Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Run

Today I went on my first outside run/walk of spring. I would love to say it was totally awesome and I kicked it but I would be a big fat lier if I said that. It was a beautiful day but my run was not my best. I did try hard but I lost some endurance lately. The good thing is that I am not going to give up. I am going to keep going until I get better and kick ass!!! (One side note, every time I thought about blogging about my run, it would give me the motivation to keep running/make me start running again. I may not have ran the whole way but I did my best and that was good enough for me on the first day out.)

To help keep me motivated, I am going to pick up my bran new spanking Ipod tomorrow. I am still undecided on the color (either pink or purple) but tomorrow I am going to the store to buy one. I am super pumped.

Monday, March 29, 2010

So I read this in the newpaper this morning and it goes along with the whole 'addicted to food' theme. It is actaully a bit disturbing but scared me enought not to pour more cream into my coffee today.

Study probes 'addictive' foods

By Sharon Kirkey, Canwest News ServiceMarch 29, 2010

Bacon and cheesecake can alter the brain in ways similar to heroin and cocaine, according to scientists who say they have found the most compelling proof yet that high-fat foods rewire the brain and drive the development of compulsive eating.

When rats raised on regular chow were suddenly given unrestricted access to a high-fat diet, they lost complete control over their eating. Not even mild foot shocks kept them from compulsively feasting on chocolate bars, cream-stuffed cakes, sausage, frosting and other highly palatable human foods. Within 40 days, their body weight had increased 25 per cent.

The rats not only got fat, they also showed addiction-like changes in brain reward circuits -- the same changes that have been reported in humans addicted to drugs. Specifically, the obese rats showed lower levels of a receptor in the brain called the dopamine D2 receptor. The D2 receptor responds to dopamine, the chemical associated with feelings of reward. The brain releases bursts of dopamine when we eat food that tastes good.

The more junk food the rats ate, the more they overloaded the brain's reward circuitries until they essentially crashed. As the pleasure centres in the brain became more and more blase, and less responsive, the rats quickly turned into compulsive overeaters. They were motivated to keep eating to get their fix.

"They're in a state of reward deficit, so that they're now even more motivated to obtain rewarding food, perpetuating this vicious cycle even further," said study co-author Paul Kenny, an associate professor at Scripps Research Institute in Florida.

The lowered D2 receptor levels -- a side effect of overeating high-fat food -- also seemed to drive the animals to develop "habitual" feeding behaviours that made them "less able to shift their dietary preferences," Kenny says.

When the researchers took the high-fat foods away, leaving only the healthy, but boring chow -- what the scientists dubbed the "salad bar option" -- the rodents essentially voluntarily starved themselves. "They liked the junk food so much they would rather starve than shift onto the regular chow," Kenny said.

Even after two weeks of having no junk food, "they still hadn't returned to the level of intake that you see in the control animals for the standard chow. That goes to show just how powerful this food was." When they artificially knocked down the dopamine receptor using a special virus, nothing happened when rats were given regular chow. They didn't become compulsive in any way, Kenny said. "Their brain reward systems looked fine.

"But the second you gave it palatable food, it showed very rapidly these addiction-like changes." Some people may be born with a predisposition to have lower D2 levels. "That may be why they're more likely to gain weight. They're already halfway down that road, if you will," Kenny said.

The findings, published Sunday in an advance online edition of the journal Nature Neuroscience, could have profound implications for the millions of Canadians struggling to control their eating. "What this is telling you is that, if you persist in eating food that you know is bad for you, there is a chance that you will develop a habit, and you will keep on going back to that food unless you make a really strong, conscious effort to stop it," Kenny said.

"It's incumbent upon people to make sure that they're more respectful and aware of what they're eating. Just be aware that there are dangers and risks associated. Enjoy (high-fat) food but make sure it's occasionally and very-well controlled. Don't overindulge repeatedly, because there could be repercussions."

Dr. Valerie Taylor, an assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioural neuroscience at McMaster University in Hamilton, said the study is a validation"that some people are simply more vulnerable to the whole concept of being addicted to food."

"The fact that we're now in this high-temptation environment further serves to exacerbate that."

Taylor said the study provides "very strong evidence supporting what a lot of us who work in the field have seen clinically -- that, for some people, it's more than just simply willpower. There's something else going on."

