Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday Weigh In: The Lost Motivation Edition

Yeah, I know, already! Only four months.

HW: 252.6 (Sept 30, 2012)
CW: 222. 0 (-0.4 from last week)
GW: 140's
Height: 5'5
Age: 49

There it is: the same number, essentially, for the third time in a row, now. My carb intake is up, no question. It's not up by a lot--but just enough to have reached maintenance, obviously. I'm feeling too lazy in the mornings to chop my veggies for my frittattas. I have a grilled cheese for lunch 'cause it's easier than frying up some meat and veggies.

 I've also slacked off the excercising. I prefer to do two mile workouts with the Leslie Sansone videos and I only have three which are straight cardio workouts. (The others involve intervals.) I've lost one of the cardio workout discs and the music in the other is too low. That leaves me with one I like to do: and it's boring to do the same one over and over.

What am I saying? These are just excuses. I am thrilled to be at the weight that I am. I have lost more than 10% of my highest weight recorded in September.

I'd like to lose more, but the urgency is gone. My knees feel great, my back pain is gone. The only reason to continue, really, is vanity. I want to wear nice clothes this spring and summer. But I don't know if I want it badly enough to overcome this lethargy. And with temps around minus 30 celcius April seems a long way off.

(Fortunately, I'm not detecting any silly thoughts about worthiness and whether I deserve to look pretty in spring and summer clothes. That would hve been an issue in the past.)

Roni is hosting another diet bet. I'm considering that. The only thing is, one has to lose 4% of one's starting weight to "win" one's bet. That's 8.9 pounds. In four weeks. That feels like a stretch. I don't know if it would be healthy --psychologically speaking-- for me to push for that. I never set goals for weight loss--I'm scared it will set off a disorder.

It takes focus and drive to lose weight: at what point does that focus and drive tip over into unhealthy obsession?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What I Wore: 3rd week of January

I have my doubts about this.

Many doubts.

I should wait until I know what I'm doing with my clothes before I show anyone.

I should wait until I have better clothes.

I should wait until I'm slimmer.

This is really putting it out there for me!

Still, we all start somewhere, right?


I just got the necklace ($2.81! extreme clearance!) and the rose coloured top so I was anxious to wear them and see how they looked on me. And wow--look at that muffin top. I've never had one before.


It was very cold, so I layered up. These are my new tapered black knit pants.


My new pants, again. I really like this combination though I did feel a tad over dressed while I was swishing the toilet.


This is a new top. I didn't like the bottom band of white on this when I bought it. I still don't. Had I known what I know now when I bought it a couple of weeks ago, I would have left it at the store. Still, I do like its preppiness.


This was my first attempt at layering. This does not work for me, at all. I'd rather a white blouse than the denim. The collar wouldn't stay down either, and I didn't like all the bumps and lines under the sweater. Fail.

Oops. It seems I forgot to take a picture of what I wore on Thursday.


This is new top--with my new pants. I love this outfit! I wore it out for lunch with my daughter and her friend, then, on the spur of the moment, Hubs and I went out to dinner! I felt great dressed like this. (Hard to see, but I am wearing dangly pewter earrings with this.)

And so there we have it. My first week trying to look good out of my closet.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Wardrobe Pieces

There are at least a couple of  clothing "challenges" floating out there. One is simply called 30x30. I'm not quite sure what this one is about: Is it to wear 30 different outfits in 30 days? Or create outfits from just 30 pieces for 30 days?

Much easier to figure out is the 333 challenge. You are challenged to pare down your wardrobe to 33 pieces and wear them for 3 months. (This doesn't include underwear, lounge wear, PJ's, and workout wear.) Some have interpreted it to mean 30 pieces and 3 "capsules" for handbags, shoes, and accessories. Some may or may not include a special occasion outfit, or a winter coat, hats and gloves in the 30 pieces. The basics for this idea are here.

I would have to work my way UP to owning 30 pieces!

I went through my closet last week and purged a bunch of stuff I had no intention of ever wearing. I finally put away my summer tops. Here is what I have for the rest of the winter--which lasts until late March round here.


These three are round neck cotton tops. All three have 3/4 length sleeves which I prefer.

These two are the only v neck tops I own. The teal is cotton, the rose one is a fine gauge cotton knit. Both are 3/4 sleeves. The rose coloured one has ruching on the sleeves.

