Thursday, July 22, 2010

Weight Loss Mission - Week 2 Update

I cannot believe how quickly this week’s just flown by. It feels like it was just 2 days ago that I had posted my 1st weigh-in…. and all of a sudden, I’m having to weigh in and measure myself yet again.

Where has the time gone?

But first things first, I must apologize to my amazing readers for being such a complete knob. Yes, that’s me. Me, the knob. I had meant to reply to your questions in inquiries but for some reason, the time just got away from me and next thing I know, it’s Thursday, time for another update and I still haven’t responded to your questions. I’m sooooo sorry. I promise I will get to your questions in the next day or two.

In fact, I’m even going to try to address some of them here – kinda like killing 2 birds with 1 stone... not that I would actually stone a bird. But I digress.

Anyway, here we are. Another Thursday. Another weigh-in, measure-up day.

Don’t take this the wrong way. I really look forward to Thursdays because it’s the day that I get to see how well my plan for the last week worked. So, it’s not a negative thing whatsoever. This week just crept up a little too quickly, that’s all.

So, how did I do this week?

Weight: 130.4 lbs (down by 1.6lbs from last week)
Body Fat %: 27.4% (up by 0.3% - but that’s not a bad thing really – I will explain more shortly.)

Bust: 33.5” (No change from last week – Thank God for that!)
Natural Waist: 28.75” (decrease of 0.25” from last week)
High Hip: 35.75” (decrease of 0.25” from last week)
Hip: 38.75” (decrease of 0.25” from last week)

So how am I feeling? Pretty good. I feel pretty good with my progress. I’m continuing to lose inches, albeit small, but I’m losing. So that’s good. I’m glad.

As for the increase in the Body Fat percentage…. At first, I wasn’t thrilled. My immediate reaction was… WTF??? But I need to remember that Body Fat Percentage (BFP) is a percentage of your body weight. So, while my BFP may increase slightly, my actual Fat Weight (what an awful thing to think about), may not have changed or may have decreased.

How you ask??? Well, let me explain.

When I began, my weight was 135.2 lbs and my BFP was 28.1%. This works out to 97.2 lbs of Lean Body Mass (which is comprised of Lean Muscle, Water, Organs, etc.) And my actual Body Fat Weight was 37.99 lbs. In short, I had 37.99 lbs of fat in my entire body at the start of my Fat Loss Project.

After my 1st week, my weight was 132 lbs and my BFP was 27.1%. This converts to 96.23lbs of Lean Body Mass and 35.77 lbs of Fat. In other words, I loss 2.22lbs of fat between week 1 and week 2. However, the downside was, I also loss 0.97 lbs of Lean Muscle in at the same time. (I’ll speak about the importance of maintaining or increasing Lean Muscle in a moment)

In my 2nd week, my weight was 130.4 lbs and my BFP was 27.4%. This works out to 94.67lbs of Lean Muscle Mass and 35.73lbs of Fat. So what I was trying to say is, although my BFP may have increased, my actual Body Fat did not increase. I loss 0.04lbs of fat this past week. Not good but at least I'm not gaining Fat. The truly sad part is, I am still losing Lean Muscle because I lost another 1.5 lbs of which none of it was fat.

So, why is it important to maintain if not increase Lean Muscle Mass? I have read, and I mean, read loads of articles that say that Muscle helps burn fat even at rest. So based on this theory, I don’t want to lose muscle. In fact, I want to gain muscle so that my body can help burn fat while I’m resting, sitting or even sleeping. Muscle is metabolic. Fat isn’t. So when I’m losing muscle, my metabolism slows down… which explains why when someone is on a diet, after the first couple of weeks, the weight loss really slows down.

So, what am I going to do to ensure that I don’t lose more Lean Muscle Mass, well, I’m going to try eating more lean protein like Egg Whites, Fish, Lean Steak, Chicken Breast with every meal and since I eat 5 times a day, I’m going to make sure that I have a lean protein every time I eat.

