Day 19: Eat all the Food.

Today I am hungry. I want to eat everything in sight.

Last night I dreamt of pizza. Cheesy, meaty pizza. I was only going to eat one slice, and “still be on Whole30”, but next thing you know I was eating the entire pizza, while crying. Is that really what my subconscious thinks of me?

Boo. On the bright side, it’s my Friday ūüôā I will be on the plane in 2 hours from now!

Is it dinner time yet?

-Ashley

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Defining Progress

What is progress? It really depends on how you choose to define it. I haven’t been blogging daily about my Whole30 adventure the way I had originally set out to. I wanted to create a journal, and hopefully have it provide guidance and information to others doing Whole30 in the future. Things have changed. The first few days of my Whole30 I spent constantly searching for other people’s accounts of the program. How did they feel? What happens on Day 6? Am I going to lose these last 10 pounds? It only took me a few days to realize that it really doesn’t matter. The details of what happens to me during these¬†30 days¬†dont matter to you. And¬†shouldn’t matter to you.¬†What should matter to you are your next 30 days, and what matters to me (now)¬†are mine.¬†There are a few things that matter, though:¬†I feel good. I feel happy, I feel confident, I feel in control and so¬†can you.

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Roasted veggies (beets, zucchini, onion, and sweet potato) and salmon..

I have failed on many ‘diet’ plans. Actually, I usually last less time than the average person. If I make it a full¬†week with no slips, ‘cheats’, or ‘off-plan’ choices, I feel accomplished and¬†celebrate with¬†some ice cream (litearlly). That’s the way I am. It’s the way I’ve always been. It’s not that I don’t want to commit, and I don’t want to be healthy; it’s just that it’s exhausting. There is too much guess work for me. Too many choices, too many decisions.. You set out on the latest diet: you eat 1200 calories per day (but no fruit, because fruit has too much sugar), feel STARVING, are constantly focused on/thinking about food (maybe your body is trying to tell you something?) and are surviving off only whole-grain rice cakes and low-fat¬†peanut butter, because you seem to get the most ‘bang for your buck’, calorie and taste wise. Then you start to question if this is even working. You haven’t lost any weight and it’s been 4 days. Your body is craving¬†everything in sight and your brain is foggy. You’re not sure how much longer you can go on. You’re exhausted. Working out is not going to happen. Before you know it you’re head first into a Big Mac and fries¬†(or whatever your thing is). It’s all a blurr, and you feel out of control…next thing you know you’re¬†crying yourself to sleep because you’re such a failure. Sound familiar?

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Apple chicken sausage (so tasty..find this!) and sweet potato ‘stir fry’ with broccoli (and a salad on the side).

Today is Day 17 of my journey. I don’t feel the Tiger Blood. I don’t feel extremely energized, or super focused. But, I haven’t cried, I haven’t eaten ice cream, and I feel good. I don’t feel hungry, and I have almost mastered the art of not constantly obsessing over food. I sleep well through the night, wake up without snoozing, and at¬†3pm I am still in an up-right position at my desk.¬†I am eating large, healthy, satisfying meals. I have no idea how many calories I consume..but they taste delicious, and each one of them is helping fuel my body.¬†I have learned to distinguish between hunger and a craving. Wanting something sweet after a huge, delicious lunch is not hunger. It’s a craving, and it needs to get away from me. My pants feel looser and my stomach isn’t bloated. My digestion has improved 10-fold and my skin is clear and glowing. I haven’t given up, or even thought about it, because it’s only¬†30 days, I’m not starving, and I’m seeing positive changes. The expectations are¬†reasonable,¬† attainable. It’s actually kind of fun…like an experiment with yourself. If this was just like any other typical diet, I wouldn’t have any of those things by this point…and they all seem pretty damn important to me.

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Delicious steak with sautéed onions and mushrooms..complete with a white potato (worth it) with broccoli and green onions!

