In For It

10 day strike notice was given at my company yesterday.  Husband and I work at the same place so we’re in a unique and highly stressful situation of limited/reduced finances, the high potential that the company will just close our plant permanently rather than deal with the strike and the political and relationship issue of me having to cross his picket line (I’m not in the union so I’ll still be working).

My Grampa has been in the hospital since last Wednesday with a wicked lung infection in his already deteriorated respiratory system.  He has COPD (emphysema) from decades of being a welder.  While they have mostly cleared the infection, he is now on full time oxygen and dealing with issues of acute aging.  He’s 82 and declared to me last night that he doesn’t feel like his life is worth living anymore. 

I am stressed to the max right now.  I don’t even know what to worry about at any given moment.  Last night I had a good hard cry………well……….I was going to.  I started to.  And then Grace came to the rescue while I was laying on the floor of the hallway sobbing and stood on my back and started licking my face like it was her job.  Ray says that she is a professional in the area of misdirection.  I say that God made tears salty so that your dog will lick them while you cry.  It’s strangely comforting.  I also drank some cheap wine and ate a couple chocolates.  That helps too.

I don’t know what next week will be like.  Hell, I don’t even know what tomorrow will be like.  I’m fully in one-day-at-a-time mode right now.  I have gym plans next week.  I think I need a hard sweat to help release some of the stress.  Whether I can actually get myself there or not……..can’t commit right now.


She’s A Long One This Morning!

As I’ve written about, I took my measurements on January 1st and then stepped away from the scale which up until now has been completely unheard of for me.  You can go back a little ways to the beginning of January and read about the scale getting tossed and how I felt about it.  But let me tell you that it was one of the best things that I have ever done for myself.  No longer am I driven to pay homage to the finicky, narrow minded scale.  Now I just get to do things that feel good because I like them and they’re the right thing to do.  Now I get to eat nutritional foods that bring me enjoyment, health and that fuel hard work at the gym and in my regular life instead of worrying that the banana or the squash is going to drive the number upwards and psyche me out.  It’s all good, a huge relief.  You may think I’m nuts but I am as grateful for tossing the scale as I am every day for my decision 5 years ago to quit smoking.  It doesn’t feel good to be chained to anything whether it’s tobacco or a little blue glowing number every morning. 

I also really liked an idea that I’d had at the end of 2010 to be able to easily see my activity level.  All through 2011 I marked my gym dates and any significant walks down in my date book and then gave them a little green checkmark.  This year I decided I wanted to be able to more easily see my success snowballing week after week so in 2013 all my completed gym dates will be marked in the book and highlit in bright pink.  My main goal for January was to see lots of pink throughout the month.  So how successful was I?

There are 31 days in January and I “pinked” 10 of them!  I went from an exercise “dry spell” (aside from regular dog walking which, for the distance and speed we were going, doesn’t count) to pinking over 30% of a month!   My original goal was to “pink” more than 50% of the month but with our troubles with Snoopy and the fallout which came after, that just was not possible.

So what is the February plan?  Well let’s see.  I’ve pretty much baled on rowing on Monday mornings every day in January except one so that’s clearly a non-starter.  Jogging has been alright but not wonderful, I’ve only made it twice in January for the long indoor treadmill run although I have been jogging outside a very little bit.  Jogging I need to do something better about though because it goes with other things that I want to achieve.  So I’ll keep Saturdays for February….except for the first Saturday in February because I’ll be out of town having some very much needed downtime!  And I’ll definitely be keeping heavy lifting days on Tuesday & Thursday.  I would DEARLY love to add another day in there so I’m going to tentatively mark Wednesday in as a weights day as well.  That gives me heavy lifting on Tues, Wed & Thurs and jogging on Saturday.  I think that I should be alright with that for a month.  It plans in three down days, two of which are in a row.  So once again I’m going to set the goal for over 50% attendance at the gym over the month.   


