Monday, October 14, 2013

I Like to Eat Muffin Tops, Not Wear Them.

For the past few months I've been feeling pretty negative about my body and how it's "transforming" (like my actions or lack there of have nothing to do with this transformation).  I understand that as I'm leaving my 30's it's completely unrealistic of me to expect my body and metabolism to remain the same as they were in my 20's and even early 30's.  I've been living in denial with the fact that in my 30's when my body was the best it's been since I was 20 it was a result of actually working out at the gym 4 days a week.  I earned that body.   Well I want that body again...I just don't have the time to repeat my workout schedule that I did before.  I found it extremely difficult to get all the way across town to the gym to take the pre-scheduled classes.  The times they hold these classes are just not convenient with my life and working for a living, having a spouse and kids, needing to make dinner, etc.

I've been watching a friend transform herself over the past year and she's seeing amazing results.  I don't have that kind of will power and frankly I'm not fooling myself to think I do.  Her wishes and desires far surpass mine.  I just want the cellulite in my legs to be a distant memory and my underwear to no longer cause me to have a little muffin top.  Is that too much to ask for???  So because I know I'm not going to commit to a 15 minute drive to the gym (both ways) I'm trying to tap into her for some tips and suggestions on doing stuff from home.  She's been a wonderful sounding board and I'm trying to absorb little bits and pieces of her advice here and there.

Two weeks ago I downloaded an 'app' onto my new phone called the 0 to 5K.  It basically takes non-existent runners (ME!) and turns them into runners (hopefully a distant me!) in 8 weeks.  I'm just finishing up my second week and while it's definitely getting more challenging, I'm still doing it (which is a huge win).

I have always loved the idea of becoming a jogger.  I watch them running on the side of the road and wish I could be that person.  I can't seem to run more than 3 driveway lengths down the street before wanting to die and call it quits.  Eric loves running and has asked me on more than one occasion to go out running with him, but I don't think he really gets just how much I hate running.  I've tried to go with him a couple of times and we just get frustrated with each other so we end the session.  He wants me to run immediately, I want to start slow.  So when I was introduced to this "app" I thought it would be a perfect way to ease my body into the idea of running and in a couple of months, I should hopefully be able to get to a place where he and I can run together.

I'm honestly quite proud of myself for working the program for two weeks now and not cheating at all.  Like not even cutting the running session down by 5 seconds, nothing!  In fairness I didn't get out to run yesterday because of the Thanksgiving festivities but I'll go tonight and again tomorrow night, and I went out two nights in a row last week so shouldn't that strike last night's omission out?  I also found the last run night was difficult for me. It was really the first night I actually thought hard about cheating and talked myself out of it.  I am debating doing that run session again tonight.  I want to get it under my belt with no major hesitations or doubts.  Because the next session kicks it up a good notch again, so if I don't have the last one down comfortably, I have a feeling I'm going to cheat.  This isn't a race against anyone or anything, including myself.  If it takes me 12 weeks to get me to a spot where I can run for 30 - 40 minutes then I'm willing to take that long.

My hope is once I get this running down, I can then incorporate some actual "exercising" into my life.  Since the running program is only every other day, I want to eventually get some butt, stomach and arm exercises in on the off days.  One step at a time.  If I overwhelm myself I know I'm just setting myself up for failure.

I also started taking 2000 mg of fish oil each day and this week I'm starting with a multi vitamin for women. I've also decided to stop eating after dinner, eating a little bit of something throughout the day and forcing myself to drink more water.  I have gotten into the terrible habit of eating once a day and then snacking until bed.  Whomp whomp!  When I was at my 'best' a few years ago, I did not change anything in my diet except eating snacks after dinner and well, working out!  So I'm hoping with these small changes in my food consumption, the increase of decent stuff going into my body and some cardio I'll start to see little changes and those little changes will be enough to encourage me to keep going.  Being able to do all of these things from "home" has been another huge positive.

I've taken a hideous 'before' picture with the hopes that I can stick with this idea long enough to see results (and for it to become habitual for me) so I can take an after picture!  I figure if my after picture is amazing then I won't be so scared to show the before picture.  On this Thanksgiving weekend, I'm very thankful that clothing camouflages a lot of flaws but most thankful that we are required to wear clothing, by law!  Now where's that winking face emoticon when I need it?

So for all you readers out there I pose the question:  Do you have any tips, secrets, ideas, suggestions to help me with this new endeavour?  Anything that has worked well for you?  I would welcome any comments.

I'm A 21st Century Digital Girl!

I've been watching the world around me and it has occurred to me I've been lagging behind in terms of technology and what all is out there.  I mean I was still using a pink flip phone!  I'm still trailing, but I've made a conscious step forward recently.  I am now the proud owner of an iPhone 4S.  I know, I know...they just released the 5 or 5 something but give a technologically stunted girl a break.  I'm all about the baby steps folks.  

A picture of the last picture I took of my dad.  Because I never calibrated my phone the photo is trapped in there.  If I try to download it, the computer wants to wipe my phone clean.  This was my only logical option of keeping it forever.

