Halfway Mark

Halfway through and that much closer to coming home.  Actually, being here in Portland hasn’t been so bad this time, it’s amazing what having one’s own rental car/freedom can do to improve on a crappy situation!

After having eaten one breakfast and one dinner in the hotel restaurant, even though it was all “approved”, I felt really crappy and chalk it up to the sodium.  So after work yesterday I popped back over to safeway and bought some smoked salmon, crab meat and grilled chicken breasts along with some steamed beets, some fresh guacamole, some fresh strawberries and a couple Kombucha (how DO you pluralize Kombucha?!).  Dinner last night after the gym was the salmon, some guacamole, some coleslaw and a kombucha with an Almond Butter spoonful for dessert!  I woke up this morning feeling MUCH better than I had yesterday! I also burned up an hour in the gym yesterday after work, ran 2 miles and then did a shoulders, chest, triceps weights routine and it felt great! 

I also stopped at Target on the way back to the hotel yesterday and picked up a new suitcase (I’d accidentally pulled on a loose thread and unravelled the zipper on my suitcase!) and some new workout clothes, will definitly be going back before I leave for a couple more tops!

Tonight the girls here in the office asked if they could come to DSW Shoes with me as a group outing and then head for dinner afterwards.  I’m SO excited to go shoe shopping and one of the other girls follows a similar eating plan as I do so we should be able to find somewhere suitable for dinner!  I would not normally go shopping with other people, but it would have been really awkward to say no.  And…..if it fails horribly, I can always go back tomorrow after work!

So…..at the halfway mark now, gym tomorrow morning, a bit more shopping after work tomorrow and then gym Friday and a half day at the office and then the airport and home again.

It’s been not bad this time…..I do definitely miss Ray and Gracie (FaceTime has helped with easing that though!) but this has been so much better than my first experience……which is good because I’m pretty sure I’ll be coming back here more often than not.





More Like Real Life

Hi There,

I’m at my little corner desk in Portland taking a quick lunch break and thought I’d throw a little update out.  Obviously the flight went fine (I hate to fly) and I was able to pick up my rental car with little issue, get the GPS going and drove myself to the plant.  All in all, not a bad morning (minus the 3am wake up call!). 

I’ve been drinking water like crazy since, however hard I try, I think I’m likely to take in extra sodium no matter what just by virtue of having to eat in a restaurant, no matter how upscale and lovely.  Eats today have included a bowl of zucchini, peppers & broccoli scrambled with some grated cauli (so much nicer than riced cauli) and topped with a Thai Ginger Salmon Burger patty that I bought this weekend when visiting my sister.  That and a juicy navel orange were for breakfast at 3:30am with some coffee.  The same scramble came on the plane with me and just got eaten cold with an apple here at the office. Absolutely delicious…..a bit lacking in fat but that’s alright….I’ll break out the almond butter jar at the hotel later! 

So, I’m out of the gate on this trip on a good note, really making an effort to live as close to my real life as I can over the next week.  The things that are important to me (good, clean food & exercise as well as the tail end of My Restriction) didn’t become any less important when I got onto an airplane this morning and I need to remember that. 

NO ONE gains if I eat chocolates all secretly in the hotel room.  Sure, no one would notice….but I would know and my body would know and I would really be doing myself, my strength and my self-value a disservice. 

Since I’ve been awake since 3am (well, most of the night, really), I’m leaving this office at 3:30 today and heading out towards my hotel, stopping at Safeway for some fruits and veggies and then checking into the hotel.  Monday isn’t normally a gym day for me anyway so I’m going to take it easy….have good dinner at the hotel restaurant tonight (seared ahi with green salad) and then unpack and early for bed.  I’ll be up and ready to go at 4:30am tomorrow in the gym at the hotel for a good hour long workout.  The hotel restaurant doesn’t open until 6:30 anyway so I’ve got some time to do things right.

My plan, once I found out I had to come here again, was to make sure that I stay in the same physical and emotional shape that I’ve been getting into at home (if not better shape)….and so far, here on the first day, I’m on the right track….and I feel pretty proud of myself for that!

Free & Easy Down The Road I Go (?)

So….back to Portland on Monday.  It’s a good thing I’m writing this post today and not yesterday because I was SO upset about it.  I was (and still am, a bit) feeling sorry for myself and was/am highly annoyed that the reason that I have to disrupt my life is because some flake in our Portland office can’t get her shit together and she’s about 2 months behind in setting things up to incorporate my division into hers.  So instead of telling her to pull it together (or else!), I have to fly down there and spend a full week or two doing her job.  Away from home, dog, hubby and comfort.  DISLIKE!

