June 30, 2014; So Relaxed!

Oh, alone time, I treasured your every second!  Back on Friday I had begged off of going motorcycle gear shopping with Ray and his son so that I could spend a couple hours alone.  At 9am I took Furface into the trail for an early morning, sweaty walk and by the time I got back, Kyle had come and picked Ray up and they were gone.  I spent the morning taking a long bath, cooking up some protein for the week ahead, drinking (and getting addicted to) bone broth while sitting on my rocking bench outside reading a book.  I had lunch alone, poured myself some tea and then realized that my body was asking for some rest.  A glorious hour later I woke up, did some laundry and then fiddled around outside in the garden.  Ray and Kyle got home around 4 and then we all went together to Andrea’s to pick something up (and check out the newly painted nursery) and then we went out to Maple Ridge to see George.  George is Ray’s ex-wife’s boxer….and before she got together with Jamie, we babysat him on most weekends and taught him how to sleep in our bed with us!  Turns out that George has bone cancer and is approaching his end time.  As soon as we found out on Saturday, there was no question we would go out to see him right away.  He seemed in good spirits and was happy to see us all, including Gracie.  I got some solid snuggles in with him and gave him the world’s supply of soft snout-kisses and ear whispers.  He’s ten years old and they’ve decided (rightfully) that they won’t be aggressively treating him.  When he’s no longer comfortable or in good spirits, he’ll head for the Rainbow Bridge to hang with Brandy, Mattie, Rhysa, Sierra, Snoopy, Paris and all the other pets that our family has loved and lost.

Sunday morning was another up-early and we did some errands and then it was time for me to bite the “don’t like new things” bullet and go on my own to a town an hour away and do some one-on-one motorcycle training.  I was nervous and apprehensive to say the least.  The ride out was cold and a bit drizzly and I had every bad thought and phrase about myself going through my head.  Ugly, stupid, can’t do it, don’t bother, useless, loser.  Once I met the guy (VERY nice, VERY knowledgeable, VERY calming) and we started the training, I put all those shitty thoughts out of my head and replaced it with “I can do it!”.  Honestly, at first it seemed sort of lame and cliché….but it opened up my mind to be able to hear what he was saying and then carry out the instructions….and lo and behold, I COULD do it!  The guy is retired Vancouver Police Department Motorcycle Unit member and has won medals in motorcycle handling and skills courses.  And he teaches you to ride…..like an officer; professionally, confidently and completely in control.  He had a perfect combination of in your face motivation, logical explanations and continuous praise and encouragement.  And the first time that I successfully pulled off a trickier maneuver, I looked in my mirror and he was jumping up and down with his hands in the air cheering. It was so genuine and passionate that it made me even more confident.

Unfortunately halfway through our 2 hour session, my clutch cable jammed and I had to get Ray to come and get me and my bike on the flatdeck.  While we were waiting for him to get there the instructor had me ride his bike through the maneuvers….his 2014 H-D Limited.


I nearly frigging died…..but………..he had enough confidence in what I had learned and he wanted me to prove it to myself.  Crazy!  I ended up doing some tight u-turns and other maneuvers through the cones for a while and then we called it a day.  Fortunately when we got it home, Ray had my bike basically fixed (still needs an $80 part to finish the job but I rode it to work today) and the next lesson is booked for mid of July.  It felt amazing to challenge my fear/anxiety and then have a really awesome result (not the breakdown…that sucked…the part before the breakdown).  Very empowering.

Throughout the weekend I tried to put my critical voice away and focus on how I was feeling and that I am enough just as I am.  I didn’t put makeup on for my alone day on Saturday or my riding school on Sunday, I didn’t heat-straighten my hair and I put on clothes that were comfortable and fit with what I was doing.  And to be truthful, I felt better overall in confidence and self-awareness!  Even this morning I feel still calmer and more at ease and generally accepting of myself.  It’s kind of nice!


