struggling lately

I haven’t been blogging at all (since May 2, I think), as you maybe have noticed. My mind has been occupied with a lot right now, and I’m finally ready to share why.

It’s been 7 months.

7 months filled with: trying, charting, reading fertility/trying to conceive books, worrying, buying ovulation tests, buying pregnancy tests, getting to know my body and my cycle, frustrations, let downs, crying, stress, sadness, jealousy, side-eyeing, eye rolling, two week waits, doctor’s appointments, etc., and I am absolutely sick of holding it all in, and also kinda sick of the dumb stuff that comes out of people’s mouths.

There, I said it: I am trying to get pregnant, and it’s not happening and I’m allowed to be right pissed about it!

A few close friends know that we’ve been trying, but that’s it.

I hate that it’s some kind of secret, that people who are actively trying to get pregnant shouldn’t tell anyone because it might make people around them weird or uncomfortable (or say stupid stuff, which I will save for another soon to be blog post)

The people with infertility struggles, we’ve got it the worst. No one talks about how hard it is on you and your partner when you don’t get pregnant. No one talks about how shitty it is to realize you may not be able to get pregnant naturally and may have to start thinking about IVF (which is HELLLLLLLA expensive).

I am sick of not talking about the struggle we are going through, even if no one else wants to share their struggle, which I 100% respect, but I also feel like me not talking about it adds to the stigma regarding infertility.

Are you thinking “only 7 months? she has nothing to worry about, you’re supposed to try for a year before you start to stress out”, well you are a) not my doctor and b) wrong. you don’t know anyone’s medical history unless they’ve told you, hell they might not even know what is going on medically with them.

you don’t know that at the age of 22, I was told by a gynecologist that my tubes were “garbage” after doing a laparoscopy (which was needed due to scar tissue forming at the site of an infection from pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) stemming from a sexual assault earlier that year) and that I’d never get pregnant naturally and to contact his office two years before I wanted to get pregnant so I could get on the loooong IVF waiting list.

you also don’t know that I had a miscarriage in early 2011, though that pregnancy was definitely not planned, it did, in my eyes, prove that the Gyno I had was an insensitive asshole and also WRONG about me getting pregnant naturally, so screw him!

My family doctor, acupuncturist and naturopath all believe I am healthy (and I have had all the necessary, normal, routine tests done in regards to me wanting to get pregnant) and will be able to get pregnant naturally, which allows me to believe the same as well. BUT a small part of me wonders if something is wrong because 7 months is a long time when you know your body as well as I feel I do, especially since we’ve started trying to conceive. I am doing everything right. I know when I ovulate, I track my BBT (temperature upon waking), I know it all and still, I am disappointed every month when I get a negative pregnancy test.

Once we hit 6 months of trying and it not resulting in a pregnancy, I started to get mad, annoyed, sad, whatever you wanna call it. It sucks, and you really don’t know how it feels unless you have been through it. It is a gross, consuming feeling for me because I am usually a positive person but the last couple of months have been wearing me out.

I’ve recently had a few things pop up (health wise) that don’t make sense. My cycle has been about 9-10 days late the last few months, and I’ve started to get mid-cycle spotting. Since these things aren’t normal for me, it is concerning.  My doctor sent me for a ultrasound today (both kinds ha!, females probably know what I mean), the ultrasound was to hopefully make sure I don’t have any polyps or cysts that I don’t know about, so I basically have to wait and see if my doctor has any news for me when she gets the results, otherwise there will be no clear explanation as to why my cycle has been screwed up.

Anyways, I think I am going to continue writing about our struggle to knock me up, it feels good to get all of this off my chest and into the world and community around me.

* re: the sexual assault, I am 100% fine and have more than moved on from it. I worked with vulnerable women in the inner-city at that time and had experience in dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault and the way they can make the victim feel. I made sure to go to counseling at SACE as soon as possible and was totally OK soon after a couple sessions.

Birthday Freebies in Edmonton

I just recently celebrated my birthday and every year I get a bunch of emails with some really great free offers from national and local businesses that have really great value so I wanted to share with you so you could enjoy them also.

Here is a small list of the offers I find the most value in, there are LOTS of other birthday freebies you can find online but I sign up for the businesses that I already know I like and will actually use because I use/consume their products anyway. 9 out of 11 places on this list were free to join.