I had the post above written out yesterday to publish this morning.  You’ll notice that the tone is somewhat energetic and zippy, forward moving and positive.  Unfortunately that’s not really how I’m feeling at all!

In truth?  I feel awful.  Something isn’t right and it seems to be getting worse each day.  Monday sucked, Tuesday was a little better, Wednesday started out alright and then tanked and today I just feel horrible.  I can’t even specifically describe what my problem is, I just don’t feel right.  Negative and hateful and sad and tired and a little depressed.  I’m foggy and overwhelmed and a bit numbed feeling.  It comes in waves and it’s kicking the crap out of me. 

I’ve always been a very perceptive person and while sometimes that’s a bit of a curse, in the case of figuring out your physiology, it’s a total blessing!  I can usually pinpoint what is causing me the issues and then make a change.  This time though, it’s like I’m trying to listen but with cotton in my ears.  The one thing that I do keep hearing over and over when I ask the “what is the matter with me?” question, is “CREATINE”. 

Part of my poor feeling has to do with the fact that I have become so bloated and uncomfortable in the last four days that I could cry.  My pants don’t fit, my ring doesn’t fit, I can SEE the water retention in every part of my body.  Creatine also can cause increased anxiety which I really don’t need ever, let alone right now.  I chose to take a buffered version of the supplement because everything pointed to it not having any of the side effects that creatine monohydrate can have, bloat, anxiety, cramping etc.  Having done further research yesterday and going away from the bodybuilding forums/websites and into the medical and scientific websites and plowing through all the jargon, it seems that there is no appreciable difference between the two in water gain, overall well feeling or muscle gain.  No appreciable difference.  Which means that the bloating and increased ill feeling that I’m having I am going to attribute to the new supplement and stop taking it immediately.  I have such a sensitive system, I can completely see my body not responding well to an additive that is supposed to make it do something outside of whatever is natural. 

I feel pissed off and annoyed that I thought I could give myself an edge to get better results faster.  Have I learned NOTHING from the last year of doing grain free and trying to get closer to a natural existence?  Obviously I needed to learn this lesson again.  I am good enough the way I am and if I want to make changes or improvements, the only thing that will get me there is dedication, hard work and time.  Creatine was supposed to cut down on the “time” portion a bit and enhance the “hard work” portion.  But it’s so not worth it.

Today is my one year anniversary of going grain free.  Today marks the spot in the road where a year ago I decided to go “against the grain” (haha) and do what my body was telling me that it needed.  I heard it loud and clear and went forward and I will never, ever look back.  The things that I have gained over this year are priceless to me, they’re my foundation and my propulsion forward.  I am so sorry though, that after a year of pretty much feeling great that today, on my anniversary date, I feel like such a bag of crap.  I guess what that tells me is that this is ongoing, a constant learning and adjusting experiment.  That nothing is ever static, things change and I have to change and learn and try with it. 

I realize this has been a really long post so if you’ve made it this far, congratulations!  There’s no prize here at the end, just me.  😉

Tomorrow after work we head out on our weekend away, pictures on Instagram (ladyshanny) and Twitter (@prettybikr).  I’m going to use this weekend away as a line in the sand.  I’m going to relax and enjoy and eat chips and drink wine and cherish my hubby.  I’m also going to drink lots of water and walk around and take a nap and eat healthy food.  It’s a 3.5 hour trip up that I’m going to use to flip my switch out of this month of heartache and struggle…and a 3.5 hour trip back that I’m going to use to center myself, clear my head and get back in my game!

Camping Weekend

 Holy Moly!  It’s been a week since I’ve posted, that’s not normal!  Last week went by so fast that it was over and done with before I knew it and here we are already at Tuesday!

The most major thing that has happened since my last post is the infamous “potluck” camping trip.  You may think that I am exaggerating some portions of this recount….however I assure you, these people are inconsiderate and very rude to me.  SO much that Ray started getting his ire up and started shielding me by answering first or talking over them.  If you know Ray, you understand how out of the ordinary

  that is.

