January 29, 2012

It's a Cake-Smashing Day

In anticipation of Maddie's first birthday on Wednesday, we had a mini cake smashing photo session this afternoon! Cate was excited to participate and she helped me to make the cake (ahem... eat the jelly beans). 

While searching for a healthy cake recipe, I came across a suggestion to combine cake mix + 1 cup of greek yogurt + 1 cup of water. Given my love for greek yogurt, I jumped on it! The result was, well, a bit rubbery. Not sure exactly where it all went wrong. I strayed from my usual Betty Crocker mix and bought the Dr Oetker. I think that may have been my first mistake. I made Maddie's Birthday cupcakes later with the same mix, but swapped the yogurt with a cup of applesauce. It was a little lighter, but not much. 

Now I have 48 cupcakes that are a little chewy... I haven't yet decided if I'm going to remake some for the party next weekend. Thankfully I have a bit of time to think about it.

Do you have a go to cake recipe? If so, please share! Would love a more natural "clean" cake for Little Miss Maddie and her guests.

Finally, here are a few pics of this afternoon...























January 20, 2012

Rob - Goals - You win some and you don't accept the one you lose

Hi all,

12 days ago I posted a few January goals and threw a couple on for 2012 just to keep it interesting. I also promised to keep everyone updated on the progress and I am pleased to say that overall, I think I have done fairly well but have to admit that on a few fronts there have been some struggles.

Actual updates are found below but before I give you all the juicy details, I thought I'd write a bit about rolling with the punches, enjoying the little victories and trying to chalk up the set backs as learning experiences.

I have to admit that I suck at rolling with the punches, set backs and stupid, fu#king learning experiences. I know it's cliche after all the Charlie Sheen lunacy a few months ago but the man has a point, who doesn't like winning.

(Sorry about the bad picture. My usual editor is out wiht friends tonight)

Over the years, like most adults, I have come to accept that everything isn't going to go your way. I hope I'm gracious in those defeats and learn from them but I don't think this means that you need to like it. In the past, especially when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape, I perhaps have had a bit of a defeatist attitude and when things have started to turn for the worse, I have given up and then given in to the cravings. You'll see in a few moments that I had a few set backs in the last couple of weeks but I have decided that they aren't going to stop me from getting to those goals. Maybe a few of them won't happen in January but mark my words, they will happen. Now, on to the update:


1. Stick to the Isagenix program:

I had a couple of off days. In particular last weekend, when I got into a few beers and followed that up with some serious junk food. However, overall I think I have done fairly well during this 30 day cleanse and funny enough, when I stick to the program I have more energy and feel ten times better than I do after scarfing down a medium pizza. (Just for the record, I did not scarf down a medium pizza on Saturday night but I think that is only because I didn't have any cash on me.) Don't get me wrong, I still love pizza and will definitely have it again but in the context of healthy living, I don't feel very good about myself or in my stomach when I have a gut full off cheese and grease. I'm not exactly ready to call this one a victory but if I had to grade myself on this particular goal, I'd give myself a C+. I passed but not by a whole lot.

2. Lose 25-30lbs during the cleanse:

I had said last time that I had lost just over 18lbs in about a week which probably speaks as much to how much junk I had in my system and how badly my body was craving healthy living. After that few plateau days last week, I am pleased to say that as of Friday, January 20th, I am down 23lbs. This means 2 more pounds to go until I hit the low end of the this goal. I am confident that this one is going to be a win and I'll give myself a grade of a B.

3. Exercise every day for the entire 30 day cleanse:

Unfortunately I had to take last Sunday off from the exercise. I really felt like I had beaten the crap out of my body and it just needed one day to rest up and recover. However, I got right back on the wagon the next day and was even able to get to the gym for a run on Wednesday. Overall, I have been really pleased with the exercising and now that Laura has convinced me to sign up for the Isabody challenge, I think I have even more motivation. This one was definitely a win and I'm giving myself an A-.

4. Do at least 50 push ups by the end of the 30 day cleanse:

Last time I had said that I had done 23 push ups. Well, I am pleased to say that this morning I was able to do 35 push ups. I've got 12 days to go and while I'm not 100% confident, I think I have made good progress and this one is in my sights. I'll give myself a B.

