Goals for 2010

It took me a while to sit down and think of some goals for this year. I think it’s mainly because I’m in a bit of a funk. My eating hasn’t been how I wanted it to be and neither has exercise. This especially bothers me because I gained a few pounds over the holidays and I was hoping to have gotten rid of at least one pound by now. But I haven’t and I know I haven’t been honest with myself about why. I know that I wasn’t giving it my full effort. I was finding excuses to put off exercise until later and then running out of time in the day. I was eating fine all day and then using that as an excuse to eat a lot of sweets in the evening. Anything good I WAS doing was being cancelled out by the bad eating. But I’ve taken the step to admit to myself why the weight wasn’t disappearing. Now hopefully I can actually start making results happen.

I think I’m also in a funk because I’m finished school. Okay, I realize that makes me sound like a huge nerd, but I’ll admit it: I like school. I may not like all the stress or particular assignments/tests but overall, I enjoy it. And this is the first time in a long time that I haven’t been in school while most of my friends are. It’s such a weird feeling to have an entire weekend ahead of myself to do what I want without having to schedule it around homework. It’s even stranger to think that I won’t be going back to school until September 2011 (assuming I get accepted to whatever grad program I’m going for). Overall, it’s just such a strange adjustment, being out of school and knowing I’m not going back in a couple weeks or four months from now.

Anyway, now that I’ve got that off my chest, here are my general goals for the year:

1. Stay active.

My exercise routine suffered after I got sick and then busy with school and work. I want to start the year off well with exercise and establish a good routine of 30-45 minutes of activity 4-6 days per week. I did this for months before and I enjoyed it.

2. Eat more fruits and veggies.

I want to start incorporating a small serving of fruit or veggies with lunches, such as some carrot sticks or a small apple. I’m aiming for at least 5 servings a day, but preferably more. I think adding the extra serving at lunch and focusing on fruits and veggies as snacks will help me.

3. Drink more water.

I want to get back into my routine of having a large glass of water with each meal, plus a smaller glass with my 1-2 snacks per day. I don’t think I drank enough water over the holidays since I noticed I was a lot thirstier sometimes.

4. Focus more on fitness and health rather than numbers on the scale.

Last year, I let the scale dictate my feelings way too much and I became so dependent on it. My relationship with it was unhealthy and I had to stop weighing myself for a while to deal with it. I managed to get to a point where daily weighing was fine, but I want to focus on things differently this year. Instead of weighing so often, I want to trust myself more. If I’m eating healthy and staying active I should be able to trust that my body is maintaining. I want to get to the point where I hop on the scale occasionally just to check in, rather than feeling as though I have to monitor myself daily to make sure nothing changes. I also need to get more comfortable in a weight range, rather than wanting to see the exact same number each time and worrying if it’s up one day.

This one is currently hard for me as I’m trying to lose a couple pounds I know I gained. I’m trying not to focus on specific numbers in terms of losing them (although I am using the scale as a rough benchmark), but rather I’m trying to eat healthy and exercise and I know that should make a difference overall to my body. I think these couples of pounds are especially bothering me because I know I’ve lost some of my fitness as well. So hopefully regular exercise will get me a little more toned and make me feel better overall, even if the scale tells me the weight is still there. It might take a while, but I want to get away from the attachment to a particular number.

Well, I’m off to work for the day!



My year in review

This year, I:

  • reached my weight loss goal and felt great


  • started running
  • ran a 5K in 29 minutes, 11 seconds and raised $300 for breast cancer


  • found a job related to my schooling
  • had my first Oktoberfest experience


  • saw the Olympic Torch for Vancouver 2010


  • became more self confident and assertive
  • graduated university


  • found out the hard way what it feels like to be broke
  • but still managed to keep my head above water creatively
  • overcame by fear of heights through treetop trekking


  • went to my first concert (Keane)

  • started expanding my culinary skills and my diet with new foods


  • started eating primarily vegetarian
  • saw an Operation Beautiful style note and felt cheered up by it


Overall, it’s been a good year, and I’m looking forward to what 2010 is going to bring!


The Christmas Recap

Wow was my Christmas holiday ever busy! I’ll skip ahead to Sunday (the 20th) since the only eventful thing happening before that was getting a cavity filled.

On Sunday, I went to an ugly Christmas sweater party. Beforehand my friend & I went to Goodwill to hunt down the most hideous and tacky stuff we could find. We also hit up the dollar store to accessorize. In the end, this is what we ended up with:

IMG_5397 And the end result for me?


One detail you probably can’t see is the stylish gold stripes on the red shirt. Subtle but it just adds that perfect holiday touch. Oh, and you know that sweater is awesome. It was actually from the Gap so apparently at some point in time it was at least semi-fashionable. And that necklace I’m rocking? Homemade. I bought some tinsel and an ornament at the dollar store (believe me, it took forever to find the perfect shape and colour).

The rest of my Christmas holiday involved a lot of eating. I had a Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday dinner. And then leftovers on Christmas day. My family was supposed to go to Hanover, but the freezing rain/rain/snow business going on kind of put the kibosh on that one. So even without that one dinner, I still had THREE Christmases.

