Friday, August 1, 2014

No Gains, No Grains - Dealing with Skeptics




A group of Primal/Paleo/Grain Free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. A great way for others (who may be wanting to lose weight, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding.

This Month's topic is about dealing with skeptics. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone is an expert. I did not follow Paleo to lose the weight I lost. I did that by following a low carb, low fat, low sodium, high protein diet developed by Dr. Pat Poon (who has several weight loss clinics throughout the greater Toronto area). It was still a grain-free diet. I adopted the Paleo lifestyle when I went on maintenance. But even when I started Dr. Poon's diet, the biggest skeptic I had to deal with was me.

I went into my first meeting at Dr. Poon's clinic with the attitude that although I'd listen to what they had to say, I'd not be following the diet. No processed carbs? There was no way that I thought I'd be able to pull that off. And I was also a believer of Canada's Food Guide. Because that's what I'd been taught my entire life. After hearing what the doctor from the clinic told me, things began to make more sense to me.

Processed carbs turn into sugar once digested which stores itself as fat. Some people's metabolisms can deal with this extra fat, mine cannot. I am a binge eater and my binge food of choice was processed carbs. And that's anything with grains. Pasta, rice, bread, crackers...those are the foods I binged on. Although I'd over-indulge in sweets as well, anything bready was my nemesis, and still is.

So I started to look at this morbid obesity thing as a serious food intolerance that I suffered from. Some people can't eat dairy, or suffer from serious food allergies. I can't eat grains because it affects my body in a very adverse way. Once I started thinking of grains like that, it became easier for me to stick to my eating plan. My skepticism went away and I knew that what I was told was 100% truth. I lost 132 pounds in 15 months. 

Once I reached maintenance, I became increasingly anxious because although I was at a healthy weight, the maintenance diet for Dr. Poon included reintroduction of grains (whole wheat and brown rice) back into the diet. I knew that with my prolific binging past, I couldn't handle even small amounts of these foods. That's when I found Paleo. I became familiar with Paleo from reading the blogs of others who were following grain-free diets and doing really well. I'm a long distance runner and I need to eat enough energy to fuel my runs. Paleo allows me to basically eat unlimited amounts of protein and veggies when I'm training. This gives me a food freedom I've never had before. Although I stick to the rules as close as possible (I follow the 85/15 rule; 85% Paleo, 15% other), it's structured and easy...exactly what I need.

So are there other skeptics in my life? The people who are close to me get it. They didn't always, but everyone has seen what results I've gotten from following a grain-free lifestyle and any doubts they've had have gone away. It's people that I'm acquaintances with, or people I just meet who question my sanity. I know this lifestyle is not for everyone. It wasn't the easiest of transitions, but once I got a couple weeks in, my body no longer craved the carbs or refined sugar it was used to. Once I got over that initial carb and sugar withdrawal, it became easier. 

My family doctor (who referred me to Dr. Poon in the first place) is a bit of a Paleo skeptic. He's super supportive. He and I have been battling my weight issues my entire life and he knows with 100% certainty that this diet is the only one that has worked for me. This December will mark 2 years on maintenance for me. But he still wants to see me about every 6 months so he can order blood work. He wants to be sure I don't have any deficiencies. So far so good. My blood screens have come back perfect for the past 3 years (counting when I started Dr. Poon back in September 2011). 

My favorite scenario is when I'm in a group of people talking about weight loss and they have no idea that I used to weigh over 300 pounds. Paleo usually always comes up as the latest "fad" diet. And I usually hear how the diet is unrealistic for real life. I sit quietly for a while and let them speak their expertise on my lifestyle. And someone who knows me will usually say, "Leigh's Paleo". And they ask how that's working for me. I tell them that going grain-free has added many years to my life. I'll get the side-eye, and some questions about being a runner and Paleo and how I get my energy without grains. I'll eventually pull out my phone and show them my wall paper. It's a before photo that I like to keep handy. It reminds me of where I came from and lifts me up when I struggle with my own self image. That's when I get the double take and the open-mouthed speechless response. That moment is priceless and although they may still go away a skeptic, I know that I am doing what is best for me. 

