Friday, 16 December 2016

Results Are In!

Today was session 32 - 16 weeks of two 45 minute sessions of strength training. I am pleased with the results but more pleased I basically guessed them exactly and F'in Alex was off. He said if he won I had to do a burpee. I have told him I was never doing one and today was not the day it was happening:) Turns out I know my body best!

Let's compare where we started in August with F'in Alex with where we are now:

Weight - 156 lbs - now 144 lbs -down 12 lbs (plus the 10 from taking out my food allergies - so I have lost 22 lbs 'accidentally' this year)
Body Fat - 33% - now 28% - 1% away from not being fat.
Inches at hips - 38.5 - now 36 (started the year at 41.5 - so I have lost 5.5 inches there)
Inches at belly button - 37.5 - now 35 (started the year at 41, so I have lost  6 inches here)
Bra - 36D - now 34C

Now on to some strength measurements - because this is really why I am torturing myself regularly!
Plank was 37 seconds and today I did 3 minutes and I admit the only real hard part was the last 30 seconds.
Chest press and static row - started at 8 lbs, on Tuesday I lifted 35 for both.
Push ups - couldn't do 1, now from the knees am doing about 20.

It is clear I am stronger and healthier.

To thank F'in Alex for putting up with me, I gave him a Christmas gift. I gave him a drinking game,  I called "The F'in Alex Awesome Drinking Game". The rules are simple, if someone says awesome, take a drink. He thought this was a great game and was especially pleased this game was attached to a bottle of Sortilege (this is a Quebec Maple Whiskey and the best thing I have discovered since moving to Quebec). I figure having spent that much time with me in a gym, he deserved a drink or 10.

Now I have 3 weeks off and will be back at the gym January 10. I am going to try and do some things at home over this time so I don't lose everything I have gained.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

It Is Not A Real Problem

This is what I keep saying to myself. I feel completely spoiled that the following is the biggest problem in my life - the cruise I am suppose to be going on, may not be happening.

For almost a year, we have been planning this dream trip. We are leaving in a few days. Monday it came to light that there may be a mechanical problem on the ship that may make it impossible to do the whole trip. It would mean over half the trip would become sea days rather than port days. This trip is costing way too much money to sit at sea. At this time the cruise line won't confirm if there will be changes, which means we can't know if there will be a refund.

For the past 48 hours I have been obsessed with this. I think my issue is the not knowing. I don't do well with not knowing or having a plan. So today we made a plan.

We are getting on that airplane next week. If we get there (or before we leave find out) and the cruise just isn't going to happen, we are just going to make our own trip. We plan on doing a little research on how this may work before we go, but are going to play it by ear.

This is challenging my control and planning nature, but this isn't a real problem. It is a life experience and an adventure!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The Year In Review

As I am going offline next week for several weeks, I thought it was a good time to reflect on 2016. It was a crazy year. It started with my grandmother dying, and ended with my father almost dying. Right smack between those two things, we welcomed my nephew. The circle of life in all its glory!

On the work front - work has been completely insane. I am currently working 6 days a week, at least 6 hours a day to keep afloat. This is because I can't say no. I think that will be my personal goal for 2017, because even though I am blessed with a job I love (and am really good at), sometimes it can be a little much.

2016 saw a lot of travel. It started with a Caribbean cruise. I traveled to Chicago for a conference. I went on my dream RV trip to Indiana to meet fellow bloggers. It is ending with another trip (more about that when I return).

When I look back at 2016, I will remember it as the year I got healthy. With my family's health scare along with several friends facing health challenges (oh the joys of middle age!), the importance of controlling what you can has never been more apparent to me.

I worked with a nutritionist, a personal trainer (I will share the results after 16 weeks on Friday), and a doctor (I had my IUD put in that will hopefully help my menorrhagia).  I have healed my gut, rebuilt my body and improved my hormones. I look at food differently (man, I would kill for a ginger ale tonight but know way to much about sugar) and make exercise a priority (sleep has always been a priority for me, so that isn't a change).  I feel clearer, calmer, and overall better. I think these changes in to my body have allowed me to handle all the stress life and work have thrown me better. I have never been so zen in my life.

My hopes for 2017 are to continue to be healthy. To only say yes when I really want to and can realistically do. To spend more time with friends and family. To travel more. To read, write and have fun.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

My Future At The Gym

Next week will be 16 weeks since I started at the gym and the last week in my contract. Technically I can be free from the torture I endure twice a week.

As this date was looming and knowing that January would likely be a busy time as people set their new year resolutions I had a discussion with F'in Alex a couple weeks ago about this. I asked him two questions:
1) How would he rate my progress from where I started
2) If he could tell me what to do, what would he recommend.
As these 2 questions clearly made him uncomfortable, I really enjoyed asking them. (He spends ever session making me uncomfortable, so I took pleasure in getting even!)

To sum up what he said: while every person progresses differently, he is pleased with the gains I have made. He said it was "awesome". He also said that his recommendation as someone coming from a completely non-athletic background would be to do another 3-6 months and then start to fade him out. He said he would happily hold my spot while I was away (I really like my regular time at 8:15), just to let him know.

I thought about it and told him yes I would be back. In my head I have a million reasons to just be done - It is expensive, I could use the time to work, I am hating having to buy new bras/bathing suits and I finally got pants I love to replace the ones that were too big (although I think my hips are about done shrinking), I am tired of hurting, and I actually dislike doing most of it. I really don't care about being skinnier - that was never my goal. However, I know it is good for me, and life has shown me the importance of health this year. I know I am less stressed/coping better than I did pre-gym. I feel clearer and calmer. I know I am getting stronger.

So my plan in the new year is to suffer another 16 weeks and then stop and see where I am and go from there. I am sure I will have moments where I regret this choice . . . . .

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

An Unexpected Gym Side Effect

Because I have never been athletic a day in my life, I hadn't really given it much thought to ALL the places I would lose weight/shrink when I started on my journey to get stronger. Maybe this is a good thing, because if I had known, maybe I would never have tried to get stronger in the first place.

While I don't have the total weight I have lost yet, I skipped the week 12 weigh in (I have promised F'in Alex we will do a weigh in before our last session in 2 weeks), I have lost some in an unexpected place. Drum roll - I have had to get smaller bras.

