I went tanning last night…..and burned my ass.  But that’s not really the point of this post.

I’m sure you’ve gotten “scent memories” whether it’s the smell of blooming lilacs that remind you of your gramma’s house or salty air that reminds you of summer vacations or the smell of cut trees that reminds you of Christmas?  Usually they’re “here and gone”, fleeting, those memories.  Last night though I had one go on for a couple of hours.  It was both wonderful and unnerving.  I bought new tanning lotion a couple of weeks ago and only got around to using it last night.  And, last night the standup tanners were occupied so I went into a lay-down bed.

The combination of that particular lotion and the laydown bed caused me to be instantly brought back to the first time I ever went tanning, 7 years ago, when I first started to uncover my true self from under the armour of fat and depression that I was living in.  I remembered being the person who making efforts that deserved celebrating with something blissful.  I remembered being the person who was falling in love (real, proper love) for the first time ever and I remember being scared & excited about it.  I remembered laying in that tanning bed 7 years ago wondering what my life would look like, wondering if I had the drive and determination to push on and see it through.  I remembered how, every day and especially when I was tanning, I was starting to really love my body for what it was right then and for what it was turning into.

I was reminded that evening when I was laying in my own bed afterwards, how for me, going tanning is one of those markers of being in a good place.  It’s a sign of having energy to spare and love for myself and that I’m doing the right things; the things that most respect me and where I am right then.  Maybe I’m not in the perfect body (the one I strive for, not the one I could never achieve) and maybe I’m carrying some extra weight right now….but for me tanning is a sign of ongoing success.  I don’t go tanning when I feel awful about myself, when I’m full of shame or depression.  I don’t go when I’ve been laying on the couch eating crap. It’s only something I do when all my ducks are in line….and the fact that I’m going now makes me really joyful.  It means that I’m starting to be successful in breaking new ground and in letting go of past hurts & resentments.  I’m forging brave new pathways and looking upon the future with a clear heart and mind.   It means that I am gaining back the passion for myself, the desire to care for myself because I am worth caring about.  I have some of that excitement again, the one I last felt 7 years ago; excitement in the everyday and curiosity surrounding the future.

I rode my bicycle to work this morning, here on the first day of spring.  It was 0C (32F) this morning and holy CRAP was it cold!  I had a frost beard when I got to work (all the teeny little peach fuzz hairs on my face had acquired tiny bits of condensation on the uphill and then it froze on the downhill!) and two hours later I still have a chill and am wrapped in three hoodies all zipped together to make a pseudo blanket, LOL!  Maybe a teeeeensy bit too cold for morning commuting….but should be SO nice on the way home tonight!

I have plans to bicycle commute tomorrow as well (that’ll make it three days this week!)…although I might consider wearing full length pants/leggings for the ride down in the AM….and then I think I’ll visit the gym on Saturday morning for some rowing and a steam, I never did get to steam last weekend.  I’m actually considering investing in a rowing machine for at home.  I would dearly LOVE to get 20 minutes of rowing in Every Day but I have a really hard time going to the gym just for 20 minutes….and I don’t really have time during the week while bicycle commuting/recovering, to get there for longer.  It’s around $1200 and is the same one they have at my gym (Concept 2, Model D).  I’m waffling about it and going to sit on the idea for a while and just wait…..the right answer will present itself, it always does.  If you have a rower at home, do you like it?  Do you think it’s worth the money and does it get used?  We also have a full weights set downstairs (plates, dumbells, lat machine, squat rack, ez bar & Olympic bar, yoga ball, balance plate, etc.) that is currently unused and I’m seriously debating adding the rower to the mix, cancelling my rather expensive gym membership and cleaning up and making proper use of the space and equipment.  Again though….I’ll just sit on that idea for now and see what happens.

Anyway, I’m off to try and find more hoodies to string together to add to my insulation since the air conditioner just kicked in and it’s only 19C (66F) in here.

Happy First Day of Spring!  (is it springy in your neck of the woods?  Or still cold and crappy?)


Health Nut

Oh, thank heavens that it’s Friday today.  This week has seemed so long, I cannot believe that we only worked 4 days this week!  I’ve been just bagged every day after work, no motivation to cook or to study or to sit upright.  It’s been bad.  However.  I have cooked, studied AND stayed up until at least 8:30pm each night and I’ve gone to the gym three mornings this week.  Yay me.


