Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm 35 and Feeling FINE!!

What an interesting birthday!! I must share all...I must come clean...I must be here we go....

What did you eat Joania??????????

Well, we all have only one life to live and my philosophy is, "You better enjoy it!!"

Below you will find a list of statements of events that occured on my birthday. At the end of the post, you will find whether these statements are true or false.....

  1. I started off my day by skipping my morning workout - slept in an extra hour

  2. I had my regular healthy breakfast.

  3. I had a special birthday lunch with my colleagues at work (including my friend Kim who was "BORN TO BAKE").

  4. At work, I ate a piece of cake so large, it could qualify as a small cake to some.

  5. I went to my favourite restaurant for dinner and "went wild".

  6. I had more cake (this time DQ Icecream cake) when I got home.

  7. I worked out in the evening!

  8. I cracked a bottle of wine, had a few glasses and went to bed drunk!

  9. I decided that a chocolate bar wouldn't hurt..yummmy.

  10. I ENJOYED my day!
So what do you think? How did I do? Well here are the facts.

  1. TRUE - I did skip my morning work of my birthday gifts to my self was to sleep in and it felt awesome. I gave myself a one day break...back on schedule though, just finished my workout.

  2. TRUE - I did have a healthy breakfast - I figure, why not start the day right!

  3. TRUE - Now, although I did have lunch with my girls, and Kim did bake this chocolate chip, cream, graham cracker crumb number which looked amazing and smelled even better, and there was also some sort of poppy seed with cream icing cake, I RESISTED!!!! I had a grilled chicken wrap with a bit of gralic sauce and water for lunch - it was delicious! I still can't believe I resisted those desserts, but I did - it wasn't easy.

  4. This one could be TRUE and FALSE. Had I eaten a piece of cake, it WOULD have been as large as a small cake. I did not have any cake at work!!!

  5. My favourite (well one of) is a little Italian restaurant on Preston (Trattoria Cafe). The lasagna made fresh daily with home made pasta and sauces is to die for. 1 half order of lasagna, 1 half order of creamy fettuccine alfredo, warm freshly baked bread, a glass of white wine and chocolate mousse for dessert - is what I would have ordered had I gone there for supper but I didn't so the answer is FALSE!!!!

  6. FALSE - I HAD NO CAKE!!!!!!!( yes, i am a bit pissy about it - but whatever!:0(

  7. FALSE - I working out on my birthday..I already wasn't having any cake so no working out!!!

  8. I FRIGGIN WISH!!! FALSE - Not only did I not have any cake, I ALSO had no alcohol!! I'm making all impossibilities seem possible. I know a few of my friends were betting against me on this one!!

  9. TRUE -I had a creamy, gooey Caramilk and it was awesome...THEN I WOKE UP FROM MY DREAM!!!!I had NO CHOCOLATE!!

  10. TRUE - Even without my usual vices of chocolate, cake and alcohol, I still enjoyed my day. I received so many wonderful birthay wishes and hugzzz, it was great. My team at work took me to lunch on Thursday (where I had a wonderful meal- grilled chicken breast over salad), great company and just a nice time -all in my honour - thanks guys. I also enjoyed lunch with my lunch girls yesterday - as always, wonderful conversation and great company. My husband and son were the first to wish me happy birthday and give me my cards and gifts...what's sweeter than a two year old singing "Happy Birthday to Mummy", it was awesome. I received my birthday telephone calls from my friends and family abroad -spoke on the phone for 2 hours with one of them - we laughed so much. It was great. It was relatively warm for a February Winter day! I have no complaints..truly enjoyed my day! Different, but enjoyable nonetheless!
So there it is. I'm a woman of my word. I put up the Birthday Poll two weeks ago and said that majority would rule and it did. 42% of you wanted me to stay true to the journey and I did and it felt great doing it. But, more importantly, I did it for myself. I really feel that I am at a point where I no longer feel the need to sabbotage my progress - it takes a whole lot of effort and determination, but also wonderful support and encouragement!!

So I am 35!!!!!!!! 35!!!! I feel amazing and happy to be going full force on this journey.

Until next time.

Joania (2KMINE!!!)

Friday, February 27, 2009


Okay, sing along y' know the tune...

Happy Birthday to Me,
Happy Birthday to Me,
Will I eat cake and ice cream,
We will all have to see!!!!


Until my next post....

Joania (2KMINE!!!)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Birthday Poll

Well guys,

So far the poll shows that the majority of you want me to stay true to the journey and celebrate at the 1/2 way mark!! Secretly, I was hoping that you would vote "celebrate like nobody's business". Why, you ask? Well as one of my colleagues pointed out to me today and I quote, "Hey, Joania...I voted on your poll for you to stay true to the journey. I think the reason most are voting that way is because we don't want to be responsible for you sabbotaging your progress/journey!!" WELL THANKS A LOT!!! :) I was hoping to use that as my excuse for endulging!!

But as it stands right now, "staying true" is leading the way, so it looks like I will have to find another way to celebrate this birthday. It's still early and I really don't know what I'll do tomorrow...well, whatever it is, I am not stressing about it.

I'll let you all know what I decide tomorrow evening!! Wish me luck!!! :)

Joania (2KMINE!!)

Healthy Eating...not so Tough!!!

I wrote this post after returning from my trip to Halifax a couple of weeks ago. I did not post until now as I was waiting to upload the pix - i used my camera phone and lets just say it took a little "doing" to figure it out!! So here it is!
Well, I passed my first big test. I went on a business trip and like in the past would be eating out everyday and for every meal!! How could I possibly stay on track and maintain my new healthy eating habits??? That was my biggest concern with this trip. Well to my surprise, it was relatively easy to stay on track. This healthy eating isn't so tough!!!I couldn't believe it! Did you know that most restaurants offer a healthy alternative to most of the items listed on their menus??? I don't know if this is the case everywhere, but certainly in the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia!!
My colleague and I arrived in Halifax in time for lunch and we found this quaint little bistro style restaurant (McElvies) which was just fabulous. I had a grilled salmon salad (see pic below). It was a generous piece of grilled salmon served on top of a bed of fresh salad with a vinegarette dressing. It was delicious.

