Two Steps Forward One Step Back

I like to get things going.  I love making plans and starting off on the right foot.  I’m an idea girl!!  Grand plans trickle from my brain—

“I’m going to walk 5 km every day this week, and I’m going to paint the whole apartment in three days, and I’m going to go back to school…and then, and then….”

Sometimes I have a hard time with the execution part.  OK, a lot of the time.

I can be a bit of a procrastinator (as evidenced by my failed attempt at blogging for Blogtember), and sometimes what sounded good in my head two days ago, now sounds crazy.  I don’t exactly know what happens in those two days, but somehow my brain wakes up and says “Forget it!!”  Sometimes I seriously wonder if I have some mild form of attention deficit disorder.  Focus Victoria, FOCUS!

Other times though I feel like life is somehow conspiring against me.  This week for example—I wrote a great post on Sunday about not giving up and read some great comments from people who were so amazingly supportive.  I was charged up and ready to go!!  On Monday I followed my eating plan, drank plenty of water, and went for a nice long walk with my Dad.  Way to start the week off right!  Monday evening before I went to bed I felt a little off.  Kind of tired and a little achy, and my throat was scratchy.  Fast forward eight hours and I’m waking up to a sore throat, stiff body and I can barely will myself out of bed.  I’m sick!!!  By end of day Tuesday I had an ear infection and a fever.  Why is it that just when I get myself moving forward I get pushed back down!

We’re now at Thursday and I’m still feeling pretty rough, though better than I was earlier in the week.  I’m going to get back to my walking this weekend and enjoy this gorgeous fall weather we have been having in Southern Ontario!  Beautiful sunny, crisp fall days…I can’t stand missing any more of them.  I can’t let a little sickness slow me down.

Things are pretty busy in my world right now…work is off the charts crazy, I’ve just started Blog School (learning everything I need to about the big, wide world of blogging), working on my writing, and trying to make myself a priority all at the same time.  FOCUS!! 🙂

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Blogtember – You Better Shop Around

The Blogtember prompt for today is to talk about my favourite online shops.Blogtember200_zps4672ae9b

Um, yeah…I’m not really much of a shopper, so this is going to be an incredibly short blog.  I was actually going to skip this day, just because I don’t have very much to say on the subject.  However, I suppose the mark of a good writer is being creative even when the topic isn’t to his or her liking.  So here goes…

I’m not type of person who enjoys going to malls to wander and shop around just for the hell of it, and the same goes for online shopping.  If I need pants, I go buy pants.  If I need shampoo, I go buy shampoo.  Get it and get out, that’s my motto. 🙂

The only items I will typically browse for are books, music, and makeup.  So I spend time on kobobooks.com, iTunes, and in Sephora.

I’m a bit of a book junkie and I probably spend more time than I think I do browsing kobobooks.com.  I do spend a lot of time on goodreads.com, which is a fantastic site devoted to all things books!  It’s like Facebook for book lovers.  If you’re ever looking for book reviews and recommendations, I highly recommend it.

I am also a bit of a make up junkie.  Well not just make up, but beauty products in general.  I’ve definitely reigned myself in; I’m not as bad as I used to be.  However if you ask me where my happy place is I will say without hesitation Sephora.   Ohhhh and definitely the Sephora at the Eaton Centre in Toronto!!  They just renovated, added in a couple of brands of make up from the UK that I love, it’s big and beautiful, and…..sorry, sorry….calm down…deep breath.  Woo!  I told you…happy place.  So there you go, if you’re ever looking for me you know where I am.

Night all!  Going to go put on some lipstick and curl up with a good book 😉

Blogtember – My Turning Point

Ok, so I didn’t blog yesterday and now I’m five posts behind for Blogtember.  I’ve been down before…don’t count me out just yet. 😉Blogtember200_zps4672ae9b

Today’s post is describing a distinct moment when my life took a turn.

I like to think of a turning point as that moment—that grand, cosmic flash, when suddenly everything you think you know is turned upside down.  You can’t go back, the only thing you can do is move forward.

