Fired Up!

Thank you very, very much to everyone who read or commented on my last post.  I’m so grateful to know that while we are all unique individuals, we sometimes struggle with similar issues and can understand, commiserate and support one another.  Gratitude!
I thought after a couple of heavier posts this week that I would end the week on the upswing.  First, the delightful little treat that my boss brought to work yesterday morning.  His name is Bentley and he’s a Duck Tolling Retriever.  He’s 10 weeks old and a little sweetheart….also a biter with those sharp puppy teeth!  Really adorable and playful.


I’ve been trying to prepare myself for the second stage of New Rules of Lifting for Women because of course there are new exercises and new equipment required.  As happy as I’ll be to be done with Stage 1 (9 weeks is a hellaciously long time to repeat the exact same workout!), Stage 2 freaks me out a little because it means I have to do new movements with new weights and due to the equipment required I have no choice but to enter into the big co-ed area.  I kept thinking of this little graphic and how it really is true.
And then yesterday my friend, Tara forwarded me a link to an article that got me fired right up.  Fired! Up!  Click for the full article but I’ll give you below a couple of my favourite experts:
“Push.  Turn up the volume.  Go hard.  Go harder.
Re-prioritize your aches and pains.
Infuse your sensitivities with courage.
Tell fear to fuck right the fuck off.
Devote to Done.”
“Decide to be one of those people who pull it off.”
“It’s your soul speaking and she says,
Get UP! I need you.  I want you.  I am you.  Choose me.”


Anyway, go check out the link, the article isn’t long and you may just feel like an invincible, unstoppable ROCK STAR when you’ve finished.  A thousand thank you’s to Tara for sending me this, I love it!  I am going to infuse my sensitivities with courage and I AM going to tell fear to fuck the fuck off and I’m going to pop my iPod on and go and do what is right for my body and if there are boys there then there are boys there.  If there are women fitter than me there then so be it, I will use them to push myself harder.  It’s going to be at 4:30 in the g’damn morning, if it was me and I saw someone new lifting heavy weights at that time of the morning, the only thing I would be thinking was “good for them!”.  The more cynical part of me would also be wondering “I wonder how long they’ll last?”, but I know me and I’m a “laster”!  😉
Tonight after work we’re going out for a quick drink with one of my favourite co-workers who is retiring.  Tomorrow morning I’m hoping that the rains break for awhile and I am successful about prying Ray out of bed and going for our now beloved early Saturday morning coffee-walk.  I really love that time that we spend together first thing on Saturday morning.  Sometimes it’s what drives me to make it through the week!  Saturday during the day I hope to get some work done on my wagon and then Saturday evening we’re going out and we’re going to celebrate my dear friend Tara with a few drinks (it’s her b’day, go give her some love!). 
This has been a long and somewhat rocky week (and a bit) and I’m glad to be going out of it on a more balanced, positive note.  I’m excited again and motivated and my vision is clear and for that I am extremely grateful. 

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!

Old Tricks

Oh, am I ever kicking myself right now.  I read a post yesterday about needing variation in diet and exercise.  It was a good post and one that struck home in a number of ways.  The most important one though was something that I’ve known for a long time but have just chosen not to do lately.  She says if you feel like you’re eating super clean and you’re still not losing weight (or, heaven forbid, you’re gaining it), write down everything that you eat and see if the balance is out.  Not being above continuous self assessment, even though I KNOW that I’m doing everything right, I got out a fresh new book and started back to Friday. 
You see, Friday I felt fairly good about myself and then this morning I felt like dirt.  It happens every weekend.  Every. Weekend.  I go into the weekend feeling good and come out of the weekend confused and bloated.  Given that I am a veeeerrrrryyy  clean eater, I didn’t think that this little exercise would show much except what I already knew.  Ha!
I decided to mark each item with a letter; P, F, C (protein, good fat, good carb…fruit or veg).  I also have a * for excess sodium (since I am very sensitive) an “E” for exercise and an “O” for anything that doesn’t fall under the heading of P, F or C.

