What’s life without sugar?

I don’t like fad diets. They bother me. I’ve heard of the Whole30 before, and brushed it off, because who wants to stop eating bread? No one. And that’s probably why you  need to think about doing it, but that’s besides the point.

Anyways. Since then I clearly changed my mind, and since I’m pretty much half-way done* (Day 4, baby!). My husband is not supportive. All the other blogging chicks are like “Omg! My husband made me compliant chicken for dinner!”, or “Aww..my husband made me this delicious breakfast.” *insert fancy-ass breakfast here*. Not this girl. Nope. In fact, last night during our phone call, and me trying to tell him about how I ate eggs four times yesterday, he said “We’ll go for pizza when you get home.”. NO WE WON’T, HELLO? Then, his exact words were: “This is ridiculous. Just eat some sugar.”  Ummm…you’re ridiculous? OF course (sugar-detox induced or not), this made me cry. Trust me, we do love each other.

Sometimes we are too hard on one another (aka mean). I blame it on us both being Taurus…and the fact that we have not learned how to communicate in a healthy manner yet..but we’re working on it. #blameyourchildhood (hehe)

Long story short, this prompted me into a spiral (as I usually do when upset) of talking too fast and spouting too much information and words that I often question the meaning of, mid-thought.. After a solid week of too-much-research (what did we do before Google?), I felt like a professional, and in that moment it ALL. CAME. OUT. Seriously. I should make an infomercial.

Well what do you know? Now he’s asking questions… “WHY can’t you eat bread?”, “You love cottage cheese. And think of the protein!”. I think he’ll at least pretend to be supportive now, but I wont be expecting any breakfasts.  Whatever, he can eat all the sugar he wants, because after all, WHAT’S LIFE WITHOUT SUGAR?

Overall, the way I see it: it’s one freaking month of the rest of your life. 30 days. What’s the WORST thing that could happen? You are sad and sugar-achey all day for 30 days (which wont happen), or you’re hungry? You wont be hungry. You might be bored of eggs, and miss donuts and cheese, but you wont be hungry. If you’re hungry, eat some nuts, or some steak, or some bacon! Big whoop. Pull yourself together and do something with your life. If nothing else, you’ll learn that you have an inability to follow through with anything (I’m mean, too).

So after we got that bomb outta the way, I felt even better about my plan.

I woke up this morning feeling READY to take on another day. Again, I have a slight headache, but it’s totally liveable. Where’s my detox?!

Instead of telling you about my eggs today, I figured I’d compile a few fun-facts from my short little journey, so far:

  1. I actually am looking forward to black coffee in the morning (weird)
  2. I’m starting to think less about food (amazingly enough). Day-dreaming about the mid-afternoon muffin you’re going to have is not nearly as enjoyable as dreaming about a vegetable stirfry with hard-boiled eggs.
  3. Reading ingredients is interesting and eye-opening. The apple-cinnamon or lemon tea I usually drink in the morning has nine ingredients (?!), one of which is SOYBEAN OIL.
  4. I feel bloated when I eat fruit
  5. I have been sleeping the entire night, which is miraculous considering I usually cant manage to sleep in camp (when’s the last time you slept in a twin sized bed?)

Loveee.

*They need to invent formatting for sarcasm: bold, italic, underlined, sarcastic. Clearly someone missed the memo.

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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.

Thankful Thursday

With Thursday here again (holy cow time is FLYING BY– am 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. ❤

New goals, fresh start.

Before the wedding, I was getting a bit obsessed with ‘getting fit’. I was working out to exhaustion, eating specifically according to my ‘plan’, and working with a ‘coach’. I say coach in quotations because, looking back, I should have listened to my husband: she had no idea. She made me cut out foods that I loved, and I listened. I’m not talking chips and cookies here, either. I’m talking organic, unsweetened coconut milk in my smoothies. But she told me it was bad, so I listened. She made me stop eating carbs at lunch, and I listened.

