Travelling to Helsinki

So I am in Helsinki and suffering from some serious jetlag!  I went to bed at 6 am, after trying really hard.  This is particular humourous as I never have sleeping issues.  I am presenting at the Reshape Libraries Conference in Helsinki.

Here is my talk.

Travelling is such a pleasure but it poses some unique challenges with regard to eating well.  In the middle of last night my body thought it was dinner time so it wanted to eat really badly.  I was able to resist because I could manage to.  I had eaten some snacks regularly on my first day here.

I had packed two protein bars with me and tried to err on the side of protein snacks like cheese and meat.  I will commend KLM airlines as well for the exceptional tasty food on the flight from Calgary to Amsterdam. (I post pictures later).

I also went for a 5 km walk my first night and had an amazing experience in the city centre.  This push for activity is very new to me for travelling.  I walk a lot on our family trip to BC and Ontario but previously when I was by myself I didn’t have the capacity to be active.

I think it is so important to try an experience new food when I am there. My two favourite meal so far: ( I had the Menu Suomi for the second meal) Check out reindeer.

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I don’t have a scale with me here in Helsinki, but I haven’t worn my suit in a month or so and it is hanging off me.  I have it on for my presentation today and that is just a very special feeling.

11 months / 90 lbs / some reflection

It is hard for me to fathom the length of the journey so far, I have never been on a health related kick for this long. The FAT Project and the photos of my food have become so nested in my daily activities that I can’t think of not doing it.   And I am loving how I feel (I’ll go in depth on this for the 1 year mark).

And yet the road is still rough.  Yesterday I ate too much at lunch because I didn’t plan and pack a lunch properly at home.  I went to an Indian restaurant, ordered too much and then ate it all (Estimated: 1500 calories)


This didn’t sit well physically or emotionally so I ended up eating too much at dinner too.


Christine had taken the kids to Bragg Creek for our eldest’s mountain biking class so I didn’t need to be home until 7:30 pm.  The idea of the ever delicious Noodle Box popped in my head and since I was already in a challenging food space, my resistance was weak and I went for it.  It WAS as delicious as ever (this is the Cambodian Jungle Box btw – 681 Calories) – however with the Indian food at lunch there were just too many calories.

I am writing this the next morning and have no desire to eat at all.  11 months ago, the morning after I over-ate I would have still had a big breakfast. This feels good.

This highlights a very important aspect of the FAT Project – I have the disease called obesity.  I always will and it will always need to be managed.  I started this project the day obesity was declared a disease in Canada by the Canadian Medical Association.  At first I couldn’t grasp how it could be a disease – isn’t it just my fault for eating too much?

The answer is no.  It is a complex condition with many contributing factors especially in our overtly obesogenic environment in N. America.  A complex condition requires comprehensive solutions in diet, exercise and medical intervention and also requires a high level of mindfulness and self awareness.

This is why I am with the Calgary Weight Management Centre and Dr. Walji.

This is why I work with the Complete Chiropractic and Sport Therapy clinic and Dr. Kangarloo.

This is why we started the ShoeCamp.

This is why I take a photo of everything I eat and

why our partners at RoadWest Pictures are documenting the journey.

Thanks for being part of the journey – I would love to hear more about yours.

So I plateaued but didn’t….

Last week I had an appointment at the Calgary Weight Management Clinic.  It was well overdue – I haven’t been in 6 months!  I missed an appointment in late June right before we left for my High School Reunion and I attend the clinic for follow-ups every 3 months.  With a busy summer full of visiting, travelling and work, it felt really great to go in and focus on my goals again.

I feel like I plateaued after losing 80 pounds.  I weigh myself on a digital scale at home and my weight has been static for a few months now which has been somewhat discouraging.  Over the last few months however, I have noticed that my body shape has continued to change.  My clothes are fitting better and I have even gone a size – proof that the scale is not king when it comes to body transformation and lifestyle change.

At my appointment, Dr. Walji shared this chart:



Each of those increments is 5 kg and they are very pleased with both the overall loss as well as the rate.

Those who read regularly know that I am not doing the FAT Project to lose weight but to feel better and run an Olympic Triathlon at the end.  In my case, weight loss is a part of feeling better and it will help me reach my goal.


The X Warrior Challenge

Wow!  The X Warrior Challenge was a blast.  Truth be told, I was quite intimidated by the thought of such an intense physical challenge and it took me the 10 months since I agreed to participate to get *mostly* comfortable with the idea. Check out my original post on the X Warrior Challenge here:

I am so honoured that more than 20 people joined me in the challenge – supporting me and challenging themselves.  I am so lucky to have such amazing supporters with me during my journey and I hope that I have or can help them in some way during whatever journey they take.  That is what this is all about.

RoadWest Pictures joined me on the race course too!  Joel and Evan were amazing.  Joel ran the race outfitted with a helmet cam; they put a body cam on me and Evan followed us with the full video camera…for all 6k, 21 obstacles and just over 2 hours I took to complete the challenge.  I’m sure the footage is amazing and I’ll look forward to sharing it at a later date.  I was also filmed by the race’s film crew.    Amusingly, we had a very meta moment with Evan filming me and the film crew, me filming the film crew and the film crew filming me.

I found the race very challenging and I wasn’t surprised to discover that I could not complete many of the obstacles as they were intended. In lieu of completing the obstacles, penalties like burpees and mountain climbers were doled out.  I modified both the burpees and mountain climbers so that I could do them.  Let me tell you, I sure could feel my muscles for a few days after the race.

My favourite obstacle was an army crawl under 40 feet of barbed wire.  Why? I modified my XWarrior Compression sleeves to serve as skis and propelled myself forward like a luge.  Apparently innovation makes me happy.  I also enjoyed the rope climb at the end of the race where the team boosted me up nearly 20 feet.  Go Teamwork.

My results:

I am very proud to have finished the X Warrior Challenge.  From the start of this I wanted to compete against myself – to challenge my mindset around exercise and to complete the challenge to the best of my physical ability.  I feel confident that I met my goals last weekend on the race course.  I am so grateful that so many people supported me along the way, including my cousin Stephanie who traveled all the way from Salmon Arm to participate.   One final shout out to Darcy Charlifoux, the man who dreamed up X Warrior and worked tirelessly to make it happen. Thank you Darcy for bringing me on board to be an ambassador for your inaugural event.  You challenged me and my perspective on what my body is capable of.  You’ve helped me to believe in my physicality and I am excited to see how far I can push myself over the next few years.

Some videos that highlight the experience:

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