Over the past couple of years in my Edmonton Tourist Journey, I have made an attempt to change habits for the better. Particularly food habits. It isn’t enough to just reduce calories, I need those calories to count towards healthy fuel building vitamins and junk like that.
My first time around in University, I would drink a coke classic and eat a snickers bar to get me through the day. Then have dinner with the family.
Coke = 160 of empty calories
Snickers = 250 mostly empty calories – it has a 1g of fibre and 4g of protein
Why? Well, I liked sugar. My boyfriend/fiance at the time preferred his women skinny and measured my belly fat on a regular basis and always gave me that disapproving look. Don’t GET ME STARTED! So, if I limited my intake during the day I could eat real food at night, I got my coke and chocolate fix and I existed on about 800 calories a day. Totally messed up my metabolism and health and life and DON’T GET ME STARTED! The biggest point I am trying to make is people can make positive changes in their life and stick it out.
I have discussed this with my dietician and I understand the need for variety in my life. I also understand why I need 4 – 6 servings of vegetables a day. 6 cups of bagged lettuce is not optimum. It will do in a pinch, but Lisa my dietician gets on my case about variety.
Here is my problem: I am a creature of habit. I go to the store and buy the same thing every week. Then I go home and make the same thing every week. Then I eat the same thing every week.
My metabolism is looking at me thinking “are you crazy? this is BORING!” then it falls asleep zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
So, I decided to do something about it. A Blogger Friend I read No Giving Up Now (although lately he is outside running all the time and has stopped blogging) orders a farm box and gets produce and other organic yummy things delivered to his home. It is an effort to buy local and support local organic farming. He lives in Ohio. That is not local for me.
Then a friend on facebook announced that she is doing the same thing only with a local company (of course) here in Edmonton! WHAT??? SIGN ME UP!
So I did.
And my first delivery came yesterday!
The delivery guy came to the door with this giant box.
I opened it up and found this
I unpacked the contents – it felt like an awesome trip to the farmers market! and found this
Here is the list:
|1 per||Mango – Tommy Atkins|
|1 per||Melon – Cantaloupe|
|1 per||Apples – Gala|
|1 per||Apples – Gala|
|2 per||Apples – Pink Lady|
|2 per||Oranges – Navel|
|1 Bunch||Bananas – Fair Trade|
|1 Bunch||Beets – Bunched Red|
|1 Bag||Potatoes – Yellow – Local (T)|
|1 2 lbs||Yellow Onions – Local|
|1 per||Cucumber – LE – BC Local|
|1 per||Avocado Haas – Fair Trade|
|1 per||Eggplant – Black Globe|
|1 2-3 per||Vine Tomatoes – BC Local|
|2 Head||Lettuce – Red Leaf|
|1 30 g||Broccoli Shoots – Local|
The Broccoli shoots ended up being Sunflower shoots. I sampled them because I never had them before – yummy nutty and are going into my garden!! I am making a veg sandwich today with those in it! The strawberries that I had for breakfast taste like wild ones I pick in the mountains. I am super impressed with the quality.
The concept is easy. You sign up on the web page for the size box you want/need. I picked the large box for $55 because I have teens to feed – although my son thinks vegetables are a waste of money. It is my responsibility to keep him alive until he moves out then he’s on his own…
There are smaller less expensive boxes available. They send out an email each weekend telling you what is in the new box coming up. You can make changes. I didn’t take parsnips this week because no one else will eat them, so I got more lettuce and fruit instead. They have other organic things like meat, milk, eggs, cereals etc that you can add to your box. You never have to go to the grocery store again. I love that idea.
The box came with a newsletter and a recipe. I leave the box on my porch next week for pickup and they bring me a new box filled with farmer’s market goodness. The variety will challenge me and all of it is good for me. I think I am liking this process.
If you head over to www.theorganicbox.ca and decide to sign up, tell them I sent you and use this email firstname.lastname@example.org
Just spreading the yummy love around.
Why did people think the Earth was flat? Clearly they never ran anywhere.
I can’t seem to run ANYWHERE without encountering hills. Not that this is a bad thing, it makes me stronger, makes my muscles shapely (ier) and it makes my heart healthy or it will give me a stroke – that is a toss up up there. But since I won’t wear my heart rate monitor, I tell myself that I am FINE.
I use to listen to nothing when I ran. But that was when I ran for 30 minutes. Now that my runs are longer I need more to pass the time away with. I like podcasts but now that the leaves are just beginning to break free in the valley, I feel like dancing – SO I started listening to music again and not just laying around on my floor like I did in high school. I listen to music WHILE I run!
After a while, the rotation becomes uninspiring and I find myself looking for new music.
I have several different playlists.
One for hills, one for LSDs (Long Slow Distance) it would also be suitable for the ‘other’LSD, and one for motivation or increased tempo runs.
