I’m Not Sorry There’s Nothing to Say

Friday, January 29, 2010

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

I’m always amazed when the Weight Watchers topic of the week corresponds with my life. You think by now I would have figured it out. I get the guide a month in advance, giving me the ability to peek ahead to the topics that are coming, but I guess at that time I can’t always relate to them nor do they account for unplanned events. I’ve been hesitant to write this post, but I feel like I need to get some stuff off my chest and my blog has been a good outlet for me and my readers have been incredibly supportive. (Thank you for that!!) It’s also a personal insight into emotional eating, which is this week’s topic at Weight Watchers. I also feel like I should explain why I’ve been pretty distracted lately (aside from the fact that I’m still growing accustomed to my new life)

Joey and I broke up. I don’t want to get into the details of it, but we’re no longer together. I’m sad, and feeling a little lost, but recognize that it’s the right thing for us. I am grateful that we were together for the last 3 & 1/2 years; he’s really been a huge supporter of me in everything I’ve done.

I haven’t had to deal with the emotions of a break up for quite a long time now, so the feelings are unfamiliar to me. It’s times like this that it’s really easy to turn to food due to feelings of sadness, depression, anger or loneliness. My response has actually been to do the opposite and I can’t say that I was eating a lot over the last couple of weeks. I’m slowly getting back to normal now that the constant feeling of anxiety and sadness is gone, but it’s definitely taking time

It’s really scary to me that I, knowing all I know and am learning about food and nutrition, would deal with my emotions in such a way. To my defence, I didn’t feel like eating too much after getting out of the hospital (although I believe that my infection probably had to do with the emotions I was feeling too, but we’ll leave that for another post someday) but while things were in limbo and being discussed I did not feel hungry, nor did I feel like eating. I actually felt like like I was in a constant state of nausea, and in that state food did not appeal to me.

I feel so blessed to have amazing friends around me to support me through this difficult time (and in some cases shove delicious tropical smoothies down my throat) These beautiful gals have listened to my feelings, given me a shoulder to cry on and have pushed me to take care of myself.

Part of the recovery from emotional eating (or non-eating) comes from finding non-food ways to deal with your emotions. Some of the things that I’m going to work on this week is getting back to eating and cooking normally, getting back to the gym (attending a BodyFlow class at lunch today) and doing some nice things for me (like booking a massage and being kind to myself in rehearsal for my show) I’ve also been pretty busy with school, rehearsal and leading up to 8 WW meetings a week, but I think that’s helping me to keep my mind occupied.

Maybe right now it’s not a break up that’s causing you to eat, perhaps you eat when you’re stressed or happy or tired or anxious. Whatever your reason, it’s important to try and find other ways to cope that aren’t related to food. Do something that makes you feel good. Phone a friend. Practice yoga. Go shopping. Take your dog for a walk. Rearrange your closet. Read. Sleep. You’ll be taking care of yourself and end up feeling so much better in the long run.

I appreciate the gentle reminder from the Weight Watchers corporate writers gods to take care of myself this week in ways that don’t involve food (or not food) I’m working on getting back to me in the best and only ways I know how.

First Test, 89%

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


There was definitely a dance of joy that went along with this!!

My New Life Is…

Monday, January 25, 2010

…kind of amazing!

Week one is on the books and I feel like a totally different person. I’m starting to get into the groove of my new schedule and so far, so good. School is amazing and it was awesome to lead 8(!) meetings last week!

On Tuesday morning I was able to take a trip to the fruit & veggie market bright and early to get lots of goodies to fill up my fridge including kale, carrots, fennel, bananas, cauliflower, tomatoes, avocado and spinach. I put lots of the veggies to good use in various saladsSANY2994 and black bean soup with fresh salsa (recipe from How it All Vegan)SANY2995 My new schedule also meant I had time during the day for meals with some lovely friends! Including Fresh with MellySANY2997 I had the Jerusalem bowl (rice with hummus, sprouts, spinach, cucumber, tomato & onion) with an amazing gluten free vegan walnut brownie for dessert.SANY2998 And on Friday, I had lunch with Lindsay at Camros. It was fantastic as usual!SANY2999 Kale salad, funny squash stew, beet salad and a rice ball with ginger green teaSANY3001 and a shared slice of delightful raw carrot cakeSANY3002 Not only was it Friday afternoon and I was not in the office, but i felt like I had died and gone to food heaven!! Amazing food, beautiful company, and the sun was shining – what more can a girl ask for? Dessert has got to be one of my favourite things and it makes me so happy that I can still enjoy it in wonderful ways as a gluten free vegan! Everything in moderation!! I want to do some baking/unbaking this week… any ideas?

