Back at blue

since we had such an awesome time at BlueMountain last summer, we decided to go back this year. There were some good things, and some not so good::
Good:I was back to the same weight I was last summer, I already told you guys this, but it bears repeating! Not only that, but I actually look a lot more toned. I guess that is because of the weightlifting I’ve been doing, and also the sugar avoidance. I’ve heard excess  sugar can lead to bloating, and it seems true. Check out these bikini pics. Same weight on the scale, but I look so much tighter and more toned:


2. The food. Once again, BlueMountain prove to be an excellent place for a gluten intolerant vegetarian! Everywhere had gluten-free and veggie options, I enjoyed nachos, poutine, some delicious salads, and two grilled cheese sandwiches!

3. Challenging myself. We climbed up meant BlueMountain twice, once straight up and once through a path, and Zoe and I actually hiked back down (and got lost!). One of the climbs we did on our own, while Adam and Charlotte played minigolf, and we took the gondola down on our own. Considering last year Zoe and I could barely get onto the gondola without crying, it was quite a triumph.



4. Another challenge. We also did the low ropes course again, but this year instead of doing the low  loop twice, we went up to the higher loop. That was pretty high for both Zoë and I, who are not fans of heights, and we were both very proud of ourselves! See how high we were?

5. The exercise. In spite of my horrible eating, I gained no weight while I was there. If I wondered if all the swimming and climbing I did was good enough exercise, it clearly was. Besides the lack of weight gain, I woke up this morning hurting everywhere. Not bad hurting, good “used my muscles a lot recently” hurting.  That said, I am looking forward to getting back to my usual routine (ran 4 miles this morning), as well as my usual fruit and vegetable filled diet.
Not so good:

1. I didn’t zip line. I’ve been telling myself for months that this summer I would be able to do it, that I was strong enough and able to challenge myself enough. I even participated in the fearless challenge, but I didn’t raise enough money that I was forced to do it. Anyway, I tried to make myself do it several times, I even went up ready to do it, but every time I chickened out.  I just couldn’t, I had a full-blown panic attack just going up there. I’m very angry at myself for not being able to overcome this fear.

2. Money. Damn is it expensive there. We got a good deal on the room, and we got active passes, but it seems this year the active passes did not include the same things as last year…most notably the low ropes course, we did it twice, which cost us almost $200!

A few more pics:








And that’s it, we are home, and I’m happy to say I have two weeks off work still, so lots more summer left to enjoy!

Summer style and size update!

This summer, one really good thing this happened, and that is that the changes I’ve made to try to get my weight back under control have paid off. I am now back to my ideal size and weight! Here are some pictures of my summer style and size!
  
I know, I’m not skinny, but I’m 10 pounds less than I was at the beginning of the year, and I’m proud of that! I don’t aim for skinny, I aim to be fit and healthy and a size that I feel looks good on me. I’m very glad to be back there, and hope this time it will stick around longer than a year and a half. Hopefully the next while will be a bit less stressful for me, and I will be a bit less prone to getting it back. We are going to BlueMountain in a few weeks, and I’m excited to be the same size I was when we went last year! Going to the Bahamas in May a bit bigger wasn’t the worst thing in the world, not nearly as traumatic as I thought it would be, but I’m still excited to be back where I like to be for our next lvacation. 

As for how I did it, I talked about it a bit in past posts, but here it is: 

1. I reduced my stress and anxiety and started sleeping better, to bring down my cortisol levels. I’m pretty sure these were the biggest reasons that I gained this weight back in the first place, because I actually did not stop the healthy habits that got me there in the first place.  I did this with meditation, relaxation apps on my iPhone, and a supplement called stresscare. Although there have been some bad periods, for the most part I am sleeping 7 1/2 to 8 hours a night consistently. For March 2014, it was more like 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours, so it’s definitely an improvement!

