My Passion Experiment – Week Two Summary

Today marks two weeks into My Passion Experiment.  You can catch up with the project here, Day Two, Day Four and Day Seven if you like.  I’m feeling pretty good compared to a couple of weeks ago.  Here are the things I’ve noticed last week:

  1. For me, becoming complacent or thinking I know what’s going to happen or how I’m going to feel robs me of the ability to actually experience each day.  This one is très difficile but incredibly important for me to prevent feeling like I’m trapped in my own routine! Getting up and going through the same motions day after day; shower, cook breakfast, make coffee, feed dog, eat/drink, wash up, watch news for 11 minutes, drive to work, make tea, find something to do until noon, eat lunch, find something to do until 430, drive home, walk dog, start dinner, eat, cleanup, bed between 8 & 8:30, read for 20 minutes, sleep.  Repeat.  Can you see how that would get depressing?  But what if each day could feel different?  I’m trying to do small things that change how each day feels in order to avoid monotony and cultivate some passion for The Everyday.  Playing tuggy with Gracie for 11 minutes in the morning instead of watching the news, turning Ray’s alarm off and waking him up with kisses and cuddles instead (I like that more than he does, LOL!).  Doing a lemon sugar facial/upper body scrub before getting in the shower once a week, taking Gracie on a longer walk after work instead of rushing home to start dinner, having an after work drink in the driveway on nicer days, of course, biking to work, turning on music in the morning instead of the television, having a water-only day, going tanning in the evening instead of couch-time, floor stretches during my lunch break when no one is around. Anything to make the day feel a bit different.


  1. Passion grows on itself.  You put a little teensy seed down on a welcoming foundation, cover it up and then spend time cultivating it. You can’t see anything yet.  Nothing looks different….but you keep watering and you keep letting the sun’s warmth get to it.  You don’t lose faith.  And eventually a teensy little speck appears.  You rejoice that the little guy is alive and then you just keep doing what you were doing.  Watering, protecting, feeding and allowing it to grow. Some days it seems as if it’ll never get any bigger….and then poof, new leaves!  Everything that it is and everything that it will be comes from that first tiny seed and the faith that it would grow in time.


  1. Letting the past go is still a work in process.  A couple of times this past week I’ve had to gently (and then not so gently) tell Ray that I don’t want to talk about the plant or what might be happening there and that I sure as hell (that was the not so gently part) do NOT want to go for a drive and see what’s going on over there.  Not.  I also bumped into a former customer last weekend whom I knew outside of work before I knew of them as the customer….so I completely forgot that we had both associations.  Until she started grilling me about what had happened and what was going on and how could she contact someone there now.  I was so blindsided and not expecting that discussion that I nearly fainted.  So this part is still a work in process.  Although it has been successful by some measure as well in that I have not used the past as an excuse to do or not do something.  It’s simply irrelevant now.  I’ve stopped using the word “anymore” (eg, I don’t get four weeks of vacation anymore) or the word “now” (eg. I work 8 – 4:30 now).  I did that because if I drop those two qualifiers, what’s left is just a true statement.  I don’t get 4 weeks of holidays and I do work 8-4:30.  “Anymore” and “now” are those little tentacles trying to hook onto the past and keep pieces of it in the present.  I also try to avoid starting sentences with “I used to” and instead I say “When I” because I feel like starting with “I used to” makes it too regretful sounding and saying “When I” is more positive and more of a statement of fact. (eg. “I used to have an amazing boss” vs “When I worked at ABC, my boss was amazing”).  Maybe this is all BS as far as “professionals” are concerned but I find it useful for myself in staying current and closing that door.

So that’s the summary of Week Two.  Week Three should be more of the same, and instead of dreading the next 5 days of life, I’m going to be excited about it and try to wake up every day looking forward to what may come.

In other news, I rode my bicycle to work today and have revised my “scaling in” plan.  Since today is only Monday and Thursday & Friday are supposed to be nice days this week, I don’t see any real reason why I can’t ride on both those days as well, especially since the weekend is right there for recovery afterwards.  I’ll judge how I feel after riding on Thursday but this morning felt great even though I did 30 minutes of hill training on the indoor trainer on Saturday.  Bicycling is such a low impact activity that I don’t feel I have to recover my joints, ligaments, tendons after every ride; so far I haven’t been in any pain or discomfort.  I feel fantastic when I’m done and I look forward to the next outing so I’m going to keep letting my body run the show.  Going out in the morning and smelling that damp air and breathing hard; I know it’s where I’m supposed to be right now and I love it.


