June 30, 2014; So Relaxed!

Oh, alone time, I treasured your every second!  Back on Friday I had begged off of going motorcycle gear shopping with Ray and his son so that I could spend a couple hours alone.  At 9am I took Furface into the trail for an early morning, sweaty walk and by the time I got back, Kyle had come and picked Ray up and they were gone.  I spent the morning taking a long bath, cooking up some protein for the week ahead, drinking (and getting addicted to) bone broth while sitting on my rocking bench outside reading a book.  I had lunch alone, poured myself some tea and then realized that my body was asking for some rest.  A glorious hour later I woke up, did some laundry and then fiddled around outside in the garden.  Ray and Kyle got home around 4 and then we all went together to Andrea’s to pick something up (and check out the newly painted nursery) and then we went out to Maple Ridge to see George.  George is Ray’s ex-wife’s boxer….and before she got together with Jamie, we babysat him on most weekends and taught him how to sleep in our bed with us!  Turns out that George has bone cancer and is approaching his end time.  As soon as we found out on Saturday, there was no question we would go out to see him right away.  He seemed in good spirits and was happy to see us all, including Gracie.  I got some solid snuggles in with him and gave him the world’s supply of soft snout-kisses and ear whispers.  He’s ten years old and they’ve decided (rightfully) that they won’t be aggressively treating him.  When he’s no longer comfortable or in good spirits, he’ll head for the Rainbow Bridge to hang with Brandy, Mattie, Rhysa, Sierra, Snoopy, Paris and all the other pets that our family has loved and lost.

Sunday morning was another up-early and we did some errands and then it was time for me to bite the “don’t like new things” bullet and go on my own to a town an hour away and do some one-on-one motorcycle training.  I was nervous and apprehensive to say the least.  The ride out was cold and a bit drizzly and I had every bad thought and phrase about myself going through my head.  Ugly, stupid, can’t do it, don’t bother, useless, loser.  Once I met the guy (VERY nice, VERY knowledgeable, VERY calming) and we started the training, I put all those shitty thoughts out of my head and replaced it with “I can do it!”.  Honestly, at first it seemed sort of lame and cliché….but it opened up my mind to be able to hear what he was saying and then carry out the instructions….and lo and behold, I COULD do it!  The guy is retired Vancouver Police Department Motorcycle Unit member and has won medals in motorcycle handling and skills courses.  And he teaches you to ride…..like an officer; professionally, confidently and completely in control.  He had a perfect combination of in your face motivation, logical explanations and continuous praise and encouragement.  And the first time that I successfully pulled off a trickier maneuver, I looked in my mirror and he was jumping up and down with his hands in the air cheering. It was so genuine and passionate that it made me even more confident.

Unfortunately halfway through our 2 hour session, my clutch cable jammed and I had to get Ray to come and get me and my bike on the flatdeck.  While we were waiting for him to get there the instructor had me ride his bike through the maneuvers….his 2014 H-D Limited.


I nearly frigging died…..but………..he had enough confidence in what I had learned and he wanted me to prove it to myself.  Crazy!  I ended up doing some tight u-turns and other maneuvers through the cones for a while and then we called it a day.  Fortunately when we got it home, Ray had my bike basically fixed (still needs an $80 part to finish the job but I rode it to work today) and the next lesson is booked for mid of July.  It felt amazing to challenge my fear/anxiety and then have a really awesome result (not the breakdown…that sucked…the part before the breakdown).  Very empowering.

Throughout the weekend I tried to put my critical voice away and focus on how I was feeling and that I am enough just as I am.  I didn’t put makeup on for my alone day on Saturday or my riding school on Sunday, I didn’t heat-straighten my hair and I put on clothes that were comfortable and fit with what I was doing.  And to be truthful, I felt better overall in confidence and self-awareness!  Even this morning I feel still calmer and more at ease and generally accepting of myself.  It’s kind of nice!


Fighting Spirit

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


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


I guess I could have at least SMILED!


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

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

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

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

Choose Your Hard

More Like Real Life

Hi There,

I’m at my little corner desk in Portland taking a quick lunch break and thought I’d throw a little update out.  Obviously the flight went fine (I hate to fly) and I was able to pick up my rental car with little issue, get the GPS going and drove myself to the plant.  All in all, not a bad morning (minus the 3am wake up call!). 