Overall, I'd say I have been a strong B on this 30 day cleanse. Not an A but definitely in the top half of my class. I promise I'll post the final totals and my grades as I see it.

On a related side note, I saw piece on the news the other day that said most people stop working on their resolutions by the third week of January and since tomorrow is the 21st, I want to find out how everyone else is doing on their resolutions. Also, just because you've fallen off the horse on your resolutions is no reason to accept defeat. Instead, hold up your middle finger to losing and go for the win!

January 18, 2012

It's Official

I signed up for the IsaBody Challenge!

Hubby also signed up. He's such a copycat that way (love you, hun).

The IsaBody Challenge is a body transformation competition. Participants have between 16-24 weeks to compete for the most amazing transformation while using the Isagenix products. The deadline for this year's challenge is June 20, 2012, and so we will actually have a maximum of 22 weeks to attain our goal.

I have a guest post going up on the Losing it in Ottawa blog on Sunday that talks about my new approach to life. It is really what prompted me to look for a goal. I'm not a runner and don't want to join Rob in his dream of running a marathon. That's just not me. I'm never going to be a figure model, my kids made darn sure of that one. So then what's better than a body transformation competition where I have the chance to win money and trips to some of the biggest Isagenix events? Motivation enough for me!

Some of you may say, why now? Haven't you already lost a ton of weight? You're fine the way you are.

Well, while I still have a few (dozen) pounds to go to get me to my ideal weight (whatever that is), I am more interested in seeing how I can tone my body and find my figure. I'm seriously still looking for my waistline - it disappeared sometime in 2007 and still hasn't come back. 

I'm also looking for motivation to get me to the gym and to stay active. With my return to the office, it's easy to find excuses to put my feet up. I need that goal to keep me focused. 

I plan to post my progress on a regular basis as well as share some of my workout plans. I guess I'm going to have to get some first!

And so with that, I will leave you with some cringe-worthy "Before" pictures that I submitted with my entry. I went all out and decided that I needed to wear short shorts and a sports bra for full effect. I really don't know why I keep putting terrible pictures of myself on the internet... you would think that a Marketing professional would know better...


Be kind and wish me luck!

January 16, 2012

Rob - Vomit, The Police and IsaKarma

Hi all,

Rob here with a short post/vent on how sometimes life has a way of biting you in the ass and you're not quite sure whether it's your fault or Karma dealing up a good swift kick right to the goodies. However, in spite of the negative start, I can make the commitment that this won't be a "woe is me" post.

I think it all started on Saturday when I succumbed to temptation and strayed from the Isagenix program while having dinner and spending the evening with good friends. We had a great time playing possibly the worst board game ever invented and I am not just saying that because I lost.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of playing The Price Is Right Board Game, it is the most disjointed, slow and confusing game. It can only be played while enjoying copious amounts of beer and hard liquor (neither of which is included in the 30 Day Cleanse) and that is where all the trouble started.

I tempted the IsaFates and had a few beers on Saturday night which led to some less than spectacular food decisions. In my defence the beers were Molson 67s (as in 67 calories) and the food I was low-cal chicken chili. The problem was I ate far too much of it! Who knew that a serving size wasn't half a slow cooker pot?

To make matters worse (probably because of the extra carbs) I woke up on Sunday sore from two straight weeks of exercising and feeling out of sorts. I was able to stick to the program right until dinner time when once again I decided to tempt my IsaKarmic balance and I started to snack.

Well, about 11 o'clock Sunday night, I guess the IsaGods decided to punish my poor behaviour and little Maddie, in the middle of cutting her 7th tooth decided to cry inconsolably for two hours straight. It went very quickly from upsetting to annoying, then back to upsetting, then a little bit tiresome, and finally exasperating.

Finally, about 1 o'clock in the morning, the tooth must have finally popped through. She drifted off into dreamland just as Cate wandered into our room to tug on my sleeve and tell me that she just puked...in her bed.
Picture of Fake Vomit
I'm sure those of you with kids (or pets) can sympathize with my plight. There is nothing quite like cleaning up a vomit filled bed at 2:30 in the morning with your nose covered and just trying desperately to keep your kid quiet not to wake the other one up. I tell you, I was dog pee on the carpet away from the perfect parental nightime. Once again, I blame this on the IsaKarma.