Feeling Chattier (or Typier) Now

I’m going for a drink with someone from my past tonight.  I’m not overly jazzed about it, it’s one of those situations where I was “friends” with him because it was more conducive to overall peace in the workplace than to not be.  And in fairness, he has an amazing ability to coach and help you draw out solutions to your own issues.  The trouble is that he’s not overly trustworthy and he flips and flops and power trips. He texted me the other day and asked if I wanted to meet him for a drink to catch up.  And…I sort of do, if only out of curiosity to find out what’s going on in his life….and I know he wants the inside scoop on all that has gone on at my previous workplace.  So ya, I agreed to go.  And then I invited my hubby to meet me there when he gets off work because I won’t have time to make dinner and the pub is on his way home (it’s mere blocks from our house, too) and we like any opportunity to go there.  Yesterday when I texted Old Acquaintance to confirm we were still on for today, I also mentioned that I’d invited Ray to meet me there on his way home from work.  This means that the total amount of “catching up” time that we have is about an hour before Ray gets there.  And Old Acquaintance was annoyed.  I felt a bit bad because he’d invited me for this visit and he is coming all the way out to my neighborhood to meet up and I’ve gone and truncated the visit.  But then I gave my head a shake!  This whole thing makes me slightly uncomfortable anyway, I see Old Acquaintance less than once a year, we have a bit of a rocky past (in that he wanted to fire me during the 7 months that he was my boss) and to be honest?  I want to have dinner with my hubby at our favorite pub!  Why do I care so hard whether some nearly-random person from my past is upset with an adult decision that I’ve made?  So, instead of dreading the visit and feeling bad about anything, I’m going to give all the gossip he wants (what do I care, I don’t work there anymore) and then have a delicious meal with my man.


So, moving on.  Now that I’ve been back to the gym successfully for two weeks, I feel like it’s time to make things a bit more interesting.  Not stupidly difficult or obsessive or the way that I’ve been in the past.  No, I want some new things, things to make me excited and to get new “skills”.  So, below I’ve noted the workouts that I’m going to do for the next three weeks, three days a week (since that’s my commitment for now).

Day One

  • 10 minute warmup jog
  • 1000m row
  • BW – 3 x 20 – sprinters (that’s not what they’re called….I think they’re called mountain climbs but it uses the pre-sprint posture)
  • BW – 3 x 10 plies (this is a type of squat fm ballet….basically heels together, toes pointed out, butt tucked under (instead of bum way back like a normal squat)
  • BW – 3 x 15 two leg donkey kicks
  • 3 x 10 machine ham curls
  • 3 x 10 machine leg press
  • 3 x 10 machine inner thigh press
  • ABDOMINALS (I’ve been using the gym’s ab machine circuit and it just brutalizes my abs, I love it!)

Day Two

  • 25 minute treadmill sprint program (smthg I found online)
  • 3 x 10 machine lat pulldowns)
  • 3 x 10 dumbell tricep kickbacks
  • 3 x 10 reverse barbell curl
  • 3 x 10 machine seated rows
  • 3 x 10 dumbell shoulder raise

Day Three

  • Mile-row-mile (this is basically run a mile as quick as possible, get off and row 2000M as quick as possible and then get back on and run another mile.  It’s one of my favourite things…that I also hate!)
  • 3 x 15 weight-plate squat press
  • 3 x 8 weight-plate lunges (these lunges and squats last Friday nearly crippled me….in the best possible way, I could barely get out of bed on Saturday morning!)

So there it is….three weeks of workouts which pretty much brings me through my birthday and just about onto Christmas’s doorstep.  It’s only 3 days per week and each workout is just a little over 85 minutes including warmup & stretching. I’m excited about it, I’m looking forward to trying some new things and working out in a slightly different way than I have before.  I have treadmill sprints combined with an upper body day, some dynamic full body moves combined with a lower body day and then a good met-con combined with some full body exercises.  And……because I’ve always lamented that I’ve never had abs, I’ll be doing abdominals every visit! Seems dumb in hindsight that I would complain about not having abs when I have never, not one time, ever concentrated any significant effort on them!

