February In Review

Another month has come to a close.  This month had a few bumps and bruises in it that were entirely unexpected and which did some damage to my momentum but since I can’t change the past, I am just going to keep moving forward.  Although I didn’t come in as successfully as I would have liked to (or as I had expected to), if I ask myself the question “Are you further ahead now than you were on February 1?”, I would have to answer yes.  I feel good and balanced and steady.  I haven’t thrown the map in the garbage just because the car got a flat tire.  The tire is fixed and the map is crisply refolded and I’m going again.

Let’s take a look at February.


Spending (groceries):  the goal was to come in at $740 for the month of groceries.  We came in over the line at $853 for the month.  Two weeks we came in on target and two weeks we were over.

Spending (personal):   I had a $50 budget for the month.  I came in at $50.14 which included a cup of tea each weekend, a discounted Christmas decoration and face wash.  The face wash I’m not totally convinced should count towards my spending total since it is more of a “need” than a “want”.  If I don’t include it, I came in at $16.59 for the month.  YAY for no spending!  It is amazing to me what a habit “buying” had become.  In January I struggled with “wanting” things….in February, definitely less struggle!  So far I haven’t missed out on anything or kicked myself for not purchasing something.  This is Great!

Spending (eating out):  the goal was to only eat out twice this month, one breakfast and one dinner. I completely succeeded…..Ray mostly succeeded but he is known for a donut or a muffin in our travels.  But as far as meals eaten we were successful.


Eat at Dinner Table:  the goal was at least three dinners each week.  We did not succeed.  I fully admit to being the one who dropped the ball on it and in some cases Ray was starting to get the placemats out and I asked if we could just curl up on the sofa instead.  It was a complete cop out in most cases and was the result of needing mindless time and some physical comfort (after having been hurt and then heading back to work).  For complete success we should have had 12 dinners at the table and we ended up with 8.  Not awful but it definitely could have been better.

Completely exclude dairy, grains, sugar: I will only abide by 100% compliance in order to call this one successful.  I was not.  Chocolate almonds when I was laid up on the sofa.  Deep fried pickle at pub night fundraiser dinner.  A Dark Chocolate Himalayan Salt Caramel yesterday.  Maple syrup on the Oven Pancake.  It’s not HOOOOORRIBLE….but it is a fail.

Limit alcohol to only Friday and/or Saturday:  Success!  Two weekends were completely dry, two weren’t.  One had the “Chardonnay Incident” and the other I had two glasses of decent red wine….which may have actually fueled the fried pickle issue from above.  Meh.


Gym, 3/week:  Complete fail.  I don’t even want to talk about this.  February was a disaster for fitness.

Outdoor jogging, 4 times around Perimeter Trail:  as per above

Do Coquitlam Crunch: again….no. However…on the two weekends that I actually did line up time to do this….the weather was horrid.  Torrential rain or heavy snow.

Bicycle to work:  Nope.  As above…I slotted in time on two different weekends to take care of this and it was miserable both times.

NOTE: I will be planning in a HUGE turnaround in March…February was simply unacceptable.



Sort spice cabinet:  this is quasi sorted and will stay this way for a while. It’s mostly functional and I don’t want to spend money on it right now.

Finish organizing cookbook:  ya…no….this is still an enormous pain in my ass.  All the recipes are in a binder and in page protectors with page numbers on them…..my sticking point is in developing some sort of index/order.

No handheld technology after 6pm:  I wouldn’t call this a complete success…..but an enormous improvement!

Claim Wednesday nights:  YES!  I look forward to my evening to do whatever.

Get a haircut:  Yep and I love it!


Paint nails once/week:  Err…nope….not even once.  Told myself to get after it a couple of times…but ultimately didn’t even consider doing it.

Maintain both dining room tables free of clutter:  complete success! They both look GREAT!



Three “location” walks:  we did two….and they were fun.  Our third long walk ended up being at our regular park by our house…but it was REALLY snowy so it was like being somewhere different.  The purpose of this one was to get out of our same-old and go somewhere new, hold hands and just be with each other.  Success!

“No TV” Friday evening:  this happened on a Saturday, not a Friday but it happened.

I’ve gone on long enough now , so in summary…..I didn’t do as well in Feburary as I had planned…..but I still had the map and I kept referring to it.  I kept my goals in mind all month and whether I chose to do things that would achieve them or not….I went through the month awake and cognizant of what was happening.  As mentioned, March’s list is pared down significantly to include only spending, eating and exercise goals.  I feel that some of the habits I’ve been trying to form (eating at the table, no tech after 6pm) are fledged enough that I can keep them going without putting them on the list.

We have a weekend away trip booked for the end of March and I want to hit that trip at the end of the month on an upswing, going strong and feeling good.  I can totally achieve that!  I see March as an opportunity and I’m not missing it!



Well. That’s Disappointing.

Let me come right out and say it, “I failed at meeting my Century goal of 100 kilometers by March 1.”.

I missed it by around 20 kilometers.  I say “around 20” because it’s not yet March 1st and I’ll still get one more dog walk in tonight.  But finishing on time is, at this point, unachievable.

