Friday, 19 June 2015

Happiness!! Friday Five Link Up

I'm linking up with Mar on the run, Eat Pray Run and You signed up for what

again for their Friday Five Link up.  Today we are talking about our Five things that make us happy. It's like a loaded question, I mean the honest answer is life... but more specifically what about this life makes me happy.

So I started thinking about it, there are many things in my life that make me happy, surprising, or not, they aren't things that make me happy, but activities and people.

1) FAMILY: My family makes me happy. Yes they can drive me crazy, they can frustrate me to the point of wanting to run away at times, but I LOVE them and they make me happy.  How do I know they make me happy?  Mostly, because I recognize that without them I'd be very sad.  Very few people in life can make me smile and feel genuinely peaceful and happy like my family is able to.  So Yes my number one thing that makes me happy is my family.

2) FRIENDS: I love girl time, I love hanging  out with my girlfriends, in the kitchen, out at a restaurant, on the beach, at the park while the little ones play, hanging out with my friends is amazing!! (You should try hanging with us because we are a good time).  My friends are wonderful amazing, some I have known for 30 years, others it's only been a year but it feels like we've been friends forever.  Having laughs and chuckles as we make our way through this crazy ass life makes the insanity of the outside pressures (deadlines at work, unsupportive exes, etc) all the more bearable, because I know they have my back!!

3) YOGA: I really like yoga, I wish I could do it more and do it more at home on my own.  I've got a few great routines that I really like, it's just setting the time aside to do them.  But yoga makes me happy, I can be having a terrible day and 30 minutes of yoga will turn my whole perspective around!!

4) RUNNING: Yup still love it!! I love how I feel when I am running, I love how I feel afterwards and I love how I know that when I put my runners on, it's just about me and the miles, nothing else matters.  All the nattering in my head gets left behind and only the important things stay around.

5) WRITING/READING: This was a tie! I couldn't choose, especially since I go through spurts with both, sometimes I read and will, essentially, devour three books in a week, and then for a period of time I won't read at all.  The same thing goes for writing, I can write and write and write for months on end and then all of sudden I stop. No warning, no reason, well no concrete reason at the time, but when I look back it's usually because things start spinning out of control and writing is something, because it's not a money making activity, that is easy to put off until I get more time to do it.

What are the things that make you happy??

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Be-YOU-tiful: Beauty blog, BeYOU(TY)

The word beauty is interesting because it contains some very important information right in the word.  YOU.  You can't say the word beauty without saying the word you in fact beauty is a direction as well. It tells you to Be-you-ty.  I am an english teacher and I know that beauty is an adjective, a word to describe a noun, but what it we started to take beauty as a sentence, that would be a direction from the world.  BE YOU TY(thank you)

Beauty or being beautiful is more about being your authentic self.  Be True to you, stop trying to be what you think others want you to be.  It's such a hard lesson to learn at a young age, but if you can take these words and accept them to be true, it will change your life! Stop trying to be like the popular girl in school, stop trying to be like your best friend, stop saying you like everything your boyfriend likes so you can be 'closer', instead look inside yourself and discover who you are.  The funny thing is these people who you are trying to emulate initially liked you because they saw something in you that they were drawn to.  What they saw was a glimpse of your authentic self, so be you thank you!!

It doesn't matter what other people think, it matters what you think of yourself.  More people will be drawn to an authentic person than to a person of false faces.  And it gets so tiring trying to be someone to everyone, if you can be only person that everyone around you likes, then how much easier would your life be?  Seriously think about it........ did you think about it?  Are you your own authentic person?  Are you doing things in your life for you or because you think someone else wants you to do that?  How great would it be to know that the people around you like you for you, not because you do something for them?

Here's a story from when I was a teenager, not quite back in the stone ages, but you know way back then.

I had a good core group of friends, there were actually two who were my original friends but we each brought one or two other girls into our group.  So in the end there was a group of 7 or 8 of us that hung around very consistently, although there were factions within the group, some of the girls didn't get along with the others as much but on a whole we all go along.

Two of the girls, in hindsight mind you, were not very authentic.  But I remember being so annoyed with them from time to time. I always got the feeling they were SWFing (Single White Female the movie, if you've not seen you should) the person they were closest to that week.  See these two girls would bounce around from a couple girls in our group and they would be very flattering to that girl, in that they would imitate them; from the way they dressed, to the activities they enjoyed, to even how they would take their coffee.

To my teenage self it was annoying because you were always having to learn new quirks or new habits about these girls and when you felt you finally got it they changed again!! Very Frustrating!!  Even when it was me that I felt they were imitating, although this didn't happen very regularly which I was totally fine with.

I found it more frustrating because I did like each girl in our group for very specific reasons that were true to that person.  I liked my girlfriend because she was spunky and outgoing and enjoyed drama, I liked my girlfriend because she was a bookworm and we could share that interest, I like another of my girlfriends because we just melded really well, we had similar interests and we could talk for hours, the fourth girlfriend was very giving and always wanted to help, the fifth girlfriend was outspoken and spoke her mind, you knew what she was thinking, the sixth girlfriend was funny, she had a cool sense of humour and the seventh (the last one to join our group) was kind hearted.  You'd never know unless you really know me, who of these girls were the imitators, but two of them were.

