Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Wednesday Post

Weighing In

Down 1.6 from last week!

Especially awesome considering the three days I had of of eating wedding reception leftovers while I was camping. So much mac and cheese. So much corn bread. So many waffles. Not to mention alcohol.

Besides the blip this weekend, I have been pretty on track. Last week was my week to get back into things. I ate a lot of processed food that made it easy for me to put a specific number of calories into my body. I would have a smoothie from Starbucks for breakfast; a lean cuisine for lunch; a footlong sub from subway for dinner; and a popsicle for an evening snack. It's not exactly healthy, but it helped me to re-learn how much I should be eating in a day.

This week I've started swapping some of those processed meals for homemade ones. I'm still going to have my lean cuisines for lunch every day, but instead of the Starbucks smoothie, I made my own... Except for today, because I ran out of time. I also actually made dinner two nights in a row! Be impressed. I don't think I have cooked a dinner at home all summer.

Nothing fancy. Just a bit of shaved asparagus and an egg white concoction. I finally got to use the tomatoes from my garden. Pretty stoked about that. I pretty much made the same thing the next night. Minus the tomatoes because I had used them all up. And this time I cooked the asparagus, the egg whites, and a bit of feta together.

I also finally made it to yoga yesterday. It's been a long time. It was so needed. I did a deep stretch class. I'm so tight everywhere. I was glad I chose an easier class to get back into the swing of things. I really like that class. It's just so relaxing. I even felt like I was able to clear my mind a bit. That is something that is always very difficult for me.

And just because yesterday was (inter) National Dog day: here is a picture of my dog, Angel.

The Hump Day Blog HopWeigh In Wednesday

How did you do this week?

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

It finally happened.

I was nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by my friend, JK. I honestly didn't think it would come to me. But while we were away this weekend, JK noticed that her mom had been nominated. She knew that she would be next. And I knew that if she was next, so would I. I tried to keep quiet when our friend, Har, begged her not to nominate him. I knew that was a sure fire way to get nominated. But his pleading and my silence didn't work. She nominated both of us. So we did it together.

I have mixed feelings about the challenge. I think it is quite remarkable what ALS has accomplished. I love the fact that they were able to raise so much money through social media.

I also love being part of something. I like being one of the group. I thought about skipping the whole thing, but I knew that I would feel worse about myself if I chose to ignore it than I would if I participated.

I chose to donate and participate, like most people I know who have done it. I debated donating to another charity instead. But in the end I donated to ALS. However, I almost felt bad donating to a charity that has had so much support recently and ignoring charities that actually mean something to me.

I don't know anyone with ALS. It does affect a relatively small number of people. It sounds like a horribly debilitating disease that would be absolutely horrendous to have. But most diseases are. Especially cancer. There have been so many people in my life who have been diagnosed with some kind of cancer.

I read an interesting article from Vice called The Worst Park About the Ice Bucket Challenge Is the People Criticizing It. Slacktivism is not the answer. But it is not the enemy either. The ALS challenge has created something good. It has created a community. I am quite happy to join this community. But going on facebook and reading the endless posts about why I shouldn't be part of this community does not make me feel very happy. Yes, I had doubts about it. But questioning ideas and making informed decisions is good.

Isn't doing something better than doing nothing?

I hope that there are more programs like this in the future for other causes. Because I will gladly join them.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Weekend Wrap Up

After work on Friday, my friends and I headed across the border to our friend's wedding reception. She owns a trailer in one of those communal campgrounds. You know the type. Everyone has their permanent spot and then there are a lot of communal areas. Her place is near a river (which despite going there several times a year, I have yet to see this river) and has a couple of pools and clubhouses.

Because the reception was an afternoon event, we showed up pretty much right at the end of it. It doesn't take long to get to the campground. It's barely an hour away, especially if there are good border line ups. I was actually kind of impressed that we made it there by 7pm considering we had to all meet up, stop for gas, stop at the duty free, and buy some groceries over the border. Although, it turned out that we didn't need groceries at all. There was more than enough catered food to last us the weekend. Probably could have even lasted all week.

Most of the people who came to the reception just came down for the afternoon. My group of friends stayed the weekend, and a couple of the groom's friends stayed the night. Proving what a small world it truly is, it turns out that the groom's friends are actually really good friends with my cousin's ex-husband. They had actually been talking about their friend all night and it wasn't until much later in the evening that I realized that their friend was part of my family.

