There is a man who sits behind me at work and loves to tell us all about how busy he is. We’re not completely sure what he even does all day (and night) but he’s “busy” enough that he cannot eat food, go outside, make phone calls, return emails, enjoy sunshine, drink tea or anything else that one might associate with living a relatively normal life. He is BUSY. He uses “busy” as an excuse not to live his life. He also uses it as some sort of superhero martyr cape so that we will all feel badly for him while respecting the shit out of him for giving up his life and instead just being….well….busy.

For some reason today it got me to thinking about that awful little four letter word; B-U-S-Y. We all use it and I somehow think that we use it to the exclusion of other words or concepts. We say we’re busy when in fact we’re tired and just want to sit down. We say we’re busy when in fact it’s just the pace of modern life. We say we’re busy when we don’t want to do things or go places. We say we’re busy so that people think that we’re doing important things and living full lives.

As part of My Passion Experiment in April, I refuse to be “busy”. I refuse to use the word or embrace the concept and I refuse to use any of its aliases either (swamped, buried, crazy, hectic). Instead of “busy”, I’m going to actually speak the truth, let me practice.


Scenario: I have been invited to an event

Old way: Oh, we would love to be able to go but we’re busy.

Truthful Way: Thank you so much for the invitation but I’m going to pass. Have fun though.

Truthful Way (option B): Thank you so much for the invitation but we’re already doing something that night.


Scenario: See group of friends after absence who ask “Where have you been?!”

Old Way: Ach, I know, I’ve been absolutely swamped lately, my life is running at 100 miles an hour!

New Way: Oh hey! Good to see you! (people generally will not come back and ask the same question a second time)


Scenario: How’ve you been/What have you been up to?

Old Way: Good, so busy though.

New Way: Pretty good. My life is full so I always have something to do or look forward to!

The thing is, we are all busy. Every moment. There is always some draw on our time. Someone wants something or something needs to be cooked or there’s the gym or your hobby or your family. There’s bills to pay and jobs to go to and alone time to squeeze out. We are all busy. I wonder sometimes, if someone asked how it was going and I answered truthfully, would I be less of a “valid” woman? “It’s going really well! I mostly only do the things that I want to do, I fill the majority of my time with things I care about and surround myself with people I care about.” Does that devalue my contribution to society or my life? Do I gain more respect by saying, “Ach, I’m so busy, I barely have time to brush my teeth in the morning before I have to bolt! I work X-# hours a day and then try to find time to squeeze in exercise before making dinner. Husband and I only see each other for a couple of hours in the evening and then I crash into bed completely exhausted!”

When I was writing both of these statements, I actually had the same scenario in my mind for both of them. In reading them back to myself, the first one seems really “self” centered (not self-centered) and calm and positive and on purpose and in control and the second one seems really manic and depressing and anxious and out of control. It also strikes me as odd (being the one who is writing this, even!) that the second one has a more “important” feel to it. Like the woman in the second one is important and hurried and no nonsense. She’s the polar opposite to the first woman who appears to be kind of laid back and not in too much of a rush to do anything. And yet they are the same woman. One version has a grateful, gracious, truthful and relaxed understanding of her life and the other version is trapped in the “busy” paradigm. One version is owning her decisions and how she chooses to direct her life and the other is more blamey and reactive.

It’s my perception that the first one will come off as dismissible and the second one will come off as more relatable. The first one seems almost….maybe dumb? And the second one comes off as smart and quick and on-fire. Since I’ve already stated that they are both living the exact same life, why is that?  Why do we not have more value for Woman A and more pity for Woman B?

There’s not a huge finishing point to this post….mostly because I don’t have an answer as to why we women value the negative side of a “flat out, can’t stop, every second accounted for” mentality more than we do the expressing of enjoyment and triumph that we have these beautiful lives to live. I do live flat out (because I have lived a half a life and it was awful) and I can’t stop (coffin, anyone?) and every second of my day is accounted for (don’t most people know what’s coming from hour to hour?).

