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Once a year…

There is one day a year that everyone gets to be selfish.  A day where they get to put themselves first. It’s even okay for them to expect the people who care about them to put them first as well.

Once a year, everyone gets a ME day, everyone gets a birthday.

The lucky people out there get someone who cares about them so much that they will go out of their way and make special plans. The lucky people have someone who will do their very best to bring together everything that matters to them, to one place and time, to show them they are loved.

 

Then there are people like me.

 

I spent the days leading up to my birthday in tears. I cried every day, knowing that no one would do for me what I recently did for someone important to me.  I cried every day, knowing that no one wanted to spend time with me on my birthday. I cried every day, knowing that the only reason I was seeing people on my birthday was because I had invited myself to tag along on their plans.  I cried every day, knowing that I had flat out asked people to spend time with me on my birthday, for my birthday and they had said no.

 

In the days leading up to my birthday, I tried to come to terms with the fact that my birthday would be just like any other day. I tried to accept the fact that the one day of the year that I was allowed to be selfish would pass totally unnoticed. But every time I thought about it, I cried.

I confided in people about how I felt. I told them that I felt alone and ignored. I told them that I felt unwanted.  I guess I was hoping that by telling them how I felt, it would inspire them to help me not feel that way.

 

Then Saturday, November 17th arrived, and I knew that at the very least, I had my WeightWatchers meeting that morning, and my members knew it was my birthday, so they would acknowledge it.  I knew they would care.

When I got to work that morning, my coworkers were standing outside. The doors were locked and no one was inside.   We stood outside for 45 minutes  waiting for someone to show up and let us in, but no one arrived, so I sent 45 people home.   As I was sending them home, I casually mentioned that this wasn’t the way I had expected to start my birthday.  And to my disappointment, people were shocked that I mentioned it was my birthday.

I have to admit that I had thought about how the meeting would go. I had it in my head that they would remember. I had it in my head that I’ve connected with them to a degree that they would acknowledge it, and there would be cards and presents.

After I sent everyone home, a couple members did invite me across the street for breakfast, so I joined them and had a few laughs. But it  was their breakfast plans, and I was tagging along.

Is it wrong to be disappointed that they didn’t remember?

 

The next part of my day pretty much went as planned.  I met some friends up at Bear Mountain, after they ran the Bear Mountain 10K & Half Marathon.   I don’t know how to explain this part of my day, without sounding ungrateful, but I’m going to do my best.

I honestly feel that if I hadn’t invited myself up to the race to have lunch with them after the race, I wouldn’t have been there.

I really do want to make it clear that they did buy me a dessert, and they did sing happy birthday to me, and I do appreciate that, but it didn’t erase the feeling that I forced myself on their post race celebration, and I didn’t really belong there. I was just tagging along on their plans.

 

Saturday afternoon wasn’t about me, it was about my friend Jenny. It was her 30th birthday, and she was visiting from Calgary, so I made my way to her parent’s house to visit with her.    It was very sweet of her mom to go out and get us a cake, with candles and everything, but I was just tagging along on her celebration. It was nice to sit around with people and chat all after noon, but if I’m being honest, it hurt a little that someone who shares my birthday didn’t even remember to get me a card.  And yes, before you ask, I did get her a card.

 

My evening was a combination of frustration, and pleasure.   It was sweet of the people who tried to be there for me.  It was honestly sweet that they tried.  But I felt like an after thought, I was just tagging along on other people’s plans.

 

It was supposed to be my day. The one day of the year that people are supposed to care about me, and make a big deal about me, but it ended up being the loneliest day.

 

I spent the day after my birthday mostly alone.  And as I sat in my apartment, looking around, there wasn’t a single indication that my birthday had passed. Not a card or a flower, no wrapping paper or bows.  There was nothing.

The only thing I had to show for my birthday was 2 bottles of fruit wine, brought to me as gift from a friend I ran with the night before my birthday. And that gift is so greatly appreciated, you have no idea.   One person listened to me, she paid attention to the conversation we had about my recent discovery that I’m able to drink fruit wine. She listened to me and brought me a gift of something that she knew was of interest to me.  That one simple act was the most meaningful thing anyone has done for me in a long time.

 

I can’t begin to tell you how hurt I feel.