I’m disappointed in myself, to be quite honest.  I missed a lot of gym mornings and after work walks that would have certainly propelled me over the finish line with little effort.  But….I didn’t do it.  I slept in when I shouldn’t have, I let Grace go for a walk with someone else instead of insisting on taking her myself (or going alone).  In simple words, I didn’t make my goal a priority and it stalled, faltered and died.  Simple as that.

I was thinking this morning about ultimately having failed and how I should put a positive spin on it and that I got 78km done and that’s better than nothing and I was injured and life happened and I still deserve to feel good about the result, blah blah blah.  But honestly, that’s bullshit.  I set a goal, I could have achieved the goal and I didn’t put my energy into it.  Fail.  So having been realistic about the failure and my feelings about it, now I will be positive (and realistic) about what to do next.

I piddled away February.  I gave a half assed (and sometimes no) effort and I am experiencing the results of that.  I feel crappy, my mood is crappy, my spirit is low.  I hear negative words in my head and I talk myself out of nearly everything without even trying to fight back.

I am so grateful though, that I am awake and aware enough to admit to wasting the month of February and that I can look at what happened, where I got stuck and get moving again.  Yesterday my sister said that she thought that I was tough and that I was a fighter.  Sometimes fighting and being tough takes a shit-tonne of energy though, both mental and physical.  Sometimes that energy just isn’t there….and it wasn’t in February.

In order to help myself be more successful in March, I’m scaling back on the goals list and am going to focus my attention on the things that really bring a lot of added value for me.  Painting my nails would be nice, organizing my cupboards would be great….but what I really need to do is refocus on the “SELF” goals and push away the noisy little stuff that can cloud my vision.

Strangely complimentary to my blog post is the one that my sister wrote today, go check it out:  http://onelittlelifestory.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/not-making-a-choice-is-a-choice/

In the same vein as my post above and the one I just linked to, I am making the choice to choose to let the rest of February go.  I’ve been trying to figure out ways to salvage the month and with three days left to go, it’s not saveable and that effort to keep pumping life into it is just reminding me of everything that I didn’t do. 

Bye Baby

It would be really easy right now to completely chuck out all of February’s goals, given my current state.  But….this afternoon, in a drug and pain induced haze, I had the thought that if I did that, it would be the complete opposite of my theme of the year (self) and my goal to find balance in my life.  So I can’t go to the gym….is that any reason to chuck out my financial goals, my sugar-less goals, my relationship goals?  It is not.  I’ve been called “stoic” a few times in the last couple of days and I’m going to be stoic here and stay true to my values and goals and stay as true to the course as I can get.

One thing that has come out of this is a dramatic slow down in everything.  Every single thing I do, from pouring and drinking a coffee to picking which pajama pants to wear has to be thought out in advance and done deliberately.  Every move I make right now is painful and that is ratcheted up exponentially if I have to move quickly or do something more than once.  Just to elaborate on my situation (because it’s all-consuming right now for me), here’s a fun list:

Things I can’t do at all right now (besides fitness, of course):

put my hair in a ponytail, tie my shoes, wear tights, floss my teeth, take my contacts in or out, fill the large dog water dish, put on or take off a necklace, go to work, drive my car (stick shift)

Things I can’t do efficiently or effectively:

laundry, dishes, cooking, shampooing or styling my hair, brushing my teeth, getting off the sofa or out of bed, anything that requires my dominant hand/arm to be engaged at all.

I just got back from taking Gracie for a walk…..after 20 minutes of cavorting into The Ugliest Outfit I’ve ever worn outdoors (selected for my ability to get into and out of it one-armed), we went on a Very Slow march around a few residential blocks in the neighborhood.  It is cold outside but clear and the fresh air felt fantastic.  Tonight is Thursday so we normally go to Costco after dinner but….and here’s a bit of vanity for you…..unless Ray is going to help me get some leggings or yoga pants on, I’m not going out in public wearing what I just wore to walk the dog.  Not.  I still have pride!

I’ll be trying to go to work tomorrow because I don’t currently get paid for staying at home (thanks, new job!).  Ray is going to have to help dress me a bit in the morning…..but I’ll be on my own when I’m at work and have to pee.  TMI, but it’s something I have to think about.  As long as I can get some sleep tonight (slept last night in our spare bed and alternated between crying and dozing sitting up….which was the only position that the bastard arm didn’t make me want to shoot myself) and get dressed with at least combed hair tomorrow, I will go to work.  Even typing that I’m considering going to work sounds so frigging idiotic……(as long as I can comb my hair and get dressed??) but I have to at least show up there.  This is still a new-ish job and I can’t just not show for two days.

We have a three day weekend ahead (thank HEAVENS) and although I won’t be doing any of the things I originally planned, I’m so grateful for the extra days off!  Ray doesn’t know it yet but I’ll still be doing my weekend cooking “hour” because I want to be able to eat good and healthy food next week.  The only difference between my normal cooking time and this weekend is that Ray is going to do most of it with my guidance.

