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Category — HEALTHY HAPPY LIFE

F-F-F-FIFTY!

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about turning 49. At the time, I felt like there were so many “shoulds”: I should be a certain way. I should look a certain way. I should act a certain way. I should have reached milestones: personal, professional, even spiritual. It was quite alarming – for myself and for all of you who wrote to me, many feeling exactly same way. Less than our ages. Less than our expectations. Just less than.

Cut to: now.

Now that we’re a quarter of the way through the year, my fellow ’68ers are turning 50 every damn day. Old friends coming out of the on-line woodwork, meeting up for dinners and drinks, random emails – so much acknowledgement. And so much fun!

Best of all, a funny thing happened on my way to 50. Instead of stressing about all the things I haven’t managed to achieve by 50, I stopped caring (as much). At the very least, I wasn’t getting upset about all those “shoulds”. The arbitrarily drawn line in the sands of time stopped having as much meaning. Maybe I erased it or maybe it just faded away.  The great fade….

As with so much of life, the binaries have started to fade too.  For me, a person who has always lived life in a very black and white, all-or-nothing way, this has been a revelation. Those who know me, know I either love fiercely or am completely indifferent. Gorge or abstain. This goes for my people and my passions. But I’m starting to mellow. A teeny tiny bit.  Maybe it’s just that I  don’t have the energy for a lot of shit that gets me riled up. Now, when I feel the venom and bile coming, I try my best to let it go. Most of the time.

Because moderation is not my strongest suit, in my quest to not sweat the small stuff I may have let a lot of stuff go seed. I have a wild beast of a dog who has trashed my house. My boys are free to be themselves. For real. Certain triggers that would have had me ranting and raving for hours (or days) have lost their power. My home is very… lived in, despite our efforts to beautify it. (And keep it clean.) And what it lacks in decor it makes up for in laughs. I really try my best to see the glass as half-full, even if it’s a cracked glass. That’s not so easy in an instagrammable world. My shitty 25-year old oven? A total eyesore, but it turns out great baked goods. See? I do my best to buy into the positivity I’ve been trying to sell myself. And, dare I say it, it works.

Is this because of 50??

When I was complaining about 49, a friend of mine, who recently turned 52, told me to enjoy it. Before you turn 50, she said, you’re cute. But once you’re on the other side, you’re just nothing. Another regular shmo, wondering if you’ve made the wrong decisions.

Sheesh….What a depressing thought.

I think being in the middle of the middle age has its perks. The 20-somethings may think you’re old, but not old enough to be irrelevant. The 30-ishes have realized we have something to offer – wisdom, advice, and at least funny anecdotes. Those in their 40’s think we’re the same age (the feeling is mutual) and always seem somewhat shocked when we say we’re 50 (almost). And those already on the other side of 50, but the “right” side of 60?  They’re happy to be where they’re at.  The 60+ crowd appears to be stickin’ with their 50’s or vaulting into their retirement. And the 70+? They seem to think the rest of us are young, adorable, and look great in bikinis.

So, yes, this magical number 50 has provided quite a lot to talk about and plan. It’s been a real buildup for my friends and me. It’s like we realized we all really do have so much to celebrate. Meals and trips and parties – what fabulous entrees to the 50’s. With the milestone year come milestones – for some. Some of us are conquering fears and running marathons. And some of us letting things go and laughing things off. And some are doing bits of both. Because we can. We can do whatever we want. Accepting who we are and where we are in our lives? Why the hell not? We’re 50.

Older and wiser? Mellowed with age? Time will tell. For now, 50 is just another number: a big, round, happy one.

 

 

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March 19, 2018   2 Comments

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GRADUATION DAY

It’s June, and therefore, for those with children of almost any school age, it’s Graduation Season.

Whether from pre-school to elementary, middle to high school, or university and beyond we have all been told, repeatedly, that it is a BIG DEAL. Growing up, wasn’t it just high school that was a big deal? Prom, corsage, limo? And university – duh – but pre?? Like the trophies and the medals – it’s graduation for everyone!

For my junior high “graduation” – our grade performed a musical version of the creation story.  I was one of 3 angels who wore flapper-style fringed dresses and sang a doo-wop song about being in Heaven. No joke. Another friend was the MC. And those were good parts. Some kids had to be “dancers” – in the dark, under black lights with white gloves doing jazz hands.

We’ve come a long way. In some ways.

When my eldest “graduated” from nursery it was kind of cute. Basically it was a photo-op situation where the parents (mostly moms) gushed about how fast time was flying. Some were saddened by it. I was relieved.

Then there was the big switch from pre-school/early years to Grade 1. For my kids, it wasn’t all that different. They went from an all-day Senior Kindergarten play-based classroom to an-day Grade One “big boy” class. Photos were, of course, adorable but the kids’ situation didn’t change all that much.