Then I have the POWER songs. I save them for the end of the run because sometimes (every single time) I need a kick in the pants to keep going.
Trooper fits that bill – weird I know, and so does Clara and her Hen party singing Cee Lo Greens’ Forget you – only its Buck buck buck instead of words. It makes me smile and energizes me.
Today I decided I needed new (ish or new to me) music for my ipod. So off I went in search of music that would kick me into gear, You know what I have discovered? I have very eclectic listening taste.
My two favorites from today that made me insert dance steps into my run along with some kickin’ head moves were Fatboy Slim’s Rockafeller Skank (Always have loved that one but never downloaded it) and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines. Damn that song is sexy and I run sexier when I am listening to it. Okay, in my head I am running sexier…but you are with me so maybe you can imagine my sexy running – or not Dad, just keep scrolling.
I downloaded 14 new songs today and I had a fantastic run. There is something about great tunes that feed your soul. I need to remember this because the next time I am in a running slump, I am going to create a new running play list, one for sexy running, and one for sexy dance moves running. That should motivate me!
Oh and in case you are interested in my odd ball sense of music to run to, take a gander at my list for Sunday’s 13k:
- Rockafeller Skank – Fatboy Slim
- Harder to Breathe – Maroon 5
- Pump it up – Elvis Costello
- Lose Yourself – Eminem
- Too bad about your girl – The Donnas
- Womaniser – Britney Spears
- Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
- I love it – Icona Pop
- Feel this moment – Pit Bull
- Ho Hey – The Lumineers
- Stompa – Serena Ryder
- Gone Gone Gone – Philip Phillips
- It’s a beautiful Day – Michael Buble
- Locked out of heaven – Bruno Mars
I feel like dancing so lets listen to Fatboy Slim shall we? And yes that IS Usher from 1999.
I get asked LOTS of questions here at the Edmonton Tourist. Usually they come from the ‘contact me‘ page, people will message me on my facebook page (hey come like me!) or they message me and chat away with me on twitter @edmontontourist. Sometimes I get asked questions directly in the comment section here on this blog or my Me and Mo Running blog. I get invitations to speak at gatherings, events and even summits (hello Canadian Medical Association!). But sometimes someone who I consider a bloggy friend, who morphed into a facebook friend asks me a question that has me stumped.
This is hard for me to take because I brag CONSTANTLY to my children about how I know EVERYTHING. Although now that they are approaching their adulthood – and quickly – they don’t believe me with the same intensity. If fact – sometimes I am called a LIAR. Shocking…but true. They have called me worse, but that might shock my grandma – so let’s just leave it at ‘liar’.
Mark Petruska, or should I say Author Mark Petruska who hails from
Portland Vancouver, Washington asked me this:
Does your fear of birds stem from old Hitchcock movies? Scientific documentaries proclaiming that birds are descended from dinosaurs? Mitt Romney throwing Big Bird under the bus? Or is it something else entirely?
Hmmm. Good question Mark! I need to think about it.
For as long as I could remember, I feared birds in the “HOLY CRAP I AM GOING TO DIE!” way. Never in the “EWWW THEY ARE ICKY” way. Because Birds are not icky. Rodents are. Birds scare me in ways that I fear a stroke or a heart attack.
But the question remains WHY?
I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Birds when I was a teen, but I was already REALLY SUPER SCARED of birds by then. I would never pet chicks, never feed chickens, never feed ducks at the pond, and never EVER help grandpa fill his 9 billion bird feeders or paint any of his bird houses because I had no interest in those birds being anywhere near me – EVER.
Then a memory came to me. Then I realized I had REPRESSED this memory. Thinking about it TERRIFIES ME STILL.
I was 6 years old and living in Canada’s Arctic in a town called Yellowknife, North West Territories. Ravens were as bad as mosquitos. I kid you not. They were huge from my point of view and memory – so I looked them up. They are like flying chickens. My mom threatened to cook one for Thanksgiving one year. The problem with Ravens is they are smart. And not your usual “oh look a bird feeder” they are “hey fella’s, look over there, I see a grocery store. Let’s devise a plan to open the door and have a feast!”
I know you don’t believe me.
I remember walk home from school and my friend was eating a snack. The ravens swooped in, pulled my jacket so I was not in reaching distance of her. Another one flapped his wings in her face, while a third took the food out of her hands. It was scary.
Another time I was sitting in the window of our home and I watched two raven hover over a garbage can while a third one took the lid off. Then the other two went in and lifted the garbage bag out – first guy drops the lid and the 3 of them fly off with the garbage bag.
They would tease dogs for fun. I read about a raven working an automatic light and turning it on then wrapping its wings around the light to keep warm. These critters are smart. This was my first close encounter with birds. No wonder I am scared.
