Walkin’ my Path

Long live the Easter Bunny!  Mostly because he will not be appearing anywhere near our house!  Hop on by, you chocolaty devil, you.  Every Sunday when we go on our little mall date, Ray buys me one chocolate from Purdy’s.  I always get the dark chocolate Himalayan sea salt caramel.  Sometimes I think I would like something different but I feel like if what I get isn’t as good then I’m going to be disappointed and thinking about the stupid thing to distraction until the next Sunday!  I read somewhere today that going through a realistic imagining of eating a tempting item is enough for your brain to believe that you actually ate it and therefore you can stop jonesing for it.  Unfortunately in a different study, I read that if your imagination is vivid enough your body can have the same physiological reaction as if you actually consumed the item….right down to actually gaining weight.  So…..think about the item just vividly enough not to eat it but don’t think about it so vividly that you trick your body into reacting to it.  ;)

 

I’ve been thinking about thinking quite a bit lately.  Mostly about how powerful the brain is and how, once you get a thought in there, it can be nearly impossible to rid yourself of it.  Self-fulfilling prophesy, anyone?  I’ve been trying to tell myself I’m happy here…where I’m expending as much time and effort as I have to expend while still balancing the rest of everything.  I think back on when I was the most successful and I came to that “most successful” place when I was single…when I lived alone during the week and I had nothing but time on my hands.  I continued along that path after I moved in with Ray because I was already on it.  I continued doing “things” whether it was walking, running, spinning or lifting.  I had enough foundation built that I could get away with not spending as much time on it as I did previously.  And….as time goes on and things happen, a little less time is spent on it.  And then…more time passes and more things happen and a little more time is chipped away.  And so it goes.  And as those bits of time are chipped away, my foundation was also being slowly chipped away.  And now I’m here…..and I think I’ll never get back there…..not because I’m negative or I don’t want to be there…but because I am not willing nor do I have the kind of time to expend on that goal.  Maybe if I wanted it badly enough I could do it again….it would certainly look different though.  It was 7 years ago.  And that was 7 years of life….ups, downs, coasting and working at it.  I don’t want to relive those 7 years.  I don’t want to try and force myself back into the life that got me to 165 pounds.  I’m sorry…I just don’t.  I want to live forward and new and fresh and if that means that all I can do is what I can do……then that brings me to wherever it brings me.  I welcome myself to that place….that place of balance and health and acceptance.

BlN1s0tCMAAO5uX

I’ve been having great enjoyment in logging walking kilometers this month.  The weather has been great for it and I love seeing my routes and totals start to line up.  I’m so fortunate that I have an endless variety of walkable routes and destinations right outside my door.  I can make innumerable combinations of hills, stairs, forests, urban trails or lovely manicured residential areas and quiet side streets.  I can’t say I’ve noticed any particular change in my body but I have noticed a huge improvement in my physical ability since April 1st.  The walk I did yesterday after work with Gracie was one I’d always wanted to try but was scared of/intimidated by (what I thought was) the huge hill right in the middle of the route.  Turned out to be nothing but a blip on the radar, all the kilometers I’ve put in walking home uphill from work conditioned me for that hill, I guess!

When Gracie and I got home from our walk, I sat in the driveway in the setting sun, chatting with my hubby until it was time to go and make dinner.  I made the Tod Mun Chicken Cakes from Well Fed 2 (processed the “batter” on the weekend so I just had to cook them) with the cucumber relish, a side salad and a lovely quartered tomato.  It was very refreshing and flavourful, definitely a winner!  The cucumber relish makes the cakes, don’t skip it!

Tod Mun

Today is a drive home day….I got quite the blister on my foot during our trek last night and thought I would give it a bit of a rest….and I’ve logged over 23 kilometers in the last 4 days so a rest seems like a nice thing to do.  I’ll still take my dog for a walk when I get home, just nothing epically long or hard.  That’s all for me…..to summarize: no chocolate, find happiness in where I am, loving walking, eating chicken cakes.  When I put it like that it seems really dull!

If you’re on MapMyRun and want to connect, my username is “ladyshanny”

A Gift

I was gifted 4 hours yesterday. Four hours where I would have normally been otherwise engaged until such time as it was time to start cooking dinner. From 1:30 – 5:30 last night, I was FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! At around noon, the power lines outside of our office building came down in a huge ball of white flames. Arcing and firing and killing the power to our complex (ironic since we are a high voltage electrical service firm, LOL!). We all hung around chatting and wondering what was going to happen until around 1pm when I finally took it upon myself to go and talk to the utility line crew and ask what the ETA on restoration would be. “Several hours” was the answer…..and with that? FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what does a high functioning woman such as myself DO with 4 whole hours of unspoken for time? The following list tore through my head (and yes, I did think I could get it all done if I just worked quick enough):

 

  • Mow the lawn
  • Weed the garden
  • Clean the house
  • Wash my bike
  • Vacuum my car
  • Go to the bookstore

 

Fortunately I had a solid 6 minute commute to come to my senses. No one knew I would be home. Just me. And my dog. And I would be no further behind than I was right at that moment if I did none of those things. And no one would ever know! So NOW what’s a woman to do? Whatever in the whole world I wanted (that took no more than 4 hours and didn’t cost any money).