Plus, the last time that I went down there I felt so awful when I got back, it wasn’t even funny.  The food down there is shit, there are no likeminded health conscious folks in that facility and being away from home is hard emotionally….so if you’re an emotional eater………………well, you can guess how it went.

This time though, I’ve at least got an idea of how it’s going to go so I’m going down there extra prepared.  The hotel that I stayed at last time has an amazing restaurant with gorgeous food that, with some minor tweaks, is fully approved for breakfast and dinner.   It’s a bit pricey, but you know what?  They’re sending me away and I have dietary restrictions so it’s the best I can do.  Lunch and snacks are going to be a little more difficult, but I’m revising my carry-on baggage and going to include a soft sided cooler that will contain almond butter, hard boiled eggs, approved pepperoni and cooked chicken.  Then, before checking into the hotel I’ll pop into a Safeway and get some fruits and veggies and hopefully an approved salad dressing. 

The other part of my hesitation of going to Portland is the fact that I’m finally back in a good place with going to the gym regularly and I’d really rather not have that all effed up.  Bright side though is that the gym in the hotel is not bad (not awesome, but not bad).  I’m preparing myself mentally for going to the little gym each morning to ensure that I set myself up in the right frame of mind before the chaos of the day ensues. And then, because I’ll have nothing to do in the evenings after work, I thought a walk/jog in the hotel neighborhood might be just what is needed!

In the first 14 days of My Restriction (which is what I’ve taken to calling my 30 days Clean up/Dry out) I’ve lost 10”.  Not sure about weight since I don’t weigh, but 4” around my midsection, an inch in each thigh and calf and an inch in each my hips and my rear.  That’s a decent result for some hard slogging to get back to where I should be…..and I don’t want to chuck it all away because my idiot company is sending me away for a week.  So…..I’m going to take absolute stellar care of myself for that week away, even better than I do normally, so that I can come back in a week or two and not be further behind than when I left.  

That’s about it for me right now. I was all thrown off yesterday when I found out I would be going back to Portland next week, especially when they asked me to come tomorrow and stay over the weekend…not!  I’m feeling a bit better and more balanced now and I have a plan to work with.  It irritates me that I already HAVE a plan but that I now need to spend more time and money making my existing plan work within a new, unstable environment…….but……..I guess that’s how it goes. 

Eating in the way that I do, prioritizing exercise in the way that I should, valuing my home life as I do makes travelling at all very difficult for me, travelling for work is next to pulling teeth!

Plugging Along

It’s Week Two, Day 10 of my no alcohol-no sugar-no junk food-go to the gym reset.  As with all logical, grounded, centered women, I now feel, having made it through the last 10 days successfully, that I should be down 9 pounds and ready to run a 10K.  What?  No?  It doesn’t work that way?  Why is it that when it’s a matter of drinking and eating crap and not exercising that the days blend easily into weeks and into months, but when you’re cleaning up your act and making the right decisions that every day is elongated and accentuated and 10 days feels like 100?


Anyway, I have made it through 10 days successfully with no alcohol and only veggies, protein, fat and some fruit.  I’ve also been to the gym four times, one of which was a 6am spinning class yesterday morning.  And while I suspect I have not lost 9 pounds (I wouldn’t know since I don’t weigh but it seems incredibly unlikely), I do feel So Much Better than I did at the start.  I feel more centered and stable and in control.  Amazing what food & some exercise can do, hey?  So, onward I go, not with any parade or fireworks, just plugging away day after day because this is the right thing to do.  And, in a month or two, when I feel like I’m fully reset…..I am REALLY going to enjoy a glass of wine!


On the home front, Ray still hasn’t found a new job…..which is a bit startling to us since we really felt he wouldn’t have any issues doing so.  I suspect his resume touting his 36+ years of experience are perhaps a bit off-putting to potential employers as it is a sneak peek at his “nearing retirement” age.  We may need to get after re-wording that portion of his resume!  He’s doing alright though and contemplating just putting a stop to it all and entering official retirement.  We have a lovely, large basement suite that we can consider renting out to the right person and that would be a great additional income as well.  Unfortunately he hasn’t really gotten over the fact that, since our relationship developed, we’ve both had our “chores” and he does his stuff and I do my stuff…….but that was arranged back when we both had full time jobs.  Now I’m the only one working and he’s still only doing “his chores” and leaving me to do the rest.  He has a terrible habit of saying “I wanted to wait for you so that we could do it/go together.”….which in any other time would be sweet, but we don’t need to put the garbage out together or unload the dishwasher together or go and fill a propane tank together.  YOU go do it while I’m at work and then our “together” time can be something enjoyable!  It’s a learning process.