For the Elementary to Middle School jump, the kids (and parents) had an orientation so we could all understand how it would work. It felt scary. It felt serious.  Ultimately, for our family, it was still the same kids and the same school, but it was indeed different. Different teachers teaching different classes in different rooms. For a kid who didn’t like to sit in one place, it was a godsend. For one who thought a particular teacher hated him, it was a miracle. And the best part? They had lockers.

Lockers. Some of the girls had mini carpets and teeny tiny chandeliers in their lockers. The boys had magnets and shelves…for magnets. A kid with a locker was a Big Kid. Or so it seemed to the children in grade 6. To those finishing Grade 8, the once mighty locker became just another place to put their stuff.

At about halfway through the first term of Grade 8, talk of “Grad” began. I didn’t get it. At all. Graduation from Grade 8 – for me – was not “Grad”. “Real” graduation was from high school. Or university. Suddenly I found myself discussing Prom, breakfasts, pre-parties, post-parties. The kids were barely involved. There was a parent party, a parent poem, a photo collage made by – of course – the parents for their young graduates. Decor, menus, venues – the emails were flying. Even though I was on the planning committee, I felt like quite an imposter – I didn’t buy in. Not to any of it.

And now as the big day approaches, I cannot help but think about what it really means for my boy to be heading off to high school in September. He’s excited to be going to school with all of his friends even though, as I like to tell him (frequently), he probably hasn’t even met his friends yet! Up to now, it’s been all-childhood, all the time. I know his pals, their parents, his teachers.  Now, he’s entering his own phase. New friends. New experiences that have absolutely nothing to do with us. We won’t really know where he is, what he’s doing, or with whom. I’m well aware that it’s been my job to get him to this place, and I can only hope that he makes the right choices. I have total confidence in this young person but still – it terrifies me.

I am thrilled and scared. Happy and devastated. I know what I was up to in high school. I both laugh and cringe when I think about it. When I look at this boy, with whom I have such a special relationship, and I picture him leaving me out of his high school life – because that is exactly what he is supposed to do – I get teary. Not too many teenagers are coming home to discuss what’s going on with their mommies. Some do, sometimes, but not a lot. While my son and I are truly sympatico, I am not his best friend, nor is he mine. I don’t expect him to tell me everything, and as he enters these totally impactful high school years I’ll be happy if/when he tells me anything! This is his time. He’ll be making new memories and really carving out he who is. All exciting stuff, invigorating and, hopefully, not too traumatizing.

So much of who we become is etched upon us in high school. The music we’re into. The friends we find. The mistakes we make. High school is a place of freedom and excitement, but also a place where it can be so hard to figure out who we are. We get boxed in. Left out. Egged on. Some part of us never leaves high school.

And now that’s where he’s heading.

So as we enter his final week of middle school, with the parties and the ceremonies and the goodbyes, I know that it is “only grade 8”. And that in 4 short years when he (hopefully!) graduates from high school I will think back to this with fondness and smiles.

But for today I will wish my young graduate the fortitude to make the right decisions. To be his own person.  To stay kind, funny, compassionate and smart. There will be wounds in the teenage world of social warfare, and challenges he’ll think he can never possibly surpass. Life will be the best. And the worst. And we will be there for him whether he wants us or not.

And whether we want to or not, we will set him free and watch him fly…..

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June 19, 2017   5 Comments

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This is (almost) 50

On the near-eve of my 49th birthday, it is nearly impossible to escape The Big 5-0 looming ahead. I think I started telling people I was “almost 50” when I was 46. To which they’d often respond “but you don’t look 50”. That’s because I wasn’t. Then.

But with the year-long countdown about to begin I have been reflecting on turning almost-50. And not just the “do I want a party to celebrate” kind of reflecting. (The answer, for those wondering is: no, I do not.)

The other big question I imagine most of us hitting any kind of milestone birthday ask is: Am I where I thought I’d be?

Not exactly.

I was speaking to my mother, reminiscing about when she turned 50. I told her she seemed way ahead of where I’m at. To me it seemed like she was able to do pretty much whatever she wanted. Her children were older, she traveled a ton, her home was beautifully appointed and cared for meticulously, as was her cottage. For milestone birthdays she and her friends would make glamorous parties for each other – at home and away, involving costumes, themes, personalized T-shirts and surprise guests. My mom, at 50, was a free-wheeling, seemingly financially secure grown up. A real “adult” yet with a fun and youthful joie de vivre.

Me? Not so much.

I have 3 kids under 14. Our house lands somewhere on the scale between falling down and being torn up. I have several different freelance careers, and  I alternately love and/or loathe them all. My husband works his ass off day and night, coaches all 3 kids on and off the field/ice/pitch. Financial freedom is a dream we may never see realized. Leaving the house (sans children) – let alone the country – requires a shitload of organization and planning and is often not even possible. In fact, I still feel like a kid. A somewhat haggard and often exhausted kid.

