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.


Fighting Spirit

I’ve walked home two days in a row this week, Tuesday and Wednesday. Total of 14km, 10 of which are 12% incline or more and the rest are either flat or slightly up. I’ve also marched up 206 steps along the way! I feel SO happy with this, a happiness that I did not feel with biking. Don’t get me wrong, I was pleased with biking in that I was getting to and from work without a car and I was proud of myself for doing something totally different and out of my comfort zone. But all four times I did it, I had apprehension and a bit of fear and when I first decided to commute by bike it’s not something that I took into consideration. When I was walking home for the first time, as steep as it is, all I kept thinking is, “THIS is what I wanted, this right here!”.   Music and fresh air and sunshine and exertion!


Even though it’s only been two days, I am feeling better about myself overall and I almost think I even look better! Better hair, happier eyes, skin evening out. Is that possible? Or it’s simply the veil of disappointment with myself lifting and I see the good things instead of the bad? Whatever, I’ll take it. I’m also feeling the uphill climb and stairs all over my lower body and that makes me very happy. That’s something I did not experience when pedal-commuting….hard as it was while it was happening, I felt absolutely nothing when I was done and that was slightly disappointing.


I guess I could have at least SMILED!


I’ve been debating whether or not to “sign up” for Tara’s April Century Challenge.   In order to complete the Century via walking home alone, I would have to walk 14 days out of 21 working days. Because I’m debating it, I know that I’m leaving myself room to cop out because walking home 3-4 days per week is a big deal to me. It’s a commitment to myself and lately I’ve been really hesitant to make any promises to myself. What is that bullshit all about??

I’M IN. I hereby declare that I will achieve 100 kilometers walked by midnight on April 30th. I recognize that I may find this difficult or tiring and that there’s a good chance I need to buy new shoes. I might get wet and dirty and some days I’ll be crabby about it and that’s alright. Asking myself to make this commitment of 100 kilometers walked is less about the distance I’ll travel and more about making a goddamn commitment and then actually keeping it through thick and thin. It’s about insisting on keeping promises to myself and it’s about doing something hard and not quitting when it gets difficult. It’s about finally grabbing onto my fighting spirit that has been lingering just outside of my grasp.

June 1st is 9 weeks away and the start of the middle of the year. I’ve done so much good for myself mentally in these first months of the year, I’ve set and achieved goals, I’ve formed new habits, I’ve driven the passion back into my life and driven out the seeds of depression. I’ve made peace and made change. The only thing I haven’t really done is put myself through my paces physically. And I haven’t done that in quite a while. I’ve been playing it safe, for various reasons and that comes to an end here and now. 9 weeks…..to shake myself up and make things hard and do what feels right. I don’t want to feel any regret or disappointment with myself when June 1st arrives.

There’s a part of me that wants to binge eat her way through the Easter aisle in the drugstore and grocery store and who wants to delete this blog and hide away and watch television and forget about having to work hard or be accountable. But then there’s the part of me who likes going to bed at night knowing that things got done right, who likes looking in the mirror and seeing someone worth respecting, who likes taking downtime and knowing that she earned it. That’s the part of me I’ll be focusing on for the April Century Challenge and the next 9 weeks.

Choose Your Hard

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!


I went tanning last night…..and burned my ass.  But that’s not really the point of this post.

I’m sure you’ve gotten “scent memories” whether it’s the smell of blooming lilacs that remind you of your gramma’s house or salty air that reminds you of summer vacations or the smell of cut trees that reminds you of Christmas?  Usually they’re “here and gone”, fleeting, those memories.  Last night though I had one go on for a couple of hours.  It was both wonderful and unnerving.  I bought new tanning lotion a couple of weeks ago and only got around to using it last night.  And, last night the standup tanners were occupied so I went into a lay-down bed.

The combination of that particular lotion and the laydown bed caused me to be instantly brought back to the first time I ever went tanning, 7 years ago, when I first started to uncover my true self from under the armour of fat and depression that I was living in.  I remembered being the person who making efforts that deserved celebrating with something blissful.  I remembered being the person who was falling in love (real, proper love) for the first time ever and I remember being scared & excited about it.  I remembered laying in that tanning bed 7 years ago wondering what my life would look like, wondering if I had the drive and determination to push on and see it through.  I remembered how, every day and especially when I was tanning, I was starting to really love my body for what it was right then and for what it was turning into.

