Tuesday, 20 October 2015

We Did It!

Today is a happy day. Harper's ten-year reign over Canada is over. I was pretty worried about the outcome, but Canada came through. We have a new Prime Minister: Justin Trudeau of the Liberals.

This is the first election in my entire life, provincial and federal, where I have been happy with the outcome. I have revelled in small victories before. I celebrated when the Green party got their first seat in the last election and when the MP who won my riding was the same person who I voted for. But this is the first time that I have been in support of the winning party.

It's a weird feeling to be absolutely ecstatic about the results of an election.

It is also strange to be happy that the Liberals are back in power. I've never been a fan of the Liberal party, but Trudeau's leadership has aligned their values with my own. I am so excited for the future. I can't wait to watch Justin Trudeau make our country great again.

Fun Fact: Trudeau used to be a teacher in my school district and taught some of my best friends.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Election Day - I'm getting political

Today is an exciting day in Canada. It's the day that we (hopefully) vote in a new Prime Minister.

Let me take a minute to explain Canadian Politics to you. There are two major issues with Canadian elections:

1. Canadians vote for MPs

We don't get to directly vote for our Prime Minister. Instead, we vote for an MP (Member of Parliament) to represent our riding. The leader of the political party with the most MPs is declared the leader of Canada.

The Prime Minister candidates each have a riding that they are running in. It is possible for the leader of a party not to win in his or her riding. In fact, it happened in our last provincial election. The Liberals won the BC election, but Christie Clark, the Premier, lost her seat. So she kicked out the MP in a different riding and took his seat. Our current PM, Stephen Harper, is running in a Calgary riding. His competition released this great video. There is hope for the underdog.

2. Too many Political Parties

This is the biggest problem with our election system. There are three major political parties in Canada: the Conservatives (similar to Republicans), the Liberals (similar to Democrats), and the NDP (also similar to Democrats, but further left). Those are the only parties that have any chance of winning the election.

My riding has five candidates running for MP. In addition to the big three, there is also the Green party, which is the strongest of the lesser established political parties. Elizabeth May is the leader and she was allowed to attend some of the debates this year, but was kicked out after she kept winning. Even after she was excluded, she still kept unofficially winning debates via her Twitter account. The lady is badass. There was also a Marxist-Leninist party on my ballot this year. No more Marijuana party, although they still have candidates in different ridings.

In total, there are twenty-three political parties running in the election. Twenty fucking three!

American friends, let me explain it to you in a very simple way. Imagine the Democratic party was split into three different groups, but the Republicans were still united. It is always a tight race between the two parties, but if there were two more left parties, it wouldn't be such a tight race anymore. The Republicans would have the upper hand automatically. Welcome to Canada.

I would say that most of the country, myself included, wants the current Prime Minister out. It is a very scary time because it is an uphill battle. 

Fingers crossed that miracles do happen.

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 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 wouldn'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 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.