The one thing that I have been missing a whole bunch lately is the time and sunshine to take my dog for a long and unhurried walk. I have a long route that I do as a treat from time to time and I have been itching to do for a couple of weeks now. A gorgeous and sunny bonus afternoon of secret time seemed like the perfect opportunity!

Map

Since the point of the walk wasn’t to set any sort of speed record and I had as much time as I wanted, we set off at a nice moderate pace. No music, just sunshine and a breeze and my dog.

Gracie

Our “destination” was Como Lake Park…a teensy little lake in tucked in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The actual path around the lake is not long, just a kilometer but it’s really pretty and you are right along the edge of the water.

Willow Lake

On the way there I’d spotted something out of the corner of my eye that I’d never seen before and wanted to take a look at it on the way back.

Totem

A beautiful (and VERY tall) totem pole on the grounds of a rec centre and at the entrance to a public rose garden. Of course none of the roses were up yet but the totem pole was really cool to see. At the base of the totem pole was a time capsule…..I should have taken a picture of that, woops. In all, a really neat little stop along our way back home.

Our 7.70km walk (4.8 miles) took us about an hour and a quarter…which included lots of sniff-stops for Gracie and the photos along the way. It was so enjoyable and it completely recharged my spirit. Once home and showered off, I still had over 2 hours to spend alone….so I listened to my heart and went and laid on the couch. Yes. My heart told me to go watch television. I haven’t watched TV in almost 3 weeks except for the news in the morning. But on this day, this bonus day of secret time……me, the PVR, a juicy gala apple and a handful of nuts. Oh yes! As much as my spirit needed the sunny walk with my dog, it also needed to sit undisturbed on the couch and do nothing.

Today, my secret time is but a memory; wiped away with the start of a new day. But while the time itself might be gone, the small spark that landed here within me stayed lit….and I feel good today. Great even. Energized and positive and free. I will take that!

Of Misunderstandings & Great Books

I slept like a rock last night. Solid sleep with minimal interruption. You know why? Because I am doing Tara’s ACC this month and because of that, I walked 10.1 kilometers yesterday (6.3 miles). Let me explain. I walked home….a little over 7 kilometers (and nearly got run over TWICE…..both of which involved screaming and swearing on my part….the adrenaline of which certainly fuelled my speedy ascent). Let me back up. On Monday night Ray asked me if I wanted to go on a date on Friday. He said “Drive home on Friday and then walk from home to the pub (3km) to meet me for dinner.”. I thought that was very sweet and fully agreed….and then decided I would walk Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Mid afternoon we talked on the phone and he asked if I would switch date-night to that night instead of Friday….mostly because we would never get into the pub at that time of day on a Friday. I agreed and said “But you know I’m walking home today, right?”. He acknowledged and I assumed that he would be at home waiting for me and we would pop over to the pub together. About 2 kilometers left in my walk I got this text from Ray: “Here.”  Do you see where this is going?? I got home after a 7km march uphill (and a solid jog at the end) to find that there was no one home, door was locked. A quick phone call revealed that Ray had mixed up our conversations about the date night and went from work right to the pub. And then asked if I could just walk over….you know….since he’d already ordered beer. My first reaction was “absolutely not” and then I realized that if I did walk over that I could add to my ACC tally. Once my irritation wore off I made pretty good time over to the pub. When I got there I was soaked with sweat and looked like the backside of ass…..but what do you expect when you walk over 10k in 90 minutes?

Dinner (and my gluten free Omission beer…which I used as an electrolyte replacement, LOL) was delicious after all that walking! So that was the extent of my Tuesday. By the time we got back from the pub and went and picked my car up it was 8pm, I had a hot bath and then crawled into bed! I have a pretty wicked headache (yesterday too) that I wish would just die…..so I’m trying to drown it in Coconut Oolong tea. It’s not working yet but I’ll keep at it! ;)