I was reminded that evening when I was laying in my own bed afterwards, how for me, going tanning is one of those markers of being in a good place.  It’s a sign of having energy to spare and love for myself and that I’m doing the right things; the things that most respect me and where I am right then.  Maybe I’m not in the perfect body (the one I strive for, not the one I could never achieve) and maybe I’m carrying some extra weight right now….but for me tanning is a sign of ongoing success.  I don’t go tanning when I feel awful about myself, when I’m full of shame or depression.  I don’t go when I’ve been laying on the couch eating crap. It’s only something I do when all my ducks are in line….and the fact that I’m going now makes me really joyful.  It means that I’m starting to be successful in breaking new ground and in letting go of past hurts & resentments.  I’m forging brave new pathways and looking upon the future with a clear heart and mind.   It means that I am gaining back the passion for myself, the desire to care for myself because I am worth caring about.  I have some of that excitement again, the one I last felt 7 years ago; excitement in the everyday and curiosity surrounding the future.

I rode my bicycle to work this morning, here on the first day of spring.  It was 0C (32F) this morning and holy CRAP was it cold!  I had a frost beard when I got to work (all the teeny little peach fuzz hairs on my face had acquired tiny bits of condensation on the uphill and then it froze on the downhill!) and two hours later I still have a chill and am wrapped in three hoodies all zipped together to make a pseudo blanket, LOL!  Maybe a teeeeensy bit too cold for morning commuting….but should be SO nice on the way home tonight!

I have plans to bicycle commute tomorrow as well (that’ll make it three days this week!)…although I might consider wearing full length pants/leggings for the ride down in the AM….and then I think I’ll visit the gym on Saturday morning for some rowing and a steam, I never did get to steam last weekend.  I’m actually considering investing in a rowing machine for at home.  I would dearly LOVE to get 20 minutes of rowing in Every Day but I have a really hard time going to the gym just for 20 minutes….and I don’t really have time during the week while bicycle commuting/recovering, to get there for longer.  It’s around $1200 and is the same one they have at my gym (Concept 2, Model D).  I’m waffling about it and going to sit on the idea for a while and just wait…..the right answer will present itself, it always does.  If you have a rower at home, do you like it?  Do you think it’s worth the money and does it get used?  We also have a full weights set downstairs (plates, dumbells, lat machine, squat rack, ez bar & Olympic bar, yoga ball, balance plate, etc.) that is currently unused and I’m seriously debating adding the rower to the mix, cancelling my rather expensive gym membership and cleaning up and making proper use of the space and equipment.  Again though….I’ll just sit on that idea for now and see what happens.

Anyway, I’m off to try and find more hoodies to string together to add to my insulation since the air conditioner just kicked in and it’s only 19C (66F) in here.

Happy First Day of Spring!  (is it springy in your neck of the woods?  Or still cold and crappy?)

February In Review

Another month has come to a close.  This month had a few bumps and bruises in it that were entirely unexpected and which did some damage to my momentum but since I can’t change the past, I am just going to keep moving forward.  Although I didn’t come in as successfully as I would have liked to (or as I had expected to), if I ask myself the question “Are you further ahead now than you were on February 1?”, I would have to answer yes.  I feel good and balanced and steady.  I haven’t thrown the map in the garbage just because the car got a flat tire.  The tire is fixed and the map is crisply refolded and I’m going again.

Let’s take a look at February.


Spending (groceries):  the goal was to come in at $740 for the month of groceries.  We came in over the line at $853 for the month.  Two weeks we came in on target and two weeks we were over.

Spending (personal):   I had a $50 budget for the month.  I came in at $50.14 which included a cup of tea each weekend, a discounted Christmas decoration and face wash.  The face wash I’m not totally convinced should count towards my spending total since it is more of a “need” than a “want”.  If I don’t include it, I came in at $16.59 for the month.  YAY for no spending!  It is amazing to me what a habit “buying” had become.  In January I struggled with “wanting” things….in February, definitely less struggle!  So far I haven’t missed out on anything or kicked myself for not purchasing something.  This is Great!