I’m looking forward to keeping busy this week. Need to do some writing for the blog and another project that’s in the works (details soon!) as well as work on my assignment for the end of this class. We have to examine some of the chemicals found in our homes, research the health and environmental impacts of those chemicals/products and make recommendations on changes we can make. So interesting! I’ll be sure to share my findings in a few weeks. I’m also busy preparing for REX, which opens in a little over 3 weeks! We ran on Saturday “off book” for the first time which was nerve wracking but very exciting. Both Anne and Elizabeth are incredibly dynamic characters which makes the show a ton of fun for me. I can’t wait until I can post pictures of my costumes!

How has your first month of 2010 been thus far? Everything you had hoped for? How are you going big? Is there anything that you would like me to talk about on the blog?

Farewell Cubicle…

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hello new life!!

Wow, after I wrote that post last week, things got even crazier!! I wasn’t feeling awesome physically on Wednesday and figured I would head over to my doctor on Thursday afternoon. That plan was squashed when I woke up at 5am with a horrific pain in my right side. I walked around a bit, took a hot bath but remained in constant pain and wasn’t sure what to do. So I called the telehealth nurse.

She told me I needed to go to the hospital. Oh goody.

I made a quicky phone call to lovely Lindsay to lead my Thursday morning meeting and sent an email off to my manager and headed to the hospital around 6:30am. I was there for about 6 hours, running tests, a CT scan and answering lots of questions. Because of my Crohn’s, and the location of the pain, the doctor thought that I might have stones of some sort – yuck!! After going through the urine analysis a second time though, it showed that it was only a bladder/kidney infection.

Did I mention that I was stoned on Percoset for the latter half of my stay? I picked up a prescription for some antibiotics and painkillers and headed home to nap it off. The pain came back in the evening, but I felt 100 times better in the morning. I’m working through the course of antibiotics, taking lots of probiotics and supplements to keep up the health of my system, drinking cranberry juice and tea and will be taking a heavy duty probiotic once I’m finished the antibiotics. I honestly think this was my body’s way of telling me to slow down. The last couple weeks have been quite stressful, but with my last day of work on Friday, that all ends now!

My last day of work was a busy one (which was awesome, because I was still a little worn down, but there was no way that I was prolonging my stay!) We had a board meeting which means that I was running around the office setting up conference lines, setting up catering and doing massive runs to Starbucks. I have to say, one special skill I acquired as an executive assistant was the ability to order up to 10 specific drinks at Starbucks and carry them all single-handed back to my office.

Some of the lovely ladies from the Accounting Department had made a lunch date with me and asked where I wanted to go. I chose FRESH.

I started off with a creamy vegetable pesto soup – delish!!SANY2974My body was so happy to have the greens after feeling so crummy and not eating very much on Thursday. For my main I had the black bean burrito, over salad. SANY2975I probably ate 1/2 as it was quite big and I underestimated the impact of the soup on my tummy. It was such a nice lunch and wonderful to spend some quality time with the girls. Thanks, ladies!!

I spent the remainder of the afternoon finishing up some training with my replacement and doing the obligatory mingle around the office. I felt like everyone wanted to tell me their deep, dark secrets – which was actually really fun!! I was told that I must go back and visit, and my boss gave me the a-ok to resurrect the bake sale I had last year in support of my CCFC fundraising efforts. While it was sad to say goodbye, I’m so excited about what lies ahead and I know I will always be welcome to visit.

I cleaned off the remaining things on my desk, and took down the quote that has gotten me through the last few months. SANY2973FREEDOM!!! I truly feel like my dreams are coming true and it’s absolutely wonderful. The fact that I’m no longer an executive assistant hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I’m sure it will when I’m not getting up early on Tuesday to trek downtown.

On Saturday I led three insane meetings. It was so busy!! Thank you to all of my members who waited so patiently. We are working on a solution, I promise! After WW I headed to rehearsal to run Act 1. (Hey look, we’re on Wikipedia!) I grabbed some lunch on the run and enjoyed a take-away RAW spaghetti from Live. SANY2977SANY2978 It was so delicious!! I’ve never had spiralized zucchini and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but it was so refreshing. I definitely want to make something like this at home. I loved the sauce, and the toppings. Such a yummy lunch. Being the classy gal I am, I enjoyed it in the back of a cab en route to rehearsal.