And I don’t want your sympathy. No one can make it up to me now.   The day has passed. It’s too late.

You only get your birthday once a year, and this one is in the books as one of the worst of my life.

 

I guess I just needed to get it out in hopes that writing it down would stop the tears falling.

 

 

 

 

Do unto others…

as you would have them do unto you.

 

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately.

I’ve been thinking about how I treat the people in my life, and how they treat me in return.

I’m a very trusting person and I care deeply about the people in my life.

I try to treat others as I would like to be treated.

I think that if you lie, mistreat, or take advantage of the people in your life, you deserve what comes to you.

I believe in Karma. I believe that you get what you give.

I will continue to give my best to the people in my life.

I will not let those who have betrayed, mistreated, or lied to me change me. I will not stoop to their level, as tempting as it is.

 

I will continue to treat others in the manner in which I wish to be treated, whether they deserve it or not.

 

Should I use my weekly PointsPlus allowance?

Every now & again I check out my website’s stats, and I take a look at what search terms are bringing you here.

This one comes up at lot: Should I use my weekly PointsPlus allowance?

 

Well, first of all, let me make it clear that this is my own personal opinion, based on how I live the Plan, and it does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Weight Watchers.

 

Let me tell you how I personally use my PointsPlus Values.

First of all, we have three PointsPlus “banks”.  We have our Daily PointsPlus Allowance (DPA), our Weekly PointsPlus allowance(WPA), and our Activity PointsPlus (APP) earned.

Let’s talk about them all individually first.

My Daily PointsPlus Allowance is what I use to meet my basic needs food & drink needs.  Think of this as your chequing account. This is where your pay cheque goes, and this is what you have to live off of.

My Weekly PointsPlus Allowance is my “credit card”,.  I use this, when there is something I can’t quite afford with what I have in the bank.

And finally, My Activity PointsPlus are my ‘second job’, my ‘fun money’.

 

Most days, I can survive just fine on my DPA. Here is an average day, as an example:

Breakfast: 7pts+ (Oatmeal, bran, flax, protein powder)

Mocha (homemade): 4pts+ (espresso, WW Chocolate smoothie, vanilla creamer)

Lunch: 5pts+ (Chicken Breast, Steamed Veggies, Oil)

Dinner: 8pts+ (Steak, roasted veggies w/ potato, oil)

Snacks: 2pts+ (WW bar, bananas, strawberries)

That is exactly 26pts+ , and I can fill myself up as much as I want on 0pts+ fruits & veggies.

 

But, not every day is the same, and I don’t cook for myself everyday. So let’s look at a day where I use the ‘credit card’.

Breakfast: 7pts+

Starbucks skim milk mocha: 6pts+

Deli Sandwich: 10pts+ (whole wheat bread, roast beef, real mayonnaise, veggies)

Snack:  beef Jerky 2pts+, Banana 0pts+, pineapple 0pts+)

Dinner: 13pts+ (1/2 McCain California Chicken Pizza)

On this day, I’ve used 36 PointsPlus Values, so that means I’ve ‘charged’ 10 to my credit card.  But hey, I had a friend over for pizza and a movie, and I had a blast.

 

Now, for me personally, I don’t like ‘charging’ things to my WPA. I like to get to the end of my week with all 49 PointsPlus Values still available to me. So, what can I do about that? How can I pay down my credit card?   Well, for me it’s easy, because I lead a pretty active lifestyle and usually I have a few APP in the ‘bank’ waiting to be used, but if I don’t, I know I can always go out and earn some.  I like to feel like any time I go over my DPA, I have EARNED what I am eating.  But that’s my way of doing things.

 

So let’s talk about the question at hand. SHOULD you use your Weekly PointsPlus Allowance?

There is really only one answer to this, and this is a resounding YES!  (Again, this is my opinion)

You want your weight loss to be a LIFESTYLE CHANGE not a quick diet.   Any of us are capable of restricting our caloric intake for short periods of time to create weight loss, but that is not a healthy, or long-term approach.  What you want to do is make small adjustments to your habits that are going to be sustainable.  You want to start making smarter choices, while still enjoying life.

Your Weekly PointsPlus Allowance is there to allow flexibility. It is there so you can enjoy life. It is there so you never have to say “Sorry, I don’t have the points for that”.

