Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Christmas in July

Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, I count down the days until it’s appropriate to start putting up decorations and break out the Christmas music. I try and stretch out Christmas by at least a month.

Last night I hosted our D.A.T.E. night and I thought what could be better than Christmas in July? It’s just over the halfway mark to the holiday and it would be something totally unexpected.

I had to refrain myself from pulling all my decorations out this weekend while decorating. I tried to just do the basics but still have the house feel “Christmas-y”

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is stockings so I wanted to include that. I had no luck finding actual Christmas stockings so I stuck to Superstore socks.

There were a couple very happy guys who left not only with the contents of their stockings, but a pair of new socks as well!

I wanted to include a fun activity as well so I went with gingerbread house making. No luck finding any kits around (I was hoping for some really great deals on some expired kits) so we had to do it the old fashioned way.

I bought the candy on Saturday and it has been tempting me ever since. I was glad to finally put it to use.

The gingerbread house making was a success! Bonus points were given out for the most creative house and there were some pretty interesting creations!

Christmas in July was a bit strange because the temperature outside was around 25C and the temperature inside my oven of a house was even hotter. But all in all, it was a good night!

Now to take down all the decorations…

Today’s Sweetness: I’m wearing my favorite shirt today. And that always makes for a good day!


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My Weightloss Journey

Weight is something a lot of people struggle with, myself being one of them. This has been a lifelong struggle and a struggle that I am finding increasingly is important to share to give people encouragement and hope.

Growing up, I was a pretty normal sized child for the most part.

Of course, I was young but I can’t remember any issues with my weight before the age of 7 or 8. At that point in my life, my family moved from Winnipeg to Alberta and that is when my issues with weight began. Over the course of my elementary and jr. high years, I began to emotionally eat. I would eat when I was happy, I would eat when I was sad, I would eat when I was bored, and I would eat when I was stressed out. I’ve never been athletically gifted and I wasn’t interested in sports so there was a lack of exercise in my life. Couple that with overeating, and the weight starts piling on fast. By time I was graduating jr. high, I was one of the largest people in my class and had my fair share of fat comments directed at me.

High school made my eating habits much worse because suddenly I was in a school with a cafeteria full of junk food and vending machines down almost every hallway. At the same time, I was becoming more and more self conscious of my weight and desperately wanting to change it. I tried many different diets but each time I would last a few days and then when I saw no change happening, I would fall back into my old eating habits.

This pattern continued into college and by time I was 21, I was over 200lbs.

At that point, something clicked in my head and I knew I had to change the path I was headed down. It was the day after my 21st birthday when I decided to change my life.

I became obsessed with learning about healthy eating and exercise. I read as much as I could online and saw that normal people could lose weight the “old fashioned way”-by healthy eating and exercise. I ditched any ideas about any trendy diets that were out there and stuck to counting my calories in and counting my calories out.

I remember buying a scale a couple days into this lifestyle change and looking at the number, not knowing how I had let myself get to that point. However, in the back of my mind, a voice said to me “This is the biggest number you will ever see on this scale so don’t worry.”

I became pretty strict with my workout routine. I would work out on the treadmill  for almost an hour every day, never missing a day. I also religiously counted any calories I ate, determined to stay below a certain number. And it worked. I was losing on average 2 lbs a week and four months after I started, I was down 30 lbs.

At this point, I slowed down a little. I let myself have days off from working out and didn’t count calories so strictly. I went a few months where I would work out a few days a week, try and eat right, but not make too much of an effort. I was now at a weight that felt good to me and not losing any weight for the time being didn’t bother me too much.

It was about a year later when I decided I wanted to lose more weight. I once again began watching what I ate and exercising regularly. The weight dropped off again, and I arrived at a weight that was very close to ideal for my age and height. I have fluctuated around that weight each year since then, but I am now at a place where I am at peace with my weight.

One issue I have had is keeping diligent with this. Once you are at a weight you like, it’s easy to slip back into old eating patterns and skip workouts here and there. However, I know that weight is something I will struggle with for my whole life. It is not something that will one day go away. Accepting that has helped me not look at exercise and healthy eating as something that I have to do. Instead, it’s part of my everyday life.

Losing weight was the biggest challenge I ever took on and it has been one of the most satisfying goals to reach. I don’t believe this journey will ever be truly over, but I am happy with the path I am on now.


Today’s Sweetness: A vanilla latte first thing in the morning

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D.A.T.E. Night

It was a cold winter evening in January when I got a text from a friend who was out at dinner with some other friends. In a flurry of about five back to back text messages, he announced that he and the other people he was with had decided that we all needed some excitement in our lives. That we needed a night out each week that would give us new experiences and brighten up the week. It was out of this idea that D.A.T.E. night was born. Since we all knew that Tuesdays were the worst day of the week, we decided to announce Tuesday evening as the official D.A.T.E. night.

Over a potluck meal a couple weeks later, a group of about 12 of us made a list of over 50 activities we could do each week and hammered out the rules of D.A.T.E. night. Attendance was mandatory, only work was an excuse (we argued over whether being sick was and whether the person would need to bring a doctor’s note and finally decided sickness was no excuse). One person from the group would be in charge of picking an even and planning D.A.T.E. night for that week. Each week, points would be awarded based on attendance. There was also the possibility for bonus points if you did something particularly note worthy that night. At the one year mark, we would have a party and the person with the most points would get something special.

Since that night we have had a D.A.T.E. night each week. Some of our activities have been surprise birthday parties, bowling, karaoke, extreme crouquet, laser quest,  sledding, and a Hawaiian Night.

Bonus points have been awarded for various things. From being the brunt of a joke to dressing up in costume to Hawaiian night to almost breaking a tailbone on a not well thought out toboggan jump.

Who would have thought that a simple idea like this would change the way you look at a week. Tuesdays suddenly became a great day. Wednesdays weren’t too much worse because you had the D.A.T.E. night points email to look forward to.

It was such a simple idea at the beginning and has probably been (and continues to be) one of the highlights of this year. It’s definitely brought my competitive side a little more in the open…

Life just seems that much more fun with D.A.T.E. night. I encourage all of you to start a D.A.T.E. night with your friends. Or come join ours!


Today’s Sweetness: Marinated Steaks

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