Anger, Thy Name Is Victoria

The last two weeks have been, what I can only describe as, a complete disaster.

I injured my back, and just when I was starting to feel better, I took a turn for the worse and injured it further.  I spent the better part of four hours in the hospital, in the middle of the night, hoping like hell a doctor could make the intense pain go away.  I was prescribed medication, which made my feet swell up, made me tired all the time, and included a host of other symptoms I’m not going to share (trust me, you don’t want to know).  I’ve been in pain basically 24/7, parked on the couch, or a chair, or whatever piece of furniture was comfortable at the time (it changed daily), all while switching between ice and heat on my back (because what felt good changed daily as well).  I have been miserable, and moody, and whiney, and frankly I’m surprised my brother hasn’t moved out and left me here on my own.

You know what the worst part of all of this crap is?  I have no one to blame but myself.

I’m so angry at myself.  I’ve spent the last two weeks feeling sorry for myself:

  • My back hurts so I’m going to rest and watch TV for hours.
  • My back hurts so I’m going eat whatever I want to comfort myself.
  • My back hurts so I’m going to continue to eat whatever I want…

I know I was injured, and I know I needed to rest (which I did), and I know I needed some TLC (which I got), but I missed a golden opportunity here friends.  My weight factors into what happened to my back, and instead of trying to do something about it, I ate. And ate, and ate.  I haven’t weighed myself, but I’m sure I’ve gained like 10 lb in the last two weeks.  As a matter of fact, wait right here and I’ll go weigh myself.

Yep, ten pounds, boy did I call that.  I am now officially at the highest weight I have ever been.  😦

The question that now remains is: what am I going to so about it?  I’m going to take that anger—the sadness, the desperateness I’m feeling—and channel it into my health.  It’s on now, no holds barred.  I said that I was going to start asking for help, and I absolutely will.  I have friends who know fitness, I have friends who know food, I have friends who live healthy lifestyles who can teach me and inspire me to become the best me I can be.  Right now I don’t feel like best version of me, and I want that to change.

So today, is the day.

Today is the day I put all my excuses behind me and I go for it.  I’ll have limitations at first—my back is still healing, I’m still dealing with medication side effects—but I will do what I can until I can do more.  Then I’ll do more after that until I get where I want to be.

There is no turning back, so watch out.  Things are about to change.

28-Day Challenge Days 8, 9, 10, and 11

Nothing very exciting has been going on so I decided to bundle up the last few days into one post.  It’s mostly been work and studying.  I’m super excited about being back in school and am loving my first class.  I am working towards my certificate in Publishing at Ryerson University and my first class is Practical Grammar and Punctuation.  It may sound tedious and boring to some, but I’m enjoying it (I know, I’m a total geek).

I got in some cardio and strength training on Saturday morning, finally focusing on exercise as I said I would this week.  the weather on Saturday morning was beautiful—sunny with a cool breeze—and I couldn’t wait to get out there for a walk.  I power walked 30 minutes listening to some tunes and all felt right with the world.  I’m so happy the nice weather is here.  I love being outside and enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.

I tried something different for my strength training session.  I recently came across Tone it Up! a website of strength training workouts by these two fabulous ladies Karena and Katrina.  I found them on YouTube which led me to their website.  They have great strength training workouts of various types and lengths (plus so much more – nutrition, tips and tricks, recipes, etc.).  They just started their summer Bikini Series so I did the total body Bikini Body workout.  Some of the moves were a little difficult for me, but if I couldn’t do something I just substituted a different exercise so I still got the full workout and benefits.

On the food side I did a little grocery shopping and stocked up for the week.  This week I’ll try and share with you some of the dishes I’ve been enjoying.  Right now I’m typically eating a lot of the same things every day, which some people may find boring but it works for me.  As I start to try out more recipes I’m sure my meals will become more diverse.  I say if something works, go for it.