And in regards to hubby dearest who was acting like a bit of a spoiled brat the past few days……he got told last night to step up his game.  He got reminded that I do A LOT for us normally where he does very little, he got reminded that we are in a PARTNERSHIP and you don’t just hang the other partner out to dry when it gets inconvenient.  And he got reminded that he was severely injured FOR A YEAR and I did absolutely everything from cooking, laundry, dog, house, shopping, banking, helping him with hygiene, doctor appts, and being ready and available for HIS EVERY NEED.  FOR A YEAR.  So slamming pots around and acting like I’m torturing him because he has to fry the fajita ingredients (which were pre-chopped and already seasoned!) is effing ridiculous and childish and makes me look at him very differently.    I realize I’ve given him a very nice life and he’s become accustomed to being taken care of and I don’t personally do well on the accepting help front….but we have No Choice in this case so he needs to step up and I need to let/make him.

So to summarize:  not throwing the baby out with the bathwater (February Goals), taking this forced slowdown for what it’s worth and trying to learn from it, considering getting some nice yoga pants/sweatpants that can be worn in public, and doing some work on the old relationship.

Wishing for good, restful and pain-free sleep tonight and some improvement tomorrow….even if it’s miniscule, I’ll take it!

January Roadmap Summary


Here we are at the end of January.  To be perfectly honest this has been the most controlled and productive January that I have ever had.  Possibly the most controlled and productive month I’ve had in a very long time.  When I laid out my goals for January, I set them with the best possible intentions given the information that I had at the time.  And now, coming back and assessing my results, I am doing it with complete honesty, no fudge factor. The wins are blue, the fails are red and the cancelled goals are marked in purple with an explanation.  Is there more red on the page than I had hoped to see?  Yes, for sure.  Obviously when I set the goals I’d hoped to achieve them all successfully.  But where the red is and the impact of those fails, overall, is not awful and gives me a foundation with which to plan and measure February.  Here’s how January played out.

Food Budget

Food Budget:  I chose this as a goal because it’s one of our major expenditures although I really had no idea just how major, I’d never tracked it before.  Having said that, picking “$130/week” as the total was pretty much just me throwing a dart into the abyss.  We failed massively on this one.  Sort of.  In reviewing the entire month as a whole, we ate every single meal and snack at home (or on the go but was prepared at home) and the amount of waste we had was nearly none. Total of groceries that got tossed out was one serving of turkey soup, half a head of cabbage, two bunches of parsley and three servings of squash soup that we really tried to like but didn’t.  So for our rather high expenditure, we either ate everything or prepared and froze for future.  February I have taken our total from January, averaged it by day and then reduced it by around 20%.  It’s possible we won’t be able to achieve it but that’s the point of a goal….to try.

Eating Out

Eating Out:  This one, while appearing small on the goals list, was actually HUGE for us and was a complete, 100% success.  We didn’t purchase so much as a snack on the “outside”.  Everything we ate, with the exception of our one meal, came from home.   For February Ray asked that we have two eat out meals in the month because we really enjoy a breakfast out and he didn’t think we should have to choose between breakfast and dinner.  I agreed with that and so in February our goal is to limit eating out to one dinner and one breakfast.

No Spend

No Spend: This one chalks up as a failure on paper, I spent money on things that were not critical to our survival.  However, coming in at a total of $56 for the entire month is amazing for me, a complete change from my past habits. Further, I should point out that the bulk of the total, the $31 at Gourmet Warehouse and the $18 at David’s Tea were spent in the first 5 days of January and to be perfectly honest, I completely forgot that not spending any money was one of my goals.  Habits, right?!  In February we’ve agreed to give ourselves each $50 (which will be doled out in cash) for “stuff” and beyond that, no spending!

Dinner Table

Once again, this one is technically not a complete success….but a HUGE win in our household!  Beyond the “dinners” that I logged for my goals, we ate most weekend lunches and a couple of weekend breakfasts at the table.  This one was a bit of a struggle and, I suspect, will continue to be a struggle from time to time. February has the same goal.  (of note, I did not have to “lead by example” as I thought I might, Ray was right on board all month)

Community Run

Community Run:  this one was a bit of a false goal because I’d already registered for the Chilly Chase in mid December.  But, registering is not the same as actually doing it, so it got marked down as a goal. 100% success!  February does not have a community/charity run in it but March does…so February has some interesting and fun training goals.


Video Blog:  90 Seconds of Real has had a pretty good first month, we’ve had some awesome videos, new followers and a good number of site views.  What we don’t really have is participation from anyone other than the contributors and I’m struggling with finding the magic answer to get people engaged.  February doesn’t have this as a goal but I’ll keep on promoting and plugging and we’ll reassess in another month.

Limit Fruit

Limit fruit:  this goal was designed as a carb-limiting goal and ended up crashing and burning in the first third of January.  While I did terminate the goal for sanity reasons, I have tried to keep an eye on the amount of fruit I’m consuming and I’m avoiding turning to fruit as an easy fallback.  But…the navel oranges are gorgeous right now and they make me happy.


Exclude dairy, grains, sugar:  I consider this goal failed.  Not because I went off the rails, I didn’t.  I consider it failed because I quite easily could have avoided the things I had and I chose not to.  I didn’t need to bite the krispy square, I could have used arrowroot in the stew, the soup didn’t have to have sour cream and saying no thank you to ice cream is perfectly acceptable. February has the same goal.  I would not consider this one a success with anything less than 100% compliance.