My pre-Whole30 self is still there, but I’m slowly helping her learn to get her shit together. I still badly want to weigh myself. Every day I wake up, feel good (and skinnier, for lack of a better word), and I think “HOW MUCH WEIGHT HAVE I LOST?!” (in the interest of fulfilling every last detail and rule of the plan, I have not done this). This is something¬†else fun that¬†I’ve learnt, so far.¬†I have¬†let the scale define my progress, sense of worth, and my happiness for too long. I know that if I¬†jumped on the scale right now and¬†saw I hadn’t lost a pound,¬† I’d stop feeling good. I’d be sad, feel¬†defeated,¬†and want some ice cream. But in reality, why does it matter? If I’m feeling good, gaining energy, learning lots, and fueling my body¬†for physical activity…why do I need to weigh 10 pounds less?¬† That’s right. I don’t. So basically, you should try this. Go to the website, take a read, and do it for yourself. Spend 30 days commited to yourself. Be selfish. Eat nuts and coconut and free-range eggs. Read labels, learn where your food comes from, and see what works for you. This is life changing.

Now I know what¬†some of you are thinking, because¬†I’ve heard it multiple times already:¬†“one bite won’t hurt”,¬†“it’s too restrictive”, “I could never give up bread”. Wrong, wrong, and very wrong (coming from the queen of bread, herself). It’s actually kind of fun to sit there, knowing you aren’t going to eat something, but just checking it out,¬†and thinking “would that even be that good?”. Is a¬†plain old¬†donut from your local supermarket really worth it? Probably not.¬†Maybe if, after¬†30 days, you still really want that shitty donut, you can go¬†find a really¬†yummy, deliciously fresh¬†donut…and you can enjoy it without¬†guilt because it was worth it. But trust me, that stale donut sitting on the¬†lunch room table is not that donut.¬†I mean, come on. For 30 days you can’t cut out crap, and just see how you feel? Maybe you’ll think it’s stupid, and maybe after 30 days you’ll go back to your old ways, but I highly doubt it..and really, that’s the worst thing that could happen.

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That’s my Whole30 take, so far. Yours will be completely different. You might lose 20 pounds, you might gain 2 (muscle, of course!). But I can guarantee you one thing, it will change your life.

Gypsy, not a Mermaid.

I feel like a gypsy lately. My life is filled with wonder, uncertainty,¬†a little worry,¬†and a little excitement. A lot of people write (or blog) when they’re under stress or crazy times. Not this girl. But, after a long hiatus, here I am! Back in black (and white).

I have been working up North for about two months now. Camp life is…different. I have adjusted well, and I am doing fine. It’s okay. That’s the only word I feel is adequate to describe it. If I was single (and had no doggies), I would be better than okay, but for now I will remain only okay.

There are certain pros, which help counteract the cons, that make the happy medium of ‘okay’ feel like the right word.

  • Working for 8 days and having 6 days off is nice (shh, I know lots of you work 14,¬†21, even more days at a time, but I’m just trying to live here, mmk?)
  • Having time every day for the gym is great.
  • Not having to cook, or make my own bed, great.
  • Money: great, gotta have money.

The cons are here, too. “Move to Alberta and get rich!”, they say, but they leave out a few important facts:

  • It’s easy to spend money when you’re home for¬†6 days at a time. You feel entitled. You feel like you’re on vacation. Dinner out? YES! Mini trip? YES! Hotel nights? Mmmhmm.
  • Being away from the man (and the pups) – boo…boo, boo, boo.. boohoo.
  • Missing out on life
  • Sleeping alone

Overall, as I said, it’s okay. I won’t complain¬†about having a ‘good’ job, with a stead¬†y income and a warm office, but with the dropping oil prices, uncertainty is rabid and who knows where I will be in a month’s time. There is talk of sending me to another site, back to the city, and I’m sure many closed-door whispers of layoffs. It’s funny how someone else can decide your future behind your back, secretly, hush-hush. But don’t worry, they’ll “figure it out”. Right now, being a mermaid is sounding pretty good.

