WE WERE ON A BREAK! (and it was a BIG mistake)

This was 15 weeks ago.

I was elated. Happy. Proud.

I was Icharus.

Dammit.

What the hell was I thinking?

I am not the kind of person who can stop a thing. I am the kind of person who, in order to be healthy and happy, needs to follow through every single day.

I know I am not alone, but I am embarrassed and sad that I flew too close to the sun.

On the upside Wax Wing soup is scrumptious!

Okay. Okay. I didn’t actually eat Wax Wings à la Icharus, but it is one of the very few things I did not eat over the summer.

I planned to loosen the reins a bit and maybe adapt to an 80/20 approach (which works really well, by the way), but then I heard the ice cream call my name … and it was summer … and it was Friday … and we were on vacation … and when would we be all together in this place again?

And … and … and …

You can see where this is going right?

I’ll just wait here for your eye rolls to stop and your judgement to wash over me.

I KNOW! I know better. I know. It’s true. I do.

sigh

So now what?

Well, for one I am not starting all over again, so yay me. Secondly, I didn’t quite throw the baby out with the bathwater. I know what works and I know what makes me happy and guess what, people? It is not ice cream. (or potato chips) (Hmm. What’s that? I didn’t mention the potato chips? Gee. I was sure I did. looks down and kicks invisible pebbles)

As it turns out, I feel so much better–mind, body, spirit, soul, mood, attitude–when I stick to eating a variety of yummy foods (including a few sweet treats) that are gluten free (this is old news) and also mostly dairy free, corn free, and devoid of sugar. Oh yeah … just one more thing … coffee. Yup. Coffee is on the chopping block.

It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? I know.

This is partly why (and how) I allowed myself to be stopped.

I am not proud of it, but I am honest, so I will tell you what happened–I let people, who (mostly) do not matter, get in my head.

How sad is that? How silly? How ridiculous? How ludicrous?

How sad.

I literally know hundreds of people who exercise, eat, live, and share their journeys to wellness. There are so many different ways to find what works for you as an individual and I know as well as anyone that it should not matter what anyone else does or says or promotes or buys or endorses.

Yet here we are.

I allowed doubt and fear and alright, maybe a bit of defiance and self-sabotage, thwart me and my efforts.

It isn’t the first time.

When I first went gluten free (or even low carb, waaaaay back when–remember “Protein Power” by the Drs. Eades?–you see.. I was onto something then, too!) I felt so much better, but I let the opinions of others convince me that that couldn’t possibly be what was wrong. I was just fat and Lord knows fat trumps all when it comes to feeling like hammered poo. Amirite? (I know for a fact that if any of you reading this have now or have at any time carried extra fat on your body you know exactly what I am talking about. Every medical anything. Every ache or pain. Each headache or tummy trouble. Anytime the baby nurse takes out the “fat” BP cuff to use on your happily pregnant arm–for God’s sake! Just stop that. Let the Mamma be happy for a half a minute, will ya?!?–the looks, the digging questions, the judgement. All cause a huge heaping helping of self doubt.

Really. Is it any wonder I (I just typed “we”, but this is on me, so here I stand, heart in hand!) doubt myself when for so long clearly any and all of my issues were essentially my fault and my fault alone?

Right?

Right?!?

excuse me for a minute while I take a few deep breaths and go to my happy place

Wrong. Humans are complex creatures and sometimes we carry burdens that we did not create, that we were never meant to carry. For some of us, that burden happens to be visible. When I have the wherewithal to have a sense of humour about it I think of it as my fat suit of armour. I know the truth.

Anyhoo …

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Be nice to people! If someone is doing something and they seem happy and excited or slightly anxious and excited (ANXCITED!) and they are brave enough or trusting enough to share that with you or be open publicly about it, support them. Ask if they are happy about it. Encourage them to go for it. Maybe check in now and then in a non-judge-y way and see how it’s going.

I don’t know.

