My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life


I admit it, I’m a worry-wart. Always have been. It is a very hard habit to break. Or at least it is for me. Over the years, I’ve learned to let some things go, but there are still things that I worry about. You might be asking yourself what this has to do with my journey. A lot actually. When I worry, I’m stressed. And when I’m stressed, I eat … And usually badly.

A good friend told me not to worry, it does nothing for you. If you can’t do anything about it, what is the point of worrying. Just let it go.

Easier said than done. I know that it doesn’t do any good to worry. But that doesn’t always help. Some things are easy to let go of, or at least relatively easy. I’ve learned to let go of little things … Well most little things anyway. But it’s the big things that I have trouble with. I get stressed when I’m worried about big stuff. My heart tells my brain that it will be okay, that everything will work out as it should, but my brain still worries. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Or maybe it’s both.

And yes, the point of this post is that I’m worried about something. Now I’m not going to go into details about it so don’t ask. I will tell you that it is NOT health related. It’s just something that is bothering me, and I can’t really do anything about it, and yet I’m still worried about it.

So how does one stop worrying? Good question. And I wish I had the answer.

Another friend suggested The Serenity Prayer …

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Good advice. But it’s not really helping right now.

The same friend suggested there is more to my worrying than I think. Perhaps there is an underlying reason I’m worried, but I haven’t figured out what that reason is yet. It’s not necessarily the big thing that has me worried, but some smaller consequence of it that is the real reason behind my stress. So once I figure that out, perhaps it will be easier to deal with, to let go of. There is a reason everything happens.


As I’ve been writing this post, I’ve been chatting with the above mentioned friend. And I think he made me realize what has been bothering me. I think we might have figured out the underlying reason. What is happening is taking me out of my comfort zone and I’m worried I won’t find it again. Seems like a simple thing. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that. But sometimes we need someone else to point out what is right in front of us. So will this stop my worrying? Perhaps in this situation it will. Time will tell. And time will tell if it wills help in future situations.

You might be asking yourself why did I chose to post this anyway after figuring out what was wrong. I think it’s a good lesson. Not just for me, but for anyone who reads my blog. There might be more to your worrying than you think. Look for the underlying reason behind it. And if you can’t find it, talk it over with a good friend. You just might need help seeing what is right in front of you. And remember, there is a reason everything happens.

Leave a comment »

Don’t give up on me …

I’ve been thinking a lot about support. The support we give and the support we receive. Support can come in many different forms and many different sizes. It can be as simple as a kind word, a hug, or even a smile. It can be listening to a friend when they really need to talk. It can even be just a nod to someone as they walk by. And it can be words of encouragement when they are struggling with something, big or small.

Sometimes we don’t even realize how much support we are getting until it is gone. Sometimes we might even feel our support is being squandered, that the person we are supporting isn’t worthy of it. And sometimes we are willing to support someone no matter what.

We might not realize just how much support we have until we fall and need help getting back up. We might be scared to take a risk or take that extra step because we are afraid that support won’t be there. What if we fall again and again and someone just gets tired of helping us get back up again and again? We want to shout “please don’t give up on me!” but we don’t … We whisper it with our hearts and our tears instead. We are afraid someone will get so frustrated that they walk away, unwilling to help anymore. They don’t know how much we need them. Or how much they need us, whether they realize it or not.

Or we want so badly to help someone, to support them no matter what, but they push us away. We want to shout at them “I’m not going anywhere!” but they don’t hear us, or don’t want to. They don’t yet realize how much they need us. But we need them too.

I have always believed that the people in our lives are there for a reason. Either they are there to teach us something or we are to teach them something or both. Sometimes the greatest lesson is to go ahead and take the risk, there will be someone there to catch you if you fall.

I know I have a lot of support on this journey. Much more than I realized at first. And it seems I get more and more all the time. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for all of it. Every little bit makes a difference to me. There are days that I struggle but that support gets me through. I hope I never squander any of it. I hope everyone knows just how much I appreciate it, how much I need it, and grateful I truly am for it. I know it frustrates some people when I am hard on myself. And to those people I would like to say:


I’m saying it as loud as I can, shouting it at the top of my lungs so you can hear me. I’m not afraid to admit that I need help. I need your help, your support. So please, don’t give up on me. If I frustrate you, tell me. If I make you mad, tell me. If I try to push you away, push back. Just don’t give up.

Just don’t give up on me.



