Combating Inner Struggles

In life there are a lot of realities that no one really talk about. Like, poop, or what we eat when no one is looking (or what we do when no one is watching); The neuroses we encounter in our relationships – both given and received; the pain and vulgar happenings that come along with the miracle of birth; the physical and mental discomfort, paralleled with a sense of pride, which results when one pursues recovery.

Granted, in the past year or so, many people have opened up about their own personal struggles in life, which does contradict my point above. Regardless, I still think there is very few raw posts out there regarding the topic. Here are five physical struggles that go along with recovery, along with ways to both physically and mentally combat them.

Struggle Number 1: You will feel fat all/most of the time for a while

Unlike normal people who have ‘bloaty’ or ‘fat’ days, where they just feel uncomfortable in their own skin. It is likely that you will feel this most of the time (for a bit anyhow). Your stomach is likely going to be bloated for a while due to the fact that it is learning how to accept much more food than ever before. I am not saying I do not have days that I feel I am more… fit and flat than others. But, I do often feel chubby. For me this usually follows meals. I am trying to be less, mainstream [I am not committed to this word, but whatever] about my diet. This means, no six meals a day… no set time to stop eating, etc. I am letting myself feel full – completely and 100% full. After that, I am even letting myself eat a little bit more, if I really want to. As a result, I sometimes feel… like a beached whale. It is not fun, but it does happen and it is normal.

Combating Struggle 1: Looser clothes

The only way I have found to feel more… comfortable with my weight gain is not wearing anything form fitting. I have tried from time to time to wear things that are snug to my form, and I find myself feeling extremely uncomfortable in my own skin. Therefore, the best way to overcome this struggle is to simply wear clothes that you feel comfortable in. This does not mean you need to sacrifice beauty or fashion. A lot of trends these days have leached into many different silhouettes, including that of a more loose, fall off you, style. This is what I like to embrace. Constricting clothes only make you more aware of your body’s size.

Struggle Number 2: You will have bouts of ravenous, bottomless pit huger spells

While bringing your caloric limit/food intake up, you are giving your body – for the first time in a long time – what it wants and needs. And it loves you because of it. Due to the fact that your body was in starvation mode for as long as it was, now that you’re giving it food… your appetite will increase. The main fear here is that your appetite will sky-rocket, as will your waist line. While possible, if you do recovery right, you’ll be OK.

Combating Struggle 2: Intuitive Eating

First, the main issue is cravings. We will all have them from time to time and you can not control how or what kinds of cravings you will get. For instance, last night, I smelled French fries** and I craved them. For me, the cravings are usually pretty, intense but short lived. If I get a craving, then see a cute dog or something, my brain will likely go something like this: ‘Man, I could go for some French fries right about – oh, my god! Look at that cute puppy!’ and completely forget about the original craving. So honestly I typically do not give into cravings. Unless it is cake. The key to not becoming too ravenous is to always honour your bodies desires to some degree, while maintaining an over-all healthy diet. That is, eat healthily, but never deny your body something, or cravings will develop and in worst cases, you’ll KNOW you want something, you just will have no idea what that something is. Just remember to balance your life, completely.

Struggle Number 3: You will relapse.

One week I will be perfect. My meals are keeping me satisfied, I feel happy and confident, well slept and calm. The next week, I am a wrecking ball. Always hungry, never happy… completely annoyed. Immediately, I feel like I need to control something… anything. The first to get it, is my food. Whenever I feel anxious, I try to restrict my food again. It is like that poorly directed belief that if I get skinny again, my struggles will go away. But that is not true. Soon, my depression grows and I begin to feel like I failed myself. I felt no good. I felt I should be above that, but I am not.

Combating Struggle 3: Cultivating a light-hearted practice

One thing a lot of people, yogis and non-yogis alike, seem to forget about yoga is its ability to, almost, force you to be light-hearted. First, a number of postures in yoga are challenging, and you must therefore be prepared that you will (and you will) fall down at least once, while learning the pose. This is OK. In fact, this is encouraged. The art of falling down only means that you will need to practice the strength of getting back up. Do not fear the fall, but embrace the empowerment that comes with regaining alignment and focus. Another point, is some postures look like… this:


Now while this just makes you look like a total fool, the principle behind it is two-fold: first, it helps to relieve any stress found in the neck, throat and face, massaging and stretching the inner parts of the throat; however, it also allows you as a yogi to remind yourself that yoga is not solely about the physical, but about the whole body and mind. Try  doing this pose (simhasana) for as long as you can without laughing, it is hard. The beauty here is that you are actively reminding yourself to not take yoga so seriously. Have fun with it and with yourself! Do not force things to go where they do not want to go, be content with what is readily available to you and soon, in both life and in practice, more opportunities will come. A regular yoga practice will help this.

