This year, I’m making my annual New Year’s resolution to get fitter. I make this resolution every year, but last year the outcome was a bit different. I had just embarked on a get-fit program, watching my diet strictly and working out with near-religious fervour. My goal was to lose 40 pounds by Canada Day and to my unlimited surprise, I accomplished it. Since then, I’ve maintained and lost a bit more, and am now about 48 pounds lighter and six inches slimmer (now at about 179 pounds and a 32-inch waist) than I was a year ago. I’ve tried to maintain a good diet as well, following (more or less) the Canada Food Guide. I’m not quite as strict on it as I was before Canada Day, but I’m still eating a lot better than I was before I started.

As I went through that process, I blogged and shared the occasional update in the magazine. It was fun to share my progress with readers, and it was motivational to hear your responses to my progress. Since I stopped reporting on it in July, readers have frequently asked how I’m doing, if I’ve stuck with it, if I’m still facing challenges.

So with a new year upon us, it seems the ideal time to take a new fitness journey together. Readers still seem eager to hear about it and, frankly, I need some sort of big-picture goal, or this whole thing is going to go off the rails. I’ve set my sights on the Blue Nose Marathon. I’m not an especially serious runner, and I’m plagued with temperamental knees, so I’m not thinking of the full marathon—but the 5K is certainly doable, the 10K seems within reach and if the winter training goes especially well, I think I could do the half marathon.

I’ve continued working out with GoodLife Park Lane, but haven’t been doing personal training. Instead, I’ve returned to team training. My very first gym experience in this project was a Boot Camp at GoodLife. It was gruelling but yielded immediate results, and was a great (if shocking) discovery of what my real fitness level was. Since then I’ve done two six-week TRX suspension-training classes (a simpler-than-it-sounds way of using your body’s own weight to power your workout and dramatically improve pretty well everything). And late last fall, I started my third round of TRX.

Returning to that team training has been fun. It’s been very motivational to see how I’ve been able to increase my intensity and difficulty and get more out of the workouts. My goal now is to lose five to 10 more pounds, and get in shape for the Blue Nose. That will include improving my stamina and strengthening my knees and ankles.

So, as I go through this process again, I’d like to hear from you. Have you run the Blue Nose? What advice do you have for me? Email your thoughts, stories and tips to

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Of course, living healthier doesn’t mean never having treats—it just means having them more strategically, offsetting your indulgences with exercise and healthier choices. So I’ll be strapping on my running shoes a lot this winter, as I intend to take in a lot of the Savour Food & Wine Festival, which returns in February. Now in its 10th year, Savour celebrates the best of the region’s culinary talent, with special deals, wine tastings, tours and the popular Savour Food & Wine Show. In this issue, I talk with organizer Gordon Stewart and get the skinny on this year’s event. And for this issue’s cover, designer Beth Muzzerall created the striking photo illustration (featuring many shots by Tammy Fancy) showing what Savour is all about.

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