Last night I finished the book “Eat the Yolks” by Liz Wolfe. I’d ordered it from Chapters after seeing all the hype online about it (I’m not normally a hype-chaser….I think I was bored at work that day) and it came in early last week. I’d kept reading reviews about how it was funny and witty and I couldn’t imagine how a book about the science of food could be so….but it was! It was a very entertaining read, I found myself chuckling more than once. It’s very much like listening to a very smart girlfriend talk in a dry, witty way. The book completely changed my view of cholesterol, saturated fat (even though I already knew it wasn’t bad), heart disease and various other lies that the government has banded together with big industry to “educate” us on. The book is ultimately that, an explanation about why the things that we’re brought up to believe are untrue, where they came from and what the actual science says. I will fully admit that it is even more difficult for me now, to sit and listen to people I know make comments about avoiding saturated fats and animal products and subbing in “vegetable” oils (NOT made out of vegetables, btw) and how milk should be our source of calcium. I’ve learned over the years that most people aren’t interested in hearing different points of view and many people are seriously attached to what they think they know and often act like you are attacking them when you try to mention that things may not be as they think. Of course, there are studies that prove almost any point of view and people cling to these like a drowning man to a life raft…..but Eat The Yolks explains why those studies aren’t exactly honest and it’s actually a bit infuriating once you understand what BS you’ve been fed. She also discusses why supplements aren’t an awesome idea; mostly because they are often synthetic and because they are always singular…and real food does not have singular nutrients, it has co-nutrients that all help each other get absorbed, converted and utilized.

I do have to say that there was one main turn-off about this book and that was the fact that she talks on about properly raised animals and the products that come from them as well as healthy soil…and she talks about them A LOT. It isn’t until the very last page or two that she makes a concession to say that getting and eating only properly raised animals and produce raised in healthy soil is simply not feasible for everyone. It isn’t until the very last page that she says to make whatever small change you can and let it build on the next. To find eggs from a local chicken pasture or to use the farm markets when possible. At various points throughout the book I thought to myself “you can stop now, you’ll never be able to achieve this level of “goodness””. Of course, I didn’t stop reading and the book has so much useful information in it that I am very glad that I didn’t. But I had to remind myself more than once that I do the best I can with the resources that I have and that simply has to be good enough. Would I love to be able to meet my cattle farmer and watch the cows range and know that my pork came from happy pigs that wandered around eating grubs and small animals like they are meant to do? Of course I would…but I can’t. I found the book a bit aggressive in the repetition of “properly raised animals, raw dairy (which is illegal in Canada), healthy soil” and how produce and meat raised in any way other than completely naturally, is stripped of most nutrients. I get why she says it, I do, it’s the absolute dream to be able to turn our backs on factory farms with their inhumane treatment & feeding of animals and to snub our noses at any produce that comes from an industrial farm. But I felt that this was all said to the exclusion of simply doing the best you can with what you have available. Yes, meats and produce raised in industrial farms DO have less nutrients than their natural and organic counterparts, they just do. But you are STILL better off eating grocery store meat and produce than ANYTHING that comes in a box, bag or package…..and I felt that point was missed a bit along the way.

In all I would highly recommend this book to ANYONE who has an interest in their health or who cares to further educate themselves on the science of nutrition or who had a funny feeling that government recommendations have purposes and motivations that have nothing to do with our health. Read it! Then read it again and then pass it around!

Weekend Wrap-up!

Holy, rude start to Monday! Let me back up though, before I explain what happened, and tell you about the weekend. Friday afternoon I set off to walk home on a bit of a different route. Instead of winding around the streets and cutting through neighborhoods, I decided to go straight up the gut of the mountain via the hydro easement. It was a straight ascent of 190m (475 feet). It was nice to be so far away from traffic and walking on organic matter….unfortunately the “organic matter” was still really mucky in places so that route will have to wait until later in the spring when we’ve had a drying trend for longer than one day.

475 feet, straight up!

475 feet, straight up!

Saturday morning my sister came over so my hubby could work on her car and then I took off for my hot stone massage. The massage was……alright. I really should respect my own self more because I don’t overly enjoy massage, never have…and 90 minutes is a LONG time! I was certainly glad that I went and the heat was fabulous and my masseuse was wonderful and I might consider going again…but not for 90 minutes. That just seemed epically long. Anyway, Saturday afterwards we didn’t do too much, went and bought a new fridge for downstairs (SO excited about that, it comes in 2 weeks and it’s white and clean and new and energy efficient!) and then came home and made the WellFed2 Salmon Cakes…..but with wild caught Sockeye Salmon that my sister brought me rather than the canned. We also made the WF2 Tartar sauce and LOVED it. Ray was watching me make it and was getting all fussy about the pickles that get chopped into it and the pickle juice that gets stirred in. Turns out he has never known what tartar sauce was made of and prefers to maintain the mystery of certain things, LOL!