I have a full life but I am not busy.


January Roadmap Summary


Here we are at the end of January.  To be perfectly honest this has been the most controlled and productive January that I have ever had.  Possibly the most controlled and productive month I’ve had in a very long time.  When I laid out my goals for January, I set them with the best possible intentions given the information that I had at the time.  And now, coming back and assessing my results, I am doing it with complete honesty, no fudge factor. The wins are blue, the fails are red and the cancelled goals are marked in purple with an explanation.  Is there more red on the page than I had hoped to see?  Yes, for sure.  Obviously when I set the goals I’d hoped to achieve them all successfully.  But where the red is and the impact of those fails, overall, is not awful and gives me a foundation with which to plan and measure February.  Here’s how January played out.

Food Budget

Food Budget:  I chose this as a goal because it’s one of our major expenditures although I really had no idea just how major, I’d never tracked it before.  Having said that, picking “$130/week” as the total was pretty much just me throwing a dart into the abyss.  We failed massively on this one.  Sort of.  In reviewing the entire month as a whole, we ate every single meal and snack at home (or on the go but was prepared at home) and the amount of waste we had was nearly none. Total of groceries that got tossed out was one serving of turkey soup, half a head of cabbage, two bunches of parsley and three servings of squash soup that we really tried to like but didn’t.  So for our rather high expenditure, we either ate everything or prepared and froze for future.  February I have taken our total from January, averaged it by day and then reduced it by around 20%.  It’s possible we won’t be able to achieve it but that’s the point of a goal….to try.

Eating Out

Eating Out:  This one, while appearing small on the goals list, was actually HUGE for us and was a complete, 100% success.  We didn’t purchase so much as a snack on the “outside”.  Everything we ate, with the exception of our one meal, came from home.   For February Ray asked that we have two eat out meals in the month because we really enjoy a breakfast out and he didn’t think we should have to choose between breakfast and dinner.  I agreed with that and so in February our goal is to limit eating out to one dinner and one breakfast.

No Spend

No Spend: This one chalks up as a failure on paper, I spent money on things that were not critical to our survival.  However, coming in at a total of $56 for the entire month is amazing for me, a complete change from my past habits. Further, I should point out that the bulk of the total, the $31 at Gourmet Warehouse and the $18 at David’s Tea were spent in the first 5 days of January and to be perfectly honest, I completely forgot that not spending any money was one of my goals.  Habits, right?!  In February we’ve agreed to give ourselves each $50 (which will be doled out in cash) for “stuff” and beyond that, no spending!

Dinner Table

Once again, this one is technically not a complete success….but a HUGE win in our household!  Beyond the “dinners” that I logged for my goals, we ate most weekend lunches and a couple of weekend breakfasts at the table.  This one was a bit of a struggle and, I suspect, will continue to be a struggle from time to time. February has the same goal.  (of note, I did not have to “lead by example” as I thought I might, Ray was right on board all month)

Community Run

Community Run:  this one was a bit of a false goal because I’d already registered for the Chilly Chase in mid December.  But, registering is not the same as actually doing it, so it got marked down as a goal. 100% success!  February does not have a community/charity run in it but March does…so February has some interesting and fun training goals.


Video Blog:  90 Seconds of Real has had a pretty good first month, we’ve had some awesome videos, new followers and a good number of site views.  What we don’t really have is participation from anyone other than the contributors and I’m struggling with finding the magic answer to get people engaged.  February doesn’t have this as a goal but I’ll keep on promoting and plugging and we’ll reassess in another month.

Limit Fruit

Limit fruit:  this goal was designed as a carb-limiting goal and ended up crashing and burning in the first third of January.  While I did terminate the goal for sanity reasons, I have tried to keep an eye on the amount of fruit I’m consuming and I’m avoiding turning to fruit as an easy fallback.  But…the navel oranges are gorgeous right now and they make me happy.


