My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

It’s been 2 years

2012 was a big year for me.  As it would turn out, a pivotal one in my journey.

I started going to the gym in January.  It was the first time in more than 20 years.  And the only thing I could really do was walk on the treadmill.

It was the first year of Quinte’s Biggest Loser.

I made some new friends that year.  Liz, Matt, Amy, Aidan, Andreas, Karen, and others.  All of whom have become important to me.

I started taking classes at the gym in March.  The first time ever.

2012 introduced me to a new genre of books, and I feel in love.  I don’t know why I never read fantasy books before, but at least I’m reading them now.  I’ve read books by Guy Gavriel Kay, Patrick Rothfuss, Daniel Abraham, and others.  Guy Gavriel Kay is now one of my favourite authors of all time, and some of his books are on my list of favourites of all time.

2012 brought me to the world of races in July.  I may have only walked my very first one, and I may have only done 1 that year, but I’m kind of hooked on them now.  And I hope I will just keep getting better at them.

2012 found me having the greatest success in my journey up to that point.  I had lost more weight than I ever had before.  I found strength I never knew I had.  I was feeling better than I ever had in my entire life.

2012 found me facing new challenges.

The gym I had joined at the beginning of the year was forced to close.  I had only been there 6 months.  I was devastated.  I wasn’t sure I would be comfortable anywhere else.  But I quickly found a new gym that I liked and was comfortable at.

For many years, I used food for comfort and for dealing with stress.  I had to find a new way to deal with that.  I did, although some days it’s still a struggle.

2012 is also the year I met Tyler, who would become an intricate part of my journey.

He was teaching the stretch class I started taking at the gym.  A couple weeks later, I added a second class he was teaching.  He was funny and a little goofy.  I was very nervous when I started the classes.  I couldn’t do a lot of the exercises, but I always tried.  Tyler made me feel very at ease, very comfortable.  I liked that.

I found out he was a personal trainer.  A few weeks after taking his classes, I asked him if he was taking new clients.  I was scared to ask.  Lucky for me, he said yes. We arranged a time to get together.

2 years ago today, we had our first workout together.

I remember thinking that I wasn’t sure how much he would be able to help me, but I knew I needed some help.

He changed my life in more ways that I ever thought possible.

He showed me I was capable of much more than I realized.

He helped me build confidence I didn’t know I had.

He helped open my eyes to a world I didn’t think I could be a part of.

And beyond being my trainer, he has become a very dear friend.

For all that and so much more, I thank him every day.

Thank you, Tyler, for everything … for all that I thanked you for last year, for all that you’ve done since, and for all you continue to do.  I’m lucky to have you in my life, both as my trainer and as my friend.

Happy Anniversary.





I haven’t talked much about numbers in my posts.  When I started this blog, it was mainly for a way to keep myself accountable and to get stuff out on my head.  I didn’t talk about my weight in numbers for a couple of reasons.  To be honest, it was mainly because I was ashamed of the number.  And it was also because I didn’t want to be judged because of it.  I didn’t want someone to read my blog and not connect with what I was saying simply because I weighed a lot more than they did.  I don’t know if that makes any sense to you, but at the time, it did to me.  After I’d been writing for a while, it just sort of slipped my mind that I’d never really talked about it here.  When I talk to people face to face, I talk about numbers.  I tell them the whole story of my journey.  So I’m not sure why I’ve been reluctant to talk about it here.  Well I’m now ready to change that.

I have been overweight almost my entire life.  I had really bad asthma as a kid and that limited my activities.  I was also a very shy kid and, consequently, had few friends.  Food became my comfort.  I really starting gaining weight when I was about 5 years old.  And each year, I gained more and more.  When I was about 12, my parents took me to the doctor, who put me on a very restrictive diet.  It didn’t last long.  As a teen, I tried to eat better and exercise more, but again, it didn’t last long.  In my 20s, I joined a gym with my roommate.  I had some pretty good success.  Until I hit my first plateau.  And then money got tight and we had to stop going to the gym.  When I got married, my husband and I tried to eat better.  But he’s a vegetarian and I’m not, and eating out and tv dinners became easier.  By 2009, when I was diagnosed with cancer, I weighed approximately 430 pounds.

You read that right — approximately 430 pounds.  I say “approximately” because I avoided the scale as much as I could.  And a lot of scales didn’t even go that high.  That’s why I don’t have an exact number there.

It was the year I turned 39 years old.

It was the year I knew that enough was enough.  If I planned on sticking around for a while, I knew that I had to make changes.

And I did.

Changing how I ate had an immediate impact.  So did having the surgery to get rid of the cancer.  And after I recovered from that and started moving more, I saw even more of an impact.

I quickly lost about 50 pounds.  I was so excited about that!  Never before had I had such success.

I went up and down for the next couple of years.  Losing some, gaining some back.  But never again was I over 400 pounds though.  That was a triumph in my books!  It was the most success I had ever had losing weight ever!