Friday I left work and spent TWO HOURS driving to the campsite.  Ray was there with Grace already and the first couple was also there.  Upon arrival I was starving, had to pee and was still dressed up in high heels and a short shirt-dress, sweating and exhausted.  I found our campsite, pulled in and parked

  my car.  I no sooner had the car door closed when my sweet Grace was on me with kisses and butt wiggles.  I had time to give her one kiss on the head and the woman in the first couple started snarking at me  “Your dog has food aggression and who knows what other issues.”.  I was so, SO offended.  We’ve had her for less than three months.  This other couple has a small yappy dog as well.  And this stupid woman, her and her dog being strangers to mine, chose to feed them treats at the same time….and Grace decided she wanted all the treats.  The woman kept on about how she was going to “figure out and work on Grace’s issues over the weekend” until I eventually hauled Grace and Ray into our motorhome and closed the door.  So….super start.

After I got changed I took Grace and went out to the group area and sat down and a little bit sort of apologized, indicating that no one likes to hear bad things about their baby, especially after having been in hot traffic for over two hours.  And so, everyone was happy again.  Temporarily.

 Couple Two arrived and we all had a couple drinks and then set out for the pub for dinner (a short walk away).  The pub was horrible, the food was disgusting and the service was atrocious.  Before we figured that out though, the waitress came and took our drink and menu orders. I was at the end and ordered last, softly asking the waitress to check a certain item to confirm that there was no wheat in it. She walked away to check and the lady from Couple Two loudly questioned what was going on.  Ray told her that the waitress was just checking something and again, she loudly questioned what.  At that time the waitress came back and shot down the ONE THING I might’ve been able to order.  I ended up ordering a shrimp cocktail with no cocktail sauce and a Caesar salad with no croutons.  Mrs Couple Two actually scoffed at me, told me not to take myself so seriously and then physically turned her back on me and blocked me from the other two people sitting on that side of the table.  We then sat at the table with empty drinks and no food for an HOUR.  When the food finally arrived I ate three limp prawns and a bite of a plate of mayonnaise masquerading as Caesar salad.  Disgusting.

I still made efforts to talk to people and there were a couple good

  conversations but I chose to go to bed when I was tired rather than push through tired and keep drinking around the campfire.  I was in bed at 9. 

Saturday morning we all had breakfast and coffee at our own campsites which was nice and then Couple One came and “collected” us for a group walk.  We thought we were actually going for a morning walk so we brought our dog.  In reality they wanted to go shopping in the little town so Ray and I stood on the sidewalk for an hour and a half while they went into Every Goddamn Store.  When we did break away from them for a m

 inute to go to the drugstore to buy sunscreen I had a text immediately asking where we were.  *sigh*

Upon arriving back at the campsite I took my towel and book and sunscreen and headed to the beach for some suntime.  It was gorgeous and hot and peaceful and the highlight of the weekend.  Ray came to get me after a couple hours.  They’d all sat around chatting and catching up (which I thought would be great for them since I got bored of talking about motorhomes and health issues in the first 5 minutes) while I was beaching.  Unfortunately my innocent little excursion was highly offensive to Mrs Couple Two who mused out loud about how when people get together for a weekend that she just assumed that they’ll spend that time catching up, not gallivanting around to suite their own fancy.  I was gone less than 2 hours.  *shakes head*

 After my little beach jaunt we sat around having drinks and snacks (none of which I could eat, but that’s alright) which prompted a discussion of how healthy rice is for you, how “they” say that whole grains are good for you so they must be and how broccoli & green beans are worse for your intestines than white flour.  Couple Two started espousing the value of soy and I had to bite my tongue.  Mr Couple Two then made a comment that “there’s a “pro camp” and a “con camp” to every food” which I agreed to and then asked if that was the case then why is it that what they believe to be true is valid and what I believe to be true is a load of shit and how come what I believe deserves to come under their scrutiny when I don’t ever comment on what they consume.

And that was the last I heard from them about anything food related for the rest of the weekend.