My turtleneck sweaters. The red and grape coloured ones (1st and 3rd) are a substantial cotton weight, the grey one is a finer cotton with a high-low hem, and the last, purple, is a fine gauge knit mock-turtle with 3/4 length sleeves.

I hardly ever wear these collarless button down shirts, in denim and black. I'm not entirely sure why. I know I'd rather they had collars, for a start.

I hardly ever wear these two either:

Two button down, tunic length tops in a knit. The black one is a v-neck in case that's hard to see!

And that's it for my tops. I have 13 to choose from.

Now, for my bottoms.

I have three pairs of pants (and I purchased all three of these in the last three months. I used to own just one pair of jeans.)

The first is my current pair of jeans, a dark wash boot cut denim. In the middle are a pair of black knit, tapered leg pants. I just got these a couple of weeks ago and I love their 1960's ski pant vibe. The last is my pair of yoga pants. They are super comfy but much too long and starting to fall off of me.

I have no skirts.

I have no dresses. (Well, OK, I do, but I have no idea how they are fitting me these days. It is too cold for dresses right now--and I have no shoes for them anyway!)

For layering, I have cardigans. I do have a blazer, though. I tried it on over every outfit I wore this week and no matter what I have on, it looks awful on me. I will never, ever wear it. (Besides, what do I need a blazer for?)

The top two are long and hit my leg mid-thigh. The bottom two hit at the top of the thigh. The two on the right are navy blue with the one on the bottom having 3/4 length sleeves. I love that purple one in the top left hand corner, it's a great colour and isn't as plain as the others. Unfortunately, it's losing its shape and beginning to come unravelled at the sleeves.
That's a total of 20 pieces.
In addition to my work out shoes and winter boots, I have one pair of shoes, red loafers. I have one black hand bag. I'm still figuring out my jewellery, but other than earrings, I have two, maybe three necklaces I can wear. I have no scarves other than the one I wear in winter with my coat.
Colour analysis:
Navy, black, and grey.
Accent Colours:
Purple (I was surprised to see so much of it, frankly.)
There are just a few items I could use: a long sleeved small collared button down white/off white blouse in a crisp cotton (but not too crisp) and a structured jacket of some kind. The classic jean jacket is calling my name, for some reason. A structured tunic-length vest would be awesome, too.
It's pretty underwhelming, I admit. Nonetheless, this is the way things are for the foreseeable future.

Friday, January 25, 2013

My Body Shape

Dressing "well" is all about shape and proportion--in the same way that a painting or a photograph is all about perspective and composition. In our culture, the "ideal" body shape is a tall hourglass. In other cultures, the ideal shape may be different. Angie, at You Look Fab has an interesting post about the cultural relativism of these ideals.

Nearly all fashion advice is about how to take the shape you have and "trick" the observer's eye into thinking you have the culturally approved hourglass shape. At this point in my life, I'm fine with it. Perhaps, as I get older, I'll change my mind. Maybe I won't even care. But, for right now, it's kind of fun. But it's nothing to stress over. Ever.

So, in order to play at dress up, it helps to know, for a start, what the shape of your body is, generally, and then its proportions, more specifically.

Angie, at You Look Fab, discusses and defines the conventional shapes: Pear, Apple, Hourglass, Inverted Triangle, and Rectangle.

At Inside Out Style,  Imogen finds even more categories: the 8 shape, A, H, I, O, V, and X.

In order to determine you shape, you need to look at your bones first, fat distribution, second.

For The Inverted Triangle, or the V, the strongest line (or, rather, the widest) is at the shoulders.

The A Shape, and the 8 shape are variations of the more general Pear. The widest line is at the hips (8) or thighs (A).

The I and the H shapes seem to be variations of the Rectangle shape with one characterized and boyish (I) and the other simply lacking a defined waist (H). The hips and the shoulders are about an equal distance apart.

Hourglass shapes and X's are distinguished from Rectangles by the presence of a defined waist.

The "O" seems like it could be any of the above except for a significant degree of fat around the middle. This is also known as the Apple shape. As the style Divas says, sometimes a good bra can go a long way to disguise this particular body shape!

This used to be my shape until I lost some weight (and got some really good bras!). Now, I'm not sure what shape I am. So, I decided to figure it out.

Here I am, dressed to emphasise my silhouette:

What is my widest point?
(I printed out the above photo and got out my rular!)