I got some flack for my last posting. And I can understand why. It was harsh. I beat myself up pretty good throughout the whole thing. At the time I wrote it, I felt like I deserved it. Do I feel like that now? No, not really … Okay, maybe a little bit. Someone said that I should take it down, but I said no. While it may not be the best thing I’ve ever written, it serves as a lesson to myself. And in more ways than one. First, it reminds me that I need to stay active. Second, it reminds me that everyone has an off day. And third, it reminds me not to beat myself up too much over having an off day.

As “punishment” for calling myself an idiot, Tyler told me to write 100 times that I’m not an idiot in a new blog post. So here goes:

I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …
I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot … I am NOT an idiot …

So there ya go … 100 times, just like I promised

I’ll try not to be so hard on myself in the future.


I could just kick myself …

I feel like an idiot.

This past weekend was a holiday weekend here so that meant the gym would be closed Monday. After working hard last week at the gym plus boot camp workout with Tyler on Thursday evening, I decided I’d take Friday off as well, so that would mean 4 days away from the gym. I figured I would do a light workout at home on Friday and Monday to sort of make up for it.

So I did my little workout on Friday. My muscles were pretty sore from Thursday so I didn’t push myself too much. Saturday I walked to my best friends house, which is about 2km away. Sunday I didn’t do much of anything. Monday I did some housework and another light workout. I figured I’d work extra hard at the gym the rest of the week to make up for taking an extra day off.

Now this is where I could kick myself.

Now today being Tuesday, that meant cardio followed by a workout with Tyler. So I start my cardio on the treadmill as usual except that I can’t seem to go my normal speed. I figured maybe I just need to warm up for a bit first since it had been a few days. But it wasn’t getting easier. I have to stop after 20 minutes for a bathroom break and I swear it felt like I had been on that damn thing for twice that! So I take my break and then right back on. I let myself start out easy again, and then after 10 minutes I bump it to my normal speed and raise the incline. Well that didn’t last long. Much to my chagrin, within a few minutes I have to lower the incline, and a few minutes later I have to lower the speed. Now I start to beat myself up over taking 4 days off! What an idiot! Why did I think that was okay? Why did I think it was a good idea? IDIOT! I managed to get 55 minutes in, but wasn’t the workout it should have been.

So I go freshen up, wash the sweat from my face, and rest a bit before working out with Tyler. So we start my workout and I think I’m doing pretty well. Or at least I was hoping I was. But about 30 minutes in, I have to stop because of a pain in my back. Again, I beat myself up for the extra long weekend. IDIOT! So after resting for a bit, we move to some core work which would be easier on my back. He has me do some supermen and then some planks. Planks are a great exercise but I can’t do them very well. I’ve improved a little bit, but I feel like I should be able to do them better by now. So those nagging little voices start up again to go along with the ones already going through my my session ends and I go to get up off the floor and I can’t. When I first started at the gym I needed up getting up. But I worked really hard and improved my mobility and didn’t help anymore. I was really proud of that. But there I was, feeling like I was back where I started, needing help to get up. There are those voices again.

After leaving the gym, I managed to walk to the bus station, which is about halfway home. Even that seemed more of a struggle than it should have been. And all of this because I decided I deserved an extra day off from the gym. What an IDIOT I am! I feel stupid. I felt like I was making really good progress. But after today, I feel like I took a big step backwards. Why? Why did I think it was a good idea? What made me think I deserved to take that extra day off? Was it worth it? Hell no! I could just kick myself. I’m so angry with myself. I have to do better. I need to do better. If I take another day from the gym, I damn well better be doing something active to make up for what I would have done at the gym. Or I had better have a damn good reason not to! No more excuses!


Okay I realize this was not as refined or eloquent as some of my posts, but I just needed to vent a little. I appreciate you allowing me the time and space to do so. Hopefully my next post will be better.



Inspirational Quotes

To go along with my previous post about inspiration, here are some quotes that have inspired me recently:

– Turn those stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

– When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.

– I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.

– If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

– I may not be the strongest, I may not be the fastest, but I’ll be damned if I’m not trying my hardest.

– There are only 2 choices: make progress or make excuses

– A champion is someone who gets up when they can’t (Jack Dempsey)

– There is a reason everything happens.

– Make goals and then DEMOLISH them.

Most of these quotes I found online, and most were not attributed to anyone in particular. The exception being the one attributed to Jack Dempsey. I don’t know for certain that he said it, I just copied as I saw it. I have more, but these are the ones that resonate with me the most right now.

Do you have a favourite quote or saying that inspires you? I would love to hear it. Leave me a comment or send me a message.