Limit Alcohol

Limit alcohol:  This one was a total success, my alcohol consumption went down dramatically and in a couple cases, on my approved days I asked myself if I really even wanted wine and the answer was no.  When I did indulge, it was lovely.  That’s where I wanted to get back to and I did.  February has the same goal.


Gym Dates:  This one is a fail.  I had 75% success with this goal and I’m not sure how I feel about that.  In trying to live intuitively, I sort of feel like I did enough for my body; combined with Century, I stayed reasonably active in January.  I’m torn on what to do for February, I have the same goal, 3/week but I also have 4 five kilometer runs, one bicycle ride to work and home (uphill!!) and one Coquitlam Crunch (a milder Grouse Grind).  That’s 18 “fitness events” in a 28 day month.  I’m going to leave February that way although I do expect to miss hitting 100% success. February’s motto is “dig deep”, so we’ll see.  I will set my March goals based on an assessment of January and February.

Weight Goal

Weigh in at 179#: This goal was terminated in late January after personal assessment and support from Tara, Lana & my sister.  The scale is bullshit and I refuse to stand on it.  I am quasi-content with where my body is right now.  I would LOVE to be the size I was 6 years ago.  Is that possible?  Of course.  Is it probable?  Not in the slightest.  I was 29 then, I’m 35 now and shit has gone down in life.  I can’t simply discard all of that and force myself back into the past.  That 158# body was also created on a severe calorie restriction and a shit-tonne of cardio.  Since I am not willing to do that again, I have to respect where I am now and work with it.  There will be no scale or measurement goal in February, just a general statement that I should be working to reduce fat and build muscle.  I’ll know if I succeeded or not.

DecisionsMake Decisions Consciously:  this was a bullshit goal right off the start, those words don’t mean anything and there was no thought behind it save for the fact I though my goals list was too…er….selfish & materialistic.  LOL, so silly.

Feb All

So where do I go in February? A lot of January’s goals get to travel into February; some stay the same, some get some minor changes.  And then there are some brand new goals that surround fitness, personal care and home care.  Two that I’m really excited about are:

  • One “no TV” Friday night
  • No handheld technology after 6pm

Having these monthly road maps laid out has brought me a sense of direction and peace that I have never had before.  It’s a sense of really living my life as fully as possible and knowing what I expect of myself.  It’s actively watching and taking notice of patterns, both good and bad and capitalizing on that information in order to build a balanced and content life.

Welcome February, I’m ready for you!

Cute Shoes…And Other Things

Happy Wednesday, Internet!  Did you have a good sleep?

I was in the gym again this morning working on some rowing and my legs.  I hate leg day because I don’t like leg exercises but I love leg day because it’s a faster workout for me so I get home sooner and get to have almost a half hour to myself to ice my legs and drink coffee.  Tomorrow is a FULL ON REST DAY (no gym, no century mileage) and because of that I’m kind of looking forward to tonight, staying up an hour later and laying on my couch watching my shows while Ray goes over to his buddy’s house (I took back Wednesday evenings to be mine, all mine, more on that another day).  Friday will be another upper body day at the gym and then only century mileage on Saturday and Sunday I’m doing a community run with my Seestah!

I was so excited this morning to be feeling a bit slender-er so I put on a top that Ray’s daughter bought me for C’mas that was….err…..much too tight at Cmas time.


I’ve been really nervous about stepping onto the scale next Friday (Jan 31) because I’ve been working really hard and feeling really good (finally) but felt that nothing was really changing and not seeing that scale drop down to at least near my goal would be heartbreaking.  But this morning I can tell based on this outfit that something has changed even if I’m not quite sure yet as to what that is.

And….I’m wearing these awesomely cute shoes to go with it.  I bought them in December and could not WAIT to wear them….this morning they seemed like they would go really well with my outfit win…even if it is still a bit chilly out to be wearing them.


I just wanted to talk quickly about my eating at the table thing.  It is definitely still a struggle to get Ray to naturally head for the table three nights per week and to be honest, sometimes I completely forget that we’re supposed to be sitting there.  So why am I so stuck on it? It has a little to do with enjoying the food and really compartmentalizing meals. But my ultimate goal was to get us talking to each other more, spending more face to face time with each other every evening.  Last night I thought maybe it’s working.  Dinner was in the oven when Ray got home and I don’t turn on the TV when I’m home first.  We stood in the kitchen and talked and laughed and pestered each other and then we moved into another room, sat down and went over my weights routines to make sure that they are balanced.  It was SO nice to be together with no background noise and no distractions.  Ultimately, our chatting and whatever led to a LOT of time passing and we didn’t sit down to dinner until nearly 7pm….so I acquiesced on the dinner table in favour of watching a show together while we ate.  People get into a rut…..we got into a rut.  A dull, quiet, boring rut….and my firm insistence on focusing on just each other for the duration of a meal in the evening is, slowly but surely, getting us out of it.

I have me a splitting headache right now….I’m glad that the tea I picked out for myself last night was a peppermint based one since peppermint is good for a headache….but it doesn’t seem to be helping at all!  I’m off to throw myself into the incredibly, brain-bleedingly dry world of pricing high voltage electrical maintenance.  As if that won’t make me want to put my head through the wall!