The painful summer I was 19 I went from a B cup to a D cup in like 6 weeks. I have sat at that cup size since then (so for 22 years). More recently I have been a 36D. The first place the weight left was the band size, but now I am a 34C.

F'in Alex (who really wasn't my favourite person last week - 3 sessions in 4 days with him made me very sore and cranky) kindly reminded me I probably should try on my bathing suits before my upcoming vacation. So Thursday night I pulled them out and to my horror, they were too big. (My tankini still fit, but the bikinis are out).

Now I don't mind clothes shopping, in fact, I kind of love clothes, but I HATE bra and bathing suit shopping. My first reaction to needing a new suit was to quit the gym and just eat cake so my bathing suit fit. Completely rational as you can see. I was lamenting this first world problem to my Bestie when she offered me a solution. As a shopping expert (I might be so bold as to say a bit of a shopaholic) with a knowledge of bathing suits I didn't know one could have, she offered to do this shopping for me. I sent her my measurements. She called a company and searched online and sent me choices. She has ordered me a suit and will send me the bill. I have successfully outsourced something I do not like. That is wonder!

Now, I just have to wrap my head around this new world order of a smaller size. I wasn't prepared for this and am actually finding it harder than I would have thought.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Sum Up Of How I Feel

Last Week Tonight, with John Oliver ended the year with a great video that sort of sums up how I feel about 2016.  If you have not seen it, please check out the link below. Note: It contains a lot of swearing. 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

A Conversation To Have

Let me tell you the story of Paul. I have no idea if this is his real name, we just made a name up for him (we did this a lot during make your own fun in ICU). Paul has been in ICU for about 6 weeks. According to his wife and daughter - his kidneys will never work again, his pancreas is done, he can only breathe with a machine and his heart kept stopping and they shocked him back to life 10 times in a day. His heart is only sort of going now because they put a pace maker in (took 2 tries to even get one to work). Also it is clear his bowels have shut down (will spare you the details).  When we spoke to his wife and daughter, even though the doctors have suggested that removal from life support would be the best option, they said they weren't ready. They said they don't know what Paul would want. They had never talked about it. This is family who faced the first medical emergency in 2010, when they almost lost him.

After stopping myself from screaming "pull the plug, he is done, time is up, move on" (hmmmm, can you guess my views on this!)  I realized that things would have been easier for the family if at some point outside the ICU had a conversation about "what if". It is not a good or fun "what if", I personally would rather talk about what if we won the lottery, but it is one that I am more likely going to have to deal with at some point, so it is a conversation I need to have. I should say, I have very clear and strong views on what would be acceptable medical care for me. My family knows. I have a living will. I have had this conversation. It is surprising to me how few people do.

If you haven't spoken or checked in with those whose health care you may become responsible for in the event they can't consent, take the time and talk to them. Find out what they want. When do they want a DNR?  Do they want their organs donated? Tell them what you want too.  Make their lives a tiny bit easier so if a doctor every has to sit them down and have a frank conversation about your life and treatment, they will know they are respecting your wishes. It may not be what they want, but it likely will help them make decisions and not leaving you suffering, like poor Paul.

Thank you for listening to my soapbox. A lighter blog post will appear on Tuesday, I promise!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Thankful Thursday -Happy Thanksgiving

Today my American friends celebrate Thanksgiving. I will join them in giving thanks today.

I am thankful for the medical team that have supported my Dad (and my mom) the past 24 days.
I am thankful that I will be holding a little birthday party for my Dad in critical care on Saturday.
I am thankful the rest of my family is healthy.
I am thankful for the time I get to spend with my family.
I am thankful for my wonderful friends, both in person and online.
I am thankful for a loving husband who always has my dinner on the table.
I am thankful for all the support my family has received this past month.
I am thankful for having a job I love.
I am thankful for all the people who trust me with their children's needs.
I am thankful for the beautiful house in the hills I call home.
I am thankful for having more than enough which gives me the opportunity to travel.
I am thankful for podcasts to amuse me on my long commute.
I am thankful for early morning walks with my dogs.
I am thankful for the dog hair I roll of my pants every day and sweep off my floor.
I am thankful for laughter.
I am thankful for the inner strength that allows me to continue eating clean and going to the gym when I dream of staying in bed and eating chips and cake.
I am thankful for the life I have.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Dear Spanx

Dear Spanx,

It is with a heavy heart I write you this letter. We have had some wonderful times together over the past few years. You have hugged my curves and held in all my bumps and rolls during many events. Do you remember the time you were under my little black dress at a charity dessert event? Oh what a yummy night that was. Tthere was the time you joined me under my jeans and favourite black sweater? My bottom looked particularly nice that day.  Remember how hot my body felt under my pink dress at that wedding?  So many, many memories.

I truly believed that we had a lifetime more of memories to make. I pictured you in my suitcase on my next trip. I imagined you holding my gut in at a buffet. However, it is time we said goodbye. I have discovered a new way of living. Thanks to eating clean most of the time and the terrible time I spend every week with F'in Alex, I no longer need you. The rolls and bumps you so strongly caressed are gone. My stomach is almost flat. The flap on my body is almost gone. A body I had never dreamed possible or really aspired for has emerged. It is a body that no longer needs you.

So today I say goodbye dear Spanx. Thank you for the support you provided. May you bring the next body you hold in as much confidence as you gave me. May your time spent with them be short, as they too find a way to change their life so they no longer need you.


K-10 - future action hero stand in

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The IUD - A funny tale

Me with the box
Before I moved to Quebec, I was blessed with an old school male doctor who said all my hormone/period  issues were just life and to live with them. That is easy for someone not suffering from menorrhagia (why do women's health issues have such horrible names) that was making life challenging. To put it in perspective, the average period is 30-40 ml. Thanks to the Diva Cup I know mine was between 150-200 ml and accompanied with debilitating pain.

When I moved to Quebec and before I got a doctor, they were at least kind enough to have me try the pill. The first one I tried, no luck. The second worked for the first year. It was when I needed the renewal that I finally got a doctor. She felt the best treatment for me was to have an IUD put in (she gave me a lot of other options and we agreed this would be the best to try). The Mirena was actually designed for women suffering from menorrhagia.

When she prescribed the IUD she warned me the box was really large and not to be scared it. I nearly died laughing when I saw the box (I am sure the pharmacist thought I was crazy). It is huge! The friends I showed the following picture to also laughed, one laughed until she cried!