Struggle Number four: You will not love yourself enough

This more happens before recovery, however the act of loving yourself again is not an easy task. The more you tell yourself something, the more you begin to believe it. It is sad, but it is true. Then, further than that, the more you believe something, the more frequently you try to disprove anything dis-confirming it, causing your belief to intensify. This happens even on an unconscious level. You do not like broccoli as a child, you grow up hating broccoli, but you have not eaten it in 10 years, so how could you truly know? Because you actively tell yourself every day (or when broccoli comes up) that you do not like it, enforcing your reasons, however weak they are. Applying the same belief on our hatred of self, the more you tell yourself – and justify to yourself – that you are not worth it, the more you will find within yourself reasons to find that to be true. Loving yourself again will be a struggle, as you will not only have that void without yourself, but you will also have create the ability to redefine what it means to love yourself. Most people do not openly admit to all that they have a hatred for themselves, so they’ll fill that void with harmful things, sometimes disguised as healthy. For me, it was exercise and healthy  eating. So, in pursuit to love yourself again, you need to challenge your current thoughts of what love is, with more accurate and balanced beliefs of love. It is hard.

Combat for Struggle Four: Opening your heart.

Open up  your heart to someone. Challenging yourself without the help of another can be hard. While not impossible, it is hard. I am the first to say that the only person you really need  in life is yourself; however, as I grow, it becomes more  clear to me that that could not be further from true. Humans need others. We just do. And having someone regularly around, reminding you why it is you should love yourself, makes it a lot easier to believe. You inner voice is challenged. It is scary, but it works. For me, it is baba and my mother. For you it could be anyone. I also have my Zooey. So, it could even be your pet. Just allow yourself open to them. The feeling of opening up you heart is empowering and fills the opener to feel love and warmth. This is also something to practice on your mat. Let the love and light in, and you will be reminded how to love yourself right.

 

In sum, there are many struggles you will encounter on your road to happiness. While I am not suggesting that these are all musts they have helped me and I know that they would help you, if you let them. Do not fear, just feel. If you do not like yoga, if that is not your thing, apply these beliefs to anything you do in life. The beauty of yoga is that it is a practice that travels off the mat with you, which to me, is what makes it different than strict exercise. So if your thing is art, or singing, or what have you, but light about it, keep yourself open to others and remember always to focus on both what your body and mind wants and needs, in order to achieve happiness.

 

Live full.

name

Perfection or Healthy

Perfection and health.

While some believe they’re synonymous, the two could not be further from identical [though I will not dispute a general relation amid the two].

Let us define the two, shall we? What is ‘perfection’?

perfect nature: the quality of something that is as good or suitable as it can possibly be
Synonyms: excellence, faultlessness, rightness, exactness, precision, flawlessness, aptness

Okay, fair enough. What about ‘health’?

in good condition: in good physical or mental condition
Synonyms: fit, well, strong, vigorous, in good physical shape, hale and hearty, in the pink, in fine fettle

Right. Okay. Well, apart from the fact that they literally do not appear in the list of suggestion synonyms for the other word, the while there is a common theme [a state of something], one is not require in order for the other to be true. Namely, you do not need to be perfect to be healthy. I used to make this mistake. When I was 50 pounds (can I have a moment to just remind you all how proud I am that I no longer have to write ’80 pounds’) heavier, I equated happiness and perfection with being ‘healthy’.

Granted, this argument has many layers, some vastly contradicting the others. I do believe that the healthier you are body and mind, the more you will be able to preform at the best of your ability. Some, might argue that that is perfection. I however believe that perfection is highly unattainable and something to not be strived for. Instead, we should focus on happiness and vitality. We should try to do everything we want to do at the best of our own personal ability, rather than doing something we think we should do, in a manor dictated to us by… someone [or some people].