"Journalling" is an old trick....which works quite well!

Now, why, after a weekend of “clean and healthful eating” would I be up 3.4 pounds with flared up excema, a bloated gut and a short temper?
The “O”s!  From Friday dinner to Sunday afternoon:
  • french fries
  • beer
  • beer
  • 2 handfuls of kettle chips (and of note, I don’t have tiny hands)
  • 3/4 of a bottle of red wine
  • a mini milk chocolate lindt bunny
  • beer again
  • the rest of the chips
Oh, clean eating, how you betray me!  Not. 
Don’t get me wrong, I did eat healthy THINGS over the weekend; a homemade shrimp salad, a proper balanced breakfast each day and a proper dinner (maybe have to cut back on the coleslaw though!).  But I have betrayed myself and my mind chose to remember only the good and consider the bad as deserved treats.  Whatever, I can think about it in 100 different ways.  But I am sabotaging my success and my inner calmness by circling around the truth.  I eat completely grain free.  Fair enough.  But I think I’ve taken it a bit to the extreme insomuch as what I am “allowing” myself to eat and pass off as healthy.
I’m not against treats, not at all.  But I’m in a bit of a slow backslide and if I keep going in this manner I’m going to get the opposite results as I want and end up frustrated and burnt. 
So where to go from here?  I haven’t failed or ruined anything, nothing has fallen apart, so I’m just going to retool a bit and keep going.  I’m going to mark down my intake and limit/reduce my O’s.  I also need to get my ass back into the gym. 
I’m one week away from finishing Stage One and then getting a 7 day break and I’m dragging my frigging feet about it.  I know why……I know that the reason I’ve been making excuses is because I am feeling self conscious about….well…myself.  You see, the personal trainers at the gym broke the co-ed olympic bar (how???) and so they keep stealing the one from the women’s section.  So on Friday night last week I decided that instead of dicking around and dragging it aaaaallll the way back (it weighs 40 pounds) to the women’s only area, I would just do my Saturday morning workout in the co-ed.  Aaaaaand…..I totally freaked myself out about it and now I haven’t gone to the gym at all.  So dumb, isn’t it??  I’m frozen in place at the moment.  But I have to break the ice and get going because becoming frozen here is not a place I want to stay.  So tomorrow morning I’m doing early gym…..and in order to break the freeze, I’ve told myself that even if all I do when I get there is run on the treadmill then that’s acceptable because I just have to GO.  I can also just do the deadlifts with lower weight dumbbells (or skip them altogether) and then, problem solved!
I think I’ve rambled on long enough now, I will leave you with a photo of a new permanent menu addition at our house; Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms.  They were so, SO good. 

Portobellos stuffed w/ Italian turkey sausage, sundried tomato, tonnes of spinach and then topped with a wee bit of shredded cheese.


