(This is the season of) No Excuses

We’re 15 weeks into this journey of mine, and I am finally ready to sit down and share some stuff with you guys. Finally.

It took me a long time to be comfortable enough to write this post, let alone publish it. This is stuff that is close to my heart; controversial stuff that some of you just might call me out on. But I’m okay with that.

So I’m down to 199 lbs!—pause for celebration—Can’t say for sure when the last time I saw that number was, because for several years I absolutely refused to weigh myself. I think it was the right choice at the time, because I struggle with becoming obsessive about such things, but times are different now.

I’ve lost 21 lbs and I’m really proud of myself 🙂 I picked up an 18 lb weight bar and it felt really heavy to me. I can’t believe I have lost that whole bar plus 3. Just can’t believe it.

Even though I am doing so good, I still think that 199 isn’t the most healthy number I could be seeing. It’s just not ideal. But I’m still proud of myself for not jumping ship! At this point I just can’t. It has nothing to do with vanity or looks…no, I just didn’t feel healthy, and no wonder…220 lbs isn’t funny. YES I was loved and YES I was beautiful, but my health was being compromised. Big time. It was time!

In January I started watching Biggest Loser again for the first time since season 6 or 7, and all of a sudden I was SO motivated! And as I mentioned before, I joined loseit.com and started training for the Sun Run, and here we are. Imagine that. Exercise and healthy eating actually works!

21 lbs down, and 34 to go till my perceived goal. I chose a total of 55 lbs to lose because 165 was my healthiest weight for ME, and that’s where I’d like to be. But I am not going to kill myself to get there. So far I feel like the choices I have been making have been healthy, but if I notice myself heading down a dangerous path just to see that number on the scale, I will need to reevaluate things. I refuse to be a slave to a number. I just want to feel good.

The theme on Biggest Loser this season is No Excuses. And I’m really starting to live such a life. Through ups and downs and rain and snow and sun, I am learning to make no excuses for living a healthy life, and I hope that never changes!

To those of you who are also on this bandwagon, and I know it’s quite a few of you, keep your flag waving high! We are SO doing this!

~C

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We Come From Alaska

Just a fun, quick post about my first trip to Trader Joe’s. What a GREAT place.

For the past 15 weeks I have been on a rather challenging weight loss journey (who are we kidding here…that journey is more like in its 14th year!), and on Tuesday night I will be posting about my progress and challenges.

Going to Trader Joe’s was a great experience because I proved to myself that I do posses at least some self control in a place where I would normally have gone completely overboard buying everything I wanted, desired, or “needed”. It was also really neat to see what kinds of things they have out there for people wanting to live a little healthier.

By the way, that ice cream was amazing…thank you for delivering, Edaleen Dairy!

I’m excited to go back there when I’m not so broke. As you can see from the picture, I did pretty good at curbing my wants. So I got some cool white cheddar organic popcorn, and locally dried mango. It was SUPER fun!

We sat on that bench and had a conversation with the guy who took the picture, and somehow and for some reason I told him we’re from Alaska. Don’t ask me why, it just happened. Thankfully he didn’t ask us where we were from in Alaska specifically. Props to the girls for playing along, knowing this girl has come up with worse!

Trader Joe’s, see you again very, very soon. And happier, healthier Christina, you did a good job not blowing all your hard work by buying all that organic candy that was in your cart.

Happy new week, friends. Hope you had an amazing weekend enjoying the sunshine!

~C

Just Let Her Sing...

It’s no secret that Friends is my most favourite show in the entire world…hands down. It’s timeless. It never gets old. I still to this day giggle out loud at the same jokes I have heard over and over. And I’m not ashamed of that. At all.

Season 10 is definitely my fave. No reason, really, other than the raw emotions I so clearly remember feeling as the series came to an end in 2004 and so many loose ends were tied up in the story line. The best part of Season 10 (in my humble opinion) is the adoption of Monica and Chandlers twins, Erica and Jack. Before they were able to adopt those babies, though, they had to first find a surrogate mother willing to choose them as adoptive parents.

