Expect the Unexpected

Today, I had plans to try out a new recipe (I even remembered to put frozen meat in fridge the night before). I was going to work out after T went to bed. I had also made plans for a play date for T and I with another family at the pool tomorrow. “Perfect, a healthy recipe and activity ready to go,”I thought to myself, driving to collect T from school on my way home from work. Unfortunately…one look at my flushed faced, teary eyed little boy and I knew all bets were off.

T has a tummy bug. I’ve had to change the bedding, wash him (and my floors) down, and now I’m currently typing this/scrolling through the internet for the best way to treat a GI bug while he sleeps half on me, half on my bed.

I titled this entry “expect the unexpected” because really, I think for resolutions/goals/lifestyle changes to take… they need to accommodate the unexpected. It’s so easy to look at perfect running plans with one rest day that falls on the same day each week, pick it up, start it, and then be bitterly disappointed with yourself if you can’t stick to it. But life doesn’t work the way those plans are written. Wiggle room is required!

Same with gorgeous bullet journals. I love them, and I love scrolling though images of them on Pinterest! However… I decided an accountability blog might be a better option for me, because my life has a tendency to get in the way. Marking down stomach flu doesn’t really fit in with gorgeous images of the bullet journals I’d love to be organized enough to keep. Where is the box for that?

Tomorrow, we won’t be at the pool. I didn’t get time to exercise after T went to bed as planned, but I can do that workout tomorrow, from the exercise bike in our living room, while we stay in and watch netflix.

Anyway… as you might have guessed from the photo… we had Kraft dinner for supper.


Confession time

I have had a gym membership for almost three months now and haven’t used it. Eeeps! When I think of the money that I’ve spent and not “used”… I feel guilty and also a pinch of shame.

Truth be told, I hate gyms. I could deal with my old apartment gym, because it was clean and empty and only a short elevator ride away. But I really, really dislike the corporate gym I pay a membership to.

However, now that I have a half marathon to train for, I can no longer avoid going to mine, every so often. My goal is to be able to run outside the majority of the time, and then rely on my exercise bike for cross training when I can’t get out. But because of the nature of east cost living (snow, melt, freeze, thaw) the sidewalks where I live are currently a death trap. The city is good about salting our sidewalks, but it’s just not safe enough for my high anxiety about falling.

So I buried my pride and headed to my local gym, on January 3rd. I expected that it would be packed, and that I would stick out as a non-regular, but I was pleasantly surprised! The gym was quiet and not at all busy! I got in my run and cool down and didn’t feel uncomfortable at all.

It just goes to show, sometimes the things we have built up in our minds as difficult, turn out to be non-issues, and we just need to get over ourselves and do it.

Weekly Check in #2

Happy New Year!

This past week had some rough ups and downs, making me incredibly grateful I happened to have started this thing a little earlier than anticipated.

I’m happy to say that despite some fairly difficult challenges in front of me, I was able to be intentional with my time and my choices, for the most part.

Here’s some weekly check in highlights:

  • I registered for a local half marathon. It’s in exactly five months from today, so I should have just enough time to train properly. And it’s so local I can walk to the start line from my apartment… huge bonus! I’ve printed out my trusty plans and have put in more miles on the bike. No runs outside yet…
  • T and I learned how to make pompoms!
  • I got outside with T, during a snowstorm, for some much needed play. And we went snowshoeing! And I wore my new rain pants! Check, check, check.
  • I tried out two new recipes. I made Italian wedding soup (too salty, I won’t make it again as the recipe described, but I at least know how easy it is to make). Then last night, T and I tried out my new mini food processor to make homemade hummus. It was delicious. We will be making it frequently, I expect.

Good luck with your goals for 2019!

If anyone is reading and has a good recipe for Italian wedding soup, please share, I’d like to make it again, but figure out a way to keep it flavourful without the salty taste.

My Smart Bike

When I moved to my new apartment this August, I gave up having a gym in my building. On a whim, while I was still unpacking my stuff, I hopped on Kijiji and purchased a pro form duo exercise bike. The guy who was selling it told me it came with an app, iFit, but that it wasn’t worth the money. Why I decided to take his advice and not even look into the app for myself, I have no idea. After all, he was the one getting rid of a barely used bike for next to nothing!

Anyway, today I finally downloaded the app for a free 30 day trial… and the workout I tried was awesome! It works through Bluetooth from my iPad – the resistance level would automatically change based on the trail ride the coach was taking me on. We rode through the Spanish Valley in Utah, and the coach kept me interested enough that I didn’t even notice the minutes tick by. The monthly cost isn’t cheap ($17/month) so I’m going to see how frequently I’ll use it. I hope I use it regularly, because it’s so convenient to be able to have an accessible workout right in my living room.

My first iFit workout summary

Weekly Check In #1

So it’s technically not yet 2019, but as far as I’m concerned I’ll need this extra week just to get these goals achieved.