The day for the insertion arrived and before the doctor started she said she had a medical student who had not seen the procedure and from whom it would be very helpful to see, could the student watch. I said sure. Then the doctor said, I actually have 2 students. I said sure, why not! We are facing a serious doctor shortage so if standing and watching a doctor put something in my uterus can help, why not! (Many of my friends were mortified at the thought of this, I was like, whatever). I did make a joke after we all got settled into the room if anyone else would like to come and join us. While on the table, while the doctor was explaining things to the students (it was a discussion about my cervix I believe) and  it struck me how odd this was and I started to giggle. The doctor asked if I was ok and I said "this is all just weird" and she said it was and we all laughed.

Hopefully, as I have shared my body with science I have help educated two very timid seeming student doctors.  More importantly, hopefully this IUD will start to do its job (it said it would take 2 weeks to 6 months to get sorted out and we are just entering week three) and I will be one of the 97% of women who no longer have a period because I am just finishing up 7 weeks with it and I am kind of over it!

Also hopefully my husband's clearly sexist health plan will take the doctor's note saying this is for menorrhagia and not contraception and pay for it. (They will only cover oral contraception apparently).

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Thankful Thursday - Good News

Today I am thankful for good news. We got a lot of it with my Dad yesterday. He was able to be off his ventilator some (it will be a slow process). He was able to talk a little. All in all it was a good day with lots to be thankful for.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The Breakthrough???

November 3rd was session 20 with F'in Alex (by the way I am trying to get the whole gym to call him that - it is my mission), and it may have been a breakthrough one.  I had gone into session 19 exhausted as I had barely slept after getting the call about my dad. It wasn't a great session as my body was off, but I did the best I could. I went into session 20 in a very different mindset. I was well rested and pissed off at the universe. I was just angry. This rage apparently was very good for me and I had an amazing session. I felt great after it (still sore but great). It was sort of like it all clicked in that moment of rage. 

This week, week 11 (sessions 21 and 22) were also pretty good. I did have a bit of a complication on Tuesday as I had an IUD inserted Monday (hopefully my menorrhagia will finally be controlled). I had some cramping during class and there were things I couldn't do, but it was still ok. Session 22 was fine.

The gym may now be a neutral place. I still don't like most of what I do (although I am working hard to not hate it and find a few things I don't mind) but it isn't as bad. It is part of my routine. Let's see if this continues. 

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The Unglamorous Side Of Beauty

My hairstylist Jess has been wanting to lighten my hair since I met her. Finally, because I am tired of seeing roots at week 2 (not because I didn't like the colour), I decided to give this a chance.

It was a 4.25 hour and $300 process and it went like this.

First 1 hour and 45 minutes of applying bleach. My head felt like it weighed 100 extra pounds, made worse by my sore traps (thanks F'in Alex).  I had saran wrap on my ears so the bleach didn't burn them.

Then another 30 minutes later and it was time to see what happened. 

One side went reddish and the front didn't want to lighten. 

The other side went bleach blonde. 

In the end I came out "expresso" - it is lighter than it looks in this picture. 

As Jess was washing out the final colour she admitted that she had been very nervous about this. Dark hair often doesn't lighten well. I am glad she saved her concerns until we were in the clear! 

Let's hope the roots don't show up as early!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Snicker Sunday

I saw this in a magazine at the hair salon and thought to myself - "Damn, I am now going to have to work with F'in Alex forever!"

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

A Minute

I don't even know where to begin this post. It is so surreal to write.

Monday night I was in bed asleep when my sister called Sam (my phone is off at night) to tell him I had to call our mom as our dad (who will turn 65 later this month) had collapsed at a funeral (FYI I find that part funny - there is an irony to almost dying at a funeral, so if you want to chuckle, please do!). At that moment it appeared my dad was going to die. They were going to airlift him to a bigger centre (2 hours away from where he lives) for surgery but didn't expect him to make it to the hospital for surgery or through the surgery. So, I went from a light slumber to possibly saying goodbye to my dad. Needless to say I didn't really sleep after that.

At 2:30 we got a text that he had survived surgery and was now minute to minute. Minute to minute has been where we have been since.

I am currently still at home. My dad is in a hospital about 6 hours away. My sister and her husband have gone to be with my mom (who had her BFF with her until they arrived, so she wasn't alone - and my brother-in-laws parents are with their kids). I am at home because it is possible that this whole "thing" (I don't even know what to call it) could go on for days. It makes the most sense for us to take turns being there.

My dad had an abdominal aortic aneurysm and is in ICU. He is having some kidney issues and there is some damage to his heart (which we don't know if was old or from this yet), and he has fluid on his lungs. But he is awake and responsive and since the collapse has continued to live for a lot of minutes.

I am trying to continue with my life as planned as best I can. I am a pretty stoic person so that helps. And yes, after 4 hours of non-continious sleep, with my dad on his death bed, I still showed up at the gym. When I fell out of the 3rd plank F'in Alex said the nicest thing he has ever said - I am paraphrasing here it was something like 'If I had  so little sleep, I wouldn't have been able to do that either." I think he was sort of impressed I even showed up, most people wouldn't. But we all cope in our own ways, and following my plan helps me cope.

It is at moments like this I do wish I had a faith to provide comfort. For now I focus on a minute and then the next and look forward when we can look at time in hours or maybe days.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

After 8 Weeks Of Training

Tuesday was data day.

I am down another 2 lbs bringing my total to 9.5 lbs (Sorry NB I think I have stolen your 10 lbs).
I was down another 1% in body fat, bringing me down a total of 3% and to 30% body fat.
My plank is now 2 minutes.

I am trying to celebrate all of this while still not feeling strong enough (damn you perfectionism!)

A funny conversation:

F'in Alex made me run across the room, repeatedly, for 45 seconds, back and forth, back and forth. I hate running. I complained, a lot. I told him I really didn't want to, but he said "go."

F'in Alex: "Why do you hate running so much?"
Me: "To be honest cause my boobs bounce too much."
F'in Alex: "Well that is an honest answer." 
Me: "Don't ask questions you don't want to know the answers too."

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

I Must Be Getting Stronger

I don't really feel stronger - the dogs can still pull me across a street and I couldn't really help lift the generator, but I must be getting stronger.