Things I Love – Tuesday

Morning!  I have a new post up on 90 Seconds of Real; four of us post there daily, short videos (less than 2 minutes) encompassing anything from cooking, nutrition, weight loss, exercise, dealing with depression/anxiety, Whole30 or whatever we’re feeling or dealing with at the moment while trying to live balanced, healthy lives.  If you think you can relate, we’d love to see you over there, take a look around (the About tab tells about each of our backgrounds) & watch a couple videos.  Click the “FOLLOW” link in the top right corner to join our little community!


This morning I was at the gym and did mile-row-mile (run a mile as quick as you can, get off and row 2000 meters and then run another mile….supposed to be for time, I usually am just happy if I don’t puke).  At 0.6 of my second mile I realized I’d taken in too much water after my row and I felt like I was going to be sick.  Since my current feeling is that I do a little every day and build on it, I stopped at 0.6 for the second mile and went to the weight room instead.  There I did assisted pullups, straight arm lat pulldowns, shoulder press, dumbbell flys, chest press, abs and stretching.  There were two other women in the area as well working on different programs and I took a minute to watch each of them and appreciate how we were all doing something different.  I was doing some fairly traditional exercises, another woman was doing some more advanced full body work and then the third woman was….well….flopping about like a landed fish, really….but she was super lean and fit so whatever she’s doing obviously is working for her.    None of our workouts looked like they’d particularly been designed by anyone and that got me to thinking that we all just do the best we can with what we have.  We read and research, assess ourselves and our goals and then try to do the things that will be effective with all of that in mind.  Really levels the playing field, doesn’t it!  It was also nice to see lots of new faces in the gym this morning, women that are trying to push themselves forward, shed weight and baggage and create something for themselves that is better and healthier.  So nice to see!


When it was epically hard to get out of bed this morning I reminded myself that A) you can’t move forward if you don’t take a step and B) the large amount of work that I do and money & time that I spend feeding us as well as I do…well….I sort of felt like that was a wasted effort if I don’t get to the gym. It’s a package deal for maximum success.


So…moving on, I went to the Dr last night after work, had no wait to see her (yay!) and had a nice little chat with her.  I told her about my iron issues and she’s giving me the iron panel again but adding in a B12 test for pernicious anemia as well as a test for celiac.  I do NOT think that I have celiac disease but it’s the number one cause of poor iron absorption so it makes sense to test for it.  In doing my own research I also think I would benefit from taking a Vitamin C supplement with my iron supplement as C assists with absorption of the iron.  Now I just have to find time to pop in and get my blood drawn.


When I got home last night I finished the process of making Well Fed “Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat”.  It was…..alright.  The seasoning mix and the morrocan dipping sauce was great but I found there was absolutely no difference between brined and unbrined meat.  It was a little dry and definitely benefitted from the sauce as well as a little drizzle of WellFed mayo.  It’s possible that since I brined on Saturday and then let it sit in the fridge that it wasn’t as good as it could have been….but she says right in the book that you can brine and then store raw for 2-3 days.  The seasonings & cooking method were definite winners but since this was a brining test for future turkey brining, it wasn’t a winner.  I will try it again though on a day when I can cook the chicken immediately after the brining process is complete.


Well Fed – “Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat”

Tonight I’m going to turn my car over to the body shop for repair for a few days (courtesy car) and then go home, put the stew on the stove to heat up and take Gracie for a walk in the rain.  I have my new snazzy coveralls that Ray bought me for Christmas, they are reflective, waterproof, windproof and flame retardant.  With the addition of polar fleece tights underneath, they are roasty-toasty and I love them!  I may consider wearing them for the “Chilly Chase” run on January 26!


I think that’s all for me today, this blog post originally started out as Things I Love Tuesday….but sort of went another direction!  In order that the title doesn’t make zero sense, here are some things that I love right now:

Ginger Citrus Body Butter by Arbonne.  I actually won this, I never would have purchase it myself.  My legs and arms are so silky soft and it doesn't stay "wet" so you can easily get dressed after applying.  Has a gentle fragrance also.

Ginger Citrus Body Butter by Arbonne. I actually won this, I never would have purchase it myself. My legs and arms are so silky soft and it doesn’t stay “wet” so you can easily get dressed after applying. Has a gentle fragrance also.

The now-obsolete Gingerbread Rooibos tea from David's Tea.  I bought two large cans of it in clearance because I can't imagine not having it!

The now-obsolete Gingerbread Rooibos tea from David’s Tea. I bought two large cans of it in clearance because I can’t imagine not having it!

My Libre tea thermos and I do not spend any time apart.  It's self straining through the lid so you just drop your leaves in, add water and go!  Absolutely love it!

My Libre tea thermos and I do not spend any time apart. It’s self straining through the lid so you just drop your leaves in, add water and go! Absolutely love it!

Elements Botanicals sugar scrub....I use it on my face a couple times a week and my skin is So Soft!

Elements Botanicals sugar scrub….I use it on my face a couple times a week and my skin is So Soft!

They say you're supposed to black out your sleeping environment completely. I can't do that for various reasons so I have this...and I LOVE IT! I've been sleeping solidly every night since December 25th!

