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. ūüėČBlogtember200_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‚ÄĒthat 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.

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Let Them All Eat Cake!!

I am an office worker.  I wake up at 5:00am and schlep myself via train, across three cities to the big, booming metropolis of Toronto.

I know what you’re thinking.¬† “Why Victoria, WHY would you do this to yourself everyday?”

Truthfully, I have no idea, other than the fact that I really have no desire to live in Toronto.¬† It’s a lot of people crammed into a small space, with a lot of buildings, and they have possibly the craziest mayor EVER (if Jon Stewart takes the time to talk about you, you gots to be all kinds of crazy).¬† Burlington is nice…lot’s of green space, fresh air, I live not far from the lake…but I digress.

One of the hardest things about¬†working in an office, whether it’s a 1.5-hour commute or right in your own backyard,¬†is the amount of food that passes through the doors every day.¬†¬†Lunch meetings, staff appreciation events, staff birthdays…our meeting rooms are¬†a never-ending revolving¬†door of food.¬† But it doesn’t end there.¬† Leftovers make their way into the kitchen and¬†it’s a constant battle to not snack.¬† Cookies, donuts, cake, sandwiches…how’s a girl suppose to deal with all of this?

And then my friends, there is this:

Candy

This is the snack food counter in the kitchen.¬† All proceeds go to the social committee, so eat up!¬† Chips, chocolate, candy, gum, and my personal favourite sesame snaps.¬† I can’t go into the kitchen to get a glass of water without being confronted by this area of extreme deliciousness.¬† It’s a constant struggle and it is exhausting.¬† Especially if I’m having a particularly stressful day.

I’ve tried to find ways to not have to deal with all the delicious, yummy, not-so-good-for-me food; I bring my own snacks to work and keep them in my desk drawer, I have a large water bottle that I fill up in the morning so I don’t have to make as many trips to kitchen, and I try not to get involved in too many lunch meetings.¬† Everything was going pretty well, until Cake Day on Thursday.¬† Stupid Cake Day!!

Once a month, the¬†staff gather for cake to celebrate everyone who has had a birthday in that particular month.¬† Fortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to participate in Thursday’s Cake Day because I was on a conference call.¬† I ate my regular snack (almonds and raisins)¬†and everything was going as planned.¬†¬†Later in the afternoon I went into the kitchen to fill my water bottle, and as soon as I walked into the kitchen I knew it was there.¬† I could feel its presence…CAKE!¬† I opened the refrigerator, and there on the second shelf was a plate of…CAKE!¬† Not just any cake…chocolate cake.¬† My arch nemesis.¬† Sitting there, looking all smug.¬† And there is nothing worse than a smug cake.¬† I couldn’t help myself, I was lost beyond all reason!¬† So, I ate the cake.¬† Just one piece.¬† And it was sooooo good (not so smug now, are you my icing-laden friend).

So even the best laid plans get turned on their ear‚ÄĒeven if just once a month for Cake Day.¬† Back to almonds and raisins for me.

Tune in next week, when Victoria battles it out with a self-righteous Cinnabon at the train station.

Aaaaaand We’re Back…

So, you may have noticed I’ve been absent for the past two weeks.¬† Or maybe¬†I just have an ego the size of Montana thinking anyone noticed I wasn’t blogging. ūüėČ

You know what happens when I get quiet…it means I’m up to no good.¬† Which I definitely was.

It started three days after the Saturday that I went for the 2.3 km hike.¬† When we last saw Victoria, she was noticeably sore, but working through it, and her ankle was feeling better.¬† Well, my ankle healed nicely thanks, however it was my right hamstring that posed the biggest challenge for me.¬† On the third day after the hike I woke up, put my feet on the floor, stood up, and screamed at the pain shooting down the back of my right leg.¬† I limped my way to the washroom, convincing myself I’d never walk again, envisioning myself with¬†crutches¬†or a ¬†cane…how would I get around?¬† what would I do? how would I live??!!

Ok, I’m a bit of a drama queen sometimes, so shoot me.

Surrounding all of this is the fact that I also haven’t been eating very well.¬† Actually, eating with reckless abandon sounds more like it.¬† So to say I’ve been off-track is somewhat of an understatement.¬† I basically fell into vat of macaroni and cheese and tried to eat my way out.