I will actually be starting a new position in September, for nine months. I suspect this position will have its own stresses, but probably be a lot less emotionally overwhelming than what I’ve been doing for nine years…which will hopefully be good for my emotional health as well as my career. 
2. I reduced my added sugar significantly. I kept track of this on myfitnesspal. I have used myfitnesspal forever, and I did not change my calorie goals at all, but I did commit to using less added sugar, and upping my protein. The most significant changes I made were cutting out sweetened coffee whitener, switching my protein bars to ones with 5 g of sugar or less (I love simply bars that have 1 g of protein, but I also eat the kind bars that have 5 g, because simply are a bit harder to find! Before this, I was mostly eating kind bars, but ones that had 8 to 10 g of fat I love simply bars that have 1 g of protein and are very filling), switching from sweetened yogurt/kefir to plain, and eating a high-protein breakfast of cheese and eggs or plain Greek yogurt every morning (I eat fruit as a midmorning snack).   Because I did not actually change how much food I was eating, it wasn’t really hard once I committed to the changes I did make. I’ve lost much of my sweet tooth, and I’m hoping that these changes are ones that I will be able to maintain for a long time! (I don’t say forever, because I am sure at one point in my life, I will decide I just don’t care anymore! Maybe when I’m 80?)

3. I got a fitbit. To be honest I’m not sure how much that changed my habits since I was fit and active before I got the fitbit, and have kept up my regular workouts including running, spinning, Weight training and yoga. However, I certainly do push myself to take enough steps every day to meet my goal. That’s easy to do on running days, on days I don’t run it’s a bit of a challenge, and I have been known to pace around my lower level for the last 10 minutes or so before bed! 

Wedding fun! 

Once again, I have let it go along time without posting. Sorry folks, life has been busy, and I am still grieving.
Last weekend we went to a wedding. It was the first wedding I had been to in about a decade! Most people in my life are no longer getting married, and the ones that are tend to have small and private weddings. It was a lot of fun to get dressed up and eat, drink and dance. Sharing some pictures. My dress was $40, from Suzy Shier! Also, I was wearing it backwards. It was supposed to have a high neck and low back, but I like to more with the V-neck…so that’s what I did. I got lots of compliments. Hopefully they were sincere!
   

How I did my eyes!

   
   

 
If you are curious where Zoë is, she still at camp! She came home for two hours, and we put her right back on the bus, because we knew she would be happier there than here. Some recent pictures were posted, she’s having fun!

  

Wonderful weekend

It’s been a couple really rough weeks. My client passed on July 6, the week before (palliative care) and after were brutal. It still isn’t easy…but it was time, she is at peace, and the waiting-she was sick for over 2 years, terminal for just over 1 year-is over…so it’s easier. Sometimes. 

Anyways, I needed something good. This weekend was! It was the weekend we headed to Camp to visit Zoë. The drives were great, weather was great, and she was great. Some pics from camp:



After our visit we stayed at a motel in Haliburton. Nothing special but we always love the area. Pics from our evening: 

yes i did get new shades


 
  
This morning I went for a little run. Running when out of town is always a pleasure to me…but it was tough this morning. Hot and humid, no breakfast or coffee before I headed out. Not a great run, but some nice views:

Then, about 3/4 of the way,  I saw some large dogs in my path. Just as I was starting to decide if I was going to change route or not, they started walking across the road and it became clear what I was really seeing:

  
Deer! They were so beautiful. When I got back to the motel and showed Lotte the picture, her eyes got huge and she said “mommy, you saw baby giraffes”!

Then, I realized this happened:

Oh well! After a lovely breakfast at a restaurant that serves gluten-free toast, we headed home. The drive was great, and I feel relaxed after a little weekend away and time with both my girls!

Another purse

The last few days have been pretty rough for me, somebody that I care about is very sick and will not be here much longer. I can’t give details (because it’s work), I can just say it’s horrible and I am hoping for peace and comfort soon. 
  
Instead of ruminating on that, I’m going to finish a post I started earlier.

Last year I got a new handbag that I’ve been holding onto for a while, because it’s very summery! 
  
My mother picked it up for me in the states, it is B Makowsky, which I don’t know much about.
  
I love the color, it’s a bit hard to explain but I guess it’s best explained like watermelon? Kind of orange, kind of red, kind of pink. It’s a bit hard to match,  goes best with simple neutrals, and has gotten lots of compliments! It’s got loads of space, a long strap, and a short handle.
  
Even looks good on the floor!