Renovation and Computer Blues

,,,,,it seems like forever since I wrote a post

As some of you know we’ve been undergoing a renovation in our home so that my 90 year old father could move in with us. During the renovation our phone lines and internet connection went down. We were planning on switching our service provider once the renovation was done so we didn’t call anyone in to fix the problem during construction.

Little did I know that I would feel so disconnected from the rest of the world. A couple of times I would drive to the nearest Starbucks so I could use their WiFi and check for important messages and do my on-line banking. The first time I did this I only had 10 minutes to check my mail because the store was closing earlier than I thought.

For weeks we lived in chaos to get ready for the renovation and then for the actual job. We had to move my husband’s office from the basement to the room where I had my art studio and we moved all the art supplies into the master bedroom (the largest room in the house). My daughters helped me purge and get rid of a lot of stuff. That part felt good but we still have more things to move. Some of the cabinets and the microwave have to be returned and my husband still has more files to go through. Luckily my father is in Calgary for three weeks visiting my sister.

I had a great contractor and he did a wonderful job. He started with the bathroom, fixing the plumbing, repairing the drywall, waterproofing the walls and installing tile in the shower, on the shower floor and on the floor itself and putting in new pot lights. He also put in a new toilet and grab bars and painted.

In the living area he boxed in the duct work, installed 6 new pot lights, added new baseboards and trim and painted the ceiling and walls.

In the old office the floor was pulled up and a new floor put down, the plumbing was retrieved from behind the walls, built in shelves were removed and new pot lights were installed. A fresh coat of paint brightened up the room but the cabinets, counter and sink weren’t put in place when my Dad moved in. Luckily it took only one extra day to move in the new refrigerator and affix the new cabinetry to the walls.

I’m happy to say that our new phone lines are in and the internet is once again working. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks I’ll bring you up to date on all the goings on here at Mama Cormier’s.

Till then, cheers!

95% Back to Normal Eating

….one week later, down 4 pounds and off mushy food

One week ago today I had gum surgery for crown lengthening so that I can have my broken tooth capped.  Today I went for my check-up to make sure that the incisions were healing properly and to have the dressings removed and replaced with new, smaller dressings.

Everything looks good. The stitches have dissolved, there’s no infection and I can start to eat more normally. Still no hard foods like crusty bread, croutons, biscotti and celery and chewing can only take place on the opposite side of my mouth away from the dressing. I am still restricted in the exercise department (no push-ups, sit ups, trampoline, bench pressing, cardio, etc.) but I can start walking further and faster and even go for a leisurely bike ride.

Here is my dilemma. I’m happy that I’m down four pounds and I’d like to keep them off and take off more. Being able to get out more will help but going back to ‘normal eating’ scares me. One thing that I’ve been forced to do and will have to do for another few weeks is eat on one side of my mouth. The good thing about that is that it forces me to eat more slowly and as a result I’m probably not eating as much because I get full before I finish my plate.

For a long time now I’ve convinced myself that I need more protein than most people and that carbohydrates are my enemy. Funny thing is that I’ve eaten very little meat this past week and a whole lot of pasta, creamed soups and mashed vegetables and still managed to lose 4 pounds. Tonight I had a bowl of vegetarian chill and a slice of sour dough bread with butter. I feel very satisfied and won’t need to eat later this evening. I’ll probably have a cup of tea.

I think what I need to do is start recording what I eat for awhile and see if I can see a pattern with what I eat, how much and in combination with what foods and see how my weight loss is affected. I suspect that how I combine foods will make a difference and not eating at night will also prove beneficial.

So I’m still down 20 pounds but my goal is to lose the other 10 before the end of the school year. It should be doable. I have 8 weeks to go. One and a half to two pounds a week is a very reasonable and achievable. I’ll keep you posted.


Before my 30 pound weight loss. I never want to go back to this again.

Before my 30 pound weight loss. I never want to go back to this again.

My after picture in the same blouse. 10 pounds to get back to this.

My after picture in the same blouse. 10 pounds to get back to this.

Time for a Clean Sweep

….in my library office

I love a clean, well organized space. If you came into my office in the last couple of months….well lets be honest…..for most of the year you would have been assaulted with a chaotic mess. It’s been a challenge trying to keep my art materials organized and maintaining a school library at the same time. I’m glad to say that the library itself was mostly tidy and organized, thanks to my library helpers and parent volunteer. As for my office, I was able to close the door and put posters up on the class windows to hide the mess.

