Saturday, August 31, 2013

Batter Up!

Amidst the comings and goings of company, babysitting for my friend, and helping my brother move - as well as treading water trying to keep up with the necessary mundane tasks - I have had to admit momentary defeat as far as keeping active and eating clean. Sad times. I'm not actually upset, though. Things will be fine as soon as we have our own space back. And I got some fantastic news: I will be employed for the next 4 months. Yay for stability! I was so excited I literally did a happy dance on the spot...followed by a little shedding of relieved tears to know that I have stability and financial security for at least a third of the year. Of course, along with all the happiness, excitement, and relief, is also a sense of nervous anticipation tinged with fear. It's been awhile since I had a real turn at bat to show what I'm made of in the field. I hope I am up to snuff.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

All's Well...

It's hard to believe the summer is coming to a close (although I've been fighting to stay in denial on this fact). I've just survived a very busy week and I'm headed into another after a day or two of brief reprieve. Despite planning and preparation, between my cousin's wedding, a trip to see the parents, and visitors coming and going, It's been challenging (to say the least) to stay even remotely close to the clean eating menus I've been busting my butt to create. Exercise has been largely non-existent (unless you count dancing at the wedding). However, I'm back to my own abode and I am still determined to stick with it all as best I can. Hopefully things will settle into a semblance of consistency again once this week is done. Boyfriend and I are planning a couple of small outings to try and take advantage of what's left of the weather, since we have hardly enjoyed any time together outside at all this summer. I'm quite looking forward to it. In the meantime, I am remembering to cut myself a little slack instead of pummelling the mental and emotional crap out of myself for every little transgression. Progress, right?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Self Bombardment

Still no word from the interviewers. I'm actually relieved, as I am still debating which path to take with regards to work/career. At home, I've been trying really hard to be more organized and keep up with everything but it seems my attempts to simplify and keep better track of things are backfiring. Instead, I find that I am creating more work for myself and Boyfriend just dismisses the lists and charts without a second glance. It's frustrating. I feel like all my time goes into trying to manage and maintain the household but I am spinning my wheels. I have yet to do most of the things I wanted to do this summer, and the majority of the season has already slipped through my fingers. I have hardly seen my friends at all and feel alienated. I am just coming out of a very busy week of helping other people out (not to say there was no mutual benefit, because there was) and heading into another that looks to be just as hectic. Then there is the overwhelming feeling of failure and self-displeasure at my recent lack of follow-through. I never was one to say I was going to do something and then not do it, but that seems to be what has been happening of late. The Vancouver Sun Run training, for instance? The one excursion that ended with the odd incident was the only time I did that so far. Where is my ability to do and achieve hibernating? And why, oh why, can I not strike the right balance between everything and keep it there??? Sometimes I wish my brain was incapable of so much thought.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Reaction to the Interview

The interview went pretty good, I think. I still really don't know whether I can see myself doing the job and enjoying it, but I now have more information to consider. They said they will be in touch either way and that there is a possibility I will be called for a second interview later this week. We shall see what happens. In the meantime, I have to do some soul-searching and number crunching. ...and figure out how I am going to entertain a 6 year old one-on-one for 18 hours this weekend whilst babysitting for a friend.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Strange Days

I hurt today. Everywhere. Yesterday, I decided to start the Vancouver Sun Run training regimen for learning to run. I'm not planning on running any 10k races in the near future, but I thought it would be a good, structured, routine for me to incorporate into my days rather than just doing whatever exercise I feel like whenever I decide to fit it in. So, off I went...It was pretty uneventful and focused until about the midway point. That's when I noticed an old guy standing in his driveway waving at me. I waved back. Then I realized he was shouting something at me. I paused and removed my earphones. He asked me to come in for a minute. I was wary, but walked closer. He then told me that his wife was "on her hands and knees" and unable to get up; that he couldn't lift her. Still feeling cautious, I followed him to his house and waited for him to open the door. Lo and behold, there was his wife, sprawled on the floor in discomfort (and in a state of partial undress). She was more than a little surprised to see me, but, explaining that she has arthritis in her knees and was unable to get up, accepted my help. Her husband and I managed to get her off the floor and onto a chair in the kitchen, where he sat, too. I felt extremely awkward and was unsure how to proceed, so I simply asked whether there was anything else I could do and whether the wife felt she would now be OK or not. She complained of the heat (and actually stripped off her shirt right there in front of me so that she was now just sitting in her bra, which was even more unexpected, but I kept a poker face and acted like it was a totally normal occurrence for me). She asked who I was and where I'm from and where her husband found me. I matter-of-factly stated my name, my hometown and where I'm currently living, and that her husband had flagged me down as I was jogging by. I asked, once again, if they needed anything more while I was there, was thanked and assured that all was well, and left with a, "hope you feel better soon." What was I to do? How do you navigate that kind of situation?

