Monthly Archives: February 2013

My Forever Valentine

How can one simple four-letter word resonate so deeply within our psyche?  Love.  We seek it, give it, take it, sing about it, write about it, cry over it.  I’ve been thinking a lot about love recently, especially at this time of year.  So here goes, a sentimental post for my husband, but really, I think we all need to spread love and show love, to as many people as we can.

Valentine’s Day has passed, so now the pink and red are slowly disappearing from store windows, by now the roses received on that day are starting to wilt, the ridiculously cheap chocolate is being enjoyed.  I’ve never really been much into Valentine’s Day, but I do love seeing the world painted pink, and the reminder to love (not to mention the delicious Feb. 15th chocolate sales!).  But I find myself thinking, that sweetness and pop of colour is just what’s needed in mid-February, when the snow and cold has dragged on, and when cabin fever and winter blues are at their apex.  This is also the time of year Nick and I got engaged (February 19, to be exact).  So those memories come back, the perfect day spent casually with close friends, the lovely dinner downtown in a private booth, the breathtaking skyline views at Panorama,  the perfect proposal – quiet, alone in a wine cellar.  The very moment he placed the sparkling ring on my finger, a mere six months before he did the same with the wedding ring.  That whole day, and evening, was a grand romantic gesture.

But so often, love is found in the small moments, rather than the grand gestures.  Love is how he lets me sleep in on weekend mornings, but rushes over to the bed to kiss me as soon as I wake up.  Love is how he stops to pull me in close when he’s just walking by at home.  Love is seeing when I’m tired, and without hesitation, asking if I want to go out for dinner, or order in.  Love is putting up with me being silly (I sometimes use a baby/kitten voice, all high-pitched and squeaky).  Love is making him laugh by using stuffed animals as puppets singing cheesy music.  Love is when he surprises me with flowers, or chocolate, just because.  I know, I’m beyond blessed to have my husband.  I’m not trying to brag, I’m just so deeply grateful that God placed this amazing man in my life, and that we love each other with every fiber of our being.

Love also means dropping everything when your spouse needs you.  When he went to a walk-in clinic, and was sent to the Emergency Room.  On that day, love meant rushing there, and being there for him.  Being encouraging and speaking health and healing over him.  Bringing dinner, hugging, hand-holding, and reassuring during an 11 hour period of being told nothing.  Love meant going back to the hospital for 1am treatment, and bringing out the Mama Bear Lioness in me to make sure he was taken care of.  Love means being so thankful that he will be just fine.  See, I grew up in a community that never even acknowledged Valentine’s Day, so Nick is the only Valentine I’ve ever had, and ever will have.  He is the most important person on this planet to me, and fills my heart in ways I never even imagined possible.

So here’s to you, my forever Valentine.  You changed my world forever, and made all my dreams come true.  I can’t wait to dream even bigger with you, and write the best love story ever – ours.


Weighing in on the HCG Diet

Looking outside the window today, we are still well in the dead of winter.  However, the blogs and websites I read are already preparing for spring and summer – new clothes! new makeup!  the end of boots for the season!  And with that comes the arrival of swimsuit season.  Like so many others in January, I resolved to be in better shape this year, and I’ve managed to stay on track with my plan.  I also find that about now, everyone starts their beach season fitness endeavours.

Since fitness is so important to health, as well as overall happiness, I will be blogging to cover my fitness journey as well.  I’ve always been a good size, but now I want to be fit and strong, not just thin (or skinny-fat, as trainers call it).  So, I’m starting at the beginning of my fitness journey, and today I want to talk about the HCG diet, which was a total game-changer for me.

I first heard of this diet from a close friend and mentor, and he already knew of numerous men and women of varying ages and fitness levels who had benefited from it.  The HCG diet claimed to help lose abnormal fat (the kind that collects around the belly, hips, thighs) and to reset the metabolism.  It also claimed an average fat loss (only pure fat loss, not muscle or other tissues) of between half a pound to 2 pounds a day!  That immediately got my attention, and I had known for a while that my metabolism needed some help, so I was eager to learn more.

The basics idea is this:  for the main part of the diet, a homeopathic hormone supplement is taken which activates consumption of abnormal fat as fuel for the body, and a very low calorie diet is eaten so that the body must fuel itself from the fat.  It’s actually based on how a pregnant woman has a hormone (HCG) that consumes fat to ensure her blood is full of nutrients for the unborn child’s healthy development in the womb.  As a fun fact, HCG is also the hormone pregnancy tests detect, so don’t take a pregnancy test while on this diet, unless you want to give yourself a scare.  This period lasts between 3-6 weeks.

After the main diet period, there is a stabilizing period where no hormones are taken, and you can eat normally, just no carbs/starches/sugar.  Simple enough.  This also has a purpose, since our bodies are designed to hover around a “base weight” and not deviate more than 2-3 pounds from it.  This stabilizing period serves to reset that base weight.  You can also start exercising in this phase.  This lasts about 3 weeks.

Once that is done, your metabolism is riding high, and abnormal fat is lost without any harm to muscle and essential tissues.  At this point, simply maintaining a healthy lifestyle leads to the weight loss being permanent.

I’ve always been pretty conscious about my weight, and I was told repeatedly that I didn’t need to lose weight – in response to that, I present below the Before & After as evidence.  To be fair, at the beginning of this diet, you have a few days where you are supposed to fat load – eat a lot.  The Before picture was taken at the very end of that period, so I was likely a bit bloated.  But the difference is still dramatic.  This was one round of the diet, and I lost 15 pounds.  For a girl that’s 5’4”, that makes a difference!  This is me, about a month and a bit apart, wearing the exact same dress, in the same pose.

I’ve tried so many diets, and I’ve never been as excited about or satisfied as I am with this one.  I know it can sound a little scary, but I can honestly vouch for the HCG diet, and more importantly, for its results.  If you have any questions about this, send me an email or message through the Contact Us page.  Feel free to add your comments as well, but please no negative comments.