Tuesday, September 7, 2010

it's post Hurricane Earl and the temperature is back to a manageble cool... I went for a walk today for the first time in awhile. It was good but my legs are still painful and problematic after a short stroll...

I've been eating strawberry rhubarb pie for days... It's so good. I bought the first one and before I was finished, Sheila brought me two more that she had to bake up after Earl knocked ou the power and the freezer unfroze. If you've got to eat something for days you can do worse than strawberry rhubarb pie...

I seem to have lost some weight despite the pie... maybe it was the heat and maybe it's just one of those phases I go through where I don't seem to eat as much. It's quite mysterious really. I am very hopeful that it will continue... There's a pair of pants i want to fit into....

Tomorrow is a work day... I am off to bed shortly... early to bed and early to rise, reduces the girth of the waist and the thighs....

Thursday, September 2, 2010

hot as jalapenos

Well it's hotter than pretty much anytime in this summer... everybody's melting. It's Ramadan and I don't know how Muslims can get through the day without drinking in this weather!! Tonight there was an Iftar celebration at SMU where I read poetry along with a number of local poets and spoken word artists... and then had yummy food to break the fast. I finished off the frozen yogurt when I got home and now am contemplating sucking on an ice cube.

I didn't manage to have a walk the past couple days... just too exhausting in the heat... but i did do some work indoors, if keyboarding in front of an air conditioner counts.

It's time for bed... maybe I'll go for a run in the Arctic in my dreams. That would be nice.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Today and A couple days ago, I began what I hope will stick as a healthy habit. I walked for about half an hour, with a break about half way to give my leg pain a rest. It's fine when there is a bench or a wall or some steps to heave my butt on to, but it's not ideal when it's just road or grass...

Time was when I could walk an hour with my dad no sweat. Well I mean I did sweat but I could do it no problem. I was just tired at the end, not in pain. These days the pins and needles comes first then a kind of sickening cool burning pain ( hard to describe) in a line down my leg. Calf pain and thgh pain happens in there somewhere too. But half an hour as I said seems doable, with a sit down.

I haven't been doing the exercises that the physio prescribed but they didn't help anyway, so not sure whether it would be useful tocontinue. I sometimes hope I will be walking one day and the pain will have vanished like a ghost. Just like that, if I keep walking... but as long as I don't walk, it will linger, a phantom hungry for my pain.

I am going to cook a roast pork, potatoes and rapini... So yummy and reasonably healthy... Ruhi is tonight so my spiritual appetite will be satisfied too!.

Last night I danced oen song at Julie's wedding. " We are family". It was great fun and I am sorry to have left early... it was the first time I've danced in forever, and it made me remember those nights with Beata at Cabbagetown. Oy vay, or as the Chinese say, Aiya... my lost youth!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

well it wasn't a bad day foodwise or exercisewise- three meals and a few minutes on the outdoor exercise machines. no napping til a brief lie down after dinner at dad's... i still hope to increase my walking though it's no fun when it's painful....

It's way too hot even though outdoors the temp is very reasonable... it's the humidity I think, the kind of weather that makes me weak in the shoulders.. I need a drink and then I will stop craving something i think. The leftover watermelon from the bbq is all gone= what a heavenly delight it is when chilled, on a hot day. Really there are so many pleasures offered by the natural world,,, God has thought about just about everything! Except how to keep us from indulging in them. Oh yes! He did create religion... that should help!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Today I slept most of the day, tired from yesterday's BBQ at my Dad's. I must have gone up and down his stairs 20 times, and today my body called it quits. I am still aching and now I'm yawnig- ready to go back to bed at 8 pm!

I had a bit of a binge this past week... eating way too much sugar. I'm not sure why but it does seem to happen from time to time that my eating blooms out of control and I consume more sugar in a week than I have the month before.

It's been ages since I used the outdoor exercise machines... during the day it's just too hot and I haven't got there in the evening. Something to think about for the fall. I really wish I could walk more... I feel quite shackled by the leg pain, but a few days ago, Sheila and I walked the board walk in Eastern Passage, which is about a kilometre long, before my legs hurt too much to go any further. I wish I could walk anywhere, like I used to, without pain.

Dad is pretty amazing- he walked an hour or so before the bbq yesterday and today another hour and a half- no lounging in bed with a body ache for him! I wish to follow his example...

Friday, July 30, 2010

By gum, I haven't written here for more than a month!
Time flies like a fish, but it's time to get back to it.
Apparently I have lost 14 pounds and almost 3 inches at the waist since January when I started taking metformin. My weight does fluctuate but I hope this is a sign of better things to come. I haven't been working hard on it... maybe if I do I'll lose more.

I have applied to do a writing residency in the Czech Republic. I hope I can manage it! Well i hope I'm accepted to it first. Am still working on the leg pain, which is worst when standing around- walking is better. My physio decided I didn't need to see hre anymore and she's likely right... it didn't help much... I think losing weight and keeping orthotic insoles in my shoes are the key to painlessness. But I might get my mum to try another Bowen treatment on me...

It's been a long time since i did any exercise... too long. I need to go out for a walk...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Well, I decided not to go to Beijing... there were too many what ifs. I was afraid for my health, worried about the pollution and crowds and not sure I could deal with the challenging phsyical environment. I was agonizing over my decision but I think it was a good one. I hope I haven't just turned down the chance of a lifetime...

I think I might have lost a little weight lately... I seem to be doing better with the walking... it also helps me to keep my focus up, somewhere above my head, or really, on Baha'u'llah. Then I don't notice the leg pain, or my legs don't hurt- one or the other. Still I find I want to sit down a lot if I've been walking, and I don't have as much energy as only a year ago...

I missed the powwow today- I really wish I'd got to it. Maybe tomorrow. Hopefully William got there and was able to see the Indian dancers. That would have been magical.

Summer is here and Dad's garden looks lush and lovely. I hope he comes home soon and I can cook the rest of the supper... pork and cabbage a rice...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Today was a weird day. I was too tired to care if I was being dumb or difficult or anything. I saw an old friend, her partner and their babies, and we went for a walk in the beautiful shadows of an almost summer evening.

There was a program on Ideas tonight about the "ocean mind" of whales and dolphins. Most of it I didn't hear but it made me want to stop eating animals of any kind. If I am to become a real vegetarian, I will have to invest in some spices and sauces and a variety of veggies. I think I can do it, but if I go to China I wonder if that will be another story.

My legs still hurt me when I walk any distance. A friend who just came back from China told me I should ask whether the apartment the residency wants to put me in is up several flights of stairs and if there is grocery shopping nearby. She is absolutely right that I should ask these things! I was afraid to ask these things.

It's time for bed. Monday I will try to call the residency office, and ask all my questions.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Aquafit has come and gone for this week, and I still have a cough and no desire to get into a cold pool. I ate a package of cheesies that was meant for my study group, which was cancelled for today. So much for restraint.

I was feeling very stiff while house-sitting for Soonya and Ian, but seem a bit better today... I did a little walking to and from the bus, and felt pretty ok. I am not doing enough to get my legs in gear for China if I end up going, but I am trying to walk a little more at least.

It's almost dark and somehow I feel as though the day has gone by without me. At least I didn't order fries for lunch- instead it was falafel, tabouleh and curried rice at Mary's cafe. I longed for Sheila's ceasar salad and Susan's greasy breakfast when I saw them. I guess it doesn't do much good to practice restraint at lunch and the eat a whole bag of cheesies for dessert...

Tomorrow is another day...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Woe is me- I spent much of this beautiful day inside and in the name of keeping my sister's cat company, I continue to stay indoors. Still I did get out for a walk around the duck pond with Jan and her dog Mandy, and that was wonderful. It was also good for my cold to be in the sun, since i seem to have picked up a little extra virus yesterday on top of my first cold. Woe is me.

I managed to get my grant application finished and just have a couple questions Monday before I send it off. I hope beyond hope that I will get some money to help me get to China in the Fall. I am also thinking to get a new laptop computer sooner rather than later to take with me... my desktop pc was infected with numerous viruses and I had to get them cleaned out. I empathize with my computer, seeing as how we've both come down with a bug, but the cd drive isn't working very well so I wasn't able to reinstall my printer drivers... and it's hard to operate without a printer.

I had the last of my chicken-veg curry and rice for supper and dessert- some butterscotch chips and a cookie. I'm finding it very hard to give up the sweets.

so tired- gotta nap

Friday, May 21, 2010

I'm feeling so sleepy- it's the cold, and the sun, and my abbreviated last night's sleep. I'll take a nap before I go to catch the bus to the valley this afternoon. Dad's coming to take me out for lunch and I'm lusting after a burger and fries. Perhaps I will be able to restrain myself.

I've started doing the physio exercises again... they're harder than they were since I haven't been doing them for a couple weeks at least. My eating has been reasonable- I haven't had a lot of appetite since I've been sick, or rather it's been more limited, which has been a good thing.

Aquafit's been down the tubes for three weeks- hopefully this week coming I'll start again. I'm so tired right now all I want to do is sleep...

