Sunday, February 28, 2010

Overcoming obstacles

It's interesting.  Part of my Body for Life program includes a daily "message" from Bill Philips.  He talked the other day about overcoming obstacles and adversity.  They can be devastating like a major illness, or they can be struggling with emotions.  The important thing is to deal with it and to keep moving forward.

I've really be struggling lately with getting my emotions under control.  God help me, I think I'm perimenopausal (at 45 ... BIG SURPRISE) ... I've been so freeking emotional lately ... and I HATE IT!  The stupidest stuff makes me blubber like a baby.   Maybe it's the end of winter ... and it's been an easy winter ... I don't know what my problem is ..... which only makes it worse.

We went to Steve (Barry's brother) and Bobbi's place yesterday for a great dinner, drinks, played Rock Band (I sang in front of other people for the first time in forever and Barry was our drummer boy) and had a great breakfast.  It was a great visit.  I think it went downhill for me (I hope nobody really picked up on it but who knows) when we got on the topic of their mother.  We used to have a great relationship and it really helped when my mom got sick.  Then about 20 months ago, there was drama (doesn't matter what it was) and it just hasn't been the same.  I don't know how much of it is her and how much of it is me.  I used to call her from time to time to chat.  I guess I haven't done that lately.  They're in Florida but our long distance is basically "free" since we pay a flat fee per month so there's no reason why I can't call her.  Maybe that's part of the problem.  Or maybe now that she has another daughter in law on the way who's amazing about keeping in touch, I pale in comparison.  Don't get me wrong, I adore Bobbi and I am unbelievably happy for Steve.  They are perfect together.  And they both deserve it.  I guess I'm just feeling a little out of sorts.

But as my mother would say, it's time to throw your tail up over your shoulders and get on with it.  The longer you wallow the worse it gets and the harder it is to get out of it.  My whole day got thrown off.  But I got the fruit and veggies cut up and the laundry and ironing done and my outfit for tomorrow set out.

So it's time to get a healthy dinner put together (lots and lots of veggies and protein and stay away from the carbs) and maybe have a shower so I'll sleep better.  Tomorrow's another day and I'll get up and eat healthy and do my workout and get back to my better attitude.

Thanks for listening....

"Iron cannot become steel until it ensures a lot of heat."  author unknown

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Another Award ...

I have been very remiss in acknowledging a wonderful award from Inspiration in Italy.

The "dolls" I'd like to recognize are the following:

I know, right?
Style Artisan
Melanie's Randomness
Life After College
Cafe Fashionista
Oh Missy Me

And a special award to my hubby ... whose birthday it is today (Feb. 25th) ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favourite doll :)

Life in Quotations

Rachel, thanks again for the award and I'm sorry I was remiss in posting it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Getting back to the root of this blog.

It occurred to me today that I've gotten seriously sidetracked of late.  The main reason for this blog was a means to track my journey back to fitness and to perhaps inspire a few people along the way.  It's helped me be accountable.  Nothing else worked.  But knowing that people were cheering me on, that people were inspired by me (which, by the way  never ceases to amaze me), that's what mattered most to me.  That's what helped me stay consistent for 9 months.  I can't remember the last time I stayed that  dedicated to a healthy lifestyle.

So while I love fashion (which I'll continue to write about and include outfit posts), and I love gardening (I actually have another blog about gardening and I'm not sure if I'm going to combine the two or keep them separate), and the variety of other topics are important to me, my focus needs to come back to fitness.

I started back on Sunday.  So far so good.  My nutrition could be better but at least I'm working out.  And that's a start.  I just wanted to give you an example of why you don't want to put too much stock in what the scale says, or even bodyfat or BMI.  In the past several weeks I've lost a few pounds.  That, despite the fact that I'm not working out and my eating hasn't been the greatest.  I won't be surprised to put a couple of pounds back on now that I'm working out again.  That "weight" loss was muscle, not fat.  I know, 'cauz my clothes don't quite fit right.  They're not bad, but I've got that freeking spare tire back. I don't need, or want, one.  I'm quite fine on just 2 legs.  I don't need a fallback spare tire.  Besides, it's kinda hard to walk on it.  LOL 

So if you gain a pound or 2, or don't lose any weight and you're eating healthy (don't forget proper proportions ... even healthy food can backfire if you're eating too much of it) and exercising, don't fret.  It may very well be your body readjusting.

