Feeling Chattier (or Typier) Now

I’m going for a drink with someone from my past tonight.  I’m not overly jazzed about it, it’s one of those situations where I was “friends” with him because it was more conducive to overall peace in the workplace than to not be.  And in fairness, he has an amazing ability to coach and help you draw out solutions to your own issues.  The trouble is that he’s not overly trustworthy and he flips and flops and power trips. He texted me the other day and asked if I wanted to meet him for a drink to catch up.  And…I sort of do, if only out of curiosity to find out what’s going on in his life….and I know he wants the inside scoop on all that has gone on at my previous workplace.  So ya, I agreed to go.  And then I invited my hubby to meet me there when he gets off work because I won’t have time to make dinner and the pub is on his way home (it’s mere blocks from our house, too) and we like any opportunity to go there.  Yesterday when I texted Old Acquaintance to confirm we were still on for today, I also mentioned that I’d invited Ray to meet me there on his way home from work.  This means that the total amount of “catching up” time that we have is about an hour before Ray gets there.  And Old Acquaintance was annoyed.  I felt a bit bad because he’d invited me for this visit and he is coming all the way out to my neighborhood to meet up and I’ve gone and truncated the visit.  But then I gave my head a shake!  This whole thing makes me slightly uncomfortable anyway, I see Old Acquaintance less than once a year, we have a bit of a rocky past (in that he wanted to fire me during the 7 months that he was my boss) and to be honest?  I want to have dinner with my hubby at our favorite pub!  Why do I care so hard whether some nearly-random person from my past is upset with an adult decision that I’ve made?  So, instead of dreading the visit and feeling bad about anything, I’m going to give all the gossip he wants (what do I care, I don’t work there anymore) and then have a delicious meal with my man.


So, moving on.  Now that I’ve been back to the gym successfully for two weeks, I feel like it’s time to make things a bit more interesting.  Not stupidly difficult or obsessive or the way that I’ve been in the past.  No, I want some new things, things to make me excited and to get new “skills”.  So, below I’ve noted the workouts that I’m going to do for the next three weeks, three days a week (since that’s my commitment for now).

Day One

  • 10 minute warmup jog
  • 1000m row
  • BW – 3 x 20 – sprinters (that’s not what they’re called….I think they’re called mountain climbs but it uses the pre-sprint posture)
  • BW – 3 x 10 plies (this is a type of squat fm ballet….basically heels together, toes pointed out, butt tucked under (instead of bum way back like a normal squat)
  • BW – 3 x 15 two leg donkey kicks
  • 3 x 10 machine ham curls
  • 3 x 10 machine leg press
  • 3 x 10 machine inner thigh press
  • ABDOMINALS (I’ve been using the gym’s ab machine circuit and it just brutalizes my abs, I love it!)

Day Two

  • 25 minute treadmill sprint program (smthg I found online)
  • 3 x 10 machine lat pulldowns)
  • 3 x 10 dumbell tricep kickbacks
  • 3 x 10 reverse barbell curl
  • 3 x 10 machine seated rows
  • 3 x 10 dumbell shoulder raise

Day Three

  • Mile-row-mile (this is basically run a mile as quick as possible, get off and row 2000M as quick as possible and then get back on and run another mile.  It’s one of my favourite things…that I also hate!)
  • 3 x 15 weight-plate squat press
  • 3 x 8 weight-plate lunges (these lunges and squats last Friday nearly crippled me….in the best possible way, I could barely get out of bed on Saturday morning!)

So there it is….three weeks of workouts which pretty much brings me through my birthday and just about onto Christmas’s doorstep.  It’s only 3 days per week and each workout is just a little over 85 minutes including warmup & stretching. I’m excited about it, I’m looking forward to trying some new things and working out in a slightly different way than I have before.  I have treadmill sprints combined with an upper body day, some dynamic full body moves combined with a lower body day and then a good met-con combined with some full body exercises.  And……because I’ve always lamented that I’ve never had abs, I’ll be doing abdominals every visit! Seems dumb in hindsight that I would complain about not having abs when I have never, not one time, ever concentrated any significant effort on them!