Guess what happened? I was cranky, upset, hungry (at times), over full (at other times)..but most of all, I wanted coconut milk, and carbs at night. BADLY.

I was so worried about the wedding. I was so, so paniced. The used-to-be fat girl inside of me kept worrying that when I got my wedding pictures back I would regret it. This was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. If I hated the way I looked in my wedding photos, I’d always regret it.

The big day came, I had my hair and my makeup done, my Mom laced me into my dress, and I put on my earings. Guess what? Not once did I think about what size I looked. Not once. For me, this was a miracle.

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I went the entire day, and I felt like a princess. I was so happy, and so surrounded by people I loved. It was magical. And I didn’t think about my size. Not once.

On our honeymoon, I walked around in my little bitty bikini…and I rocked it (at least I think I did). I ate way too much food, and I had absolutely anything and everything I wanted for two whole weeks. I didn’t worry about a carb, a fat, and a protein with every meal. I didn’t have 6 meals a day or stop eating carbs at lunch, I just ate. I just lived.

After 14 days of this craziness, we flew back home. I mustered up the courage to climb aboard the scale to judge the damages. Pulling the blue glass scale out from beside the bathroom sink, all those feelings came back. I hadn’t even weighed myself yet and I was thinking “you shouldn’t have eaten all that”. Guess what? I lost 4 pounds during our trip.

I joked with J that the ‘burger’ diet was good for me, and he smiled. He loves seeing me confident in myself, I can tell. “I told you,” he said “you just have to eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full. I know you’ll never let yourself go overboard”. I love him.

So that, my friends, is my new plan. Since we only really buy organic fruits and veggies, grass-fed meats, and whole grains, I should be good to go. Noted that this ‘plan’ probably wouldn’t work for someone who’s taste buds are in a loving relationship with oreos and lucky charms, but I think I’ve got this in the bag.

I am going to up the workouts now that we’re back, and I’m going to eat like a normal, healthy person. Lots of fruits, lots of veggies, and carbs whenever I damn well feel. If I want ice cream, or frozen yogurt, I’m going to eat it..just not for five consecutive days. I am excited to see what happens next. I want abs, and we all know those are made in the kitchen. Come on kitchen, get cooking! 😉

I feel happy…and I feel healthy. I could get used to this wife stuff.

The secret of marriage..

Is there a secret?

I’m starting to think there are hundreds.

I’ll admit, I have only been married 34 days..and this is nothing in the grand scheme of life. While this may be true, boy am I devoting a lot of time to figuring it out. I’m sure we will spend the next 50+ years finding the true ‘secret’, and while I hope we love every minute of it, reality is that we probably will not.

We have already had a few arguements as a married couple. Whoever said “honeymoon stage” is a beautiful walk in the park with nothing but roses and butterflies was wrong (at least in our case). However, on the bright side, we both seem to have more patience, understanding, and interest in making arguments beneficial and productive. We have both discussed how this is due to many factors, one of which being my new found ability to just walk away and take a break.

Before we got married, we attended a marriage preparation course (highly recommended). While it was difficult to find said course without a religious affiliation, it was worth the hunt. One of the main things I took away from this was: it’s okay to take time apart in the middle of an arguement. When they told us this in class, I automatically tuned my brain into the “this is stupid” mode, and prepared to stop listening for the rest of the day ( I may be slightly synical..and bitter..). However, this was followed by them saying “as long as you let eachother know before the break starts”. I started listening again. “If you are in the middle of an argument, and you need a break, tell your spouse you need time to cool off and give them a time period as to when you will continue the arguement.” For all you men, J hates this approach, but it works so well for me that I think he is starting to see the benefit. The ‘rescheduling’ can be anywhere from 5 minutes to the next day. It seems so silly, but when he says to me “I’m going out to work on my truck. We can talk about this in an hour.” I don’t feel abandoned. I don’t feel like he is running away, I feel (probably how a man feels) like we are just taking a simple break. Woohoo! That little trick has got to make the list.

