Thursday, September 18, 2014

HEY!! I'M BACK.... Update & Pics (warning - wordy and lots of pictures)

I suppose you all thought either I had dropped off the face of the earth or even worse fell off my health and wellness journey.  Well Surprise I did neither!!

I am fortunate that I have a cottage that I am able to spend a fair amount of time at.  For me that time comes in August.  As most of you know August was not the best part of the summer.  Actually I don't really think we had very much "best part" of the summer.  A few days here and there, maybe a whole 5 days at a stretch.  Doesn't matter to me as long as I am up north, in Muskoka, cottage country.

My original plan was to spend the entire month of August there.  Which I did.  However, when September began the weather had finally became stable enough that I decided to stretch it out one more week.  I did.  It was awesome.

I have amazing friends at the cottage.  Most of my besties and closest friends are there.  Some get to stay for an extended time, others 2 weeks and weekends due to work constraints.  We have family constraints as well since we share with 2 other family members on my hubby's side.  However, I am glad that I am able to spend as much time as I do there.  So many of my friends were surprised to see my in my reduced state.  At the end of July I had hit 160 lbs which was 30 lbs less than when I started at the end of April.  Most of them hadn't seen me since New Years.  It was fun seeing their reactions as well as all the very positive responses they gave me.  I had interesting conversations around our food choices, lifestyle change, workout regimen etc.  I just hope that I didn't come across in a bad way I was just happy to share what I had learned and what was working with me and Drew.

So how did I do over the past 6 weeks?  I did very well.  I still ate properly for the most part .  Remember while I am on a lifestyle change I am not going to deprive myself or totally avoid social settings and sharing of food and drink.  I do not look at any of that as failing, or falling off the wagon so to speak.  It is just one meal, or one day of having too much wine.  Tomorrow is another day and we just continue on as before.  You know what?  It worked.  I didn't weigh myself or measure the entire time I was away.  I didn't want to know.  I felt that maybe I had put a bit of weight on, maybe around the middle, but my new clothes (size 8 golf shorts ladies...) still fit comfortably, not any tighter and not any looser.  That was what I measured up to.

I had some challenges.  My daughter and her little family came for a week. However, since I did most of the cooking I just made my meals for all of us.  There was an exception. One night I made our family favourite Chicken Paprikash which has homemade egg spatzle, but I used low fat sour cream and the chicken part there is nothing bad there, the egg spatzle I imagine is high in carbs but they are soooo yummy and the best part of the meal.  I had one bowl.  That's it.  So as long as I can enjoy favourites and keep myself from going overboard - not a big deal at all.

Entertaining and going to social events I just kept my head and didn't overindulge (well maybe in some wine...) and then the next day I just worked a little bit harder.  Oh yes, I worked hard.  Every day was something.  We are privileged in our community to have a lot of exercise opportunities.  For instance, my 2 good friends and I pretty much every day went for a run/walk to and from another friends cottage.  At that cottage they have a staircase that climbs a very high steep cliff face.  I believe there are 175 stairs.  So once we arrived at the Cunliffe's we then attacked the stairs.  Since I have a huge issue with heights I stayed on the top 90 stairs.  Yes 90 - I did those suckers anywhere from 3 sets up to 10 sets at the end of August.  That is 900 stairs.  And then back on the road run/walk home.  This workout averaged 1.15 hours.  And burned a huge amount of calories.

The average run/walk was over 5k.  I have to say having friends push you along is great.  And when they weren't there I went alone and still managed to push myself to do the whole routine.

As well, there was swimming, kayaking, biking (up to 14 miles) up and down the hilly road.  Every day I did something.  I also did a lot of jobs around the cottage that were physical.  My routine was pretty much like this every day.  Get up around 7:30/8 am,  have some fruit/granola/yogurt.  Go for the run/walk or bike.  Come back and stretch.  Eat some carbs (ie w/w toast with an egg).  Then I would tackle a job around the cottage.  Over the course of the month I did quite a bit.  (Some with Drew's help :) )

1) built a rock wildflower garden (the front left of this picture)

2) moved and laid a granite flagstone pathway to the hottub

3) stained the trim on the hottub and the dockbox (not done yet in the above picture)

4) raked up and moved about 18 wheelbarrow loads of leaves, twigs and crap from under and around the cottage and shed

5) cleaned out the shed (7 straight hours) and reorganized it completely.  Below is the before shot when everything is OUT and I have replaced the shelves inside.

This is the after shot...

