Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Scoop

hi everyone, and happy holidays!

Dec 21 has come and gone, and as of that date I shed a total of 20lbs. I shrunk from 205 to 185 lbs through a combination of portion control, cutting down on certain foods altogether, and exercise. I hoped to reach 30 lbs but this is the first time I've actually tried to LOSE weight so I'm pretty pleased with the results. I feel better and am motivated to continue on with a healthier lifestyle.

Recently I have experienced a minor change in my vision, a slight worsening that frightened me a bit given that there's no rhyme or pattern or pace that the degeneration occurs. The change came as another small patch of obstructed vision in my "good" eye, encroaching a bit into the clear field of central vision in the right eye that I rely upon to see. I am still getting around well enough without a cane, am reading this now clearly from a comfortable distance, etc. This reminded me of the importance of researching a cure.

I am hoping you will all honour your pledges despite my not achieving my "goal," as the real goal of this was to raise 1) awareness of Choroideremia and 2) a little money to support research into a cure. Currently there is no cure and the CRF and CRF Canada put 95% of every cent they raise toward research. (Source: Every little bit helps.

Your support in the amount of $48/lb in pledges has amounted to $960. Awesome. Again, thank you all.

So, donating. It's easy and can be done online. There's even a few hours left if you wanted to donate this year and benefit from the tax credit you will be issued. Please visit this website for instructions on donating. Using Pay Pal is quick and easy and can be done using a credit card. Alternatively, cheques are acceptable and can be sent directly to the CRF Canada Inc.

For instructions on how to donate, please visit:

Thank you all again for your generosity.

Jeff, Sarah and Libby

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Still losing

Just to ensure you all that I haven't slipped too far, I have still managed to lose 18 lbs since I began this. A little over a month remains until I reach my original completion date, Dec. 21.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November already

Following my last post I've received pledges from Susan Shephard ($2/lb) and Miriam Murray ($1/lb) both of whom responded after the PSC newsletter. Thank you to both of them! The running support stands at $47.83/lb, while I'm still hovering at 15 lbs lost.

I have been in and out of the gym a few times and out for some good walks since my last post but not nearly enough to balance the slips of not following he Ultimate Healthy Eating Plan as we had been so good at doing. I haven't been feeling 100% lately fighting seasonal cold and flu. Waking up tired and falling asleep early in the night hasn't helped me shed any pounds. Since Halloween we've been tending to a sick little girl and quick and easy suppers have replaced the smart meals. Excuses, excuses, I know. Given that I have less than two months to lose the remaining 15 lbs to meet my goal I have to get serious.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


A colleague recently asked if I was interested in submitting a short article to a newsletter that is distributed throughout the Public Service to employees of the provincial government. I took Tony up on it and wrote a short blurb describing this weight loss/fundraising scheme and it ran yesterday in "@ The Window."

I've been neglectful, not posting updates as frequently as I thought I should have been. In my last post (almost a month ago now!) I was down 15 lbs from my starting weight of 205 lbs. Since that time I wavered a bit, fell off the eating plan while away from home, slacked off at the gym and gained a few pounds back. But I've gotten back on track, shed those pounds and am holding steady at 15 lbs lost (people say you reach a plateau where it's no longer "easy," I think I am there). I'm aiming to get on the elliptical machine nightly to see if I can't push through and make it to 20 lbs by the end of the month. To anyone that's come upon this blog via the @ The Window article, thanks for your interest. This has been a great couple of months that have shown me it's not impossible to adopt healthier habits. This fundraising model isn't something that is terribly difficult to enact. If you have a cause that is near to you and would like to lose a few pounds, try it. I'd love to know if it works for others too. If you wish to pledge support for the Choroideremia Research Foundation research grants, please post in the comments below (include your name!) and stay tuned.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


The past few weeks have felt like the most hectic in a long time. Sarah's started back to school, I had a bizarre bout of something, Libby's been teething and rangy and not sleeping well, work has been busy, and the weekends have seen many visitors (who we enjoy). While I haven't had time to post even a short update to the blog I have continued to lose weight, clocking in now at 15 lbs lost and holding in just over a month. From 205 to 190 lbs, so far so good. I might have come upon a plateau, so a few people have said, but I'll continue with the exercise and see what happens. We're still eating well, watching our portions - with the odd slip-up, extra slice of pizza or bottle of beer/glass of wine. I know my weaknesses. I am trying to get at least 20 minutes on a near-by eliptical machine in every day, which, coupled with my walking/ferry/walking/ferry commute and neighborhood pond/harbourfront/lake strollling, amounts to a good start at cardiovascular fitness. I'd like to aim for a full half-hour on the "machine" with my ipod and a good PRI/NPR/CBC or How Stuff Works podcast or audiobook. I've also been using some dumbells to shape up in our apartment in the evenings, 30-50 reps for my arms, shoulders and obliques, some sit-ups on a pilates ball (much easier than the lying down sort!), all leave me feeling it a few days later, stiff and burning, a nice reminder that a little work will make a difference. Thanks to Ann "Nanny"Chaisson for her recent $1/lb pledge, to Janet Smith for her $1/lb, and to CNS co-worker Patricia Jreige for her $1/lb committment. Their contributions brings the total so far to $44.83/lb. I'm only a month into this so I'm hoping there's still hope of surpassing the $50/lb mark. Thanks to everyone that has contributed.