Sunday morning I went for breakfast with the lovely Tara where we had delicious omelets and a good catch up visit. When I got home, we took Gracie for a walk in a new park (new to her) near our house, mostly to scope out and see if I can use that park as a shortcut when walking home. It’s all unmarked mountain bike trails and the consensus is that I will probably not attempt to go it alone. It’s fairly dense forest, not really the place for someone who has a retarded sense of direction….and I don’t really want to be in there lost and alone, so…….no shortcut through those woods for me!

That was about it for our weekend.

Soooooo……last night. Well….more like this morning. 4am. I wake up to something tickling my in the neck/chest. Put my hand up to scratch and discover some kind of bug! Which then proceeded to attack me, bite/sting me in the neck 3 times before I could get it off of me, whereby it fell onto the bed and bit/stung me twice more in the back of the arm! At first I couldn’t really figure out what the hell was going on, my earplugs were still in, my eye mask was still on and I had searing pain in my neck and my arm. All I could think was, “SPIDER”. I (none so gently) woke Ray up and told him I’d been bit by something and he said “Are you sure?” and “Go back to sleep.”. HA, ya, buddy, I’m SURE! I flipped on the light and discovered a BEE crawling around on the floor. I went to get a cup to trap it with and came back to find it crawling up the side of our frigging bed again! (I have goosebumps even typing this again!).

Stung

Can you see my three sting marks??

 

Wasp

I’m not so sure that this isn’t a bee….it had a fluffy, non aerodynamic body, pollen all over its legs. But it stung me five times…..and still had its stinger in…..which I didn’t think bees could do?!

We tried to go back to sleep after capturing the intruder but I had the heebie-jeebies too bad…..so I was wide awake….but also had taken a Benadryl for the stings. I’m a bit of a zombie this morning and wish desperately to go home and sleep off the Benadryl. I am walking home after work this afternoon, hopefully the fresh air and exercise help me feel a bit more normal.

That’s it for me today. Weigh in, have you ever been woken up from a dead sleep by something super strange and out of the ordinary?

Busy-busy

There is a man who sits behind me at work and loves to tell us all about how busy he is. We’re not completely sure what he even does all day (and night) but he’s “busy” enough that he cannot eat food, go outside, make phone calls, return emails, enjoy sunshine, drink tea or anything else that one might associate with living a relatively normal life. He is BUSY. He uses “busy” as an excuse not to live his life. He also uses it as some sort of superhero martyr cape so that we will all feel badly for him while respecting the shit out of him for giving up his life and instead just being….well….busy.

For some reason today it got me to thinking about that awful little four letter word; B-U-S-Y. We all use it and I somehow think that we use it to the exclusion of other words or concepts. We say we’re busy when in fact we’re tired and just want to sit down. We say we’re busy when in fact it’s just the pace of modern life. We say we’re busy when we don’t want to do things or go places. We say we’re busy so that people think that we’re doing important things and living full lives.

As part of My Passion Experiment in April, I refuse to be “busy”. I refuse to use the word or embrace the concept and I refuse to use any of its aliases either (swamped, buried, crazy, hectic). Instead of “busy”, I’m going to actually speak the truth, let me practice.

 

Scenario: I have been invited to an event

Old way: Oh, we would love to be able to go but we’re busy.

Truthful Way: Thank you so much for the invitation but I’m going to pass. Have fun though.

Truthful Way (option B): Thank you so much for the invitation but we’re already doing something that night.

 

Scenario: See group of friends after absence who ask “Where have you been?!”

Old Way: Ach, I know, I’ve been absolutely swamped lately, my life is running at 100 miles an hour!

New Way: Oh hey! Good to see you! (people generally will not come back and ask the same question a second time)

 

Scenario: How’ve you been/What have you been up to?

Old Way: Good, so busy though.

New Way: Pretty good. My life is full so I always have something to do or look forward to!

The thing is, we are all busy. Every moment. There is always some draw on our time. Someone wants something or something needs to be cooked or there’s the gym or your hobby or your family. There’s bills to pay and jobs to go to and alone time to squeeze out. We are all busy. I wonder sometimes, if someone asked how it was going and I answered truthfully, would I be less of a “valid” woman? “It’s going really well! I mostly only do the things that I want to do, I fill the majority of my time with things I care about and surround myself with people I care about.” Does that devalue my contribution to society or my life? Do I gain more respect by saying, “Ach, I’m so busy, I barely have time to brush my teeth in the morning before I have to bolt! I work X-# hours a day and then try to find time to squeeze in exercise before making dinner. Husband and I only see each other for a couple of hours in the evening and then I crash into bed completely exhausted!”

