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… 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


My Passion Experiment – Day 7

Today marks the end of the first week of My Passion Experiment.  You can read more about it in these posts:

My Passion Experiment

My Passion Experiment – Day 2

My Passion Experiment – Day 4


I’d said in one of the previous posts that I don’t feel like it is beneficial to “assess” whether or not it’s working but I thought I could share my observations thus far. (haha, the formatting is all buggered on this so apparently all my observations are number ONE!)


  1.  Being “in the moment” takes practice.  I am used to flitting around (mentally and physically) and doing one thing while thinking about the next two or three tasks or trying to pull off three or four tasks at once.  I’m guilty of listening with half an ear when someone is talking to me and in having a conversation with someone without actually being engaged with them.  I’m guilty of walking my dog and texting and checking my phone.  I’m guilty of sitting down to watch a movie or a hockey game or a show with my husband and spending half the time reading blogs on my iPad. This past week I have made a concerted effort to focus on ONE thing at a time.  I have purposely left my phone downstairs and/or heard a text/tweet come through and made a point not to look at it until the next day.  Man alive, that part felt HUGELY empowering, not being a slave to a beeping, chirping, buzzing piece of glass and metal.  🙂  I noticed one night when we were having dinner, I was finished eating first and was ready to get up, clean up, get going.  I had to remind myself to just sit….and engage and chat.  Funny how we get used to blazing through things instead of stopping and enjoying them for what they are.


  1.  I’ve noticed that I don’t feel like I need as much “couch-time” when I’ve done things that are good for me (ie, waxing my legs, filing my nails, hitting the gym, tanning, reading in bed, going to bed on time).  For whatever reason, when I’m not expending time and energy on myself, my “need” for lengthy downtime is greater than when I am spending time on/with myself.  I suspect that it’s the old “quality over quantity”.  When I’m doing quality things for myself, they blow quantity out of the water. And in reverse, if I’m not doing the quality things, I’m trying to fill that “me time” reservoir with something that has a much lower value and it takes a lot more of it.  Make sense?


  1.  I’ve been following along with a “Love Your Body Challenge” that a dear friend turned me onto.  Every day you’re given a new mantra with a blank to fill in as it relates to you.  Then you repeat it 10 times, do the assigned “action item” while repeating it 10 times and then repeat 10 more times before you go to bed.  I’m not really a “mantra repeating” sort. Seriously…not for me.  But I’ve been writing down my mantra each day, reading it back to myself at various intervals (and reading back the ones from the previous days), doing the action items and really putting thought into what these mantras are supposed to mean.  Aside from developing more appreciation for ALL the aspects of me, it’s made me remember that there is no One Right Way.  I’m not a mantra-repeater.  No problem.  I’m not a runner anymore.  That’s alright.  Realizing that there are as many ways to achieve success as there are unique people in the world has been vastly freeing.


  1. In an experiment inside my Experiment, I’ve also stopped giving out huge amounts of detail to Ray in regards to what I do in my alone time.  Not because I want to keep things from him but because I feel like I need to be able to celebrate myself without needing any validation from outside of myself.  It’s not hugely important things, just…..a few teeny things that I want for my own which do not impact our relationship in any form.  We are so close and we spend 90% of our at home time within sight of each other and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  But during this time of finding myself and my passion again, it’s been important to do some things because I need them, and they seem to have more value in the absence of explanation or discussion.  Does that even make sense?


  1. And finally, I am deep in the process of letting go of the past.  That’s all I’m going to say on this right now, it’s an interesting process and one that is taking a lot of my mental energy right now.  I don’t exactly have an awesome skillset surrounding letting things go and releasing my grip on certain things is scary and does not come easily.  But….to learn and grow and move forward you cannot be chained to a huge brick from the past and even a pebble from the past in your moving-ahead-shoe is irritating and inhibits forward motion.  This is a work in progress…like the rest of this Experiment.

I’m very grateful that I have this blog because it certainly helps me to flesh things out in my mind.  But also because of the amazing people that come here to read it, people that comment and link to their own blogs and stories and lives.  It’s really an amazing community and I’m so grateful for it!