I was a little bit apprehensive about going at first. No matter how hard I try to eat well when I am away, it never happens. Especially when alcohol is involved. But that is a pretty poor excuse to miss a good friend's life event, which is why I didn't use it.

I tried to invoke a bit of the intuitive eating strategies that I have been reading about. There were several times that I threw my plate away with food on it. That's always a hard one for me. I was always taught that you shouldn't throw food away.

Picture was taken at least one round before it fell
 It was a pretty chillaxing weekend full of long walks and evenings spent at the pool. We played a pretty epic game of jenga that was probably the highest I have ever seen a jenga set go. It got to the point where there was only a couple of options left. We also played a ball throwing game that I was not very good at. Three different rounds, three different team combinations, and I was the only one to be on the losing team every single time. This is why I don't play sports

On the way home we stopped at The Bates Motel for a quick photo op. Does anyone watch that show? I love it. I had been meaning to check out the mansion and hotel for some time now. It's all boarded up because filming isn't currently going on. I'd love to see it in its full glory: when the sign is up and the windows are open.

 The image of Alfred Hitchcock in the window is definitely the best part.

Instead of going straight home when I got back to town, I decided to go chill at my parents house and hang out with my pup. I made the right decision because my family had been out on the boat all day and come home with a crab feast. And then my brother and I watched the final episodes of The Killing. Does anyone watch this show? Another great show that is filmed in Vancouver. The ending was close to perfect. Obviously I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but I loved the way it ended. It was shocking, and awkward, and beautiful, and left a bit to your imagination. My brother and I were both pretty much freaking out as it happened.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Dirty Dash

Back in March, my best friend, Tina, asked me if I wanted to do the dirty dash with her and some other friends. Immediately, my reaction was No! BUT, we had so much fun doing Color Me Rad last September that it was hard to resist. I could find about a million reasons not to do it, but Tina could always find one more reason to do it. I was kind of in a funk at the time, but I figured my funk would be over by then. Reluctantly I agreed to join the Muddy Fudders

Because we signed up early and had a promo code from Color Me Rad, the race was actually super cheap. I don't remember how much it was, but definitely under $30. That was part of the reason that I agreed to it. It's hard to make summer plans early on. At least this way, if something came up, I wouldn't be out a bunch of money.

Flash forward to three weeks ago: I still did not want to do it.

I pretty much hadn't gone for a run since before I agreed to do the damn race. But neither had pretty much everyone on our team, so my excuse fell to deaf ears.

I was sure I would have going away plans that weekend and that it would be easy to escape, but nope. Nothing that weekend. It was a dead zone.

The night before the run I tried to psych myself up, but instead a wave a panic came over me. I took it out on a simple annoyance that didn't really have to be a big deal. It was the fear talking.

But I shouldn't have been scared. Because it was FREAKING AWESOME!

The Dirty Dash

Getting my dirty on at the Dirty Dash
 It was a little bit nerve racking standing around waiting for our wave to start. I did not want to get dirty. While we were waiting, the announcer (who I'm pretty sure was the same announcer from Colour Me Rad) got a couple of girls to mud wrestle in the first pit. He also got a couple of guys wearing dresses to join in. I remember just looking and Tina and thinking "Efffff!" I knew I was going to have to get dirty, I just wasn't expecting it to be right from the get go. The alarm went, and off we were... jumping off of a berm into a 2' mud puddle.

Seconds later we came to a cute little pond. I was not expecting that. I was also not expecting the pond to be so deep that you had to swim across it. Good thing I love to swim and it was ridiculously hot out. I was also relieved that I did not bring any electronic devices with me. They wouldn't have faired too well. It was a little disappointing that the pond got rid of all of my early muddiness.

The next thing we came across were three walls that we had to jump over. Made it over the first one relatively unscathed. But the next one was a lot bigger. Tina and I gave each other more of our knowing looks and decided to walk around it. The third one was the highest of all, so there was no way that was happening. Instead I decided that we should crawl under it. There was a nice rhythm to it. Over, under, and around.

The event continued to surprise me. We:
  • Crawled through barrels. 
  • Came across a soapy bouncy castle inside of a barn. 
  • Swam through another puddle.
  • Scaled walls.
  • Climbed ropes.
  • Sloshed through mud puddles.
Climbing muddy berms at the Dirty Dash. I'm in the top left corner.
Some of the tasks were quite challenging, but not impossible. The hard ones were usually followed by something fun afterwards. The dirtiness was also pretty spread out. You would get really dirty during one event, but the next event would involve water and you would naturally clean off. I loved all of the water events, but it would have been nice to keep getting dirtier and dirtier, since that's pretty much a once in a lifetime experience for me.