Day 1 - number of pushups completed = 0
Day 9 - number of pushups (these are knee ones) completed = 1.5
Day 16 - number of knee pushups completed - set 1, 6 ; set 2, 5; set 3, 4 = 15

Yep, must be getting stronger.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

A Champaign Anniversary

Yesterday, the 22nd, marked 22 years since  Sam and I met. We met in the backseat of a car, a unique place to meet I think.

I was at home when a friend called to say she had met the perfect guy for me, and she wanted me to come on a double date with her then boyfriend. As my 19 year old self had nothing else to do, and thought it would be amusing to meet this 'perfect' person, I said why not.

My friend and her boyfriend picked me up at my apartment and we went to the University to pick up Sam. He was working at the residence cafeteria. As he got into the backseat beside me, he introduced himself, and that is how we met in the backseat of a car, 22 years ago.

It wasn't love at first sight. To be honest I was a little bored the first part of the date as my friend had gone off to talk to some people in the pool hall she knew, leaving me with two friends who had known each other since kindergarten. However, things changed and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

The couple who introduced us broke up shortly after and as life has moved on we are no longer in touch, but the impact they had on that day has really shaped our lives.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Thankful Thursday - Successful Surgery

Last Thursday (on a day the universe tried to beat me up), my friend had his very risky surgery. I am thrilled to report it went better than expected. The doctor was actually able to do more than expected. I am thankful for this.

He will have to go through this again in about 6 months, but today, we focus on the success.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The Weird Knee

As I have mentioned before, in 2003 I had meniscus and fat pad removed from my right knee after a terrible studying accident. Since starting at the gym, I have had one instance where it hurt in the repaired area, but several instances where it hurt in a different place.

While we rested it, F'in Alex and I had different guesses to what was causing the pain in the back of my knee. He thought it was the step ups with weights. I hoped it was the squats. Turns out we were both wrong. It was an exercise that really didn't have anything to do with the knee and one of the few I actually liked. I sat down in front of the weight thingy (I am learning so many technical terms at the gym) to do a static row (sitting on a bench, pulling 70 lbs in a rowing motion). About 3 reps in, I felt the pain in my knee. Because I am sitting to resist being pulled forward, it is doing something to my knee. I thought about not saying anything because it was really the only exercise I like, but I did. We finished the set and then moved to another exercise. We did this because as F'in Alex said "I don't know what to do about your weird knee."

In other exciting gym news, as we move into week 8: I have moved to plank on my forearms (I started with straight arms) and can hold this for 1.5 minutes; I graduated to real squats (no more sitting on a bench for me); and I graduated to real rear lunges (no longer holding on to something). We also started balance work (I asked and while F'in Alex said it is really hard to gain balance as an adult, we can work on it). We will see what week 8 brings.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Thankful Thursday - Cute Workout Clothes

It is totally a first world thing to be thankful for, but I am enjoying my new workout clothes. The treat to myself for finishing 4 weeks. (I just finished week 7 believe it or not). And F'in Alex gets points for 1) noticing and 2) saying this shirt was perfect for me.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

How I Got A Second Drink And Pancakes

Last Tuesday as I was warming up on the exercise bike I told F'in Alex I needed a second drink per week. He asked me why and I gave him the highlights of my Monday:

-dealing with problem behaviour that is trying to rip people's clothes off and is very funny
-having to make a video of the kid doing this and then watching it and sharing it with a coworker to help come up with a strategy (I should have worn a better bra)
-having to tell the parent about this and come up with a plan
-dealing with masturbation
-dealing with another upset parent
-teaching a teenage girl to tolerate wearing a pad 
-having to wait 10 minutes to pay for gas because the homeless guy had some issue with his lottery tickets
-having a silly argument with Sam (which is rare)

It wasn't even a bad day, it was just a day and I needed a vice. So F'in Alex agreed that if I walked 7 days a week (which I pretty much did anyway) and I didn't add anything sugary to the drink (hello vodka shooter) I could have a second drink. Was thrilled because my Tuesday was actually worse than my Monday and I had something to look forward to!

Then on Thursday, he gave me back pancakes. He said I could have them occasionally if I either put protein powder in them (not happening) or used almond flour. I am not sure why he gave them back, except he did this after he left me drop a 20 lbs weight on my stomach (I sort of caught it so it didn't fall hard and yes I finished the set and the next 2). Whatever the reason, I just took it and ran with it. Nearly died when the tiny bag of almond flour cost $18, but whatever! Sam made amazing pancakes with it!

Because he was so nice last week, I wonder what he will do to make up for it this week!

Sunday, 9 October 2016


From my office window
In Canada we are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend. We are hosting the family dinner this year. We live in the Gatineau Hills, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world in the autumn. My sister and her family, my brother-in-law and the girl he is seeing (he doesn't like the label of girlfriend), and 2 friends will join us for the feast Sam will prepare. We will laugh and eat too much. It will be great fun.

One of our friends who is coming is facing some significant health challenges. I won't share all the details, because it is not my story to share. Let's just say it is a genetic disorder, he has no control over, and it has a sucky mortality rate. He is having a risky surgery this coming week. It isn't fair. He is only 30.

His recent challenges, have served as a reminder to me that I need to not take my health for granted.  I heard a statistic this week that 70% of all health issues are due to lifestyle factors. I am working hard to make sure that I do what I can to greatly reduce my changes of being sick. I am controlling what I can, and leaving the rest to fate.

On this Thanksgiving, I will be particularly thankful for my health and the health of most of my friends and family. I will be thankful for our medical system that will provide the best care to my friend. I am also going to be extra thankful for the time spent with friends and family.  Good friends are not like pants, they are impossible to replace.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Thankful Thursday - Humour

Today I am thankful for humour. If I didn't have it or couldn't always see it, I don't know how I would survive.

Here is a little humour to brighten your day. This made me LMAO - especially since Thursday is my least favourite day of the week. I believe no good comes from it!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

It Must Be Working And More Self Improvement

I have been feeling tired, busy, sore and slightly crazed the past few weeks. This is made worse by a new reoccurring knee issue. Alex and I are trying to figure it out. We will talk about it today and I will report on it later.

