Who We Are

Losing weight is hard – and nobody knows that better than the people who are going through it.

Losing it in Ottawa was born of a need for six Ottawa women to build a community for themselves and others, to support each other in their journey to better health, better body image, and hopefully smaller clothing sizes. Since the original six started, we had to say goodbye to one and added nine others to join us. Look out world, here we come!

We invite you to join us on our journey. Each of the fourteen bloggers will post bi-weekly for the next eight weeks.  We want you to take part as much as possible too.  Comment, come out to events, and join us on Facebook and Twitter. And let us know if you’re following along on your own blog – we want to share your posts with the community too.

You can contact us at losingitottawa@gmail.com if you are interested in finding out more about Losing it in Ottawa, or if you are interested in advertising or creating a partnership.

The Team

Barbara

Barbara is a 39-year-old mother of one. Her daughter, Reid, is six and her husband is much older than that and who will be out of the country until November. She works in an office and could pretty much spend the entire day sitting in one place if she wanted. Barbara needs to increase her level of activity and decrease the amount of food she consumes, especially when it comes to baked goods. Barbara plans to be careful throughout this process to explain to her daughter that she want her body to be stronger, healthier and more able to do fun things. She wants to share the message that she needs to change her weight to help her live the life she want rather than to lose weight to be pretty, look like her friends, etc.

Barbara’s long term goal is to lose approximately 25 lbs. Her eight week goal is to lose 10-15 lbs and 5-8 inches and to establish the habits she’ll need for losing the rest of the weight and maintaining her weight loss in the years to come.

You can follow Barbara’s other adventures on Tales of Life with a Girl on the Go.

Melodie

Melodie is 26 and wishes her interest in healthy living had come about 6 years before it did. Meeting her academic and career goals in her early twenties came at the expense of her health, and for the past three years, she’s been slowly but surely trying to get back to her pre-university weight. Her long-term goal is to reach a normal, healthy weight for her body and develop a lifestyle that will allow her to maintain that weight while living life to its fullest. So far, she’s lost about 30 pounds, but she’s got 30-40 still to go. In the short term, she’ll be pushing herself to exercise regularly, cook at home as much as possible, and eat a clean diet based on whole foods.

She’s thankful every day for her great support system – her sweet, loving boyfriend of seven years, many friends and family, and the world’s most affectionate cat.

Melodie also blogs her take on current events, both in Ottawa and beyond, at www.melodiesworld.blogspot.com.

Coreen

CoreenCoreen is a 43-year old mother of one. She and her husband are *finally* the geriatric parents to a 5-year old after a 10-year struggle with infertility. Once quite active, she ‘retired’ when she first got pregnant and hasn’t found the motivation to get back in the game. She quit smoking in 2006, thereby completing the weight gain trifecta.

Since 2005 she has participated in an annual ‘Biggest Loser’ competition through her work, but has done little else during the rest of those years in order to continue losing weight, or even maintain the weight loss.

She is currently 50lbs above her ideal weight, and would like to lose 10-15lbs over the next 8 weeks.

Coreen will be focusing on portion control, increasing her activity level and drinking more water.

Coreen also blogs at http://neeroc.wordpress.com

Jenn

Jennifer is 29 and has struggled with weight since childhood. She has had some success with certain diet programs, but never managed to keep the weight off. Since her early 20’s her weight has yo-yoed due to side effects of medications, and a weakness for sweets and gourmet foods. She has recently started a running program, and carrying that extra weight running has a negative impact on her speed and endurance. She is also 25 pounds heavier than when she met her fiancé and would like to get that weight off before the big day in the summer of 2012.

Jennifer’s long term goal is to lose 20-25 pounds and run in a 10km race. Her 8 week goal is to loose 10-15 pounds, run a 5km race and to feel more energetic and healthier.

Katie

Katie is a stay at home mom of two little girls.  She has held the position of Home Manager for 5 years, and is looking for a raise, some additional perks, and a new gig :)  Having been bit by the endorphin bug, she is working on making a career change and helping other Mom’s like herself rediscover that inner ‘Awesomeness!”.

Katie blogs about fitness and health and learning to love all her jiggle bits over at So Write. 

Karine

During the school year, you will find this 26 years old energetic special education teacher giving everything she’s got in order to make sure her student learn and progress to best of their capability. At night, Karine turns into a student herself, pursuing a master’s degree in education. In 2011, she has started to take time to exercising and was surprised to discover that she wasn’t so bad at biking, swimming and even at running. In order to get to her goal weight, she needs to drop about 75 pounds, but her major goal is to get healthy. So far, Karine has pushed her limits and biked 271k in three days as well as completing her first 5k race.

