Friday, December 31, 2010

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly .... The Year in Review

I can't believe its been a year already since I wrote a simlar message.

So much has happened this year. Some of the highlights, and lowlights follow ....

One of my best friends got married in May and I acted as her wedding planner for the wedding day. She was gorgeous he was very handsome the venue was fab and despite a few challenges (what wedding doesn't have them), it was a great day altho I haven't been that stressed out in a LONG time.  Then there was the househunting and moving and front garden. It didn't take much of my time but it was immediately after broski's wedding and our financial meltdown.  I'm just so glad we could help....

Late in 2009 my sister was encouraged by her doctor to have bariatric surgery. After much research and pondering she decided to take the leap. She had to have her gallbladder removed anyway so off she went to the hospital in June of this year. To date since the middle of June she's lost about 65 pounds. Only one downside ... its way harder to get in touch with her. I think I can deal with that if it means she's healthier, happier and has a life again. It hasn't cured her heart problems, but it makes life much easier.

Gardens ... My first Ajax in Blooms nomination. My neighbour nominated me. Of course the gardens weren't anywhere close to where I wanted them to be. On the agenda for 2011 - dig almost everything up from the front gardens and the garden and move things around. Ambitious? I dunno .. Crazy is more like it but I love the process. Then there were the neverending monstrous weeds. 2011 - MULCH!

Graduated to a blackberry. Yay! Its done me the world of good, got my life organized and if blogger would make their site more mobile friendly, I'd be able to keep up with you more regularly. But I draft my posts while travelling to work, then clean them up and post them from home.

G20...if the city never hosts THAT fiasco again it'll be too soon. I work just outside the secure zone. It turned everything upside down.  Our company mandated that everyone not required to be in the office was to work from home for 4 days.  That included in department.  My manager had an issue with that and consequently stressed our entire department out.

Steve - He was my manager for 13 years and a very good friend.  The same week that G20 and my sister's surgery occurred, Steve was leaving for Africa, Europe and beyond.  He wasn't sure how long he was going to be gone.  And I wigged out.  One thing ... even two things ... I could handle.  But all three at once?  It was more than I could handle.  I often don't see him for several months at a time ... we're friends, that's all.  But the timing couldn't have been worse....

Finances tanked.  Barry and I are both gainfully employed.  We have good jobs with a combined decent income.  But some bad decisions, and 2 years of no wage increases put us behind the eight ball.  To say that we were stressed out is putting it mildly.  I do the budgeting ... apparently not very well ... and I was beginning to wonder how I was going to cover all the bills.  Thankfully we were able to refinance and got things back on track.

Barry's brother's wedding.  We were all so ecstatic about the upcoming nuptials.  Bobbi (the bride) is an amazing woman and she and Steve (broski) are so head over heels about each other.   After 8 years of a bad relationship, he finally got out and met the woman of his dreams.  And while the festivities were fabulous, it happened at exactly the same time as the finances tanked.

Facebook ... We fought it until this summer and then finally caved. Hence my next problem ... Vince.  Although I must admit its been easier keeping up with what's happening with friends and family on FB than before.

Vince. I could write a book on this subject, but suffice it to say that I had a lapse in judgement. I met Vince when I was 14. I thought I said goodbye to him when I was 27. And then Facebook happened. I looked him up and contacted him. And for the next 2 weeks, my world got turned upside down. I'm not sure why I did it other than the fact that he had been on my mind ... A LOT. Long history ... I feel like I'm one of Pavlov's dogs. As usual, our "relationship" has always been intense and short lived. Barry knew about what was happening ... kind of. But he trusted me and gave me the space I needed to deal with a part of my life that has always been very complicated. I haven't heard from Vince lately. I suspect he's disappeared without a word ... as usual. C'est la vie.

Job.  Another long story.  Considering the turbulence of my life this year, together with a very turbulent year for the company I work for, things did not go well.  Suffice it to say that something happened which brought me to my senses and I have a renewed commitment to my job.  I've re-gained my focus and commitment and things have improved a lot in less than 2 months.  YAY

Deaths.  3 deaths in 5 weeks.  All men.  All in their 50's.  None of whom I was really close to but each one hit me.  First there was Brian.  We had worked together over 20 years ago.  Great guy.  Hadn't seen or heard from him in years.  5 weeks before his death, he popped into my head.  Wasn't quite 51.  He died of lymphona.  He went downhill in the last 5 weeks.  Then there was a friend's dad.  He was 55.  I had never met him but he died suddenly of a massive heart attack and our friend was so upset.  It  reminded me how short life is.  Then there was Ian.  Neighbour.  Late 50's.  Pluto's (fav neighbourhood dog) daddy.  Jacob's disease.  Was diagnosed about a month before his death.

Christmas.  On a happy note, this Christmas was wonderful.  Our annual Christmas party was a big success and everyone seemed to have a good time.  We always invite people to bring a non perishable food donation that we collect and then we delivered it to the local fire hall.  We had the best collection to date.  It filled a regular sized recycling bin completely.  I just love doing this.  It's not required, just appreciated.