Last night when I got home I was bagged after having no sleep the night before, a tiring day training someone new and an epic commute home.  I made my lunch and was about to start on getting dinner going when Ray popped into the kitchen and declared that I looked tired and could he take me out for dinner instead.  Um…YES!  Oh my God, YES!  I called our favourite restaurant and talked to the chef/owner to ask if there was anything on her menu that I would be able to work with.  Normally when we’ve gone there we have the baked lasagne or I have a korma dish or her black bean salad.  Obviously none of which would work.  She was amazing though and ran through the menu and told us to come on down.  We’ve known her for 5 years, what I didn’t know was that besides being an amazing chef, she has a degree in something to do with nutrition.  I’m not sure what her designation is but she had info on things I had no clue about.  Info like yellow mustard being off limits for grain free because it’s typically milled in the same plant as wheat and oats.  Coarse grain mustard is alright though.  She also gave me info on certain sugars that are derived from grain or use grain byproducts.  It was all very interesting and while I’m not going to go crazy regarding really minor things like that, it sheds some light on the times when I will eat what I think is completely clean and then get the bloat and can’t figure out why….maybe things like mustard which are cross contaminated? 
Anyway, I had baby back ribs with homemade Sweet Onion Bourbon BBQ sauce and a couple handmade potato chips (Ray ate the rest of those) with a little green salad.  She offered us a slice of cheesecake (with a “don’t eat the crust” warning) but we declined, huge dessert in the middle of the week is a bad habit to get into!  The ribs were delicious and sticky and a lovely treat to have someone else cook for me on a Wedneday.  Bonus points for my man!
If you recall, I was supposed to hit the gym last night during the hockey game to make up for my missed morning.  Obviously (is it obvious?) since we went out for dinner, that was a write off so I retooled my plan.  I went to early gym this morning, I’ll skip my regular Friday and go on Saturday morning and then back to regular next week.  I’m not too worried about not having the whole weekend off like I normally do because I’ve just had 6 days off from lifting. 
Tonight I think we’re hitting Costco and then I’m getting to work on a project I’ve been wanting to do for awhile.  Ray has a medium large wooden wagon from when his kids were little.  The metal frame has a bit of surface rust but is in decent shape and the deck of the wagon is in really good shape.  The wheels are all cracked and wrecked though and the whole thing needs to be greased. So, I’m going to strip off the hideous bright blue paint and clean up the frame (our neighbor might sand blast it for me).  I’ve already bought shiny new wheels for it.  Once it’s all cleaned up it’s getting painted high gloss black with a very high gloss clear coat and it’s getting Harley Davidson decals on the sides and some orange pinstriping (or flames?) and then I’m going to park it in our entrance outside and put all different black flower pots on it and plant all different orange flowers.  I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile now………Tuesday I bought the wheels for it and yesterday Ray went and got some paint stripper so I think the project will get realized this spring!

Apples ARE Sexy!

This text message is a result of Ray texting me and complaining that he’d agreed to work overtime but didn’t have any snack to tide him over the next 4 hours.  Since we work in the same building, I offered to deliver him what I had available and this was his response:
After I finished busting a gut laughing, I tossed him the snack and then went home.  All the way home I was thinking about it; almonds and apple aren’t sexy.  And I suppose he’s right, that’s not a “sexy” snack.  It brings to mind the fact that the right choices aren’t necessarily the popular choices.  A piece of pie or an apple?  A bag of Doritos or some chicken?  A Mars bar or a hard boiled egg?  Not only are the “right” choices less desirable in some cases, but the bad ones are often times easier and more accessible.   Which brings me to a post that I was reading last night.  I won’t link to it because the comments that I made on the post may be considered harsh by some.  However the gist of the story was that this guy is sick and tired of nay-sayers and can’t-doers sucking the energy out of him.  He’s decided to deplete the energy suckers from his life and work on building a circle of support and powerful positive energy in order to help him achieve his goals.  My comment strayed towards how we as humans judge people on how they look.  Don’t shake your head, we all do it.  We judge wealth and health, compatibility, attractiveness, friendliness all in the first moments that we look at someone.  There is an article going around which says that you should not ever strive for physical attractiveness because that is A) not sustainable and B) shallow.  I’m sorry that I can’t find the link to that right now…I’ll look a bit later and add it if I can find it.  The author also says that the defining factor for something to be physically attractive is rarity.  In this day and age it’s slender, toned, healthy and strong.  In the days of famine and starvation it was plump and round and well fed.  Enormous, majestic houses are attractive because not all of us can afford one.  Rarity is beauty, for sure.
The trouble is, if you want to be physically attractive you have to either be born ‘rare’ or do what the majority of people don’t do, achieve what the majority of people don’t achieve and make decisions that the majority of people won’t make.  That’s not shallow or single minded, it’s driven and determined.  Why should I have to settle for common if I can push myself to achieve more?  Why shouldn’t I want to be the best possible version of myself? 
Anyway, moving on.  I did not go for a run last night.  By the time I got home, went back to the store, made cranberry sauce for our dinner, took out the garbages, did the recycling, convinced the nice man to get off my lawn, I do NOT want it aerated, and then actually started cooking dinner, Ray texted to say he was on his way home.  Pardon?? It’s 6pm already??  Well…….shit!  So, no exercise last night.  Which might not be the worst thing, I am so frigging exhausted today I can hardly keep my eyes open!  I did hit the gym at 4:45am this morning as per my schedule however I didn’t go up in weight on any but one exercise.  I know that there are ups and down as far as your strength on any given day so I’m not too worried about it.  I know I worked as hard as I could and even pouring the coffee pot this morning after the gym was a challenge.  I only have 5 workouts left of Stage 1…which is great because I’m getting a little bored of doing the same things over and over.  On the other hand I’m a little nervous that I still can’t do a proper pushup from plank position.  And I’m nervous that the second stage is going to have weird exercises in it that you never see anyone else doing.  Of course I’m scared that I’ll look stupid……but tieing into my discussion above, I’m going to do things most people don’t do in order to get the results that most people don’t get.  And at 4:30am, who’s going to see me look stupid?  No one I care about!
Last night I fried the turkey filets in seasoned butter (butter melted in the cast iron with paprika, onion pwdr, garlic pwdr, sage and thyme), topped with the homemade cranberries and served with mashed cauli and green beans.  Tonight is ribeye steaks, left over cauli and some coleslaw.  And tonight we’re taking the tent trailer to its new owners.  And I’m hoping we can squeeze in a walk right after work!