All I do know is that when I am having doubts and someone swoops in to immediately say the worst of the stuff I am thinking about me (or it or whatever) or point out how difficult a thing is or how they could never give up x, y, z … well, let me get straight to the point (HAH! Have you met me?!) it isn’t helpful. Not even a little bit.

No one really wants to suffer for their art-or for their heart!

So, what is this all about?

Well, to sum up, be nice to people, not just nice–kind. Think before you speak. Certainly, be careful with your say-it-right-out-loud words. Listen more. Pay attention to what you are thinking. Maybe do a double check now and then when you think you have that internally screaming thought and/or eye roll under wraps, and make sure it isn’t written all over your face.

Mind you, if that’s 100% you, by all means, you be you. That is important.

You’ll understand, of course, when I don my eye roll deflector.

Oh, just one more thing–my break is over!

Birds and Fudge and Cheese and Flowers or Random Tuesday: The “Why The Heck Not!” Edition

Here is a picture of a Blue Jay.

blue_jay_glamour Cornell Lab of Ornithology all about birds jays blue jay Cyanocitta cristata

I did not take this picture because the very noisy Blue Jay that has been visiting my patio is also suuuuuper paranoid and I have yet to be able to capture his image. I found this very pretty photo here. I really enjoy birds and I absolutely love the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It is an endless source of information and they are always doing good things for birds and the environment.

Here is another picture of a Blue Jay.

Roberto Alomar blue jays baseball blue jay

Because Random Tuesday. That’s why! Roberto Alomar had his number (12) retired back in 2011. He was an excellent baseball player and as far as I can tell an upstanding gentleman. I wonder what he is up to in 2016.

2016 may be remembered (at least by some members of my family) as the Summer of Fudge. Hoo boy! We ate more fudge this summer than we did all year! This is not a good thing, but in the moment it was glorious. Here’s a peek at a wee sampling. We bought these two at the Anne of Green Gables Chocolates inside Avonlea Village in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. If you head into Charlottetown, PEI, you can watch them making some of the confections through big windows from inside the shop. (Then you’ll very likely need to purchase some “COW Chips”. Consider this fair warning.)

Brown Sugar Fudge ann of green gables chocolates PEI chocolate fudge anne of green gables chocolates PEI

We also had fudge purchased at the PEI Preserve Company. I think it was made by the New Glasgow Candy Company (though there’s no remaining evidence to serve as proof) and the flavour was Turtle Delight. As you can imagine it was – wait for it – delightful.

How do you feel about cheese curds? I mean real, honest-to-goodness, full fat, squeaky, cheese curds. They’re awesome right? We used to buy St. Albert’s when we lived in Ottawa and they were great. This summer my brother had some he purchased at Costco (I presume, as the bag was pretty large) and they were delicious and very real. I’m going to have to get the details before I go next time. Hmm. Or should I not get the details? Cheese can be dangerous. Though, soon it will be playing a substantial role in meal prep ’round here. Actually, as it is Taco Tuesday (but we skipped tacos tonight) there’s usually at least two kinds of shredded cheese on the go. Mmm. Cheese.

Speaking of cheese, do you get all caught up in changing your decor over from Summer to Fall? (Stay with me. This is going somewhere.) (Plus, hello! Random Tuesday!) Do you have a set idea of what constitutes Fall decor? Are you mad about Mums or is Mum the word where your personal plans lie? I ask because I love Fall Mums, (I have written about them here. Several times, apparently.), but it has recently been brought to my attention that some people loathe them. They are cliché and played out as far as some of my Mum friends (that’s mother Mum, not plant Mum) are concerned. They’d rather have nothing than a Fall Mum. I can understand not loving a street full of the same flowers, but I find them to be very happy making. Especially the gigantic ones I get (in yellow, usually) from Costco. (Although, to be honest, I saw one today when I was there and it was looking a little long in the tooth. Mind you, I was practically running through the aisles to get to the checkout to buy movie passes. Jumpins! Costco needs a new system for buying things like passes. * eye twitch * Don’t get me started. That’s an entire (rant filled) post waiting to happen.) Meanwhile, my friend has gotten into my head and now I am not sure I want Mums. Well, I do, but maybe not only Mums.

As luck would have it Kent has sunflowers in planters that basically look like a live bouquet, so maybe I’ll get a couple of those instead.

What do you keep growing in and around your space when Autumn weather arrives?

I asked Thing 2 to say the first and most random thing that popped into her head this morning and she exclaimed, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” with such glee that I would be remiss to not share this gem right this minute.

Did you hear that Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke will have cameos in a new reboot of Mary Poppins? True story.

I liked this Guacamole 101 recipe. Avocados really are a wonderful fruit. They’re loaded with fibre and chock full of good, healthy fat. I vow to add more avocado to my diet. Guacamole ought to be its own food group. Wouldn’t you agree?

We took the Things to see The Secret Life of Pets this evening. Have you seen it? Here’s a Kevin Hart teaser.

He was perfect as Snowball.

Before the movie we saw a preview for “Sing”. I definitely want to see this one!

It looks cute and I love the premise.

So … how did I do?

Is this random enough for a Random Tuesday?

SpaghettiOs! <– That’s Thing 2’s final injection of random

blink blink

Five Worthy Causes For Your Kind Consideration On Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday.

What’s Giving Tuesday?

Well think of it as the Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) of charity.

Giving Tuesday is like “opening day of the giving season.”

It is a day to think about others and to take advantage of a doubling of your dollars because many charitable organizations have a “matching” sponsor. This means that you literally double your donation in some cases.

Give $20 and your organization receives $40.

Donate $50 and voila $100 goes to your favourite fund.

How cool is that?

You can learn more about Giving Tuesday here (please do!) but I want to quickly share with you a handful of my favourite organizations, in case you want to make a donation before midnight!

Free The Children Free The Children is the brainchild of Craig and Marc Keilburger and you can read all about how they founded this amazing organization and the subsequent We, Me To We, and We Day awesomeness here.

David Suzuki Foundation – I have been a fan of David Suzuki for as long as I can remember. A few years back, he actually stepped down as the head of his own foundation to take attention away from his own struggles with a government that seemed determined to paint him as a radical. Oh! He’s radical alright! Radically awesome!

World Wildlife Foundation (Canada) – I hope you know about WWF Canada, for the love of our planet. This organization is famous for its symbolic wildlife adoptions (which make fabulous gifts for Things of all ages), Earth Hour, and many other initiatives. I wear my feelings for WWF Canada on my sleeve and I make no apologies for it. I wrote a guest blog way back when. I have written about it here on my blog and also here. We have one home. It’s the planet we live on. It’s time to show it the respect it deserves, isn’t it?

Because I Am A Girl – I am! You might be. Thing 2 is. My sister is. My mother, too. You either are one, have one or were made by one. Girls matter! Educating girls improves the lives of everyone. BIAAG Canada is taking this knowledge and sharing it around the world. You may have heard about their Pink Lemonade Stands and their using small actions to drive big change initiatives. How wonderful! We are big fans and my face goes all gigantic grin every time Thing 2 emerges from her room in the morning sporting her pink BIAAG T-shirt. “Girls’ rights are human rights.” Your darn right they are!

BIAAG, Thing 2,

Malala Fund – Oh Malala! What a wonderful human being! If ever there was a person with a higher purpose than she ever could have known, it is Malala Yousafzai. Malala is an education activist and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. She was in school when the call came that she had won. She told her teacher she would finish her studies for the day. Malala is walking the talk. I am a fan. Her book is beautiful, the children’s adaptation is great, and now there is even a movie!

So, whether you donate, share, learn or do some small act of kindness today you have taken part in Giving Tuesday and you have made a difference.

What you do matters.

I, for one, appreciate it.

Thank you!