Gotta get ready for dad...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Today I did not set foot outdoors. I did not get washed or dressed or comb my hair. I ate, drank, slept, stayed glued to internet and radio and read a little. It was a beautiful day but I missed it, because of being sick. But thank goodness, I feel so much better than Saturday, when I started the antibiotics.

Mum brought me a pot of stew which I have been eating all day, and some banana bread with chocolate chips. I have been drinking tea non-stop, trying to keep the tickle out of my throat, because that tickle starts me coughing, which is painful. I am taking seriously the "rest and drink hot drinks" advice that comes with every cold. I have been through enough colds to know, it just gets worse if you push yourself.

But tomorrow I intend to get up in the morning and do a few more normal things. Work on my novel, maybe. Put out the compost. Make some calls. Definitely bathe and dress. I'll even clean up a little,
Exercise seems a far away idea... but I might do a bit. I'm a wimp but even a wimp gets bored of sitting at home trying not to cough,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Well I'm sick but getting better thanks to modern medicine and medication in Middleton. My GP had told me I needed an antibiotic but that was before she looked at my throat or listened to my chest! So I refused them, But yesterday, sick as I was, I went with Mum to the Valley for an event in Paradise. I ended up goign to the walk in clinic in Middleton and was prescribed an antibiotic by a nice doctor there and got it at the Pharmasave. I took it and overnight my sore thoat was gone, though my cold symptoms have persisted. They may clear up soon too. Thank God for the wonder of drugs and for our medical system, which may have shortcomings but which has given me great care when I've most needed it.

Needless to say my exercise regime has gone out the window- both the aquafit and the physio exercises. My appetite is coming back and thanks to my lovely mum and dad i have had healthy foods to soothe my throat. Dad brought chicken broth and turkey necks to make turkey broth. Mum's bringing stew tomorrow. I feel very blessed!

Time for another pill...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

It's Saturday again... I stayed home from the Halifax market today with a vague sinus-type headache and and snoozed a little, but managed to drag myself to the Dartmouth and Harbourside markets for some groceries. A baker gave me three loaves of whole wheat bread for $5.oo because he didn't want to take them home to Yarmouth. Score! I also got some ground pork to make a lentil dish with and some eggs. Then at Harbourside I got tomatoes and a sweet potato, also for the lentil dish. Mmmm. Dad invited me for supper so if I don't makes lentils today it'll be tomorrow.

My legs and buttocks still give me pain when I walk and especially when I browse, which involves more standing. I do think the physio exercises have done some good but I dispute the physio's idea that it's sciatic pain. I know my sciatic pain feels reminiscent of the cool burn from rubbing alcohol... and it makes me slightly nauseous. This is more muscle pain, a cramp-style pain.

Yesterday Dad I went for a 20 minutes walk at Shubie Park and I did ok, going slowly but ended up with pins and needles and pain by the end. Pavement is brutal, I hurt almost as soon as I go outside, and sometimes inside too, around the house. I realize the pain is one of the things that keeps me from doing even the amount of housework I did a year ago.

I think the key is probbaly not to be sitting in front of the computer so long and so much. This would involve a great deal of discipline on my part. I don't know if it would help to use a laptop that will enable me to work in different places and lying down if i want... worth thinking about...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

It was a market Saturday. For the first time in many moons I went to the Halifax farmer's market which I do dearly love, despite the fact that there are throngs of people and sometimes it's too hot, too noisy and too crowded to think. There was a free range chicken, fresh beet greens, honey, and eggs, flour and savoy cabbage. I ate like a queen tonight. Some people don't like to cook for themselves but I am happy to roast myself a chicken any time!

My legs felt tired earlier- seems like when i've been out for the day my whole body aches...even if I haven't done anything to speak of. Tomorrow it will hopefully be nice enough to get outside and rake, which is always good exercise. Soon the lawn will need cutting and -there's always the gardening which I am basically inclined to leave... that was Kristine's hobby and I am not that interested, thought it seems shameful to say so.

Tomorrow I also intend to wash two batches of dishes. It's really mind blowing how my unclean my kitchen looks right now. My sister would have a fit, but I am very able to cope with a certain level of mess and dirt that she finds abhorrent. Still it's getting out of hand, even I have to admit. My energy for housework is somehwat limited...

time to brush my teeth and say goodnight...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

CBC's departing science guy Pat Senson says that funny movies might make us eat more... I have to remember that and maybe watch some horror movies.

I ate a bunch of spareribs tonight- they were fairly inexpensive at my Free range meat source at Casa Roma this week. I used some yummy bbq sauce on them and baked them in the oven... mmmm. Not exactly diet food but not bad- they were fairly lean

Aquafit today was great- much more my speed than the one on Monday night. The Wednesday morning class with Bob seems to be more about working the various muscle groups than about getting a cardio workout. For me it's plenty cardio too and I know my body has had a workout when I finish. I was so tired I napped all afternoon.

Tonight there's a 9th day of Ridvan celebration and there's bound to be food there. I hope to be moderate about it. I didn't have breakfast before aquafit then about noon Kristine and I went to Two if By Sea and had croissants- Proscuitto and cheese for her and almond for me... can't imagine anything better than a croissant from TIBS ...it's a heavenly meal... and the coffee is so great there. Somehow I feel it's ok to eat a croissant a week. I better consult my doctor about it.
Better yet, will consult my shrink, who is more likely a kindred spirit on questions of food...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Last night of poetry class. Some sadness involved. But it is good when things end and we go on to something else. Change feels good, as though the world is new again. I can't get enough of the feeling of possibility.

Today was a weird kind of day food-wise. I did ok until Kemi's art opening where I had two pieces of cake. Poetry class felt like exercise but really I am going to do aquafit tomorrow and nothing more today except for my physio exercises.

Monday night's aquafit made me feel sick. I was working too hard and really need to keep a slower pace from the very beginning, because I think it could be bad for my heart to push it. I think if i just keep moving for the duration of class that's good enough.

Now I am yawning over my keyboard . Off to bed soon after a cup of tea...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It's a terrible thing to admit. I've totally given up on my diet. Hoping to start with a more sensible approach to eating tomorrow. Isn't that always the way?I just can't have stuff in the house because when I am weak I just go mad over sugar, meat, fat and all the unhealthy stuff. I also need to practice being hungry again. For awhile it was a positive thing, but how quickly I go back to my old habits.

Cate cooked some wonderful meals at her parents' cottage yesterday. We cooked, ate, lounged, and did a little of this and that, mostly soaking in the sun and a little goal setting. None of my goals involved losing weight, getting healthier. All of them were focussed on getting a cottage in the country like Cate's. I realize it's something I need to document, this weight loss thing. Also that my tendency is always to drift back to my old ways.

I was reading some quotes about steadfastness and assistance with tests in the Baha'i writings. Perhaps prayers can help me in my quest for healthier habits. I have no doubt that they could work, it's just up to me to be steadfast in my efforts. I need to keep always in my mind the possible negative outcomes of continuing on this self-destructive path. I don't want to have a stroke or die of diabetes or heart attack, but I can see that it would not be that much of a surprise. I hope you'll send me some good vibes to start me on my way...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's off to aquafit this morning. I'm still aching from Monday night's class. That was a great workout, a lot of cardio. I had to take it slow- I was getting a feeling almost like nausea and that's how I knew I was working too hard. Today's aquafit is a little less strenuous and more about the stretching. It's great to have two different kinds of classes to go to.

Last night was the Entrepreneur of the Year awards! All the nominees, including me, gopt a bunch of neat stuff from the the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network. It was a great event and a special evening. I had a table next to Kristine and we both sold stuff, her cards, and me books.

It's the first day of Ridvan today and there's a wonderful sweet feeling in the air... It's a day of no work, so I am going to enjoy it! First aquafit, then coffee. I need to make a few phone calls and then the day is mine! I may treat myself to a croissant for breakfast, though I truly should not. Still, eating special things is part and parcel of Christian holidays so why not Baha'i ones?
But I could make a better choice. maybe a bagel with low fat cream cheese...

It's sunny and gorgeous outside... happy first day of Ridvan everybody!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's been ages since I've blogged, sorry about that. This week was Atlantic book awards week and it's been a busy time, exhausting and wonderful.

My eating has been the pits. McDonald's here , sausage on a bun there. At least I didn't eat a Dairy Queen Blizzard for breakfast like I wanted to one day. Today I made a beef stew and have eaten two thirds of it for one meal... it's a little mind blowing. At least it 's mostly vegetables.

Exercise has also fallen by the way side but I'm hoping to pick it up again tomorrow night at aquafit class. Somehow this week has just been a buzz of craziness, punctuated with adrenalin rushes, fun stuff and naps. Cate gave me a nice meal of soup and salad yesterday before my last reading of the week. She is a great example to me of someone who has successfully changed her eating habits, and who is passionate about making healthy choices.

I don't know why I want to eat the wrong things. Too much meat and carbs- like a typical male- and too much sugar, which I think of as a female failing. Stil, these days I would mostly rather eat savoury stuff than sugar, with a fair amount of veggies... so maybe i'm on the right track, I just need to control my portions better. And that just involves discipline, which I have precious little of when it comes to food.

