Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Preparing for 2010

I don't usually do this.  Normally the end of one year and beginning of the next is just another day.  Except for last year. 2008 was such a miserable year that I was estatic when the end of the year came.  I had a great 2009 (thankfully) and I'm looking forward to an even better 2010.

So in an effort to "clean house" as it were and get things in order, I have been cleaning out our dressing room.  We call it a dressing room 'cauz it's 10'x11'.  Yes, that's the size of a lot of bedrooms.  Our house isn't that big ... but our bedroom is in the basement and we started with a 22' long bedroom and just basically cut it in half ... the rest of the room has a bed, 2 side tables and a vanity; 'cauz really, how much more room do you really need in a bedroom when you don't have kids and need an escape. (just a totally off-topic note ... I have one very yappy, sucky cat who's trying to get some attention and driving me batty in the meantime).  Anyway, I digress. 

I've finally disciplined myself enough, through watching my favourite shows, to purge, purge, purge the clothes.  If it doesn't fit well and flatter my figure and/or I don't totally love it ... out it goes ... normally donated ... occasionally in the garbage.  It's really quite liberating.  And it also forces me to make sure I stay on the straight and narrow and continue my weight loss 'cauz I don't have any fat clothes left.  I even donated my "fat" pants ... you know, the ones you keep to remind yourself of where you were and don't ever want to return to ....

So I'm not working tomorrow but unfortunately Barry has to go in for a few hours.  My chance to do some stuff I meant to do before I got sick.  So it's time to do laundry (normal stuff), clean out the fridge (find some interesting science projects I'll bet), make a fruit salad, clean up my office and take care of some paperwork and budgeting items (scary stuff).

Gotta take the tree down ... it's been up abaout 7 weeks now ... I want my house back ... just in time to be decorated for the tiki party ... can't wait! 

Then there's the prep to get back on track with my workouts.  Being sick sucked the life and energy out of me.  I'm almost there.  I haven't done too badly with eating although I might just blow that out of the water this weekend ... but I'll have to keep it under control.  But it's time to plan some workouts and organize meal plans and my diary pages.  I'm going to do some circuit training for several weeks ... just have to remind myself what I used to do.  Less than 3 months to gardening weather (yes, I start VERY early ... I have to ... LOTS of gardens) which means tanning and shorts weather is closing in.  And THAT means I need to get my rear in gear.  But I do have to ease into it a little since I've been off for 2 weeks and don't want to get sick again ... can't afford to ... my manager will have my hide!

OOO! did I mention I came across some skirts I haven't been able to wear in probably 3 years .. AND THEY FIT!!!!!!  YAY!!!!

So lots of stuff to do to prep for the new year.  Barry and I just spend quite NYE's ... too much craziness in going out  and way too expensive.

So I hope everyone has a wonderful new year's eve, however you like to spend it, and I wish everyone an AMAZING 2010.


These are forget-me-nots from my garden ... thought they were rather fitting.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking forward to an amazing 2010

So rather than making new year's resolutions, which are inevitably broken anyway, I have goals for 2010.  2008 was a horrendous year, 2009 has been a really good year, and it just keeps picking up steam.  I am determined and convinced that 2010 is going to be a phenomenal year!

What do I want to accomplish?
  • continue to lose fat, build muscle and increase fitness
  • refine my personal style
  • become more disciplined about staying away from the tv and spend more time upstairs
  • make love more often (life keeps getting in the way)
  • get an amazing tan
  • refine my gardens
  • deal with my mom's death
  • continue to inspire and uplift people
  • treat myself to mani-pedis
  • get/keep control of the paper in this house ... discipline is needed (notice a trend?)
  • finish the renovations!  that kinda involved hubby
  • become better at my job and get the recognition I deserve - advance to intermediate level
  • stay healthy!
I could go on ... but I think this is manageable.

I have a kitty that needs some attention ... he misses his mommy.

So my question to you - what do you want to accomplish in 2010 ... you know, the things you will actually make an effort to do ... not just a wish list.  We don't accomplish nearly as much when we don't plan as when we do.

Have a great evening all!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's about confidence


I was watching an old episode of Tim Gunn's Guide to Style.  Tim had the woman meet with a Life Stylist  (Jared) who came out with a line I absolutely fell in love with.  "I cannot control how I am perceived, I can only control how I am presented."  I LOVE IT!  He went on to put the woman in front of two mirrors (fun house type).  In the first one she was very short and squat, in the second exaggerated tall and skinny.  Jared then went on to say that since we cannot control how others perceive us, we have to choose a mirror in life.  So we can either choose to present ourselves in a negative light and people will definitely pick up on that, or we can choose to present ourselves as confident, self-assured and owning our look and people will be attracted to that.