Could You Move?

Remind me, the next time I decide to sleep through morning gym and go after work, how much I loathe trying to workout around ignorant people.  Or…people in general….but mostly ignorant f*&!king women!  The ladies weight area is in the back corner of the gym.  It’s in an “L” shape, about 20 feet in one direction and 15 in the other.  I happened to be standing in front of one of the mirrors….maybe about 15 feet back from it (I don’t feel the need to exercise nose to nose with myself) doing weighted lunges.  And during the second set, this woman took a set of hand weights, stood RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and started doing squats.  Right in front of me.  I, of course, pulled my ear buds out and said “Could you move?”….maybe not in the nicest tone.  She turned around and said that she had a right to be there too.  Assuming I was dealing with a half-wit, I told her that perhaps she could just move 5 feet to the left or right instead of standing right in front of me and she gestured to a weight bench that was sitting 5 feet to my right and said that it was in her way so she had to stand here.  Now….instead of just picking up the weight bench and clubbing her in the head with it, I decided I should demonstrate that it is on wheels and fully portable….so I picked it up and wheeled it out of my way…about 5 feet to the left….which, if you’re following along, is fairly close to right where she was standing.   The moral of the story?  Get your lazy ass out of bed and go to the gym in the morning when there is next to no one there!
OK, rant over.  Yesterday when Ray was supposed to be getting off work he texted me and told me he’d be working 4 hours OT.  It worked out beautifully for me, actually.  I went to the gym and then took my time making dinner, cleaning up a little and reading a little.  The only downside is that we didn’t get our walk last night.  I have a sneaking suspicion that today will be a repeat of yesterday regarding the overtime which actually suits me just fine, alone time is rare these days so I don’t mind a few spare hours at all! 
If my allergies aren’t too bad I’m going to do a jog after work.  I’ve decided that I am doing the 10km run on Sunday (as long as it’s not raining) so I thought maybe a gentle jog to get myself amped up for it?  I’m not sure but I think at this point it’s too late to do any sort of actual “training” so it’ll be more just to assess how I think I’m going to do (or freak myself out that I’m going to diiiiiie on the run).  The course is an out and back along a dyke so it’s nice and flat, you can see where you’re headed which should be at least somewhat beneficial….or not….I have no clue, it’s been a long time since I’ve done a run this long….4 years at least!  I’m up for the challenge though.  Ray’s comment was that there is no reason that I should not be able to do it….it’s not on pavement, it’s not hilly and there are no time limits….and he’s right.  Right?  Oh, Lord………
Dinner last night was a maple bourbon pork tenderloin, steamed green beans and then I also took a whole bunch of white mushrooms, quartered them and then tossed them with some butter that I’d melted with garlic powder in it.  Roasted 420F for the last 20 minutes of the pork’s cook time; so delicious!
Tonight I’m roasting turkey breast, slathering it in homemade cranberry sauce and serving it with the rest of the green beans and some smashed cauliflower.
And finally, I heard a quote yesterday that I really liked:
“A river cuts through a rock not because of its power but its persistence.”  You could sit there and watch that river run for years on end and never notice a change….even though with every ripple, the river is changing its boundaries.  Persistence in spite of lack of instant results is so worth it, you can look back in a year and see where you’ve been and how you’ve changed.  Because if you don’t change, you don’t change.  They say it takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change, 8 weeks for your spouse/closest friends to notice and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice.  And I would have to presume if you’re doing something where you are not losing big amounts of weight at a time, it may even take longer.  But start now and in 12 weeks…..12 short weeks, you’ll have something you don’t have today. 