My first instinct is to declare myself an A shape (or a pear). I mean, look at those thighs! I don't have broad shoulders.

But, here is a pear shape, found via google:

And I just don't see that much of a difference between my shoulders and hips. As well, I don't have a waist. Pears generally do. (It is what distinguishes them from "apples.")

So, I'm not much of a pear. I've been thinking about it and I'm wondering if I'm really not more of an "H" than anything. What puts me off from liking this description is all the talk about havng a "boyish" figure--because that I most definitely do not have! Otherwise H seems to be the best for the moment. I imagine that as I continue to lose weight a waist should emerge, making me an X or an hourglass, albeit a short waisted one. I'm excited about that!

Advice from Imogen Lamport for the "H" body shape: Body Shapes Explained, the H Shape

Tips for the Rectangle from You Look Fab: How to Dress the Racy Rectangle Type

Have you ever noticed if you are a different size from the side than the front? I am. I am much bigger from the side view than from the front. According to Imogen, this makes me round (and not elliptical).

So, there we have the general shape figured out. There's more to it than shape, though. There's my proportions, too. Learning what these are and how to balance them will be interesting, too, I think.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Weigh-In: The Slacker Edition

Now, I'm not an over acheiver when it comes to exercise. In fact, getting up from the computer every half hour is somthing of a victory in these parts! But, I really do need to exercise a bit more than I have. I exercised once last week. Once.

I entered all of my workouts from January into the Daily Mile on Sunday and it told me I was exercising 2 miles a week. I told my husband. He said, "I'd better get out of the way."

So, you know the numbers are going to be the same as last week or worse, right?

HW: 252.6 (Sept 30, 2012)
CW: 222.4 (same as last week)
GW: 140's
Height: 5'5
Age: 49

I do weigh in every day and I did see a number less than 220. I'd like to see it again.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Waking Beauty

My love has been locked in a tower, swallowed whole by a wolf, poisoned by an apple and left to sleep it off.

What could be so colourfully dormant? What could be waiting, languishing for its rescuer?

Are you ready to meet my long lost love?


Not just any bunch of t-shirts, turtlenecks, jeans, and straight skirts, though, no: I have those. What has been waiting for me all my life is my ideal wardrobe--a miraculous collection of just the right tops and the right bottoms which pair up to create endless variations, just like the right set of notes create all the necessary movements in a musical piece.

I had been going to wait until I reached my mythical, ideal weight. Last week, I realised I didn't have too. I've lost enough weight, now, that I have enough options to actually choose something I like instead of settling for something I merely need. (Though, as I expect to continue to lose weight, I will continue to wear some items even though they may be a size too big. It's when they're three sizes too big that I'll begin to replace them.)

Since I was in the military reserves in my late teens and a ready-made (though ugly) minimalist wardrobe was handed to me, I have been captivated by capsule wardrobes. Capsule wardrobes are made up up of the minimum number or pieces in any category (tops, bottoms, and layers) to give maximum versatility.

I studied this one created by Imogen Lamport, at Inside Out Style blog for a "Busy Mum.". (She is absolutely fabulous at this, by the way.)

Wear-anywhere top
3 T Shirts: stripe, solid, tank.

Canvas Skirt

2 cardigans, each fabulous.

2 scarves
2 necklaces
Leather shopping tote

Ballet flats

These pieces, before you even change out the accessories, she promises, offer 22 different looks. I love the efficiency of this concept, not to mention how economical it is.

The "new Mum" Capsule is simply fabulous, too. You can easily see how everything will mix effortlessly. It doesn't include accessories.
Imogen explains how capsule wardrobes work--and how to construct one-- in her free e-book, Your 5 Step Formula for a Fabulous Wardrobe. Highly recommended.
This is exactly the concept of my weight-loss wardrobe.
To be continued...

(This is a cross post with my style blog, Prairie Home Therapy.) 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wednesdy Weigh-In: The Sick Edition

I'm not sure this should count. I have been in a deep dark cave. I have been engulfed, possessed, completely taken over by pain for four days.

It started on Sunday with a bit of discomfort after eating a hamburger and some fries. Just a bit of heartburn. I could handle it with some Eno.

On Monday, hubs and I went to see Zero Dark Thirty. I'd had a nice breakfast of homemade waffles, berries and greek yogurt with a drizzle of maple sugar. I bought some Tums, though, before the movie along with my bar of chocolate. Then, at the movie, I bought  some popcorn.