At the half way mark, we cam across a giant slip and slide with a beer garden at the end of it. That was definitely a welcome surprise. I only had half of my beer though because I had to drive and it just wasn't going to sit well with all of the craziness of the day. Especially since we still had a ways to go.

The final event was a giant blow up slide with a mud puddle to break your fall. My team wanted to skip out on the picture taking afterwards, but I forced them to get in there. I wanted at least one good shot.

Group shot from the Dirty Dash
In true Less fashion, I ordered the wrong group shot (those darn shopping carts, I always get rid of the wrong one). But I am pretty happy with how it turned out. Although the price for pictures was a lot higher than it was at Colour Me Rad. Plus, they didn't send out an email letting you know that the photos were available. I wouldn't even have known that you could purchase the photos except for the fact that I did Colour Me Rad last year. It took me a long time to figure out where the photos were hiding... which is also part of the reason that it took me so long to write up this post. The event actually happened over a month ago. Better late than never.

Would I do it again? Hell yes!

Will I do it again? You betcha. And I am going to convince everyone I know to join me. I have honestly never had so much fun in my life.

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Wednesday Post

Weighing In


Booya! Down 3.4lbs. I can't really take credit for the loss though.

After slowly gaining all summer, I told myself that I needed to get back on track. "Self, diet starts on Monday!" Of course I know that this is the worst thing you can tell yourself. It just gives you an excuse to eat whatever you want because everything is going to change on Monday. But 95% of the time, Monday doesn't happen. It turns into the next day... and then the next week... and then the next month.

Wine and Cheese

One of the reasons that I gave myself a diet date was that I didn't want to have to pay attention to what I was eating when I went to a friend's posh wine and cheese party. Everyone brings a wine and a cheese and then everyone shares and tries something new. I brought a nice cranberry wine from Sleeping Giant and a spicy gouda. Naturally, I consumed copious amounts of cheese and wine, as one does at these sorts of things. I ended up getting quite intoxicated.

The next day was pretty difficult. I was not expecting to be hung over. At least not so extremely hung over. My hangover woke me up pretty in the morning. I figured I was in the clear for the rest of the day, as is usually the case when this happens. I planned to join the breakfast club (yes, this is what we call our Sunday morning brunch group) for brunch at my favourite diner. My stomach had other ideas. I'd be okay for about 20 minutes, but then I couldn't move. It was quite the trickery my body was playing on me. I kept hoping it would pass, but it didn't. Skipping breakfast ended up being for the best. There was no way that I was keeping anything down. I couldn't even manage to hang on to water.

By the afternoon I was good again. My friend, Coco, came over and we watched a movie. I felt good, but I didn't really trust that since my hangover had kept tricking me earlier. Just when I started to let my guard down in the evening, the nausea came back.

I'm not going to say that I'm never going to wine and cheese again, but next time one of these events comes around, I hope that I will be in a good place with my diet so that I am a little bit more restrictive and never have to feel like that ever again.

I am still not feeling 100%. Monday was off and on with the stomach aches and nausea. I really wanted to go to yoga yesterday, but I had the worst stomach ache all morning. Today I am feeling better, but so lethargic. I'm not sure if I have been a bit sick this week or if my hangover turned into a three day event.

Which brings me back to why I can't really take credit for my weight loss this week. That is all thanks to my epic hangover.

The Hump Day Blog HopWeigh In Wednesday

How did you do this week?

Don't forget to friend me on My Fitness Pal and Fitbit or follow me on Twitter.
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Another Wednesday

Weighing In


I don't like that number. It is much higher than it was a month ago. It is about the same as it was several months ago. I may not like it, but I know it is deserved.

It's funny how easy it is to find excuses. We have had a pretty glorious summer so far. It has been HOT! I love the heat, so I'm not gonna complain. However, the last thing I want to do when it is hot is cook. So, McDonald's, or Subway, or Sushi become staples.

Yesterday the rain started. Well now it is rainy, and muggy, and gross. Who wants to eat healthy in weather like this? So naturally I had a pizza. I did manage to convince myself not to make myself sick by binging on a large or a medium. Thankfully, I came home with just a small. But I still got that pizza instead of picking up a salad or going grocery shopping.