  1. Denny’s (yes, the restaurant)- Free Grand Slam Breakfast on the day of your birthday (must show ID). I totally went to Denny’s on my birthday before work on Monday!
  2. Starbucks-if you have a registered card and sign up for their free rewards program you get sent a free birthday drink.
  3. Booster Juice’s Booster Nation sign up for their free membership and you will get a free full size smoothie for your birthday
  4. Red Robin Loyalty program-free gourmet burger in your birthday month.
  5. London Drugs LDExtras program- $5 free for your birthday. I totally cashed this in for this expensive sparkling water I like.
  6. LOVE PIZZA Love Loyalty App- Get a free pizza for your birthday when you download their app and fill out your profile.
  7. Chatime Bubble Tea-free drink when you pick up a rewards card at their locations. I believe they charge $1 for their card, and it’s just a one time fee.
  8. De Dutch DeClub program-any sweet or savoury pannekoek. I know I paid $5-10 as a one time fee, I am not sure if they still charge a fee.
  9. Menchie’s mysmileage program-$5 credit for frozen yogurt
  10. Lux Beauty Boutique– free 30 minutes pamper session (get your makeup done by one of their talented makeup artists and enjoy a glass of bubbly). You have to have your info on file with them when you make a purchase. I love booking this appt. for myself, it’s such a great pick me up.
  11. Dandy Salon & Spa Happy Birthday Club-a free express mani with any salon or spa appointment. I have to get a haircut soon, so I was able to book myself in for this awesome freebie.

 

Let me know if you sign up for any of these, or if you have any other tips!

My Skincare Routine

I always had great skin until I was turned 18-19, and then I started dealing with really deep and painful hormonal acne around the time I got my period and it’s taking me almost 10 years to figure out my skin and what products work best for me. I have been getting a lot of compliments on my skin in the last couple of years so I feel pretty comfortable sharing what works/doesn’t work for me.

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Cleanser: I use one of two, depending on how my skin feels. The Om Organics White Willow Cleansing Gel is hands down my favourite cleanser. Om Organics is a company in Invermere, BC that I discovered in the Fall last year while on vacation there. Their line is affordable and effective. You can buy in person at their store, or online. Their cleanser doesn’t strip my skin at all and helps keep my oil at bay. I also have the LaRoche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel for when my skin is oilier. I like this because it’s pH balanced and has really helped clear up any spots that pop up.

Toner: Personally, I think buying expensive toners are a huge waste of money. I never notice a difference when I have purchased them in the past. I always heard great things about using cheap regular rose water and I am officially a convert. I think I paid about $3 for it at Walmart. I just apply it with a cotton pad and it leaves my skin feeling refreshed and even soothed it when my skin is irritated.

Serum: I love face serums and think the investment in a good one is worth it. I think I paid about $60 for this Eminence one at a local health shop. I have been using the Eight Greens Youth Serum for about a month and have noticed a huge difference in the brightness of my skin. Serums are great because you can use such a small amount and they help make all the rest of your skincare more effective. Eminence is one of my favourite skincare brands.

Moisturizer: I’m currently using up a Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream with SPF as my daytime moisturizer. I don’t notice that it does much for my skin besides the SPF and I honestly don’t even recommend it, I am just trying to use it up before buying an Eminence moisturizer. For night cream, I switch between a heavier and lighter product. I tend to use a heavier one when my skin is feeling a bit dry. Right now I am using up a Caudalie Premier Cru creme that I got as a sample. It’s really rich and hydrates my skin. The other night product I use is one I found at Winners for about $6. I looked up a review of it before spending a whopping $5.99 on it, and it seemed like a good product. It’s the 145 Night Renewal Facial Lotion (for men) which apparently helps with exfoliation. I’m not too sure about that, but it’s a light night moisturizer and I will use it up.

Face Masks: This Aveda Tourmaline Charged Radiance Masque is being discontinued (it’s currently on sale so BUY IT), but it is one of my favourite masks. I’m almost done this huge tube of it. It really smooths my skin and I find if I put it on when my skin is not as clear as I want it to be, it helps get rid of any spots or congested skin areas. I am always buying face masks when I come across ones by brands I usually have already used and love, currently I have these two FarmHouse Fresh masks that I just picked up at Lux Beauty Boutique in Edmonton for about $25/tub. This Pudding Apeel one is great for turning dull skin into radiant skin as it has glycolic acid and AHAs. The second mask, Guac Star, is great for hydrating your skin. I’ve used them both and highly recommend them.

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Supplements: I take a daily probiotic and digestive enzymes. I have read both help with skin issues because they can be tied to gut health. I’m not sure if the probiotic has done much for my skin, but I know taking the digestive enzyme has cleared up this weird congestion I was getting on my forehead and in between my eyebrows. The congestion looked like small white bumps, but they weren’t white heads. They just sort of lingered for the last year or so. As soon as I started taking the enzymes, the spots cleared right up.