I know I have made progress at the gym etc. because if nothing else I had to buy lots of new pants as mine were falling off. I mean literally falling off. And yes, I got teary when I slipped into the size 6 pants (shorted lived as my husband said the knees looked funny) and the small skirt (which I never showed him so he couldn't ruin it). I never thought that would happen. I never dreamed of being a different size.

On the weekend I was at a conference/workshop thingy. There were a number of people I have worked with in the past but haven't seen for 2-6 or so years. They said things like:

"I didn't recognize you, you look great!" (I will take that as a compliment even though it implies I looked like crap before.)

"You look awesome!"

"What are you doing? You are glowing and look fantastic."

I responded by giving  Alex all the credit for it. I was thinking about this later, and I realized that I really need to shift the credit from Alex to myself. He should get an acknowledgement as my coach, but not the gold.  I am the one who is not drinking wine every night or binging on carbs. I am the one who wants to die at the gym. He is usually pacing around (drives me crazy) counting and coaching. I know I am a pain in the ass, but I am probably doing more hard work than he is.

I realized I am not good at taking credit for things. I can take blame well, but not credit. I always brush it off like it is no big deal, or just something I happen to be doing. Part of that is because that is how I often feel, this is just what I am doing, and part of that is I am not a huge fan of praise/being the centre of things for some reason. I need to work on that.

I will start with writing:

I am awesome!

(Ok, that felt totally weird, it will take some getting use to!)

Editor's Note: You can tell I haven't been to the gym for 4 days as I am writing this because Alex is just Alex, not F'in Alex.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Why I Am Doing 12 More Weeks Of Training

I am usually a very decisive person. I can quickly make decisions. I don't flipflop or ask for everyone's opinion. However, deciding what to do about strength training was probably one of the hardest decisions I have made in a very long time. I talked to everyone, weighed every possible decision.  In the end I decided to do more because:

-I am making progress (not just in the weight and body fat I shared, but in the strength)
-I don't know enough to run a program at home yet
-I don't think I am motivated enough to do a home program 
-I have not reached my strength goal
-I need to put my health first - that is my mantra this year 
-This will give me a really fair time to assess if this is something I want to do (4 weeks for such a huge habit change is not really fair)
-I live a life where I pretty much only do things I think I am very good at and love. It is probably good for me to do something that is hard and I kind of suck at.

The 12 weeks worked out to be the week before our 3 week trip to Asia over Christmas. I am not going to worry about what I am doing after the trip until December 1st. (My guess is a 14 days on a cruise ship, I will need a butt kick after!)
The other decision I had to make was to continue to train with F'in Alex. In the end I decided we have pretty much figured each other out, and I almost have him doing things the way I like/want. Our relationship is still evolving, but we are making progress. The thought of having to start over with someone new was not appealing. A conversation we had last week made me think this is probably the right decision.

Me: "They don't pay you enough to have to train me." (Because I know I am difficult. I would not want to train me).
FA: "No comment."
Me: "I know I am a complete pain in the ass."
FA: "Actually, you make me a better trainer."

I am sure we are going to have our ups and downs, but I think we are on the path to an understanding.  And if all else fails I can tell him to "f-off."

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Thankful Thursday - Self-Discipline

As I move forward on this healthy lifestyle path (eating real food, exercising, etc. etc.), I realize I am blessed with self-discipline.  It is just who I am and who I have always been, so I don't think a lot about it normally. However, in several conversations I have had recently (with people who know about my journey and people who have commented on how awesome I look and asked what I am doing), I am reminded that this discipline is rare (see an early post where I went on my soapbox about motivation). But let's be clear, just because I have been able to do this, doesn't mean I like it or even want to do it. I set up systems to make myself more successful (i.e. fork over a lot of money to a trainer, put it in my to do list), lay out some rules for myself ( can have a drink on the weekend, you can have dark chocolate if you want), and I can just get it done. This is a blessing, so today I celebrate this discipline and my ability to commit to things and as I often say "I just get sh*t done." 

Editors note: I realize since I gave up most of my vices, I am swearing more lol!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Bonus Post - The Data Is In

Yesterday, F'in Alex did my weight and my body fat analysis.

It went something like this: First he weighed himself to make sure the scale worked (apparently it has issues),  and now I know how much he weighs. Then I got on the scale, and off the scale, and on the scale and off the scale, and on the scale and I said "Holy Sh*t."

Before I go on with this story (my attempt at building suspense), let's just go back half a step. In March I started on a path to figuring out what was causing me gut pain, and did the elimination diet. I lost close to 10 lbs with that. I started at 165 lbs, and ended around 155 lbs. I went from about 42 inches around my hips and belly button to 38 at the hips and 37 at the belly button. Weight loss was never my goal, my gut health was, the weight loss was a happy bi-product. However, it is great not to feel bloated all the time.

Fast forward to about 5 weeks ago when I went for my assessment with Alex. I stepped on the scale and weighed in at 155.9 lbs, with about 33% body fat (which by the way makes me obese). After 8 sessions (4 weeks) of strength training, I have lost another inch at my hips, half an inch at my belly button, and the number that made me say "Holy Sh*t" was 148.4 lbs. I am down 7.5 lbs . My body fat is down almost 2 %. Again, weight loss was never my goal, strength was. Yes, I am gaining strength too, but it is harder to see.

I have lost about 17 lbs this year, without really meaning to actually lose weight. I feel a little bad about this for all the people who really struggle with it. Maybe because my focus has been on other things (gut health, strength) it has been easier.

A conversation I had with F'in Alex yesterday:

FA: "Eventually you will plateau with weight loss."
Me: "I hope so, or I will be dead."
FA: "Good point."

Yes, I do hope at some point I find my ideal body weight and just maintain it.

F'in Alex and I also agreed I could have a drink a week, and I can keep my diet like it is. I didn't swear at him or call him a jerk once on Tuesday! I pointed that out to him and he said he had noticed, but it was fine if I did.

I am going to have to buy new pants, as all of mine are getting too big  (I can pull them down without taking them off) . . . Sam keeps say "first world problems."  I wonder what will be more expensive, the training or the new clothes??????

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Eating Clean

I admit I miss junk food. I savoured my 8th session celebration martini like I may never drink one again. It sounds bad, but I miss booze the most. I didn't drink that much before (a bottle of wine lasts me a week), but not drinking is hard. If I could add anything back, it would be booze! (Yes I have found a study that says moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers . . .)