Why do I tell you this?  Because Oh My God there are a lot of people in the world who completely give up as soon as they feel anything other than rose petals and kitten kisses.  Sad?  Don’t go to work…& for that matter if you’re sad, keep your kid home from school with you, too.  Tired?  You can skip school today.  A little anxious?  Don’t leave the house, you deserve to stay home.


I’ve often commented (in person and on this blog) that people need to stop their bitching, step up and join the rest of the world; that the world is hard for everyone. But I think I’ve been wrong.  I don’t think “the rest of the world” really is stepping up and working through pain or discomfort.  I’m beginning to think that the majority of people complain and quit….that we who power on and slog through and defy pain are actually a rarity.  The unfortunate thing with that is that if you’re not a quitter or a whiner, you probably have very little tolerance for those who are.


One of my co-workers keeps referring to me as a “health nut” and uses the air quotes when she says it.  She always follows it up with “I’m not trying to be ruuuuuuude, I think it’s greaaat.”.  At first I thought it was funny but as time goes on I’m just getting more and more annoyed by it because she’s making it sound like I’m some fringe wacko who’s eating her grass clippings and hanging upside down to sleep.  I guess I shouldn’t be too upset about it, after all this is coming from a woman who told me her breakfast yesterday was four cookies, a Cadbury bar, another giant cookie and then a half a banana and two cherry tomatoes because she’s…haha…on a “health kick”.  ?!


Apparantly I’m a “health nut” because I care what goes into my body, I read old and new science to better educate myself, I balance exercising my body with rest and couch time and overall, taking care of myself inside and out is up there on the priority list.  So……if I’m a health nut, what is the alternative?  I’ll be honest, I’ve been the alternative.  I’ve spent years wasting away while blimping up.  I’ve spent years hating myself, not because I was fat but because that fat was the visual reminder that I was disrespecting myself every moment of every day.  I’ve spent years ignoring myself; living in my body but pretending I wasn’t there.  I spent years consuming absolutely massive amounts of shit food to keep people away, to numb myself or to make myself feel better.  I’d buried my head so far into the sand that all that was left was my toes.  I lied and cheated and shamed myself.  I did things specifically to hurt myself so that I could feel something


You know what?  Forget it, I’m not annoyed anymore. If she wants to refer to me as a Health Nut, I’ll take it.  I will take it and celebrate it and cherish it.  I will take Health Nut to the gym at 4am and on Saturday mornings.  I will take Health Nut when I turn down treats and sweets and alcohol.  I will take Health Nut every day in every way because the alternative is terrifying and dark and tragically sad.

Five Years, The Blink of an Eye

Five years ago, this was me.  A more accurate portrayal would be showing me with a cigarette in my hand or with me layed out in a food-coma at home on the sofa in the dark.

It’s hard to write a post about what my life was like five years ago because it’s so insanely different than it is now that it’s hard to really express what it was like.  Sometimes something will remind me and I’ll get little fragments of those feelings back and let me tell you, sometime they clobber me simply because the feelings back then are so astronomically different than they are now!

I’ll start with the most outwardly obvious part of the last five years and that was my weight loss.  In September 2007 I joined Weight Watchers and through diet and exercise I lost around 85 pounds in 8 months.  I say “around” because I think I probably weighed more than my “starting weight” in the weeks leading up to it.  Plus, there is a certain amount of daily/weekly fluctuation that occurs.  However, I have maintained my lowest weight within less than 10 pounds this entire time.  So, 85 pounds lost.  I won’t get into any real details on how I did it, suffice to say I counted “points” and taught myself how to jog.  Obviously given what I know now about certain aspects of diet, macro nutrients, toxic food and chronic cardio, I would probably not completely endorse Weight Watchers & jogging however they definitely saved me from what I was becoming, of that I have absolutely no doubt!

What was I becoming?  Nothing good.  Not at all.  I was so lost and so hurt inside and I didn’t know how or what to do about that so I just kept numbing myself with food.  I’d go all day without eating anything at all and then I’d come home from work and binge (I don’t use that word lightly, the amount of “food” that I would take in at one time blows my mind now!) and fall into a food coma alone in the dark with the television on.  I’d wake up at around 8:30, go out and smoke a few butts and then go to bed.  Repeat the next day.

