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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Busy weekend

Work is still stressful, but I am determined to be successful. Yesterday I had to do an overtime day by supervising the move of our building to a new location. Wasn't too much to do, just watched other people move things, lol. Then afterwards my ex-coworker and I went for a run down by the lake. OMG...running outside is HARD! I was feeling all confident cause I was able to run on the treadmill with an incline without feeling like I was going to die. Running outside is like 10X harder! My friend is a somewhat regular runner, so she pushed me, but I did end up running continuously for much longer than I was used to.

Apparently running is an acquired taste? I was starting to like it on the treadmill, not so sure of this outside business!  I have that 5K coming up in October, so I am going to keep at it. I figured out a schedule of running outside at least 1-2 times per week, and then the rest on the treadmill to get used to it. One other thing that I found, is that going slow felt way worse than going at a faster speed. Is that normal? It felt harder to keep going when I was going slow, harder to focus. Not sure why. I am going to try again this week and see what happens.

On another note...I am test driving Ramadan today. That sounds weird. But I said I would give it a try, and I am giving it a try. 7 more hours of trying. I am hungry. Not crazy hungry right now, but definitely the point where I would normally be chowing down pretty quickly. We have Iftar at his brother's today. We'll see how that goes.

Off to find something to do that doesn't require eating.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

New meaning to the term "gong show"

Wow has my professional life gone topsy turvy. People being fired or quitting left right and centre. Not such a fan of mergers by the way. And I get to find out (yesterday), that, as of next Monday, I will be fully in charge of a 100+ student school, rather than just managing the academic part of things (which is what I was originally hired for). I do not have management experience. I can run my school because I can do the academics. But I cannot be an operations manager. However, now my head office is telling me that this is not what I am responsible for. Not only am I responsible for all things student related (testing, class placement, counselling, graduation, textbooks etc etc etc), and all things teacher related (hiring, firing, managing, scheduling, pay roll, feedback/observations, etc etc etc), but now I am responsible for ALL THINGS IN THE BUILDING?? Marketing, recruiting, accreditation, contracts with the government of Saudi Arabia (?!!), agency relationships, accommodations etc etc etc etc etc etc....holy crap!!!! My pure director of studies duties take all of my time. How am I supposed to do someone else's full time job as well just because she up and quit by giving my big boss a frickin ultimatum?? (idiocy btw).

Anyway. I am not sleeping well. I am not eating well. I am still exercising, so that's a plus. But everything else has gone apeshit. Anyway...I did need to vent, so I am done. I am doing day 2 of week 2 of C25K soon as my bad lunch gets digested a bit. In the meantime, I am going to clean my apartment and hang out with my lovely Moroccan (1.5 weeks into Ramadan!!) Oh, and I have to work a bit since the office got so depressing that I took some work home with me so I could leave early.

Here's hoping tomorrow is better!

(oh, and plans for dinner are: Basil and tomato grilled chicken (amazing!), with rice, fresh raw veggies, and a spinach salad (one of those one the fence vegetables) ) After my lunch today, I need something a little fresh and clean :)

Sunday, 7 August 2011

The "Zone"

I love the know that feeling you get when you're exercising when it doesn't feel like you are exercising and the intervals go super quickly and you can feel the burn, but instead of pissing you off, makes you feel good and like you could go harder? I spent about half of my work out in the zone. Of course, as soon as you start thinking about being in the zone, you're out of it, but that's irrelevant at the moment. I remember the zone from when I was a competitive rifle shooter. You couldn't feel the pain (and boy did it hurt), and everything just flowed like clockwork.

I feel better about my workout today than I did yesterday. I didn't feel so heavy, I didn't feel like I couldn't do it. I did half of a 10 Pound Shred work out. Half because as I was half way through, my condo gym started filling up and there are only 3 treadmills and I really didn't want to miss my run because of busyness, so after only the 2nd rotation (there are like 8-10 exercises you do for 40 seconds each and then do the whole cycle 3 times, takes about 30-40 minutes), I switched to the couch to 5K so that I wouldn't miss it. Then I did day 1 of week 2 and only peeked once! Bravo for me! I was winded, but could still breath fairly easily. I had some new music on my iphone that kept me going. After that I hit the pool and did some laps. Not many, cause wow is swimming intense! But I managed 4 laps before I felt like I was going to drown. I will try to increase it each time. I really like swimming after my work out. Especially during the summer, it's an awesome cool down, but still productive.