I do not think people look at me and think, ‘gosh darn, she’s perfect’, but I do think people have this misconception that I think I am perfect and furthermore, than I have the perfect diet and exercise routine. First of all, there is absolutely no perfect diet or perfect exercise routine. This is something I think a lot of people tend to forget. My best example is this, white breads and rice are said to be ‘unhealthy’, right? Look in any fitness or weight loss magazine, promoting the ‘perfect body diet’ and you are going to see a ban on anything white.

What about people with colitis? Brown rice and whole grain breads are far to grain-y for a lot of people with digestive issues to eat. Rather than getting the nutrients from them, they end up getting extremely sick – sometimes even leading to vomiting or frequent diarrhea. Is that health? No. For them, white rice or plain grains are preferred. Their bodies digest the food more smoothly, causing less disruption on their intestines.

What about yogurt? Whey powder? Eggs? Carbs?

Some people advocate low carbs, some people eat whey powder [I used to be guilty of both]. Some people eat 3 + eggs per day [while others think about all the cholesterol that could come with that]. Well, what about lactose intolerants? Or vegan or vegetarians [who are focusing their diets in a healthy and balanced way]? Are their diets unhealthy because they do no adhere to the belief that ‘low carb/no carb’ is the way to go? No. And even still, if done right, increasing your fats to an adequate level to ensure you are getting proper nutrients, I am sure a moderate carb diet would be especially healthy. Healthy fats and protein are essential, no doubt. The bottom line is, do you need to do what your body asks of you. Nothing else.

I am a perfect example [hehe] of an imperfect eater and exercises, according to the norm. While I am still not 100% sure if this my ‘sticking it to the health world’ to overcome my ED, or if this is just what I am actually finding I like, but right now, it is bringing me joy. My plan is to – every now an again – embrace and celebrate my imperfections. They make me healthy and they make me human.

healthvp1

How am I perfectly imperfect?

  1. They say you should not eat before you go to bed, I probably have a snack RIGHT before I go to bed every night. Even still, I will wake up hungry at 1AM. Then I have another small snack and go back to bed. Yep. I am going to health nut hell, I know it.
  2. When prepping for my lunch or dinner for work, I likely consume 1/4 of the meal. I find it almost impossible to not snack while making food.
  3. I can never say not to at least a bite or two of a baked good. That’s goin right to the thighs, no doubt!
  4. I do not eat three meals a day; or six. I likely eat nine or ten because I graze. I will have a little bit here and a little bit there.
  5. I probably eat half of my ‘caloric need’ before 12 noon. I eat A LOT in the mornings. I am ravenous during the AM.
  6. During my work outs, I sometimes end up sitting on my tush thinking about other stuff. Or staying in downward dog longer than I am told. Or child’s pose. Sometimes, I even fall back asleep.
  7. I get up at 2am to do yoga sometimes. That’s just whack.
  8. The other day at work, due to over tiredness, when a customer told me that he was from Ottawa, I accidentally double entered in the customer profile section, skipping over the city and entering into the province. Rather than registering that this happened, I panicked looking for the two letter abbreviation for Ottawa, which is not at all a province. It does happen to be in Ontario, which two little abbreviation is ON. That was embarrassing.
  9. I do NOT sweat when I work out. I get warm, but my body does not produce a lot of sweat. Apparently I am not healthy because I do not “sweat once a day”.
  10. The left side of my hair always grows longer than the right side.
  11. I have weird feet…

How am I perfectly healthy?

  1. I honor my body at its every command. Even if that means eating at 12am, or while prepping for my meals. My body is smart and I let it tell me what it needs.
  2. I give myself the opportunity to enjoy the ‘bad’ things in life. Health is all-encompassing. Denying your body proper nutrients is no worse than denying your body simple pleasures: like cake. The more you deprive, the more imbalanced you mind will become. Allow your body to make mistakes, it will recover. I do.
  3. I exercise intuitively. This is something I am most proud of. My diet is not quite here yet. For me, it is a much larger gamble to eat intuitively. But, I am finding a pure joy in waking up in the morning and saying to my body, what do you want to do this morning? Not only are my workouts more enjoyable because… I want to do them, but they’re also more efficient. If I wake up in the mood to do barre, my pulses are much more focused, just like my flows are more fluid when I wake up with the urge to do vinyasa. I honor thy body :)
  4. I allow myself to make, albeit, stupid mistakes on a daily basis. I do not know everything, nor should I be expected to. I have my strengths and weaknesses and outside of that, I know what I know. While I am not yet 100% OK with that. I am learning to be OK with that.