How do you feel?  How are your existing clothes fitting?  How do you look when you check yourself out naked in front of the mirror?  THAT' what's important.

So for those of you who are trying to rid yourself of excess fat, hang in there.  If you're doing the right things, perhaps it just takes your body a whiile to get going.  I know mine always has.  And of course we always seem to want things to happen right away so we never lose enough quickly enough.  Whether you have questions or concerns or need someone to sound off to or just someone to lend an ear, you can always contact me.

"Life, the ultimate challenge, is not a race to the finish but rather a process of continued growth." author unknown.

Good night.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A chance to say goodbye.

I was watching One Tree Hill tonight.  Damn them, but Hailey's mom died of pancreatic cancer.  Problem is, my dad died of pancreatic cancer and I never really got a chance to say goodbye to my mom.  They called me on the Wednesday and told me she was bad and I meant to go see her but I was tired or something stupid like that.  I mean, the nursing home is on the way to my house practically from the GO station.  Then Thursday something else happened and I never got there.  Then I got the call on Friday and she was basically unconscious and even though I told her it was ok, it was her time, I never got to say I love you one last time so she'd actually hear it.  Maybe she did.  I don't know.  I just know that after 4 years of making trips to the nursing home I was tired of it and I didn't go as often as maybe I should have.  I used to be really close to my mom until she got sick and I feel like I kinda abandoned her.

So don't take life for granted.  Make sure you tell the people you love that you love them.  Because you never know when you won't have that opportunity again.

She's been gone 18 months now ... I think this is the first time I really acknowledged how I felt about not saying goodbye.  Damn.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What a wonderful day!

Barry's been in Hamilton all day at a model builders contest.  I'm not sure how many he took, but pretty much guaranteed he won at least 1 award ... he always does....

My day has been fabulous!  I slept in a little, did my workout, had a healthy breakfast, sat down with my coffee and a good book and just chilled.

Of course I had to spend some time outside in gardens, which I did.  Couldn't do a lot, but tidied things up enough that I'm happy.  I forgot to fill the bird feeders tho'.  Then I went for a walk by the lake ....

We live about a 2 minute walk from the lake.  Ajax has been amazing about their greenspace.  They're created a walkiing/biking pathway that stretches pretty much the entire span of our town, following the shoreline.  Lots of people walking, running, cycling.  Everyone had a smile on their face.  It's an interesting ritual.
The sun was shining, sparking off the lake like diamonds.  There's a spot maybe a mile or so from my house that the view is wonderful.  It's just lake.  It's so peaceful down there.  I'm sure it was a lot busier there earlier in the day but of course I was so busy enjoying my backyard that I was a little late with my walk.  Nevertheless, it was wonderful.

The lake was the most beautiful sapphire blue.  The sky was bright and clear.  It was crisp without being really cold, although the wind had picked up on my way home.  But I couldn't care less ... I was out in the sunshine, getting lots of that wonderful Vitamin D.... 

I couldn't get over the number of Canada Geese that were along the lakeshore.  I even saw a number of swans, younger and mature.  I think everyone was happy today.

I'm looking to many, many more days like this at even warmer temps.  It seems like every year we talk about doing things.  This year ... we are going to make a point of doing a bunch of things that we've been talking about doing.  Like taking long walks along the lake.  Like spending the day downtown Toronto and just wandering around, checking out the changes in the City.  Going to the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, Harbourfront.  Visiting friends.  Entertaining more.  We're both procrastinators and getting a little forgetful.   Too many things going on....

It's kinda funny, I'm sitting in our living room typing this.  The living room faces west.  It's almost 5 pm and the sun is starting to think about setting and it's streaming in so bright but I refuse to move or close the drapes even tho I care barely see the screen.  It's the sun.  And I think I'm a sun-slut.  I guess there are worse things that I could be ...