Acupuncture: I get facial acupuncture when I go to my regular acupuncture sessions. I don’t get it as much anymore since my skin has cleared up a lot in the last 5 years, but I found it helped with the deep under the skin spots I would get. It would help fight the inflammation in those spots and they would go away faster after a session. I also found that acupuncture helped with any scarring I had.

 

If you have any questions about the products I use or where to find them, let me know!

Weekend Roundup

This weekend was a busy one, it flew by fast but I did a lot and enjoyed myself as you’ll get to see below.

Saturday:

  • I attended the Grand Opening of a new local goods shop called “Majesty and Friends” (6421 112 Ave, Edmonton) in the Highlands neighbourhood. They had swag bags for the first so many customers, they ran out two people in front of me ha ha WOMP WOMP. I was in and out within 5 minutes because it was packed in there, but I managed to buy a friend a small gift for her upcoming birthday. I have started to make more of an effort to buy gifts from local shops when I can. You can follow the store on Instagram at instagram.com/majestyandfriends 
  • I took Lexi for a nice long walk in one of the off leash dog parks in the river valley, it wasn’t sunny until much later in the day but the weather was perfect.
  • I stopped in at the newest Brewery District shop, The Art of Cake, to check it out. I walked away with a salted caramel macaron and a jalepeno cheddar scone, they were tasty! I’m definitely planning my next coffee date there.
     Sunday:
  • I met up with a friend for a walk near her home in the river valley. It was gorgeous outside and it was nice to catch up with her. We grabbed coffee/tea from Little Brick and took her daughter to the park in their neighbourhood.
  • I attended one of the Lux Beauty Boutique’s makeup classes called Face Fundamentals with a friend. I’ve previously been a couple of their classes (probably close to 5 years ago) but tagged along with a friend who wanted to go and learn the basics. I still had a wonderful time and their new space is beautiful. The two makeup artists/staff who lead the class were great and you are able to learn a lot of the basics in the two hours this class was scheduled for. The only thing I miss when I compare their recent makeup classes is that the $50 you pay covers the class only, whereas before they would let you put the $50 towards any items you purchased in their shop that day. If you’d like to check out their upcoming events, the link is https://luxbeauty.com/pages/events. 
  • I signed up for a 7 pm yoga class at Hive Fit Co., it was my first time taking a yoga class at their studio and I really enjoyed it. The class I took was called “Restore and Revive” and is suitable for beginners. I think I am going to do a more in depth review of Hive as a studio later this week since I’ve now taken all of their offered classes (Cycle, Row and Yoga).

 

Tell me, did you do anything interesting this weekend?

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Natural Deodorant Review

FullSizeRenderAlright friends, I am a huge believer in this deodorant! Rocky Mountain Soap Co (a Canmore based company) posted a 30 Day Deodorant Challenge at the beginning of March and I knew that I had to try it for myself when I found out it was an affordable $9. This stuff is one of the best 100% natural deodorants I’ve ever tried and I’ve tried A TON!

A little about the product from their website: Our natural deodorants are made using Potassium Alum, a naturally occurring salt that doesn’t clog your pores or pass into your bloodstream. They are 100% toxin-free which keeps your pits fresh and your body clean. I LOVE that there is no baking soda in their product! I find that my pits get pretty irritated and red if that is one of the ingredients and I am so glad I haven’t had any negative reactions to the RMSC one.

I started dabbling in natural deodorants a few years ago and have never really found “THE ONE” for me before giving this one a go. The other one I loved is from NYC and it’s pricey to ship here so I have been without it ever since. I tried a Calgary based company’s natural cream deodorant recently and it seems to BLOCK my pits with a beeswax-y film and I did NOT SMELL GOOD FOR about 2 weeks and it took about another 2 weeks for me to stop smelling so gross once I stopped using it, it sucks because it was hella esssspensive but I am too nervous to try it again!

Anyways, on to that new new deo. I picked up the above Lemongrass scent and it’s definitely my favourite scent at RMSC. I’ve been using it for 3 weeks straight and am loving it. I definitely feel I went through the whole detox period mentioned in this blog post on their website, I totally smelled worse before I started to smell better ha ha! It was so worth it though because now I stay pretty stink free when I use it. I love the easy roller application of it, and it dries down quickly and doesn’t leave any residue or film on my skin.

I don’t know about anyone else but this kept me smelling good during the day. Working out was another story as I ran with this stuff on, and also did a spin class with it and I obvs stunk during/after. I honestly have never expected any deodorant to hold up 100% against hard exercise, it never had and likely never will and that is normal to me. If I’m working out hard, I know I’m going to smell not so nice.