Exclude dairy, grains, sugar:  I consider this goal failed.  Not because I went off the rails, I didn’t.  I consider it failed because I quite easily could have avoided the things I had and I chose not to.  I didn’t need to bite the krispy square, I could have used arrowroot in the stew, the soup didn’t have to have sour cream and saying no thank you to ice cream is perfectly acceptable. February has the same goal.  I would not consider this one a success with anything less than 100% compliance.

Limit Alcohol

Limit alcohol:  This one was a total success, my alcohol consumption went down dramatically and in a couple cases, on my approved days I asked myself if I really even wanted wine and the answer was no.  When I did indulge, it was lovely.  That’s where I wanted to get back to and I did.  February has the same goal.


Gym Dates:  This one is a fail.  I had 75% success with this goal and I’m not sure how I feel about that.  In trying to live intuitively, I sort of feel like I did enough for my body; combined with Century, I stayed reasonably active in January.  I’m torn on what to do for February, I have the same goal, 3/week but I also have 4 five kilometer runs, one bicycle ride to work and home (uphill!!) and one Coquitlam Crunch (a milder Grouse Grind).  That’s 18 “fitness events” in a 28 day month.  I’m going to leave February that way although I do expect to miss hitting 100% success. February’s motto is “dig deep”, so we’ll see.  I will set my March goals based on an assessment of January and February.

Weight Goal

Weigh in at 179#: This goal was terminated in late January after personal assessment and support from Tara, Lana & my sister.  The scale is bullshit and I refuse to stand on it.  I am quasi-content with where my body is right now.  I would LOVE to be the size I was 6 years ago.  Is that possible?  Of course.  Is it probable?  Not in the slightest.  I was 29 then, I’m 35 now and shit has gone down in life.  I can’t simply discard all of that and force myself back into the past.  That 158# body was also created on a severe calorie restriction and a shit-tonne of cardio.  Since I am not willing to do that again, I have to respect where I am now and work with it.  There will be no scale or measurement goal in February, just a general statement that I should be working to reduce fat and build muscle.  I’ll know if I succeeded or not.

DecisionsMake Decisions Consciously:  this was a bullshit goal right off the start, those words don’t mean anything and there was no thought behind it save for the fact I though my goals list was too…er….selfish & materialistic.  LOL, so silly.

Feb All

So where do I go in February? A lot of January’s goals get to travel into February; some stay the same, some get some minor changes.  And then there are some brand new goals that surround fitness, personal care and home care.  Two that I’m really excited about are:

  • One “no TV” Friday night
  • No handheld technology after 6pm

Having these monthly road maps laid out has brought me a sense of direction and peace that I have never had before.  It’s a sense of really living my life as fully as possible and knowing what I expect of myself.  It’s actively watching and taking notice of patterns, both good and bad and capitalizing on that information in order to build a balanced and content life.

Welcome February, I’m ready for you!


Morning!  Have you popped over to 90 Seconds of Real lately to see what the ladies are up to, how they’re faring over halfway through January? Tara’s been talking about Whole30 & support (or lack of), Darcy’s been talking about how to find your drive when life gets hard, Megan’s been talking about grassfed meats and how good exercise feels to her and I’ve been talking about leaping through windows and pushing through crappy days.  In each video post there is a conversation in the comments where we discuss the topic of the day and we really want to hear from you!  Success (yours and ours!) grows in an environment of like-mindedness and similar spirit and the support of people who can relate to each other.  Go….check us out!  Follow us, like us, talk to us!  90 Seconds of Real  We’re also on Twitter!


We’re over halfway through January and I’m so grateful that I created a road-map to work off of because even with that map, sometimes I forget where I want to be going.  Does that sound dumb?  I forget what I want?  It isn’t.  I’m in a position where I am ready and able to rebuild my life right now and my goals list is a map that is outlining the steps I need to take to recreate the foundation.  I sat down at the beginning of January and really thought about what sorts of things I needed to do to get where I want to be and looked at my life and my personality to determine the reasonability of them.  Some of them were new (eating at the table) and some of them require constant reinforcement (no spending $$, no eating out).  I do feel though, like this map is critical to any success that I’m going to have and it’s made me feel really solid and in control so far, even in the first half of January when I was feeling terrible, I still felt solid and like I was achieving something.