Got some great rest and studying in on Saturday night because I have my first test on Monday. Think positive thoughts for me as you read this post!! I haven’t written a test like this in years, so I’m a little bit nervous. Given my office background, I actually made my study notes into a powerpoint presentation. Pie I think I’ve reached a new level of geeky. But I love it!!

Looking forward to my extra special day on Friday and enjoying the luxury of being a student this week! Things will slow down and I will absolutely be taking some time to rest.

How do you prepare for tests? Do you get nervous? Do you have any effective study tips to share?

Finding Focus In My Chaos

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Last night I started to write a blog post about embracing Weight Watchers as a lifestyle change rather than a diet. I wanted to talk about the idea that “there is no save button at goal” and that we should view it as a “live-it” rather than a diet. As I was writing, I noticed myself slipping. I was running off on multiple tangents and what should have been a simply stated, easily written post was without direction and focus. 

Because that’s what I’m currently lacking.

Remember when I said that I was planning things out and developing some strategies to get through this crazy time? Well I did that. But I got sucked into the chaos. I knew that this week was going to suck. Then I got here. And guess what?

It sucks.

And I have let that crummy feeling take over!

One one hand I’m ridiculously excited to be in school and loving every moment that I’m in class. I’ve been meeting some wonderful people, learning about things like soil, GMO’s, biodiversity and organic and biodynamic farming and generally having an amazing time each day I’m there. I’m loving my new Weight Watchers meetings and am starting to get really excited about my roles in REX now that we’re up on our feet and running things.

On the other hand, I feel like I’m running at about 10,000 miles an hour and I can’t catch up with myself. I’ve been trekking all over the city carrying what feels like my entire life with me (between books, food, scripts and an abundance of Weight Watchers stuff) I feel behind on my to do list and have no idea what my new schedule actually feels like because I’m still doing my office job.

I’m really lacking focus and it’s driving me mental.

Having focus or a goal keeps me centred and grounded. It gives me something to look forward to that is tangible, attainable and exciting. My goal this week was to “survive” which wasn’t very juicy or exciting and left me feeling like I was flailing a bit.

I’ve got 2 days left in this crazy week and I’m going to breeze through it with focus, direction and a goal in mind. My new life is waiting for me at the end of the insanity. A place where I will have free time. A place where I will be able to travel a bit less and have more structure amid the busy times. Fridays will soon be a day for myself and beginning next Friday I’m going to make the most of the. I will be attending a WW meeting in the morning as a member, having lunch with a lovely friend and book a massage for the afternoon. Sounds exciting, juicy and something great to work towards, no?

In the meantime I will breathe.

I will be calm and allow myself to prioritize what needs to be done this second, and let the rest of it fall into place. I will laugh and smile, because my new life is just around the corner and I think it’s going to be pretty amazing.

Does having a goal help you? What do you do to find focus?

Dusting off the Grief Box

Monday, January 11, 2010

Imagine you have a little box. It is a good-sized box which might be covered in a layer dust on it depending how often you pull it out. The edges might be well worn and the sides perhaps dented from being handled fairly often, or your box may be in pristine condition without a mark or scratch to tell you its been touched. The box is full of memories, but there is always room for one more. Each time you add one, the memories that were previous stored inside come billowing out, reminding you of past experiences.

I feel like grief is that box.

On Saturday I attended a celebration of life for dear Gord, who passed away just before the start of the new year. It was a beautiful service and truly a celebration of his life. Gord would have loved it. He would have been so pleased that it was standing room only, with people laughing, smiling and sharing stories of his wonderful life.

Whenever someone passes away or I have to attend a funeral, I am always transported to my mother’s funeral. My emotions and feelings of grief bubble right back up to the surface and my box of grief splays open. I have spent a lot of my life grieving and healing, but there is something about funerals that takes me right back there.

At the age of 13, my mother’s funeral was the first one I ever attended. I remember going with my grandmother to pick out an outfit for my mother to wear for the viewing. It was a pale green suit that she would have loved, as green was her favourite colour, but was a little more formal than anything I had ever seen her wear (she was a jeans & t-shirt kinda gal). I later went shopping with my grandmother to buy a new outfit to wear for the funeral. “Going somewhere special?”, the helpful saleswoman asked as I tried on black pinstripe pants. “Yes”, my grandmother replied softly before telling me that the pants fit fine and pushing me back into the change room so I wouldn’t have to give any more details as to where I was going.

