Sunday, January 20, 2013

Embarrassing Situations

6. Embarrassment

I like to think I don't embarrass too easily.  Putting yourself into awkward and quirky situations kind of comes with the territory of being an elementary school teacher.  Things that would embarrass me are not usually long lasting so I found this a tough topic. 

My best answer is that being overweight itself does not embarrass me.  I actually love how I look most days.  What would embarrass me is not being able to do something I could otherwise do if I was not overweight.

Some examples: (Tell me yours)

Tight spaces My husband and friends want me to particpate in Tough Mudder with them this year.  This is something that does not interest me in the slightest and would not interest me regardless of my weight or fitness level so I'm fine with saying no.  Where my mind goes though when looking at the obstacle examples though is to the "boa constrictor".  It is a series of tunnels going down a hill to a water pit and then back up.  You have to crawl on your tummy using your arms to pull yourself through and at the bottom you have mear inches between the water line and top of the pipe.  All I can think as I look at the pictures of skinny fit people belly crawling in and out of the tubes is what would happen if I tried this race and couldn't fit in the tube - or worse yet, fit at the start but get stuck partway, or reached drowning at the bottom because there was not enough space for me to arch my back and lift my head.  Embarrassing!

Rides I went to Canada's Wonderland a few years ago.  We were waiting in line for what was then called Tomb Raider and some guy climb on and the ride attendant slammed the cage down on him multiple times.  It wouldn't close so the ride stopped and the poor guy had to hop off, leave his friends on the ride, and walk out the exit gate infront of everyone.  I don't want that to be me.

Airplanes I've been reading the blog All the Weigh by Kenlie and she has taken up the fight with airlines about making policies consistent and upfront regarding flying as an overweight person.  You should really check out her blog for the full stories.  I can't imagine going through some of the situations Kenlie has been through when trying to board a flight (especially when she is returning home on a flight she took out without an issue).  All I can think is will my ass fit into a 17 inch seat? And will the seatbelt close without an extension?  It should as it has before and nothing has changed.  But let me tell you...just because I can fit my rear into a 17 inch seat does not mean it is only 17 inches wide at the widest part of my hips.  I just know I can squish.

Furniture I was at an outdoor wedding last summer.  Ladies - have you ever tried to walk across a grassy area, wet from the night before, wearing your best stiletto heels?  You know that feeling where your heels are sinking into the groud because you are trying to balance on a tiny point and you end up tip toeing around or saying screw it and picking one pose to stand in and just let your heels sink until you are wearing flats?  Hopefully you do because that was the scenario I experienced at the wedding.  Beautiful garden chairs with teeny tiny legs set up on the lawn.  Sit down and feel the legs sink into the ground ever so slightly.  Full panic - how far will it sink?  Thankfully not much.

Skinny friends I love my friends.  I also love that most of them are oblivious to the world of plus sizes.  All my friends know I'm overweight, but a few of them are truly clueless to how much of a difference there is between my body and theirs in terms of clothing and weight.  Part of me loves shopping with my skinny friends at every store in the mall, helping them pick out clothing and having them tell me I should try something on because clearly if they wear a small or medium I must only wear a large or extra-large.  The other part of me can find this embarrassing if I'm at their house and we have a change of plans and they toss me a baggy sweater and say "just throw this on and we can go" because there is no way it is going to fit.

Rude people I have to say that if I am going to experience being overweight at a point in my life I'm glad it is now and not when I was younger.  I heard stories from friends of the things they went through and the comments they were subjected to as young children and teens.  I was never teased for how much I weighed or what my body looked like because by the time I gained a lot of weight nobody really cared.  I did however, experience one day where I was mooed at by a passing car.  That wasn't so pleasant.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Night-time Snacking

This week I stayed on the healthy food bandwagon and I felt better for it.  The only downside...evening starvation.  Before my change in habits I seldom ate after dinner, but all these veggies have me craving carbs at night.  I am not low on calories for the day, but my stomach just feels empty.  This has me seeking out healthy night-time snack options.  If you know of any please share as a few blogger friends have been trying to come up with ideas themselves.

apple with peanut butter
strawberries with banana yogurt (looked yummy so I will have to try)

edamame (if I can only find it)
celery with cream cheese or peanut butter


small bowl of Special K/Cheerios
Arrowroot cookies
graham crackers with cream cheese or peanut butter
Smartfood popcorn
small bowl of oatmeal with frozen blueberries

yogurt with granola
Babybel cheese
cottage cheese with pineapple

vanilla tea
miso soup

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Breaking Records, Today's Menu, and Blog-a-Day Challenge

Went to the gym again today. Woohoo!  I'm keeping on track.  Cycled 10km in 24.5 minutes (1.5 minutes faster than last time).  Also, lost 1lb already this early on in the week.  I`ve also considered adding a forth gym day to do weights - we shall see.