To those of my blogging friends who live in far better climates than I do ... this may seem a little silly/funny whatever.  But until you've lived through the 4 seasons ... it's hard to fully explain.  And I'm so sensitive to the weather.  But the good weather is on its way ... WOO HOO!

Until next time ... and Mademoiselle Deva ... I do feel much better .... thanks .

It's sunny out!

OK, so my friends in the warmer, sunnier climates may chuckle about this statement, I can't tell you how important sunny days (especially those which are above the freezing mark) are in the middle of winter.  Athough we haven't had much of a winter this year except for the really cold temps ... regularly -10 to -25 with the windchill.  No snow on the ground now and we really haven't had any this winter.  And I'm ok with that this year.  I know it's not great for the gardens but I'll deal with it.  At least you don't have to shovel freezing temps.

But today is sunny and about 4 or 5 degree celcius.  I'm so excited!  Although I do wish I was here ....

I've been somewhat MIA lately.  Just sick and tired and lethargic and a little depressed.  But every day is a new day so I decided that as of today I gotta get back into this.  I am, however, going to keep it brief 'cause I have a date with my garden today.  I'm gonna take a cup of coffee and go sit on my deck and call my sister.  And maybe pick up some garbage, etc.  It's too early to start cutting things back but not much longer..  Another 2 or 3 weeks and I'll be outside a LOT more than I have been.  I'm not a fan of really hot, humid weather (unless of course I'm just chillin on my deck with a cold beverage (wink, wink)) but I hate the cold too.  *sigh*

So thanks for hanging in and supporting me during my being MIA.  Count your blessings ... you never know how chatty I'll get in the future.

Have an awesome day everyone!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dreaming of Summer

Today was actually kinda nice out.  Milder than what it's been.  Still cold but better.  It was cloudy and flurrying from time to time but at least it was up around the freezing mark.

About another 4-6 weeks and I'll be out cleaning up the gardens.  That's where Barry comes in.  He actually likes to clean up, picking up twigs, cleaning up leaves, etc.  There's not a lot else to do until the ground thaws.  That's when I get to work ... big time.  I've got so much to do ... catmint to dig up ... vines to prune, lots and lots of stuff to do.  And I love it.  I miss it.I haven't done any gardening since late September and I'm starting to get itchy fingers.  I need to get outside and start sketching out what is where, if I can remember.

Here's a few pics of my gardens ...

The front yard ... this is all the grass I have on my little piece of property.

The shrubs are a little bigger now ....

And older picture in the backyard.  Now we have a deck on the left side of the pic.

The slope from the patio to the lower gardens and deck

North side of the house ... it's somewhat fuller now.

Time for bed ... time to dream about lush gardens and drinks on the deck.  For those of you who live in warmer climates (Diane) at least most of the time, you have no idea how much I envy you.  I'd love to garden year round although the winter does give me a break.

Until tomorrow :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Weekend

Hi All,

Sorry I've been so sporadic in my posts ... I guess I kinda made up for in that last one.  Whew!  I promise this is far more pictures then words.

Saturday I went for a mani-pedi and got my hair blown out, found a red cami (actually got 4 great camis for $28 ... they're regularly $16 EACH) so I was really happy.

Got home, got dressed and off we went to see Alfie Zappacosta at a great little venue in the west end of Toronto called Hugh's Room.  Our seats were literally beside the stage.  Check out the view ...

The stage was literally at our table ... I could reach out and touch the keyboard ... not to mention rest my foot on the stage.  The food was great, the music awesome and he even had a guest, Janet MacEwan, join him.  Just an awesome evening all round.

So here's Barry ....

I actually managed to get most of his ensemble from Pinstripe Menswear.  The jacket I tried on ... it fit me in the shoulders and fortunately (or scarily I'm not sure which), it fit him perfectly.  Not bad for $50.  Same for the shirt which is actually really sharp.  The dress pants were actually from Marks Work Wearhouse.  The shoes (they're Brogues and God help me I'm trying to change that situation) he's had for a number of years.

Keep in mind these pictures were actually taken at about 1:15 a.m. after our dinner out ... except this one was at the show ....