Self confidence comes from within.  No one else can give it to you or take it away from you.  We all have to look deep inside and figure out who we are and  what we want in life.   We need to decide what kind of image we want to present to the world.  And I don't just mean clothes, makeup, accessories.  I mean the whole package.  Outer as well as inner image.  You know the woman ... the one who, when she walks into the room, people's heads turn.  And it's as much about her self confidence as it is about what she's wearing.

So here's to confident women who know what they want and go for it.   2010 is a new year.  Let's approach it with confidence and the soundtrack of our lives running through our heads.  To girl power!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

InStyle's "Secrets of Style" - A Review

While I've always been a bit of a magazine addict, I don't actually buy a lot of books.  But my exposure to Tim Gunn's Guide to Style and the fact that they send their guests to InStyle for a consult and the InStyle magazine encouraged me to ask Santa for the book.  And of course Santa was good to me.

So, what did I think of the book.  It was freaking awesome!  The book is extremely well laid out, talks about the basics at first (fabric, fit, proportion), then discussed different items of clothing (skirts, dresses, suits, etc.), what to look for, how to wear and a guide to challenging body parts (big chest, tummy, small chest, etc.) and what to avoid and what to look for.  There's also a section on shoes (my fav), accessories, handbags and then a section on caring for specialty clothes (leather, cashmere, shoes, etc.).  This book discusses style as opposed to fashion or trends.

I highly recommend this book for pretty much everyone but especially for those of us who are just discovering, or re-discovering, our inner fashionista.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Here's to a very stylish 2010.


I truly hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you have an awesome 2010.

I was really looking forward to going north to my sister's place; celebrate Christmas with her, her daughter and twin grandsons (they're almost 4), her son and his wife.  Instead, I got sick so we stayed home.  Again. 

My Mom died August 2008 so last Christmas I basically ignored it.  I found it horribly upsetting to look out my window and see houses with lots of cars around them, families who were together and enjoying the day.  My brother was in Brazil, my sister at her home up north, Barry's family all over the place.  We were invited to by my mother-in-law's and my sister's places for Christmas but I just couldn't deal with it.    Christmas was Mom's favourite time of the year ... her birthday was on the 30th.

At least this year when I looked out and saw similar scenario, I had happy thoughts.  I was disappointed, but as long as I'm with Barry, I'm ok.  Next Christmas it's Barry's family at our place.  My brother is always in Brazil for Christmas and going up north is unpredictable.  At least I do get to see my brother mid-Feb with his daughter and her family.  So my sis and I are going to make Thanksgiving our Christmas in future years.  Woo hoo!

Anyway, Barry got me InStyle's "Secrets of Style" book and I read it all yesterday.  It is a fabulous book, easy to follow, a great reference book.  We're off to Chapters to get another fashion  book; this one by Clinton of What Not to Wear.  It looks really interesting.  And I've GOT to order Tim Gunn's style book.  Can't find a hard copy anywhere so I gotta order it.  And he got me a foot warmer.  Well, actually it cnn be used anywhere but you heat it up in the microwave, stick it in its sleeve and it's even got it

Now all I have to do is get back to working out.  My last workout was Monday morning.  I actually got a good night sleep last night so hopefully I'll get another and be able to get back to my workouts tomorrow.

Needless to say my fashion sense has consisted of t-shirts and yoga pants the past several days.  Although the couple of times I have left the house, I made sure I was wearing jeans, top lipstick and kept my hat and coat on.  I just can't seem to leave the house looking schleppy.  Which I'm very happy about.

So how was your Christmas?  I hope it was wonderful.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Style in one's 40's

The last time I was seriously involved in fashion, I was in my mid-20's.  Things have changed since then.  Not only has fashion changed, I've aged 20 years.  And what I could do then, I can't do now.  Not just because my body has changed, but it's no longer appropriate.

There's a balance between being stylish at 44 and trying to look 24.  I was watching Style by Jury today.  The woman was 51.  That's only 7 years older than me now.  But OMG she looked 20 years older than I do.  I've been blessed with great genes and a fabulous hair stylist.  She had just that issue.  She was trying to look youthful; instead she looked cheap and old and someone who was trying to be something she wasn't.  I don't EVER want to look like that.

I've been sick the past couple of days (which is why I ended up watching SBJ), and when I was getting ready to go the doctor's, I was tempted to just stay in my sweats but I couldn't do it.  I even put foundation and lipstick on.   I think I've learned my lessons well ... between Tim Gunn's Guide to Style and What Not to Wear, I don't think I stand a chance!