I’ve been thinking about this post for a while. And it’s probably long overdue. A couple of things have come up recently that have really brought this topic centre stage once again. So I decided it was time to finally write about it. And you’ll have to forgive me because this may be a long post. So sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy.

Everyone is inspired by someone or something at least once in their life. And if someone tells you differently, they are lying … Either to you or, most likely, to themselves. Inspiration can come from anywhere — something you read, or something you see, or someone you meet. It may be something very small or something very big. And most of the time, inspiration shows up when you need it, not necessarily when you are looking for it. While our hearts can usually recognize inspiration, it sometimes takes our brains a while to reach the same conclusion.

So what has inspired my journey to be a healthier person?

A good example would be my mom. Those that know me know that I lost my mom last year. I think about her every day. I would love to call her up and talk to her about my journey. I’d like to think she is watching over me as I navigate my way through. And I hope she is smiling. My mom has long been an inspiration to me, although I didn’t always think so growing up. She was a strong woman who taught me a lot, even when I didn’t want to learn. She inspired me to learn to bake, which is one of my greatest passions. She also inspired me to be a strong woman, although it took me a while to learn that one. When she got sick, many years ago, she was told she wouldn’t live to see 50 … She was 64 when she died. She did all she could to keep going until she just couldn’t do it anymore. When I got sick in 2009, she inspired me to do all I could to get well and stay that way. So, in a way, she was the first person to inspire me to start this journey.

As horrible as it is being diagnosed with cancer, in a way, it was a good thing. It was a huge wake up call, telling me that I need to change my life. So that was a big inspiration for my journey as well.

And then there is my friend Jeff Zaben. We met many years ago when we worked together. We became fast friends. Then I got moved away and got married and we lost touch. He found me again thanks to Facebook, and it’s like no time has passed. We are both older and, hopefully, wiser. In March 2011, he started his own journey to be healthier. I don’t know all what inspired him, but I’d love to know. Hearing how he was doing, seeing the differences in the photos he posted, reading his blog, just talking to him all inspired me to keep going, especially when I felt like giving up. In fact, he is the one who inspired me to start this blog. He is a remarkable man, and I’m proud to call him one of my dearest friends.

Little things have inspired me along the way as well. I will read something online that will resonate with me so I make a note of it. Sort of tuck it away in my brain for those moments when I need a little help to keep going. I’ll see something I would love to wear, knowing I need to lose more weight to do so.

Hearing people say how good I look is a definite inspiration. And that’s a big one. When you see yourself every day, you don’t necessarily see the changes that are taking place. And sometimes it’s hard to believe people when they start saying things like that to you. But the more they say it, and the more people who say it, the more you believe it. And that in turn inspires me to keep going. People inspire me in other ways too. Every encouraging word means more than you might realize. Even a smile can mean a lot to someone. Things like “keep it up” and “WOW” and “you’re amazing” can mean the difference between another 5 minutes on the treadmill or 5 more reps and just giving up.

Another person who inspires me is my friend Tyler Eames. He also happens to be my trainer. I’d been going to the gym for about 2 months when I first met him. He teaches the classes I take there. He has always been very encouraging, telling me I can do things when I wasn’t sure I could. When I have trouble doing something, he says it’s okay and that I’ll get there. With his help, I have been able to do much more than I ever thought I would be able to. His kindness, his encouragement, his friendship means more than he might know. Last week, he told me that I inspire him. I was blown away, speechless. That was one of the greatest compliments I have ever received in my entire life. I don’t know if I said anything, but I hope I said thank you. To hear someone, anyone, say I inspire them is amazing. It’s even better when it’s someone I know. I’m not used to being told I’m an inspiration to someone, but I’m working on that.

And lastly, I am inspiring myself. Okay, I know that sounds weird. But when I do something I couldn’t do before, I’m inspired to keep going. When I meet or exceed one of the little goals I set for myself, I’m inspired to keep going. When I have to buy new clothes because my old ones are too big, I’m inspired to keep going. When I realize that I’m stronger (both physically and mentally) than I have ever been before, I’m inspired to keep going.

Those days when I feel like giving up or I feel like I’m not making progress or I’ve been listening to the negative thoughts in my head, I reach deep down for those things that inspire me and I keep going.

Those are just a few of the things that inspire me. So what inspires you? I’d really like to know. Leave me a comment or send me a message.



A friend and I were talking about fears the other day. I think everyone is afraid of something, whether it’s big or small. Some people don’t like to talk about their fears, some people do. Personally I’m horribly afraid of spiders and snakes. I also have a slight fear of heights. Those fears I don’t mind talking about, and I consider them relatively small (even if I panic sometimes when I see a spider). I have some big fears as well, but rarely talk about them except with very close friends.