To be honest, I don’t remember much of the actual funeral. The casket was to be closed for the service, so the funeral staff brought us into a private room just before we were to start so we could say our goodbyes prior to them closing the casket. After “staying very strong” for the 2 viewings, I cried for the entire service. I don’t remember the readings or any of the speakers. I don’t know how many people were there or how big the room was. When it was over I was taken to the front of the funeral home, where I felt like I was in real time while a fast forward movie went on around me. I remember seeing fast-moving blurs of people around me, stopping to talk and leaving a few at a time, but I don’t remember who they were, nor our conversations.

I have one vivid memory from the viewing. I was standing with my uncle outside the room where my mom was, chatting with one of my middle school teachers. There was another viewing taking place in the room across the hall, and from where I was standing I could see the casket of the deceased. There was a woman standing in front of the casket, looking down thoughtfully. I turned back to my conversation, only to be approached by the woman a few seconds later.

“Is that your mom?” she asked, gesturing to my mother’s casket.
“Yes” I replied.
”Show me her”

She took me by the hand and walked up to my mother’s casket with me. Her hand was very cold. We stood there for a few minutes before she said “She was very beautiful”. And walked away.

I am not a religious person, but I truly believe she was an angel. Whether she was a being from another realm or just a kind, kooky soul who wanders around funeral homes in the GTA, it was truly a beautiful moment in my life and something I will hold with me forever. 12 years later, that is one of the only memories of my mom’s funeral that really stands out in my mind. Attending Gord’s service on Saturday brought my grief box out of its tucked away corner, and brought back memories of my mom’s death & funeral as well as many of the subsequent funerals I have attended since then. SANY2969

On days when I need a little extra love, I always wear a locket my Aunt Sharon gave to me that has a picture of mom in it. It is the perfect anchor. In the picture she looks happy and healthy and it’s comforting to hold her so close to my heart.

On February 24th I will dedicate my performance to my mom and Gord, as the day marks her death anniversary and his birthday.

I will miss Gord’s sense of humour and the mischievous twinkle in his eyes. No one could stop a show like Gord. In the last couple weeks I have cried and laughed as I thought about him and the shows we did together. I will add his memory to my box, and put it back on the shelf until the next time I need it. It won’t be the same without him in the audience on opening night, but I know he’ll be watching from the best seat in the house, sharing a snack and a giggle with my mom.

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.”

Nutrition School: Day 1

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ohmygosh I LOVE IT!!

I started of the morning feeling a little excited….SANY2948 Okay, maybe a lot excited!SANY2955Because I’m a total nerd, my beautiful new Lululemon bag had been packed and ready to go by the door for days. SANY2957Full of books, paper, pens, daytimer, water bottle and my lunch.SANY2956Spinach salad with 1/2 avocado, baked falafels and some tahini. I enjoyed some fresh juice before running out the door.SANY2944Carrot-beet-spinach-celery-ginger – yum! And threw a banana in my bag for later. I was too excited to eat! I hopped on the bus and was on my way. I picked up my remaining books when I arrivedSANY2959 I found my classroom (there are only 3, so it wasn’t rocket science), got a seat near the front and started chatting with some of my new classmates.

Everyone was so nice and excited to be there – wonderful!! We talked a little bit about why we chose the school, what brought us there and our previous educations/life experience. There seems to be a mix of full and part time people and a girl:boy ratio of 9:1. Everyone comes from all different educational backgrounds and there’s a wide range of ages. One of the girls thought I was 19 – I’ll take it!

Because I’m doing part time, I will be taking one class at a time, twice a week. My first class is Nutrition and the Environment and I sincerely enjoyed every minute. We talked about the course outline, test & assignment schedule, required reading and then got right into it. Throughout the class we watched segments from Diet for a New America and discussed the impacts of the “Standard American Diet” (SAD) including our health, treatment of animals, land & water. Over the next 4 weeks we’re going to be discussing topics including our ecological footprint, approaches to agriculture, genetically modified foods, food processing and pollutants in the home and office. So much to think about.

In the few spare moments I had today, I couldn’t believe that I ever doubted my decision to go to nutrition school. It feels so right. I’m at a place in my life where I can really appreciate being in school and feel an incredible hunger for learning. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge and applying it to this new career path I am on. I couldn’t stop smiling all the way home and responding to friends’ text messages inquiring about my day with “I f-ing love it!!”

