Before I forget, I wanted to point out to you that along the top of the webpage there is now a tab called “FEED ME”.  This page will have my photos of various delicious recipes that I make.  Because they are my pictures but not my recipes, I set it up so that if you click on the picture you should be taken to that recipe on the website where I originally found it.  There are a couple on there already!  I’ll try to remember to put up a little note when I add something!

Now that I’ve gone and poured my coffee, let’s have a chat!

I ventured out into the snowy tundra at 4:12am this morning to hit the gym.  I will admit that last week when it was -17C windchill (1.4F), I did not go.  I truly didn’t think it was necessary and ya, I felt a little guilty at the end of the week when I’d missed those days but staying warm in bed when the wind was howling was more valuable to me.  Now that it’s just snow, I was game this morning!  I won’t pretend that it was easy to leap out from under a pillowy mountain of down softness….but….it’s not about being easy.  So since I’d made a three workout cycle, this morning was my first time trying it out.  And?  I nearly broke my ankle.  Sort of.  I was doing “mountain climbers” which I also call “sprinters”.  Here’s a picture of the general idea.

Mountain Climb


So ultimately you’re in a plank type position and you are rapidly doing a running in place motion.  Only…..when you get tired and your legs start turning to rubber, if you don’t pick your feet up high enough, your toes catch on the rubber flooring and you jam your ankle.  THEN, when you start doing donkey kicks and you’re kicking both feet up into the air behind you and SLAMMING them back down onto the floor, it makes you remember that you just jammed your ankle!  I guess the gym-angels were smiling down on me this morning though because I didn’t actually hurt myself, thank heavens!  So the gym felt good this morning and resolidified my goals and the fitness aspect of my balance.  Next date is either tomorrow and Friday or Thursday and Friday.  Or….given that my birthday weekend is this weekend, perhaps it should be all four days! Meh, we’ll see.

Tonight we’re having Ray’s son over for dinner and since it’s snowing and our house is all Christmassy and we’ll have a fire, I’m really looking forward to it, it’s very cozy!

In other Christmas news, as people who recently lost their jobs, gained new jobs (that pay less) and are still trying to recover financially, the sheer volume of requests for money and donations is overwhelming.  My new boss is very involved with his church and since he happens to own the business that we work for, he inundates the 15 employees with requests for time, money, goods etc.  Easily there’s an email every day when we get in asking us to buy tickets or come to an event or sponsor something or someone.  If I did everything that he’s emailed to us in the last month I would be down nearly $300 already!  The one thing that the company employees have committed to is sponsoring a family.  Only….after we all agreed, Boss has decided that we 15 people are going to put together not one hamper but TWO.  One for the family of 5 and one for a man recovering from some sort of addiction living in a residential facility.  It seems like a nice gesture….until you read the list of things that are on the “need” list.

NEED:  winter jacket, 2 pairs of jeans, techie gadget (eg. Ipod)

Don’t get me mistaken, I’m all for charity and Ray and I donate to lots of causes over the year that are important to us.  But a 45 yearold man recovering from addiction, living off the generosity of others needs an IPOD for his hamper??  Aside from how ridiculous that request even is, jeans are $40 Per Pair, a winter jacket is easily $100 and then we’re also supposed to provide toiletries, socks/underwear and also create a Christmas breakfast (pancakes, eggs, bacon etc) and a full Christmas dinner including a turkey or a large ham.  That’s for the ONE GUY.  Forget that we also have to put together the same two meals, toiletries and gifts for 3 teenage girls and their parents.  Seriously, I’m stressing out, who has this kind of money?  It’s absurd!  The smart decision would have been to offer ONE hamper, get each staff member to donate $20 and we would go and spend the $360 for One Family.   It is also somewhat distressing that at the end of the email about the hampers from the Pastor at the church that is organizing this, they have requested that each hamper gets “rounded out with a gift card so that the recipient(s) can buy something special.”  Theoretically this hamper donation thing could end up costing me more than I’m spending on members of my own family!  It makes me feel uncomfortable and like I’m stingy or uncharitable.  But I’m not going into debt on my credit card to help put an iPod into a recovering drug addict’s stocking.  Sorry, I’m just…not.

 I’ll leave you with a bit of a funny today.  These are two phone conversations that I had yesterday, back to back.

 Shannon:  Hi, Customer, we tried to mail you a Christmas card and it came back saying you’d moved.  The address I had was 1234 Marinaside Crescent.