Now I suggest you go and check out my blogging buddies and see how they deal with the skeptics in their life. They are awesome and have been doing this longer than me. They are the ones I learned from:-)

For Life 
Garden Girl 
The Sunny Coconut 



L: Me at my heaviest. I'm well over 300 pounds in that photo.
R: Me last weekend. Around 160 pounds and wearing horizontal stripes
and white shorts...never done that before:-)


Saturday, July 26, 2014

The post about fitness, soreness and a personal trainer

My new kicks from the Running Room Outlet. Two pairs of Mizunos and a 3-pack of
socks...$160.00 (tax incl). SCORE!!!!

  • I'm back. And this time should be for good. I have internet access again. The only other issue was that during the move we lost the power cord to our desk top and we just got a universal one on Wednesday. Sony wanted $150.00 for a replacement. My BIL found one compatible at Factory Direct for $20.00. It pays to investigate...as hubby always says:-)
  • For those of you who have sent me private messages, I thank you and will be responding shortly. I will also be back to reading all your blogs again. I am soooooooo behind in my blog reading. I finally feel like there's some normalcy back in my life. 
  • I have lots I can talk about and I'm breaking up stuff into separate posts. I'm gonna start by talking about the gym in this post. I joined the gym a couple weeks ago. I am sore. I went for a fitness assessment over a week ago, and although my cardio is good, I have no strength. I'm as weak as a newborn kitten. 
  • I talked about my running, and the trainer told me I have become a sloppy runner. I agree 100%. I have become very sloppy. That is why my feet have been cramping sooner than normal. My form is lazy which causes me to be lazy. It is just what I needed to hear. And it made me realize that I have a lot of work to do.
  • The woman who assessed me was 7 inches shorter than me. I weighed 5 pounds more than her. But she was so lean and muscular that I looked huge next to her. That was very motivating for me. We talked about my problem areas. And even though I'll need plastic surgery on my arms to get them looking how I want, I want to get them in the best shape I can before I go for a consult. 
  • My strengthening routine at the gym focuses on my glutes, abs, thighs, arms and shoulders. I've done 3 personal training sessions and I am sore. The gym is hard! Much respect to those of you who werk it at the gym. I am completely out of my element.
  • My personal trainer is a masochist. This is good for me. I need to be pushed because I won't push myself hard enough. I started with a woman, but she switched me to a young guy who is a runner. He says that if I don't challenge myself, I won't improve. He has me doing all kinds of stuff which includes machines and floor exercises. Whoever invented burpees should be flogged...just say'in!

Was a lazy shopper last week. Put the skirt on over my jeans at Old Navy.
How I wore it on Monday to work. And it was a deal. $14.00:-)

  • I have been running in dead shoes. They had over 1000K on them. I finally made it to the Running Room Outlet store in Toronto and picked up a couple pair of Mizunos. Awesome deal! 2 pair for $130.00. And they're girl shoes...purple! Mizuno works for me because they come in wide width. Need that for my orthotics and more toe room for the Morton's Neuroma.
  • Now that my trip to Stockholm and London is booked, this shit has gotten real. I am sore, but still need to put in the mileage to train for the half. I'm running 4-5 times per week and doing gym stuff 3x per week. I'm gonna get in a couple classes too (ie: yoga). I need to do yoga to help me stretch and recover in between gym sessions. That saying, "no pain, no gain" better be accurate. From my guestimation, I should be gaining a lot of muscle...did I mention I was sore?
  • The one area I need to work on is my food intake...quantity not quality. I'm not eating enough for what I'm doing right now. I need more protein. When I come back from the gym, I crave protein. I'm going to have grilled chicken breast in my fridge like I have hard boiled eggs right now. Easy to grab the minute I walk through the door and need something in my stomach.
  • What I am in desperate need of now is sports bras and running capris. It's a bit depressing shopping for sports bras. All I need is minimal support and low impact. See photo above in the red top...
  • The gym is an intimidating place for sure. I'm waaaaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone there but I'm glad to be doing something different. I love running. But lately I have become bored and unmotivated. I have been struggling. I definitely needed something to add to my running routine. Strength training will lean me out and make me a more efficient and faster runner. That's exactly what I need. 
  • I was told that I have no weight to lose, but I will lose inches. Bring it on I say! Last year at this time I was at my fittest. I was training for the Road 2 Hope Marathon (which never happened because I broke my ankle). Although my weight has not changed, I'm not as toned as I was last summer. This means I've lost muscle. I know my body well, and I just know I felt better about myself and my physical abilities a year ago. 
  • So now I'll work my ass off to get back to there...and better! I am working hard again and doing things that make me uncomfortable. That is the only way I will progress. I know this from experience. Nothing is easy. Losing weight isn't easy and neither is maintenance. If I want to be the best runner I can be, that will take lots of work. And challenging myself is the only way I'll get there!

Now here's a comparison photo for you. The photo on the left was taken
2 weeks ago, the photo on the right this past Monday.
See what a heavily padded push up bra can do for you ladies:-)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The post about having no internet access or desktop...

My access pass to the gym!

  • So a really quick update. I'm using my work lap top and I'm not really supposed to be. After our move on the 7th, we had no internet access until the 13th. And during the move, my hubby lost the power cord to our desktop computer, which is where all the magic happens. It's still missing because we have to get a new one from the Sony store and my brother-in-law is getting us one this weekend in Toronto. So anyway, this is going to be short and sweet.
  • I am struggling big time with the running. So much so that last weekend I finally joined the gym because I think I really need to switch it up. My feet have been bothering me a lot lately and it's been playing some real mental games with my head. I get so anxious every time I go for a run. My foot pain is happening much earlier on than it used to. My toes will start to go numb during a 6K run. That never happened before.
  • I'm going for a fitness assessment tomorrow. I'm going to come up with a fitness plan and a running schedule. Only 58 days before the Stockholm Halv. And it is official now. I have booked my flight and registered for the race. No turning back now!



  • I got to hang out with Tanya the other night. She's visiting family for a few weeks. She's also in training mode and neither of us is in the best running form right now. But I am going to Stockholm to run a race with her and have fun. I'm not going to get a PB (personal best), just to visit my friend and have a much deserved vacation. We're going to have a fun race and run it together.
  • Seeing Tanya this week made me realize how much I have missed her. I haven't seen her since February and it was great catching up. She's definitely someone who gets me and who I can confide in. Only 56 more days till I land in Stockholm!


Tanya and I out for dinner a couple nights ago.

  • My move went pretty good. I hired movers which was the best decision I ever made. It was awesome. They had me moved in 5 hours! It would have taken us all day and all I did was stand and point. Definitely worth the thousand bucks it cost. I'm still unpacking some stuff. But I have a huge job ahead of me this weekend. I have to build several pieces of Ikea furniture. My whole house needs to be painted, but I'm leaving that until the fall.
  • Although my running has been off, I am eating on plan. Still Paleo 85% of the time. Someone saw a pic of me on Twitter and asked if I have gained weight. I have not. My clothes all fit me the same as ever. Do I feel fit? Not so much. I was definitely more fit around the time I ran the Bay back in March. My boobs were bigger for a few days. You know, that time of month thing. Sadly,they have receded again:-(


My questionable weight gain pic from Twitter. The boobs were definitely bigger and I could
have had better posture. Photo was taken July 11th, 2014.

  • Work has been hectic. I just have over a week left before I'm off for a week. Then I'm back for 2 weeks before I'm off for 2 weeks. Then I'm back for a week before I leave for Stockholm. Time is creeping away! And there's some tough stuff going down at work right now. Makes me anxious for sure.
  • Short and sweet like I promised. I'll get into a more in-depth post once I get my desktop up and running after this weekend. This summer is definitely going to go down as one of my most difficult. Although I have made a lot of change in my life which has been good, there are some areas that have been a huge struggle.  And even though I have been coping better than I would have this past winter, the clutter in my head still has the ability to mess me up. I continue to see a counselor and I'm learning to take better care of my emotional well being. I'm still a work in progress for sure. But I'm getting there. Slowly but surely I'm getting there.


My last selfie at Mental Health court:-( I'm gonna miss
the free apples and singing during recess.
July 14, 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The post about a much overdue update


Although my run sucked ass, I got to hang with Monica for the night:-)


  • It has been almost two weeks since my last update. Life has been hectic to say the least. Moving day is tomorrow. My life is in boxes. My heart is heavy and I had so much stress a few days ago, that I almost needed Adivan, almost. Did deep breathing instead and was able to control myself. 
  • Lets start the recap from the 24th of June though. I ran the Tim Horton's Peach Bud 10K in Grimsby, ON. I was gifted the race bib by my gal Dawn who couldn't run. I could have changed my name on the bib, but ended up being her for the night instead. Not such a bad trade off. She's gorgeous and 34:-) Definitely one of my more difficult races. It was very hot and humid that night. It poured rain just before gun time and you would have thought it would have lifted the humidity a touch? Nope, just made it worse. I was soaked by the time I finished and my race time was not my finest effort by far. But I did it. My finishing time was 1:08:39 (pace 6:52/km). I wanted this race to be finished as soon as I started running it!
  • Last weekend the sewage pipe, plumbing stack and drywall was finally completed at my house. My house no longer smells like sewage and my basement is drying up nicely. It went from being a dark, dank wet hole, to be being a dank hole. It still needs attention, because it is a cellar. But my closing conditions have all been met!

Uncle John did some primo work here. And the basement is drying up nicely!

  • My last day of work was June 30th. I'm off until the 9th of July for the move. Moving day came quickly and I procrastinated till the last minute. I'm in pretty good shape right now. I'm spending today taking my laundry over to the new house and starting that while I do some deep cleaning. At least the kitchen and bathrooms. All my kitchen stuff is already there, so I can start putting stuff away too.
  • Wednesday night I went to my lawyer's home to sign all the papers. The papers for the purchase of my new home as well as the sale of my current home. I also brought all documentation over and  everything was in order. Thursday morning around 11am he calls me and says that the buyers of my house have had a problem with their financing. The need to extend closing from the 8th to the 11th to secure new financing. He also told me that if my house sale fell through, I'd get their deposit and have to re-list. I couldn't back out of purchasing my new home though because it leaves me liable to a lawsuit. FUCK ME! Talk about the last thing I need to hear the day before my new house closes. 
  • Turns out that my buyers lender messed up big time. Did not send an appraiser during conditional. Only sent one a couple weeks ago from Toronto. They don't know the market here. Compared my house to one that recently sold 3K away in the dodgiest part of Hamilton imaginable. The appraisal came in low and they refused to give my buyers the mortgage they needed. So Thursday a new lender sent another appraiser over. This one was from Burlington. Much closer to home. During the 24 hours that we didn't get the appraisal back, my agent and lawyer were in full panic mode. And so was I. I had to close on my new house on Friday and there was a good possibility that if things didn't work out for my buyers, I'd really own 2 houses and have 2 mortgages. So, so messed up. At the 11th hour, the new appraisal came back at value but shit. That was some real uncalled for stress right there. 


