Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Reluctant Athlete: The Re-(re-re-re-re-re-)commitment

A number of years ago, I started a weight-loss themed blog. The idea was to keep myself accountable. I had moderate success but nothing long-term. Then I moved to the new job position, and my need to get healthy completely fell by the wayside - or is it weigh-side? *insert groan here* - because work. I didn't make weight-loss a priority and stopped blogging altogether.

Noticing that my clothing has been feeling tighter, I decided it was time to make it a priority again. It wasn't just about being more consistent with my kickboxing and bootcamp attendance but also being better with my eating habits. As a person who lives alone, being smart with my eating habits has always been an area I struggled, especially once I started kickboxing and wasn't getting home until 7:30 each night. This has to change.

I needed to know my starting point if I was going to do this, so I stepped on the scale for the first time in almost two years.

Before stepping on the scale, I had a number in my head I expected to see. Boy, was I off! I knew I was higher than my previous high of 241lbs, but I honestly didn't expect to see 257lbs on the scale. I could do nothing but think to myself "I am a fucking fat sloth... except not as adorable."

This... is not acceptable. For years, I've hovered around 230lbs. Definitely overweight, I'm not denying that, but I had marginally less than 100lbs to lose. (My lowest adult weight was 135lbs. When I get there, you'll understand why I don't go lower.) Mentally, that less than 100lbs was big to me. I was fat, but I wasn't that fat!

Well, I'm that fat now.

I got on the phone with Katie and discussed what had happened. We talked about what my goals would be for the next few months, what was feasible with the work schedule I had coming up, and what my targets would be weekly, monthly, and for the end of the year.

The best part about talking this all through with Katie? She was so bloody cheerful and positive about the whole thing. It was like I had phoned Bob the Builder. Can you lose it? YES, YOU CAN! Despite my grumbles about her being too fucking happy about all this, I found myself completely convinced by the end of the phone call that I was going to succeed. If you ever need a cheerleader in your corner, she is the person to go to!

I had my first weekly weigh-in yesterday and I'm down 3lbs. I know that even the best weight loss stories are not a straight line from Point A to Point B, but I'd say I'm off to a good start.

And now I really want to watch all three seasons of Sherlock back-to-back.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

How To Get Out Of a Funk, According to Me

Do you remember the children's story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Well, I lived that day excepted it lasted a whole week. There was no one big event that made last week bad, just a million little things that snowballed into a crappy week: forgot my trusty coffee cup every day, had a leaky to-go coffee cup which I discovered in the middle of a meeting with lots of higher-up employees, stayed late every day, missed all my gym classes because of staying late, painfully tore a fingernail, rolled my ankle running for the bus for the one gym class I thought I might make, left my wallet at home. Again, a million little things that separately would mean nothing.

On Wednesday, a conversation with a co-worker lead to a discussion about my time in Tanzania, and she asked the question I've been asked a million times: "would you go back?" I gave the same answer I've given a million times: "in a heartbeat." But then she added an extra question - why haven't you? - and I had no good answer for her. I started to question why I hadn't gone back or why I hadn't done more to ensure that I would go back. On top of all the other annoyances, the question of why aren't you back in Tanzania right now? started running through my head. And all these things just really started to harsh my buzz, man.

That is how I found myself, Friday night, alone at my parent's, overreacting to a bobbin issue with my mom's sewing machine.

My mom has a new machine and I have still not mastered the art of replacing the bobbin and having it catch. I have tried and tried and tried, and always end up having to get my mom to do it. Except she wasn't home that evening and in my rising frustration, I removed not only the bobbin, but the entire bobbin casing and it fell apart in my hands. I searched the instructions and amazingly, there was nothing - NOTHING! - about how to put the bobbin casing back together. I fumed. I cannot be the only person who has accidentally removed and destroyed the bobbin casing! That's when I got up from my chair and started leaping around the room, waving my fists and swearing violence on the machine as if I was Basil Fawlty assaulting his car. I'm sure if I a tree branch had been laying nearby, I would have used it to beat the machine.