I’ve been drinking water like crazy since, however hard I try, I think I’m likely to take in extra sodium no matter what just by virtue of having to eat in a restaurant, no matter how upscale and lovely.  Eats today have included a bowl of zucchini, peppers & broccoli scrambled with some grated cauli (so much nicer than riced cauli) and topped with a Thai Ginger Salmon Burger patty that I bought this weekend when visiting my sister.  That and a juicy navel orange were for breakfast at 3:30am with some coffee.  The same scramble came on the plane with me and just got eaten cold with an apple here at the office. Absolutely delicious…..a bit lacking in fat but that’s alright….I’ll break out the almond butter jar at the hotel later! 

So, I’m out of the gate on this trip on a good note, really making an effort to live as close to my real life as I can over the next week.  The things that are important to me (good, clean food & exercise as well as the tail end of My Restriction) didn’t become any less important when I got onto an airplane this morning and I need to remember that. 

NO ONE gains if I eat chocolates all secretly in the hotel room.  Sure, no one would notice….but I would know and my body would know and I would really be doing myself, my strength and my self-value a disservice. 

Since I’ve been awake since 3am (well, most of the night, really), I’m leaving this office at 3:30 today and heading out towards my hotel, stopping at Safeway for some fruits and veggies and then checking into the hotel.  Monday isn’t normally a gym day for me anyway so I’m going to take it easy….have good dinner at the hotel restaurant tonight (seared ahi with green salad) and then unpack and early for bed.  I’ll be up and ready to go at 4:30am tomorrow in the gym at the hotel for a good hour long workout.  The hotel restaurant doesn’t open until 6:30 anyway so I’ve got some time to do things right.

My plan, once I found out I had to come here again, was to make sure that I stay in the same physical and emotional shape that I’ve been getting into at home (if not better shape)….and so far, here on the first day, I’m on the right track….and I feel pretty proud of myself for that!

Well,That Was Startling!

I knew I wasn’t imagining it when, these past few weeks, I’ve been feeling a little uncomfortable in anything that wasn’t yoga pants….but heading to the gym this morning and seeing myself in the Big Room of Mirrors was a little….disappointing…but at the same time….not.


The disappointing part was that I have a little work to do.  It’s not a complete shit-show, just a couple months of determined, focused hard work at the gym and in the kitchen and the me in the mirror will be matching the me in my mind in no time flat!  It’s so funny how we can convince ourselves that things-are-fine-leave-me-alone-a-little-ok-enormous-amount-of-chocolate-is-fine-I’ll-burn-it-off-stop-looking-at-me!  I was actually quite tempted this morning to step on the scale and put a number to the drama…..but I didn’t.  What’s the point?  I can see me in the mirror, I know where I am and I know where I should be.  I suppose sometimes the scale-standing is how people can easily see if things are out of hand and need the reins pulled back.  But don’t you know that anyway?  Don’t you already sort of know when things don’t look as nice or you can’t immediately put on anything in your closet and rock it?  Don’t you sort of already know when your face looks a bit puffy a few mornings in a row?  Don’t you sort of already know when you’ve been eating shit and not exercising?  I know already and for that reason I am not willing to get sucked back into the lunacy that is the weight-scale.


So ya, this morning was a bit disappointing….although when I really think about it, I have nothing to be surprised about.  It wasn’t just the last couple weeks of not going to the gym, it’s more like a month of hit or miss exercise and too much unrestricted sugar eating.  Disappointing because had I not crapped out for a month I wouldn’t be “starting again”.  Alas, I love starting again.  I used to hate it.  I’d get injured or sick or stressed or whatever and I’d have to start over and I hated it.  Now?  I don’t mind.  “Starting over” just means that life was going on and while admittedly I would prefer that life happen AND I stay fit and in the gym consistently, I don’t really mind that I don’t/can’t.  That’s just not the way I’m built.  I push and kick and fight and try and dig as much as I can.  But when things get to be too stressful or too busy or too overwhelming, I lay down the optional stuff and focus on getting by/through/over whatever it is.  It’s taken me a long time to learn this about myself; a long time to not immediately beat myself up about breaks or hiatuses but to ride them out, know there is an end date and then “start over”. 