I've gotten some great feedback from you ladies so I guess I'm doing ok.  Fortunately Barry's taken more of an interest in fashion so we kinda check each other before leaving the house.  And he's good about saying yeah or nay.  And even if he doesn't come right out and say it, I can tell ... it's the "yeah, it's ok" with "that" look.  So I change my outfit.  One thing that seems to help a LOT is getting everything organized the night before (or a couple of hours if it's in the evening).  I put clothes, jewellery, lingerie and figure out what footwear I'm going to wear.  Of course most of my shoes are at work, 'cause that's where I dress up the most.  I've purged my closet A LOT so everything fits, everything works together.  So it makes it a lot easier to get dressed.  Mostly it's black or grey skirts, black, grey or brown pants and lots of colourful printed tops.

last summer's BBQ at the in-laws

my famous leopard pants

I'm not too sure about this one ... but it was kinda fun

I think this was on a fairly recent post but thought I'd include it.

me and my girl Patricia

me, Jen and Dave (they're getting married in May ... YAY!)

on the GO (train that is)

couldn't help myself with this one ... I'm so bad!

So I thought I'd actually start to get my photographer (aka Barry) to start taking photos when I'm actually dressed ... keep me on the straight and narrow I guess.

Have a fabulous (and stylish) Christmas!

I am truly blessed.

As I'm sitting here, rather sick, I looked back on some of my more recent posts, and the comments that they generated.  And I realized just how blessed I truly am. 

My actual family seems to get smaller all the time.  I'm the youngest in my generation of my family.  Everyone from my parents generation is gone except for a couple of aunts.  And there aren't that many in my generation to begin with.

But I've realized that I seem to have acquired a blogging family who really makes my day.  I love my life ... it's not perfect that I love it.  There really isn't much I'd change other than finances, but otherwise ... I've got a great life.  But to have acquired this new "family", many of whom follow the same blogs, is just so great.   It makes my day to read everyone's posts and your comments.  From our friends outside of the blogging world to our newest friends that we have acquired.  From those who have been with me from the beginning to the ocassional commenter.  Your support is always appreciated.

This journey that I've been on has not been easy.  It took me quite a while to realize that I was worth  it.  And your support helped.  When I've doubted whether I've made much progress or not, you encouraged me and it kept me on the right track.  I realized that by doing this blog and including pictures from time to time, I'm actually making myself very accountable.  How can I stop now?  How could I possibly give up when I know that some of you look to me as proof that it can be done.  If I fail myself, I let you down.  And that's simply not acceptable.

So thank you all ... for your input and encouragement and making me accountable.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Better late than never ....

So the party was 2 weeks ago and I'm only now slowing down long enough to have actually saved my pics from our camera to my laptop.  There's more than just the party, so here goes nothing...

Me and my future sister-in-law, Bobbi at the par-tay

A fabulous neighbour and life of the party, Kevin

Sandy and Kandi ... how cute is THAT!

The host and hostess with the mostess

Those shoes ... OMG ... they're my fav!

me of course

something was said about me being a horny little devil ....

Bobbi and I showin' off the footwear ... and our legs of course

guess who

the happy couple was over for an early Christmas

The girls ... my niece, her daugher and step-daughter

My brudder ... can you believe he's going to be 60 in a few days??

Oddly enoughly, a favourite picture ... I just like it.

The girls ... Sandy, Cara and Bobbi

and our corresponding men, Barry, Tony, Steve

the engaged couple ... aren't they way too cute????

These last pics were added after originally posting.  Thanks for the copies Tony!

So there you have it for now.  I can't remember what pictures I've posted and what I haven't.  One of these days I'll get around to doing a photo album and posting it.  Maybe over the holidays ... I'll have a few days to chill.

Good luck everyone getting ready for the "big day".  I can't believe it's only 5 days away!  YIKES!

Overwhelmed by emotion

I was working out this morning ... cardio and abs day.  After my cardio, I looked in the mirror in the gym and realized just how far I've come since last March.  I know I have a long way to go but to look, and really see, the progress that I've made ... I found it rather overwhelming. 

Because I've never stuck with anything (other than my marriage) for that long.  I've tried and failed so many times ... I let others influence me.  I've let others' lack of support and encouragement deter me from  reaching my goals.  It's been tough.  The first 5 months, I didn't feel  like I was making much progress.  But I kept bouncing around, trying to find something that would stick, that would erase these pounds.

Once I stuck with one program, rather than trying to merge a couple of them and changing every few weeks, I gave it a chance to work.  And yes, it was the Body for Life program.  I was beginning to lose faith;  in myself, in the program; in my ability to EVER get rid of this fat.