Happy New Year, beautiful people.

Oops..

I wish I had waited until only the last minute..but nope, this girl waited until the last second (basically). I don’t know why, but the pressure just wasn’t there until today, when my lunch break rolled around and I figured “hey, I should probably grab some costumes..”.

Preface: In my adult life, I have dressed up once. It was the first Halloween J and I were together and I was a bumble bee. It was cute, but slightly revealing. I know, I know….halloween has become a massive skank-fest of half-naked girls, but I wanted to play too, and I felt good rocking it. This year, I was hoping to do something equally as ‘cute’. J loves it when I dress a bit more revealing, and I can assure you it doesn’t happen often.

So, J’s friend’s¬†from out of town are coming over tonight. I have met them¬†only a few¬†times..they are older (than me), and seem light-years ahead of the game. When we all decided to do something for Halloween together, it was due to her and I mutually agreeing (over a few too many drinks) we wanted to dress up for halloween this year. Last week I really started thinking about the get-together. We are adults now, that means I need to buy snacks, right?¬†Then I realized,¬†I bet this couple wasn’t headed to the costume store to buy pre-packaged costumes. Nope, these are the kind of people who make their costumes. A quick text revealed I was right: she was going to be a gum ball machine, and she was just about done putting her costume together from scratch.¬† Oh no. I am screwed.

Well, with that, the thought of answering the door dressed as a slutty red-riding hood (first thought), and having to stand next to a gum-ball machine flashed upon me. I decided I needed to tone it down a notch…¬†It’s horrible to say, but the idea of having to be inventive, and having to dress as something unique, rather than sexy, really ruined it for me. I pushed¬†the thought of Halloween aside.¬†Can I blame society for the way I feel about this holiday, please? ūüėČ

And that brings us to today.. J’s only costume request was “I don’t know,” and “something that doesn’t suck” or something along those lines.. Great, thanks for your help, BABE.

As I shopped, thoughts of panic flashed through my mind. I couldn’t decide what I was doing in there with the other crazies.. who waits until Halloween to buy their Halloween costume?!

  1. I’m not spending 100$ on two costumes.
  2. Well, I guess we’re not dressing up afterall.
  3. That’s mean, now she will be a gum-ball machine and I will be an Ashley…
  4. Okay, it’s going to be fine. Let’s just find the cheap costume section…
  5. I need to hurry. Everyone is buying everything. Fast, Ashley, look fast!
  6. There are no cheap costumes…I guess 100$ is the penalty for being a procrastinator..
  7. I’m being little red riding hood..what will J be?
  8. Big Bad Wolf is $80..so no I am not..
  9. Oh and Little Red Riding Hood is only available in XXL.
  10. No costumes for us!
  11. Wahhhhhh…..

Just then,¬†I found the Duck Dynasty section. J would be thrilled, I would be that much closer to being¬†done shopping,¬†and this took away the pressure of me trying to do couple’s costumes (that’s silly anyways, right?). Hopefully Gum-ball machine’s husband doesn’t show up as a gum ball, or I’ve failed.

Now for me, what’s something that’s sexy enough to make me smile (again, blame society..),¬†but not slutty, and still looks inventive and like I’ve tried, thought about it, and didn’t go to the store 4 hours prior? A Greek Goddess…duhhhhh.. 30 bucks, 15 minutes wait in line for the change room,¬†one compliment,¬†and I was sold.

Halloween mission: ACCOMPLISHED..

Now hopefully we get lots of trick-or-treaters and they love my costume as much as I do. ūüôā Happy Halloween Everyone!!!!!