My Passion Experiment – Week Three Summary

Good Morning,

Today marks three weeks that I undertook to change my outlook and try to inject a spark back into my life. I had to read back on three weeks ago because I’m certainly feeling a lot better than I was then! Some of the main things that I’ve been trying to do are to be more present and to pay myself more respect. Those two things pretty much encompass all the other little things such as eating healthy foods, getting exercise, reducing social media/tech use, reducing spending, eating at the table, etc.

This past Friday I was boldly reminded that while I’m improving at both being present and being respectful, I still have a distance to go and a lot of “past habits” to unravel and remodel. I had initially decided to “scale in” my bike commuting, one day the first week, two days the next week and then either two again or maybe three the following week, depending on how I felt. Instead of respecting my plan and myself, I decided to jump right from one day per week (the first full commute) right into three times last week (and back to back no less). I did so while also battling a hefty dose of allergies and allergy medication. Monday was a good commute, Thursday was a reasonable commute and then on Friday morning before I’d even gotten dressed, I had a very loud voice in my head saying “You should not be riding today, your body is beat!”. And….of course…I ignored it. “Push through”, I told myself. “You’ll have the weekend to recover”, I said. So I hopped on my bike and made it to work where I sat all day knowing I was in for an ass kicking on the way home. But, once here via Pedals, the only way home is to…well….pedal. Long story short, I got halfway up the hill, stopped to take a break where the hill gets steeper and then crashed to the ground still clipped to the bike when I tried to get going again. My body was beat and my legs didn’t have enough left to give to get enough power to get my bicycle going on the steep incline. After (stupidly) declining help from a very kind man who offered to drive me and my bike to the top of the hill, I gave my head a shake and called the hubby’s son to come and get me. I baled halfway home. And instead of feeling bad about not finishing my commute, I felt sad and guilty that I didn’t listen that morning when my Self was hollering at me to leave the bike at home.

This weekend I made it up to my Self though, I went shopping with my mom and sister, made turkey soup with a bone broth base, closed my bedroom door and took a two hour nap (by mid-day on Saturday my body was begging to sleep…..that heavy sleep of recovery), got taken out for dinner by Ray, drank lots of water, took Gracie on a sunny 5km stroll, hit the mall for some tea, had a hot bath, did some foam rolling, ate veggies and eggs and homemade chicken chili. I’ve been craving carbs like absolute crazy since last Thursday and have been trying not to completely ignore it since it must be based in some sort of need, but have been trying to fulfill the urges with acceptable things like yams, mounds of veggies, apples & berries.

So that’s Week Three of My Passion Experiment. I got burned by not listening to a message that was coming through loud and clear. Duly noted and will continue to listen and work on being present and respecting myself.

So what’s up this week?

No biking for the week, my allergies are awful this morning, tomorrow is supposed to be rainy, Wednesday I have an appt after work, Thursday I’m busy after work and Friday we leave right after work on our road trip! I’m actually really alright with missing a week of bicycling, my legs are so stiff and sore! I think I pooched my scale in plan and need to take a breather. I’m going to hit the gym a couple days in the morning and work on rowing and some hill interval training and do some tanning. At the moment it’s not looking good for cycling next week either due to the weather, but I mustn’t forget, it’s still VERY early in the season!

In relating my Friday commute story to my co-workers this morning, my boss said to me “You should quit. You’ve fallen three times and that hill is not going away. Admit you’ve failed and forget about it.” I was stunned, jaw = dropped. I “failed”??? This is all a brand new endeavor for me, I expect some bumps and bruises and a learning curve. “Quit”?? Because it’s hard? Or because sometimes it hurts? Or because it’s not going perfectly? I told him that I would never “quit” something because it was too hard, but that I have revised my plan and will take the longer but slightly less steep route home for the next little while as I increase my biking muscles and my cardiac endurance. He said, “You just don’t know when to throw in the towel.” I have NEVER run across someone who would advise a person to quit when the going gets tough rather than dig deeper or revise the plan or find another way. I was completely shocked and neared tears this morning. Obviously we all have “failure voice” in our heads already that we have to quiet and convince not to sabotage us…..but to have someone actually say “Admit you’ve failed and quit”……completely out of my realm of experience! Especially since it’s only been two weeks!