My Passion Experiment – Day 2

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that my spark had gone out and that I need to relight my fire.  It got me to wondering, outside of full-fledged clinical depression of course, if a person could turn the tide of their life and reignite their passion for their living simply by starting to place emphasis on the things that are core to them.  Could small, seemingly inconsequential little nothings add up to a renewed vigor?  Could music and exercise and nail painting and tea drinking and candle lighting and quiet time and dog snuggling and prolonged hugging really turn things around?

Being that I’m currently in a position of easily talking myself out of doing anything that is not absolutely essential to my existence (cooking/eating paleo has remained throughout although the joy is lacking) I didn’t want to make a schedule or a calendar and declare that I had to do certain things to make myself feel better.  I simply want to try and inject passion into the things that are me, every day.  My passion.  My love.  My drive.

And so begins My Passion Experiment.  So what are the “rules”?  haha….if you know me at all you know that I love rules…I thrive with rules.

The rules are pretty basic:

  1. Do not drift.
  2. Do not languish.
  3. Do not settle.
  4. Do the things that make you happy.
  5. Do the things that make you feel pretty.
  6. Do the things that bring relaxation to your whole body.
  7. Do the things that bring the good endorphins.
  8. Do the things that make you respect yourself when you lay your head on the pillow at night.
  9. While “do”ing, experience the moment, embrace the activity, whatever it is.
  10. Immerse yourself into right now.
  11. Discard loud.
  12. Banish negative.  (including the shit you say to yourself)
  13. Dismiss harsh.

That’s it.  That’s My Passion Experiment. There is no finish line, no measurement of success, no prize at the end.  Just a way to get through the darkness that life has a way of circling around.  A way to embrace the simplicity of every day.  A way to place real emphasis on what I value.

I’d love to hear how you keep the passion in your every day.  How you turn darkness back into light.  How you shutter out gray and black.  How you nurture your true self when time, energy and passion is lacking.

My Passion Experiment


I read this in my morning web-rounds today and haven’t been able to get it off my mind.  “Do it with passion….”.  It doesn’t say what “it” is.  “It” in my life right now is….everything.  I feel like I’ve lost my passion for everything; cooking, dog-care, sex, exercise, health research, self-care, reading, cleaning.  Everything that I value…..sucked into a vortex of passionless apathy.

What does a person do about that?  How do you turn the tide?  How do you spin your world all the way in another direction?  Having my goals lists is great….but if you simply don’t do them, they languish and weeks go by (right, February, I’m aware).

I hate this weather, I absolutely hate it. I’m tired of being cold all the time, I’m tired of the dark and the rain and the snow, I hate that I work until 4:30 in the afternoon, I’m so fucking bored I want to put my head through the wall, I’m sad that I have no vacation to speak of this year.  Ya.  That.  All of it and then some.

I need to breathe life into myself and shake myself out of my monotony.  I need to throw myself at my husband when he comes through the door and kiss and hug him until I am all hugged out.  I need to paint my nails and wax my legs and drink water.  I need to have sex and lay naked in a heap of soft blankets and pillows. I need to earn couch time with the sacrifice of other time.  I need to make invigorating shampoo for my scalp and salt scrub for my skin and lather and scrub them both until they’re tingly.  I need to lay on the floor and let my dog snuffle me in the head and stand on my back while I laugh.  I need to go to the gym and celebrate my body with sweat and effort. I need to force myself to be aware of the moment.

So when you’re mired in gray and fog and dreary cold rain, how do you start the things that light you up? Seriously, I’m asking.  How do you start the things that will light your fire again? The things you too easily talk yourself out of.  

I feel like, once again, I’m on a precipice.  Fix it now or this is your forever.  So I’m going to “Do it with passion or don’t do it at all”.  “It” being everything.  I’m going to forcefully inject passion back into my life in every way and cross my fingers that I don’t run out of energy before the flame catches again.


A little over 3 years ago I found myself hearing a small voice in the back of my head that kept telling me that the right thing to do was to stop eating grains.  I put it off and tried to repress it and made excuses as to why that little voice was insane.  Eventually though, I had to acknowledge it, really listen to it and then make a decision.  Three years later and I’ve never looked back.  It was absolutely the right thing to do and it changed my life and my relationship with food.