They say you’re supposed to black out your sleeping environment completely. I can’t do that for various reasons so I have this…and I LOVE IT! I’ve been sleeping solidly every night since December 25th!


2014 – Self-ish

Going back YEARS into my blogging career, I often seem to post multiple times on New Year’s Eve.  Here’s another!

One of the things that I think I would like to recommit to in 2014 (this is NOT a resolution) is self care.  My “eating at the dining room table” thing is related right in there with self care.  I spend so much of my not-at-work time planning, shopping for and cooking our meals and it was starting to annoy me that we were consuming food prepared with love, in front of the TV or other “device”.  When meals would be over in minutes and I could barely remember what we ate the day before, I figured that was not in any way respecting the love and effort that I put into feeding us.

This morning, while at the gym, I noticed that my nail polish is a bit chipped and it irked me.  Somewhere along the way I stopped doing things for the sole purpose of taking care of me.  Somewhere in 2013 I stopped full body exfoliation (baking soda for the win!), I stopped painting my nails, I stopped reading books, I stopped deep conditioning my hair. Somewhere along the way I forgot to take care of myself.  Somewhere along the way I subbed in things that were meant to give me that “feel-good feeling” but which were simply saboteurs in disguise; a glass of red wine, PVR’d shows, cookie and coffee.  Not that there is anything wrong with these things, a glass of red wine is a very enjoyable thing on my register.  And I will still work on enjoying a cookie with an evening coffee on an occasion.  But they are not adequate substitutes for the things that I really value, for the things that I need in order to feel beautiful and healthy and lively.

So, this morning when I noticed my chipped nail polish and then later when I was craving a tanning session, I thought I would add a couple more January goals to my list.  In thinking about it, it really does tie in with losing my 15 stress pounds and regularly going to the gym. They are all self-care things that only I benefit from and if I really put my brain to it, how can I expect myself to go to the gym on the regular if I don’t even remove chipped nail polish?

I have been reading some blogs at work (soooo not busy) and apparently people choose a theme word that they will use to define their year.  Never heard of such a thing but I think it’s a cool idea. A word to define your actions for the year.  As soon as I thought about it for myself, I knew what my 2014 word would be.


2013 was about how the hell we were going to survive.  In 2014 my focus is going to be on me again.  The things I need, the things that make me better, happier, calmer, more loving, better balanced.  The things that speak to who I am and what I value.  It’s not about being selfish or not considering other people and their needs….it’s about being self-ish and also considering my own.

Goals and a Shameless Plug

I’ve read a couple of good blogs over the weekend and I’ll be damned if I can find them now.  The gist was….what you would expect at this time of year.  Get your head straight, get your house in order and, if you want to see change you have to actually make change.  That part was my favourite.  It’s the hardest for us, sometimes, to remember that just wanting something isn’t enough to make it happen.  That just believing in something isn’t enough to inspire change.  That just envisioning it isn’t enough to bring it to life.  Sure, those are all good things and they help but the reality is that if I want to run a race I have to go outside and train for it.  The reality is that if I want to lose a few pounds I have to stop eating crap food.  The reality is if I want to change my relationship with food I have to make changes in my encounters with it.

I’ve written my monthly weight goals down on a sheet of paper in my day planner where I can see them.  During the Christmas cleanup though, our scale went missing.  So….for the better, I can weigh myself once a month at the gym!  Anyway, although some of these goals don’t necessarily meet all the SMART (specific, measureable, actionable, realistic, timely) criteria but they’re close enough.  And…although I said earlier that I wasn’t making resolutions, I don’t believe that monthly goals fall under that category.  I think it’s important to have goals and to put them out there in the world!  So here they are for January:

  • Reduce food budget to $130/week
  • Reduce eating out to once this month
  • Adopt friend’s idea of “No Spend Month” and do not spend money on anything that is not critical for survival.  Wine is not critical.  Cry.
  • Eat at the dinner table at least 3 nights per week, no TV, no technology.  Be willing to encourage by example if Ray is not yet on board (ie, do it alone)
  • Participate in 1 community/charity run
  • Get new Video Blog up and running and promote it
  • Limit fruit to 1/day max (includes whatever is mixed into a salad)
  • COMPLETELY EXCLUDE:  dairy, added sugars or grains of any sort
  • Limit Alcohol to only Friday and/or Saturday
  • Meet gym dates, three per week
  • Work to meet weight goal for January
  • Practice making decisions consciously

I was going to highlight the ones that I thought were the most important….but then the whole list was highlit so I nixed that idea!  These are the goals that I have for January (starting now).  Nearing the end of January I’ll review the list and reassess and see what will continue on to February and what I’ll change.  There is no point in making decisions now for June, or now for November or even now for March.  I know that there are things that will change and things that will happen between now and a month from now and instead of trying to wedge my goals around my life or cram my life into these goals, I’ll make conscious goals that will work with everything else I have going on.

A long time ago a blog friend made a statement, I can’t remember if it was her original statement or copied from somewhere.  “Do The Next Right Thing”. That’s it and it will be my motto for January 2014.


Let me know what you’re doing in the next month that will improve your life?  Giving up alcohol?  Exercising more?   