Then for Christmas Day we had Barry's family here for dinner, everything turned out really well, everyone was here (except his 2 nephews) and there were lots of laughs.  It had been about 16 years since we were all together ... but Evan (Barry's sister's significant other) and Bobbi were not known at that time.  Dharram (Bobbi's brother) also joined us.  His kids were with his ex and he was going to be alone for Christmas dinner.  THAT simply would not do.

Weight loss.  It's been a good year.  Not great.  Not fantastic.  But good.  I've made more progress this year than I ever have in the past.  I've dealt with my relationship with food.  I still have my issues with food (ginger cookies ... OMG I can't put them down) but it's so much better than before.  I know how to control my hunger issues, to make better choices.  Of course December was horrible.  But things are going to change.

Going forward.  Saturday I am going to write out our meal plans for the upcoming week and do any food prep that's necessary.  I got back into working out this week.  I will hit it hard as of Sunday morning.  And I'm getting Barry started on his program then too.  Lofty goal for me... bikini shape by June 30, 2011.  I've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.  But I've made the commitment so I have to do this.  I've also made doing the CN Tower climb in the Fall of 2011 a goal.  

My blog.  This weekend I will be making some changes to this blog.  It might take a couple of days.  I need to shake things up.  I've been checking other blogs and I'm getting a good idea of how I want to organize things.  So stayed tuned.....
2011 is going to be about focus ... fitness ... family ... friends.  I have also made advancement at work a goal..  This time next year, I will be writing that I have been promoted to intermediate level.  These are the commitments I am making.

My commitment to you.  I will be here.  I will be in touch more. I will post more often.  I will encourage you.  I will offer my 2 cents when appropriate.

My wish for you...  Happiness.  Health.  Wealth.  Peace.  Joy.  Love.  Confidence. Longevity.

Happy 2011!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Wakup Call

First of all ... I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas!  We hosted Christmas this year and thankfully the dinner turned out great, the company was fabulous and the wine was awesome.  Barry's family (mom, step-dad, sister and significant other, brother, wife and her brother) all joined us for Christmas dinner.  Everyone brought something for the meal (thank you so much Mum, Bobbi and Heather) and extended brother in law  brought the wine (thank you Dharram!).  Great food, lots of laughs, wonderful gifts and the first time in 16 years that the family has been together. 

I missed my parents.  Dad didn't really care too much about Christmas but it was Mom's favourite time of year.  I managed to get through the day without tearing up.  I'm very proud of myself.  I even cooked the turkey to perfection (thank you thermometer).

But OMG!  This month has been brutal!  Between all the food (I've tried to stay away from most of it) and lack of exercise (I was fighting a cold for 2 weeks and not working out because of it), I have definitely taken a couple of steps backwards.  So as of December 26th, I am re-focussed on training and eating healthy. 
I am re-setting my goals (one of which is to go bikini shopping on June 30, 2011 (HELP ME!!!!)) and changing up my workouts.  And getting Barry back on board.\

One of our gifts was a beautiful 8'x10' of Barry and I at his brother's wedding. It's been a very long time since I felt like I looked that good. I think the last time was our wedding (13 years ago). It's made me realize I've let myself go the past month and that is not acceptable. I don't every want to go back to where I was ... or anywhere close to that.
I went to put on an outfit I wore at our Christmas party (Nov 27th) and OMG!  I couldn't freeking believe it!  I'm supposed to go shopping for clothes this week (hubby was wonderful enough to give me a gift certificate for one of my stores) but OMG!  I am totally disgusted with myself.  I don't want to see another piece of chocolate, another cookie, another anything that remotely resembles anything that isn't on my "authorized" list.

It's time to knuckle under and get serious!  Never mind New Year's Day.  Try Boxing Day!  I am determined to meet my goal of wearing a bikini on July 1s successfully.  Not a string bikini, but not a tankini either

But I know what to do.  I know how to eat right ( have lots of healthy food in the house) and how to exercise to obtain my goals.  So as of tomorrow (Dec 26th), I go back to a healthy lifestyle.

So join me in my journey (the measurements won't be taken until January 1st) as I get back on track to my goals, as I focus on losing as much fat as possible without sacrificing muscle, and being as focussed as possible,  on achieving those goals, on becoming the best "me" that I have ever been.

I will keep you posted..... in the meantime ... Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I can't believe how long it's been since I posted.  This has been one crazy ass month!

Just a quick note (it's getting late for me) to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  I hope everyone is able to enjoy the festivities and not get too stressed out.

I've been feeling so out of touch with everyone ... yes, it's my own fault ... I haven't been in blogland in far too long.

Since I'm actually going to have time during the holidays, I'm going to re-vamp this site and get back to business.

I've slipped the last few weeks (know anyone else who has done that?) first due to my schedule, then 'cause I got sick and I don't work out when I'm sick. 

We're having dinner for 9 (which is a nice size) on Christmas ... yours truly volunteered herself and cook ... although I am getting a little help from the other ladies .... it'll be the first time in at LEAST 15 years that hubby's family has all been together for Christmas Day.