I have February and March’s goals written up already and I tweak them as January goes by.  Much of January’s “map” carries over onto the next months but there are some new directions there too.  Things I want to do or try, things I need to get done (which will ONLY get done because they are on the map).  I have found, in years past, that time goes by So Fast and spring comes and goes and we’re into summer and I turn around and find that I’ve missed critical openings and wasted precious time.  Not this year!  This year I’m planning ahead, making maps, laying things out.  It’s easier in our household that we both know what is going on, what the expectations are and what we need to be doing. We drift less and accomplish more and somehow we have more time to relax….or is it that the time we do have to relax is of such a higher quality that the duration matters less?

This life mapping project is hard work, definitely.  Initially I had no idea just how much work it would be to maintain.  I look at the “map” every day, review each point and see how I’m faring, what is working and what needs work.  I tick off the wins and mark down the misses.  I review my personal calendar and determine where I can fit things in from week to week.  When I come up with new things I want to do, instead of declaring that I’ll start them immediately (and then probably fail due to lack of time or energy or just the logistics of not planning better), I look at the calendar, check the map and in some cases have added items that will start up to two months from now.  This is a definite departure from my “old self” that wanted to do it all right now and got frustrated or depressed when it didn’t all come together immediately.  Having learned a few lessons over the last year, I realize that this is a long trip that cannot be rushed.  Sometimes it irks me that I can’t just “tick” everything off Right Now but the fact is that I can’t so I’ve stopped trying and I am so much happier with it.  This map concept works really well for me and I’ve started feeling awesome and stable.  It’s a really nice feeling and one that I’ve missed!

Happy Tuesday, I hope it treats you well!

My Car Analogy

I didn’t have a cookie last night.  This is to say, I bought grain free cashew cookies (holy crap they were expensive) the other day and gave myself permission to have a cookie in the evening if I feel like it.  If you’ve ever read my blog in the past you would know how I feel about sugar.  One tiny taste and I’m catapulted down the rabbit hole and it takes weeks or months for me to pull myself together and clean up!  Needless to say I was a little tentative when I bought the cookies but I felt that the enjoyment of a small cookie from time to time would be working with my desire to find and maintain balance.  From a purely financial point of view I refuse to share these cookies with Ray and I wondered if that would trigger my instinct to guard food.  My point is that why would I give him a $1.25 2” cookie when he can and chooses to eat whatever cookies or Halloween candy we have around whenever he feels like it.  No, the $15 cookies are mine.  The first night I sat down with my coffee and had a cookie.   The next night I had another cookie with my coffee while watching television.  Last night I didn’t, last night I had an orange with my coffee and then went to bed.  I noticed last night that now that I’ve got these little cookies in the fridge and that I am permitting myself to have one (every night if I want), they aren’t controlling me.  I don’t dream about them all day long at work and I don’t sneak eat them before Ray gets home.

I wondered this morning, have I never tried this?  Have I never given myself permission to have a treat that fits into my life without destroying anything else that I have going?  Not cheesecake every night or a handful of chocolates….but a cookie with evening coffee?  Really?  I’ve never done this?  Have I never allowed “healthy”, “gym” and “fitness” to coexist with “treat” and “enjoyment”??  I don’t think I ever have.  If I was in “enjoyment” mode then I was eating inappropriate treats too frequently and not doing anything considerable for exercise.  If I was in “healthy/fitness” mode then every thought in my head and action in my life somehow was directed towards that.