Maybe in the New Year, depending on making sure that I maintain the nice balance that I’m cultivating here, I might try one of the programs that’s out there online, maybe Jamie Eason’s Live Fit program (minus the crackpot, completely fat free nutrition plan).

I think it is possible, with a bit of practice to maintain calm and balance while also wanting improvement and success.  I don’t think they are mutually exclusive. So I’ll work hard at the gym every time I go….and then leave it there.  Won and done.  And I’m going to make sure to re-evaluate regularly to make sure….because this whole “balanced life” thing is all new to me, remember?


Perfectly Wasted Day

Hi!  What’s going on?

I’m sitting here sipping spearmint tea under a fleecy blanket with my dog’s heavy, snoring head in my lap enoying the first day off I’ve had since January.  And technically that day off I had in January wasn’t very relaxing since it was a result of our new puppy getting really sick and passing away.


I took today off in order to make my weekend a four-day stint.  I’d been by myself all week while Ray was away camping with 27 other unwashed men (no thanks to that trip!) and during the time he was gone, I have been a workhorse.  Between deep cleaning our house, being on dog-walk duty every day, hosting a belated Mother’s Day brunch and doing an enormous amount of yard work, I knew I would enjoy a break.  No laundry, no chores, no cooking, no errands.  No.  I woke up at 8 and fed the dog and then she coerced me to get back into bed for awhile.  haha!  We both fell sound asleep (one of us was snoring!) for a couple blissful hours and after I’d laid in bed listening to the rain for long enough, I made coffee and then I took Grace for a long walk in the rain forest.  We got absolutely soaked and I loved it.  Mid day, mild, rainy trail walks are one of my favourite things in the world to do and there was no way I was missing it today!

After arriving home I ran a bubble bath, gave myself a facial and did some deep hair conditioning.  After the bath, a pretty aqua manicure and now I’m sitting watching TV waiting for my favourite husband to come home from work!  It’s been a perfectly wasted day.  Nothing of substance has been accomplished and I feel completely recharged and relaxed as a result.

As mentioned above, I’ve been doing a lot of yardwork.  I hand stripped, loaded, transported and then unloaded 330 pounds of moss, leaves and dead branches from our backyard. Seems like a LOT (and a good reason my back and arms are a bit achy and sore today) but sadly it’s just a drop in the bucket.

Here’s the Youtube link to a video I took of the backyard.  (I can’t post video right to my blog, it’s a $300 upgrade so you’ll have to click the link if you want to see.  CLICK HERE




Walk The Talk

You know what is a great Fear Buster?  GOOGLE!  Well, actually, any sort of information gathering system!

I was reading and commenting on blogs yesterday and left a comment that I’d always wanted to do a pullup and that my gym has an assisted pullup machine but that I’m scared to use it because I’m scared of heights.  And then…..30 seconds later I left her another comment and said that maybe I should take my own advice and stare down fear!  Haha

So knowing that I was pretty much committed to getting on the pullup machine (walk the talk and all), I googled how to use one.  I’d looked at the instructions on the machine in the gym previously but what it didn’t mention was how to determine what weight to put the pin at.  For example, do I put the pin at what I want to do or at what I want it to do.    This is an important distinction because once you get your knees onto the deck, if you put the pin in the wrong place, my suspicion was that there would be a rapid plummeting to the ground!  Turns out that on the machine in my gym, you put the pin in at what you want IT to do.  So for me, I put it in at 115.  That means that the machine is responsible for 115 pounds of me and I am responsible for the rest.  (is this pretty basic and I’m the only one who didn’t get it?!).  I did 3 sets of 12 with 115 pounds of me counterweighted. 

