Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Clothes...

Yesterday I went to the local Wal-Mart and found out they sell + size clothes as well. I didn’t’ know this?? Well of course I didn’t, (a.) I usually don’t shop at Wal-Mart and (b.) + sizes usually meant only going up to 24 or 26 and I used to be a whopping size 38 ! So for years I shopped at Mr. Big & Tall because all the other large size women’s clothing stores only went up to size 28 max. (((SIGH))).. but now I can go to Wal-Mart . I bought some size 22 jeans, didn’t try them on, I just thought , wow these are cheap, only $ 24.95, and I will surely fit into them say by January or something. So when I got home last night, I just thought, lets try them on for fun to see how tight they are… and oh my god.. they fit.. and they were not tight either! ( I do have to have them shortened though.. dam these designers that always produce pants for mega tall women!! )

I’ve found that now I am starting to have to buy clothes at cheaper stores like Wal-Mart because, this is getting expensive. Last night I had a performance with Toronto Sinfonietta, and I was wearing my size 26 black pants, that now look like clown pants because they are way to big now! So now I have to either have them taken in, or buy new black pants… I just bought the pants like 2 months ago!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Toronto looks like a Winter Wonderland!!

Not to much to report on today, other than did the same ol same ol… Except for our first blast of winter, and got a dumping of snow !!
I went to the gym last night, got my Thursday night TV fix at the gym. I watched all my favorite shows while working on my cardio.

I find my heart is getting stronger and stronger now on a weekly basis. When I first started walking on a tread mill, I would hit my target heart rate in about 1 minute. My target heart rate to burn fat, at my age, is 111.

Back in January I would walk on the treadmill at a speed of 2.0 with no incline, and would easily hit the target heart rate, I would be a huffing and a puffin too! Now, 11 months later, on the treadmill, I have to walk at a speed of 2.8 and an incline of 2.0 in order to reach my target heart rate. And what’s also cool, is that when I do walk at my target heart rate, that I’m not out of breath.. or as apposed, back in January I was wheezing and coughing all over the place when I worked out..
Man I am sooooo much healthier now !!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bombarded in TV shows on Obesity

Once again the TV can be a great source of information and education in weigh-loss tips. Yesterday I was watching Dr. Phil, which I normally do not watch, but this show was interesting so I stuck to watching it. It was about obese young children. The story was about how and why 3 young children under the age of 8 where more than 100 pounds overweight. Again the fingers were pointed to the adults in this situation. These children got this way because of the adults in their lives caving in to their temper tantrums, and nagging for this bad food. It’s all about choices! If you don’t’ want your child to grow up fat and overweight, YOU have to set the example your-self!


As doctor Phil put it… “why do you even buy this junk food!”

 “You should NOT even have it in your house!”

 “You ! The parent have to set the example and be the good role model.”

 Parents have the most influence on children when they are young.  They watch our motions and listen to our voices. We are their role models. As such, it is our obligation to set forth the best example we possibly can for them. Even from a very young age our children begin to pattern themselves after their parents.

 In this case, I agree with Dr. Phil. My house is empty of all junk food, and bad high carb foods. I don’t have it in the house, so I can’t eat it when I’m weak and feeling vulnerable.

 Please to all those parents that are bringing up children, set an example your- self. YOU eat Fruits and Veggies every day with your Children. Do not buy junk food. And eat with your children a home cooked meal at least 6 days a week!

No more eating out every night! Home cooked meals are what every European  family still does today, that’s why they are NOT obese and North Americans are! And believe me, their jobs and lifestyles are just a busy as ours, so that’s not an excuse to not cook!  We have just gotten lazy over the years!

 Then go for a bike ride and or walk with your kids… physical activities a must! But do it together.. otherwise they will not do it! Really !!  the couch is so much easier!

 Believe me I have learned the hard way! Now paying for all these years of body abuse and having to work for hours at the gym to burn enough calories to burn off these years of built up fat!!     

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Positive Direction

Moving from Morbidly Obese to just Obese is still serious but certainly less worrying. In scientific terms, a Morbidly Obese person is someone who weighs more than 100 pounds over their ideal weight. My ideal weight is 150 pounds, so at my present weight I am exactly 99 pounds over it.

Late last night I was watching TV in bed, and channel surfed, by all the exercise machines and excersise videos to the TV channel TLC that had a program airing about the Gastric bypass surgery for the super morbidly obese -over 600 lbs. The show called “ Half Ton Man “ at 1,022 lbs, Kenneth Brumley is the biggest patient Renaissance Hospital in Houston has ever seen. Kenneth is desperate to save his own life and undergoes a series of major, life-threatening surgeries. Texas has the largest epidemic of obese, morbidly obese and the super morbidly obese people in the world! It’s a very sad situation. So many people are suffering in that state from this condition. It’s really turned into a epidemic.