It always felt when they were imitating others in the group they were playing some kind of false game with the rest of us.  Like they were trying to say to the outside world that they were more important to their chosen person then the rest of us were, which can be very maddening to girls who value their social circle.

But my girlfriends that were true to themselves, that were always their authentic selves,  I knew why I liked them, I knew why we were friends, I never questioned their motives and we are still friends to this day.  The two who weren't authentic well we've parted ways, and since then I've ensured that I surround myself with authentic people in my life.

So from now on when you think of beauty, change your mindset to the augmented sentence from above: Be YOU (ThankYou)!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Good Bye my Muffin Top

So it's been awhile since I last posted. Things have been changing and at some points in the last few weeks I have felt incredibly overwhelmed and ready to quit life...

I have been struggling to lose this baby weight and nothing was working, not adding extra exercising, not watching what I was eating or eating by portion size, it was all just driving me insane.  I needed to do something, I needed to get more energy, I needed to dig myself out of my deep dark hole.

I knew about the Release program with Good bye my Muffin top I'd inquired about it a few years ago, but I was planning to have another baby so probably starting a protocol like that wouldn't be the best time.  But I kept in contact with these ladies and I participated in some Yoga in the Parks with them and went to some of there support meetings.  I really connected with their way of thinking.  I hated that at times I hated my body, that I would body shame myself and they talked about accepting your body for what it was in that moment.  It was all quite zen, but something I could buy into.  You've read some of my previous posts about Be your own Beautiful: Be YOU tiful so if you have read those posts then you know that it's not what's on the outside as much as what's on the inside that matters.

I've decided to take the plunge and try the Release program with Good bye my Muffintop.  It's a new way of thinking, it's harder to change my thinking about food then it is to actually follow the protocol. It's all about eating when you are hungry but not allowing your body to go into starvation mode.  It's using the HcG drops as well so you are on a 500 calorie protocol for a minimum of 23 days, then you can start reincorporating foods into your diet that have natural fat in them.  It's about using your body to burn your fat cells, instead of using the newly ingested food for energy.

Now I have spent most of my life dealing with diets of one kind or another. Sometimes I've been on a program from a gym that had me eating 2200 calories a day, which on days when I didn't work out were so many calories that I would feel ill while eating.  Days when I did work out I would need more and ingesting that many calories wasn't that difficult.  But it didn't make sense to me to be ingesting that many calories if my output was less than 2200 calories of activities per day.  Weight loss is about the mathematics Calories in vs calories out.

I truly dreaded the whole 500 calorie ideal, I mean that's not very many calories, but here's the thing, I've been doing it for a week and after I've eaten not once have I been hungry.  I eat a lot of vegetables and lean protein right now.  And 3 cups of vegetables for lunch and 3 cups of vegetables for supper is a lot towards the end of the meal I'm feeling quite full and very satisfied.

I'm also finding I have more energy, which I had lost in my last month of maternity leave and more so when I returned to work.  I was so tired sometimes that I couldn't stay up much past my kids and I felt very lethargic during the day, and I was eating according to the last meal plan I had followed.  I didn't even have energy to go out for a run, and if I did I was more tired after the run then before it.  Which is something I'd never experienced before.

The exercise restriction is the only thing I am not happy about, I enjoy exercising. I enjoy playing soccer on my women's team, I enjoy going for runs, I enjoy yoga and zumba classes, I even enjoy strength training.  I don't exercise for weight management, I know it helps, but I exercise because I want to be heart healthy (family history of heart disease) and I exercise because I love the endorphins that are released after I do exercise.  So this no exercising while on protocol is difficult but I'm doing it, knowing that I will have more energy when I'm off protocol and I will be able to start back into my training for my half marathon.

So the updates, why after a week I am continuing on this journey.  I have released 19 inches from my body, and 13 pounds. I find those numbers huge but I've been following the protocol and I'm learning to eat when I'm hungry.  I'm also kicking my sugar addiction, because if I'm honest I have a huge sugar addiction, chocolate bars, baking, double doubles, frappaccinos, ice cream, and when it comes to those things I have very little will power.  A mini blizzard from DQ is enough to satisfy the craving yet, I will order a large, a piece of a candy bar or a mini candy bar would be enough but I eat the whole thing etc etc.  I think the sugar addiction is the hardest part, but I am staying strong and I am not veering off this path.  I have 16 days to go, the first 7 were the hardest and it's really all down hill from here!!

Then it will be onto the maintenance part, but it will be eating to hunger and staying away from refined sugars and starches, but I KNOW I can do this, to get to a place where I am no longer a slave to the scale or a slave to eating protocols but eat to satisfy my body with balanced hormones that's the end goal!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Working versus Passion

Why do politics have to get in the way of you working your passion?  I love my job, I love what I do, and the results I see daily from helping coordinate programs for those in my programs.  It's so rewarding!!

But then politics get involved, be they provincial politics or just plain office politics, and then my passion is smothered.  It's not that I can't do my job in and around the politics, I can, but then the changes I think are necessary for moving the company into the next phase are never brought forward.  Because I can be a very good big picture thinker, but I can also break down the big picture into segments like a puzzle so that we can develop that big picture.

I tend to jump the gun a lot, bring things forward that aren't as well thought out as they could be, especially on the fly or off the cuff, as they come to me.  Sometimes my verbal diarrhea is hard to stop, especially when it's something I'm quite passionate about.

So here's my little Dear Diary entry about work.  We have a system at work that doesn't really work, to be honest it's quite cumbersome and there are too many people involved before the circle can be closed for the sake of standards.  It doesn't work, it's never worked, and it's never been standardized.

So I was trained in a system with standard operating procedures, as a teacher we have standard operating procedures that we all adhere too.  I like them, it means I know what I am responsible for and how to work to accomplish each task.  I brought forward a concern about our system that is broken, and wanted to have a discussion amongst the people who work with that system and with our managers so we could come up with a solution.

When I brought up the topic we started having a discussion and a few times a few of my co workers were passing dirty looks to me, and even some of my managers body language stated they were not happy I had brought this up.  In the midst of the conversation the one manager who did not look happy, said "We are done here!" effectively shutting me down and I felt like even though I wanted to work this out it wasn't something she would support so why should anyone else even want to talk about it.

My biggest concern with it is when another of my coworkers brings things forward she just brings them forward and we are to do them, there is never any discussion and I was trying to have a discussion so all of us who would be affected by this change would could voice our concerns.  It's very frustrating when we are told to work as a team, yet one person who has never done my job to the degree that my job is, is dictating all these changes to how we do our work but not giving any standard operating procedures to help us all move forward, nor is she telling us we will be doing this now instead of this, it's more we will do this now on top of doing this.

I don't play the politics game very well. I know I am very good at my job, I have a lot of self confidence in myself as a leader, that is not what I am concerned about, what I'm concerned about is that I am losing my passion for a job.

The question becomes is it worth it to keep going to work that I am not truly passionate about and leaving my kids to be at home with a sitter?  I've never felt that way, I do not believe that under any circumstance it's worth it to sacrifice your happiness for a paycheque, I  do not live to work, I  work to live my life according to my guidelines.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Summer Fun to begin!! Friday Five

I'm again linking up with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for their Friday Five, I'm a day late, as well I took a mental health break from life just trying to get readjusted to going back to work again after being off for a year!! It's harder than you'd think!!

Today's Friday Five is all about my Five Favourite Activities to do in the summer, so here they are!!

1. Camping! This is new for me, I was never much of a camper, I did enjoy it when I was in high school and lived 30 minutes from the nearest lake, and I even camped in a tent! But as I got older the people I was friends with either didn't like camping or basically we couldn't afford it, so I lost my desire to camp. I for sure lost my desire to camp in a tent!! My husband loves camping, in a tent or camper he's fine either way.  He also likes camping in the bush, like not by a lake!  I don't understand it, I need to be by a lake or some body of water to enjoy camping, just sitting around an area where I pitched a tent or parked my trailer just doesn't seem like that great of a time.  So last year we bought a trailer, it's a nice one 32 feet long, sleeps 8 to 9 people (depending on their size) has a bathroom (necessity but as I came to realize not so much) and a kitchen and an outdoor kitchen.  So we went camping a few times this past summer and I have camping trips booked this summer.  I'm hooked camping is great!! Plus it's  a great time for the family to unplug and just be together!!!

2.Swimming! I love swimming, I will do it all year long, but there is something about swimming at the lake or beach that is just so refreshing and wonderful!! So swimming though I do it all year long is a summer favourite because I can swim outdoors!

3. Picnics! I love getting together for picnics at local parks and hanging with friends and the kids. It's such a great activity and the food is always so yummy!! Plus you get to see how creative other people are with their summer snacks.

4. Barbecues! Much like picnics I love barbecues in the Summer.  My husband will barbecue all year long, but I have a love for summer barbecues. It stems from my childhood, when dad would fire up the briquettes on the barbecue and he'd make us some steaks and potatoes. My mouth literally just watered thinking about it!! We have some great neighbours so now we have suppers together when the weather is nice and barbecue or Smoke (the husbands new fav activity) the meat to serve!  It's great and such a great way to get together with friends.

5. Campfires/Backyard fires! What a wonderful way to end a beautiful summer day!! With a campfire and friends! Stories and tales are shared, along with any number of campfire desserts (banana boats, s'mores, marshmallows) sometimes some one has a guitar and songs are sung or just having the radio play! What can I say, Summer is a wonderful time!!

Honorable mentions: Fairs, rodeos and outdoor concerts!!

What are your favourite things to do in the summer?