Easter Wrap-Up

The Bunny has hopped off to wherever he goes after his big day and the world is back to normal (with perhaps more chocolate per household than is strictly necessary). 
I just glanced back at my list from Thursday and thought I’d see how I did.
  • gym on Friday ~ check!
  • groceries on Friday ~ check!
  • Easter dinner on Saturday ~ check (and YUM!)
  • cook on Sunday ~ check (and again, YUM!)
  • finish book ~ check
  • enjoy morning coffee time ~ check on all three days!
  • give myself a pedicure ~ nope, not even close. 
  • have a smoothie ~ check
  • go for a long walk ~ check x 2 for a total of 13.21km!!
  • take a nap ~ check….but unfortunate because I was under the weather that day so it was non-negotiable
  • dust the upstairs ~ check, and vacuumed and mopped the floors
  • drink water & tea ~ check
  • don’t drink more than 3 drinks ~ missed that one by 1!  Three wines at Easter dinner, one beer in the driveway beforehand
  • one chocolate per day ~ missed that one by 2.  But, Ray and I shared every piece that we did have
  • limit sodium ~ check, no problem there!
Thursday night we went to the Lindt factory outlet store and stood in line for over an hour and a half to score some discounted chocolate…which turned out to be not discounted at all, really.  Whatever, we still got a tonne of chocolate and most of it is now dispersed to the people it was purchased for.  Thank heavens!  We also sold our tent trailer on Thursday night (to the crazy woman with “the littles” who has now asked us to deliver it to their house this weekend….whatever, the sooner I don’t have to communicate with her, the better!).
Friday morning I got up early and went to the gym and then had my much anticipated lazy morning coffee time when I got home.  Ray was still in his jammies and we weren’t in a hurry to get up to much.  We ran errands and then Ray went for dinner with his mom.  I chose to stay home in order to avoid eating out and having to consume mediocre food and endless sodium.  I made myself a smoked salmon and goat cheese omelette topped with avocado and a side of roasted yam.  It was deeeeelicious!

Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Omelette w/ a side of roasted yams. A new favourite!

After dinner we were both feeling a bit restless so we bundled up (it was toque-chilly!) and went for a long walk, 6.3 kilometers, our longest & fastest to date.  We both guessed that it was only about 5km and it turned out to be much more so I took that as a sign that our (Ray’s) speed and endurance is getting better.  All good!
Saturday morning we went hubcap shopping and then came home and ate lunch.  My sister arrived early and we all got to sit in the gorgeous sunshine and enjoy a beer.   Then we all piled into my loaner truck (I traded cars with Kyle….his Ford F-150 super cab for my little Saturn) and headed out to Chilliwack for easter dinner.