Maybe in the New Year, depending on making sure that I maintain the nice balance that I’m cultivating here, I might try one of the programs that’s out there online, maybe Jamie Eason’s Live Fit program (minus the crackpot, completely fat free nutrition plan).

I think it is possible, with a bit of practice to maintain calm and balance while also wanting improvement and success.  I don’t think they are mutually exclusive. So I’ll work hard at the gym every time I go….and then leave it there.  Won and done.  And I’m going to make sure to re-evaluate regularly to make sure….because this whole “balanced life” thing is all new to me, remember?

Practicing Balance

It’s been a few days since my last post and I’m happy to report that I’ve gained a pound and a half and gone to the gym twice.  OK, so I’m not technically “happy” about the gain, but normally, that gained pound and a half would send me into a spiral and an internal rage filled with mean words and hate-face.  I’m working very hard on not caring about it.  Because?  I didn’t do anything to deserve the gain except be a woman and get my period.

What I have done is gone to the gym twice for a total of 2,000 meters rowed and 4 miles run.  What I have done is eaten healthy, whole foods.  What I have done is gone outside and gone on a date and gone to bed early.

I was emailing with my sister last week and admitted that I have never had balance.  I’ve said I’ve had balance….but in reality I swing wildly from one side to the other.  No booze, no sugar, no starchy carbs, gym hard four times a week, long & fast dog walk every day.  And then, later, when that insanity wears off I swing wildly over to the other side and drink and eat chocolate and barely get off the couch.  And to be perfectly honest, regardless of which side the pendulum is on, I can’t say I have ever really been happy with myself.  When I’m on the “gym side” I never worked hard enough, never lifted heavy enough, never gave up enough enjoyment to get where I thought I wnted to be.  When I was on the “couch side”…well, you can imagine, I was berating myself for having fallen down.

So where do I want to be going forward?  I want to be at the gym a couple-three days a week, I want to sit on the sofa and watch my shows on a Saturday afternoon.  I want to drink a glass of nice red wine as many nights per week as I feel like (just for health-sake I will limit that to one glass per night) and on the days that I just don’t feel like wine, I’ll drink tea.  I want to make brownies and let Ray eat three quarters of them and take one in my lunch as a treat.  I want coconut macaroons in the freezer for the long, dark winter nights when we cuddle up on the couch and feel like a treat.  I want every meal I eat to be veggie-heavy because I feel better physically when I do that.  I want to try yoga.  I want to sleep in on Sunday mornings.  I want to ride my bicycle to work.  I want to sit on the couch on Friday night and listen to music and talk to my man.  I.  Want.  Balance.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who can walk their dog up to Starbucks and get a coffee and then walk back home.  Fortunately our home is about a mile and a half from a Starbucks, through a gorgeous forest.  Unfortunately, I always behave as though I’m on some sort of speed mission and when you always have to be walking at the max of your ability, it’s hard to sip a coffee.  I’ve always wanted to be one of those people that can go for a stroll.  Why must I always be running, in a rush, not able to enjoy the moment?  Because I have no balance.  Until now.

So….while it’s only been less than a week, I have been practicing my balance.  Yesterday we went to the chiropractor and then out for a coffee.  I had a red tea latte and a chocolate pecan tarte (grain free).  It was delicious….but so sweet that I stopped myself at the halfway mark and brought the other half home.  I’m eating it now with a coffee.  Today we walked our dog to the drug store and then came home and decorated the outside of our house for Christmas.  It was a tonne of work and between that and our walk, we spent most of the day outside.  Now, after doing some precooking as well as making dinner, I’m tanked out on the couch under the electric blanket (with the aforementioned piece of tarte and a coffee).

It feels good.  I feel good knowing that on Tuesday I’ll go back to the gym in the morning and it also feels good knowing I get to sleep until 6am tomorrow.  It feels good that I didn’t look at the clock or my iphone all day.  I feel good that I enjoy my new job and the people I work with.  I am happy that I’ve met the people that Ray works with and that they are all really nice, fun people.