My salt and vinegar chip craving which I escaped for a month seems to be creeping back.
I will combat it by cooking with tomatoes, which seems to satisfy that acidic tooth I have.
May I have better luck tomorrow...

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's the eve of the Atlantic Book Week, and I predict there will be lots of excitement, opportunities to eat too much wonderful food and little opportunity for exercise. Maybe that's just wishful thinking. Actually I will be missing an aquafit class, which makes me kind of sad, but hopefully I'll make it to the Wednesday one.

The exercises the physio has given me are a bit taxing -hard on the stomach- but that's the point I guess. I've been forgeting to use a stool when I'm on my computer or to put a pillow between or under my legs when I sleep. I do feel that the more exercise I do the better... and that I can walk through the leg pain better when I've done more stetching and other exercise.

My mind has been on other things, not on my health. I felt like celebrating today so brought Haagen Daz and strawberry tarts to Kristine's. She made some lovely asparagus, fish and chips for supper, and I went and added dessert on the end of what was already a good meal. I realize every day that I say, I will watch what I eat tomorrow, is a lost day. It's strange, as though I just forget my good intentions... they're swept out of my mind by hunger, greed, stress, fatigue, craving, boredom, excitement, and habit. Habit is the big one I think. I need to hold my health always in front of my mind, like a carrot in front of a donkey. Make that a cream puff. There I go again.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I did it. Bit the bullet and signed up for two aquafit classes a week. First one is tomorrow morning... I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully Michelle will be up for the late start- it's 9:30- 10:30 am. Now to get my eating on track- it wasn't too bad today though I did eat a while package of kraft dinner for supper ( with asparagus). That's basically as nutritious as a piece of styrofoam I imagine.

I also went to my first physio appointment. The physio assessed me and gave me some exercises which seem to make sense. I am glad to have someone else watching out for me and my legs... hopefully it'll make a difference. She wanted me to do a back health class as she thinks it'smy back that's the problem- sciatic pain in both legs caused by too much curving of the spine. COuld be right... we'll see.

The new year for family pharmacare has rolled around which meant I had to pay for my meds today. Scary stuff. But with the reassessment of my deductible and co-pay, I will be paying much less than I would have had to otherwise. Thank goodness, or i'd be broke paying for my meds. As it is I will probably struggle a little... sigh. But I will buy glasses and I will try to make some more money this year than I did last year... to overcome the shortfall . Sigh. making a living is a fulltime job ! :)

Off to poetry class tonight. I am happy that I figured out what to do with my poem though I think perhaps it's only a start! Now if I can figure out what to do with my health. At least I'm spending some money on it... that shows I care, right? I plan to be ready health-wise to go to China in the fall... Beijing look out!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wow Easter dinner at mum's- always worth waiting for. Leg of lamb, veggie- asparagus, snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, mushy peas, potatoes and sweet potatoes ( mum knows how to do veggies like nobody's business.) When we got to mum's my blood sugar was low and I gobbled up a lot of cracker and pate and cheese and carrots and celery. I'd only eaten a piece of toast for breakfast and a scone for lunch, but I overdid it on the appetizers. Then dessert rolled around- trifle by mum and two pies that Ping and I brought. We could have stayed til midnight eating. William did well on his veggies with constant coaching by his parents and threats of no dessert. He gobbled the trifle and chocolate eggs from Andrew and Greg... he'll turn into a Quon one day and will enjoy both the sweet and the green.

I did a few stretches today and I think it will help my legs if I keep doing them. Dad and I walked a good distance the other day- well, from my place to the waterfront and around a bit of the trail and back home with a sit at the ferry terminal and lunch at May Gardens. Not a long walk but not a bad one, and with stretches halfway, probably not as painful as some. It's still a major problem though and hopefully physio tomorrow will help.

need a bed time snack- yes even after that easter dinner! Thanks Mum!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Well it was a beautiful day today- I spent much of the afternoon with Mary's kids, sitting outside and watching them play. Got a little exercise but not too much... not like the old days when I'd run around with them.

Mary's eldest daughter has come upon an interest in cooking, healthy eating and exercise. Strange how much she is like her mother in that respect. I hope she can introduce a few more veggies into her sister and brothers' diets. Mary is not fond of cooking, so if her children enjoy making meals so much the better!

I ate too many carbs today, but did better than yesterday. There's lots of food in the house so I won't go hungry, that's for sure! lots of veggies. My pot of pea soup is still going, might have to freeze some of that. My vice today was a bowl of cornflakes with honey and walnuts.It's a vice because I'd already eaten more than enough carbs, but also because it's practically dessert!

Well tomorrow may be better. I'm banking on getting out into the sunshine and doing a little more walking than usual... if my legs will take it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I realize very few people are reading this blog but that's the way I want to keep it, especially since I have fallen off the wagon foodwise. Tonight I ate almost half a pound of cashews. That's a few too many. I put it down to the fact that I didn't really have lunch or breakfast, just a green tea muffin at the MuLan Chinese cultural centre. I always overeat in the evening when I haven't eaten enough, or the right combination of things, in the day. Well let's face it... I tend to overeat at night all the time, but I was doing very well at the beginning of this blog...

I wish I could get out and walk but my legs don't permit me to for very long... this is a big problem, and make sme sad, because walking used to be my freedom, especially when the weather starts to change for the better, as it is now. Thanksfully I have physio soon, and hopefully I can get a handle on the problem in case I do make it to China after all.

Not much to report today... just the same old issues. I pat myself on the back for not eating the ginger cookies I bought to take to kristine's tomorrow. I guess I need to make an effort to remember the positives...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's the tail end of March and time to start new projects while the invigorating Spring air urges us on to scale the higher peaks of our imagination. Today is grey, though and rainy- typical Spring, typical PMS weather. Not very inspiring, unless you are a tulip.

I have plans to keep eating less. The last few days I haven't and ended up feeling sleepy and sluggish. I really notice the difference in the way I feel when I stop before the high water mark, so for lunch I just had a chicken and tomato sandwich, with a bit of date square for dessert. To some that would be a hearty meal but for me that's usually an appetizer!

Tonight the Ruhi gals are going swimming after Ruhi but it'll be too late for me- 9:30 pm is too late to start anything. I have my tax refund back so I am considering spending some of it on Aquacise... It just scares me to spend that money just becasue I have it. I've already bought a bus pass and some office supplies, and am wondering about glasses- I should probably really think about getting some new ones, since my old ones broke... and I guess I could write it off as a medical expense... I'm just so cheap, I hate seeing money go out the door as soon as it comes in!

Time for a nap I think... the invigorating Spring air will have to inspire me later.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Man oh man. It's been a strange day in which nothing terribly much was accomplished. I ate ok but not great, managed to get a brief walk in and that's about it. I did a few little things that took up more time than they should have, and neglected some bigger things. I am too tired to tell you about them...maybe tomorrow...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's a sunny day in Metro and I am taking a break at the library before going off to my next event. It's been a day of coffee and croissants, meetings, an interview, and a darn good all day breakfast at Mary's Place Cafe. I switched the sausages for falafel and feel quite virtuous. They were yummy too.

I haven't had occasion to exercise much today. And now I am feeling sleepy- was it the carbs at supper I wonder? I should probably have had some tabouli salad but i never know what to order so usually go with what's cheap. There were many vegetarian/vegan offerings at MAry's which I will have to try soon.

I would rather be having a nap right now- but going to do a talk on creativty and mental health
May the sun shine down on your tent when you wake up in the morning, unzip the flap and stand naked on the shores of whatever island you've dicovered during the night...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My goodness. How time flies. Is it possible that I haven't blogged for almost a week? During which time I have eaten like a mad woman, exercised a little and written a good bit otherwise.

My swim passes are history so now I have to decide whether I will pay for aquacise classes. If I get money back from my taxes I might just invest in a new pair of glasses and some aquafit. I think the money I'll get back is something to do with the medical supplement... so it is fitting that I should use it to improve my health.

I have pretty much no more food in the house. My supper was some leftover rice and a can of baked beans, which to me is a yummy meal that I am pretty happy to eat, but I'll need to get some food for tomorrow. I do have bread and eggs and cabbage but that's about it! I'm out of staples like meat, tofu, cheese- my preferred soures of protein- and onions.

Cate is getting her proposal together for a healthy living/spirituality group. I hope she manages to get the grant, because I would like to participate in such a group. It helps to have some support from people facing the same challenges- overweight, low energy, overeating etc- and a forum to talk about things we can do to be a bit healthier, maintain or lose a little weight, etc.

I imagine it would mostly attract women but that could be good for those of us who participate!

Never underestimate the power of a small group of commited women to make a difference.

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's gorgeous, the sunshine, like a fine animal lounging in the grass. Today Michelle and I went for a swim... not a very big swim but enough to warrant a sit in the hottub afterward. Then I did a few minutes on the outdoor exercise machines... Couldn't pass it up on such a lovely day. I am pretty tired now and walking is a little painful and difficult. Thankfully dad has made supper which we will eat in no time (afte r his snooze)

I had a crazy honey nut O binge last night so skipped breakfast which of course one is not supposed to do. However my body seems relieved not to have been stuffed today. I had some wonderful pea soup and toast for an early lunch. That pea soup is powerful- comforting and wholesome. I feel good eating it.