So this morning was my 2,146,232nd “start over”.  Won’t be the last, either!  I did 140# leg presses, 36 assisted pull-ups (the machine took on 105 pounds of me, I did the rest), some weighted split squats, some ham curls, some straight-arm lat pulldowns, some tricep kicks and then I ran on the treadmill for .75 of a mile before I stretched and headed home.  Not so shabby!  Today I had green salad with chicken for breakfast and it’s spaghetti squash with ginger beef & broccoli for lunch.  Lots of water throughout the day and tonight we’re having turkey-stuffed portabella mushrooms and salad for dinner.  Gym tomorrow morning.


It feels so good to have a plan.  It makes the extra jiggle in the tummy mean absolutely nothing because when you’re doing all the right things, nothing else matters.  Do you feel better when you have a plan in place?  Does it make the fact that you’re not “there” yet matter less when you’re working through a strategic plan?

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.

My Sport Is: Life

In hindsight, it is a complete miracle that I made it to the gym on Saturday and even moreso that I even finished my mile-row-mile workout.  It is beyond my comprehension at the moment that I actually managed to beat last weekend’s times on all three ‘events’ for an overall time that was 1:25 faster than last weekend.


You see, I’m saying “in hindsight” because while I was feeling tired and a bit achy on Saturday morning, the absolute hell that came on Saturday afternoon & Sunday makes me think I imagined ever feeling good enough to leave the house let alone do that workout!  I was sick and had a migraine and horrible cramps and nausea.  It was bad.  I napped for a total of 6 hours over the weekend in addition to my nighttime 10+ hours.  I don’t feel too bad this morning though, onwards and upwards!


When I was on the treadmill on Saturday I switched the personal TV on and was watching Premier League soccer.  Arsenal vs Some Other Team of Hot Muscular Athletic Men.  Soccer isn’t my thing, I’ve never played it and I don’t know the rules (nor do I care).  For some reason I like watching it while I’m running on Saturday mornings.  Whatever works, right?!


There was a personal trainer working with a client right behind me on the rowers and when I transitioned from treadmill to rower the three of us chatted for a second and the guy that was being trained asked me if soccer was my sport.  I just laughed and said no and made some comment about the fact that watching hot men running around distracts me from the pain of my own workout.   


Being that a workout such as this is more a mental battle than physical, I try to think about anything other than the amount of pain I’m in and so I got thinking about what my “sport” is.  It used to be running….for years after I lost the weight it was what I did.  It’s not anymore.  I lift weights but I can’t really say that’s my “sport” either.  I was very committed to indoor and outdoor cycling for a few months but I don’t really do that anymore.  So what is my sport?  Why do I do these crazy cardio workouts and get up at 4am and lift heavy things? 


My sport is life.  Life is hard and sweaty and uncomfortable sometimes.  I think pushing yourself and learning to zap the negative and pushing your limits and discomfort teaches you about yourself.  It shows you your strength, grows your determination and lets you set new benchmarks for yourself.  In my second mile on Saturday I did a little self talk test.  In the back half of the second mile I was hurting and gassed.  While I was running I was saying the words “stop, stop, stop”.  And it became harder and harder for my legs to keep going and for my breathing to keep up.  I then turned it around and yelled in my head “go, go, go!” and I kid you not, the running became less difficult (not easier, it was still killing me!).  I tried it a couple of times after that with the same results.  The negative, stop now talk actually seems to send signals to the rest of your body and tries to get it to stop.  The positive, go talk propels you along!  Go figure!  It actually worked well enough that in the last tenth of a mile (about one minute), I cranked the speed up to 6.5mph and ran.  I did it because I needed the workout to be over NOW but also because I was telling myself to go-go-go!


I’m looking forward to the gym tomorrow morning, I got a new pair of workout tights (thanks Ray, constant bitching about having to handwash the falling-apart-ones worked!), made some Paleo Morning Glory muffins for pre-gym fuel (yam, carrot, walnuts, raisins, honey, almond flour, egg & cinnamon) and I made a new playlist on my shuffle.  What’s not to be excited about!  Plus, this will be the first time in a very long time (or forever, maybe?) that I’ll be at my gym in the morning getting my sweat on and my sister will be at her gym at the same time getting her own sweat on!