The end of the school year is always hectic and there never seems to be enough time to do everything that needs doing. On top of that it seems that the art teacher gets to inherit anything and everything that other teachers don’t want. Every time something new was donated to my art program I’d tell the donor to just put it on the counter, table or desk in the office and I would look at it later. Well later didn’t happen for a long time.

This week a few of us returned to school to finish doing things we couldn’t get to before school was out. I thought I could do it all in one day but it took me three days. I’m happy to report that the office looks great and I didn’t just stuff things into drawers and behind closet doors. I actually threw things out and organized materials onto shelves and into boxes.

There are still two carts in the office that contain art supplies, neatly organized mind you, but I’m hoping to clean out the storage room down the hall in August and make some space for most of my art papers and paints. This way the library office can once again be used for library work. The only thing that I need for my art classes is the use of the sink in that room.

It leaves me with a good feeling, knowing that the room if finally clean and organized. I can now enjoy the rest of my summer.

Before                                                            After







Where Do I Stand With My Weight?

.…. the truth be told I don’t know

Two days ago, after the Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to face the music and get on the scale. Even though I didn’t overdue it, I certainly wasn’t perfect. I half expected to be up 2 or 3 pounds. If I had stayed the same I would have been delighted.

Normally I weigh myself every morning but for some reason I hadn’t stepped on the scale for over a week. I’m not exactly sure why I changed my routine. When I did finally step on the scale Tuesday morning the display window flashed the message “Lo”. After years of almost daily use the batteries finally decided to die. I opened up the back and removed the 4 double A batteries that had served me so well for such a long time.

The solution of course is simple. Replace the old batteries with new ones. If I had 4 on hand I would have done it right away but all my batteries are at the cottage. Once I’m at work the last thing I think about is stopping at the store on my way home to pick up batteries. My husband can’t even remember to pick up milk and we’ve been without it for two days.

It might be an avoidance strategy on my part. I’ve been back on track since the weekend and people continue to compliment me on my weight loss. I don’t want to gain my weight back and I can’t afford it if I did. I’ve literally gotten rid of all my ‘fat’ clothes. Logically my brain tells me that I should be able to eat more than I have since I started on my weight loss journey and still maintain the weight that I have lost as long as I don’t go overboard.

I’ve been here before. I lose weight, people notice and compliment me, my clothes fit better and I like how I feel. I become complacent and maintain my weight for awhile and then slowly start to gain it back.

There is a big difference this time. I’m not done losing weight. I haven’t met my next goal. I’ve made this journey very public and I don’t want to fail. It’s time to start moving again, drink more water and refocus. Oh… and I guess I need to get out there and buy some new batteries.

Where I’ve been and never want to go back.                                      Where I am today.

Picture taken on the weekend.

My official ‘before’ picture taken in March 2012 just before I started my weight loss journey.

The Joy of Buying New Clothes

….in smaller sizes

It wasn’t that long ago when I was so happy about getting out of plus sizes and into x-large.   Today most of the tops I bought were large.

I have to admit that I am a bit of a shop-aholic. Today wasn’t the only day that I bought new clothes. Last week after a stressful day at work I headed for my new favourite store, Marshall’s, and tried on at least a dozen tops. Many of the extra larges were too big and I actually went back to the racks to find the same garment in a smaller size. I bought 3 sleeveless tops and I’ve already worn all 3 to work.

I don’t think I’ve ever had as many compliments about what I was wearing as I did last week. Not only were the tops pretty but they actually accentuated my new figure and people really noticed how much weight I’ve lost.

Today I convinced my husband to go with me to Marshall’s again. We had spent hours today making ketchup, cleaning the kitchen, washing the floor and organizing all our newly made canned goods. I really needed to get out. Come to think of it I more or less left it up to K to decide where we would go. I guess Marshall’s was the lesser evil of all the other suggestions that I made.

I spent most of my time looking at the large size rack and took 8 items with me to the dressing room. Only one top was too small and the pants were a little snug. I ended up with 5 items.  I spent just over $100.00. Not bad and all of these tops will take me into the colder weather.