  •  During all this stress we did manage to work some fun into the week. I took Julien to It's Your Festival in Gage Park during the week. We went on some midway rides and I got completely bruised and battered. I'm still sporting some prime shoulder blade bruises from some crazy ride that  flipped us around upside down. He loved it so it was worth it. I never say no when he asks to go on a ride with me regardless of how terrifying I think it may be. Three summers ago I couldn't fit on rides. Warning...when watching the above video, mind the volume. We're pretty loud!
  • Canada Day was a busy one for me. Lots of house stuff. But we did manage some fun for the day. We went to Lynden to watch the fireworks. This is the 3rd year in a row we've gone. For such a small community, they put on a good show. Fun was had by all.
  • Must go and get my day underway. I've been eating on plan and still running, but I feel a little lost. I can't wait to be settled so I can focus on the gym and training for my half in Stockholm. Some other big news is that Tanya's back home for the month of July. Yay! Hoping to get a couple of runs in with her since we are training for the same race:-) I leave you with a cute video I made with Julien on Canada Day. I'll try to update in another week!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A quick post about bruised knees, graduation and a filthy house

Knee photos from Saturday to Saturday.
 
  • My week, and weeks to come are so freaking busy, this is all I can manage right now. A half assed update with pictures. More pictures than text I think.  Last weekend I fell during my run. I was only 1K into my 7K run before I fell off a curb landing on all fours in front of a car. Stopped traffic in both directions and the driver actually got out of his car to check on me. I was waaaaaaaay more embarrassed than anything. I got up right away and took off running after yelling back that I was okay. I completed my run and my knee actually didn't start to hurt until I stopped running. Then it swelled up. I applied ice to it and cleaned it up. I still ran my long run the next day. It felt fine. It just didn't look good.
  • I've been more mindful of my eating. I'm trying to stick to lean protein and veggies grown above ground. I've been posting my meals to Instagram and my Facebook page (when I remember to snap a photo). Once I join the gym in the next month, I am going to go hardcore with my restrictive eating again. I'd like to lean out as much as I can before heading to Stockholm for my half marathon in September.

So, so dirty. And I had no water for two days...during the day.
 
  • My house is in total disarray right now. There is clay and sewage all over my main floor. The plumbing stack and sewage pipes were replaced. The pipe needs to stay exposed for another week so we can determine if there are any leaks before filling it in. Uncle John out did himself for sure. After the pipes get filled back in, all I need to do is get my fireplace ignition wire fixed. Uncle John thinks he can do that too. 


Love the pic of my dad and niece on the bottom:-)
The graduating class of 2014.

  • My beautiful niece graduated from grade eight on Friday. I am so proud. When I saw her walk down the aisle, I couldn't help but think of how much she's grown, and my eyes started to sweat (as Julien would say). My mother would be so proud of her. She's an honour roll student, received the English award, she's a talented dancer and an athlete. And she is the city champion for long jump. Can't wait to see what she accomplishes in high school.

My horrible run from Saturday.

  •  Still struggling with my runs. I ran on Saturday and it's the first time I ever just wanted to pack it in. I sometimes think that I can't wait to be done a run, but I never consider just stopping during mid run. I felt like shit the entire run. Couldn't get my breathing right and just struggled. I finished it and Sunday's run was much better, but boy did I hate the mental war I was having with myself.
  • Not sure what else to say right now. I'm likely going to do quick weekly posts over the next few weeks. Moving day is fast approaching and I don't have one box packed. I'm such a tool. I leave EVERYTHING to the last minute. It will get done, but I need to step it up. Packing officially begins this weekend. Leaving you with pictures from my Sunday with the boy and my gorgeous foster sister Rita:-)

Yes, Julien and I are wearing a bucket on our head. I'm not sure why.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The post about another week's recap and my double

Julien showing off his awesome Grade 1 drawing:-)

