Confessions

Here it is: My Clothes Don’t Fit.

How stupid is that.

Food. It is the delicious bane of my existence. I cannot seem to find a balance between eating for nourishment and eating for pleasure. My weakness is sweet foods. Anything that has sugar or is a derivative of sugar I become attached to the point where I will eat it until it runs out or I become sick. A part of me knows that this is not proper behaviour. Another part of me can’t quit until an extreme has been reached. I wrestle and war with myself but it seems like the cravings always win.

If it’s not bread or baked goods, it’s pretzels (which is a kind of baked good but a different category for me than, say, a muffin), if it’s not pretzels it’s cheese, if it’s not cheese it’s chocolate, if it’s not chocolate, it’s popcorn. I just can’t seem to dismiss them if they are around me. It is a battle of wills.

A few nights ago I went to Raw: Almond, a pop-up restaurant located on the river at The Forks, a locally well-known spot where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet. We sat on fur-covered tree stumps and ate seven courses of the most top-quality, delicious foods I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. It was an amazing experience and, dare I say it, a life-altering meal.

Here it is: I am fat. Not just a ‘lose 20 pounds and it will all be fine’ fat or a ‘curvy and voluptuous’ fat, or a ‘strong but hefty’ fat. No, it is an actual ‘out of shape, flabby and exhausted’ fat. I overeat edible food-like substances and I hardly ever would call myself active (much to my chagrin).

I try. There are periods of time where I try SO hard to change. I go for walks, I eat salads, I do whatever I can to lose weight but then I derail myself by allowing others to control my actions. Whether it’s a derivative look from another human, time constraints, biological urges, holiday ‘treats’, etc. it seems that this life I live is designed to work against me.

It’s combat. It’s war. It’s battles. It’s a fight.

It’s stupid.

I am opting out. There has got to be something better. This is my public declaration that I am taking control of the wheel. Leaving it up to forces other than myself has not worked. The plans of others has left me stagnate and exhausted. Instead of holding it all in, I  am going to pour it out. The positives, the negatives, everything.

So here goes.

January 2015

‘They’ say in order to succeed at reaching a goal one must visualize him or herself already successful at that goal. Want to live in a sprawling house with antique furniture and 5 dogs? Close your eyes, and see in your mind that you already live there. Map the layout in your head, envision the fainting couch by the window and breeds of dogs you want to have running through the hallways. Etc. Etc.

I am foggy-headed. Is it possible to want too many things? I can’t see the forest through the trees. I don’t understand how there are people, bloggers, out there who are so clear-headed. They have a vision and they stick to it. Am I that wishy-washy? I feel second-rate when I see pictures belonging to others. These people have better pictures, better bodies, better clothes, better climates, better styling skills, better everything.

Ok, Hushhhhhh. Momentary lapse.

Now that I’m over feeling sorry for myself, here’s what I figured out. Of course I’m feeling second-rate, because I’m feeling like I should emulate others. I think it was Judy Garland who said something like ‘Always be a first-rate version of yourself rather than a second-rate version of someone else.’

And it’s true! So true.

I follow a fairly large number of blogs, but for the most part they can all be grouped into lifestyle, self-improvement, and mommy categories. I find the lifestyle blogs are most envious but I realize that they are run by a team of 3 or more people and they’re meant to be an inspiring ideal rather than all-encompassing reality. Once that fact is faced, I feel loads better about the whole thing.

Instagram in particular can be a nasty self-esteem suck, if you let it be. Better pictures, better lives. Better adventures, better food, better friendships.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

The stupid part is…90% of the time I don’t even want to be doing what the other person is doing. ‘Flash fantasies’ is what I call them. Split second pictures in my mind of being elsewhere, of not being me. But those flash fantasies leave a lingering taste in my mouth of longing. Bad cravings for something sweet but the aftertaste is bitter.

Solving the problem includes two things: Appreciation and Understanding.

Appreciation for the self and the reality that I’m in, and understanding that the situation of another person is different than my own and doesn’t warrant judgement from me.

Aside from the small-scale resolutions I’ve made, like ‘wear more red clothing’ and ‘publish a blog article at least once a week’ my major resolution is to start appreciating where I am, both in the physical sense and the social sense.