When I got home I knew that I needed to clean out some more of my old clothes that were clearly too big for me. I used to think that looser fitting clothes would look okay but the truth of the matter is that they only make you look bigger than you are. Out with the old!

“Out with the old”…. I’m sure the pile will become bigger. These are only the clothes that were on hangers. I haven’t gone through my dresser drawers and then there are all my winter clothes that are packed away and stored under my bed.





I used to reward myself with food. I think I prefer my new reward system.

” In with the new!”….. they look much nicer on me. Maybe I can convince K to take some pictures for a future post.

Down 2, 1 More to Go

…. to reach my goal of 30 pounds by tomorrow

I’m not sure I can reach my 30 pound goal by my birthday but I do know that 30 pounds is inevitable. It might be tomorrow or the next day or maybe not until next week but that’s okay.

The compliments I received today when I returned to school have made all the hard work worthwhile. This is only the beginning. I’ve been here before and I know how easy it is to put it all back on. I can’t afford to become complacent.

Today I spent a couple of hours at school but I didn’t get very much done. I spent a lot of time catching up with colleagues and helping others with ideas and approaches for the upcoming year.

At around noon my husband called me to remind me of my aunt’s doctor’s appointment. I hurried to my car, grabbed a coffee at the Tim Horton’s drive through and made my way to the hospital. Luckily I found parking on the street. K had already dropped my aunt off at the hospital and I looked in all the usual places before finally locating her in the blood lab waiting to have samples drawn from her arm.

She looked relieved when I walked in because things were moving a lot faster today than in the past. After her blood work was completed we headed up the elevator to a floor we hadn’t been on before and were quickly ushered into another waiting room.

To make a long story short we were seen by four more people, including a new doctor that my aunt adores…. thank goodness…..and put through numerous interviews, questions and other tests. After two hours we were set free but not until we arranged for another appointment for a stress test that will take four hours to administer.

The next appointment is in four weeks unless we hear otherwise. After taking my aunt home she invited me inside where she made me a strong coffee and we had a nice visit for about 1 1/2 hours.

This entire time I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast. When I got home I was starving. I heated up some leftover homemade curry which K and I enjoyed for dinner. I hope missing a meal doesn’t play havoc with my weight loss. I’m very full and will probably not eat again till tomorrow.

I’m about to head out the door for a nice long walk with Frances. If I see anything of interest I might add it to this post when I get back.


My official ‘before’ picture taken in March 2012 just before I started my weight loss journey.

Photo taken today, 29 pounds lighter, in the same blouse.



A New Haircut and a New Lease on Life

….. at least that’s how I feel tonight

I came back from the cottage yesterday so that I could get my hair cut. I went into school this morning and managed to clear away all my ‘stuff’ so that the caretakers can clean my room. Well I guess it’s not ‘my’ room anymore.

I’ll probably go back next week to sort through some more papers and move some of my things to the library. I could leave it for the week before school starts but I think it’ll be too big a job and then I’ll start the school year tired and not refreshed. I have to come back to the city next week anyway to drive K to his doctor’s appointment.

I stayed at school until 3:00 and then I went home, showered and drove downtown for my hair appointment. After listening to the radio I thought I would be spending time in traffic but I actually got to the appointment early. They took me right away and in the next 45 minutes Dee did her magic and gave me a new hair style.

I called K and told him we needed a date night. We ended up going to a restaurant we hadn’t been to in almost 2 years. The owner recognized me right away and I brought him up to date on K’s health while I waited for him to join me. The restaurant has undergone a few changes, one of them being  that Tony no longer does the cooking. He has hired a new chef who is passionate about good old fashion Italian cooking.

We had a great meal. I had the baked bass and a Mediterranean salad. I have to admit that I did have one glass of white wine. While there a young family came in and sat at the table next to us. The woman recognized me from when I taught at Hilltop. I was her Family Studies teacher and taught her how to sew and cook. Her partner and K had a long discussion about soccer.

It was a perfect evening and I felt like a princess. I’ve decided to use the picture that was taken at the hair salon as my first official ‘after’ picture. As I write this I’m not sure what I’m going to use as my ‘before’ picture but anything that was taken in the last 3 years will do the job.

Before                                                                           After

Friday, July 13, 2012 – 23 pounds lighter. Who said Friday the 13th is unlucky?