Sunday, 20 October 2013

Life is Serious - now BREATHE!

All too often I take life very seriously like it is mine to hold on to, to count and quarter, measure and maintain like some kind of special model ship or shiny crystal butterfly.  It is a fact that many of us feel that we can protect the essence by hiding it behind carefully constructed walls but in the end we smother the joy of really living. Breathing freely - exhaling as well as inhaling - is truly living.  Have you ever held your breath in nervous anticipation of something - good or bad - then exhaled in relief or acceptance?  I see this holding of my breath as an unconscious way to control something that is inevitable. You can, for a moment, control something but, in the end, life takes over and so you too must exhale.

Friday, 18 October 2013

They Say It's Your Birthday....

The numbers keep creeping up and I am so grateful for each and every one of them!  Today I am celebrating sixty three years of living; four super awesome daughters (and that is ALL for that number!); ten amazingly wonderful grandchildren; twenty three years employed in a field I love; twenty three Likes on my new Boomer Pot of Gold Facebook page; 75 views on one of my Blog posts and ONE wonderful Love of my Life (that number I will keep at 1!!).

Good health - mentally, physically and spiritually - makes my world go round....and round!  I am so excited to feel so good - I just can't help but share that with anyone who will listen. Weight loss has made a huge difference in how I feel in all of those areas but the benefits of digging deep into the whole health picture is what pushes me over the top.  Sorting out allergies and the whole gluten intolerance thing was a big score.  Adding walking into my routine replaced a lot of mindless TV watching plus increased my serotonin, built up muscle and got me outdoors to just enjoy life.  This summer I added a bicycle to our vehicle collection and Wow - do I love the wind on my face (better in August and September but don't give up on me October - I will spin through you at least once too!).

Since starting my journey, I have walked the streets of Havana; climbed a mountain to sit mesmerized by the tea terraces in China; walked through miles of night markets in SE Asia; and, swam off the coast of Bali.  I would never have attempted any of this without the amazing "numbers" in my life.

To all out there reading and sharing my blogs - thank you!  I write selfishly from my own passion to express myself with words and the occasional photo but to be able to share my wanderings through the valleys and over the mountain tops (literally and figuratively) and maybe make one little difference in someone else's very human journey sends me all the way to the moon and back! I would love to take you there with me! Just keep in mind that these feet are truly made of iron so I always land back on earth with a thud and a big dose of humility!

And from my generation to yours - a little Paul McCartney - LET'S DANCE!

You say it's your birthday

It's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Vitality and Vanity - Good and/or Evil?

Three weeks in on a new way of eating and I am feeling like a new woman - well, almost.  There is still a lot of the old one left! Going gluten free was not a BIG stretch in my home with three other family members following similar diets.  Sleuthing for hidden gluten has been an education, however, and has instigated many interesting conversations in our kitchen.  As we emptied drawers and shelves to accommodate gluten free tools and appliances, we discovered hidden corners harbouring crumbs and molecules of gluten. Out went our favorite wooden spoons and spatulas as we embraced more washable plastic. A new toaster and cutting board found space in an already crowded pantry and the bread knife is now washed with each and every use before being popped back into a drawer.  The vigilance could be likened to Sherlock Holmes and Watson.  Sherlock had many Ah Ha! shouts of victory while Watson shook his head in amazement and then followed instructions - you can use your imagination on who played what role!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


Fall is always a time of renewal for me.  Maybe it goes back to the old excitement of returning to school or maybe it is because my birthday happens to land right smack dab in a pile of beautiful fall leaves!  Whatever the root, October is a bonus month for reflection. Since embracing authenticity over a year ago, it now has to be a month of honesty also - how can you reflect without mixing in some honesty?

To be authentic, I have discovered I need to be honest with myself as well as with others. Hiding behind a mask of passivity when I crave action or saying yes when I really mean no are acts of dishonesty with others - acts that stem from fears of not being loved to feelings of not being enough. These actions are barbed on both ends - some even with poisonous hooks! I suffer but I drag others into the black pit with me!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Through Grandma's Lens

I watched a movie years ago about a young man who was autistic and one of the ways his therapist enabled him to walk on a busy street without becoming overwhelmed was showing him how to look through the lens of a camera while walking.  It distanced him from the throngs of people and helped him integrate into society. 