I'm eating the same amount I normally do during the day, but somehow my mindset has me starving (tummy grumbling hungry) just because I am choosing not to snack on junk and lots of breads.

Today's menu was:
Breakfast - lemon cranberry muffin from Coffee Time, green tea
Lunches (I have 2 while teaching) - cherry tomatoes, orange bell pepper slices, carrots with hummus, and grapes, water
Snack (after gym) - mini Crispy Crunch blizzard as a treat
Snack - homemade cookie
Dinner - one proper serving of pasta with alfraedo sauce
Snack - 2 slices white toast with peanut butter, tea
Total: approx. 1700 calories (I normally eat between 1700-2000 calories because I usually drink pop)

4. Pet Peeves
I suppose this was to relate to fitness since it came from a fitness blog, but I think my number one pet peeve is open cupboard doors.  Chris leaves doors and drawers open all time - and not just when his hands are full - he simply does not care about whether or not they are shut.  I think this annoys me more because my mom and grandma are famous for this as well so I'm used to following along behind them shutting things.
Fitness-wise my pet peeve is broken equipment at the gym or a lack of available equipment.  It took me a lot of effort and self-talk to get me to the gym ready to workout.  I don't want to be thrown off track by a change in plans due to equipment failure.

5. Biggest Fear
I have a fear of falling.  I love being up high - I don`t love being up high and vulnerable to plummeting.  Step ladders are scary and so are balconies.  Airplanes and glass floors are fine.  I also fear falling while walking on slippery ice or while iceskating.  This is because it would hurt so I guess I fear pain.  I don`t do pain well.  Just ask Chris who listened to me moan in bed last night because of sore legs that wanted to move and stretch instead of stay still to go to sleep.

Monday, January 7, 2013

What's New?

Fitness Club
A new club has started at my work.  It's called the Fat for Cash club.  Several teachers got together and weighed in on the scale today after paying a $100 entry fee.  In 9 weeks they will weigh in again to see who lost the largest percentage of their weight.  The winner keeps the kitty which is at $1000.  I considered entering until I realized I would have to lose over 20lbs in 9 weeks in order to compete with someone who might only need to lose 10lbs as he/she weighs a lot less.  I'm confident I could achieve this, but I didn't want to put that pressure on me.

I have always taken raw veggies and fruit to work in my lunches when I pack them, but I've put in place a plan to make sure I do this daily.  I purchased a whack of fruits and veggies Sunday morning and took the groceries with me to the office.  I chopped and bagged everything in small portions and stocked a whole shelf in my fridge upon returning home.  Now I have grab and go items for lunch to last me the week.  I can pack different dips (yogurt dressing, humus, etc.) or chop up veggies further at work to toss on a salad.  Keeping the items in smaller portions in separate bags also makes it easy to eat on the go or in a hurry on short lunch breaks.

I'm also trying to give up Coca Cola (with the exception of dinners out once a week).

A teacher gave me some good advice today based on her triathalon experience.  She said she vastly underestimated the need to train for the transition from cycling to running.  She said her legs felt like bricks more than she thought at the end of the bike portion of the race.  As running is my weakest point I did think of this and plan to take up her advice sooner rather than later as initially planned.

I also did my 3km run today in 27 minutes!  2 minutes quicker than my last run.  No cramps or side stitches either.  I even ran a full 8 minutes (1 minute longer) than last time and shortened my walk breaks between running sections.  There were a few tough spots along the way, but for the most part running today was easy.  It felt like I was doing what you're supposed to on a treadmill.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Bucket List

#3 Bucket List

Funnily enough I was reading an article of 225 things you should do before you die just yesterday.  It must be a popular topic with it being the New Year and all.


1. Travel to Colorado - ski, hike, canoe, and explore
Everytime I see Colorado on television I feel drawn to it like it is the place I need to be because it has a taste of all seasons and feels like home.
2. Live on a boat for a whole summer
Chris and I talked about retiring on a cruiseship as it is cheaper than an old age home and still gives you all the benefits, but I would also spend the summer on a sailboat or cabin cruiser too.
3. Take my future kids to DisneyWorld
My husband has never gone and I went twice as a young child so I don't remember a lot (ie. the car ride down, the stay in the condo, and the days in the park are all equally exciting and memorable in my mind).
4. Backpack/Travel through Europe
5. Visit the West and East Coast of Canada

Family and Friends

1. Have 2 or 3 children
2. Renew my wedding vows on my 10th anniversary (also celebrate at least a 40th wedding anniversary with Chris)
Complete with new wedding dress, a photographer, and a small ceremony.
3. Become friends with other married couples my age that share common interests


1. Buy a dream house in a small town on lots of land with mature trees
We currently own Chris' grandma's old house in a small town over looking the lake and it is awesome, but it is not what we would pick if we could spend $100-150,000 more.
2. Attend church often enough to become part of a church family
I've worked weekends for 7 years so I haven't been to church in ages.
3. Live debt-free
$50,000 of student loans take a long time to pay off.