Chandler made quite the appeal to the woman carrying the twins…it went something like this:

“My wife’s an…

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Slow and Steady…An Anniversary

As you know, last year I ran in and completed the 10k Vancouver Sun Run. It was a really big deal for me. It was one of the first really hard things I ever set my mind to do and actually completed.

Last year’s training wasn’t very easy…I did maybe half the learntorun program and then quit. I quit because my boyfriend at the time and I were fighting. Badly. Non-stop. I could barely get through the day at work, let alone set my mind on the huge task at hand; learning to run 10 kilometres. In hindsight though, I wish I would have completed the training, because the day of the Sun Run was bloody hard. It was actually a beautiful day out, sunny and crisp and clear, but my body didn’t handle the strain very well. Neither did my friends—she threw up more than once along the way, and I couldn’t stop crying. We were a pretty awesome pair of runners 🙂

This year, though, has been different. Other than taking a week and a bit off from my running program when we were in California, I have been training faithfully. Which has surprised me. I have run through hail, sleet, snow, rain, sun, wind and ice. No joke. You name the weather condition, and I ran through it this winter. Sometimes it was all I could do to keep going, swearing my head off, sometimes laughing for no reason, usually smiling, always focusing. And slowly but surely, it has gotten a little bit easier every time.

The Sun Run is on Sunday…and unlike this time last year, I can actually say I’m Ready. I’m ready and excited and can’t wait to beat the pants off of last year’s me. It feels really good to know that my blood and sweat and tears are about to pay off…

When we were in Cali I really wanted to go on at least one run…that didn’t happen though. We DID walk nearly 14 miles a day at Disneyland (no joke, K had a pedometer) so I didn’t feel like the trip was a total loss. It was still disappointing though.

BUT yesterday, before I left White Rock after Easter dinner to head back to Abbotsford, I laced up my runners and went for a nice, long run at the beach. It might not have been the same as running on Long Beach in Southern California, but it was beautiful, and it’s MY beach. That’s my stomping ground, where I grew up, where I feel most at home.

The last time I ran at the beach I was in grade 11 (or was it 12, Katie?). I made it for maybe 4 minutes and then quit. And probably bought an ice cream 🙂

So it felt amazing to complete a 76 minute, non-stop run, in my hometown, where so many negative patterns and behaviours had begun to set in so many years ago.

One year ago today, I went through the hardest thing I have ever had to go through to this day…you can read about it here. And today I got to email my girls, got to reach back and thank the women who got me through this past year. I was carried, and that is something I will never be able to say thank you enough for. It was almost worth all the pain this year has brought just to know that I’m not alone. Almost. But not quite. It’s been a hell of a year, alright.

My training program forces you to take on a slow and steady pace—the first 6 runs or so only allow you to run ONE minute at a time. It drove me crazy knowing I was capable of more but was held back. I can see now how the people who developed that program are super smart…they know that it takes time to work up to a place where you can have the freedom and ability to do what you want to do.

And it was the same this past year…I wasn’t myself, at all, and yet I had to take baby steps to get to this place where I am at now. I’ve come a long way, but I know I still have steps to take, levels to complete, lessons to learn. And it will take a lifetime.

Slow and steady, friends. And this time next week I will prove once again that I can win this race. Yes I can.

Grateful for your friendship,

~C

Can’t Get You Out of my Head (April)

It’s no secret that Friends is my most favourite show in the entire world…hands down. It’s timeless. It never gets old. I still to this day giggle out loud at the same jokes I have heard over and over. And I’m not ashamed of that. At all.

Season 10 is definitely my fave. No reason, really, other than the raw emotions I so clearly remember feeling as the series came to an end in 2004 and so many loose ends were tied up in the story line. The best part of Season 10 (in my humble opinion) is the adoption of Monica and Chandlers twins, Erica and Jack. Before they were able to adopt those babies, though, they had to first find a surrogate mother willing to choose them as adoptive parents.