At this point you might be asking what does fear have to do with my journey. Well, it has a lot to do with it actually. I started this journey to a healthier me when I was diagnosed with cancer. And one of my biggest fears is the cancer returning. I know I have a very small chance of reoccurrence, but the chance exists and that scares me. Actually it terrifies me. I wear a LiveStrong bracelet to help remind me of why I started this journey to begin with and to help give me the strength to push through when I feel like giving up.

There is also the fear of disappointment. Now this one is a two-parter. First there is the fear of disappointing others. There are a lot of people who are supporting me and encouraging me and I don’t want to let them down. I want to show them that I can do it. And secondly, and more importantly, there is the fear of disappointing myself. I don’t want to let myself down. I want to prove to myself that I can do it; that I can be a stronger and healthier person; that I can finish something I started.

So how do I deal with these fears without getting crushed by them? Good question. A couple of weeks ago I’m not sure I could have answered that. But now I think I can. I think they key to it is to acknowledge that they exist. It’s okay to be afraid, but try your best to look forward, to look for the good things in life, to be as positive as you can. It is not easy, and everyone has their bad days. But the key is to have more good days than bad ones. It takes practice. You can’t expect to be perfect. No one is perfect. And that’s perfectly okay. When I was having my recent struggles, Tyler recommended I read a book called The Gifts of Imperfection. Its amazing. Life changing I would say. I would recommend it to anyone. It really makes you think. I can hardly wait to read it again! I think just about everyone could benefit by the advice given in it.

So that’s it. I know I have these fears. And sometimes I have to deal with them on a daily basis, but I’m doing my best not to let them overwhelm me. And I think I get better at that each day. I know I still may have bad days, but that’s okay. I just do the best I can and try not to be too hard on myself. I know this is a long journey. And it’s going to be hard. I know I’m not there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday. And it will all be worth it in the end.

Leave a comment »

New regimen

So after getting past my struggles recently, I decided that I needed to ramp up my workouts to help me get off the plateau. With Tyler’s help, I now have a new regimen.

First order of business is cardio 5 days a week, minimum 45 minutes. I’ve been using the treadmill for my cardio. According to Tyler, it only counts if I’m breathless and sweaty. No problem. In theory anyway LOL. The problem with doing cardio on the treadmill 5 days a week is the heel spur in my left foot. It’s really been bothering me the last few days. I try not to think about it when I’m walking, but it’s really hard not to notice it. I think I need to think of some other ways to get my cardio in. A couple of friends have suggested swimming, which I love. I recently tried the pool at the gym and really enjoyed it. My question is does swimming count as cardio? Everything I’ve read says it does. But how does it compare to walking on the treadmill? That I don’t know. I enjoy walking on the treadmill but don’t want to injure myself. I guess I’ll have to talk to Tyler about it.

So next is to switch up my workouts with Tyler. Starting this week, I will be working out with him twice a week instead of just once. Last week he really kicked my butt LOL. But I know that’s what I need to help me reach my goals. I need someone pushing me and not letting me slack off. I need someone to show me new ways to workout and to tell me what exercises work what muscles. I need someone to encourage me, to tell me I can do these things, and not to take any bull from me LOL.

I think my diet needs to be overhauled again as well. Not a major overhaul but little tweaks here and there. I am trying to cut out as much excess sugar as I can. That’s not easy considering I have a big sweet tooth. I’ve already stopped putting sugar in my coffee and tea. I’m trying very hard not to eat sweets. And I’m doing my best to limit my alcohol consumption. I need to add more veggies and more protein. I’ve been keeping a food journal for the last month. Looking back through it, some days I’m very good, some days not so good. I’m not sure what else I can do there. Maybe just try to have way more good days than not-so-good days. And drink more water!!

One thing that is not changing is the classes I’m taking at the gym. I will still be doing core combo and stretch classes, each twice a week. I was looking at the calendar the other day and I realized that I’ve been taking the stretch class for 8 weeks now, and core combo for 6 weeks. I really enjoy both classes. I was a little nervous when I first started because I didn’t know if I could do them. But I think I’ve made pretty good progress in each! Several people have told me how much of a difference they can see in me since I started. I don’t think I will ever get tired to hearing that. Even if I can’t always see the changes in myself, it’s nice to know other people can. It helps keep me motivated.

Hopefully these changes will get me off the plateau and back on track to a healthier me.

Now that I’m going to the gym 5 days a week, does that make me a gym rat? LOL

Check back soon for more updates.

Leave a comment »