1. Have my own classroom of students to teach
Right now I teach multiple classes at multiple schools.
2. Retire before I'm 60 and take up volunteer work
I'm eligible at age 57!
3. Quit my part-time jobs
I love my part-time jobs most of the time, but it would be really nice to focus in on only one career.


1. Skydive
2. Scuba dive
3. Friviously bet a large sum of money on one hand of blackjack or one spin of roulette


1. Do the splits
2. Cook a gourmet meal
3. Speak French fluently
4. Master an instrument (propbably piano or guitar)
5. Learn to sing
6. Learn sleight of hand magic tricks
7. Swim with proper form, learn to dive
8. Finish an entire Sunday Toronto Star crossword puzzle on my own

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Blog-a-day Challenge

I don't have the time or dedication to do a blog-a-day challenge.  Plus, I think it could get boring to read depending on the topic.  But, this one looked interesting so I am going to take up the challenge by posting about multiple topics every few days.  My hope is that it will give me some inspiration on my non-gym days and get me blogging more frequently.

I came across it on She's Losing It which is a blog my husband got me onto.

1. New

I love tall black boots.  I loved them before everyone started wearing them paired with skinny jeans, jeggings, tights, etc.  I have had a pair in my shoe collection for as long as I can remember up until the past few years.  Why did they suddenly drop out of my wardrobe?
One: Tall boots have to fit over your calves and I have big calves (18 inches to be exact).  Yes, my calves are big because my body is big, but my calves are also big because they are toned and muscly - much to my husband's surprise when he first massaged them.
Two: I have been unable to find boots in standard shoe stores that will zip up.  I used to have a winter pair from Sears that laced up the back with an extension panel, but nothing since.
The good news: I shopped at a Pennington's Superstore in London, Ontario that carries shoes to my surprise.  And, low and behold they had two sexy pairs of tall black boots in my size.  I am now the proud owner of knee high black leather boots with 3 inch heels!  I tower over my husband in them as we are the same height on solid ground, but I feel sexy and that makes me feel happy.

2. Two

Two, two, two.  What am I going to say about two?  I have no idea (pause to think).  What do I have two of?  Two eyes, two ears, two hands, two feet, two boobs.  Boobs!  Chris and I went to the movies last night and watched This Is 40.  It was hilarious (even Chris admitted he liked it).  There are many scenes that focus in on the sex appeal of one actress' boobs, including a scene discussing the changes that occur to a women's breasts over the years.

For the most part I like my boobs.  My husband loves my boobs.  He claims I don't show them off enough, which working as an elementary school teacher I have to admit that is an intentional choice when selecting my wardrobe.  The days I don't like my boobs are the days when I workout.  When I'm running on the treadmill, or lifting weights, or jumping up on boxes, or doing any number of exercises, big boobs just get in the way and they hurt.  There is no way my husband can sympathize with the uncomfortableness caused by bouncing boobies.  My best solution to date it to wear a sports bra 3 cup sizes too small and just keep them squished to my body.  I have no idea what I will do when I need to replace my current workout gear.

It's Beginning to Look Achievable

I finished my timed trials for my try-a-tri.  I swam 300 metres (12 laps) in the pool the way I normally would with a time of 9 minutes.  That puts me at the bottom of the pack for the swim section, but it is a time that reflects my inability to control my breathing while swimming with my face in the water. 

I did 2 laps in the pool with goggles and a nose plug on.  I have never been the type of person who can swim underwater without plugging her nose or constantly blowing air out of it so the nose plug is a new item for me, but it is a necessity for competition.  These two laps I did in 30 seconds each instead of 45 seconds which makes sense as I was able to swim with much better form.  However, I didn't breathe for most of those two laps and as a result was too winded to do any more continuous laps without taking a breather.

