Monday, December 14, 2009

Bootcamp – Ugh!

I went to my first Bootcamp class Saturday morning. There is a new gym not far from us that was offering a free one-week trial for bootcamp-type classes. Basically, a bunch of women – getting yelled at (nicely) and worked to the bone!

I’ve worked out for years – so I was confident I could get through the class with not too much difficulty. I knew I’d be familiar with all the moves and techniques at least. So, I put on my nice black workout pants, spandex roots shirt – pulled my hair into a pony and slipped on my Nike ball cap – a little bit of mascara and some lipgloss and off I went to meet Dan! (the instructor).

Dan greeted me showed me around a little – basically, it’s where Team Canada cheerleaders practice and work out – and the padded spring floor reminded me of my gymnastics days…it was all I could do to not run out there and do some cartwheels! Looking around I saw mats, medicine balls, weighted bars with pully’s on them, and some bosu and exercise balls too. Ehh…piece ‘a cake …. Or so I thought.

The warm-up started out with some high knee kicks as we would move forward up and down the length of the gym. We were in rows of two. Then same thing but with bum kicks going back. Not bad not bad….I can do this I thought…repeated that a few more times – followed by side leg kicks, skips, jumps, walking lunges, hops, all the while going back and forth the length of the gym – did I mention this facility is about 10,000 square feet!! Anyway- I got through that part, worked up a sweat and figured, okay….we should be moving onto some floor work soon so I can rest a little…that’s when Dan said “alright – are we ready to begin our workout now”?

GAAAA! Let me tell ya – I may have been working out for years….but the body shuts down VERY quickly if you don’t keep up with your fitness regime! After non-stop functional moves and sit ups and lunges and knee ups and bar work and medicine ball work and tricep dips and planks and … oh man… the list goes on… I seriously thought I was going to toss my cookies right there on the mat.

How great would that have been? Nice way to introduce myself to the group – by throwing up all over their workout floor. I excused myself for a few minutes, went into the changeroom to catch my breath. A very nice woman (one of the members) came in to check on me and told me not to worry – it happens to everyone on their first time, and to please not give up and to come back out to the class once I felt better.

It was really nice of her and she talked to me for a good few minutes about how her daughter is another instructor there and if I go back to her daughter’s class, she’ll make sure to tell her to watch me and monitor me and she was very encouraging and reiterated to me that these classes weren’t to see who could “do the best” – they were for you as an individual, to improve within yourself, and not try to out-do anyone else. Once I went back out and re-joined the class, I felt a lot better, and lucky for me – it was just in time for the yoga cool-down! (thank god!)

Dan emailed me later that day, and said I did an awesome job for my first time and that they could tell I’ve worked out before, based on my form and techniques and that the endurance will come the more I go and the more in-shape I become. So – I will give this bootcamp a try for awhile. Haven’t had my butt kicked like that in a long, long time, but all I can say is…..Bring it on!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kitchen in D.O.N.E.!

Whaaaa Hoooooo! Our kitchen reno is complete! A long time coming - but we love it and had special help from my dad and mom, who graciously spent a few days here and did our backsplash for us. It feels good to be done - and even though we want a new bathroom put in downstairs (my private lair) we decided to wait until the new year so we can stay happily married a little longer. ha. Actually - we did pretty good - this was our first reno together (well....ever actually) - and though stresses were high at times - we talked everything through and tried not to let it get the better of us. So - we are enjoying our new Kitch and looking forward to a big family dinner to show it off real soon!

(there used to be a wall here - now we can look out to the living room)
(and into the kitch from the living room)

Monday, October 19, 2009

$1.50 for 2 new Coach bags! Whaaat??

Hello folks. I'm just here today to tell you I had the most fabulous, fun, enjoyable, romantic, wonderful weekend! It started on Saturday morning, leaving early to head to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a play at the Shaw Festival (thanks to Rich's mom, who gifted us with the tickets!) The play was called "Sunday in the Park with George" and was one of the best live theatre performances I have seen. It was in a small and intimate venue (the St. George theatre) in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake - the prettiest town in Ontario!

The play was based on the painting called "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte", painted by french artist, George Seurat. The play tells the story of how the painting came to be, and the characters in the play, are the inspiration for his painting, and eventually all the actors come into form on stage, of the exact painting - it's really quite beautiful and emotionally telling. (see photo below)

Following the play, we made our way to Niagara Falls, to check into our hotel overlooking the Falls. Once checked in we headed out to dinner and then just a quick stop to the slot machines to at least say "we played".

My second spin on the 25 cent slots (betting the max) was a good one, as I came out a few hundred dollars richer than I was only minutes prior! It was very exciting for me as the machine kept "dinging" and people gathered around - I have never won that kind of money before!! Best part was I only spent $1.50 to get it! The timing couldn't have been better, because our plan for Sunday was to head into the States for some shopping.