Now I am looking out at the lake which is ice-free and blue as bleuberries. It'll be wonderful to swim in the summer. Cate asked if I'd like to try Chocolate Lake and I'm game but I can't imagine anywhere more beautiful than Lake Charles. There's nothing better than a dip in the lake on a sweltering day, or after mowing the lawn, or in the morning before anyone wakes up or in the evening when the sun slants sideways, turning the water gold. Can't wait.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

pea soup

I love the pea soup I made today, finally. With ham, onion, carrots and potatoes, it's a full meal deal in a bowl. I must remember to make split pea soup more often. If you eve have a ham bone you're not going to use I'd be glad to have it!

Today I overdid everything foodwise. I'm having trouble getting back on track with my food intake. However I am hoping Michelle will want to go swimming tomorrow morning... I should have gone to the outdoor exercise machines today but I was parched and really wanted to get home for a drink of water. Lately I've been getting dehydrated so i know I'm not drinking enough, and really need to invest in a proper water bottle.

This weekend at Naw Ruz there will be dancing, for which I am not really prepared. I hope I can sit quietly and watch instead of participating. I love to watch people dance and am not much a one for dancing myself, though I used to enjoy it when I was younger. It's strange to be middle-aged and to look back on those days, which were so unhappy, and to know that I may have wasted a lot of time being miserable.

yes to pea soup and dancing, if only in my dreams.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Michelle and I finally connected to go swimming. This morning around 8 I got up to the Sportsplex and we swam a few laps- probably no more than 10 or 12 but it was something. Then sat in the hottub for awhile, the best part of all! I didn't think I got much of a work out but when I lay down for an afternoon nap, I felt like I was getting a cold and my body didn't want to move. I attibute it to the chlorine.

Didn't get the pea soup made but still have plans for that. K gave me a big bag of split peas and I am determined to use them. Dad is making supper tonight so I'm going there... I have to walk a bit to catch te bus so I consider that my fee for eating at dad's.

I tried Jia Tsu's porridge made with soy milk. I have to say I am not a big fan of soy milk but I'm glad I bought some dates and nuts to make the porridge. I still need additional sweetner... I'm such a baby.

What I need right now is a cup of tea.... enjoy the sun!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The swim didn't happen. I got to the pool as the evening swim was finishing, due to a mix up reading the pool schedule. So my next date at the pool with Michelle is tomorrow morning. Instead of swimming today, i did my tazes, and it looks like I'm getting money back! Huzzah!

My eating is entirely off. To many carbs, ham and potatoes for supper with no other vegetables. I want to make pea soup with the ham tomorrow for lunch... I'll start when i come back from the pool and voila, it'll be done for noon.

Today was poetry class and it felt a little like a workout. Two and a half hours of critiquing is a bit much, but the writing exercise at home was fun... that's more like rock climbing in a gym with all the pretty coloured knobs and niches in a grey plastic wall. And you wear those shoes, those lovely little pixie sneakers, so you can grip with your toes! Yeah, that's poetry for you.

Elizabeth suggested I do exercises lying on my back that are similar to the ones I'd do in aquafit. I can't see that that would be much fun but I might give it a try, when I'm lying down. Or in the bath! is there such a thing as bath yoga? I just googled it, there is! I think I could get into that.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Today was not very work-oriented. After interviewing Jia Tsu and buying some homemade soy milk from her, I came home and had a big nap. Then it was off to do laundry, which is always a big job. I lugged the dirty clothes in my suitcase to the corner laundromat and then back again, wet to hang on my washing line and on racks in the house. That would be enough exercise for me for one day but I told Michelle I'd go swimming with her tonight! I am actually quite looking forward to it.

I don't know why I am so able to nap the afternoon away... maybe it's normal. It might be, though,that my carb intake is too high. My doctor said that I must be eating too many carbs becasue my cholesterol is so high when I'm not taking meds. I've been trying to cut back and have had some success with only eating unrefined whole grain bread and pasta, but find it difficult to reduce the quantities. I think I need to add more veggies and fruit in order to stick to a lower carb diet.

Jia Tsu says she has lowered her cholesterol just by eating porridge for breakfast, made from whole grains like oats and kamut, as well as dates and nuts and her own soymilk. This is something I want to give a try. Usually I eat porridge with maple syrup but I guess I'm going to have to put a stop to that! And buy some dates and walnuts. An expensive but tasty and healthy breakfast. I can hardly wait!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It was a glorious weekend of sun and shining waters. My mum and I went for fish and chips and then a little walk at Clam Harbour Beach. Today we tried Peggy's Cove but it was too cold to go for a walk, so we came back to the city and I vegged for a bit, then went out with Michelle and Lisa to the Celtic Corner, where they had supper and I swiped a few french fries off Lisa's plate.

Now I am home cooking brown rice with tofu and veggies. An artery-cleansing meal I hope. Tomorrow Michelle and I agreed to go for a swim at the Sportsplex I am nervous about it because it's March break and I don't know how the kids will react to such a large woman as I am in the pool. But it will certainly do me good. It sounds as though Michelle enjoys swimming so I will follow her lead, and just try not to worry about the kidlets

My mother and I were talking about our eating and I was thinking how much pleasure food gives me. I don't plan to let my diet to go totally to pot ( like I did this weekend) but I have decided to enjoy what I eat instead of feeling guilty about it, and not to beat myself up. I have a feeling this is a better way to lose weight without the drastic dieting I used to engage in. I could be wrong- it could be that I don't lose a stick of weight this way... but at least I won't feel unhappy and oppressed the whole time either. This is an evolving attitude, and clearly I haven't got over my insecurity about how people react to my weight , but hopefully that will become easier with time.

I remember when I was thin doing aquafit and a women who was very overweight joined our class. I remember looking askance at her, but nowI am now that woman. I lift my glass to her.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Keep Moving

Today I finished the work I wanted to get done before going off to visit my mum on the weekend. It feels strange and not all good to be free of responsibilities, but I am lucky to have this flexibility and am used to putting up with feeling unsure of myself.

I have been neglecting my novel and my exercise regime so I think I will take myself to the library this evening to return 2 books and pick up one. A little walk will do me mounds of good. I tend to not make time for the things that are important, like writing my novel or exercising, not because I don't care enough but perhaps because I care too much. It's easier to do the work I do for other people because it doesn't inflame my perfectionistic streak the way working on my own behalf does.

It is a liability but also an advantage to have such a perfectionistic streak. I imagine it is true that on the flip side of liabilities there are often advantages . I will give that a little thought.

Today I had a bowl of cereal for breajfast, half a muffin with Dad, rice and lentils for lunch and spaghetti and cabbage for supper. I had coffee with S this afternoon, and we talked about dieting. I neglected to tell her I am not dieting but just trying to refain from eating like a starving hyena.

Well I must be off to the library... thank goodness it is close by, a good 15 or 20 minute walk there and back... It won't burn many calories but I'm mostly thinking it will help the pain in my legs to keep moving. Keep moving, the mantra of those who would rather sit on the couch staring into space. I know I would.

Monday, March 8, 2010

veggies from heaven

Do vegetables have souls? I can't help but think they are holier than us animals. They don't have to go to the basthroom for one thing, a lot like angels.

Today I bought some yummy Daikon and Shanghai Bok Choi at Pete's. I plan to stir fry them with tofu and soy sauce. Mushrooms are a good and tasty meat substitute, and the tofu and brown rice take care of the protein end of things. I need to get back on the wagon after a weekend of outrageous eating, and my lentil soup, now stew, has been holding out... I'll get one last meal out of it tomorrow

Jia Tsu told me today that she is translating a Chinese book about health and she wants to share the section on weight loss with me as well as to teach me some exercises. I am tempted to buy some weight loss tea from her but I think any old tea is probably helpful... somehow tea seems to have magical properties for protecting against cancer and lowering cholesterol.

I haven't been getting much exercise and have been feeling tired... something i must remedy now that the weather is so beautiful...may it continue. Tomorrow I'll be running around like a ding bat so will get a little exercise en route to the bus but that's about all...

WOnder how little Felix is doing? babies get exercise by flailing their little arms and legs around... their bodies when awake seem to always been in motion... William was like that anyway, always straining to stand up, to move around. Maybe his little brother will be a calmer, couch potato of a fellow. Maybe he'll take after his aunt.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Well, I've eaten three cookies since breakfast, and feeling oversugared and tired. Got home from Bridgewater yesterday and slept all afternoon. Why does travelling make a person so tired? I know why too much sugar does. The high, then the inevitable low... no wonder I'm feeling like a nap before noon.

I've decided I don't have the money to take aquafit right now... My money is definitely spoken for. I hope I'll be earning more soon, and no doubt I will when a certain project gets off the ground...