Trick 2: A few months ago (prior to being married), J and I had had an argument the night before. I honestly don’t even remember what it was about now, but at the time it was a sadness inducing, day-ruining, all out cry-fest (it’s funny how that works, isn’t it?). I was sitting in my office, feeling sorry for myself and dwelling on the situation when a male co-worker (he’s happily married and seems to know lots of said ‘secrets’) came into my office. We have a good relationship and so I explained the situation to him (leaving out all the crazy woman details of how my heart was never going to recover and how I just wanted to eat a tub of vanilla bean ice cream), and he paused for a second. I was waiting for him to come back at me with some kind of silly comment about how I needed to calm down, give him space, or stop nagging… but instead, he walked over to the white board in my office and wrote “CALM COMMUNICATION”, all in capital letters. “It’s so simple,” he explained “as soon as my wife comes at me with a complaint and she’s mad or upset or crying, I automatically don’t want to listen.”  Jerk, I thought (cynical, bitter me emerged once again).  He then continued “if you approach him calmly, he’ll be more likely to want to listen. Don’t yell, or cry, or sound ‘bitchy’, just relax, and explain.”. Guess what? It works. It works so freaking well that it HAS to be a secret. But not anymore, you’re welcome 😉

And that is why it has remained on my white board for the past 6+ months….

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And, because it’s Friday and these little guys are going to be adopted really, really soon ( 😥 ), here’s a daily dose of cuteness:

riley sam

 

 

Husband, husband, husband, wife, wife, wife…

Hehehee. We are married!!!

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Yeah, that’s us!! ^^

It’s been a crazy, crazy month. Things flew by! Roadtrip home, last-minute wedding stuff, wedding!, honeymoon, snuggles, home, back to work! Yikes. I can’t believe it’s all over!

The wedding went amazing. Perfect, actually. We had a few people show up who had RSVP’d ‘no’, and we didn’t actually have enough seats for dinner (lesson learned..), but we were able to fix it quick and everything was great!  It was a beautiful day, my “husband” made me feel like a princess, our vows went perfectly, the Canadian geese flew overhead during our ceremony (yes, this is ACTUALLY our picture!), and it will be a day we’ll never forget..

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All the tiny things didn’t matter at all once the big day arrived. I didn’t care about the flowers, or the napkin colors.. I barely ate any of the food. My shoes, which I obsessed over (but got on sale for $25 😉 ) were off immediately after the ceremony, and I was a barefoot bride all evening (don’t worry, my dress was too long for anyone to notice).  Oh, and guess what? Not ONCE did I think of how big, or how small, or how skinny, or how fat I looked. Not once. I was just beautiful!

Everyone tells you to enjoy the day, and that it will be over before you know it..but I didn’t realize how true that was!

The moment of getting out of the car and walking down the aisle towards James (who may have shed a tear or two) seemed to take forever. I wanted to run! I just wanted to hug him…and take a moment to calm. I knew it would make us both feel better. Other than that, the rest seemed like a daze. Cake cutting, garter tossing, first dancing, speeches…can we please go back and slow it down?!

 

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Shoes off, twirling in a field. Could this day be any more magical?!

P.S.  This was not a photo-op, I just figured (in my love-drunk state), what kind of princess doesn’t twirl?

25 days..

Our wedding is coming up fast..like really fast. It feels like yesterday that I was sitting on the couch with Jamie discussing vendor payments that were due at the 6-month mark. Well, we definitely don’t have 6 months anymore. I’ve put in four solid months of healthy eating and exercising, I’ve been praticing trying to be a ‘wife’ and do laundry (without waiting for 10 loads to be ready..) and make dinner, and pack lunches with fresh baked goods. I’ve started cleaning up every night after dinner (instead of leaving the mess for the next day), and the dish washer hasn’t sat clean for more than an hour before the dishes made their way back to their place in the cupboards. I am starting to feel like a grown up.