I will need to go back to the pool on a less busy day so I can have a whole lane to myself to practice breathing in time with my strokes.  Once I accomplish this I am confident my swim time will fall around the 7 minutes mark (top race time is 6 minutes).  I have also discovered that I will likely need a wetsuit (or a trisuit - which I just found out existed) for the race.  It is not listed as a requirement, but no one in the photos is wearing just a bathing suit.  Plus, it would be uncomfortable to cycle and run with a wet swimsuit under my clothes.  Such as shame as I just bought a really cute purple swimsuit.  Come summer I will have to try to hunt me down a plus sized trisuit, which from reading online is next to impossible.

As for my finishing time for all three events, it was 1 hour 4 minutes.  The average time for females in my age group was 57 and a half minutes.  I think I will get there even taking into account the fact that I did not time all three events back to back, nor did I do them out on the race course.  My goal for August is to complete the try-a-tri in 55 minutes.

Also exciting on the fitness front... after gaining 5lbs over Christmas week I restarted my fitness routine and lost 4 of those 5lbs in one week.  I don't expect the same results this upcoming week, but I am hopeful that I will lose 10lbs in the next 9 weeks before I depart on my Caribbean cruise.  And, yes, I already have plans to hit the gym with Chris daily this year.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Round Two: Great Success, Internal Debates, and Inspiration

After half a day in my school library reorganizing and reshelving all the books to prepare for the next few months of elementary school I made it to the gym for round two of my try-a-tri training.  I hopped on the upright? bike (not the recumbant one), plugged in my headphones, turned on What Not to Wear, and set the bike to 'random' which gave me a series of hills to cycle.  I chose my level (10-16) based on the resistance I was feeling during the climbs so that I could keep an RPM of at least 70 at all times. 

My goal was to complete the 10km (6.21 miles) in under 30 minutes.  It usually takes me 33 minutes to do 9km on the road so I new I would have to cycle like I was trying to race and not like I was just going out for jaunt.  30 minutes would also put me in the middle of the pack for the triathalon so anything less than this through further training would make up for my expected lengthier run time.  I completed the 10km with great success!  I had a final time of just of 26 minutes.

I am beyond happy with that time as this is the first time I've felt like I could actually compete in something.  I surpassed my goal and now I have to figure out what my new one will be.  For now, I will aim to shave 30 seconds off my time per month until the race.  It will be interesting to see what my time is on the actual race course once the snow leaves Ontario in April/May.  Did I mention I hate winter?  Ugh!

Now for the internal debate...

Between the library and the gym I had an internal debate.  It was after noon and I had not had lunch.  Should I get something to eat before the gym or after?  If I get it after than I would starve while cycling and eat too close to dinner.  If I ate now than I would be buying fast food and I would be stuffed while cycling.  I decided to get Subway and cycle stuffed. 

Then I approached a gas station/coffee shop combo and pulled in thinking I could grab a muffin and a bottle of water instead because I would have a 20 minute drive to the gym from this location.  Muffins are full of lots of calories though and I'm also trying to eat less breads (not eliminate them, just reduce as they make up a large part of my current intake).  Therefore, my logic, grab the water to quench my current thirst and my future thirst while cycling and eat a chocolate bar for some interim energy at half the calories of a muffin.  I didn't say it was a good idea, but that is the way my brain thinks when I'm hungry and craving sugar.

I brought my water up to the counter and perused the chocolate bars while I waited for the person ahead of me to pay.  Should I get Reese's peanut butter cups? Or a Mr. Big because that would be more filling as a meal replacement?  No, it is too sweet.  What about a Mars bar?  Or a Crunchie?  Maybe I need a Crispy Crunch?  I really want the peanut butter cups, but they don't wash down well with water to drink.  Oh, too many choices, I'll just get the peanut butter cups.

Cue the inspiration...

Before I could reach for the chocolate I looked up and was greeted by someone who frequently inspires me through the things she has oversome and the fitness goals she sets for herself and she looked good.  Good healthy and good happy.  I even liked her outfit and wished I wore smaller clothes so I could go out and buy it on the way home.  So I didn't grab the chocolate because the smart part of my brain kicked in and thought that really wouldn't be a good idea and it decided I would just have to cycle hungry and then grab Subway (and stress not McDonald's) on the way home after.

We chatted for a bit and she told me about her newest goal - to focus on her nutrition and diet for 3 months because she can do anything for 3 months.  She was also going to continue with her current fitness (which includes horseback riding - so jealous!).  I told her of my plans to go to the gym and cycle and she told me how she loves reading my blog and my husband's (  She didn't know why, but she new that it was inspirational and great to hear from other people going through the same struggles.  I have to say it is inspirational to read other blogs too, hear feedback from others, and check in with friends about their own journeys.

Thanks for the push to do better today and good luck with your adventures.