better than before: day 31

I am now calling the cats “puppies” because they are the most rambunctious creatures in the history of cats. (They also have a tendency to pee on newspaper outside their litter box, so…apt.)

Tammy: thank you for the chia pudding breakfast suggestion — it was just the thing to have ready to grab on my early departure to feed the puppies. I added raspberries and nuts and have some left for 10 or 11-sies. 

The dietician report! She was lovely and made me feel very comfortable to say whatever and ask any level of dumb question. We are meeting again in January so: Accountability! Her main suggestion for me was to move my bigger meals earlier in the day, and to make sure I’m not overdoing the carbs servings and under the veg and fruit. I was only having one fruit serving a day vs 2-3. We went over a modified version of the Canada Food Guide, looked at portion sizes — Quarter Chicken Dinner should really be Eighth Chicken Dinner and that giant baked potato is probs 4 servings large (rather than aiming for 2 with each meal). 

So I am going to do some more specific diet monitoring for a while to make sure I’m getting my fruit and veg, and substituting starchy veg for bread/pasta/rice options where I can. All in all, a pleasant and informative time! She said I was on the right track and gave me good pointers forward. Like, stop buying vanilla flavoured yogurt, fool. 

I finished the Shonda Year of Yes book last night, and overall thumbs-up from me. I’m obviously primed for stories of ladies overhauling their lives. She has some great no-bullshit moments; she writes about some scarily familiar patterns of thought that she’s overcome, plus there are multiple bye Felicias, great love for Queen Bey, and two Taylor Swift references. What more do you want in a book? 

As it turns out, my ma is coming next week, not today, so my schedule just got a whole lot more manageable. Coming over here for Taffy and Licorice twice a day isn’t, like, the worst but it would have been MORE complicated if I was also cleaning and hosting and chilling with my mum. 

And lastly I did that boot camp video again, the one I tried on Saturday and fuck fuck fuck it is hard once your muscles are already all achy. Good lord. So don’t ask me to do anything that requires my triceps today, ok?


better than before: day 30

Hi from catsitting! I have completed the fun part (where Taffy and Licorice love me because I fed them) and am delaying the stinky part. (The stinky part is why I will always choose a stuffed animal companion over a living one. Bear is low maintenance and cost effective.) anyway!
I have made a sure-to-be-unpopular decision: I’m not going to do the synchro program. One part of it is that if I went and sucked, I would feel sad and lame and old. But the biggest part is that I already made a plan of how I want to focus my extracurricular energies and I gotta stick with that. I have a lot I want to get done and I need to hunker down and focus. Too much change and too many new activities won’t do me any good. So, I have it on the Next Year shelf, along with dance classes (which maybe I have already paid for). And after a year of Better than Before-ing, I will be much more fit to scull my way around the pool! 

Especially if I keep doing that workout from Saturday. My triceps are making their existence known to me, as are my hamstrings. And it seemed pretty easy while I was doing it. Tricky!

Today is the last day of No-vember (and of November, as it happens) and I wish to extend congratulations and high fives to Laura and Jen for sticking it out and being compatriots. Much easier with pals! Also this marks a month of better than before-ing, and of blogging every day. It’s weird to think that I’ve posted more here in the last month than likely in the last five years combined. 

Tomorrow I will report on what I learn from the dietician today!

better than before: day 29

20182-parks-and-recreation-leslie-knope-two-thumbs-upmorning, friends. my winning streak from yesterday continues this morning. I did sleep in til 6:30, but did my yoga this morning (and last night), and have been hunkered down at my desk working away for about an hour and a half now. So that is A+.

Yesterday I sacrificed getting my steps in, in order to get other things checked off the list, and I think that is the key: sometimes I can’t do all the things, so I have to make deliberate choices of what I will do and what can be ignored for the day — rather than adopt a harebrained all-or-nothing philosophy.

I also drafted my No-Ever list yesterday, and I keep thinking of things to add to it! Sesame snaps, chocolate milk, bacon. I’ve never really considered how many “treats” I was regularly chomping down on. (Tammy, remember at Centennial when we’d get those warm chocolate chip cookies from the caf and a chocolate milk and just chug it?) (That happened, right?) The No-Ever banned substances list lifts for Legit Special Occasions and Planned Exceptions, so it’s not like I have to say goodbye to anything forever. That would be a little too hardcore for me. Here’s my working No-ever list if you’re curious (Laura).

