Brrr & You are what you eat...

Ice has become my new best friend.

Really. I get excited when I find new types of ice packs. I look up ways other people improvise icepacks (I can't do the frozen food thing). I read about different methods of icing. If I ever develop a surefire method of icing ankles, I'll be rich.

It's kind of sad, actually.

Right now I have an icepack on my left shoulder, which I managed to injure somehow. We aren't sure how. Shawn and I were mid-session when he tried to have me do an exercise and my shoulder just kind of went... ummm, no. After a lot of poking and prodding and making my shoulder make some very bad noises, he decided it probably wasn't really serious, but was likely a muscle strain or tear. Which means ice. Then heat. Then more ice. And some rehabilitative exercises in the meantime.

I'm also trying to think more critically about nutrition and eating to fuel my workouts - more specifically, my runs. I'm planning a five mile run tomorrow morning, and though part of me wanted to come home tonight and have a salad, a bigger part of me knew I needed a good store of carbs and proteins tonight to get me through that run tomorrow. So I threw in that chicken and barley, and made sure my post-workout snack was enough to adequately refuel after tonight's session with Shawn and my 50-minute elliptical workout after. Was likely a few more calories than I might have eaten if I was thinking about weight loss, but I need to stop thinking about weight loss.

This is where I want to reorient my thinking. Instead of worrying about calories, I just want to concentrate on eating high-quality food, eating when I'm hungry, and not eating when I'm not hungry. Instead of skimping on supper because I gave into the emotional urge to eat that cookie, I'm going to resist the emotional urges to eat, and concentrate on eating for fuel.

Five mile run tomorrow. When I mentioned that others were really negative on my decision to run the 10K, Shawn acted like it was the stupidest thing he'd ever heard - like it was completely natural for me to be running a 10K "for time." That makes me feel better. I know that's stupid, but it does. Sometimes you need to know you're not the only person who believes in yourself.


Anyone who might be with me, I hope your affirmations and I Cans are going well. Next week I'm going to be doing something big for Operation Beautiful!

I made a list!!

And I need to check the blog's email more often!!!

I got an email from this morning (well, not this morning, but that's when I read it) informing me my blog had been included in their recent article "100 Empowering Blog Posts for Your Weight Loss Battle".

Specifically, they've chosen to highlight my recent post about buying a bikini, which you can read here (though I'm sorry to say my friends are all stick-in-the-muds and so I haven't had the chance to wear it to the beach yet - though sunbathing in my yard in it is nice) as a success story!

This is a nice bright spot to my week! And it's a great article - you should all go check it out!

The site I use to host my Affirmations and I Cans is down right now... hmm. Hopefully they aren't all gone for good. I'll have to post later though when I figure out what's going on.

The Voices in my Head

Sometimes I listen too much to the voices in my head.

Those are the voices who tell me that my training plans are "intense" - translation being, I think you're nuts.

Those are the voices that tell me not to get my hopes up or be too ambitious when it comes to running my upcoming 10K.

Those are the voices that tell me that with all the running I do, surely I can have that piece of cake, bowl of ice cream, decadent cookie, etc.

Those are the voices that tell me that this lifestyle - this path I've chosen - isn't worth all this hard work.

Most of the time, I ignore those voices. But sometimes, even when I'm ignoring them, I hear them. I hear them as I'm fighting through a hard run, and it makes the run seem so much harder. It blocks out the voice in my head that's constantly saying

"You can do this, Cassandra!"
"Come on, don't give up!"
"You're stronger thank you think you are!"
"I believe in you."

I didn't have a terrible run tonight, but it was hard. I had planned to run for thirty minutes, and I only made it twenty minutes. I had to take a ten second breather at 18:30 because... well, I was panicking, for lack of a better word. But, I'm not going to count it as a failure. I'm proud of myself for being able to regroup and finish. I'm proud of myself for getting through twenty minutes at a faster pace.

But I've noticed that whenever I encounter negative sentiments, I internalize them, take them with me, and they affect my next run. Tuesday I dealt with the friend's skepticism over my training plan; yesterday, it was my brother who expressed disbelief at my intent to run a 10K. Saturday, when I tried for my long run, I had spent the previous night shoe shopping, around people who were as passionate about running as I am, and who had no reason to believe I wasn't a distance runner. And I had shiny new shoes to make me feel like a real runner.

I wish I could tell the people in my life what it does to me when they are so negative. But I can't. Because one, they wouldn't understand, and two, it's not in my nature. I'm a peacemaker.