Wordyart

Wordywort had better keep her day job because that’s where she has all the answers. In real life, she’s been a mother for over a year, a vegetarian for over twenty years, and overweight for nearly her entire life. Wordywort started blogging here shortly after she joined Weight Watchers online in Fall 2011.

Cindy

Hi I’m Cindy, I’m 36 years old, have a wonderful and supportive family consisting of my Darling Husband, 2 year old son known as Pirate Pants and a 6 year old Chinese Shar Pei dog known as His Waggy-ness, as well as my parents, inlaws, brother, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and some pretty darn awesome friends that are practically family.  I feel like I’m very active but I think it’s because I drive Pirate Pants around a lot.  I don’t like the term Weight LOSS because honestly, I don’t want ANY of this weight back.  I’m glad to be sharing this Weight Dropping Adventure with all of you.

Tracey 

Tracey wears many hats in her daily life, including but not limited to: Wife, Mom to two beautiful daughters, Domestic Goddess, Writer. When she’s not trying to micro-manage the chaos that is family life, she’s trying to figure out how to find her way back to her best self amidst all the piles of laundry. Tracey ran a home daycare for over ten years and found eating and snacking with the kids wasn’t the best idea and caused her own “growth spurts.”  In her quest to self she’s tried many different workouts from Tai Chi, Belly dancing, Zumba, Yoga and of course, the Gym.  It’s time to get serious before the big 4-0 and her goal is to make health and fitness a priority for longevity and as an example to her two girls. In the next 8 weeks she’s hoping to lose 15+lbs, to focus on whole/clean eating, to remember to sleep at least 7 hours a night, and to rediscover her long lost elusive Mojo. You can also find her musing at www.missmanneredmom.blogspot.com

Samantha 

After being overweight all of her life, something clicked for Samantha in the latter half of 2011. Her lifestyle at 24 years old was sedentary and her eating habits were poor.  Like many others she knew that she needed to make changes, but the task at hand seemed rather overwhelming.  After making small changes in her diet and becoming more active she started gaining confidence in her ability to reach her 100 pound plus weight loss goal. A yoga lover and cardio enthusiast Samantha is looking to turn up the heat on her health and fitness plan in 2012 and give it her all to achieve her goals. With her amazing support team, husband and fellow gal pals on the same journey, she is more determined than ever to lose the extra weight, get fit and live the rest of her life as a “fit bottom” girl!

Karen

KarenKaren is a 33-year-old wife and mother who has struggled with weight for as long as she can remember. PCOS, unfortunate genetics and bad habits are the culprits behind the extra 70 pounds she carries around everyday. She’s had success getting weight off through various diet programs, but she hasn’t managed to keep the weight off for more than a few months at a time.

With rambunctious 2-year-old Brandon to keep up with, the extra weight has to go – for good. Even more important to Karen, though, is to finally feel healthy and become a better model of healthy living for her son. Karen’s long-term goal is to lose 70 pounds overall.

You can also follow Karen at her blog, Karen’s Chronicles.

Lara

Lara is a 34 year old mom to one year old twins Juliette and Quinn and four year old Kiernan. Although she would like to blame all the extra weight she’s now carrying on having three children in under three years, it is more accurately due to a life-long struggle with her weight and hatred for exercise.

Her long term goal is to lose approximately 70 lbs. Her eight week goal is to lose 10-15 lbs, 5-8 inches and to establish some healthy living goals for the following eight weeks.

Lara also blogs at Gliding through Motherhood and at Kids in the Capital.

Sara

Sara is a 31 year old photographer, runner, binge blogger, multi-tasking maven, and suburb dwelling wife and mom to a 3 year old monkey and a 5 year old firefighter.

Her struggle with weight began just 10 years ago. She had been a competitive horseback rider at the provincial and national level during her teen years but after leaving the sport, stopped exercising and developed a lot of unhealthy eating habits.

Since starting Losing It Ottawa in August of 2010 Sara has lost 50 pounds and (much to her shock and surprise) discovered a love of running.  Wary of gimmicks her focus over the last year has been incorporating a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise and activity into her busy life.  In September 2011 she ran her first (and definitely not her last!) half marathon.

You can also find Sara at Sara McConnell Photography (http://www.saramcconnell.ca) and her personal blog My Points of View (http://www.mypointsofview.ca).