I don’t know why I feel different.  Maybe it’s knowing that I’m going to treat myself nicely regardless of how far I run or how much I eat or what the scale says?  Maybe it’s knowing that I’m going to do the things that are right for my body and my health and my heart?

Maybe, a month before I turn 35, I’m figuring out one of the tricks of life.

Mr Bunny.

Remember how I said that I quit smoking about 5 years ago?  I know that if I had a cigarette today I would be back to a pack a day in about a week.  Maybe a week and a half.  I do occasionally crave them after all this time but that craving goes away in about 10 seconds.  Could you imagine what would happen if I gave in to a 10 second craving?  Disaster!  Now…..why, when I believe so strongly that sugar is a terribly addictive substance that affects my health horribly, can I not treat it in the same way I would a cigarette?!  Probably because it’s in absolutely everything and to practice complete abstinence (like one would do for tobacco/nicotine) is virtually impossible to do long-term.  Not completely impossible…..but impossible enough. 


Can you see that little gold glint there, right under my computer monitors at work?  That is a Lindt milk chocolate bunny.  Staring at me.  I know EXACTLY what would happen if I ate it.  First, the insanely smooth texture would melt across my tongue and light up every single “sweet” receptor.  Then I would go home and eat a mango, four dried figs and a Rebar….until I couldn’t take it anymore and I started eating the dark chocolate chips in the cupboard by the handful.  It would actually be less caloric intake to just go right to the chocolate chips…..

It also does something in my brain that is less simple to describe…..but it happens every time though.  I once was sugar-free for almost three months….and then I had an M&M.  One.  ONE LOUSY M&M and it was lights out.  I felt it in my brain when I put it in my mouth too, this huge UH-OH.  So, Mr Bunny….you have GOT to stop staring at me.  Obviously the easy choice is to put it away….but part of me feels empowered when I can sit here day after day and not eat it.  The other part of me though…..knows that it’s only a matter of time.  Could I treat sugar like I do cigarettes?  Where do you draw the line?  No chocolate/candy?  No fruit?  What about dried fruit?  What about minimal amounts of sugar added to things like smoked salmon?  What about wine, does that count? What about the sugar in a whey protein powder (after every gym date).  Does that all keep the sugar-monster “active” in your system? 

I have no answer to all of those questions.  I really don’t.  I struggle with sugar.  Chocolate mostly.  Read back in the archives….I rehash this little “addiction” on the regular.  Nothing changes.  I’ll go awhile being able to moderate myself with treats.  Sometimes I can completely abstain.  Other times it is off the rails.  Of all the things in my health-life that I have addressed and corrected and revised, this one I haven’t.  I can’t.  Probably because I don’t really want to do what needs to be done….so much so that my brain refuses to formulate any sort of plan.

In other news…..similar news, I guess.  I’ve joined two plans.  The first I did this morning, the 7 Day Real Food Challenge.  I mostly already only eat real food but I thought that joining up with a group might be a nice idea to kick out some of the extras (gee, sugar?) for 7 days.  It’s April 21 – 27th and they have some absolutely awesome prizes to be won!  I found the link through Melissa at Clothes Make The Girl and she explains it really well.


I then, after reading a new favourite blog, “hired” an asskicker for this coming week.  Basically she is publically listing her weekly goals to increase her accountability….and she said that if anyone was looking for an ass kicking task master that she was up for hire.  So, I listed my next week’s goals in her comments. Here they are again. 

  1. I had a write off week that feels like I’ve been off the track for a month (isn’t it funny how we can perceive time!) and I need a kick in the pants to get back on! I’m going to go with Sunday to Saturday week….

1) GYM. T, W, F & S …. that is what I normally do and there is NO reason not to. ONE 5k dog walk can be subbed if desired
2) Ray is on afternoons….I cruise the kitchen before, during and after dinner for whatever I can find. NO snacks between meals (this is highly achievable)
3) STUDY! Jesus…I need to study. I’m gonna be in SHIT. Two hours Sunday, one hour minimum M, T, W, F

I believe in constant improvement.  I believe that life runs in ebbs and flows; that we slip and slide and climb and dig.  I think that there is real value in being honest with yourself and your actions, in admitting your shortfalls and struggles and, of course, in celebrating the wins and successes.  We’re these strong, flexible, durable creatures living life in a less than “natural” environment and that environment can totally throw off nature’s balance.  Sitting at desk jobs and being indoors all the time and having more to do in the day than time to do it.  Having commitments and families and relationships that take so much of our attention and time that there is next to nothing left for ourselves.  All of these things and more are what cause us to run aground or run into trouble. 