I have a training session with Shawn tomorrow - the countdown is on. Hoping I get a few seconds to talk to him about all this because he has a way of making me feel better and helping me sort through some of this mental crap. I can see me going back to personal training just because it's cheaper than therapy.

Anyhow, my affirmation and I Can

It's almost Friday - so close I can taste it!!

Share a Spoon.. or Salad Fork.. or whatever

Think Tank Momma

Anyone who has spent any time with me knows about my incredible love of all things salad. Like all things salad. Seriously, I can take any food, and figure out how to make it a salad. So when I stumbled on this today, I had to join. Because I have seven million salad recipes (note that may not be entirely accurate).

All I had to do was pick a recipe... and I'm gonna pick this one that I just figured out the other day and realized I really liked. Because that's what I do - throw crap together, add green stuff, and call it a salad.

Oh, and you should know, I suck at writing recipes, so... yeah. You get ingredients. I'm assuming you know how to cook. Adjust the amounts as needed.

Lemon Asparagus Pasta Salad
Serves: 1 ish with leftovers, probably (the joys of only cooking for yourself)

1/2 c whole wheat "short" pasta like rotini (I like Catelli Healthy Harvest)
5-6 asparagus spears
10-12 baby carrots, halved or quartered
1/2 small onion (though I really like onion, you might want less)
1/2 c white mushrooms, washed and sliced
1/2 small tomato, diced
1/2 English cucumber, diced
Baby Spinach (As much as you want)
lemon thyme (ummm...some. I grabbed a bunch from my herb garden.)
lemon juice (again... some)
black pepper (I think the term I should be using here is "to taste")

Cook the pasta. I'm not explaining how to boil water.

Saute asparagus, carrots, and mushrooms, but don't overcook veggies - they should still have some firmness; add onions and lemon thyme and lightly saute for a few more minutes. Turn heat to low, add cooked pasta, spinach, tomatoes, and cucumber. Add lemon juice and pepper and toss in heated pan for several minutes until everything smells and tastes sufficiently lemony. Remove from heat and allow to cool or serve warm - tastes great either way!

Master recipe maker, I am not.

Have a 3.1 mile run planned for tonight. Will post my Affirmations and I Can after that.

Hit the ground running...

Had a terrible, terrible run last night. I really did. There was some sort of glitch at the gym that caused them to have to shut down the air conditioning and half the lights and it was HOT. Like, stiflingly warm. I've run in the heat and humidity before (the last time Shawn and I did a run to Victoria Park it was like, 28 deg C with the humidity adding an extra eight degrees or so to that) but this was brutal. I was doing jog/sprint splits - jog at 6.0 mph for 3 minutes, sprint at 7.5 mph for one - and after each set I actually had to stop and take a breather. Yuck. Tomorrow I'm going to try just a steady run at a slightly faster pace - trying for 6.2 mph, which means I'd cover 3.1 miles, or 5 km in 30 minutes. Hopefully it goes better.

These are my awesome new New Balance running sneakers. Okay, they're taking some getting used to, because they do force my foot to land properly, and because they feel... well, a bit awkward on my foot. But, my legs are not bothering me nearly as much as they were, my knees aren't aching nearly as much as they were, and all in all, it's just a lot easier to actually run.

I got these at the same time - new sandals! They cost more than I'd usually pay for sandals, but I've been wearing these flimsy dress sandals as all-time-time wear, and they have absolutely no arch support or anything. I decided that since I'm going to abuse my feet three out of seven days, I'm going to make sure I'm supporting them when I'm not running. I had to switch back to dress sandals today for work, and man, could I tell the difference. Have I mentioned I love all things UnderArmour? I have an UnderArmour racerback I adore too. I really, really, want to try a pair of their running tights, but I'm rather broke.

I was in a picture taking mood today, can you tell?

Shawn had recommended I consider both glucosamine and a multivitamin if I'm going to continue to train at this level. Admittedly, I've been considering glucosamine. My joints sound like a bowl of Kellogg's Rice Krispies. I talked to Dr. Mike at Well Within about it and he agreed it was a good idea, so I picked up a bottle. The multivitamins have always been something I've been not-so-sure about - largely because I find it so confusing trying to find a good one - but the sheer amount of food cravings I have despite having a relatively solid diet tends to make me think I might be deficient. And, as Shawn pointed out, someone who works out as intensely as I do will use more nutrients and minerals than the average person.

Today was a "rest" day, which means I'd usually do yoga - instead I ended up practicing my softball skills with my brother. Hmm. Not sure that's really a rest. Oh well. Had a rather stressful day at work as well, and it was a nice way to unwind.