Customer:  Oh, ya, we moved to a new building.

Shannon:  OK, great.  Could I get your address then?

Customer:  My email address?

Shannon:  Err….no……not your email address…………..


Shannon:  Hi, Customer, we tried to mail you a Christmas card and it came back saying we were missing the unit number portion of the address.

Customer:  Oh, I’m just the receptionist.

Shannon:  Err….OK… you think you could tell me the unit number of the business so I could mail the card?

Customer:  I don’t have the unit number.  How about if I just give you the address?

Shannon:  OK, let’s try that.

Customer:  OK, the address is Unit 1730, 10355 King George…….

Shannon:  OK….so Unit 1730 then?

Customer:  I’m not really sure.


Happy Snow Day, Beautiful People!


Feeling Chattier (or Typier) Now

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


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

Day One

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

Day Two

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

Day Three

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

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

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

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

Four Day Break!

Holy, four days off seems like an eternity!  Where do I even start?  The gym was a write-off for the entire week, I am not proud to say.  Not proud at all.  Alas, there is nothing I can do to change that, I can only affect circumstances going forward!

Instead of hitting the gym on Thursday morning (my first day off), I slept in and then wandered around, washed my car, drank coffee, fussed with my flowers and then got ready for my mom’s graduation.  She graduated after 20+ years of night school with a BA in Adult Education!  Not bad!

My mom and I after she graduated University!

Thursday I didn’t get home until after 9pm from the graduation thing which sort of felt shitty since that day was also the 10 year anniversary of the day Ray’s dad passed away.  He took it a bit harder than he thought he would, especially with Father’s Day being right around the corner. 

Friday morning we decided we were not going to go camping as we had planned because the weather for our destination was predicted to be quite crappy.  Instead I did some errands and when Ray got home we walked 4km up to a pub for dinner and then walked home.  The beer that I’ve been loving there has been an apricot Heffewiezen (wheat beer).  I’ve had it a few times and not had any reaction to it so I figured I was in the clear.  About 4 years ago we drank a wheat beer while on a motorcycle trip and the agony and illness was intense and immediate.  Unfortunately this past Friday that came back to haunt me and I spent about 4 hours writing around on the couch.  So that’s pretty much the end of the apricot beer.  L

During the day on Friday, my dear friend Tara tweeted that she was up on her wine tour and had stopped in to one of my favorites along the way and loved it. And it got me to thinking……there is no reason that we can’t go on a day trip up there (it’s four hours up and four back) and stop at that winery and see if we can get together for lunch with Tara and Steve.  So, 7am we were in the car, noon we were parked in town and 1pm we were toasting a lovely day in a mediocre pub (good food and drinks, dreadful service!).  After lunch Ray and I headed for the soft ice cream store (over 25 flavours of soft ice cream and innumerable flavor combinations!) to burn off a bit of our lunch buzz before getting in the car and heading home.

Mine was a flavor mix of Coconut and German Chocolate. SO GOOD!

We stopped at the winery on the way home and bought a few new bottles.  Ray also bought me a pretty silver (not real) bracelet from that winery which I love. 

We were home by 9pm and while very tired, had a really great day.  Spontaneous road trip was a complete success!

Yesterday we slept and lounged around in bed until 10:45 and then sat around and drank coffee until noon.  Since it wasn’t raining we decided to go for a walk and ended up near Friday’s pub location but at a coffee shop.  Scrambled eggs and bacon for me, corn & bacon chowder for Ray and then we strolled home. 

Ray’s (adult) kids asked if they could go for dinner on Sunday night with him for Father’s Day and while I was invited I opted out.  He didn’t need me there for that and sometimes I think it’s nice for him to spend time with them alone.  So he went for dinner and I stayed home and made myself dinner….single-girl style.  Salad right out of the container and a glass of wine.  Easy, tasty, quick!

That pretty much concluded my four days off, bed by 9pm and at work bright and early in the morning. 

Unfortunately we did not get delivery of Olive on the weekend like we’d hoped, apparently her current owner isn’t quite ready to give her up.  We’re hoping for next weekend, the waiting is brutal!  We want her to have time to settle in and relax with us before the long weekend because we are going camping and she is coming with us.  In a way it’s good that we didn’t get her this weekend though, apparently Ray’s son had plans to be at our house when they came with her as well (he’s a HUGE boxer fan) and I completely disagreed with that.  This has given us (Ray) time to gently explain that we will be the only people there when she comes and when WE are ready for her to meet people, we’ll let him know.  Ray is also going to tell him that for the first little while he cannot just come over and take her on walks while we’re at work like he did with Brandy.  Olive needs some training and tonnes of consistency in her first few weeks and Kyle coming randomly does not fit with that plan.  Ray and I are going to implement rules for her right off the get go (eg. sit calmly before being fed, sit/lie down calmly before getting a leash on, no charging the crate-door or front door the second it gets opened etc) and Kyle doesn’t like giving dogs any rules, he thinks it makes them sad.  Obviously I/we disagree and think it makes them disciplined, stops them knocking people over or dragging them down the road and reminds the dog who is in charge.  If he won’t “play” by Olive’s set of rules, that just makes it so much harder and more time consuming on everyone, Olive included.

Anyway, it’ll all work out eventually, she just has to come!  

Tonight I have an at home appt with my waxist and tomorrow I have a tattoo consult.  I’m really wanting to get to the gym tomorrow morning and start the second stage of NROL since I’m pretty much back to my pre-accident weights in the first stage and I’m getting BORED!  I also would like to get to the trail and do a jog/walk outside this week to try and assess that situation, I haven’t jogged outside since the accident and only for 12-15 minutes at a time on the treadmill.  Ideally Olive and I will do a walk/jog combo a few mornings a week after she gets settled, especially the days when Ray and I are at work on dayshift so she’s tuckered out and can nap easily while we’re gone.  I should probably make sure this is actually possible from my end first!  😉

That’s it. Wish me luck getting out of bed tomorrow, I love the gym, I’m just finding it hard right now.

Bad Math = Happy Friday!

At the gym this morning I did my warm up jog and then headed over to the squat rack for the start of Workout A.  I did the first set of 8 and while I was taking my 60 second rest I was sort of….well…..dejectedly hanging over the bar, feeling sorry for myself and wondering why, if I have gotten back to my previous weight (or damn close) on every other exercise, why the squats are alluding me???  And then a small little sticker caught my eye and I was reminded that the squat rack starts with 20 pounds before you put a single plate on.  And THAT means that when I left off before the accident I was at 95 pounds (barely, but there) and now I am actually at 80.  That is WAY better.  I had completely forgotten that and had I not been feeling sorry for myself, I never would have noticed it.  See?  It just goes to show you SHOULD waste time feeling sorry for yourself.  LOL, just kidding!

Yesterday for Ray’s birthday I ordered him 6 cupcakes from a company called Mancakes Bakery.  They’re a very small little startup company that make terrific looking and smelling treats (not sure how they taste yet, I won’t be able to eat them and Ray was too stuffed from dinner to taste test). 

The flavours were: Chocolate Red Wine, Rum & Coke, Buffalo Wing, Pineapple Tequila, Whiskey Lime & Breakfast. Pretty unique! The buffalo wing one has little bits of chicken skin “sprinkles” on it!

After work I went and ran an errand and then came home, changed clothes and headed out to the restaurant to meet him for dinner.  He had a delicious, saucy and cheesy baked ravioli and I had beef ribs.  Mine….was not great.  On the other hand, I had a delicious glass and a half of wine.  Which made me borderline tipsy.  The other half of that glass had to get abandoned when we left because I wouldn’t have been able to drive myself home!  It’s funny, sometimes you can drink an entire bottle and it’s a waste of time and calories and other times a glass gets you!

Anyway, big plans for this evening, we’re going to be washing, poking, wrapping and roasting 40 pounds of potatoes for a club barbeque we’re going to tomorrow.  It’s our motorcycle club 3 year anniversary so there’s a big pancake breakfast (I’ll be eating at home first) in the morning and then there’s supposed to be a ride but that is likely to get rained out.  BBQ in the evening and, again, I’ll be eating at home first since besides a steak they are doing potatoes, garlic toast, pasta salad and then cake for dessert.  Obviously that’s not going to work for me so I’ll supplement before I go and then have steak for dinner.  That works.

I’m hoping for a morning walk tomorrow before we go and another one on Sunday because I haven’t done any of the supplementary cardio that I scheduled myself for this week.  I was going to go right after work by myself but when my body was too exhausted to walk up the stairs and get my own hoodie this morning (I’m wearing Ray’s; it’s a tent, but cozy!) I figured that I would guard my recovery time a little more and take it easy.  This is the first full week of early gym and my body notices it at the moment.  There is zero value in ignoring the body’s request for rest.

Happy Weekend to you all!

Crazy-Train, Let Me Off!

Night and frigging day, I’m tellin’ ya!  The difference in how I feel from this time last week just blows my mind.  I’m not sure if it’s just that enough time has passed or that I am stretching twice a day, icing every night and moving more?  Who cares though, it makes me excited that if I can just keep on moving forward at this rate then I’ll come out of this stronger, fitter and more flexible than I was before. 

I missed my massage appointment last night, like a complete idiot, I assumed that I was correct when I thought that it was at 6pm.  Had I looked in my handy dandy date book that has every single fact, experience, time and cost of my whole life in it I would have realized that the appointment was actually at 5:15pm.  Alas, I didn’t and I missed it.  I’m not that sad about it though.  I do feel badly that I wasted their time but I wasn’t super jazzed to go anyway.  Maybe it was subconscious that I “missed” it

Since I was so busy racing around trying to cram everything in before my alleged appointment, I didn’t have dinner until 7pm.  And dinner…..well….it was a bit strange.  I had a Larabar, some leftover fajita beef, a glass of carrot juice, two pieces of salami, a mini Lindt bunny and a blueberry smoothie with chocolate protein powder.  Random bits and pieces but effective…and surprisingly balanced, actually.

Today is Ray’s birthday and I’m meeting him at a restaurant about halfway between work and home and we’re having dinner together, just the two of us. 

It’s been a bit of a crazy-train in my family over the last couple of days and I am more than ready to get off at the next stop.  The emails and phone calls between myself, my sister, my mom and my grandparents number in the dozens and the subject matter is ridiculous and infuriating.  I texted my sister this morning that I am on hiatus until tomorrow morning from emails and ridiculousness.  Unless it’s death or destruction, I don’t want to know about it.  The comments that were hurled my way yesterday were over the top and inconsiderate, not to mention ill thought out and so today I’m taking a break from it.  I need my brain for work and after work is the evening that Ray and I celebrate his birthday and he deserves all of my attention and positive energy. 

In case I’ve whetted your curiosity over what was said, here are a few excerpts:

Exerpt #1

  • Gramma:  “I would be embarrassed to tell anyone that I couldn’t afford to do something that they’d asked me to do.”
  • Shannon:  “Well I’m not, it’s pretty standard for our generation to be broke and “can you afford to…” is one of the first things we consider.”
  • Gramma:  “Fine, then tell me how much money is in your bank account right now.”

Exerpt #2

  • Shannon:  “I have trouble having any sympathy for anyone who refuses to help themselves first.  If someone likes being sick then let them but that doesn’t mean they get special consideration in life.”
  • Gramma:  “Fine, then I have no sympathy for you.”
  • Shannon:  “Why on earth would you feel sorry for me??”
  • Gramma:  “Because you’re in pain so that’s your fault and I don’t have sympathy towards you.”
  • Shannon:  “I am in pain because I got hit by a car, not my fault.  But I don’t want or need any sympathy nor have I ever asked for it.”
  • Gramma:  “You’re in pain because you don’t eat grains and now I don’t feel sorry for you.”

Exerpt #3

  • Gramma:  “You don’t eat any grains?”
  • Shannon:  “Nope, and I feel fantastic, it can help with a lot of conditions and illnesses.”
  • Gramma:  “What, did you read that somewhere?”  (said in a condescending tone)
  • Shannon:  “Well, yes.  Research, books and articles.”
  • Gramma:  “Just because it works for you doesn’t make it real.  We’re just waiting for what you do to not work and then you’ll put all your weight back on, you’ll see.”

So all in all, not a great and uplifting conversation, but extremely amusing.  However, I don’t want to be “amused” today and so I’m on family email and phone call hiatus today.  J

Tomorrow is gym morning and back to my current nemesis, squats.  Hoping I can put a couple more plates on tomorrow and push through to where I was a bit more.  Have a great day, tomorrow is Friday, thank God!

Levelling Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

June Plan Of Attack

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

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

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

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

So, here’s the plan. 

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Packed Gym Bag!

Look! It’s a packed Gym Bag!!!!!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sleepy George

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.