But I did stick with it.  And now I'm seeing the results.  I got into a shirt yesterday (a former co-worker called it geometrically disturbing) that looked ok.  A little better than ok actually but I'm still not ready to wear it.   As long as I'm standing it's ok but I knew I'd be sitting and that just shows off all the rolls and I really didn't want to promote that any more than necessary.

I haven't taken my measurements in such a long time.  But my friends at work are really noticing and commenting.  And that just encourages me more to stick with it ... I've come so far, to quit now would be stupid.

Bill Phillips talks a lot about honouring self-promises.  And how by not honouring them, you break down your self-trust.  And start to doubt yourself.  You lose faith in yourself.  But it's amazing how your life changes when you make up your mind to accomplish something and stick with it.

So if there's something you want to do, make a plan, stick with it, and if you need any encouragement, without any recriminations, I'm here for you.  Because I know what it's like...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Who I aspire to be

We had a lovely day today.  Spent some quality time together this morning and took a long time to get moving.

Then my brother, his daughter and her family came to visit and have "Christmas".  Her children are 2 1/2 (boy) and almost 5 (girl) and her stepchildren are 11 (boy and girl twins).  Our house is normally very quiet, except for music.  It was a little louder today.  But it was great.  The kids are very well behaved and I hadn't realized that it had been 2 years since we last saw them.

Which brings me to the subject of my post.  The person I aspire to be is someone who remembers birthdays and makes sure that I call or write.  Someone who remembers conversations with people ... remembers things that are important to others.

It's so easy to get all wrapped up in our own lives, to expect that others will remember what's important to us and yet we don't give them the same courtesy.  I've made it a mission of mine to always treat others the way I want to be treated.  That's important to me.   And people seem to appreciate it.

While I am far from perfect, it does not stop me from aspiring to be the very best that I can be.  And to me, that means putting others ahead of me sometimes.  It always impresses me when someone remembers something I said.  I don't want to be so wrapped up in myself and my life that I forget that others appreciate being heard and remembered.

Who do you aspire to be?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My day

Today was interesting.  I didn't get enough sleep last night.  But I got up, worked outed out, got my gorgeous, went to work.  Today was my lunch with a very good, very special friend of mine.  We've known each other for almost 21 years. 

So today of all days, I was assigned two fairly simple, but very time sensitive documents.  So this morning flew by and I got the documents submitted 5 minutes before I had to leave for lunch.

I used to work with this friend and he has been the biggest male influence in my life after my dad and my husband.  We haven't worked together for a number of years but that's ok.  He's now strictly a very good friend.  We've seen each other through a lot ... his divorce, my marriage, my weight gain, various jobs for both of us.  We don't see each often very often but as long as I have him in my life, I'm happy.

Connections with people are interesting.  You never know who you are going to meet, or where you are going to meet them or what kind of a connection you're going to have.  I've lost touch with a couple of girlfriends who have gone on to have families.  We are child-free and loving it and somehow a lot of our friends seem to be in their 20's and mostly 30's.  People who, like us, choose not to have kids.  It's a personal choice.  And we just seem to collect friends from variuos places which is so cool.  It makes parties very interesting.

Speaking of parties, I simply have to post some pictures from our Dec. 5th Christmas party.  I just have to catch up to my life.  I promise I'll do it this weekend.

Keep on smiling and don't forget to let people in ... you never know where it'll lead.  Good night.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

You are my inspiration

When I started this blog earlier this year, I had no idea it would become what it has.  It was originally intended to be a sort of account and accountability for my journey from fat and unfit and unhealthy to fit, fab and healthy.  I never really considered that I would inspire other people.  I just needed something to keep me on track and nothing in the past has worked.  And while this whole journey into blogdom has started out slowly, it seems to be picking up momentum recently.  Probably because I've been devoting more of my time to it.

Diane, I love what you said in your comment ... that it's important to realize that what we have to say matters, even if no one hears it.  Sometimes I write for someone ... someone who needs the encouragement and who deserves the very best that life has to offer them, but who is perhaps in a rather difficult place.  Sometimes I write for myself.  I need to get something off my chest.

So I hope you all know that you are my inspiration for keeping up this blog.  I try to make sure that I write every day.  Maybe just a short, silly post; sometimes one of my long rambling thoughts are coming too fast and furious for me posts.  I appreciate your encouragement and your willingness to be a part of my life.

Other than Barry, my major passion is gardening.  But when you live in Southern Ontario, months go by with absolutely nothing to do 'cause it's kind frozen tundra out there.  Today is definitely one of those days.  I used to build scale models with Barry.  But I burned myself out.  Fall and Winter have always been tough times for me.  I suffer from SAD and usually dip into depression during the Winter.  So I"ve been looking for a replacement passion.  I believe I've found it.  It's a great interest that Barry and I can share but we're still separate.  We share some followers; we follow some of the same blogs.  So it gives us stuff to talk about.  Marriage takes work and sometimes you get into ruts.  So you gotta do something that gets you out of them.  Hence the blogging.

So I hope I can continue to inspire, continue to perhaps entertain and continue to share some of my life with you.  And please, continue to share yours with me.  I love to hear how you think, how you feel, how things affect you.

Here's to a fabulous life ...


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Love of Style

I may have mentioned this in the past.  But I still find it interesting that in some ways I seem to be reverting back to the "me" of my early-mid 20's. That "me", but much improved.  Of course I'm older, wiser (I hope) and have a better sense of who I am.

When I met Barry 17 years ago, I thought I was fat.  I didn't know what fat was back then.  I dressed well, didn't have a shoe fetish any more (I sure did when I was in my early 20's) but still liked to be put together.  I have no idea what happened, but the weight kept piling on, my back got worse and worse and a bad back and high heels don't exactly go together.  Since I couldn't wear high heels and my back hurt and the weight was piling on, I stopped dressing really well.  It's hard to put a great outfit together for not a lot of money when you're "plus" size.  To think I put on almost 80 pounds in the past 20 years shocks me.  And most of that probably went on from ages 35-42.  I kept trying to get it off and the more I tried the more I failed.  Why it's stuck this time, I'm not sure.

I do want to note however, and this is for those who perhaps have gained some weight and really want to get rid of it, that no amount of others telling you that you're gaining, or ridiculing you, or whatever, will help you rid yourself of unwanted fat.  YOU have to make up your own mind.  YOU have to tell everyone else to go to hell and that they are hurting you, not helping you.  By having others "encouraging you" and by that I mean harrassing you, it only adds to the stress.  Which in turn can put more weight on.  Some people lose weight when stressed ... if you're anything like me, I stress eat.  It's been a LONG, LONG time coming, but I think I've finally got THAT one under control.  And if you stress eat and are under stress a lot ... you do the math. 

So I would just encourage you that if you have weight to rid yourself of, try not to stress.  Eat a moderate
amount of food, small portions numerous times daily, exercise daily, even if it's walking, and take time for yourself each day.  Whether it's blogging or meditation or yoga or combining your alone time with walking, do something that is for YOU and nobody else.

Today was a tough day.  I've had 2 nights of very little sleep.  I couldn't get to sleep, then I couldn't stay asleep.  So to say I'm exhausted is putting it mildly.  I'm off to bed shortly.  I'm trying not to do this too late but of course it's 9:20 p.m. and I'm just getting my post done.

I digress ... yet again.  I came across a great blog today "Style Artisan" who I'm now following.  She's actually in my age bracket, classy, classy looking woman whose sense of style is fabulous.  Youthful without looking like she's trying to look 20 again.  'Cauz let's face it.  When you're over 40, no matter how youthful and fit you are, trying to look 20 again ... just isn't attractive.  I believe in dressing youthfully, stylishly, but appropriate for one's age.  I've seen 60 year old women who are knockouts.  Their sense of style is amazing, they are obviously mature, but they obviously take care of themselves.  That's what I want to look like I when I grow up.  LOL

I also came across a fabulous quote "Fashions Fade, Style is Eternal".  I love it, I love it, I love it.  I've never been one to follow trends or fads.  Maybe the odd piece but in general, I believe in finding your style, keeping it updated, but staying true to who you are and your lifestyle.  Not everything works for everyone.

I am so happy to see that style is about making the most of who you are, not just following along with the masses.  Jennifer, you always seem to put together some great outfits; stuff I would never think to put together ... but that's YOUR sense of style.  And it works for you. 

Barry and I were talking about Christmas presents.  I suggested In Style's "Guide to Style".  In the process, I came across a book by Tim Gunn (I LOVE HIS SHOW!), one by Clinton Stacey (looks fab) and even one by Carmondy (who always looks sensational).  How to choose???  I guess I'll just have to start collecting.

Did I mention my latest addiction ... jewellery.  OMG!  Now I must admit, I only wear one designer's jewellery.  She just happens to be my sister (and her daughter so I guess it's actually two designers).  I have such a hard time controlling myself.  There's just so much great stuff!

Anyway, I'm falling asleep so I'm going to make hay while the sun shines so to speak.  Rock on ladies!  And don't forget to stay true to yourself.  And everyone else can just take a flying leap at themselves if they don't like it.

Yours always, in style and in fitness,

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ready for Christmas!

So I was started to stress about the fact that Christmas Eve is only 10 days away and I was so not ready.  We had 8 children to buy for, plus each other.

2 stores and about an hour later, everything is purchased except for our gifts to each other.  My brother's daughter and her 2 children and 2 step-children and my brother are coming for a gift exchange on Saturday.  Should be fun.  I don't think we've seen them in a year.  They don't really live that far away. 

Christmas Eve we're supposed to be leaving for my sister's near Owen Sound.  I think they've got about 3 feet of snow already.  So weather permitting we'll have a white Christmas ('cause I think it's gonna be green here) and we'll actually have my sister's daughter's twin almost  4 year old boys.  This should be a hoot.  Plus a Goldendoodle and 3 cats (I think).  Lots of Reactine, that's all I can say. LOL

Anyway, it's past my bedtime.

How are your Christmas plans going?  Can you believe it's next week!!!????

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pieces of me ...

As inspired by my hubby ...

Owen Sound
ice storm - skating on the lawn
losing my virginity
high school
met Vince
modelling school
theatre arts
The Gong Show
fight with Dad - called the police
Owen Sound
school musical
farm house
Max and the Jehovah's Witnesses
missed my prom
fought alcoholism
high school graduation
first job
my first place - downtown T.O.
Rock 'n Roll Heaven with Vera
too many guys
Barry - my life changed forever
our first apartment
proposed to Barry
said goodbye to Vince forever
wedding - what an awesome day
moved back to Ajax with parents
dad sick .. nursed him until the end
got addicted to gardening ... dad would be proud
mom got sick ... she went to a nursing home
bought the house ... renos for 15 months
open house party to celebrate
hysterectomy - finally pain free
broke my ankle ... 9 weeks in 3 casts
built our deck ... awesome tan
mom died ... i was relieved
ignored Christmas 08
finallly started to lose weight ... getting fit
sense of calm ... happy with my life ... finally
trying to make life better for others

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Taking a Break

I've taken a rather unexpected break from the blogging community.  For the most part I've been keeping up with everyone else's blogs...just ignoring my own.

I feel like I've been going full tilt (like so many people are right now) for too long without taking a break.  I ended up taking a break Thursday 'cause I was sick.  I'm still tired.  I know I'm near the finish line but OMG I don't want to do this next year.  My sister always tried to encourage me to have balance in my life.  I don't seem to really be too familiar with that word.

As I was writing, My Immortal by Evanescence    was playing.  Awesome song.  Awesome singer ... hellavu voice.  Made me a little sad tho.

Anyway, I digress.  I've also been struggling with keeping my focus on my fitness.  I've neglected my journal updates.  I actually blew off Friday's workout ... just too tired.  but tonight I'm going to re-focus and get my plan for tomorrow on paper (laptop actually).  Too many lunches out, too many hurried dinners.  The end of this 12 weeks is January 8th.  I know I've made a lot of progress.  I used to be an 18-20 at Addition-Elle ... my last purchase there was a 14.  So I know, I know, I know I've made progress.  Just slipping into some bad habits that have to stop.  Historically Christmas was always the time of year I said "to hell with it, it's Christmas" but I just can't do that this year.  I've fought too hard for too long to let things go all to hell now.  I've got a very long way to go to achieve my ultimate goal, I figure by the end of summer 2010, I should be in the shape I want to be in.  Healthy, fit, tanned, happy.  I'm always happier in the summer ... most of us probably are.

I've been so bloody emotional lately.  PMSing I guess.  Even though I don't actually get a period, I still get some of the symptoms ... thankfully they're not too bad.  Or maybe it's just perimenopause since I'm actually the right age for that.  But I know that whatever the problem is, my eating has a lot to do with it to I just have to get that under control.  And spend more time with a certain someone doing something other than watching that freeking idiot box.  I've been spending way too much time downstairs in front of it instead of doing other things.  We've gotta get back to eating at the dining room table so we actually talk.  And it's better for digestion and getting dishes done right after dinner instead of sitting there overnight.  Man I hate doing that. 

But it's so easy to get into bad habits ... a lot tougher to break them and replace them with good habits.  I need a good workout ... it'll make me feel better.

I promise to be better tomorrow.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Toxic People

This post has been inspired by a couple of very special people.  People who deserve much better in life ... in their relationships.

We've all encountered toxic people.  They're the people that tear you down, make you feel like crap about yourself.  People who, in reality, have no place in your life.  Even if they're your parents.

I loved my mom very much.  Unfortunately we had a somewhat rough relationship.  Most of the time we were ok.  But man, when it came to my weight ... she was difficult to say the least.  She harrassed me for years about my weight ... but I just kept getting fatter.  Until she died.  And now I'm in the best shape I've been in for a very long time.  There were other issues, but I think that was the worst.  There's nothing quite like having the person who gave birth to you, who's supposed to love you unconditionally, tell you you're fat and you need to lose weight.  Of course it was under the guise of my health.  Yeah, right.

Then there's my girlfriend J.  She and I have been friends for almost 4 years now.  She's changed a lot.  Matured a lot.  She had a friend who drove her crazy.  None of her other friends liked this woman.  She was so demanding.  Stalkerish.  She stressed J out.  J has been a much happier person since she fianlly told this woman to leave.  I'm so proud of her.

Then there's the issue of men and women.  I had a man in my life for about 14 or 15 years.  I met him when I was 14.  He was almost 20.  I know, by today's standards it's creepy.  30 years ago (OMG am I REALLY that OLD!), not so much.  Mom had a bird, Dad was cool.  But that's a whole other story.  Vince and I just kept each other around like a really comfortable pair of slippers.  That give you splinters!  Last time I heard from him was about 13 years ago ... when I told him I was getting married.  Far as I know he's still alive and living somewhere in the States.  My life is much better without him.  We really weren't good for each other.

We have a couple of friends who were involved in almost 10 year relationships with controlling women.  Thankfully they both saw the light, left their respective shrews and are in fabulous relationships with amazing women.  I love them both so much!

So whether they are "friends", other halves or family members ... anyone can be toxic.  Sometimes we can get rid of the offender like our friends did ... other times you can't.  They're a sibling or a parent.  The best you can do is try to ignore them.  They are, after all, only human.  And people only have as much power over us as we let them.  So if a parent is being cruel, either tell them to go to hell, or just walk away.  You don't have to listen to them if they're upsetting you that much.  They don't have the right to belittle you.  If you're an adult especially, they need to learn to treat you with respect.  That they can't treat you like garbage and be cruel and belittling.  And sometimes we have to push back and say "enough".

So here's to ridding ourselves of the toxic people ... or at least learning to deal with them if we can't get rid of them.  Life is too short, too precious ... we ALL deserve to be happy and loved and respected.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Getting ready for a party ....

Just wanted to touch base ... I hope everyone has a great Saturday night.  I'm just putting the finishing touches on everything for our party tonight and listening to Queensryche on YouTube. One of my favourite bands!  The party should be fun...they always are.  We never really know who's going to show or how late it's gonna go.  There are regulars who come to just about every party ... others come once in a while.  A number of the regulars can't make it tonight ... that's the joys of December parties LOL.

Pictures will follow tomorrow.  Got a pretty bloody hot pair of gladiator sandals on tonight ... all in black ... I'm back to being mostly lighter blonde YAY!

Melanie - let us know how the party went!

Until tomorrow :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Strength vs. Bulk

I am a HUGE supporter of strong (physically as well as emotionally) women.  I've been weight training on and off (obviously more off than on, other than recently) for over 20 years.  I love seeing how much heavier I can lift.  More than that, I love being strong.  I can open doors with my arm only ... don't have to get my whole body into it.  And yes, I do tend to be on the bulkier side naturally.  So when I train, and train hard, I tend to look it.

So many women are afraid to train with weights ... I mean train, not use 5 or 10 pounds.  Obviously you have to start light, but then you need to increase the weights you're using in order to build strength and muscle tone.  I know, the standard the response I get from so many women ... "I don't want to get bulky".  Well trust me, you don't have the testosterone levels needed to get bulky.  If you have a body type like mine, you'll get bulkier than someone who has the structure of a model (you know, long, lean limbs).

My favourite example is a local firefighter.  The woman is only about 5'4" maybe, ripped like you wouldn't believe, but not at all bulky.  And strong!  OMG ... she made me look like a wimp.  And I'm not.  But compared to her ... mind you her profession has something to do with it too.

Ultimately you have a lot of control over how big you get ... which the vast majority of women won't if they're just following a healthy nutrition plan, and weight training for health.

But think of the benefits of being strong.  You're more self sufficient.  You can open a door by yourself.  My height probably helps a little (5'7") but only a little.  So I encourage you to pick up a set dumbells (I highly recommend PowerBlocks (pictured above) if you can get ahold of them).

Here's to girl power!

Happy Friday ... enjoy.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Persistence pays off.

So I know I've kinda harped on this a bit over the last several months.  But persistence really does pay off.  Since this is predominantly a fitness blog (sorta), I gotta share something with ya.

As you know, I've been working my butt off (or actually on since I didn't have much of one before (at least no shape to it)) .I had bought a dress a while back that fit ok but needed to lose some significant inches.