Big mistake.

Twenty minutes after the movie was over I was outside on a bench grateful for the cool winter air.

And so here we are. It is Thursday and I'm finally feeling a bit better. I did weigh myself yesterday--and I have lost weight, but I had only scrambled eggs on Tuesday and half a sweet potato Wednesday. I've had a hard boiled egg this morning--we'll see how it goes.

Here are my numbers which probably shouldn't count:

HW: 252.6 (Sept 30, 2012)
CW: 222.4 (-2.8 from last week)
GW: 140's
Height: 5'5
Age: 49

Scale numbers ofetn feel unreal to me--like they are completely unrelated to anything going on with me. That goes double for this week.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesday Weigh-In: The Birthday Edition.

Happy Birthday to me...
Happy Birthday to me...
Happy Birthday to me...
Happy Birthday dear meeeeeeeeeeeeee
Happy Birthday to me.

I had a really nice birthday surprise on the scale this morning. I hadn't expected to see the numbers drop from the day before (I weigh first thing every day) as I ate a few too many two bite brownies yesterday. The scale gods were feeling gracious I guess.

SO. Here we are.

HW: 252.6 (Sept 30, 2012)
CW: 225.2 (-2.6 from last week)
GW: 140's
Height: 5'5
Age: 49 <---- There it is.

Very gratifying.

Two things which may have helped: I walked outside, in the cold, for about 50 minutes after supper. I also slept over eleven hours last night. Nothing helps me lose weight like sleep. Seriously.

Maybe it's because I do weigh myself every day but recording 225.6, here, as my "official" number feels weird. It's like the number isn't quite real. It could be a pound more tomorrow. It's so arbitrary to pick one number a week and say, there! That's what I weigh. Because it isn't. Not really.

Oops, sorry. I shouldn't have tried to explain it. I can't. Let's just say my mind is a very strange place.

We simply need consistent numbers to indicate a trend--and Wednesday's are it. Thank goodness I'm trending downwards.

Happy Birthday to me...
Happy Birthday to me...
Happy Birthday to me...
Happy Birthday dear meeeeeeeeeeeeee
Happy Birthday to me.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Month of Suppers: January

Every month, our local grocery stores feature 15% 10% off the total grocery bill the first Tuesday of the month. (This month, because That Tuesday fell on the first, Safeway decided to move up Ten Percent Tuesday to the eighth. The rest of the city's grocery stores aren't doing it at all, apparently.)

I plan our suppers for the entire month so I can stock up on meat and pantry items. Vegetables are picked up weekly. No one in the family is doing a whole30 (as far as I know) this month, and I'm still making up my mind about optional "paleo" items like yogurt, so this menu is kind of a hybrid. I can tell you this much, though, there are no grains, pasta, legumes or soy in any of the recipes.

According to this week's flyer, the following are on sale:

Chicken Breasts (2.99/lb)
Chicken Drumsticks (2.89/lb)
Chicken Thighs (2.99/lb)
Basa Fish fillets (Buy 1 get 1 free. No price given)
Pork shoulder blade steak (2.79/lb)
Ready to eat Prawns (400g for 6.99)

Lean ground beef was on sale last week, so I picked up quite a lot.

I like to use this shopping list at the bottom of this post from to help me figure out what veggies to buy. You know, something to help jolt me out of the carrots-broccoli-cauliflower-sweet potato-squash-zucchini-parsnips-rutabaga rut I tend to fall into.

(Links below calendar. Click to enlarge.)
yellow: chicken
grey: pork
light blue: basa fillets
dark blue: shrimp or salmon
pink: ground beef