I think Rich may have out-shopped me in the clothes department, but my winnings from the casino bought me two new Coach bags! Thank you very much Casino Niagara! Between the play in Niagara-on-the-Lake and our night in Niagara Falls, it was an amazing weekend away with my hubby.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I think i'm a bear

Here it comes......that feeling of wanting to nest and hibernate. I would make a great bear. As soon as this time of year hits, we are waking in the dark and the evenings feel so short. I want to come home from work - get in my comfy clothes - have dinner then snuggle in on the couch for some tv. (fall tv is awesome by the way - all the new shoes start!) BUT!! this is the worst thing for me to do and i know that.

So - I have to make a change. I have to make this fall & winter season different from all the past ones where I've done exactly what I said above. Otherwise I know what will happen. All of my hard efforts will go down the toilet! As soon as I veer off of my routine - I get in trouble. So - I am planning to make it a goal of mine this winter that as soon as I am home from work - before I do ANYTHING else - I work out! Shoes come off - a quick hello to our kitty cat - and into the gym clothes and downstairs I go! I have been doing this all summer, but since the seasons have changed, it seems like I have to work a bit harder with my brain to get me to do this lately.

Then, if after my dinner I spend the rest of the night watching some tv or reading, I won't feel guilty because I would have gotten my exercise in already. Granted - I do want to get out of the house whenever we can. We are planning to try some cross-country skiing this winter and I LOVE winter walks, so I don't want to spend every evening in the house. But - I just know sometimes in the cold dark months - staying in and being cozy is pretty nice!

On a different note - our kitchen is almost complete! Just awaiting the new countertops which are being installed this week, and a bit of final detailing with crown moulding and trim, etc. but the end is finally in sight and it feels sooooooooo good! will post some before and after pics once it's all finished!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In this Valley they say you are going….

The Rouge Valley that is! This past weekend, Rich and I discovered something so truly amazing and beautiful that we were literally puzzled we hadn’t known about it before, since it was only minutes from our home!

Well – we knew the Rouge Valley was there and there was “a trail”, but we didn’t realize that we were surrounded by over 47 square kilometers of some of the most beautiful hiking/walking trails! We had tried to walk part of what we thought was a small(ish) trail last fall, but it was so wet and mucky that we had to turn around.

So out we went again on Saturday, to pick up where we left off, and ‘lo and behold, we were opened to a whole new world of hiking grandness! As we walked into the forest, the beauty and depth of the trees and sun sparkling through the branches, took our breath away! We even stopped to literally “hug a tree” and it felt so great (although a little silly at first…but if you’ve never hugged a tree, I highly recommend it!)

Anyway – onward we went – up elevated rock cliffs, with tree roots and rocks providing stepping stones and onto open areas with rolling hills, and along geese-filled ponds, with wildflowers of purple, yellow and white growing all around us – from trail to trail we hiked, sometimes we ran – it was one of the best workouts I’ve had in a long, long time.

Being outside in the sun - surrounded by beautiful nature – hearing all the insects and the birds and the river rushing by – stepping over stones and roots and climbing over huge tree trunks that had fallen down across your path – running up hills, walking hand in hand – stopping to smell the flowers and even share a kiss (aw) - it truly made you glad to be alive. That may sound a little dramatic for “just a hike” – but it wasn’t just a hike – it was one of the best days I’ve ever had.

Fourteen (yes that’s right – 14!) kilometers later, we were back in our car to head home and relax for the rest of the afternoon. Not only was this day great for me physically – it was even better for me mentally. If you’d like to check out the trails for yourself, see here and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kitchen Reno is Under Way!

Yesterday marked day 1 of the ‘actual’ renovation of our kitchen. There has been a lot done in preparation (we took down a wall – hooked up new electrical – re-jigged some plumbing and bought new appliances) but our old kitchen remained in tact through that all.

When I got home from work yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to see our walls bare, our sink out, our countertops gone and some new lower cabinetry already installed! Needless to say we ate pita bread and hummus for dinner last night (our stove is gas so had to be un-hooked) but….it will all be worth it in the end. So exciting and a long time coming!

On the health front – things are great! My energy level is pretty high these days. The other night I was lying in bed – it was around 9pm and Rich and I were watching tv, and I started doing bicycle crunches. And then I had this weird urge to run! I wanted to run! (I didn’t run because I was in my jammies and it was late and dark out), but…I wanted to! Rich said that it was good – that it meant my energy level was improving. (I think it was from that piece of chocolate I’d had about 30 minutes before!)

Oh! and I bought those "skinny" jeans I was talking about before! BUT - they are going back today. I turned around in the mirror when I got home and my butt looked like it had been stung by 400 bees. Maybe a little too soon for the skinnies!

Anyway – that’s that. Later Peeps!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

My Happy Place

What a way to cap off the summer. Our 5-day camping trip to Killbear Provincial Park exceeded my expectations. I’ve been going there since I was a little baby girl, and that park holds so many amazing memories for me, and I’m so happy to still be going there now, with my husband and family, to create more memories each year we are there.

And let me just say – the weather was FANTASTIC! Nothing but sunshine for 5 glorious days. Given the summer we’ve had – I was a little nervous. Nights were cool – but we were in our bathing suits and swimming everyday.

Rich’s sister, brother-in-law and their little girl (who’s almost one year of age) came up to spend a night there, as well as my brother and his wife, and my parents were with us on our site. My aunt and uncle even stopped by for the day. When one family member knows someone is up there – they usually make the trek up! It’s that beautiful of a place.

I’m also happy to say that being at Killbear has actually shown me how far I’ve come with respect to my fitness level and health. There are lots of hiking trails at this park. Acres of rocks and hills and lots of great places to do some climbing. There is one trail in particular – Look Out Point Trail – that has always been challenging for me in the past.

You can probably guess from the name, that it is an elevated trail that leads you high up onto the rocks and hills to overlook the beauty of the islands in Georgian Bay. It’s a rugged trail that has always left my breathless as I would make my way up. I usually had to stop a time or two to catch my breath.

But this time….I FLEW up the trail!! I felt like I could have run up it if I wanted to. I felt so light on my feet and the best part was that I didn’t have to stop once, and when I reached the top, I was not out of breath at all! It was truly one of the best feelings. I’m not at my goal yet, but this was a major milestone for me.

So thanks Killbear Park – you are my happy place, and once gain you’ve renewed my spirit and my soul. I can’t wait to see you again next year, where maybe I WILL run up that hill!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The "Skinny" on what's new

Hi there. Labour Day weekend is fast approaching – a little bittersweet. Great to have a nice long weekend, but it does remind us that Fall is just around the corner. And honestly – this summer has SUCKED ARSE weather-wise!

But aside from that – things with me are going great! Since my last post I’ve been truckin’ along and feeling good! One of my new favourite things is listening to Podcasts on my iTouch. I have downloaded a bunch of them (all free), most of which have to do with health and fitness. Some of my favourites are the "Fit Cast"; "Fat 2 Fit Radio"; "Ask Leigh"; and "Yell at Your Fat".

Usually when I’m doing my running intervals, I enjoy fast, upbeat music, but when I’m doing my walks or slow climbs, I love the Podcasts. They are very motivational and full of great information. Lots of listeners write in with questions, which the hosts answer in a Q&A segment and I find lots of these questions are the same things I would ask. The woman who does "Yell at your Fat" has lost 139 lbs just through proper nutrition and exercise. She’s just a "normal" housewife, who talks about her journey and the obstacles she faced and what helped her to get through them. She offers great advice and is pretty funny too! I enjoy her. The others are a little more technical in nature, but still provide lots of helpful info.

I haven’t been weighing myself very often because the fluctuations can drive me crazy! What I do notice though is that my clothes are fitting better, and one thing that made me really happy was just last week I tried on a pair of "skinny" jeans in Petite, in a size smaller than I usually wear, and guess what!? They fit! I didn’t buy them, but it felt great getting into them!

So – changes are happening. Slowly but surely – and that’s the way I like it. I can live like this. We are going camping soon so I will pack up my healthy foods, with some good treats (rice cakes, pretzels, etc.) and do lots of swimming and hiking. The weather forecast is looking good – knock on wood – hope it stays!!

Happy Labour Day Weekend Everyone!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I guess it was just a "girl thang"

Since my last post - the hunger I was having has subsided. I am feeling pretty good most days actually. So, I guess it was just a "girl thang" that was making me want to eat my desk! The hardest part of the day for me seems to be as soon as I get home from work. I am really hungry for dinner, but if I do my workout before anything else, it curbs the hunger. As soon as I get in the door, I change my clothes and start my workout. I can't think about it too much because it's so easy to say "i'll do it later", so I don't think - I just do. Exercise for me is a natural appetite suppresent - so this timing works well as it allows me to make dinner without nibbling while I'm cooking. Rich usually works out after work too, so the timing is good for both of us. (Although - I would like him to cook more often!) xo honey.

Some days I get up early and exercise before work, around 5:45 a.m., it just depends on how I feel and what I have going on that evening. If I know I'll be out after work, or if we have evening plans - then a morning workout is best for me and that's what I do. As long as I get it in at some point during the day - I don't really care when it is.

I only weigh myself once a week - and that is basically out of curiosity, and to make sure I'm not fluctuating "too" much. It's funny though - I can have a great week - eat clean - workout every day, and still be the same weight, or sometimes even go up a pound or so. But I don't let this bother if I know I've been on track. It's usually just from something I ate that was higher in salt (if we go to a restaurant), or if my hormones are high, or, it could actually be if I had a lot of water before I weigh myself. But - if I were to step on the scale all the time, I would go nuts.

Instead - I like feeling my clothes getting looser, or noticing small changes in my shape. I notice that I'm not out of breath as easy as I used to be. Or that I can get through my workout dvd's a bit easier each time. This is great! But it also means I have to keep challenging myself to always stay somewhat out of my comfort zone. Otherwise, my body will adapt and I will plateau.

For now - Monday to Friday is pretty easy. The weekends are where the obstacles come in. I'm not on a "clock" like I am during the week, so I have to plan more. If we're out - snacks have to come with me. I have to watch if we're visiting people and they are feeding me. I have to still log everything that I eat. I don't worry as much about my exercise on the weekend because we are usually out and about doing something.

This weekend, for example, we will be at my brother's cottage - he's decided to make it a "party" weekend and a bunch of people are coming over to eat, drink and be merry. There will be tons of food and snacks and booze. I have to be smart. It's easy to say that I will "give myself a break", but I am not going to, because this is my life now. It's not a diet - it's how I want to eat all the time. There are no breaks that need to be taken. I'm eating the foods I enjoy and there is nothing I can't have. As long as I am in control 90% of the time - I can loosen up a bit the other 10%. I will have a little bit of whatever I want. A LITTLE bit! I will swim and dance and burn some calories. I will have fun.

And on Monday, I will be back on my schedule again and it will all be good! (Until my hormones kick in again anyway). Arggggg.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lunchtime Happiness

For the past few days, since we've been having some hot and sunny weather, I decided to take advantage and kill two birds with one stone. Well, 4 birds actually. Have my lunch; get in some exercise; clear my head and soak up some vitamin D!

I found this amazing beach by the waterfront where I work - it's about a 15-20 minute walk (fast pace that is!) to get there. That gives me about 20 minutes to sit and enjoy the sites - and then I need to head back. I'm getting a good 40 minute power walk in that way, in addition to my daily workouts - so it's great!

But the best part is that it's so lovely there! I just feel really really good when I'm there. It's a little man-made "urban" beach, complete with sand, muskoka-style chairs and beach umbrellas. Across the water is the island airport, and you feel like you can practically touch the big planes as they come in for their landing. Funny thing is - you don't even hear them even though they're only about a kilometer across the water. It's so strange.

Anyway - this is my new "spot" and I love it. It is my happy place when I'm at work! Not a bad place to hang out, don't you think!?

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I don’t’ know what’s gotten into me the past few days but I have been so hungry! I’m wondering if I’m not eating enough, or if my metabolism is getting a bit quicker? Not sure – but I’m not eating any differently than I have been for the past couple of months, yet I’m feeling much hungrier (and no – I’m not “hormonal” as I write this)

The other culprit could be that I need to step away from my desk more during the day. Otherwise I’m just thinking about my hunger! So since it’s a beautiful sunny summer day, I put on my iPod and my running shoes and headed out for a walk during my lunch hour. I work very close to the waterfront, so I thought I would see what was going on down there.

It was jam packed! Lots of tourists taking the boat cruises, sitting on the patios, enjoying the boardwalk. People out rollerblading and jogging. There was a symphony orchestra playing at one of the outdoor musical stages, boats were sailing, and there’s a man-made beach with umbrellas and beach chairs where I sat for a few minutes before making my way back. It was amazing and I got such a “high” from it!

Amazing what a bit of fresh air, warm sun, glistening water and good music can do for your mind and soul. Earth’s natural medicine.

However………..I’m still hungry. ;)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Taste of the Danforth

This past weekend was a cultural event that Rich and I try to go to each summer, called “The Taste of the Danforth”. The “Danforth” is a street in a neighbouring town, that is littered with numerous Greek restaurants. If you want great greek food – this is the place to go (besides Greece of course)!

The street was closed off for many blocks and all of the restaurants would put out their booths with samples of their food at really low prices. You basically walk and eat, walk and eat, walk and eat some more! Everything from Spinach Pie, Cheese Pie, Pork or Chicken on a stick, Baklava, Honey Balls, Gyros, Shawarmas, Pitas, souvlaki, Corn on the cob, roasted yams, calamari, and the list goes on.

So – off we went, along with my brother and his wife, and we had a really amazing time! As you know, from my previous post, I am following a healthy lifestyle and being careful about the types and quantities of food I ingest. For the past couple of months I have been doing really well, so I knew that I had to be prepared going to this event, not to fall off track or to get too lax about things. But I also knew that I was going to have a few samples of things and enjoy myself.

I should also reiterate that I rarely eat meat anymore, but ‘every now and then’ I do have a piece of fish or chicken if I feel my protein sources are low or limited. So – as we were walking along, the first thing we got ourselves was a spinach pie (or spanikopita) – it was SO GOOD! I had a light breakfast and lunch that day, so I knew that I could eat and enjoy various foods, as long as I only had a little bit of each thing.

After the spanikopita, I think we had a veggie samosa – which again – was delish! Moving on, we came across a tasty little chicken-rosemary pastry of sorts, so we had to try it! YUM! Then came the “Greek Fries” (french fries drizzled with wine vinegar and topped with Feta cheese) – YUM YUM! (keep in mind the four of us shared a small order) Then came the pork on a stick, followed by some calamari, followed by some honey balls (basically deep fried dough balls drizzled with honey!) – double-triple-quadruple YUM YUM!!

The samples we bought were single servings (not whole dishes), and despite what it might sound like above, I did not feel like I ‘over did it’. I had a couple bites, then gave the rest to Rich or my brother. As the night was drawing to a close, we stopped to sit at one of the numerous patios to have a cold beer.

Getting home, I wasn’t feeling the greatest, but I figured I was probably just a bit bloated from the beer. I couldn’t sleep. I was hot and cold. I was tossing and turning. I felt dehydrated and irritable, and had a headache. And then the nausea came.

Was I getting the flu? Did I have food poisoning? What was all this about? When I couldn’t take it anymore, I ran to the bathroom and tossed my cookies! (sorry folks) but I was feeling so sick, and it dawned on me that my body was rejecting all the CRAP I had just put in it a few hours earlier. In spite of all of this, it was actually a good thing, because it showed me that my body wasn’t used to the change in food regime, and that it was used to be fed healthy, happy foods!
When I treated it badly, it treated me badly! It’s pretty ironic – I got sick because I am getting healthy! Who knew!?

Friday, August 07, 2009

By George - I think I've Got It!

hello....anyone? anyone? is anyone still following this? I don't blame you if you're not - it's been forever since I've written and if I were you, I'd have given up ahwile ago - but if you're still reading or checking in periodically - thank you!

So, speaking of giving up, that is a perfect seguay (don't think i spelled that right) to this new lovely wonderful place i find myself in! In my 'no more giving up' world. It's a calm place, where there is happiness, confidence, peace, fulfillment, energy, love, and truth; mixed in with a little of bit of science, physiology and common sense.

This time is different. This isn't even a "time". This is just it. It's my life and it's easy and it makes sense (even though you're probably scratching your head right now since this post is not making any sense to you)....but bear with me, and it will.

Those of you who know me (and have known me a long time), know that I have been affected by my weight for many years now. I like to think that I'm an attractive person, with a "good personality", who is funny, loving and cares greatly about her friends and family. Those are all pretty wonderful traits to have I think. But...there has been this one thing that I just could never seem to master/fix/figure out/resolve/do.....and that is lose weight and be a healthy size for my body.

Sure - I've lost weight in the past - but maybe 10 lbs here, 20 lbs here, 35 lbs once - but it always came back, and i'd find myself right back in that place i didn't want to be - feeling discouraged because i "failed" yet again - and not understanding why, since I was an honour student all through high-school and college (i.e - i am no dummy), I have a great job - amazing family (both immediate and extended) and the most perfect husband that i still pinch myself. I felt successful in so many aspects of my life, so why -- oh why -- couldn't I figure out this weight thing?

Growing up i was 'fit as a fiddle' as they say - 15 years of gymnastics, 4 x a week will do that to you. I had muscles and abs and was tight and lean and flexible and agile...I was in great shape! But when i stopped it completely (around high school) and didn't keep up with any exercise/sports regime - on came the weight - and....not eating as well as I should have didn't help matters.

It was a gradual thing - as it is for most people and i didn't really notice much until I could no longer shop in the "regular" stores. Nope - it was Penningtons, or Addition Elle or Lane Bryant or anywhere that had clothes over a size 14. I am proud to say I no longer need those stores, but I am still not where i want to be or where i know i will look and feel my best.

I don't want to be skinny. I want to be fit. But more than that, I want to FOLLOW THROUGH AND NOT GIVE UP. I want to reach my goal. I want to know what it feels like to be there - to be "that" person. I know what to do. I know how to do it. I have the tools and the resources and the support, and every single thing I need to reach my goal. I just need to keep that in the forefront of my brain at all times.
I think one of the things that held me back in the past was looking for either (a) a quick fix or (b) I was completely omitting something specific from my diet (i.e. carbs; chips; sweets, etc.) which eventually led to some type of binge; or (c) I figured I'd failed so many times before, why would 'this time' be any different - got discouraged and gave up.

I don't do that anymore. I trust myself in knowing I can follow this through. I trust that it's basic math - eat less calories than your body burns on a daily basis and move more to feel energized. I know how to figure this out now and have it be manageable so that I'm not starving every day.

I don't care if it takes a year or more - in fact - that would be great because it allows me to eat everything I want to eat and enjoy my life! I've never really thought of it like that before. I can eat between 1700 and 2000 cals per week (sometimes more depending on my activity level) and still lose weight. I think that's pretty friggin' awesome when you see these people on Bernstein Diet who are only allowed around 800 cals per day! I feel so awful for them - but ....that is the "quick fix" option - and I don't want a quick fix.

I love carbs, but I eat low-glycemic, whole grain "brown" ones (if they're the 'starchy' variety) and of course other carbs such as fruits and veggies. I love potato chips, but I eat a handful or two instead of a huge bag - and only once in awhile. However, if i really really wanted a whole bag of chips (small bag) i would still have it, but I'd workout a little more that day, or maybe eat a little less the next day. I am not a huge sugar-craver, but one square of the Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate bars is just enough to give me that chocolate fix. And - if i want 'real' chocolate - i can have it too- but not every day.

This works for me I'm realizing. Just since coming back from NYC and applying these principles, I've dropped almost 8 lbs - and it wasn't that long ago we got back. I'm working out 5 days a week too - Mon-Fri so that i can "take the weekends off" - and it's great!

So, when I say "by george i think i've got it" - I really do! I really feel like i have this sucker figured out and it feels SO good! I won't be "perfect" - I will have some slips - but I will not be 'satisfied" this time until I reach the certain goal I have picked out for myself. and i think i can "see" it this time, because of the way i'm approaching it. It's manageable, dare i say .... easy! (i'm sure that will come to bite me in the ass at some point) - but you get what i mean - right?

It's not even a number on the scale that I"m after, it's just something I've wanted for a long long long long long time and I truly believe that I will have it. I've always been adverse to the term "motivation" - I think motivation is something you gain as time progresses and you see the results you're looking for. I don't think it's there in the beginning. As time goes on, I think that "I" will become my own motivation. I already feel like I am, and so far, it's best feeling in the world!

Going forward, I think I will use this blog to post about this journey of mine. I will try to write about new things I've tried, or tips or tricks or what's worked and what hasn't - also, the progress I'm making, or any obstacles i've run into. They may be short posts, but I will try to do at least one per week. Also - I will try to take photos to show my progress and post them here (not making promises on that one just yet), but for now, below is a picture of me probably at my highest weight since I met Rich (this was at his cousin's wedding in Florida) and beside it is a picture pretty close to where I am now. The second one is not where I want to be, but I'm still proud of the accomplishment I've made so far. So stay tuned - and please 'don't give up'! :)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

I heart NY

We returned on Sunday night from our 5-day getaway to NYC and it was even more fabulous than the first time I was there! The weather was hot and sunny – a few rain showers here and there, but that’s what umbrellas are for!

We saw so much and did a tonne of walking! I think I calculated we probably did at least 20k of walking a day! We literally left the hotel by 9am and were out and on our feet exploring the city until at least 8pm each day. (I am so happy I have some spa gift certs to use – I’m in need of a foot massage and pedicure!)

Our hotel was great! Steps from Broadway (avenue) in between Central Park and Time Square - so the location was perfect! We walked into Soho and Grenwich Village and across the Brooklyn Bridge, and into Brooklyn Heights - we went to Coney Island (and I had a Nathan's hot dog! - gasp!! – bad vegetarian – I know!). I didn't realize how beautiful (and extensive) the beach was there! Miles and miles of sand and boardwalks and people swimming and playing and ferris wheels and rides and popcorn and candy and oh my! What an amazing place!

We spent one whole entire day in Central Park listening to musicians and reading our books and walking from one end of the park to the other (it spans over 50 blocks) also took in the Museum of Modern Art and did a long walk along the Hudson River near the Chelsea Piers, where the cruise ships port. Oh - and we were there for the 4th of July fireworks! What a sight to see! It was such a great trip!

Only a 50 minute flight for us – so quick I couldn’t even watch the end of my movie. Such a great getaway city, and the food – oh my – we had pizza at Lombardi’s – a well-known place and boy was it good – thin crust – fresh tomatoes – very very close to what we experienced in Italy! And of course we had our favourite Chipotle burritos when we were there too!

We shopped – although I didn’t buy as much as I’d thought I would – a pair of Uggs and some tops – but I just wanted to see and explore rather than shop and I really felt like I got a lot out of this trip!

Can’t wait to go back! I know it’s cliché – but….”I love New York!”

Thursday, June 04, 2009

My Bad

Okay – so I realize I rarely blog anymore – so many networks – so little time….but let’s see – I can update on a few things!

Phase one of the kitchen reno is done! The wall is down – the soffet is up and the cat doesn’t know what is going on. Phase two will begin in the next month or so (the good stuff – cabinets, counters, etc.) We purchased all of our appliances – they’re coming soon! So hopefully by the end of July the new kitchen will be complete!

My friend Shannon was married on May 2nd and I was one of her bridesmaids – it was a lovely day and the wedding went off without a hitch – except for the fact that my dear husband was so sick with the flu that he couldn’t attend. He did come for the ceremony – but he felt so awful that he had to go home immediately after. My parents were there too though, and we danced and drank and had a good time.

Speaking of weddings – our first anniversary is this weekend! What an amazing year it has been. Our wedding combined with a lot of traveling – it was the best! Looking back at all the places we got to visit this past year – I have to often pinch myself. The French Riviera, Florence and Tuscany, Venice, Rome, Cuba, Mexico, and Arizona too! All of that in one year! Thank god for generous wedding gifts and Aeroplan points!

To top of the year, we are headed to New York City in a few weeks to celebrate our amazing first year of marriage! Love you so much my beautiful husband! Here’s to us! xo

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Oh blog!

A good friend of mine said that she missed reading my blog, and thought "oh right! my blog!". As mentioned before, it's hard to keep up with all the new networking programs that are out there! But here I am!

My life lately has been full of big events. Some happy - some sad - some painful.

Let's start with the good stuff, shall we? I'm not sure if i posted about this already (and don't have time to look right now) but on March 11, my dear daddy turned 70 years old and we had a big party for him with just his family. It was a wonderful day - I sang him a song that I wrote for him - all of his family were here - and he looks great and nobody can believe he's 70 - he's a real looker if you ask me! and I'm sure everyone who knows my dad would agree! It was also my brother Rich's b-day this past friday - hope you had a great one bro- i tried to arrange a lunch for you - but you never got back to me - you mangey varmant! ;)

The other good stuff involves my dear friend Shannon, who got married this weekend! I was her bridesmaid (and she was one of mine), and it was a wonderful wedding full of happy times, lots of laughs, some tears (of joy) and i'm pretty sure it was the best day of her life! as it should be. She is now with her hubby (Toby) in Greece on their honeymoon, probably lying on a beach on an island eating feta cheese. that bitch. ha! i kid. i wish them all the happiness in the world.

My life in general is pretty wonderful and I never take one day for granted. Especially because another dear friend of mine just lost her father due to complications stemming from a surgery he went through. While recovering from surgery, he suffered a massive stroke; upon recovery from the stroke he caught pneumonia; the pneumonia led to heart failure. He was just too weak to fight. I went to the funeral on Monday and shed more tears (not of joy this time). Life is really crazy sometimes.

On top of all these things - about 3 weeks ago I strained all the muscles in my neck. I literally could not move my head for about 3 days, and was off work for a couple of days too. I now have movement back, but have been going to physiotherapy for treatments. My muscles and joints are really out of whack. I'm a lot more conscious of my posture now (never thought it was that bad) but I guess over the years things have built up and sitting at a computer for work doesn't help it much either. I will be undergoing an ergonomic assessment next week and I hope that gives me some relief. I'm sick of it hurting.

Let's throw in a sick husband over the past week - I seriously thought he had caught the H1N1 virus (aka swine flu). Too sick to even come to the wedding - was bed-ridden for 5 days - fever of 103 - and FINALLY (after my nagging maybe?) he went to a clinic but they told him it wasn't swine - just a really bad flu and they sent him home. I luckily (knock on wood) did not catch it from him and he is now on the mend and back to work.

Next week our sub-contractor comes to start on our kitchen reno - this is just phase one - but we've had to prepare for that by emptying all our cupboards and finding other spaces for things to go - not an easy task when I have a neck issue and Rich is still pretty weak. but we got thru it.

This weekend we are off to see our mothers to celebrate mother's day with them. looking forward to that and to spending time with my mommy!

That's all for now. I have lots of pictures posted on Facebook if you care to take a gander. Oh, and Sam - thanks for the reminder that I have a blog! feels good to write on here again. Later Peeps!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Getting Closer

Our kitchen reno is starting to feel like it's really going to happen now! It's getting very exciting (and a little scary) - who knew things can add up so quickly! Darn us for having expensive taste. But....we have the floor plan - we have our materials picked out - we have our wall coming down - we have our estimate - now....we just need the money. Ha. (hello line of credit!)

It probably won't get underway until sometime this summer, but our guy (Bob the Builder) promises we're next in line and we have full trust and faith in him that he'll do an amazing job. In fact - we're going to have him do a new bathroom downstairs for us too. But that will come later. And that will be my favourite soaker tub - glass stand up shower with bench seat - my own vanity - maybe even a sauna! (gasp!) can't wait.

For now though, we are focused on the kitchen. I've taken some "before" shots and once it's all finished you can bet I'll post them with the "after".

Saturday, April 04, 2009

so many walls - so little time

oh my - with facebook being such a huge network for info sharing - i find myself forgetting about my blog site. hence the huge gap in posting! life has been great - house renos are coming along - our new wall unit is built - the new tv has been purchased - the new king bed is absolutely lovely - and our kitchen reno is mapped out and we await the quote! we had two wonderful weeks away - one in Mazatlan, Mexico with the mudda - and one in Sun City, Arizona with the fadda. (my in-laws) amazing time - gorgeous weather - golf was the best i've ever seen and scrumptious food and great company - a fab time. next trip - NYC in July. can't wait! here's a couple of pics from the goings on in my world.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Mexico, Phoenix, and Me!

Just a quick note to say Adios
Heading to Mexico to eat Burritos
Walks on the beach – fun in the sun
A few margaritas before the day’s done

Then off to Phoenix before we come home
Some golf, some shopping, some desserts to roam
And hopefully we’ll come back to the Spring!!
Oh, wouldn’t’ that be a wonderful thing?

Catch ya on the Flip Side Peeps
(P.S. – Happy Birthday to Me). Whoo Hoo!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Family Day Weekend!

Gosh – it’s been awhile. This past weekend was a great one. My parents had been away in Florida for about 3 or 4 weeks, and I hadn’t seen them since Boxing Day actually – so Rich and I decided we would go spend the weekend with them at my brother’s cottage. Since Saturday was Valentine’s Day, we started our morning with breakfast out, on our way up to the cottage. It was a nice bright sunny day.

We arrived at the cottage and saw my parents and we relaxed and talked and got caught up on their trip. They were driving so basically started in Deston, Florida (up on the panhandle) and made their way all the way south to the Keys! Lots of great video footage and pictures along the way and they had a really good time. I miss them a lot when I don’t see them for awhile.

The afternoon was a lazy one of reading and playing guitar and indulging in the big hot-tub on the deck! My brother and his wife came by too, and we all went out for a Valentine’s Dinner together at a restaurant not too far from the cottage. The wait was long, but the laughs were abundant, and the bottle of free wine (for our wait) helped too! I had a really great time and haven’t laughed like that in awhile. My brother is so funny, and my dad had us in stitches at one point talking about monkeys flying around in their kitchen…(long story….)

On the Sunday, it was my mom’s birthday! So we had breakfast together, and then relaxed some more before Rich and I headed home. My parents joined us for lunch though, before we departed, and off we went back to our home. Monday was “Family Day” – a new stat holiday – and so we enjoyed our day off just lounging around the house – watching a few movies – and enjoying our time together.

It felt really good to be with my family. I wished that my other brother and his family could have joined us on the Saturday, but they weren’t able to. They ended up visiting my parents on the Monday instead. So – we really did make the most of our Family Day weekend!

OH – and on another note - Today is also a Very Special Day! It’s my beautiful husband’s birthday! Thank you Robin & Bernadette for bringing Rich into the world!! It might be his birthday – but he is the BEST gift you could have given to me! Love you honey….hope you have a terrific day!! (does this mean I have to pay for dinner tonight?) ;) xo

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Booty!

So now that it's a new year and i'm back from vacation and back to "normal" life ... i got back on track with my workouts and eating plan and am feeling much better! I always find it harder in the winter months to workout when I get home from work (or before work in the early morning) simply because of the darkness and my self-diagnosed S.A.D.

But I've been doing it and it's working...slowly but surely. I've lost about 15 lbs since my wedding and now my grand total (of what I know to be my highest weight) is 35 lbs! I am proud of myself but don't want to lose focus on my end goal just because things are starting to fit better now. I still have a ways to go.

One of my favourite workouts is my Turbo Jam DVD! Its a mix of cardio and kick-boxing and strengthening moves -- low impact but high intensity. I love it! But I also get bored easily so my friend gave me an extra workout dvd she had called Booty Camp Workout. Basically an army-like workout program focusing on muscle toning and strength -- think push ups, sit ups, lunges, dips, squats, etc. It's Great!

But OH My Booty!! it hurts! it's amazing how just switching up your routine every now and then recharges your body and gets to those underlying muscles you forgot you had! So now I use the turbo jam for cardio and the booty camp for muscle toning and it's a great combination.

I also just finished a two-day juice cleanse. 4 oz of juice (a special blend of juices and vitamins) mixed with 4 oz of H20 and you drink that 4 times a day. For 2 days. It was TOUGH!! It made me really realize what true hunger signals are. But I did it 100% without cheating and my body felt really good afterwards. It gave my body and liver a break for a couple of days. An added bonus was i also dropped 5 lbs in two days (probably mostly water -- but its stayed off so far). I wasn't doing for weight loss though - I was doing it to detox -- so now I am fresh and ready to start 2009 with a clean slate and a clean plate! (As soon as my booty stops

Friday, January 09, 2009

Ahhh..what a great week!

Cuba was wonderful! The hotel was great - beautiful beach - ocean view room with balcony - nothing but sun sun sun for 7 straight days. Granted - the food was a tad bland - but they try and it's Cuba and it's all inclusive and we made out just fine!

The hotel had lots to do - besides the gorgeous stretch of white sand beach - over 26 kms stretching from our hotel to the northeast....there was also a great pool, hobie cats, kayaks, pedal boats, basketball courts, soccer field, ping pong and pool tables.

There were at least 5 different bars throughout the hotel - a buffet restaurant - 2 a la cartes - a beach grill and another grill closer to the pool - 24 hour food and drinks. we did a lot of early morning walks along the beach and it was so peaceful.

While we love cuba and had a great vacation - we want to explore some other islands. this was my 6th trip to cuba and rich's 2nd. Next island getaway will hopefully be Barbados. May have to wait for 2010 for that one though!