  •  So my 3x a week blog updates did not work out so well this week. Life is just hectic. Work, moving, stress, stress and more stress. I am such a worrier and when something is bothering me, it manifests into huge anxiety. That's where I am right now. BUT, but much of that will be eliminated once I move into the new house. Three and a half weeks. Only 3.5 weeks left before I can start relaxing a bit.
  • I have been posting my food and runs on my Facebook page and Instagram. If you're interested, you can go check them out there. My running was still a struggle this week, but I just need to keep at it. I procrastinate getting out the door, but once I'm running, I feel good. I need to keep that in mind every day.
  • I went for a massage on Thursday. I've been having upper back and neck stiffness, so that's the area he focused on. When I woke up Friday morning I couldn't turn my head. He went very deep. But, by Friday night, all stiffness and soreness was gone. I guess I just needed a day of recovery. I feel fine right now. The best my neck/back has felt in weeks. He could have warned me though:-)
  • Julien wanted me to take a picture of a drawing he did. He insisted my hubby write GR. 01 DRAWING across the top because he said that when I posted it to Twitter, no one would believe a grade 1 drew it unless it was properly labeled because it's that good! 


Julien is always the ham:-)


  •  This week I posted a picture to Twitter and Instagram taken of me when I was about 8 or 9. I thought I looked a lot like Julien does now. So I did a side by side and asked him if he thought we looked alike. He said we look nothing alike because he does not look like a girl. I said, that he does not look like a girl, but I actually looked like a boy. Then he asked why I wore my hair like that. Good question! The requisite 70's perm:-(
  • I have been following my eating plan and cutting down on my fruit, and no nuts. The wine...I did have a couple glasses during the week. So that was a fail. But I'm not going to stress over it. I always strive for perfection when it comes to my lifestyle and that's just not realistic. I'm understanding and supportive of others who don't eat 100% on plan. I need to be less rigid with my own life. Wine is the only vice I have left. I should be allowed to enjoy it and not feel guilty about it. So I will. And my hubby twisted my arm (not too hard though) stating that wine was good for my heart. He just didn't want to drink alone in front of me:-)
  • One week into my eating plan and I already feel differently. I'm less bloated and my gut's not as soft. Also likely has to do with my increased water intake. I was really slacking on the water for a while. Not smart. Need lots of water to run, and my toes cramp less when I'm properly hydrated. The only downside is I go to the washroom like it's my job.



I don't know...I think there's a slight resemblance.

  •  This weather has been...how do you say, unstable! I put on an outfit according to the Environment Canada forecast, and I'm either under dressed or overdressed. Even after the most horrific running winter ever (for me at least and it was only my second winter running), Mother Nature is still sticking it to me. She needs a serious attitude adjustment. I'm just not sure how I can make that happen. I may have to strike up a committee.
  • That's all I have for you. It was a busy, but pretty boring week. I may be doing the weekly blog check-ins for now, just because of the hecticness (is that even a word) that is my life. Once I'm settled, I'll get back into the swing of things! I will continue to post my food and runs to my Facebook page and Instagram. Thanks to everyone who checks in with me regularly. I appreciate your caring words:-) You all rock!
 
Friday evening wine:-)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The post about accountability, a sewage pipe and the Ride to Conquer Cancer


My run from this morning. I'm not gonna lie, it was painful.