For the duration of my stay, all of my meals (lunches and dinners) included seafood (usually fish) and veggies. It was wonderful. For breakfast, we ate at the restaurant in the hotel. I was so pleased to see that they had a "Healthy Breakfast" (see pic below) option on the menu. This is what I had every morning. It was great. It included 3 scrambled egg whites, a small bowl of oatmeal, a small bowl of fruit and 2 slices of whole wheat toast. I never ate the toast. After having the eggs and oatmeal, I was honestly stuffed. It was just wonderful.

This a pic of two of my dinners...Top is grilled salmon, shrimp and veggies (zucchini, mushrooms. onions)....this was from a restaurant called Hibachi....just amazingly delicious! YUMMY!! The next pic is just broccoli and salmon...yummy....

I did catch a cold while I was there and one morning I thought maybe I needed to up my vitamin C, so I ordered a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice in additional to my usual glass of water. I took my first sip and found that it was so ridiculously sweet that it wasn't even enjoyable. I did not finish it. My water tasted so much better. I'm noticing so many changes in my taste buds - it's crazy! Sweet, not enjoyable??? I never before thought that was possible.
Anyway, just wanted to share that I found it very easy to make healthy food choices while eating out. I had a wonderful dinner at another place. It was steamed halibut, baked sweet potato slices and steamed veggies (unfortunately, it's one of a couple of pix which I guess I did not save properly). It was sooooo good! I also had a lobster dinner one night ( a 2lb stemed lobster, grilled asparagus and sauteed mushroom and onions!! So fabulous.
I must admit that i had two martinis while I was there...that same night, I emailed my trainer to confess my sins...the guilt was killing me!!! I was so surprised at his response, "consider it a treat, since you were so good with your eating and exercising!!' I felt so much better!! Anyway, I ended up losing 2 pounds, so no harm done!!
So, I did good!!!
Until next time....
Joania (2KMINE!!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Week 11 Weigh-In...3 POUNDS GONE!!!!!!!!!!

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Starting Weight: 258 lbs (Dec 10/08)
Last Weigh In: 233 lbs (Feb 13/09)
Current Weight: 230 lbs
This Week's Loss: 3 lbs

Hi everyone,

I was so happy to see that scale move today - I really thought I was entering the land of the plateaus last week!!!! Phew!!

230 pounds is my current weight....That's a 28 pound loss since Dec 10/08!!!!!!!! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

Very happy today!! This will help me make my decision where my birthday is concerned.

Until next time...signing off 28 POUNDS lighter!! YES!!!!

Joania (2KMINE!!)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Awesome News # 2 - Magazine Article

Well here's my awesome news #2!!!!!!! I spent Sunday evening ( about 2 hours) participating in an online interview for Black Woman and Child Magazine, with the focus on my weight loss journey.

A girlfriend of mine, who writes for the magazine has been following my journey from the very beginning. A couple weeks back she emailed me with the suggestion of doing an article. How could I refuse??? So I agreed. The interview went really well and was a lot of was also a great opportunity to catch up with an old friend. Anyway, as soon as I receive all the final details, I will let you all know!!

I am truly amazed at the amount of people interested in this story. I am quite thankful of the opportunities because this will help me to reach and inspire as many people as I can AND this will keep my butt on track...ACCOUNTABILITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Black Woman and Child magazine tackles the practical and political sides of parenting from a unique cultural viewpoint that you just won't find in any other magazine.
Check them out.

Until next time....


Awesome News #1 - Mini Documentary!!

Here's my recent exciting news regarding this weight loss journey. I was contacted a few weeks back by a couple of students from the Carleton University School of Journalism. They came across my article in the Ottawa Citizen and were interested in filming a mini documentary staring yours truly (and my trainer Rob and husband and son)!! Can you believe it???? I think the finished product will be between 5-7 minutes long and will be posted on line (podcast) on Carleton Journalism Television (CJTV).

Carleton Journalism Television is a news network featuring content created and produced by journalism students as a part of their curriculum at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario.

Check out their website here:

Anyway, on Sunday, the students met me at Rob's training studio bright and early, where they filmed my entire workout. Rob really pushed me to the max - it was awesome!! My arms were on fire; I am still store from it!! The girls were very professional and the whole experience was interesting and fun. Since my husband was not feeling well, I had to get back home. They came to my house and filmed the interview portion with me - i was still in my workout gear y'all - looking all athletic (not)!! It was cool, they had great questions and even briefly interviewed my husband (who was such a good sport - because he was so sick). One of my favorite parts of the shoot was when they filmed me slicing cucumbers and boiling eggs - funny; Martha Stewart, I'm NOT!! So that's my news...isn't it awesome???? Can't wait to see the end guys will get a glimpse of the pain that Rob inflicts on me!! Kidding...but it is very hard, but it works!!

So as soon as it's completed and available on line, I will post the link and let you know!!

There's more good news...see my next post!!;)

Until then.....

Joania (2KMINE!!!)..

Lessons Learned....

Hi everyone,

Well what a week I've had!! It was busy, exciting, scary and exhausting all at the same time!

I returned from Halifax with a bit of a cold/soar day later, my two year old had a fever and vomitting, so sad and scary when they get sick at this age...I took the week off to nurse him (well us) to health. On Friday evening, my husband came down with a fever, vomitting, dizziness etc. We've been running around from clinics to pharmacies and everything in between. My son and I are now 95% back to normal but my poor husband is still fighting the good fight. It really hit him hard. I hate when my boys are sick, it just reminds me of the importance of not taking them and what we share for granted, especially when everything is great! I love my boys - they make up my heart!