I have embraced the view through my lens for a very different reason but it actually accomplishes the same thing for a different end.  By viewing the world around me through my camera lens I can eliminate the extraneous visual clutter and find the one, special detail that might just make a good shot great. I am not a proficient photographer - I play, I snap AND snap and after a few hundred pictures I might find one or two pictures that - well, that satisfy my inner artist!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Dying Longer

I just finished reading Lyndsay Green's "other" book You Could Live a Long Time: Are You Ready?  Her statement that we are not actually living longer as much as we are dying longer caught my eye and caused my heart to blip! Many of us have seen our parents pass on over the last few years - some were blessed with a quick exit while others lingered in various states of being - dying longer. Not really something we can choose but, while we are still in the driver's seat, some thought and planning could make it less harmful and feel less uncharted. 

Ms. Green's perspective is summed up so well by the name of her final chapter "Embracing Old Age".  So often the media plays to our desire to stay young and the creams and diets and exercise regimes flooding the airwaves (and our bathroom counters and bookshelves) these days are just the tip of the fear mongering  iceberg we boomers keep attracting while more and more marketers are looking to access our millions of hard earned retirement nest eggs! Youth is for the young!  Bail off that Titanic - you know where it is heading!  I plan on acting my age by being the healthiest, smartest, strongest old person I can be but, I will still be old!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Class Reunion 1968 to 2013

The cracks in the oiled wood floor ran parallel to the beat up filing cabinet and work table pushed against the far wall.  Secure in the knowledge that three of my best friends were lined up along this same crack in the floor gave me the courage to raise my eyes to Mr. Kitchen's level and focus more consciously on what he was saying.  Being one of the quietest students in my class, this was my first foray into the principal's office in twelve years of school and I was shocked that I was still being expelled.  His gaze moved from one student to the next as he lectured us on the seriousness of skipping class and the consequences - wait, there were consequences - a BIG consequence - none of us would be allowed to go on the planned trip that day to tour two post-secondary institutions in a nearby city unless our parents called the office to re-instate us.  I straightened my back, unconsciously threw my shoulders back and dared to look him in the eye.  Even in my 17 years of life experience I could recognize that little glimmer sparkling for a few seconds as he flashed me a look.  Why, he was smiling on the inside - maybe even struggling to keep a straight face as he lectured "little Miss Goody Two Shoes" and her friends.  I hurriedly shifted my gaze back to the old floor and wiped my face clean of that little grin just starting to spread at the corners of my mouth, choked down the giggle rising in my throat and began to plan the "story" I would have to tell my Mom so I could take that bus trip to the promised campuses. 

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Boomer Living - Where's the Pot of Gold

I have been gnawing on the whole retirement thing for a few years. Where, when, how? Today I listened to an interview with a Canadian author, Lindsay Green (and bought her book - thank you Kindle - The Perfect Home for a Long Life) and found myself stopped cold hearing her say out loud what many of my peers whisper to each other - most of us over the age of 65 are more afraid of living in a nursing home than dying.

My Journey Through Life - One Heartbeat at a Time!

My Journey to Health has become my journey through life - a new story I am scripting daily - or so it seems.  The ending exists in my heart of hearts but I only get glimpses of the details.   Along the way, I know I will engage with my world and revel in the smells, tastes, sounds and sensations - in countries around the world or from my own back deck.

This became so evident during our recent trip to SE Asia.  So much filled so few days, that the memories overloaded my communication zone - what to share without drowning my friends in post-trip euphoria?!  I have attempted to distill the experience into a few sensory phrases: smell, taste, sound and sensation!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

No Destination; No End

I have had a challenging week of overwhelming work stuff and ongoing dealings regarding my car and the other driver's insurance (they don't seem to know who she is!) and....well, let's just say I got sucked in by the candy machine a couple of times and the floor in front of our pantry doesn't need much dusting (although there might be a few peanuts lingering in the corner!) and I just wanted to eat everything in sight.

I was getting very worried I would spiral out of control like a multitude of other times and give up - give in - and get swallowed up in the vortex of self pity and indulgence. I kept trying to find those magic words that would all of a sudden lift the veil and let in the light!