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“If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” -Elizabeth Engelbreit

Look & Listen

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I’m sure I sound like a broken record but I really cannot believe how fast the days fly by. Have you ever felt like the hours whiz past you and before you know it, it’s 4 days later and you’re not quite sure how you got there?

It’s a constant struggle for me to stay mindful and really experience the present moment. There is always something ‘else’ going on. The baby needs something, my husband needs something, my parents, my sister, my friends.

This month in particular is pretty brutal when it comes to time being sucked in a whirlwind. This last week alone I’ve prepped for two parties and co-hosted one, spent hours baking and driving and planning for more gatherings. It’s really quite ridiculous but I love this time of year all the same.

This is why I treasure my time outdoors right now more than ever! The fresh air helps me breathe deeply and the exercise I get from roaming my little corner of the world allows me to truly focus on whatever my mind.

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This is a type of post that I truly love and want to do more of. A post of observances and appreciation. Of stopping in my tracks to really notice bits and pieces of the world around me and sharing those pieces.

So, without further ado, here are five things I have to appreciate this week.

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1) The crunch crunch crunch sound of snow underfoot. It’s a sound that is totally unique to a snow globe world.

2) When the wind whips up a recent dusting of snow and swirls it around, creating a sparkly little funnel cloud.

3) Tis the season of lights! Walking outside after 5pm means being in the dark but every day more houses are being adorned with pretty coloured lights, and other cute decorations, that create a most cheerful atmosphere.

4) The last street lamp at the edge of town throws it’s light only so far. Although I know what lies beyond in the dark, it’s fun to pretend the unseen world is an eerie mystery.

5) The dizzying shimmer of snow in the lamp light or sun. I swear, it sparkles like a field of diamonds!

Nostalgia

Thursday November 6, 2014

Temperature: 2*C (36*F)

Goal time to spend outdoors: 17 minutes (goal achieved)

This morning I was in my hometown of Treherne because I had an appointment to get my INR levels checked at the hospital (I developed a blood clot after giving birth to Little C so am now on blood thinners). After my appointment I drove down a few streets in town and parked the car in front of the town restaurant (yes, at the moment there is only one. We are THAT small.) that happened to be my place of employment during my high schools years. Oh, the memories!

It was a clear, crisp, sunny day plus I had brought along Little C’s stroller with us (you never know what you need, and babies need a lot of STUFF) and I had some time to kill before lunch, so out came the stroller. I clicked Little C’s bucket into the base, packed the blanket on top of him for warmth, adjusted his hat and away we went.

I walked down a hill, past the church I attended as a child, past the plot of land where my babysitter used to live (the house has been torn down and a mini-McMansion is being built in it’s place), past the land where my grandma used to have a house (we tore it down when she passed away and whoever bought the land brought a ratty trailer onto the space), past the lodge that my grandma lived in for a short time, past the stores and banks on the main streets of town that I used to frequent, past the empty plot of land the hardware my parents used to own (the building has been torn down).

I kept thinking that everything is so weird now. Bits of the town are totally unchanged and other pieces are flat out gone from this world, remaining only in my heart and memory. I took a moment to travel back in time, if only in my head, and saw my friend’s house that is now gone and replaced by another house, and a building that used to be a cafe and is now a physical therapy office.

Things are always changing.

Businesses, families, the weather. Everything just keeps rolling and moving and growing and breaking apart, only to keep moving and grow again. Sometimes it’s a little too much for my heart to take. Once in a while I fleetingly wish things would just stay still, that time would slow down to a crawl. But then I remember that change is the correct way of the world. That facing the things we fear is good for the soul (or essence, or personality, however you want to describe it) and that being sad once in a while is okay, since it makes being happy that much more special.

I wasn’t sad, not really. I felt nostalgic and bittersweet. I hadn’t lived here in over 10 years. The past is past, what’s done is done. If anything, I think I was a little sad for the girl I had once been and was no longer. She was a great girl, I think, and sometimes I miss her and her naivete. I had a lovely childhood. My home was a safe and loving home, my town was a safe and picturesque town.

As I strolled past the credit union I waved to a man who was once a little boy that went to the same babysitter as me. He parked a pick-up truck with his name on the back declaring he owned a construction business. I laughed a little. I remembered him dancing with me in a living room and being embarrassed that he liked to dance. His sister once bit me on my arm so hard she drew blood and their brother, who I went to school with, was the golden boy in our grade, well-liked by almost everyone.

