Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm Walking to Chicago: 700 km (435 Mile)

Not really but I decided to take up the suggestion of Ms M from Fatscapades of a Redheaded Chick and put in my miles/kilometers in the next 6 months.

I am not someone who actually likes to challenge myself but I can do this. In my last post I mentioned how important exercise was in keeping young. If those tiny little mice can walk on a treadmill to stay young, I can too! 

So I will put on my pedometer and walk, from Toronto to Chicago, virtually. I am vacillating about going to Chicago. My DH and I are planning a cruise down the Danube in October. Looks like we will be booking the end of October which leaves me free to go to Chicago for BOOBS 2.0. I'm actually thinking of driving. I love to drive and maybe, just maybe Gilly will join me for the last half of the trip (700 km or about 7 hours)?

Here is my goal:
Drive from Ottawa to Toronto to get Gilly: 348 km
700 km from Toronto to Chicago
7 months, 214 days 
100 km per month 
3 km per day.
Yup, I can do this.

Tie up your runners. Warm up and then come join the walk to Chicago.

On your mark, get set. GO!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oh Yeah, Exercise

I'm sneaking in a post today since I'm not at work. Something I have been putting on the back burner for awhile as I watch the rest of you run, pump iron, zumba, box...


I just renewed my gym membership for another year. I would estimate that I paid about $20 a visit for the number of visits I made last year. No excuses. I also have a full workout room in the basement. Don't use it either. We have a frozen canal here in Ottawa where people put on skates and skate for miles. Not me, unless I can have a Beaver Tail (donut type confection) covered in cinnamon sugar. Snow shoes and cross-country skiis sitting in the basement. Not used this year either.

I actually have always exercised since my 20's. Not to lose weight. It just didn't happen. But to feel better and to shape my body. It is needed now. The jiggles and lumps are appearing as the fat disappears. Toning is desperately needed. And maybe a little firming. But motivation? Where are you? 

Just when I thought I was hopeless this picture and article appeared on the front page of our newspaper on Monday:

The true secret of youth? Exercise
Treadmill program reverses signs of premature aging in mice, study finds.
Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Canadian scientists appear to have proven that you can, in fact, run away from old age. In what could stand up as the most powerful evidence yet that exercise prolongs life, a study by McMaster University researchers in Hamilton found that signs of premature aging were halted — and even reversed — in virtually every tissue and organ in the bodies of exercised mice. (now this must be true since McMaster is my Alma Mater)  
The finding, which could be a turning point in antiaging medicine, suggests the proverbial fountain of youth won’t come from a pill or from an exotic berry from the Amazon, but rather plain old exercise.
Mice genetically altered to age faster were forced to run on treadmills for 45 minutes, three times a week (imagine those tiny little treadmills!). Five months later, the mice looked as young, healthy and active as wild-type mice while their sedentary and same-aged siblings were balding, greying and shrinking. While the exercised mice scampered and scurried about their cages, the aging non-runners huddled in a corner, barely moving.

Epidemiological studies in humans have shown that people who are physically active or exercise regularly have fewer chronic diseases and tend to live longer — runners especially.

But, the message is “it’s never too late” to start exercising. (I think they got a little wheelchair for the mouse on the right.) 
Soon I will be 57 (March 15th). I think I would like to look more like the mouse on the left than the haggard looking one on the right. I will get my @ss to the gym. Really. So for any of you still contemplating whether exercise in any shape or form is a benefit, just look at the picture. Who wants to actually look old!

I'm now waiting for the drunken mouse experiment. You know the one where they let mice drink two glasses of wine a day to see if it really does lower cholesterol. I'll keep you all posted.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Video From my Vacation

Finally got it uploaded. Here is the video of my crazy drinking and eating in Mexico.

Just kidding. I'm not blond. But I do have this huge ugly bruise from when I fell on a chair!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Musings

I've been home from Mexico for 3 days now and it feels so far away. Bathing suits and sandals now replaced with coats and boots. Spring must come soon. We had a few days of warmer weather—above freezing—but today we're back to freezing cold and the wind is howling. What a difference a week makes.