I also indulged maybe a little too much this past weekend.  You let your guard down for one minute and suddenly there is a chocolate chip cookie in your mouth…and then another…and then…well let’s just say I learned my lesson.  Even though I ate a few things I probably shouldn’t have, I’m proud of the way I handled it.  I got right back up off the dirt and kept on moving.  No feeling sorry for this girl!!

28-day Challenge Week One Recap

Well here we are at Day 7!!  I made it through Week One and it was a pretty good one if I do say so myself.

The Highs

I think one of the best things this week was that I managed to keep my eating mostly on track.  I had a couple of—we’ll call them indiscretions—but for the most part I stuck to eating whole foods and stayed away from the processed and packaged junk.

The other good thing this week was that I think I stuck to my intention of showing up, at least when it came to eating.  I planned, I cooked and it worked in my favour because I had yummy, healthy eats available.

The Lows

The low this week was my utter lack of exercise.  I only got in one strength training workout this week and only about an hour of cardio.  It was something, but I’m going to try harder this coming week to make exercise a priority.

The other low was the bagel and cream cheese I ate at the train station on Day 6.  That was me just eating because I could and not because I needed to.  I thought about why I ate the bagel and the only thing I could come up with was that I felt like I deserved a reward.  I had just come from my first class at Ryerson that went really well and I’d been having a really great eating week.  When I emotionally eat, my brain doesn’t seem to distinguish between happy and unhappy.  When I’m unhappy, I’m eating to soothe, when I’m happy I’m eating to reward.

Week One Weigh In

Drum roll please……………………….I lost 6 lb!!  I’m very excited and going to use this as momentum to push ahead into week two.

Week Two Intention

My intention for week two is to move my body more.  I did a piss poor job of exercising this past week so I’m going to focus on that this week.  I’m looking forward to week two—incorporating more exercise and refining my eating a little more.  It’s going to be a great week!

28-day Challenge Day 6

Day 6….what to say about Day 6?

Day 6 started out well enough.  Up early, good breakfast, off to work…typical morning all around.  Then I got to lunch time.

I went to Subway to have lunch with a colleague.  I ordered a 6 inch turkey sub on 9-grain bread.  Sounds like I’m doing ok, right? After I ordered, I turned around and looked in the beverage cooler behind me intending to grab a bottle of water.  For some reason though, my eyes moved quickly from the water to the chocolate milk one shelf above.  I saw it, I bought it, I drank it.  I know it has refined sugar in it, which I’m supposed to be staying away from, but it was good.  Really good.  Strike one.

My day was incredibly busy, and I had to rush to get a few tasks finished by the end of the day.  I also has my first class at Ryerson, so it was a pretty packed day.  I packed myself some dinner the night before, specifically so I didn’t have to go out between work and class and find some dinner that might be unhealthy.  My day got so busy that it was already after 5pm before I even realized what time it was and I still wasn’t finished the task I needed to complete before I left work.  I was rushing around thinking I wasn’t going to have time for dinner before I left.  I went into the work kitchen where I was greeted by this:


Yeah, that’s the snack cupboard I have to look at whenever I’m in the office.  Talk about temptation!  And I was soooo tempted to just grab a bag of chips and a chocolate bar and be done with it.  I looked at the cupboard, took a deep breath, and proceeded to open the refrigerator instead and heat up the chicken and pasta dish I brought with me for dinner.  Small victory, but I’ll take it!

I managed to scarf down my dinner, finish my task and then rushed off to school (couldn’t be late for my first day!).  Three hours later I was back at the train station waiting to head home.  Once again, surrounded by the sights and smells of every possible food that I shouldn’t be eating.  I tried to resist, but I ended up scarfing down a bagel and cream cheese. I know…tsk tsk tsk.  The worst part is that I don’t even know why I ate it.  I wasn’t really hungry, but I was waiting, it was there, and it happened.  Strike two.  Sometimes resistance is futile I suppose.