As for me, I’m still absolutely solid in my work hours, 7:30 – 3:30 with a full 30 minute lunch break (that sometimes stretches into 40 when Tara and I get chatting).  My stress level has gone down significantly at work…..possibly because I have no commitment anymore to a business that is dissolving……but also because I refuse to answer my work phone or email after 5pm.  Since the only manager that we have left saw fit to leave me here in charge of everything for over two weeks, I’ve decided that if he’s not that worried then neither am I!  It’s a very weird position for me to be in.  I’m a do-er, I like control and results and I’ve had to step back and just let things fall where they may because this was not my decision and there are people much more highly paid than I am who are responsible for making decisions and driving this change……this is not my issue. 


Anyway, that’s it on my front.  Day 10 of Forever.

Thank You, Shit Heads!

Week Four.  Jesus.  Seriously?  Four weeks?  A frigging month of this?  A month of doing nothing but work and sleep.  And the work I’m doing?  Ultimately putting a lot of people out of jobs.  Not cool.  Feels horrible in so many ways.

Today?  Done. Oh, the strike is still going on and there’s still MOUNTAINS of work to do.  But I was just reminded (thanks Universe) that no one cares as much about me or my health and wellbeing as I do.  THANK YOU!  Thank you jerkface company that just jacked me out of 12 hours of earned overtime.  THANK YOU, because I am done with this BS. 

This weekend I Was Sick.  Every bone in my body was aching, I slept for HOURS every day and then for at least 12 hours every night.  I kept looking in the mirror and seeing myself descending into somewhere I do not want to be and not knowing how to stop it.  Gratefully, today I got screwed………and now my eyes are Wide Open.  It’s not to my benefit to work 11 hours a day and then fire up the laptop and work from home and then spend every hour of the weekend tied to a company phone that never stops ringing.  Not to my benefit at all, actually to my complete detriment!

I don’t mind that they stole 12 hours of time back.  It reminded me that the only thing to my benefit is my 7.5 hour day that earns my paycheque….and the rest of my life.  The things that are important to me.  Being well rested, being properly nourished, being active, being nice, being hydrated, feeling good, looking good.

Sure….it’s only been a month….three weeks of strike and a week before that of prep……but it’s beat the shit out of me and today I call Uncle.  I realized that I’m not where I want to be in life right now in a few aspects…….there are only one or two that I can do anything about and if I don’t put some action into them then they continue to go in a direction that doesn’t work for me.

Tonight I’m going to take my dog into the trails for a 3.5km walk-jog (probably more walk than jog given how long it’s been) while Ray takes my car and fills it up with fuel.  Tomorrow I’m getting up and going to the gym for an hour.  Warm up, goblet squats, assisted pull-ups, lat pulls, abs.  Good God I’ve missed the sounds of that!  

I’m mentally exhausted, physically out of shape and emotionally drained.  Only shoving myself through this temporary obstacle course gets me to the other side though so I have some “sucking it up” to do and some “push harder” to do.  Good thing I’ve been on that road before and and know that it brings good things!  I’ve let this huge obstacle carry too much weight in my life and I’m resizing it effective immediately.

Thank you, work shit head, for revoking 12 hours of my life.  I hereby revoke my life from you!

Stress Response

Do you know what your stress response is?  I’m talking about your Huge Events stress response.  Or your Lots Of Big Events All At Once stress response.

I once believed that I was highly capable of dealing with stress, that I was good at compartmentalizing and doing what needed to be done, moving forward, keeping my head screwed on straight.  In fact, there was that one year where Ray was so injured he couldn’t walk, I had just been hospitalized and then diagnosed with a heart condition and I was moving into Ray’s house while Kyle was moving out.  I actually handled that one fairly well.  Went to work every day, came home, cooked, dog walked, gym’ed, took care of Ray while his injury and my illness went on for nearly a year.

