Current Happenings

Plains & Pastures Bike Tour (2013)

I'm so proud to live here! Fredericton folks are just AMAZING!!!  Thank you one and all!!  My team raised over $2000.  The support was humbling.  What a great place to be!!!

Mind you, the journey isn't about me - it's about people who fight this horrible disease on a daily basis.  If you're reading this now, I hope you'll come back and sponsor me in the ride next time. 


Bike for Breath

Many thanks to everyone and their generosity.  The amazing people in my life supported me to the tune of $377.  Some days it is just great to be here!   (Fall 2012)


Painful lessons

I swear I never learn.  I know the answers, I know the consequences and I still keep making poor choices.

My husband retired and we had a party.  (Well YEAH!)  This is not a problem.  I had a responsible amount of celebratory refreshments and healthy proportions of food on my plate.  My dinner plate that is.....

Given that he’s probably only going to retire once, I convinced my daughter to bake home-made cinnamon buns.  She is a genius in the kitchen and her cinnamon buns are scrumptious.  Since we’ve been on this healthy kick, we haven’t had them in years.  Literally a couple years.  So PARTY TIME = Once in a blue moon cinnamon buns.

And given this is an incredibly rare occasion, and they so absolutely amazing, didn’t I just pig right out and have a couple of them, not just one.  You really haven’t lived until you’ve experienced one of my daughter’s cinnamon buns hot out of the oven.  YUM!

Yeah, well, the next morning was NOT so yum.  Every single joint in my body ached, no muscle pain, just EVERY single joint.  It was exactly the way I felt 3+ years ago when I thought I had arthritis.  Was it the wheat?  Was it the sugar?  Either way it was a bad idea!!!  

When I stepped on the scale it was 6 pound difference from the day before.  My normal daily fluctuations are 2-3 pounds - not 6.  The body was clearly NOT happy.

I wish I could claim that we cut out wheat on the basis of knowledge.  We didn’t.  We cut carbs and the only way to do that is to cut out sugars and flours of all descriptions.  This massive re-introduction netted me a allergic type of inflammatory response in all my joints.  Sigh.  I knew this would happen.  Re-introducing allergens when you’ve been “clean” will often yield an exaggerated response compared to previous constant exposures.  And that is exactly what happened.  Sigh.

Chalk it up in the lesson department:  No more indulging.  It’s really not worth all the pain the next day.


Owning It

Man.  Honesty just sucks.  It's much, much easier to blame someone or make excuses.  So ... I fell off the wagon, lost the trail, lost the map, etc.  I think you get the picture.  Getting back on track is just as hard as I thought.  After all these years I'm beginning to know me.  If I let myself slide on one thing, I'll slide on a dozen.  And I did.

So... status check: I have NOT dropped swimming.  That's still a minimum of 1 km in the pool every workday lunchtime. I have been biking to work sporadically in good weather, now that the weather is better I've been much more regular at it.  The river is beautiful this time of year and the Osprey are back in the nest.

Food diary: that starts back again today.  Own what you put in your mouth.  Don't kid yourself.  Log it! 

Resistance training is next on the list.

Food choices: RE-eliminating ALL sugars and most starches.  That took a year before .... let's think about a couple weeks for that change back to healthy eating.

Sleep improvement -- that will happen with less tv and earlier nights.  Exercize also helps.

Stress management.  With several financial worries now under control this one is getting better day by day.  Time to put that course on mindfulness to work.  That's what got me through last spring but I let it slide when things starting coming around -- it's time to revisit those techniques.

Day by day.  My wonderful supportive cousin L told me that she had every confidence I'd turn myself around.  "You've come too far not to".  She's right.  Thanks L!


800 Kilometres

No excuses.  That's what I promised myself and my daughter.  Always truth.  Well the truth is things have not been going as well as they once were.  What do I need to own in that? 

Over time I gradually stopped logging my food consistently.  If I had kept to a strict repeat of the formula that works well, I should have been ok.  Didn't do that either.  Attitude crept in and I ate many things I had previously dropped.  Conscious or unconsious decisions???  A little bit of both.  Denying food says "Self you're not worthy" so if I honestly wanted it then I would have it.

Swimming remained constant.  I'm up to 800 kilometres in the pool.  That's only 60km shy of swimming to Halifax & back again!!  YAY ME!!!

Sleep quality tanked.  Headaches more often.  Stress and sleep are so highly interrelated. My work underwent a massive restructuring with several new managers inserted where previously there were none.  Sigh.  My immediate supervisor turns out to be an honest gem so things are finally settling nice for me.  My husband has been doing oddjob contracts for the past year, and those have now finally run dry.  He will be forced into retiring in a couple weeks.  Lucky dog him!!!!!  Things are starting to even out.

I have been weighing myself all along, and watched the scales creep up, month after month.  On a post-sugar day the water weight shoots up about 3 pounds, and disappears the following day.  I have gained back almost 30 pounds in the year since my husband lost his job. 