6) disposed of 3 truckloads of junk, garbage, and hazardous waste (at our local dump - they had a special day just for hazardous waste)

7) cut up, moved and stacked about 4 cords of wood including wood for the campfire

8) cut up and burned the over 50 yr old falling down cupboards from behind the shed and burned a ton of old rotted wood etc.  (you can see that in the campfire pic above)

9) cleaned the cottage from top to bottom including a 3 hour stint of scrubbing the wood floors

10) cleaned out and reorganized the hall closet and laundry room cupboards

After stopping for lunch - usually around 1 or 2 - I would clean up and head down to the dock for some R & R.  That would be my reward.  This way not only did I not feel guilty about sitting on the dock reading or having some wine or other refreshments, I also managed to hit well in excess of 10,000 steps a day (my daily goal is 10,000) with a high of over 22,000 in one day.  At the end of it, a nice soak in the hot tub with a glass of wine and then dinner.

So - no I didn't gain anything over my month long vacay. My hope was that I wouldn't gain anything and I hoped that I might even lose a bit more.  However, I maintained.  EXCELLENT NEWS!!

Back at home I have yet to return to the gym.  My gym is wonderful in that they allow you to take a vacation or health break and instead of paying the entire membership monthly due you only pay 20.00 and that keeps your membership active but without being able to use the facilities.  Since I didn't return home til the 8th of September and I am leaving on the 22nd to visit family and attend a workshop in Nova Scotia, I am not going to reinstate my full membership til I return around the 5th of October.  I haven't been inactive though.  Every other day I go for a run/walk (still a run/walk do not know when or if I will ever be able to just run) of about 2.5 miles or 4K just around the neighbourhood. (Totally different experience compared to the cottage!)  As well Drew and I biked on Sunday for  21 miles (ouch my bottom) on my new bike (since mine was stolen out of the garage last week arggghhhh).  And we have signed up for Bike Mississauga which is this upcoming Sunday (21st) for the 60K route along with our friend Glenn.

Yesterday as I was dressing I noticed that my bra was too big around the back.  This was not the case just last week.  I thought - what the heck???  So I weighed myself.  I have now lost another 5 lbs!!  As of yesterday morning I weigh 155 lbs.  I am only 15 pounds from my absolute goal weight of 140.  Wow.  I can honestly say that I never believed I could do this.  And now it is in sight.  April 29 at 190 lbs losing 50 lbs to get down to 140 was daunting.  Seemed unachievable and it is now in reach.  Realistically, unless I hit another plateau, which is totally possible, I should reach my goal by Christmas.

Here are the statistics as of this morning.

Start           Day 19   Day 26   Day 34     Day 41   Day 48   July 3    July 8  Jul 15    Jul 29  Sept 18
Wht -190   181.9       179       179         177        173         167        167     165         162       155
BF% -47.8  41                         39          40           37.9         37           36      34.6       33.4  ?
W -40.5"     38"           36"        35.5       35           34           33.5        33      33           32     32
B -44"         42.5"        42"        41.5       41           41           40.5        40       40          39     38
H -46"         44"           43"        42.5       42            41            41           40.5    39        39     38
Arm -15"     12.5"       12"         12         12            12           12           11.5    11          11      11
C -18"         16.5"       15.5"      15.5      15,5         15.5        15.5        15.5    15.5       15.5    15.5
Th -26"        23.5"       22.5"       22        22             22''         21.5       20.75  20.75     20.75  20.5

So still moving down and now that I am comparing my weight chart I see that I had actually lost 2 lbs over my vacation.  For some reason I thought I had already hit 160.  Either way it is all good news. I am down another inch in my bust and hips and everything else is the same.  That is 8" total off my hips to date and 6" off my bust.
Let's compare start to date....

weight 190     155       - 35 lbs
BF%    47.8     33.4    - 14.4%  ( this is the last number I have)
bust      44       38       - 6"
waist    40.5     32       - 8.5"
hip        46       38       - 8"
arm       15       11      - 4"
calf        18       15.5   - 2.5"
thigh      26       20.5   - 5.5"

Total weight loss  35 lbs
Total inches lost   34.5 inches OMG....

And here are a couple of selfies.  One from the cottage day before I left... (yes I'm wearing a bikini I was ALONE don't judge - and I was trying to get the weather and view in as well)

And this one from this morning after my run.

 I am off to Nova Scotia in a few days.  It's 10 days of family, socializing and a workshop which may or may not include some chocolate.....

I will fill you in on all the wonderfulness of that time when I return.  In the meantime, here are my goodbye shots from the last days of my cottage time and the last days of summer.
Good Night and Good Bye Porcupine Bay

CHEERS (and tables) (family injoke)

Next time - Nova Scotia good or bad?

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