Catch-up time! Photos of recent life-is-happening stuff and long-winded thoughts I’ve finally pinned down.

My erratic blogging habits have been on my mind lately.  I never have an agenda when I write, I usually just wait until I’m compelled to sit down and blurt something out.  In the last month and a bit, I’ve stared at my screen so many times wanting to share without knowing how to blah it out.  With so many new and exciting things happening along with some worries in the family, it’s been difficult for me to know where to start.

So, what have I been up to? Some pretty big (for me) and amazing things! More hikes, a weekend in Whistler to try snowboarding for a day, jumping in the ocean on New Years Day (well, Burrard Inlet from Ambleside in West Van :P), and some other things I probably can’t remember. A big part of all this also includes someone I’ve been seeing these last few months, my goofy Mr. Special who is amazing at pushing me to do more outside my comfort zone and live it up =)  See super-cheese photos below!


Holiday Party and the first normal-ish picture of us!

Dec. 8 2012


I went hiking at Admiralty Point in Belcarra again, this time with Mark.  I was amazed at how much faster/easier it felt to me as opposed to when I last did it in June 2012 with Michelle!

P1040731  P1040722


Last month we took a gorgeous hike near the Capilano River at the Salmon Hatchery up to the Cleveland Dam!


Cheesy grin, so happy to be exploring nature!



Yep, I stuck my head through the railing because I couldn’t see over it. Lol…


A long way down…a fun, butt-blasting hike up from the hatchery as well.  So, so good!



Scruffy McGruff on jazzy date night…I don’t think Movember was to blame, good timing to get away with it though!



So in like with Van Django at the Cellar Jazz Club! Red wine, cheese platter, fun music and diverse crowd…beautiful living!


My happy energy captured all wrong with googly eyes…


Sat on the Christmas Train for the first time, wheeeeeeee!



This was taken after a 6hr snowboarding lesson up at Whistler on Dec. 15th, my first time trying it! I definitely need to try again once I lose a bit more weight =)

Snowboarding with Rosa and Sandy


 HAPPY NEW YEAR! I actually did it and ran into the ocean on January 1st with Chris.  Such an invigorating and pretty awesome way to start 2013, a sign that this will be a year of new experiences for me!

DSC09924 - Copy


I couldn’t feel my legs at this point…picture couldn’t be taken fast enough!


As you can see, life has been fun🙂  How do I qualify where I am now from where I was at this time last year? I keep going over these moments.  I guess reflecting on the previous year is common for most after the new year, but these thoughts have been circling in my head for over a month in all their chaotic glory, and I’ve finally had a moment to stop and listen to each one.  There were bad experiences and periods where I didn’t know why I kept pushing forward.  These memories spark the good flashbacks, the kind that I feel and carry with me constantly as though I’m still living the event that happened weeks ago. Big things and little things — some as simple as crossing my legs or running in public, and big things like snowboarding which I’d never dreamed of trying anytime soon.  I still haven’t reached a point where I can do it all without any fear of pain or worse.  But I can do it. I can follow through, and I almost always choose to! And that’s exactly what’s changed…

I’m going to miss 2012.  It’s changed my life in ways I’m still trying to comprehend.  I know I can only move forward from here now but it’s hard not to look back constantly at where I was and what I’ve been.  This “new me” with all these feelings and experiences is so foreign to my everything.  I’ve mentioned my feelings of gratitude before — my desire to give back, somehow, all the good I’ve absorbed in this last year.  I’m still trying to figure this one out.  All I know is that I am happier now in my uncertainty and the unknown than I have ever been.  Every day isn’t perfect.  My heart, body and mind don’t always co-exist in sync, but I do find that it happens more frequently now.  As opposed to never, that’s pretty profound for me.  My family and friends support me regardless, even when they don’t understand me.  I’ve met someone incredible who pushes me and helps me try things I’m irrationally terrified of doing and I love it.  It excites me and grounds me at the same time and encourages me to look for more boundary-pushing things on my own.