I encourage you to click on over to “90 Seconds of Real” and take a look around.  We have four women at the moment who are going to share their ups, downs and sideways.  Below is the description of the project from the website.  We hope to have a new video every day (or pretty close to) and we would love a “FOLLOW” or a “LIKE” or even the most cherished of internet communications, a “COMMENT”!  Check out the videos that are up there now as well as the brief biographies and pictures of the contributors under the “About” tab.


The goal with this project is to relate to, reach out to and appeal to other women who are trying to live a strong healthy life in today’s world of convenience, inactivity, instant gratification and a to-do list that just won’t quit.  It’s not an easy road to travel and sometimes when you’re walking down it, you can feel like you’re all alone.

Meet the women of the “90 Seconds of Real” project and know we’re all walking down this road too and we get it!  We’re charging on and powering through and screaming into a pillow right along with you.  We’re cooking Yet Another Paleo Meal for the billionth time and dragging ourselves out of bed to get to the gym and turning down cookies and trying to stand behind our choices and our values.   We hope that you can relate!

Focus On The Now

We had a “Hail” of a good weekend, you can click through to read about it and see some pictures. 

 I’m feeling so much more like myself today.  Yesterday it felt like the fog was starting to lift and I am absolutely YEARNING for this better feeling to last more than just to the end of the work day. 

 Last week Grace and I logged over 32 kilometers together and I think that went a long way in having a bit of a shakeout.  It was all green, fresh exercise and any exercise with my dog beside me is a gold star in my book!


 My goal tonight is 4.5-5k with Grace in the park (rain or shine) and then home to make dinner.  Tonight it’s very simple to make, hamburgers baked in the oven with leftover roasted veggies.  I’m going to avoid turning on the television at all tonight and get some of the things that have been bugging me done.  Tidying, dusting, laundry finished up.  I’m also going to get my gym bag packed up and ready to go.

As you may know, I’ve been struggling lately….I would say consistently having a hard time over the last 9-12 months.  Trying to find my groove and being knocked down more often than not.  It’s definitely getting tiresome.  A  friend of a friend on Twitter sent me a link to an article that really struck me right in the heart.  It’s about having an “upper limit problem”.  The article is a bit long but do go and read it, it’s wonderful!


It talks about how we have limits to how much love, success and happiness that we allow ourselves to feel/achieve, or really, how much of those things we are capable of dealing with at any one time.  I had been lamenting in my previous post about how I always, always get stuck here in this same spot that I’m in right now.  That I’ll distract myself with other things for awhile to avoid noticing that I’m up against a wall.  Because the trouble is, I don’t know how to get over that wall, it’s too tall and too solid.  The ticket is, I realize, to stop trying to go over and smash through the wall, but to take a step back and look for the unlocked door and simply walk through.

In the past when I’ve wanted to change something, fix something, create something, I just jump in and get my hands dirty, work hard, dig deep and make whatever it is happen.  Pain, time, effort be damned.  No matter how hard I am trying to push myself right now though, it’s like my feet are cemented into the ground where I stand and no amount of shoving is helping move me. 

So….I’m taking a different approach.  Instead of trying to force myself to move from where I am right now, I’m going to back off a bit.  Instead of trying to scold or curse or guilt myself into feeling a certain way or expecting a certain result, I’m just going to try and relax.  I saw it written somewhere over the weekend that when you hang onto constant stress, your (fat) cells feel like they’re being yelled at all the time and so they become numbed to any sort of input.  There is zero point in eating naturally and moving naturally and trying to live as low key as possible when your insides are having to listen to a Metallica concert 24 hours a day.

Instead of looking forward and trying to become someone else, I’m going to look at myself where and who I am and be the person that I am right now.  I believe in constant improvement, constantly trying to better yourself, achieve more, succeed and win.  I think I’ve been going about it wrong lately though.  I’ve been trying to project ahead to that woman in the future.  The problem with that is that it does a disservice to the woman that I am right now!  There’s nothing wrong with goals and we should all have them.  There is something wrong with having a goal and then beating your current self up because she’s not there.

Future Me:  I want to eat clean and kick sugar once and for all. 

Current Me:  I do eat very clean, healthy and whole right now.  I work all the time at limiting and reducing my sugar intake

Progressive Me:  Continue daily living, question urges and motivations and pick instances that mean something before indulging in treats.

Future Me:  I want a perfectly balanced relationship with equal give and take and lots of gratuitous affection.

Current Me:  I have a man who loves me endlessly, a fulfilling relationship with lots of fun and togetherness. 

Progressive Me:  Reduce internal dialogue that doesn’t serve a positive purpose. 

Future Me:  I have very high goals of who I want to be/look like/achieve. 

Current Me:  I am healthy and able and fit and strong.  I work hard and putting the Future Me in the forefront of my mind doesn’t allow Current Me to shine.

Progressive Me:  Don’t let Future Me eclipse Current Me.  Do the hardwork to better your CURRENT SELF, one day at a time!