In January 2012, at a follow up with my oncologist, I weighed in at 373 pounds.  This was also right around the time of the first season of Quinte’s Biggest Loser.

In March 2012, at the end of Quinte’s Biggest Loser, and around the time I started working with Tyler, I had lost about another 15 pounds.

In June 2012, when I saw my regular doctor, I was down to 328 pounds.

By October 2012, when I saw my doctor again, and after having worked with Tyler for about 6 months, I was down to 296 pounds.  It was the first time I’d been under 300 pounds in a very very long time.

By January 2013, when the second season of Quinte’s Biggest Loser began, I was down to 282 pounds.

At the end of Quinte’s Biggest Loser in March 2012, and after working with Tyler for almost a year, I was down to 251 pounds.  I can’t even remember the last time I weighed that.

In June 2012 when I saw my oncologist again, I was down to 240 pounds.  To say he was very happy with me would be an understatement LOL.

Now this is where things got rough for me.  I hit a plateau.  A big one.  And I haven’t been able to break away from it.

Tyler went off to finish his degree at university.  He left me with instructions to follow, and he sent me videos for a while.  But I’ve basically been on my own.

I haven’t not made much progress with the scale.  My cardio is getting better.  My strength has gone up.  But the scale isn’t really moving.

Plus, I let myself get a little out of control over the holidays.  Bad idea.

I’m struggling to find the balance, but I’m working on it.

I’m currently sitting at about 250 pounds.

I’m trying hard not to focus on the number.  It tends to stress me out.

I’m trying to focus on eating as clean as I can.

I’m trying to focus on how I feel and how my clothes fit.

And I’m trying to remember that eventually I will bust off this plateau and the scale will start moving again in the right direction.

In the meantime, I’m just doing the best I can do.

And this year I’ll turn 44 years old.

And I feel better than I ever have.


Review: ENERGYbits

I admit it.

I’m a little obsessed with twitter lately.

And more specifically, I’m obsessed with twitter chats.

You get to chat with all kinds of different people from all over the place.  And you can get lots of good tips and information.

This is how I heard about ENERGYbits.

I came across them during one chat.

Then they seemed to be everywhere.

Lots of people I followed were raving about them.  They were saying how much more energy they had, and how much better they raced, and how much better their workouts were.  Some people swore they’d never use anything else.

I had to know more about them.

I looked at their website

Very interesting information.

“Made from 100% organicallly grown spirulina algae and loaded with 40 nutrients, ENERGYbits® algae tabs have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%) all for just one calorie per tab”

I was very intrigued.

Could they really give me more energy? Could they really help improve my workouts?

I ordered a sample.  And impatiently waited for it to arrive.

It took about a week to get here.  Not too bad I thought.

I sat down and read all the information that came with it.  It got me more excited to try them.


Gluten free

no sugar

no caffeine

no fructose

no preservatives

nothing artifical

100% nutrition

I decided to give them a try the next day.  I have been working on my jogging and doing a daily 5k in preparation for my first race of the year.

I admit that often when I need extra energy, I drink a cup of coffee or two in the morning.  I love coffee, but don’t like the crash that sometimes happens when I drink it.

I decided to skip my morning coffee and just rely on the ENERGYbits.

I took 10 of them about 30 minutes before I began my workout, and another 10 about 15 minutes before.

I didn’t feel an immediate surge of energy, but didn’t really expect to either.

So I begin my jog and I’m feeling pretty good.  I have my GPS tracker on so I know how far I’ve gone and my time.  It goes by miles instead of kilometres, which is fine.  3.1 miles = 5 kilometres

I was surprised when at less than 20 minutes in, it called the first mile.  I was making great time! And feeling good!

Halfway through and I’m still feeling good!

I hit the 5k mark in record time!  I was shocked and delighted! I did it in 50 min 17 sec.  My previous best time was 54:35.

Best of all, I still felt great.  Even later that day.  And no crash either.  Sweet!

I was really excited.  I had tons of energy without sugar or caffeine.

I still had some left from the sample they sent me so I decided to use them again the next day.  I was meeting up with a friend for a 5k walk.

Again, I took 10 about 30 minutes before, and another 10 about 15 minutes before.

I got there early, so decided to do a 5k jog on my own.  Again, I felt great.  And best of all, I beat my time from the day before! Incredible!

I sat down to rest a bit before my friend arrived.  I decided to take 5 more while I was waiting for her.  I was still feeling great when she arrived.

We finished our 5k walk and I still had energy to burn! I was so excited!

Thanks to ENERGYbits, I had huge amounts of energy with no sugar, no caffeine, and no crash later in the day.

These things are fantastic!

Do yourself a favour and check them out for yourself!

@ENERGYbits on twitter

(All opinions are my own. I was sent a sample of ENERGYbits at no cost to me)

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