Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 9

Family makeover diary: Month 9

Author: Canadian Living

Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 9

Read about this family's wellness journey with Canadian Living Magazine and a dream team of coaches.


Guess what? I'm skiing! Last year at this time I never thought it would happen but yes, I, Despina Morfidis, am skiing! I am so excited and absolutely loving it! I can't believe I was so afraid to try this before. I am enrolled in group lessons and I'm also taking some private lessons. I am doing as much as I can in order to get comfortable on the skis and on the slopes.

I have to admit the first few times I was very nervous. By learning some of the basic things like how to move forward and how to stop (this is very important!) I am starting to feel comfortable. One day after my group lesson we decided to ski for the afternoon. I remember going up the chair lift with the girls and George and being so excited that I was out there with them! We have skied every weekend so far, sometimes on both Saturday and Sunday.

I know without a doubt in my mind that all the exercise I have been doing since May has helped me with this. I am certainly much stronger than I was almost a year ago therefore feeling much more confident in my ability to learn and perform at this sport. I'll say it again, I'm very excited!

Amidst all the excitement I have had to deal with a setback with my weight loss. It seems the plateau is continuing. In the past three months I have lost three pounds. That is not significant considering the increase in cardio workouts and continued efforts in weight training. Somehow I was oblivious to all this and it took the efforts of Dr. Buchanan to make me realize that something was wrong. She said considering all the exercise I was doing it didn't make sense that I wasn't losing weight, unless I was not eating properly. My reply was what I usually say when asked about my diet: I eat well but feel that I often eat larger portions of food than I should. My rationale was that I was exercising so I could afford to eat a little more.

I know now that rationale doesn't work especially since I want to continue losing weight. I'm not at all ready to go into "maintenance" mode. After a lengthy discussion with Dr. Buchanan and a commitment on my part to implement new strategies in my eating patterns, I left her office with a renewed sense of purpose. I promised I would send Dr. Buchanan my food journals and that I would do some research about food. I wanted to know what the high starch and low starch vegetables and fruit were. One of my favourite vegetables are carrots and it came as a surprise to me to find out that it is a very high starch vegetable. I learned what one serving looks like and how it can vary depending on the food. I even bought a scale so I can measure my food. I now know what six ounces of meat looks like and that what I can have for dinner. It's all very interesting.

Since that initial conversation with Dr. Buchanan, and many since, I have touched base with Sue, Cassie and Fran about this and asked for their help in focusing on my weight. My main goal was to become more active so I could participate in fun events with my family and friends. I feel I am well on my way to that. Now I want to focus on the weight loss. We only have four more months of the makeover and I know I need our coaches' help to finish this off. They are all 100 per cent with me on this. Their support means so much to me.

One week after making some very significant changes in my diet, I am happy to report I am down 6.2 pounds. Big smile.


Here I am in month nine and my struggle with food continues. The struggle is not that I am eating poorly but that I am not eating what I am craving! I'll give you an example: every Saturday and Sunday we ski as a family. And every time we go into the chalet for a break, all I smell is the aroma of poutine. The smell of the fries, gravy and cheese combo drives me crazy! It seems the cafeteria can't keep up with the demand! So far, I have done a pretty good job of avoiding the poutine and instead munch on my low-fat sandwich of whole grain bread and turkey with lettuce, no mayo, and just a little mustard. Somehow it doesn't quite measure up!

I describe this situation because after nine months of food journals, preparing meals and ongoing life changes, I still have cravings for that "other" food. But I am definitely controlling the cravings better than I used to.

And interestingly enough, I have now become a food "critic". It's incredible how aware I have become of other peoples' food choices. I can't help but notice what people order in a restaurant and what others have in a grocery cart. It seems odd but when you spend so much time thinking about food, these are the kinds of things you notice.

As for makeover life, everything seems to be falling into place. My routine is well organized and not as tedious and the food journals, strength training, running and life coach sessions have become part of my life.

I can see a big difference in my confidence and how I feel about myself, my clothes fit looser and everyone has noticed my weight loss. Everything is going smoothly.


I love winter! Mainly I love it because I can snowboard every weekend and sometimes we even go on a weeknight. This year I love it even more because it is fun to see my mom out skiing with us. She is still a little nervous but I remember I was nervous too when I first started snowboarding. I remember Mom telling me to keep practicing because the more comfortable I got on the snowboard the better I would feel and the easier it would be. It was my turn to tell her this and she smiled at me. She is doing really well now. It will be fun to have her skiing instead of sitting in the chalet waiting for us to come in.

Grade 9 is really busy. I have exams this month and I want to do well on them. I have set up a schedule to study and I'm trying to stick to it. I haven't gone to the gym because I'm so busy right now. But I'm happy I can snowboard as much as I can.


January is a fun month for me because I am learning to ski with my mom. The last two years I was snowboarding with Ria but I decided to learn to ski this year so my mom and I are taking lessons. I started in level one but my instructor moved me to level three the next week. He said I wasn't a beginner because I was very comfortable on the skis and could do more than a beginner. I think I like it better than snowboarding.

Gymnastics is fun for me now too. I start my competitions in March so we are working hard at the gym to get ready for them. I have to do conditioning exercises at home so I can get stronger. And I am trying to eat the right food so I can do the hard work to get stronger.


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Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 9