Gotta say, COMPLETELY different than anything else I’ve done.  You feel a pullup in places you never knew existed!  Now, granted, the amount of me that I was actually pulling up was not a lot (I actually don’t know how much I was pulling since I don’t know what I weigh), but it was a totally cool feeling!  Take that, FEAR!  (regarding my fear of heights….climbing on the thing was alright but climbing down off of it after each set was a bit wobbly….I dare say that the desire to delay climbing down for as long as possible may have propelled me to keep going when the last couple reps on each set were getting hard!).  And, even though I was doing something to stare fear in the face, I was actually mitigated by that same fear…..because I didn’t want to make the move so difficult that I couldn’t get the deck back up to the top before getting off.  In this case though, I think that’s sound judgment….you don’t go to failure on something that you have to succeed at in order to get off safely!

I tried a revision to my workout this morning but I really didn’t like it.  I moved my mile run and 1000m row to the very end.  Previously I’d been doing a mile to warm up, then weights and then the 1000m row at the very end.  And, for the most part, I was failing the row every morning.  So my thought was that I would do weights first and a big cardio push at the end.  Didn’t work.  I’m not sure if it was the wicked headache I’ve had since I woke up this morning or what, but my workout sucked from start to finish.  Don’t get me wrong, I did do it…..but nothing felt good, I never got the good-workout feeling and I could feel the blood pounding in my head like a hammer.  By the end I was gassed and my head was splitting and I only made it through half a mile and 500m of rowing.  Total cardio fail.  I was feeling so crappy that when I got home I set my alarm for 25 minutes and took a nap on the sofa before getting in the shower and heading to work.

That’s it for me today…..I’ve tried to kill my headache with exercise, Advil, coffee, water, breakfast and none of that worked so I am now going to suffer through it with a big mug of coconut oolong tea.  Tara’s shake n bake drumsticks are for dinner tonight with…vegetables.  I have head of cauli, a bag of peppers and a bag of zucchini….and right now what I’m going to turn those into eludes me!  Suggestions are always welcome!

Pressing Forward

HOW is it January 28th already?  I was reading a work email and someone referenced the date and right away I laughed inside thinking they had gotten a bit ahead of themselves on the calendar.  Apparantly it’s me who is behind!

Obviously this past weekend was hard and sad and exhausting.  This as a bookend to the last two weeks that have been exciting, sad, heartbreaking, sleepless and worrisome.  It’s no wonder that my brain is still stuck back on January 12th!  As we were laying in bed on Saturday and then laying on the couch on Saturday and then laying on a different couch on Sunday and then back in bed on Sunday, I remarked to my dear hubby that we may as well stop trying to “get some sleep” because extra sleep is not going to help us with the kind of tired that we’re feeling.  Just time and regular life will take care of that.  As silly as it may sound, the last two weeks have been traumatizing.  I know that we only had Snoopy for 11 days but what we went through with him was pretty intense so we’ll be recovering from it for a little while, I think. 


Saturday night, wiped out & sad.  Pajamas, sofa, red eyes.

Saturday night, wiped out & sad. Pajamas, sofa, red eyes.

We went to a 50th bday party on Saturday night, something we’d already committed to and it was actually a great distraction for us.  We took Ray’s son & daughter with us as the venue was an hour’s freeway drive away.  The birthday guy got there at 5 and by 7 they had him absolutely shittered, I felt SO bad for Future Birthday Guy, they were mixing shooters and cream drinks and beer.  We didn’t call and see how he was feeling the next day, I can only imagine!

Sunday we didn’t do much, it was absolutely pouring with rain so we did a couple errands and then hung out on the sofa for the rest of the day.  I was actually looking forward to coming to work today and I am REALLY looking forward to going to the gym tomorrow morning!  I was on hiatus this past week but my body and my mind really need to charge forward and keep building on the momentum that I started at the beginning of January!

We’re going out of town for the weekend on Friday after work so I really only have 2 workout days to get through this week but two is better than zero!  I may add a Friday morning one just to add fuel to my fire in light of this past week off.  We’ll see how my body feels by Friday!