The sun is shining here right now and for the rest of today, I’m damn near ecstatic about it!



You can go and click through to the other blog that I share with my sister, there are some pics and the rundown on our trip this weekend.  It was a good time, a nice break and really great to spend the couple days just the two of us.  We ate pretty good (bacon notwithstanding) and drank enough to feel blissful but not enough to feel anything but alright the next day.  Perfect as far as I’m concerned!

While we were away I lost all the leftover side effects of the creatine and am back to feeling more like myself.  I’m starting on an iron supplement just to make totally certain that I’m good to go, but I think I’m back on the good side again!  The bloat is gone and that numbed, apathetic, slightly anxious feeling is gone.  Super!

As this is now a new month, I’m on board with the new training plan for February; T, W & Th with weights and Saturday with cardio, either indoors or out, depends on the weather.  Outdoors would be nice because it’s starting to get light out earlier and if I can do a walk-jog combo on the trails, I could take Grace with me and kill two birds with one stone!  We’ll see.

Speaking of jogging, I had said earlier that I have a 10K run in March that I’m going to do and that I want to come in at an hour or better.  This goal was made based on believing that last year I’d done it in 1:05.  Alas, I just looked up what my actual time was and it was 1:13:30…..so shaving over 13 minutes off my time might be a bit optimistic! However, this year I’m actually doing some training for it whereas last year I did nothing but show up.  I’m going to aim as much as possible for that hour mark though.  This year I know the course and I’ll be trained.  It’s possible….not likely but possible.  And what the hell, if you never try for anything difficult you never achieve anything fabulous!

I have a stew cooking in my crockpot at home right now which feels really nice for some freed up time this evening!  Unfortunately when we were preparing the stew last night I had Ray chopping veggies while I cooked the meat and mushrooms.  When I asked him to chop a COUPLE of potatoes, he was being a bit ridiculous (long story for another time) and ended up putting an entire 2lb bag of potatoes in…which I realized after the crockpot had been cooking it for over 2 hours already.  So….with only 1lb of meat, it’s going to be a bit potatoey!  Normally I do 1 baker potato for the whole stew and then mushrooms, tomatoes and kale.  Makes for a meaty, hearty stew.  This?  I’m really not so sure about, but it’s cooked food when I get home so I won’t be too fussed about it!

Anyway, I’m off, I’m training someone for the next little while so wish me luck.  Actually, wish the other person luck….I’m not so much a people person so being forced to have someone sit in my pocket for days and days is a strain!

I’ll leave you wtih a picture of my sweet furbaby!

Gracie Quarry Rock


Santa Paws!

This year in the Pilonaday household we’re celebrating Christmas.  Properly.  Like…..catalogue-style.  We’ve been together for 5 years this month and this is the first year that we’ve done a proper Christmas.  Our first year together we put up the tree but that was it and the general atmosphere around the house was not wonderful.  We weren’t living together and it was a big change for Ray with his daughter moved out and his son still finding it awkward with me there.  It was also the first year that he was supposed to cut the ties with his ex-family (that went poorly).  All in all, there were many tears shed, a big fight had and sore feelings overall.  Not worth remembering.  The next years we didn’t decorate at all, Ray was injured and then we just didn’t feel like it, totally took the lazy route. 

THIS year though, we’re putting it on in style!  We’ve got the whole upstairs tidied and rearranged and over the weekend the Christmas decorations came out!  My mom and my sister came over on Friday night to help decorate and we got all sorts of nice stuff done!  Then on Saturday, after a morning of a long dog walk and an even longer coffee time (had while nestled into the sofas listening to Christmas music), we got outside in the sun and decorated the front of the house.  Lights on both levels as well as garland & lights on the front porch and adorable light-up snowmen in the front garden.  I’ll have a picture to show you however I came up a bit short on the garland so I’ll add the rest tonight and update this tomorrow.  The only thing not yet decorated is the tree.  It’s up and (pre) lit and fluffed and is waiting for its tree trimming party on Friday (Ray keeps calling it the tree’s dress rehearsal).