I was defeated by a bobbin. To be honest, it was depressing and a little humiliating.

I woke up Saturday morning still in a funk. Everything I planned to do that day took longer than normal: trip to the grocery store, cleaning the house, baking the Raspberry Meringue Pie, getting ready for my night out. If I estimated something would take an hour, it took an hour and a half. This was really not helping with the funk and I half-wished I could cancel my plans for the evening but I knew there was no weaselling out the party.

That night, I was having a serious pity party as I arrived for the Downton Abbey Dinner in a dress that was decidedly not Edwardian thanks to the Battle of the Bobbin. Since the Downton Abbey Dinner party had first been proposed in January, I planned to make an Edwardian dress for the event. At the end of the day, however, it really didn't matter to anyone else that my dress wasn't period appropriate.  We sat in Julie's sunny backyard, sipped 'Carson Approved Beverages', munched on various dishes from the Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook (and a few that weren't from there) and laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

I needed that. Sunday morning came around and things just looked better. Sometimes a night with friends is exactly what you need.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Happy Friday!

I had no intention of blogging today but there a few things I want to blog about but I won't be getting back on until Monday at the earliest. Crazy, awesome busy weekends are great in theory until you realise that you're going to be a five different events in 36 hours and won't be coming home during that time either. But that's what summer is for, right?

1. Groups in Canada are seriously considering a bid to host the World Cup 2026.

I found out about this today thanks to Toronto Girl West. It's amazing that I didn't scream in the office as I read it. I'm more excited about this than the Olympics coming and we're just talking about the fact that Canada is thinking about putting a bid in.

If Canada does put in a bid, I probably will vomit.

2. My cousin posted a video of an Irish (as Gaeilge) version of Lorde's Royals. It's from an Irish-language school in the Connemara region of Ireland and I discovered that they do a lot of these videos where they translate popular songs into Irish and have recorded videos for a few of them. You can find them on YouTube under TG Lurgan (the school) and Seo Linn (a group made up of some of the teachers, they're the older ones you see in the videos). Just because I can, I'm posting my two favourites.

Original song here

Original song here

It always makes me happy to see Irish being used in a way that is relevant to the younger population in Ireland. It's been a hard battle to save the language when very people actually grow up speaking it, and class room lessons so often leave the student wanting to claw their own eyes out. This is a fun way to get the younger generation interested in the language. I'll step off my soap box now.

(For the record, I speak just enough Irish to sound impressive to someone who doesn't speak Irish. In other words, I blow Canadian minds with my five sentences.)

3. While I'm a post-all-the-videos! roll, I'm going to see Only Lover Left Alive tonight.

A vampire love story with Tom Hiddleston? Yes, please!

And now I'm off for a weekend of Tom Hiddleston, baby showers, girls nights, family brunches, and (hopefully) German soccer victories.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Blogging Life

I'm starting to understand why so many bloggers follow a schedule or theme with posts. Monday Moves, Taco Tuesday, all that jazz. Sometimes it's just easier to start writing when you have set parameters for your topic. Friday, therefore I must talk about French Braids! I can't tell you how many posts I have in draft right now (actually, I can, it's 18) because I start writing and then get lost going on tangents and trying to figure out how to tie it all together.

If you haven't seen The Lego Movie yet, go watch it and then come back so we can be friends.
It will also help with the Taco Tuesday reference.

I shy away from the idea of themed posts, however, because I find so many of them boring and/or really repetitive. There are only so many What I Ate Wednesdays before the blogger can pretty much just link back to the one post over and over again.

Still, there is something to be said for regularity and themes.



So, I'm going to give it a try. Not every day (because I'm lazy) but I'm going to try for three themed posts a week.

  1. It will give this blog more structure over all.
  2. The blog will be updated regularly.
  3. I won't be looking at a blank page with no idea where to start on a post.
  4. All the cool kids People are doing it.
And I'm going to start next week because, again, lazy.

Also, then the World Cup will be over and I can pretend to have a life again. Until then, Germany is in the final against Argentina so win or lose, I'll be drunk on Sunday!

Until then...