Today the sun shone, I slept in until 8 AM,  Raouf made delicious cinnamon pancakes and I finally got all of my alterations done on my makeshift traveling wardrobe. It was lunchtime before I knew it.  I sat down to eat my delicious broccoli and fennel soup and I realized I seemed to be getting back into the groove.  I walked for an hour and I talked out a lot of my stress - blah blah  - over and over and over as I processed it all again and again. I am gaining perspective so I don't go and start gaining weight!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


So, came across this little play on the visual (thanks sis!) and thought, is it? And, what is the difference. Did you see Life is NO where? or Life is Now here? As I got my boots on for my noon walk I got to thinking: "Has my perspective changed?" Then, I shot a glance out the window at the grey skies and leaf-less trees and snow-covered streets and turned with a smile thinking: "You bet it has!"

Before this 40 lb loss - in my "Life is no where" phase:

1. I would never have contemplated climbing 27 flights of stairs in one day!
2. I would never have even thought about going for a walk on a grey, dull, cold day in March - let alone 26 city blocks!
3. I would never have considered rolling around on an exercise ball like I did last night, doing backward leg raises with ease!
4. I would never have done any of the above even if I had thought of it!

So, Life is NOW here!  FOR ME! Even though I whine and complain about aches and pains, I sometimes secretly enjoy thinking that I am now one of those people who have earned that right to hurt from being able to exercise! And, when I buy my new bike (yep, me, spending money on a bike! So not the old me!), I will revel in being able to complain about my sore seat, my aching calves, my skinned knuckles (I anticipate at least one fall or near crash!) because it will mean I am out there doing life. 

Yeah for a new perspective! 

Life is NOW here and, grumble and grouch as I do and will - 
I will live it and love it until the day I die!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Here's to Chocolate!

I have not done any research on the benefits of chocolate - I hear it is supposed to be good for you.  What I do know, though, is that "IT" is good!

On Valentines day, my sweetheart bought me some Purdy chocolates - made in Vancouver yummy Purdy milk chocolates! Feeling strong, I opened them and we toasted each other, clicking chocolates across the table as we shared our special Valentines dinner at home (my favorite pizza).  "A toast to chocolate!" I declared, smiling.  "I can do this!" I thought, and then blithely informed Raouf that we would have one chocolate a Sunday until they are gone. 

Feeling rather smug, really, I revelled in the melting goodness on my tongue and the feeling of control settling over my inner being.  I envisioned myself happily going about my week, knowing, come Sunday, one more creamy or carmel or nutty chocolate would be waiting calmly in the drawer.  I visually patted myself on the back every time I walked through the living room and lovingly glanced in their direction.  Gold and black, sleek and slim - the box of chocolates quietly waited for me in the dark little drawer.

Sunday #1 arrived and after dinner, I grabbed the box of chocolates and placed them respectfully on the table in front of us.  Choices, choices, choices - cream-filled or caramel, chocolate pyramid or nutty circles of almonds - all at my fingertips, all looking milky and sweet.  My fingers hovered over my favorite - the caramels - and then wandered over to the orange cream and then to the coconut swirl.  I finally settled on the creamy centered one and bit in with expectations beyond what one little chocolate could deliver! The sugar hit the side of my tongue and sent shivers down my back.  The sweetness of the cream melted and some dribbled out of the corner of my mouth as I tried to make it last.  I smiled at Raouf and, with somber ceremony, put the lid back on.  Tenderly I lifted them from the center of the table, caressed the shiny foil lid with my fingertips and then placed the special little box back in the drawer in the console.  "See you next Sunday" I whispered lovingly.

Monday came and work heated up - projects and budgets and classroom drama erupted.  Tuesday came and my thoughts kept wandering up the stairs and into the shadows even as I settled down at my laptop with my tea in hand. "One chocolate really doesn't have that many Weight Watcher points", I pondered - surprising, really.  I sipped my tea, and glanced at my screen.  My mind imagined what it would look like if choclate started dripping from the top and running down the sides.  A little drip caught my eye and a whiff of milk chocolate passed through my mind.  Wait a minute, can a mind smell? But then, does chocolate really run down your laptop screen?