There's always a million excuses.

I don't know why seeing that number made me so annoyed today. I knew there was no way that is was going to be anything less. In fact, I should probably be thankful that it is not higher. I have been comfortably sitting at the same 233 point something for the past few weeks.

Well, I'm back to caring again. I don't regret all of the fun things that I have done this summer that have required me to throw my diet out the door. I do regret all of the days in between where I have sat on my couch, eating whatever was the quickest and the easiest because I had already screwed up my diet anyway.

It does matter. That is something I keep forgetting. Eating more one day does not mean that it is okay to eat more everyday.

Another Wedding

On Saturday I went to my childhood bff's wedding. My third wedding this year. Not that many for most people, but I usually just get invited to one a year. It was a really beautiful backyard garden party. In my opinion, that is totally the way to go. I could never spend a small fortune on a one day event.

This was actually the bride's second wedding. And the last time I saw her (in April), she was engaged to someone else. I wouldn't say that I envy her dating history, but I wouldn't mind having some of that something something rub off on me. That's pretty much the general consensus. How does she do it? The permanently single would like to know!

One of the wedding guests was a friend of the bride's who had lost 80 lbs several years ago and kept it off. She said that she used to be 220lbs. Nobody could believe it. She was so tiny and beautiful. Of course this set my mother off. "You could look like her too."

I haven't met very many people who have lost that kind of weight in real life. It was quite a positive experience to meet someone who has done it and been successful in maintaining it. Although, I have to say that some of those conversations were pretty awkward. I didn't like all of the negativity surrounded with the number 220. On and on.

"I can't believe you were ever THAT fat!"
"There's no way you could ever have weighted 220!"

I'm honestly surprised that nobody said she must have looked disgusting at that weight, because that is where they were going. The bride actually tried to step in a few times to tell the gawkers that her friend had always looked beautiful, no matter what size she was. It was pretty obvious that the girl was uncomfortable by the whole conversation.

I couldn't help but feel that the compliments to her were almost a direct attack on me. I know that they weren't. But that's what it felt like. We do have a similar look. If I were to lose that much weight, I would probably look a lot like her. And when she was heavier, she probably looked a lot like me. So, it was very difficult to hear the criticism about her former size. I'm currently 15lbs heavier than she ever was. It's hard not to take that sort of thing personally.

On a positive note, she has given me a renewed faith that I can change.

The Hump Day Blog HopWeigh In Wednesday

How did you do this week?

Don't forget to friend me on My Fitness Pal and Fitbit or follow me on Twitter.
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

That time that I met Robin Williams

Just like everyone else in the world, I was very surprised to hear of the passing of Robin Williams. He was in so many great movies from my childhood. I especially loved him in his recent (bittersweet) return to television as the crazy Marketing Maverick in The Crazy Ones. It's a sad thing that happened, but I'm not upset or heartbroken over it. I'm surprised at how many of my friends are. I guess everyone has that celebrity (or ten) that feel like family to them. And Robin Williams was that to a lot of people.

I did have the pleasure of meeting him once. Ten years ago I spent a summer interning at MTV. My role included acting as a gopher for the celebrity guests, dressing the set, and convincing randoms off the street that they wanted to come upstairs for the live taping of the show.

Surprisingly, even though the show constantly had celebrity guests, most of the celebrities that I met were actually just out on the street going about their normal lives. That's how I met Robin Williams. He was just walking around downtown and I desperately tried to convince him that he wanted to be in the audience of our show. Obviously, there was no way he was actually going to do it. But it was a good excuse to talk to him.

He had a serious crowd following him. That's the only time that I have ever seen a celebrity (at a non event) with a bunch of people freaking out about being in his presence. Usually they just look like regular people and are left alone. I asked him what that felt like because it didn't look like fun. He told me that he didn't mind and that he was used to it. And that was that: my mini conversation with Robin Williams. 

I went back to MTV and told my boss about the encounter. He was so unbelievably excited. He could not believe it. Immediately, he ran outside to try to get in on the frenzy. A few minutes later, he came back more annoyed than ever. He had thought that Robbie Williams was outside. Granted, if it were Robbie Williams, I would have been just as excited as he was.

I can't really blame the Hundreds of Twitter Users Think Robbie Williams Has Died because I know, and my former boss knows, how easy it is to get the two confused.

How do you feel about the sudden passing or Robin Williams?