PAST CONTRIBUTORS

Donna

Donna is a 32 year old mama to two fantastic girls, 4-year-old Margo and 2-year-old Maude. She’s a former runner who ran a half marathon the year she got married. Since going back to work after her second maternity leave, she has put 20 pounds on and finds herself lacking in energy. With a strong family history of type-II diabetes she’s determined to get her mojo back.

Long term, Donna wants to get back into running and run a 5km race. Weight wise, her long term goal is to lose 50 lbs and acheive a waist circumference of 32 inches. Her eight week fitness goal is to walk up the ten flights of stairs to her office in one go. She hopes to drop a solid ten pounds, and feel more energetic.

Donna is a crafter and quilter and blogs about her crafting misadventures at Kindred Crafters.

Vicky

VickyFor as long as she can remember, Vicky has had issues with her weight and with self-image. She has lost and regained the same 20 lbs for at least a decade. Vicky is obsessed with her scale and weighs herself 2-3 times a day. If the number is less than the day before, it’s a victory for her. If it’s more, she feels defeated. It’s a vicious cycle that she must break. It’s time for a change and it’s time for her to stop focusing on numbers and to start thinking about her health.

Although her long term goal is to lose 30 lbs, which will get her back to the same weight she was on her wedding day six years ago, she realizes that losing weight is about more than seeing the numbers on the scale go down. She wants to feel healthy, have more energy, feel good in her clothing, and set a good example for her kids.

Vicky is a 32 year old mom of two kids. Her son Joel is almost 4, and her daughter Mieka is 1. You can follow her blog at Some kind of Wondermom, or on the Kids in the Capital blog where she frequently posts.

Sherrilynne

SherrilynneSherrilynne is 40 something years old and is mom to two grown up daughters Robin and Amanda. She has struggled to keep slim and fit most of her adult life and suffers from hypo-thyroidism.  Although she was born in Ottawa and lived here for the first 30 years of her life, she’s been living abroad for a long time and is now in the British Isles with her husband, Graham. They are in the process of immigrating back to Canada and hope to be living in Ottawa by early spring 2011.

Sherrilynne’s long term goal is to lose approximately 35 lbs. Her five week goal is to lose 5% of her body weight and to work out 5 times a week. Her 12 week goal is to lose 10% of her body weight. She follows the WeightWatchers ProPoints program online.

Sherrilynne also blogs at sherrilynnestarkie.com and on several client websites.  You can follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

Ron

Ron is a 39 year old husband to Natalie and father of two: Zoé 6 and Samuel 3. He works for a multi-national company as a software developer.  He loves hockey in all forms and is an avid Ottawa Senators fan.

Growing up without a father had an impact on his life that he didn’t realize existed until recently. Always an active child, his desire to play sports was stymied and the kick in the rear he needed wasn’t there. Weight was an issue from a young age, but it really became a problem in University.

The ultimate goal is to live a long happy life with his family. Getting there though will require weight loss. His goal is 210 pounds with a starting weight of 301 pounds. 90 pounds to lose could feel like an insurmountable problem.

Fortunately, Ron is ready for the challenge.  He’s been on his weight loss journey for almost 10 years.  Ron used Body-for-Life over several years to get from a peak of 345 pounds down to 250 pounds.

Over the past year, though, he’s put on 50 pounds. His eight week weight loss goal is 20 pounds.

You can read more about Ron’s journey at One 2-Eight.

Annie

AnnieAnnie is a 27 year old who has been very active in sports (baseball, volleyball, snowboarding and various other sports) since she can remember but poor food choices and some life choices has led to excess weight. She is single, moved from Manitoba 3 years ago and is happy and loves life here in Ottawa. Mind you, a few things are about to change.

For the past 3 weeks, she has started doing cardio, weight training, making healthy choices a priority and all that combined, she already feels some changes in mind, body and spirit. For someone who didn’t like and couldn’t run for more than 30 seconds at a time, she can now run for almost a mile at a steady pace. She is building up her endurance for her 1st offical 5K in May and one of her goals is to do it without stopping. As well as losing 15-20 lbs in the next 8-10 weeks and a total of 65 in the next 7-8 months.

Knowing there will be ups and certainly downs, she will keep her head up high, do it with a smile on her face and keep putting one foot in front of the other as she knows the only way to get something done, is to actually do it. :)

You can follow Annie’s journey @ http://hellooothisisme.tumblr.com

Jennifer

Jennifer is a 33 (almost 34!) year old singleton, who moved to Ottawa from The Rock 10 years ago. She has struggled with her weight for approximately 22 years of her life, and watched it bounce around for awhile, but always saw it creep up, and up, and up. That is until she decided to put down the Ruffles and start dealing with the things that kept her turning to food for comfort and solace. And the things that kept men at arm’s length at all times.