So a couple of indiscretions yesterday, but I’m not too upset with myself.  Normally this would be the point where I get upset myself for not having any willpower, throw in the towel and tell myself that I’ve ruined the week so I might as well eat whatever I want and start again Monday.  I’m not going to do that this time.  I’ve scheduled myself a workout this morning and I’m ready to get back on track.  Thursday is my weigh in day and I’m very excited to check my progress.

NO GIVING UP!  I CAN DO THIS! (and so can you!!)

Tossing the Salad

I hate salad. I think I may have mentioned that before in previous posts, but I think it’s worth noting again. I hate salad. I know it’s good for me, I know it’s a great way to get in my six to eight servings of vegetables a day (or however many I’m supposed to be eating), but seriously, salad is just lame. LAME! The boring lettuce, other soggy vegetables…and the only way to make it taste even remotely appetizing is to drench it in a heart attack-inducing dressing sprinkled with half a pound of refined-carb garlic croutons.

So after a while salad and I parted company. It was for everyone’s own good, we just weren’t meant to be. His friends dressing and croutons were bringing me down and my weight up. I never forgot about salad though, and one day made the brave decision to try things again. We could work this out; we just needed to add some spice to our relationship! So that’s exactly what I did.

I found this fantastic recipe for Turkey Lettuce Tacos on the blog—fabulous recipes, I highly recommend you check it out; especially if you are on Weight Watchers because all the point values are broken down for each recipe. Anyway, back to the tacos. I made the seasoned ground turkey from the recipe and instead of making tacos, I added it to my salad. Mixed greens, some chopped tomato and peppers, a little shredded cheddar and BAM! I had the makings of a delicious salad. Colour me shocked! The best part? The sauce from the seasoned turkey acts as a delicious dressing. Take that fat-laden salad dressings! Your services are not required here.  The even better part?  One serving of the turkey taco mix (slightly more than half a cup) has 134 calories, 2 g of fat, and 21 g of protein.  Can you say yay?  Oh wait I don’t think that was loud enough…YAY!!!

I know at the begging of this blog I said that I hated salad; that may have been a little harsh. Salad and I have now reconciled—gone are the dreary days of unsatisfying lunches and in their place remains a long-lasting love affair with passion and spice.

Next week I’ll tell you about my steamy affair with quinoa pasta 😉

And Now We’re Really Back…

Wednesday is my weigh-in day for Weight Watchers.  I go to weigh in and attend my meeting for that oh-so-needed support.  I wasn’t sure how I

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

was going to fare this week given my struggles with eating all the points I’m suppose to eat.  But guess what my friends??

I lost 4.8 pounds.  BOOYA.

This is a HUGE victory for me, and has definitely set me back on the right track.  I also had a very productive discussion with my WW leader who helped me deal with a few issues—the major one being my issue with eating enough.  I explained to her my struggles to eat all of the points I’m allotted in a day and how much stress it was causing me.  She told me that happens to a lot of people in the beginning, and that I should try to get as close as I can but to listen to my body.  If I feel satisfied with what I’ve eaten for the day then that’s ok.

So I’m going to let go of the stress about eating, listen to my body’s cues, and work towards another victory for next Wednesday. 🙂

It’s My Big Day!!

Happy Monday everyone!  And if you are in Canada, HAPPY VICTORIA DAY!

That’s right folks, it’s a whole day to celebrate me!  Don’t push and shove, you’ll all get your chance to give me your warmest wishes.  Please leave your very large gifts in the pile over in the corner.  There will be cake and…ice cream, after the band plays…wait, what?

I’ve just been informed that today is not about me.  It’s about this broad, Queen Victoria:


Well fine, whatever, I didn’t need my own day anyway.  But I could totally rock that crown.

