Unslumping a slump?

Financing didn't go through for my new car. I'm a little slumped...

Hello? Mind? Where are you?

I've taken great measures to improve my body and my fitness.

I think somewhere along the way I might have lost my mind.

My old car is on its last leg; it left me stranded on the highway and cost $140 to tow home. I have one rule for cars: don't leave me stranded. Since car broke said cardinal rule, and since come fall I will be returning to school, I decided to was time t begin looking for something newer and more reliable.

I was looking for something in the 2001-2004 range, a smallish sedan, no more than $3500 since I'm forced to finance this car rather than buy outright.

So why am I currently waiting to hear on whether or not I can get financing for the $11,000 2008 PT Cruiser I agreed to buy this afternoon?

I've lost my mind.

I'm convinced I won't get financing.

I'm not going to get a car that nice. I mean, the bloody thing is fully loaded. It's like a luxury vehicle. This isn't going to happen.

But I really, *really* hope it does.

Had a kick-ass workout with Shawn this morning. We had the studio again, which I love, because I just feel like I get a chance to really relax and be myself - and it seems like Shawn does, too. At the same time, it ends up being a really quick, fast-paced workout because we aren't looking for equipment, or trying to find free space, or anything else that slows us down. I had intended to do about a 4 km after my workout, but with the way we hit my legs - no, that wasn't happening.

Being in the studio also means a solid hour of seeing myself in a mirror; that's... tough, sometimes. I'm really self-critical, especially about my appearance, and today I was wearing one of my most out-of-comfort-zone tops, my new blue racerback tank. But you know what? I actually looked pretty good (it helped my confidence that Shawn commented that I looked good in it). I'm actually noticing more and more than I like the way I look - that's a really good feeling.

Anyhow, it's late. I should probably hit the hay, or attempt to find my mind. I'm still not sure where it went.

Happy Tuesday night everyone!

Because it's been a while...

Dr. Seuss makes everything better.

I'm adding a copy of Oh, the Places You'll Go! to my wishlist.

I keep forgetting to put titles on my posts....

This is on the way to Cape Forchu in Yarmouth. Apparently people in Yarmouth are accustomed to drivers randomly slapping on their turn signals and pulling off the road suddenly, because that's what I did when I was driving along and saw this gorgeous seascape, and the people behind me didn't curse, or blow their horn, or flip me off, or anything. I might vacation in Yarmouth more often.

There's also a sign very near this scene that say "Welcome to Cape Forchu: Please drive slowly. We love our children." I desperately wanted a photo of it but there was nowhere to stop the car or stand and get a photo. That made me sad.

I am so incredibly disgusted with my car right now. Turns out they suspect the reason it overheated and left me stranded was because the head gasket is shot. For all you non-car people, that's not something you want to hear. It was not something I wanted to hear. So, I'm now looking at replacing my car. Not something I wanted to be doing. *sigh*

Yesterday was technically a "day off" from the gym, though I had agility practice, so I still got some activity in. I used to think agility was a workout. Now it was a nice little relaxing jaunt. I barely even got winded, and I'm pretty sure I never broke a sweat. Hmmm. Well, at least it really can count as a rest day.

Not having a working car is throwing a wrench into things, since I'm stuck borrowing my mother's car. She isn't exactly the most supportive about my whole gym habit, and, to be fair, it is her car so she doesn't see the gym as essential travel. For me, it is essential. Not only because losing weight is important, but because the exercise helps keep me mentally on a little more even keel.

Thinking hard about getting a part-time job this summer - something just for weekends. Just would like to supplement my income a little. Especially if I'm going to be getting a new car. Because I'm now within very close shooting distance of my weight loss goal, and I still want to be able to afford my tattoo when I get there.

I also want some new photos of myself. Like, just me. I know that probably sounds vain and shallow, but I actuall am starting to like the way I look. I'd like to show it off a little.

Anyhow, have a buttload of work waiting for me, so I must get onto it. Happy Monday everyone!

As promised....


Okay, these are just a few - I'll add some every post or the next couple of weeks just to keep things lively, but I promised you a few, and so here they are!

The beautiful lighthouse at Cape Forchu, near Yarmouth. I highly recommend visiting here.


I think part of Digby's scallop fleet


The stunning landscape at Prim Point - not really a "touristy" spot, but the visitor information clerk suggested I go out and it was well worth the trip.


Mahone Bay's famous "Three Churches"


I took close to 400 photos, so expect lots more to come!

And now it's late and I must sleep!

I fail....

I didn't get my fun facts up yesterday.

But in my defense, I spent a retarded amount of time sitting on the side of the highway after my car decided to overheat, and then spent a retarded amount of money having it towed home. I love vehicles.

Fortunately my Mom let me borrow her car to get my work stuff back to the office and make it to my session with Shawn, and is letting me borrow it again today so I can go into the gym. Planning to hit my core pretty hard today, and try some speed play on the treadmill. Hoping to put in about 2.5 miles, but I've done a lot of running this week, so I'll be happy with anything around the 2 mile mark. Weekends are great because the gym is so quiet, I don't have to feel bad for taking up one of the treadmills for thirty minutes or so.

Yesterday's session with Shawn went really well, especially after my horridly stressful day. Sometimes we just have those days where everything clicks and it isn't only a great workout, it's just fun. That was yesterday. I love those days.

I am also so close to being in the 150s I can freaking well taste it. I know I don't make this blog about tracking my weight (though I did put a fun little training thingy on the side, did you see?) but I am so looking forward to being in the 150s. That will be absolutely amazing.

I've also decided I need some new pics of myself in my gorgeous summer clothes. I went and bought two halter tops this week, and realized I look pretty good in halter tops, so I want to show off a little. I just need someone to take some pics...

Anyhow, must get on the road for my workout - have to run some errands too and don't want to be out all day, especially since it's not my car I have. Plus, Mom needs duck food.