Finally, this morning, running 2 hours late for work because I let the kids sleep in, I get pulled over about five minutes from my office for speeding. I couldn't even argue very much, because the laser had me dead to rights. It was at the very moment I was handed my ticket for $110 that I realized you just shouldn't mess with your IsaKarma because it will knock you cold and then kick you while you're down.

I'm writing this post while dripping sweat from a hard workout and have stuck religiously to "the rules" all day.

Trust me, I won't stray again.

I don't think a can afford to tempt my IsaKarma again.

January 15, 2012

The Most Beautiful Flowers Around

With the rush of the holidays over and my return to work, I can finally look ahead to the things I have planned for this year. One of the things I'm most looking forward to is Bust A Move. It's a day long fitness extravaganza and a celebration of breast health. I'm excited to kick off the new year by fundraising for such worthy cause.

The more I learn about this event, the more excited I get. Did you know that the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation recently opened to Maplesoft Center? In designing the region’s first cancer survivorship centre it was the Cancer Foundation’s vision to create a home-away-from-home for cancer survivors and their families. Nestled beside the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Park, the Foundation's survivorship centre is a place of quiet refuge and reflection, support and empowerment during the cancer journey.

This park is especially dear to my heart. When I was pregnant with Cate in Spring 2008, I would travel back and forth from the Ottawa General Hospital for a variety of tests, ultrasounds and consultations to ensure that our little girl didn't make her appearance too early. On the ride there we would pass the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Park at the corners of Riverside, Industrial and Alta Vista. I watched as the park grew from a pile of dirt to a luciously landscaped park, and one by one, these beautiful flowers were installed. Sure enough, the park appeared to be complete just as Cate made her appearance in June 2008. 

This summer, I finally had a chance to visit the park with my friend Katie and her girls after a workout at The Athletic Club. We packed a picnic lunch and had a chance to soak up the sun in this beautiful and meaningful park. I also managed to capture a few pictures of our first visit. I'll be sure to bring the girls back another time to play under the flowers.

Miss Maddie loves the park

Kasey looking so precious

The three little girls

Yoga in the park

I so love these flowers

Your donation to support breast health would mean so much to me and the rest of the Losing it in Ottawa team. Even $5 will help me reach my goal of raising $1,000 for the cause. If you would like to donate, simply click here to see my official Bust a Move fundraising page. 

Rob - Blogging: Writing, Art Form or Science?

Hi all,

In my week 1 weight loss euphoria last Sunday, I committed to writing a posting at least once a week, to which I was promptly informed that one should never make those types of commitments.

This got me thinking about all the other things that people informed me - a virtual blog virgin - about the medium and I thought it might be interesting to correct them all, or at the very least, address them.

As far as my previously made commitment to writing regularly.......

Oh well, too bad.

Not only will I stick to my earlier statement, but I'll take it one further. I will up that to a minimum of twice a week. That's right, I just said that.

In one post, I'll write about getting in shape, Isagenix, and the lifestyle change that we've made. While the other post may expand to include topics like swearing and life in the burbs.

Actually, the idea of writing about a variety of subject matter is another blogging no-no. I have been told if you want to gain a regular audience, you need to pick a subject and stick to it. I guess this makes sense since you are supposed to write about what you know and most people are going to read the things that interest them, but frankly I have a lot of interests so I think I'm going to write about what I want to and just hope that you find it enjoyable to read and continue to provide your feedback.

Further, people also tell me that blog posts don't always have to read like essays because in today's web world, people don't have really long attention spans. I don't know if this is true or not, but regardless, when I write about something it will take as many words as it takes to get thwe point across. Some posts will undoubtedly be short, while others will ramble on so long that you'll think you are reading a short novel. For those of you that get bored just reading the back cover of a book, I'm going to keep this one short. (This post was much longer until my favourite editor got her hands on the computer).

Finally, I was also told that if you want people to actually read your blog it needs to have pictures so here you go:

I will make a commitment to put at least one picture in each of my posts, but I will not guarantee that the image will match the subject matter in any way, shape or form.

