Tuesday, 6 October 2015

My new plan isn't much of a plan

I loved doing the Whole 30. I didn't last very long this time around, but I did enjoy the food I was eating. I don't mind eating paleo-esque. In fact, I quite like it. My food tastes so much better than it normally does.

The problem with eating that way is that it is a lot of work and you have to be very prepared. I do my best, but it can be very difficult to keep it up. Cooking has always been difficult for me, but I am getting better at. I am also getting better at being prepared, but it's still a challenge. As much as I enjoyed all of my Whole 30 friendly meals, the fact that other favourites were not allowed drove me crazy. I've always wanted what I can't have.

I'm not trying to make excuses, I'm just laying down the facts. And the fact is, when I am not prepared, I fail. One bad decision turns into five, which turns into a week of binging, It's a problem that I am aware of and haven't been able to fix... yet.

The past week I have been trying out something new. I have decided not to restrict anything. No foods are off limit. The only thing that I have to do is record everything that I eat into My Fitness Pal. The good, the bad and the ugly. Trust me, there is a lot of ugly. For this reason, I have made my diet private, but we can still be friends if you are up for it.

There have been some horrendous days so far, and I have only been tracking for a week. However, there were also some days that seemed bad in my head, but once I wrote everything down I realized that it wasn't as awful as I thought it was.

Setting smaller goals is key. I tend to get swept away in big plans. I am constantly biting off more than I can chew, which ends with me getting frustrated and failing completely. It might be a slower process, but focusing on easier/shorter/smaller goals will get me to where I want to be a lot faster than taking on too much and falling back into the same place.


  • The last two nights in a row I have resisted late night eating. I even had healthy snacks set aside, but I ended up not needing them.
  • I decided to go for a nice long walk once I realized that I wasn't going to make it to my yoga class on time.
  • I woke up early this morning and went out walking.
  • I'm in first place in my Fitbit challenge group with my friends.
  • I have been eating an appropriate amount of food for the past couple of days and don't feel like I've been depriving myself.

Monday, 5 October 2015

The Struggle is Real

I wish that it wasn't so taboo to talk about mental health issues. I appreciate that there is a movement trying to change that.

It would be wonderful if everyone felt free enough to be open and honest about what they are struggling with. Especially since then they would realize that they are not alone. Mental health illnesses are far from uncommon.

When I was younger, I intensely struggled with an eating disorder. There were a couple of years where it completely consumed my life. I am fortunate enough to have moved on from that dark place, but I still struggle.

It was difficult to first open up about my problems to anyone. I suffered in silence for a long time. Once I started talking about it, a huge weight was lifted off of my chest. I probably talked about it too much. Like I said, it was life-consuming, so it was natural that I wanted to talk about it once I finally could. Through that experience, I learned that a lot of my friends and acquaintances had similar experiences. What I went through was far from abnormal.

I entered a treatment program. I got help. I moved away. I travelled. I went back to school. I still had issues with food, but I was better.

Every once in a while, the topic of eating disorders will come up organically, particularly when one friend who worked in an eating disorder unit would come around. I tried to offer my perspective as someone who had been through it, but I often felt like I was being shut down. As if I wasn't qualified enough to talk about it. Eventually I stopped reminding friends about my past issues, especially when said friend would talk about her strong dislike of her patients and the "system." I'd like to brush off her opinions as an anomaly, but I have met far too many health professionals with similar ideas. Of course, not everyone is like that, and even her ideas are far more complex than I could accurately articulate.

Fast forward eight years and I feel like I am back to the beginning, hiding in secrecy. I'm nowhere near the same place that I was, but I do still struggle. Particularly with eating too much food. How do you stop an addiction to something that you need to survive? I don't feel like I have anyone in my life that I could talk to about these things anymore.

I am afraid to bring it up because I don't want to be labelled forever as the girl with an eating disorder. There is more to me.

I don't want to freak anyone out about the state of my mental health. Everyone has issues and problems in their lives, but when it comes to mental health people are either incredibly insensitive or walk on egg shells.

It's frustrating because I feel like I am there for so many friends when they need me, but I don't feel like that favour is returned.

Recently I was having a particularly rough day. I texted one of my best friends about how upset/depressed I was feeling about my work situation. I thought this would be a good person to reach out to since she knows my history and I am constantly helping her out/listening to her vent. I was wrong. She told me to stop whining. Maybe that was a fair comment (maybe), but at the same time she was texting a mutual friend about how worried she was about me and wanted that friend to deal with me instead. If talking about work gets that kind of reaction, you can imagine how difficult it would be to talk about food.

I know that not everyone would react that way, but it is difficult to know who to talk to.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Another Whole 30 Fail Under My Belt

Yesterday morning was a bit of a disaster. I was running late... again, What else is new? Fortunately I had my meals prepped. You gotta be prepared when doing Whole 30, especially when you are me.

I grabbed my delicious butternut squash soup from the fridge. I like to use glass containers because I get freaked out about microwaving plastic in my work microwave (I still do it, but I try to do it less). As I attempted to put the glass bowl into my cooler bag, I missed and the whole thing wound up on the floor.