I don’t have a set plan for how this will look, but I think what will be most helpful is to put up a weekly check in; I’ll post what progress has been made throughout the week. My hope is the knowledge a weekly check in is coming will serve me in a couple of ways. One, I’ll know that I’ll want to be able to check in with some type of progress. And two, as the weeks go by, tracking progress milestones (or lack of them) can bring me some information on what works and what doesn’t.

I logged into my Stava account this week. I’ve had strava for three years, and have logged over 800 miles. Apparently, only 1.5 of those miles were in 2018. Eeeps! I can’t really put my finger on a specific thing that made me stop. When I think about it, there are a few things that fit in different categories of what Gretchen lists as habit helpers in her book, happier than before. Some were just location based reasons. I no longer lived downtown within running distance of a fantastic (free) university running track. I moved offices which meant I couldn’t stick with my twice weekly classes of yoga and Pilates. But then some reasons for the stop were also mental blocks. A few random comments about improving my speed really knocked me back a bit. To me, running has never been about winning or getting faster. But to hear those comments still made me feel uncomfortable, like I didn’t deserve to call myself a runner or I was somehow cheating by not doing enough speed work. I attempted to give up almost all carbs for 3 full months near the end of 2017 (also on Gretchen Rubin’s advice from multiple books and her podcast!). Giving up carbs did not agree with me. I lost a few quick pounds, but I became very fatigued, and even after 3 months, got winded doing basic tasks like folding laundry. By the time I stopped, I had lost so much of my strength/ perceived lung capacity to run, it had become a chore.

My Strava record at the end of 2018

So how did I do this week?

Item 1: start a blog. Done! I may upgrade/move to WordPress.org so I can use the strava widget. Need to decide! I think if I do that, I should create a less time bound blog title though.

Item 3: register and train for a half marathon. This obviously will need a lot of check ins, ideally with progressive steps each week. This week I put new batteries in my indoor bike, and have done three (short) sessions on it. I also ordered a desk bike. For me, I do better with running when I pair it with complimentary cardio and strength workouts – less chance of getting injured, so I consider this a win for the week.

Item 16: get the gear for all weather nature walks and runs. This week I found a pair of rain pants (from Value Village). I’ve been looking for a pair for months. Because I’m short, I ended up picking up a men’s pair that had elasticated ankles. I’m excited by these because in Nova Scotia, rain pants really are a must for getting outdoors.

18: do more crafts with T. This was a great week for crafts! We worked on my embroidery (T is a great artistic director 😉 ) and we made an awesome Christmas ornament for his dad and step-mum, using an old holiday print his dad had made years back. They were thrilled with it, and it was so fun to do something creative together.

My 19 for 2019

1. Start a blog – use it for weekly accountability check ins

2. Get a new dentist for T and I (and visit)

3. Register and train for half marathon (and run it)

4. Go on more dates

5. Take T camping

6. Go snowshoeing with T and friends

7. Go skating with T

8. Take a creative class or workshop

9. Get back in the habit of doing strength training and yoga regularly

10. Follow The Organized Mum Method (TOMM) throughout the year

11. Take T climbing

12. Try out some new recipes

13. Organize next vacation with T

14. Go on girls hiking weekend

15. Read at least 12 books

16. Get the gear /make the commitment to weekend nature walks/runs in all weather

17. Continue pairing down/refining my wardrobe and possessions

18. Set up an “office space” for T & do more crafts together

19. Go kayaking with T and friends

Why 2019?

Partly because it’s whimsy, partly because it’s time limited, but also because I need another year with some intention behind it. 

2015 was the last time I set myself with intention, and boy did I deliver. My motto for that year (passwords, mantras, everything, was Stronger2015… and I really think it worked.  I legally separated, ran my first half marathon, started my journey of peaceful co parenting, and cut out a lot of bad habits, and welcomed in a lot of positive thoughts, people and habits. I wish I could say that each year has been the same since then, and those habits have stuck, but of course like everything in life, these things wane over time if they aren’t given the attention they need…

Fast forward to 2018 and I’ve just experienced a lot of huge changes. While the majority of them have been great, there wasn’t a lot of intention behind them. I picked up some great new habits (I have a clean apartment! I work because I enjoy it! I’m dating women! I take a ferry to work and go on hikes for fun!) but, some other things have had to slide. The quality time I used to spend with my son has given way to exhausted evenings and rushed mornings as we adjust to our new routine of going to a new school and me taking public transit. The running and twice weekly yoga and Pilates has dried up to maybe a handful of workouts over the year, thanks to a new more demanding (but satisfying) job that slowly took over my lunch hours and ate into any evening I didn’t have T with me. T’s entry into school this year necessitated a move across the city to an apartment with half the square footage, leading to some major purging/Marie Kondoing. That, plus a cleaning schedule I now follow faithfully, means that for the first time ever, I don’t feel like we are drowning in plastic stuff or closets full of clothes we will never wear.

And yet… this past year felt chaotic. I felt I couldn’t hit the right work life balance… I miss having more intentional time with my son, and I need to get back to  excising, both for all the health benefits but also because otherwise I will need to buy a new wardrobe, pronto. 😉

So here we are. I really hope I can use this space as an intentional accountability partner for myself, and possibly meet some other people on similar paths along the way.