I welcome you to do this. I will do it on a regular basis. Celebrate the parts of you that are imperfect. All too often we become obsessed with our strengths, forgetting the humility required for our imperfections and the balanced created between the two. I may make this a weekly post. Looking at all the imperfect moments I had during the week, at how they helped me in my practice or pursuit of healthy balance. I challenge you to do the same. I challenge you to love your whole self. :)

name

 

Enduring Holiday Fears

First of all… I have website layout ADD.

While I have been faithfully committed to my blog for over a year, the idea of actually putting money into it, yet, is a bit… out of reach. I am a student, struggling to make ends meet, so it is very difficult to justify for me right now. That said, as we all know it is my dreaaaam to become both a life coach and yoga therapist, while managing a blog and writing freelance for wellness magazines or websites. So, one day, I will make the next jump [just do not hold your breath].

The issue is, I want to make the blog my own, but to do that I do need to cough up some dough. Again, not ready. So, instead of choose a given template and use that until I get bored of it and move on. I know how I want my blog to look, so I try to make it as close to that as possible. Very minimalist, clean, light greys, green-blues, whites and dark grey. These are not even my favorite colors [purple], but it is the color scheme that best represents the tone of the blog: calm, peaceful and open.

So for all you poor souls who come on here every now and again and think, ‘woah, wait… this is the right blog right?’, it is! I likely just got bored of my current layout and decided to change ‘er up real nice!

But here comes the real point of this post (while I am sure my ADD tendencies are thrilling to you, I feel a more meatier subject will be much more… enjoyable): Christmas dinner.

OK. First, I promise you that this will not be a post whining about my food fears. We all know I have them and we all know I am trying to combat them. That said, Christmas still becomes a challenge for me. Why? The potluck. I know; this is starting to sound like we’re approaching the land of FearFood. Trust me, we are not.

I love my family. LOVE. With all of my heart. Every artery and ventricle goes into loving the whole lot of them. They are kind, sweet, loving. But, they also… do not eat very healthily. Which, is fine. 100% fine. They’re the kind of family that adds lots of butter to virtually any vegetable and while I know butter is not something (like with most foods) I should fear, it is something I do not like, at all.

To side note, this is where the recovery process becomes daunting. First of all, for me, neither greasy not buttery foods appeal to me. Why? [one] I hate the way I feel physically after eating them and [two] I hate the feel of it in my mouth. I am not just talking about my stomach, here, I am talking about my whole self. After eating buttery or greasy food, I feel oily. My lips do, my tongue does… it just is not so good for me. So while some people crave these foods and refuse to eat them, I just do not like them or do not want them. Yet! When recovering from an ED, no one will believe that you just do not like something. It is obviously the ED talking. I find this to be very annoying. Yes, I struggled with disordered eating; no, I do not think my diet is 100% a product of that.

Why?

Because when I think of eating butter or oily/greasy foods, I am not plagued with fear, I am just not interested in the taste. Even before the dawn of ED I was never into butter (unless some kind of nut was involved). In fact, I would much rather a nut butter or coconut over actual butter. I find the consistency and taste more desirable. I

Now, again, I love my family, but they are into this kind of food. They add butter to sweeten squash, while I find squash on its own is sweet enough. This is likely a product of my having cut out most processed sugars from my diet. Once you remove them, you are less likely to notice their absence in dishes. Again I am not my way of eating is superior to my families, at all; I am just remarking that there is a difference, and as such, I often feel…

Well, there is no simple way to put it: I still fear that my not eating their will be seen as an enduring fear of ED, when it truly is not. I know this might just be in my head; I know my family likely does not give two figs [ou, figs…yum] about what I eat or do not eat during the holidays, so long as I… eat! But nevertheless I still feel badly about it.