I even have some of the same hang-ups from my youth including, sadly, “does my ass look fat?” And, ridiculously, “does he still like me?” You’d think I would move on from these teenage girl concerns. But you’d be wrong. On the flip side, and yes, there is a flip side burning bright,  I also have the knowledge and confidence that being older brings. Beauty absolutely fades and is a commodity I didn’t realize I used to have in spades. Now it’s more about looking good…. considering…. The insecurity within my own relationship? Now we make jokes about it – and blame my father. I can wear the same things day after day and have (almost) no qualms about walking out of the house “looking like that”. I’m not afraid to start up – and finish – a conversation. Or to speak my mind. Best of all I’m not overly concerned with judgements and opinions. Most of the time. I  know that I’m a damn good wife/mother/daughter/friend.   At this stage, the only one I tend to disappoint most is myself. Even my imposter-syndrome is only visible to those who know me very well. Fake it ’til you make it, Baby!

And yet, talking to my mom and telling her she really seemed to have it together, her one comment was that I was exactly where I should be. That I was the one who has it together with my 3 fabulous kids and a healthy marriage. She, on the other hand, had been divorced.

I couldn’t believe it. On paper, she had it all. And the only thing she could mention was that she was divorced? This from a woman who has been together with her husband for nearly 40 years (35 married) and still going strong. To me that’s an amazingly successful marriage. An accomplishment. But in her eyes, despite emerging from a broken marriage stronger, wiser and a mom of two, she still felt “less than” sixteen years later at age 50. If only we could see the positive things about ourselves through the eyes of others… I would argue that one of the best things that could’ve happened to my brother and I was being raised by a mother who was in a happy and healthy relationship.

50 and 23 in 1991.

So now, a month shy of 49, the question really is not “am I where I thought I would be” but, rather, “am I where I want to be?”

In so many ways, I think I am. I’m lucky enough to remember the dreams I had, acknowledge the ones I’ve lost, and be open to discovering new ones. Some dreams may stay dreams and that’s OK. Most of the time.  I am well aware that age is just a number, and all the other clichés that come with long days and short years. But with each birthday it becomes impossible not to reflect on the dreams that change along with the bodies – and the eyesight. New dreams emerge with the wrinkles, the readers, the grey hairs. The important thing is to be willing – and very able –  to deal with it all. Having an incredible cohort to join your journey (and a fabulous colorist) doesn’t hurt either.

Too much? Too personal? Too bad. I’m (almost) 50.

 

 

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April 27, 2017   2 Comments

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2017. Buckle Up, Boys.

 

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New Year, New You? Whatever. New Year, Old Me is this year’s resolution.

I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in years. In fact, the Gregorian New Year feels far less like a renewal or rebirth than the good ol’ 5777-year-old Jewish one. Rosh Hashana brings with it Yom Kippur and, like it or not, I always find it a time of reflection and thought. Being around the start of the new school year helps.

But Jan 1 resolutions? Not for me.

Except this year.

There will be no weight loss, cardio increases or spendthriftery for this girl. This isn’t about volunteering more, drinking less, or vanquishing vices. No, this is the year I’ve decided to stop parenting my children. At least in many of the ways they’ve come to expect.

I will happily try to accommodate them when it works – for me. I will not be forcing activities and plans and action upon them. My Man and I have tried our best to make our boys well-rounded human beings. But we can’t force them to practice musical instruments they refuse to play. We can’t make them like what we like. I am done with sign ups. And paying. And hustling. Gentlemen, if you’re not in, neither am I.

Wanna to stay home and be bored? Me too! Addicted to their screens? Who isn’t?! They can watch their shit while I watch mine. Until I tell them to stop. Negotiations are over. Be as bored as you can possibly be and let’s see what dreams and ideas come out of it. Or not – I’m not making it my problem. I’ve fought the good fight – if there is such a thing – and I’m finished.

I win.

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This year they can – and will – learn to amuse themselves. “Mama don’t play” has been a signature line of mine – and this year I say it with guilt-free pride. Go to the park, the backyard or the basement but count me out. I am not interested. Want to hit a movie? Go for dinner? Walk the streets and see what’s happening? Let me know when and where and I will be there. But activity zones, indoor play spaces and bowling? I’ll be the mom waiting and reading in the car. If I feel like it.

I was never good at sports. Ever. And I’m ok with it. This is not the year that I plan on learning how to snowboard nor will I be improving my skating or training for a marathon. No chance. This is the year I hope someone will join me in walking our dog. And if not, I have my headphones. My noise-cancelling headphones. And I’m not afraid to use ’em.

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Be more patient? Fuck that. I’ll be more real. If you’re making me crazy, you’ll know it, Fellas. I know I’m a good mom. I’ve been doing a great job, or at least the best that I can. I’ve never taken up the mantle of Homework Police and don’t intend to do so now. Furthermore, I resign as Warden of the Washroom. Piss on the walls if you will, just stay out of my ensuite ladies’ loo.

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“Dinner is better when we eat it together”.

Most of the time.

I have enough food issues of my own in trying to eat healthy and clean and low carb and no sugar and good fats and less meat and kosher-style and early enough and organic. There is very little nobility in homemade dinners at our place. At this point “you get what you get and you don’t get upset” will be the only menu item served chez nous. Because there’s always toast. Or hummous.