Dating is hard enough in today’s world, but dating when you have always let your weight dictate your self-worth is even harder. So, Jennifer is practicing being brave by sharing her story here and letting go of the walls she keeps around her – all in an effort to live her best and most open life. While this journey is most definitely not about finding a man, as much as it is about finding herself and her truest happiness and strength…ultimately Jennifer does want to find someone who can see past the exterior, and join her for some of the fabulous events she signs up for these days – or at least meet her at the finish line when she’s done.

Jennifer’s long term goals are to lose 58 pounds by August 13th, run a 10km in May, ride 145 km over the course of 2 days for the MS Rona Ride To Kemptville, and someday meet Jillian Michaels.
In the coming 8 weeks, Jennifer would like to lose between 15 and 20 pounds, build up to a comfortable 7km run, and track her food intake daily.

Jennifer also blogs at http://1qtnewf.blogspot.com/

24 Responses to Who We Are

  1. Amazing blog ladies!!!!!! I will be reading and “hopefully” losing weight along with you!!

  2. You are all very brave for making this journey together and on line, I look forward to your comments and losing a few of those Mommy pounds my self!

  3. Anne says:

    Looking forward to following!

  4. Kerry says:

    Way to go, ladies!!

  5. Audrey says:

    I look forward to following your progress…your blog is very timely for me.

  6. Anna says:

    I’m totally moved and inspired by what you’re all up to!

    This is a game well worth playing, so consider me an ally – part of your team, a cheerleader for you!

  7. Somekindofmom says:

    Thanks Anna! We definitely need cheerleaders to stay motivated!

  8. Danny Starr says:

    Great idea, great blog – best of luck!

  9. Julie says:

    wow, what courage! I too will be reading along.

  10. Lynne Davis says:

    You guys are awesome! It takes a lot of courage to speak up. I will be following your journey.

  11. Amy says:

    Makes me wish I lived in Ottawa so I could join.

  12. Kiki says:

    Thank you for all being so honest and public about your weight loss struggles. I will be following and hopefully joining along with you.

  13. eisangel3 says:

    Thanks Kiki! We’re excited about the next 8 weeks and all the people who will be joining us.

  14. This is a fantastic blog! I will be cheering and learning along with you!

  15. Dorrie says:

    throw away the scale.. my friend taught me that.. my obsession is over…
    looking forward to following you all…

  16. I found you through Twitter. Very glad I did. I’m on the second half of a 100+ pound weight loss journey that I started last August.

  17. fitforakid says:

    Congrats to all of you on starting your journey and the progress you’ve already made along the way.

    Though I have been at an “ideal” weight for the last 10 years, I was up and down 30 pounds in my teens and early twenties. I now still struggle with feeling good about myself and think about my weight daily… especially now that I think I’ve put on a few pounds and am working to stop the creep.

    I’m reading along with you and urging you to remember that the journey is not only physical but mental and emotional too (I’m still working on the latter two).

  18. jenn says:

    Just found your site + following you on twitter. I’m also from the Ottawa area 29 years old and have struggled with my wieght since I can remember. I’m lookign forward to loosing 30-35lbs and having a healthier relationship with food with you girls!!

  19. I congratulate you ladies in supporting each other in your quest for great health. As a Personal Trainer, Yoga & Spinning instructor and R.I.F.T.icious group fitness leader, I promote healthy eating and fitness habits. If we FEEL good in our own bodies we will look FABULOUS no matter what the scale says! So stick to it, persistence will pay off in the very long run. It takes time to change a lifetime of habits. Every day counts! We have to really want to change and believe that we can do it. It is hard work! A support network of some kind is crucial.
    The rewards of great health can not be measured with a measuring tape or a scale!!!
    Let me know if I can help in any way.

  20. Lisa says:

    Just found your blogs. I love it that you’re doing it together. I just started one myself. Someone on your site said there is something to be said for making your plans public..to say the least. I look forward to hearing more about your successes. I will be setting goals for myself..daily…weekly and monthy too. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    Lisa North of Boston.

  21. Maranda says:

    Just found your blog and am loving all the different points of view and different personal stories. I need some inspriration right now, so thank you!

  22. Just found this blog too, thanks to a friend, and I look forward to reading, and stealing some inspiration from the written word. It’s hard to share personal stories, and struggles, and I love the personal stories. Thanks for sharing!

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