It is 7-day food challenges and virtual-friend accountability that keep us going in the right direction when the easiest and most struggle-free thing to do would be to sit down.  Give up.  Give in.  Join the masses and quit. 

No.  No Goddamn way.  No way am I going to be sick and fat and tired and crabby and uncomfortable.  No way am I going to disrespect myself in that way. We all start somewhere….and starting over or restarting is, to me, a sign the draw towards what is right is greater than the draw towards what is easiest.

Walk The Talk

You know what is a great Fear Buster?  GOOGLE!  Well, actually, any sort of information gathering system!

I was reading and commenting on blogs yesterday and left a comment that I’d always wanted to do a pullup and that my gym has an assisted pullup machine but that I’m scared to use it because I’m scared of heights.  And then…..30 seconds later I left her another comment and said that maybe I should take my own advice and stare down fear!  Haha

So knowing that I was pretty much committed to getting on the pullup machine (walk the talk and all), I googled how to use one.  I’d looked at the instructions on the machine in the gym previously but what it didn’t mention was how to determine what weight to put the pin at.  For example, do I put the pin at what I want to do or at what I want it to do.    This is an important distinction because once you get your knees onto the deck, if you put the pin in the wrong place, my suspicion was that there would be a rapid plummeting to the ground!  Turns out that on the machine in my gym, you put the pin in at what you want IT to do.  So for me, I put it in at 115.  That means that the machine is responsible for 115 pounds of me and I am responsible for the rest.  (is this pretty basic and I’m the only one who didn’t get it?!).  I did 3 sets of 12 with 115 pounds of me counterweighted. 

Gotta say, COMPLETELY different than anything else I’ve done.  You feel a pullup in places you never knew existed!  Now, granted, the amount of me that I was actually pulling up was not a lot (I actually don’t know how much I was pulling since I don’t know what I weigh), but it was a totally cool feeling!  Take that, FEAR!  (regarding my fear of heights….climbing on the thing was alright but climbing down off of it after each set was a bit wobbly….I dare say that the desire to delay climbing down for as long as possible may have propelled me to keep going when the last couple reps on each set were getting hard!).  And, even though I was doing something to stare fear in the face, I was actually mitigated by that same fear…..because I didn’t want to make the move so difficult that I couldn’t get the deck back up to the top before getting off.  In this case though, I think that’s sound judgment….you don’t go to failure on something that you have to succeed at in order to get off safely!

I tried a revision to my workout this morning but I really didn’t like it.  I moved my mile run and 1000m row to the very end.  Previously I’d been doing a mile to warm up, then weights and then the 1000m row at the very end.  And, for the most part, I was failing the row every morning.  So my thought was that I would do weights first and a big cardio push at the end.  Didn’t work.  I’m not sure if it was the wicked headache I’ve had since I woke up this morning or what, but my workout sucked from start to finish.  Don’t get me wrong, I did do it…..but nothing felt good, I never got the good-workout feeling and I could feel the blood pounding in my head like a hammer.  By the end I was gassed and my head was splitting and I only made it through half a mile and 500m of rowing.  Total cardio fail.  I was feeling so crappy that when I got home I set my alarm for 25 minutes and took a nap on the sofa before getting in the shower and heading to work.

That’s it for me today…..I’ve tried to kill my headache with exercise, Advil, coffee, water, breakfast and none of that worked so I am now going to suffer through it with a big mug of coconut oolong tea.  Tara’s shake n bake drumsticks are for dinner tonight with…vegetables.  I have head of cauli, a bag of peppers and a bag of zucchini….and right now what I’m going to turn those into eludes me!  Suggestions are always welcome!

Fail Less

It’s Easter Monday today.  A day that is a holiday if you work for our government but not a holiday if you don’t.  If you are at work though, as I am, this is going to (hopefully) be one of those days that you sort of drift through!

