Monday, November 09, 2009

Congratulations Dianne Wood - In her own words..

The unimaginable has happened! I just got word (I am away on vacation) that I won the Nutrition challenge. I am incredibly happy and I can’t believe it. Thank you so much Emmery – who read all those food logs and Richard, and Josh, and Kate, and Kati, and Chelsea, and Josh, and Justine…who all had a part in supporting me and the other participants in this challenge.
The nutrition challenge

For the month of October, which included Thanksgiving and Halloween (just saying)
I committed to myself and to Innovative to do the Nutrition & Fitness Challenge. I was tired of my muffin top creeping over my jeans and after my long fun summer of BBQs, restaurants and sitting by a friend’s pool drinking Sauvignon Blanc, I was ready. The scale had reached a new high and my regular routine of working out 3x a week at Innovative with the odd run on my own was not enough to check the balance – so to speak.

I think the key here is that I was ready.

I have to make a plug for Innovative here. The Innovative team is so supportive and truly dedicated and I felt that I had and incredible amount of genuine support to succeed in the challenge. Each trainer was prepared to put in time and went over and above the call of duty to do so. It was truly touching. THANK YOU SO MUCH GUYS.

I started the cleanse a few days early – it didn’t count…but it got me in the habit of not having a glass of wine, doing a food log and thinking about how I was going to change my eating patterns. It was a big adjustment and although the food logs were very helpful there were many nights I would finally settle into bed and just be falling asleep only to jar myself awake and remember that I had to file my food log.

The parameters of the cleanse were narrow but we were encouraged to follow them with common sense. For me…my enemy is flour (and wine). No one can take down a Panini like I can and perhaps no one enjoys pasta like I do (I was probably Italian in a past life). Anyway…I challenged myself to “think outside the sandwich” and took wheat off my list. I also read that Wayne Dyer lost 80 pounds by removing sugar from his diet. He didn’t even drink juice, so I lowered my fruit intake a lot and only ate berries on my sugarless oatmeal in the morning to prevent me from feeling sorry for myself. Wine I sadly discovered was the equivalent of eating a half-cup of white sugar.

The loss of flour was really helpful in so far as I started eating salad with a bit of protein for lunch. I also stopped ‘sink eating’ (eating while I was cooking dinner for my kids) and I started eating small amounts of ‘legal food’ several times a day, (Hummus, vegetables, linseed bread, rice crackers, grilled steak etc.). I did not eat past 6:30pm. If I was truly dying I would make a big bowl of air popped popcorn and spray it with my new best friend …a $34.00 bottle of spray balsamic vinegar stuff. 50 squirts=10 calories!

I didn’t realize until I was almost all the way through the challenge that I
1. Ordered as much food in a restaurant as my husband, and ate it all.
2. Ate so late
3. Ate so much flour
4. Found sugar in so many unlikely places
5. Ate large meals and then starved myself till the next one
6. Ate what I WANTED not what I NEEDED
7. Could avoid butter and fat more easily than I thought.

I think what I noticed more than anything was the things I wasn’t having rather than the things I was having. I had many a dinner of No Dessert and many an outing with No Wine and many a dinnertime with No Butter etc. The nutrition challenge was one thing, but on top of it was the Fitness Challenge! 9 tasks to be completed with a trainer. 24 th street hill run, figure 8 run, 10K run, 3 official races, 3 bike challenges.

Every weekend there was a running race. My friend Virginia, without me even asking, supported me in my running. Thanks Virginia!

I thought it was great that the challenge started out with a 5km. We did the Run for the Cure. No problem. It was a good warm up. The Turkey trot was fantastic because after Thanksgiving dinner who doesn’t want to get out and move some of that gravy off your butt. The challenge included a local 10 km and then there was the fun and amazing sea wall run…the James Cunningham. The biking challenges were ridiculous. I never bike. I dusted off my mountain bike, filled up my tires, found one of my kid’s bike helmets and was off. I absolutely hated it…at first. But after I rode the Stanley park ride…I could see myself attempting longer rides. I thought I was going to bloody well die doing the Cypress ride but thank god Tracy told me that getting up to the highway was the hard part and that the ride up Cypress was gradual and wasn’t the killer. Had she not told me that, I might have thrown in the towel after riding to the top of 21st Street. I can’t tell you how good it was to get to the second look out. I literally couldn’t believe I did it; the ride home was a great reward. Actually…I would do it again.

I learned something really important and really interesting:
Exercise is about strength, and health and food is about weight.

That means if you want to lose weight….of course it is a good idea to exercise but you aren’t going to lose weight by only exercising. You are going to lose weight by changing how you eat.
I also learned that weight loss is not fast. It is infuriatingly slow but it is steady. I just kept thinking about how long it took to put it on. Watching what you eat as well as exercising is obviously the key. Upping your fitness routine tightens you up and shocks your body into working harder. I think I was at a plateau and my body was used to my fitness routine- so adding some extra challenges was a good idea to bump me into a new zone. (wow…that really sounded athletic!)

I think the greatest thing about the challenges was that in the beginning I hated every single one and at the end of each one I loved them. I surprised myself. I couldn’t believe I actually could do these things and to tell you the truth…after a few of them, I even called my Mom.

Thanks to all the trainers and friends that supported me.
What’s next?

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