I hope you will find these links open up a whole new world of food for you

January 8: Artichoke Chicken Carbonara from PaleOMG
January 9: Five Spice Slow Cooker Pork Ribs (from Melissa Joulwen) roast sweet potato, broccoli
January 10: Turkish Chicken Thighs (from Janet is Hungry) mashed sweet potato, broccoli
January 11: Citrus Fish, asparagus, roasted yams*
January 12: Roasted Chicken with roasted parsnips, sweet potato, carrots and rutabaga
January 13: Shrimp Stir-fry w/ frozen veggie mix
January 14: Ground Beef and Sweet Potato Hash, steamed green beans
January 15: Chicken, Bacon, and Sweet Potato Hash from Paleoperiodical, broccoli
January 16: Pork Carnitas, (from Melissa Joulwen) momma's slaw*
January 17: Honey-Mustard-Mayo glazed Chicken Thighs, roasted zucchini, mashed sweet potato
January 18: Lemon-Pepper Fish with creamed spinach* and sweet potato fries
January 19: Roasted Chicken and root vegetables
January 20: Herb Roasted Salmon, roasted carrots and broccoli
January 21: Chocolate Chili (from Melissa Joulwen), spaghetti squash
January 22: Honey-Mustard- Mayo Chicken, momma's slaw* roasted sweet potato
January 23: Amethyst's Paleo Meatloaf, roasted parsnips and carrots, broccoli
January 24: One Pot Chicken Drumsticks from Nom Nom Paleo
January 25: Lemon-Pepper Fish, acorn squash and mashed cauliflower
January 26: Roasted Chicken and root veggies
January 27: Shrimp Stir fry w/ Portobella mushrooms and bok choy
January 28: Sloppy Bobs, (from allmeatnopotatoes), roasted rutabaga
January 29: Chicken w/Apple Cider Sauce, mashed cauliflower, carrots.
January 30: Paleo Shepard's Pie, green beans.
January 31: Garlic Stuffed Chicken Thighs, roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli
February 1: Lemon-Pepper Fish, roasted carrots and parsnips, sauteed greens.
February 2: Roast Chicken and root veggies
February 3: Salmon Cakes (ISWF) mashed cauliflower, carrots
February 4: Cottage Flower Pie and broccoli from Melissa Joulwen

In addition, there are my husband's lunches to consider.

Week 1: Chocolate Chili (see above for link)
(One week vacation)
Week 2: Beef Stew
Week 3: Winter Sausage Soup and Meat and Spinach muffins.

*Recipes from my brand new cookbook: Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie and Charles Mayfield.
ISWF: It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wednesday Weigh-In: Post Holiday

Here we are. The cookies are all eaten, the date squares and apple crisps baked and devoured.

HW: 252.6 (Sept 30, 2012)
CW: 227.8 (+2.6)
GW: 140's
Height: 5'5
age: 48

That two pounds and change gain is from the numbers two weeks ago. 227 was the number on the scale at the beginning of December. I'm feeling great about it, actually. It was my goal not to gain --and I didn't.

Even better, my monthly measurements show I lost and inch from my bust, waist and hips--each!

I know what to do to make the scale reflect my goal--restrict my carbs--and I haven't yet decided just how much of that I'll do before my birthday on January 9th (and the celebration planned for the 12th).

I'll be lacing up the running shoes, though, and doing my workouts in the living room. In fact, I'm already feeling the effects of one I did yesterday! I'll get outside when the weather is nice, too.

Things are off to a great start for 2013.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals for 2013 and One Thing for January

I hardly know what to say.

Should I say I want to lose a ton of weight? 'cause I do. Will I? Well, we'll see, 'cause losing weight is not the most important thing in my life. I am currently 229 lbs. It's great. I can put on my own socks and tie my shoes, I don't have to ask my husband to slow down any more when we go out for a walk together -- I am quite happy in this skin I'm in -- and the urgency is gone.

But would I be disappointed if I am still 229 next year? Well, yes. I have it in the back of my mind that I'd like to do a tough mudder the year I turn 50 which is next year, 2014. I could view this entire year as being in training for it.

I want to focus on sleep, my relationships with my immediate family, expressing my creativity, becoming stronger, a better housekeeper, a better cook. I want the whole family to be healthier. I haven't worked any of this out into a concrete SMART formula, I haven't made any decisions about what, for example, "strong" looks like. Obviously, I haven't made any plans for how to acheive any of them.

Most of all? I want this year to be calm. I want to make changes--but I want to achieve them without becoming frantic or stressed.

So, that's where I'm at. I'm enrolled in a goals setting class at Simplify 101, so I know it will all get worked out.

The One Thing?


I just finished reading Lights Out, Sleep, Sugar and Survival. It is an odd book. Amusing. Frightening. The premise--that we are making ourselves sick by living in an endless summer of light makes sense to me, even if I got a bit lost at times in the metaphors.

So, for January, I intend to sleep 9 hours a night. Starting tonight.