After spending so much money on trying AT LEAST TEN different natural deodorants and being disappointed almost every time, I am happy I finally found the one for me. I will repurchase this stuff forever and ever because it’s cheap and it actually works. You can buy their products in store (two locations in YEG (WEM and Southgate) or online.

If you buy and try it, let me know how it worked out for you and what scent you bought because I’d love suggestions on which scent to buy when I run out.

 

well that break didn’t go as planned

Hey!

It’s been a while and I’ve been feeling guilty about not posting for ~ 4 weeks but I am back. I originally planned to take a week off posting while we enjoyed our BC vacation but a lot has happened in the last month and it just got pushed to the side like a lot of other stuff has.

I have been feeling overwhelmed lately. After the planned one week off of blogging, everything just kinda snowballed until this week. I think it started out as me feeling like I was in a vulnerability hangover. Spilling my heart for over a month about my disordered eating habits and therapy was very emotional for me, something I kept to myself for too long and i definitely don’t regret sharing my thoughts with people but it was A LOT to share all at once.

Work has been pretty busy for the last few months and some weeks I feel like I don’t have enough time to finish everything I planned out to do. That led to me feeling disappointed in myself and my work. I feel and still am feeling like a failure. I know I am not, but it’s just a feeling I’ve noticed pop up a lot lately. I’m also looking at making a career change, hopefully soon and had enlisted so many amazing friends and internet friends for tips and guidance on how best to go about applying for new jobs. I have worked at the same company for almost 8 years and it’s just time for me to challenge myself in a whole new way, and so I have been looking externally for jobs that have the right fit for me. It’s overwhelming, to say the least!

I’ve also been adjusting to my spouse working shift work and taking on a lot of the responsibility of taking care of myself, our home, and our 2 animals. I am not complaining at all because he is awesome at contributing to our lives and responsibilities but it’s definitely a learning curve after having him home for most of the past year.

I’ve noticed I haven’t been taking as good of care as I should when it comes to myself. My main priority was working, and then coming home and helping L apply to jobs (being a tradesperson in Alberta is not fun right now, and it’s been a VERY tough 1+ years for us but that’s another story for another time). We are so grateful he landed something recently and I have gone through shift work before and once I am in the groove I know I will be feeling totally fine. The last month I have been eating on the go, standing while i eat at the counter, or eating in my car (since going in depth into my issues with food I now realize this is probably the FIRST sign that something is off with me). I have turned to food a few times in the last month for comfort but realized damn quickly what I was doing and that i was self-sabotaging myself. I have felt the need to start to nourish my body more and add more movement back into my life.

Thanks to a class pass sale I have started attending spin class again at my favourite studio downtown. Up until yesterday, I hadn’t run in about 2 months after I finished my half marathon at the end of January. Yesterday was Lexi’s (our dog) 6th birthday and I decided it was the perfect day for us to go to the off leash park as I wanted to run for the first time in a while. It felt so good to SWEAT in the sun and just feel most like myself as I was running on the trails with her.

I have been wanting to clean our refrigerator for MONTHS and just haven’t gotten around to it. Tonight, after I got home from work I decided to put my feelings of stress into something I know am great at, cleaning! It was actually therapeutic for me HA HA. I put on my favourite new podcast called S-Town (it’s from the same producers as SERIAL and i’m addicted!). and busted my ass taking all the shelves out to wash them, the inside and all the containers of condiments in the door. Our fridge is probably cleaner now than when we first bought our home. I also cut up the veggies I’ve been waiting to add to my meals after putting that off for 4 days and was able to sit down to a nice, nourishing meal. I just had a huge salad and some hummus because that’s what my body was craving today and it just felt so nice to finally be able to settle down with myself and my thoughts and focus on ME!

Here is my masterpiece:IMG_7248

 

I’m meeting one of my favourite people for a spin class tomorrow morning before work. I realize scheduling things like a run, cleaning the fridge, or booking spin is so valuable to me and my time.  It is so easy to just let everything pile up and push things aside that are important to me and allowing myself to get put on the back burner. I have to make a more conscious effort to pick up on the red flags when I am starting to feel less like myself so this doesn’t happen again!

Any of my blogger friends ever feel like you have nothing exciting to post about? That’s kinda how I have been feeling lately. Any tips for me? For anyone who reads my ramblings, is there anything you would like to see me post about? Please let me know in the comments!

It’s not about the weight

but it’s not not about the weight.

