipate new milestones (will soon run my first road race in 7 years, obtaining a 75 pound weight loss total is totally within reach, saying no to those voices each and every time they scream out to me...)
  5. Realize this is not an over-night fix, but a new lifestyle. There will be ups and downs and plateaus...and breaking through and making one good decision at a time is the answer.

Yes, I am an OXYMORON and I suffer from Jumbo Shrimp Syndrome, but I will survive, thrive and be happy.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday Scrappin' - Better late than never!

In 5 days Madigan will turn 2 years old. Time has flown by! This weekend at my monthly scrapbook day I finally got to Madigan's first birthday pages. Better late than never!

Two page spread for family party.

Two page spread for her friend party held in her honour!

Happy Srappin Sunday!
For more great layouts, check out Sunday Scrappin'.