Today is Day One that I’m adding creatine to my diet.  Creatine is an amino acid that your body produces normally but in the case of heavy lifting, supplementing with it can provide extra “food” for your muscles in order to get leaner, lift heavier and increase the rate at which you can build muscle.  I definitely want to maximize my time in the gym and taking a supplement such as this will definitely help me get there (the same as taking a protein drink within 30 minutes of muscle work).  If you’ve ever done any reading on weight lifting, body building or supplementing you may have heard that taking creatine can make you bloated and retain water.  Fortunately, technology and medicine has come a long way and there is now a revised version called buffered creatine or Kre Alkalyn.  This buffered creatine has a higher pH in order to avoid the acidity of the stomach from turning large quantities of it into the toxic byproduct creatinine.  Creatinine is what causes water retention, bloating and upset.  The conversion of creatine into creatinine is also why, in the past, people had to take huge quantities of the supplement to get the results…because after the degradation in the stomach, not a lot of usable supplement was left.  Now they’ve taken the creatine and buffered it to a higher pH such that the acidity of the stomach does not degrade it.  So a smaller supplement load with better absorption to the muscles and no side effects. 

Anyway, I’m excited and curious to see what, if any, results I have with this.  It’s possible that I don’t lift often or heavy enough to actually gain a measurable benefit from taking it, but I’m going to try it for awhile.  The bottle that I bought should last me a little over two months at which time I’ll make an assessment and either keep on or drop it.

Anyway, should probably run along and make some tea, eat some vegetables and do some work and remember:

Today is a brand new day.  Replace any negativity with positivity.  Think happy thoughts.  Exercise.  Drink lots of water.  Healthy is happy!


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.

Levelling Out

There is little that makes me feel more level and more in control than having a plan on paper that I can follow along with.  After my post yesterday I made up my schedule and took it home and posted it on the fridge.  I’m a total dork but I like checking things off, seeing lots of marked off squares in a row!  It makes me feel accomplished and it fosters some dedication.  In truth it’s probably a little silly because that sheet of paper all marked off at the end of the month will just go in the recycle bin, but I’ll take whatever little motivators I can get!

The Schedule. The “V” is for vitamins and the little hearts at the very end are the three walks/jogs in addition to the gym dates.

I did hit the gym this morning as planned.  I expected mental resistance when the alarm went off at 4:30, but since it’s what the plan is, I got out of bed relatively easily.  I suspect that won’t happen every day.  I did a treadmill jog, 5.0 speed and 1.0% incline.  A little easier than road (treadmill road equivilant is 1.5% incline) but a bit harder than what I was doing earlier in the month.  Squats still suck a bit and when I left off at the beginning of May I was squatting 95 pounds, now 60 is a bit of a struggle.  I’m told that is because a squat isn’t only in your thighs, there’s also a lot of contribution from your lower back and hips (my problem area).  I’ll get there though, Friday when I rotate back to this work out I should be able to get 65-70 pounds on.  Everything else (seated rows, step ups, pushups) on that workout I’m back to my ending weight with so that makes me happy.  I have subbed in plank for the ab portion of the program though, plank is The Best Core Movement there is and so I’m going to stick with that for awhile.  I’d rather tighten up my core than worry about “shaping” my waistline.  😉

Tomorrow is a second gym day and I’m curious how this is going to work.   I’ve never done this program on back to back days and have definitely not worked out on back to back days since my hiatus.  I might have to switch to M,W,F instead of T,W,F.  Which sort of sucks because timewise I would be forced to get ready for work at the gym on Monday.  We’ll see, I’d really rather make T,W,F work.

Tonight after work I have to run to the drug store for a birthday card and then dart down to Running Room to get the balance of Ray’s b’day present and then zip home and make fajitas for dinner.  All before 6pm.  Riiiight.  Traffic will be totally fine, right?  LOL!  I’m told that we’re assembling the wagon tonight, too and I’m kind of excited!  It got its third coat of paint last night and once it’s put together we’ll bring it in the house and stick it in the furnace room for awhile so that the paint cures and then Ray will spray the whole thing with clear coat.  I was going to pinstripe the sides of it but I’ve had to rethink that since I have no artistic ability whatsoever.  Plus, I probably shouldn’t make the wagon so nice that it gets stolen out of our yard!  😉

Anyway, I realize it’s only been one day into my Adapt or Die Plan however I feel more like myself than I have in awhile and that is very valuable!

June Plan Of Attack

Welcome to June!  I realize that June is now 4 days old, but this is a special June this year.  This June the theme is Adapt Or Die.  I love that slogan and I’m putting it to use for the next 27 days in order to get back into my groove.  The groove that I love and am very happy in. 

You see, I’ve been coasting now since the third of May, trying a little and putting in a little effort but mostly struggling.  I’ve also been whining a lot and feeling sorry for myself and saying “I can’t” way too much for my own liking.  I’ve been complaining and making excuses.  Some of them are valid, no doubt, but excuse making doesn’t achieve anything.  I asked myself last night what my goals were for the next one month and the next three months and none of those goals that I came up with are served by whining or excuse making.  So then logically, that stuff would need to come to an end and be replaced with something else. 

So, for the next 27 days, my goal is to fake it until I make it.  Go through the motions and actions of the person that I want to get back to until I actually become it…and 27 days is plenty of time to make that happen!

I’m tired & drained feeling and I know that exercise will obliterate this odd feeling mental and physical slump….but you have to do it WHILE you’re tired in order to get untired. 

So, here’s the plan. 

EXERCISE:  Gym & weights Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday early morning (June 5,6,8 – June 12,13,15 – June 19,20,22 – June 26,27,29).  Either a trail walk/jog (more on the jogging in a second) or a long neighborhood walk with Ray 2 evenings during the week and one on weekends.

FOOD:  give head a good shake and stop with the nonsense.  Enough said on that one.

OTHER:  My lower back is incredibly tight and sore and it’s a big contributor to my whining and excuse making.  Happily though, I don’t have injury pain while I’m doing exercise and that means that I’m not further hurting myself.  I do have quite a lot of pain in the hours afterwards and the next days though.  I have to go on the assumption that that isn’t going to change in the short term so I have to work with it.  Now, this might seem stupid or as though I’m coming to this realization late, but I think stretching is going to be a big key here.  It’s all very nice to go to massage once a week and chiropractor every 10 days and I could even add physio (don’t want to!), but if I don’t do anything to help myself on the in between days I’m not really doing myself a service.  So, every single day between now and the end of June, I will do daily lower back stretching, wall walks for my shoulders and a couple minutes of plank for my core.  And every night when I go to bed I will ice my lower back. 

That’s it.  That’s my Adapt Or Die June plan of action.  If you want to kick your own ass over the next 27 days and you feel like making that commitment out loud, write your plan on your own blog and link here if you want some cheering.  Or just leave a comment with your intentions. Writing it down makes it much more likely to happen!

I’ll leave you with a clump of pictures from the weekend.


It’s a tea kind of day today, for sure!  Dreary and drizzly out and kind of chilly in.  Kind of grateful for my desk-drawer tea stash at the moment! 


On to other things.   Such as:  how have I lived this long without mangoes in my life?  Or prawns, for that matter!  What else have I been missing out on because I’ve been assuming I didn’t like it?  Papaya?  Olives?  Celery?  Well….no, celery is definitely still a big “No!”.  Scallops?  About two months ago I realized that I no longer hate ketchup.  I have hated ketchup for easily 20 years and now I don’t mind it at all and will even willingly squirt it on an omelette from time to time.


Makes me think that the next time my first response is “I don’t like _____.” or “I can’t do/don’t like to do ______.”, that I might want to take a moment and see if that is still true! 


For instance, hiking. Ray asked if I wanted to drive somewhere and go for a hike on Saturday and my first response was “no thanks, not interested.”.  But…..wait a second……I like the outdoors and I enjoy exercise.  Sooooo…..hiking then?  Sure, why not?  I’m sure I declared my non-interest way back in the day when I wasn’t interested in doing anything besides eating and smoking.  Things change, it’s probably a good idea to remember that our preferences probably should change with them!


We did the equivilant of nothing yesterday when I got home from work.  We walked one block up to our neighbor’s house to pick up my wagon frame that he’d sand blasted for me.  Tonight we’re going to go and get the paint for it and hopefully this week or next we can get it painted, cured and put back together!


I did make bacon and eggs and hashbrowns for dinner last night as planned and now our whole house smells like the backside of a pig.  Plus, we ate so much bacon I’m surprised we weren’t oinking in our sleep!  It was good though, and now the need for bacon is out of my system for awhile. 


Tonight we’re doing halibut, roast asparagus and a salad (with mango & goat cheese) for dinner…which is an improvement on the rather beige/brown dinner we had last night!  Tomorrow is gym morning, back to Workout A and hopefully a decent jog to start!


Packed Gym Bag!

Look! It’s a packed Gym Bag!!!!!!!

It’s sitting there, waiting for me.  Tomorrow is my first day back at the gym and I could not be more excited about it!  Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to be a bit different than what I was used to a month ago but I don’t care.

I have a sneaking suspicion that tonight is going to be the first night that I get a proper sleep and there will be my alarm clock blaring away at 4:30am!  I’m all good though, I have my gym clothes laid out for me and my Shuffle all charged up.

It’s funny though, I feel like I’m going to the gym for a different reason than I was a month ago.  Sure, I want to gain muscle to lose excess fat and we all want to be slim, skinny, thinner all the time.  But I feel like now I’m going because my body and the muscle that I did have built up and the core strength that I have been working on all have contributed to the packed gym bag in the picture up above.  Some chic crashed into my car and for the speed of the impact and the damage to the cars and my body, I could be in a lot worse shape than I am.  I think back to if this happened when I was pushing 270 pounds and how maxed my body already was, taking a hit like that and stress like this would have been horrible.  Not that this hasn’t been bad, but I picture it all on my 270 pound, pack a day smoker, unfit self and I cringe!  So now I’m going to the gym to help repair my body and strengthen my system.  It feels different somehow.

Anyway, enough about that.  There’s going to be a bunch of stuff still to come, chiro, massage, physio, insurance company settlement etc.  There’s still pain and lack of sleep but I’m drawing my line under this last month and choosing to move forward.    If a person is not to get stuck, forever mired into their sadness and stress and pain, they have to pick a point, draw a line and choose to move forward.  I have seen too many times, people have an incident or a series of them and never get over it.  I figure, instead of being defined by trauma or pain or weakness choose to be defined by your fighting spirit, your will to forge ahead and your strength to stand tall.  And then buy gorgeous jewellry to represent it all! (yes, Noelle, I exerpted my own email that I sent to you this afternoon…..it said what I needed it to say………I’m a dork!) 

Noelle Munoz is the jeweler and it’s definitely a worthwhile click to go and see her offerings!  All of her original designs are gorgeous (and I would really love some special spouse to buy me the “Rivers” ring), but I saw “Leaf” on another blog late last week and I knew I had to have it.  Leaves and trees are amazing symbols of fresh starts and new life and perseverance (I think so, anyway) and this piece is so unique and beautiful that I chose to buy it as a symbol of this and every other “line” I’ll ever have to draw under things in order to always keep moving forward.  Go and visit her website, she has some beautiful stuff!

I’m headed for bed shortly, 4:30am comes very early……….and I’m so, SO GRATEFUL that I am in the position to be able to whine about getting up at o’dark-thirty and going to the gym!

I’ll leave you with a picture of the new car (2012 Volkswagen Jetta) and of a certain blanket thief that I babysat for a few days.


Sleepy George

Lost & Found

“What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be.”
This quote was left in a comment on my blog post yesterday (thanks Claire!).  I have to say, I teared up when reading it.  It sums up everything that I’ve been feeling the last few days.  You see, I eliminated grains three months ago because I was not feeling well and I was having all sorts of symptoms.  I did it for my overall health and because I felt, somewhere within me, that this is what my body needed.  And as I was starting to read grain free and gluten free blogs in order to support myself, I started finding really wonderful blogs within the paleo and primal community.  The trouble is/was, that there are a lot of really fit people who are showcased in these blogs, either as the authors or as….well….showcases of what “you too can achieve!”.  No doubt that there are a zillion really positive benefits from being grain free and practicing paleo or primal (or a mutated combination of both as I prefer).  One thing that is not positive though is the illusion that is perpetrated that you can have it all.  Simply eat a lot of meat and fat, avoid bread and pasta and you can lean out, muscle up and get the body you’ve never had but always wanted.  And it’s true.  What I fail to remember (and maybe you, too) is that the body I’m going to get is still mine. I used to be almost 300 pounds and unfortunately there is some fallout (fall down?) from that which will never go away outside of cosmetic surgery.  I’m also in my mid thirties, not twenties.  Believe it or not, that makes a difference.  I also like beer on the weekends and a glass of wine on a Wednesday.  I like walking with my man at his pace (ever increasing, mind you!) rather than running alone.  I work hard at the gym but I don’t want to spend more than an hour and a half there at any one time.  
I’m afraid I may have been sucked in.  Sucked into believing that I could become someone that I’m not.  The fact that I didn’t/can’t achieve that became frustrating and disheartening. 
However!  Yesterday morning after I did early gym and was driving home I felt the most like myself that I have in weeks.  I actually said (to myself) “YES! I’m back!”.  I felt my determination and my fight.  Physically there is no reason for me to be feeling this way.  I’m a bit bloated and the scale is higher than I would prefer.  Any muscle gain that I’ve had isn’t visible to anyone but me.  I haven’t “leaned out”.  Hell, I haven’t even slimmed down!  
So why do I feel strong and successful?  Because I had forgotten who I was and where I came from and these past few days I’ve remembered and it feels good!  Last week and the beginning of this week I had been trying to figure out how I was going to avoid posting my results from NROL Stage 1…because it’s not dramatic and I wasn’t super pleased with how I’d done as far as losing some fat and gaining some muscle.  
But I am going to post the results, measurements and pictures. Here’s why.  I love all the paleo and primal blogs out there but I feel like I need to post my grain free, less than super-lean self.   Because I am succeeding at something difficult.  It is HARD to eliminate grains, beans etc in our culture.  I’ve found my way and cleaned up my insides and I feel good.  That was the point.  I also started a new kind of exercise (new to me, anyway) and my body appreciates it, I’m stronger and fitter and I feel good.  Again, that’s the point. 
So shouldn’t I promote that?  If I don’t want to perpetuate the “grain free makes you look like a fitness model” myth then shouldn’t I put my photo where my mouth is and show you what grain free and weight lifting looks like for me?  A before & after that is really a “ongoing forever”?  I think it’s important to know that you can work hard for three months and not be able to bounce a quarter off your abs and that’s alright.  It’s still a success!  You can eliminate grains and not lose 50 pounds in three months and that’s alright too.  Still successful!  You can be an average person who gets average results and that is most certainly a success story!
So when my Stage One is over in the next week or so, I will once again donne the Harley Davidson bikini that I took my before pictures in and get Ray to take an update.  Then I’ll break out the insanely long tape measure that I have and get measured up.
I got lost for a little while there, I allowed something exterior to completely change my definition of who I am rather than taking the new item and integrating it into my fabric.  That created a surprising amount of stress and frustration when who I believed I was going to become didn’t materialize.
I made fajitas last night.  I could not see using the packaged fajita seasoning that you buy at the store, that stuff has WAY too much salt and too many chemicals that neither one of us need.  So, I made my own fajita seasoning and it was absolutely perfect!  If you’re interested, comment me for the recipe.  Ray had his fajitas on soft tortillas and I had mine on leaf lettuce that I then spread with a healthy amount of mashed avocado and then topped with the fajita meat/veg.  Absolutely delicious!  And none of the bloat/yech that comes from using a packaged mix!

The homemade seasoning didn't taste at all like the packaged stuff, something different altogether.......but much more authentic and fresh tasting!