Around two years ago I found myself hearing another small voice that was telling me that cardio (running & spinning) was no longer what I should be focusing on.  Again, I tried to repress it and made excuses as to why I could never follow that little voice and learn my way into lifting heavy things.  Eventually I bought a book (New Rules of Lifting for Women), learned the movements and didn’t look back.  I gained muscle and lost fat and got into pretty decent shape. 

Then life happened, people became injured or sick, jobs were lost, car accidents were experienced and while the foundation of my health, nutrition and fitness beliefs remained the same, my commitment to all the work involved did not.  I wasn’t in the gym, I was eating too much, allowing in “unapproved” foods and drinking too much. So then, coming up on January 2014, I really felt ready to put myself back in the game, to dive back in to the things that make me who I am.  To take back the things that I value.  And I did.  We’re halfway into January and my goals list for this month is coming along great.  We’re eating at the table more often, all the food I’m making is completely approved (by my own guidelines, I don’t label myself as anything), we haven’t eaten out at all and I’ve met my gym dates so far.

And yet?  I’ve been feeling really crappy.  I’m not losing the weight I want to be (or should be), my stomach seems more upset that normal and I’m exhausted.  And all the while that I’ve been trying to figure out the cause and going through foods, carbs, calories, nutrients, macros, blood-iron levels, B12 levels, increased Omega 3 supplements….there’s been a voice.  A niggling little voice that I cannot seem to turn off.  A little voice that keeps saying “you know what you need”.  Ignore.  IGNORE.  IGNORE.  Until yesterday afternoon when that little voice got really loud and I had to acknowledge it.  “You are not getting enough exercise!”.  Yes, I’m meeting my gym dates and I work hard when I’m there.  But previous to October of this year, I also walked my dog between 4-7 kilometers Every Single Day Of The Week at a near-jogging pace.  Unfortunately right now that’s not possible with the darkness, my (& Ray’s) work hours and meal timing.  If I want or need to do anything after work, including something as simple and fast as stopping at the grocery store for an ingredient or two,  I eliminate what little time I had to go on a walk before it’s time to get dinner going and served.  And if I do get to take Gracie for a walk after work, it’s only for about 3km (or less) or 30 minutes.   Not enough.

Since today is the halfway mark of the month, I’m adding in a new goal for the next 15 days to see how it goes.  Starting today, from 7pm – 8pm I will take Gracie for a 4-5km walk, three weeknights and one Sat or Sun morning 4.5km trail walk/jog.  On the short side this will give me 16km and 4 hours of exercise a week.  It’s only for three weeks so I’ll see how it goes, I predict that it is not sustainable over the winter months and I may choose to put an AM spinning class in its place (preparation for bicycle commuting to work, maybe).  I think it’s important to me, my body, my mind and my overall well being to try this. 

This morning when lifting weights, doing pullups and squats, I could see the muscle, it’s still there and coming back more every day……….I really believe I just need to quiet the noise in my body and head in order to start making noticeable progress…..and right now, this is the way to do that.  These “voices” are rarely wrong….even though sometimes I wish they were.  😉

Stress Response

Do you know what your stress response is?  I’m talking about your Huge Events stress response.  Or your Lots Of Big Events All At Once stress response.

I once believed that I was highly capable of dealing with stress, that I was good at compartmentalizing and doing what needed to be done, moving forward, keeping my head screwed on straight.  In fact, there was that one year where Ray was so injured he couldn’t walk, I had just been hospitalized and then diagnosed with a heart condition and I was moving into Ray’s house while Kyle was moving out.  I actually handled that one fairly well.  Went to work every day, came home, cooked, dog walked, gym’ed, took care of Ray while his injury and my illness went on for nearly a year.