Change is scary.  I am not big on it (as I’m sure is a common feeling).  In reality though, personal change occurs slowly, one day and one action at a time.  Standing where I am right now and projecting ahead to Future Me is like standing at the bottom of a mountain and being told to jump straight up to the top.  The reality is that it’s not a one time straight up jump.  It’s a hike, a step, a slide, another step. 

This post is all over the place, I realize that.  But my head’s been in such a fog for awhile that when it clears, however temporarily, I have to embrace it!

Wow, Rude!

OK, grain free, primal, paleo community, I need some help.

I’ve chosen to go completely grain free for a number of reasons.  One reason is that certain grains hurt my stomach.  Not all of them, so if I really wanted to, I could simply eliminate wheat and brown rice.  But after the complete overhaul that was “grain free”, I chose to never add back any grains or legumes.  In 9 months I’ve eaten something with grain in it 3 times.  All three times I paid dearly but all three times had their own reasons for being completely worth the pain and illness afterwards.  I don’t drink beer anymore except on a special occasion and only if I don’t have to fit into pants or a skirt that aren’t stretchy within three days afterward.

I’ve never really had to defend myself from this choice, I’m very fortunate.  I know that others who go this route, especially if they choose to go even more restrictive for whatever reason, get a lot of flack and are made to feel stupid or uncomfortable or are made to doubt their choices by people who either don’t understand or who choose to get involved in something which Does Not Affect Them.

I’m now in a situation where I am going to have to stand up for the decision that I made for my life (and part of Ray’s) and be poked fun at, eye rolled and ultimately disrespected.  If you have never made the decision to go grain free (or vegan, same social obstacles) then you may think that what you eat shouldn’t be such a huge deal.  You would be absolutely correct however people; friends, relatives, acquaintances; all feel that they have the right to question, doubt and belittle the choice because they have no frame of reference and more than likely it makes them feel uncomfortable.

We’re going camping next weekend with some friends that Ray has had since before he and I got together.  We’re not going far, only about 40 minutes from home and there is only going to be one overnight.  Last night we got an email from one of the couples wanting to get a plan going as far as the meal the one night we’re there.  She said “potluck or joint menu, we’re good with either, thoughts?”.  I responded and said that due to dietary restrictions that some or all of us may have (they have cholesterol, egg and certain veggie issues) that it would be easier if each of the three couples just took care of their own meal and we all can eat together. 

The response I got put my teeth on edge.  “Perhaps you can put your “dietary restrictions” aside for the weekend.”.  I have not since responded.  The third couple sent an email confirming that the group consensus is a potluck and one is bringing pasta salad, one is bringing garlic bread and corn on the cob and they want to know what we’re bringing. 

My trouble is that I am about 20 years younger than all of them (if you’re new to my blog, Ray and I have an age difference) and while we have all gotten along fairly well, any concern, issue, annoyance, opinion, idea or thought that I have which they don’t agree with gets me a hypothetical head-pat and eyeball roll and then they all just steam roll over top and carry on.  As though I am just a dumb kid.

So now I don’t know what to do about this potluck thing.  I am not potlucking because it’s not fair (yes, I realize life isn’t fair but you should be able to manipulate your own life a little to make things work) that they bring food I can’t eat and that all I will end up eating is whatever I bring and that I also have to share it. 

The passive aggressive part of me wants to never respond and then when it comes down to that meal and I didn’t bring anything to “share” that I’m going to remind them that I already stated my position the first time, potluck does not work for me/us.

The more outwardly aggressive part of me wants to make a bacon, full fat mayonnaise, raw onion, avocado and walnut “salad” because those are all the ingredients that they can’t eat. 

And the really aggressive part of me wants to email them back and say simply, “While I appreciate where you’re going with this, my nutritional choices and issues do not turn off on weekends.  Potluck does not work for us.  Thanks.”

I’m really not sure where to go with this.  Obviously I don’t want to make waves, especially ones that ride over into the actual face-to-face weekend.  But I also am not willing to roll over on this.  If I send the third option above, they are all going to be annoyed and/or make me feel like an outsider when it comes to meal time.  And given that Alien will be with us on this camping weekend, I really am worried that I am going to defend myself loudly and in person if that should happen.

My other issue with the whole thing is….less intelligent….but I can almost guarantee that grain free/paleo/primal women may know what I’m referring to.  I don’t feel like I am skinny enough or lean enough or fit enough to visually defend my choice to not eat grains.  Even if someone has never heard of grain free, paleo or primal, if you’re doing something that is on the fringe of conventional wisdom, you will absolutely be judged first on what you look like.  It’s not right but it’s true.  If I said I was on an all chocolate cake diet and I was muscular and lean and completely devoid of excess body fat, people would sit up and take notice because clearly there’s something to this.  If I was on an all chocolate cake diet and I was flabby and pale and a tired looking, that would give them the ammunition they need in order to belittle the decision.

I’m not saying I’m flabby, pale or tired on grain free, not at all.  I look…..normal.  Not fitness or swimwear model, not stunningly athletic.  Just.  Normal.  It’s not sexy like a chocolate cake diet could be (meat, veg, fat…boring!), it’s complicated and too much work and people don’t get why you would go to so much effort just to look….normal. So they disregard (especially if they already see you as a child amongst adults) and disrespect.

So, what would you suggest?  How do I respond or do I even respond?