Now, you have to remember that every person is different, so what works for one person might not work for you.  There are some people out there who can use their entire WPA and still see great successes at the scale, and there are others that know they can only use half of them if they want to continue to lose weight.

The key here is that it is your choice, and you just have to know that sometimes, if you make the decision to use more of your WPA thank you usually would, you might not see as much of a loss at your weigh-in that week. But again, that is perfectly Okay. You just take what you learned from that, and move forward.

Personally, when I was on the downward journey, I learned that if I wanted to see great results at the scale, then I needed to use a few of my WPA as possible. Overtime, I learned that the best way for me to use as few of my WPA as possible was to try to make sure I always had APP available to me to use.

 

So, if you came here wondering if you should use your Weekly PointsPlus Allowance, I hope this answers your questions.  If not, feel free to ask away in the comments section below and I will do my best to answer!

 

K.

 

 

 

 

The elusive ‘runner’s high’.

For the most part, yesterday was a nondescript day.

It was supposed to be a rest day, but because I missed Tuesday’s 30′ easy due to an upset tummy, I knew I had to get out and run.

I avoided & procrastinated like a master.  I just didn’t want to get out there.  My running experiences over the last 2 months have left me with a bad taste in my mouth.  It has been so long since I’ve been able to just go out and run, and enjoy it, that I haven’t been feeling motivated to get out there and run.

But yesterday, I knew I NEEDED a run.

My emotions have been all messed up lately thanks to our lovely Royal Canadian Navy throwing a wrench in my plans for a surprise 40th birthday party for N.   Somehow, I managed to plan a surprise, and he didn’t even know it. I had friends he hadn’t seen in a year or more coming, I had his son coming up from Washington State, I had a custom cake.  But the Navy had other plans, and they postponed his return for a week and detoured his return from Halifax through Alaska.  Yesterday should have been his return date, but that didn’t happen. So, needless to say  I was in a bit of a funk.  I’ve actually been in a funk since I found out he would be delayed.

So, yesterday, I knew I NEEDED to run.

Even knowing I needed it, I avoided it and procrastinated it.

 

Finally, somewhere around 8pm, I ‘spandexed up’ and headed out the door.

I fully expected this run to suck.  I fully expected the calf troubles to show up. I fully expected to feel like a slug.

But none of that happened. I just got out there and ran ‘easy’.  I actually ran easy.  And I ran for 30 minutes. 30 consecutive minutes, without stopping to stretch my calf, or catch my breath, or complain about how much it sucks. I just ran.  I haven’t done that since over a month before the marathon. It has been almost 2 months since I truly enjoyed a run!

Do you have any idea how much I needed that?

When I came back, I was on Skype with N, and I realized I was having an ‘elusive’ runner’s high!

The conversation went a little like this:

K: “woooo, I feel great, look at me, woooo” (flailing my arms in the air)

N: “what the hell is wrong with you?”

K: “wooooooo, I love the elusive runner’s  high!” (still flailing arms)

N: “What IS a runner’s high? I’ve never had one”

K: “To tell you the truth…(pause to do some math in my head)…it took my 5 years to get to the point that I feel it regularly”

N: “okay?”

K: “FIVE YEARS! I’ve been a runner for FIVE YEARS” (hands to face, hiding tears)

The conversation went on for a while, but the point here is, I have been a runner for 5 years.

Do you have any idea how big of a deal this is to me?

For me, it’s bigger than being on WeightWatchers for 6 years. It’s bigger than giving away 60lbs.  it’s bigger than having had my job for over a decade.

I have been a runner for 5 years.

That is CRAZY!

When I first laced up my shoes on October 15, 2007, I had no idea where this would take me. I had no idea what was in store for me.  When I walked in to the Running Room that night, I was terrified. And when I left that night, after my first run with my “Learn to Run”  group, I thought I’d lost my mind, and running was going to kill me!

In 2007 a 5K was out of the question.  In 2009, I ran a marathon.

Now it’s 2012 & I’ve run over 40 races, including 5 marathons and 15 half marathons.  I have set goals, crushed them, and reset them.  I have done things I never thought I would do. And you know what, I am freaking proud of myself.

It just goes to show you that you truly CAN do anything you set your mind to, as long as you believe in yourself!

 

So today, I want you to try something new. I want you to set a goal that scares you a little, a goal that pushes your limits, and then I want you to make a plan to achieve that goal.  Set yourself some smaller, stepping stone, goals, and work your way towards the bigger goal.

I know you can do it, I believe in you.  Do you?

 

 

 

 

Worst Marathon Ever.

“The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy…It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.”  – Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

 

I’ve always known that marathon training was not just about getting the body ready to run 42.2km.  There is so much more to the marathon than just running.  Your body can run. It just puts one foot in front of the other, and you keep moving forward. That’s the joy of distance running, your body goes on to autopilot and before you know it, you’ve gone 15, 20, 30 kilometers.  It is your mind does during the run that makes all the difference.

 

On Sunday, October 7, 2012, I stepped up to the start line of my 5th marathon. It was my third time at the start line of this same race.  It was all so familiar, yet so strange to me.

In the month before race day, I had been having calf issues. One day I would have a fabulous run, the next day I could barely walk. Then I’d have a great day, but couldn’t run to the end of the block. I felt like my body was failing me.  In the days leading up to the race, I had crazy dreams where I didn’t even make it to the start line.  In the days leading up to the race, I had told my coworkers to expect me to return to work on crutches. In the days leading up to the race, I had given up. 4 days before the marathon, I went out for a 6K run, that I had to cut short because of leg pain. After that, I skipped my last 2 runs before race day.  I actually missed 7 runs in the last 4 weeks of training, including 2 of the longest runs.

On Sunday, October 7, 2012, I stepped up to the start line of my 5th marathon, and I did not expect to see the finish line.

The first 30km of the race couldn’t have gone better.  I was running on pace for my second sub 4hr marathon, even with having to stop and fix my shoes & discovering a lovely pink tinge to my sock.  There was no pain in my leg, and things were going pretty well but  I could feel myself slowing down, and I was starting to struggle.  I’d been running with a training buddy, and he was having a much stronger run than I was having. I kept telling him to leave me behind, but he wouldn’t go. He was insistent that we were going to cross the finish line together, but I knew that wasn’t in the cards.  I could feel my right leg starting to misbehave. I could feel myself starting to run with a limp, but most of all, I could feel myself losing the will to push myself.

I managed to convince my run buddy to leave me, and run his own race.

As soon as he was out of sight, I started to walk. And cry. And walk. And cry.

My leg wasn’t hurting, it just wasn’t working right.  And I just didn’t have the desire to push myself.

At first I walked for 5 minutes, then tried to run again, but it didn’t feel right. Nothing felt right.

I looked at my watch every now & again and saw the minutes passing by.  On the long walk through Oak Bay, I made many friends.  Struggling marathoners are a chatty bunch.  Maybe the talking distracted us from the feeling of failure.  Maybe it was just good to know someone else was in the same boat as we were.

I cried a lot in that last 10K.  I stopped and chatted with friends on the sidelines and got a few supportive hugs.  I ran along with the same group of struggling folks. Each of us getting little bursts of energy at different times.  One of us would pass the other, then our energy would peter out, of our pain would return, and we would start walking.  The same 4 or 5 of us played leap-frog for miles.

I remember running when I could, but giving up whenever I started to feel the limp coming back. I remember thinking about how far it was to the finish line. I remember people I know passing me. I remember seeing all my previous marathon times passing. But the one thing I don’t remember is ever thinking about quitting.  Not finishing simply wasn’t an option.

The only option was to keep putting on foot in front of each other and to keep moving forward.

I kept checking over my shoulder in looking for Kathryn & Skye. I was hoping they were having fabulous runs and that they were together. I was hoping they would come along and pick me up and their energy would carry me to the finish line.  That didn’t happen, but you can go read their blogs to see where their days went bad!

Once I got through the dreaded “James Bay Loop” and I was nearing the 1km to go mark, I started to talk myself in to running to the finish.  I held it back until the last corner, the last thing I wanted was for the leg to give out in the finish chute before I got to the line.

I rounded the final corner, and some Running Room buddies were there calling my name. That was the final burst of energy I needed to power across the line.

When I got across the line, I guess I was looking a little worse for wear.  I was immediately greeted by medical personnel trying to usher me in to the medical tent for assistance. In typical Kirsty fashion, I refused the attention until after I had my medal around my neck.

Once I had my medal, I went in to the medical tent and got checked out. The  calf muscle was fine, and the pink tinge to the sock was no worse than it was at the half way mark, so they sent me on my way.

All in all, it was my Worst Marathon Ever.  But you can’t call me a quitter.

Now I have a new shiny medal, and now I can move on to new goals for the new year!

The last 10K was lonely.  I felt like I was a disappointment to not only myself, but to my friends, my family, my boyfriend, my training buddies, to everyone.  But when I got to the gear check, and got my hands on my phone, the out pouring of support from everyone was amazing.  It definitely lifted me up to know that so many of you supported me, and were proud of me, even if it was the worst marathon ever.

 

 

 

 

I believe…

It came to me in the middle of my last marathon.

I had run most of the race with my friend James, but I needed a porta-potty stop, and he didn’t, so we parted ways around the 32km mark.

When I came out of the porta-potty, he was long gone, and I used it as motivation to try and keep his orange shirt in my sights.

Kilometers 32-40 were pretty tough for me during the 2012 BMO Vancouver Marathon.  The long & flat Sea Wall was mentally tough.  Every time you turned a corner, you could see so much more sea wall in front of you, waiting for you.

It was during this time, while I was trying to catch up to James, that I realized that all the things I hold on to for strength weren’t available to me during a marathon.

My foot tattoo, that I got to commemorate finishing my first ever marathon is always hidden inside my running shoes. So that wasn’t available to me to call on for strength.   Who puts a running tattoo somewhere they can’t see it while they are running???

 

My  Sporty Jewels  42.2 / Believe bracelet wasn’t there either.  I don’t wear it while I’m running because it bugs me when it flops around on my wrist.  I’m also worried that all the jiggling about would cause wear and maybe it would fall off & I’d lose it.

The other objects I have around my house to remind myself of everything I am capable of are clearly not available to my during my runs, so I got to thinking about what I could carry with me while I am running.  What could I have with me, to draw on for strength when I ‘hit the wall’?

Somewhere on the Sea Wall, it came to me.  And that is when the idea for tattoo #5 was born.

For some time now, the word “BELIEVE” has held a significant meaning to me.

I think it started on October 12, 2008 when I stood and watched the finish line of the (then) Royal Victoria Marathon.  That was the day that I realized that the only thing stopping me from running a half, or full marathon was my belief in myself.

It was that day that I decided to BELIEVE that I can do it.

So, somewhere on the Sea Wall, the idea was born to have the word ‘believe’ tattooed on my wrist so that I could look at it at any point during a race and remind myself to believe.

The design went through many incarnations in my mind before I decided to keep it simple, and have it done in a nice, delicate font, similar to the one used on my foot.

Now, this coming weekend, when I’m coming down Irving, at the 35k mark in the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon, I can look down at my arm and remember to believe, and remember that I can do this.

 

Documenting change.

A long time ago, in another life, before I started running, I used to be a hobby photographer.

I used to enjoy all the behind the scenes stuff. Planning the photoshoots, organizing models, make up artists & hair stylists. I loved taking pretty pictures of pretty girls.

Probably because I wasn’t a pretty girl.

When I look back now, I can remember always wishing I could be in front of the camera, wishing I could have all these cool images of myself, wishing I looked that good.

Sometimes, my photographer buddies would take my picture.  It was always an eye opener.

You see, I never thought I was as large as I looked.  In my head, I was always ‘average’, but the camera doesn’t lie, and each time I had my picture taken, it was like a stab in the heart to see what I really looked like.  It was always an eye opener to see the photographs.  I remember feeling like a million bucks getting ready to have my picture taken, having this idea in my head about how I looked. That idea was never what I saw in the finished product.

I was fat.

Once I joined WeightWatchers I started to feel better about myself, so I asked my friend to take another picture, to do a ‘progress report’.

This was one of the first times I remember liking what I saw in a picture. It still wasn’t what I thought I would see, but it was getting closer, and it really showed me how far I had come.

It was always great to have a friendship with the photographer, so that I could relax. I think it helped get some quality images each time.

In 2008, when I finally reached my goal weight, I decided to do it again. After having been over weight for the better part of a decade, I wanted to have evidence that I had been ‘skinny’ once in my life. I mean, after all the years of my weight fluctuating, I really had no idea how long this new body was going to stick around.

(Looking at this picture, I just realized that I still own that top & those jeans and they still fit, 4 years later!)

 

All the images so far have been taken by the same photographer, and since we had built a friendship & trust, I decided to do something a little more risqué!  By this point I had been running for over a year, and I felt like I was in great shape, so with the same mind set as I previous mentioned, I thought I would show off my body, not knowing how long it would be around for. Afterall, I’m not getting any younger! 😉

The one thing I notice in this picture is the fact that, while I was proud of my body & wanted to show it off, I wasn’t confident enough in myself to have my face showing in the picture. I was, however, confident enough to hang a 12X18 print of this image in my house!

A couple years passed before I got my picture taken again.  This time it was with a new photographer, and the goal was to have something more “family friendly”, since the only ‘current’ pictures of me at my mom’s house were sweaty, gross, crossing the finish line, running pictures. Yet my brother had all these lovely pictures of himself & his wife at their wedding.

This time I had to seek out a new photographer, and came across Derek Ford Photography. We hit it off when we met to talk about pictures, so about a month later we met on a Saturday afternoon to do some outdoor shots around the Victoria waterfront & Beacon Hill park.  The objective of “family friendly” was met, and I was very happy with the results.

I find it interesting how the way I look at myself in pictures has changed over time.  When I first started getting my picture taken, all I would see is the flaws in each image. I would pick out every blemish, every scar, every bump, every roll.  Now when I look at pictures of myself, while I still see the ‘flaws’, what I tend to focus on more is what is behind the physical. What I see is the hours of running, and the years of watching what I eat, I see the dedication and self control it has taken to become the person I am now. I see the running medals hanging on my wall, and the WeightWatchers 5lbs stars. I see someone who has put in the physical, mental and emotional effort to make positive changes to create a better, healthier life for herself.

What I see now is that the outward appearance is a reflection of the inner hard work.

So recently, I did it again. After working with Al Smith on the #yyjrun for Cancer Calendar, I started chatting with him about an idea for something I always wanted to do.  At first, it was to be a surprise for N, since he is really in to old school pin up art work, but then we broke up. So then it fell on to the back burner, until I decided to still do it for myself, with a side of ‘in your face’ for N.

I have to tell you that I am absolutely thrilled with the images.  The whole process of the shoot was so much fun. From the collaborating, to getting my hair & make up done, to the actual shoot.   I highly recommend that everyone get professional pictures taken of themselves at least once, if not more.  And you don’t have to be in peak physical shape to do it. No matter where you are in your life, document it. It can be eye opening down the road, to look back on the images and see how far you have come.

So, now… after all there, for those of you who haven’t seem them already.  here is a selection of images from my photo shoot with Al.

(Click to see the next image)

So there it is, the #supersecretproject, and the reasoning behind it.

 

 

 

Having Fun With Fashion – Entertaining Myself

Okay, so as everyone knows, I have been in the bit of a slump lately.

I’ve kind of been going through my days on auto-pilot. Not putting any extra effort in, just getting things done with minimal effort.  Even to the point of getting dressed everyday. It was a case of reach in the closet, grab a dress, leave the house.  I was just on auto-pilot.

So, inspired by my Weight Watchers  coworker, Sheila, and a (year-long) challenge she set out for herself on her blog, I decided to have some fun with my clothing.  I did things in sort of an opposite way to Sheila though, instead of selecting a certain number of items from my closet and making outfits out of them for the week, I banned myself from all of my dresses.  I have a lot of dresses, over 40 at last count, so it has become really easy to just reach in the closet and grab one, but I also own a lot of other items of clothing that were never seeing the light of day.

So I challenged myself to a week of “No Dresses”.

Here’s how it went:

I have to say that Monday was kind of half-hearted. I decided to challenge myself on Sunday night, but didn’t really formulate a plan, so I ended up with a predictable black skirt, teal tank, black cardigan ‘ensemble.  It doesn’t look bad, but I felt blah in it all day.

There was no pizzazz, no spark, no fun! I decided that Tuesday needed a little more thought and planning, so I headed over to Pinterest to look for inspiration!

 

 

 

Inspired by this look, I pulled a few things out of the back of the closet, like a skirt I haven’t worn in months, and a belt that hasn’t been worn since it was in my Christmas stocking last year.

It wasn’t a perfect replica of the inspiration outfit, but I liked the colour combo, and it was a perfect fit with my new neutral summer shoes.

I felt better about Tuesday’s outfit, but I still wasn’t feeling as sassy as I would like, so on to day 3 with another plan!

 

Now THIS is starting to feel like me!

Wednesday’s outfit was a bit of a splash of colour.  I’ve loved this green skirt since I bought it, but never knew what to wear it with. Since I was in “challenge myself’ mode, I dug through my clothing, and back in the recesses of the closet I found this top.  I loved how the black & white pattern looked with the boldness of the skirt, but it had a heave band at the bottom of it that showed under the skirt. Well, easy fix. Since I never wear the skirt on its own, I had no problems taking the scissors to it and chopping off the band so I could tuck it in.

Thursday is my favourite day of the week to get dressed!  I like to put a little extra effort in to what I wear because the women of my Weight Watchers meeting take notice!

This skirt is one of my all time favourites that I’ve ever bought.  I had it altered to fit me perfectly and despite many requests from friends to borrow it, I have never loaned it out.

Thursday I felt most like me this week!

 

 

Friday, I dressed up some denim with some lace, for a dressy take on a casual Friday.

When I first bought this lace top, I wasn’t sure how I was going to wear it, but  it was too cute to pass it up.

I love the way it looks with the denim pencil skirt, and the belt that came with it was a perfect match for what are rapidly becoming my favourite summer shoes!

I got a lot of compliments on the top, so I think it was definitely a good purchase, considering I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it at first!

 

Saturday was a pretty simple outfit that I’ve worn many times before, but I just love it. The skirt has some really nice embroidery details on it, so I always wear it with a simple, basic tank. It’s a perfect, casual, laid back, Saturday Morning Weight Watchers type outfit!

I have to admit though, Saturday was probably one of the tougher days to dress without wearing a dress!  I’m so in the habit of wearing a cute little summer dress to work, that I caught myself reaching for one as I was about to get dressed.

 

All in all, I think it was a fun week and I will probably do it again some time soon!  One thing I know for certain is that I now have a few ‘go to’ non-dress outfits that I can reach for from time to time to get some variety in to my day-to-day wardrobe.

That being said, I’m glad to be able to get back to wearing some of my dresses this week!

So, what was your favourite outfit of the week? Have you ever ‘challenged’ yourself to mix up your wardrobe?

 

K.

 

 

 

 

When it all starts to come together!

Okay, so…

As I mentioned a while back, I decided that I am ready to push harder and set new goals, so I hired myself a running coach.

It has been about 6 weeks since I started training with her, and I think it’s going great.

It has been a little bit of a struggle, adjusting to a new style of training, and a new training schedule, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.

The work outs are challenging, but not impossible, and they have been a real exercise in self assessment.  They are different every time, and really force me to pay attention to what I am doing and how hard I am working.  There is no more just going out and running as hard as I can and exhausting myself.  Now, when I’m exhausted it’s because I’ve been put through a challenging work out, with a purpose.

Speaking of works out with a purpose! Apparently, the purpose of my works outs is to solve complex mathematical equations while I run!

Sometimes, okay most of the time, I can’t remember the work out while I’m out running, so I write it on my hand.  Last night it said 15’e – 2 x 8’m (3′) / 20’e.  So what the heck does that mean? And what is the answer to the equation?  Well, this example means 15 minutes easy, 2 x 8 minutes at marathon pace w 3 minutes recovery between sets, followed by 20minutes easy. And the answer to the equation appears to be exhaustion!

The great thing about this new training program is that my mileage is higher than it has ever been before, yet I feel like I am running less!  I can run faster, comfortably and it is getting easier to put in the ‘hard work’.  My average pace for my runs is getting faster, and when I really push myself I’m hitting a pace faster than I’ve seen in races in the past.

I’m looking forward to the marathon in October, but I am really excited about what will come after that.

Next year there won’t be a mid-year marathon.  I’m going to spend the spring focused on speed over shorter distances, and hopefully I will be training with a half marathon as a goal race in the middle of the year.

Seeing all this improvement come from the changes to my running style and training routine has me really excited for what is to come!!

 

 

Al Smith Photography

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