Then last year I had the car accident that totaled my vehicle and injured me.  And?  I completely shut down.  While, yes, I was hurt, I was also so emotionally and mentally crushed that I couldn’t leave the house.  For two weeks.  And I stopped eating.  Me, the person who eats All The Time, just stopped.  It got to the point where Ray would have me text him a video of what I was having for lunch so that he could check up on me.  I ended up having to get sleeping pills and anxiety medication just to get through the day.  When it had all blown over, Ray told me that he was surprised that I handled it so poorly.  Honestly, my feelings were hurt because here I was, the person who takes care of absolutely everything, took a unintentioned hiatus from sanity/rationality/life for two weeks and he dissed me for it.    He was right though…………I handled it like crap.

In the time that has come after, I’ve worked on relaxing, deep breathing when upset, logical self chatter and better compartmentalizing.

Yesterday morning my boss told me she’s quitting, the company has walked away from bargaining/mediation with the union and are about to give 72 hours strike notice, the HR manager of the company told my boss too bad for me that I’m going to have to cross my husband’s picket line, I’ll have to “figure out how to deal with it”.  My grampa is ailing, we’re going to be completely broke, I still have a car accident to settle (which I cannot afford to pay for if it does not come out in my favour) and we’re looking at official work stoppage at the end of this week. 

Cue the shortness of breath, lack of appetite, consistent vomit-feeling, chest pressure and blank-brain.  I really need to pull my shit together; Ray and I are our own little island as far as this goes and I can’t be expecting him to take care of me because this time?  We’re up the same creek at the same time.  In order to “pull my shit together” I’m trying to immerse myself into my job to pass the time and distract myself…..however all the work that I’m up to my ears in is to ultimately make my hubby’s job (and that of the 80 other employees on strike) obsolete.  I’m feeling incredibly conflicted at the moment.  Nauseated, headache, emotional, stressed, angry, overwhelmed, annoyed.

Last night I was awake from 11pm until about 3:30pm dissecting things.  Things that are unknown or assumed or that I can’t do anything about.  Around 2am I decided that I wanted to go to the gym and I really should have, it would have been more productive than laying in bed stressing myself to vomit status.  The stupid thing is that I had so much anxiety over going outside in the dark, having to talk to the front-desk-gym-guy (who I actually do quite like), what would happen if Ray woke up in the night and I wasn’t there.  All of that was swirling around with everything else and I ended up just laying there for hours.

I realize that there’s probably no rhyme to this post and part of it probably sounds like whining/pissing & moaning….but it is what’s going on and that’s what my blog has always been about; balancing healthy with reality.  Well…reality has stormed the fort, big time right now………I’m just trying not to let go of the “healthy” part!

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!

Less Enjoyment, Happier Overall?

Morning! It’s been such an odd weekend, feels like I had lots of days off but at the same time it flew by! Unfortunately I blew off the gym this morning (was supposed to be rowing & stretching) because I laid awake and tossed and turned all night. When my alarm went off I felt like I would benefit more from an extra hour of sleep more than I would from rowing. However, I did not sleep for that hour, I tossed and turned and got repeatedly kicked in the back by the dog after Ray let her into our bed. So….failed this morning on the effort, but nothing I can change now.

This weekend was busy, I went to the gym Saturday morning (did not make my speed or distance goal on the treadmill….and was actually SO far off that I think my calculations from the weekend before were wonky) and then came home, wolfed down breakfast and we went to a meeting for a couple hours and then went and bought fence repair supplies. Ray and his son worked on the fence (after we dropped a 150lb fence panel on my ankle) while I took Grace and my sunglasses and went for a good brisk walk. It felt so good to be in the cold sunshine, like it was rinsing away any bad thoughts or toxicity. Very refreshing! We ended up going 6.2km and when we got home, laid under a heap of blankets to warm back up!





Sunday we did groceries and errands and then cleaned our house before starting dinner and taking the dog for another good walk.

I made a pork roast for dinner last night with mashed cauli & slow cooked kale. Earlier in the day I roasted a whole head of garlic in the oven and then squeezed that into the cauliflower before mashing it for something different. Very strong smelling of garlic but the flavor of roasted garlic is so mile that it was delicious. The slow roasted kale was alright, more effort than result but something a bit different.