When I was writing both of these statements, I actually had the same scenario in my mind for both of them. In reading them back to myself, the first one seems really “self” centered (not self-centered) and calm and positive and on purpose and in control and the second one seems really manic and depressing and anxious and out of control. It also strikes me as odd (being the one who is writing this, even!) that the second one has a more “important” feel to it. Like the woman in the second one is important and hurried and no nonsense. She’s the polar opposite to the first woman who appears to be kind of laid back and not in too much of a rush to do anything. And yet they are the same woman. One version has a grateful, gracious, truthful and relaxed understanding of her life and the other version is trapped in the “busy” paradigm. One version is owning her decisions and how she chooses to direct her life and the other is more blamey and reactive.

It’s my perception that the first one will come off as dismissible and the second one will come off as more relatable. The first one seems almost….maybe dumb? And the second one comes off as smart and quick and on-fire. Since I’ve already stated that they are both living the exact same life, why is that?  Why do we not have more value for Woman A and more pity for Woman B?

There’s not a huge finishing point to this post….mostly because I don’t have an answer as to why we women value the negative side of a “flat out, can’t stop, every second accounted for” mentality more than we do the expressing of enjoyment and triumph that we have these beautiful lives to live. I do live flat out (because I have lived a half a life and it was awful) and I can’t stop (coffin, anyone?) and every second of my day is accounted for (don’t most people know what’s coming from hour to hour?).

I have a full life but I am not busy.

Fighting Spirit

I’ve walked home two days in a row this week, Tuesday and Wednesday. Total of 14km, 10 of which are 12% incline or more and the rest are either flat or slightly up. I’ve also marched up 206 steps along the way! I feel SO happy with this, a happiness that I did not feel with biking. Don’t get me wrong, I was pleased with biking in that I was getting to and from work without a car and I was proud of myself for doing something totally different and out of my comfort zone. But all four times I did it, I had apprehension and a bit of fear and when I first decided to commute by bike it’s not something that I took into consideration. When I was walking home for the first time, as steep as it is, all I kept thinking is, “THIS is what I wanted, this right here!”.   Music and fresh air and sunshine and exertion!

 

Even though it’s only been two days, I am feeling better about myself overall and I almost think I even look better! Better hair, happier eyes, skin evening out. Is that possible? Or it’s simply the veil of disappointment with myself lifting and I see the good things instead of the bad? Whatever, I’ll take it. I’m also feeling the uphill climb and stairs all over my lower body and that makes me very happy. That’s something I did not experience when pedal-commuting….hard as it was while it was happening, I felt absolutely nothing when I was done and that was slightly disappointing.

Walking

I guess I could have at least SMILED!

 

I’ve been debating whether or not to “sign up” for Tara’s April Century Challenge.   In order to complete the Century via walking home alone, I would have to walk 14 days out of 21 working days. Because I’m debating it, I know that I’m leaving myself room to cop out because walking home 3-4 days per week is a big deal to me. It’s a commitment to myself and lately I’ve been really hesitant to make any promises to myself. What is that bullshit all about??

I’M IN. I hereby declare that I will achieve 100 kilometers walked by midnight on April 30th. I recognize that I may find this difficult or tiring and that there’s a good chance I need to buy new shoes. I might get wet and dirty and some days I’ll be crabby about it and that’s alright. Asking myself to make this commitment of 100 kilometers walked is less about the distance I’ll travel and more about making a goddamn commitment and then actually keeping it through thick and thin. It’s about insisting on keeping promises to myself and it’s about doing something hard and not quitting when it gets difficult. It’s about finally grabbing onto my fighting spirit that has been lingering just outside of my grasp.

June 1st is 9 weeks away and the start of the middle of the year. I’ve done so much good for myself mentally in these first months of the year, I’ve set and achieved goals, I’ve formed new habits, I’ve driven the passion back into my life and driven out the seeds of depression. I’ve made peace and made change. The only thing I haven’t really done is put myself through my paces physically. And I haven’t done that in quite a while. I’ve been playing it safe, for various reasons and that comes to an end here and now. 9 weeks…..to shake myself up and make things hard and do what feels right. I don’t want to feel any regret or disappointment with myself when June 1st arrives.

There’s a part of me that wants to binge eat her way through the Easter aisle in the drugstore and grocery store and who wants to delete this blog and hide away and watch television and forget about having to work hard or be accountable. But then there’s the part of me who likes going to bed at night knowing that things got done right, who likes looking in the mirror and seeing someone worth respecting, who likes taking downtime and knowing that she earned it. That’s the part of me I’ll be focusing on for the April Century Challenge and the next 9 weeks.

Choose Your Hard

Dear Body

I thought it might be time for a new “Dear Body” letter.  I try to write one from time to time.  Here’s one I wrote on March 1, 2008 (6 years, 1 month ago!).  Unfortunately I can’t find any of the ones that I have written since then.