Relaxin' in the sunshine....driveway-style!

Sunday we enjoyed lazy coffee again and then headed out for another walk, this time a destination of my choosing.  Turned out that we now have a new record both in speed and distance.  Our walk yesterday was 6.91km and took us exactly the same amount of time as our 6.3km one.  (Maybe it seems silly to be excited about walking, it’s not very advanced or technical.  But it means a lot in our lives, where we’ve been and where we want to go)  When we got home we had lunch and then Ray mowed the lawn and washed the window off the dining room while I vacuumed, dusted and mopped the floors.  I also cleaned up the hurricane that is my “gym staging area”…also known as our spare room. 

Vinegar & newspaper cuts all the grease and muck that clouds your windows! Plus, then your kitchen smells like a fish n chips store!


Little I need some baskets.

For dinner yesterday I made Imam Bayildi from this website.  I fried a half a pound of chopped up organic bacon first and then used the bacon fat to fry the onions and garlic.  Next time I would also add more bacon and instead of stuffing the eggplant shells I’ll chop up the entire eggplant and just bake it as a casserole.  Neither one of us really liked the “shell” of the eggplant but we both really loved the filling. 

So delicious! Turkish comfort food.

That’s about it for the weekend.  Food was solid, I mostly stuck to my guns regarding treats and booze, I got lots of exercise and lots of rest.  Unfortunately I also got a massive allergy attack last night, slept almost not at all and so this morning I did not head to the gym.  I am skipping out an hour early today though and going after work.  Redemption!
I’ll talk about it more tomorrow…..but I’m in negotiations with myself right now about whether or not I can pull off a 10km run this coming Sunday.  Bearing in mind that I am not trained for it at all (not an iota) but that I am in decent shape and I think the course is pretty flat, I think I’m going to go for it, weather permitting.  Any thoughts?

Happy Easter!

We have a three day weekend coming up and I’m so excited for the time off that I’m scared I’m going to either do absolutely nothing and come back on Monday disappointed that I wasted the time, or I’m going to cram the time so full of errands and chores that I come back on Monday exhausted and pissed off.
How does a girl manage?  Make a plan! 
Here are the things I have to do:
  • gym Friday morning at 8am
  • get groceries on Friday
  • Easter dinner on Saturday afternoon
  • cook on Sunday (imam bayildi)
Here are the things that I want to do:
  • finish reading my book
  • enjoy a relaxing morning coffee time
  • give myself a pedicure
  • have a smoothy
  • go for a long walk (at least one)
  • take a nap
  • dust the upstairs of our house
  • drink a constant flow of water & tea
Here are the things that I do NOT want to do:
  • have more than one or two drinks (three is max!)
  • eat more than one small piece of chocolate/day
  • consume an excess of sodium
So it would seem that my “want to do” list are all things that make me feel good and mostly do not relate to food.  My “do not want” list is all food things that make me feel crappy.  So in summary, I would like to do enjoyable things while not feeling like a bag of crap at the end of the weekend.  Maybe it seems weird to write it out in detail, maybe you’re wondering why I need to make this list at all.  For me, writing it down makes it real.  Sometimes things get carried away and out of control and you lose sight of what the ultimate goal is.  Maybe other people have the ability to just do what they need to do…..but for me, when I get excited about time off or a fun adventure, sometimes I lose a little of the rationality…..a list helps me to ground and focus myself so that I can achieve a balance. 
Yesterday when I got home from work we laced up and went for a long walk.  4.78km yesterday for a total of 15.64km over the past four days.   That’s a fairly impressive number if you consider that Ray hasn’t been getting any exercise at all.  I’m interested to see what the scale says for him the next time he gets on (he’s a random scale user so it could be awhile).  These walks are so calming and enjoyable for us (well, I assume Ray finds it enjoyable, he does keep doing it after all!).  So far we’ve done three big ones and they’ve gone to different places all three times.  This weekend I have a destination I want to walk to which is rather far to get to so it’ll probably be a good long one.  Really looking forward to that!
A very happy Easter to all!

Common “Sensa”?

I was at the gym this morning jogging my warmup on the treadmill.  Before I’d gotten on I attempted to change the channel on one of the wall televisions to the Food Network (don’t ask me why but cardio time passes so quickly when I can watch people cook!) but I couldn’t find the right channel number so I gave up and got on the treadmill anyway.  The infomercial that was on the TV perplexed me at first but then I couldn’t stop watching! 
It was this “revolutionary, technologically advanced weight loss system”.  The TV was on closed caption so I was reading along as they were showing pictures of greasy pizza and women driving in their cars while eating what appeard to be chicken & fries from a box and men blissfully consuming whole cakes.  The captioning was scrolling through; “I lost 68 pounds using Sensa and I never changed what I ate!”, “I lost 90 pounds using Sensa and never had to give up the good stuff!”.  I just about died right there!  So the premise is that you “use” Sensa and they promise that you will lose weight without ever having to change your behaviour.  What’s even stupider?  Sensa is some sort of chemical powder that you SPRINKLE ON YOUR FOOD and it magically makes you not want to overeat.  Apparantly this simple sprinkling of “all your favourite foods” causes your brain to believe that you’ve already eaten so you then eat only a percentage of what you would normally have gorged yourself on.  Give me a break!  When are people going to learn that if you simply stop stuffing your face with shit that isn’t food, move around a bit and drink some water you can save the $60 a month that they are trying to STEAL from you for the pleasure of sprinkling a salt-like substance on your food!
OK, rant over…..although now I’m going to jump around a little.
Still on the topic of common sense though, once again during this particular phase of the month, I am reminded to stay the course, hold on, not make any changes and SURELY not take anything that the scale has to say at face value.  I’m in Week Three of Stage One in the New Rules of Lifting program and last night I felt a muscle!  IN MY ARM!!!!  My arms have always been somewhat…..not muscular so it was very exciting last night. 
Also last night I was turned on to a couple very good blogs.  I originally found Solana Leigh through the Paleo link on wordpress and then discovered that she lives about 20 minutes from me.  Very cool to have found someone so close through something as huge as wordpress.  Anyway, she tweeted the link to a post on the blog “Making Shift Happen“.  The post was “Is It Just Me Or Is Paleo Fking Hard?”.  Through THAT link I came across a blog called Ancestralize Me  and her really excellent post “Paleo Women Are Phat” which discusses beautifully the fact that the majority of women who are doing paleo and working out are not going to look like the super lean fitness models that society (and ourselves) want us to be and that because of that it can make it difficult to discuss and teach and represent this lifestyle.  She reminds us in this article that women are not meant to be incredibly lean and that a little weight in the standard female places (hips, bum, thighs, breasts) makes us, not less successful, but more authentic.  This is not to say that we shouldn’t try, we should always, always be trying to achieve better.  But it really makes it a lot less frustrating.  For someone like me who doesn’t have a tonne of weight to lose, it made me wonder if I’m even meant to lose it at all?  Maybe I can gain muscle and increase my fitness but this fat that I have on me?  Maybe that’s the fat that I’m meant to have.  Maybe this is it as far as fat loss.  That is a very freeing notion.  Work hard, exercise hard, eat well, don’t eat what my body percieves as poison, always strive for measurable gains…..but maybe the fat that’s left stays.  Interesting.
Last night Ray had the leftover seafood fettucine for dinner and I had some Basil chicken sausages from Thrifty’s.  They were…..tasteless.  I wasn’t really feeling like dinner though so I didn’t really care.  I took my last piece of Paleo Banana Bread out of the freezer knowing that I would want a treat later.  Later came, I put my piece of bread in the toaster and warmed up the coconut butter.  When the toast popped I went to take it out and I dropped it, smashed all over the kitchen floor in way too many pieces to be salvageable.  I was crushed, no treat and a sucky dinner.  Until I remembered a recipe I’d seen earlier this week!  Banana Raisin Blondie!  Holy moses, so delicious.  SO DELICIOUS!  This will now be in regular rotation in our house, Ray loved it also.  Although it came out like a very moist little cake, its nutritional values would lean more towards this being a fat.  Butter, almond flour, almond butter, egg, some spices (cinammon, salt, bkg pwd) and then the only carb would be a half a banana and a small sprinkle of raisins.  When it looks like cake and tastes like cake but isn’t actually cake, celebrate!