Happy Saturday everyone! I *am* going to post pics from my trip this weekend!

Looking on the Bright Side...

Life is about perspective. Things are as sunny or as bleak as you perceive them to be, and I've decided to make a concerted effort to see the sunnier side of things.

As you all know, I've been on the road for the last two weeks. Honestly, I'm not an intrepid traveler. I like home. I like my routines. I'm a little better if I'm with someone, but for all these trips I've been alone. And it's been hard. I often find myself at loose ends or a little unsure of myself, neither of which are situations I like being in.

But I woke up this morning, on a sunny, bright morning in Liverpool, and decided to list all the good things about all this traveling - look on the bright side, so to speak.

  • Shopping - I love to shop. There are shopping opportunities pretty much everywhere. And sales I don't get at home. I have bought so many new clothes. And I got a gorgeous pair of $100 wedge sandals for $30 the other day.
  • New sights - any time you go to a new place, go to the visitor information centre or the front desk of your hotel, and ask where they recommend you go. Yesterday I spent an hour at Prim Point Lighthouse in Digby. I don't think it's a typical touristy destination, since no real development has been done, but it was beautiful in its stark emptiness.
  • Best Western Liverpool - Okay, I've stayed in so many hotels now I could write a traveler's guide, and they weren't all great, but being able to stay in the Best Western Liverpool on someone else's dime - heaven.
  • Local attractions - I already talked about finding wine at the Farmer's Market in Kentville; yesterday, driving to Liverpool, I came across a woman selling fresh strawberries from a roadside stand. I love these fresh, local finds. Some of them can be very hard on a dieter, as I am an admitted food nut, and can be easily tempted by baked goods, but I've been pretty good this week. And of course, things like jewelry and paintings are always worth a second look.
  • Reinforcing good habits - Part of the stress of this journey has been trying to learn how to maintain these habits while placed under stress. Well, these trips have been a good indication that I can do it. Whether it means packing all my own food, or finding running routes through Yarmouth or Digby, or evaluating hotel fitness centres, I've stayed active and more or less on track with my eating. And I'm really proud of myself for that.
Now, I'm going to pack up so I can spend a little bit of time in Lunenburg and Mahone Bay before heading back to Truro (plus I'm stopping to get my new sneakers today!!), so I'll post my fun facts tonight.

Have a great Friday everyone!

Dreary Days in Digby

I wish I had my own computer instead of my work computer so I could post pictures of everywhere I've been. Not that I always remember to take pictures (brilliant photographer I am).

I am in Digby today, and it is very drizzly and dreary. Really hoping it clears a little, but the weatherman isn't promising anything.

I did get in a great 6km run this morning around Digby - literally, around Digby. I went around the perimeter of the town, with a slight detour to add some mileage. Digby has some real ass-kicking hills I have to say. One had to be a full mile long, steady steep climb. I dropped to a walk for part of that. Besides that, though, it was a great run. Feeling very wiped right now though. I may have to talk to Shawn about how one is supposed to eat when training like this. I still want to lose weight, but at the same time, I want to be able to run without killing myself. And I'm finding myself famished after my runs. That might be normal, but I don't want to either starve myself or overeat.

I had a great time in Kentville yesterday too. One, I found the outfit I am going to wear for my 10K. An awesome pair of running capris and a bright blue UnderArmour racerback tank. Okay, it cost me almost $100, but what's the use of doing all these meetings and all this travel if I can't use it to spoil myself? Tried the top out this morning and, oh my goodness, it is great to run in. The difference having my arms free is just phenomenal. Plus, it has a built in bra, so it's like wearing two sportsbras. Double the support! The only thing I hate worse than exercise wedgies is bouncy boobs.

Oh, and something I've learned: no matter how cool I think it is, don't bother wearing a cover when I run. Tying it around my waist just pisses me off, and I will warm up.

Another thing I learned. The Farmers' Market in Kentville rocks. Like, really rocks. They have three different vendors who sell WINE. Yes, actual wine. At a Farmer's Market. I had to buy a bottle. I don't drink wine that often, so not sure when I'll have time to drink it, but I bought it anyway. So if you find yourself in Kentville Wednesday mornings, go to the Farmer's Market.

Off to Liverpool today. No run tomorrow since I have a training session with Shawn, and I think I'll do some cross-training on the elliptical or the rowing machine. I'm going to miss my morning run.

Have to start getting packed up and ready to go though! Happy Thursday everyone!

Corporate responsibility

I'm tired of businesses encouraging me to be unhealthy.

I'm tired of being inundated with advertising for horridly unhealthy food and promotions that encourage me to make even worse choices.

Empire Theatres is currently running a contest where you can win a trip anywhere in the world, but only if you buy a regular or large popcorn or fountain drink. Fountain drinks are filled with high-fructose corn syrup, and that popcorn has a day's worth of sodium, and a meal and a half worth of calories.

Wendy's - this one really irks me. You can have to opportunity to win $8000 to share with your friends - but only if you come order their foods after 8 pm. I admit, Wendy's used to be one of my weaknesses. I've been there at 10 pm. But that was the old me. The new me understands that is not healthy.

I don't think everyone should cut out all treats all the time. I think there's a time and place for that food. But I don't agree with this idea that we hould be able to dangle CASH INCENTIVES in front of people for making bad food choices.

Where are the incentives for getting healthy? Where are the rewards being offered for starting a fitness program? How about some kudos for achieving and maintaining a healthy BMI? Or lowering cholesterol?

I was recently at a hotel, and after eating breakfast in their restaurant, I commented on the response card that I would have preferred to see a lighter meal option than the three-egg omelette I had ultimately chosen (and eaten half of). There's no reason all restaurants can't offer real food, in real portion sizes, and offer incentives to people to pick those options (and not these fake salads that have bajillions of calories and sodium). I make twenty-one meals every week that are healthy, reasonably portioned, and *good*. Surely places like Wendy's, with all their resources, can do the same.

(And please don't mention Subway to me. I don't care if you like it, Subway is McDonalds with better marketing. The sodium and sugar in their sandwiches is so much higher than anything you can make at home. And I won't even get started on the fact that they still think a meal consists of fountain pop and cookies).

Don't get me wrong. I think being healthy is ultimately a personal choice and a personal responsibility. But I also think that just as corporations have a responsibility to protect the environment and show fiscal responsibility - they need to stand up and take responsibility for the role they are playing in the overall health of the nation. We don't allow tobacco companies to offer huge monetary incentives for purchasing their products, and yet obesity is currently a greater risk to the nation's health that smoking. So why are fast food companies and the like allowed to do it?

That's my rant for today.

I'm in Kentville today, heading for Digby before too long. Went out for a great 3 mile run this morning. Kentville doesn't have any routes like Yarmouth, but I wove through their industrial park, and got to wave to all the guys going to work at 7 am. I admit, it's an ego boost every time one of those guys takes a second look as I'm stretching out a tight hamstring or gives a little wider than normal grin as I run past (and the reason I make sure I look good when I'm out running). I have a full 5k/3.1 mile mapped out tomorrow for Digby, but I'm not sure if I'll do it, or take a day off. Well, by day off, I mean do some cross training. I don't have a gym, so it might be hard to do anything besides run for a cardio workout. Maybe I'll pick up a skipping rope during my travels today.

Must get going now. I put in a core workout before bed last night, so I have workout crap spread all over my hotel room to get gathered up. Two more meetings this week!

Happy Hump Day everyone!

Edit: Oh, just wanted to add this: go check out Jack Sh*t's most recent post. It's good. We all need to read it and remember it.

Making a list...

I am so incredibly pumped about running a 10K. I've spent my morning looking for every article I can find on training plans, and I am just so excited. I have no idea what I'm doing,and I might have lost my mind, but I'm excited.

Of course, when I get excited about something new, I want to shop (I actually just find any excuse to shop - I like shopping, really). I've already said I'm buying a new pair of sneakers. For one, the pair I have is nearly three months old, and I wear them a lot, so I suspect they might be wearing out. And I want a good, solid pair of running sneakers that are ideal for my foot and stride. I also want a comfortable, cool pair of capris to run in - I don't like shorts, but I think capris would work well. And I have a t-shirt which is my favourite right now, but I'm considering finding a racerback tank top instead. And I need a hat or visor of some sort. I have a nice pair of sunglasses, so I'm covered there.

I also want to find some underwear that doesn't climb up my butt while I run.

Sorry, was that TMI? Because it's a really big pet peeve of mine. There's just no way to discreetly haul your underwear from its crevasse whilst running, and so I'd rather not be doing it while running with spectators. Cassandra (not me, though we have the same name) over at Yum Yucky is suggesting the Gap Low Rise Cotton Stretch Hipsters, so I might have to give them a try. I've gotten other suggestions to avoid the wedgie situation, but they're not gonna work for me so much. After all... what if I get hit by a bus?

I'm also thinking of getting one of those armband holders for my MP3 player. Just because they're awesome. Though, to be realistic, on race day, I can just put it in my running belt. So maybe not.

It's a good little shopping list, isn't it? I should be making my list of what to take with me when I go back on the road today, instead. I did pack my resistance bands this time.

Had another great workout with Shawn yesterday. We're down to the last 15 sessions - essentially, the last third of our time together. I will admit I get a little anxious when I think about not working with him anymore. He's a great motivator, and a way to keep myself accountable. But, I think this new running thing will do that as well. What I'll really miss is his ability to impact my overall well-being. Shawn has a tendency to see the world with a certain clarity most people lack, and speaks frankly about how he sees things (So much so that yesterday when he said "I really think you should consider meditation or yoga..." I thought he was actually going to replace "meditation/yoga" with "therapy".... not that he'd have been wrong in either case). It's refreshing, and so similar to my own way of handling the world that it ends up being a real mental break. That's one of the reasons I end up looking forward to our sessions so much.

I'm back on the road this week. It's the last of the marathon travelling, though I still have a lot of meetings left to cover. Found an interesting article on how work can make you fat - I can understand how. Sometimes it would be so easy to say screw it and just hit the nearest restaurant or drown my loneliness in some decadent treat. But, I'm not going to. And this week, I'm even more committed to not giving in to temptations. I can do this.

Plus, from now on, if I feel myself slipping, I'll just picture that run.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Gotta love long weekends!

All hail the generic day off!

This is actually a holiday for the group I work for; however, as I don't belong to the ethnic/cultural group, it's just a free day off for me. And one I plan to relish.

Got back from my lovely trip to the Island last night *very* tired and *very* sunburnt. And I wore sunscreen all weekend. I think it acted like marinade. I have a training session today, and I'm looking forward to it, because I'm feeling fat. I think I ate too much salt this weekend. That, and a certain monthly visitor has rejoined me. Blech.

I've also decided I am definitely going to try training for the Cobequid Trail 10K. It's being held August 29, which gives me more or less 10 weeks to prepare. I'm not aiming to be fast, or good, just to finish. And to run the whole 10K. I had planned to take the money I'm making from all of my traveling and put it toward a heart rate monitor and a bike; well, I've decided I'll invest in a pair of properly fitted, professionally consulted running sneakers instead. After all, I've already had one injury; I'll take measures to ensure I don't end up with another. I did say I wanted to build up to running more often. And I found a great training plan online if Shawn doesn't have one I can use. It's an ambitious goal, but a good one I think. And one to keep me motivated for the rest of the summer, and hopefully, move me into a new hobby that will keep me motivated on this path for a very long time.

I'm also planting an herb garden. I like herbs. I really like fresh herbs. I think this will be a fun little project. So I'm going out today, on my day off, to find some fresh herbs to plant in my garden.

Big exciting Monday planned before I head out again for work - more blech. Hopefully it doesn't go by too quickly.

Have a great day everyone!

Setting goals

I missed Fun Facts Friday again.... but to make up for it, I decided to run to PEI and post from there just to give you all a change of scenery!

Okay, no I have another dog show, but I like making you think I would go to PEI just for you.

My sister decided to come with me to PEI, which has made for a very fun trip. We don't get many weekends away, and after a long week alone on the road, it's nice to have the company. We both splurged tonight and went out to this amazing little restaurant that I absolutely adore on the farthest tip of PEI, in North Cape, called Wind and Reef. It's a fairly high-class restaurant, with high-end food, that I discovered about five years ago. In five years, this is my third time going there. It was a complete splurge. Even if the meal I had wasn't terribly high in calories, it was incredibly high in sodium. But it was worth every bite.

I had a training session with Shawn yesterday as well, which was.... interesting. I'm coming to realize how much I regard Shawn as a friend and sounding board, particularly with regards to work. He understands the stress and strain I'm under, and sympathizes, and at the same time, offers sound advice for helping me mentally deal with it - as in what I can actually do. And he gets how working out acts as a release from all the stress I'm under. I think it's an aspect of our working relationship I'll really miss.

Shawn also asked me to consider setting myself a goal to run a 5K in August. Unfortunately, the race he had picked for me isn't actually holding a 5K this year.

So, he suggested I try training for the 10K instead.

Wow. That seems like a lot. It's twice my current mileage. It's the same amount he currently runs. I can't even imagine running that far. And yet... it sounds like an amazing time. I just want the experience. And I want to go to law school saying I just met that goal....

I'm going to have to think on it.

Anyway, it's rather late, so I must be signing off. Another show tomorrow - hoping not to get as roasted as I did today.

Happy Saturday all!

To cheat or not to cheat....


80/20 rule...

Falling off the wagon...

I've been trying to think about my eating habits and my relationship with food, especially as I spend more and more time on the road and find myself in situations that are especially tempting for me. And I've discovered I'm not sure how I feel about those few times I falter.

I've always called it cheating. And yet, I always tell myself that for anything to be successful, it has to be sustainable. And treats are part of a regular diet. So should I feel like I'm cheating when I have a dessert or a glass of wine?

Then there's the 80/20 rule. The idea that you don't need to be good 100% of the time. Aim for 80%. But my mentality tends to like the all-or-nothing approach, and so I struggle with the idea that I can screw up one day in every five.

So, how do I create a relationship with food that is healthy, non-punitive, and non-udgmental?

Does anyone else struggle with this?

If it's Wednesday, then this must be Liverpool....

Yes indeedy, I am halfway through my first week of hell. And surviving so far.

Went to try out the hotel's fitness centre yesterday. It was dismal. I actually could not recognize some of the equipment. There were no benches, no free weights, no mats. I couldn't get the treadmill to work and the elliptical looked decrepit. So I said screw it and went for a run. I used to rive to work at 6:30 in the morning and watch those people out running with more than a little bit of envy. Yesterday, I was one of those people. That was such a great feeling. The hotel clerk very nicely sent me on one of the prettiest 3.5 mile loops I've ever been on, right down by the waterfront. It was wonderful. Hard, but wonderful. It was also my first time doing a real run since hurting my ankle, and it was so reassuring that I got through it without any pain.

Turns out Best Western Liverpool, unlike Rodd Grand Yarmouth, does not have a fitness centre which looks like it was taken from a 1970s high school, so I got in a reasonably good workout this morning. Not as good as what I'd put in at the gym, but okay. I'm a little wary about running everyday, as I don't want to end up injuring my ankle again. I think I am going to try working up to a point where I can start each day with a run, though. It's a good way to start the day.

I don't seem to have a card reader on this laptop, so the stunning photos of Yarmouth I got yesterday when I should have been working will have to wait until I can get a card reader or get back home. There are such nice people in Yarmouth. Too nice, really. I went out to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse in Yarmouth, and after running around on the rocks taking pictures for an hour, I was frozen and stopped into their tearoom for a cup of tea to warm up. Well, they were so hospitable and friendly and accommodating, I ended up taking their offer of a piece of bread pudding too. There goes the *no cheating while travelling* mantra. Oh well. I'll just be good from here on out. And it was such good bread pudding. Really, worth every calorie.

I'm also doing a very good job of shopping. I've gotten a pair of jeans and three new tops. All in a size smaller than normal. I am so happy. I like to shop. I get $37/day for meals and incidentals, and since I generally pack all my food, that's free money. Yay, free money!

Just have to share. I work in Health Awareness. My job is to share health information with a high-risk population. I've been running a series of meetings around the province, and while most are held at hotels, with the hotel catering (coffee & muffins, hence, Cassandra does not partake) last night I was responsible for providing refreshments. I picked up fruit and vegetable trays and juice and water. Seemed good to me. Apparently I was wrong.

When I arrived, my boss informed me I should have gotten Tim Horton's donuts and coffee.


This is a population with a three to five times higher risk of developing type II diabetes than the general population, and you're telling me to go get fat and sugar laden donuts? Oh, great idea.

I rolled my eyes and was very happy with my fruit and vegetable trays.

Well, I have to get packed up soon and moved on to Bridgewater. Two down, two to go.... I keep reminding myself I can do this, and it'll be over soon.

Do unto others...

Well, me being stuck in a stupid hotel in the middle of nowhere (sorry, let me rephrase that - at the edge of nowhere... the highway I was driving on came to an end today.... it was awesome...) means that when I get bored, I think. When I think, I want to blog. Because if I just continue to think, my hands are free, and then I want to eat.

See, I think of about a dozen things a day that I'd like to blog about, but I don't. Usually because I have too much already to blog about and only so much time. But now I have time. And so, you all get posts.

Today my thoughts automatically go to my friends, mostly because I'm alone. I have a lot of friends who are overweight or obese, and the more I learn about nutrition and healthy living, the more I find myself really concerned about them. Like, scared for them.

It puts me in a hard spot. I want to encourage them to be healthy and more active, but at the same time, I don't want to be preachy or self-righteous. I want them to know the real dangers behind their ill health, but I don't want to be the monster. I just want my friends to be healthy - I don't want them to die prematurely.

It actually makes me uncomfortable when they talk about making bad food choices or I see them with atrocious meals. I want to tell them they don't have to eat like that. But, of course, I don't.

And, of course, I end up distanced from people. They don't bother asking me out for dinner or such because they figure I wouldn't want to go. And I likely wouldn't because the places they choose don't fit in with my lifestyle.

I want my friends to be healthier because I'm happier being healthy. I want my friends to be happy too.

Does anyone else have that challenge?

Taking my journey on the road...

I'm leaving this morning for my horrid month of traveling for work, and would be lying if I said I wasn't a little stressed about it. Okay, incredibly stressed about it. It's so much harder to control what I eat on the road, so much harder to be active, and just so difficult to maintain the consistent habits I've built up over the last few months. Plus, there's the added stress that I'm giving presentations every single night and all I want right now is to find a bar and bury my nerves in a glass of wine (and yes I realize it's 9 am where I am).

I was so looking forward to one last training session with Shawn before I had to hit the road, but it didn't seem to be in the cards. He called yesterday sounding absolutely horrible and asked if we could reschedule, which was of course fine with me. One, he really sounded horrible and two, whatever he has I don't want it. Plus, I had a bit of a cold last week, so I might have given it to him. Again. I'm just not confessing this time. I did get my own workout in, and I went to step class, so that was good. After three weeks off from step class though, man, was I rusty.

Came into work to gather my stuff - now just need to run through my checklist and make sure I have it all, pick up dog food, drop dog food at home and pack my food, and then be on my merry way. And water. I need to pick up water. I drink so much water on the road now. I also need to find a pen. I think I've lost every pen I ever owned. Maybe I should try HERE. (Sorry - it makes me giggle).

Taking my camera along with me, and will hopefully have a few pictures of myself to post when I get back. And I plan to wear my pretty new sundresses as much as the weather allows. At the very least, I'll have pictures of the South Shore to post...

Anyway, getting very close to leaving time for me, so I'll sign off now. Will probably post an update tonight, if I don't say screw it and hit the hotel bar. Four and a half hours in a car might warrant one glass of wine.

Happy Monday everyone!

My recommendation...

It's probably a rule of blogdom that you shouldn't recommend to people that they go to other people's blogs, but I'm going to anyway.

I've recently discovered Jack Sh*t's hilarious blog, and today, he dug up a golden oldie to share that I really want to pass along: A Heart-to-Art Talk

Go read this. It really struck a chord with me because I've been on both sides of this. I've been the person who thought she just couldn't lose weight, and now, I'm the one who is constantly dealing with friends who tell me it must be nice to "have it so easy." It isn't easy. It's hard. And I don't buy the "I'm just not meant to lose weight." I really believe our bodies want to be in good shape - we just prevent them from being in that shape. I remember one friend telling me she just wasn't able to lose weight - on one trip to her apartment, I saw two huge bags of Mini Eggs sitting on the counter. Um, I think I can figure out the root of your issues.

I also encountered another pet peeve today. When did people decide it was okay to comment on my weight because I started losing it? Seriously, when I was unhealthily overweight, no one said anything to me. Now that I'm finally achieving a weight where I'm finally feeling healthy and confident, it seems like at least once a week someone tells me how I'm "wasting away" or "shrinking to nothing." Today, someone actually told me I needed to stop because I was just going to end up looking sick.

I have a professional helping me so that I have an unbiased, honest opinion to help me along, and I trust that opinion. Shawn's opinion is that my ideal weight is about ten pounds lighter than I am now. My own feeling is that I still need to lose more. I'm not 100% happy where I am now. And ultimately, my weight is my own business. I shouldn't have to justify it to anyone.

It's a gorgeous sunny Saturday - going to be very, very hard to convince myself to go put in my gym workout like I had planned. But, I donned one of my pretty new sundresses, so maybe just being able to show it off should be temptation enough. And I think I might finally go invest in a pair of workout capris!

Have a great day everyone! And go read Jack Sh*t!

More post-its & finally some fun facts

More Dr. Seuss. I do love Dr. Seuss. I'm considering buying some of his books for my incredibly long time on the road next week. Maybe even downloading the audiobooks?

Just had a random though. Patrick Stewart reading Dr. Seuss. Come on, imagine it with me... how awesome would that be?

Sometimes karma bites us in the butt. I decide to go for a sneaky little run on Wednesday night, and Shawn decides he's going to kill my legs during our session last night. Wow. I officially hate the word "squat." On the upside, I'm apparently improving rapidly. I always feel so good about myself after one of my sessions. I even put in forty whole minutes on the elliptical, which, by the way, burned 500 calories. And I had a pretty good day eating-wise, which has been tough with all the extra stress I've been under.

Blech. Stress. I do hate stress. I think on every health questionnaire I've ever completed, I always write "handle stress better" as one of my goals. The problem is, unlike improving my cardiovascular health or my diet, I have no idea how to do that. And it's such a horribly damaging factor in my life. It plays havoc with all the healthy habits I'm trying to establish, it takes a horrid toll on me physically, and just rips me apart mentally. Blech. Maybe I need to add a therapist to my list of health professionals?

I found a lovely deal on this classifieds site for a bunch of new or practically new clothes in my size - mostly dresses and skirts - for super cheap, so I'm taking tonight off from the gym and heading out there. I'll hit the gym both Saturday and Sunday instead. Hoping maybe a weekend gym habit will curb some of the bad weekend eating habits I've picked up. I also have an agility show this weekend, which should be fun. We haven't even had a practice yet, so the dogs are probably going to be a little wingnutty.

Anyhow, it's finally a Friday when I'm posting, so here are your requisite Fun Facts!!

  • I don't watch a lot of TV, but I find myself fighting the munchies every time I do. Are you the same? Try this trick: hit the mute button every time a commercial comes on. Studies have shown that children who watch commercial-heavy television tend to be heavier than those who watch the same amount of television, but with less commercials. Or, hit the power button and go for a walk.

  • Pepper it up! Apparently lab tests have shown that piperine, present in lack and white pepper, can prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing. Given my affinity for the stuff since I went low-sodium, I'm never getting cancer.

  • Sitting is hard on the body. Physiologically, scientists are learning that siting for extended periods of time create a considerable strain on the body and cause a wide number of problems - from increased blood sugar to decreased good cholesterol. For those of us desk-bound, there's an easy fix though - just get up and move around regularly. So, don't combine all those tasks that require being away from your desk - spread them out!
Have a happy Friday and a great weekend everyone! Hoping to get some awesome shots of the show tomorrow!

Just a reminder...

I use post-its a lot. I'm going to start using them here too.

Courtesy of my favourite author ever, Dr. Seuss.

Have a good day everyone!

It's like my own personal crack...

I made a plan.

I waited with anticipation all day.

I rushed through my chores at home so I could get out.

I knew I really shouldn't. I knew I should probably ask... but asking would likely mean being told no, and I didn't want to hear no.

There was nothing in the world like those first few steps.

Yes, I finally got out for a real run yesterday. Not a long run, not a hard run - maybe three kilometres, with a few breaks in between - but it was a run. And it felt great.

My ankle feels fine today. Okay, I feel a little guilty - Shawn would probably tell me I shouldn't be running yet - but it was the best feeling in the world. It was harder than when I was running all the time, which bothers me because I think I'm still putting in a lot of cardiovascular exercise, and that means obviously I'm still going to struggle regardless until I can get back to running on a regular basis, but it wasn't as hard as when I first started. And, I do have to consider that I was running into the wind and with a cold. Neither helps.

It was a great way to shake off some of the last couple weeks of work though.

I was supposed to have a training session today, but I think that's been rescheduled, so I'm planning to just go through my new legs workout instead. It should be a good, intense workout. I've also got to start compiling ideas for workouts to do while on the road. I was thinking last night that I might start looking for a skipping rope to go along with my resistance bands. That way I can be the idiot in Digby doing burpees and skipping. Since my ankle seems to have improved, I can always run as well, though I really wish I had a runner's bracelet so that I wasn't relying on myself remembering to take ID.

The plus side to being on the road so much is I get paid a ton for mileage. I'm thinking I might use some of the extra windfall and buy myself something really fun - like a heart rate monitor. I really, really, really, really want a wristwatch heart rate monitor.

I also have to say, I love the Bulk Barn. If you don't have a Bulk Barn, you must find one. It lets you buy all sorts of awesome stuff in bulk, for a lot cheaper an you would pay in a grocery store. For instance, my natural peanut butter costs me, on average, $5 for a 375g bottle in a grocery store - I bought about 500g last night at bulk barn for about $2.50. I can also get small amounts of stuff, so I can try it. This week I'm trying pot barley and whole wheat couscous. And if I want a treat, no one looks at me strange for buying 10 yogurt covered almonds. I got two grocery bags of food, and had a $3 off coupon from the internet, and the total came to a whopping $12. Isn't that awesome? Okay stop looking at me strange, healthy food is freaking expensive, and I like getting it cheap. I also just realized I have no idea how to cook barley or couscous. Hmm...

Should probably start my day now. So much to do, so little time, and oh my goodness, why isn't anyone else in this town hiring? The stress level here is doing nothing for my quest for wellness. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Happy Thursday everyone, and don't forget about the "Now You Hate It, Now You Don't" Exercise Challenge! (Do you love the name? I do!)

Gold stars!!

Look at the blogging consistency!! Gold star for me! (Seriously, I keep telling Shawn he needs to give out gold stars - he hasn't listened so far).

I realized that when I used to start my workday by procrastinating just a little bit and updating my blog, I was a lot less stressed, a lot less harried, and overall better able to manage things. So, I don't care how much I have to do, I'm going to start my workday by drinking my coffee (I'm still trying to give it up, but that might have to wait for a month when work isn't quite so stressful) and updating my blog. I like updating my blog. Today I was going to include some awesome photos I took at lunch yesterday, but I forgot to transfer them from my home computer to Photobucket, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Oh, and speaking of pictures, keep an eye on Jack Sh*t's blog. He has this great "W.I.D.T.H." or "Why I Do This Here" Challenge going on, and I decided to put in my submission. Read my blog first, but then go over there. It's an awesome blog. I hope to be as awesome as Jack Sh*t someday.

So the plyometrics workout that I was terrified of, then hated, then was kind of ambivalent about, and now actually rather love? Shawn has decided he's no longer sure about giving me that one and wants to look at it again. Apparently that's a rather "sports-specific" type of workout, and he's being coached about making sure that his clients' workouts fit their goals. I dunno. I liked it. It was a challenge, but it was fun. And there's something incredibly satisfying about having other people in the gym come up to you and say "Wow! That looks hard." But, at the same time, I do see how it's the workout where I'm most likely to hurt myself. Hmm.... not sure how I feel about it.

I sometimes want to take my phone off the hook. Just saying.

Shawn and I had a great workout last night again. He's challenging me with a lot harder exercises that require me to be a lot more body aware - things like keeping my weight balanced between both feet and concentrating on multiple muscle groups at once. And a random guy complimented my ass. Well, I'm going to take it as a compliment anyway. He said he regretted that we were moving and he would lose the view of my ass as I did advanced supermans. Highlight of my day, actually. And, I finally got to take in a Zumba class at the club. It's fun. Not as challenging from a cardiovascular standpoint as step class, but fun. I think if I ever do reach my goal of being a group fitness instructor, and maybe manage to find some rhythm somewhere (maybe order it off the internet?) I could have a lot of fun with that.

Must actually start my workday before someone else calls to harass me about something. A dozen people have told me in the last week that I need a new job. This might be because my new philosophy is that a good day at work is any day where I didn't cry. And I still don't get many of those. *sigh* At least I still have the gym.

Happy Hump-Day everyone!

Happy Blogging Time and a challenge!

There are twenty minutes until I take my lunch. I don't want to start anything new. Hence, this becomes "down time" which means, happy blogging time!!

Happy blogging time was preceded by forty minutes of reading everyone else's blogs. I'm not nearly funny enough. You all are a riot. Compared to you, I'm kind of boring.

Today is a boring post, because I posted late last night, and not much happened between now and then. I slept. I went to work. Of the two, sleeping was probably more exciting.

I'm texting with my friend as I write this - I know, multitasking at its best, right? - and she just informed me she "forgot" to pack a lunch. I know there was a time in my life when meals were so unimportant to me that I didn't bother packing lunches, but really, I don't remember when. And it certainly hasn't been since I started on this journey. Grr. Frustration.

So, remember how I said I hate burpees? I may not hate them as much as I thought. Actually, now that I'm getting better at them, it's kind of fun. I look stupid, but there's a satisfaction in looking stupid. I mean, jumping jacks make you look stupid too. But I kind of don't mind burpees now. I'm not telling Shawn this, because I just can't handle giving him that satisfaction.

So, I have a challenge for you all. Take an exercise you don't like (or don't think you would like) and every day, do a little bit. In my case, it was burpees, so the first time I tried them, I said I only had to do eight. Then ten. Then one set of ten and two sets of however many I could do. Now I can do one set of fifteen and two sets of twelve. See if you can make it fun somehow. Create a competition between you and your ten-year-old. Put a dollar in a jar for every one you do. Envision a naked Hugh Jackman cheering you on. Envision a naked Hugh Jackman as your reward. Whatever....



Sorry, got distracted there for a minute. Suddenly seeing much better rewards in my future.

Anyway, I'm certainly not about to reinvent the 100 Burpee Challenge or anything (I think those people were nuts; though I do recall Shawn telling me his boss made him do, like, 110 burpees before she hired him - and I thought I had been to tough job interviews) but I think this is a fun way to incorporate more exercise into your life, and as Shawn is fond of reminding me, the exercises we dislike most tend to be those which hit our weaknesses. For me, it's the stationary bike. I am a self-proclaimed cardio junkie, but I hate that bike. So for the next month, every time I'm at the gym, I am going to jump on the stationary bike and go as long as I can. My goal is to get up to an hour, and maybe even brave one of the spin classes.

What's your challenge going to be?

I'll keep everyone updated on how I'm doing, and I want you all to do the same!

One month - give yourself one month and see how well you can do! Mark where you started and where you finished in terms of FITNESS - not in terms of weight loss, because I want everyone to think about this as a fitness challenge, not a weight loss challenge, and if you can do 25 pushups in a month, where you could only do 5 when you started, then you are definitely more fit.

I also need someone to come up with an awesome title, because all challenges have awesome titles, and I suck at those...

Start thinking and shout out what you're doing!

Bad blogger.... bad, bad blogger....

I know, I know... I am such a bad blogger to leave you all for so long without an update after training you to come check daily. And I missed another Fun Facts Friday.

Bear with me, okay? The next little while is going to be tough. If I don't lose my mind, it'll be nothing short of a miracle.

Had my meeting down in Liverpool on Friday. What a tremendous waste of time. Unless of course the goal was to see how much they could frustrate me. That they did. That they did well.

I did have one... interesting moment very linked to my blog and my goals here. The group as a whole decided to go out to lunch. Now, I know there was likely some good, healthy choices, but given that most of the women on this committee vaguely resemble one of my exercise balls, they weren't interested in those. No, they picked this place that, just listening to them talk about the menu, I knew was going to be a diet disaster. Honestly, I didn't want to eat like that. I could have used a lot of excuses to justify going along, but I just had no desire to. I wanted the healthy chicken salad sandwich I had packed. So, I declined. But I told them it was because I had food sensitivities and I don't eat at restaurants.

That's not true. I eat at restaurants. There's this wonderful little cafe in Mahone Bay I absolutely love, with real food that's made fresh... seriously, I'm in love. I just wasn't about to eat at that restaurant.

But I think it probably would have been perceived as a slight to tell them that restaurant didn't fit into my diet. Should it be, I wonder? A diet is a choice; a food sensitivity is not. Even saying it doesn't fit into my diet, is that implying I think my diet is better than theirs?

Ultimately, I still said no, and had my chicken sandwich instead. And stopped at this Farmer's Market in Bridgewater and picked up fresh, local strawberries (yummmm) and a wonderful, locally baked raisin bread "braid" - a real treat, for me, as I don't allow myself pastry that often. And though the raisin bread was definitely a splurge, I was much happier with my meal.

They say one of the signs of disordered eating is that you find yourself distanced from family and friends when it comes to food. Admittedly, I do. My family has no desire to eat like I do, so I prepare my own meals, separately, and usually eat them separately. My friends... most of their eating habits make me cringe a little. But if I were to eat the way they do just because I didn't want to seem distant... well, then I'm still not maintaining a healthy relationship with food, am I?

Either way, I had a training session with Shawn Friday night, and I know the heavy, deep-fried foods they were going out for would not have sat well through the incredibly intense legs workout he put me through. He's doing a lot of evaluation-type work to see exactly where I am on various strength tests - turns out my ten-rep range on the leg press is up to 200 lbs! I started at a measly 90 lbs. He's also picking a lot on things like my form while doing lunges. I know it's good for me, and important, but I do have to remind myself as he corrects practically every step, not to get frustrated. I'm really liking these new workouts - I leave them feeling a lot more worn out than I had been of late.

Had a dog show this weekend (they are so hard on my diet) and decided today to run through my whole plyometrics routine to really test out my ankle. I did try some running last week, but paranoia won out - I thought it might be getting sore so I stopped. But, a whole night of jumping, stepping, and hopping, and nothing. I think I'm fine. I'll ask Shawn about it again tomorrow, but I really think I can go back to running now. I hope so. Even if my body doesn't necessarily need it, my mind definitely does.

Anyhow, going to try to stay on top of posting this week - cross your fingers and hope for the best!

Happy Monday everyone!

The best kind of therapy....

Retail therapy... is there really anything better?

First, I'm so sorry for skipping a day. Well, a day and a half, really. My work stress and such totally caught up to me and I short-circuited a little, and I just couldn't seem to get it all together to post yesterday. That, and I usually use downtime at work to post updates, and there was no downtime, so hence, no posting.

Work is still stressful. Like, crazy stressful. I have a job where I am expected to work with virtually no feedback and no supervision, and yet I have no autonomy to actually make decisions and my recommendations are ignored. I could do my job exceptionally well and remarkably efficiently if I were just allowed to do the damn thing. Instead, I get stuck following orders and carrying out plans I know are going to be useless and rushing to get things done at the last minute because I didn't have authorization to do them any sooner. And all the meanwhile, for the past three days, I've had supervisors breathing down my neck because they have no grasp of how things work in the real world (like the ridiculously short hours most hotel sales offices are open) or asking me when or if certain tasks are completed, seemingly oblivious to the fact that I am the only one working on all of these numerous jobs that need to be done.

So, I decided I deserved a little treat. It's hard not giving into the urge to find something decadent and chocolate and bury my stress. But I really, really don't want to do that. Instead, I indulged in a little retail therapy. I got this amazing hand and body lotion from La Senza the other day, which I just love the scent of, and the matching eau de toilette. That was good for a while, but I needed something to remind me why I am not drowning my sorrows in a DQ Blizzard. So I went out today and bought the cutest little shirtdress from Reitmans. I have always loved these dresses, but never been able to wear them because they looked really bad. But it didn't look bad. It looked rather cute actually. So I bought some jewelry to go with it. Then, I finally decided to take the plunge and bought a pair of heels. Real heels. Very high heels. They're purple and black. I don't know if I can actually wear them, but they look pretty. I plan to wear the ensemble to the crappy meeting I have to go to in Liverpool tomorrow. I'm thrilled about it. Oh well. At least I'll look good. And I have a training session when I get back to Truro (after five hours in a car), so I'll show my real heels off to Shawn when I get to the club to change.

Shawn has also asked me to do an evaluation for him. It's hard. I want to be honest and constructive, and I don't know if overwhelmingly positive comments are really helpful, but honestly, I don't have anything critical to say. I am so happy with how this has worked out (I want to write "our relationship", but that sounds creepy). I was talking to another woman at the club tonight, and she left her trainer (who wasn't Shawn) because after five months, she just wasn't getting any results. I wasn't about to delve into details, but I can't imagine how. I mean, I know there's a lot that goes into this besides just the time I spend working directly with Shawn, but I think if you are following what your trainer is telling you regarding nutrition and training, you'd have to see results. I certainly didn't hesitate to sing Shawn's praises, though I would never recommend to anyone at the club that they take my trainer over theirs.

Anyhow, it's getting late, and I must work on my evaluation and get ready for tomorrow. It's over two hours to Liverpool - yay - so I have to be up and on the road bright and early. I also need to sort out what I'm taking for lunch. So many difficult decisions.

Just a few hours from Friday!! Rejoice!


You can learn anything on the Internet....


I just found this on Google.

How to fake your own death.

Step-by-step instructions.

Why, yes, work is a little stressful right now. How could you tell?

I don't like stress. I don't like new, unfamiliar situations. I hate being wrong-footed. And I don't like doing things in a rush. I'm doing all of that this week. And spending my life on the phone. I hate telephones. I was a telemarketer for like, two days, and I think it scarred me for life.

Note: I have discovered I love texting since I got my new cellphone. It has a slider keyboard. It's awesome.

Yesterday, I decided by 2 or so that I was tired, my head was pounding, and I'd had enough, so I left. Went home sick. Okay, went to the gym, but same difference. Shawn designed a new leg workout for me, because I found his previous one a bit easy... piece of advice: never tell your trainer something is too easy. This is a challenge. Suffice it to say, the new program is not easy. It is, however, all sorts of fun. There are lots of new things that I kind of suck at, but in a way that I really have to laugh at myself.

I also did a little bit of shopping. I love the Bulk Barn. Natural Peanut Butter is a whole bunch cheaper there than in a grocery store, plus I found this delicious new snack called apple butter. I might be in love. I also picked myself up some granola, as a pre-workout snack (with some yogurt and a banana), and some almonds, as a post-workout snack. Shawn had actually suggested the almonds. I forgot how much I like almonds. I've been trying to get away from heavily processed foods, into more "whole foods" - so all my meals are made from scratch, and now I'm trying to do the same with snacks. I bought a ton of food, plus budgie food, and it only cost me $12. I was very impressed.

Since my "sick day" meant I got home early, I also decided to make some buttercup squash and apple again for supper. This is without a doubt my favourite dish. It is absolutely delicious.

Have a training session tonight, with our new focus on losing weight rather than building muscle - I think I really need the chance to unwind with a good, hard, tiring workout. I'm a little nervous to see what Shawn has in store, and at the same time excited. Those last ten pounds are always the worst... and that's where I am now! Ten pounds away! Wow... the reality of that only just set in...

Now, to just keep work from sabotaging me... maybe Google has the answer to that too...

If not, there's always that first link...



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