I am also on day one of the 17 Day Diet. Going ok. I have resigned myself to learning to like some things. I still won't force feed myself vegetables I have a long history of disliking (squash and green beans are hiiiigh up on that list), but I can definitely make more of an effort to eat more of the vegetables I do like, and some that I am on the fence about (hello spinach and asparagus). I am having a small indulgence tonight with my protein and veggie only dinner. This is summer, and every summer I make peach cream cheese pie. It is my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE dessert. I only get it once a year (because I refuse to make it with peaches that are not Canadian, just doesn't taste as good), and so damn it, I'm gonna enjoy it! Take a cooked pie crust, then take 1 cup of plain cream cheese and mix it with 1 tbls of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of sugar. Slice up about 10 ripe peaches and toss in a peach glaze (I get my mom to send this to me from British Columbia. I haven't found the peach glaze packages in Ontario, which is highly annoying). Spread the cream cheese over the bottom of the crust, then pour in the glazed peaches. Let set for an hour or so, slice, top with whipped cream, and voila, Meg's favourite dessert :) That pie is going to get my through the rest of the day, lol.

I set up myfitnesspal to 1200 calories a day, to go along with the 17 Day Diet. However, if I am hungry, I will eat. I do not believe in starvation. I have a lot of exercise coming up and you need fuel to do that. However, I have to make better choices, which is a personal challenge. Weekends are always easy to recommit. It's the real life of Mondays and beyond that is difficult. Tomorrow I have a 12 hour day. We shall see how my planning works out.

Here's to an OP week :)

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Feelin' the Urge

Probably TMI, but anybody else have an issue with "feelin' the urge" when they run?? Whenever I do my running I ALWAYS feel like I have to pee. Doesn't matter how many times I went before I started, it always comes on usually about half way. Makes me reluctant to drink my water, because I don't want to have to sprint to the bathroom half way through my work out. Plus, in the gym in my condo, if you leave your machine, even for a moment, it's not likely to be available when you come back, even if you leave your stuff on it.

So, not sure if this is just me or not. I went THREE times in the 30 minutes leading up to my run...just to be on the safe side. I don't want this to be an issue when I do my 5K in October. So I have some googling in my future.

Still tracking...even the fast food I ate yesterday. Running was hard today. My whole body felt heavy. It was a struggle to get past the last day of week 1. That is likely due to my eating. When I eat well, I feel lighter with more energy. Time to put the stress of almost losing my job behind me, and start focusing on the good health guidelines and making better choices.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Stress Eating

I stress eat...a lot. It's been a hard week. A hard 2 months. I am trying to think of stress relievers that don't involve food. I do exercise sometimes. But sometimes my body just wants to collapse. I suppose that's ok, as long as I don't eat while I'm collapsed.

I almost lost my job this week. Through no fault of my own. My company took over another company and it's been 2 months of fighting with the company being taken over because (and understandably so) they were scared of us taking their jobs. However, they were so scared, that they looked at ANYTHING we did as being hostile, which it completely wasn't. We were simply trying to explain how the company works, but every word we said was ignored. Well...they are now suffering because of their denial. I found out last week that a previous director of another school was coming to meet with both schools (we're not merging until August 15). We weren't told why he was coming, but I had a pretty good idea. Two months ago my big bosses insinuated that we would all be working together, and that my position and my equivalent at the other school would diversify the position and there would be two people as co-directors I suppose. It was only in the last couple weeks that we started feeling that this would not be true.

So the guy from head office comes and speaks with the other school, and then with me, and told us both "I'm here to decide who stays and who goes." To say I was stressed would be an understatement. I had left a decent, solid position 5 months ago because this position was supposed to be a step up, and here I was, re-interviewing for a position I already had. I was not happy. Not to mention that I still had to work with the people of the other school because the merge is literally days away. So I had my meeting on Tuesday, and I've been waiting since then to find out if I still have a job or not.

In that time I ate cheese pizza, a chicken club with fries and gravy, 3 grilled cheese sandwiches (I think, maybe 2), birthday cake, and potato salad. I tracked everything on myfitnesspal, but stress should not lead to this type of food. There has to be a better way to not give in to my stress eating. In the 3 years since I've been on my journey I have learned a lot of things, but I haven't quite tackled stress eating. Maybe because I make a joke out of it? Maybe I'm not taking stress eating seriously enough, and just laugh it off when I do indulge because of stress.

I need to establish a recognition system that allows me to analyse the root of my eating before the event actually happens. Gravy isn't going to make my problems disappear, so why do I use that type of food to make myself feel better? What is behind the term "comfort food"? Why do people seek solace in food? Maybe the answer to those questions will help me with my own stress eating. This is my next task.

On the exercise front, day 3 of week 1 of C25K is tomorrow...that and some squats and lunges and maybe a swim and I will be good to go.

Hopefully the stress will die down...I did find out today that I get to keep my job. I feel really bad for the other director. We had about a week to prepare for this. It was unfair on all sides. But as an ESL teacher in this economy, I have to just be glad that I am still employed.

On that to bed.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Running gives you time to think...

Too much time in some cases. As I mentioned earlier, today is the first day of Ramadan. My bf is fasting as he does every year, and has done since he was 7 years old. I don't pretend to fully understand Islam. I get the basic principles, which are actually great principles when looked at clearly, but there is stuff in there that scares me.

When I met my bf and I found out that he was Muslim, I asked him straight out, "are you expected to marry a Muslim?" This was our first date, lol. He said no. In actuality, Muslim men are allowed to marry whomever they want within the 3 big religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam)...sorry to any Buddhists etc., out there, from my understanding Islam doesn't recognise any religion as a true religion except for the 3 just mentioned. He asked me, what do you believe? I said..."nothing, I believe in nothing except my own personal morals and values." That led to a bigger discussion...he couldn't quite fathom how I could be "nothing". Not Christian, not Jewish, not Muslim, not anything. But it's true. I don't believe in organised religion. I do not believe in following a book that was written thousands of years ago that may or may not have relevance to modern day. I definitely do not believe in following fallible man's interpretation of said books. I have no problem with the idea of God, or the idea of a greater power, but I definitely do not believe in what man has made of it.

Now, the fact that I am dating a Muslim has left many in my personal circle scratching their heads. I am extremely liberal...women's rights, gay rights, whatever rights anybody wants to have. I don't necessarily want to get married. I don't necessarily want to have kids. And I never thought I would be with someone with a somewhat traditional view of society and how men and women work. Now, religion has never played that much of a role in our relationship. My Moroccan observes Ramadan, and observes some of the other major rules of Islam such as no pork, no alcohol, doing good in the community etc., but doesn't observe some other things which I will not go into. So it's never been an overwhelming force with us. I personally made the choice to not drink (which is fine, makes me depressed anyway), and I don't eat pork (although that I do miss sometimes, brunch in Canada is very hard to do without pork!), and I am a naturally modest person, so I am not flaunting my "assets" to all and sundry (which I didn't do before anyway!) So we've worked for almost 4 years.

This Ramadan is a little bit different. He asked me if I would fast with him. My knee jerk reaction was a vehement "no!" Does it look like I can go without food for 12+ hours a day?? Then, as I was running today (wooo, day 2 of week 1!! 6.3 mph 2.5 incline) I started to think. What is it like? Do you really make a connection with a higher power, or are you just like, really hungry and cranky and counting down the hours (cause that to me makes the whole process redundant). Most of all, his words to me last night about how he hates doing this alone, that he feels alone during his Ramadan, during a time when family and friends alike come together in worship, made a point with me. I can't imagine doing something like Ramadan in a foreign country. In Muslim countries the people are united. Schedules change, things slow down, the country worships together. Iftar (breaking of the fast) is a time of celebration with the community. We have mosques here, and he has a big community here, but I can understand how it's not the same, and how it would be that much harder.

So I've been wondering...could I do it? Could I actually fast? Not for a full 30 days, not with my schedule, and not without water which is just dangerous in this weather. But could I do it for one day? One weekend? I'm still on the fence...but I'm going to talk it over with my bf and see if we can reach a compromise. I don't want him to be alone in this very important time for him...but neither do I want to give up on what I believe in.

Compromise is the word here...and as soon as he wakes up (fasting makes you sleepy :) ) I will talk it over with him. I realise that this post is waaaaay of topic...but hey, it occurred while I was exercising, so that's gotta count right??

Have a great holiday Monday (Happy BC Day to my BC'ers! Happy civic holiday just doesn't have the same ring to it! lol)