Needless to say, it kind of took the energy out of the rest of my walk/run and I've been thinking about it  off and on ever since. I keep seeing their must have been very strange for them as well, to have a stranger come into their home under those circumstances. I hope they have family that can help out if needed. The husband seemed rather shaken and wide-eyed and his hands were trembling. The funny thing is, I was going to cancel my walk/run yesterday when I saw the rain. I even came back inside and took off my shoes. But something told me to go anyway. And I did. Perhaps I was meant to help them for some reason. The route I chose yesterday is normally very busy on nice days, but the only other person I saw out and about yesterday was a man riding a bicycle and listening to music, as well. Weird.

On another note, I have an interview tomorrow morning for a job outside my field. It pays about a third of what I make per hour as a casual worker IN my field. The pros are obviously stability and an opportunity to explore other options. The cons? Well, I'm actually terrified of missing a chance to finally advance my chosen career (I was given some hope a couple of months ago that something might be coming my way in the near future, but it's still a waiting game). I'm scared of committing to something that pays the same or less than I would make on call, but demands more of my time. I'm also filled with fear of the unknown and of making the wrong decision. On top of that, I'm also still considering the cooking on the side business and the possibility of sticking it out doing what I do but trying again to find a part time gig with which to supplement my income. All I really want is to feel like I am being productive, making progress and working towards goals with Boyfriend as effectively as possible...and doing something fulfilling, enjoyable, and satisfying to get there so I don't get the sensation I am wasting my life. Problem is, half the time I feel that I am wasting my life right now.

My energy has been off for days now. I have been feeling frustrated and isolated and stressing about everything. This is when being a grownup sucks. The neon sign I have been praying for for the past 3 years or so just isn't falling from the sky and the clock never stops ticking.

Monday, August 5, 2013

My New Obsession

So, it seems the biggest thing I do with my time these days is prepare food. Yep, that's where the majority of it goes - between planning, cooking, baking, portioning, and cleaning up, it's a bit demanding. The upside is that I feel good about what I'm putting into my body (for the most part) and we don't see much food go to waste here: we buy exactly what we need and it gets used. There will be the odd time when some produce will find it's demise in the refrigerator, but it isn't often. I haven't fully decided whether or not to dive in to the cook-for-pay realm, but I have started pricing out some recipes to determine feasibility.

I've also renewed my commitment to get more regular exercise. Last night I did this video, which I found here. It's only 8ish minutes to do, but I felt it! My glutes are definitely hurting today!!

Pinterest has become a bit of an addiction for me, as well, of late. My new found passion for clean eating has translated into hours spent searching for delicious sounding eats. There are TONS. Inevitably, this leads to perusing the websites connected with the pins and so on and so forth and bookmarking the good stuff (and fitness stuff, too). 

I'm also rethinking the role dairy plays in my diet. I love the stuff, but I'm starting to see a connection since cutting it out for a couple of weeks: now that it's been re-introduced, the small patches of eczema on my hands seem to be flaring up; they were all but non-existent while abstaining. Hmmm.... 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Mundane

Our budget kicks in tomorrow. I'm hoping it will be a success. We have only planned for August, so far, as our incomes and expenses will be fluctuating a bit until things settle down. However, I'm excited for the trial run nonetheless.

I find myself spending oodles of time cruising the Net for healthy recipes to try. Meal planning and grocery lists detailing exactly what is needed and a price estimate per item have become almost second-nature by now, as well. It's good.