This holiday, I plan to see this fear and conquer it. The fact that I like to eat extremely healthy is just as acceptable [or should be] as their choices to eat more liberally. So I should not be embarrassed. Instead, this year, I have decided that I will [a] eat the foods that I would eat. So, I will take some turkey! I might take a spoonful of squash (even with the butter) and… c’mon, cranberry sauce. But I am going to make my own, healthy gluten-free, pork-free, dressing and make that the biggest portion of my meal. But, instead of making it and just bringing my own stuff, I will make a heaping plate and share it with my family (for those brave enough to try it).

Here is my plan/recipe:

christmas quinoa

servings: six-nine
serving size: 1/3-1/2 cup

1 cup dry quinoa
3 medium sized apples
1/4 cup cranberries (optional)
1/2 cup nut of choice (almonds or walnuts)
Lemon juice
Cinnamon
Spinach/Bed of Greens
Optional: Roasted brussel sprouts or asparagus

1. Cook quinoa as per instructions
2. Dice apples into decent sized chunks, add to a 1/2 water with some lemon juice. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 20 – 30 minutes
3. Spoonful by spoonful add the chunky sauce into the mixture
(as I have no yet done this, I am not at all sure if I will need this much apple sauce. I might only use half)
4. Once you have reached your desired apple sauce to quinoa ratio sprinkle the almonds in quite liberally and mix.
5. Add additional lemon juice and cinnamon to enhance flavor
6. Sprinkle dried cranberries on top and serve.

Best eaten along side turkey, greens and cranberry sauce.

Obviously this could go one of two ways:
1. It could be totally awesome
2. It could totally suck.

Naturally I am hoping for the former. If you have any suggestions, I really would love to hear them (even recipes akin to this that might be easy to follow and build off). Also, I am curious if I could bake this. Like would that do anything?

Do you often find yourself feeling confused between your own recovery and your own preference?
What are you making for your Christmas dinner?
Quinoa: yay or nay?

Stay sweet :)

name

Thursday Thoughts December 19th

For the past few months I have been [ever so silently] swimming about Amanda’s website. In short: I love it. Not only are her posts humorous, but I also relate to them 100%. I observe many a ‘blogger, but only a select few have actually caused me to actually return on a regular basis. Her website it one of the few. As such I feel it reasonable to partake in her weekly ‘Thinking Out Loud’ from time-to-time.

While I do love the WIAW bang-wagon, my eats are hardly interesting enough to document on a weekly [or even biweekly] basis. In short, you would get bored of seeing cereal, sweet potato, vegetables, yogurt, hummus and beans. I honestly have a boring diet. This used to really embarrass me, but it comes with the territory: virtually everything gives me an upset stomach. I do not know if it is ED related, in that my body does not digest as well as it used to, but a lot of things [gluten, onion, garlic, olives and oils – excluding coconut, hard cheeses, etc] cause me discomfort. I am not about to suggest celiac disease or lactose intolerance, because in very small amounts, both are totally doable. But, every time I ate something with ample amounts of the ingredients listed above… things do not … move as smoothly as I would like.

Yes… likely one of those things you do not talk about, right?

Regardless, as such my diet is pretty standard and, yep, boring. But I would honestly rather have a boing diet than a broken belly. So, I sit out of WIAW. If I have something really cool one week [there are a few new foods I am dying to try], I will share on a Wednesday, but other than that… Puffins in a bowl will always be Puffins in a bowl.

This however is right up my alley. I think a lot – perhaps too much. :) So without further ado, let’s giv’er.

Thinking-Out-Loud

  1. Speaking of new foods I would like love to try, lately I have been becoming increasing interested in try a few new to me foods. First and foremost, artichokes. Being a love of all things vegetable, you would likely think I would be all over that bad boy like white on rice. Well, sadly no. I have never had artichoke. I think I find it insanely daunting. First I have no idea how to prepare it, second I have no idea how or what to eat it with. The meaty texture of it really appeals to me, though. I have also been wanting to re-introduce quinoa into my diet. I have tried and tried and tried to like rice. I do not like it. I also used to dislike quinoa, but I have not given it a real try since I have introduced grains or starches back into my regular diet, so I do not really know if it was the quinoa I did not like or the calories. Hmm. Perhaps I will make a quinoa and artichoke salad/dinner soon.
  2. I am still in complete shock that in, well, six sleeps [which is only a sleep more than a hands worth… that’s a big deal] until the big day. I am so excited. Kind of worried, too. As I have mentioned this Christmas will be vastly different from past Christmases, which is fine, but will be odd. Maybe I am being too sensitive, but I am worried that it will just be so different with Grampy gone. I truly hope that my family a sense of happiness in memory. I greatly worry about them this holiday.
  3. Lately Baba and I have been watching this adorable little bit:
    ng_30_bath_group_1_2813_R2.jpg
    The New Girl, with Zooey Deschanel… it is actually adorable. I think I have a crush on her.
  4. Speaking of adorable… I recently watched something else that was almost too cute for words:

    You are likely thinking: what is cute about two men screaming, in a row boat. That is a very reasonable question. Baba’s friend from work suggested he watch this movie. I will admit, at first, I was apprehensive. I was not really sure what to expect, all I knew was, ‘it is like a classic horror movie but in the other way’. Now, it is important for you to know that I have this weird obsession with horror movies. I love them. My parents started me on them when I was very young, so I take horror movies very seriously. No funny business. Until now. If you have no seen this movie, go do so. It is actually hilariously adorable.

Have you seen Dale and Tucker vs Evil?
What about The New Girl?
Have you tried artichoke? If, so did you like it?

Let me know :)
mything

Reminding yourself

Have you ever had a topic you wanted to write about but had absolutely no idea how to go about discussing it? That is my current situation. In my head there is this great novel concept which I want to discuss; unfortunately stringing those thoughts together in a coherent post seems to be lost on me. I have written this twice, discussed it with Baba, and still I worry that something I say or do could be taken wrongly and I could end up hurting people more than I help. The issue with that is, it is my sole purpose to help whenever I can via this blog.

So, in a state of desperation,  I am just going to say it:

When will people learn to value the important bits of life, over the superficial qualities?

Lately I have been constantly getting myself in check. Essentially what this refers to my saying to myself: “why?”. If I fail to justify an act, then I decide whole-hearted to refrain from doing it. In most cases, it works very well. But sometimes I fail t adhere to my own beliefs on the subject. I, too, get caught up in what x y or z seems like rather than focusing on what x, y or z is.

Are you still looking at this post thinking, ‘eh’? That is precisely the reason I refrained from writing this. As much as I want to express this thought, the actual attempts to put my concerns into words is… very difficult. Almost too difficult; I have no idea why.

Perhaps I will just start with telling you the origins of these thoughts:

Where the H-E-double-hockey-sticks did this come from?

Two weeks ago at work this lady whom I have grown to know quite well came in and told me two things:

1) She was not excited for the holidays (must to my dismay); and
2) Her family had opted to go to Disney Land over visiting her and her husband for the holiday season
(by family I am referring to her daughters family, including grandchildren she has only seen a few times in their whole lives)

I was both baffled and a little appalled. First of all, this particular lady is going in for surgery for digestion-related issues (a issue far too close to my own heart). Second of all, her husband has been in and out of this hospital himself with numerous brain tumours which enable him to take a plane ride. While they both live in Nova Scotia, the rest of their family lives out West. After telling me, she sighed and said:

But what can you do, really? I mean, it is Disneyland. They need to see Disneyland.

And all I could think of was how they also needed  to see their grandparents. Both the husband and wife are along in years and under health concerns, meaning the harsh reality is that if they do not see the grandchildren this holiday (or anytime soon) they may never see the kids again. Yet, even still, their kids decided that Minnie and Mickie were far more important.

When she told me I could see hurt in her eyes, which made me feel absolutely distraught. I started pondering my head how to create a Christmas miracle for her, but I am no Saint. I am just a girl. Before I knew it, I was pulling a classic Caitlyn: overthinking it. I began to question myself about the meaning behind Christmas, or even the holidays in general, evaluating if they’re even… considered anymore. Christmas is about family, togetherness and love. Not Disney characters. And this is coming from me, the 22-year-old kid who is obsessed with anything related to Disney or Pixar. I personally have family – close family – who can not come home during the holidays but would absolutely love to, and these people are not even going to try? They have the ability and they’re not going to even try?

So, as I am sure you could assume, this snowballed, leeching itself onto a number of different topics. My school, my fitness goals, my food… everything. You name it. However to be completely honest, mostly my fitness. The result? Much more yoga. Let us look at runners, for example [note that this is where things are going to get a bit difficult]. Why are you running? Most people come back with the high. Fair enough. But you can get a high doing a number of other things, right? Briskly walking, even. Why are you being so hard on your joints, and in some cases, your heart, to get a high? Similarly, you weight lifters, why are you lifting so gosh darn heavy? Unless you have, or plan to have, a very physically demanding job, I do not see why you would need to gain strength to that level. For example, I will never understand body builders. I understand and respect that everyone has their own fitness journey, but do you ever ask yourself, aside from getting a six pack what is the point? And why do you need a six pack? Why is general health and internal vitality not enough?

Again as I said this mind frame can be easily applied to several facets of life. Including, food, school, friends, etc. But my personal revelations were specific to Christmas and exercise. Life is about so much more than cartoon mice and chiselled muscles. It is about love and family, growing both mentally and physically. Life is about so much more than you’ll ever know if you do not take the time to step back and ask yourself what truly matters.

I am not trying to be a b-word, or anything. I am just being honest. No matter who you are, or what you do, before committing to something be sure to ask yourself, why does this matter to me? And once answered, challenge yourself if that is a good enough reason for you.

I know it is hard – I get that. But just try. Life is much more worth it, when you look beneath the surface and locate the truth. :)

C

Christmas Survey

While it was not one of my 12 days of Christmas plans, I thought I might as well do this too. Far too tempting :)

xm

Do you send out Christmas cards?
I give out Christmas cards. Does that sound?

How soon do you start shopping?
I do not do a lot of Christmas shopping like most people. I usually plan ahead and buy whatever it is while I shop normally. I try not to turn my shopping for Christmas into a big ordeal. Takes the spirit out of it. :)

Do you have a lot of gifts to buy?
I used to buy a lot. Being in high school and having a surplus of close friends made it impossible to get away with only gifts for one or two people, outside of your family. However not that I am an adult with little friends and a lot of tuition, I am keeping my list low :).

Do you bake cookies?
Do bears go poo poo in the woods?

Decorations…

Do you put up a Christmas tree?
We do. However not for as long as I would like to. That said, I think it is important that I get used to never having a treat up from December 1rst until January 1rst. It does not seem to be in the cards for me.

If so, is it fake or real?
It is fake. I have never had a real tree to know the difference. I have always wanted to try as it appeals to the environmentalist/naturalist in me. That said, it is messy.

Do you like tinsel?
I do not think the word ‘no’ is strong enough to convey how little I like tinsel. I still question why people use it. I do not think it even looks… nice.

Do you use homeade or storebought ornaments?
A mixture of both. Though this year the tree does seem to be heavy on the homemade side. Perhaps I had a bit too much pride whilst decorating the tree. In hindsight, not a great call.

Do you put Christmas lights outside your house?
Not this year. As a family, we have all been very busy, so there has not been adequate time to put up décor. But Christmas to me is about the family time, the love and the togetherness, not the decorations.

Oh, and the cookies. :)

Do you put lights on the tree?
Hmm, well, I do not, no. But my mother does.

How about popcorn and cranberries?
No, I do not. I get the cranberries thing, but I have never understood putting popcorn on your tree. Was the big guy a big fan of the kernel?

Is there a wreath hanging on your door? Yup!
Not this year, no!

Christmas Eve…

Do you celebrate it?
Honestly I think the Christmas Eve celebration is a larger deal than the Christmas celebration. We always go to my grandparents, talk, enjoy food, laugh and exchange some gifts. This year, due to my grandfather passing, we will all be going to the graveyard at four to wish him a Merry Christmas in heaven. RIP Grampy <3.

Do you hang up your stocking?
Yep. Including, of course, one for Zoo. :)

Have you ever left cookies out for Santa?
And a carrot for Rudolph. Unfortunately, I failed to remember the other reindeer in my youth. :(

Favourite…

Christmas Movie?
Annabelle’s Wish and Tangerine Bear when it comes to cartoon-y movies.
Likely, Christmas Shoes or Home Alone for non-cartoon-y movies.

However I am suppose to watch Elf.