Wednesday, my work load exploded.  I went for a long walk and tried to leave the feeling of angst somewhere among the dried bullrushes in the park close to my office.  "Exercise will de-stress me", I thought, and sped up for a bit.  "It will clear my head", I chanted, as I marched up the hill.  My desk had grown ten inches in height by the time I got back and the paper pile had covered its surface.  The emails were spilling out the sides of the screen and splattering text over the documents that had been neatly stacked along the back. I packed up my empty lunch containers, grabbed my cell phone, gingerly reached across the hip hopping text and turned off my computer and turned on my heel.  Office to parkade to freeway to home - all put distance between me and the work now locked in my dark, quiet office. 

I arrived in my garage, closed the door and heaved a sigh of relief! Home - my haven, my solace, my comfort! Dinner, tea, a little TV, cereal break - all went smoothly.  Raouf opted for the first shower and headed up without me. I shut down my laptop, turned off my tablet, clicked the off button for the TV and switched off the lights as I followed him. Alone in the dark with just the light above the stove spotlighting the sparkling glasstop below, I hesitated at the bottom of the stairs leading to the master bedroom and bath.  Have you ever done that, one little hesitation, one moment, one inch from victory and then stopped? 

Soft, syrupy little voices invaded my brain. My left foot was already on the bottom stair; my right hand had grabbed the handrail; and, I stopped and listened. Notes, tiny little notes floated just above the console singing a song that had no words - a tune like one the sirens must have sung just before the sailor hit the rocks!

I turned and padded trance-like into the living room - she who writes a blog about journeying to health - and stood, mesmerized by the notes now dancing in pairs along the edge of the console, kicking up their little round bottoms or bending and nodding their little round heads.  They all had chocolate dripping from their invisible mouths.  They smiled - I honestly saw them smile at me - and then, as I glanced briefly at the light I could still see under the bathroom door, I dived in. Shiny box lid was silently flipped over and the little brochure that identified all the creamy centers was slid unceremoniously into the lid along with the corrugated cardboard meant to protect the little delicacies hiding within. There they were, in all their glory!  "Ha ha!" I shouted in my head - and then I popped the creamy white chocolate one into my mouth and inhaled its sweet, dark chocolate centre.  Next was the almond cluster and then the square caramel with the pretty white stripes on the top. "Why stop there?" I chortled with abandon.  Listening for the shower to stop, I grabbed one more - a coconut cream - and savoured each bite.  The box was nearly empty. The black cupcake-like liners looked like the empty safe at a crime scene - after the robbers had escaped. I crammed the lid back on and pushed the box into the drawer again. The shower stopped and my binge was over. It had taken five minutes!

So, where is the victory? What lesson is there to share? I keep imagining the gasps of surprise; the gaping mouths and the furtive glances as each of you looks (virtually of course) at the other and waits for the WORD! Was it just a dream? Did she confess? What about the half empty box? Did she slink away in shame?

I smile, and say, "Here's to chocolate!" (and then I rush to Raouf and beg him to hide the box until next Sunday!)

Saturday, 2 March 2013

A Diggin' Kinda Day

The leg bone's connected to the thigh bone; the thigh bone's connected to the .........HIP BONE - and I found mine! I have un-buried my hip bones - how absolutely amazing! I don't think I ever thought about it much when I was burying them years ago - like, you know, saying "I am burying you now for another day" or "X marks the spot - I will be back to dig you out".

I didn't envision myself slinging mud in all directions looking for them either but that is kind of what I had to do. Dig up the many, many reasons why I couldn't lose the weight and throw those against the bathroom wall! Wring out my crying towel and use it to wipe down those dirty walls! Even if I gain this week - and believe me those aren't mud stains around this hungry mouth (can anyone spell c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e?) - I refuse to bury these old bones again. Yesterday I walked over 15000 steps - a new record - I am going to walk, walk, walk this weight off - just watch me!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

What's She Up to Now!

I have played it very safe over my life - really! I married young, stayed home with my kids and thought that was what I wanted.  But then, I went back to school as an adult, got divorced, got married again, got divorced, fell in love, moved in with a man (an amazing man!), dropped out of my religious fervour and fell into a multi-coloured land of change; and, finally, I found out that playing it safe isn't safe at all - this "grey scale living" can actually set you up for more drama and disappoint and depression. Nothing too bright and exciting, nothing unpredictable, nothing that would draw attention, just shades of grey book-ended between black on one side and white on the other.