Now I have to get to that workout schedule and housekeeping schedule I've been meaning to create to keep me on track. What better time than a rainy day to tackle that?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hello Wagon

Just as I thought, the weekend got us off track. I did prepare a bunch of food for us to bring out of town, and that did help alleviate the temptations, but we still strayed from our plan more than anticipated. Of course, I also got violently seasick and couldn't stomach the thought of most food for a day and a half so I gave in and ate what usually works with hangovers for me: greasy take out. It did the trick, and we are back on track today. I just finished another week's meal plan and I'm pumped about eating healthy again and hopefully getting an exercise/workout schedule on the go finally. Let's hope the foray into the dark side of eats and relative lack of activity are not too difficult to undo!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bugs in My Ear

Firstly, I bravely surveyed the damage to date by stepping on the scale this morning. I have re-gained 1lb (Boyfriend gained 1.6). Not un-do-able, thankfully. I didn't check my measurements this week. The plan is to do as well as we can whilst out of town this weekend, but not be too hard on ourselves if we indulge a little. Back on track next week and hoping to start a new routine of daily morning walks with a friend.

Now, the bugs in my ear, you ask, what, pray tell, are they? Well, firstly, Boyfriend has it in his head to produce board games together. I am not quite sure what to make of this idea. He has already partially developed one and we did a mock up together of a second. He is very excited at the prospect and has been doing research into what's required. Secondly, I did a whole lotta cooking and baking in the past 48 hours and, as Boyfriend and I were eating our dinner/supper last night (depending where you are), he happened to nonchalantly point out that this could be a business for me: cooking for other people in some capacity. I didn't really pay it much heed at the time. It (in the form of Chef) came up as a possible option in the STRONG test I did recently as well and I dismissed it as something I like to do for family and friends in the comfort of my home and not something I had ever considered as a career. However, I mentioned the idea to a friend last night and she immediately jumped on it, added her spin on the idea (narrowing in on a certain clientele and certain methods), and said I should go for it if it's something I would enjoy - that there would be a huge demand for it and there are so many ways I could go about marketing myself etc etc etc. So, last night and this morning have found me actually contemplating this. Could it really work? Is it something I'd really want to do? I think, at the very least, I owe it to myself to look into it further and evaluate its potential as a side business, if nothing else. Then there is my beloved dream of writing. Forever on the back burner and never brought to fruition. Why is it that anything that requires some sort of risk scares the bejesus out of me to the point where I am stuck spinning my wheels in inaction?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Yesterday was pretty much a write-off in terms of staying on track with clean eating. After locking ourselves out of our apartment and waiting an hour or so for our landlord to get home and rescue us, Boyfriend and I were behind on getting groceries and were famished by the time we got back. This meant that, instead of the healthy meal I had planned, I improvised and threw together a pasta concoction (made with whole wheat pasta, chicken, veggies, broth, cornstarch, spices, and a sprinkling of Parmesan - so still relatively healthy) to save time. We also indulged in an absolute glutinous amount of chocolate cake (which I had broken down and bought him as a surprise because - let's face it - a birthday just doesn't feel right without cake!) and I had a glass of wine. This morning, again, I felt the aftereffects quite acutely: an upset stomach, tiredness, fogginess, headache, lungs that felt like I had smoked a pack of cigarettes the night before (although I'm still not sure how that could possibly related to eating crap, it does seem to be correlated for me based on recent experiences)...So, I resolved to get back on the wagon this morning and do the best I can again today. We ate a good breakfast, I got busy doing laundry and started making food to bring on the out of town trip (so far, I've got homemade granola, peanut butter balls sans chocolate and sugar, and a banana nut loaf. I'm about to get started on apple coleslaw, green salad with chicken, and trail mix. We'll see how much more than that I accomplish before the day is out).

In addition to all the cooking, baking, and preparing, I managed to do a detoxing yoga sequence and WOW what a sweat. I now feel absolutely drained physically (but, oh so much better!) and I'm hoping the spinach and berry shake I just ingested will kick in with some energy boosting goodness soon. In the meantime, I thought it was the perfect time to flex my writing muscles a little via this blog post and, whilst reflecting on yesterday's and last week's diet transgressions, I started to ponder progress: what it means and what it looks like. I have to say, I used to think it was more-or-less a straight path with points along the way tracking how far you'd come or when you'd reached a certain milestone. Now I see that it's not necessarily that way. Progress to me, in this particular instance, is measured by my conscious acceptance of a few days off track punctuated by a desire and determination to eat better and exercise more regularly immediately, during, and after straying from my path. I am not beating up on myself, and my motivation is not to punish myself for "cheating." Rather, I feel that I genuinely want to take the best care of myself that I can as consistently as I can. I am not attempting to force myself to do something because I am aware that I should. I WANT TO. I am finally loving myself and embracing a life change instead of a temporary fix. It feels good. And when I consider the path that brought me here to this point, it was most definitely not a straight line and it didn't always have benchmarks illustrating how far I'd come in my journey. But I'm here. I've finally this aspect, at least. And I am committed to embracing the changes and improving on them. Yay me!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Trouble With Cell Phones understanding what the heck you are paying for and making sense of your bill!!! I just spent over 30 minutes on the phone with an agent trying to figure out how to lower my cost - unfortunately, to no avail. I am with Telus and have had the same voice and data plan for awhile now. However, I have noticed in the last few months that my data is getting eaten up more quickly and that, since cutting my home phone (in an effort to save money and because my new apartment is not wired for it), I am incurring long distance charges that I didn't have before...even though I hardly ever use my phone and 99% of my calling is to people on my favourites list. I figured there must be a way to remedy that. After all, Boyfriend has a different (more expensive on paper) plan than me with a whole lot more data and he never pays more than I do. When I inquired as to whether that plan would be a good alternative for me to choose, I was told it is no longer offered. In fact, Telus is apparently going to be shaking everything up good in the near future due to the new CRTC rules. The problem is, the agent was unable to tell me whether the new plans being rolled out would help me or not. Sigh.

What are your thoughts and experiences with cell phone plans and providers?

Monday, July 22, 2013


So the other day I read something that invoked a maelstrom of memories, thoughts, and feelings. I started writing a post about it, but it became so long and ramble-y and disorganized that I abandoned it. I haven't been back here since...probably an avoidance thing. However, today I feel the need to at least get a few words down on the screen so that I don't disrupt my attempt at creating a routine too badly.

On that note, a few tidbits: The clean eating thing seems to be sticking so far. Yay! We had a couple of bumps to navigate last week and this weekend with the arrival of a friend's birthday celebration and the need to go out for a date night (which, I am happy to say, we managed to do for a measly $6 thanks to AirMiles). All-in-all, I don't think we did too badly...I had a couple of glasses of wine at the shindig and we both had a sampler (i.e. a sizable plate) of desserts, but we stuck to our veggie kebabs, baked sweet potato, turkey sausage, and steak meal plan in the midst of all the other goodies in circulation, which I happen to think is a small victory in itself! The movie was a different story: we both had diet Pepsi (I'm not sure what is the lesser of evils between the diet and the regular, but I wasn't in the mood to pump more sugar into my system), and we shared popcorn (but abstained from any type of topping, including the "buttery" pumped stuff). Again, not too bad I suppose, considering that before we would have totally gone for the buttery topping, Boyfriend would have had the regular pop, and we most likely would have had Twizzlers or Nibs or some form of chocolate on top of it. The challenges are not over, though. Tomorrow is Boyfriend's birthday and Thursday we are headed out of town to see family for a few days, which will include a cabin trip. I have already figured out the meal plan, but it requires a lot of preparation beforehand and how well we do with it in practice remains to be seen. I am also going to try and create a workout schedule for myself in the near future rather than just fitting things in here and there as the opportunity arises. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It's a Beautiful Day

It's 8:20am, I've been up since about 6:15 (I woke of my own accord due to the fabulous sunshine, which is a miracle in itself on both counts!), and my mood is good. Breakfast has been conquered, the laundry is underway, and the plan is to do yoga for the first time in forever when I finish up here. I'm extremely proud of Boyfriend today - he has dropped another 5 lbs since his last weigh-in. As a junk food junkie turned healthy eater, I'd say he is doing just grand :-) I hope the positive change sticks. Hmm...nothing else of note this morning that I can think of at the moment, other than the daily list of chores that you most definitely don't need to read. Oooh, however, I did visit a dear old friend last night who I haven't seen in probably close to a year, give or take. During our reminiscences and shared updates on the present, we discovered there may be an opportunity for mutual benefit: the possibility of me babysitting her son from time to time, as a paid gig. I feel sort of guilty to take money from a friend for taking care of their child, but she suggested the arrangement and it seemed to make sense that we would be helping each other out, so I guess it's all good. Anyway, time to stop over-analyzing and get on the ball!!! Maybe next time I should tell you about the odd dreams I've been having...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Successes and Misses