For those wondering what I eat, here’s a typical day for me.

I essentially eat the same breakfast daily at 7:30am – which is, 1 Cup of Fiber One Honey Clusters with ½ cup of regular Fiber One cereal and 1 cup of Low Fat Silk (Soybean milk)

At 10am, I’m usually starving, so I’ll normally have 1 Banana. But since I need to add more protein to my diet, I’m now going to add 2 Low Fat Yogurts as well.

I eat lunch at 12 noon and my lunch normally consists of a Lean Protein and Vegetables. Today, I had 3.5oz of Sirloin with half a roasted zucchini and half a bunch of steamed Asparagus.

I eat again at 3:30pm and my afternoon snack normally consists of 3 Egg Whites (no yolks) and 2 cups of fruit.

I normally have dinner at 6:30pm and dinner is usually a 5oz portion of Lean Protein, like Chicken or Fish, Salad with low-fat dressing and steamed vegetables.

If I am craving carbs with my meals, I will normally have Quinoa (pronounced as Keen-Wah) which is lower in Carbs but contains 4 grams of protein in 1 cup of cooked Quinoa.

While I’m not losing a ton of Lean Muscle Mass, I am losing some, so I’m going to focus on eating more protein in hopes that my body will slowly do what I want it to do.

So, how did you do this week? Were you able to get your work-outs in? Did you eat as clean as you possibly can? I could have eaten cleaner this week … but honey took me out to Goldfish in Yaletown for our 13th year Anniversary and I blew my clean-eating and fell off the proverbial wagon. But like everything else in life, I dusted myself off and got right back on the wagon.

I hope you’ll write and tell me how you did this week. We certainly need each other for support. Being slim is not natural nor easy for me. I have to work hard, very hard in fact, to be slim. So, let’s count on each other for support. Together we will persevere.

Be Fierce, Be Strong. Love Yourself. Love, Karen

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What did you score today?

I wasn't planning on buying anything... but I ended up purchasing the Rah Rah Rumba Skirt by Edme & Esyllte.

I had tried this skirt on during my last visit to Anthropologie. I really liked the skirt a lot, particularly the tiers. I was suprised really since I never like pull-on skirts because pull-on skirts always make me look FATTER than I actually am. The nip in at the waist and bulge out right under adding that dreaded muffin-top / spare-tire right around my belly button. Certainly not a look I am after.

But I was pleasantly surprised with this skirt. I would have purchased it on the spot unfortunately, they only had a size 10 (and that's what I tried on ... but I really needed a 6) so I held off.

For those looking for this skirt, please call Customer Service at (800) 309-2500. There is a glitch with Anthro's online system. When I tried adding the skirt (in the grey) to my shopping cart, I received a pop-up message advising that I've added more than what's available (or something to that effect anyway) so I picked up the phone and called CS. I was told that they've got 18 of the size 6 in stock. I also told them about the system glitch ... but when I last checked (4 hours after I initially placed my order), the glitch is still there.

If you haven't purchased this skirt, do! It's fabulous! It won't make you look fat. In fact, it's rather slimming and the tiers are so very sweet and pretty. And it's the perfect length. It comes to the very top of my knees and hides my knee fat (you know, the part right above the knee cap???) And to top it off, if you get it in the Grey, which I did, you'll be able to wear it with tights right into the Fall. Isn't this just terrific???

What a fantastic piece! ... But that was the only thing I got today. Nothing else spoke to me unfortunately.