In unrelated, sad news, a dear old friend died this week. Marie MacInnis, 75, of Antigonish died Wednesday night. She will be missed. Her obituary is posted online.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Down 9

Hi all, I apologize for being neglectful here. I took a few days last week while the weather was nice and went offline to the cottage at Cribbon's Point in Antigonish. We had a great time, had Libby in the water multiple times daily, sat in the sun too long, drank some light beer and ate bar-b-que. This four-day sojourn didn't fit within the eating-healthy-plan, but guided by a new-found portion control mechanism we all managed to enjoy the treats, but not over-enjoy them. Since I began this weight-loss mission I have managed to shed 9 lbs. I am down from my beginning weight of 205 lbs to 196 lbs. I'm pleased with this and am encouraged by the continuing flow of pledges from people that have learned of my fundraising effort via friends, family or Facebook. Thanks to:

- Carly, John and Callum Sutherland for $1/lb pledge
- cousin Justine MacMillan for $1/lb
- Nelda Armour for $1/lb
- cousin Tamara (nee Overmars) and her husband Dave Statchcook for $1/lb
- Michelle Lucas for $2/lb
- Iain MacInnes & Jodi Hartery for their generous $3/lb
- Dr. Ann Hoskin-Mott for a generous pledge of $5/lb (Dr. H-M is a local eye specialist I see who specializes in congenital eye conditions like CHM)

This is incredible. In just over a week $14/lb has been added to my previous total of $27.83/lb bringing the running total up to $41.83/lb! At this rate we have together raised $376.47 for choroideremia research. If I reach my goal without any additional pledges the total raised would be $1254.90! Thank you all so much. I will continue to keep you updated on my progress.

So far, in addition to eating well, controlling portions, eating breakfast and not skipping meals, I have been lifting weights in the evening - no benchpresses yet, only dumbbells - and doing sit-ups on an exercise/palates ball. I'm feeling good and am glad that a few pounds have come off to encourage me to continue. With your help and support, motivating me to work harder, I think I'm well on my way to meeting my goal of shedding 30 lbs. by December 21. This week I plan to don my nearly-fresh-out-of-the-box-despite-being-4-years-old running shoes Sarah bought me while we lived in Toronto and start doing laps around nearby Sullivan's Pond in Dartmouth. Hopefully this will lead to my being able to comfortably manage the distance around Lake Banook, a 5 k loop from my door. I'll let you know how that goes.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Book

So, I mentioned 'the book.' This book that we've been following to made the transition from just eating to eating well is The Ultimate HEALTHY EATING Plan (that still leaves room for chocolate). It doesn't require any drastic exclusions or extreme measures but offers great meals that are pretty simple to make, using ingredients that are easily picked up locally. There's seasonal plans that take into account the availability of fresh produce, and a plan for particularly busy times or for days where you're away from home on the move. It's full of common sense nutrition and stresses portion sizes and regular meals. Because of it I've been eating breakfast daily and loving it. This alone has been an incredible change and I've been feeling great.

Since my last post I've had a lot of luck with good people coming forth and pledging to support CRFC through this weight loss fundraising effort. Big thanks to:

My sister Emily -> $1/lb
Ben Chaisson & Beth Kates -> $3.33/lb
past-roomate, lovely Torontonian (and nutritionist!) Julia King -> $1/lb
Bev & Dave Renny -> $2/lb - interestingly enough, Bev (a not-so-distant relative) carrie the CHM gene and her son Pat (Paddy) has choroideremia. Naturally, they understand the importance of researching towards a cure. Thanks for your support you two!
Eleanor & Gary (I'm afraid I'll need some help with the last name here) -> $2/lb

So $9.33/lb of pledges over the past couple of days! Add that to the previous total of $18.50/lb and - wow! - $27.83/lb!! This is fantastic. I'll be sure to weigh in again soon and report back. Steady at 199 lb.

Oh, and I do intend (once I find the cord for my digital camera) to begin posting pictures of the great suppers we've been having. I should also start keeping better track of the exercise I'm doing so to ensure I continue to push myself, increasing as I go and continue to shed these pound.

Thanks again everyone for your generous support. It's nice to hear from you, too.