I was so content when midnight struck on New Year’s eve.  I was standing there on Dunsmuir and Beatty outside the skytrain station with Mark and Chris, looking up from the street at the balconies in the apartment towers above us lit up and full of people cheering and celebrating.  We were just walking around with nowhere in particular to be when we stopped.  The street was practically empty, but the sky was alive.  I felt alive!  I know how nuts that must sound, lame to some, but it was a moment for me that I’ll always think back to.   I felt everything all at once and didn’t care that I wasn’t at a party somewhere celebrating.  I didn’t care that we left the crowds behind us at the casino or in that bar we didn’t have any interest in.  I was with 2 of my people (and they may or may not have been bored), I had my HNY tiara and I was in awe of everything. Plus, I still got to see pretty golden fireworks from the train a few moments later =)

I hope this doesn’t come off as vainglorious or presumptuous but these are the moments I wish I could teach others to recognize, especially those I care about.  Of course, it’s a bit more personal and complex than that and not easily done.  I just want to help others believe that they can feel this and that happiness actually does exist in these rare and unexpected moments if you open yourself up to them.  The real kind that resonates from within and that you’re accountable for, with or without those amazing people all the while knowing they are still a huge part of the reason you’re here.  It doesn’t come easily — there is nothing about the last few years that has been easy and it will probably always be this way because life happens whether we pay attention or not.  But now I know it’s worth and that should be good enough to get me through the next 5 years, at least! I just never thought it possible to appreciate life this much, and I’m not even done yet =)

Happy New Year to each and every one of you, I truly hope it is full of life and light and appreciation.  

Has it really been a month?!

If there’s one lesson I’ve learnt to appreciate lately, it’s that things never go as planned. If they do, great. If not? I don’t get all worked up anymore, I just look at them as guidelines I’ve danced around. Of course I have my “Oh shit!” moments, but those are short-lived and the outcome is usually much better.

For example — remember how gushy I was about picking up counselling courses again? Yeah that’s not happening. 1 course got cancelled and I had to drop the other one. What happened instead? Well I finally landed my practicum placement a few weeks ago after a month of trying. The organization I’m with is incredible — I’ll be co-facilitating support circles once a week and I cannot wait to begin! I’ve already completed the intensive training and part of the orientation so I should be able to apply for graduation in Feb or March =)

So I didn’t even realize how long it’s been since my last post until a few people mentioned it to me this last week. Sorry my loves, life has been wonderful and hectic and keeping me away from the internet! Aside from getting practicum things in order, I’ve been enjoying my newly found energy levels with my special people and loving every discovery along the way. Longer walks, jumping off diving boards for the first time since my early teens, wogging (walking/jogging!), finding new bones and realizing how flexible I am, etc. Weird, I know. You probably need to be around me to really get how much all of this excites me. Lol..

I did get to attend a very special wedding on October 27th for my dear friends and it was really kind of them to include most of my family (sorry Patoots!😉 ). Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera for the night because it was temporarily misplaced but my sister managed to get a few shots and I’m still waiting on some other friends to pass on the rest

The last one includes some lovely ladies I went to high school with, including the bride =) Sorry for the terribly blurry shot, although someone did say the demon eyes we had were quite fitting for the weekend before Halloween! As soon as I get my hands on some better photos I’ll share them…

Shake shake shake!

Those that know me well know that I don’t have a sweet tooth or care for much junk food.  Never have, aside from a few choice things I’d indulge in to satisfy a craving once or twice a month.  One of those favourite things for me was a little square of Lindt’s Dark Chili Chocolate.

So I decided to try turning it into a shake today and it is AMAZING so I had to share.

All I did was use a packet of Chocolate Fit Frappe by Big Train, some cinnamon, and homemade chili extract (which I made on the spot by soaking dried chili from my spice rack in hot water and then strained it in), and then finished with a splash of sugar-free chocolate syrup.