This really didn’t serve me well the day I decided to go clothes shopping for a wedding I’m going to this weekend.¬† I can only equate¬†the experience¬†to the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil spinning frantically around the dressing room while¬†trying on clothes‚ÄĒthat is if the Tasmanian Devil had also just gained a couple of pounds and started to cry after he couldn’t find anything that fit or looked right.¬† Yeah that’s right, I cried when I couldn’t find anything to wear.¬† I’m a girl, sometimes we do that (see drama queen reference above).¬† The really awful part about all of this is that¬†after I finished my horrible clothes shopping expedition, all I wanted to do was eat.¬† So…I did.¬† I was emotionally charged and I took my frustrations out on myself by eating.¬† A bag of chips, a bottle of ice tea, two cupcakes, I think there¬†was some ice cream in there somewhere, though I may have blacked out after the cupcakes.

When I first started writing the blog, I promised myself I wasn’t going to censor anything.¬† The point is to show the highs and the lows of trying to lose weight.¬† The highest highs and even the lowest lows.¬† I think it’s safe to say that the past¬†two weeks¬†have been a low point.¬† I was feeling pretty miserable, and sorry for myself, but after talking with a few friends, and now getting my feelings out on the blog, I’m definitely feeling better.

I even found something to wear to the wedding. ūüôā

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The Quiet Hours

So, I’ve been a little quiet this week…

Would you believe I haven’t had anything to say? (Those people in my life who really know me would I’m sure say they do not believe that).

Ok, here’s the real truth‚ÄĒI am struggling.¬† It was a rough week filled with illness, work stress, heartache, and what I think may¬†have been¬†a mild depressive episode (thank you very much miserable southern Ontario weather).¬† My heart was just not¬†in it¬†last week, but let me assure you all, my appetite was.¬† Oh yes friends, she was in full form.¬† I won’t go into too many details,¬†however, there was a small incident involving popcorn and a box of Milk Duds at the movies¬†that I’m not very proud of.

When I started this blog, I thought “this will be great, having to blog about my weight loss will help keep me accountable, it will help keep me on track!”¬† Well guess what folks…it soooo doesn’t work like that.¬† And it shouldn’t.¬† The only one who can keep me accountable is me, the only one who can keep me on track is me.¬† Some weeks I’m going to want it bad, some weeks I’m going to care less.¬† Since last week¬†was definitely a care less week, I did not do anything to contribute to my short-term goals.¬† So now I need to work twice as hard in the coming weeks.¬† Crime, meet punishment.

So here we are, back at¬†Monday and a new, fresh week laid out before me.¬† The sun¬†was shining today for the first time¬†in about a week…I feel like this may be a sign that better days and weeks are to come.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

PS – I just want to give a shout out to my awesome, amazing friends Jennifer and Kevin who both told me that they are working on drinking less¬†soda‚ÄĒI know you can both can do it and I’m so proud of you! xo¬† Any one else up for the challenge??

Pardon Me While I Eat My Feelings

I am a stress eater.  When life starts to hand me lemons, I make lemon pound cake.  What this really means is that I am an emotional eater.  I allow my feelings to dictate not only what I eat, but how much I eat.

This emotional eating includes good feelings as well as bad ones.  When I’m feeling good, food can be a reward, and when I’m feeling badly, food is my best friend.  It’s something I struggle with constantly.

For example, right now I am having a particularly stressful week at work.¬† Things are very busy and I have multiple deadlines all due by the end of the week.¬† Yesterday, when two of my deadlines were pushed up, my immediate thought was lunch.¬† Odd, right?¬† Not for me.¬† My plan yesterday was to run an errand for my brother and then grab a turkey sub on whole grain bread from Subway¬ģ.¬† But suddenly thoughts of turkey subs turned to meatball subs with extra cheese, bags of chips, chocolate chip cookies…well, you can see where this was going.

Surprisingly thought, I held strong.¬† I ran my errand and then trotted off to Subway¬ģ and bought my turkey on whole grain with lots of veggies.¬† I even tried honey mustard for the first time of which, I have discovered, I am not a fan.

Today…not so successful.¬† After a very busy and stressful day, I broke down and ate a large bagel with cream cheese on the train ride home.¬† Not the worst thing I could have eaten, but I certainly could have made a better choice.

So what did I learn from all this?  If I REALLY want to (and I do, I swear), I can ward off emotional eating.  I am strong enough.  I just need to be mindful of what I’m putting in my mouth and ask myself two questions:

1.  Am I really hungry or am I just [fill in devastating emotion here]?

2.  Is what I am about to eat going to ultimately make me feel better or worse?

The answer to No. 2 by the way is always worse.

I could have lied a few paragraphs ago and said I indulged in an apple, or a handful of almonds, but cream cheese bagel was the truth (the creamy, delicious truth), and that‚Äôs what I‚Äôm writing on this blog.¬† Not every day is going to be perfect and not everything I eat is going to be the best thing.¬† What I’m learning is¬†that it’s ok that¬† every day isn’t perfect, and it’s ok if I don’t choose the best thing to eat.¬† I’ll always have another chance tomorrow.