I kept the shrug on for most of the evening.  Now for the after-show show :)

 I LOVE the detail in the back ... please excuse the fat arms ... yeesh!

The shoes of course ... I love, love, love these shoes ... not the most comfortable pair of shoes I've ever worn but I really don't give a crap when they look this hot!  And of course the toenails were painted red to accent the red cami and lips ....

We really liked this photo ... plus it shows off my hair ...

And this is one of my favourite pieces that my sister has made.  Long story behind it but I won't bore you with it.  Suffice it to say that I love it.

Valentine's Day was really nice ... slept in a little, brekkie, latte, errands, housework then Barry froze his hiney off and BBQ'd steak and I made the veggies and we had wine with dinner (shocking), tea and chocolate cake.   And yeah, and candlelight and french music.  It was a lovely quiet dinner for just the two of us.

Today (Family Day here in Ontario so we have the day off) has been cleaning, touch ups, laundry, all that domestic stuff we never got around to the past couple of days.  I actually got up and did a light workout.  I was shocked at my lack of stamina but I had to get back at it sometime.  I'll be back up to my old schedule of 4:15 a.m. as of tomorrow.  At least it's only 4 days this week.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed the "show".

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Health, A dress, Re-emergence, and Outfits...

Wow, where do I start?

First and foremost ... I'm feeling MUCH better!  I'm getting my energy back big time ... look out world ... especially Barry! LOL  Longer days help a LOT.  And it was sunny today.  Makes SUCH a difference.

BTW - I'm listening to the new Timberland CD so if my thoughts seem a little scattered, I hope you'll understand.

I found a steal of a deal (by Canadian standards I suppose) today.  I went looking for a "little black dress" yesterday and was very disappointed.  But then again, I went to Addition-Elle (plus sized clothing for those who don't know).  Let's just say that they really don't know what plus sized women should be wearing.  Never mind what "fashion" says ... there are things that should NEVER be worn by a 4X woman!  I'm roughly a size 16 (not that size means anything these days) and I won't wear some of this stuff!  But that's my issue ... I guess if you're confident enough to pull it off, good for you.  I think.  But it really goes against my sensibilities....  There are simply items that shouldn't be sold any larger than about a size 8.  MAX.    But I digress.  I tried on 4 dresses and let's just say that the best of the bunch was OK but not great.  And with a $170 price tag, definitely NOT worth it.

So I was going to go to Winners (discounted items ... nice clothes, some designer stuff) but a co-worker told me yesterday that Reitman's (one of my fav stores and where I've gotten probably 90% of my wardrobe) had dresses.  So I went today.  I went early, before the crowd could get there.  And OMG OMG OMG I found my dress.  It's plain black, a faux wrap, to the knees (or a litte above, I can't remember), sleeveless, more or less an empire waist and then it float away from the body.  It looks freeking FABULOUS!  It has 3 covered buttons in back at the neck with a little peephole.  I definitely have to wear a cami with it but I can totally change the look of the dress depending on the cami, the shoes, the jewellery.  It was EXACTLY what I was looking for.  Price tag ... $15.00!!!!!  I ended up getting a long black shrug (which I needed) and a pair of straight leg (I can't believe it) dark wash jeans (again, something I needed), all for a whopping $62 with taxes.  I realize that by U.S. standards, it's not a big deal, but it's pretty good for up here. 

I'm transitioning right now from a plus size woman to a "regular" sized woman so I really don't want to invest a lot of money, or buy clothes that are going to last years 'cause I won't be able to wear them in a while anyway!  One of my recent pants purchases is big on me already.  Good problem  to have.

It's interesting, since I started upping my style, some of my co-workers (especially my quad-mates) have been upping their look as well.  One of the girls (she's the youngest by about 17 years), who wears black, black and more black (not even grey and white), and who looks AMAZING in colour, is finally starting to wear colour!  YAY YAY YAY!  And she said I was her inspiration.   WOW.

I really don't know how to explain how amazing I feel.  I feel like I was lost for a long time (and yet Barry stuck with me) and I'm just now re-emerging, like before, only a LOT better.  I'm older, wiser and calmer. I don't EVER want to go back to where I was last year.  It was a pretty dark place.  Interesting this change has happened since mom died.  I think the pressure is off.  I don't have anyone to take care of.  Barry's great 'cause he's pretty self-sufficient.  Except for food and laundry but he'd figure it out if he had to. 