So with a new phone comes a new Instagram account!  You can follow me there too if you wanna.  You'll find me at @missyaggrav8tion.  I promise not to inundate you with tons of pictures, or maybe I will.  Only time and experience will tell.  It's been super fun though playing with this new social media website as well as my phone.  The ease and quickness of taking a photo, editing it and uploading it to both Instagram and Facebook has been awesome-sauce.

I'm not going to lie...I'm still trying to figure out how to make smiley faces/hearts/etc. from my phone.  I see them all over Instagram but when I do it it's quite lack luster and just ends up being a colon with a bracket. Sigh....stunted over here.  I'm all about the emoticons people, I need your help!  And since I'm still learning, do you have an "apps" or quick tips or suggestions for making my user experience so much more pleasing than it already has been?  Any help would be welcomed!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Stop! You're Ruining the Colour Pink!

I've been, overall, a pretty lucky individual throughout my life.  Sure I used to complain that most days it felt like I had an albatross shoved up my ass rather than the elusive horseshoe, but overall?  Pretty damn lucky.

For many years I've been lucky enough to avoid the "Big C" and how it seems to infiltrate itself into every darn family nowadays.  Sure Cancer licked at my doorstep through some extended family long ago, and Eric's mom is a Breast Cancer survivor, but she fought and won that battle before I was in the picture so I didn't experience first hand the effects it had on her as an individual and the family.  But then two and a half years ago (as most of you loyal readers know) Cancer slapped me, my family and most importantly, my father in the face.  Hard.  And it woke me the fuck up-out of my little cocoon.

In the past two and a half years I've been on a sort of quest to try to understand the thoughts that went through my dad's head for the 12 days he was "Dad with Cancer" and not just "Dad" anymore (bubble burst remember?).  During this journey I was introduced to an amazing woman who has given me some insight, helped changed the way I used to think about cancer (and how it would never affect me) and has inspired me to educate myself and learn more.  And then just last week I got some terrible news about another woman in my life who is now heading into her own battle with Breast Cancer.  I've learned just because I stuck my head in the sand and allowed my ignorance to make me complacent doesn't mean it will always stay that way.  And it shouldn't.  Because Cancer will affect many people I cherish and love, even potentially myself, so I should know everything I can.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  Cancer isn't just about coloured ribbons.  It's so, so much more than that.

The reality isn't nice.  It's not sugar coated.  It's not air-brushed.  It's not Hollywood.  It's real.  It's tough. It's fucking shitty and terrible.  It's not biased.  It doesn't discriminate.  It doesn't care if you have money or not. It doesn't care if you live in a country with 'free' Health care or if you have to pay through the nose for your treatments.  It doesn't care if you are young or old.  It doesn't care if you are a small child or if you have small children at home still.  It's a monster and it's on a mission.

The other sad news?  The media likes to promote "awareness and hope", but in doing so it hides the scary truths about Cancer and leads us all into having a lovely misconceived idea of this deadly disease. We're brainwashed to believe that buying that mixer or blender in pink or that totally sweet pink pajama set that we're doing our part and helping "fight the fight".  So, while in a strange way they are promoting awareness (Which they are - mammograms are on the rise!  It's a start.) I've learned that it is so far from the actual truth of what fighting the fight really is.  

The above is an actual advertisement trying to create awareness and asking for support of Breast Cancer Research.  I'm appalled that some advertising agency actually came up with this campaign but more importantly that someone within the organization named above actually signed off on this ad!  That they thought this was a good representation of what Breast Cancer is just fucking  This just tells me that it is totally okay to continue to encourage the public into keeping their heads in the sand.

Well I'm here to tell you (even though I do not know first hand - thankfully) this is NOT a realistic picture of Breast Cancer.  Every day in Canada 14 women die from Breast Cancer.  Having worked in the profession that takes care of these ladies after they pass, I can ASSURE you they do not look like this!  And by the way, buying a pink purse does not make the ugly stuff stay away.  Breast Cancer will eventually make her so weak she couldn't even carry that damn pink purse above, if she wanted to. But, she'll have a pretty bag for her family to bring her clothing to the funeral home in!!  Silver linings people, silver linings.

I also cannot begin to fathom how insulting it is for a woman fighting Metastatic Breast Cancer to look at this ad with this douche bag 'Real Housewife of Orange County' (sorry Gretchen) and her luscious, shiny, flowing blond locks, her perfectly sculpted eye brows and lengthy lashes; just to name a few things wrong with this picture.  I can only assume that one's self image is decimated by the ravaging nature of this disease,  and that seeing this perfectly sculpted specimen only enhances those new found or underlying insecurities.  I'm honestly at a loss as to who this campaign is targeting.  Because if I thought I could look like this woman, I'd almost wish for Breast Cancer (sic).

Please people, wake up!  There is a real world out there and the nasty, dirty, evil  Cancer is part of it. Hollywood and the media aren't helping to educate anyone!  Maybe if they showed the stuff no one wants to face and the government didn't bow down to the pressures of the pharmaceutical companies and their quest to make the country millions, we'd start to get an upper hand on this terrible disease.  But please stop living in a bubble.  Know that Cancer is ugly, it's not pink.  Know that many people fighting cancer more often have a scowl, sneer, wince, or tear on their face than a smile.  And rightfully so.  It's okay to be angry. It's okay to be scared.  It's okay to be sad.  And it's damn sure okay to be pissed right the fuck off!