 

Dear Body,

I don’t hate you. But I completely understand if you aren’t the biggest fan of me. I wax you and tan you and pluck you and poke at you. I cut you accidentally from time to time and I sometimes eat things that hurt you. I’ve injured you and crashed you to the ground quasi regularly. I don’t always listen to what you’re asking for and sometimes I’ll hear what you’re saying loud and clear and I completely ignore you. That must feel really disrespectful. I understand disrespect, I’ve had it in my life from people who are supposed to care about me too and it always seems to sting more when it’s from a loved one. I shouldn’t do it to you, I shouldn’t.

I hope you know that I have been trying lately to love you better. You’ve borne the brunt of some difficult times and you’ve always kept going; you get up every morning without fail and embark on another day with me…whether you really want to or not and I appreciate that. Sometimes when I feel as though I can’t get up, you forge ahead and drag me along with you. I booked you a massage on Saturday, I think you’ll really like that. It’s 90 minutes of hot stone and relaxing bodywork and I’m excited to see you enjoy it. I’ve been cutting your hair more regularly and washing makeup off of you before bed and trying to remember to moisturize you and run the massage stick over your sore spots.

Sometimes when I look in the mirror and I’m upset or annoyed that you’ve lost some ground in the last couple years I have to remind myself that I’m not actually looking at you, I’m looking at me. You are the result of things that I do to and with you and there’s no point in being disappointed in you, you had nothing to do with it. Last night I stared at you for a long time in the mirror. I tried to shake some sense into you and I tried to kick your ass. You just stared quietly back, as if to say that any change to be made doesn’t come from you. You probably knew I would eventually figure it out; if I can’t love you as you are, I can’t change you. Change only comes with love, not punishment or abuse. I have to accept the things that I have done regardless of why I did them. I think I’m getting there.

I let you walk me home yesterday; you’ve been trying to tell me that you want more responsibility and that you feel better when I let you take me somewhere or lift heavy things for me. You really like having something to do besides just waiting through a work day with me.

As far as feeding you, I know damn good and well which foods make you feel great and which ones hurt you. You have never been shy about telling me when you didn’t like something and I want you to keep doing that. I know that you don’t like dairy or sugar or grain-based products. I know that you can tolerate a bit of cornstarch to thicken something or a tiny bit of sugar in the fish sauce but that you do not tolerate soy sauce under any circumstances. I know and I’m sorry. As far as treats go, sometimes I feel like I “deserve” to have chocolate or cookies or ice cream but I have been trying to remember that what I get, you get….and just because I deserve the treat doesn’t mean that you deserve the aftermath. I’ll try to figure out a better way.

So no…..my dear, beautiful body, I do not hate you. I love you and your grey hairs and your eye-smile wrinkles. I love that you’ve never given up and that you refuse to quit trying. I love the feeling that goes through you when you lay your face against my sleeping dog or cuddle up against my husband. I love that you give me as many do-overs and second chances as I need and I will continue to work tirelessly to keep you healthy and strong and vital and vibrant and most of all, happy.

Love, Shannon

Change of Plans

It’s the first of April and that should mean that the snowy days are behind us, right? It’s all daffodils and baby bunnies from here on in!

Before I forget, you can go and check out our Weekend Away complete with pictures on the blog that I share with my sister.

It is gorgeous sunny and warm weather here for the first part of this week and I’ll be walking home tonight. The last day I rode my bicycle, the day I fell into traffic and ended up bailing and having Ray’s son come and get me, made me nervous for riding. I really want to enjoy this gorgeous sunny weather and I want some quiet time on the commute home and unfortunately the bicycle isn’t providing that right now. It is SO hard…..45-53 minutes of only uphill pedaling and also traffic to contend with and to be a bit honest, I’m truly not in decent enough shape right now to do the ride home safely. With walking, I’ll leave my car down here, put all my stuff (lunch bag, tea cup, purse) in it so I don’t have to carry it home, put on some music, eat an apple and walk home. It’ll take about an hour, I think.

I feel kind of fail-y in admitting that the bicycling didn’t work out (right now) but on the other hand I don’t think there is anything wrong with shifting and shimmying and trying different things to get the result you want. If I drive to work and walk home I get the sunshine, the air, the exercise and the alone time but I don’t get the crashing, the traffic, the having to get ready at work, the missing breakfast/coffee with my hubby. So more of the “pros” that I was looking for when I undertook biking and less of the “cons” that I ended up with.  After work I’ll walk the 8 kilometers home. I did drove to work this morning so we’ll just run down and pick my car up after dinner…it’s a 6 minute drive so that shouldn’t be too cumbersome. I’ll let you know how it goes!