I veered off the highway somewhat when I started my quest to live authentically - no more pretending or trying to fit into self imposed constraints. Roles prescribed by my understanding of "church" and my own belief system came under scrutiny as I opened myself up to examining my values - those deep-seated inner workings that affected my beliefs and actions. I looked at my experience and realized that much of what dictated my actions - religious beliefs and structure, past experience, false pride and excessive perfectionism - paralysed my need to grow and know who I am right now.  Very little reflected my values - although much, of course, made it more comfortable to navigate the world I had chosen.

So, I jumped out of my comfort zone; examined my reasons for all kinds of decisions and started living as ME. I eschewed marriage and embraced a common law relationship filled with love and respect and fun.  I started travelling to places outside my "Home and Native Land" and found the hidden adventuress within - laughing at getting lost in Beijing, risking train travel in a country where the language was impossible to learn; exploring alleys and eating from street vendors; trusting my instincts and living - really living. I loved to just watch the Chinese go about the simplest activities, exercising in the parks, getting their hair cut on the street, zig zagging their way across bumper to bumper traffic and holding their children up to urinate in a garbage can in a busy train station. Life - not right or wrong, better or worse - but life - and it felt amazing.

Facing my values - really digging deep and separating them from my beliefs and the society I had chosen as my world - set me free to become ME.  I know now that I am a lover - a lover of life, people, places, knowledge, wisdom, beauty - and there is not even one shade of grey left.

I may shock those who know me well, attract a gasp here and a smile there, but, I will be me. And, I hope that one day, someone will walk past me sitting on a park bench and wonder, "What is she up to now!"

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Inner Diva Unveiled

I am so very conservative in most that I do but now and again I like to break out and shock those who never knew I had it in me! Much has changed in my life over the past 4 years and weight loss is only one of the magic numbers that have lifted the veil on my inner diva and invited me on to the stage of my own life.  Diva - when it is all about me - seems selfish and annoying but my Inner Diva can be that self who is loved by me and lives completely and authentically hopefully touching the little world around me with simple joy that comes from just being real!

Here are the numbers that added up to liberate my Diva within!

1 - "Is a lonely number, the number one!" I was on my own again - OK, I will quit singing - and adjusting nicely actually! I was finding my world was not just black and white but green and orange and red and purple too! Eggshells were meant for the garbage and not as a carpet to be crunched under my feet. I turned the diva power up, shone the spot light on my soul and came out to the world as someone with a little punch behind that calm demeanor!

2 - "TWO, two, two are better than one; (double mint anyone?)" - but, really, I met the love of my life, a man who loves my Inner Diva - the one I thought I needed to hide behind academic smarts and "strong womanly accomplishments"! To find a partner who could bring out that Inner Diva who loved to rock the night away singing along with some old rock and roll or groovin' past sunset with Etta James was such a gift!  I had finally learned to share the real me kindly, respectfully and lovingly and let the pieces fall where they may.  Joy, oh Joy - my love liked what he saw!

3 - Three Is NEVER a crowd!  My Inner Diva loved to welcome more people into my life, to laugh and play, sing and dance, and share my life on this new stage! Unlike the cautious, caged me of years gone by, I opened up my heart and welcomed new and interesting people into my life - people who embraced "thinking and feeling and sharing". Some were a little overwhelmed by my new diva outlook and left to wander their own path but those I meet along the new roads I travel now meet my eyes with warmth and acceptance (and if not I am obviously on the wrong road!). Living authentically is never a bad choice; it frees you to be you!

4 - FOR the love of life! I certainly still stumble and fall into my un-diva like head now and again, but I am learning that my happiness is truly found in the experiences I openly seek and not in the big house or designer clothes or any other material good I might choose to measure success.  I travel, giggle, enjoy sunshine, seek music, revel in the beauty of photography (even my own amateur attempts!), explore adventure and new thoughts by reading amazing books, jump in and share imperfect thoughts and crazy opinons and subjective observations and all kinds of feelings - you pick - some cost money and others are free but they are all experience and worth every penny (had to slip that in!) and every ounce of effort.

