Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday. Let’s Confess!

Happy Friday, friends!  My favourite day of the week has come ‘round again… before the weekend begins, let’s confess, though, OK? 

OK.

I confess… that I almost got shot - not once, but TWICE – this week.  Imagine!!!  OK, so the first time was on Saturday at the Bayshore mall, in the line for Starbucks, and it turned out it was just a little girl behind me and her balloon popped.  But for a split second, I was ready to hit the deck.  The second time, I was out for a walk one evening this week, and as I strolled around one of the quieter parts of town, I came upon a guy out shooting his BB gun at raccoons in a tree on his property.  But again – almost hit the deck.  Or shit my pants.  One or the other.

I confess… that I might need to re-think my strategy for what happens if someone starts shooting at me.  At Bayshore, Lindsay was like, “Yeah, I was looking around to where the best place was to run to!”  And my instinct is apparently to lie face-down on the floor.  Perhaps not the most pro-active approach to being shot at?

I confess… that I’m seriously contemplating renting the most recent Paranormal Activity movie tonight.  It’s come ‘round to that time of year when I start to get the itch to watch scary movies, and this one has been on my to-watch list for a while now.  This might just be the night…

paranormal-activity-the-marked-ones-2014-02

I confess… that I was SO ridiculously, irrationally happy this week when my boy Derrick won season 16 of Big Brother.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been caught up in BB hype, and it’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed watching a player as much as I enjoyed watching Derrick this season.  He was definitely one of the smartest players I’ve ever seen – strategically and socially.  I think he 100% deserved to walk away with the big prize, and any other end result would have been a travesty.

bb16-episode-40-julie-chen-keys-winner-00

Derrick winner BB16 

I confess… that my adoration for Derrick proves that I’m kind of a grown up now.  Jill, 10 years ago, even 5 years ago?  She woulda been alllllll over Cody like white on rice.  That boy is shmexy.  I won’t lie, I did enjoy him quite a lot, and I did love that he and Derrick stayed loyal to their Hitmen alliance.  But at the end of the day, I wanted the family man who masterminded everything to take home the coin, not the cutie with the perfect face and big muscles.

The Hitmen BB16
Cody_zps895db1b2

 Big-Brother-16-Swimsuits-Cody-Calariore

I confess… that I did find Derrick to be quite attractive, though.  I felt hurt on his behalf when earlier this summer, Zingbot basically told him he was the only unattractive male in the house.  Not cool, Zingbot!  Not cool at all!

bb16-derrick-levasseur-00

I confess… that I’m already missing my Big Brother pals.  I really enjoyed most of the houseguests this year.  The only one that REALLY got on my nerves was Devin, and he was ousted long ago.  The likes of Zach, Frankie, Cody, Caleb, Donny, Nicole, Hayden, even Victoria, and, of course, Derrick, really grew on me and I enjoyed watching them all this summer.

BB 16 2

BB 16

bb16-cast-yelling-00

I confess… that I’ve been snacking so much on weekends lately that it makes me sad to think of no chips this weekend.  But I really have to re-teach myself not to buy chips anymore.  *sigh*

I confess… that one night this past week, I ate half a bag of chocolate chips.  I’m hopeless, you guys.  Hopeless!

I confess… that I’m so excited for Halloween this year.  It falls on a Friday – as you know, my favourite day of the week – and I’m already dreaming up the fun I want to get into that day.  And yes, I will be indulging in some treats.  That’s why I have to be good in the meantime… I need to deserve those treats!

I confess… that sometimes, in my head, I pretend Car Rally isn’t even happening.  I think that’s why I’m so excited for Halloween.  It’s in the life after Car Rally.  The life I can’t wait to get to…

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend, and if you live in an area getting the amazing weather that we’re getting, make sure you get out and enjoy this Indian Summer!! :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It’s Fall, Y’all

As we all know, I’ve been itching for Fall to come basically since I finished my summer vacation, back in early August.  Of course, now that Fall is officially here, and I’m allowed to be excited about it, it’s sunny and warm and the nicest stretch of weather we’ve had since…well, since early August, probably.  So the Fall clothes and boots and pots of chili will have to wait a while yet, but my blog post today is going to celebrate Autumn anyways!

I’ve seen this Old School Blogging Fall prompt on several of my favourite blogs, so I’m joining in the fun!