 It was a weekend that I do not care to repeat again anytime soon.  Unfortunately the overall bad feelings about the weekend was also impacted by my getting an extremely painful illness on Saturday morning that hasn’t gone away yet and actually caused me to miss a day of work yesterday.

On the bright side, there were a few magical moments of non-suckitude and I took pictures to prove it!


A sunny, sandy slice of paradise, hot enough out on Saturday afternoon that I laid there in my bikini & sweated for two hours!

Biggest marshmallow I’ve ever seen! And yes, I realize that mallows are made of corn starch and corn syrup….give a girl a break! 😉

These were the weirdest sparks, they were long and slow and loud!

I bought local pattypan squash at the farm market on Saturday and stuffed them with bacon & spinach on Sunday. They were so tasty and the salty bacon with the earthy-fresh squash was lovely!


Admissions and Some Not-So-Fun Facts

Morning!  Apologies again for the radio-silence and many, MANY thanks to you who commented and checked up on me.  While I sort of stopped responding for awhile, please know it really meant the world to me!

I’ve been trying to write a post in my head for about a week now but I keep coming back to the fact that I feel like a bit of a fraud.  I’m not saying any of this to get sympathy or nice comments, it just is.  People keep telling me, here on this blog, via text and in person that I have strength and determination and that I’m tough.  I suppose some of that could be true under regular circumstances.  What you see right now though, that’s the highlight reel.  And just like a couple of months ago when I had to start sharing the failures and successes in order to be more real and possibly more relatable, I have to do it now.  So let me give you the embarassing, not-tough low down on what’s been going on.

Admission #1 ~ Ray is away for 6 days, he left on Tuesday.  As he drove out of the driveway I had an anxiety attack.

Admission #2 ~ I go to bed in his pajamas for some comfort while he’s gone (they actually recommend that for people with sleep disturbances, sleep in spouse’s jammies/undershirt so that you can smell him in your subconscious.  It’s supposed to be comforting).

Admission #3 ~ I haven’t slept through the night without drugs since May 3.  I’m frigging exhausted.

Admission #4 ~ I’ve eaten a ridiculous amount of ice cream to try and make myself feel better.  It hasn’t worked and yet I keep trying.

Admission #5 ~ In a moment of non-clarity I decided to cut my own hair (bangs).  Fortunately I didn’t get very far before I realized the error of my ways and my hairdresser fixed it.

Admission #6 ~ In order to soothe myself I drank a bottle of rather expensive wine.  It didn’t work and I ended up down a bottle and up a headache.

There are more.  I won’t bore you.  I went to my chiropractor (whom I love and owe everything to) and was bawling my eyes out on Wednesday because it’s been two weeks, it was JUST a car accident and yet I’m still feeling like crap, still on edge, not eating properly, losing weight (muscle, not fat = bad!) and not sleeping.  He gave me a few facts that explain a lot.

Not So Fun Fact #1 ~ When you get whacked in a car accident, your Vagus Nerve gets injured.  This is the nerve that runs from your brain all the way down your spine.  It’s the lifeline of your Central Nervous System.  It controls the parasympathetic and sympathetic parts of the nervous system.  Where that Vagus Nerve gets clobbered is different for everyone.

Not So Fun Fact #2 ~ I’ve felt like I was going to throw up every day since the accident.  It made eating anything rather unappealing.  On Wednesday I lamented this to Dr Chiropractor (I’d never thought to mention it before) and he immediately laid me on my back and pushed his fingers into my stomach just below my rib cage.  While he was “talking to” the nerves that run through there he explained that the upset Vagus Nerve caused other upset nerves (thoracic spinal nerve 10) and that they caused a “blockage” in impulse flow in my digestive system.  He does a couple maneuvers to assure the nerves that everything is alright and to go back to normal and 30 seconds later, fixed.  (I really love my chiropractor).

