Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Getting back to svelte

I have a confession to make.

I've been counting calories.

I know, I know.  I shouldn't do it; just keep eating the healthy foods I've been eating for the last 5 years, decrease my portion sizes and hit the gym.


If only it were that simple.

Let’s see. Well, I’m 32. I stopped running about 10 months ago. I started eating bigger portions 3 years ago (since leaving Japan). I work at a desk job where I’m only on my feet for a few minutes at a time during the workday. I had an angel baby. I love food.

I do eat quite healthfully though. I eat good fats, lean meats, plenty of fruit and veg, loads of water, moderate carbs (very little white stuff), no processed foods-all that good stuff. I’ve been at the gym 3xweek without fail since September doing cardio and strength training. But I’ve only lost one kilo.

One fracking kilo.

So I’m on a mission. I now have 9 months to get my body like whoa for Caribana, or at the very least, make it so I don’t get arrested for indecent exposure. My girl introduced me to My Fitness Pal to help me see where I’ve gone wrong. And damned if I didn’t go wrong by at least 800 calories.

I also learned that I need to change my gym routine as per this Oprah article. That means more cardio! I’m going to build up my running stamina again (I had to quit due to my wonky knee) so that should help. Unfortunately for me, my work gym will be closing on December 10th (right in the middle of the eating season!) so that sucks zee balls. BUT, luckily my sis, whom I’ll be living with very soon, lives across the street from the gym. So if you can’t find me, I’ll be there.

Working out and minding my food has the added benefit of giving me focus during my mind-boggingly dull days and keeps me from thinking sad thoughts. It’s a good thing, I swear!  I actually feel quite powerful when I'm pushing my body.  Like I'm back in control.  And for a type A gal such as myself, it's a very good place to be.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Laughing Out Loud

It's not always long faces and tears in our home.  Dave and I love to laugh.  Who doesn't?  Our senses of humour are very much in tune and he's very good at eliciting at least a giggle out of me.  Lately, I've been actively looking for sources of mirth.  Here's what has been putting a smile on my face:

Despite this movie being ridiculous, it had some funny bits.  Let me say, I cannot wait to watch 30 Rock again!

This song always has me jumping at my chair at work. I love how JW calls Blaze and he's like "What?! She gave you work??!?!" And the Cookie monster looking fella?! Soca videos have come a looooong way since my high school days.

I've always appreciated British comedy since watching it on the CBC from time to time, but my like for it has grown.  Dave introduced me to this guy Limmy when he had a show on the Beeb.  Maybe you have to be in Scotland to fully appreciate it, but if you're not Scottish and can understand every word, please let me know.  You might also enjoy this (not much talking), this and this.  If you also have the chance, I recommend "The Inbetweeners" a very funny and very dirty show about boys in high school.  Dave actually cringes when he watches it.

Antoine Dodson.  You never fail to make me smile. And cringe a little. From the good ole US of A.

I've got nothing but love for JT! And The Roots! And Jimmy Fallon! Loved this. I seriously wish I was there.

And last but not least:

Anything Andy Samberg does, I will most likely love. "Poseidon, look at me!" Please, you must watch all the Lonely Island videos.  Don't forget "Dick in a Box" with JT, Natalie Portman's rap, and "Like a Boss."

Good times, no?  You're welcome.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

6 Mois

It has been exactly 6 months since we lost her. I still love her and think about her every day.

The pain is still there, but less obtrusive, more like full bodied arthritis rather than a coma. But I’m getting better. Planning for our move has helped pass the time and given me a focus that I had previously thought impossible.

I still weep, but the jags are shorter and cleaner.

Last week, Dave told me that I was becoming a negative person, one filled with anger, fear and jealousy. Whereas I was once optimistic, my lack of faith was darkening my views and my attitude. He was right. I don’t want to be that person.

So I’m more conscious of how fortunate I am and how much my light our daughter brought to our life. I’ve started talking to her to help strengthen me. “Hi Isla. I love you and miss you. I’ll try to have a good day and hug your daddy a lot.”

Lara mentioned that it does get easier. She’s right. I’ll have my bad days, intense and dark, but thankfully they’re shorter.

I bought these roses, similar to the ones I bought for her funeral, to have something beautiful that reminds me of her. I used to hate roses. Now I don’t.

Friday, 5 November 2010

In the meantime

The other day I received an email from an old friend whom I haven't seen in a very long time.  Her subject heading was "Love" and in her very sweet email, she quoted Dr.Phil, via Oprah: "Time doesn't heal all wounds; it's what you do with time that helps with the healing."

It has been nearly 6 months since we lost our daughter.  It's still hard, it's still heartbreaking, but I feel it has been getting easier to accept our loss.  Granted, planning our move to T.O. has been a driving force in my recovery, but it has been helpful to plan for the future since our plans for our daughter were ruined.