We made the decision last night that the garden on the side of the house that I was going to do this year is not going to get done fully this year. We’re going to take some measurements and possibly build the beds but we won’t be filling them with dirt this year….at least not all of them (dirt is expensive!!!!!!!). Instead, I’m taking the money that I had set aside for that and we’re going to properly finish the basement gym….proper flooring (not bare concrete), a mirrored wall, some paint, a rower and a dumbbell rack (we already have the equipment). We used to work out together down there many moons ago and really enjoyed it…..and even if we don’t do it together in the mornings (which is when I would use it), I still want the gym downstairs done properly. I want to stop paying over $60/month for gym fees and it would be great if Ray would lift again, he loves it and he wants to put muscle on (he’s an awesome gainer too, the bugger!).

So…..now I’m pricing rowers and mirrors and imagining paint colors (I’m thinking a soft buttery yellow?). We figure with the floor, the mirror, the rack, the rower and the paint etc….it will be about $1500 – $2000 to get it done. And if there’s leftover money I want a big punching dummy and a pair of gloves!

So that’s my update for today. Trip recap over on Half A Pear, bicycle is being benched in favor of walking shoes and we’ll be working on the downstairs gym. I’m trying not to feel too badly about how short lived my bike-commuting career was…..but I wildly over-estimated nearly everything about both it and me. As I’d mentioned, I want everything I do in April to be self-respecting and self-valuing and I think this change to walking shoes over cycling shoes is the best decision right now on several levels.

My Passion Experiment – One Month Summary

A month ago I scratched a list onto a piece of paper of a bunch of things that I could do that would help to recharge me and keep me balanced and centered. Here’s the list. The items in blue were done at least once over the month and the items in green did not get done in March.

 

  • Make bone broth
  • Paint nails
  • Wax legs (I had this done professionally…will NEVER go back to doing it myself!)
  • Make salt scrub
  • Make shampoo
  • Do Coquitlam Crunch
  • Exercise 3/week
  • Go on an evening mid-week coffee date
  • Do Sunday mall
  • Go on road trip
  • Get haircut
  • Wax underarms
  • Read before bed
  • Enjoy couch time
  • Make kombucha
  • Go tanning

 

I did not make kombucha or bone broth although I did go so far as to buy jars for it…..but I decided against it due to cost at the moment. The cost of all those jars I would need add up! I did not make salt scrub because I totally forgot about that one. I did not hit the Coquitlam Crunch because, quite honestly, the weather has been so shitty that it wasn’t feasible. The nice days we did have, I rode my bicycle to work…climbing up the side of a mountain after that just seemed foolish!

 

Overall I’m pretty pleased with how the “experiment” has been going. Admittedly last week wasn’t tops for me, I had (& continue to have) horrible seasonal allergies and have been wasted on allergy medication for three weeks now. Add some ongoing difficult family issues to getting some very bad news about a good friend’s health and the final week of March sort of sucked. I felt out of sorts and blue and a bit off my game. Ray and I were bickering a bit (which is, honestly, completely out of character for us) and I was also recovering from riding nearly 65 kilometers (40 miles) over 7 days. Many of those kilometers were uphill. My body was also recovering from falling off of my bike and onto the road and/or trail and/or curb more times than I would like to admit. That definitely took a toll on me mentally as well as physically. Made me seriously question my crazy idea of riding my bike as a method of commuting!

 

Anyway, I don’t want to paint all of March with the same brush because most of it was really good. We did a lot of eating at the table, we did some after dinner dog walking, we conserved our money, we only ate out twice in the month. My social media usage has gone WAY DOWN during my at home hours (that is a huge one for me!).

 

I’m going to continue My Passion Experiment in April with a focus again on self-respect and awareness. I would like to see April contain more bicycle commuting, more weekend gym rowing, more tanning, a haircut, painted nails, dedicated couch time, our Sunday mall date, a massage (this is booked!), coffee with a friend (this is booked too, right Tara?), a family dinner, a blood donor appt and maybe depending on the weather, a motorcycle ride. I especially want to practice turning negative thoughts and feelings over to positive and, eventually, having a positive (or at least neutrally optimistic) attitude as my default. I want the majority of the things that I do (if not all of them) to be things that are done with the intent of adding passion to my inner self and value to my life overall.

 

As I enter April, I do not have a goals list ready to “guide me” along the way. Maybe that’s a mistake and if it is, I’ll be the first to admit it. I mostly want to go through April happy, healthy and active. If I can pull that off then everything else will fall into place!