I realized on Saturday that everything I put into my body now goes through a 3 stage evaluation:
1) Will this make me sick? (gluten, soy, too much potato, tomato, dairy etc.)
2) Is this Alex approved ? (will I get punished at the gym for eating it)
3) Do I want/like it?

This system can be exhausting! I feel like I am over-analyzing it at times. 

This weeks lunches - pumpkin curry soup (Alex approved)  and quinoa with asparagus (not Alex approved)

I also find myself both completely judging other people's food choices and completely envying them at the same time. I want to scream - "you are poisoning yourself, please pass me some so I can die from food with you too!" Fortunately, this has not happened yet, but some day in the grocery store, some poor person may get it! 

I know all the reasons why I should be eating basically the Paleo diet (with a  few more grains - it is the compromise Alex and I have reached). I watched Fed Up and Sugar Coated and I know how the processed food industry works. I know sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine but that doesn't help. Our culture is completely dominated by processed, easy, usually junky food and treats.  A week doesn't go by at work where there isn't cake or donuts. In my house I watch my husband eat ice cream, chips, and drink pop. Everywhere I look people are putting down real food. If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend Adele Hello Parody. I thought I was going to pee my pants. 

It remains a battle. It isn't a new one to me. It is one I have been fighting really since I took on the elimination diet in March. I had hoped by now, it would be easier. Maybe as I see more results at the gym, which by the way because I have clearly lost my mind (lack of sugar and chemicals???) I have signed up for 12 more weeks of fun with my BFF Alex. (more about that in another post). 

Fingers crossed for me today, I really get my weight and body fat analysis done. It didn't get done on Thursday (I am not sure if Alex forgot or didn't want to do it, but apparently you can't do it after a workout) but he has promised to do it today (after I called him a liar and a jerk, and Sam told him to just give me my data it will make everyone else's life better). I am refusing to do anything until it is done (man, I totally wouldn't want to train me, I am a pain in the ass). Will share when I have them!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Thankful Thursday - Figuring Out The Cause

Totally worth getting in trouble for
Last Wednesday, I ended up with an upset stomach. I assumed it was because of the deep fried plantains I had at work (yes F'in Alex yelled at me about that one) and didn't think much more about  it. I had other symptoms of my system being out of whack at the end of the week, but assumed it was because of stress/not enough sleep etc. Last week was rough!

Then same thing happened Saturday, when I hadn't had plantains. I took a minute and looked back at what I had eaten, and it occurred to me that on both Wednesday and Saturday about 4 hours before my stomach took a turn for the worse, I had hummus. I went to the fridge and low and behold  my hummus had soy and wheat. I had thought I had checked this brand of hummus before but had not. Because I don't imagine soy and wheat as ingredients in hummus didn't double check. Silly me, it is processed I should double check! 

Who knew there would be soy and wheat in this!
While I am a little annoyed with myself because my body is currently very angry at me (likely from the soy, and it was so little), I am thankful that I was able to figure it out. I know in a week or so it will pass. I will now remember to double check products. I am thankful that I know what upsets my system and can do my best to avoid it.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The First Workout Injury

It was bound to happen sooner or later, especially with my track record of not being very coordinate. I worked with F'in Alex last Monday. As I had to move my session from Tuesday because I had a work meeting I couldn't move, we met at 7 am. This meant I was up around 4:30 to leave by 6. My body started mad at me. I told him that. I found the session really, really hard. Yes we increased the weights, but even harder than that and felt deflated after (which we have spoken about since and I got the coach pep talk - role my eyes).

I left the session grumpy but unaware I was injured. Wednesday morning around 3 am, I woke up with a terrible pain in my elbow. I assumed I slept on it and it would go away. It didn't. Thursday it was still sore. I asked my husband to look at it and he said it was swollen.

I got to the gym on Thursday. At this point of the week I wasn't motivated at all for life - I had a very rough week which I am not going to complain about (although no internet for 3 days was really, really annoying). Anyway, after the unsatisfactory work out Monday, coupled with elbow pain and a crappy week, the gym was about the last place I wanted to be.

My conversation with F'in Alex about the elbow went like this:

FA: "How are you?"
Me: "so-so"
FA: "Why?"
Me: "We hurt my elbow and it has been a crappy week."
Where it hurt
FA: thinking I was joking "What did you do?"
Me: "I am not sure what we did, but Sam (aka my husband) says it was swollen."
FA: "I will be there to check it out in a minute." He was finishing teaching a class.
A few minutes later
FA: "That reminds me I forgot to get you to sign the waiver." Yep hurting me reminded him I could sue him lol! But he did seem truly concerned about the elbow too.
FA: "Sam didn't tell me you were hurt when I saw him yesterday."
Me: "Sam didn't know, I only told him this morning because I didn't see him yesterday."
FA: After squeezing it and poking it "The tendon is inflamed. I am glad it is not in the back part of your elbow. That would be serious. This needs ice and rest. So today, we will do all legs."
Me: "Yay."

By the end of Thursday it was the worst it got. It was really, really swollen and hurt. It felt better on Friday (a little tender) but then again my butt and thighs were so sore, maybe I didn't notice a little elbow pain. By Saturday the pain was all gone. So I have survived my first workout injury.

This week officially marks week 4 of training. It is as far as I have paid for. I have to decide what to do next. I have been totally avoiding this decision, F'in Alex and I will discuss it, likely today during our training. Everyone in my life has a different idea about what I should do. I have been reading research on training to help make my decision. My problem with making this decision is that I hate everything about the gym, but I know it is good for me. I have also discovered that because of the pain it causes, my sleep (unless I take pain meds before bed) isn't as good. So I kind of feel crappy too. This is suppose to pass, but all of this isn't helping me decide.  Maybe the weigh in and the body fat measurements on Thursday will help because right now the one inch I have lost off my hips is just annoying as I am going to need all new pants (I know, first world problems).

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Mind Over Matter

As discussed, the first week at the gym was tough mentally for me. I really struggled with this, but  I am happy to report I was able to work through it and week 2, I killed it (and it nearly killed me)! Going to the gym is now slightly better than whale watching.  Now this doesn't mean I like going. I actually dislike the exercises (especially the running on the step, lunges and squats), and I dislike how I feel after (I am really suffering from DOMS - delayed onset muscle soreness - in places I didn't know I even had muscles - this is suppose go get better, we will see - the pain is rather intense at times and places).
To help me work through the mental game,  I am working on being more positive about it (I am choosing to do this, I don't have to) and I have found 2 things I like about the gym.