Honestly?  How exhausting!  Like stomping on the gas pedal, right to the floor and lurching forward at rocket speed (hopefully without getting injured) and then slamming hard on the brakes to come to a complete standstill (hopefully without putting my head through the windshield) and then putting my foot to the floor again and expecting, no demanding, to be at maximum speed immediately.  STOP!   GO!  STOP!  GOOO!

Jesus Murphy, seriously, stop.  Just stop.

I went to the gym on Wednesday and then again this morning.  This morning was the first weights workout I’ve done since August.  I’ve lost muscle.  I’ve lost strength.  I’ve lost definition.  But, considering that I’ve found my balance and my sanity, I was able to remind myself that since there is no more STOP-GO-STOP-GO-STOP anymore, it doesn’t really matter.  It doesn’t matter if I lose 1 pound of my 15 every week.  It doesn’t matter if it takes me two months (or three or four) to get back to lifting the weight that I was at previously.  And during the time that I’ll be losing that weight and building that muscle I’ll also be eating a cookie and drinking red wine and lying in bed reading a book and putting my head in my dog’s warm, squishy neck and taking a nap.  So will it all be slower?  You bet.  Will my results be different?  Maybe.  Will it be more enjoyable, less anxiety driven, more liveable?  Hell yes.

I don’t really know how I did it before, how I would get myself all ramped up from nothing to everything over and over again.  I do know that time and again I would become extremely frustrated because it always felt like I was starting again, like I never got anywhere, like I never could get any further than where I could get. It’s funny now, that I couldn’t see the flaw then.  I would stomp on the gas for the same general duration and then hit the brakes.  Stay stopped for around the same length of time while doing the same sort of things each time.  And then stomp the gas again until I couldn’t anymore.  And, surprise, I could never get any further.  You’re shocked, right?  I was.  Often.   Eventually the speed at which I was moving and the duration that I could keep going for were dramatically reduced until eventually I just ran out of fuel.  I kept trying to stomp on the gas and nothing would happen.  No go.  Stalled.

Eventually, through much self-reflection and asking for help to a few different people, I’ve been able to put a new kind of fuel in the tank (peace, kindness, realism) and by gently feathering on the gas pedal I’ve gotten moving again.  Gently.  Slowly.  Quietly.

Tonight we’re going to our favourite pub for dinner with Ray’s kids and then they’re coming back to our house to decorate our tree…with some drinks in hand.  I thought about what I would eat at the pub.  The trap with “balance” is that it’s easy to forget that sometimes you have to take things away to keep the equilibrium.  I’ve been adding cookies and couch time to bring back my ability to have enjoyment while still being healthy….but in this case I need to take away some indulgence at dinner time.  So….I will have a salmon salad at the pub (it’s so good anyway!) because lunch today was shepherd’s pie which was a bit heavy and we’ll be drinking which is extra intake as well.  French fries and a bunless egg & chorizo burger would have been delicious….but this time it just doesn’t fit in.  It’ll be there the next time around and when I do have it I’ll know that it’s because it fits.  We’re doing our Christmas shopping this weekend and going to one of our favourite salad bars for lunch.  We’ll also finish the decorating and I’ll do some cooking….of what I’m not quite sure yet.

Happy weekend!

Over Two Days

I started writing this yesterday and never got around to publishing it.  😉

Instead of secretly shaming myself, I had to give a chuckle this morning when my alarm went off at 6am and I realized that I “subconsciously” didn’t bother changing the setting on my alarm clock so I could wake up and go to the gym.  In hindsight I also didn’t review my weight lifting book so I knew where I was starting, I didn’t charge my Shuffle, I didn’t shave my legs and I didn’t put together my gym bag.  So, I chuckle because regardless of my “sincere desire” to go to the gym this morning, I didn’t do a single thing to actually make that happen.

I should have known better than to just assume that I would toss aside this lovely habit I’ve cultivated of hanging out in bed until 6am.  I should have known better that in the days leading up to my Return To Gym Date that I should have been prepping and thinking about it and talking myself up to it instead of picking a date an approximate time away and then pretending that all is well.  All I really did was make myself feel better in the short term by picking a date in the future and then giving myself license to just do whatever because I am going back to the gym, I am, I AM! 