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As my eldest enters the teen years I brace myself. From all accounts of those who’ve been there and done that, my baby will be hating his dad and me soon enough. So we’ll do the best we can and wait for whatever brewing storm to pass. No one here gets out of adolescence unscathed so Bring. It. On. I have enough trust in my guys to know we’ll weather it well. (Like we have any other choice!)

I love my babies more than anything but this is the year that they learn that yes, parents are people. If I have to spend any more minutes focusing on breathing, I think I’ll bolt. I am full. So full of being mindful and grateful and careful. It’s painful.

So in this year of 2017, I resolve to bring back my own good self. Version 48.5. Because in many ways it feels I’ve been absent for a while and I miss me. My kids don’t know their pre-parent mother. They’ve only heard stories. But they will. They’ll know me and they’ll love me and we’ll all be better for it.

Happy New Year.

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January 6, 2017   2 Comments

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Canyon Ranch

I’ve just returned from a week at Canyon Ranch Spa in Tuscon, Arizona with my mom and step-sister. I was looking forward to it – mostly because I’d be away. And it would be warm. But Other People? They were delirious on my behalf, extolling the joys and wonders of the place with almost cult-like adoration. My mother made the plan a year ago. My step sister had been counting down the days. Envious friends gave me pointers – the best classes, the best treatments, the Mongolian Salmon. Me? I viewed it with a sense of trepidation. I’d been there 25 years ago and, aside from hanging with my pal Jayne and doing meditative breathing with Yoko Ono, the highlights were few and far between.

Camp Canyon Ranch

Camp Canyon Ranch

I remembered a kibbutz-like place with cheesy Southwestern furnishings and dark carpets. A dining room with faux-alcoholic drinks and fitness cheese. Portion control and aerobics. Handwriting analysis and cooking demos. Feeling the burn inside and out.

Those were the late 80’s. Those days are done.

After being there for a week and being home for all of 3 days, I can safely say: I’ve been Ranched.

Canyon Ranch in 2013 is no mere fat farm. In fact, I think I gained weight (OK, I know I did but I’m pretending it’s muscle!). While it still retains it’s kibbutz-meets-summer camp vibe, the rooms have been updated and the decor is charming. As if it even matters – you’re never inside.

Pool with a view.

View from the pool.

Portion control has been replaced with All You Can Eat: salad and pasta bars, breakfast buffet and omelet station. And if the calorie count and nutrition data on the menus doesn’t stop you, sharing meal after meal cruise-style (lamb chops for the table!) most certainly will.

Aerobics? Bah! No feeling the burn in these classes. You’re feeling the music: DJ Dance Party (with live DJ), World Beat (live drummers), Long & Lean Barre Class (live leg shakes). Zumba (live hot instructors). Spin and stretch. Cardio Combat. TRX ‘n Flex. Yoga. Pilates. Straight up cardio machines and weight rooms. There’s something for every body. Morning walks, hikes and bike rides.

Kinda proud. Kinda scared.

Kinda proud. Kinda scared.


A long way up....A long way down...

A long way up….A long way down…

And then there are the treatments. I was scrubbed, rubbed and…um…tugged. Salt exfoliation. Deep tissue manipulation. Lazy Yoga Thai Massage. I was whacked with herbal poultices, Loofah’d with dried Ayurvedic herbs and Infused with oxygen. I even had 20 minutes worth of hot oil dripped on to my hair and scalp.

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Hot tubs. Cold pools. Eucalyptus inhalation. Alpine steam. Sauna. Swimming. Even shopping! With a high end boutique and a Ranch General Store, our nights were busy with browsing. And Bingo.

The week we were there the average age hovered around 67. So, naturally I felt very young, fit and spry. No celebs (that we knew of), nothing too fancy. Early to bed. Early to rise. Good, clean living. Topped off with a cookie-of-the-day. Every day.

As the week went on, our extended group planned for next year. I humoured them, knowing more exotic, exciting and far flung locales awaited me. Or at least Miami.

And then I came home. And now? Listening to the raindrops and the hum of my heating I’m surfing their site and planning my next visit.

Yup, I’ve been Ranched.

Giving our Canadian "spring" The Finger.

Giving our Canadian “spring” The Finger.

April 10, 2013   No Comments

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TURBO CHARGED

I think I’m a bit of a gym slut.

Not the gyms themselves – I’m a serial monogomist in terms of the facilities. When I’m in, I’m in. Until I leave ’em for someplace else. But workouts? I’m a class cocktease. I flirt with the fitness schedule, wait to be woo’d (or lured), and, if we’re a match, I get obsessed. My life revolves around the class. I picture myself making the commitment, getting hitched – even becoming an instructor!! Then I buy the equipment and, inevitably, dump it.

Hello MMA boxing gloves and goodbye BOB punching class. Hola jump rope, adios bootcamp. Konichiwa cycling shoes, sayonara spinning…. And on it goes.