I tried the dress on tonight.  It's looking pretty good.  Not quite there yet but soon.  My goal is to wear it to the Zappacosta concert we're going to on Feb. 13th. and look pretty damned hot in it.  I can't wait!

I have tried for years to get my weight under control.  It never really stuck.  I'd work out for a few weeks, then get sidetracked.  This went on for years.

This time it's sticking.  It took far too long to start seeing results, but now the results are consistent.  People at work are noticing and encouraging.  It helps a lot.  And I'm feeling so good about myself, my life, everything.
Too bad my mom hasn't seen this.  And my dad for that matter.  They would be proud.

So if there's something that you really, really want in life ... go for it.  And don't ever give up.  It'll happen eventually.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The importance of girlfriends ....

Growing up, I never really had many female friends.  When I was really young I did but when I got into grade 7, I changed my focus and I was WAY more physically mature than the other girls.  Which of course made me me visible to boys.  And there wasn't the drama with guys.  I learned to enjoy sports and cars but still retained my femininity.  And so it continued during my 20's and partway into my 30's.

Of late, I've actually made friendships with more and more women.  I've learned that women in their 30's and 40's and beyond are less inhibited, more spirited and lively and generally can be a blast to be around.  Of course I also have friends in their 20's.  I think I'm one of the oldest in my group of girlfriends.  Some of them I haven't seen in far too many years, and yet we could probably pick up where we left off.  But times change.  People get married, have children, and with life being so busy, those of us at different stages in our lives tend to hang with people in a similar stage.  While we love our friends who have children, we rarely get to see them.  Of course we've been so busy with renovations, surgery, injuries, deck building, etc., that we don't always make time for them either.  One of my New Year's Resolutions ... keep in touch with our friends and family more often.

Oddly enough, my male friends have decreased signficantly.  A sign of our time in life.  Although I must admit, they do seem to be paying a lot more attention lately.  LOL

Completely off topic, but I just HAD to share ... I was on the phone with Barry this afternoon at work.  All of a sudden I heard a beeeep.  Barry was attempting to multi-task.  He is no longer allowed to talk on the phone and try to use the calculator because he tried to add numbers with the phone pad.  I laughed so hard I almost lost my breath!

Then tonight he was using my laptop ... a machine which appears to baffle my wonderful husband.  Like all laptops, it has a touchpad instead of a mouse.  Which baffles Barry.  He couldn't get the computer to respond so he kept pressing the keys on the screen, to which I said "honey, it's not a touch screen".  He has definitely been button challenged today.

Another thing I've learned recently ... you really have to learn to laugh at yourself ... cause there are lots of people around who will do it for you.  I've learned to appreciate my girlfriends ... they come in all different sizes, shapes, ages, ethnicities, etc.  And I love them all.

Ladies ... you are a special bunch.  I'm glad I finally learned that.  My mom would be so proud....

Until tomorrow ....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The joys of "middle age" ...

Although I fight the good fight and have serious issues with being middle aged, sometimes, there's just no denying the truth.

For instance, a couple of weeks ago Barry had BBQ'd burgers on a Saturday afternoon.  We had dinner and were cleaning up.  I grabbed a container from the front hall closet (I know, odd place to keep containers but it more or less works for me), put the burgers in the container, turned to put the burgers in the fridge (which is right next to the counter), only I got distracted, busy thinking about the raking I needed to do and proceeded into the front hall, about to put the burgers into the closet.  I stopped, turned to my left, only to see Barry with an odd look on his face, as if to say "WTF?"  We both started to laugh and I took a few steps back to the fridge (which I had passed on my way to the closet) and put the burgers away.

I've been forgetting things, getting distracted while talking and veering off to another topic.  Of course this has nothing to do with age ... I've been doing this since I was 18.  A former manager said I formed trees when I talked.  I'd start on the main trunk line, then off to a branch, then a twig, then a leaf.  Eventually I would end up back on the trunk line, only to form another branch, another twig, another leaf.  And so it goes.  Welcome to Barry's world.

Tonight was one of the best "moments" though.  It's amazing what happens when you have 2 people who don't always hear each other right.  Now Barry has always had amazing hearing.  However, he was just informed he should get reading glasses.  Now his hearing is going (as opposed to simply being "male selective hearing").  I was about to take a pan of chicken out of the oven, and needed to put it on something.  I don't have granite countertops so I needed a trivet.  I must not have been speaking clearly or something.  Barry thought I said I needed a trout.  To which I responded, yes, hunny, I need a trout to put the chicken on.  Which started my man a gigglin'.  I think he was tired.  He continued to giggle and giggle.



I hate to admit there are many more instances but I think I'll leave you for now.  Have a fabulous day!