The above is something that I read in a book by Geneen Roth called “Women Food and God”, in May 2015, and it’s stuck with me ever since. It represents something I have struggled with since I was young. I have constantly thought that if I lost weight, life would be perfect or that I would be happy. The fact is, anytime I have been thin in the past, it was short-lived because I still had the same issues and unhealthy thought processes around food. You can only diet so much before old habits creep back and if you don’t address your mind, nothing will change. I really believe weight and overeating (or withholding food) is all a symptom of something else that is off, internally. I know for myself, my body is not meant to be carrying excess weight. I don’t feel authentic with the excess weight I carry. I was a healthy looking child when I was young, until I started using food to cope with my feelings. It’s just not who I am meant to be.

I have come a long way in terms of loving myself and my body. I used to hate it, and pick it apart and feel shame about myself until I learned that it was okay to appreciate your body, but also want to change it at the same time. I didn’t know I was allowed to do that. I remember attending a local mindful eating class, and the woman who put it on and I were talking, and she was asking me a bunch of questions about why I was at the class, and obviously I was there because I knew something was wrong with my eating habits. I remember saying I was there because I wanted to lose weight, because I didn’t like my body. She asked what would be so wrong with loving my body for what it is, appreciating it in that moment. She told me it is okay to love my body in it’s current state, while at the same time acknowledging that I wanted to become healthier. She told me I would have to learn to love my body to be able to accept it. I remember starting to sob when she was telling me this, it was a total aha! moment for me. From that day I have worked hard on loving myself and have been able to accept my body for what it is, at any given time.

I realize I am not morbidly obese, but I can be honest with you and myself in saying that I have packed on an unhealthy amount of weight in the last 5 years, about 60 lbs. I am about a size 12-14, not that that matters but I know when I was around 50-60 lbs. lighter I felt my healthiest and most at my natural weight, and it was at a time in my life where I didn’t have to think too much about it, it was almost effortless for me to be that size because I wasn’t dieting or overexercising at that point. Currently, I feel the extra weight on me and it’s not a good feeling. My knees hurt more when I run because of the extra work they have to do, I feel wiped when I climb stairs. A lot of my old clothes that I really enjoyed wearing don’t fit anymore, and I just don’t feel like I’m myself when I am carrying around all this extra weight. It’s not an authentic feeling for me and I am starting to recognize that I am ready for and accepting of the shifts that come with building a healthier relationship with food.

Throughout the last 5 years, I have bought and given away scales because I was never in a good headspace to be able to face the up and downs of my weight. The number on the scale would crush me if it wasn’t moving down, and omg did it ever fuck with me when it was always going up. I gave our last scale to a friend who wanted it last year, and hadn’t weighed myself since. Well, that is not totally true because my doctor’s office weighed me in at my annual checkup last spring and I actually told her receptionist that I was closing my eyes and NOT to tell me the number. I just knew I was up, and I couldn’t mentally handle her telling me what I was up to. A week after starting to work with my therapist, I asked a friend if I could weigh myself at her house since we didn’t own a scale. The number shocked me a bit, but I accepted it pretty quickly.

So, what did I do last week? I bought a fucking scale! No, I am not crazy… I swear. I am in such a good space right now, and if you have been following along on my blog you know that since the beginning of January my whole mindset has changed for the better. I would like to be able to track how my body is responding to my healthier relationship with food. I am in a place where I’m not going to let the scale control my life or my emotions. “How”, you ask?I set a boundary with myself and the scale, I told myself that 1) I will only step on it once a week and only when I am in a good head space to do so and 2) if, at ANY point, I feel that it’s starting to negatively affect me, I will get rid of it immediately. 

I remember my therapist asked me what I hoped to weigh, if I had a specific number in mind. I said no, and I told him that I truly believe that if I fix my relationship with food and my thoughts around food, that my body will naturally come down to wherever it feels it’s best, and it’s already starting to happen. I am starting to notice my body changing and starting to shed the weight I’ve held onto for so many years. My clothes are starting to fit a bit looser. I have more energy. I feel more and more authentic to myself.

I know that by losing the excess weight I’ve been carrying, I will be gaining a healthier body with no more knee pain (or any kind of pain that is a result of extra weight), a lighter body to run hills and stairs with, a healthier body to start a family with. The list of benefits can be endless, but those are basically my most important reasons as to why I am ready for what my body has been doing lately.

I stepped on the scale this morning and recorded the number in the Notes on my phone. I have lost 8.4 lbs. in the last month and a half. I have not dieted, restricted, or binged at all since my first meeting with my therapist. I am going to continue to track my weight (as long as it doesn’t start to mess with my head), and I will continue to share it, when appropriate. It’s not to flaunt or anything like that, but more in hope that it resonates with someone else who is/has struggled with food and their weight as proof that it’s not about embarking on a diet or intense workout regimen.