Happy Hump Day everyone! We're getting closer to Friday!

Edit: I almost forgot!!

A new numbers game...

So, today's "I Can.." is kind of setting a theme for my post.

I've decided to let go of my obsession to weight loss.

Don't get me wrong. I'm still committed to a healthy life. But I want to put things in perspective. I'm 5'6". I weigh 160 lbs. Ideally, Shawn feels I should weigh about 155 lbs. That's five pounds difference.

I have made my whole life about losing those five pounds. I was starting to feel like a failure because I couldn't get those five pounds off.

And what was worse, as I got more and more frustrated about not losing those five pounds, I started indulging in self-sabotaging behaviour that would cause me to gain one or two pounds more, that I'd then have to get off.

Then I would take a couple of weeks and meticulously watch everything I ate and count every calorie. The extra pound or two would come off.

And my runs would suffer because I wasn't eating enough.

So I'd relax a bit and eat according to the amount I was working out. And then I'd get frustrated because I seemed to stall at 160 again.

And it would start again.

And then I stumbled upon this article. The idea was so simple, it was so elegant.... and yet I'd never thought about it: "Never run to eat - eat to run."

On days I run, I eat well. My snacks are meticulously timed. I don't overeat. I drink plenty of water. Why? Because I know how hard it is to run. I know I've gotta fight for every step of every mile. And I know it's going to take energy to do that. So I eat well. When I finish a run, I know I have to refuel, so I let my body tell me when it's full, rather than relying on some portioned amount. And I rarely go over what I'm expected to eat for a day.

So, I'm letting go of the "diet" mentality. I wish it was as easy as writing that, but I know it isn't. B ut I'm going to try. I'm going to step on the scale as a monitor only, and I'm going to just eat smart and I'm going to run. I'm not going to track my weight and my calories eaten and my calories burned. I'm going to log my miles and minutes run, and pounds lifted, and strides taken.

I'm playing by a new numbers game.

Faith & Believing

So... the blog has a very new look.... and even a new title!

I didn't want to actually move it, but I realized that my path was no longer as simple as a path, and my blog had become less about that path than about the challenges of a healthy life as a whole. So, this is the paraphrased line from one of my favourite songs, which is in full at the side. I'm going to make this my own mantra from now on.

Impossible is not a word.

Sometimes I need this kind of reminder. Sometimes I need to be reminded I can do anything. Tonight, while still enthusing to my closest friend about running a full 4.5 miles, I mentioned that I would be adding 1/2 mile a week to my long run from here on out, and that I had 1.7 miles to add to my total mileage if I planned to be able to run the 10K at the end of August. Her response? "I'll keep my fingers crossed for you."

That stung for some reason. For me, it was as if she was saying, "I don't believe you can do it, but if you want to try, have at it." I would have liked to have heard "You can do it," or "You'll do great," or... well even nothing, really. Instead she went on to say how she doesn't run. I get that a lot. Like people think they need to justify their not running to me, or like they are trying to belittle my decision to just run.

You know what? I don't need anyone to understand. I'd like them to, but I don't need them to. For me, every step, every time my foot hits the ground, I'm getting one step closer to my dream.

Maybe I'll get this just to drive the message home.

In the meantime, I'll just keep running.


Yes, I'm tinkering....

Please don't be alarmed...

Actually, you might want to be alarmed...

This is what happens when my recovery days and rainy days end up meeting....




GO ME!!!

I will totally be posting pics of my new sneakers, which are kickass awesome, tomorrow, but now I'm tired and will be going to bed early because my body keeps trying to fight fatigue by eating.

Oh, awesome Gone For a Run Giveaway here. I seriously want so many of those t-shirts.

And can't forget...

Happy Saturday everyone!

Moving on?

I only have 2.5 weeks left of working with Shawn.

He told me that last night and part of me wanted to cry. I don't feel like I'm ready to move on yet. I mean, he's going to build me a real kickass program to keep moving forward on my own, but at the same time, I just like having someone to work with - the social aspect of it. And yet, I do think I need to learn to do this on my own, at least for a little bit, while my life is stable. That being said, I've resolved that when I start back to school, as soon as I'm financially able to, I'm going to buy a few more sessions - at least enough to meet once a week through the school year. School is hard for me. It's one of those areas of my life where I had a really, really difficult time maintaining a sense of balance - and anyone who has been a student knows how easy it is to sit at home, study, and eat.