Much Love,

A

Thankful Wednesday

Dun, dun, dunnnnnn…

I am estatic to say, I HAVE BEEN NOMINATED FOR MY FIRST EVER BLOG AWARD!¬†I am so grateful for this nomination for the One Lovely Blog Award!¬†Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, ¬†Weight2lose2013, I am so glad you enjoy my random ramblings. ūüôā

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As I’ve read, here are the rules (copied from Weight2lose2013, copied from Sarcastic Beholder):

The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer and up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and also to help the new blogger to reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be ‚Äúlovely‚ÄĚ by the fellow bloggers who choose them. This award recognizes bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with viewers and followers. In order to ‚Äúaccept‚ÄĚ the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  2. Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  3. Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform the nominees by commenting on their blog.

Seven facts about myself:

  1. I love dogs. I got my first dog when I was 23 years old and I hope to never live without them again. I would have 10 if I could.
  2. I have a birth mark in the center of my back that turns bright white when I am in the sun. People always ask me what the heck it is..
  3. I am a Project Manager by day, and a foster puppy hoarder/rescuer/lover by night
  4. I am the eldest child in my family, with step- and half- siblings ranging from age 6 to 21.
  5. I have more grey hair than most 50 year olds..seriously. I have to dye my hair every 4-6 weeks.
  6. I am married to the man of my dreams: literally. The first time I met him it was like someone climbed inside my heart and was tickling it..hehe. I am so lucky.
  7. I have my Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. I went to university for five years, and it has proven: useless.

NOW! For my nominations! ūüôā I read these blogs daily and love, love, love seeing new posts. I know these are supposed to be ‘up and coming’ bloggers, but I still haven’t mastered the art of knowing how many followers people have… If I have nominated you, and you do not consider yourself ‘up and coming’, please don’t take offence ;). Also, I know I only have 7..so my ‘goal’ for this week is to start following more bloggers! ūüôā Stay tuned.

  1. Single Mom Dating : Because she’s awesome.
  2. Muscles and Mascara: I have searched and searched for a real-life blog about the fitness competition world.¬†Here it is ūüôā
  3. Finding My Strong: She runs half-marathons, and that is amazing..enough said.
  4. Chunkie to Cutie: She’s honest, awesome, and I can definitely relate ūüôā
  5. Autoimmune Mama: Great information, supportive, and encouraging.
  6. Eternal Butterfly Kisses: Her own view of the world: beautifully written and captivating..and I love, love, love the name!
  7. Because I’m Fabulous: I just can’t stop reading this blog.

 

Love,

Ashley

Little Monsters make my life.

I had my first shift at the shelter last night. I’ve been there a few times for orientations, and to pick up our fosters, but this was my first day hanging out with the dogs in the shelter.

I’m in love.

Since it was my first shift, I had to stay with an experienced volunteer the entire night. We walked a very pregnant Momma, “Maggie”. She was tired. We had to entice her every step with treats. We finally made it outside to the grass and we weren’t sure we’d ever get her back inside.. it must have taken 45 minutes to go 200 meters.¬†I wonder how many puppies she will have. Next, we did a bit of ‘doggy physio’ on a dog that was found with a badly broken leg. She had to have surgery to get her tail amputated and has about 20 staples up her leg. Her sad little eyes and underbite were magnified by the plastic cone around her head. Poor baby. We fed her treats, gave her lots of¬†cuddles,¬†and stretched her leg muscles out¬†for her. She was unimpressed at first, but eventually realized that the pain in her leg was a fair trade-off for all the ear scratches. It’s amazing and beautiful to me how forgiving these animals can be, even after all they’ve been through. If only people could be more like dogs.

Now comes the part where I bring home another foster puppy (oops!). He was so sad, and all his brothers and sister’s were going to foster homes already. I couldn’t leave him all alone overnight in that scary kennel, could I? Nope. It was decided. I texted J and told him not to hate me..I think he knows what that means now. At the end of the night, little Sullivan and I packed a crate with all the supplies we will need for our short time together. We cruised home, with Sullivan whining periodically, and only stopping when I put my fingers through the tiny holes in the side of his crate. He is so, so small. Dont worry, little man, you’re safe now.