Anyway, this week put a lot of things in perspective for me. Like the importance of living and enjoying life to the fullest and not wasting time on trivial things, which brings me to the whole "SUNNY" situation. I recently added a new friend to my facebook group and he asked me a question regarding this situation that really and truly got me thinking. He said, "Now if it pissed you off this much, ask yourself why? That's perhaps the lesson you can learn here". It really got me thinking and what I've come up with in response to this question is one of a few lessons I've learned regarding this situation. Thanks Mark!

Lesson One - Don't Take Things Like this personally!!
Even though I didn't think I took this extremely personally, it did bother me for a bit and I did spend some time and negative energy on this. I realized that this individuals comments are just that, "their comments!" and has nothing to do with me. It is all Sunny's reality, not mine! I do, however appreciate the support received from everyone and I'm grateful for that - Thank you!
The last thing I want to say on this Sunny Situation (that sounds like a song) is directed to Sunny him/herself (who I hope is reading this). Sunny, I sincerely wish you the best in all that you do and attempt to do!

Lesson Two - Keep Smiling/Laughing!!

I've always loved laughing and smiling. I just like how I feel when I'm laughing and again my new friend Mark reminded me of this as well. He told me, "Smile right really while reading this grin your ass off ear to ear for 5 seconds. You will automatically feel better. It's physically impossible to be pissed when smiling. See? It always works!" So of course I tried it and I tell you I immediately started laughing, just the thought of me sitting in front of my computer grinning from ear to ear, just made me laugh!! It really worked! I told him I'd share this technique with all of my friends and I meant it!! So the next time, you're upset or down, heed the advice of my new friend Mark!! :)

Lesson Three - Stay True to Myself!!
I embarked on this journey for my own reasons and it's important to me to stay true to who I am and my initial goals. I realize that I may be challenged at times and the next time i will be fully prepared for that and I'm okay with that...

So that's it for my lessons from this week! My next couple of posts will explain a bit more of the "good and exciting news I want to share!"

Until next time...

Joania (2KMINE!!!)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Birthday Poll

Only 4 days left until the poll closes. Friday is my 35th birthday and I put up this poll for suggestions on how to celebrate or not. As with all polls, majority will rule!! So far, it's a very tight race and "staying true to the journey" has a very slim lead.

Keep those votes coming!!


Joania (2KMINE!!)

Quick Note...THANKS!!

Just wanted to come on quickly with an update. I've had such a crazy and busy week. My son was sick, then my husband and I've been sooo busy..lots to fill you in....Lots of news!!! I will hopefully post later or tomorrow...

I wanted to come on to THANK ALL OF YOU FOR THE SUPPORT and encouragement. I will address the Sunny issue (briefly and for the last time) in my next post. However,, I really wanted to thank you all for the kind words/comments.

One individual stated (in comments) that this has turned into a "huge bitchfest and they are turned off!"...well, I disagree - I never liked the word "bitchfest" - never know if it's being used as a noun or verb and either way, I dislike it! Anyway, neither here nor there!.

I will share some wonderful news, a few things that I've learned about myself and life and whatever else will be on my mind at that time...

Until then....

Joania (2KMINE!!)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Somebody Really Pissed Me Off Today!!!!!!!!!

I apologize in advance for this lenghty rant but I really felt it was necessary and I would really appreciate your comments on this one. Thanks. If I'm wrong, please let me know!

So I got an email today and to be honest, it really just pissed me off...I know of no other way to put it. It just pissed me off!! The sender did not want to be identified and sent this message to my personal inbox(which I don't have a problem with)..I will respect that individual's wishes and not identify him/her. I did let that person know that I would be writing about this in my blog, and I did make my feelings of "pissiness" (is that a word?) clear in my response. I asked the individual if they'd object to me posting their email anonymously so that all could see - he/she (lets name this person "Sunny") did not want that. I don't mind if people don't agree with what I'm doing/saying/writing and want to voice that - I'm fine with it. I do moderate all comments, however so far I've allowed 100% of the comments posted to this blog. The only time I won't allow it is if it's degrading, derrogatory or malicious and would offend others. I will also respond to it directly, especially if it's warranted as I did in this case.

Anyway, "Sunny" started off by complimenting me on my efforts in embarking on this journey and then went into the longest "HOWEVER" I think I've ever seen. I won't copy and paste the entire message, but will summarize one of Sunny's key points from that message - this is the one that really pissed me off. Okay, I said I wouldn't copy and paste the entire message but the quote below is a direct quote which I copied and pasted...I was attempting to summarize it but felt I would change the meaning if it wasn't left exactly as said...Sunny is not identified so I don't see the big deal. Message to Sunny : if you have a problem with this, please feel free to email me - we can discuss further.

Quote taken from email message:
"I think you're wrong to associate weight with health. Being fat doesn't mean that you are not healthy and I just don't think you should be promoting publically that you are attempting to conform to someone else's beauty standard despite being healthy. You wanting to lose 101 pounds seems a bit out there and I think it sends the wrong message"

My Disclaimer: I've already admitted that this message pissed me off ( a lot!) and this response will be very honest and straight to the point - I always speak my mind, and it will be no different here!!

