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?