I did some research on the internet and compiled a list of what other people have written as to why there is an obese epidemic in North America: ( to which I agree with as well...)


“Convenience. No one cooks at home anymore. Microwave meals, fast food, quick fixes like cookies and chips. It's so convenient that most people don't even give it a second thought.”

“Fast food. Kids CAN'T safely play outside in the neighborhood anymore.Kids don't walk or ride bikes to school any more.Video games, except those that provide physical activity.Computers and computer games. (NO physical activity). Cell Phones instead of visiting friends (not safe to walk or ride bike to friends'). More and more TV channels catering to all sorts of lifestyles.Too many cities don't have mass transit for commuters and we park as close as we can to work. Insidious marketing of sugared and fatty foods.Cutbacks at school where gym and sports go first.”

“Have you seen the movie, "Super Size Me" ??? ... it explains it very well.Too many people consume more calories than they burn, plain and simple”.

“If you travel to Europe, people are much smaller there. People walk everywhere and the food in restaurants is actually cooked there (not frozen food, heated up) The shops close so people can go home and eat normally, so it must be our lifestyle and all the artificial stuff in our food supply. It is not really nourishing, so people eat more empty calories to fill up.”

“Because people can go out and eat at any fast food restaurant and not work off the calories!!!”

“Our lifestyles have changed. In the 1960's and 70's, kids walked of biked to school, now they are driven.We now have more convenience foods, and many of us are too scared to go outside for one reason or another.”

“Fast food has replaced healthy food. And physical activity has diminished.”


After watching this program, I am once again stimulated and once again driven to succeed on my path to a healthier lifestyle. Veggies and fruit are my friends..

Fast Food is should be re-named Fast Death Food!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Christmas is Around the Corner!

With Christmas only a month away, a new and really difficult challenge for me lays ahead! Christmas parties, dinners and just all around festive celebrations are all centered around food! And lots of it! Yeeks!! This will be the true test of my strength, stamina and self discipline.

Later on today is Toronto’s 103rd Santa Claus Parade. A huge parade will pass by thousands of awaiting children, fulfilling their Christmas dreams. I have great memories of my family Christmas celebrations and although the presents were great, the celebration of food played a central role.

The Dutch December tradition includes 2 huge celebrations: Sinterklaas and Christmas. Sinterklaas is on December 5th and then Christmas on the 25th. Both of these celebrations have wonderful foods associated with them. And here in Canada, by the time Christmas comes around, my mom would place the foods from both celebrations out on the same table. Our Christmas celebration went as follows: ( and still mostly true today in our family) First thing in the morning we were able to sneak out and get our stocking and take them back to our beds to unpack them; full of sweets and little mini toys. Next we had to all get dressed and get ready for breakfast. The tradition was we were aloud to open presents only after we’ve had breakfast, all the dishes were cleaned up, kitchen clean, and mom had decorated the * after breakfast coffee/tea sweets table*. This table was the crazy table! It was full of sweets and cookies that would make any one scream hip hip hooray! *The picture above is an example of the treats that would be on this table! We had to open the presents one by one, making sure to say out loud, ooohh. & aaaahhh and netto! All the while getting up and going back to table to fill our little snack plates of wonderful Dutch Christmas/Sinterklaas treats. My dad always said the same thing every year when my mom finished decorating the treat table.. “ oh oh oh.. you over-did it again! It’s TOO much!! Leid!!” no wonder I grew up with a sweet tooth, and by the time I was 12 years old, every molar in my mouth had a cavity as well as fat and overweight!

This wonderful table tradition continued to appear right up to the year before my mother died in December 2005. My mom died at Christmas time! On Christmas Day, December 25th, 2005, I was holding my mothers hand in Intensive Care and watching her helplessly slip away in front of my eyes, not being able to do a thing about it! She finally was out of her misery and passed away the morning of the 28th. Now Christmas is a very, very emotional time for me and all my sisters. My younger sister has been leaving for Jamaica in December for 2 weeks, ever since this day, to avoid the sad feeling that now comes up with Christmas.

Time does heal though!

Thank god I have wonderful sisters, and we do now continue with the celebrations every though both my parent are gone!

Why did I write this blog entry??.. Well I just found out! ... To remember, and remind myself why my mom died!

She really died because of an element called ‘Fatty Liver Disease’ with this your Liver and then Kidneys shuts down. This you contract from over-eating to many fatty high sugar foods all your life !!. Like the ones at Christmas! So now I have once again found my reason to not freak out at Christmas, and just enjoy my family.. And not the fatty foods, as I do not want to die the same death as my mom!