5 - Give me FIVE! My Inner Diva celebrates little things openly with friends, in the coffee shop or on the pathway, and privately, in my own heart!   This diva holds a delicious single chocolate in her hand and toasts her love across the dining room table and laughs at the pleasure of the melting goodness. (Only ONE chocolate! Amazing!) My Inner Diva coaches me to love myself and when I feel like dancing I grab my honey and dance - in the kitchen, in the park, or on the hiking trail - I also hum bars of music and sing the five words I might remember and let thoughts of life bubble out of me instead of guarding my voice just in case the sentence is not perfectly formed.

I love it when my Inner Diva is prodding me to change and be real - and those times when I shut her down, I just know she will eventually pop up again, usually at the oddest time, and burst into song! Hoping you find your Inner Diva and let her push you on to the stage of your life where you can live openly and authentically for then, THEN, you will be able to be marvellous YOU! 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Bigger is Better!

So much of my focus in 2012 was on becoming smaller - fewer inches, smaller portions, lower numbers on the scale, smaller sizes in the closet. That is still ongoing but 2013 is shaping up to be a year of growing bigger: 
  • A bigger heart with room for selfcare - a notion where I can put myself first without feeling selfish!
  • A bigger heart with room for gratitude - for new friends; new love; new places and new experiences, and;
  •  A bigger heart for courage - courage to change, courage to let go; courage to face fear and triumph.
This special day is much bigger than the sweetness of chocolate or the grandeur of diamonds - it is one that can be marked with - a SMILE.   I am discovering the power of a smile - from and to strangers - and realizing, slowly, as Maya Angelou has shared, "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song." 
Love yourself, and then share that feeling, that song, with others - it will make that moment, that day, your life - BIGGER!


Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Wisdom Sign Post #2 - Honour My Physical Me

I spent six months working on the first leg of my journey - getting my mind around my dreams and opening up the connection to the driving force - my heart.  My physical self was standing (or sitting!) in the way of the ending I had penned to my life story. I couldn't get to the mountain top if I was going to have to drag an unhealthy body all the way.  When it comes to our - or should I just own this and say - my body - I do a lot of "smoke and mirrors" kind of dancing, avoiding the inevitable until I truly can't walk anymore - or breathe easily or sleep well.  I needed help to start on a new treatment plan -to honour my physical me!  My first lesson was helping to move me forward and JUST START!   That little piece - just start - is within the grasp of anyone reading this today and can mean many things - a short walk in the neighbourhood, consulting a nutitionist, starting aquasize once a week, dancing with  your grandchildren or joining a community of people with the same hopes and dreams.  No matter what you choose, a step forward is moving in the right direction!

PROTECT "It" Along the Way
With my new mindset in place, and my new focus on my physical "me" or "it",  I started with a good look at my diet - the food, the additives, and the amount.  Youch!  The trick was to figure out what might be triggering the brain fog and fatigue, let alone the weight gain (that was easier to figure out!). Sugar was definitely my enemy and I was spurred on to control my sugar intake if not eliminate it totally.  I knew I needed to honour my own body with its own quirks and mysteries - and, everyone does have a very unique body.  Each person needs to figure out what might be lurking in their pantries and on their plates that is making them sick and then get rid of it to make room for all the goodness waiting to move in.

Three months into my journey, I tore the meniscus in my left knee - which, until then, was what I considered my good knee. I had not embarked on any new exercise program at that time - just a simple walk from the parkade to my office one day ignited an excruciating pain. I ignored it and babied it for weeks before seeking medical help.  I did not honour my body and I have learned that delaying medical intervention is unhealthy. Simple stuff, really, but ingrained in my personal beliefs - or so it appears. The medical intervention included a chiropractic visit, an X-ray, my first ever MRI and taking the right drugs to address the pain, but, more importantly, it equipped me to deal with the pain and taught me how important self-care really is.  My discovery of such a simple truth added fuel to the fire my mind had ignited earlier - a lesson learned - better late than never. 

Don't hesitate to involve medical professionals - chiropractors, naturopaths, physicians, physiotherapists - put your team together so your "it" is taken care of with all of the uniqueness and frailties considered - all part of one package - YOU!  Some won't go away; others will - and the only one who can discover that truth is you and who you call on to help you sort out that mystery.