Hoping to visit my nephew later today but first going to a deepening with Michelle K and T and maybe Lisa... That's why I need a nap right now! Thanks for reminding me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

baby baby

Kristine and I got our exercise today putting out her many bags of garbage from her move. I also cleaned the bathroom which always takes way more out of me than it should, but I am glad it is presentable now so if people want to visit they can at least go pee.

The baby hasn't come yet, we're waiting for the baby... what else is new? In the meantime. I'm making the most of being home, trying to clean and figure stuff out. Like whether to cancel my workshop in Bidgewater, if the snow will be bad tomorrow. If it goes ahead I'll have to order pizza for the lunch. Pizza has become one of the wonderful perks of doing these workshhops, along with the cookies and muffins or cinnamon rolls, stuff I don't buy much of when I'm home. But I do try to be moderate about it...

Last night was Dairy Queen with Todd and a Peanut Buster Parfait. Oh my sweet Lord. I am not losing any sleep over losing weight as you can see. Stll I'm feeling a bit more svelte than I was... that comes with smaller portions and especially fewer carbs. I am getting to like the slightly empty feeling I have right now, although my hunger is a little like a voracious dog tugging at its leash. Somehow the hunger is not interfering with my head room yet, so I'm just going to make the most of it!

Well I'm off to try to update my website... wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Yesterday I was still recovering from Kristine's move and also did some housework and laundry at dad's which tuckered me out. That was my workout for the day. Today I've walked to Alderney Gate and back twice, complete with pins and needles, and I'm still feeling like I'd like to get some out some more, maybe to Two If By Sea to try out my old laptop.

Tonight Todd's coming to get me so I can treat him to Dairy Queen for his birthday. I intend to have something decadent like a peanut buster parfait(TOdd's favourite) or a blizzard... With that In mind I didn't oder sweets anywhere I went today although I was tempted.

My book Migration Songs has been nominated for the Dartmouth Book Award for fiction. It's official now that I'm on the shortlist, along with George Elliot Clarke and Linden MacIntyre. I'm pretty sure I don't have a chance! But feel pretty darn good to be named in such company.

Well off to do the social networking thing... gotte tweet myself up!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The day is warm and the sun is trying to poke out of the clouds. I am going to my father's to do some laundry- my reward for getting some writing done today. Kristine treated me for breakfast this morning after yesterday's last bit of moving, so we had a little walk, Moffats to Lawtons and back and on the way home there were terrible pins and needles in my feet. I was wearing sneakers instead of my thick-soled boots which is probably the reason for the pain.

Yesterday Leslie and Nemat had an Ayyam-i-ha potluck at their home and I ate way more than is humanly neccessary, of the yummy rice and Ceasar salad, chicken, curry and the rest. Still I'm not doing too badly...

It occurred to me the other day that I really don't need to feel badly for being fat. If I want to get healthier, fine, and more power to me, but I should also work on accepting myself as I am... and really one can only change by accepting one's self.

If I can get time on the outdoor exercise machines today I will... I feel the need to stretch and puff. Exercise is good for my mood, and that can only be helpful in this journey to better health and happiness.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

To do: laundry by the tonne

I'm totally wiped and feel good- my body aches just enough to let me know I've something worthwhile, helping Kristine with some garbage removal and moving of boxes and bags. She's been in the throes of moving across the harbour for a couple weekes now, and tomorrow we'll put on the big push to get everything out so the next tenant can move in.

I've wimped out on doing my laundry at the laundromat this week- I'm too tired and Dad offered to drive me to his place to do it. So I'm waiting for him to come get me, and we'll visit my nephew for a little while before going back to his place. Thank goodness for helpful dads!

Last night I went beserk, eating way more honey nut Cheerio-clone than I should have. I was actually craving chicken (hence my cereal binge) so bought a freerange one at the market and can't wait to cook it. Some people don't like to cook only for themselves but I love to make myself a roast and veggies, even if it's only me at the table!

Well my laundry will get done and I will be relieved... there's no way I can hang it on the line since it's going to rain for the next few days... It takes a lot of energy to drag it to the laundromat and back, wet, to hang on the line or in my apartment. What I need is some kind of dryer that I can run by pedalling a stationary bike. I was watching on tv how some women in India were irrigating fields with a pump that was controlled by paddles they walked on like a Stair Master machine. Wouldn't we all be better off if we had to power some of the gizmos we take for granted ourselves?

Friday, February 26, 2010

We're having our first Spring storm, rain and wind and warm. It would almost be enjoyable if I didn't have to be somewhere. Did my groceries, took a peek in the Sally Ann and now at the Career Centre for email. Then off to the dentist. Blah.

This morning there was practically no food in the house, so I had oatmeal for breakfast. Even though I know it's good for me, there are very few times that I actually feel like eating oatmeal. I think it's because it's bland and liquidy, and when I drink my morning tea on top of it, I feel like I'm swimming from the inside. Still I feel better having had it instead of sugary cereal, which is generally my evening snack, or toast, which is a little hard on the stomach...

I had thought to use the outdoor exercise machines today but it's just too wet. It's really water slide weather. It must be good running weather too, for those who run... and for those of us who lie in bed and watch tv, it's good weather for us too!

Really though I need to seriously consider what I'm going to do next to lose weight. My eating is fairly under control but my acitivity level neesds to come up. Maybe I need to put on some music and dance... that's what Kristine would do...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Today was another weird one, exercise-wise. I got a little walking in but was totally wiped when I came home in the afternoon and slept for a couple hours. The tiredness has not left me. Perhaps it's the weather- grey and windy with rain coming- but it seems unnatural to be this tired. Perhaps it's a sign I should be doing more exercise, not less!

I've been spending some time thinking about creativity and mental health for a talk I'll be giving at a support group. I feel like I should throw something about exercise and physical health in there. I have the feeling that regular exercise might be good for creativity, although I have clearly not had enough experience of this situation to say for sure. I guess it seems like the discipline that comes with regular phsycial activity, and the benefits to circulation, might help clear the brain's cobwebs a little. Who really knows?

My eating has been reasonable today though it didn't include any green veggies. However it is about to include an apple so I get points for that! My cupboards are bare... I need to do some grovery shopping tomorrow... or I'll be having parnips for breakfast!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Well I managed to get a few short walks in today and 5 minutes on the outdoor exercise machines. I feel like I'm having an affair- I'm having to be content with stolen moments of exercise. Still that's my choice, isn't it? I am definitely considering taking some aquafit classes, though, at the Sportsplex. Unfortunately they won't take my swim pass for aquafit, so I'll have to pay for them...

Dad cooked a wonderful meal of watercress soup and pork with chi gu, a root vegetable that I ate for the first time. Apparently it is only available around Chinese New Year. Dad said it was a bit bitter but I actually found it a bit sweet and of the consistency of Taro root. A delicacy I look forward to tasting again next year...

I watched Clara Hughes skate the 5000 m speedskate today. She broke the Richmond oval record, which was then broken again by a German skater and then by a Czech. Clara ended up with bronze, a fine way to bow out of an Olympic career.I heard Clara on the radio a few days back talking about the pain of speed skating, the burning sensation in the legs and how the skater has to push through it. It made me realize that pain isn't something to resent, as i always have tended to, but a challenge to the spirit, and champions push on through it to see what things look like on the other side. I am not that interested in sports, but am fascinated by how an elite athlete's mind must work in order to win. The Czech skater seemed to have total focus and concentration, and her technique looked pretty flawless. SHe was almost in a world of her own... and she ended up in a league of her own.

Off to bed to dream of ice and snow.... and knife sharp blades to skate on.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's worth my while being alive. I get to eat halawa, drink hot chocolate and snooze. Doesn't sound like a recipe for health, but definitely for happiness. I have a lot of other reasons to be happy, like the fact that Winter is winding down and there's still daylight when I'm coming home from my writing group. Little things make me happy, like the fact the Sportsplex said I can wear a tshirt and shorts to aquafit classes. Michelle, we're on!

I am happy for the various opportunities that have been coming my way since my novel was published. Life seems full and exciting, and I'm actually beginning to think that living past 41 is a fine idea. Which is good because I plan to get some things done. Like spending some time in China, writing another novel, and losing a whole bunch of weight. I plan to roller blade by Lake Banook again before this life is all over, swim in Lake Charles and canoe without fearing i'll overturn it. It's the roller blading that's the clincher... I picture myself in my skates, rolling along, when I question the whole eating less thing. It's a picture that's worth a thousand words, and more than a hundred pounds...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Off to New Glasgow this morning with a backpack crammed with stuff!I hope I come back with less... specifically I hope I come back without any of my novels- hope to sell them all!

I've had a big breakfast becasue I won't get any lunch. Toast with almond butter. Leaving the halawa alone. Had a good coffee and am all set for the bus trip- will depart shortly, and hope that My legs hold up as I need to go to the grocery store to buy a number of things...

I hope to be back in one piece tomorrow evening...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Today was a good day for exercise, with several short walks. Foodwise, however,it was fairly outrageous. I had oatmeal for breakfast and then met a couple friends for brunch. One of them had never had dimsum so we introduced her to a new cultural experience! It was worth the dietary disaster to have initiated her into the joys of dimsum. I ate way, way too much, and later I wanted plain steamed rice for supper with steamed veggies. But I was on the way to a meeting so settled for hummus on a bagel with veggies. It was delicious... there was cumin in the hummus I think which gave it a wonderful flavour.

Buying halawa was a mistake. I ate a lot of it last night but have managed to be moderate about it today... its saving grace is that it is made from sesame which apparently has more calcium for its weight than any other food on the planet. Now off to bed so I can wake up bright and early tomorrow!

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's midday and i feel like I've been up since yesterday- since I got up before 8 and it's been 9 or 10 lately, so I had an early start. My day is full of coffee dates/ meetings. It's good to have a little walk to coffee and share a chat with interesting people.... I could make a career of it but not sure anyone would pay me to do it... maybe if I wrote a blog about specialty coffees.

I had oatmeal for breakfast, which I find never actually sticks to my ribs, so I was hungry again by 10 am. Sill I managed to eat only half of my spaghetti and cheese- the rest will be supper, likely. It's kind of an art to stop eating when there's still another serving in the pot but if I make two servings, I can convince myself that I won't have to cook supper if I make sure there's leftovers!

Exercise is still elusive... except for the walks back and forth from the bus or the drugstore. Today I'm totally feeling like I don't need to do much except be present in my friends' lives. I guess it's ok to have days like that...I guess it's ok.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Well it's time to come clean- I just ate a can of baked beans and almost a can of corn. It seemed like a little bit of food but my stomach tells me otherwise. That's supper... I wish i could take it back.

I did precious little shovelling the other day, just the front steps and a path to the garbage cans. A short walk today, to and from the bus and the Bloomfield Centre. Am pretty ready to sit on my butt for awhile, or even nap.

This weekend, I'm off to New Glasgow to do a reading from Migration Songs and a workshop on Monday. I'm really looking forward to it... I don't know if the hotel has a gym but I might give it a whirl if so... not that I have any gym appropriate clothes! Not even sure what people wear to the gym these days- do a tshirt and shorts still work?

I was watching some Olympic Speed skating last night. Oh my gosh. it looked painful and I hear that it is- Clara Hughes said so. Although I am not in favour of extreme exercise, I admire Clara for her big heart and her extraordinary switch from one Olympic sport, a summer one, to another, a winter one. That's the kind of excellence that deserves special attention. I think it shows that personal commitment and determination can cross over from one part of our life to another... that if for example I have enough staying power to write a book, maybe I have the "stickiness" to lose a bunch of weight. I am counting on it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Wow last night was a diet disaster- vermicelli noodles and Spring rolls at the Vietnamese restaurant up at the bridge with Cate and Sheila. Today was better. Dad took me to lunch at the Our Thyme Cafe and we had paninis and side salad. Dad couldn't eat half his sandwich so I polished it off for supper. For breakfast I had the other half of kraft dinner clone that I ate yesterday for lunch. Thanks good ness for leftovers.

I know you don't want to hear a running account of what I eat but it helps me to keep on track if I blog about it. Exercise too- Dad and I started to go for a walk but I had numb feet and sciatica pain.... so much for that. I'm looking forward to the snow coming tonight as I'll do a little shovelling no doubt.

This Sunday at 3 pm I have a reading and Monday a workshop at the New Glasgow library... I'm very looking forward to it... Won't likely get much exercise, but I'll see... no pool at the hotel I don't think... but Country Inn and Suites has kindly offered me a free room, thanks to their support for the library's Raise a Reader program. I expect to have a lovely time there!

K has moved to her new home... I won't have a walking and tea buddy upstairs anymore. Perhaps her absence will inspire me to take more time at the outdoor exercise machines... TIme is something I am never sure I have enough of... although there's really plenty.

I often think at Christmas or other eventful days, that another year has passed in which I didn't watch what I ate, This year my hopes are high that I'll be able to say dfferently when Christmas rolls around. I do hope so. That's definitely something to aim for.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy New Year!

As a half Chinese Baha'i, I celebrate three diffferent New Years- the one on Jnauary 1, the Baha'i New Year ( Naw Ruz) at the Spring equinox, and today, Chinese New Year. For the Chinese this is a time of good, abundant food. In the old days, my dad said, his family would have a chicken at New Year, a great treat. Today in Canada, we dimsummed with friends. If you've never had a taro wrap, turnip cake, sticky rice or egg tart, get thee to a Chinese restaurant and give them a try. Your taste buds will wonder why you've been waiting so long.

I admit to overeating at dim sum today. I didn't feel very good at the end of the meal, solely because of the heaviness of my gut. I had the nap I usually have after a big meal and woke up slightly emptier. I've just finished off the dim sum leftovers for supper along with some steamed brussel sprouts. When in doubt, add veggies. I am making a special effort to eat greens, especially on the days that seem to be dietary lost causes.

Speaking of eating greens...I'm also trying to eat green. For the first time the other day, I was able to buy fair trade organic bananas at the Superstore. Having watched a documentary about the health problems banana harvesters were having due to contact with the pesticides used on the banana crop, I am glad to be able to buy my favourite fruit in a way which least damages the people and the land that are essential to its production.

Since food in the only thing I buy on a continuous basis, I try to make my purchases count, but I'm not extreme about it. My guilty pleasure is Kraft dinner clone, and in the past my every good dietary intention could be felled by a bag of salt and vinegar chips. I have eaten my share, and maybe twice my share, of "food" that's hurtful to the planet and my health.

I don't expect to ever be a leader in the fight for life-positive eating but I intend to be a faithful follower. If you walk in my footsteps, please kick a little dirt over the places where I am diverted by a Dairy Queen Blizzard. And I'll promise not to look over my shoulder when you drop out of line for that hamburger and fries.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hey! It's a sunny Saturday before Chinese New Year and Valentines Day! Kristine and I had eggs benny at Our Thyme Cafe- scrumptious. Then off to market where I bought some more ingredients to make chicken stew. That will be for tomorrow-today my lentil soup beckons. It really is delicious and I'm looking forward to finishing it.

My exercise for the day is going to be doing three loads of laundry. If you've never been fat and had to drag your laundry to the laundromat and back, wet, then you might not think laundry takes much energy, but I tell you, you are mistaken. I expect to feel quite wiped when I finish. I'd rather use the outdoor rowing machine or walk to the bridge but laundry is something that one cannot ignore, when it's building up in one's bedroom closet.

Actually housework can work up a sweat, from dishes to vacuum cleaning to scrubbing the tub ( which I do far less frequently than laundry!) There should be something like a pedometer for people who do a lot of housework, so they can see how much energy they're expending. Heck, if I had one I might clean my place more often!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Today was unseasonably, unreasonably warm, much to my delight. At least it was warm when I got a ten minute work out on the outdoor exercise machines across from the Sportsplex. That was a good ten minutes on the rowing machine and another one whose name I don't know but which uses levers controlled by the arms to rock the legs back and forth. It wasn't cardio but it felt like I'd done something when I finished

Later outside at the playground with Mary's boys it was blustery and cold with the occasional flurry. Thankfully my legs weren't bothered by the gravel in the playground so I was able to watch my charges pain-free. My GP has referred me to a physiotherapist, so I expect sometime down the road to be seen at the hospital. I personally think it is simply that I'm too heavy, and I'm working on that, but it wouldn't hurt to have a professional give their opinion.

I am feeling good about how the un-diet is going. I don't feel deprived because I let myself have treats, in moderation. Today for example, Kristine brought real licorice and cookies (I had two). But the rest of what I ate today was leftover salmon and tofu with brown rice for breakfast, and lentil soup and brown rice for supper. Lunch was a little bit of macaroni salad with tuna. Not enough veggies perhaps but not too bad...

Strangely, cutting down the carbs seems to help reduce my appetite or perhaps it's the Metformin doing its magic. Whatever it is, something is going right... it may just be a trick of the mind, as it has been so often in the past, but I feel that I am able to maintain my healthier eating habits and am on the right track to recovery from obesity, if you can call it that...it's early days yet, but my hope is to see the pounds drop away so one day I can get back to early morning roller blading by Lake Banook, and deepwater aquafit. I also miss being able to wear little bits of clothing that don't fill up a washing machine the way my current wardrobe does. Now, off to watch the Olympics, with all those men in tights, as Kristine says!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Today I've had a strange throat/congested chest that seems to come and go... yesterday I thought I would be quite sick today but that's not the case, though I have stayed home all day to make sure. Somehow sitting at my computer seems to make it worse, so I intend to retire early under a warm duvet.

I sent off my application to a writing residency in Beijing, China today. My hope is to spend three months there beginning in October, working on revising a novel that I have begun. I don't know how competitive the application process is, and I will need to secure grants in order to go, but I am keeping hope that it will be possible somehow...