Then as if my day couldn’t get any better, I saw this on Meghan’s blog:Meg Blog

And the Student Becomes the Teacher” I had Meghan & Nicole over for dinner before the holidays, but forgot to take pictures and then ended up getting to busy to blog about it. It was a bit of a mess trying to figure out what to make for her (especially since I use her recipes all the time), but everyone really enjoyed the meal and it was lovely to see them, as always. I really am so lucky to have such a great friend, mentor and cheerleader in Meghan!!

I was beaming from ear to ear for the rest of the day, but it was so busy (with Weight Watchers and rehearsal) that I looked like this by 11:00SANY2958 Still smiling, but exhausted. Is it Friday yet?

I promise I’ll write a post about something other than school soon. For now I’m a little ball of excitement and can’t hold it in!!!

Having a Plan & Sticking To It

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year lovely readers!

I hope the first few days have been good to you. Have you set some juicy goals? What steps have you taken to work towards your goals so far? I’ve been anticipating these first week of January for quite some time now as I’m starting school on Wednesday! I can’t believe that it’s actually happening. I will be doing a post on Wednesday about my scholarly preparations. It would be easy if I were just starting school, but instead I’m also:

  • Training my replacement at my office job during a very busy time in the office (my last day is January 15-yay!)
  • Beginning rehearsals for my new show. Read through is on Tuesday, followed by rehearsals on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday
  • Leading 6 Weight Watchers meetings


I’ve been a bit of a stress case to say the least. It’s been challenging to wrap my brain around it and to ensure that I don’t fall apart I’ve reunited with an old friend: my Time.Mine plannerSANY2935 I bought one last year on one of my excursions to Buffalo and absolutely fell in love. I used it daily to keep track of my life. I listed appointments, meetings, budget info, rehearsals, dinner dates, blog ideas and whatever else I needed. I loved all the space for me to write, the full sized monthly calendars and the fact that it was normal paper and not glossy so that I could use pretty pens. When the new year was approaching, I tried to find a new TimeMine, but realized that they weren’t available in Canada. I searched other stores looking for a comparable day timer and was unable to find one that could compare to my previous love and I was not about to settle!  After tweeting to the TimeMine folks about my inability to find one in Canada, they offered to send one to me – score!! I was thrilled when I got it in the mail. SANY2933I’ve already defaced my planner with details of school, rehearsals, WW meetings and work info. SANY2934 It’s such a great way for me to keep track of my life and I would definitely be lost without it! I’ve tried using online day timers, but I really like having a hard copy and find that I used it more.

Knowing that things were going to be really busy this week, I made a comprehensive meal plan, and dragged Joey out in yesterday’s snow to do a big grocery shop. Meal Plan Pic I’ve just taken to doing my grocery list and meal plans in excel now that we have a home printer (to print schoolwork – yaaaaaaay!) I made a master list (similar to the ones Meghan gave us in her cooking classes) and then a new file for the week. Here is the menu for this week:

Clean Eating Minestrone soup w/ quinoaSANY2931Baked falafels w/ kugel and asparagus
Squash chickpea lentil stew
Warm rice & lentil salad
Marinated tofu salad
Curried chickpeas, cauliflower & spinachSANY2784Going with some old favourites, simple salads and a slow cooker recipe. Many of these recipes will make lots of leftovers giving me things to stock up my freezer with as well as pack for lunches. I made the minestrone soup for supper last night and it was amazing. I used zucchini and omitted and fennel. It’s one of those soups that gets better with every bite and I really liked the white beans and the quinoa. Tonight I’m going to be making some muffins and pick up a few snacky things at a different bulk store, and then I feel like I’ll be set for the week. It’s such a relief for me when my food is taken care of!

My last couple strategies include getting enough sleep and taking some time for myself. I’ve been getting into the habit of getting up early in the morning to do my morning pages, and so far I’m 4 days in and it’s a lovely way to start my day. Amid everything I am committing to working out twice this week. I already had one awesome workout yesterday with Kate. We went to BodyFlow and Zumba together and it was awesome! I can absolutely make it to the gym one more time this week, so it will feel great to accomplish that goal.

I’ve been waiting patiently for school and my show to begin and with a plan and some great tools in my pocket – I feel ready. EEEEEEEEEEEEI’m a teensy, tiny bit excited… can you tell?

What does your plan for the first full week of January look like? Am I the only person who is totally crazy about what type of planner they have?

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