Today my body is exhausted. I looked at the calendar and realized that I have been getting some form of decent exercise almost every day. I rock. I am also very pleased to report that I checked up on my (measurable) progress yesterday and I am down 7 lbs in total since the 3rd and have lost 3 inches; 2 on my waist and 1 on my hips. Yay me! Boyfriend is down 6.6 lbs and 2 inches off his waist. I'm very proud of him, as well :)

When I awoke, however, I found myself down in the dumps. You see, I auditioned for a couple of plays in the spring and, after a callback for one production, have not heard anything from either company. It makes me sad. It makes me question whether I am "good enough," and it reminds me of how much I miss the stage and all the people I only tend to see when I am involved in a production. It is truly a whole different atmosphere. I try to tell myself that it's probably for the best and will allow me extra time to focus on work/job/career-related things that need focusing on, and in part that is true, but there is also a part of my soul that weeps for the missed opportunities. I am hoping I will at least find a way to finance my choir membership this year and be able to keep that as a part of my weekly routine (and I use the term 'routine' loosely. Actually, creating a routine is kinda one of my goals!).

Oh! And I almost forgot!! I had my last cigarette back in October! Woohoo!!! :)

Anyhow, productivity calls!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Good Morning Blog-Land!

So I'm sitting here eating my steel cut oats with fruit and nuts like a good girl and I'm thinking - Hey! This is a new focus in my life: eating clean and treating my body better. I haven't mentioned that. Like a lot of people (stereotypically, women), I have battled with the scale. I have tried dieting a few times and Weight Watchers a couple more; I have tried upping my level of activity to get results, and all the while I have done it because my goal was to lose weight. Inevitably, it always came back. I told myself it had to be a lifestyle change, but never really fully understood what that meant, in retrospect. Frustrated and disappointed with myself, I always found myself back at my starting point and wondering how I had let it come back to this. This time is different. I am all about making permanent changes that I can sustain and my motivation (which I sometimes claimed before but was never able to really marry to my weight loss regimens) is to be stronger, healthier, and treat my body better with a focus on getting fit instead of losing weight. I have to say, though, that I've actually seen the scale move downwards more consistently in the last two weeks than I have during any other attempt at weight loss. It's empowering, I feel great, and instead of a sense of deprivation, there is, rather, a sense of satisfaction that I am making positive changes and fuelling my body with only good things (with the occasional treat being incorporated in the near future, of course).

Focus 2 is making and maintaining a budget with the boyfriend. That has been tentatively created, and we will start using it in August. Yay us!! This marks the first time I have ever actually made a plan with a man to work together towards our common financial and life goals rather than fighting against each other or just doing our thing and assuming at some point down the road a home and family would materialize. In my experience, it just doesn't happen if you don't plan for it!

Which leaves the other, very-important-but-somehow-still-spinning-my-wheels-stuff. I am so lost with the whole money-making/career thing and how to incorporate better time management and balance my leisure time with productivity without coming down on myself for one thing or another. I have put so much pressure on myself to FIGURE SHIT OUT!! and every day that doesn't happen feels like a failure, somehow. On the one hand, I am an organizer and a planner who needs security, structure, and creativity...on the other, I am told that you just can't plan for these things. They come to you in their own time and you find yourself doing things you may not have thought of before. ....or not. And I don't know if I can just wait it out or keep on keeping on while I beat my head against the wall trying to figure it all out...if that even makes sense...

OK, so oatmeal is done and it's time to get to the To-Do list. So glad we had this chat, though! At least I got my writing fix today! :-)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Long Overdue Update

I have been meaning to check in here for awhile now, but it just hasn't happened. I could blather on with excuses and apologies, but I will keep it brief. The basic gist is that life's been busy and there have been a bunch of things to deal with, as is the case with just about everybody I would imagine. Boyfriend and I moved in together a few months ago, he got laid off and is back in school and I have been doing some soul-searching as to whether or not to stay in my current career and hold my breath for an opening or move on to greener pastures. Problem is, I have no idea what those would be or how to get there. Then there's just the regular old day to day stuff that fills up our lives. Anyway, I have been thinking about the blog off and on and I'm wondering what to do with it now. I am no longer single and dating and I haven't written anything in forever. Perhaps another face lift?