So I'm ready to start back at the workouts again ... I'll do some stretching tomorrow and maybe even get a walk in after work.  I've been out and about during lunch hours but not enough.  That's gotta change next week.  Saturday I'm going to focus on getting my plan ready, food prepped, etc. so that Sunday I'll be ready to go again. 

We're off to dinner and performance by one of our fav artists ... Zappacosta ... he's been around for years.  Born in Italy, his family moved to Toronto when he was 6 months so we like to think he's a Torontian.   It's a nice place, not too fancy, but nice.  I'll be wearing my new LBD, shrug, gladiator shoes and some sort of bold jewellery.  Barry will be wearing black dress pants, purple striped shirt, charcoal fine-whale corduroy sport jacket and his black Brogues (I really hate those things ... we'll have to get him a pair of shoes from this century).  And yes, Sunday we'll do an outfit post.  We'll even include a picture of us in our new specs.  Plus I'll have my hair freshly done and  a mani-pedi.  Barry'll be clean shaven.  Not a bad looking couple LOL

I'll say good night now ... stay tuned to Sunday's outfit post ... but we'll be in touch before then.  Have an awesome Friday!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's been a rough 7 days ...

So I started off by getting sick ... again.  Barry took good care of me, had to cancel party but that was OK 'cauz hardly anyone could make it.  Quiet birthday but it was nice.  Barry baked me cake, waited on me hand and foot, took me out to run a couple of errands including buying a scale.  I had no clear indicator where I was going so I had to do it.  It's only 1 tool, just as measurements are 1 tool.  Clothing size ... NOT a good indicator.  Sizing is all over the map.  We actually played Trivia Pursuit.

Because I've been sick with another chest infection (this one not too bad), I haven't worked out the past week.  And I feel like crap.  I'm not sure which is worse, being sick or not being able to work out.  I just want to get, and stay, healthy so I can work out consistently.  I'm tired of being sick and tired.  I don't want to fall back into my old rut.  Although I doubt I could.  I get antsy when I miss a few days.  And that's definitely good progress. 

I do have a confession to make ... I really haven't felt like writing lately.  I know, that's not like me; I usually have lots (too much perhaps) to say.  But I really haven't been on my site lately, or anyone else's for that matter.  I've gotta get back to doing SOMETHING, ANYTHING! 

But we do have a nice Saturday planned.  I'm getting my hair styled, a mani-pedi and then we're off to dinner and a Zappacosta performance.  LOVE his music.  Although we're into Tiesto also so go figure...

I do want to thank everyone who sent me Happy Birthday wishes; I appreciate it a lot.  Even though it wasn't quite what I had expected it to be, it was still a good day.  I did have a tough few minutes ... I miss my mom at times like this.  But at least Christmas and my birthday are over and those are the 2 toughest times so onwards and upwards.

As I'm writing this I realize I probably sound a little more down than normal.  I'm just frustrated.  I want so much to get things in gear and keep going.  I like myself a LOT better when I'm working out.  Never mind the weight loss, it's feeling better about me, about my life, about the future.  So, as my mom would say, throw your tail up over your shoulders and get on with it.  So tomorrow, I will get up early, do some yoga and a little light cardio and some ab work, I will go to work with more energy and drink more green tea and less coffee.

Thanks for persevering with me.  I appreciate it.  I hope you all have a great week ... it's a long weekend for us here in Ontario...Family Day on Monday.  YAY!

"Success is a journey, not a destination."

Saturday, February 6, 2010

OMG I'm 45 Today!

I certainly don't feel it.  I think I got stuck (or actually reverted back) to about 30.  I find myself freeking out sometimes at my age.  I know it's just a number.  I know I look pretty good for my age.  Great genes ... my mom and her mom never looked their ages either.  I just can't believe how fast time goes.  Something will have happened 20 years ago and it seems like 3 or 4.  Barry and I have been together 17 1/2 years now.  We've both changed a lot ... but for the better.  And the good thing is we're both ok with the changes we're both making.  We're both a lot more confident, more comfortable with ourselves.  Maybe that comes with age and experience.