My thought process has since been updated, gym-dates have been written down and the whole schedule printed out (this works very, VERY well for me) and I have pre-gym tasks on my to do list (update & charge shuffle, review lifting book…and turn Workout A & Workout B into A, B & C because I just don’t have enough time in the morning to do them as they are written, find my shoes, etc).

Our whole week got turned on its ear this morning when Ray went from a 10-6 shift back to afternoons effective today.  It’s absolute BS………..but it actually does work much better than 10-6 for us.  Primarily it works better for him because he actually ends up with a bit more time to actually accomplish things.  And it works out better for Grace….who stayed home by herself yesterday from 9 until 4….and entertained herself by pulling all of the tea towels and dishcloths out of the hamper, flipping her bed over and making a fort of sorts and then finding, opening, shredding, scattering and eating an entire box of Aveeno Oatmeal Bath packets.  I would have taken a picture of that enourmous mess however when I came up the stairs to find oatmeal powder and shredded packets spread down the hallway, I gasped out loud.  And Grace?  Cowered.  Entire butt tucked under, head down, complete fear.  It broke my heart.  I kneeled down beside the mess and quietly told her to come over to me.  She belly crawled up the hallway, not looking directly at me, and the look in her eye was “It’s OK, I know I was bad, you can hit me.”.  I had to swallow pretty hard not to cry into her fur while I was hugging her.  Some asshole used to abuse her and that makes me absolutely ill.  She was a complete baby all night, crawling into my lap every time I sat down.  She was bored (obviously) and found something to entertain herself.  Not that I condone rifling through bathroom cabinets and eating the contents, but obviously we need to do something to keep her entertained when we’re at work.  That “something” will probably be fur-bearing.  Although as Ray said, maybe they’ll be bored together and make an even bigger mess!  We’ll wait and see how Ray’s shifts start to work out as the fall wears on and then make a decision from there.

*******and now on to today!

Last night I went and met with my tattoo artist.  Man alive, artists are a funny bunch….and I say funny but I actually mean “annoying as shit, cocky, d-bag”, but “funny” sounded nicer.  Anyway, he’s an alright guy, just a different breed.  Does nice work though and we finalized the design for my next one.  Next Saturday I’m getting this on my left back, over the shoulder blade.  The bottom bit of the design is going to change a bit and there are more leaves and swirls added to the top but other than that it’s pretty much like this.  It’ll be all black & grey.

Since that was right after work I got home a bit later and found a few nice surprises (no doggie mischief today!).  The first one was this new faucet that is installed in our kitchen.  It is HUGE but I love it.  It’ll definitely take some getting used to though, having something like this is way different than just a regular faucet!

I also was the very thrilled recipient of a 3 foot tall purple orchid and the movie The Lorax.  The orchid is gorgeous and was an amazing surprise. The Lorax is what melted my heart though.  You see, Ray owed me a gift of flowers from a couple of months ago when I spent two weekends in a row with his ex wife and ex in laws.  The agreement is that I swallow my discomfort during these times and be gracious and welcoming and HE acknowledges how difficult that is and is grateful for it.  This time the “bribe” was flowers.  Which never materialized.  Obviously they since have materialized and they are gorgeous.  He never buys cut flowers either, always a plant.  Which is very cool considering I have a bit of a green thumb so I get to keep enjoying the flowers rather than chucking them in 7 days.  Anyway!  The flowers are gorgeous and definitely welcome.  But the movie killed me!  I mentioned The Lorax one time, about a month ago, that I wanted that movie at some point.  Any gift which shows forethought, listening/remembering and planning is worth SO much to me (and to most ladies, I suspect?). 

Today after work I’m making two dinners, Lime Parmesan Tilapia and Imam Bayildi in casserole form.  I’ve already done two loads of laundry today and if I make two dinners tonight, that should free me up for working on my Getting Back to the Gym Plan for tomorrow night after work.