Well, those are the immediate blog "faux pas" that come to my mind. Can you think of any that I am missing? Or worse, committing? Trust me, I'm tough and can handle the criticism.

January 11, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up - January 10, 2012

Overall weight lost: 56lbs

Weight lost this week: 6lbs
Work outs: Thursday -  Yoga (60 mins)  / Friday - Strength (30 mins) / Saturday - Off / Sunday - Off / Monday - Strength & CXWORX (60 mins) / Tuesday - Off / Wednesday - Off

Accomplishments: I made it through my first week back at work and managed to stick to my cleanse! I *may* have snuck in a glass of wine on Friday night, but I also resisted a table full of treats at my uncle's birthday party on Sunday. That's compromise in my world.

Challenges: Exercise has been a challenge this week. I stayed on track last week, but this week has the working mom life is starting to catch up to me. I made it to the gym on Monday at lunch and then again after work to join some friends for the new CXWORX class (awesome, by the way!), but haven't been back. I brought my gym stuff into the office today, but between meetings and deliverables, I just couldn't make it. I will try again to make it in tomorrow for a light workout since it's cleanse day and for sure go on Friday. If any of my work colleagues are reading this -  you have the right to give me a boot if I'm still at my desk at noon on Friday...

Thoughts: I had lost 8lbs by last Friday, but put on 2 over the weekend due to a little extra snacking. All healthy, but just enough to stop the losing pattern. I'm hoping to get things rolling again this week. Just a reminder of how important it is to stick to the program. Overall, I am still feeling more toned than ever, so I know it's just a matter of  patience and focus. Sadly, I only possess one of those qualities...

January 9, 2012

Rob - The Art of Swearing

When I was a teenager growing up in a small town, like most people, I used profanity as a regular part of my everyday vernacular. Now that is not to say that I dropped the F-bomb while talking to Grandma or threw in the dreaded C-word while ordering a pizza. Similar to most young people, I incorporated swearing into most conversations but understood that there were times and places that certain phrases just weren't appropriate.

Perhaps it was an introduction to a wider range of people or maybe it was moving to Ottawa and being exposed to both official languages on a regular basis - by the way, in my experience no one can swear more eloquently than a bilingual francophone using both French and English in the same sentence - but, during my university days and the years I spent working in the trade show and special events industry, my swearing moved into new and uncharted territories. While I still understood that there were times that cursing was inappropriate, I actually do recall dropping the F-bomb in a conversation with my Grandma.
However, once I entered the 9-5 office environment, got married and especially when I became a father, I really and truly thought that I had gotten a handle on it and the days of wildly inappropriate language spewing forth out my my mouth like a drunken sailor were behind me. Sure, if I smashed my finger with a hammer or got puked on by one my girls, a flurry of filth was bound to come out but seriously, who the f*#k wouldn't do the same thing. For the most part though, other than the odd rare night out with friends when the drinks were flowing or the above mentioned shock/injury related instance, I really did believe that I had cleaned up my act.

Now just in case you were not aware, my oldest daughter is about 3.5 years old. She is bright, well spoken, full of energy and for the most a pretty good kid so it was a huge shock when she looked me straight in the eye a few months ago and said;


Like most parents before me, I'm assuming, my jaw hit the ground and once the initial horror had passed, I tried desperately to keep a straight face and come up with a good game plan for dealing with 3 year old potty mouth. I was used to potty work of another kind, but this was totally different and I was unprepared. I figured she must have picked this up from one of her relatives, or an older kid, or even TV because I had been good for years. Unfortunately when I asked her where she learned that word, she told me that it was from me, but on some level, I continued to pretend it wasn't me.

Well, after talking to numerous other parents, I came to the conclusion that kids are probably going to learn all the bad words much younger than I did and based on the general consensus, if you don't make a big deal out of the swearing, it will just fade into the background.