We had a good, exhausting session last night. We even got to do some really fun stuff, like punching drills. All I can say is, it's a good thing I run. Then, I put in a solid 40 minutes on the elliptical. I'm going to start doing a minimum of 40 minutes of cardio every day I train, with at least two sessions a week that run 45 minutes or longer. I need to be able to push until I can go well over an hour, after all, since I don't expect to complete that run in under an hour.

I've also gone back to a really mild form of tracking my calories for a bit, through SparkPeople's calculator. It's not as accurate as my own food journal, but also not as ever-present, so I'm not as likely to get obsessive. That's my theory anyway. And I really want these last few pounds off and gone, and I was doing really well when I had my food journals, so I'm hoping this will work again.

Still hoping to hear what others think of the "I Can..." Project, and don't forget to let me know what you can do!

TGIF Everyone!

I Can...

One of my favourite "Waste time at work" activities is to jump around blogs until I find something interesting that I haven't read before. Of course I have all my old stand-bys, but invariably, I usually find something new I think is worth sharing.

That's how I stumbled on Jack Sh*t's great blog,which is always a source of hilarity, and occasionally even seriously thought provoking.

Today I found two more, both of which are really well-timed for me.

The first is Caitlin's Operation Beautiful. As an aspiring runner, I've been reading her Healthy Tipping Point for some time, but this is the first time I've wandered over to Operation Beautiful. Operation Beautiful's mission is put an end to the negative self-talk which is so pervasive in our society - that mental voice that sounds every time we look in a mirror and says "You're fat," or "You aren't good enough," or "You can't." Caitlin started by leaving positive, affirming post-its on bathroom mirrors with simple messages like "You're beautiful." She now encourages others to do the same, and Operation Beautiful has spread across countries and even turned into a book.

I love this. I think it's so powerful and yet so simple, and I know I fight every day with my own negative self-talk. I argue with myself constantly - try to fight that voice saying "You can't" or "You're not good enough." I fill my personal spaces with inspirational quotes... but never something as simple as "You're beautiful."

On that same vein, my second find that I wanted to share was Kay Widrick's Operation Affirmation. As Katy points out, Operation Beautiful is about spreading positive messages to other women, to other people, to help combat their negative self-talk. But just as damaging as that negative self-talk is our inability to celebrate our successes. We should be proud of the things we do well in life - whether it be in a weight loss journey, in our job, in interacting with our family, or in just being us.

I'm signing on to both of these. We all know my love of post-it notes, so leaving messages for others should be easy. And I think Operation Affirmation is something which has shown up in my life at just the right time, so from here on out, every day (well, every day I post), I am going to post one of my Virtual Post-It Notes so my affirmation is out here for me to see.

I am also going to start my own little project - an "I Can..." Project. I think we're hard-wired into an "I can't..." mentality. I know it's something I fight with every day. So, along with my affirmation, every day, I'm going to post a post-it note to myself stating something I can do - either something I can actually do, or something I need to believe I can do.

I encourage everyone to join Operation Beautiful and Operation Affirmation, and if you want to join me on the "I Can..." Project, that'd be great too. Drop me a line letting me know where you're posting your "I Cans..." We don't get to hear enough encouraging and positive things in our lives. Let's raise our own voices and start cheering for ourselves.

We can all do this. Are you up for it?

The sun'll come out....

Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow,
There'll be sun....

One of my favourite songs ever. I sometimes sing it to myself just because I can. It's a bright, happy, hopeful song, and sometime we need bright, happy, hopeful songs in our lives.

It's a little sunnier in my world today. I have to catch myself from letting everything cloud over, but for the most part, I'm feeling better.

My workout with Shawn went really well last night. I love being able to work in the training studio - it just ends up being so much more relaxed. Then I went for an easy two mile run - the first time I've done a solid two miles since my "bad" week. It sounds stupid, but I am so mental when it comes to running. I keep psyching myself out long before I'm actually ready to physically call it quits, and so I'm really not pushing myself,and I think I'm feeling like I'm more fatigued than I actually am. I have another long run scheduled this week, and my goal is to make it for at least 4.5 miles at my current 6.0 mph pace. If I'm not dead, I'm going to push to get the extra 1/2 mile and try for a full 5 miles. I'd like to have a couple of tries doing 6-6.5 miles before the 10k race (10k is 6.2 miles, for those of you who are as challenged at distances as I am).

Shawn has also suggested I look into taking a multivitamin, since training at the intensity I do would cause your body to use a lot more vitamins than just a normal person, and also look into glucosamine. Lately, I've been sounding like a bowl of Rice Krispies - snap, crackle pop - every time I move a joint. I'm also becoming very good friends with my ice packs. Yes, I used that as a plural. Isn't that awesome? Dr. Mike is on vacation this week, but I have an appointment next Monday, so I think I'll ask him about both. He seems very big on multivitamins, and I know I've seen glucosamine in their office. Maybe it is a simple vitamin deficiency causing my recent slump? I know I seem to be fighting to keep my potassium up.

Oh, and I've discovered I really, really like sweet potatoes. Yum. I must make these more often. I also like putting grapefruit in my salad. If you've never tried it, try it.

Oh, and I got my dress for the Law School Charity Ball! And it was on sale!!

We're already at Wednesday, ladies and gentlemen. Friday is on its way! Rejoice!



In through your nose, out through your mouth. Slow, deep breaths. Control your breathing, first and foremost.

It was one of the very first things Shawn taught me. It's been one of the most important things I've learned. It's one of the things I forget most often.

I'm not very good at breathing, apparently.

When my body gets pushed, I forget how to breathe... or I forget to breathe, period. I start gasping instead, winded. Before long, I'm forced to stop, take some time to recover.

All because I forgot to breathe.

I'm the same way in my whole life. Right now, I'm dealing with financial stress -- again. And I can't seem to remember to breathe. I want to gasp for air, or hold my breath. I keep forgetting - in through your nose, out through your mouth.

This is another one of those bad weeks, when I can't see the sunshine for the clouds in my mind. I have a training session tonight - I'm hoping it will help. If not, Shawn might have a snotty, teary, emotionally unstable wreck on his hands. That'll be pretty.

Why does life always have to be so hard? Why can't we live in a world where, if you work hard, you get what you need?

Sorry for the grayness today, everyone.... some days are just hard...


That's kind of how I'm feeling this morning.

Have you ever wondered if someone was conspiring against you, even a little bit?

I committed to getting healthy. I committed to being active. I've even discovered that, you know what? I rather enjoy it. I like getting out and running or working out or playing a sport.

So why can't my body just keep up with me?

All I did was go for a walk. Okay, technically I got lost in Victoria Park for forty-five minutes or so on one of the trails. And no, it wasn't the easiest trail I've ever been on. And yes, my legs were already tired from Friday's run and ladder drills. But still. It was a walk. That's it.

I managed to strain a muscle in my calf. It's been causing me a fair bit of discomfort ever since. Definitely no running on it for most, if not all, of this week; I know that without even having told Shawn yet. And my knees are still bothering me.

&%$@#%&*%$!! (Those are all those words that aren't appropriate to say in public).

I just want my body to catch up my mind in terms of what I can do versus what I want to do.

I also want it to stop conspiring against me by randomly deciding it's famished all the time, all of a sudden. Very hard to lose weight that way. I'm sitting at 160 now... it would be really nice to eventually see a number that falls under that.

Some days this journey is harder than others. Some days, it's a lot more frustrating.

I got some great pictures on Saturday though, both at the VP Challenge and after. This is actually "the" Shawn himself playing football with a couple of the guys from the club. Can't you just feel the intensity? (Oh, he was overjoyed with the fact that I was taking pictures). I love sports photography, and this was a great chance for that. Hard to believe the next race I attend, I'll be a potential subject rather than a photographer.

Have a great Monday everyone! Let's try to get through it together!

Listen, Jacob...

I knew I was in for it.

I walked into the club yesterday afternoon, Shawn met me at the door with one of those "I'm secretly working for the Spanish Inquisition" grins, and cheerfully said "How would you feel about doing a run today, with some drills on Jacob's Ladder?" Which, by the way, is trainer's speak for "Unless you have a damned good reason why we shouldn't, we're going for a run today, and doing some drills on Jacob's Ladder."

I don't know who Jacob is, but if I ever meet him, I have a few choice suggestions for him about his freaking ladder. 175 freaking steps, practically straight up. We did them going every other step, so it was more of a challenge for the hamstrings and glutes. Three times. I think Shawn finally took pity on me because I really don't do heights, and coming down was making me dizzy. The run itself is about 4.5 - 5 km, round trip, which on a good day is a challenge. Oh, and did I mention it was 28 freaking degrees Celsius out? I was a hot, sticky, humid mess by the time I got back to the gym. And today, my ass hurts. A lot.

Anyhow, there's some fitness challenge thing going on at Victoria Park today that Shawn is demonstrating at - I thought I'd go take my camera and get some photos, plus I want to stop up to the Farmers Market. I keep missing all the really good deals. And if I mean to hit any of the good deals, I must get going, so cheers all!

I did it....

I bought a bikini...

Really... bra-top and boy-short bottoms, and nothing in between connecting them.

Not sure how I'll ever have the guts to wear it in public, but I bought it. I tried it on, I looked in the mirror and said "Okay, I don't look perfect... but it's a bathing suit. I'm not gonna look perfect. And I look okay. And I need to shave my legs a hell of a lot better than I currently do."

So I bought it.

Now, to just get to a point where I'm actually wearing it. You know, without the cover.

I'm surprised I actually bought it. I was not having a good day yesterday. I felt fat. I was cranky. I was irritable (okay, I was PMSing all over the place). I tried to go put in a workout and either I didn't drink enough water, didn't eat enough, or didn't account for the heat, because I ended up calling it quits very early in - got a little light-headed and nauseous. Not good, really. And then I decide to go bathing suit shopping? Definitely the heat getting to me.

I have to get a long run in this week at some point - I skipped out last week, so I'm a week behind on long runs. I'm supposed to be pushing up to about 4.4 miles right now, and I have to be able to do 6.2 miles by the end of August. My knees are still a bit achy, and I know Shawn has one of those kick-my-butt plyometrics workouts planned for this afternoon, so it won't be today - maybe first thing Sunday morning.

Going to do some more scouting for fun facts and post them tonight!

Happy Friday everyone!

Stumbling blocks....

This was my running trail this morning in lovely Sydney, Cape Breton. I held the last of my health meetings over the last two days - and I am so happy to see them done. I don't know if it's hormone-induced mood swings, or fatigue, or the weather, or what, but everything about this week was hard. Getting my butt out of bed to go on a run, even on this lovely path, was hard. Doing yoga last night was hard. Not making all the wrong food choices was hard.

I failed some on that last one. Last night, as I was cleaning up from my meeting, left alone in the conference room, I suddenly grabbed one of the muffins that had been left over and ate it. And then another. I never do things like that. I didn't necessarily want a muffin. I was hungry, because I hadn't eaten supper yet, but I had a salad waiting for me, and still, that's been the case for all of the meetings, and I've never felt the need to randomly start eating muffins. And, boy, did my body tell me how I never do things like that today.

No, I know what happened. I was sad, and lonely, and upset, and let the side of my brain that always wants to control those emotions with food take over for a few minutes. It was a bad move. But, at least I see what it was and, hopefully, can move past it now.

And these meetings are behind me now, thank goodness. No more running around the province for the time being. No more dealing with strange places, or overheating cars, or touchy laptops, or crappy driving weather. The driving weather today was really crappy, by the way. I can go back to my routine of "go to work, go to gym, go home."

These meetings definitely caused some stumbling blocks on my journey. But you know what? I made it. Sometimes that's all that matters.

Now it's time to move on. My running isn't coming as well as I'd hoped, I think in part because I've been so fatigued. Shawn's also a little worried I'm overworking my legs. He suggested a deep-tissue massage to help ease some of the tightness, and admittedly, I think it's something I'll try if I can get an appointment that works with my work schedule. I notice it's getting harder and harder to really stretch my legs and hips well - there always seems to be some residual tightness. I'm just a little ... gahhh... on the idea of someone touching me that much. I don't really like being touched. I mean, I handle my chiropractor, and have finally stopped tensing when Shawn physically corrects my form (as he's figured out I just have no innate sense of "straight"), but there's a lot more touching involved in massage. And a lot of nakedness. I'm not so into nakedness. Hmm... still... I like running. I want to be a good runner. Decisions...

I've got a day off tomorrow to take my nephew to the dentist, and am hopefully going to Zumba again. Just looking forward to not going to work.

Happy Hump Day all!

Looking for simple answers

Whenever I'm having a hard day at work, or in life in general, I pull out Dr. Seuss. Sad, but true. I like Dr. Seuss. He didn't necessarily conform to what people thought was "normal" or "right." He didn't make himself fit inside a box. He made the world fit him. And now we all look to hm as an inspiration for it. My office is filled with Dr. Seuss quotes. And I don't care what people think of me because of it.

This is a tough week; it's been a series of tough weeks. And I keep asking myself what is making it so tough? Why am I so tired? Why does everything seem so hard? I feel like I've plateau'd on e weight loss thing again, my running has been faltering (I had a horrid run attempt on Friday, and only moderately better yesterday), I am tired, it seems like the healthy diet I normally maintain with no effort is harder and harder... why? What is wrong with me?

Nothing. That's the simple answer. Nothing is wrong with me.

Shawn and I were talking last night about roles and our place in society and not always meeting people's expectations, and kind of out of nowhere I said "I'm okay with not fitting into the box society has defined for me, because ultimately, when I look at the person I am, I'm more or less happy with that person.... and when was trying to be the person society expected me to be, I never was happy."