 
  • Look at me blogging two days in a row! I will be blogging more often because I need to return this blog to what it was intended for when I first started writing here almost 3 years ago. This blog needs to keep me accountable once again. It's no secret that I have been struggling with my running over the past couple of months. And although I've gotten lots of supportive advice around this, I know in my heart what I need to do. I need to be as strict and regimented with my running as I am with my eating. By week's end (which is tomorrow), I'd have only run 3 days. And 3 days of low mileage runs. Yup. I dropped 2 runs. Why? No reason. Just because. And that's not okay. Somewhere in the past 2 months, I started giving myself permission to skip runs here and there. It was hard at first, but then it got easier and easier. Now it's a struggle for me to get out the door. 
  • I am not running the mileage I used to. Therefore I should not be eating the unlimited amounts of food I have been allowing myself to eat. My clothes still fit me fine, but I don't feel as fit as I was. And I feel soft. I don't like that feeling at all. So starting right now, I am making some lifestyle rules that I must adhere to for the next few months while I am training for the Stockholm Halv.
  • I will return to blogging 3x per week. I will post my daily runs and food to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
  • I will not eat any nuts, nut butters, seeds, bananas or sweet potatoes and limit my red wine intake to 2 glasses per week.
  • I will only eat 2 servings of fruit per day.
  • I will drink a minimum of 80oz of water per day.
  • I will follow the proper 1/2 marathon training schedule (which is prominently displayed on my fridge). This means running 5x per week. No excuses!
  • As soon as I get up in the morning I will change into my gear and run. Regardless of the time. City streets are safe enough.
  • I will join the gym in July and begin working on strength training with a personal trainer.
  • I have seriously lost my way with running. And this hurts me. I never thought I would dread running. Although I'm still eating well, I'm eating too much of all the good things.  I know when this happened. When I started waking up even earlier than my 5am internal clock. I started getting up at 4am. It seemed too early to run, so I made a pot of coffee and started reading blogs, Twitter, Facebook. By the time run time came along, I'd be too immersed in social media, that I'd not feel like going, so I'd give myself a pass.
  • I have been very regimented with my lifestyle over the past 2.5 years. And that is what works best for me. When I start to get sloppy, I will slip. I have slipped with my exercise regime. If I keep that up, it's only a matter of time before I start slipping with my eating as well. I cannot let that happen because I worked too hard to get to where I am today. I love the freedom of eating Paleo and not having to limit my portion sizes. But that only works for me if I'm running well. If not, it would just be a matter of time before I started to gain weight. Not an option for me. And I want to get leaner. I've been saying it for months, it's time I finally did it.
  • So if you're interested in following my daily diet/exercise regime, you can like my Facebook page, follow me on Instagram, or follow me on Twitter. No more excuses!

                      June 3, 1970                                             June 3, 2014

  • Now for a quick weekly update. I celebrated my 44th birthday on June 3rd. Have I changed much? The photo on the left was given to me in 2010 by my birth mother. She carried that photo around in her wallet until she gave it to me. It was my birthday photo and the only image she had of me until we met when I was 39.  It is also the only newborn baby picture I have ever seen of myself. Although my parents took me home from the hospital, it wasn't until I was a couple weeks old. And my young infant pictures were lost. So that photo means a lot to me.
  • The house demands by my buyers are underway. I have an exposed sewer pipe in my basement. It's actually in really good shape for being the original clay pipe. There are some openings in the pipe though and my neighbor (who dug it out for me), put strong wire mesh over the holes. He told me he needs to secure them because rats could come in from the sewers. That made me lose my mind for a hot minute. I still have visions of rats taking over my house. Uncle John's not back till mid week to replace the plumbing stack and the pipe. So I'm a bit on edge. And I heard that rats are super cleaver. I'm sure they have tools.
  • I had counselling again this week. I spoke to my counselor about how I was anxious whenever I went to see my Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction therapist and she agreed that it was probably best for me to end that relationship. It's not that I didn't like him, it's just that I can't work with a male therapist. He made me more anxious than anything. He gave me the cd's which I've been doing and find helpful. I think that's enough. And I'm seeing my regular therapist to talk through stuff. So I think I'm good. 
  • This morning I drove my gal Dawn to Ontario Place in Toronto. It's the start line for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. What an awesome event. Two hundred and twenty-six kilometers over two days. That's Toronto to Niagara Falls. Made me think that I should do this ride with her next year. We've all been touched by cancer in someway. Cancer is what took my mother. And a close family member is battling cancer right now. So I will raise the $2500 that it takes to ride and join Dawn next June. It will be an amazing experience that I can repeat every year with Dawn.
  • Well, I'm off to enjoy this beautiful weather. Another reason why there is no excuse to skip runs. I ran all winter in sub-zero temperatures and barely batted an eye. But here I have beautiful weather to run in and I'm struggling. Makes no sense. Thanks to all for your continued support and kind words. You are all so awesome and I'm lucky to be part of this blogging community. Enjoy your weekend:-)

Supported my gal Dawn this morning as she got ready to head off from Ontario Place.