My Passion Experiment – Week Three Summary

Good Morning,

Today marks three weeks that I undertook to change my outlook and try to inject a spark back into my life. I had to read back on three weeks ago because I’m certainly feeling a lot better than I was then! Some of the main things that I’ve been trying to do are to be more present and to pay myself more respect. Those two things pretty much encompass all the other little things such as eating healthy foods, getting exercise, reducing social media/tech use, reducing spending, eating at the table, etc.

This past Friday I was boldly reminded that while I’m improving at both being present and being respectful, I still have a distance to go and a lot of “past habits” to unravel and remodel. I had initially decided to “scale in” my bike commuting, one day the first week, two days the next week and then either two again or maybe three the following week, depending on how I felt. Instead of respecting my plan and myself, I decided to jump right from one day per week (the first full commute) right into three times last week (and back to back no less). I did so while also battling a hefty dose of allergies and allergy medication. Monday was a good commute, Thursday was a reasonable commute and then on Friday morning before I’d even gotten dressed, I had a very loud voice in my head saying “You should not be riding today, your body is beat!”. And….of course…I ignored it. “Push through”, I told myself. “You’ll have the weekend to recover”, I said. So I hopped on my bike and made it to work where I sat all day knowing I was in for an ass kicking on the way home. But, once here via Pedals, the only way home is to…well….pedal. Long story short, I got halfway up the hill, stopped to take a break where the hill gets steeper and then crashed to the ground still clipped to the bike when I tried to get going again. My body was beat and my legs didn’t have enough left to give to get enough power to get my bicycle going on the steep incline. After (stupidly) declining help from a very kind man who offered to drive me and my bike to the top of the hill, I gave my head a shake and called the hubby’s son to come and get me. I baled halfway home. And instead of feeling bad about not finishing my commute, I felt sad and guilty that I didn’t listen that morning when my Self was hollering at me to leave the bike at home.

This weekend I made it up to my Self though, I went shopping with my mom and sister, made turkey soup with a bone broth base, closed my bedroom door and took a two hour nap (by mid-day on Saturday my body was begging to sleep…..that heavy sleep of recovery), got taken out for dinner by Ray, drank lots of water, took Gracie on a sunny 5km stroll, hit the mall for some tea, had a hot bath, did some foam rolling, ate veggies and eggs and homemade chicken chili. I’ve been craving carbs like absolute crazy since last Thursday and have been trying not to completely ignore it since it must be based in some sort of need, but have been trying to fulfill the urges with acceptable things like yams, mounds of veggies, apples & berries.

So that’s Week Three of My Passion Experiment. I got burned by not listening to a message that was coming through loud and clear. Duly noted and will continue to listen and work on being present and respecting myself.

So what’s up this week?

No biking for the week, my allergies are awful this morning, tomorrow is supposed to be rainy, Wednesday I have an appt after work, Thursday I’m busy after work and Friday we leave right after work on our road trip! I’m actually really alright with missing a week of bicycling, my legs are so stiff and sore! I think I pooched my scale in plan and need to take a breather. I’m going to hit the gym a couple days in the morning and work on rowing and some hill interval training and do some tanning. At the moment it’s not looking good for cycling next week either due to the weather, but I mustn’t forget, it’s still VERY early in the season!

In relating my Friday commute story to my co-workers this morning, my boss said to me “You should quit. You’ve fallen three times and that hill is not going away. Admit you’ve failed and forget about it.” I was stunned, jaw = dropped. I “failed”??? This is all a brand new endeavor for me, I expect some bumps and bruises and a learning curve. “Quit”?? Because it’s hard? Or because sometimes it hurts? Or because it’s not going perfectly? I told him that I would never “quit” something because it was too hard, but that I have revised my plan and will take the longer but slightly less steep route home for the next little while as I increase my biking muscles and my cardiac endurance. He said, “You just don’t know when to throw in the towel.” I have NEVER run across someone who would advise a person to quit when the going gets tough rather than dig deeper or revise the plan or find another way. I was completely shocked and neared tears this morning. Obviously we all have “failure voice” in our heads already that we have to quiet and convince not to sabotage us…..but to have someone actually say “Admit you’ve failed and quit”……completely out of my realm of experience! Especially since it’s only been two weeks!

  • Follow me as "ladyshanny" on Instagram!

    Sometimes the best place for a nap is in someone's arms. Balanced snack? Gracie says "Yes!" What am I doing? Egg Foo Yong. Yum. Throwback.....about 30 years! #tbt #throwbackthursday Watched the hydro lines arc and then burst into a ball of flames outside our office today. No power after that so we packed up and left. Gracie & I enjoyed the next 75 minutes in the glorious sun.....found a lake, a totem pole and my happy spirit along the way. Went exploring. A true fur baby. Have you ever seen such a loving gaze? Saturday morning chores....that pay you!!
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 321 other followers