Saturday and Sunday were equally as gorgeous as Friday and we spent as much time outside as we possibly could.  We drank wine on the driveway, barbequed steaks, rode our bicycles (Grace went for her first bicycle stroll on Sunday and did awesome!), rode Ray’s motorcycle some more and went for a couple walks.  Thank God for allergy medication though, we both felt awesome all weekend and then this morning, sans-pill, I feel like she-it!  Will be running to the store next door for some allergy meds as soon as my co-worker arrives this morning!

So anyway, earlier in the week my other co-worker was lamenting her own life and weight issues and smoking habit and proceeded to tell me the following:  “You’re so lucky that you lost all your weight and quit smoking, it must be amazing to have that much will power and never fail at anything!”.  I was equal parts amazed and annoyed by the whole thing.  First of all, “luck” had nothing to do with it.  Second, I don’t actually have more than normal will power and third, what in the blue blazes makes her think that it was my first time trying to lose weight and quit cigarettes?! 

Everyone fails, over and over.  The people who succeed are the ones who make the effort to FAIL LESS!  I failed two days last week when I couldn’t get up and go to the gym like I was supposed to.  I failed on Thursday afternoon when, after having commuted and grocery shopped after work for over 3 hours on an empty stomach, I bought a fist full of bulk bridge mixture and ate it all while sitting in my car before going home.  I failed at the gym on Saturday when I didn’t properly fuel and could only run ¾ of the second mile in mile-row-mile. 

I failed three times in one week.  Someone might even consider the bottle and a half of wine I drank or the French fries I had as a failure to healthy eating.  The thing of it is, as far as I’m concerned, we all fail, all the time.  It’s about trying to balance the failure that we all encounter with doing more things that make you successful.  I ate bridge mix on Thursday.  I rocked the gym on Friday morning and ate clean all day.  I failed the mile-row-mile on Saturday but the success was the 1.75 miles and 1000m row that I did do, and I ate well all day.  I failed Saturday when I drank the bulk of a bottle of wine but the success is that we had an awesome sunshiney evening and a great late dinner.  I failed yesterday when I had French fries with my lunch instead of salad but the success was that we had a light salad for dinner instead of what I’d originally planned.

For anyone to think that I don’t fail or have trouble or miss is ridiculous.  Sometimes it’s hard to see if you’re not looking for it but most people who appear to be successful at something are toiling away at it in the dark hours and for the most part no one ever sees that part.  Rarely is success effortless.  Anyway, I just had to get that off my chest because the idea that I just “decided” one day to become healthy and fit and then was “lucky” enough to have it magically happen irks me because I worked my tail off every day to get here and I work even harder to stay here!

OK, so it’s April 1st, the start of a new month!  I read a tweet (I think) of Girl Meets Paleo the other day where she commented that she was going to be eating “squeaky clean” for April.  For some reason the whole “squeaky clean” thing resonated with me and I decided that I’m going to give it my best in April also.  In March, with going to the gym very frequently and eating pretty well I made some decent gains…well…..losses….or both.  I gained some muscle and lost some weight although how much of either is unknown since I don’t weigh myself.  But, with a mild to moderate effort in March being pretty successful I thought I would give an even more concerted effort in April knowing that bikini season is coming!.  My definition of “squeaky clean” is much the same as I eat now….but I’m going to make a real dedicated effort to sticking to whole foods.  And yes, I’m sorry, in my book a nice glass of wine is a whole food!  Haha

Also in April I have 15 gym days lined up in the second month of a partner-gym-pact with my co-worker.  Along with that I have another new goal.  HANDSTAND!  I will try and achieve a handstand that lasts long enough for Ray to snap a picture of it for proof.  By the end of April. (I just googled “How to learn a handstand” and the progression on how you can teach this to yourself is going to take longer than a month….so I renege my “by the end of April” and will do it when I can do it.)  Yesterday’s trial run ended with three tries and the last try with me on the floor killing myself laughing.  Granted there was a significant amount of wine fueling the trial but whatever!  Took the sting out of the rugburn I ended up with!  Given that the title of my post is Fail Less, I realize that I will be unlikely to achieve this for awhile but I will give an update in April (with a video?) showing how far I’ve come…and there is no need for a “before” video or pic, just picture me not doing a handstand and you should have a good impression of where I am now.  LOL!