It tastes good cold, but I’m pretty sure this would be heavenly if I heated it up and drank it like Mayan hot chocolate…let’s just say craving fulfilled🙂

Feel-good holiday updates and sick days.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend! I’ve never really celebrated it because my family didn’t, but for the first time it felt like a holiday to me because I was happy and surrounded by loving people and we all made time for each other.  I have a lot to be thankful for this year and it’s not something I can just express on one day, you guys hear it all the time lately and that probably won’t change.  One of the coolest things I noticed was how food was a non-issue.  Usually around the holidays I like to bake and make meals that I hardly touch.  Or if I do take a break from my “healthy habits” to indulge in a few extra carbs or fats, I pay for it immediately in the following days when I check the scale and have to work weeks to get it off.  While I’m sure this is fairly normal for most during the holidays, for me it was always conflicting and left me feeling guilty for thinking I could enjoy more than a salad with some chicken for once.  For the first time –ever– I don’t even care.  I know what I have to eat and I do that, and if there’s anything I want to try a bite of or treat myself to, I can.  And there’s no guilt! I love my sleeeeeveeee❤

I think I’ve been having waaay too much fun.  So much so that my body decided to knock a flu into me to slow me down.  Pfftttt I can take this, and I suppose sleeping it off for a few days isn’t so bad.

Lol, okay I caught me…  If I’m glad about finally being able to sleep because I’m sick, maybe I should slow down.  Still, I’ve never been so happy while being sick.  This last week has been pretty great.  Good workouts, great weight loss, great walks, beautiful drives, and amazing company…the hardest thing has been trying to find a practicum placement through it all, but in a way it’s good because it’s getting me in the know about hundreds of organizations in the Lower Mainland and what they do.   I just have to keep trying…

So here’s something interesting…earlier in the week I was checking some messages when I noticed one from a lady representing  I’ve been offered to test a new product being launched next spring that will be similar to a FitBit.  For those of you who haven’t heard of SlimKicker, it’s a health tracker for diet and exercise that’s pretty similar to the one I currently use —  The only difference is that this turns losing weight and meeting your goals into a game where you can level up and earn points towards self-determined rewards or prize giveaways from SlimKicker! You can do short-term challenges for 7-30 days, or other simpler ones like eating a salad a day, moving during commercials, or doing 10 squats a day.  There’s an app for it in the app store as well so that’s pretty handy.  I’ve signed up to test it out because I’ve been looking for a new way to challenge myself and create better fitness goals.  I know many of my OH, VST, and other weight loss friends already use health and diet trackers, but some of you don’t like to because you find them boring.  I’m thinking this might be a fun way to try one out🙂  Plus, it does have a decent online community like MFP so you can network and get motivated with others. Let me know what you think!

So, the other great thing to happen this week was my trip down to the states to find a dress for my friend’s wedding.  Not only did I find one, but it’s 2 sizes smaller than I usually buy and from a store I never expected to shop at because they “fit small” most of the time.  It was the last in its style and the only size left, and if my sister hadn’t been there to tell me it was perfect I might’ve left it because I didn’t believe it could look like it did on me.  That would’ve been so stupid because IT’S SO PRETTY! I didn’t even bother to try on the other 3 I took into the changeroom with me.  And I won’t say anymore, but I’ll post pics after the wedding in a few weeks…it was such a great day trip with some good buys and much-needed sister time.

I know that every week won’t be perfect and amazing, although I have had a lot of great days in the last month and can’t complain about much. Maybe it’s just the good finally outweighing the bad, so my outlook is that much more positive and optimistic?  I’m not sure, I’m just happy to have a place to share it and I’m really looking forward to this year’s holiday season and all the stuff in between now and then  =))

Mind = Blown

Wow, so I weighed in today at -100.7lbs from my highest weight.  Which means I am 0.3lbs away from jumping into the 200’s for the first time in years!

I am ecstatic!

Yesterday was spent exploring beautiful spots in the Whistler area (Alice Lake, Brandywine Falls, interpretive forests, etc) and then spending a few late hours at Spanish Banks in the city.  All day, the energy just kept resurfacing and recharging me, I can’t even imagine being able to spend a day like this 6 months ago!  Even in the past when I lost weight with the Dr. Bernstein diet, I didn’t feel this good.  I didn’t feel this healthy or active or proud of myself.  And I was 80lbs lighter than I am now when that happened…

I’m still trying to figure out how to put some of this positive energy back out into the universe because I feel this need to (maybe passively?) express my gratitude and renewed love for life and hope.  I know my career will be one avenue of many, but I feel like there’s a lot more that I can’t see yet…more people, more experiences, just more.  The unknown used to scare me, the “what if’s” had the power to take over and worry me in periods of doubt.  Now? It’s just exciting. And random.  My own.  And life feels tangible for what seems like the first time ever.


