My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

My community – Belleville’s Farmers’ Market

One of the best things about my community (and just about any community for that matter) is our local farmers’ market.  Located in downtown Belleville, behind City Hall, the farmers market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, all year long.

I love to buy local whenever I can, and the farmers’ market is the perfect place for it.  But it’s not just fruits and veggies.  You can get local maple syrup and honey, homemade jams and jellies, organic cereals and granolas, meats, and even crafts items, just to name a few.

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When the weather is nice, I love to walk down with my reuseable shopping bags to see what I can find.  Sometimes I have an idea what I want, sometimes I wait to see what looks good when I get there.  On a recent trip, I bought honeycrisp apples and red peppers from one stand; some apple cinnamon granola from another; a peanut butter granola bar from another; and some challah bread and whole wheat rolls from yet another.

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What could be better than getting fresh in-season fruits and vegetables, and in the process, helping local farmers?  Or getting locally made maple syrup?  You should check out the farmers market for yourself.  You might be surprised at what you’ll find.

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I’m thankful …

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada.  I’ve always loved this time of year.  I love gathering together with family and friends.  One of my favourite sayings goes something like “Remember who is at the table is more important that what is on the table”.

Anyway, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d post about a few things I’m thankful for:

My husband.  Even after 15 years, I’m not sure how I got lucky enough to find him, but I’m not questioning it.  I’m thankful each and every day with him.

My family.  I love my family dearly.  We may not always get along, and we may go much too long without seeing each other, but I hope they know how much I love them.  I wish we lived closer to each other and I wish we could see each other more often, but at least we stay connected as best we can.

My friends.  All of them.  Old and new.  Some I’ve known for 30 years; some I’ve only known a few months, but I thankful for them all.  I hope they know that.

My health.  Nothing else really needs to be said about that.

My cats.  They may occasionally drive me crazy, but I love them and can’t imagine life without them.

My home.  I love our house.  It may be a little old, and it needs some work, but it has character and I love it.  It kind of reminds me of myself (hahaha)

My volunteer work.  Even though I haven’t been doing it long, I love working with everyone at Celebrate the Hero.  I’m thankful that they needed someone at the moment I was looking for somewhere to help.  Thank you Nick and Britini, you guys are the best!

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Mission: Post-it

Each week, my friends over at Celebrate the Hero put out weekly missions for people to do to help make the world a better place.   This week’s mission is:

“Post- it!
On a Post-it note or small piece of paper, write a positive message and leave it for someone else to find. It can be anything you find inspirational, or moving. Lyrics to a song, a quote, a poem, an excerpt from a book, or even just a compliment! All you have to do is write it out and put it in a place where someone will find it. This could be a library book, left on your desk for the next student, put it into someone’s locker, stuck to a vending machine, pay phone, around the food court at the mall, or cafeteria at school! You never know what’s going on in someone’s life and sometimes the smallest gestures can mean the most.”

So I’ve been going around this week leaving little notes in different places — the gym, the bus, the bus station, a park bench, the coffee shop.  It’s been fun thinking of things to write.  As I left each note, I took a picture of it with my phone.  Here are a few I’ve left:

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It brings a smile to my face wondering what the people who have found my little notes thought about them.  I hope they brought a smile to their face too.  I hope my notes made their day better.  It did mine.

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A letter to myself …

Dear self,

I know you’re still struggling.  I know it’s hard.  But please don’t give up.  You’ve come a long way and you’re doing an amazing job.

The last few months have been difficult for us, a lot has changed.  But that’s no reason to give up.  It’s just another test of your strength, your resolve.  The fact that you are still at it proves you are strong.  There are some out there that would just love to see you fail.  Don’t give them the satisfaction!  Keep proving all those haters wrong.

I know you’re stressed out about the number on the scale.  Just remember that that number doesn’t tell the whole story.  Remember you are building muscle as you are losing weight.  I know it’s hard, but try not to focus on the scale.  Just keep at it.

I know it’s not easy working out alone.  I know it’s sometimes hard to push yourself beyond what you think your limits are.  But remember that just because no one is right there, doesn’t mean you are alone.  You have a great support system.  It’s okay to lean on them, talk to them about your struggles, ask them for help.  They all want to see you succeed.

We knew from the beginning that this journey would not be easy.  But we also knew it would be worth it.  You’re doing a great job.  I’m very proud of you.  Just keep at it.  Keep doing the best you can.  I believe in you.  I know you can it.

Love,

Me

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My community – Sweet Escape Cafe

Have you ever walked into a place and immediately felt comfortable? That’s how I felt the first time I walked into Sweet Escape Cafe, located in downtown Belleville. I had seen it many times, but never seemed to have the chance to stop in. I always seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere else. But a few weeks ago, I finally got my chance when a friend suggested we meet there for coffee. I got there early and was taken with the place as soon as I walked in. It’s casual and charming and beckons you to sit down and relax for a while. And while doing so, you can enjoy a great cup of coffee, a sweet treat, or even breakfast or lunch. The staff always greets you with a smile and a kind word. As you look around, you can see flyers and notices for local events. They even have poetry nights. A local shop promoting local happenings, gotta love it.

I usually stop in the morning on my way to the gym, but the other day I stopped in the afternoon on my way home. I was struck by the eclectic mix of customers. Everyone seemed to be happily mingling together. I placed my order, which on this day was pumpkin spice hot chocolate and a turkey bacon club wrap, and found a seat. I just sat there, watching and listening and taking it all in. Many seemed to be regulars, as they said a quick Hi to someone or stopped to have a brief conversation. I watched as groups of people, who seemingly had nothing in common, happily sat together and chatted away. A young man sat quietly playing his guitar and no one seemed to mind. As I sat watching and listening, he came over to me and asked if he could sit by me and play. I said “yes, please do.” He sat and played, and we chatted between songs. He played several songs for me. He did seem to be playing just for me. When he finished and got up to leave, he introduced himself to me and shook my hand. I introduced myself back and thanked him for playing, telling him he was very good. And then he said “thanks for smiling while I played.” That little comment made my entire week. I sat a little longer, then made my way home. And as I left, I got the feeling I was leaving friends. What a great feeling that is. What a great place this is. Belleville is lucky to have a place like Sweet Escape. You should check it out for yourself.

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