I literally spent two minutes just staring at the disaster that was my kitchen floor. I couldn't just leave it, but I did not have time to clean it up. Of course, doing nothing for several minutes is an appropriate use of time. Finally I snapped out of my trance and was able to clean the mess up quicker than I expected.

My poor glass bowl though.

Since my lunch was now in the garbage, I went to work without any food options. I racked my brain to think of what I could buy for lunch instead. I came up blank.

So I went to Starbucks and ordered a delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Goodbye Whole 30!

In continuing my reign of self sabotage, the latte was the only thing I allowed myself to have all day... until I left work and picked up a pizza. My starving mind couldn't work properly at the end of the day, so I gave into my cravings.

Cue eye roll.

The pizza wasn't even that great.

I'm back on Whole 30 today. I haven't quite decided what my plan is going to be yet. I have a couple of options.

  1. Continue my current Whole 30 until the end of the round.
  2. Start a new Whole 30 round beginning today.
  3. Stick to a paleo diet, but ease up on the Whole 30 restrictions
  4. Try going primal (yay dairy)
  5. Eat whatever the hell I want 
Which option do you think I should do?

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Whole 30 Round 2 Day 1

What I ate on Day One

Coffee! All the coffee!
Tuna with homemade mayo (just egg whites and olive oil)
Butternut Squash Carrot Chicken Curry Soup

I was unprepared for the start of my Whole 30 journey. At least I had enough acceptable food to get by until dinner. I had prepped my mayo the day before so I could have tuna. I would have preferred to have a tuna salad. 

My plan was actually to go by a salad and mix it with the tuna, but that just never happened. I tried to go to the grocery store on my break but it was actual chaos. Couldn't move in the parking lot, so I didn't bother getting out of my car. I would't have minded parking far away (get my steps in), but there weren't any of those spots either. So salad was out. 

After work I started my food prep extravaganza. I made Butternut Squash soup for the first time. It was amazing. I mixed it with shredded chicken, chicken brother, carrots, curry and chili powder. I also made some chili. My chili was superb. Can't wait to dig into it.

I am seriously the slowest cook of all time. If there were a contest for slowest meal prepper I would probably win. It takes me seriously FOREVER! I wanted to go to yoga that night. The class started at 815, sounds doable, right? Yea, not so much. I was still cooking up a storm. Plus, because I was still cooking and I hadn't had much to eat that day there was also an internal debate if I could go to yoga on an empty stomach or not. There is a yoga window. You can't eat too close to class otherwise you will be uncomfortable. Been there. Done that. But I was starving. Yoga when you are hungry isn't good either. Especially hot yoga. Don't want to pass out. 

In the end I didn't go. I just wanted to get the food finished and there was no way I would be finishing it if I left for yoga. Sad to say. Ugh, sometimes I wish I had more self-control, but I know myself. I would have been exhausted and crashed on the couch. In order to make up for the no yoga, I did clean the kitchen and do all my dishes after my meal prepping. Common sense to most. But I am not common.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Last Day of Food Freedom

My weekend to eat healthy to prep for Whole 30 didn't go exactly as planned. It never does, does it? I made a lot of good choices though.

  • I didn't join my friend at the fabulous burger joint. Instead I ate before we went out. :)
  • I didn't drown myself in alcohol all weekend *cough*like-everyone-else*cough* :)
  • I filled half my dinner plate with salad instead of everything else. :)
  • I swapped my toast and potatoes for fruit when we were out for breakfast. :)
  • I did have my favourite waffle from the farmer's market :(
  • I did eat way too much smart pop :(
  • I couldn't resist the jalapeno bagels that my mom picked up for breakfast. :(

I did resist the urge to go balls deep and eat all the junk on my last day of food freedom. I got home from my vacation at 7:30pm. It would have been so easy to hop in the car and head through the McDonald's Drive Thru. However, I settled on some vegetable soup (with crackers). It was a delicious treat that I don't feel guilty about. Yes, it would have been better if I had cut the gluten earlier, but it is what it is. I'm not too worried.

I am especially proud of myself for all the times I said no this weekend. The friend who I brought with me on the trip (to my parents' house) was planning on doing Whole 30 with me. The whole time he kept saying that this was going to go all out this weekend because he knew he wouldn't be able to have any of that stuff later on. It was hard to plan meals with our dueling mindsets, but we managed.

The worst part is that he isn't even doing the Whole 30 anymore. He basically binged all weekend in anticipation of a diet that didn't happen.

I'm not putting that out there to shame him. I am just pointing out that this is the reason so many diets/plans end up failing. I am just as guilty of that kind of behaviour. I've done that a million and ten times. Which is part of why I am still the size that I am. In his case it isn't that big of a deal because he isn't actually overweight anyway. He just wants to be a bit healthier.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Whole 30 - Round 2

Restarting the weight loss process has proved to be more challenging than I had hoped. I know it's hard. It always has been. I should know. This has been about my 987th attempt.