Random thoughts, updates, and comparison pics

I still cannot get over how little it takes to fill me up! 3 bites of something and I’m done…I LOVE IT! Although I hate wasting food and get tired of eating the same things repeatedly…

Also, I’ve been having way too much fun at the gym this week thanks to my special girlies.  You know it’s real love when they don’t care how sweaty you are and they still want to hug you, lol.  I’ve been changing up my cardio and amping up the crossramp on the elliptical so that the incline is crazy high and the light-up dude on the screen telling you which part of your body gets the workout has a nice green glowy butt.  And now MY butt hurts, but I need a better one so it better get used to this😛

I’m going to get over my fear of numbers here and share mine now.  It’s been hard to look at the scale and not see it move for days, sometimes weeks…  But one thing is for certain — my shape is changing big time.  I took my measurements the other day and realized that I’d dropped 18 inches in the last month overall, 10 of those being from my waist alone.  And I had trouble believing that, so I decided to look at some pics I’ve been taking every month at the gym.  I started taking these photos about 35lbs down from my highest weight, just after I met Dr. Sampath for the first time.  Hard to believe this is what I accomplished in 5 months, but it does help me feel better about the numbers🙂

I’m going back to school!!!

I can barely contain my excitement!  For the last few months, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pick up where I left off and I was worried about how I would get out into the world after laying low for so long.

For those of you who have been reading my blog since it started, long before every post revolved around me getting the surgery and everything that had to do with it, you’ll know I made the decision to study counselling.  I powered through the Community Counselling program at VCC so I would have something significant to add to my BA in Psyc from UFV, but I never finished the practicum requirement because I didn’t feel like I was mentally or physically prepared to keep up with it.

I am done waiting.

This is going to be a year of changes for me, but I can’t sit around waiting for them to happen and fall into my lap.  I started looking at requirements for the BCACC (BC Association of Clinical Counsellors) and realized that I will have to complete my MA at some point if I ever want to be a registered clinical counsellor.  So that’s what I’m going to do, only my MA will NOT be in counselling, it’s going to be in Social Work which I actually thought of pursuing long before counselling was even an option.  It is the most realistic option for me to follow through and I feel a sense of security by going in this direction.  Counselling is my passion and I can definitely incorporate it in this field to my advantage and also as a standalone parallel career in a few years’ time.   Social work will open many doors for me and lead to a lot of opportunities that provide financial and job security, which is one hesitation I’ve always felt with counselling on its own.

So, after all this thinking I realized that it is quite likely that this will not happen in BC.  I think I always knew that was the case if I wanted to go into Social Work, which is why I never made it a valid option until now.  I couldn’t leave BC, I couldn’t imagine going away and succeeding in anything without having my surgery first.  And now? There’s nothing to hold me back.  I’ve been looking at schools in Alberta and Toronto and it looks like I will be uprooting my life here and shifting east as soon as I can get my applications in order.  This could happen in the next year if I’m lucky, but it might just be in 2014 so I have some time to build myself up with my counselling credentials before I head out there.

To start things off now, I’ve registered for 2 more classes at VCC, starting this October.  Both are electives in my program but valuable to the field of counselling and social work — I have nothing to lose by taking them.  I will try to do my practicum simultaneously this winter and follow up with a couple more courses in January.

Life is happening, and I don’t have anymore excuses not to get out there and live it.  My goals and dreams are very real, and much more attainable now than they have ever been.  I can’t sit still anymore or settle into safe and convenient alternatives, it’s time to get moving and make something of myself =) 

So much gratitude, so much excitement.  My patience is a gift I need to learn to appreciate over the next few years, and it won’t be easy but it will serve me well and get me where I need to be.

Here’s to hoping and DOING.❤

%d bloggers like this: