Friday, July 08, 2016

Be Accountable

 I remember writing a post about feeling super busy. I didn't find enough time for myself, to be who I wanted to be. But I managed to find some time to do something for me that made me feel really, really good every single day.
 Back in December my co-workers and I were complaining that we were all a bunch of monsters. Our customers were relentless, coming in with a variety of endless Christmas treats for us to devour. We decided that once Christmas was over, that we would compete to see who could lose the most weight in a three month period. We would do weigh ins every Monday and record our results on a chart to be compared later. We all threw in twenty dollars and the 'biggest loser' would win the money at the end.
 One thing I've discovered about myself is that I am quite competitive. If I'm being honest, I think I always knew that I was. But after having competed in this little competition I can certainly see that I am. I remember being in Thunder Bay at the end of December and weighing myself in the evening. I weighed in at 136 pounds. Besides when I was pregnant, that would definitely be my heaviest. Once I weighed in at work, that January morning for the first time, I believe I was at 133 pounds.
 At the beginning, I was very determined to lose the weight. I was very strict with my diet having learned that that is the key with losing weight. I also started running and using our elliptical every morning. I would say a few weeks into the bet, I discovered an app called Fitness Pal. Fitness Pal is amazing because it helps you log in your calories everyday, it trends your weight,it even calculates roughly how many calories you burn in exercise. In the beginning, I would say I was borderline obsessed with logging in everything. Even on Alina's birthday, we planned to go out for supper at Montana's. Hello ribs! I researched before what to order so that the calorie count was not ridiculous.
  Some things that I did learn along the way, was that menu items at restaurants can kill your calorie counter in a few bites. Beware of Boston Pizza Quesadillas! I believe one quesadilla is 1200 plus calories. I couldn't believe it! At my lowest weigh in, I came in at 127 pounds, but I couldn't stay at that weight. I did lose the most weight and won the prize money, which was fun. After our bet was over, I kept calorie counting and I increased my cardio and added weight lifting and many, many exercises to get my body into better shape.
How could I resist this food? (Alina with the antlers on getting happy birthday sung to her. A Montana Tradition..)
  I have discovered many helpful things along the way, in my journey to looking and feeling better about myself. I now know that I can stop stressing about the act of losing weight. There's a lot of emphasis and obsession on losing weight. I find that I'm not being hard on myself about losing pounds. I work out in the gym every weekday and I'm building muscle. I know that muscle is heavier than fat, so I have to keep that in mind when I get on a scale. I also have eased off on the calorie counting. However, what I really take away from my experience and want to share with the world or at least my few loyal readers, is that you have to be accountable for what you eat. That's what the calorie counting has taught me. I have to know what I'm eating and understand and give myself an idea of how good or bad it is for my body. I don't have to obsess, I don't even have to feel all that guilty. But it's important to understand. I still calorie count and when I get into the negative numbers (which means I've gone over my 'allowed' calories for the day) I make a point to try to stay within them the following day. A mental note is made and I move on.

My progress.. and the shot of me is a bit lame.. but I'm proud of what I've accomplished.. so I put it up..

  One thing I do have to work on, is feeling guilty. I feel guilt if I don't get up and work out. I am the type of person that is in all the way or not in at all. I'm very strict with my exercising because I know that if I start saying I'll get up every other day, I'll realize how cushy and soft my bed is after 6 am and I will find other excuses to stay in bed. I also need to work on allowing myself a day off when my body is telling me so. Overdoing it is also not healthy.

 I'm the smallest I've ever been. Rob commented that he just thought I just always had bigger calves. But now we both realized that my legs are capable of being smaller. I am in love with the way that my body looks and feels. It's fair to say that I'm drunk with fitness. I get why people that do it keep doing it. I understand that it's a huge commitment but the pay off is really worth it in the end.

 I haven't battled weight fluctuations like some people do. I've been very fortunate in that way. One thing that has always discouraged and annoyed me is that people always say, Ugh, you're skinny. You don't have to worry about weight. It is my choice or not, to worry about my body or my weight. A customer the other day said, "There's nothing to you.. you're tiny." And she said it in kind of a critical way. I replied, "Thank you, I actually work really hard for it." I think my reply may have caught her off guard. I wanted her to know that I look fit because I've put a lot of effort and heart into achieving just that. I've been watching what I eat and have been dedicated to exercising so that I can maintain this healthy look.

 My step dad Rudi was really big into fitness in his 30's and 40's. As he grew older, his work outs slowed down. But up until the last few years of his life, he still went to the gym as much as he physically could. I think my desire to be healthy and fit come from being his daughter. I feel closer to him somehow, when I'm pushing myself to my limits.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Keep Up

 I come from a time when computers were present in my schools growing up. However, they were certainly not a source of information until I was in high school. Even then, the internet was dial up and extremely slow. I remember that it sometimes took half of my class to load the page I wanted and if it wasn't the right page, then my entire class was spent waiting. Then I think about generations before me and can see why they are intimidated by using computers. In the last ten years the internet has really become our reliable and main source for information. I feel like I'm part of a generation that researches everything. What movie is that actress in? Oh I'll just check IMDB. Or, I was almost positive that accusatory was a word and that I used it proper in a sentence. Rob thought otherwise and within seconds he was proven wrong. It's mind blowing how much information we carry in our pockets, in our phones. I notice though, that generations before us can be hesitant to embrace it. My mom for instance comes from a place where if she doesn't know something, she jots it down on a piece of paper, to remember to ask me or someone later. She doesn't automatically think -- I'll just look it up. She bought a present for my nephew on Amazon. She was concerned that the transaction didn't go through because she didn't get a confirmation email. She texted me her concerns while I was working. I quickly messaged back that she should wait and see if it's just a delay in the reply, etc. Then I suggested she contact Amazon. She immediately asked how she would do that. That question alone floored me. I couldn't believe that a 59 year old woman wouldn't know how to contact a company. To me it's quite simple. You look it up. You can literally look up, "How to contact Amazon if I didn't receive my confirmation email." But because of her generation (and in her generation some are worse than others and she would be considered one of the worse than others) she wouldn't automatically think to do that.

  A downside to having all of this information at our reach is that we are less inclined to contact people in person. I work with two people. One is a 34 year old and the other a 45 year old. I find that the 34 year old would rather look up all of his information online and text rather than speak to a person. The 45 year old looks for a contact number right away and finds it much more effective to speak to people in person. I find that the ten year age gap truly makes a huge difference. However, they both have their positive and negative effects. Sometimes it makes more sense to simply phone and speak to a person and there are other times when looking something up online can be so much faster, etc. I think the key is knowing how to adapt to both ways. I most definitely lean towards the no contact side and Rob, my husband always wanting results right away will revert to phoning and speaking to someone in person.
 What really gets me thinking is what will the world be like in another 10-20 years? Alina will be so much more advanced than me for sure. Will she scoff and secretly laugh at my inabilities to adapt to that current world? Will my way of doing things be a touch outdated? Of course. I just hope I can adjust to the rapidly changing times.

 Just some thoughts I've been thinking. As for me and my life- all is well! We are already doing a lot of camping this summer. We stared in April and have gone three times already. We have a big camp out planned for Rob's birthday weekend in Tofino. We are really looking forward to this summer and all of the fun it has in store for us. Alina's at a great age and we are enjoying every minute of her.

Hi Bloggers I miss!!


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Let's Be Mermaids

Five words.....


 It will be three years this summer since I last saw my sister and I am beyond excited that she's coming to see me tomorrow. My sister lives on the East Coast of Canada and I live on the West Coast. So we're on opposite sides of the country. Think back to the Sleepless In Seattle map when Annie goes from New York to Seattle to visit Sam. That's basically my sister and I but north a bit. 

 My sister and I are incredibly close at heart. I never expected us to be this connected as a kid. Kyli often wanted me to get out of her way and was quite annoyed with my antics most of the time, but as she grew older, I grew up. She moved away first and I ended up near her and things really progressed from there. Our husbands got along really easily which helped more than I realized. I feel as though she is my friend version of a soul mate. It doesn't matter how far away we are, or how little we communicate on a daily basis, nothing and I mean nothing comes between our bond. 

 So I sit here, Thursday evening with a glass of wine, anticipating my big sister's arrival tomorrow. She is coming solo, so I not only get some very deserved one on one time with her, but Alina-girl gets to know her Auntie all on her own. I think that's pretty special. 

 So here's to my sister and the week of us catching up and having some well deserved fun!! We are a couple of moms that live for our kidlets and every once in awhile we deserve to kick back, drink some wine, eat great food, watch classics like Dirty Dancing, The Mermaids and old episodes of The Gilmore Girls and best of all talk until our mouths are sore! 

(Did I mention a weekend in Victoria to soak up the live music scene and for Kyli to see her old city again..?) 

(Ky shared this on my Facebook wall a few days ago. This is why we are soul mates....)


Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Day In The Life

 Well it happened.. I officially neglected my blog. I stopped reading my fellow bloggers' posts and have also lost contact with everyone. I thought with my schooling being over, that I would have more time for these sorts of things but it was quite the opposite. I think because I took so much time away from my family when I was studying and stressing with school all last year, I think subconsciously I feel like I have to make it up to them. I don't take the time for myself anymore because there just isn't any of it. Time, that is.

  Here's a taste of a typical weekday for me. Wake up lazily around 7 once Alina cries out that she's awake. I used to bring her into bed with me to snuggle but now she has a big girl bed and I will go to her and jump in her bed and snuggle. We talk and I ask her how her night was. I get her dressed which usually consists of her saying she wants to do everything herself and then half way through she wants me to help. I get her her breakfast of cereal and milk and I plop her butt in front of an episode of Sesame Street. This gives me a chance to make my one cup of coffee, do my make up and hair. I make up my lunch and Alina's and a lot of the time I am preparing a crock pot meal or something for supper that evening. I always empty and reload the dishwasher before I leave, it just makes me feel better to come home to a tidy-ish kitchen. I pack Alina's back pack with her lunch, spare clothes in case and her sheepy that she sleeps with. I have my lunch and purse at the door alongside her things. I get her to pick up all of her toys (we have a Roomba named Gary that I threaten will eat all of her toys if she leaves them out. ) I struggle to get her focused to put on her shoes, boots and hat most mornings. I get her out the door with all of our stuff and she sloooowly makes her way to the Jeep. Sometimes she surprises me with the fact that she has to poop or pee and that always sets us back.  I have her at daycare at 8:40 most days.  Once at daycare I stick around to have her put her name on the tree, put her inside shoes on and to wash her hands. Once she's done all of those things, I give her kisses and head straight to work. The pharmacy is a minute away from daycare, so that's super helpful. I work 9 until 5 every day and that has been a blessing. Having a job where I can work those hours that consistently is what keeps me grounded and happy. Once I've finished my day, I head back to Alina's daycare to pick her up.

Alina's new bed set. New drums. Helping in the kitchen.
  I get her in the house, empty lunches and get started on making supper by about 5:30. Alina is really into puzzles lately so that has been a good distraction for her while I busy away in the kitchen. Alina is a mama's girl and really likes to hang around me wherever I am. So she is usually nearby when I'm making supper. Once supper is eaten and put away, Alina will bath. Rob baths Alina most nights. Once Alina goes to bed by 8:00 I go downstairs to the gym and do my thing until 8:35ish. I shower and get my 'watching t.v. snacks' and settle in for the first time I get to relax. By the time we finish watching a show or two, it's 10:30 and pretty much time for bed.
  The blogging suffers, phoning friends suffers and I find myself looking back at months, wondering when I ever do things for myself. Someone always requires my attention and I know that with more kids this will intensify. But I also think of a life without a husband, or a family and I feel very lucky. I don't always have time to watch an old episode of Gilmore Girls or to read a book on the couch, but I do love my little family. I feel accomplished at the end of the day and I feel needed and that's a fulfilling feeling too.

   So that's my day to day song and dance. I am too busy doing completely ordinary things everyday to write about them. 

(Alina took this picture..!)
 So what takes up your time everyday? Same kind of stuff, or are you way more interesting?!


Thursday, January 14, 2016

You're Still Here

 It seems like it's been a long time since I've felt you near. I know that I can't just ask for you and you'll be here. It doesn't really work that way, does it..

 It would be a lie to say that I think of you everyday because there are days when I don't. But there are many, many days that you cross my thoughts and it could be the tiniest thing. It could be as simple as making Alina porridge in the morning to working up a sweat in the gym. Your face flickers in my thoughts and I don't always think much more about it. I simply feel comforted knowing that you're still in my head and my heart.

 Tonight when I finished my work out, I walked past the dart board to go upstairs and even started to ascend the stairs. But something made me hesitate and I don't know if it was the spotlight that hit the board just so or the fact that I still play with your favourite set of darts.. But something made me turn around and take our darts out of the board and tossed one ... 7 and as I was throwing the second it occurred to me that I feel like I'm communicating with you somehow when I play. I feel closer to you somehow. I threw that second dart and as I wondered if I would ever throw significant numbers, the dart plunged into the 16. Before I could think too much into it, I tossed my third and final dart and hoped it would complete my little wish.. It was a bullseye and I started to laugh and choke up as I took two stairs at a time to the top. It's my birthday- July 16 and the bullseye was what I hoped to hit when I threw the third.

 You're still here. And you're still letting me know it. I'm still here and I still love you.