I mentioned after we’d eaten dinner that I feel like I’ve come to a spot where I don’t really find food that enjoyable anymore. Ray’s first comment was “Wow, well that’s really sad!”. In a way it is, but if you consider the reaction that people have when they eat a butter tart or a big thick slice of moist chocolate cake covered in fudgey icing, I don’t get that anymore. Nothing I eat causes that reaction in my brain (which I think is probably good). As we all know (or should know by now), chocolate and sugar/fat combos release a feel-good reaction in the brain which is short lived and addictive. It’s not that I don’t think that food tastes good, just that…….it’s just food. It’s meat, two veggies and a fat (or cooked in fat). Pork roast and cooked kale aren’t giving me the same reaction that greasy, cheesy pizza would.

While maybe it’s sad that I don’t get that sort of enjoyment out of food anymore, I have something else instead. I have a content feeling when I know I’m eating fresh, whole, nutritious foods that taste good. I have a proud feeling when I can incorporate a “super food” into the menu. That’s all I get from food these days though. Fuel and nutrition. It’s a bit sad, I guess. But I suspect it’s where we’re supposed to be. My feel good hormones come from exercise and fresh air and sex instead of cookies, chips and pizza. I don’t think about food constantly anymore, I just eat it when I’m hungry. Granted, I do spend about an hour every Sunday making a menu & checking recipes before doing our weekly shop, but once it’s on the menu and the ingredients are bought, I don’t really think about it again until it’s time to cook it.

Now that I have less enjoyment wrapped up in the food I eat, am I happier overall? I would have to say I am. Because less obsession with the food means less clutter in my head, there is no should I or shouldn’t I or negotiating with myself over what or how much to eat. Because I don’t create artificial reactions in my brain with chemically enhanced foods designed to foster addiction, I am clear to feel good more often, to get genuine reactions to stimuli and to feel other emotions related to food (pride, conviction, satisfaction). And because I don’t have to worry about calories in vs calories out or how much I have to burn at the gym to make up for a meal since I’m eating real whole foods, maintaining my healthy weight is virtually mindless. And that makes me very happy overall!

Living Plan

As of this morning my Four Week Feel Better Plan is concluded.  And the results?  I definitely feel better!  I was toeing the line of being depressed (not sure if it was the possibility of actual chemical depression or just a really blue period), but I think I dodged the bullet!  I got myself off of sugar-snacking, got myself back outside walking my dog consistently, got myself back to the gym, I’m sleeping better, feeling better and (I think), looking better.  I have a bit of spark back and I’m looking forward to things again.  I have energy again and I’m consistently cooking and prepping food.  I’m (strangely) able to hop out of bed on gym mornings and not feel like I’m dragging a semi-trailer along behind me.  All good things.  And I attribute MOST of these good things to quitting sugar. 

So what happens now?  I’ve converted my Four Week Feel Better Plan to a Living Plan and have another 4 weeks marked off with prescribed gym days, an extended embargo on sugar (really needed something to be “decided” before the Halloween candy made it into our house) and a couple of general wellness items (vitamins, bedtime, stretching etc).  And so, on I go.

Unfortunately I’m starting Week Five fighting off a cold.  At least I think it’s a cold.  It’s been so many years since I’ve actually had a cold that I barely remember what it’s like!  I have a sore throat, stuffy nose and achy joints.  I’m going to tea & water myself all day long today and I have a delicious warm and comforting dinner ready when I get home from work so hopefully that’ll do it. 

I was supposed to go to the gym on Saturday morning.  And I did.  Go all the way to the gym. Parked my car, climbed the escalator and walked all the way into the change room.  The whole time cringing at every left step.  I had twisted my knee doing some gardening on Friday night when I stepped off a crooked paver and with already tight thigh muscles from the gym day on Thursday, it was fairly painful.  I hemmed and hawed about doing my Saturday workout and ultimately got back in my car and went home.  Jogging and then squats and step ups are nothing to do with a sore knee.  I felt stupid checking out of the gym 3 minutes after I’d checked in……..but I didn’t feel guilty or bad about my decision. I just figured that these things happen and I’d prefer a skipped gym day to a skipped gym week or month if I really did hurt myself. 

