Watching my weight

The wedding dress is just an excuse. I’ve wanted to shed the Elmvale 15 (a.k.a. the pounds I gained when we moved here) for almost three years.

I’m a strong woman. I try my very best to think and speak positively about the way I look, even on the days when I put my pants on backward and feel like regurgitated peanut butter. I don’t aspire to perfection. I just want to feel good and healthy again.

I’m happy to report that as of yesterday, I reached my preliminary goal. I’m back to the slightly less depressing 175 lbs I was when I lived in Toronto and walked all the time. My pants fit better. My blouse buttons are no longer popping off.

My stretch goal — 160 lbs — feels far away. But for the first time in years, I’m headed in the right direction: down instead of up.

You see, I joined Weight Watchers in March. We have a love-hate relationship, WW and I. I love seeing results. I hate not being able to eat brownies. It loves when I stick to my daily point allowance. It hates when I deviate for major holidays, special occasions, or particularly delicious-looking rice krispie squares.

How could anyone NOT eat this adorable Easter cake made by my aunt Fina?

How could anyone NOT eat this adorable Easter cake made by my aunt Fina?

In any case, we’re making slow and steady progress, despite the occasional regression into fat, sugar and carbs.

What I like most about Weight Watchers is that they, ahem, watch you. You literally attend meetings every week. And those meetings literally start with a weigh-in.

I cringe every time I step onto that scale. That moment — that exact second when I see the numbers climb higher and higher — is why I try to stick to the program. Who knows how long I’ll stay motivated; perhaps as long as I’m seeing results. But so far, so good.

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The world’s most sophisticated garage gym

One of the first things JF and I noticed when we got to Elmvale was that there was no fitness centre. Not that we’re gym bunnies or anything. We’re more like couch bunnies – the soft and fat kind that die when they get released from captivity – but part of the goal in moving to Simcoe County was to live a healthier lifestyle.

I’ve written about the Elmvale 15: a squishy layer acquired over fall 2013, inconveniently located where I do up my pants. When my Elmvalian colleague told me about Swift Fitness, a gym on a country road frequented by locals, I promptly signed up for Monday interval classes.

When I pulled into the driveway on day one, tugging at my too small Lululemon pants, I did my best to contain my dismay at its location: a garage. An enormous and new garage with shiny windows next to a big beautiful home in the woods – but a car park is a car park. Or so I thought.

After walking in, my opinion shifted instantly. That garage is fancy and full of new equipment: exercise balls, weights, punching bags of all sizes, yoga mats, benches, a water cooler, those scary elastic band things, and tons of other bits and bobs I don’t know how to use. Plus it has a decent sound system and cool rubber floor.

By the time I was huffing through my first set of burpees, I was officially impressed. There are only ever a dozen people in the garage at a time, so there’s nowhere to hide. Instructors tell you when you’re not squatting deep enough, lifting high enough, or punching strong enough. Plus I’m surrounded by neighbours – so I’ve got to exercise with gusto or feel shame every time I shop at Elmvale Foodland.

And this is what I do after class. Sit on the couch and watch Star Trek in my exercise clothes.

And this is what I do after class. Sit on the couch and watch Star Trek in my exercise clothes.

Since starting classes, I haven’t dropped any of the 15. But my pants are starting to fit better and I feel better – which everyone keeps telling me is more important. Plus I have totally opened my mind to the potential of garages.