Today is the big day: I am going swimming at 4 at my local pool. This freaks me out. Why? Who the eff knows. I like swimming; I’ve been to this pool before; it’s not hard. But there you have it.

Ummmmm what else that is it happy Sunday I better not forget to feed the cats tonight.

better than before: evening 28

special bulletin! be-beep be-beep. 

this morning’s post was such a depths of failure type situation — Demerits EVERYWHERE — that I want to do a mini update full of shiny sparkling gold stars.

I made a plan for the week ahead with its tricksy things to shuffle, and I made decisions about what would slide and what would not, and I’m no longer feeling waffly about it. I’m locked in.

Part of that was trying out a new exercise video that I can do quietly in the living room in the morning when Ma is here and she’s still asleep and so is Erino, and that I can do at my dad’s while the cats chase each other than hell-kittens. So, instead of ZERO exercise points this week: I got ONE.

Then I made some serious soup, perfect for the night before a long trek across the Siberian wastelands. Healthy food eating times. No more takeout.

AND then I did MORE exercise. I tried a different Denise Austin dance party workout, and it was somehow even cheesier and annoying than my normal one. (I didn’t like it. Back to the old one.) TWO exercise points.

So many things were crossed off my to-do list today, but most importantly I do not feel at sea anymore. I feel like my head is back in the game. So let’s celebrate the only way I know how: with Baby Zac Efron.

The rest of my evening will feature getting some writing work done (my week ahead plan sacrificed those hours for cat care) and the evening session of yoga. I AM ON IT.



better than before: day 28

you guys, I may officially be in the habit of breaking my new habits.

26Things I did not do this morning:

  1. wake up at 6, or anywhere near 6
  2. do my 20 minutes with Rodney
  3. wash my face, then get dressed, and weigh myself
  4. eat my Red River cereal with fruit (had toast+cheese+kielbasa instead)
  5. do anything resembling real work

I did make my bed.

Yesterday evening was also a habits fail. Pop-up friend hang at my apartment led to thai delivery (and tho I ate less than I normally would on such an occasion, to stay within No-vember confines, it was certainly a less healthy meal than the one I’d mentally planned to eat) and no exercising. I went to bed a little later than normally (which I turned into an excuse to sleep in this morning), and instead of evening yoga’ing, I read in bed. (Now onto Shonda Rhimes’s book Year of Yes that has the most awful subtitle in the history of subtitles but I am reading it anyway. Her writing is as dramatic as an episode of Scandal, which is to say very.)

So basically it’s Saturday and — besides being on track with my steps this week — everything else is helter skelter, chaos and lack of control. And I’m not even, like, having greats wads of fun whilst jamming salt and vinegar chips in my mouth and chugging bourbon. This is just low-level lameness.

My problem (one of my problems) is that I’ve gone back into my old mindset of re-visiting decisions and flaking out on them, instead of just blazing forth with that decision-made, no-waffling fire that I had back on idyllic day 1. I’m letting little disruptions snowball into big ones, finding excuses to be lazy left, right, and center. Basically, I’ve started ignoring my manager when I really, really should just do what’s laid out for me.

So: time to stop the spiral. Advice welcome. Comments that read get your shit together Calhoun in all-caps welcome.

better than before: day 27

I’m still a little on the Floppy ZZZs track, but I *think* I have successfully not gotten the cold (though I still feel slightly chesty and congested) and I’m feeling a little more with it and wanting to bust out some habitual behaviours.

Despite having a half day at work, and spending the afternoon getting my hair done (i.e., reading about RiRi, napping in the chair, and getting the best goddamn head massage while Martha at Fuss washed the dye outta my hair), I was full-on knackered by 5 p.m. So last night, I did nothing but read a book in bed — so I’m another day without exercising and this week’s stats will be the worst thus far. But this morning I got up almost at 6 and did my yoga. I’m also back eating Red River with berries for breakfast (I took a break because it got to the point where it looked and tasted like purple slop and I couldn’t bear another bite), and enjoying it. And it feels habit-y. What I haven’t done this morning is any work at all. I futzed on the internet looking at Black Friday sales and didn’t even pretend like I was gonna work. So, that’ll be another abysmal report for the week.