My main concerns about going to Beijing are to do with my health. My legs still give me pain if I stand or walk for any length of time, and I understand that Beijing is a city where a lot of walking is neccessary I'm doing well controlling my eating but haven't yet been able to get into the swing of exercising regularly, so weight loss will be slow, and I believe it is weight loss I need to eliminate the leg pain. Also, Chinese cities are known for their terrible air pollution, which frightens me a little. But it's my mental health that perhaps I should be most concerned about...
I will be able to take medications with me, and I think for three months I will be able to work with my mind to meet whatever challenges come my way. This is all of course dependent on whether my application is accepted...and whether I can get the funds I need to go and the medical insurance I would need to cover me there...

Well my day at home seems to have improved my throat and allowed me to spend time on my application... It will be four to eight weeks before I hear anything. In the meantime Cate has offered to introduce me to Pilates, and Myra has said she can give me a pedometer, so I can see how much exercise I'm actually getting walking to and from the bus and around my apartment! It's probably not enough to get around Beijing but I can build up to that.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Well it's about time. I finally made my lentil soup, just in time for what feels like a sore throat and cold coming on. Soup is more precious than gold for a cold. Mine is made with chicken broth from a boiled half-chicken, canned tomato, green pepper, onions and of course lentils. Some cumin, chili powder and salt. Very tasty and so good for my throat! Kristine also gave me two cans of chicken noodle on sale at Lawton's so I am well supplied.

Last night was movie night with the Noveltech ethics series. Little Miss Sunshine is a wonderful film about an almost unbearably dysfunctional family that comes together over the death of the foul-mouthed grandfather and the breathtakingly inappropriate performance of young Olive at a sickening child beauty pageant. It's so much fun that it's easy to forget there is a message there, about winners and losers, and the stories we tell ourselves about what it means to succeed. Among them is the story about a woman's need to be beautiful. At one point Olive's dad tries to tell her that she'll get fat if she eats icecream, and that beauty queens aren't fat ( clealry he hasn't heard of plus sized pageants). But near the end of the film, Olive hears from Miss California that her favourite icecream is chocolate something or other which is technically frozen yogurt. Olive walks away with a contented smile, having confirmed that one can be a beauty queen and still enjoy a treat once in awhile.

It's true that we judge other people as winners or losers on the size of their waistlines and of their pocketbooks. I have to remember when I look in the mirror, and see a fat woman staring back at me, that I have not changed since the moment before I looked in the mirror, that I still have the same number of accomplishments, and that my worth is no less than it was a split-second ago when I had forgotten I was fat.

Still and all, I'm trying to lose the weight that has begun to affect my health. By trying, I am already a winner, according to Little Miss Sunshine. And if I succeed, clearly I'll also be a loser. If, as is my hope, I lose half of me, I'll be healing the whole of me. If that's confusing, try some chicken broth and a good head rub... or a small bowl of icecream. You'll feel better when your brain freezes.

Monday, February 8, 2010

hungry genius

Today I didn't eat lunch. I had a good breakfast with carbs and protein and enjoyed one of Jia Tsu's yummy green tea muffins at tea break. Then I was off to Healthy Minds for the writing group. When I got home about 5 pm I was feeling irritable and anxious, functioning with difficulty. I smashed a plate by accident and couldn't wait to eat That's hunger, the unpleasant hunger that comes from missing a meal and a drop in blood sugar. I forgot to take my Metformin this morning, and wonder whether that had something to do with my difficult mood.

I walked from the MuLan CHinese Cultural Centre to the ferry today, a short walk by most standards but a bit of a challenge for me. Stopped at Silver Silk and Chow Ping gave me her stool to sit on while I waited for the bus. I still get pain in the backs of my legs when I walk any distance, and then there's the pins and needles in my feet. I feel somewhat disabled by my inability to walk as long and as far as I could even a year ago.

Chow Ping suggested accupuncture. Other friends have said I should see a phsyio, and there was a suggestion of a chiropractor. My Mum has tried Bowen therapy on me but though it seemed to help for a short time the pain returned worse than before. I think I mostly need to lose weight, and I am working on it... slowly but surely.

Cate and Cathy and I are going to try to get together to makes plans for healthy living and spirituality workshops or speakers at Healthy Minds Cooperative. My hope is that we'll find some inspired and inspiring speakers, topics, and ideas to bring to the shareholders. It might also be time to buy a pedometer so I can see how many steps I am missing on the road to healthy living and spirituality.... because weight loss, like genius, is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Night post

Well it was another heavy lunch day today and I slept on it all afternoon, just like yesterday. It's hard to believe, but I think it was all the carbs. Now I'm just plain tired, from looking at the computer screen much of the night. I think the lack of exercise also has something to do with my sleepiness... but like so many people I've talked to, it's more natural to hibernate in Winter than to go for a jog.

Speaking of hibernation, I sometimes wonder how long I could live off my body fat alone. I suspect about a year, as long as I had water. I have no plans to try it. The last thing I want is to put myself in the concentration camp of dieting and exercise that I inhabited during my middle teen years.

Most of us know what it feels like to be hungry. I don't know if everyone experiences hunger the same way, though. On the rare occassion that I forget to eat, I start to feel depressed as my blood sugar drops. I remember the emptiness but also the pressure in my head and a feeling of going deaf, when extremely hungry.

Now that I take Metformin, It seems like my hunger is less extreme... or maybe it's not even hunger, but a compulsion to eat, that has been reduced. Whatever the reason, I am thankful for it. Apparently, there are now other drugs which do what Olanzapine does but which do not cause weight gain. Hopefully for the next generation of people living with mental illness, it will be easier to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, even while taking antipsychotic meds. Here's hoping.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


The Dartmouth Farmer's Market was very slow today, perhaps because of the ridiculously low temperature out there- minus 20- something degrees Celcius with the wind chill. I picked up some brussel sprouts and squash, both local and some babaganoush with pita chips for a potluck.

Yesterday I was in Truro facilitating one of my Writing Together workshops to help people living with mental illness start their own writing groups. I've been holding them around the province and have discovered that pizza is far cheaper than a catered lunch and probably enjoyed better by all concerned. So yesterday we had pizza, garlic fingers, fruit, muffins, cookies coffee and juice for 7 people for under $100.00. Needless to say my weight loss focus went out the window. But I feel ok about it... it's more important what I do on a daily basis rather than on one day of slippage.

Several people at the workshop were diabetic. We talked about blood sugar and about what people can eat and what they can't. I have the feeling there a lot of people out there who live with mental illness AND problems like diabetes, thanks in part to the kinds of medications we take. My blood sugar has been consistently on the high side of late but now that I take Metformin and am trying to lose weight I hope I can avoid the worst of diabetes. One of the workshop participants mentioned that there are some antipsychotic drugs out now that work well but don't cause weight gain. A friend of mine told me the same thing... I hope to hear more about these new drugs from my shrink ( or as Spencer would say, shrinkette)

It's been very cold the past few days and I haven't got out for many walks... but I'm confident that will change... and I'm doing my writing sit-ups as we speak...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Metformin magic?

I am sitting in the computer resource room at Teamwork Cooperative, blogging away for the first time away from home. I ate breakfast long ago- oatmeal- and have missed lunch , but interestingly, although I am conscious of being hungry, I am feeling quite ok. I've started taking a drug called Metformin, which is usually prescribed to people with diabetes because it controls blood sugar. I have a feeling it is controlling my low blood sugar right now because I don't have the shaky, faint feeling I usually get when I haven't eaten in this long. Although I am not diabetic, my blood sugar has been on the high side so it may be that it's the right time for me to be on it, before things get too out of control.

Metformin may also help control appetite. One of the drugs I take for my mental health, Olanzapine, has been shown to increase appetite and pack on the weight. I've been taking it for more than ten years, and have experienced incredible weight gain. I don't think it's all due to the Olanzapine because I always struggled with my weight when I was younger, but it certainly hasn't helped.

I was involved in a research trial to study whether Metformin would help with appetite and control weight among people taking an atypical antipsychotic like Olanzapine. I was part of the group who were NOT on the Metformin unfortunately, but as soon as the trial was over my shrink prescribed Metformin for me, saying the initial results of the study were promising.

So far so good. I haven't experienced any ill effects, and my hope is that with the help of Metformin I can stay on Olanzapine, which has been very helpful in stabilizing my mental health, but which has contributed to my deteriorating physical health.

I am optimistic that I can turn my weight problem around with a little help from my friends, including Metformin... If anyone else out there has had experience of the drug, I'd be glad to hear from you...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

boiledchicken! almond croissant!

Cate and I had a walk up from the ferry, where I met her to take her to Two If By Sea, a newish cafe on Ochterloney Street which is going great guns and has thankfully brought it's amazing croissants to Dartmouth. They're practically a meal in themselves, and absolutely worth a bite.

I was hard at work this morning with the book I'm ghost writing, and I didn't get much exercise in except for the short walk to the ferry and back. My meals have been reasonable though. Oatmeal for breakfast, a can of beans for lunch, a taste of Cate's croissant ( mmmm). Supper was boiled chicken, steamed cabbage and brown rice. It is interesting how satisfying a meal covering the major food groups can be. If I don't eat a balanced meal I end up craving seemingly unrelated snacks like salt and vinegar chips ( my downfall.) I don't know why that is but perhaps there are traces of vitamins and minerals in the snacky stuff that I am lacking. It seems to me that's unlikely in the case of chips but who knows?