For the past year I’ve been using my very fit friend M’s workouts. Where once I couldn’t finish, now I’ve upped the weights, the reps, the whole shebang. I’ve adapted them from Polish Army training to Jewish Boot ‘n Butt Camp. I’ve typed ’em up, printed them off, passed them around. And then I decided to try to get more into the groove. Dance aerobics were popping everywhere (like, on the TV’s at the gym) and I was intrigued.

First up, I tried Zumba. Yawn. I felt like an honorary member of the blue rinse cruise brigade, with nary a Julie McCoy in sight. The instructor was the only one shvitzing in the whole class. The rest of us tried to stay awake by figuring out what we were supposed to do. I was waiting for Isaac to pop up with a drink. Apparently there’s a “just go with it” philosophy at play. For me, it was so relaxed it was practically chair-obics.

Then I tried Tracy Anderson and her method. I mean, hello Gwyneth, right? She even busted out The Method when she guested on Glee. At first glance, the cardio part seemed like an aerobics class of yester-year, minus the camel-toe leotard. Fun dancing? In in in! Until I tried to boogie down while looking up at my screen. No go. So I stuck with the weight training part. OK, the arm part of the weight training part. Legs were too tricky. And the abs? Didn’t get it. So I grabbed my puny 1 lb weights and hit the floor. The looks I got (ok, get) in the gym range from snide to snickering but even a measly pound gets heavy when you’re lifting it 100 times. It also gets boring as hell.

Now I have a new crush: Turbo Kick. Part kickboxing, part dancing, all sweating. It’s like Tae Bo for a new generation. Seriously, you come outta there with hair drenched, outfit unfit for second time use, and hot, hot, hot. Like, “what class was THAT?!” kind of sweat.

This is no one-nighter. It takes some time to get into it. And figure it out. Our turbo guide Felicia demonstrated the moves but then, we were off. Really, rhythmically off. The right hand had no clue what the left was doing, let alone the legs. The first part of the class was all kick ‘n punch, coordinating limbs and hoping for the best. Then came the “turbo” part. Intense. Intimidating. Incredible. Knees-to-chest jumping jacks. Burpees. Weird punching squats that are more Maori warrior than kickboxing menace. Speedy speedy in every way – complete with the high at the end. Finish off with some round-house pelvic pumps with a side of hip-hop hustle and you’re good to go.

In other words, it’s got all the rage-defying, therapeutic punch of a boxing class with the fancy footwork of a Beyonce video.

Except I certainly do not look like I belong in a Beyonce video. Or even her wedding video.

I pride myself on being able to cut a rug with the best of ’em and I like me a good dance party. I’ve climbed up and got down on my share of (out-of-town) bars and tables. Sure, I may lead a little when salsa-ing with my Man, but at least I can (ish). And yet, in Turbo Kick I find myself with two left feet. I’ve never felt more … white. Or virginal. There’s a whole lotta pelvis goin’ on. A lot of awkward thrusting, pretending to brush stuff off your shoulder, fire throwing – and all with ‘tude. My turbo pal is a real life dance teacher and even she feels like Whitey McWhitestein, so at least I’m not alone.

This class definitely has a learning curve. The more you go, the better you get, the more you sweat. It has also has an, um, interesting aesthetic: echoes of Ed Hardy, trucker hats, studded belts. It’s that hot blind date with the questionable fashion sense. Luckily I’m not tempted to buy any of it. Yet. When you see me wearing a tattooed muscle shirt with blinged out armband you’ll know I’ve kicked the turbo habit and moved on. Until then….

March 28, 2011   2 Comments

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Isa- what?

There’s a new crash diet in town. And I’m all over it. All. Over. It.

Look – I’ve tried every diet there is. The nutrisystem deliveries? Revolting. Nutritionists? Evolved into whack-job emotional eating therapy sessions. One summer I tried the Montignac/GI Diet/Suzanne Somers thing with a friend of mine. After a month or so we agreed we’d never felt better; never had more energy; never enjoyed so much cheese. She looked tremendous. I couldn’t do up my pants. And of course as any who know me know….I’m a Weight Watcher lifer – right down to the app on my iPhone.

I know what you’re thinking – obviously having been on every diet means that I….erm… needed to be on every diet. Not so. OK, maybe a little, but I was rolling along quite nicely until I got pregnant. Over and over and over again!

With each weekly WW meeting I figured out new and improved ways to beat the system. And then suddenly, the system stopped working for me. Or maybe I stopped following it….Either way, I’d reached that dreaded zone we never-say-diet-it’s-a-lifestyler hates: The Plateau.

So when my dear friend told me she was going to do a “cleanse” I poo-poo’d her. Crash diet now, gain it back later. That’s what I’d heard, read, studied. Belittling her efforts became a bit of a sport. What was she thinking?

Question is, after she lost 11 lbs in 11 days – what was I thinking? And when could I start?