I must admit, I did not know where exactly to start in responding to this - I just had so many things to say; some harsh and some not. But here goes:

I want to assure you that I have never conformed to someone else's beauty standard and take great offense at the thought of anyone thinking that this was my reason for embarking on this journey. Frankly, if you read my blog or knew me, you would see how ridiculous a statement that was!! I've said it before (a few times in the blog actually) and I'll say it again. I have never ever looked at myself negatively. I am one of the most positive and confident people you could ever come across - I owe that to my mom who pretty well told me every day how beautiful I was...and I AM beautiful, matter of fact, I'm fine as hell!!! My reasons for doing this are so far from esthetic, you may not believe it. MY REASONS!! MY REASONS!! No one else's. If someone looks in the mirror and decides they want to embark on a similar journey because they want to LOOK better or they don't like the way THEY currently LOOK and want to improve on that, and most importantly are taking healthy steps (doing it the right way) to achieve those goals, then who are you or anyone for that matter to look down or speak negatively to that individual??? What's wrong with trying to improve yourself for YOURSELF?? Nothing!! Not a damn thing. What's wrong with trying to improve your health?

Also, I do want to improve how I look. I no longer want to see rolls of fat when I wear my clothes!!! I no longer want to wear spanx and gurdles to have the appearance of a flat stomach!! I want to cross my legs when I sit and be comfortable instead of having to sit to one side to do it!! I no longer want to feel "things" shaking AFTER I've stopped laughing!! That's my damn business!! :)

Don't get me wrong, I am quite aware of what's going on in this world with serious circumstances and situations having to do with anorexia and or bulimia and other eating and image disorders and the significant impact it's having on numerous women (young and old). Rest assured, this is not the case here and no where in my blog am I "publically promoting" this. Get your facts straight before you start with your nonsense!

This is MY PERSONAL JOURNEY TO LOSE WEIGHT AND GET HEALTHY!!! I didn't associate weight with health. I associated MY WEIGHT with MY HEALTH. You went on to say that there are lots of fat people out there who are healthy and that I was wrong to associate health and weight. I say good for issue is that THIS FAT PERSON WAS NOT HEALTHY!!! I can only speak for myself. I cannot be healthy and fat, for me that's bullcrap (I wanted to use a different word here, but that one will have to do). At my fattest, why the hell could I barely walk up my stairs at home without feeling like I was dying for air??? I doubt it's because I was so healthy! Why could I only play with my son in the park for a few short minutes before needing to rest/catch my breath????? Because I was fat and healthy?? Give me a break! I have health issues that are directly related to my weight and since losing just 25 pounds, my doctor and I have started noticing huge improvements with some of those health issues.

I've already personally had my battle with cancer!! My mother died of cancer at the age of 37!!! She was overweight. I'm not saying she got cancer because she was overweight, but what I am saying is that I am directly at risk, it's in my gene pool. Why would I not do any and everything I could to ensure that I was as healthy as possible? Wouldn't I be in a better situation to FIGHT and kick the crap out of cancer if I was as healthy as possible if it decides to come back my way??!! I currently have fibroids which are related to being overweight and thankfully are non-cancerous. Those growths have started to reduce in size since I started losing weight!! You need to just back your shit up....cause where my story is concerned, you don't have a clue!

I think what I am "publicly promoting" is how a regular person with all of life's ups and downs and ins and outs can achieve a weightloss goal by using proper exercise and healthy meal plans and maintain a healthy lifestyle. THAT's ALL I'M PROMOTING!!! So if you see something else, I just don't know where you're getting it! How is me attempting to show people how to get healthy following the right tools sending the wrong message??? What would you say if I was telling people to starve themselves and don't exercise, take pills etc to lose weight? Get real!!

This is one of things that bugs me about people. I understand that everyone has their opinions and that's fine, but don't start making ridiculous statements without having the facts or knowing the full story!!

Anyway, I had to get that off my chest (and there was more, but I responded to Sunny directly). I am on my lifelong journey and more motivated and determined than ever to reach my goals which includes LOSING WEIGHT, GETTING HEALTHY, MAINTAINING THAT HEALTHY LIFESTYLE and FINDING THAT ALL IMPORTANT MENTAL, PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL BALANCE!!

Sorry for the rant today guys. As always, thanks for your support. I'll look forward to your comments!

Until next time...

Joania (2KMINE!!)

Week 10 Weigh-In ....NO LOSS

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Starting Weight: 258 lbs (Dec 10/08)

Last Weigh In: 233 lbs (Feb 13/09)

Current Weight: 233 lbs

This Week's Loss: 0 lbs

Hi guys,

Well I weighed in this morning and that feking scale DID NOT MOVE!!! I was a bit ticked at first, then I realized I just weighed in last Friday (because of my trip to Halifax) so this hasn't even been a full week. Also, I missed two workout sessions because I've been sick and my eating was not at 100% this week - I DID NOT HAVE ANY JUNK, it's just that I skipped a few meals and did not drink as much water as I should have (stupid cold!!) So no big deal. I will record it as a "no loss" but I know next week will be better. That's it for now.

Until next time...

Joania (2KMINE!!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wow..Time Surely Flies...

I originally contacted my trainer Rob on October 24, 2008 asking questions about his services. When I finally decided to start the program with him on December 10, 2008, one of the things I told him was that I would be turning 35 on February 27, 2009 and I want to have a handle on getting in shape and finally losing this weight by then. I wanted to be well on my way to doing that. Back then, February seemed soooooo far away!

Well, my 35th birthday is 10 DAYS away and I really feel that I am truly on my way. I've lost 25 pounds, a ton of inches and I am much healthier than I was at this time last year. Can't wait to turn 36!

Now birthdays have always been about the cake and good times (good times usually include some "special juices") for me!! I have always looked at birthdays as a time to celebrate and live it up!! Never cared that I was getting older - always felt that each year would be better than the last! This year, I'm turning 35, very excited and really believe the next phase of my life will be the best yet, especially with this new lifestyle I've adopted! So, lets get back to the cake and special juice. I have three choices:
  1. It's my birthday, do it up right (that would include cake, special juice and whatever else I feel like having on that day!!
  2. Have a piece of cake OR one drink! One or the other and be satisfied with that!
  3. Have NO CAKE, NO DRINKS, just stay true to your program and do it up right at my half way mark (a couple of months!!)