Once upon a time, many moons ago (don’t ask how many), I was a bright-eyed 25-year-old working full-time.  It was my second, real adult, full-time job.  I had previously been working the night shift and I finally got an opportunity to get a real 9 to 5 job with the land of the living.  It was a busy office, with a high volume of work, and a lot of pressure.  I worked hard, was eager to please, and was actually pretty good at my job.

There is a cost to everything in life.  The cost of being good at your job means you get more work.  People come to you because they know you can handle it and you’ll get it done right.  So pile it on they did.  Add to the fact that I worked for someone who was a newly minted VP, out to prove they could take on the world not caring who the casualties were along the way.

I started to become extremely stressed out.  I worked long hours trying to keep up, and no amount of talking to my boss about my work load helped.  I was headed for a breakdown, which of course was unavoidable…it was a collision waiting to happen.  I ended up taking two weeks of vacation to try to relax and pull myself together.  I had originally only scheduled to take one week, but after the week was up I was so scared of going back I called my boss and begged for another week.  I returned to work after two weeks a little calmer and more relaxed, but it didn’t stick.  Just a week back in the office and I was right back where I started.

Between all the long hours and the stress I was under, I barely had any time to look for another job.  I just felt trapped.  Shortly after going back to work, I was talking to my dad on the phone, explaining to him how things were still the same and I didn’t know what to do.

“If it’s really that bad, then why don’t you just quit,” he said.  “It’s not worth it for you to be so stressed and upset all the time.  You’re a smart girl, you’re good at your job.  You’ll figure it out and find something else”.

FLASH!

I couldn’t quit…could I?  What would I do for money?  What if I didn’t find something right away?  What if, what if, what if???

Remember earlier when I said you can’t look back, you can only go forward?  It’s true.  I could only go forward.  I could quit.  So, I did.

The next morning I went into my boss’ office and handed in my resignation.  It was like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders.  The sun was shining, bird were singing, and for the first time in a long time I felt good.  I was scared to death, but it felt good.

I was out of work for three months.  After I couldn’t find a full-time job, I started a temporary job at a government office.  It was originally a three-month contract and I ended up staying there for a year.  It is to this day one of the best places I ever worked.  I worked with such great people and I learned so much.  It also gave me contacts that led me to my next full-time position right after that contract ended.  If I had stayed where I was, miserable, who knows what would have become of me.  Instead I took a chance and it paid off.  Big time.

Blogtember – An Exercise in Creativity

I am a writer by nature.  I have always loved the written word, whether reading it or creating it myself.Blogtember200_zps4672ae9b   Most people know that I have a love of reading and literature, but I’m not sure how many people know that I also write.  Until I started this blog though, it was not a part of myself that I shared very often.  My writing, unfortunately, always seems to take a back burner to everything else in my life.  Call me responsible…or maybe scared.  Yes, scared is probably more accurate.  Writing is one thing, but letting people actually read it?  Well that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

Jenni, on her blog Story of my Life, started a blogging challenge for September, aptly named Blogtember.  Blogging every weekday using a writing prompt (created by Jenni herself), getting those creative juices flowing, and to just enjoy the creative process of blogging and writing.  When I came across this challenge, I was very excited.  I have recently been trying to make writing more of a priority and looking for interesting ways to get the craziness that is inside my head, out.  This is perfect.  I’m starting a little late, and have missed four days so far, so I will endeavour to make those days up on the weekends (you know, in my spare time…hahaha).

I know this is primarily a weight loss blog, and I will still of course continue to write about that, but I’m excited to explore this other side of my writing (even if just for September to start) and share it with the world.  That’s the beauty of having your own blog—you can pretty much do what you want with the space, since it’s yours to fill.  I hope you are as excited to read the offerings from my creative side as I am to share them with you.