Again, unfortunately, if I actually am sick (and I refuse to admit that yet) then tomorrow morning’s gym date might be in jeopardy also.  We’ll see….I was laying wide awake this morning at 4am (feeling like garbage) and could have easily gone to the gym if they’d been open.  Tomorrow could still happen!  Plus, isn’t it “starve a flu, do squats for a cold”?  😉

I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures from the weekend.  The first is my enormous “lap sausage”, snuggled up on me while I was under my electric blanket on Saturday morning after my gym-fail.  And the second is a shot of some insanely delicious (if somewhat visually unappealing) Apple Almond Pancakes that I made on Saturday morning.  They are completely clean (Whole30 approved if you do such things) and so delicious.  I drizzled mine with some warmed coconut butter.  The original recipe makes about 8 small pancakes so if you’re sharing with someone you get approximately 1 egg, half an apple and some almonds for breakfast…..which isn’t a lot so next time I would double or even triple the recipe.  Next time I would also fry them on both sides and then finish them in the oven on a baking sheet….the batter is very wet and takes awhile to firm up in the middle.  If a person were to fry them on both sides and then bake them all at once, you could have a nice pancake breakfast and even the cook could sit and eat! (click the picture of the pancakes for the original recipe!)

Wish me luck tomorrow morning with the gym.  It was frosty out this morning and will be even chillier at 4am.  Ray’s on graveyards though so there’s no “but it was too snuggly in bed” excuse because I’m in there all by myself anyway.

Happy Week!


THIS was hard to stop doing when it was time to get on with the day!




Last week was insufferably hot and this morning my fingertips are freezing and I have long sleeves on.  I would prefer a place between the two however if I have to pick, I’m taking this morning’s chill over last week’s sauna.


Funny with the weather change at this time of year, it always makes me think of erasers.  Well, erasers and pencil crayons and new shoes and tights and that line in the sand (back to school) where you feel like you have the option of making a bit of a rebirth and changing the things that you don’t like about yourself and your habits.  As a kid, that never worked, it lasted maybe a month (maybe) and then everything sort of drifted back to the way it had always been.  I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that as a young person, when you tried to make a change, you were still greatly influenced by the people and circumstances around you.  Now, as an adult, I realize that in order to revise yourself you probably have to revise various circumstances or surroundings. 


So with my fresh new eraser in hand, I get to eliminate things that work against me and put into place things that work for me.  One of those is time management.  I would always have said that I had good time management skills, in that I can cram a lot into a short period of time.  But that’s not proper time management, that’s more like efficiency on crack.  The reality of it is that I have a full schedule of things that all take up a certain amount of time and if something new is to be added (getting back to the gym) then something else has to be removed.  I feel like in order to get up at 4am to hit the gym, I need to remove about an hour of chores/tasks at the end of the day so I’m going to review some stuff this week and see what can be removed, shared or revised.

Another thing that I’m going to use my eraser to try and scrub out is my self-defeating and very negative habit of being a martyr.  The only person that hurts is me although I don’t think it’s great for the health of a relationship either.  I feel like I have to do everything because I’m a perfectionist and if I leave chores undone then I’ve failed.  I’m taking a page from my hubby’s book for awhile though.  If he wants to sit and watch a movie, he does.  And when I ask if something got done, his answer is “No, I didn’t do ___ “.  He doesn’t automatically make excuses or rationalizations or get defensive about it, he just answers the question.  Not to say that I don’t wish he would try harder or do more, but it’s his reaction when asked a question that I’m going to adopt. 

People, in my experience, go with whatever the flow happens to be.  So I’m changing my flow because I have to take care of me.  I’m going to do what I can in the time that I have, realistically and schedule in some chill time each evening whether I use it or not.  I’m going to ask for help and share chores.  I am only responsible for my own actions and those actions and lack of action is starting to make me unhappy.  I do NOT want to go into the winter months already unhappy and with malcontent so I’m going to start making some changes now.

Wish me luck!

Here’s my picture of the day.  A big, wet kiss!

A wet one, right on the lips!