So, what did you score in Anthro's amazing sale? Oh, I hope you'll share. I love living vicariously through others! :)

Have a fantabulous day my lovelies! Love, Karen

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Weight Loss Mission - Week 1 Update

Bust: 33.5” (Loss 0.5” from previous week)
Natural Waist: 29” (Loss 1” from previous week)
High Hip: 36” (Loss 0.75” from previous week)
Low Hip: 29” (Loss 0.5” from previous week)

Weight: 132.0 lbs (Loss 3.2lbs from previous week)
Body Fat Percentage: 28.1% (Loss 1% BF from previous week)

What contributed to my success this week?
• Eat relatively clean – I ate clean this week with the exception of 3 occassions where I snacked on gummies. My gummie addiction is extremely difficult to break. But other than gummies, I didn’t have any other junk, ie. chips, ice-cream, etc.
• Worked out 6 mornings in a row – 45 minutes on the Elliptical each morning.
• Ate 5 small meals daily with protein at every meal.
• Stopped eating as soon as dinner was done. Did not snack after dinner.

This weight loss thing is a battle for me. It may come easy for others but not for me. I have to consciously work at it. But I tell myself, one day at a time. If others can do it, so can I. And if you’re following along on this journey with me, if I can do it, so can you! We’ll all do it together. We’ll cheer each other along. We’ll be each others cheering section!

So, that’s my Weight Loss update for week 1. If you’re on a weight loss mission with me, how did you do this week?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Stresses of Pet-Ownership

DISCLAIMER: This post is about the stress I am experiencing as a BRAND NEW, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, PET OWNER. It is not about how I feel about our new Kitten. I absolutely love our new kitten. In fact, while I'm at work, I actually miss him and think about it. But that does not stop me from being stressed out. Going from not ever having owned a pet to now owing one at my age is truly a life-changing experience. I speak about the stress of such a life-changing experience. Please do NOT assume that I have a poor attitude towards my new kitten. Please do not tell me to return my kitten or give it up. That is not the issue I'm discussing here. The issue is my stress. And just because I'm stressed does not meant that I have a poor attitude towards my kitten. It merely means I'm stressed and that I am to learn to deal with my stress. That's all. Please do not read into it anymore than what it is.


I’ve never owned a pet in my life. Unless you count a Turtle for about 3 days, a Chick for 2 days and a Puppy for about 4 hours.

Sadly as it sounds, I have simply never owned a pet for an extended period of time. In my childhood, it’s certainly not for the lack of want. I wanted a pet – a dog preferably, but would have settled for a pet rabbit, but my parents were fastidious about the pristine condition of their home. Despite the aid of a housekeeper, my parents refused to get my brother and I a pet. Afterall, we travelled frequently and they liked a spotless house.

When we had our daughter Kitty, I told myself that if she ever wanted a pet, I would consider it. But as she grew up and as I grew older and more set in my ways, I found that I was becoming more and more like my parents. I really didn’t want a pet in the house.

I like our house and our dark hardwood floors and light interior. I like a squeaky clean floor and that’s why I have cleaners come weekly to clean. I like our lifestyle where we can come and go as we please without the responsibility of pets. I like the fact that we go away on a couple of 2 week vacations each year and weekends away. I like having freedom.

Then one day, last December, while lying in bed, Honey turned to me and said, “Let’s get Kitty a kitten.” “A Kitten.” I replied. “Yes”, he said, “I think it would be a great idea. It would teach her responsibility and keep her company since she’s an only child.” I responded, “Let me think about it”, hoping that it was simply a passing fancy.

Honey and Kitty both brought up the subject once again in January 2010 and then again in February. And during our trip to Disneyworld, Orlando, we made a family decision to adopt a Kitten.

We returned from our trip in March 2010 and proceeded to work with a local Ragdoll Cat breeder for a Lilac Bicolor Ragdoll. While we waited and waited for the arrival of our little kitten, I was silently stressing about the pressures involved in Pet Ownership.

But each and every time my stress about our upcoming pet reared its head, I managed to talk myself out of the stress… to the point where I was rather excited about the arrival of our new family member.

Last Saturday, the day finally arrived where we were able to pick up our 12 week old Ragdoll Kitten. We drove out to Delta to our Breeders home and picked up our little Kitten. He’s darling! He’s absolutely beautiful. He’s smart (but what do I know, I’ve never ever had a pet before) and he’s soooooooo cuuuute!