I'll read the posts of some of the 20 somethings, and part of me thinks "I remember feeling that way" and part of me thinks "Life's really not that bad" but then I remember that life was quite different 20 years or so ago.  We didn't have the media attention of stuff that stresses us, we didn't have the internet which creates it's own issues.  We all have to go through what we have to go through.

I remember my mom never understanding why I put myself in some of the positions I put myself in.  She tried to tell me.  I think most mothers do.  They don't want their kids to go through unnecessary pain.  The thing is, it isn't unnecessary.   Just the opposite.  If I hadn't had the experiences I had, I wouldn't be the woman that I am.  And I kinda like who I am.  I didn't like myself much until I hit about my late 20's, early 30's.   I tried and tried to explain that to my mom so many times but she just didn't get it.  We don't get strong and "tough" and able by having people coddle us; rather we grow and stretch and get strong by going through adversity.  You know the old saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"?  It's true.  And whether it's just minor aggrevations or major stuff, like losing a job, fighting cancer or diabetes (which runs rampant in my family and which is why I'm fighting hard to get back into shape so I don't get this potentially horrible disease), it all contributes to the person we are.

I hated my teens and didn't like my 20's much either.  I turned 30 and somehow my life seemed to turn around.  So those of you who are in your 20's ... the 30's are awesome!  You're a little older, a little wiser, you've been working a while, you start to understand who you are....  35 kinda freeked me out tho' 'cauz I realized I was halfway through my 30's.  Turning 40 was a little disappointing only because of my expectations.  I had hoped that Barry would throw a party ... didn't happen.  I'm the party planner in our family.  But we had a good night out with good friends.  My 41st ... he threw a surprise party which I was very happy about.  A good friend of ours came up from Cincinnati in February to join us.  We had a bunch of people at a local wing place that was, at the time, one of our fav places.  Unfortunately it went downhill then got bought out by another wing place.  *sigh*  things change.

Now that I'm 45, life is great.  I'm comfortable with myself.  I have an awesome husband (couldn't ask for anyone better for myself), we have a nice home, a good car, I have a good job which I enjoy (most of the time anyway), we have awesome friends.  Now we just have to get the finances in order ... hmmm.

We were supposed to have our annual tiki party tonight ... then I got sick again with the same crap I had at Christmas.   Hey, as long as I'm healthy for next Saturday, I'll be happy ... we're off to dinner and a  Zappacosta performance.  It's kind of our combination my birthday, Valentine's Day, Barry's birthday (25th) gift to ourselves.  Although he bought me my laptop stand which has helped a lot ...encouraged me to work in my office instead of downstairs with the TV on.

I'm hoping to do the tiki party in early March.  It might work out better for a lot of other people too ... this weekend seemed to be a bad one for people's availability.

Well, I'm off to do laundry (I know, exciting stuff for a b-day), and I'm going to help Barry bake me a cake.  And we'll see what else the day brings.

Have an awesome weekend!

"Life, the ultimate challenge, is not a race to the finish but rather a process of continued growth." author unknown

Monday, February 1, 2010

Outfits, a kitty, awards and a thought ...

A bunch of things have been accumulating so here we go.

So this is my going out the door/coming back in the door look.  It does encourage some interesting looks, especially from those of the "gentlemenly" pursuation.

A couple of pics of what's underneath the coat today ...

and a new haircolour, although this isn't the best shot ... I'm back to being like my profile pic....

here's my baby ...

Jill and Melanie have awarded me a G.L.O.B. award!

I'd like to pass this award on to the following ladies ... (normally it's only 5, but since i was lucky enough to get 2 awards, I thought I'd share with twice as many

Style Artisan
Cafe Fashionista
Couture Carrie
Life After College
Ann Again and Again
Ms Arscott
ready to glow
Synchronistic Catalyst
Mad Madam Mim's

And a thought for the day ...

"I’ve failed over and over and over again, and that is why I succeed." author unknown