Saturday, February 21, 2009

Big Yellow Taxi

This week ‘s program at the KW Symphony theme is hits from the past… Boomer Pops. As I’ve been magically transported back in time to 1969, and visiting my Dentist in Don Mills, the Muzak that was playing in the dentist office was exactly what I’ve been performing this week. Not the best memories of my teeth but other fun memories do pop up with this music.

Like all the camping trips we took together as a family. My dad had a ‘ Sprite’ camper that he would rent out to his clients via his Travel agency, and we would benefit from using it as well. My dad would hook up the camper to our old 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, which had cool ceiling skylights to see all the mountains, which we never did. That car always overheated! That car was a lemon. (See picture - Ours was turquoise blue, but could have been yellow like a lemon!) But it looked cool, and had fake wood paneling!

I still remember how my dad had so many problems with figuring out how to back up the car with the camper attached to it. We had a really long driveway in Don Mills, and when my mom was finished with loading up the camper my dad then had to back it out. You know, to back up with a camper you turn left to go right stuff… he always struggled with that, math and physics was not his strong point. ( I can still hear my mom yelling at my dad…” No Adri!... turn the other way!... My dad would then yell “ Leid! …Shut up!”)

We went camping in Quebec, New England, Thousand Islands, Muskoka and Algonquin areas. The camper slept 6, and was great fun! I do remember though that my mom really didn’t like it. She was more a ‘ Give me some luxury’ person! But she obeyed and made the best of it. It was cheap and that is what my dad liked the best. How else can you take a family of 6 on vacation to see these places without going broke!

My fishing skills and game playing skills really developed during those days! But I never could beat my sister Melinda at Monopoly, she somehow always won… I sure she cheated.. oh.. ya.. “Cheat” was another favorite game… and again Melinda won! see the pattern?

I wish my memories were more clear and vivid in that period. I was 9 in 1969. Like trying to remember what my parents did during those trips. I just remember my mom lounging around on a lawn chair smoking her cigarettes (Rothmans) and reading the paper. My dad... who knows? My mom always made the meals, and later at night made up all the beds… (Dinner tables collapsed, and magically turned into beds) how did we all sleep together in such a small space?... all that snoring!

I do remember one thing about my dad… when we went to New England, he went crazy on the fresh seafood one night, eating fresh New England Lobster and crab etc. I remember my dad getting out of bed about 100 times one night, vomiting and have the really bad runs… I think he had food poisoning… or something.. I didn’t eat the Lobster.. I thought it was weird to eat shell fish!

Aaaah memories… fun stuff… just listen to the “ Big Yellow Taxi” song by Joni Mitchell and I’m sure it will jog some of your own! As it did for me!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Finally Broke Through the Wall

( picture of me taken in California in March 2005, my weight 365 lbs)
Today’s weight – 238 lbs

These last 4 weeks have been extremely hard and frustrating. Losing weight is a time management as well as location issue. Let me explain: for the past 4 – 6 weeks I have been on the road a lot to Kitchener to play with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony. And what I found that was so difficult was:

A. being a lot at my sisters, her house IS full of stuff I shouldn’t eat and very tempting
B. being tired from all the driving and playing, that when getting home, and back to Toronto at night, I was too tired to get off the couch and go to the gym.

So now I understand how working mothers and wife’s have such a hard time with losing weight. If you look at really rich people, the reason why that are nice and thin, is that they DO have the time ( and of course money) to go to gym, having nanny’s and housekeepers and not having to work during the day makes a huge difference.

Going to the gym and dieting takes a lot of dedicated time and effort!

The effort part now I am slowly changing. I have recently bought a food processor and a kitchen scale and started to make my own salmon or chicken salads; packing up a nice lunch and healthy properly weighed snacks, and not eating on the road or at my sisters any more. The key to sticking to your diet is only eating stuff you make yourself at home. Home preparation for the day coming is essential!


My youngest sister recently won that most amazing prize through her local radio station. A 12 week Biggest Loser competition with an all expenses paid gym membership and a private trainer 4 days a week. She is on a team of 6 and competing with another team of 6. At the end of the 12 weeks the team that looses the most weight wins an all expense paid trip to St. Lucia! Nice! Of course I am jealous as hell! She get this all presented to her on a silver platter, a full new life style change and doesn’t have to pay a penny!

Go Sis Go!

But that’s my recent inspiration… and am a very competitive person by nature; and now I am in competition mood with her of course. I want to lose as much weight as she probably will! Her weight-loss is posted weekly on the radio station website, for all to see, including me! So game on!

Time management

So now the true test for me; I am continuing to play with KWS, travel and be away the safe confines of my home and kitchen. Yesterday I played and audition for a local orchestra, packed my lunch and snacks, drove 300 km to and from the audition, got home and still went to the gym. So it’s possible to do, it’s just a new mind set, and change in my past routine of working a normally 9-5 at the office, going home, having dinner and going to the gym.

That is now no longer the case…

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Hitting the Weight-loss Wall!

For the past 6 weeks I have not lost any weight, I have gone up and down 2 to 4 pounds, but hovering around the 240 mark... frustrating!! I have just found this article and well after reading it, it has shown some light on my situation.. I will pursue... !! and try to get over this hump or as it's called a plateau ...