Oh, what to do....we'll have to see how I feel. I don't plan on stressing about it. It's just when it comes to BIRTHDAY CAKE (well cake in general - oh, just got a memory flash of my friend's mom's carrot cake with cream cheese icing...oh my yumness), needless to say, I have a serious weakness - and quite a few of my friends can attest to this fact!! I think I may have to figure new ways to "celebrate" and "live it up" that do not necessarily include excess calories!!

Ideas and suggestions always welcomed...

Please take a minute to fill out the poll on the right (top). Thanks!

Until next time...

Joania (2KMINE!!!)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Joania, How Are You Losing This Weight???

Well, my inbox is full again with numerous people asking the same question. I started responding directly to them but realized it would make more sense to post a general response that everyone could access. I find that I get this question more so, after posting my anniversary pics. I do appreciate the interest and the questions but I just wanted to stress that there really is no easy, quick fix and that I am working hard everyday to reach this goal. So with that said, here's what I am doing:

I am working out six days a week. I rest on Sundays (not for long as I am currently considering taking a yoga class on Sundays - in efforts of increasing my flexibility; ). I alternate workouts each day. One day I do 20-25 minutes of cardio - using treadmill, elliptical, bike, powerwalk, etc. The next day I do my strength workout; it lasts about 1 hour and includes core, balance, and strength training. This is the program that my trainer specifically designed for me based on my fitness level and goals. It's a progressive program so it gets more difficult as I go along. I am currently on Phase 2! I try to never miss a day of exercising and if I do miss a day, I get right back on track the following day.

This is so important, I really should have put it first but anyway, here's what I eat/don't eat. The following are on my "FOODS TO AVOID" list:
Fast Food (McDonalds, Burger King, Dairy Queen, Harveys, Manchu Wok, KFC, Pizza, Beaver Tails etc.), alcohol, fruit juices, sugar, flour, white rice, bread (whole grains will be introduced later), refined and processed foods, refined oils, soft drinks, cakes, cookies, chocolates, chips.
What's Left??
I eat LOTS of fruits (berries, apples, oranges etc) and bright coloured and dark green veggies (spinach, broccoli, kale, sweet potato, green and red peppers, lettuce, celery, cucumbers and zucchini etc.), Lean Meats (chicken, turkey, beef, fish/seafood, tofu), eggs, almonds. I've also started buying a lot more organic foods.
I try to do groceries once to twice a week, just to ensure that I always have food on hand.

I eat 5-6 times a day....3 meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and 2-3 snacks (healthy). I also try to never miss a meal. You've got to eat to lose weight. I always make sure to prepare my food ahead of time, especially my lunches and snacks. This is so that if I'm hungry, i could just grab something and eat, instead of having to try to figure out what to make. I usually cook a couple batches of food on Sundays and pack them in tupperware - grab and go or zap and eat!! :D

I cannot stress enough the importance of staying hydrated throughout the day. I love water - even before I started this journey and as badly as I ate, I still drank a lot of water - so this was not a difficult thing for me to include in my program. I drink between 3 to 4 litres of water everyday and some days more! I have reusable water bottles (the stainless steel ones) everywhere. Two at home, two at my desk at work, one in my car and one in my purse. I just fill up all bottles and drink throughout the day. Lots of trips to the bathroom, but it's a good thing.

I'm so serious about this. Diarizing my daily ups and downs; opening myself up to everyone regarding this weight loss journey is really helping me to succeed. I feel accountable to all of you reading my blog and following my journey, not just to myself. I really feel that not only do I have to this for me and my family, but I can't let you guys down either. There have been so many of you who have shared your stories with me and I've come to realize that I am not alone in this at all. The kind words, support and encouragement that I receive on A DAILY BASIS, is simply amazing and I can't say enough, just how much I appreciate it. I am so motivated to do this, just to show that it can be done and that it can be done by regular people like you and I!! :)

My family (especially my husband) has been there for me and with me throughout this journey and just knowing that they will be there to the end is enough to keep me going. My friends and blog friends, who check in regularly and leave comments - it's just wonderful. Last, but certainly not least, my trainer Rob, for always responding to my emails/questions; addressing my concerns and always providing me with helpful tips and tricks and even recipes to help me get through. I think it's essential to have a good support system in place cause this type of journey really puts you to the test and you will need support.

I will not tell you that this is easy. This is one of the hardest things I've ever attempted to do in my life. However, I am so determined to get this done and I truly believe that determination and hard work are two of the things necessary to succeeding on a journey of this sort.

I don't want this journey to consume me. I mean, it takes a lot of time and effort on my part to maintain this blog and facebook group in addition to working out, eating right and everything else that comes with this, but I don't want my life to be only about this weight loss process. So it's important for me to take time to do other things, enjoy life, spend time with family and friends, get out and do things and not let it be ONLY about this! I believe that's contributing to my success thusfar.

So that's it, it doesn't seem like much, but it is. This takes such dedication and commitment. There really is no quick fix, it's about taking it one day at a time, one difficult step after another, but that's what makes the success so rewarding. I can't wait to get to that finish line.

I hope that helps and addresses the questions, if not, feel free to email me...I will help however I can.

As always, thanks for all the support.

Joania (2KMINE!!)

Happy Family Day

It's a provincial (Ontario) holiday today - Family Day! This is not a federal holiday so I had to take today off to stay home with my two year old (his daycare provider is off today - rightfully so, she works too hard!) and it's a good thing because he is sick.