It's time to set some priorities.  Health is a big one.  There's been about 6 premature passings of people in my spheres.  What a wake-up when a former colleague collapses in the hall at work and passes away before the weekend.  He never even had a chance to retire!!!!! 

The weather is nice now, my bike is down off the rack, and I need to get back in the groove.  So many positive milestones to encourage me: nicer clothes is one; NOT needing a CPAP machine any longer and having the test results to prove it; going to a seminar and being able to sit in an ordinary collapsible camp chair beside the ring -- now THAT was triumph!!!!!  Here we go again.


700 Kilometres in the pool

A friend of mine called me today.  “I’ve checked your blog.  NOTHING NEW!!”  Ummm yeah.  Busted.  “Why not?”  Well, it’s a long list of excuses....

In truth, there wasn’t anything to write home about.  Weight loss is on a plateau.  So is strength training.  Well, strength training more like “fell off" the plateau.  

Time has been a scarce commodity lately.  I had a major project at work that actually came into being on October 8th.  (Three years on the file and it’s finally a public item.  Wahoo!)  

I actually thought I’d do a bit of personal improvement so I signed up for an online course in Statistics.  One of those newfangled MOOC’s:  Massive Open Online Courses.  The price is right: free.  Taught by a bonafide stats professor and delivered by Princeton University.  That’s right.... I’m taking a course FROM PRINCETON!!! 

The only possible thing that follows an announcement like that would be “What were you thinking?!?#?@?”  Well I was thinking that a course in statistics would really help me with projects at work right now.  “Are you crazy?  You have time to take a course in anything, never mind Statistics?”  Actually I don’t, but never let the truth interfere with your dreams.  “You’re dreams are taking statistics courses?”  Nightmares actually, but the price was right and it will come in handy....... (Probably the least lame excuse I've got going on this list.)

September means my daughter goes back to school and the after-school taxi service reappears in my portfolio.  September also means that the dog club I belong to starts our public obedience classes again for the fall & winter season.  Speaking of dogs, I do continue to volunteer regularly (taking my Therapy Dog into a local facility to visit patients.)  While TDog activity hums, training of my dog is in “a lull”.  I’ve got loads of new ideas to test on him after a couple really good seminars this summer...... gotta put it into action before I forget it all!!!

There’s this whole winter thing coming on, so there’s a garden to shut down and a woodpile to build up.  Not to mention that giant storage bin that’s actually meant to cover cars and currently chock full of crap.  I did manage to haul several bags of recycling away and I’ve got a willing recipient for a pile of shoes that are too small and a bigger pile of clothes that are too big.  Getting shoes & clothes into cardboard boxes appears to be a major hurdle.  I really must do that “soon”........

Sleep and Stress both start with “S”.  I wonder if there’s a reason for that?  Can’t honestly say that Stress is under control yet but I’m working on that with a series of appointments for Therapeutic Massage.  I did treat myself to a relaxation massage at one point in the height of insanity this summer, but to tell you the truth it really didn’t do much.  It felt great while it lasted but I was just as wired the next day.  Clearly I need more serious interventions.  

I’ve taken a snippet of time in the past week to sit down at the piano and to pick up the guitar.  It’s really quite pathetic when you have to literally dust off your musical instruments.  Actually I had to dig out the piano bench from under a mountain of clothes that are too big now...... a small sampling of those same clothes that are supposed to go into those cardboard boxes.... sigh.

As I filled out my swim log I realized I finally had something to write about.  I can at least hold my head up and say I kept swimming every available lunch hour.  Work schedules interfered with a few, but only a few.  My major milestone was 700 kilometres in the pool. THAT is something to write home about.  That’s the same as Fredericton to Halifax and back to Moncton!!!  Wahoo!!!!  That’s 548 sessions in the pool.  Maybe I should’ve highlighted the 500th swim session?   It was July 17th by the way.....



Motivation is a funny thing.  Ha Ha.  Not so funny at all.  Particularly when you discover that yours has disappeared.

There’s a lovely young man at the Y lately.  He’s been motivating me with his personal stories and factors in his success losing nearly one hundred pounds so far.  WAY TO GO!  Conversations happen in 2 minute sound bites as I rush back to work.  But in those two minutes he manages to convey spark & enthusiasm.  He’s rediscovering the joy of movement again.  That’s fun.   I remember that heady bit of triumph as you manage to turn the tide.  It’s totally fun.

Sometimes that’s all it takes.  Fun is infectious.  Makes me want to get back to it.  

Fall has arrived here.  That can only mean one thing.  Dog training classes are starting up again.  That’s fun!

The leaves are turning & the bugs are gone for the season.  Walks are wonderful in the fall.  Crank up the tunes and head out in the crisp clean air.  That’s fun.

It’s like somebody lit some dynamite under the log jam.  Don’t look a gift horse in the teeth.  Just go have fun.  

Here’s a photo taken in 2010.  It’s from a mountain pass called the Malahat back home in BC.  I’m thinking I’m almost ready to take on some hikes in those mountains now.  Next trip!  And that will be fun......