I’m not going to detail any of the stuff that really got me to where I was back in September 2007, you are MORE than welcome to go to my old blog and read to your heart’s content.  It’s all laid out there in complete honesty.  I was where I was and then I decided to change it.  Looking back it’s hard to really put a finger on precisely how I found the drive and motivation and determination to make such an enormous shift in such a short period of time.   But I did.  And I am grateful every single day for the absolutely blessed life that I lead now.

I’m not stupid (and neither are you, especially if you’ve read this blog for awhile) and I’m not pretending that issues and struggles and difficulties don’t exist.  But the reigning feeling is that I turned my life around and came to a very good place.  I have a hubby that I am deeply in love with, who makes me laugh, who sets my heart racing when I see him unexpectedly.  I’m enormously lucky to get that love back in return and to feel completely safe and secure in our relationship.  Again, not to say that we don’t have our quirks and troubles because we most certainly do and I know I’ve outlined them here before.  But those make up such a small percentage of our life (a high percentage of infuriating sometimes though!) that it would be wrong to allow them any bearing on this accounting of a wonderful relationship.

I have a toddler dog who is an angel and I could not love her more.  We live in a nice house, we have happy and healthy (mostly) families and good friends.  We have hobbies and interests both shared and separate.  I get to go to bed every night and wake up every morning with my best friend.

I am physically, emotionally and mentally healthy, I am very happy with my physical appearance, I am even more happy with how I feel; my strength and overall fitness are better than they have ever been (and will only continue to improve over this winter).

I guess the entire gist of this 5-year celebratory post is gratitude.  I have a nice life, I take good care of myself and my little family.  I fill my time with things I love and balance it with self care.  I did not have that before, not even a phantom of it. Life isn’t all puppy kisses and rainbows, I know that.  But when I compare my life now to what I had back then, the sheer enormity of what I did hits me.  The enormous amount of struggle and effort, sadness, frustration, depression, injury, illness, bleakness and blankness that I had to endure to get where I am now, it’s all mitigated by the end result.  And the end result?  Is a life worth living, worth sharing and celebrating and cheering for.  The end result is a body and mind that works as it’s supposed to and can take me everywhere and anywhere that the future has planned.

Taken this weekend in my front garden!

So what’s different.  Besides the fact that my life is different, what keeps me on the right path?  Let’s look at then and now and then some pictures.

THEN:  I smoked about a pack a day

NOW:  Obv, I do not smoke!

THEN:  I rarely got any exercise outside of walking from my car into a building

NOW:  I get at least a 5km walk every day and normally I hit the gym a few times a week

THEN:  I ate.  Everything.  Pizza, cakes, ice cream, chinese food, pasta, cheese, fast food of all sorts, candy, cookies, chips, pop, milk.  You name it, I more than likely ate it.  Almost no veggies at all.

NOW:  I eat a lot.  But no grains of any sort, no legumes, limited dairy, limited sugar.  Mostly protein, good fat and veggies.  Very occasional fruit, sometimes ice cream and often times wine.

THEN:  I watched television from the moment I got through the door (or up in the morning) until the time I went to bed.

NOW:  It rarely even occurs to me to turn on the television, I’m too busy with gardens and gym and dog and house, cooking and books and blogs.   In the last three weeks I’ve turned on the TV once.

THEN:  I never had anything to do and nothing to look forward to.

NOW:  I have a full life that requires an ever present date book.  And if there’s nothing good on the horizon to look forward to?  I create something!

Life is definitely different.  Five years can make a world of difference.  On this anniversary of grabbing my life back from a black abyss, I’m going to spend some time thinking about what I want from the next five years.  I could never have predicted how my life would look today, that day I decided that things had to change.  But everything I’d dreamt of has come true in some way or another.

This post is retardedly long at this point so I’m going to end with some pictures.  I had done this photo collage back in April 2008.  The big question mark was an unknown.  Five years later I guess I know!

Eight months of transformation…and the question mark gets answered 5 years later!

Not a question mark anymore!

85 pounds and 5 years difference. I don’t feel like the same person and I dare say I barely look like the same person.