(yesterday I asked Ray if he thought I could do a handstand and his answer was to start laughing and say “You have next to no balance on your two feet and you want to stand on your hands?!”)

Conviction Notice

Did you read my last post, Eviction Notice?  Well today’s post is about a Conviction Notice.  Not a conviction where you end up in jail but the conviction meaning “strong belief or opinion”.

You see, when I tossed my scale out a wonderful thing happened.  Nothing that I did meant anything.  Not as far as the scale was concerned, anyway.  Getting up at 6:30am on Saturday morning to fit a treadmill run in before our day got underway was done because I wanted to do it and I knew that I would feel good after.  It wasn’t done with the purpose of trying to lower the scale number.  Everything that I’ve eaten since the 1st of January has been for nutritional purposes, fuel purposes and enjoyment purposes.  The foods that I have avoided (sugar) have been easy to avoid because they make me feel horrible.  That’s much easier to do than having an internal debate about whether or not the chocolate is going to make me fat.

Even this morning when I was packing up my tote to head out for work and realized that I really wanted a banana.  I haven’t had a banana in a very, VERY long time.  Bananas are good for you.  One every now and then isn’t the end of the world, but when I was scale-driven I would base my decision on my number.  Had this morning’s number been a bit higher, I’d have told myself to wait until it was lower.  And had it been lower I’d have been slightly euphoric and no frigging way would I eat a banana and risk having the extra starch and sugar jack that number up.  And so, something healthy that would give me enjoymnet would never get eaten.  So crazy!

Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I ran 4.86km this weekend in 29 minutes, I took my dog on her first “learn to jog” outing on Sunday (not far, she has to be eased into it) and this morning I went to the gym and rowed 3522 meters in 19 minutes (would have been in 16 minutes save for the couple breaks I had to take so I could breathe again, rowing is hard!).  Tomorrow is a heavy lifting day and then Wednesday is a rest day.

I feel good.  My activity is varied and keeps me challenged and I’m doing it because I want to, not because I’m trying to appease the scale.  That’s all good!

Now, moving in a completely different direction, our life is about to change again, this little cutie is joining our family on January 16th.

Snoopy is a 7 month old boy boxer that was surrendered by his family due to financial strain.  He's coming up from LA to join our family on a three week trial.  If our resident boxer can get along with him then he'll be a permanent addition.

Snoopy is a 7 month old boy boxer that was surrendered by his family due to financial strain. He’s coming up from LA to join our family on a three week trial. If our resident boxer can get along with him then he’ll be a permanent addition.

Fat Ass?

Already sweaty and I had barely made it onto the trail!

Anyone who has ever struggled with their weight or fitness knows this feeling so try to cast your mind/self to the place where I was last night.  I got home and true to my word changed into proper exercise clothes and then dragged my fat ass (*) up the miniscule incline of my street towards the park, sweating and cursing under my breath and telling myself over and over and over and over, “Tomorrow won’t be different, tomorrow won’t be easier, tomorrow never comes.”.  This was interspersed with telling myself that the epic amount of chocolate that I have eaten over the last month caused this, my lack of self control caused this and any discomfort I felt with myself or my efforts was completely deserved and probably should have been amplified ten-fold just for being a big idiot.

I probably didn’t really do myself any favours when I got dressed for this either, I wore shorts that have never been comfortable and possibly the most unflattering exercise top I have.  My underwear was crawling up my ass the entire time, my Shuffle had died so I had to carry my iPhone in my hand the entire way and it was very humid and close in the park.  All that negativity aside though, I did the best I could and finished strong.  It was only 4 kilometers and I didn’t time myself (that wasn’t the point) and I had to walk a lot of it.  But when I got home after my “end of the run, down my own street sprint” I was very impressed with how quickly my heart rate and breathing came back to normal.  My back and legs were pretty sore last night but this morning I feel fine.  Today after work I’m doing a 5.5km walk/jog with the focus on walking, rain or shine.