I just love writing in my blog.. It’s a great therapist!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bad Habits Die Hard!

Last night I was home…Didn’t go to the gym and ended up watching a movie! Whoops... wrong choice... that old bad habit crept back into my brain.. My God, it really is almost some sort of disease!

I had the erg to eat all bad stuff, like I used to do. I went out in the rain with my dog, ended up at the 24 hour convenience, and bought Smart Food popcorn and some chocolate. Mind you I did end up buying the small bag of popcorn, and a small chocolate bar (popcorn about 300 calories, and the chocolate bar about 300) .. but they could have been as big as my living room … because the guilt I felt last night, and this morning was almost crushing!!

Wow… I really have a bad habit that really needs to be addressed. I haven’t done this in 10 months.. But being home last night, really is a wake up call that my eating disorder is still there, and can be awoken just like that. I’m not off track! Don’t worry.. Won’t do that again! Any time soon.. But I do have to psychologically analyze myself, and try to avoid this situation next time… I want to one day be able to stay home at night, and just sit down on my couch and watch a movie, WITHOUT wanting and needing to eat crap and binge lots of food full of sugar and salt! For now, and tonight.. I have a concert, Sunday I’m going to the new Art Gallery of Ontario around dinner time, and next week back to the gym at night. You may call it escaping from the problems, but for now that seems to be the only solution.

I compare binge eating, a true disorder. Like being an alcoholic. Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic, once they are dry they can never touch it ever again, unfortunately, I am starting to think the same goes for these types of food for me. Well, not all food, but the chocolate, chips and popcorn stuff.. I can’t eat it, I just want more! So I have to just stay away from it…


Thursday, November 13, 2008

My new strong body… a big surprise!

My new strong body… a big surprise!

My exercises with my personal trainer are getting more and more daring every week. More importantly I am totally surprised every week with the new things that I am able to accomplish with this new smaller stronger body. Tuesdays are my personal training sessions. This week, I arrived at the gym early to first join in on a new cardio Salsa class; I only lasted 15 minutes, it was really hard and fast paced ,I was quite sore in my hip, so I stopped and just sat around at the gym for an hour before my private training session was to begin.

I was not of high spirits, starting my lesson because of the failure to keep up with the Salsa dancing. My trainer had said, ‘Wendy we are going to try something new today’.. gulp.. I thought, okay bring it on! Today we are going to do a Chest press on a Stability ball. (see picture ) oh.. yeeks.. me.. sitting, laying on the ball like that! .. okay.. well hold on, don’t let me fall over!… so there I went, laid on my back and slowly walked my legs out, so as to be in the position, holding my hips up with my stomach muscles, then my trainer handed me the barbells, to add even more a challenge to keeping my balance on the ball! Well.. I did it! Yaaa ! I was so surprised with myself! I am so much more flexible and stronger than 10 months ago! And being able to do this exercise really showed me my progress, and that all this money spent on private strength training is really paying off!

Last night I went to gym again, as I do 5 nights a week, and then tried the exercise alone without my trainer spotting me. And again, I did it! Got down on the ball, even while holding the weights ( 10 lbs each) I ever was able to walk slowly back, pushing my back up the ball to get back into a sitting position on the ball, and not just flop onto the floor.. YES!

So every night I do 1 hour of circuit training and 1 hour of cardio. Last night 4 sets were: 15 reps of Chest press on a Stability ball, 15 reps of squats on the stability ball while lifting a 15 pound medicine ball above my head, holding a ‘ Plank’ for 60 seconds ( see picture) then walking 6 times up and down the room holding 45 pound round weight discs in each hand ( I call it the fireman’s walk, weights, not buckets of water) pressing 20 pound barbells in a hunched over position, getting up and sitting down on a exercise bench with holding a 35 pound weight disc, and finally walking around the gym twice in a fast pace while punching in the air with 8 pound barbells. Pheew.. That’s only 1 set too! I had to do 4 of them, equally 1 hour in time.

After the circuit training I then do 1 hour of cardio. 15 elliptical, 15 treadmill, 15 bike, 15 elliptical. Then I go home.. and enjoy my well earned protein smoothie that I make myself, with 1 cup of milk, 4 frozen strawberries, a little 35 calorie container of yogurt, and protein powder.

I’m pooped by the time I sit on the couch and watch 1 hour of one of my PVR recorded shows, then go to bed at about 11:30pm.

I’ve been doing this every night of the week for 10 months now…


I am !!