I miss my mom and dad but I'm really glad I have the "other half" of my family who are near.  My bro is in Brazil visiting his wife and family (long story) and my sis is up north and neither of us travel at this time of year for that distance ... she has us at Thanksgiving.  After giving up so many Christmases because I didn't want my parents to be alone, mum will finally have her whole family together.  I'm really happy for her.

So Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!


pics courtesy of

Monday, December 6, 2010

DEADLINE - JUNE 30, 2011

OMG I've gone and done it.  I went and committed to being in bikini shape by June 30, 2011 (shopping day).  What on earth have I done????  It's a lofty goal, but one I'm sure I can achieve ....

Hey, a girl can dream you know :)

I haven't said much lately about how things are going.  They're going pretty well.  My workouts have been fairly consistent, my nutrition not too bad.  Nothing earth shattering, but I don't feel like I'm reverting back to my old ways.  There are days tho .....

Officially I'm in Week 11 of my 12 week challenge.  I had originally planned on taking a couple of weeks "off"; not doing BFL, just cardio and yoga.  But given that I haven't been as consistent as I should have been, I'm going to keep going until December 31st.  Since January 1st is a Saturday (my free day), I'm going to start again on January 2nd.  This time I'm doing circuit training.  Change things a little.  I'll do circuits Sun/Tue/Thur and Cardio and yoga on Mon/Wed/Fri.  For 12 weeks.  That will take me to the end of March and give me another 3 months before "B Day" (bikini day :) ).  I'll figure out closer to the time whether I'll do circuits or BFL.   My nutrition is the same regardless of which workout program I go with.

So even tho it's the holidays, it's still important to eat healthy, exercise, drink lots of water and get lots of rest.

I fell on my way to work this morning.  My feet came out from underneath me and I landed flat on my back in the middle of the road.  Not a good thing.  I got back up, dusted myself off, crossed the next street and nearly did it again but I caught myself.  I think that's why I'm sore now.  But I didn't break anything and I didn't hit my head (as far as I know), so hopefully I won't be too sore to do my leg workout tomorrow.

Until next time....

Friday, December 3, 2010

The greatest compliment I have received ....

I just had someone pay me the nicest compliment I've probably ever received.

A lady I've known for a number of years from the morning GO train platform said she's noticed a brightness and a glow that emanates from me. That could explain a few things.

A friend of me described me as beautiful. I had to check to make sure he had referred to me. He said "don't you think you're beautiful?". For the first time in many years I said yes, I'm finally seeing myself as beautiful. It's been a very long time coming.

 I owe my hairstylist Ray part of the praise cause I think a great hairstyle makes a HUGE difference. Then there's Andrew ... He's my MAC consultant. I recently found out he used to teach makeup application. Explains why he's so amazing. The girls are really good ...he's amazing. He's pushed me out of my rut. He's got me wearing colours I would have NEVER worn before. And then there's Stephanie and Christine at Brava. They've introduced me to some beautiful bras that have pushed my boundaries. Notice a trend? Ladies ... Please please please ... go to a bra boutique and get properly fitted. If your breasts seem to be extremely high and in everyone's face, they're probably in the right place. Bigger girls will likely feel it moreso. So as far as my physical appearance is concerned, you can see it's taken a team. But I opened my mind and allowed them to guide me, I took their advice and implemented their suggestions.

As far as the lightness is concerned, I believe that's due to feeling better about myself. Even though I've had some setbacks over the past couple of years, I keep fighting back. I'm actually honouring self promises. Do I do it all the time? Of course not. Am I perfect? That would be a huge "NOT"! But I'm persevering. I made the decision to change and I am. Physically, mentally, emotionally, I'm stronger, more postive, more giving of my time, of my emotions. I'm not afraid to let people in anymore. I used to be so closed off, so unhappy.

I'm not mentioning these things to say "look at how great I am". I'm not like that. This is a direct result of making a commitment to change and sticking with it, no matter what life throws at me.

I just wanted to share what can happen when you keep fighting, no matter what. Just don't give up. Ever.

I hope you know I'll always be your cheerleader cause I know you can accomplish anything you want to.

And a big thank you to Beth for making that comment. She's the one who inspired me to write this post.

BTW ... I've committed to bikini shopping on June 30, 2011.  OMG what have I done????  LOL

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Self Realization

I've been having a lot of "a-ha!" moments lately.

Do you ever get so caught up with trying to keep your head above water keeping up with all the commitments that you don't realize when you're slipping?

That happened at work recently. I was so busy trying to keep my head above water that I ended up almost drowning. A few things were brought to my attention, one of which was that I was making excuses. OMG! I've always been one to accept responsibility for my actions. It looks like I was slipping when it came to my reactions. So I really thought abought that, realized I was making excuses and decided to change that. So now, when I find I'm slipping, I take stock and correct my course of action.

This is also true regarding my workouts. I've been blaming the weather when in fact its actually the food choices I've been making, together with too much coffee. (I hate being an addict). I've really struggled the past 2 or 3 weeks with getting up EVERY day for my workout. So effective immediately, better choices, more water and green tea, less coffee and better attitude.

I'm trying to change some habits, hoping that this will help.  Speaking of habits, I must update my journal for tomorrow's workouts.

TTFN  .... LOL