1. What Fall traditions do you have? When I think of Fall, I think of our family Thanksgiving dinner, and Car Rally (dreading it this year, but it’s still tradition…), my nephew Caden’s birthday (October 14th), and Tub Rave.  I think of busting out my favourite “cold weather” recipes.  I think of the drive my mom and I have been taking the past few years to look at the beautiful changing leaves in our area.  And I think of decorating my house with pumpkins and gourds and leaves, then getting ready for Halloween – especially my Halloween Movie Marathon!

family photo 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 – one of the warmest Thanksgivings I ever remember!!

Car Rally 3

2013 Car Rally winners…ugh…

Caden's bday 2013

Caden’s 8th birthday party (2013)

tub rave

One of the first Tub Raves!

mom & I

Mom & I on our Fall Drive in 2011

Halloween 2013 

Halloween 2013 at MVT

2. What is your favorite fall recipe? I’m a big fan of the pumpkin-spiced-everything (had my first Pumpkin Spiced Latte on Saturday!  And probably my last, because there are no damn Starbuckses around here!) – but truthfully, I really haven’t gotten into the pumpkin recipes that my Pinterest feed is full of.  I’d have to say my favourite recipes to make in the Fall are spaghetti sauce, chili, and many different kinds  of soups.  I tried out the Creamy Tomato Soup with Homemade Cashew Cream the other night – not only was it delicious, it used up a great amount of the tomatoes from my sister’s garden!


3. What is a favorite Fall photo (or photos) you’ve taken?

Fall Photo 1

This was taken a few years ago when Mom & I went for a “Fall Drive” – at the Ragged Chute

Fall Photo 2

Last year for my nephew’s birthday, he and his buddies went Ziplining – and the scenery up there was beautiful!

4. Football – love it or hate it (maybe it steals your hubby away)? I want to be a Football fan.  And now that we have a CFL team back in Ottawa again, you would think the door would be wide open for me to finally become a fan.  But so far, it hasn’t really happened.  I really love the idea of watching football all day on Sundays, but the truth is, I usually just fall asleep. I DO love Grey Cup and Superbowl Sundays, but that’s pretty much because I like the food… I guess aside from Friday Night Lights, I’ve never really become a true fan.  And I have no hubby to steal away, so that’s not a problem!

ottawa redblacks

 friday-night-lights-061010 

5. What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid?  There was nothing more exciting that putting the costume on on Halloween night!  Mom usually made our costumes when we were really young. I liked the year I was a pumpkin – what an ordeal, filling that thing with balled up newspaper!  And one year I went as Bart Simpson, I remember that one being pretty cool (thank God for older male cousins who were done with their Bart masks!)

bart-simpson-costume_2

6. Pumpkins or Ghosts or both? I guess I’d go with pumpkins, since I have an abundance of them floating around my house right now (little fake ones, I mean.)  I do have some Halloween decorations to put out after Thanksgiving, but the only ghosts are the little window clings.  Which no one will even see because my windows are so frigging dirty.  I do love a good ghost story, though.

pumpkins-de

7. What’s your favorite fall fashion item (boots? scarves? sweaters?, etc.) Honestly, I love it all.  The leggings and the big comfy sweaters and scarves and button-down shirts and boots… I just LOVE my fall wardrobe, and I can’t wait to bust it all out!

scarves-boots-fall-outfits-570x754

8. Is “leaf pile jumping” your thing or not? Can’t say I’ve ever really done it.  And, as my beloved Jimmy Fallon warned the other night, it could be dangerous.  There could be sticks and branches mixed in there.  BUT I do love walking through crunchy leaves – just love that sound and that smell!

fall_leaves-resized-600

9. Is “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” a must-watch at your house? I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever watched the whole thing before.  I must try to find it on the dish this year. I do make a point of watching as many scary movies as I can during the month of October, though!

Its-the-Great-Pumpkin-Charlie-Brown-on-ABC 

10. What are you going to be for Halloween this year (or your kids…)? I don’t know if I’m going to dress up this year – I did last year, but only Lindsay and I did in the office, and she’s on mat leave, so I don’t want to be the only one dressing up… If I do, it’ll be a last-minute, dig-through-Mom’s-tickle-trunk, as usual, costume.  And I don’t have kids to dress up, but I LOVE seeing my friends’ kids trick-or-treating!  They are always SO cute!!