According to the latest estimates from Statistics Canada, 37 per cent of the adult population age 20 to 69 -- 7.9 million people -- are overweight. Another 24 per cent -- 5.3 million -- are obese.

The new study is part of a growing body of research into the "hedonic mechanisms" contributing to obesity. The preliminary findings captured headlines in October when an abstract presented at a neuroscience meeting in Chicago reported that junk food binge eating is hard to stop. The final report goes further, and explains just what's happening in the brain.

"Many drug addicts know that what they're doing is bad -- they're damaging their health, their finances, their family. But they find it very difficult to stop -- the behaviour is almost beyond their control," Kenny said.

"The same thing happened here: The animals kept on eating, even when there was something in the environment that said something bad was going to happen. They simply ignored it, and they just kept on eating."

Kenny said treatments known to work for drug addictions may be effective for people who overeat junk food.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mixed Bag - Random thoughts from 6 am

Great News - in approximately 3 weeks I am going to be debt free!!! (with the exception of my mortgage) All of the crap (good and bad) I have bought when I couldn't afford it will actually belong to me 100%. I hate debt. Loath it. I hate paying for things long after they have been brought home and in some cases consumed. I put myself on a budget diet (well more of a lifestyle change) and it hurts and sucks but I am starting to see some money accumulate in my savings account and am about to open a TFSA (tax free savings account) as my emergency fund. Yay me!! (If anyone has any great money saving tips throw them my way, I can always use them.)

Good news - I got my ass out of bed this morning and worked out. It is only good news as after about 20 minutes my energy level died. I limped on to finish my workout. The great thing though, if I keep doing this, it will get easier.

Great news - someone actually commented yesterday on how I was looking slimmer.

Bad news - the scale hasn't moved in what seems like forever. It fluctuates throughout the day but no movement.

Good news - no upward movement on the scale.

Oh well, time to get my day started. Hope yours is a beautiful and productive day too!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What the Hell

This has been a baaaad weekend. Because I am stupid (can't really justify it any other way but plain stupidly) I ate thing I shouldn't in quantities no one should. There is no justification for it. I was just bad.

Monday is tomorrow and I will have my menu plan and exercise schedule set for the week by the end of tonight. I am going to try my hardest to keep to my meticulous plan. I can't keep doing this to myself. I can't.

Off to menu plan. I only have Monday and Tuesday's menu done. And for the record, I am currently trying three new recipes so I am following my promise of doing last week's challenge this week!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When will this stop

Honestly, if I don't stop being sick soon I am going to throw myself off a bridge. I have now been sick for 10 days and it sucks. I have not been exercising cause I would much rather be sleeping. I am so congested I have a hard time falling asleep and so when it is time to get up in the morning I am dragging my ass big time. Plus I am almost scared to do anything cardio as it just aggravates my cough, a cough that rattles in my chest and hurts my head.

On the plus side, I have been totally sticking to my meal plan (with the exception of one delectable marshmallow butterscotch square). It has been extremely hard. Temptation is everywhere and life is tough. It does get easier as time goes on. I still crave chocolate every single solitary day and am really hoping that by the time April 4th gets here I don't have this constant need to stuff my face with creamy and delicious chocolate.

Here is hoping that tomorrow is better and I don't feel like a lump of poo that has been run over by a semi-truck. It has to let up soon right?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Time to Step it up a Notch

I do not believe how out of shape I am. I thought I wasn't doing that bad - and then I went to my Bikini Boot Camp on Friday night. It was worse than I thought. There was probably about 45 ladies who showed up for the fantastic workout and I was in no way the most out of shape but compared to where I was when I actually took BBC, I have slid very far down the scale. I thought I was pushing myself at home doing workout and now I don't think I am.

That is going to change. I am no longer settle with my weak ass workouts. I am going to work it till I hurt. Its so easy when you workout in the privacy of your home so go easy on yourself and after working out with other, I totally realize how easy I went.

Today (yes two whole days later) I am still sore. It is wonderful. Tomorrow is going to be a great day to start start my hard ass workout routine (which really isn't going to be that different than my current routine just a lot harder). I am excited to rock it out! Who else is with me?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Crazy News

Okay, so I got a weird call tonight. It was my little sister telling me she is getting married in three weeks!!! Crazy nuts. Throws my Easter plans out the window but its my little sister's wedding, I can hide Easter eggs anywhere right? Actually, new Easter plans were thrown together quickly and me and my bff are going to spend the weekend together (with the exception of the wedding) so it will be fun.

I am feeling better today, well I was until I shoved a bunch of crap in my mouth today. After eating like shit today, I feel like shit. I don't understand how I don't make the connection in my head while I am shoving process junk in my mouth. I don't understand. No matter. Tomorrow is a new day, a better day, a fitter day.

As an added bonus, tomorrow I have a free Bikini Boot Camp workout. Now I love BBC but haven't taken a class for a while. I am super pumped!! If anyone lives in a city with a BBC, totally check it out. It is a great organization geared to women and a healthy lifestyle.

Yippee. Looking forward to an awesome weekend with beautiful weather. I am so taking advantage of it and going for a nice long run on Sunday. Fist pump!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Lunch Today

My lunch today rocked!!! I threw it together last night from left overs and it was delicious. It was baby spinach with spicy lime grilled shrimp and chickpea salad (I made the recipe without the grape tomatoes and Parmesan cheese). It was so filing and wonderful. I may have to go get some more shrimp out so that I can replicate it again. Yummy

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


For the past two days I have been sick. I have some horrible flu/cold thing. Worst part is that I have been still going to work so I have not been getting the rest I should be. (Work is crazy busy right now and one of the girls is on half time due to a car accident injury.)

This pisses me off cause I was great last week. I exercised four times for 6 hours of exercise. I ate pretty close to perfect, only eating 25 calories over my daily allotment once (and truth be told it was an extra helping of vegetables). Yesterday most of what I ate I vomited back up and today all I craved was salty food. I ate small amounts frequently today but unfortunately it wasn't the best food. But I did keep it down.

What I miss the most is the exercising. I love what exercising first thing in the morning does for my day. It is awesome. I figured if I can't walk down the stairs without getting nauseous, probably running on the treadmill would not be a good idea. Hopefully tomorrow it will get better. I actually planned a health, higher sodium day so that I won't be tempted by crap. Plus I get to make my wonderfully delicious, great for you slow cooker ham and split pea soup.

I have been keeping up with this weeks challenge of keeping a food journal, this week is easy as I do it anyway. I love using the Livestrong website to track my food. I like even better than Weight Watchers as I can see more than just points. I can see the sodium level, how much protein versus carbs I ate. It is wonderful. Yes it is a bit time consuming but I try to fit it into my evening ritual to track the next days calories. Plus, menu planning really help. I can enter my basic meals for the whole next week cause I always have an idea of what I am eating.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

29 Off-The-Wall Reasons To Get In Better Shape

I found this list and thought it was hilarious. Maybe it will help everyone get the motivation to be as close to perfect as possible this week. Good luck to all.

See how many apply to you:

• Because it costs you (or your loved ones) over 5 million pennies in future health care if you aren’t
• Because feeling better tomorrow starts today
• Because torture is a bad persuasion technique
• Because studies show that fit people make more money
• Because if you don’t, you suck
• Because movie stars do it
• Because performers do it
• Because everyone that is cool in your life, does it
• Because you CAN commit 1.5 hrs/wk out of 176
• Because avoiding a wheelchair is a good thing
• Because hugs are better when you can actually wrap your arms around someone
• Because your kids really don’t want to put you in a rest home
• Because no matter what you keep telling yourself, thick is not sexy
• Because feeling grandpa’s muscles at Thanksgiving can be a yearly ritual
• Because cottage cheese is for fruit
• Because squeezing into a size 6 means you’re not a size 6
• Because love making is much more fun without the extra rolls
• Because being able to see your toes……hmmmm
• Because bigger clothes cost more money
• Because shopping for smaller clothes raises spirits
• Because hitting the State Fair and observing everyone shouldn’t be the only thing that puts a smile on your face
• Because having the woman in your life open a stuck jar of pickles for you is embarrassing
• Because no matter what anyone says, women are always in competition with each other. You do want to win, right?
• Because you had to ask your 10 year old son to take out the trash…..after all you couldn’t lift it
• Because beer makes everyone else look better while making you look worse
• Because weight training makes you look better while making everyone else look worse (see competition in women)
• Because yelling at the gym is a lot better than yelling at work (unless you are a cheerleader)
• Because “Shut your mouth or I’ll kick your ___,” now actually has meaning
• Because being told you look 40 when you are actually 60 does something strange to self confidence