We really enjoyed our trip. Lots of reading and relaxing. I have a question for blogland. Does anyone think that flying makes your band tight? Before I left, I could eat fairly well without a stuck episode for months. In Mexico, I was stuck and vomited a couple of times. Since I've been home, it still happens. I wonder if the fluid in the band changes with the pressure or moves around within the band. I have heard that some people have tiny air pockets in their band and these too might move around. I also have very little in my band compared to most of you. I think about 4.5 cc's in my 10 cc band. They put in 3 cc at surgery so it's been a slow march of fills/unfills for the past year. I am tight again this morning. I will admit that over the last few months I have been eating more soft foods. Stuff with either a sauce/gravy/dressing.

Here are some of the things that I have been making and freezing in individual lunch portions (~1 cup portions in my nifty containers):
  • Chicken pot pie with a cheesy biscuit topping (that I have no trouble eating)
  • Beef Bourgignon with garlic mashed potatoes (made in my cast iron dutch oven)
  • Fish pie—Basa fish in a white sauce again with mashed potatoes
  • Chili made with lots of beans and veges
  • Meatloaf or meatballs
My weight has been stagnant at ~170 pounds. I am not worried as it is winter and for the past 20 years, my highest weight has always been in February. So it is really a good thing since this is the first winter in ages that I have not gained anything. I will get back to a better routine when Spring finally shows up.

I survived without anti-depressants this winter, although I was on them for about a month in November. I discovered it was mostly work-related and figured out that I shouldn't have to take drugs to deal with the work sh!t. My one employee who was giving me the most grief walked out one day two weeks ago and never came back. She is now working elsewhere in the government and the strain has decreased amongst the rest of us. We were left high and dry and it was up to me to organize things before my vacation but we are now steadying the ship so to say. This woman was a narcissist, someone who only thought about herself. She would want the heat turned down, then up, then have them fix the air circulation but refuse a fan. Insist that no one wear any scents (including scented deordorant) and make a constant fuss if she whiffed hand sanitizer. She was accomodated but made no accomodations for the cramped open concept space where we are located nor for others who were trying their best not to disturb her. She used to blow her nose and sound like a fog horn and guffaw like an ass. She made critical mistakes (she was a programmer writing code) but thought herself an expert and perfect. My boss and those around me told me to ignore her but that is easier said than done when I was her supervisor. Many bottles of wine were drunk for this sorry excuse for a human. Good riddance.

That's off my chest. Whew! Now to move on. Below is a picture of me in Mexico wearing a long sundress that I have had for many many years. It is huge but I didn't have a lot of choice with summery things. I went back into my older photos and found one of me wearing the same blouse in 2007. And another at a wedding in Cuba in 2009.  
Mexico, February 2011 (170 pounds)

Cuba, July 2009 (~215 pounds)
It was sooooo hot!
(This is the photo that got me investigating WLS)

Sarnia, September 2007 (~200 pounds)
(same blouse as the one in the Mexico photo)
The bald guy is my DH.

I can see a big difference, even though I still think I am fat. But 40 pounds is 40 pounds. The brain hasn't quite caught up with what I see in the mirror. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The only way I see a difference is when I see me in photos. To those who are still avoiding the camera, pull it out and take lots as you lose weight. It will be a history of where you came from on this journey. 

I have a noticed some of you have created a separate photo page. That's my next task. I think it will really hit home when I can see all the photos I have posted all in one place.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day 2011

It's out last night in Mexico. We've had fantastic weather except for one day of rain. The temperature has been in the mid 20's C (I think that is around 80F) for most of the week. I've been reading and relaxing. Can't believe we go home on Tuesday. I've been stuck a couple of times-once at the Japanese restaurant with tough overcooked fish. Then again yesterday on Salmon. I am hoping we will be able to eat something tonight. The breakfast of Eggs Benedict went down without problem yet the potato chips with my amazing sandwich balked. A few Rum 'n' Diet Coke will help I hope.

I did get a bit tipsy a few times this week, but what the hey! I'm on vacation. Here is a photo from our balcony on this Valentines day. If you look close you will see the rum bottle is empty. And it was mixed with Coca-Cola Light.

Last year at this time I was still on liquid/mushies. My surgery date was February 10th, 2010. It's now officially a year with my band so here's to the future of health.
 Back to snow and cold in about 24 hours.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Adiós, mi lista de amigos

Adiós, my friends. Off to Mexico on Tuesday morning around 10 am (EST) arriving about 2:00 pm (CST). We're staying at an all-inclusive resort on Riviera Mayan just south of Cancun for a week. Warm weather, sun, sandals, shorts. We even have an oceanview room with a bathtub on the balcony.