It’s about wanting to live the life you were meant to live, digging deep and finding out why you think the way you do and making steps to change the way you think about your relationship with yourself, weight, and food. It’s possible, you just have to make the decision to do something about it.

 

Gratituesday: Today, I am grateful that we have the mountains relatively close to us, we’re heading West in a few days for a much needed getaway to our family cabin in B.C. and I cannot wait to share our adventures with you.

My food and fitness philosophy

Since starting my journey to self love, and living a more authentic life my mind has changed so much for the better and I wanted to share my outlook on how I eat and move my body.

When I look back on the last 10 years, I see that two of my biggest stressors were diet and exercise. I remember trying to give myself an eating disorder in high school because I thought it was the only way I would be skinny. I remember trying to only eat low calorie foods, diet pop and veggie sticks. I remember so many girls commenting on how much weight I was losing. It was short lived.  I remember when I followed a bodybuilding diet and worked out 2 hours a day when I was in my early twenties because I wanted to look a certain way (what I perceived to be healthy: strong but thin). Now reflecting on all of the above, I see how disordered my thoughts were at different stages in my life.

After a lot of reflection the past two months I’ve discovered new healthy thoughts and beliefs around how I eat and move.

When it comes to food:

  • I don’t diet, or count calories. I eat what I feel called to eat, what I crave the most. It might be steel cut oats with a banana cut into it and a spoon of PB, and other times that might mean a doughnut. Sometimes dinner means fried chicken, and sometimes it’s a vegetarian buddha bowl. I guarantee people who follow me on Instagram think all I do is eat out all the time with the many delicious food pics I post, but that’s not the case. The “healthier” choices I make end up being boring photos to post haha. Eating out is HELLA expensive and we ain’t wealthy like that. I am constantly eating the same leftovers for lunch/dinner 4 days in a row, I just don’t post about it.
  • Don’t project your shit on me. I’ve had a few people in my life say things that I know deep down are affecting them in regards to food, but they project it on me. I also have a couple of friends who have had people project their insecurities on them too. It’s happened a few times that I can remember starting from when I was young, to more recently. It’s been important to me to have boundaries with people and I am not afraid to call people out on their bullshit. An example could be a family member or your spouse commenting that the food you are about to eat it as something they view as unhealthy OR too healthy. I’m like Ex-Squeeze me, says who, you? It’s like you are damned if you eat a vegetable or choose to eat pizza. Just because you are avoiding something, doesn’t mean I need to. If someone is making you feel uncomfortable, call them on it and set those boundaries. It might make for a difficult talk but it’s worth it.
  • I don’t over do it anymore when it comes to portions. Since learning to cultivate a better relationship with food, I listen to my body’s cues on when it is starting to get full. I feel so much closer to my body now, like it’s my friend and not my enemy. I’m able to connect more with myself when I listen to how I am feeling when I eat.
  • I take my time. I really have to slow down when I eat. The importance of tasting my food and fully enjoying it is so important to me now. Eating slower has brought me better digestion as well, so double yay for this.
  • I sometimes have to ask myself why I am eating something. Since I know myself more and know that I have used food to cope with stress, I need to know why I am eating something. Asking myself am I eating this because I want to, or because my unhealthy thoughts are telling me I HAVE to?
  • I throw a lot of food away (or pack it up for Louie if that’s an option). The portion sizes at most places are ridiculous and more food than I ever need in my body at one time. I am a pro at either tossing food, or asking to pack it up so that I can offer it to Louie later. I know it sounds wasteful and terrible to throw away food, but I also know how terrible it feels to overeat/stuff myself because I listen to that childhood thought of having to clear everything off my plate. Seriously, when I have kid(s) that is never something I will say to them because it can cause so many issues around food. That’s another story so I will stop there.

When it comes to moving my body/fitness/exercise:

  • I don’t exercise a certain way if it ain’t bringing me joy. I don’t know how many times over the years I have told people I hate the gym but I know it’s a lot. I think it’s from overdoing it years ago by following a body building plan. I have a love/hate relationship with working out in a gym. A couple of years ago I was all about going to yoga once a week. I love taking spin classes because I feel like a badass when I do them, but they’re pricey as hell so I haven’t purchased any more classes. Right now I am digging quick 25-30 minute workouts that mostly consist of body weight exercises, and a couple dumbells. 
    • Funny story: I remember when Louie and I would go to the gym together a handful of years ago, I would tag along because I felt I had to, to spend more time with him and because he likes going to the gym I felt I should enjoy it too. Eventually I found out he didn’t like when I came because he hates talking to people at the gym (even his gf at the time ha ha) and he just wants to be alone, and I hated it because I didn’t even want to be at the gym. If you and your partner don’t have a common interest in a particular way to move, find something you enjoy doing, even if it’s alone! We all go through the ebb and flow of what movements brings us joy, and that is totally okay,I just ask that you stop doing stuff you don’t actually like and find something that brings you joy.
  • I run because I love to run, and am a better person because of it. As a person with little to no athletic abilities, I didn’t think I would ever be a runner, but I am a runner and I am proud to call myself one! I discovered more about myself through running. Running gave me a better relationship with my body because I came to realize how strong I am mentally and physically. I ran half marathon a few weeks ago and busted my ass training for it. I knew I was passionate about it when I kept going, even after injuring myself, taking the required time off and then doing all the physiotherapy work to make sure I healed properly.
  • I don’t guilt myself into working out. I haven’t ran in 3 weeks, since my half and I give no fucks. I know I will start again soon because I am passionate about running and the weather is starting to warm up. I am taking this resting period to enjoy all the free time I now have for myself because committing to 3 training days a week got to be overwhelming at times.
  • I try new things. I get bored of routines easily and I have a bunch of classes in mind that I want to try this year. There is an aerial fitness class I have been eyeing, some new spin studios to try out, and I want to try barre. I have learned I like trying different classes, even if they end up not being my thing. I get excited about them, and have a few friends who are always up for trying them out with me which I appreciate.

 I am sure my list will evolve as I do, but that is basically how I am living my best life right now in some major areas that previously stressed me out.
I just realized I kinda ditched Gratituesday for a little bit and  so I wanted to share one thing I am grateful for today, and that is my animals, Lexi and Sasha. They are so damn cuddly and needy and I love them for it, unless it’s Sasha eating my hair in the early morning because he’s hungry for food. The best thing about Sasha is that he knows when I am feeling down, and he stays extra close to me on those days.

Tell me, what have you discovered about your eating/moving philosophy? Also, any early risers that read my blog? I want to become a better morning person. Working out after work is not my think (I don’t like busy gyms) and would love to start working out before work a couple times a week. Send me your tips, please!

 

4 things therapy taught me

Tonight was my last therapy session. My therapist wished me well, gave me a hug and I walked away from his office. A few minutes later I started crying as I walked towards where Lou was going to pick me up from. I cried because I am damn proud of myself for going to therapy and forever changing my life for the better.

My therapist and I both feel that I’m at a place where I no longer need to attend sessions. I felt it two weeks ago at my last appointment, that I was nearing the end of needing therapy, our session was shorter and I felt like I probably had one last session, so I booked two weeks out instead of the regular once/week. Today was even shorter, it was more of a check in to see how I was doing and how I felt my food issues were going, and also how the stressful family member issue was going.

The family member issue resolved itself last week when they moved out, so all is back to normal in my home and I am obviously so happy the stress is gone.

I let him know I felt 100% in control around food, and I hadn’t binged since our first session. I naturally have eaten more intuitively and pay so much more attention to how I am feeling while I am eating. I stop when my body tells me to, or if I just don’t really think that what I’m eating is tasty. I can honestly say I know my relationship with food is changed for the better, it will be something I deal with for the rest of my life, but after learning so much about myself and how I deal with my feelings around food I know I’ve got this.

Anyways, I wanted to share something I have been thinking about for last 6+ weeks, and that’s what therapy has taught me.

1. It’s okay not to have all the answers.

I’ve known I had major issues with my relationship with food for the last couple of years but I never thought I needed help to address it. I thought I would figure it out all on my own, boy was I mistaken! Seeking help was the best thing I have ever done for myself. It allowed me to talk about things I never felt comfortable saying to anyone.

2. I don’t need to be the parent.

Before therapy, I spent a lot of time telling other people what to do and it’s fucking exhausting.

Whether it was asking my partner to clean up after himself or clean something the way I wanted it to be cleaned, or telling a family member all the shit they were doing wrong in our house.

I remember when I touched on this stuff with Brian, he said something I will never forget: “Imagine all the free time you will have when you stop parenting other people”. It blew my mind. I was stressing out about other people and what they were doing, when I should/could have just focused on myself. It’s not my business the way my partner chooses to clean, because as long as it gets done then who cares if it’s different from how I would choose to do it. Who cares if someone asked me for help or advice and then chooses to ignore it, it’s their life not mine so why should I stress myself out over something not in my control.

In the last few weeks I have really thought more about when I feel like I may react to something in a negative way and instead of nagging or parenting someone, I’m starting to pause first and usually the want to parent goes away.