Have a great day, only three more working days to The Long Weekend!

The Dirty Book

At 4:22am this morning I was awake.  At 4:23am this morning I was back to sleep.  Gah!  WHY is it so difficult for me to get to the gym right now?  I like the gym, it’s a happy place for me and yet I’m not going?  Is it a little unease regarding starting the new moves?  Is it that I am in self care mode and actually am doing exactly what my body and mind need?  Or am I just being lazy and a bit of a whiner about it?  I really don’t know and I think the only way to find out what’s going on is to get in there and see what happens after a workout.  If it’s unease, that will go away after the first round.  If it’s a self care issue, well, there’s no better way to care for yourself than to exercise your body.  And if it’s lazy and whiny then I need to just suck it up and get going!

As “punishment” this afternoon for missing, I’m mowing the front and back lawn when I get home.  That’s not really punishment though because I really like cutting the grass.  And when Ray gets home from work we’ll go for an evening walk for an hour or so.  Not quite the same thing but it’s what I’ve got.

Last night for dinner I made a beautiful pork tenderloin (if you want a fail proof recipe for insanely tender and flavourful tenderloin, comment me), green beans and mashed cauliflower.  If you’ve been around this blog or on the lower carb websites you’ll know that we love our mashed cauliflower.  And so I thought I’d be creative and mash up one of those alternative cauliflowers that are on the market.  I picked the purple one.  Unless you are a Sesame Street character or you enjoy the sense that you’re about to eat play-doh, don’t mash the purple one.  It tasted just like the white one but the colour was very off-putting!

Now, completely unrelated to health or fitness, my waxist came over yesterday and in the midst of our chatting she asked me if I’d read “the dirty book” yet.  She couldn’t remember what it was called but I think that she might be referring to 50 Shades of Grey?  Anyway, apparently she’s heard from three of her clients the following book reviews:

Older Retired Lady:  “That was disgusting.”

Woman My Age:  “I was reading it at home alone and I was blushing!”

Other Woman My Age (to her husband): “If I didn’t have my period right now I’d (dirty word) your brains out!”

So, blog land, is “the dirty book” 50 Shades of Grey?  And if so, have you read it?  What did you think?  Worth picking up?

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.

SO Glad It’s Friday!

Remember yesterday how I said that I don’t enjoy massages?  Well that was solidified last night after my appointment.  I left there feeling horrible.  HORREEEBLE.  Nauseated and my eyes were all wonky and my head felt like it was jammed inside a big feather pillow.  I suspect it was probably because she gave me a deep tissue massage where my injuries are and there’s lactic acid and other toxins that have built up there which got released into my blood stream.  Whatever the reason, I felt like crap, I was irritable and tired and generally lovely to be around.  😉

Ray was actually home before I even left for my appointment but he begged off making dinner anyway and asked if he could just take me out instead, my choice of location.  I had no energy with which to complain and no real reason why that wouldn’t work so we went out for dinner to a favourite restaurant and then hit up Costco on the way home.  Unfortunately going out to that particular restaurant does not yield leftovers (her portions are perfect for one meal) so after having been at work all day, yucky massage and then going for dinner and groceries, when I got home near bedtime I still had to make my lunch for today.  THAT is when this whole paleo/primal/grain free/whatever-you-want-to-call-it lifestyle really sucks.  When people ask me if the way I eat is difficult, I always say it’s not.  Because it isn’t.  Until you just want to throw yourself at your bed and not be standing in the kitchen for 30 minutes preparing a balanced day of food.  When going somewhere and buying your lunch the next day isn’t an option, this whole grain free thing can feel like a bit of a trap.  Fortunately this set of circumstances doesn’t happen very often and the benefit of staying true to the theme is well worth any inconvenience that comes about occasionally.

I did not go to the gym this morning, there’s no real excuse except that I felt like crap and didn’t make the effort to get out there.  It happens.