(The above pictures come from a site I found that has pictures and clear explanations on how to do all these exercises. It's called : HowStuffWorks. The pictures.... ME !! Hopefully in one year.. !! )

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Weekly Weigh-in- NOW only 100 to GO !!!

Another 2 pounds off this week!!


the numbers:

Started Diet January 1, 2008
Starting Weight: 365
42 weeks on the Diet= 11 months
Weight lost so far 115 pounds
Current Weight 250
Goal Weight 150 by July 1, 2009

Sunday, November 09, 2008

"grown up digital"

Grown up Digital

(view the YouTube info ad on this book by clicking on the link above)

Sorry it’s been a while since writing in my blog…

I’ve been very busy reacquainting myself with my instrument and my deep love and passion of music making. I have been asked to join in and perform with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony all week. It was a combination week of performing school concerts, with introducing classical music to young people between the age of 7 and 13. We, the KWS, performed 3 programs for about 3000 kids! Wow.. great fun! Later on in the week we performed 2 pops concerts with the involvement of more kids, this time on the stage. The Kitchener Waterloo Youth Orchestra, and a  youth stage band that was on tour to Canada from Chile.

This whole week ties in with an very interesting Book Launch I attended on Monday at the University of Toronto, Business school . Don Tapscott has written his newest book “ grown up digital” He presented it on Monday at his book launch. An interesting book about a 4 million dollar study that he and his company initiated in order to study and interview 10,000 young people between the ages of 11 and 31. In this positive outlook on this new “ Net Generation” he quotes that this generation is not the dumbest generation but that they are smartest generation of all time! Now that’s a very relieving statement for me, as I’m the Aunt of 5 teenage nieces and nephews. Although my brother-in-law seems to disagree with this statement, or better said twists it into his own portrayal and calls this generation the slowest and laziest generation ever. He says: “They may be good at all the tech stuff, but they are the slowest and laziest generation ever!  and not willing to do any hard physical labor!”

Now how this all ties in with the book, is that I was very impressed or better said, blown away at the high playing level of these kids that performed with us. Sitting beside me in the orchestra was a 15 year old boy playing his French horn. He sounded great! And much better than me at 15 years old too! I was totally impressed by his high level of playing. Plus these kids that played in the stage band from Chile. They played at a very high level as well!

Now all these kids are exposed to cell phones, text messaging, the internet, TV, video games, ipods, facebook, youtube, myspace etc.. plus hang with their friends and do homework from school ! I tend to agree with Mr. Tapscott, because for all of these kids that performed with us, they not only found time to do all of the above but also found time to practice their musical instruments and rehearse with their bands or Orchestra! I think these kids are the most talented multi-taskers ever! Talk about incredible efficient time management and task development. These kids will no doubt be hugely successful in all their adult lives and careers.

Me as I type this entry into my blog today, I tried turning on the radio for background stimulant or mindless entertainment, and after 5 minutes I had to turn the radio off because I couldn’t concentrate on this task of writing this entry.

I’m one of the “ X-Generation” and as Mr. Tapscott also explains in his book, that we the X-gen, grew up watching TV. In a vegetative state, sitting on the couch and not doing anything else but tv watching. We did not grow up as multi-tasked individuals like the kids today are stars in multi-tasking. So in comparison, kids today can watch TV, listen to their ipod, text their friends, update there facebook status and do their homework all at the same time!!

Now I really understand what TV for the X-Generation really meant:

…. The Boob Tube! …boob as in  - stupid!! 

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Letting your Creative side sing out loud and clear!...

Letting your Creative side sing out loud and clear!...

Halloween has come and gone for another year. On my bucket list now includes to really, I mean REALLY !, go all out with a crazy and fantastic Halloween Costume next year !! That is a promise to myself. I am by pure nature an attention seeker. I love to be in the lime light, an extravert . I love to be the one that would make turns heads in a GOOD way, and not the way those heads have been turning for the last 20 years because of the double take in my Ginormous size! Arrgh!

I am surrounded in such amazing creative people. From the amazing friends and musicians that play with Amici or the Toronto Symphony, to all the other creative visual artists friends that I am also in admiration of. Living in the ‘ Village’ in Toronto, I am also surrounded in very creative artists. Last night’s Halloween party on Church street was one of the best ones I‘ve seen yet.

Halloween in the Gay community is also sometimes refered to as the ‘ Gay Christmas’; giving the community full licence to be as extreme and or creative as possible! I was awestruck when I saw this re-creation of a self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh. This artist, painted himself using the impressionist painting technique that was a true to life copy of the original painting. He then toted a full frame with lighting, to complete the whole 3 dimensional effect of the self portrait.

Hopefully next Halloween I will be the one that will have all the heads turn and someone writes about it in their blog!