Then last year I had the car accident that totaled my vehicle and injured me.  And?  I completely shut down.  While, yes, I was hurt, I was also so emotionally and mentally crushed that I couldn’t leave the house.  For two weeks.  And I stopped eating.  Me, the person who eats All The Time, just stopped.  It got to the point where Ray would have me text him a video of what I was having for lunch so that he could check up on me.  I ended up having to get sleeping pills and anxiety medication just to get through the day.  When it had all blown over, Ray told me that he was surprised that I handled it so poorly.  Honestly, my feelings were hurt because here I was, the person who takes care of absolutely everything, took a unintentioned hiatus from sanity/rationality/life for two weeks and he dissed me for it.    He was right though…………I handled it like crap.

In the time that has come after, I’ve worked on relaxing, deep breathing when upset, logical self chatter and better compartmentalizing.

Yesterday morning my boss told me she’s quitting, the company has walked away from bargaining/mediation with the union and are about to give 72 hours strike notice, the HR manager of the company told my boss too bad for me that I’m going to have to cross my husband’s picket line, I’ll have to “figure out how to deal with it”.  My grampa is ailing, we’re going to be completely broke, I still have a car accident to settle (which I cannot afford to pay for if it does not come out in my favour) and we’re looking at official work stoppage at the end of this week. 

Cue the shortness of breath, lack of appetite, consistent vomit-feeling, chest pressure and blank-brain.  I really need to pull my shit together; Ray and I are our own little island as far as this goes and I can’t be expecting him to take care of me because this time?  We’re up the same creek at the same time.  In order to “pull my shit together” I’m trying to immerse myself into my job to pass the time and distract myself…..however all the work that I’m up to my ears in is to ultimately make my hubby’s job (and that of the 80 other employees on strike) obsolete.  I’m feeling incredibly conflicted at the moment.  Nauseated, headache, emotional, stressed, angry, overwhelmed, annoyed.

Last night I was awake from 11pm until about 3:30pm dissecting things.  Things that are unknown or assumed or that I can’t do anything about.  Around 2am I decided that I wanted to go to the gym and I really should have, it would have been more productive than laying in bed stressing myself to vomit status.  The stupid thing is that I had so much anxiety over going outside in the dark, having to talk to the front-desk-gym-guy (who I actually do quite like), what would happen if Ray woke up in the night and I wasn’t there.  All of that was swirling around with everything else and I ended up just laying there for hours.

I realize that there’s probably no rhyme to this post and part of it probably sounds like whining/pissing & moaning….but it is what’s going on and that’s what my blog has always been about; balancing healthy with reality.  Well…reality has stormed the fort, big time right now………I’m just trying not to let go of the “healthy” part!

Perfectly Wasted Day

Hi!  What’s going on?

I’m sitting here sipping spearmint tea under a fleecy blanket with my dog’s heavy, snoring head in my lap enoying the first day off I’ve had since January.  And technically that day off I had in January wasn’t very relaxing since it was a result of our new puppy getting really sick and passing away.


I took today off in order to make my weekend a four-day stint.  I’d been by myself all week while Ray was away camping with 27 other unwashed men (no thanks to that trip!) and during the time he was gone, I have been a workhorse.  Between deep cleaning our house, being on dog-walk duty every day, hosting a belated Mother’s Day brunch and doing an enormous amount of yard work, I knew I would enjoy a break.  No laundry, no chores, no cooking, no errands.  No.  I woke up at 8 and fed the dog and then she coerced me to get back into bed for awhile.  haha!  We both fell sound asleep (one of us was snoring!) for a couple blissful hours and after I’d laid in bed listening to the rain for long enough, I made coffee and then I took Grace for a long walk in the rain forest.  We got absolutely soaked and I loved it.  Mid day, mild, rainy trail walks are one of my favourite things in the world to do and there was no way I was missing it today!

After arriving home I ran a bubble bath, gave myself a facial and did some deep hair conditioning.  After the bath, a pretty aqua manicure and now I’m sitting watching TV waiting for my favourite husband to come home from work!  It’s been a perfectly wasted day.  Nothing of substance has been accomplished and I feel completely recharged and relaxed as a result.

As mentioned above, I’ve been doing a lot of yardwork.  I hand stripped, loaded, transported and then unloaded 330 pounds of moss, leaves and dead branches from our backyard. Seems like a LOT (and a good reason my back and arms are a bit achy and sore today) but sadly it’s just a drop in the bucket.

Here’s the Youtube link to a video I took of the backyard.  (I can’t post video right to my blog, it’s a $300 upgrade so you’ll have to click the link if you want to see.  CLICK HERE