When we arrived home, J was sitting on the couch looking little more than unimpressed. I was prepared for him to be upset..but I had already decided that me and little man would do our absolute best¬†to take care of ourselves, and wouldn’t ask J for any help¬†(he loves puppies in moderation, and lately I’ve been giving him puppies in overload). I put the crate down and let the three current canine residents sniff him out for a bit while I walked over to the couch..he smiled at me. That same smile that I fell in love with, dimples and all. “Well, let’s see him,” he said, still smiling (although I could tell he was fighting it back ;)). God I love that man.

Welcome to your ‘for-now’ home, Sullivan! I can’t wait to meet your forever family.

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P.S. If you think fostering might be something you’d be interested in, I highly recommend looking into it. Taking one dog out of a kennel, or run at a shelter makes room for them to save another life. Often times (as in our case) you are provided free of charge with everything you need: food, crates, toys, collars and leashes, even food and water bowls. All you need is to provide a loving, safe environment for the dog until they find their new family. Google it to find a rescue in your area! ūüôā

Long weekend = short week

I tried to get J to tell me which he was more excited for, the long weekend, or the short week. Apparently, according to him, they’re the same thing (Uh, no). Although today is Tuesday, it’s really my Monday (thank you, holiday Monday!) and I feel blessed I got to skip the typical Monday blues. ‚̧ Happy, happy, happy.

We had a Thanksgiving dinner (non-traditional style) last night.¬†¬†I made my very first¬†ham, homemade mac n’ cheese (J’s request), roasted root veggies, broccoli, homemade buns, and blueberry pie. My cousin’s girlfriend (my cousin is the only family I have here, other than J, of course) brought a pumpkin chocolate cheesecake. J’s friend from back home came, also. The 5 of us (and the three pups, of course), had a good time, and it was nice…it still isn’t quite the same being away from my family (will it ever be?), but we are getting to the point where I don’t cry on holidays.. ūüėȬ†Also, my ham turned out PERFECTLY, if I may say so myself. I think everyone was in a food coma when they left, and I was very happy that I was already at home…no travelling on a full belly for me! ūüôā

On another note: I woke up bright and early and started a new gym. I always have trouble getting out of bed for morning gym sesh’s.. Usually (9 times out of 10) I make up some kind of excuse as to why re-setting my alarm and getting two more hours of sleep is a better plan….

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Not this time! My new gym is SO cool! It’s actually a lady who lives just down the street (a 2 minute jog) who has made her basement into a full gym! It has a private entrance, and you’re given a key with your membership. You book your 1.5hour time slot in advance, and you are the only person there.. you can bring up to 3 other people with you for no additional fee. It is AMAZING. Working out alone, in a full gym, with a private bathroom, two TV’s, your own stereo, ipod hook-ups, workout dvds (MANY of them) and an area to do them?! Oh wow, why didn’t I think of that? Also, booking in advance means that even if I don’t show up, I am still paying = I am actually getting out of bed.

Yay, yay, yay yaaaaaaaaaaaay. I am a happy camper.

 

xo

Ashley

Thankful Thursday

With Thursday here again (holy cow time is FLYING BYРam I getting old?), a serious lack of new happenings on my life, and Thanksgiving fast approaching, I decided to have a rather simple day in my blog world: Thankful Thursday.

I encourage you all to do the same. What are you thankful for?

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Today, I am thankful for my husband. Although, at times, I want to kick his butt, he is an amazing man. Thank you for being here for me. Thank you for helping me get the courage to move to another province, and for letting me cry when I missed home. Thank you for accepting my insatiable love for dogs…and listening every time I find one that we just have to help. Thank you for always kissing me before you leave in the morning, and for letting me stay in bed for that extra 20 minutes. Thank you for taking the dogs for pees at night, when it is too cold for me, and for not getting mad when I am behind seventeen loads of laundry. Thank you for trying to understand me. ¬†I love you more than words can say, and I am so thankful to have you in my life. ‚̧