Not So Fun Fact #3 ~ I still don’t feel like eating.  I’m actually apathetic towards food altogether and that’s Vagus Nerve’s fault also.  Apparantly you can get to a point (after a decent amount of stress) where your Vagus Nerve shuts off the desire for food altogether in order to focus on other issues.  Apparantly it’s not a good situation and Dr Chiro has warned me about it.  As a former fatty, you would think that this is a God-send “condition”, no worries about overeating or gaining weight because you have absolutely no interest in food, YAY, finally some good news!  It’s not good news.  Your body can’t recover from stress, anxiety or injury if you don’t feed it.  Fortunately one of the easiest things to stomach when you’re not feeling great is fat.  And also fortunately I am a “fat-burner” from being on a grain free diet for 5 months and my body is accustomed to using fat for fuel.  So, I’ve been eating avocados and eggs, smoked salmon and coconut butter, lots of tea with coconut milk in it and random handfuls of cashews.

So there you go, the state of my world.  Now on to some better news, since there’s always good with bad, right?

Cheer #1 ~ I’ve been cleared by my chiropractor to return to the gym beginning of next week.  No jogging yet and weights at 50% of where I was prior to the accident and build from there as is comfortable.  SO HAPPY!

Cheer #2 ~ I’ve been cleared by my doctor to return to work on Tuesday.  I’m not sure how that’s going to work with my shoulder injury and sitting at a computer all day since my hand still falls asleep all the time but I’m so glad to go back to some degree of normalcy!  He was willing to write me off of work for up to 8 weeks until that nerve heals.  That felt like a death sentence and I opted for “go back to work and assess how you feel” instead.  Two months of sitting at home doing nothing?  Shoot me!

Cheer #3 ~ I am going to pick up George (Ray’s ex wife’s dog) in about 10 minutes.  He’s a good boy and I’m looking forward to someone to go for walks with for the next 4 days.

SUPER Cheer #4 ~ The new car that I bought wasn’t supposed to be in until mid June.  It’s here today and I’m going to pick it up this afternoon.  (I am so happy for that………….and Ray will be so excited, he’s out of cell range and won’t know it came in until he gets home on Monday night….Surprise!)

I have a post it note full of fun things and cool products to tell you guys about.  If I can just get some sleep and eat a frigging salad, I’ll feel much better and be back with regularity.


Not My Week!

I’ve been away from Ye Olde Blog for a few days.  You would think it was because I was off galivanting around Osoyoos.  You would be wrong.  Thursday afternoon, driving home from work I got into a fairly serious car accident.  It was raining and the guy in front of me stopped short for the guy in front of him.  Unfortunately there was an oil slick on the road so instead of stopping in time, I bumped his car (no damage to his vehicle).  Aaaaaannnndddd……several seconds later an SUV  rammed into me from behind at full speed.  Needless to say, I’ve been struggling these past few days.

We did go up to Osoyoos on our planned trip anyway since it was already paid for.  Unfortunately…………it wasn’t what it could have been.  I was poor company and incredibley stressed.  To add insult to injury, I got food poisoning on Friday night.  So if you’re keeping track, that’s bank account cleaned out on Monday, car accident on Thursday, food poisoning on Friday.  Nice, right?

Each day since the accident my back and neck and shoulder have gotten progressively worse until Sunday night when I knew I was in trouble.  I’ve been to see my chiropractor (whom I love and have so much gratitude to over the years) and I’ll be in to see him three more times this week.  I saw my family doctor yesterday as well and she wrote me off work for the week and wrote me a couple of prescriptions.

I haven’t eaten much to speak of since Thursday at lunch time, I haven’t slept since the accident, my anxiety over the past week has been off the charts (for me) and I can no longer tell if I’m having a heart incident or if it’s an anxiety attack.  As you may know, I try very hard not to consume any chemicals or preservatives…………..but unfortunately I’ve had to break the rules and last night I took a sleeping pill.  Sometimes you just need a little help getting over the hump…..and dealing with anxiety and stress becomes harder the less sleep you’ve had.  Vicious cycle!  Plus, while it may seem inconsequential given everything else that is going on, I’m not cleared for exercise except walking for at least a month.  That bothers me quite a bit…………it bothers me that some asshole woman was on the phone and not paying attention to the hazard lights ahead of her and slammed into my car and ruined my quality of life in the short term.