Anyway, we’re also hosting Ray’s family for a full Christmas dinner on C’mas Eve and my family for a full Christmas Dinner on C’mas Day as well as a possible C’mas morning get together with just a couple things to munch on and something festive and warm to drink.  It’s exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. 

Anyway, Christmas preparations aside, I am happy to report that I am finally feeling better.  Still have a bit of a cough, but I’m getting things back to normal.  Went for 8km worth of sunshiney walks this weekend….which….is a lot on the heels of having done next to nothing for a couple of weeks.  And tomorrow I’m going back to the gym.  Not sure what I’m going to do there yet, a bit of a treadmill jog to start and then some weights.

I’ve been messing about with weights on and off for the last 8 months or so, trying to follow the New Rules of Lifting program.  Every time I’ve been side tracked (and there have been a few), I’ve made myself restart or go back or make adjustments.  What I realized today was that I’m not going to be able to do their program, not really.  Sidetracked is a way of life, it seems and I can’t keep redoing the same stuff over and over and over like I’ve kept failing a grade.  Never really moving forward because every now and then I am “forced” to stop.  I keep waiting until I can complete a section perfectly and with no delays.  Obviously that is not going to happen.  Since I do like the theories behind it though, doing full body movements and increasing weight with every workout, that’s what I’m going to do.  A program is a nice idea and definitely gives good guidelines and coaching but just as I do with my diet and every other aspect of my life, I’m going to fit it to me instead of trying to fit myself to it.

So, tomorrow, instead of going “back” to the gym, I’m going “forward” into December and the new year, strong and doing what I love. 

A picture before I go:

Grace’s first visit to see Santa….at Harley Davidson! She was such a good girl, so well behaved!

Low Expectations

Why is it that lately every Friday I feel like I have barely made it through the week and am hanging on by the skin of my teeth?  I didn’t have very high expectations of this week since I knew it was Alien Week.  I usually don’t like to make too many plans or goals for this week because I am more often than not, disappointed.  I started out strong this week though and my goal was to walk Grace over 5 kilometers every day.  I actually achieved complete success on that one, with yesterday’s walk being 6.2 kilometers (I went somewhere new and ended up getting a bit turned around).  Ray is off today so I’m not planning on going for as long a walk today (if at all, I’m sick and feel like crap) however I give the week a gold start, I walked 23 kilometers in total, did a bunch of housework and made dinner every night.  Considering that I usually have pretty low expectations of Alien Week, this one was darned good!

Given that I feel like crap at the moment, I’m very glad that the weather has cooled off to a more liveable temperature.  Leading up to and during the nice weather I was itching for it, I donned as little clothing as possible at all times, wanted to feel warm sun on my bare skin and get all brown and sunkissed.  I wanted to sit in the driveway and drink chilled Rose and wear sunglasses and go for walks along warm waterside paths.  I wanted every window and curtain open and the house to be all bright and fresh and airy.  And now?  Strangely that all seems like way too much effort.  Maybe it’s because I’m not feeling well this week but I’m really ready for longer pants and hoodies, blankets on the bed and being able to snuggle my sweetheart again.  I’m ready for tea and slippers, for stew and chili.  Granted, maybe all this is because I’m a little off this week and by November I’m going to want to shoot myself.  But whatever, it’s where I’m at right now.

Last night after our long walk I came home and had an apricot smoothie and laid on the couch until 8 when it was reasonable to go to bed.  Grace didn’t bother coming to bed with me right away, just wandered in later and hung out on her mattress on the floor.  Then, around 8:45, someone started ringing our door bell like a psycho.  Having been woken up rather harshly, I donned my house coat and went to peer out our front window for a clue as to who was down there before I went into the dark entrance to open the door.  There was no car outside, and after a good minute or so when no one appeared to be leaving my front entrance, I got kind of spooked out.  Grace stood beside me while I was frozen in place and emitted a low and rather vicious sounding growl nonstop.  After what felt like a few minutes but was probably 45 seconds, I decided it was nothing and went back to bed.  And my dog?  Laid on the bed up by my head and growled pretty much nonstop until Ray got home 2 hours later.  Normally she doesn’t sleep with me, will just snuggle for a few minutes and then get down.  But last night she wasn’t up there to sleep, she was up there to keep watch and guard me.  It was a really odd and strangely comforting feeling.  She never did relax like she normally does (and when the phone rang at 9:30 her guarding instincts were reinvigorated), just growled on and off for 2 hours.  She had a purpose and no amount of my tossing and turning or shoving her out of the way was going to distract her from that.  When Ray got home and she heard him downstairs, off she went, purpose fulfilled.