Last weekend I went to my parents' house for the weekend. This was a calculated decision to help keep me on track and avoid the typical temptations that come with weekend friend shenanigans... Didn't really work. Although, it did probably work out better than if I had stayed at home.

Time for attempt 988!

I'm going to start Round 2 of Whole 30. I made it to Day 25 when I did it the last time. This time I am determined to go all the way. I'd been planning on doing another one and figured that September would be my best bet. The stars aligned when one of my best friends asked me to do it with her.

Whole 30 Start Date: Tuesday, September 8, 2015!

I'm not having one last hurrah of a long weekend. I know that the best way to be successful is to start removing some of those foods from my diet before the official start date. This weekend I'm going to do my best, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't succeed. It's about small victories.

If you are interested in doing Whole 30 this month, let me know. I'd love to have another support buddy!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Storm Watch

To me, Summer has always ended after Labour Day. Where I live, school has always started the day after Labour Day. Even as a childless adult, this date still has significance to me. Book-ended with Canada Day being the unofficial-official beginning to my favourite season. Although this year summer seemed to start pretty much in February. It was a warm winter and a hot spring.

After carefully studying the odds of good weather in both my home town and my parents' to try to squeeze every last bit of summer out that I could. Both cities were expected to have rain, rain and more rain; however, at least Summerland was expected to have some breaks and lower amounts. It made my decision pretty easy. Off to visit my parents I went.

When I woke up on Saturday, it was actually pretty nice out, but I knew the rain was coming. We decided to brave the expected storm and head down town to the Farmer's Market. Best in the BC/Canada/the world imo. We got through the vegetable/alcohol section with no problems. Oh, you don't get drunk for free at your market? See previous italic statement.

Then the rain happened...

We ran for cover in The Cupcake Lady, a cute little cupcake and breakfast shop. Instead of the street food that we were looking forward to, we indulged in fancy crepes while we waited out the storm. From our view in the cafe, we watched as most stands quickly packed up their belongings, while others tried to brave it out. The storm wasn't giving up. After breakfast we attempted to head back to the car. We didn't get very far.

While my aunt ran into her favourite boutique to buy an umbrella and a jacket, my mother decided to call a cab. Ridiculous as it was to call a cab for a few blocks, it was probably a good idea. I would have been fine walking in my light hoodie, but my cousins were jacketless. In order to cross the street, we had to step in puddles that were over our ankles, and that was just to get to the cab. I can't imagine what it would have been like walking the rest of the way. In the end it was only a $5.00 ride - a dollar for each person. Well worth the money.

Once we got back home, the clouds parted and the rain stopped. We were able to get a little bit of summer after all. We hung out on the beach, swimming, eating, laughing, and seadooing. I was pretty confident that I had made the right decision, so I checked in my my friends at home to be sure.

Back at home...

Basically, the storm of the century was happening. My friends had to cancel their PNE day (local festival) because the fair grounds were closed. Trees were falling down all over the place, blocking roads and destroying houses. 700,000 people were without power... including my house.

The messages I was getting from my friends in our group chat were hilarious in a horrifying kind of way. I wasn't jealous of the 45 minute waits at McDonalds since few restaurants were open and it was impossible to cook, or the hour long drives on routes that would normally take ten minutes thanks to street light outages. Fortunately no one that I know was hurt or had to deal with a crazy amount of damage

Some parts of the storm didn't sound so bad. My friends told tales of playing board games by candlelight. And meeting up at the mall with "power bars and friendship" to charge their phones. Sometimes it is nice to get back to basics.


On Sunday I was constantly checking updates on BC Hydro to see when I would be getting power back in my place. However, their website was constantly crashing. They did eventually release a PDF of the outages and expected times for returned power. It was really easy to see the updates for my house especially since my address was specifically listed. However, it was much more difficult to figure out if my work would have power the next day.

I spent an extra night in Summerland, because what was the point of heading home if I wouldn't have power until after midnight? It turns out I made the right decision, because when I arrived at work the next morning, I found out that my place still didn't have power. Luckily, my work's power was restored on time.

I headed home at lunch to check on my food. I had read that freezer food was good for 48 hours if the freezer was full. Since mine wasn't, and it was past the 48 hour mark, I wanted to save as much as I could by using my work fridge.

Miraculously, the power turned on in my apartment just as I arrived home.

I checked my freezer: still frozen! Then the moment of greater doubt... the fridge. Success! Everything was still cold. It worked out especially well since the power had just turned back on, I knew that the food had been cold the whole time and wasn't re-colded not a word, but I'm making it one.

Five days later and things are finally getting back to normal. Everyone has power again. But the storm has definitely been eye-opening. We have been warned about THE BIG ONE for my entire life and my parents' lives for that matter. One day we are going to have a massive earthquake, and it is currently overdue. When that happens, things are going to be a mess.

I was lucky enough to avoid the storm, but I can't help thinking about what I would have done if I had been home. Fortunately I have enough canned food to get by. But if it were something more major, I'm not sure how long I would last.

I've been meaning put together an earthquake kit for the past couple of years. I think it is time to stop procrastinating. As I heard someone say this weekend: "if you are prepared for an earthquake, you are prepared for anything."