Halloween 2013 2

Lindsay & I on Halloween last year
 

Well, there…now I’m REALLY ready for the fall weather to kick in!  The next six weeks are just jam-packed with fun autumn activities, and I can’t wait! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

This week’s love: Trail Mix

G’day, pals.  How’s everyone doing?  I can’t say I’m at 100%… I’ve been battling a little cold since last Friday. That day, I woke up with a throat that felt like I’d gargled with rocks.  It was still sore and scratchy on Saturday, but on Sunday I woke up and I felt a million times better.  Yesterday, I had a relapse, with the cold setting up shop in my sinuses.  And so, my cranky days to continue… *sigh*

Anyways. On to things that make me less cranky… like my favourite treat this week:  Trail Mix.

trail mix

We all know that Jill has an addictive personality.  When I love something, I really love it

Last week was a bad week for me and food.  I keep saying I’m trying to get myself back on track, but then I keep getting hit with set-back after set-back.  Last week was a bad week for people in my community, and I dealt with it by eating.  I knew exactly what I was doing – I labeled my response as emotional eating from the first moment Cool Ranch Doritos crossed my mind after receiving the bad news – and then I spent the whole week struggling with it.  No, Jillian, you do not NEED Reece Peanut Butter Cups.  They are not going to help anyone!  Sour Cream and Onion Chips?  Ice cream cones?  How are they going to solve anything?  Oh, and sure, great idea to bake cookies to comfort your friends, but then WHY did you keep a bunch of them for YOURSELF?!?  Jillian, Jillian, Jillian…

I felt sad and heavy-hearted and total despair, and so I ate, and ate, ate some more.

One of those days last week, a co-worker happened to bring a bag of Trail Mix into the office.  And not just any Trail Mix.  The extra-good Kirkland brand kind from Costco.  This particular blend contained almonds, peanuts, walnuts, and a huge variety of dried fruits.  It was soooo good.  And it was masquerading as “healthy food”, so I was letting myself indulge.  As I hovered over the bag, shoving handful after handful into my mouth, I was like, “mmmm this is so good, I should get myself some Trail Mix!!”

fruit-nut-medley

And yes, I was purposely avoiding the Nutritional Information on the back of the bag that basically said one serving size was, like, a measly friggin’ 1/3 of a Cup, and though that 1/3 of a Cup would be healthy fats and calories, it was probably NOT so much healthy after eating the serving size times a billion.

ugh.  Seriously, dude.  No Trail Mix for you!!!

But then I went grocery shopping on Friday evening, and I discovered the super-expensive Trail Mix blends at my local grocery store were on sale.  PLUS, there was a promo to get extra PC points for buying them last week.  On sale?!  And bonus points?!  Sign me up, Trail Mix!  Sign me UP!!

I bought a bag of walnuts, craisins, almonds, banana chips, and dried pineapple.  I chowed down on it all weekend, once again throwing “serving sizes” to the wind.

But Monday inevitably rolled around, and with it, an ever-tightening waistband and yet another promise to myself to right this off-course ship of mine.  You can do this.  No more mindless snacking.  No more comforting with calories.  You’ve done it before… you have to do it again.

The main problem with this plan?  The half-full bag of Trail Mix still kicking around, taunting me, tormenting me.

So I made a promise to myself, and that is this:  That I will allow myself a serving (yes, one piddly-arsed little 1/3 of a Cup) of Trail Mix every afternoon for a snack.  That’s it! No more!

Hell, I even measure it to be sure.  And then I spend all day gazing at the teeny tiny little container, waiting for my self-imposed 3 PM snack time.  I consider it a lesson in restraint – learning to build back up that willpower that has fallen by the wayside of late.

It’s tough, but boy, those five minutes with my little wee container every afternoon sure do make me happy.

Mmmmm… Trail Mix…

I can guarantee that by next week, I’ll be on to something else.

But this week, I’m alllllll about the Trail Mix.  Clearly.  I just wrote a whole damn blog post about it.

Psycho.

Monday, September 22, 2014

I’m cranky and disgruntled and old.

I don’t normally stop by the blog on Mondays.  Mondays suck.  They make me cranky and disgruntled and I generally don’t feel it’s right to spread that negativity which I usually feel within me on Mondays.  I don’t like my cranky, disgruntled Mondays, and I don’t want to pass them on.

But this morning as I was getting ready for work, and listening to my favourite morning show on the radio, they announced that it was 20 years ago today that the TV show Friends made it’s debut.

friends-tv-show

20.frigging..years.ago.

And that, my bloggy pals?  THAT is how you go from just feeling cranky and disgruntled on a Monday morning to feeling cranky, disgruntle and old.

Happy Monday.  ha.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What I’m Loving Wednesday

I know it’s only Wednesday, but I’m going to go ahead and declare this a shitty week.  A really shitty week.

And what do I usually do during shitty weeks?  Well, I take a moment to look around for things that make me smile.  To hold a little tighter to the things I love, the things that brighten my day.  Thankfully, I have plenty of those things.