The first couple of days at our place was very rough. He cried lots. He refused to eat or drink. He hid the entire time and wanted nothing to do with Honey or Kitty for that matter. He had numerous accidents outside the Litter Box. To top it off, our daughter Kitty was terribly upset. She cried that her new kitten didn’t like her. That made me very sad but I explained that the kitten had been taken from his family and brought to another family of giants and if that happened to her, she probably would be doing exactly what the little kitten was doing. She understood and felt much better.

It was a very rough. For the kitten and for us. I broke out in hives, on my forearm and upper arm, on my shins, calves and behind my knees. I even broke out along my belly. Kitty too had rashes on her legs and on her arms and she’s having sneezing fits – up to about a dozen each evening. I guess we’re all somewhat allergic to our new kitten…. Or maybe we were just stressed from our new kitten. We then found out on the 3rd day that Honey too is allergic to the kitten. (We didn’t know at first for the kitten wanted nothing to do with him. But after a few pieces of Pure Bites Freeze Dried Chicken Breast, the kitten was all over Honey) and that’s when his suffered full-blown allergies. Not only that, I’m sooooo very stressed out because I’m following our new kitten around our house fearing that he’s going to have another accidents or that he’s going to take that 12 foot jump from our foyer to the basement. He’s constantly meowing and wants to be carried everywhere. As soon as I put him down, he’s meowing again. We used to have such a quiet home. Now all I hear is meowing. I can’t workout for fear that I’m going to crush him with the steps on my Elliptical. I can’t put him in another room because I have an open concept house where only the bedrooms and washrooms have doors and putting him in another room meowing away while I work out will simply wake Kitty and Honey up. I know, I know. I sound like a whiny child. I’m sorry. But I am on edge every moment I’m at home so much so that I’ve got a painful stress knot at the base of my neck… and that’s only after 5 days. My friends have told me that all this will pass. But when???

After 5 days, Honey and I still aren’t convinced that we can become Pet-People. We are not bad people. We really aren’t. We’re just not pet people. He’s never had a pet his entire life. Neither have I. If we had had pets previously, we would have known what to expect. We honestly didn’t. We are so very set in our ways. After all, I’m almost 45 and he’s almost 50 (okay next year). We love the lifestyle we have. We love our home with all of our pale furniture. We are highly sensitive to smells and we suffer from allergies (to varying degrees). Kitty on the other hand is head-over-heels in love with this new kitten. She’s hugging it, kissing it, carrying it everywhere despite her allergies.

My home used to be my sanctuary. I have a high stress job and when I get home, I want to relax and get away from the demands of life. But now, I feel that I can’t get away from the demands at all. I have demands at work and I have demands from the kitten at home.

I know that the kitten will likely outgrow his demanding nature in time. I just don’t know if I can last that long. Please don’t judge me. Please refrain from thinking that I’m some horrible person or animal hater. I am neither. I am simply set in my ways. But I love my daughter so much that I would do whatever she wants.

If she wants to keep the kitten, we will keep the kitten. And if she finds that her allergies are too much to bear and want to give up the kitten, I will support her decision as well. Anyway, that’s the stress I’ve been under. It’s crazy, I know. It’s crazy that I can manage a multi-million dollar business but I can’t deal with the demands of a baby kitten. It’s just crazy!

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I now understand what my parents were going through when they told me and my brother that we couldn’t have a pet. There is a lot of responsibility that goes along with Pet Ownership. Honey and I honestly thought long and hard over this decision. We really did. But I don’t think that we truly realized the impact this new kitten was going to have on our lives.

I guess we’ll just have to learn to deal with it. I guess I will have to learn to stop stressing… URGH! The Stress of Pet-Ownership!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I will be back shortly...

Hello Readers,

I hope you're all doing well. I apologize for not blogging the last couple of days. I apologize that I will not be blogging for the next few days. I honestly don't know when I'll be back yet but I've got a bit of a stressful situation at home currently that's occupying most of my time, energy and mind and I'm unfortunately, just not in the right frame of mind to be blogging.