Character from any Christmas Movie?
Annabelle and Tangerine Bear!

Christmas Song?
I like Baby Please Come Home :)

Christmas Memory?
My favorite Christmas memory is sitting at Nanny’s and Grampy’s, enjoying a quality street treat (not intended to rhyme, but I am good with it), listening to my aunts and uncles discuss memories of Christmas past. :) That is it; nice and simple <3.

Christmas Cookie?
Snickerdoodles. I know they’re kind of an all year cookie, but if you add an additional shake of cinnamon, I think you’re well on your way to a holiday treat.

This or That…

Give or Receive?
Being that I am a horrid receiver of things, I am going with giver 100%

Ham or Turkey?
I do not really prefer one over the other, but I only eat fish. =)

Star or Angel?
I like both, but I have always had an angel, :).

White Lights or Coloured Lights?
I actually think I prefer the look of white, but my tree has colored and I would not have it any other way. :) My tree is very ‘family focused’. So it is not a specific color scheme or anything,  but it is lovely.

Blinking Lights or Still Lights?
Still, definitively still.

Were you Naughty or Nice this year?
I am always nice!

Presents…

What do you want for Christmas this year?
A hippopotamus.

When do you open your gifts?
I open gift – typically – Christmas Eve night, then the rest wait until the following morning, bright and early!!

What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten?
To pick one would  be almost impossible. Every year my family never ceases to amaze me. :)

What’s the worst gift you’ve ever gotten?
There is no gift I really hated. For me, the thought alone is enough.

Do you like wrapping gifts?
I do, however I think people would prefer that I not wrap them (they do not really look all too great :p)

T minus seven days guys!
…sevendays…

Sorry.

Caitlyn.

Christmas Five December 13th, 2013

This week has not been filled with new foods or workouts, I will be honest. So I decided to list two different topics instead, with five subcategories within them. They will be regarding the holiday season : )

xm

Five Updates on the 12 days of Christmas.

  1. I have successfully completely number one of my plan – to construct a gingerbread house. While it is definitely not the most beautiful of Gingerbread houses, it was definitely an accomplishment. Now I do need to say that there was some false advertising involved. There was a gingerbread tree and a few gingerbread men which were suppose to go on our lawn. Well, there was no lawn for them to go on. Regardless, the construction was absolutely lovely :)

    IMG_9920

  2. I have officially watched 1/2 of a Christmas movie that I have never seen before (White Christmas). Due to some unforeseen circumstances (Nova Scotia weather) my mother and I had to leave my Grandmother’s early. I do plan to try again next Monday.
  3. After a lot of looking around, I have found my after eight cake (which is now cupcakes) at this website location: http://chicgorgeous.blogspot.ca/2013/04/after-eight-mint-chocolate-cupcake.html. I cannot WAIT to attempt this.
  4. This week I plan to go to Michael’s and the Dollar store to get the tools I will need to make my Christmas craft :). I am hoping to find a good cheap craft to make! Thus far, I have no idea what that might be :)
  5. I have not yet mentioned to Baba about going to the mall to get a picture with Santa, but I really really really really want to. Yes I am five :)

Five Christmas Wish List Wants 

  1. Barre3 and Ballet Beautiful DVD collection :) As we know I am in love with these two, but where I live there is absolutely zero boutiques. As such I will need to buy their DVDs in order to get their wonderful work outs at home  
  2. I would LOVE new notebooks for second semester :). Preferably pretty ones, of course! Purple would be… ideal :)  do love purple.
  3. More Kate Spade related stuff! I absolutely love her line and get chills everything I see her stuff at Chapters. Currently, I would die if I was able to get this mug, do to the fact that the writings on it are basically made for me!
  4. A new, reasonably sized, over-the-shoulder bag [cough: fossil]. I have a new love for Fossil and anything involved! I would absolutely love a cross body bag from them.
  5. Above all else, family time :). The above four are things that, while I would love to get them, I do not expect to get them nor would I be at all upset if I did not get them. These are merely things I would like to get myself this year at some point, if at all. But this one, this one is very important :). To me, Christmas is not about anything but spending some much needed time with family :) I consider myself to be very luck to have my family so in all honestly, the number one thing I want this holiday season, is quality time with them :)