Armed with my new found knowledge, I forged ahead and all my conversations with my daughter included only G rated words for about two weeks when our wonderful daycare provider informed me that she pulled out the S word. She had also created a song using only the word poop which I am ashamed to admit was really catchy. I still find myself singing it every now and again.
Unfortunately the swearing, while not happening on a regular basis, has been increasing in frequency since that first incident. In fact, just last night she turned to me and said, "Daddy - What does crap mean? Crap! Damn! Crap!" When I told her those were bad words that we shouldn't really use and asked her who had said them, once again to my great shame, she informed me that I had just used them while while watching the hockey game. Oops! For the third time since Christmas when confronted about my daughter using bad words, it would appear that I was the source of all this inappropriate language.

Absolutely not. I'm innocent. I swear, literally or not, that I have been a model citizen. Well, maybe I use the odd cuss word now and then....Wait a minute, holy sh*t, mo&*%r f&ck!r, Tabernacle and smash me over the head with a f%^king rubber mallet, I think maybe I am part of the problem. I really actually swear all the time, about everything.

Now, I'm not saying that I am going to stop cold turkey, but now that I'm aware and for the sake of not being totally mortified when my daughter tells the waitress at a restaurant that she didn't damn well want the regular milk and to bring her a f&*king chocolate one instead please. (We have been working hard on our please and thank yous). Rather, I'm going to actually work even harder on what is coming out of my mouth and at the same time try not to get too worked up about it. I mean, when we were at the skating rink the other day two young girls walked by and said some things that even made me blush, so perhaps swearing isn't as taboo as it once was.

I don't know how many of you have dealt with something like this at work, home or with your kids, but I have realized that there really is an art to swearing or rather, not swearing. I thinking most people probably have a few good, shocking, bad language stories and we can all use a laugh so why don't you share them below so I can stop feeling so damn guilty.

January 8, 2012

Can I take your order, please?

Just a quick post to let you know that we have finally set up our Isagenix Associate website! 

Since hubby and I are both big fans of the program and frankly, can't stop talking about what a driving force it has been in our new lifestyle, I've linked it here on the top right hand side to make it easy for you to browse through. I know that some of you have questions about the program and the products, so go ahead and take a look. You can even order directly through our associate website just in case you're craving some IsaDelights in the middle of the night...

They now come in Milk Chocolate too!

As always, don't hesitate to track me down if you have any questions!

Rob - Beating the S*#t Out of the January Blahs

Hi everybody,

So it's been a few months since my last post and I must admit that this past Fall and Holiday season, while very relaxing and great family time, has been one of those off the wagon times in my life. I had fallen right back into some of those bad habits and frankly, I went a bit nutty on the food/drink over the Christmas break. I think I actually had cookies and Baileys for breakfast one day. Seriously. But what can you do? My philosophy has always been there's no point in beating yourself up over things you can't change. I must admit though, that I am a bit disappointed in putting on a bunch of the weight that I had worked so hard last year to take off.

However, towards the tail end of my descent into a sugar and alcohol oblivion, a few things did keep me from going completely over the edge. First off, we had committed to running the Resolution Run on New Year's Eve so I had to keep exercising no matter how many parties we attended or junk food was in the house. Also, on the exercise front, I started playing hockey again this fall after probably 18 years away from the rink and for those of you who played as a kid but have given it up, I highly recommend taking it up again. Hockey is one amazing workout and frankly is just a f*#king awesome sport. Further, I have been toying with the idea of running a half marathon in May and possibly a full marathon in Fall so I think on some level that may have stopped me from taking that 4th helping of dessert on some nights depending on the number of beers consumed. Finally Laura decided to start a serious 30 day cleanse on January 2nd and get totally back onto the Isagenix program which we had so much success with this past year and convinced me to get back on track.

I set some goals for myself and on January 2nd, after full day recovery on January 1st, we hitting ground running so to speak. Well, it's Sunday morning, January 8th and I'm almost a week onto my 30 day cleanse. In part due to some "gentle" encouragement from Laura and in part becuase I have felt a little guilty about not posting a blog for such a long time after my much anticipated debut, I've decided that I'm going to commit to writing at least one blog each week. I will provide you all with an update, good or bad, each Sunday plus maybe a few other tidbits. I'm thinking that making this committment will help keep me motivated and on track so here we go:

30 Day Resolution Cleanse Goals

1. Stick to the Isagenix program:

So far, I have been fairly strict and have stuck to the program except for a couple of 35 calorie yogurts for dessert and a bite of cheese yesterday. I have tried to limit the snacking to IsaSnacks, IsaDelights or 6-10 raw almonds and other than some Skinny Sticks (if you have not tried these, they are a low calorie replacement to chips!!) last night, so far so good.