September 8 was D-Day. After all, Labour Day’s the new New Years, right?

Bring on the Isagenix.

My new mantra became shake, shake, meal. Breakfast and lunch are replaced with these shakes, followed by a “healthy” meal. And I must tell you the first day was brutal. BRUTAL. I was warned I might suffer a headache or two, but when I crawled under the covers, fully clothed, ice pack on my head and gel mask on my eyes, I thought I was in rehab. Turns out this cleanse was, in every sense, a detox. I also happened to have had a tetanus shot that morning. I can blame the shot. Or the lack of Diet Dr. Pepper. Either way, I was sure this was it. The end. The end of isagenix, and the end of my life.

But the sun rose again and I carried on. Shake, Shake, Meal. Shake, Shake, Meal. I ditched the gag-inducing Ionix (a Vitamin B liquid/motor oil that failed to get my engine running) and stuck to the shakes. I added a few pineapple chunks and a smattering of mango to the vanilla and I swear, it could’ve passed for a pina colada. Almost.

And then came cleanse day number one. The moment of truth. I shot back 4 ounces of the Cleanse for Life liquid and waited for the magic to happen. I had to do 4 glasses of the stuff which, while not completely vile, isn’t something I’d ever savour. But whatever natural speed/appetite suppressant was in there was working. It was a breeze. So much so that I went for it and did another cleanse day the next day.

Now, if someone had told me I’d drink nothing but 16 ounces of some sort of aloe vera berry juice I’d have shown them the door and ordered Chinese, just to prove them wrong. But I did it. With only mild cheating. A couple of carrots here, a cuke or two there. And then there are the oddly compelling IsaSnacks. Strange little wafers that taste like chalk and yet…..become somewhere comforting when there’s nothing else to chew.

And so it went….For 11 days.

I stepped on the scale, whipped out my measuring tape – supplied by the kind folks at Isagenix to prove their point – and….Lo and behold, I’d lost 10 lbs. And 18.5 inches. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. And to be honest – I don’t care. I did get a bit nervous that there may be some sort of heart-attack inducing natural speed in there – but according to my trustworthy chiropractor – it’s all good. In fact, he wants to start taking it now too!

It’s no secret that the whole isagenix world is based on a pyramid scheme. Tho’ I guess it’s not a scheme if it works. But there’s a shady feeling about the whole thing. And yet… I’m all over it. Hook, line and sinker. I don’t miss my diet pops or my processed turkey sticks. I have a new-found appreciation for water, almonds, and tea. I know how evangelical I sound – ironic when you consider one of my many sidelines of work is writing inspirational blogsites – but when something works, it works.

Oh – and for those naysayers who wonder how much more I’ve gained back? I’m down another 3lbs . Schadenfreude – kiss my shrinking ass! Everybody else, hop on the IsaTrain – it’s a sweet, clean ride…..

2 comments:

Anonymous said…

you should send this to them and get paid – I’m serious

3:15 PM

kyra said…

yay! i’m about to do another 11 day. starting thursday. the day after my birthday. gotta have my cake and eat it too!!!!!!!

September 9, 2009   No Comments

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Ssssshhhhhhh!!!

To call or not to call… that is the question.

Yes kids, I feel the need to revisit that little thing called “mobile phone etiquette”. It seems that many of us our lacking it. Big time.

I’m not anti-mobile. Not by a long-shot. I love my iphone. Can’t/won’t leave home without it. I quite liked my old flip-top too. Hello Moto? Hello! I’ve never been a crackberry head – but only because I went Mac instead. So, no, I’m not some throwback who thinks we’d all be better off landed. Au contraire. I’m all over cellular telephones of all shapes and sizes….

Except, of course, when used inappropriately. Then, I have to temper the rage I feel bubbling up inside me. The anger that wants to march over to the offending phoner, smash their cel, and walk away. Without uttering a word. Smash. Leave. Silence.

Time and place, friends….Time and place.

I was at the gym today and I had The Rage. I was sweating to the oldies, ipod blaring, in The Zone. Suddenly I found myself inadvertantly listening to a conversation. A phone conversation. The woman next to me had received a call, and proceeded to talk for 18 minutes. I know because I timed her on my elliptical machine. I concentrated on pushing with my arms, she talked. I increased speed, she talked. I changed directions, she talked. Finally, I began the cool down…Yep, still talking. 18 minutes of discussing whether or not her friend should move in with her new man.