I still think about her every day.  I still cry and I'm still grieving.  I still smell her little hat but am dismayed that it no longer smells of her.  But I'm trying so hard to make my life better.  I don't want to mourn our baby and feel like shit every day.  Rather, I want to live for her.

I don't think I believe in guardian angels and people watching down on us.  When I've said things like "Isla would want us to be happy", I must admit, the words sounded hollow to my ears and tasted like sawdust on my tongue.  I think what I really feel is the beauty I experienced when Isla was inside me was achingly sublime, so much so that I want to experience again and again in my life.  If I'm lucky enough to bear our progeny sometime in the future, I would be able to feel that specific pleasure again, though it would be different from the first deliciously naive time because it will be coated in fear and anxiety.  No, I want to feel that wonderment and love continually in my life in other ways.  So in wanting to live for her, I would essentially be living for myself and being more responsbile for myself rather than hoping that someone "out there" has my back and that everything will just work out.

I'm feeling that next year, 2011, will be the year that I change the rest of my life.  I've been a passenger for too long, complacent with things and people that were unsatisfying but needed because I simply had no choice.  When I received that email with that quote, I realized that I can't get anywhere by scratching out the days of the calendar, gliding through this grief thing until I would get to the point where I'd say "it has been x amount of months/years; I should be better by now."  I need to add dimensions to my life so that I can start living it again and thus, get to a place where I feel like I've healed and be in the midst of leading an authentic life I can be proud of.  Right now, I'm not proud of myself.  Some days, I truly hate myself.

People have started to ask me if and when I'd like to try for a baby again.  I tell them that I'm not ready and moving back home and starting all over again has thankfully taken the pressure off.  In the meantime, I'm hoping I can gain a satisfaction with myself and what I'm doing during these days between hell and heaven.  If heaven does exist and my little girl is looking down on me, I'd hope that she'd feel happy that her mommy was doing A-OK.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Cooking Porn Stars

Whilst living in Japan, I would sometimes indulge in what I labelled cooking porn.  This was the kind of programme where someone would cook and/or sample food and would have food-gasms over what they've imbibed or ingested.  The eater would close their eyes and squeal "Oishii!" (delicious) and make facial gestures similar to those expressed when feeling physical pleasure.  These kinds of programmes or segments were really popular on TV and my friends and I would emulate these people whenever we'd eat something ridiculously delicious (I tried to find an example on You Tube but I couldn't find anything appropriate).  Little did I know that this was the start of an obsession with watching cooking on TV.

Anyone who knows me knows I love to eat and I love food.  I've turned into a foodie groupie and tend to watch cooking shows a lot.  One of my favourites is the British MasterChef.  A little birdie back home told me that Gordon Ramsey has produced MasterChef for US audiences and I was a little chagrined.  Firstly because Gordon Ramsey is SO ANNOYING, and secondly, the UK show kicks ass and I will watch that ish three times a week when it's a new season.

A couple os Saturdays ago, we were forunate enough to score free tix to the GoodFood Show in Glasgow (ah, the perks of being married to a journalist) and I got to see the stars of MasterChef LIVE!  The permanent judges are John Torode and (sigh) Gregg Wallace.  Now, I don't know what it is about this bald, tubby, dimpled Cockney bastard, but he had my heart thumping when I saw him on Saturday.  I proceeded to stalk his ass, though I never quite got the balls to throw my panties at him, or more sanely, buy some MasterChef plonk and have him sign it.  Dave thought I was a little insane, but meh, what are you going to do?

Gregg (and John) signing some MC merc.
Gregg and John playing up to the audience.

Gregg's big old head.
Gregg's big old belly.
Dhruv Baker, 2010 MC winner and quite the looker.
Of course, MasterChef LIVE wasn't the only thing going on that day.  Dave and I sampled loads of food, cheese, desserts and alcohol.  There were cooking demonstrations, celebrity chefs roaming around, product demos and loads more.  We showed remarkable restraint and didn't buy everything we tasted, though Dave still bemoans the fact that he didn't buy that delicious Lanarkshire blue cheese he eschewed in favour of an oniony cheddar.  You live and learn.  Some more sights from our day:

My media pass.
Sampling some delicious wheat beer.

A cooking demo with seafood.

The SECC was jam packed!

Cooking classes for £10 a pop and all sold out.

Said cooking class.

Fresh seafood (the langoustine at the top was moving!)
For the first time in several months, Dave and I genuinely enjoyed ourselves for hours.  The irony is that the venue, the SECC, was the same place we visited some months ago when it was hosting a baby show.  This was not lost on us, particularly when I cried my eyes out some hours later.  Sigh.  You gain a little, you lose a little.