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go. Can't wait to get me out the door.

I am not much of a linquist, so thought I should look up a few words of Spanish.
Hola! (Hi!)
Cómo estás? (How are you?)
Buenos días; Buenos tardes; Buenos noches. (Good morning, good afternoon, good evening)

Must have phrases for the pool or bar:
Una cerveza por favor. (a beer please)

Tres margaritas, por favor! (Three margaritas, please!)

Now after all those drinks above, I may need to know:
Where's the toilet? : Dónde esta el baño?

But this is the one I am practicing. You may never know when you need to tell someone:
My hovercraft is full of eels: Mi aerodeslizador está lleno de anguilas.

I will try to read some posts while gone as we have internet. How could I go a week without checking up on you guys. And I am so going to drink and eat and sleep and relax. My mind is there already.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bra Shopping Confessions

As I fretted a few posts ago, I bit the bullet and actually went to a shop that specializes in bras. No, not Vicky Secret (we don't have many in Canada, although I think Toronto is getting one!). The store was called Marianne's. I also mentioned my fear of the matronly lady named Olga.

Well Olga wasn't there but I did have Olinda who was a dear. Sweet. Did her job. No measuring, just eyeballing. And I was successful. The Girls are now happy.  

I'm a 40 C but one of the girls is a bit smaller than the other. Did you know you should buy for the biggest boob? Olinda did offer to hand me a kleenex or two but it isn't a big deal as the lacy band pulls everything in tight. I guess it's hard to get the size identical with a breast reduction. One is a C, and the other a C minus.

I took Joey's direction and stuck to lace bras. I tried a couple of those other cutsie bras but they had no support. The ones I ended up with didn't cost a fortune!!

I've heard so much about having to spend over a hundred dollars or more for a bra but I got two different ones. A lacy white number for about $65 (~$US 65 since we are almost at par) and the other one, a beige Warner bra shown in the picture. OMG, it was only $36.

This picture is so not me. Only in your dreams. But it is one of my bras. And as an added bonus, when I was in Walmart they had the exact same Warner bra for $24 so I just bought it. It was in a box. It is white. But I will say that it was worth having Olinda size me up for the extra bucks. And I tried some black ones. They didn't fit. But the same style above comes in black, so maybe on my next trip to Walmart.

Phew. I'm good to go for another 3 years.

(Now for undies that fit!)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Copy and Paste

Sometimes in this world the smallest thing can set off a cascading chain of events that makes one want to shout, WTF? I don't mention my work very often but a litany of events evolved over the last week which makes my tiny little mind want to say, WTF?

The Story: my group of about 20, develop applications for a client ("the bully"). "The bully" is very demanding. Tensions have been building for years and our environment has been classified as toxic, caustic, unhealthy. It has been a hot topic of discussion with the higher ups for months now but no change, just lots of talk. Yesterday afternoon we had a Conflict Management group hug amongst ourselves. Of course "the bully" wasn't involved. We poured out our hearts about the way we are treated. We even had a few tears of frustration shed.

One of my employees just left last week partly because of this sad state of affairs. Just walked out. They will find her another position in another group. For me, I need to deal with having one less body to do the work. But I am ready to throw in the towel too and leave for another position. It feels like "the bully" is trying to gain the upper hand but we resist. Last week, they sent me what I considered the stupidest little requests to "fix". The final straw came when I was asked to copy a file from one folder and paste it into another folder. They said it was my job and that they were not qualified to do this. I actually thought it was an joke.

My response was to be stubborn and say NO! But my boss said to do it, so my team merrily did a copy and paste. And then did it again the next day, and the next… until today. Wowsa. We are now escalating to the higher ups. Because I said NO. Meeting requests are flying around left and right. Cancelled, rescheduled, cancelled, rescheduled. WTF?

A little background as to where I sit in this hierarchy: I am a Team Lead who reports to a Manager, who reports to a Director, who reports to a Director General, who reports to a Deputy Minister.

Yup, little old copy/paste has hit the big times. This teensy tiny little item is being raised to the Deputy Minister. Do you think he will roll his eyes and say WTF?

I do. But some bitch slapping would be fun to watch.

Mayan Riviera, Mexico: The countdown is on (see my new ticker in top right)!

Stay tuned for my next exciting post topic: Two new bras.

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