Here we go with another edition of What I’m Loving Wednesday…

  • I’m loving Fall.  So, so, so loving it, you guys, and I know it’s not even “officially” here yet.  The chill in the air, the cool breeze, the leaves just starting to turn colour… I haven’t even minded the rainy, dreary days we’ve had over the past week.  It’s that time of year when I get to hunker down, make soup, get cozy.  I love it.

autumnD

  • I love the pasta dish I had at dinner on Saturday night… so much so, that I’m already plotting my return to that restaurant so that I can have it again.  It was an Italian place called Ambrosia, and I got their specialty dish, Spaghetti Ambrosia.  It was fresh pasta tossed in olive oil and garlic, with spinach and roasted red peppers, salty pieces of prosciutto, and a big creamy mound of goat cheese on top of it.  Sounds simple enough, but my attempts to re-create it in the kitchen last night were a sad failure…
  • I’m loving comfort food.  I know I’ve talked incessantly about getting myself back on the wagon, making healthier choices, and fitting back into my pants again… but some weeks just call for comfort food, y’know? On Monday, the shittiest of days, I self-soothed with Cool Ranch Doritos and a bag of Swedish Berries.  And I’m not apologizing for it.  ‘Cause some days?  Some days, you just need it.

cool ranch doritos

  • I’m loving Big Brother.  (and trying not to think about the fact that it’s almost over!!) 
  • I’m also loving Derrick.  So.frigging.much.

CBS-Big-Brother-16-July-9-2014-22

  • I’m loving this song:

  • I’m loving old movies.  This week, it was Ghost.  On a rainy evening, there was nothing more comforting that cozying up on the couch with my favourite quilt and slipping into a make-believe world where Patrick Swayze is still alive (and yet, not really, because he was a ghost, of course), tormenting Whoopi Goldberg, and saying “Ditto” to Demi Moore.

ghost-movie

  • Despite the on-going food-related issues, I am still working out, and I am still loving PiYo.  At least I’ve got that going for me.
  • I’m also loving the Yonanas machine that I was recently gifted.  Only problem?  The bananas I bought last Friday night to freeze haven’t hit that over ripe “cheetah spotted” stage they need to be at for me to freeze them.  Why is it any other time they seem to get over-ripe way too fast, but this week, they’re staying lovely and yellow, not a spot in sight?  *sigh*

yonanas

soup recipe

  • I love that I’m going to get some shopping done on Saturday.  I have a birthday gift card to H&M, and a few items I have my eye on at Old Navy, to complete my fall wardrobe.  Nothing helps you get through a shitty week more than the promise of retail therapy…  Grey jeans, here I come.

Hope you’re all surrounded by things you love and people making you smile, even on the shittiest of days. XO

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday… Let’s confess!

Ahhhhh Friday! My favourite day of the week! And also, coincidentally, the perfect day to make some confessions…

I confess… that I’m sort of dreading this weekend. Not because it’s not full of fun things – it IS – but because I’ve given myself the challenge of getting through the next few days without gaining weight. Not one ounce. Doesn’t sound too difficult to you? Well, it does to me. I haven’t made it through a weekend unscathed in the past few months, and those weekend pounds seem to be sticking. Unfortunately for me, all of the “fun” parts of this coming weekend revolve around food. Dining out twice on Saturday, and a family birthday celebration on Sunday. It’s going to be tough.

I confess… that a very big part of me wants to give myself another one of those “weekend passes” that I’ve been handing myself far too often lately. I can’t keep doing it. Those “weekend passes” are killing me.

I confess… I always say that food makes me happy, but truth is, my pants fitting me makes me even more happy. I need to keep repeating that to myself all weekend long.

I confess… that – speaking of pants – I really want a pair of grey jeans. I’ve seen them on Old Navy’s website. They are my only one true fall wardrobe desire!

grey jeans

I confess… that while I feel sorry for all the people in Calgary who have had snow dumped on them this week in this freak summer snowstorm, there is a little part of me deep inside that is secretly jealous. I want to be the victim of a freak summer snowstorm!!!

snow calgary summer 2014

I confess… I don’t know what I’m going to do once Big Brother is over. There are only two weeks left to go, and I’m going to feel a bit lost once it’s done.

big brother cast 2014

I confess… that I’ve actually been “saving” some of the BB episodes on my PVR, just in case I go through withdrawals. All summer, I’ve been watching and deleting, but lately, I’ve been saving some of my favourite episodes because I honestly can’t imagine life without Derrick, Cody, Caleb, and even Frankie… I might need to re-visit them once in a while.

bb16

I confess… that absolutely, positively one of my favourite episodes ever was this week when Derrick and Frankie unleashed a fake mouse/rat on the house, via a Team America mission, and in turn, we discovered the biggest scaredy-cat in the house is Cody. Watching him leap onto a stool, and hop from chair to chair while screaming out the other guys to keep searching and catch it was…well… priceless.

bb 16 mouse hunt

Alright, folks. That’s it for today! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Being held accountable (whether I like it or not)

So yesterday I said I wasn’t going to talk about my diet situation, because it’s depressing and pissing me off.