It's kind of like running into a wall -- that feeling you get when, after a few months on a weight-loss program, you suddenly stop seeing results. This is called hitting a plateau and it is not uncommon. In fact, unless you continually update your program to reflect the changes your body has already experienced, you are almost guaranteed to plateau at some point.

Weight-Loss Woes
The first thing you should do upon hitting a plateau is try to determine the cause. Could you be eating more calories than you think? Research shows that most people underreport the number of calories they eat -- it's not that they're lying, they just don't know how to make an accurate assessment of how much they're eating. And even if you're eating less calories than before you lost the weight, you could be eating just enough to maintain your current weight at your current activity level. It is important to keep in mind that as you lose weight, your metabolism slows down because there is less of you to fuel, both at rest and during activity. So, while a diet of 1,800 calories per day helped you lose a certain amount of weight, if you've hit a plateau, it could be that 1,800 calories is the exact amount you need to stay at your current weight.

Exercise Your Options
This leaves you with two options: Lower your caloric intake further or increase the amount of time you spend being physically active. The first option is less desirable because you may not be able to get sufficient nutrients from a diet that is very low in calories, and it is difficult to stick to it for very long. It is much better to moderately reduce calories to a level that you can sustain when you reach your goal weight. The same is true for exercise. Trying to exercise for several hours per day to burn more calories is a good way to set yourself up for failure. Not only does this type of regimen require an enormous time commitment, it is hard on the body, making you more susceptible to injury and overuse syndromes.

To help balance the intake with the expenditure, a good rule of thumb is to multiply your goal weight by 10 calories per pound, and add more calories according to how active you are. Again, be realistic. Don't attempt too much in an effort to burn more calories. Instead, aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity most of the days of the week and, as you become more fit, gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise sessions. Choose activities that you find enjoyable, whether that be in-line skating, step classes or even mall-walking.

Another means for getting you off the plateau is strength training, which has been shown to be very effective in helping people manage their weight because the added muscle helps to offset the metabolism-lowering effect of dieting and losing weight. Muscle is much more metabolically active than fat; therefore, the more muscle you can add, the higher your metabolism will be.

Get Off the Plateau
If you've stopped losing weight, the key to getting off the plateau is to vary your program. The human body is an amazing piece of machinery, capable of adapting to just about any circumstance or stimulus. By shaking things up a bit and varying your program by introducing some new elements, you'll likely find yourself off the plateau and back on the road to progress in no time. For reliable and unbiased information on health and fitness, check out the American Council on Exercise.

This article was provided by Global Health & Fitness (GHF). Go to to visit their site for customized exercise and nutrition programs, hundreds of exercise instructions and video demos, a FREE fitness analysis and much more!  

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Music Making for the Soul

Today I performed with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony. This orchestra, classified as the one of the top ten orchestras in Canada, is just a wonderful joy to perform with! I have had the pleasure of performing with them quite a few times in the last 2 months, and will be continuing to perform with them right though to the spring.

The City of Kitchener is a city in southwestern Ontario, Canada. About a 1 hour drive west of Toronto( 100km) It was the Town of Berlin from 1854 until 1912 and the City of Berlin from 1912 until 1916. The city had a population of 204,668 in the Canada 2006 Census. The metropolitan area, which includes the neighbouring cities of Waterloo and Cambridge, has 451,235 people, making it the eleventh largest Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in Canada and the fifth largest CMA in Ontario.[1] It is the seat of the Waterloo Regional Municipality, and is adjacent to the smaller cities of Cambridge to the south, and Waterloo to the north. Kitchener and Waterloo are often referred to jointly as "Kitchener-Waterloo" (K-W), although they have separate municipal governments. Including Cambridge, the three cities are known as "the tri-cities".

The City of Kitchener covers an area of 136.86 square kilometres. In 2004, the city celebrated its 150th anniversary

The Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, (KWS ) was formed in 1945, the brainchild of Dr. Glenn Kruspe, then-director of the Philharmonic Choir, who suggested forming an orchestra to play for a choir performance in April of that year. The performance was an overwhelming triumph, with over 2000 people in attendance. Spurred on by this success, the orchestra decided to stage a sold-out solo concert in October 1945.

Until 1950, the orchestra performed three concerts every year. Between 1950 and 1972, there was a huge increase to 14 concerts per season. Today, the KWS performs over 90 concerts every season to a combined audience of over 90,000 concert-goers. Nationally acclaimed, the KWS is the cultural centrepiece of the Waterloo Region. Comprehensive school programs, free concerts at hospitals, soup kitchens, seniors’ homes and an annual free concert in Waterloo Park are offered every year to the community. The KWS also supports the activities of a Youth Orchestra Program, which involves four distinct ensembles: Youth Strings, Youth Sinfonia, Youth Orchestra and Valhalla Brass. Its musicians range in age from 8 to 24, and number over 100.

The KWS Musicians: 52 players on staff
Length of Season: 38 weeks (September 2007 to June 2008)


Sunday, February 01, 2009


I would say this picture speaks a thousand words!

Progress .. it shows now!