Tag Archives: healthy eating

Reconnecting with a healthier me…

Just back from my morning walk, a new habit I am forming, and I composed a fabulous blog post while walking.  It’s just too bad that I cannot dictate it while I am walking, but I’ll try to capture the essence of it to share my journey with you all!

I am one of the oodles of folks who has had issues with weight since I born.  Much of it came from being called fat as a child, and then being bigger/ taller than everyone in my grade all the way through elementary school and even into early high school.  I was never super active, but I was not completely sedentary either, as I walked or biked everywhere as a kid/teen in our small town.  I delivered newspapers as my high school job – was not into babysitting at all – and until my final year when I was allowed to use our moped, I walked the route every day.

So, throughout high school I maintained an average weight of 160 lbs.  Briefly, I went down to 145, but mostly stayed at 160.  I am 5feet 8 inches tall and I apologize to all my metric friends for the imperial measurements – but that’s what I can relate to!

And I believed I was fat. I was cool, I was smart, I had friends, and great hair and funky clothes { it was the 80s}, but in my mind, I was fat. I was not fat – I know this now!

There’s another 20 years ish to cover if I was going to relate my entire weight story, but I’ll skip ahead and gloss over to speed up the process!

My late teens into early 20’s =  in design school and poor, so basically in shape

My 20’s = emotional roller coaster ride, lots of angry but walking helped keep that in check and my weight fairly stable – still in the 160-170 range.

My late 20s, early 30s = Major emotional shift to happiness and the right marriage = UhOh – happy newlywed fat crept in during the first 3-5 years of our marriage.

2003 = Seeing myself in a dance video from a friend’s recital, and watching my “disco ball” baladi dress creep up my thighs, as I was really too big to be wearing this dress…my weight had crept up to 225 lbs. This photo is of me in December 2002, a few months before the disco ball dress incident!

I was teaching 9 belly dance classes per week and still performing when I could, but I was not stopping myself from eating the huge pots of pasta, hot turkey sandwiches and fries and so much more.  I was also not alone on this journey into the world of excess – my hubby was right there by my side!  He was up to 270 lbs when we both made the decision that things had to change.


July 2nd, 2003, we embarked on our own version of the meal replacement/ calorie counting plan – the big one that has bars and shakes – cause they were on sale at our local grocery chainstore, and I still needed to have chocolate in my life!

By late December/ early January, I was back down at 170 and so pleased to finally be able to buy a pair of pants at a regular store again – as opposed to having to go into the large size stores!

This photo is from December 2003 – the layers poured off as we counted calories and reduced our portion sizes – along with using the meal replacement bars to get a good start on the process.

At that time, I decided I could actually feel comfortable enough with myself on video to produce Halyma’s Belly Dance Lesson One: Absolute Basics for Absolute Beginners. I felt great and really had so much fun doing it, that Lesson Two: Basic Moves that Move You was produced the following year! { advertising part over now}

Over the past few years, I have fallen into a new cycle of yoyo-ing with my weight and now want to explore settling into a good place and staying there.

The cycle goes something like this:

Less work = less stress = time to eat healthy, get into shape, take more care of myself…This would be the winter months mainly, with a break in August to try to counter bad habits incurred over the summer. I lose weight and feel pretty good about myself until….

More work = more stress = more take-out, less time to cook, etc.  This takes place from the late spring, through the  summer, and continues into the fall.

The Plan: Continue what I have started since January:

1-Counting calories

2-Doing it together with the hubby makes it so much easier and increases my accountability!

3- Walking more [ I am still teaching 5-6 hours per week, but I want to increase and change up my activity  options and walking I enjoy.]

4-Keep losing the pounds until I hit 160 – I have lost 13 pounds already since January 2nd, and am on track to reach my goal by mid/end of March. So yay me.

5- Stay within a 5 pound yoyo range – well, maybe 10 pounds, if I start to build more muscle – it could happen!

The main tool I am using are Lose it [Ipod Touch/Iphone app] but any tracking system that works would do it!  I have heard of Spark, and I used the MyCalorieCounter.com system for a while too – they all have good ways to encourage you to get healthy!

January 16, 2010

So, here’s where I am today: 174 pounds and walking 1 hour every morning for the past week and a half.

Thanks for reading – I hope this has given you some ideas!



How are you doing on finding the healthier you?

Or have you already done it and have some hints to share to keep on the path?

Feel free to leave some comments, mention any tools you are using, or what has worked for you!

Carob Coconut Cupcakes – my entry for Capital Cupcake Camp


Mini goodness!
Mini goodness!

Vegan Carob Coconut Cupcakes



1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cups carob powder
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoons ginger
½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoons baking powder
⅓ cup coconut oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup molasses
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
½ cup water [ you can use coffee if you like]


Cream together the coconut oil [looks more like shortening to me than oil], honey, molasses, and cider vinegar.

Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl until well blended.

Alternately add the dry ingredients and the water to the coconut mixture, mixing well in between additions.

Make 12 cupcakes or 24 mini cupcakes and bake at 375 degree for about 10 minutes. Check with a toothpick to confirm done,but they are vegan so they can be gooey inside too!

Sprinkle the top with coconut, nuts, seeds or whatever you like.


I had a great time – congrats to the organizers for a very successful day!

Upcoming Events in Halyma’s world!

Life is getting busy!  And that’s fabulous!

Sometimes I like to sit and make lists of all of the events, workshops, classes, and shows I have in my calendar for the next while, just to get my head wrapped around it all and sort of my timing.I’ll be performing in a few charity shows, as well as  baking cupcakes! I’ll be teaching along with a colleague of amazing status how to out together fabulous belly dance costumes! And I’ll be promoting my eco friendly products, in the hopes of spreading some awareness and joy!

I hope that if you are in Ottawa during the next few weeks that you’ll be able to come out to paricipate in some of these fun activities! Be sure to say HI!

March 21/22, 2009: TAV Creations/Eco-TAV at the Ottawa Go Green Expo

New products along with the growingly popular Eco-TAV Napkins and Pouches!

pouch-napkin promo shot

March 29, 2009 Featuring two charity events!  

s52492299268_9978The first will be in the afternoon and I’ll be participating as a baker at the first annual Ottawa CupCake Camp. They are hoping that over 2000 cupcakes will be there for the tasting!




In the evening, I’ll be part of a group of creative souls raising money for another at the Mercury Lounge in  Ottawa….Halyma performs at:pARTicipate! A Benefit for Hollis Hawthorne.  

Saturday, April 4, 2009: Randala and Halyma’s Costuming Extravaganza or How to Costume the Belly Dance Goddess in You!  Check out our Promo video!


April 18, 2009 – Another double header!  

Not only am I, TAV Creations /Eco-TAV, in the Ottawa Eco-Stewardship Fair during the day, but that evening I will have students performing as part of an eclectic  charity  Belly dance” show at the Glebe Community centre! It promises to be a great show with a wide variety of performances demonstrating the evolution of belly dance!