Though I have a whole weekend ahead of me to get my hours of work and exercising in. So I shall. An important weekend plan is going for a swim at my local pool. I’ve been there before, so it’s not the Great Unknown. One step closer to trying this synchro thing, which has been unanimously declared a Good Idea by you lot.

Next week will be scheduling disruption city: I’m cat-sitting my half brothers, Taffy and Liquorice, so I’ve got to get to my dad’s place in the a.m. and p.m. Sunday night to Thursday morning, and then my ma is coming back to stay Tuesday and Wednesday nights. (I’m thinking maybe I can work in my exercise at my dad’s house, so the cats have some company and aren’t put in their overnight room too early.) (They have their own room. It is sort of smelly.) (I’m being kind. It stinks like cats.) Then it’s our work hols party on Thursday night, and a low-key friend hang on Friday. Point being, this weekend, I will also make a very specific plan for how to get my stuff accomplished whilst also doing all the other stuff.

In Happier podcast news, I am trying one of their easy Try This At Homes: make your bed. It definitely works for me when I do it: I feel less all over the place; my room just looks like a more calm and inviting space (and my desk is in my room, so I work better in here when it’s tidy); and I’m pretty sure Bear appreciates not being left in a jumble pile.

A demain, mes amies! 

better than before: day 26

It’s morning and I’m blogging, so at least one thing is on track.

Last eve I was feeling pretty knackered, and so I postponed my PLL plan (sadness), cut short my walk to the station (but I’d hit my 8K so phewf), and flopped on the couch. I calculated just how much TV me and my mum had watched (6 22-minute episodes + 1 Poirot, which I slept thru half of) and decided I still had two Scandals left in the weekly TV allotment. That show is legit bananas. It’s slightly creative math, but I’m giving myself a pass on it. When I am getting a cold all I want to do is lie on the couch and watch TV.

What I am not giving myself a pass on is the giant effing dinner I ate for no good reason at all. I had leftover ravioli-type pasta from dinner with my mum the night before, and instead of eating a normal human’s amount I ATE IT ALLLLLLLL. Then felt grossssssssss. I just can’t have pasta, is that it? I just wolf it down like I won’t be seeing food for days. Good lord, Calhoun. Since I’d very specifically written “giant piles of pasta” on my No-vember list, I have officially broken my No-vember oath.

Mere hours after saying to Laura that it really hasn’t been that hard. (Hi Laura.) Laura and I were discussing extending No-vember into No-ever, in our own ways, and I think that is a zehr gut idea for me. (That’s three Laura mentions: I have met my quota!) No-ever would have planned exceptions: it’s a holiday party at work, I’m allowed to have treats; it’s, I dunno, someone’s birthday and etc. Details to be sorted, but the general principle of making junk food and desserts and feasts rare occasions rather than everyday crutches.

Now for my Lynn-mention quota: the other day, she picked up contact lens solution for me. Thanks, Lynn. AND she sent me some information on a recreational synchro program that her T.O. synchro people are putting together. (Lynn is a synchro star.) There is a test-it-out class in a couple of weeks, and the program would start in January. OMG DO I DO IT? This is 100 percent something I have googled in the past, trying to find ways to exercise, and I love-love-loved synchro when I was a bratty teen. And I have never been more ripped than when I did synchro in my first year at U of T. But I have not done any swimming since then. And that was…1998? So, confidence level: low. Fitness level: low. Scaredy-cat-ness at trying new things with strangers: high.

Maybe I should: go swimming this weekend. Remember that I like doing it. Then RSVP to the class on the 12th. Then decide if I want to do the program after that. That sounds like a rational human plan.

In other news, I am seeing a nutritionist/dietician on Monday at my family health practice, and I have to log my food for the next few days. Thank the gods I wasn’t starting yesterday with Swiss Chalet chicken and stuffing and pasta party. She’ll have no idea what I am normally like! That is totally the point, right? Lying to people so they can give you skewed health advice?

The good news is that I do not feel like I have succumbed to my cold, thanks to my 10 hours of sleep. The bad news is that I have not exercised in days, and my yoga’ing is two days dormant. I think I need to start dosing myself with Gretchen podcasts and re-reads, so I get back on the better-than-before track and off the floppy-zzzs track.