It's doubtful that my weight has gone down yet but I'm already feeling better not to be stuffed to the gills at every meal. I'd actually forgotten what it feels like not to overeat. My body feels much more... dependable. When I sit at my computer now I feel like I could get up and do something active. I don't feel as tired and I'm more likely to want to do something other than lie in bed. I seem to be taking fewer naps in the afternoon, because I don't feel the need.

It helps to be busy but not so busy that I become stressed, because that's when I eat the most. Moderation for the nation. And congrats, Cate, on losing the weight! Maybe I'll eat half the croissant next time... if I've got down to my 1995 weight, like Cate has. I can dream, and I will!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another day on the run... am trying to squeeze in a blog post before taking off to a full day in Halifax. Oatmeal for breakfast, always good for the control of blood sugars. Maybe will take a look at the Saint Mary's University International Fiesta at lunch... although I'm worried that there won't be anything cheap and healthy to eat. Prove me wrong, SMU students!

I won't get a chance to exercise much today although I'll be doing a lot of stuff... That's often the way. I still have problems walking because of the pain in my legs and pins and needles in my feet, but I can go short distances, and it's better than nothing. It sems to work best taking short walks throughout the day rather than one long one... so I count the walk to and from the bus stop, and anything in between. It helps to add it up and realize that actually I really have done some exercise during the day, even when it feels like I haven't.

All the best on Ground Hog day- looks like we're in for another 6 weeks of winter....

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Never on a Sunday

It's another week gone... Sunday came in a flash of sunlight and is disappearing quietly into the West. I had an early supper, leftovers from yesterday's roast, which is part of the pleasure of a roast after all- the leftovers.

Today we held the Baha'i election to choose the deligates from this Unit who will vote for the National Assembly. Exercised my vote if nothing else. Well, my spirit was uplifted too- not sure if that counts as much as leg lifts but it sure feels good.

My friend Michelle is trying to convince me to go to the pool with her or at least to the gym. For a few reasons I am balking... one of them is money, another one is not relishing letting myself be seen in gym clothes or a swim suit and the other... well, that's between me and my fungal infection.

I really want to thanks GLoria McCluskey for the outdoor exercise machines by the Sportsplex. If you haven't tried them, they're awesome and they're free. I haven't used them this winter but plan to get back to them when it's not too cold... so maybe Michelle can do Aquasize and I can watch her through the Sportsplex windows at the pool while i use the outdoor rowing machine across the street. We can wave at each other,and mouth encouragement.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's a mind-wipingly cold but brilliantly sunny day. Saturday is market day, and we are lucky here in downtown Dartmouth to have two to shop at. At the Alderney Landing Farmer's Market, I bought a pork roast on sale from Aunt Leola (I think the name of the farm is Meadowbrook) , whole wheat bread, parsnips and local cold-pressed canola oil. Also a pair of homemade mittens from Romana. At the Harbourfront Market, potatoes, and milk at Moffat Pharamasave's low price of $3.33/2 litres. I love to be able to shop for groceries in my neighbourhood, though we don't yet have a grocery store ( I'm hoping for a Pete's Frootique or a Co-op).

This afternoon it's off to see my nephew... all 34 lovely pounds of him. When I think about how many nephews it would take to equal my current weight I am aghast. But at least I'll be walking to see him- that's a good 20-30 minutes round trip.

My efforts to control my portion sizes are meeting with some success. I stick to one plateful at supper time and am consciously decreasing the carb portion of the meal and making sure i get my veggies. I am also trying to eat more slowly, which my family has been telling me to do for ages. I think I need to slow down generally- too often I am trying to do a number of things at once, and am barely able to concentrate on any of them. I've noticed that whether I'm praying or vacuuming or getting dressed, I approach everything like a steam engine ploughing through snow- with never a minute to digest what I'm doing in the present moment. It seems that slowing down could help solve a lot of problems on this planet. Ironically, it might even help me lose weight. When I walk, I get pins and needles in my feet and pain in my leg if I go too quickly...
so I am able to walk farther if I just slow down. If I eat more slowly, I feel more satisfied with my meal and give myself time to feel full, so will eat less. It sounds good, if counter-intuitive, and worth experimenting with.

And now it's time to fold laundry, eat soup and take a little nap before heading out into the cold again....

Friday, January 29, 2010

Well, winter is here in spades... or snow shovels. We got dumped on last night and everything is wonderfully white. My Dad called to say how beautiful it is... and this is the guy who, at the age of 76, shovels his own snow. I got a little exercise vacuuming the stairs but last year I gave up shovelling the driveway... I'm just too overweight to do it without inviting a heart attack.

Yesterday I didn't get around to posting. I did a bunch of walking in 5 minute chunks that probably added up to half an hour. I also ate moderately, except for the whole bag of popcorn I demolished after spaghetti supper at my friend Stanley's home. Evenings are the hardest, as everyone, even the skinny butts among us, know. The drive to snack feels like an evolutionary imperative... or magic. "If you do not eat this bag of cookies before midnight, you will turn into a punpkin pie, and someone else will eat you." I can get quite anxious at the thought of not eating again until the morning. That's why dieting often feels like a cage and myself, a pacing tiger inside it.

When I was 14 or 15, I was bordering on anorexic. My mother worried about me, but I knew I was in control. I was so strict about my eating that I would exercise hungry and go to bed hungry, soothed by the thought that I could eat again tomorrow. That didn't last forever. At age 16 I was depressed and binging at night, and I packed on the weight. My pubescent tendency to overweight resumed control and I struggled my way through my adolesence and 20's, never able to become as thin as I desired.

Now at age 41, I've spent more than a decade watching my weight blossom out of control. I can blame it on the meds (one of them increases appetite) or my genes (my mother too is a large woman) or on upbringing (ditto). Mostly, I think that it's a misguided interpretation of personal freedom. I eat therefore I am free. Free to eat whatever I want whenever I want. But like other freedoms that are taken to the extreme, overeating has become a danger to my health.

My hope is to become more moderate in my exercise of freedom, and more moderate in my self- flagellation, so that losing weight doesn't become painful either physcially or psychologically. Hopefully this blog will help me stay on track... becasue fear for my life doesn't seem to be enough.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Obesity blues

Well, it's been another one of those days... slept for the afternoon, having had a short walk in the sun, my first in many moons because of the leg pain and pins and needles. I'm hoping to make it a regular thing. My dad has beat me to it. He considers walking his job these days, and I think I'm going to have to follow in his footsteps, literally. I probably weigh twice as much as he does, and have been told in no uncertain terms by my gp that I need to lose weight. It's not that I don't want to apply myself, just that it has seemed such a trivial occupation when I have important things to do like napping and trying to find matching socks. But it is important enough I guess, if I want to live past 50.

The question is then, do I want to live past 50? Somedays the answer is no, but I am generally curious about the future, enough so to want to stick around. I'm kind of holding out for the flying cars. But in the very ugly language that describes various degrees of overweight, I am "morbidly obese". I am hopeful those words will not be written on my tombstone, or the plus size urn that contains my ashes, but chance are they will be the horrifying subtext if I don't do something about it, now.

I don't want to be buried in a piano case, the way the fattest man in the world was in the copy of the Guiness Book of World Records from my childhood. I don't want to have to keep doing two loads of laundry to an ordinary-sized person's one. It's fine not to lay a guilt trip on myself about the way I eat and don't exercise but it's also totally pointless to deny the fact that I am endangering my health and life by continuing along my habitual path of least resistance. Already my breathing has been affected, my ability to move about, my stamina, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and lipids.

So maybe this blog will be about all that. Well we'll see. Maybe I'll decide to turn it into a blog about where to find the best fish and chips in all of Nova Scotia. In which case I'll see you later, in the afterlife.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Once again with feeling

It was a turkey soup kind of day today. It's sloshing around inside me like it could sink the Titanic. I spotted a typo from yesterday- "too" instead of "to". It figures. I try not to reread my stuff because it makes me cringe, which is why typos abound. In case you are wondering this blog is not about anything in particular. It's just a better habit than picking my nose, and hopefully at least as entertaining.

It occurs to me that it's possible to feel bad about almost anything, from the saddest to the happiest occassion. It's all in the approach. Some people have a peculiar knack for feeling great and those people are either your best friend or your most annoying accquaintance. As for me, I like the people who are up and down like a yoyo and yet manage to summon the optimism to keep going- the sweet bipolars. And those who, with no regard for any obstacle in their way, keep going with whatever project they are occupied with now- the opposite of bipolar, they wear their mood like a unibrow - and still manage to stay generous to the naysayers. Does it remind you of someone? I hope you know who you are.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Typos from hell

Hi there

I'm a brand new blogger who has all but divorced her website (www.annaquon.ca) If you've visited it recently you'll probably have noticed that I haven't. Blogging seems easier, quicker, and more likely to be something I'll commit to. Maybe that's what second marriages are like? I can hope. Also, typos- which I am prone too- are much easier to fix here at the Blot Spog. So here goes. Meet me here tomorrow and I'll share a little more....