Yesterday afternoon we took my car to the insurance adjuster and they wrote it off.  It had more than $7500 damage to it and it’s just not worth that much.  They gave me more for the write off than I was expecting which is great news.  Unfortunately I am four months away from being car payment free.  What that means is that the Total Loss Cheque from the insurance company does not get paid to me……………it gets written to the car company, they take what they are owed and then they mail me back a cheque for the balance.  The trouble with that is that it takes mailing time across the country + 10 clearing days for the cheque + 3 business days to cut a new cheque + mailing back across the country.  So what I have here is no car and no money with which to get a new car for approximately 20 working days.  That’s a month.

It seems like everytime I turn around, I’m getting screwed somehow and I’m really getting tired of it.  My bank still has not returned the money that was stolen from my account, I have no car, I’m injured and I can’t even go and think about getting a new car for a month because I won’t have the downpayment money from the insurance company.

So, I’m going to go and lay down now for awhile and try to unchemically calm myself down enough that I can make breakfast.

Damn You, Flu!

So yesterday didn’t pan out quite like I had planned. Around 9am I got nauseated, got the chills/sweats, my body started to ache and my head was throbbing something fierce! So, the flu then? That’s what I thought too. But after the first couple of hours, nothing had changed, I didn’t keep getting sicker. I was too nauseated to eat lunch but I wasn’t actually getting sick. Go figure.

I went home at the end of the day and promptly donned my jammies and dragged my bed pillow and blanket out to the sofa and didn’t move for 5 hours. I slept great last night and this morning had some remnants of nausea, a little achy but I came to work. And now? Aside from being a little tired, I feel just fine. In fact I’ve already had breakfast and two snacks (one of which was a beautiful mix of fresh greens, strawberries, pine nuts, avocado….and canned clams) and soon it’ll be lunchtime. I think I probably did fight off a bit of the flu which would not surprise me since Ray’s been sick for a week.

One thing that I did struggle with yesterday was what to eat when ill. If it’s a cold, standard grain-free fare works fine. But when you have an upset tummy? No toast. No crackers. No noodle soup. Ray & Tara both suggested gluten-free bread but I’m completely grain free, not just gluten. Now that I know, I will make sure to have something cooked up and in the freezer, a grain free soup? Or, I guess standard tetra pak chicken broth would work too. Last night I ended up making myself a fruit smoothy, just frozen mixed berries, half a banana and some almond milk pulverized in my Magic Bullet. Worked out fairly well. I realize the idea is to not get sick to begin with….but what do paleo folks do when they have a GI illness in order to settle their stomach?

Obviously given yesterday’s illness, I didn’t go jogging on the trail as was my initial plan. And while maybe it’s just because it wasn’t ‘excuse making’ but an actual reason for not going, I felt like since I’m eating how my body is asking for, I am more in balance and so it was OK not to go. What I mean is that I didn’t feel any guilt whatsoever over not exercising. Normally I berate myself for days over a missed workout! Again, it may be too early to pin this on Grain Free, but I strangely feel as though with no grains in my system that I’m not just chasing my tail as far as exercise goes, that exercise is a bonus and enjoyable but that it’s no longer REQUIRED. Please don’t get me wrong, I am sticking to my schedule and working hard when it’s gym or trail days. But yesterday was the first time in a long time that I didn’t have to talk myself down off of a ledge because I missed a planned run.

Tonight I have nothing going on….I’m going to make the coconut snapper that I didn’t make yesterday and I think another night of laying on the couch and then I’ll be good to go! Ray is back to work for the first day today after his illness so he’ll be exhausted and perfectly happy to watch a movie snuggled up with me on the sofa!