And then last night it finally hit me. I am getting married in just over 3 weeks. We are no longer able to use the word “month” when describing the distance of the wedding. Not even “one month away”. Nope, we even passed that. We are now at weeks. Weeks away. We were sitting on the couch, facing one another, and I grabbed both of his hands. I think I squeezed almost too tight for comfort, and all I could say was “I’m so glad you’re going to be there.. it would be way too scary without you”. It brought tears to my eyes. Not sad tears, just happy, nervous tears. We are really doing this.GOP-Engagement-18-XL

I’m not going to lie, the whole thing feels strange. It feels a bit scary and it feels a bit too ‘adult’ for me. It feels right, don’t get me wrong, and I am ready to get married, and obviously I am completely sure of what I want, but it still seems a bit surreal. I mean, we are planning our WEDDING and subsequently our MARRIAGE. I am going to be a WIFE and have a HUSBAND. Next we are going to be flying away on our honeymoon, just the two of us. Soon we will be planning for children (don’t tell James I said soon…it makes him panic, too) and I’ll be having a little baby with cute little dimples, just like it’s Dad.  In a way, I just thought I’d feel different when this time came, I’d feel prepared and ready and like a real adult.

When I was 20-ish and in my second year of University, I remember asking my Mom when I would start feeling like an “adult”. To me, that meant feeling truly independent, not wanting to cry to my Mom when I was upset, and not craving hugs from my family when I was away from home. It meant being confident in my decisions, and not having a mini panic-attack when signing mortgage papers with James without my Mom present (yes, I actually had that thought). I remember her telling me that I was a grown-up. That my mindset was probably pretty much developed, my views and opinions were there, and all that was left were some life lessons and some time to grow internally. She said I would always need my Mom (and that she still needed Grandma), and I’d never stop having a tiny part of me that didn’t feel fully ready. Man, she was right. I don’t think I’ll ever get over needing hugs from my Momma, or stop missing the fresh, comfy, safeness of my bed at Grandma’s house.

Anyways, I guess that was a bit of an aside (^^) sorry… hahagop-engagement-7

I can’t wait to put on my dress, and get my hair all done up and be surrounded by everyone I love and care about. I cannot wait to walk down the aisle towards James and see his face. I will probably start running once I see him (towards him, of course) so I can sneak in a quick hug before I pass out… Here’s to the next three weeks!

Just because I am SO curious…do my quick poll. I’m having a deep day, I want some deep advice.

 

Love,

Ashley.

 

 

Defining Moments

Yesterday, my Dad must have been taking a trip down memory lane as I received a few consecutive pictures in my Facebook inbox. There I was. A beautiful, dark haired little girl with her bangs cut straight across, wearing my early 90’s finest and blowing out the candles on my birthday cake. What was I thinking in that moment? I bet I was excited it was my birthday, and even more excited for cake.

I wonder what my wish was?
I wonder what my wish was?

The picture made me sad, almost instantly. I’ve never seen it before and I feel like I have no idea who that little girl is. I can see my round little nose and my big brown eyes and my dark hair..I can see it all. That’s me. That’s where I started. It made me wonder where things changed. When did I stop being this innocent, happy little girl? When did I become this person who is so critical of herself? This girl who spent years crying when she looked in the mirror, wishing she could have a different nose and a skinnier body, and no stretch marks, and even longer agnoizing over her future and what it would be like. What changed?

I wasn’t born fat, but I got there pretty quickly. I was a chubby kid (not quite unhealthy, but plump). When I started kindergarten I was bigger than the other kids, but I was always tall and had a large structure (I won’t say big boned, because we won’t go there…haha). I didn’t feel weird or out of place then.

My Dad left when I was 3. I have no memories of my family as a perfect little “unit”. My mom went to school and worked a night job–I spent most of my younger years at my Grandma’s. She fed me whatever I wantedfood is love, you know. It is abnormal for a 7-year old child to feel like I felt. I developed OCD and ate like crazy. Food made me feel safe. Hiding in my room made me feel safe. My Mom was stressed and she was busy.. She had so much going on, but she still did everything she could have done. She yelled sometimes like any normal parent, but I don’t think it ever crossed the line of ‘normal’. I hope one day I will be as amazing of a parent as she was. I don’t know what distinguished me from the other kids, or what made me have these feelings, but I don’t believe anything my family could have said or done would have changed it.. It was something deep inside of me. It’s who I was. By the time I was in my first year at University, I was 220lbs and miserable. I was just existing.

There are several, defining moments that stick out when I think about when everything changed. When did I loose that happiness, and that innocence? When did I stop feeling like that happy little girl in the picture and star feeling like the fat, unhappy  girl (the one that still lives in a big part of my heart and soul). Now of course, my life isn’t defined by these moments but they definitely made an impact. They are so small and so seemingly insignificant, but I think they’ll always be etched in my memories.

I remember in Second Grade, measuring the school field with a partner–we had one of those wheels on a stick that clicks for every meter travelled? I was pushing it around and he was walking slightly behind me. He said he was cold and I said I wasn’t.

“It’s because of all your whale blubber.”

It’s funny now, I guess. It was a witty comment for a second grader, but man it hurt.. I remember waiting until I got home after school, locking myself in my room and crying. I’m sure that little boy doesn’t remember that. I’m sure he said it, and that was that. Funny how that works.

I vividly remember standing outside my fourth grade classroom in my purple leggings and having kids tease me as they walked by.  I remember leaning up against the hard, brick wall with my backpack in front me, feeling so alone and trying to hide my pants from the kids as they walked by. All the other girls could wear leggings..but I was different. I was fat. I remember trying to hide the fact that I got teased. I didn’t want my Mom to think less of me or to be embarassed of me. From such an early age I was so worried about disapointing her..I didn’t want her to know she had the fat daughter that no one liked–she deserved more.

And then there was  back-to-school shopping. The one, dreadful year that I transitioned into adult clothes. I hated them. I didn’t want to wear old lady clothes..but I didn’t fit into kids clothes anymore. This was probably around Grade 5. I remember my Mom standing outside the change room while I tried to hold back my tears, telling me it wasn’t her fault I didn’t fit in kids clothes–I was just too big. I remember this day so vividly. I remember the feeling I had, and being so hurt by my Mom.  I’ve never told her this, and I’m sure I never will.

I wish I could go back to that happy little girl blowing out her candles and tell her she was beautiful. I wish I could help her become a confident, happy young lady. I wish I could go back to that 14-year old who quit basketball because she didn’t want to wear shorts and tell her she was GORGEOUS. I wish I could run back and tell her everything would be okay, and she’d be getting married to the man of her dreams (who is SO, so, so, SO, SO, SO handsome), and that she’d have a beautiful home, and beautiful puppies, and a happy, happy life. But I can’t go back, all I can do is go forward…and going forward, my outlook is going to change.

I can’t explain how this strange, random sequence of thoughts has occured in the past few days since receiving those pictures…but this is one of those moments. All I’ve been thinking about is how I wish I could go back and change so many things, but I can’t. All of them are just thoughts, and feelings, too: I wish I had more confidence, I wish I was happier and that I’d made different choices. But maybe I don’t need to go back, maybe all those things made me the woman I am today. I am learning to love her. She is a beautiful, compassionate person. She has more empathy than a lot of people, and loves deeper than anyone I’ve met. From this day forward, I am going to start loving that girl. I’m going to eat chocolate when I want and not feel guilty, and I’m going to run like the wind. I’m going to wear a bikini on my honeymoon and rock it, stretch marks and all. Everything is going to be okay. I’m going to make that little girl proud.

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