It’s In The Genes

Good Morning,

Today is Homemade Shampoo Day Three and I still mostly like the results.  I do find that my hair doesn’t appear to be as shiny and the colour seems to have darkened a bit but it’s falling out less (YAY!) and still looks clean.  According to Ray it still smells the same as always and according to a coworker it smells like really sweet candycanes.  LOL!  After having done further research on homemade shampoos, I’m going to change my recipe a bit.  Most “recipes” indicate to “wash” with baking soda and then rinse with dilute apple cider vinegar (ACV).  This might work alright for people with strong, thick hair but as someone with thin and somewhat weak hair, that pH shift and opening and closing of the follicle all the time isn’t awesome.  So, this weekend I’m going to switch to a more neutral pH recipe and go with just coconut milk and aloe vera.  I really like the idea of the natural cleansing so I’ll stick it out for a while and see how it goes.  And, whether you’re interested or not, I’ll keep you posted!  😉

Last night was my “personal evening” to watch my own television or what have you.  I decided to re-read my book, Paleo Solution.  I’m not sure why I felt compelled to do that but as with all things, if you listen to yourself, good things happen.  On the very first page of the book, this review caught my eye:


“Now you will finally look, feel and perform as well as your genes will allow.”

That was like a frigging fireworks show on the page, bells and whistles were going off, lights were flashing: “…as well as your genes will allow.”.

Tara wrote a comment on my blog the other day about how she’s never known someone who digs as much as I do and I will fully admit that I listen to and try to interpret every nuance of every little thing.  Which can be exhausting.  I was food-logging for a few days because I thought maybe I could find something that wasn’t agreeing with my body and then I whipped that food log duotang into the recycle bin last night.  Ray dug it out and asked why I wasn’t doing it and my (rather crabby) answer was that it doesn’t matter.  I have already given up SO MUCH in my diet and my life (foods, treats, most alcohol, time, energy, money) and I simply refuse to give up anymore.  So maybe eggs or peppers are causing me inflammation.  At the moment there is nothing that I would be willing to do about that.  I loved toast. Gone.  I loved baking.  Never do it anymore.  I loved bananas.  Rarely eat them.  I could use the simplicity of ordering in sometimes.  Never in a million.  I like wine in the evening.  Cut WAY back.  I’m on the border of having eliminated enough things that I am approaching the elimination of enjoyment.  I’m staying here.  I’m happy here.  I like the food, I’ve got the prep/cost/planning pretty much down to a science, we’re in the very top of the population as far as quality of food and quality of life/health.  I’m staying here.  With eggs for breakfast every day and roasted peppers and mashed potatoes and huge scoops of cumin and paprika in nearly everything I cook.  I’m staying here.

I don’t have any more time, any more money or any more desire to change anything.  Yes, I’ll cut back on my intake to lose 10-15 pounds but I’m not changing anything else.  I’ll go to the gym when I can and I’ll walk the dog and I’ll bike to work and I’ll continue to cook our every meal.  But this is it.  This is my pinnacle and I will now fully declare that I’m fine here.  I think I could change and shift and cause myself all sorts of heartache…..and that very little would happen.  I’d still be bouncing around in this general area but having to put in a tonne of extra work for little extra benefit.  You want to know why else I’m staying here?  Because I actually think that “here” is as good as my genes will allow.  I could weigh less, yes.  But my skin quality, body comp, hair, nails, attitude, health stats, life……this is as good as my genes will allow.  I’m here.

Regarding my sore body, I’m still going with my plan from the other day, serious hydration, no sugar and very limited alcohol, supplementing with gelatin and Omega 3, walking, stretching, core work and eventually yoga.  I’ll use our gravity board more and ice and lose those 10 pounds noted above.  Maybe everyone has some level of daily discomfort (do you?) or maybe I am hyper sensitive to my body.  I just keep thinking, what if I change everything and do the AIP and eliminate all those foods and then something else crops up….or worse yet, it only sort of works.  Then what?  When I have next to no room left to make any modifications, what do I do?  When I have no more enjoyment, no more flexibility, no more fun?


I’m choosing to go with staying here….this is it……it’s who I am……