I wonder if lately I've been trying a little too hard to be the person society wants again; my "meetings" and sessions are like a giant play, where I have a role I'm expected to fulfill, and it's a drain on my resources.

Maybe it's time to remember what it means to just be me, and be happy with who that person is...

Baby, it's hot out there!

For the second day in a row, I am wearing a halter top at work. Not sure it's really work-appropriate attire, but it's hitting 32 degrees Celsius again today, so I officially don't care. And have I mentioned how much I love being able to wear halter tops? This little material is really quite cool. Must invest in a few more.

Was out yesterday to do a photoshoot with Shawn. It was a different turn for us. I'm quite confident with my camera (behind it, that is, rather than in front of it), but of course in the relationship Shawn and I have, he's usually the one directing and I'm the one following. And he is Mr. Confidence and Self-Assuredness. Not so much in front of a camera. Like everyone else, he becomes very aware of his own perceived shortcomings. It was a very.... interesting experience for me, because I do perceive Shawn as a model of fitness to which I should aspire, and yet he doesn't think he's perfect either. (For the record, I think he's a very good-looking guy... and most agree with me... but then most don't see the physical flaws I see in myself either).

Today (and I think this is punishment for all the harassment I put him through yesterday) we're going on another long run. In this weather. I like running. I don't like the heat and humidity. This is going to be gross.

Short post today, because I'm going to actually try to get some work accomplished, and because I want to be able to leave you with this week's "Friday Fun Facts!"

  • Looking to cut a few extra calories without trying too hard? Trying flipping a switch - specifically, your TV's on/off switch. Turns out cutting your TV time in half can burn an extra 100 calories a day, without your doing anything else!

  • Feeling a little blah? Have a sip of green tea. Sky high in antioxidats, studies have shown that those who drink four or more cups a day are markedly less likely to suffer mild or severe depression. In these warm summer months, try it iced.

  • We all know the effects of winter on our skin, but the harsh summer sun can be just as harmful. This summer, protect yours from the inside out by stocking up on these three sweet treats: watermelon, nectarines, and cherries. Compounds in the fruits may boost your skin's natural resilience against wrinkles and sun damage.
That's that! Hoping the sunshine lasts into the weekend - I'm considering getting really brave and buying my first swimsuit in, oh, five years or so and hitting a beach! Wish me luck!


Tales from my ongoing travels...

There are a lot of suicidal squirrels in Sheet Harbour.

Correction: there were a lot of suicidal squirrels in Sheet Harbour. There are less now.

Last night was a bad night on the wellness journey. I don't like eating before my meetings, because though I seem the picture of cool composition, I really dislike presenting and don't want to be trying to do it on a full stomach. As a result, my eating schedules get all screwed up. On nights like last night, where I have a sizeable drive before I get home, things get really wonky. I ended up eating a buttload of fruit to "tide me over," got lost a couple of times getting home, and then was so tired when I inally got home I just gave up and made a bowl of oatmeal and an English muffin with peanut butter. And had more fruit. Not the best choice for dinner. I mean, it wasn't a bag of potato chips and a chocolate bar, but still a lot of sugar, and not much protein. Then I was so tired and rushed this morning, I didn't have time to make my lunch as usual, so I'm at the mercy of whatever I can find at the grocery store. I am going to pick up a sandwich or something to take with me tonight and eat after my meeting, since I have another long drive home.

I have to keep reminding myself that one bad day did not create the person I was two years ago. It was days that became weeks that became months that became years of bad days. It was a girl who would not have dreamed of running four miles (let alone been able to do it), and who had no concept of calorie counts. It was not one day. And one day will not make me that girl again, so long as I recognize that it was a bad day and take it in hand. Which is what I'm doing. Which is why I will try to find a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread and some vegetable sticks to have with me for my dinner tonight.

I've been really tired lately too, but I think that's just the extra running. Part of me is wondering if I shouldn't just take all the overtime I have left and at the end of these meetings take a couple of days off - just take them off, period. Have some time to recharge. But then, I had a four-day weekend, I still didn't feel recharged. Blah. Twelve-hour days are hard on a person.

Anyhow, have to actually get to work (and find the banana I packed for my snack this morning). Happy Hump Day everyone - Friday's getting closer!

Bad me again...

I've been all neglectful about my blog again... sad. Does it help that the weather has just been too nice to be indoors working on my computer? I need to fix my laptop so I can work on my tan and my blog simultaneously.