Friend Makin’ Monday – Easy Answers

Happy Monday Peeps!  I decided this week to link up with Kenlie at her blog All The Weigh for herfriend-makin-monday-for-post3-300x179 Friend Making Monday—an opportunity for me to make some new bloggin’ friends!  The deal is that I need to answer a few random questions so everyone can get to know me a little better.  If you’re interested in joining Friend Makin’ Monday, you can check out Kenlie’s blog at the link above.  So here goes nothing!

1.  Are you a planner, or do you prefer to see where the moment takes you?
I am such a planner it’s ridiculous…I so wish I could be more in the moment (can you say control freak :P)

2.  How often do you blog?
I try to blog at least a couple of times a week…sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less depending on what kind of week I’m having (i.e. eating bad things/not working out/mad at myself = less posting, eating well/exercising/proud of myself = more posting).

3.  Do you color your hair?
Oh yeah…big time.  I’ve been going grey since I was 18 so I’ve got to at least keep up the appearance that I’m only 38.

4. If you had to choose between running or riding a bike, which one would you choose?
Probably riding a bike, but I hope that answer changes to running soon!

5.  Have you ever traveled outside of your home country?
I have!  I love to travel!  I’ve been to the US, Germany, France, England, and Scotland.

6.  Do you like weddings?
I’m lukewarm on weddings…I think they can be a great party and a lot of fun, but I always end up going without a date which is very un-fun.

7.  What is your favorite guilty pleasure on TV?
My guilty TV pleasure would probably be The Bachelor/Bachelorette.  Sometimes even I can’t believe I’m watching it!

8.  Are you good at math?
I’m ok at math.  I managed to get ok grades in math in high school until my senior year when I took Calculus, then it was just…let’s just say I ended up dropping the class 😉

9.  What is the last movie you watched?
I just watched Identify Thief with Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy…I LOVE Melissa McCarthy!

10.  Share five adjectives that your friends would use to describe you.
Sweet (I get that one a lot), funny (I get that one a lot too), intelligent…and I really can’t think of any others (at least any others that I can say in public :P)

Bonus:  Did you celebrate Independence Day?  If so, what did you do?
I’m a born and bred Canadian, so I celebrated Canada Day on July 1 🙂  And I didn’t really do anything except enjoy the day off 😛

So there you go, a little more about me!  Hope everyone has a great week!

Always Here If You Need Me

Happy Hump Day Everyone!always-here-if-you-need-me

Nothing I love more than a Wednesday heading into a long weekend…except maybe a Friday heading into a long weekend!  It’s Canada Day here on Monday (which is a statutory holiday) and I am taking Friday as a vacation day, so I’m looking forward to a nice long weekend.  I’m getting together on Saturday with my awesome friend Randy (whose blog createdbyrcw is amazing and you should check it out) and I’m super excited about that.

While we’re on the subject of Randy, he was kind enough last week to bestow upon me the “Always Here if You Need Me” award.  The award was designed to celebrate the love and support you get from those special few in the blogosphere who not only appreciate what you post but also make an extra effort to comment and provide support and feedback.

Randy has been, and is, one of my biggest supporters, not just with writing my blog but with writing in general.  He has always pushed and encouraged me to find my voice and tell my story—whatever it is.

The rules of the award are:

  • Post a picture of the award somewhere on your blog.
  • List five things that make you happy.
  • Nominate three people who have always been there for you, who have always provided support and enthusiasm for your efforts, and to whom you feel you could turn when you’re dealing with challenges. Comment on their blogs and let them know of the nomination.

Five Things That Make Me Happy

  1. Macaroni and cheese—pathetic, but it’s true…my love for mac and cheese is deep and it’s real.
  2. Day dreaming—I’ve always been a great planner and I could stew quietly for days just inside my own head…and if I told you what I was thinking about no one would ever want to talk to me again.  Ever. 😉
  3. Hanging out with my brother—he is one of the smartest, funniest guys I know and he can make me laugh like no one else.
  4. Reading—I am rarely, if ever, without a book near me…they provide an escape from my everyday life.
  5. Laughing—I love to laugh, but even more I love making people laugh.