But the truth is, I always feel a bit better about that kind of stuff after I’ve hashed it out with pen and paper (or keyboard and computer screen), so I apologize in advance, but here goes another one of “those” posts.

There are several things I’ve learned since making my weight loss/maintenance journey public over the past year and three-quarters. One is that, in the early stages, having cheerleaders and a strong support system is crucial. As I slowly made progress and reached small little victories and goals, having friends there to share it with was wonderful. They’d pat me on the back, cheer me on… and I have to admit I kind of thrived on that. I’ve always taken well to praise, so hearing the, “Way to go!” “You’re doing awesome!” “You’re so inspiring!” messages made me feel good. It made me want to keep going.

Another thing I learned, particularly around the time I was realizing my BIG goals – hitting my goal weight, reaching “the magic number” - was that making a journey like this public also opens the door to harsh criticisms. For some reason, I hadn’t expected that. Luckily, I didn’t face much of this – only a select few who were brazen enough to say it to my face. “You look like a skeleton. You look sickly.” Hardly. But I did let those words gnaw away at me. They bothered me. Eventually, though, I turned their words into fuel for the fire. I wasn’t going to let those voices drag me down. Haters gonna hate. They made me just want to keep going.

And I did. Nobody was gonna stop me. Full steam ahead!!!

This past year I’ve considered to be the “maintenance” phase, and as I’ve documented here time and time again, it’s been a struggle. In fact, on many days, I consider it a battle I’m losing, as I’m constantly being tempted by “bad” foods and treats, and the pounds have crept back on. I’ll go on a two-week tear and lose some of those pounds, but then a weekend of poor eating choices comes around again, and I’m right back to square one. Back to trying to lose “that 10-15 lbs” that keeps pushing me away from my goal weight that I was so excited to reach around this time last year.

I always knew this might happen. As a foodaholic, I know that this battle will be never-ending, and I have to work hard to get through these periods of struggle and despair.

And whaddyaknow… that support system I was talking about?? Well, it is rising up again. Even if I’m reluctant to look them in the eye right now. Even though I’d rather they turn their heads and ignore me as I stuff my face with chips and cheeseburgers and ice cream.

They are crawling back out and saying, “Hey, c’mon. You can still do this. We’re here to help.”

I have my mom. I have an accountability partner. I have a group of like-minded people on Facebook, where we post our victories and struggles. I have family and friends.

And to be honest, I really do wish they’d all just turn away and leave me alone. When I’m in a “food funk”, as I’ve been calling this, I’m not in the right frame of mind to listen to the cheerleaders. I’d rather run and hide and continue making bad choices rather than listen to encouragement and advice and supportive “you can do it!” comments.

Yet, still, they keep coming at me. Last night, it was a chance encounter with a friend at the post office; a friend who has had struggles similar to my own. We were comparing notes – asking each other about programs we’d been doing lately, and how it’s been going with the diet. I had to admit that things haven’t been going so well for me, especially in the food department. She said something that resonated with me: “I need to just do this. Make healthier choices and really make this a lifestyle change. Because that’s totally what it is.”

A year ago, I truly thought I HAD made my lifestyle change. But what I had been doing was breaking it down into “projects” and “challenges” for myself. Once I’d reached the big goals I’d set for myself, there were no more projects or challenges left to complete, and that’s when the failures started piling up.

This isn’t about a project or challenge anymore. This is my life. I worked hard to reach these goals, but it’s equally important now to keep it going. To stay on the right track. To continue on being the healthiest, happiest version of me that I can be.

There isn’t really any big goal to set or list of things I need to accomplish now. It’s simply a matter of applying all the things I’ve learned over the past almost-two-years. They worked before. They will work again. I just have to quit hiding from them, and embrace them all. Make them part of my life.

I was thankful to her for making this all clear to me in that moment.

As she was about to drive away, she called out: “Let’s keep checking in with each other, OK? Maybe we can keep each other accountable.”

Another link in that support system that I just can’t seem to escape from.

Thank God for that.