2. Lose 25-30lbs during the cleanse:

Now I will say that I am probably not typical and when I stepped on the scale before starting this cleanse i was openly shocked at how much weight I had put on during my season booze and suger. (I had lost about 98lbs but ended up putting more than 40lbs back on.

However, as of this moring, I was down a little over 18lbs! I am pleasantly surprised with how quickly the excess weight seems to be coming off. I fully expect this to slow down next week but that's okay and I encourage everybody who is still carrying around the Christmas spare tire to just get started on something. Isagenix has worked fantastic for me and I would recommend it to anyone, especially those who haven't really dieted before but any type of healthy eating and regular exercise is going to help.

3. Exercise every day for the entire 30 day cleanse:

Speaking of exercise, I decided that rest days just don't work for me and I was going to be hardcore and do something every single day. Funny enough, I was watching those commercials about your kids needing an hour's worth of exercise each day and it got me thinking that i probably need the same thing.

Total success on this one! I have managed to get some form of good exercise in every day although I will say that yoga on my cleanse day was a bit tougher than I thought it would be and I have not gotten out running as much as I had hoped but it is winter and I do live in Canada so I can't complain too much and it looks like we are going to have good weather this week so I'm hopeful I can get out at least two days.

4. Do at least 50 push ups by the end of the 30 day cleanse.

For some reason I thought this one was going to be easy but I suspect this might be the toughest goal that I set for myself. I have done push ups every morning this past week as a way to start the day and have gone from 15 to 23 this morning but 50 still seems as long way off. However, I still have 23.5 days left on this cleanse and I am committed to kicking the s*#t out of this one. I'll let you know how many I'm up to next week.

I also set a few goals for 2012 and I'll just list them this week but perhaps next week, my blog will be "Kicking the S*#t out of 2012"

2012 Goals

1. Run my first half marathon in May (I've signed up!!) and begin training for a full marathon in October.

2. Do 100 push ups with stopping.

3. Trim down my BMI to a respectable rate and finally have a flat stomach.

4. Feal great and spend lot of quality time with my wife, kids, family and friends.

Well, I think that's it for now. I'm going to remember that January in Ottawa can be amazing if I make the time to do the things that make me and my family happy/healthy. I wish all of you the best for 2012 and I want to hear about all the successes that people are having with resoutions.

January 4, 2012

Back at it

I've been back to work for the past two days and it's pretty much as I expected. I really like the freedom of carrying a purse rather than a diaper bag; of choosing when I want to eat my lunch; and most importantly, going to the bathroom when nature calls. Nothing compares to being stuck with a sleeping baby on you when you need to go pee!

While most of my workload and co-workers are the same, one thing that has changed is that now I bring my gym bag with me! Pretty much the only perk of my office location is that it is a 3 minute walk from the gym. Today, I stuck with "The Plan" and managed to fit in a 30 minute strength workout on my lunch hour. I'm planning to do this twice a week, complimented by two evening workouts and one on the weekend. 

You might have noticed that the little number on the My Fitness Pal badge on the right hand side has shot up... Oops! The Christmas holidays were indulgent, but I'm already back in the swing of things and more determined than ever. I think that a big part of that is that hubby is also focused. He has some big plans for this year (which I will let him share with you himself) and so we both started a new 30 Day Cleanse on January 2nd. I have already taken off a good part of what I put on over the holidays and I'm hoping to be back to my lowest weight by the end of next week.

How are you keeping up with your New Years Resolutions?

January 1, 2012

2011 Push-up Challenge

As promised, here is my video submission for the Losing it in Ottawa Push-up Challenge. Keeping in mind that I had just run the 5K Resolution Run and had already gotten into a few mixed drinks, I didn't quite make my goal of 20 from the toes followed by 5 one footed push ups on each side... 

We'll leave those fancy tricks for Liz!

Anyone else want to share?