3. I’m the director of my life.

I was letting the unhealthy thoughts I sometimes have control my actions around food. Before therapy, I never once fought back or thought I could do things differently. Therapy led me to discover new skills, ideas and ways of thinking about my relationship with food. My life has improved a lot in the last 6+ weeks since I have been digging deep and working on myself.

4. Be authentic.

I have been on a journey since last year, a journey to being my most authentic self. Going to therapy was a huge part of my journey to fixing my relationship with food. When I look back on the way I was interacting with food I can see that I had been feeling lost, like I wasn’t myself. I was constantly thinking that I was not living my truth. I found myself thinking “who wants to go through their whole lives hating themselves because of their poor relationship with food?”. I don’t remember what exactly happened the day I called my employer’s EAP (employee assistance program) line, but I knew I was sick of living the way I was and I knew I had to do something about it.

Life lately and Gratituesday

Hello!

It’s been a while, and I haven’t felt too motivated to write recently. I randomly will have all these great ideas for blog posts I should write,  but the ideas end up forgotten about by the time the day is over so I just bought a small journal to write my ideas down in, and hopefully that keeps me on the ball more.

To catch up on what I’ve been doing lately, I will give you a brief rundown:

-I’ve went to therapy late last week and it was pretty good, things are winding down with Brian as I feel I’ve gotten a good grip on the big stuff we have been talking about. Instead of booking with him weekly, I am starting to book every 2-3 weeks.

-I ran a half marathon that I have been training for 3 months for, last Sunday. It was long, and tough but I felt pretty great during the whole thing. My body didn’t start hurting until the last 4 km were left. I made sure to prepare my mind in the days before the run, talking over a few scenarios and my fears I had. I really think that helped quiet my mind and I didn’t doubt myself once during the run. I decided to talk the rest of last week off as rest and recovery, and then Alberta happened and it’s been freezing this week so I am off until the free Love2Run 5k walk/run at all Running Room locations this upcoming Saturday, luckily it will warm up by then. I am doing it solo as I couldn’t convince anyone to come run with me.

-I’ve been feeling a bit off balance and overwhelmed lately in other areas of my life, the main stressors are work, and family. Work has been non-stop go go go, which means my days are flying by, but it also means I don’t have enough time in the day to get everything on my to-do list done. This feeling should start easing up by next week I am hoping. The family issue is that we have a member of my family staying with us, and that person has  stayed a bit too long and is wearing on my nerves and not respecting boundaries. Luckily, they are moving out by the middle of this month. I’m sure they can’t wait for their own space because I know I can’t wait to have the rest of my space back.

-I have continued a lucky streak of winning giveaways and contests off social media. My close friends are convinced I have a horseshoe up my ass. One friend suggested I keep track of what I win, so I think I will keep a spreadsheet from now on. I don’t know what it is, but i have won an obscene amount of stuff in the last 2 years, 2016 was exceptional for this, and this new year has me seeing my BIGGEST win yet. I WON a freaking TREADMILL (and some other cool stuff, like a year’s supply of smartwater!!) from http://www.spiffykerms.com, which is a blog I’ve been reading for the last few years at least. I was having a really shitty day until i got the email from Nancy saying that I won (our dog, Lexi, has been sick this last week, and that was the first day which meant our house was basically covered in her shit and it was not fun to clean up). Anyways, you should check out Nancy’s blog, she writes about beauty, fitness, and travel. She is hilarious and super sweet and loves coffee as much as I do. Nancy is Canadian, she is originally from Newfoundland, and has been living in California with her husband, Scott and their cute dog, Alfie.

I wanted to introduce something I heard about, which I am going to try my best implementing as a regular thing on my blog, it’s called Gratituesday. Basically, every Tuesday, I am going to post what I am feeling gratitude for. On my journey to being my most authentic self, I have been focusing on what I have and what is abundant in my life, rather than what I don’t have.

Today, I feel gratitude for:

  • my amazing friends, they have listened to me vent about my irritating family issue, even when they have their own big stressors in their lives right now.
  • my body, as it allows me a lot of freedom. anytime I feel like I am complaining about my level of fitness I try and remember that I am so blessed that I have the ability to walk and run and do a lot of physical activities, I try and remember that a lot of people are not as blessed as those who are able-bodied.
  • my spouse, he is the yin to my yang. when i’m down, he brings me up (it works both ways as I’ve been known to be sickly positive when he finds himself in a negative headspace). he believes in me, more than i believe in myself sometimes and I am just so gracious for this. he is my best friend and I love to laugh off the stress with him.

Please share with me, tell me at least one thing you are feeling gratitude for.