This week has been... eventful. I'm starting to get correspondence from the law school. Wow. One, I think I might be too old for orientation. They have six days of events planned. Each is capped off with an evening event that invariably involves drinking. Six days of drinking. I drink approximately once every four months. And by once, I don't mean starting on Tuesday and ending on Sunday. And when did parties start at 11:30 pm? I go to bed at 11:30 pm! *sigh* When did I get old? But it's exciting too. I loved being a student, and I know I will again. And now I'm heading into it with a new perspective than the one I had five years ago - I'm still committed to doing my best, but not with the same, all-encompassing need to be *the best* that I once had.

I'm glad to say my new car is working very well, touch wood, as I embark on my meetings yet again. I like driving a little, compact car again. It's comfortable. I drove a Neon for five years before getting my Malibu, and it was an awesome little car. It was nice to fill my car for $36 and not $56. My meetings are the same crap as always - I'm not expecting a great turnout anywhere this week.

I had a session with Shawn this morning - again, another tough session, though in retrospect, not quite as hard as we have done recently. Probably because it was a lot of upper body, and I tend to be strong in upper body work. It was a lot of fussy, work-on-form stuff. Right now, I am so close to the 150s, I can taste it, but I'm gaining and losing the same pound over and over. I know it'll come of, but I'm getting a bit antsy. I just want to see that number drop. It gets harder and harder the closer I get to my goal weight, I know. I may have to really buckle down on the whole diet thing for a few weeks to finally get there.

I'm also really happy today because I'm finally going to be able to help Shawn out the way he's helped me. He's been trying to do some promotional work to attract clients (summer is a hard time for anyone in fitness) and frankly, his advertising photo leaves something to be desired. So, he's agreed to let me do a new one for him! I'm very excited! One, I love doing new portraits, and two, I do really wants to see him succeed. He's a great trainer. He seems really excited about it too. Unfortunately, the only time our schedules mesh is Thursday at noon, and I hate shooting at noon, but I'll make do.

More meetings tonight and tomorrow, and then a ton of office work to get done. Yay. I will be so glad when all these meetings are done. I'm tired of my schedule being screwed up.

Happy Tuesday everyone! One more day till hump day!

Healthy vs. happy

Happy belated Canada Day to you all, and Happy early Independence Day to my American friends!

I am happy to say that after a stressful couple of days, I have successfully unslumped myself and am back on the straight and narrow. And I'm driving a lovely shiny new 2002 Hyundai Accent. Not my PT Cruiser, but a good solid car nonetheless. I feel so much better for having it all settled.

Canada day is usually busy for us, since our agility team puts on a show in a neighbouring community, and then we head down to watch the fireworks. This year my good friends Kim and Andrea decided to join us. Kim is just embarking on her own wellness journey, and is still at the stage where she's uncertain about the results. Last night she turned to my mother and said "Do I look healthier?" After long reflection, my mother finally answered, "You look happier."

For a moment, Kim seemed a little disappointed, until I reminded her that being happy was part of being healthy. And she does look happier. She has energy. She's bright and enthusiastic. Her whole face and being reflects this. She has visibly lost weight, but it's her newfound vitality that I notice. She's actually starting to look younger.

I wonder sometimes if we forget the role of being happy in our quest to be healthy. I realized yesterday during my session with Shawn that he never asks me what I think about how I look, but always asks about how I feel about the changes I've undergone. And I realized as we talked yesterday that while I'm proud of the physical changes I've made, I'm more in touch with the mental and emotional changes I've made. It means more to me that I'm reaching a point where I'm becoming more comfortable in my own skin than it does to just be thin.

Had a great session yesterday; we did four different sets of drills, with each drill starting with a two minute sprint. Shawn's trying to work with me to help me improve my running and properly train for this 10K, and apparently this sprinting does wonders for improving pace and endurance. We started at 7 mph and got up to a 30 second 8.5 mph sprint at the very end. It was fun - hard, but fun. I'm amazed at how quickly my body adapted to that faster pace, until it just wanted to run that fast; at one point I was partway through a 7.0 mph sprint and Shawn increased the pace to 7.2 mph. I wasn't looking at the treadmill, and honestly, it got easier and more comfortable, so I thought he had decreased the speed. It wasn't until we were done that he told me he had increased it. I do think I'm going to have to brace my left knee as well as my right though, if I'm going to keep up this running. The right (which is braced) is swinging and striking in a straight line while the left (which isn't) is swinging in slightly.

Anyhow, have to go get duck food, hit the Farmer's Market, and find a container for my herb garden! Have a happy Saturday all!



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