On the one hand, it could’ve been kind of entertaining. On the other….the ol’ Time ‘n Place thing. At the gym? Shoulder to shoulder with other people? Hello? Inappropriate!!! You see, I could hear her through my headphones, over the sound of the loudspeakers and the hum of the machines. You know when it’s summertime and you’re trying to sleep and a mosquito buzzes right in your ear??? It was all I could do to slap her away….I moved on to the free weights, but she kept on going. From the elliptical, to the inner-thigh machine, to the mats. Is it me? Or is that weird? (It’s also quite impressive. She must be in spectacular shape if she can carry on a conversation while workin’ workin’ workin’ it…)

Later this afternoon, I went to pick up my 3-year-old from nursery school. There were parent volunteers manning the parking lots because there have been issues with cars, preschoolers, and blind spots. I was standing with my son, talking to one of these faux-wardens, when another parent turned her SUV into the driveway, and headed straight for us. I promise you without any spice that she stopped about a foot from my friend’s chest. I banged on her window but she was too busy chatting. Exasperated at the lack of parking spots, she finally rolled down her window to start bitching. When the parent volunteer pointed out she’d almost hit her and the young child next to her (mine!) the woman shrugged and said she hadn’t noticed BECAUSE SHE WAS ON THE PHONE.

Well. I. Never.

Is it me? Or are these people, erm, challenged? Who drives through a preschool parking lot without noticing that there might be, oh I dunno, PRESCHOOLERS in it! I’m all for using your phone in the car…If you can handle it. Is talking in the car phone like having good taste? Y’know, everyone thinks they have great taste, but most people don’t. It seems everyone thinks they can talk and drive at the same time…But can they?

Time. And. Place.

There’s a time and place for talking. I know because I’m a chatter. If you need to talk, do what you must. But ask yourself – does everybody else need to hear? NO. If you’re late for picking up a carpool, do you have the right to stunt drive? NO. For those too dim to figure it out, here are some examples of places wherein you may want to turn your ringer off – or get outta dodge:
restaurants, spas, theatres, performances of any kind….The list is endless.

So next time you’re in your doctor’s waiting room, or having a pedicure, or in any other close-quarter situations, think about sending a text before you answer that call. Not only is it rude to subject the rest of us to your convo, but, in a town such as ours, it may be hazardous to your social life. The person next to you pretending to read the Us Magazine is, in fact, listening in. Because he or she has no choice.

Time. And. Place.

So please….a little self-retraint, a little etiquette, and a little quieter up front….for all our sakes….

3 comments:

Anonymous said…

this should be sent to the newspaper so EVERYONE can read it..
I do understand.. when is the LAW comingin?

10:21 PM

Anonymous said…

disgusting. you tell it like it is. thank you 🙂

11:30 PM

Anonymous said…

Have you seen the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode on this? Larry David is alone and sitting next to a stranger at a restaurant. The stranger is on the phone. Larry is pissed so begins talking loudly to himself to equally annoy the other guy. It was funny.

March 9, 2009   No Comments

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Coloroso for Dummies

SPOILER ALERT: THIS BLOG IS ABOUT PARENTING. NO RANTS, JUST RAVES….

For real.

But if you’re still interested, read on. If not, a bientot….

Now, where was I? Aaaah yes. The trials and tribulations of parenting. The love. The joy. The pain….in the ass. It ain’t easy so I take any help I can get. And then I discard what I don’t need. Or want. I’ve read loads of books, been to a handful of courses. Some last several weeks, others a few hours. I pick ‘n mix and hope against hope that something someone said somewhere will stick by the time I get home. And that I’ll remember what it was and whether it worked. “Siblings Without Rivalry” is an awesome book. Ditto “How to Tame your Spirited Child”. Alyson.ca is good news. And Sarah Chana Radcliffe’s not bad.

And then there’s Babs. (Can I call her Babs?). Talk about a maven!!! Parent. Teacher. Author. Genocide expert. Ex-nun. Comedian.

OK, she’s not officially a comedian but she’s hilarious so I’m taking liberties. It’s my blog.

Last night was different. Different from the other gurus. Different than all other nights. Free coffee and two-bite brownies aside, it was amazing. It was Barbara Coloroso talking about everything from bullying to Rwanda to sibling rivalry. She was smart. She was funny. She was inspiring. I’m not one to prosthelytize – well, perhaps I am (Magic Bullet…American Idol…Piller’s Turkey Bites… oops did I really admit that? Moving on…) – but she was brilliant. I left her lecture feeling moved, energized, and confident. And tempted to shanghai her back to my house to hang out with me ‘n mine for a week or three.

But since that’s illegal, and undoubtedly expensive, I shall humbly attempt to paraphrase some of her better thoughts. Yes, I took notes. And it’s a good thing too. I’ve been asked to pass them on. Yes, the people have asked. And while there are no perfect answers, there are some damn good tips to help find them…

* Tattling vs. Telling…Tattling gets somebody INTO trouble. Telling gets someone OUT OF trouble. When in doubt, discuss.

*Bribes and Rewards are THE SAME THING. We’ve become a nation of gold-star earners. Doing The Right Thing shouldn’t be something that you get paid for. It’s something you just DO. It feels good because it is good. And that’s reward enough.

*Natural consequences: if it’s not life-threatening, or moral threatening, let it happen.

*Discipline. Don’t punish. Punishment doesn’t work – it sends ’em underground. Discipline is learning.

*Think in terms of US, OURS & ENOUGH….rather than me, mine and more.

*Teach your children HOW to think, not WHAT to think.