I drizzled a tiny bit of honey over this but it didn't need it, the banana and raisins make it plenty sweet enough!

That’s it for me today (and more than enough, I think!).  Tonight I’m hoping for at least a 5km walk, we’re having Tourtiere (french meat pie) for dinner of which I will eat the filling and a salad.


I am so crabby right now I feel like I could burst into flames at any moment.  I went to the gym this morning and spent the entire workout listening to my mean-side tell me really awful things about myself including failure, ugly, useless etc.  Which was weird because in between the rude bits, the postive-side of me was telling me how my legs are starting to show signs of muscle and cheering me on during pushups and step ups. 
The Alien Baby is due in sometime this week though so I’m trying to remember that and not be too hard on myself….especially when I did the absolute best I could do this weekend as far as staying the course with healthy whole food, no booze, no sugar, lots of water and green tea…..and I still managed to be up on the scale this morning.  It’snotyourfaultit’snotyourfaultit’snotyourfault……that’s my stay-sane mantra this morning.
In order to try and let go of all the things that are pissing me off, I’ve made a list.  Maybe once I get them out, my stabby mood will subside?
A) the ENORMOUS amount of work that I have to do this morning that didn’t get done while I was away for my day off on Friday and the attitude that because I took a day off I somehow deserve to be punished by my boss for it.
2)  my co-worker who sits beside me, waits aaaallll morning long, over 2 hours actually, in our coffin-quiet office, to talk to me until right at the moment that I am raising my fork to my mouth to eat my snack salad at coffee time.  In my paranoid enraged mood, I believe that she is doing this to fuck with me.  She probably isn’t.  When I’ve asked her to wait until I’m done, she says that during my coffee break seems like a good time to ask me questions (she’s new) because I don’t seem busy.  YOU THINK?
3) same co-worker who answers the phone whisper quiet, says “hello?” 58 times in a row without ever raising her voice and then hangs up only to repeat again 2 minutes later when the customer calls back!
d) the woman this weekend who kept us waiting 4 hours for her to come over and view our tent trailer that’s for sale and then when I finally called her to find out wth, tell me that she’d be another hour but that that she deserves “special consideration” because she has “two littles”.  The term “two littles” makes me want to punch her extra.  NO!  You don’t deserve to ruin my entire day because you chose to procreate!  Really?  4  extra HOURS above and beyond what you’d already planned to get from Richmond to Coquitlam?  Ya….so the price just doubled!
E) my allergies that make me look like I’ve spent the entire night drinking hard liquor in a smoky bar.
f) my cardiologist appointment that got cancelled this morning.  It was supposed to be tomorrow.  Apparantly a heart surgeon’s to-do list is more important than mine??  OK…well maybe.
And finally, obviously, the evil bitch that the scale was this morning, making me temporarily feel like throwing in the towel, cancelling my gym membership and eating nothing but chocolate trifle every day for the rest of my life.
Tonight we’re having a seafood medley (clam, scallop, squid, salmon)…Ray’s with alfredo over noodles and mine with just some butter & garlic over zucchini.  Maybe a nice walk again tonight if the weather holds.