Chandler made quite the appeal to the woman carrying the twins…it went something like this:

“My wife’s an incredible woman. She’s loving and devoted and caring. And don’t tell her I said this but the woman’s always right… I love my wife more than anything in this world. And I… It kills me that I can’t give her a baby… I really want a kid. And when that day finally comes, I’ll learn how to be a good dad. But my wife… she’s already there. She’s a mother… without a baby…”

And this is my Confession of the Month…

Sometimes, especially lately, I feel like that girl. The one Chandler was talking about. I am a mother without a baby. And that kills me. My friends get pretty choked with me (Linds and Nikki especially) because I often use the word “if” much more often than the word “when”. Since no one, not a single person on this earth, can guarantee me that I will one day have my tiny baby that I so vividly and consistently dream about, it is much easier to take the “if” route…”I want to jog with my kids one day—IF I have any”. Or “Those strollers are awesome. I would totally get one. I mean, IF I have kids one day”.

There is a light inside me that burns for my unborn children…and I feel like with every passing year, that light dims a little bit. And I know I am young. And I know there is time. But I don’t care. I want to be a mother. I feel that I already am in a lot of ways. A mother without a baby. It blesses me to no end to have the number of babies in my life to love that I do…Kylee and Gabby, Nevaeh and Lily…they are shining stars in my life. And I can’t wait to watch them grow up and dance at their weddings and remind them all of the time when I came to the hospital to hold them when they were born…They are treasures and I adore them. And my precious nieces, although they are far from babies now, they bless my life, too. My sister entrusts me with them and I love them with all my heart.

While giving these kids back to their own parents at the end of the day comes with perks (such as the fact that I can sleep through the night and leave the house without a diaper bag!), those perks don’t quite outweigh the heaviness I feel in my heart when I pass them over.

(excuse the rambling…I know I can and probably should wrap this up anytime but I feel like my heart is doing some healing in getting out these “confessions, and that is, after all, the whole point of this series)

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From the time I was a very young girl until at least high school, I used to play in my bed each and every night with my baby dolls. Couldn’t sleep unless I had gone through a rigorous routine of putting those dollies down for the night. My young heart loved every minute of it. In a lot of ways I still haven’t outgrown my love for baby dolls. I remember when I was packing up my old house to move into the cottage, I came across a box of my dolls and a bunch of baby clothes. Anna-Marie and I sat on the floor in my living room talking in depth about life and dressing babies. We played dolls. At 26 and 27 years old, respectively. No shame, friends. No shame. And as much fun as playing dolls has been and always will be, it doesn’t feel as fulfilling anymore…not when I am surrounded by beautiful friends who are so blessed with the children they have been given. When will it be my turn?

It’s not that I only want a baby. It’s not like I don’t think about the fact that babies aren’t babies forever. I know those things. And my longing goes beyond the newborn phase, past the stay-at-home mommy years, farther than the cute clothes and tiny booties. My longing rests in wanting to nurture my own child…wanting to raise a human being who is kind and compassionate. I realize this is a huge dream and in some ways, who am I to be given such an important and huge task? In so many ways I am undeserving of such an honour, but the passion is there, friends. It always has been and it always will be. And maybe one day down the road I will adopt a little boy or girl who needs a mama as badly as I need a babe. And that will be a good, good day. Whatever God’s plan is for my life, I deeply hope it includes the piece of my heart that I feel is missing.

But for now, God has blessed me for now with these, and my heart rejoices each time one of these cuties reaches for their Auntie Stina…

You may be thinking I missed a step…that before you can have a kid you need something else that is prrreettyyy important first. But hear me now: That is an ENTIRELY different can of worms, one I am not quite ready to open right now. So we’ll leave it at this for now. Everything in it’s time, is the word on the street.

Feels good to get that out in the open. It’s not that I am afraid to “confess” my love for babies, but it overwhelms me in a way that makes it hard to just blurt it out. So thanks for hearing my heart tonight. I hope I’m not alone in feeling this way, but it kind of seems like I am sometimes.

Enjoy the ones you are with, friends

~C