* Save the “no” for when you really mean it. Alternatives include “later”, “let me think about it/give me a minute” and (my fave) “convince me”. There is a time for “no” – used sparingly it’ll actually mean something. “No.” It’s a complete sentence.

*Don’t tell your kids what they already know.

*Mistakes happen. Own it, fix it, learn from it. And move on. Give your kids ways to problem solve while leaving their dignity in tact. And it doesn’t have to hurt.

*1,2,3…timeout. Doesn’t work. However, time out to fix a problem does, whether in a rocker, a room, or a lap. The goal is to calm everyone down and to let your child figure out a solution. Or to teach them how to fix what needs fixing.

*Teasing vs. Taunting: Teasing is two-sided, between friends, and gets both people laughing. Taunting is one-sided, laughing AT someone.

*”I’m sorry” doesn’t make something right. Instead, try fixing it and making sure it doesn’t happen again. Heal with the person you’ve hurt.

* Discpline doesn’t work for the under-3 crowd. Instead try one of her 3 D’s: Distract. Disorient. Disengage.

* Mean what you say and say what you mean.

* Conflict is inevitable. Don’t punish. Don’t rescue. Most of the time kids can sort stuff out on their own. And when they can’t, step in as a backbone, not an enforcer. Or enabler.

* Helping out is not a job. Chores are not paid for. Money is for saving, spending, or giving to others. Not for being a responsible citizen of a household.

* You can’t control someone else’s will.

There. I don’t need to write all this out 99 more times to make it stay in my head….Do I?! I was hoping just this once would get it to stick. Maybe it will. And maybe it won’t. But here’s hoping.

Good luck fellow freaks…..

1 comments:

Anonymous said…

wow! You did get a lot out of it…and took GREAT notes! Thanks for the synopsis, friend. Had I not been there myself, I would now feel that I had been there. I got her book from a friend earlier today…can share with you once I am done.

Good bloggin’ sister!

November 11, 2008   No Comments

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting

A funny thing happened on the way to the gyno….

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. You probably have. It’s the one about the pregnant woman? The fat one, who looked like shit and was huuuuuuge….

Sisters, you wouldn’t BELIEVE the things you hear when you’re knocked up.

Too big, too small, too fat, too tall. OK, not really too tall. Although “you’re wearing those shoes” seems to be acceptable. It’s not. Neither is “are you having twins?” Or “your face has changed”. Or “you’re carrying in the back”….

“I liked your hair longer” is never OK. Pregnant or otherwise.

And then there’s the age-old question: “do you know what you’re having?”

I’m guilty of it myself. Sometimes I ask out of genuine curiosity. Or for lack of something else to say. Either way, when asked myself, I couldn’t believe some of the comments. Especially for this last pregnancy. When I knew what I was having. But didn’t tell. It’s kinda funny when someone asks and you know but they don’t know you know. And then they get all cocky ‘cuz they think they know. But they’re wrong. And it’s a fun kind of smugness. Y’know?

Girls don’t steal your beauty. Or make you puke more. And boys don’t make you hairier. Or give you heartburn. Some of ’em do. Some of ’em don’t. It’s all one big crapshoot.

When you have two boys like me, people assume you’re going for girl. And you know what they say about ass-uming, right? I heard it all. And knowing what I had and what I was having, I can tell you people can be downright offensive!

No we did not try for a girl – we tried for a baby. We didn’t think pretty thoughts. No specific timing or tricks were involved. It’s easy to theorize about gender. But you get what you get. And we counted ourselves lucky with our boys. A girl would be great. But so would another boy. I had one stranger tell me it’d be nice to have a girl, “for when you’re old”. Huh? Talk about pressure on that poor daughter. Besides, who needs to have a daughter for when you get old? You can hire someone else’s daughter to wipe your geriatric ass!

The Boy People don’t like girls. They like to tell you mean things about their own daughters. That they’re moody. Or bitches. Or cost a fortune. I heard one freak-show tell me her daughter was hormonal. At 2?? There aren’t too many of these types around -which is a good thing, because they’re rather off-putting.

Chinese horoscopes, ring on a string, mathematical calculations…It all means nothing. Only one thing does: H-E-A-L-T-H-Y B-A-B-Y

So please kids, next time you see that pregnant lady, offer her your seat. Carry her bags. Bring her a sandwich. By all means, ask her what she’s having….but leave it at that. No stats, no verbal makeovers, no presumptions. And never, ever, EVER play the name game. Admit to nothing. You like ’em all. Congratulations are welcome. As are good wishes. May the labour be quick. And the weight loss be quicker. Leave it at that.

As a wise sage once said: Smile ‘n wave, boys; smile and wave.

2 comments:

Anonymous said…

considering how very tired you are.. you do a fantastic job of writng.
i love getting your thoughts o paper

12:56 AM

Anonymous said…

“bring her a sandwich”– you were so spoiled! and not even by your husband! bah-ha!

August 12, 2008   No Comments

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