I saw a video of a Yellowknifer playing with a Raven. He would stick his finger out, say don’t peck me and of course the Raven would and the Raven would LAUGH! Are you kidding me? THAT BIRD LAUGHED! Fast forward after you watch the beginning – PROOF!
These birds are far to smart for my liking, they will gesture to their pals, point with their feet, wings and beaks to hatch a hunting plan.
Now, I know they can talk but it isn’t the same as if Big Bird was speaking to me or if Clara and her hen party were singing at my birthday. These birds are normal in my eyes. Ravens have scarred me forever.
So now I need a little Muppet Happiness so I can sleep tonight.
In my lifetime I have laughed in the face of death, stood my ground, battled for justice and faced my fears. But sometimes you see something so terrifying you can never unsee it.
It happened to me today.
I was finished work, and sitting in my favorite chair beside the window reading Life and Life (a surprisingly great book in the middle and end and hard to love in the beginning). I had the windows open because spring is here with the promise of summer on Sunday. The cool spring breeze was floating through my home bringing with it the fresh smell of a promising summer. The sound of birds frolicking in the trees had me daydreaming of my youth and playing in forested areas wearing my cape and wellies, saving the good people of the earth from monsters and aliens from afar.
Then I saw it.
The scariest sight ever.
It is well documented that I have a fear of birds, from the Emu in Australia that tried to kill me, from the baby bird that hopped up to my chair on the patio. The mere proximity of birds close enough to feel the air flutter from their tiny wings is enough to send my heart racing and my blood pressure reaches severe stroke levels. However, I have discovered something more terrifying than the beady little eyes of a bird wanting to peck my hand.
I witnessed Bird Sex.
Horrifying as it was, I could not pull my eyes away. Those pornographic little creatures were pole dancing on my trellis just outside my window. It was a glorified strip show with feathers flying all over my deck. The finale from the hedonistic foreplay was too much for my eyes to bear, yet there I was staring helplessly at the sight.
All I could do was yell “GET A ROOM BIRDS! NO ONE WANTS TO WATCH YOU HAVING SEX!”
Then they flew off together.
With my luck, the birdhouses will be filled with chicks before long. While I fear birds, I do not hate them. So I will spend the rest of my summer chasing Ginge, my feral cat away and shooing the magpies off with a broom just so I can protect the love children I witnessed being created today.
Now that I have seen the unseenable, I feel like I have a moral obligation to protect the innocent.
Stupid birds… next year GET A ROOM!
Have you ever creeped on Facebook to look up people from your past and are relieved that they haven’t adjusted their privacy settings so you can take a peek into their lives today? YOU HAVE SO…don’t lie.
I did it today.
I am very glad I did. Especially after Sunday’s incident.
I have struggled with body image issues forever and a day, largely in part to the men of my past. I know – what the hell was I thinking? Apparently I wasn’t.
The problem with memories, is they tend to be locked in time. So as I age – 45 and fabulous thank you very much – I become hyper aware of my skin, hair and body shape. When the ex and I split, a huge part of it had to do with my body image. It wasn’t his ideal and he let me know. I am one of those curvy girls, I will never be the anorexic super models. Today I learned that embracing who I am is as important as embracing what I look like.
I took a good look at the ex’s wife.
She looks like she could be any mom at the high school. She looks like she might be a friend of mine – maybe… I am fussy and only pick awesome friends.
She looks like she is smart – and neglects her appearance because she relies on her brains. Nothing wrong with that- I am a huge fan of brains. When I say she neglects her appearance, I just mean – she doesn’t focus on it. Nondescript dress, frizzy hair, no makeup, in other words plain.
I realized that I had been holding myself up to an imaginary standard. I pictured someone my ex would choose as tiny, petite drop dead gorgeous gal who had the perfect everything.
Then I saw her.
The guy is not George Clooney. He isn’t fabulously rich, brilliant or even empathetic. Why would he get a gal like that? Stacey Keibler she isn’t. But I bet she is right for him or what he thinks he deserves.
So why did I think lesser of myself because I wasn’t a supermodel? Good question. Why do women do that?
I can tell you he did talk A LOT about my body. I do know weight disgusted him because of the off colour remarks he would make. So obviously his current girl is rail thin. But she doesn’t have the healthy fitness glow I have. Her arms aren’t toned and I bet she can’t run 10k. My skin has WAY LESS wrinkles because good skin care starts from birth. Thank you ladies of my life who taught me how to take good care of my skin. I should BE so lucky to look like my Grandmother when I am in my 80′s. Her skin is fabulous. I am headed down the right track.
Looking at her picture (the ex’s wife) I also can see the wrinkles she does have are not laugh lines. That is sad. I know from other people she is less than enthusiastic about things that don’t involve her so smiling is sparse and when she does smile, it never reaches her eyes. That makes me sad for her.