How time flies. How things change. How some of it remains eternal. I love it all.

Happy Hump Day!

So in my last post I wrote that I felt like I was in some sort of a personal rut. I started paying more attention to what my habits were and came to the conclusion that I needed to work on keeping my body well-groomed in order to feel good about myself. Since then I’ve definitely noticed that I’m less snappish and in slightly better spirits, however the rut still remains.

I’ve been keeping a fairly detailed journal (like, down to the minute detail) of what I’ve been doing and thinking over the past week and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a whole host of things I need to work on, but rather than drag you on the boring journey that is my quest for leveling up, I’ll let you in on what is the major challenge for me.

While reading over what I had written during the last few days, it struck me that I often didn’t go outside. I spent the majority of my time indoors, or in the car, with Little C. I’m honestly not even sure what my reasoning for this is! Could it be the trappings of modern living? Laziness? Seeking comfort? All that and more? Whatever the reasoning is, I don’t like it. It’s making me grumpy and I’m setting out to change this.

In order to make a change, I’ve set a goal to work toward, which is spending at least 3 hours every day outside, weathering the great outdoors (notice I didn’t say enjoying? I don’t know if it will be ‘enjoyable’…)(oh indeed I used quotation marks). A while ago I mentioned that I implemented a system that went something like ‘read 5 blog articles and then get up and do something for 5 minutes’. That something can be anything from taking a shower to meditating, to going for a walk, to cleaning the house. Since then, I’ve increase the amount of time of ‘doing something’ by 1 minute every week. This week I’m at 14 minutes and today I’m going to add ‘Be Outside’ to the list.

Maybe nobody will read this or (quite possibly) I’m the runner up for World’s Best Couch Potato and spending hours outdoors every day is something most people do already, and everyone is like ‘Really Caleigh? Really? Spending time outdoors is normal, you lazy cow.’

Who knows?

But in my case it is a total novelty and one that I want to change so it’s a normal activity, so I hope you’ll follow me while I document this journey of experiencing, for better or worse, the great outdoors!

Dusty Dusk

So, lately I’ve been feeling in a rut. Things are a little less beautiful and a little more blah. I get that life ebbs and flows and it can’t be ‘up’ all the time, but things need to turn around or I’m going to get seriously pissed. I’m not sure if it’s a weight gain thing, or a new mom thing, or a wanderlust thing or a whatever thing. Maybe it’s all of that and more. It’s just a big rut. But rather focus on the downers, I’m more inclined to hone in on what’s happening to make me feel this way and change it. *Do or do not, there is no try* (Yoda?)

I don’t know about other new parents out there, but once my son was born, daily showers became a thing of the past. Time rushes in and blows out so fast all of the sudden 3 days passed by with no shower and I’m left wondering why I feel so gross. So, in an effort to start the day off right, numero uno after waking up is —> shower. It may not seem like a big thing, but I think it’s something that helps start the day off right and in my haste to have some time to myself I forgo the shower for other pleasures (a great breakfast or yoga), but then feel yucky later on during day, which then leads me to get mad at myself for not showering in the first place.

And not just shower, but actually groom myself. Do hair and makeup. Make an effort to look put together. There’s an old 4-H lesson (oh yeah, I’m so cool haha) that says ‘Looking Good, Feeling Great’ and maybe that’s a mantra I need to adopt.

So, let’s start with that!

Reading Material

Man, Friday already?! These days just fly by. It’s hard to be mindful of everything in general when every activity just jumps around like crazy and each Friday melts into the next one. Tonight I’m planning on some popcorn, white wine and a movie (hopefully with my husband!) while Little C sleeps, and tomorrow and I’m heading to my parents’ place to help clean the house and get ready for the Wedding Gong Show. Happy trails!

This beautiful ballerina wedding inspiration is so ethereal!

This couple got married in a cave in Iceland. Breathtaking pictures!

I’m either on a romance ‘look’ kick, or a tulle kick, because here’s a day in the life of a ballet dancer.

Huh, look at that. A post about Brandon, Manitoba! It’s the city nearest to where we live and our go-to place for stuff we can’t find in the country. I honestly have never been to the places this guy has, preferring certain shops and downtown places but I can appreciate a tourist’s view!

An interview with a floral designer! Working with flowers must be amazing, you can be surrounded with so much variety!

See you next time!