My son has been ill since Friday - running a fever and not keeping anything down, he's been so lathargic . I hate when he's should never get sick. It's just sad to see a kid with no energy, but he seems to be on the mend, we'll see how tonight goes. I've been down with a cold/flu as well.

Needless to say, this weekend has been tough. I find it's harder to stay on track food wise at home than at work. It's even worse when you and your child are sick. I haven't drank as much water as I should over the past few's the last thing you want to drink when you have the chills. Although I didn't have any junk food, I did not eat my regular meals - skipped a couple only because I felt nauseous. I missed two workout sessions, but I'm back on track today. My food will be back on track tomorrow. Well, it should be.

What I've learned over the past few months is that even though I'm on this journey (which I'll be on for the rest of my existance), life still goes on, I'll still catch colds, my son will get sick...and even if i don't follow exactly for a day or two, what's important is that I get right back on it ASAP!! So I worked out today - I don't necessarily feel better physically but happy that I got it done...hoping I'll be back to my old self this week and more importantly that my baby will be back to his old self. It hurts me to see him so low on energy - poor little thing.

Anyway, that's it for today, just feeling a little low on the energy scale.

Joania (2KMINE!!)

This New Way of Eating is $aving Me Money!!

I've heard quite a few people say how expensive it is to eat healthy. Well, now that I've been doing this for awhile (3 months), I can honestly say that I DISAGREE with that statement - if anything, I've saved so much money. Now this may vary from person to person but for me...I've never before kept cash in my wallet for this long!! In the past, when I went to the ATM, took out some cash - say $20 or $40 would be done in two days and sometimes even sooner. Now, I take $40 bucks out of the machine and a week later, that same $40 bucks is still sitting in my wallet!! This is what used to happen...

Monday morning, I would take $40 bucks out of the machine. I RARELY brought my lunch to work, much less snacks!! There's a cafeteria in my building and several vending machines which fed me on a daily basis!! I would get to work and buy my breakfast which usually was a fried egg and cheese sandwich or bagel, egg and cheese, with a bottle of juice and a muffin (for later - who am I fooling? I ate that muffin as a morning dessert!!). There went about 7-8 dollars. By mid morning, I'd grab a coke (I know it sounds disgusting having a pop so early, but it was a bad habit at the time - and more common than one might think). That's another $1.50 or $2.00 depending on the size (can or bottle). That's $10 bucks and I hadn't even had lunch yet.

Lunch would usually be around 9-11 dollars and would comprise of a mixture of items from the buffet (chicken, fries, some sort of pasta, pizza, corn and a couple pieces of vegetable- covered in dressing). Don't get me wrong, there were healthy options like the salad bar and wraps but I never really went there - the buffet was always more appealing! Running total $18 -$20 and the day was not over...

I would always have an afternoon snack which was usually a chocolate bar or a Jos Louis (moon pie), some sort of sweet cake or tart and it was always around 2:30/3:00 o'clock!! Never failed. That's about $2-$3 dollars. So you get my drift...I would spend between $20 to $25 dollars each day on food,THAT's $100 to $125 A WEEK!!! FOR ONE PERSON ...and that does not include supper and whatever may come was CRAZY!!!. There is light at this expensive tunnel, y'all!!

So now, I spend about $40-$60 dollars a week buying tons of fresh veggies and lean healthy meats and foods for me AND my family!! That's a $40 to $60 dollar saving on a weekly basis!!I'd say 90% of the time I bring my lunch and snacks to work. I've also cut out alcohol from my diet. I'm saving major mullah here. My vegetarian husband does not drink so I was the only one consuming all that "special juice" - usually Heineken or Wine or vodka, which I used to make my fruity calorie-loaded drink mixes! So overall, I am saving a ton of cash.

I've decided to take $20 bucks a week from these savings and treat myself. Some days I'll save it up to get something really good (purse, boots) or put it towards my New Wardrobe Fund - which I will need at the end of my goal!!

So that's it...just wanted to share that there's even more than health and fitness to gain when you adopt a healthy lifestyle - you can save money too!! :)

Until next time...

Joania (2KMINE!!)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Love Day!!

Just wanted to pop in and say.....

Happy Valentine's Day!!

I hope the love continues throughout the year! No chocolates for me this year!! There's a first for everything!! :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Anniversary Pics Comparing Dec 10 vs. Current (Feb 13)

Hi again,

I've received numerous requests to post my original pics taken on Dec 10/08 with these current ones taken today (Feb 13/09). It will show EXACTLY how far I've come. So here they are...

FRONT: Top - Dec 10/08 (258lbs) Bottom - Feb 13/09 (233lbs)

SIDE: Top - Dec 10/08 (258lbs) Bottom - Feb 13/09 (233lbs)

BACK: Top - Dec 10/08 (258lbs) Bottom - Feb 13/09 (233lbs)

FUN: Top - Dec 10/08 (258lbs) Bottom - Feb 13/09 (233lbs)

Two Month Anniversary Pics

Hi everyone,

It's been TWO MONTHS!!!! Two Months and 25 POUNDS less!!! That's more than 10 pounds per month AND I'm doing it the right way with proper nutrition and exercise - no quick tricks, just hard work and dedication. There is NO turning back now. I am so pleased and proud that I have been able to last this long and I have no doubt I will make it to the end!! This is the longest I've ever TRULY and HONESTLY committed to losing weight and getting healthy!!! I really feel like I am on my way to making this a permanent lifestyle change. The longer I do this, the harder it will be for me to go back to my old ways and I'm thrilled about that because I DO NOT want to go back!!

I feel amazing, full of energy!! I'm feeling so much stronger especially during and after my workouts! It's awesome!
To be totally honest, I don't see a huge difference like in the last pics but I do feel smaller and stronger and for now that's important to me.
What I've Noticed...
The Front Shots: My stomach, hips and legs are a bit smaller, less fat on my chest, under my neck area
The Side Shots: My stomach (especially the lower abs area), less rolls, butt's smaller, thighs just a bit smaller
The Back Shots: My waist and hips are a bit smaller, things feel different, I feel like everything is falling down wards! My legs appear bigger this month - I dunno!!
The Fun Shots: My arms seem smaller and shoulders more defined, thigh is smaller and starting to get some definition, my butt is definitely getting smaller.
Anyway, really anxious to hear what you guys think. I'm hoping that next month's pics will show much Bigger changes!

Anyway, here are the pics. I've posted last month's to compare to this month's!

FRONT (Top: Jan 10/09 - 242 lbs, Bottom: Feb 13/09 - 233 lbs)

SIDE: (Top: Jan 10/09 - 242 lbs, Bottom: Feb 13/09 - 233 lbs)
BACK (Top: Jan 10/09 - 242 lbs, Bottom: Feb 13/09 - 233 lbs)

FUN (Top: Jan 10/09 - 242 lbs, Bottom: Feb 13/09 - 233 lbs)

Until next time...
Joania (2KMINE!!!)

Week 9 Weigh In....2 More GONE!!!

ImageChef Custom Images

Starting Weight: 258 lbs (Dec 10/08)
Last Weigh In: 235 lbs (Feb 4/09)
Current Weight: 233 lbs
This Week's Loss: 2 lbs

Hi everyone,

I'm back from my trip (got in last night) and the news is good!!! I was a bit nervous and anxious for this week's weigh in, however, I stepped on the scale this morning and was pleasantly surprised!! Another 2 pounds gone!!! YEAH BABY!! I've taken my 2 month pictures and will post them shortly (I haven't compared them yet, so I don't know if there's a noticeable difference). Another two pounds GONE!!! I've lost 25 POUNDS!! Incredible!! My first milestone....I will be rewarding myself with a new purse - can't wait!!

I will also be posting food pics and stories from my trip to Halifax...

Until then....I'm signing off 25 POUNDS LESS!!!

Joania (2KMINE!!!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I LOVE Halifax!!!

Hi guys,

Don't have much time so just a quick update.....things are really going well food wise!! The food is amazing and the healthy choice options, just fabulous!! Lots of fresh seafood and veggies. I love this place!! I'll be home in two days so I will post and upload all the food pics I've taken when I return!!!
Thanks for the encouraging and supportive comments!!!

Until then....

Joania (2KMINE!!!)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

First BIG Test!!

I will be going away on business all next week so I will not unfortunately, be weighing in on Wednesday or taking my monthly pic on Tuesday (the 10th). I will take the pic and weigh in on Friday morning upon my return and will do my best to post them asap!! I don't think the couple of days will make a huge difference.

On another note, I think my crazy cravings the last few days were based on me feeling a bit anxious about going away and sticking to my diet and exercise plan.

Usually with business trips, I would eat out everyday and for every meal!! This time it WILL be different!! It has to be. It's good practice because life certainly doesn't stop just because I'm on this journey. I have to find ways of working with it! For example, this time when booking my hotel, one of my first concerns was to ensure that the hotel was equipped with a proper fitness facility (which thankfully it is - most of them are but how would I know, that was never my concern in the past), so this will ensure that I stick to my workout plan. Before, it was more like, "what size bed??", "do you offer free breakfast?", "24hour room service??" , "any restaurants and/or night clubs close by??" Everything centered around food and sleep!! LOL! What a difference!

I also did some research to find a grocery store close by where I could pick up some fresh foods and keep in my hotel room for snacks and meals etc. This will be one of my first BIG tests to sticking with this plan and I am trying to do everything I can in advance to ensure my success!

So that's it...wish me luck with this week...I have a feeling I'm going to need it! I will bring my laptop so I will post if and when time permits!

Until next time...

Joania (2KMINE!!)

Joania - 1, Cravings- ZERO!!!!!!!!!!

Hey guys,

Okay, so I've been having a rough few days with the cravings...but it looks like it's over for now (I HOPE)!! This is the worse it's ever been and I know it will happen again, but I won this round!!

I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you for your suggestions and advice and just overall support!! It really means a lot. Although I agree that some times you need to let yourself have a break and give your body something sweet to change things up, I just don't believe that I AM at the point where I can SAFELY do that! So I didn't!! What I mean is that if I was to allow myself just one cookie or even a chocolate bar, that would just open the flood gates, unleash that eating machine that still resides inside of me!! So in this case, I decided to heed the advice of my trainer. I made a huge cup of cinnamon tea - the real deal - I boiled the cin sticks in a pot of water!! It smelled I was doing some Christmas baking. It was suprisingly sweet, even with no sugar added!! Now, the tea was great but I still felt like eating something so I made a huge salad and threw in some roasted chicken breast strips and was good. I was stuffed!!

I really see the value of cleaning out all the junk out of your house because I tell you, if I had anything in here, it would have been ugly!! Anyway, I'm back on track...

The journey continues.....

Joania (2KMINE!!)

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Hi guys,

I am going nuts. I've just had a great week!! I lost another pound, lost a ton of inches, my clothes are loosening day by day, great workouts....everything is awesome BUT I just keep thinking of bad's driving me nuts and it's not because I'm not enjoying the healthy foods that I'm eating- I'm actually loving it...but my MIND is playing some serious games with me and i just don't know why!! I can't take it!! You should see me pacing around this house and what's even funnier, is that my son is following me around laughing (he thinks my pacing is a game - at least he's having fun!)

I find myself wanting to eat all sorts of things, like waffles, warm white bread dripping in butter, hot dogs, ice cream and WINE! WHY??? I don't know...this is just how I'm feeling. I have been drinking so much water today just to keep my tummy full in hopes that I won't want to eat anything!! Still not working!! I'm craving wine like it's nobody's business!!!! Chocolate cake!! Arrrrrghghghhhhh!! It's not that I'm hungry at all...I don't know just sucks!! It really does. I guess this is just part of it. I don't like this part, don't like it at all! I had chicken breast and some roasted veggies (will post pic later) for was delicious and satisfying but still not enough to shake these cravings.

I don't know what to do with myself right now - it's so frustrating.... I can't really go anywhere....I've got my 2 year old and it's mighty cold outside it's getting late..almost his bed time!! I just finished dancing with him (he loves dancing) goodness, if I had anything bad in the house to eat, it would be on right now!!

Part of me wants to say, "screw it!" and just pick up that phone and call Gabriel's (my fav pizza place - speaking of which, I need to take that number off speed dial) but I can't, I've come to far, worked to hard and I know this is a phase that won't last (HOPEFULLY) !! I just need to push through it...Damn!!!

Today is not, this journey is getting on my nerves!!! That's all I got right now....

Joania (2KMINE!!! although right now a piece of chocolate cake would be FINE!!)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Week 8 Weigh-In...1 POUNDS DOWN!!!!!!

ImageChef Custom Images

Starting Weight: 258 lbs (Dec 10/08)

Last Weigh In: 236 lbs (Jan 28/09)

Current Weight: 235 lbs

This Week's Loss: 1 lb

One more pound GONE!! WHOOO HOOOOOOO!! Gotta get off to daycare/work...will be back later....

Also, I did take my measurements and they are screaming volumes!! Check this out:





R Arm/15.5/14.5/1

L Arm/16.5/15.0/1.5




Next time I will use a chart time right now...

Joania (2KMINE!!!!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm Eating Good in the Neighbourhood, Y'all!!

Hi guys,

I've been working it out in the kitchen lately. I absolutely love cooking and I think I'm a pretty good cook as well HOWEVER, I totally suck when it comes to cooking healthy meals (well at least, I used to)!! The problem is that as much as I love to cook, I TOTALLY LOVE TO EAT!! I LOVE foods that are rich in flavour and different tastes and spices. So, I've decided that it's time!! I'm turning over a new leaf!! I've been doing some research like it's nobody's business!! I'm on it!! I've been trying new things, substituting this with that....etc etc. I am on a mission to prepare tasty HEALTHY foods!
So far so good!! If only I could figure out a way to substitute 3 cheese homemade baked macaroni with healthy stuff, it would be awesome!! Anyway, here are a couple of my latest creations for supper.

I love jambalaya!! However, I have been avoiding rice and fatty meats (pork sausage) on my new eating plan - those are two of the key ingredients in jambalaya. Here's my replacement, which by the way is a work in progress. The next time I make it, I will add more stuff (peppers, different veggies etc.).

For this one I used shrimp, turkey sausages, onions, garlic, broccoli florets, black pepper, red pepper flakes and I served with a side of sweet potato (my fav). Here's what it looked like AND it was YUMMY!!
This is what it looked like while cooking in the pot....yummmy!!!

Now, here it is plated with a side of baked sweet potato! Looks good, huh??? It tasted awesome!!

Here's Supper #2!!!

This is Steamed Talapia & Veggies with Sweet Mash

I lined a baking dish with parchment paper (or wax paper - which is what I called it before Martha Stewart came along). Placed some frozen spinach. Then placed a Talapia fillet on top of the spinach and seasonned with onions, garlic, black pepper, curry powder, red peppe flakes. I then wrapped up the parchment so that the fish & veggies can cook by steam when placed in the oven (375 for 25 minutes). In the meantime, I baked a sweet potato, scooped out the potato from the skin and mashed it. That's it!!! YUM YUM!!! I'm two for two thusfar....lets see what happens tomorrow. Here are a couple shots of it!

I'm really enjoying cooking and coming up different creations...can't wait for tomorrow!
Until then...
Joania (2KMINE!!!)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Weekly Weigh-ins will Continue!!!

I was getting a little anxious about not seeing a big loss on the scale in terms of numbers and thought that maybe I should change the frequency of my weigh-ins. The last thing I want to do is get discouraged even though I know how well I'm doing. I made reference to this in a previous post (ToWeighorNottoWeigh) and decided to create a poll to see what you guys thought. I left it up to you to decide - majority rules. Should I weigh myself once a week, once every two weeks or once a month. First off, thank you to all who voted!

Well the voting is over and the winner is......................................................WEIGH EVERY WEEK!!
  • 55% of you thought I should weigh in once a week
  • 27% - every two weeks
  • 18% - every month
So majority rules! I will continue to weigh and report my results every week! I feel confident after this week's amazing 3 pound loss!! Anyway, thanks again for helping out with that decision.

Until next time...

Joania (2KMINE!!!)

Oh Happy Day!!!!


What a day it was yesterday!!! I was up at 5:00am (did my cardio) and didn't get to bed until after 11:oopm!!!! When I finally put my head to pillow, I was exhausted - funny, I had so much energy all day (I think that was 1 part adreneline, and the rest this new level of fitness)!!

Anyway, I am on such a high from the incredible displays of support and encouragement received from SOOOO MANY especially after reading the article in the Ottawa Citizen. I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone for the ongoing support!

I quite enjoyed the article myself (thank you again to Alison Korn for doing such a stand up job on it).

So that's it...just a quick post to say thank you to all who checked out the story. I plan to use this momentum to keep me motivated as long as I can or until the next 'big thing" happens. My plan is to continue thinking and being positive, stay focused and DREAM BIG because you never know!!!!!! Who would have thought that trying to lose weight and get fit would be so interesting!!!!!??!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks again all!!!

Joania (2KMINE!!!)