(*) Note, my referral to my fat ass is subjective, of course.  Fat is a state of mind as much as a state of body as far as I’m concerned.  I am in my acceptable weight range, at the low end of it, even, and yet I feel/felt as uncomfortable within myself as I ever did when I was 100 pounds heavier. The toxicity and lack of self respect doesn’t discriminate over size or body fat percentage, it is as real for me now as it was back then and even though I don’t need to shed weight to build a healthier body anymore, the work and effort is as real and urgent to my mental health as it ever was to the physical. 

When I got home from my park mission yesterday I checked the mail and was very excited to find a little box stuffed in my mailbox.  It was “Leaf” that I ordered from Noelle Munoz Jewelry and it is beautiful!!  The craftsmanship is incredible, her attention to detail and excellence just blew my mind, even the wrapping that it came in is top end.  Really a nice experience from start to finish. 


My insane cravings for chocolate and sugar and sweets yesterday (and the pissy mood and snarky tongue that came with it) led me to believe that detoxing is exactly what I needed to start.  When I had to run to the grocery store before dinner for some veggies for lunches I was by myself in the house and a little concerned that I would cave and buy a chocolate bar or something equally as sugary.  I held strong though because tomorrow isn’t any easier than today.  If it’s difficult today, just do it and push through, it does not get easier tomorrow.  So, veggies and a couple apples and I was on my way out the door, successful and strong.  Win!

See?? No chocolate!

 Happy weekend, hopefully we hear something this weekend about Olive, we still don’t have her and now my emails to the rescue agency aren’t being returned so I’m leaning toward wondering if the current owner has changed their mind about giving her up.  Fingers crossed that we hear something so that we can either get her or move forward!

Sugar Free (AGAIN!)

Good Lord, how many times does a person have to go through the same things before they finally make a permanent change/connection?!  In the last week I’ve eaten a huge amount of chocolate while at the same time not going to the gym, feeling miserable, physically uncomfortable and exhausted and apparently not making the connection.  This morning in the shower I had one of those cold-sweat moments when the utter exhaustion I felt after a full night’s sleep transported me back to my obese and unhealthy days.  And that’s when I made the connection (again) to sugar.

I wrote this back in October:

“…once I start with the refined sugar, my brain and my hand-to-mouth action don’t always connect.  I find myself re-sugar-charging myself when I really haven’t made a conscious decision to do it.  One cookie equals two which equals an ice cream which equals a piece of fudge and on and on.  I exercise enough to take the calories but what it does to my body hours later is horrible.  I get sooo sleepy and soooo lethargic and that just snowballs if I let it.  I read a study awhile ago that said that refined sugar does a similar thing in the brain that heroin does (obviously to a lesser extent) and that makes sugar addictive.  It also said that generally people who are more overweight are more addicted to it due to longer term exposure and that the bigger you are, the harder time you will have cutting out sugary items.   I’ve also noticed (for quite some time) that sugar in any quantity makes my stomach swollen and my digestive-ness not work properly (if you get me) and changes my appetite completely.  So, I’ve got a sugar embargo going on right now in my world.   I need to just remember how crappy I feel afterwards….”

Of course I don’t eat cookies anymore but the exact same issues as far as my swollen stomach, appetite and energy still exist after sugar consumption.  I’ve been feeling really badly about not getting to the gym this last week but I don’t anymore.  I’ve been poisoning my body and then still expecting it to react the same way that it does when I’m fuelling it with high quality fat, protein and veggies.  Obviously that’s not going to work, is it?

So in order to get back on track (is it just me or does it seem like the whole concept of healthy living entails discovering and changing bad habits in order to help yourself become/feel better, like an endless cycle?) I have a plan.  Step One, stop being mean.  Step Two, eat sugar/chocolate under penalty of death.  Step Three, use afternoon energy and alone time (the right after work stuff) for the next two days to sweat out some toxins and get mojo back.  Jog, walk, run, squat, lunge, whatever feels right.  Step Four, chalk it all up as a lesson still being learnt and move forward.

Fortunately last night we did get some exercise, a 6.65 kilometer walk in our neighborhood after dinner so all was not entirely lost.  After our walk I parked my newly finished wagon in the yard and found some pots to put in it.  Tonight I’ll go and get some dirt and a few flowers and plant it. 

 Wish me, not good luck, but good resolve to re-break a bad habit!  Do you have any lessons you have to keep learning over and over?  What is your “thing” that can sabotage your good intentions if you aren’t paying attention?