I'm sorry.

But I will be back soon.

Until the next time, Be Fierce, Be Strong, Be yourself. Love, Karen

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Earlier today, one of my staff came up to me and said that Jan (a guy from another department) came up to her yesterday and said this to her:

"Karen (referring to me) is all dressed up for work everyday. Would someone please tell her that there's no party?"

Isn't that one of the funniest things you've ever heard? I still chuckle whenever I replay that comment in my head.

Dressing up???? I thought I was being work appropriate.

I guess it's all perception. What one perceives as dressing up, another perceives as normal attire. It's no wonder that some people show up in spandex workout attire or club clothes with their boob up to their chin ... and think that they're work appropriate.

Perception. It's all perception, I say.

The Ugly Truth!


What the hell happened??? Okay, don’t answer that! I know what happened. Last summer I weighed in at 125 lbs with the following measurements:

  • Bust (without a bra): 32.5”
  • Natural Waist: 28”
  • High Hip: 33.5”
  • Low Hip: 37”

Crazy part is, I really wanted to get down to lose a little more – that is, to get down to approximately 120lbs or where I could start seeing some muscle tone or definition. Problem was, once I got down to 125 lbs, I : 1.) Eased up on my workouts; 2.) Stopped weighing myself; 3.) Stopped measuring myself; 4.) Stopped measuring my Body Fat percentage; thinking, okay, more hoping, that thinking, that the final 5 lbs were going to miraculously melt off me. Yeah, right!

My 5-6 day a week workouts dwindled down to 2, possibly 3 days a week. My 1 day a week cheat day (of being able to eat anything I wanted without feeling guilty) grew to 2 days a week, then 3, and then 7 days a week. I was cheating everyday!

I’d cheated myself into being fat. Fantastic, isn’t it???!!!

Well, no, not really. In fact, it sucks! Carrying extra weight around sucks!

This morning, on the way to Summer camp, my daughter made a comment that made me realize how much I’ve actually strayed from my old self. I don’t quite remember what triggered her comment but she said (ad lib) “You used to workout a lot. Nowadays, you just sit in front of the TV and eat Sour Key Gummies and Hawkin Cheezies. No wonder you gained weight.”

No shit Sherlock! If my 10 year old daughter can recognize what I’m doing wrong, why can’t I???!!!

That said, as promised, here are my sad measurements:

  • Bust (without a bra): 34 (gained 1.5”)
  • Natural Waist: 30 (gained 2”)
  • High Hip: 36.75” (gained 3.25”)
  • Low Hip: 29.5” (gained 2.5”)

That’s a total of 9.25 inches … and that’s just between my armpits and my rear. I probably also gained inches in my rear and my knees and my calves……. Now for my weight and Body Fat Percentage.

  • Weight: 135.2 lbs.
  • Body Fat Percentage: 28.1% (I used to be around 24%)
As you can see, I’ve expanded! But no more! That’s it! I’m on a mission. My mission is to some weight, but more importantly, girth. I need to lose at least the 9.25 inches I gained.

I haven’t quite figured out what my real goal is yet but I will do that in the next couple of days and once I do, I will post it here so that you too can be a part of my journey and hold me accountable.

Well, that’s it for me today. I know that I can do this. I’ve done it before so I can do it again. And this time, once I get there, I’m going to continue to maintain it. That’s the secret, isn’t it?

To be honest, on the most part, this weight gain thing sucks. It sucks big time. But I’m all for “looking for the silver-lining in everything”. So what’s the silver-lining, you ask? The silver lining is, thank God I found out that I gained 10 lbs now! It’s easier to battle 10 lbs than it is to battle 20lbs, 30lbs or even 50lbs. I’m grateful to have come to that realization now.

So….until tomorrow, have a fantabulous day my lovelies! Always be true to yourself. Love, Karen