1) I really enjoy telling a 24 year old (yes, I asked how old he was) to F-off repeatedly 2 times a week. There is something satisfying about this, even if he has figured out that when I am telling him where to go, he has pushed me to the right place.

2) While I don't like the doing, I am impressed what I can actually do. I have won the mental game (which is great), so the focus is on the physical one. Day one of chest press, I got up to 15 lbs. Yes, F'in Alex had to catch my hands at the end  but I didn't wimp out, even though I so wanted to - it was my body said enough. Also, the very last thing I did last week was a 1 minute and 30 second plank. 2.5 weeks before I could do 37 seconds. That is impressive to me. 

People keep asking me what I will do after my last 4 sessions. The truth is, I don't know. I know my strength goals won't be met, so I am going to have to do something. I have decided I will figure this out at session 8. For now, I will just focus on 4 more sessions and the count down to being able to have a martini (F'in Alex said I can have one after my 8 sessions are done). It is so not like me not to have this all planned out, but then being at the gym is so not like me, maybe it all works out. 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Story About Whales

I didn't always hate whales. In my 20s, I was excited to go whale watching off the cost of Victoria B.C. We saw orcas and it was great.

The cover of this book stresses
me out!
Then I read Moby Dick and developed a whale phobia. I thought to myself, this is ridiculous, I am an adult scared by a book. I saw on TV, the story behind the story that inspired Moby Dick. I thought I will watch this, I will realize how stupid this fear is and get over it. The opposite happened. The real story is worse (I have blocked it out thankfully) and my true phobia was born.

It is a very specific phobia. I am afraid a whale will crush me. This means the phobia is limited to the really big whales - like, blue, grey, humpback. I am fine with dolphins, orcas, narwals, and belugas. I can't walk under a big whale skeleton. Museums always love to hang them on their ceilings, what is with that? And being on a boat whale watching is scary.

Before our trip to Iceland last year, I decided I was going to overcome this fear and go whale watching. I started doing cognitive behaviour therapy and systematic desensitization on myself (thank you education). Then my nightmare came true for a Canadian woman in Mexico. She was in a zodiac, the whale breached and it landed on her and killed her. You can read about this story Here. My fear was realized! At that point I was sure I would never whale watch.

When we arrived in Iceland, I had no plans on going whale watching, even though I knew it was something my husband would enjoy. As we drove around the island, we kept seeing brochures for it and heard people talking about it. The night before I entered my new decade I decided, let's try this. My only conditions were that we went in a ship and not a zodiac (one can get way to close in those little boats), and that I wouldn't take the pictures (that is usually my job). A couple days later I found myself on a ship, heading out to watch whales.

By the ship we went on
While everyone else excitedly entered the ship, I quietly sat on the inside and tried to talk myself into calm. I felt sick and dizzy, but kept saying "You can do this. This is 40."  When the first whale was spotted on the other side of the ship, I couldn't move to go see it. Everyone else rushed and pushed and I sat rooted in my spot, willing myself to keep breathing and to gather the strength to see it.

I was eventually able to look. I got through it. I didn't like it, but I did it.

After this trip we went to the whale museum. I enjoyed the part about how they hunted whales (it is the one species I would love to see disappear), and then we got to the skeletons on the ceiling. I didn't have the strength to physically walk under them. It was just too much.

While I remain phobic of whales, I am happy I made myself do this. It is a good example of how sometimes we just have to do things we are terrified and it doesn't usually kill us (even if in the moment it feels like it may).

The hump of our humpback

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Thankful Thursday - The Starry Sky

From the internet
During the summer I rarely see the stars. That is because it is light when I get up and light when I go to bed.  Now that winter approaches and the days are getting shorter, many mornings I am starting my walks under a starry sky. Last week I realized how much I missed seeing the stars. One of my favourite things about country living is the lack of light pollution meaning the starry sky is amazing!

From the internet - Orion - one of the few constellations I know and things I remember from my astronomy class! 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Why Is This So Hard?

I have been struggling with the mental aspect of working with a personal trainer more than the physical one. It has really stressed me out (made worse by deciding to do this during the most stressful couple weeks of work for the entire year - and that I have given up all my vices because I have accepted F'in Alex's challenge for no pasta, ice cream, pancakes, booze etc. for 3 weeks).

I think the main reason this is such a struggle is because I don't view myself as athletic. I am a nerd, an academic. My life has focused on learning. I have completed 15 years of post-secondary education. I am making up for hating reading as a kid, but reading all the time now. I spend my long commute listening to podcasts and learning. I take courses for fun. Being anything other than an uncoordinated and clumsy nerd is something I can't picture.

Just for a little perspective: I have never been able to do a somersault (even as a young kid) or touch my toes. My elementary school gym teacher often had me sit out during activities because I was a danger to myself and others. I was always the last kid or near to last kid picked on the playground for any game (I don't blame the other kids, I wouldn't have picked me either, I was terrible).

I am doing the work I need to do to reframe how I see myself by setting realistic goals for myself for this training. The goal isn't to be an athlete, the goal is to be stronger. That should be doable in my trainer knows what he is doing and he appears to. And while F'in Alex (yes, I call him this to his face with all the missing letters and he laughs) believes he is going to make me love training and change my life, I am working toward not finding the gym one of the most terrifying places on earth, and at best a neutral place. Maybe if that happens, my life will really have changed.

I have printed this out and pasted it on my water bottle 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

New Years

I have always believed the new year should be this weekend. Maybe that is just a remnant of 28 years in the education system, where the new year starts in September. Maybe it is because my clients, their schedules and teams change the most this time of year. Maybe it is because it is more of a season change moving summer to autumn then in January. Maybe because the dead of a Canadian winter is just not the time to celebrate anything or make any plans other than hibernating!

However, as I sit here contemplating the new year, it occurs to me, it doesn't matter when it is. A new year is really nothing more than a change in date.  We use it to mark time and reflect on what we have accomplished or failed to accomplish and as a way to put off doing things we should do, but aren't completely motivated to do.