Of course this is all speculation and judgement on my part. I am more than my physical image and she is too.
I just wish it didn’t take me so long to figure that out. It makes me want to punch her husband with some good sense.
Life is a sum of all parts. Not just beauty. That fades.
And apparently, some of us get better with age…like a great wine.
I hope she is happy because that is all that really matters.
I typically let water/insults/digs/annoyances run off my back. I figure the person spewing the insult doesn’t know me nor do they have any clue to my journey.
I run – A LOT for a gal my size. Running has done a few things for me:
- Running makes me fit
- Running tones my muscles making me firmer and less jiggly – true story
- Running makes my skin look awesome
- Running clears my head
- Running helps me think
There are a gazillion other reasons but those are the first ones that come to me. We could talk about this all day – but that is not my point.
I was running (surprise surprise) on Sunday along Rich and Famous Blvd. This is a busy spot for lots of city runners who like to have a view of the river valley. I am one of them. I like to see different things while I run. I was at about 6km into my 10km run when I passed two moms in their lululemon’s pushing two jogging strollers. They were both carrying – what I first thought to be coffee or lattes but after we spoke I suspect to it be Hot Water and Lemon. A trick of skinny people who don’t workout. They drink it to keep full and stay thin. In my day it was called a coffee and a cigarette. I ran by them and over heard them talk about me.
Skinny1: OMG look at the size of her ASS.
Skinny2: Why doesn’t she run on a treadmill so we don’t have to look at her.
Skinny1: I know right? I would DIE of embarrassment.
Skinny2: Why didn’t she just stop eating when she got the chance.
Me: (At this point I stopped and turned around) So I hear you have some questions for me. Lets have a quicky Q&A session right now shall we? First Question: It is 4 sizes smaller and 80lbs lighter than it use to be. Question 2: I have a BRAIN TUMOUR. It isn’t cancerous but it isn’t fun. I get dizzy on the treadmill. Besides, running 10km on a treadmill is dead boring and I never would have had the opportunity to meet the likes of you. (That’s right I played the brain tumour card, I am using it to my advantage when I can. If you don’t know the story about it then please click here and no I am not dying) Most people speak before they think but that requires common sense.
Did I really say this? Yes but not that last sentence because they j-walked to get away from me. Perhaps they will keep their comments to themselves from now on.
Is this a typical day for me running? NO WAY! Luckily the world is filled with kind and supportive people who are just happy for others.
Running on Sunday at about the 5km turn-around point I met a older (than me) couple out running both of them gave me a thumbs up. Most runners wave and say hi – but occasionally I get a “Great Job” or “Keep going”. It is a lot like being in a race with fan support. On the whole, I find Edmonton Running Community to be supportive and kind. It is a lot like the running communities I have discovered on-line. People are kind, supportive, helpful and just plain ol’ nice!
Today I ran hills at Emily Murphy Park. I was the only woman out there today. So obviously I was the only fat girl. I was surrounded by an entire phys.ed class from the University of Alberta – all of them men and all of them in fantastic shape. I got a lot of cheers and some fellows ran with me encouraging me to go just that little bit farther before I die. I didn’t die, there is something about being able to focus on shapely young calf muscles that pulled me through. After they ran off and back to class, another young fellow began his descent, running towards me. He smiled and gave me two thumbs up as he passed.
Either I look like death warmed over when I run and people are surprised I am able to breath OR people are just simply nice and encourage each other.
I have had run-ins with lots of people who are repulsed with my body type. Joking about it with your husband or friends isn’t cool. I am sure YOU have some sort of short fall that you would be mortified if I pointed it out. Obviously I am thinking of one gal in particular who happens to be just mean to everyone. I bet she even kicks the dog when no one is looking. My point being is, if it doesn’t hurt you – leave it alone. This same rule of thumb can be applied to Gay Rights and Marriage. It isn’t up to you to judge them. If it freaks you out to think of them having sex, don’t think about it. It freaks me out to think about YOU have sex too – so I just don’t think about it. If you took the time you spent being mean to others and spent it on yourself working on what makes YOU happy, then I think you wouldn’t have time to hate everyone else.
Just let it go.
Be nice, even if you don’t mean it, because one day you will be treated nice back and it feels good.
This is me after running:
Caution Fat Girl Feeling Great AFTER HER RUN!
And you know something? I am starting to look great too
- Big Girls DO Work Out: The Plus Size Princess Fitness Challenge! (blogher.com)
- The Fear of Fat (lamentsandlullabies.wordpress.com)
- Love Your Fat Self (wgst303.wordpress.com)
- In Defense of Skinny Girls: Tackling The Taboo War Between Thick and Thin (madamenoire.com)
- The Skinny on “Skinny Fat” (leanonlife.com)