Ice Queen

Scrape! Swish! Scrape! Swish! The coolness of the air, the dim lighting of the arena and the sound of skates gliding across the ice.  Twirling, jumping, leaning into a beautiful circle with a perfect edge. Flips, axels, and spirals going faster and faster as the wind rushes through my hair - BZZZZZZZ - the alarm rings and my Tuesday begins.

In the warm steam of my morning shower, I review my plan for the day.  I had committed to skating last weekend.  While looking for exercise equipment at Canadian Tire (I know - not exactly the expert's store!) I remembered my colleague talking about free ice and going skating once a week at noon.  The skates were just in the next aisle so I squared my shoulders and resolved that I would be back on the ice this winter no matter what but I needed skates first! I knew if I bought the skates I would use them - my upbringing would never allow such waste as throwing new skates into a dark closet.  With German and British blood (and I mean this with great respect for both!) coursing through my veins, thriftiness and stubborness were never far below the surface.  Of course, now I prefer to say I am good with money and tenatious - sounds better!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Fit - Bit by Bit

Yearning for Spring!
I am always looking for motivation to keep heading off into this new land - more like a new galaxy to me, really!  A land where people like to walk and bike and kayak and skate.  Where they stop and share a low fat latte or healthy, REAL yoghurt and re-hash their most recent hike or bike trip!

I am not above looking to gadgets if I think they will provide this motivation, and, the Fitbit One is amazing!  I had many questions about the fitbit.  I heard about it from my weight watcher buddies online and so many were so excited about this little miniature trainer I finally caved and checked it out.  With winter slowing me down on my usual walking pattern I researched, read, re-read, and finally, with trepidation (I am so super cautious about "trendy" devices!), I hit the button to order.  Having followed the wave of excitement over this little technology wizard on WW's, I knew that interest ebbed and flowed - would my interest hold? or was I wasting my money on a temporary toy?

Saturday, 2 February 2013


Have a heart? Heart throb? Forgiving Heart? Warm Heart? Brave heart? Broken heart? Take heart? This month hearts will abound and, depending on where you are in your life, your spirit will dance with anticipation or drop to the depths of despair. Of course, most of us will be somewhere in between.

I have had a change of heart - or maybe I should say I am working on that! I have slowly started to inch along learning to face the inner me - that place that decides what I put into my mouth and how much I move my body and why - or even why I don't - do something to take care of me in the first place. I have been inspired by a book recently that is about how to understand and help children who have a weight problem (Weight Watchers Family Power).

Saturday, 26 January 2013

My Journey - Wisdom Sign Post #1

It is hard to believe that it has been over 365 days since I started my blog.  More importantly, it is even more startling that I have been on a journey to a healthier me for one whole year (plus 3 weeks).  I have learned so much about what it takes, what made this attempt so different from the many others over my lifetime, and how I know in my heart that this is it - this is my new life.

As so many others around the world start to look at the New Year and often a deep desire for a body with fewer pounds or one that can move easily and accomplish more or live longer and healthier, I wanted to share some of what has become more and more apparent to me each step of the way.  Having the patience to figure out what would work and, more importantly, what would not work, was one of the keys to success.  It all started when my mind connected to my heart!

Swim Suit Day

I mentioned the possibility of potentially maybe sometime dragging my bathing suit out of the drawer it has been stuffed into since its last wearing in 2008. I wore it for one hour that year. As you can tell, swimming is not and never has been a favorite pastime. I did use it once as a relaxation technique when I lived in a building with a beautiful, very under-used, quiet, warm, salt water pool with a fountain in the middle and low lighting at night. I ventured down there most nights about 9 PM. In this Plus 40 building, most residents were Plus 70 and in bed by 9 PM so I had the pool area all to myself. I used a long forgotten back stroke and relaxed and glided through the water at my own steam. I was impressed with the feeling of calm and also with the stiff arm muscles the next day. But I was never won over to idea of getting wet in order to exercise. My brief foray into waterworld ended the year we sold our lovely apartment and my swimsuit never surfaced (or sank!) again until the aforementioned 2008 appearance at a hot tub in Arizona. The lovely blue suit is therefore in great shape - no fading, no thin material - just tummy-tucker, shape hugging fabric ready for the next swim.