I discovered who the visitor was this morning when I found this hanging on our mailbox. 

While I definitely appreciate these (and am also sad because they make mine look small and lame), I do not think that they justify ringing the doorbell of a dark house at 9pm on a work night.  Obviously not everyone is in bed at 9pm, but to me that is just too late to be making house calls with bags of tomatoes!

We’re going out for dinner tonight which is a nice surprise since Ray would normally be working until 10pm.  Tomorrow we’re doing a motorcycle ride out to a pitch n’ putt which I am desperately NOT looking forward to.  I hate golf, I feel like garbage and my Alien will not appreciate a 2 hour ride and then 3 hours of golf.  Not one iota!  Sunday morning we’re going out for breakfast with my mom and in the afternoon/evening we’re attending a “Pub Night” fundraiser for the place we got our dog from, Without Borders Boxer Rescue.  That I am definitely looking forward to!  Happy weekend to everyone!


Last night at about 7:00pm I launched my comeback.  I realize that a few weeks ago I attempted this however after two weeks of really struggling, I had to reassess.  Seems that I attempted to move forward while still holding on to the past with a death grip and I ended up not moving forward but actually a little backward (that past sure has a strong grip!). 

I don’t know why last night I made these realizations, but here they are:

A)     I cannot have it all.  Anyone who tells you that you can have it all is lying to you.  It is very rare the person who can eat whatever they want and exercise a little (or barely at all) and has the genetics to look like a bombshell.  Now, blogland would have you believe that this is more common than it actually is.  We normal folk need to choose between either eating crap and accepting the outcome or eating well and exercising and embracing the outcome.  I can’t eat chocolate and ice cream and drink beer and still expect to have all the same energy and dynamo as when I eat healthy. 

B)     I had a car accident and ended up injured.  I’ve spent the last couple of months being gentle and “taking it easy”.  At this point my “recovery” has stalled and I quasi-regularly have discomfort and pain when I do certain things.  Since lazing about (and losing hard-gained muscle) doesn’t seem to be helping I’m going to create pain to cure pain.  Get me?

C)     What I look back on and perceive as easy is actually hard work veiled in a haze of accomplishment and happy-endorphins.  It was never easy, it has always, always been difficult. 

I saw this quote come across my Twitter feed yesterday (if you don’t follow me on twitter, why not?) and it drove home everything that I’d been thinking about:  “Don’t talk about it.  Be about it.”  So ya….let actions do the talking…..because otherwise one runs the risk of becoming a has-been mouthpiece….you know, those people who walked the walk in the past but talk the talk now like it’s current? 

All that said, I knew getting up for the gym this morning was going to be difficult.  Just before bed I said out loud what I was going to do a couple of times and made sure I had everything ready.  I chanted affirmations about my comeback and my motivation while I fell asleep and then every time I woke up in the night I said them again to try and prevent turning my alarm clock off/resetting it prior to 4:30am.  It must’ve worked because at 4:29am I was out of bed and dressed, blearily tweeting my success and heading out the door.

I left Stage One behind and moved forward to Stage 2.  Part of my hold-up regarding starting it was the lack of equipment available in the ladies area to do the first move.  How dumb, right?  There are eight exercises in the Workout A and I couldn’t do the first one so I just stayed stuck?  I subbed in something similar for the first one and then got the rest of it underway.  And holy SMOKES, did I burn up my muscles, makes me realize I had completely adapted to Stage One’s exercises.  I could barely walk down the moving ramp when I left the gym, my legs were jittery jello and shampooing my hair & brushing my teeth was a challenge as well!  And I wouldn’t give that feeling up for the world. 

My comeback is securely launched this time, my head is in the right space, my system is detoxed of sugar and instead of unsure, hesitant, beaten down self talk I have powerful, positive mantras to replace it.  I refuse to give back one more fibre of my muscle, one more second of my time or one more ounce of my healthy weight to a crappy accident and a bunny overload.