Instead of waiting for the new year, the new month or whatever is keeping us from our dreams or a better life, we should remember:

Happy New Day!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Thankful Thursday - I Didn't Pass Out

Today I am thankful that I didn't pass out during my first training session with Alex. Twice I got so dizzy I was sure I was going to, but I immediately told him and we took a break.

This brings me to how it went. It is fair to say "it went". Alex seems like a nice enough person, but he is now "f-in' Alex" in our house. (Our cleaner's name is also Alex so it helps us keep straight who we are talking about lol). While I say that about him, he did a good job at pushing me when I needed to and stopping when I couldn't/was about to die. He is not very good at counting (my husband had told me that), and because my job requires data while doing other things, I can talk and count, so I corrected him several times.

From the internet
There was only one completely embarrassing moment. He wanted me to step on and off the Bosu ball (which I am calling the Bozo ball). I told him I can't do that, my balance isn't good enough. He said to try (clearly he didn't believe me), I did, I fell off. He said we would work up to that, I said, likely never going to happen. I did a year of physio on something similar - could never do it.

I am allowed to swear at him and as a 41 year old woman, there is something satisfying about telling a fit 25ish year old guy where to go.  There are some great things you earn as you get older.

The gym is in the building my husband works in, so he popped in and waved. He said he did this to make sure we were both alive. I really think he is more worried that I will kill Alex then him killing me.

At the end he told me I had "potential" and he sent a follow up email saying how great I did and telling me to avoid sugar (aka alcohol - he thought there was too much in my food log) which was easy because eating and drinking was the last thing on the planet I wanted to do on Tuesday. I thought exercise was suppose to make you hungry.

I am sore enough as I type this on Wednesday. My pecs are the sorest. The rest isn't as bad as I expected.

The big question - is this better or worse than whale watching. I think if falls between whale watching and blood work. I have the same upset stomach before whale watching, I have to use the same cognitive behaviour therapy on myself to go/keep going as whale watching, but the physical distress is more like blood work, where I always pass out.

And yes, I love to get my teeth cleaned. If I had the money I would go every 3 months. I am actually going tomorrow and am looking forward to it! Yes - I am weird.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Meeting the Trainer

So last Thursday I went to meet and have my initial assessment with my trainer Alex. I admit I found this terrifying. My fear was probably made worse by the fact I am doing this at the cross fit gym - Greco - a chain in Ottawa (about to expand) made famous as being the place the athletes and celebrities go (i.e. hockey player Mike Fisher and when they lived in Ottawa his wife Carrie Underwood).

Being brave and touching a whale - Iceland
There were only 3 things I came up with I would like to be doing less: 3: whale watching 2: having blood taken 1: getting stitches. At the end of it, I would say I felt being in the gym environment was probably tied with whale watching. I can do it, but I sort of want to die the whole time. This was just the assessment. As a non-optimistic person, I truly don't believe it will get better, but as long as it doesn't get worse, I will get through it. And yes, I let Alex know how I felt.

We went over all my exercise history (that took 2 seconds), my goals (to be strong enough to feel confident when an adult client wants to run away), my injuries/areas to consider (so my scoliosis and my knee).

Being brave and whale watching - Iceland
I was happy with my weight - 155.6lbs - not happy with my body fat - 33% (should be about 24% for my age) - and impressed I held a plank for 37 seconds.

We start 2 times a week training every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:15-9:15 am today. We are doing this for a month. Alex said I should lose about 1% body fat, although sometimes at the beginning it goes faster. He doubts my weight will change (which is ok because I am right about where I should be).  I am not suppose to do things at home to start as Alex is afraid I will hurt myself. One of my colleagues questioned this, thinking he just wanted more money, until I reminded her I had needed 2 knee surgeries after studying - I may be a danger to myself.

Fingers crossed it isn't too embarrassing on Tuesday.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Vanier Wrestling

Selfie with the bday girl
Last weekend was a good friend's birthday and she decided for her birthday she wanted us to go to Indie Wrestling. I am a child of the 80s, so I grew up spending my Saturday mornings watching what is now known as the WWE. I married a man who loves wrestling so have been to some WWE events in the past. I know a little something about wrestling.

I wasn't expecting much out of this wrestling. It took place in Vanier. Vanier is one of the rougher neighbourhoods in Ottawa. It is not dangerous like some other cities rough neighbourhoods but has a reputation for prostitution, drugs and just being a bit seedy.

While we were going with our friends, we (my husband, his brother and I) decided if we were going to do this, we were going to upgrade to VIP seats. We paid extra for front row seats, and so we could go early for the meet and greet with Chavo Guerrero Jr., a former WWE wrestler.  We weren't sitting with our friends but did see them over the evening.
My husband and Chavo

A Sponge Bob tattoo - one of 4 of the
band members on a 70 year old

The experience itself is rather hard to put into words. I just kept saying "who knew this was a thing?" The hall was small but clean. It sat somewhere between 400-500 hundred people I think. The fans are clearly dedicated. They all knew each other and the wrestlers. There is a lot of crowd participation. My brother-in-law and I decided that there should be a committee to approve tattoos because there were some terrible ones. I like a good tattoo but clearly some people have different ideas about good than I do. There were also some very interesting outfits. I imagine a show like "What Not To Wear" would have had a field day. It was very much a different crowd then the one I normally hang with. Not bad, not worse, just different.

The wrestling itself was actually better than we had expected. Some of it was actually very good. One of the things I liked, is that the few women wrestlers actually wrestled men in their matches. 2/3 of them could definitely hold their own! My husband had a wonderful time and got right into it. My brother-in-law and I thought it was ok (we were often distracted by the crowd) and we both found it a little long. The main show started at 8 and ended at like 11:40. Can't say we didn't get our moneys worth -it was just way past my bed time.

The event was for their 6th annual "Fighting Back - Cancer Stinks" fundraiser in honour of a member of the wrestling community who died in 2011. The night we were there they raised over $33 000, bringing their 6 year total over $117 000, which is impressive.

While it is not my thing, I can appreciate it and be glad I went. I am sure my husband will go again with our friends, and I will happily support him in that.

A few pictures of the evening:

Sometimes sitting ring side has you right in the action

The wrestler Space Monkey

Yes he has a tail

Frank - the biggest wrestler - but what is with the tattoos?

Chavo standing in our corner

My husband joining in

Men kept falling at my feet

I should have sung it is raining men