Spending (eating out):  the goal was to only eat out twice this month, one breakfast and one dinner. I completely succeeded…..Ray mostly succeeded but he is known for a donut or a muffin in our travels.  But as far as meals eaten we were successful.


Eat at Dinner Table:  the goal was at least three dinners each week.  We did not succeed.  I fully admit to being the one who dropped the ball on it and in some cases Ray was starting to get the placemats out and I asked if we could just curl up on the sofa instead.  It was a complete cop out in most cases and was the result of needing mindless time and some physical comfort (after having been hurt and then heading back to work).  For complete success we should have had 12 dinners at the table and we ended up with 8.  Not awful but it definitely could have been better.

Completely exclude dairy, grains, sugar: I will only abide by 100% compliance in order to call this one successful.  I was not.  Chocolate almonds when I was laid up on the sofa.  Deep fried pickle at pub night fundraiser dinner.  A Dark Chocolate Himalayan Salt Caramel yesterday.  Maple syrup on the Oven Pancake.  It’s not HOOOOORRIBLE….but it is a fail.

Limit alcohol to only Friday and/or Saturday:  Success!  Two weekends were completely dry, two weren’t.  One had the “Chardonnay Incident” and the other I had two glasses of decent red wine….which may have actually fueled the fried pickle issue from above.  Meh.


Gym, 3/week:  Complete fail.  I don’t even want to talk about this.  February was a disaster for fitness.

Outdoor jogging, 4 times around Perimeter Trail:  as per above

Do Coquitlam Crunch: again….no. However…on the two weekends that I actually did line up time to do this….the weather was horrid.  Torrential rain or heavy snow.

Bicycle to work:  Nope.  As above…I slotted in time on two different weekends to take care of this and it was miserable both times.

NOTE: I will be planning in a HUGE turnaround in March…February was simply unacceptable.



Sort spice cabinet:  this is quasi sorted and will stay this way for a while. It’s mostly functional and I don’t want to spend money on it right now.

Finish organizing cookbook:  ya…no….this is still an enormous pain in my ass.  All the recipes are in a binder and in page protectors with page numbers on them…..my sticking point is in developing some sort of index/order.

No handheld technology after 6pm:  I wouldn’t call this a complete success…..but an enormous improvement!

Claim Wednesday nights:  YES!  I look forward to my evening to do whatever.

Get a haircut:  Yep and I love it!


Paint nails once/week:  Err…nope….not even once.  Told myself to get after it a couple of times…but ultimately didn’t even consider doing it.

Maintain both dining room tables free of clutter:  complete success! They both look GREAT!



Three “location” walks:  we did two….and they were fun.  Our third long walk ended up being at our regular park by our house…but it was REALLY snowy so it was like being somewhere different.  The purpose of this one was to get out of our same-old and go somewhere new, hold hands and just be with each other.  Success!

“No TV” Friday evening:  this happened on a Saturday, not a Friday but it happened.

I’ve gone on long enough now , so in summary…..I didn’t do as well in Feburary as I had planned…..but I still had the map and I kept referring to it.  I kept my goals in mind all month and whether I chose to do things that would achieve them or not….I went through the month awake and cognizant of what was happening.  As mentioned, March’s list is pared down significantly to include only spending, eating and exercise goals.  I feel that some of the habits I’ve been trying to form (eating at the table, no tech after 6pm) are fledged enough that I can keep them going without putting them on the list.

We have a weekend away trip booked for the end of March and I want to hit that trip at the end of the month on an upswing, going strong and feeling good.  I can totally achieve that!  I see March as an opportunity and I’m not missing it!


Well. That’s Disappointing.

Let me come right out and say it, “I failed at meeting my Century goal of 100 kilometers by March 1.”.

I missed it by around 20 kilometers.  I say “around 20” because it’s not yet March 1st and I’ll still get one more dog walk in tonight.  But finishing on time is, at this point, unachievable.

I’m disappointed in myself, to be quite honest.  I missed a lot of gym mornings and after work walks that would have certainly propelled me over the finish line with little effort.  But….I didn’t do it.  I slept in when I shouldn’t have, I let Grace go for a walk with someone else instead of insisting on taking her myself (or going alone).  In simple words, I didn’t make my goal a priority and it stalled, faltered and died.  Simple as that.

I was thinking this morning about ultimately having failed and how I should put a positive spin on it and that I got 78km done and that’s better than nothing and I was injured and life happened and I still deserve to feel good about the result, blah blah blah.  But honestly, that’s bullshit.  I set a goal, I could have achieved the goal and I didn’t put my energy into it.  Fail.  So having been realistic about the failure and my feelings about it, now I will be positive (and realistic) about what to do next.

I piddled away February.  I gave a half assed (and sometimes no) effort and I am experiencing the results of that.  I feel crappy, my mood is crappy, my spirit is low.  I hear negative words in my head and I talk myself out of nearly everything without even trying to fight back.

I am so grateful though, that I am awake and aware enough to admit to wasting the month of February and that I can look at what happened, where I got stuck and get moving again.  Yesterday my sister said that she thought that I was tough and that I was a fighter.  Sometimes fighting and being tough takes a shit-tonne of energy though, both mental and physical.  Sometimes that energy just isn’t there….and it wasn’t in February.

In order to help myself be more successful in March, I’m scaling back on the goals list and am going to focus my attention on the things that really bring a lot of added value for me.  Painting my nails would be nice, organizing my cupboards would be great….but what I really need to do is refocus on the “SELF” goals and push away the noisy little stuff that can cloud my vision.

Strangely complimentary to my blog post is the one that my sister wrote today, go check it out:  http://onelittlelifestory.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/not-making-a-choice-is-a-choice/

In the same vein as my post above and the one I just linked to, I am making the choice to choose to let the rest of February go.  I’ve been trying to figure out ways to salvage the month and with three days left to go, it’s not saveable and that effort to keep pumping life into it is just reminding me of everything that I didn’t do. 

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!

Sunday, Run Day!

This weekend seemed like it was really disjointed and choppy!  Friday night the headache that plagued me all week went supernova and I couldn’t do anything but lay on the sofa and wimper.  During the night I had an epiphany that maybe I have a sinus infection so I took a decongestant and an advil and was provided with enough relief that I’ve diagnosed myself with it. I used to get them alllll the time when I was a smoker; it’s been so long since I’ve had one that it didn’t even cross my mind.  I slept for 12.5 hours Friday night and when I finally woke up on Saturday morning, Ray was gone to do some errands and I spent a couple hours back on the couch with my coffee before he came home and we took Gracie for a good (slow) 5km walk. It was such a gorgeous day and getting that bit of fresh air was so nice!  I did a bit of cooking on Saturday afternoon, took another nap and then we went to Ray’s daughter’s for a family dinner.  She made spaghetti and meat sauce but was sweet enough to cook a spaghetti squash for me.  That whole relationship has come an amazingly long way, I’m so grateful for where we are today!

Sunday morning I was up bright and early and in the car, driving through immensely thick fog to get to my sister’s house for our 5km event.


We were very excited about our run.  The distance wasn’t too far, completely achievable, and our plan was to do it together from start to finish.  We were reminiscing about the two that we had done previously, one in March 2008 that was my first organized event ever (I was so nervous I couldn’t even smile for the pics) and the second one was in July of that year and it was so hot and I was so hung-over that I nearly passed out halfway through the course from dehydration.  And…..this time I had a severe sinus infection.  Grrreat.

We were not to be deterred though, the horn finally sounded after an hour standing around in the freezing fog and we were off!  We kept a good pace through the first half, stopped just after the 2.5km mark for about 30 seconds for a sip of water and then pushed it back to the end.  We finished strong, sprinting our way across the finish line holding hands; wish there was a picture of that!


We finished pretty much smack dab in the middle of the pack as a whole and in the middle of our female age group.  Our official times were 34:36.9 and 34.37.4.  I’m extremely happy with that, it’s my fastest 5k (which, according to my GPS was actually 5.25k) and was achieved with no outdoor run training, mainly just cardio conditioning on the treadmill a bit and the rowing machine for the most part.  I have to decide now if I want to train outside on hills and roads in order to see if I can place in the top 10 in March.  Right now I don’t really give a rip….but after my legs stop hurting I might consider giving it a shot!

Saturday was also, sadly, the one year anniversary that our foster puppy, Snoopy, passed away.  For those of you who don’t know, Snoopy came to us as a foster and we’d pretty much planned to adopt him. He was an 8 month old boxer puppy, a sweet little redhead, full of fire and love.  I wrote this post:  http://darcycanaday.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/the-snoopy-saga/ when he started to get sick, even reading back on it is hard, that was such a hard couple of weeks, the stress & sadness from that really threw us for a loop at the beginning of last year.  Here’s the post I wrote when he passed away:  http://darcycanaday.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/rip-snoop/

In order to not end this post on a sad note, I’ve included a bunch of photos from yesterday as well as my Century chart which I am over 1/3 of the way complete.  Today is the quarter way mark and if things keep on at this same pace, I will happily reach my 100km goal and book my foot reflexology appointment!

Century Quarter Mark photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4


Cute Shoes…And Other Things

Happy Wednesday, Internet!  Did you have a good sleep?

I was in the gym again this morning working on some rowing and my legs.  I hate leg day because I don’t like leg exercises but I love leg day because it’s a faster workout for me so I get home sooner and get to have almost a half hour to myself to ice my legs and drink coffee.  Tomorrow is a FULL ON REST DAY (no gym, no century mileage) and because of that I’m kind of looking forward to tonight, staying up an hour later and laying on my couch watching my shows while Ray goes over to his buddy’s house (I took back Wednesday evenings to be mine, all mine, more on that another day).  Friday will be another upper body day at the gym and then only century mileage on Saturday and Sunday I’m doing a community run with my Seestah!

I was so excited this morning to be feeling a bit slender-er so I put on a top that Ray’s daughter bought me for C’mas that was….err…..much too tight at Cmas time.


I’ve been really nervous about stepping onto the scale next Friday (Jan 31) because I’ve been working really hard and feeling really good (finally) but felt that nothing was really changing and not seeing that scale drop down to at least near my goal would be heartbreaking.  But this morning I can tell based on this outfit that something has changed even if I’m not quite sure yet as to what that is.

And….I’m wearing these awesomely cute shoes to go with it.  I bought them in December and could not WAIT to wear them….this morning they seemed like they would go really well with my outfit win…even if it is still a bit chilly out to be wearing them.


I just wanted to talk quickly about my eating at the table thing.  It is definitely still a struggle to get Ray to naturally head for the table three nights per week and to be honest, sometimes I completely forget that we’re supposed to be sitting there.  So why am I so stuck on it? It has a little to do with enjoying the food and really compartmentalizing meals. But my ultimate goal was to get us talking to each other more, spending more face to face time with each other every evening.  Last night I thought maybe it’s working.  Dinner was in the oven when Ray got home and I don’t turn on the TV when I’m home first.  We stood in the kitchen and talked and laughed and pestered each other and then we moved into another room, sat down and went over my weights routines to make sure that they are balanced.  It was SO nice to be together with no background noise and no distractions.  Ultimately, our chatting and whatever led to a LOT of time passing and we didn’t sit down to dinner until nearly 7pm….so I acquiesced on the dinner table in favour of watching a show together while we ate.  People get into a rut…..we got into a rut.  A dull, quiet, boring rut….and my firm insistence on focusing on just each other for the duration of a meal in the evening is, slowly but surely, getting us out of it.

I have me a splitting headache right now….I’m glad that the tea I picked out for myself last night was a peppermint based one since peppermint is good for a headache….but it doesn’t seem to be helping at all!  I’m off to throw myself into the incredibly, brain-bleedingly dry world of pricing high voltage electrical maintenance.  As if that won’t make me want to put my head through the wall!


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!