Anyway…it’s a beautiful long-weekend here in southern Ontario.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I’m feeling fine.  Why, you may ask?  Well thank you for asking, I’ll tell you.  There are a few reasons:

Top Five Reasons Victoria (me not the dead queen) is Feelin’ Fine:

  1. I went to a wedding yesterday wearing high heels and I didn’t fall out of them.  This is a triumph.
  2. The wedding itself yesterday was great.  My cousin and his new bride are so awesome and I hope they have an amazing life together.  And they throw one hell of a party.
  3. My mother, who was also at the wedding, is probably the craziest, funniest lady I know.  And girl knows how to get her party on.  She drinks, she dances, she lives it up, and watching her reminds me that I take myself way too seriously sometimes.  Today is also her birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!
  4. After going to the wedding I was feeling kind of peckish, so I asked my brother to stop at McDonalds.   Before he stopped at McDonalds he needed to stop at the drug store, where I waited patiently in the car for him.  This gave me a moment to then talk myself out of having a late night snack.  When he returned to the car I told him I was going to pass on the Mickey D’s.  Victoria 1, McDonald’s 0.
  5. Today is a GORGEOUS day!  My right leg is finally feeling back to normal, so I’m going to put on some tunes and head out for a walk.

So friends, whether you’re at work, or enjoying this crazy Canadian statutory holiday, enjoy your day!

Kicking Ass and Taking Names

Today I am a rock star.

I channeled my inner athlete today.  I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and in doing so achieved something great.  I made myself believe that I can do anything I set my mind to.

The day didn’t start out that way though, that’s for sure.

It started with my appointment at the weight loss clinic.  I go every four weeks for a quick check in with the doctor, they take my blood pressure, and I hop on the scale for a check on how I’m doing.  Not so well apparently because over the last four weeks I gained two pounds.

I wasn’t in the best mood to begin with this morning, and I was dreading this appointment because I was not expecting good news.  Short of my blood pressure being bang on, it was indeed not great, but as my friend Kevin said to me, “today is a fresh start”.

Shortly after this, as I made my way home wallowing in my own self-pity, my friend Annie texted me to see if I was interested in going for a hike that afternoon.  The weather in Southern Ontario has finally taken a turn for the better, and today was a sunny, clear day with +20°C temperatures.   Annie wanted to head up to Mt. Nemo Conservation Area in north Burlington to hike the trails for a while.

I stared at her text and re-read it a few times.  Hiking….sitting.   Trails….couch.  Sore muscles tomorrow…feet up watching television today.  Decisions, decisions…

Then I remembered my last blog post about pushing myself to be uncomfortable.  So at 3:00pm I found myself in Annie’s car, sun roof open, speeding along to Mt. Nemo.  What was expected to be a fairly easy trail hike turned into a two-hour athletic adventure full of rough terrain, steep inclines, and climbing over rocks.  It was tough, it was exhausting…and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.  I’ve include a few pictures from our hike…

We hiked the 2.3 km North Loop Trail (Orange)

We hiked the 2.3 km North Loop Trail (Orange)

Things start getting rough....

Things start getting rough….

Scaling rocks!!

Scaling rocks!!

The view from the top

The view from the top

When I finished the hike—despite a small injury at the 2 km mark (I twisted my ankle on a tree root hidden under some leaves)—I felt amazing, I felt invigorated!  I really did it!  And even in those moments during the hike when I as unsure of myself, I pushed though and did it.  I’ve never been prouder of myself and I can’t wait to do it again.  Once my ankle heals of course 😉

Love Notes

On Friday I was cleaning up my iPhone—updating apps, cleaning out old emails, etc.—when I came across a note that I had written to myself.  I wrote this on August 8, 2012, almost 8 months ago:

What if today, and everyday, I just decided to do better?  To do better, to feel better, to look better, to BE better.  Better than all the days before it.  Make a conscious effort to be present in my life, rather than watching from the sidelines as though my life is a spectator sport I have no control over.  Not letting my days pass by wishing things could be different, but actually getting up every morning vowing to MAKE things different.  Be confident in myself and the choices I am making in my life.

I haven’t done that.  The question is…what the hell am I waiting for?

Hands down, best thing I’ve ever written. 🙂

Weigh-in today – 0.5 lost.  Not a massive achievement, but I’m enjoying the fact that after a stressful week I didn’t gain.  Relish in even the smallest victories 🙂