Three Nominations

As much as I would love to nominate Randy, he’s already won this award, so I’m going to help keep his ego in check and nominate three other people.

  1. Trixpin at Almonds are Mercurial – An amazing blog documenting all thing yummy, not just with words but with some awesome pictures as well.  She comments often on my blog with supportive words of encouragement, which I appreciate so much!
  2. Keri at Becoming the Best Me – Keri is on a similar journey as mine, and it’s nice to read about someone else going through the same thing I am.  Keri has been very supportive of my blog since we stumbled across each other, and I’m always excited to see what she’s posting.
  3. Kimberly at Squats and Deadlifts and Lunges – Oh My! – I’ve known Kim since before our blogging days and consider her a very good friend.  I love reading about her training and getting ready for fitness and posing competitions, and though I will most likely NEVER get to the level she is at, she is inspiring to me nonetheless.  She is always encouraging me and telling me how much she loves reading my blog and is one of my best cheerleaders.

Sunshine Award

I have received my very first blogging award!  The Sunshine Award, bestowed upon me by my amazing friend Randy Willis.  Randy is a friend, writer, blogger, teacher, poet, photographer, and one of the funniest guys I know.  He is always encouraging me to write, and if it wasn’t for him I probably never would have finally launched this blog (because I was scared).  I highly recommend you check out his blog createdbyrcw.  The Sunshine Award is given to a blogger who positively and creatively inspires other bloggers.  I think it’s pretty cool that Randy is inspired by my writing because he inspires me everyday.sunshine-blog-award

Of course there are a few rules that go along with receiving this award:

  • post the Sunshine Award logo
  • link to the person who nominated you
  • answer 10 questions
  • nominate 10 other bloggers (include comments and links) and inform them they have been nominated

So here are my answers to the 10 questions:

Favourite colour?
This changes, but right now it’s teal blue.  And you can always count on me for loving black (black is slimming, right??)

Favourite animal?
Giraffes.  They’re just so….tall, and gentle (except of course when they are beating on one another).  I live in an apartment on the third floor and secretly long to have my own giraffe who would live outside, but poke his head in the window when I whistle for him a la The Friendly Giant (my Canadian friends will know what I’m talking about).

Favourite number?
I don’t really have one.  I guess maybe 29, which is the day I was born.

Favourite non-alcoholic drink?
I know that since this is a blog about health and losing weight I should say water, but it’s really Coca-Cola Classic, even though I don’t drink soda anymore.  If I received a notice today that soda was somehow good for me, I’d run to the corner store and stock up.

Favourite alcoholic drink?
Vodka and cranberry juice.

Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook…though I’m starting to learn more about Twitter

My passions?
My new-found passion is blogging, which has re-ignited my other passion of writing.  I’ve also become really excited about web design, and right now I’m learning HTML (fully becoming the geek I know I’ve always been).

Giving or receiving gifts?
I’m very good at both 😉

Favourite city?
I love London, UK.  The first time I was ever there I felt completely at home and knew I belonged there.  It has something for everyone—shopping, culture, food, history, architecture—I can’t get enough.

Favourite TV shows?
The IT Crowd, Criminal Minds, Mike and Molly, House Hunters International

Blog roll please……these are the bloggers I’m nominating.  I don’t have 10, but I’ll give you what I’ve got!

Figure Prep Before Forty – this is my friend Kimberly’s blog about her journey into the world of completing figure competitions.  Kimberly has transformed her body and is such an inspiration.

Fit and Free with Emily – Emily’s blog is great—real and very honest—as she works to balance husband, children, and life with losing weight.

Glitter and Lazer’s Weight Loss Blog – I love this blog…Glitter is such an honest writer—whatever is in her head comes out on the page—which often times makes me fall on the floor laughing.

Losing It Without Losing It – Another blog that makes me laugh by being honest, with the occasional (ok more that occasional) curse word thrown in (which I love).

Habits to Healthy – This is a great blog that offers up interesting and practical tips for exchanging your unhealthy habits for healthy ones.