This weekend we’re babysitting Ray’s daughter’s dog.  His name is Kaos and he is ENORMOUS.  Easily 120+ pounds.  He’s also a big suck, sensitive and whiny and fragile.  Should be interesting.  I’ll take a picture/video of him this weekend and post it here, the dog is massive, it’s hilarious.

I think that’s about it for me.  We have very little planned for this weekend and “sleeping in on Saturday” has been discussed more than once this week so I think I won’t get away with getting us up for an early morning walk….which is, honestly, just fine by me!  It is supposed to be sunny & warm…fingers crossed….right now I’m wearing a t-shirt, a winter wool sweater, jeans and my heater is going under my desk! 

Anyway, if it is nice weather then I think we’re going to put our bicycles in the back of Ray’s truck and drive to a great bicycling area that’s a bit too far from our house to start from (Colony Farm for the local readers among you).  There’s up to a 40km easy trail ride that we could do but I doubt we’ll go that far.  And, if it’s not nice this weekend, I’m almost positive that the house would appreciate getting cleaned.

And last, I ordered from here for Ray’s birthday next week.  I think it’s a hilarious concept and a delicious sounding product, fun for a surprise instead of me baking him a cake.  https://mancakesbakery.com/index.html

 Have a great weekend!

Dream vs Reality

First thing, before I go anywhere, my dear friend Tara wrote a post yesterday that you all deserve to read.  She’s found that place where healthy living aspirations balance with the reality of life.  The place where “normal” people live.  I have to admit that I have not yet found that place.  I teeter on the edge of it from time to time but have not had the catalyst to push me fully into it.  Go read.  Click HERE!
While driving to work this morning (where all good thinking comes from….that and the shower) I was thinking quite a bit about her post and numbers.  For whatever reason, every for the last three years I have marked down my weight.  Maybe because spring is a time of trying to drop a little winter weight and I’ve marked down my starting?  Who knows.  But I’ve been thinking about it a lot in the last few days.
March 2009 ~ 173.2
March 2010 ~ 175
March 2011 ~ 176
March 2012 ~ 174.4
My average March weight is 174.6 pounds.  There have been ups and downs within those calendar years, nothing major, no different pant sizes, most of my clothes fit at one time or another.  So if, after FOUR YEARS of healthy living, consistent exercise, conscientious eating while still enjoying life, I am pretty much exactly where I started out, shouldn’t that tell me something?  Is that, perhaps, a clue that the weight I am now is my body’s set point?  Furthermore, from the beginning of February when I started grain free to this very morning, I have changed in weight 2.2 pounds.  The biggest swing I’ve had was from my start weight to my lowest this year and that difference is only 5.4 pounds (176.6 when I started, low weight 171.2).  I have to chalk that swing up to standard ups and downs across time.  Considering that I have counted calories, counted points, not counted anything, drank wine daily for several weeks, drank absolutely nothing but water or tea, given up all grains and eaten oodles of fat; I’ve done all of this and my body weight has not changed considerably, I have to believe this is where I’m meant to be.  The trouble is that this is not where I want to be and that pits a dream against reality.  Realistically which one is going to win?
Every fibre of my being wants to throw my scale out and trust myself and my body that I can fly solo and find that balance between that drive for continuous improvement and the reality of living life comfortably.  I just…….can’t do it yet. 
So, I will keep on keeping on, striving for continuous improvement, pushing heavy weights, getting a little more cardio in (because apparantly now my body WANTS to jog….it didn’t 2 months ago!) and staying grain, chemical/preservative, dairy free.  But I’m also going to start trying to embrace the idea that while I might see small changes in my body composition, at this point in my life, with the time and effort that I am willing to contribute, this is where I’ll be. 
Never stop trying to become a better version of myself……..but maybe remembering to do so within the contraints of reality.  Less disappointing that way!
Go read Tara’s article, it’ll be worth your time, I promise!

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!