My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Things that make me smile

As much bad news there is on a daily basis, sometimes we need a little reminder of all the good there is out there. Sometimes we need to be reminded to smile. Recently, my friends over at Celebrate the Hero tweeted some reasons to smile. I thought that was great and that it would make a wonderful blog post. More as reminder to myself because some days I need reminding.

With that in mind, here are some of the things that make me smile (in no particular order):

My friends. I have some of the best friends anyone could ever ask for. They are just fabulous.

My husband. He accepts all of me, good and not-so-good. He’s a great man. We recently celebrated our 15th anniversary.

My cats. As much as they sometimes drive me crazy, I could not imagine not having them around. I love them with all their quirkyness.

My family. My brothers, my dad, my aunt, my cousins, my nieces, my nephews, my in-laws. I love the whole crazy bunch.

Memories of my mom. My mom died 2 years ago. I still miss her every day. When I first lost her, things that reminded me of her brought tears and sadness. But now, those memories, while sometimes still bring tears, make me smile.

Scooby Doo. Okay this one might seem silly, but I have loved Scooby Doo since I was very little. I’m not ashamed to say I have a rather large collection of Scooby Doo stuff. I just love him.

Rainbows. There is just something about seeing a rainbow in the sky that is just so breathtaking.

The smell of freshly cut grass. I don’t know what it is, but I just love the smell of freshly cut grass, ever since I was a kid.

Rain. I’m not talking about a downpour, but that light rain that just lightly wets the ground. It brings out the smell of the earth, the pavement, the flowers, everything. Another thing that goes back to childhood I think.

Baking. This one ties into memories of my mom. My mom was a great baker and she started teaching me when I was young. I still love to bake. It’s my passion. I find it very soothing and calming, even when the kitchen looks like chaos. I just love the creativeness of it. And the smells it produces that seem to linger for days and days.

Reading a good book. I have loved to read since I was a kid. And there is just something about holding a book in your hand, the cracking of the spine as you open it, the smell of the pages, the sound the pages make as you turn them. Best of all is finishing that book. If you’re a reader like me, you totally understand.

Coffee. I love coffee. I love the taste. I love the smell. And flavoured coffees? OMG.

When you walk into a store or a restaurant, and the people there remember you. It’s even better when they remember your name too.

When someone says things like “Wow! You look amazing!” That never gets old.

When I get a new personal record at the gym.

When someone tells me how proud they are of me.

When someone tells me they miss me.

When I’m finally able to do something I hadn’t been able to do before.

When you’re out somewhere and you unexpectedly run into an old friend.

When you smile at someone and they smile back.. It just makes you smile even bigger.

Fall. I love fall. The smells, the leaves changing colours, the abundance of apples, the crispness in the air. I love it all.

Getting a text message or email at just the moment you need to hear from someone.

Christmas. Putting up and decorating the tree. Hunting for the perfect gifts. Watching loved ones open their gifts. Selecting the cards you’ll be sending out. Christmas music. Baking. The gathering of family and friends. Christmas movies. I could go on and on.

Watching my favourite sports teams.  Whether it be in person or on television, I love to watch my teams in action.

Having a good conversation.  Sometimes people don’t appreciate the art of having a good conversation.  I love sitting and talking to people.  When the talk is good, it can go on and on for hours.  The person or persons I’m talking to don’t have to necessarily agree with the things I’m saying either.  A good debate can make for a great conversation.

Going on vacation.  I love to travel, although I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like.  I love going to new places.  And I love returning to places I’ve been before.  There is just something almost magical about it all.

Watching a good movie.  There are some movies that I watch over and over again simply because I love them.  Even though I know exactly what will happen, and I can even repeat a lot of the dialogue, I still watch them because they make me smile.

Writing.  I have always loved to write, for a long as I can remember.  There is something almost calming about putting pen and thoughts to paper, or letting my fingers fly across the keyboard.  Even if I’m not in the greatest mood when I start, by the time I’m finished I’m feeling better.

This is just a partial list.  As you can see, when you stop to think about it, there is a lot to smile about.

So when you’re having a bad day, stop and think about what makes you smile.  You might be surprised how easy it is.

So tell me, what makes you smile?


Four years ago …

Four years ago, my life changed forever.

Four years ago, I was sitting in a doctor’s office with my husband by my side, listening to him say words I never thought I’d hear — “You have cancer”.

Some days it seems like a lifetime ago.

Some days it feels like yesterday.

So much has happened in the last four years.  More than I thought possible.  More than I expected.  More than I would have liked to have happen.

But through it all, I’ve learned a lot.  About life.  About strength.  About myself.

While I wouldn’t say I’m a completely different person, I’m changed quite a bit since that day.  I think I’m more open.  I’m certainly stronger, both mentally and physically.  I’d like to think I’m more empathetic.  I’m more willing to accept change (or at least I think I am).  There are other changes too, but I think those are the biggest ones.

I’ve learned not to take things for granted (a very important lesson for all to learn).

I’ve also learned the importance of having a good support system.  Everyone needs family and friends around them to help them along, whether or not they realize it.

I’ve learned motivation and inspiration are all around us, if we are just willing to open our eyes and hearts to see it.

I’ve learned one bad day does NOT make a bad life, and that tomorrow is a new day.

I’ve learned slow progress is still progress and not to give up.

Life is about choices.  We make choices all day, every day.  And it’s about making the right ones, the best ones for us.  What might be right for one person, isn’t necessarily right for someone else.  It’s about learning which is which.  It’s not easy, but no one said it would be.  But it will be worth it in the end.

Four years ago, my life changed forever.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It might sound strange to some, but personally I think getting cancer was the best thing to happen to me.  It made me realize I needed to change my life.  And I think I’m doing a pretty damn good job doing just that.

I consider myself to be lucky.  Lucky to have gotten cancer.  Lucky to have beaten it quickly.  Lucky to have realized I needed to change.  Lucky to still be on the right path.


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Don’t give up on me …

It’s no secret that I’m still struggling. I was reading some of my past blog entries when I remembered this one. I thought it be a good idea to post it again.

My journey to a healthier 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…

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Not the best way to start a new month.

While my workouts are going good for the most part, the issue with my foot is causing some major frustration. I really hope it will get better soon. I don’t know what I did or how I did it. As my doctor advised, I bought inserts for my shoes. And I’ve slowed down my cardio. But it doesn’t seem to be getting better. Some days it seems fine, and other days I can barely do anything. Some days I think it’s fine, until I do something and it starts hurting again. And I don’t even know what I’m doing!! This is why I’m so frustrated about it! If I knew what I was doing, I could make adjustments. I called my doctor again, and he advised me to visit a specialty store for orthotics for my shoes. I hope that does the trick. It may take a few days. But I’m okay with that as long as it works. I need to be back on track with my cardio.

On top of the issue with my foot, there is the frustration of STILL being on this damn plateau! I’ve been fluctuating between the same 5 pounds since April! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I’m working out hard. I’m controlling my caloric intake. I’m burning more calories than I’m consuming. But the scale won’t move any lower. I’m almost at my wits end about it. I just don’t know what else I could be doing. I realize I’m building muscle. And I know muscle weighs more. I know I’m losing inches as well because my clothes are fitting different. But the scale should still be moving and it’s not!! I’m beyond frustrated. I just don’t know what else I should be doing. I just want off this plateau. I want to keep moving in the right direction. I’m not giving up. But some days it takes everything I have not to.

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