I’ll admit, I was worried. I typically watch what I eat, but somehow during the holidays that concern gets pushed more to the backburner. I think it’s because I want to enjoy things rather than worrying how many calories are in the couple of baked goods I’m eating. And I know I’ll be good about getting back on track after the holidays. Somehow though, I gained less than a pound in the 9 days I was at home for, which is pretty miraculous considering I had all those Christmas dinners (plus desserts, typically a slice of pie and/or some baked goods) and ate cereal for breakfast half the time (and I love cereal so I always eat way too much of it compared to when I eat oatmeal). I feel kind of flabby but I know that’s from the major lack of exercise this month.

So I’m recommitting right now. I want to get back to my routine of working out for 30-40 minutes 4-6 days per week (including cardio and weights). That worked great for me before in keeping me in shape, fairly toned, and giving that wiggle room to enjoy the occasional treat. Plus, I feel WAY better about myself when I’m working out (probably because I don’t have a stomach pudge like the one I’m currently rocking).

I do have houseguests coming on the evening of the 28th, until the afternoon on the 31st so my routine might be interrupted, but I’m going to be happy with myself if I work out today (the 26th), the 27th and the 28th before they arrive. That way, I can still meet my weekly quota for exercise even if I don’t do anything while they’re here.

One last note before I start cleaning the house: I love Boxing Day. I scored a pair of jeans, two sweaters, two cardigans, a long sleeved shirt and three t-shirts, all for half of what it would have cost if it wasn’t on sale. Score!! It also means I’m finally rocking a pretty full wardrobe for the first time since losing weight (hey, it takes time and money to rebuild it to the same extent!).

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays and spending time with friends/family!


I’m a graduate!

I’m officially done university! I actually finished on December 16th at about 10am after writing my last exam, which thankfully went well. I felt like I studied all the right material and hardly ever had to make a complete guess on the questions. It was a great feeling and a great way to finish up my undergrad!

I’ve been at home since Wednesday afternoon since I had a dentist appointment scheduled for the next morning at 10:30… to fill a cavity. Ugh. But really, I can’t complain that much since I hadn’t been to the dentist in a while (uh… like 2 years… or more) so the fact that I only had one cavity is kind of miraculous! Anyway, being at home has been interesting.

My parents know of my decision to eat vegetarian. However, my mom still offers me meat. Huh. It’s a little weird. And being at home is more challenging, as I have to provide my own meat substitutes, and the fact that the holidays are here doesn’t help (but more on that later).

So I did this: I brought home three servings of tofu and a half cup each of dried black beans and dried chickpeas. I cooked up the beans yesterday and made two bean patties and three servings of bean “meat”balls. Voila, my meat substitutes!

I still think my mom thinks it’s weird. I don’t blame her that much. I was THE pickiest eater as a kid. I wouldnt eat pasta sauce that had “bits” in it (aka onion or spice pieces). Tomatoes were out unless it was pasta sauce or ketchup. I would never dream of eating zucchini. So the fact that I happily eat beans and tofu now is probably a bit of a shock as a kid. What can I say, my tastebuds have changed a lot over the years!

Onto the holiday issue. Since it’s my first Christmas as a vegetarian AND I’m not 100% adamantly opposed to eating meat, I’m going to partake in small amounts of turkey at the three Christmases I have. I know, I’m kind of wimping out, but Christmas is one of the only holidays that I see my family and I don’t want to spend that offending my grandma who slaved away cooking a turkey, you know? It’s also my first Christmas ever with my grandma & grandpa on my mom’s side. They usually go to Florida but didn’t this year so I want to have a nice Christmas with them, rather than spending it explaining my vegetarianism and possibly offending them.

Anyway, I’m off to do some Christmas shopping (and by that I mean start.. haha, I fail this year)!


This Week in Pictures

Oh my I’ve been MIA! That’s what happens when work picks up, I have a major research paper due and a final to study for after a busy busy weekend home!

Let’s recap, shall we?

IMG_5319 The roomies and I got into the festive spirit and put up our decorations.

IMG_5299 I tried to decorate myself. Don’t act like you’re not jealous of my hot accessory!

IMG_5297I blame my earlier behaviour on a combination of sugar and caffeine in the form of a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. Yum!

IMG_5336 My kitties were all super cute in their bed by the fire at home.

IMG_5363 The boyfriend and I got dressed up for his work Christmas party.

 IMG_5390And here’s a full length shot from the end of the night. Because we always forget to take these kinds of pictures before we go. Hence the hair being a little messy and the boyfriend’s photography skills being a little less than stellar!

So my next couple days are looking a little like this:

Tuesday (tomorrow) – Paper deadline! Edit, edit, edit and then submit and be relieved. Then home to study till I drop, which brings us to…

Wednesday – Final exam day! At 8:30am too… who made this exam schedule?! By 10-10:30 I should be breathing a MAJOR sigh of relief as at that point I will be DONE WITH MY UNDERGRAD!!!

Obviously, I’m pretty amped about that! I should get some sleep in prep for my busy day tomorrow! Wish me luck!


Things to look forward to

Eventually, my assignments will be finished. And in the mean time I can look forward to:

  • Relaxing on Tuesday night when I get home from work
  • Going to see my family at home for the first time since Thanksgiving on Thursday
  • Getting my hair cut on Friday morning
  • Having Disney movie night with my best friend on Friday night. He has Aladdin and The Lion King, which happen to be my favourites, along with The Little Mermaid (fun fact: I loved that movie so much as a kid I named my cat Ariel because “she has red hair”.. haha)
  • Going to see my dad’s band Christmas concert on Saturday night with another awesome friend & probably enjoying some coffee afterward at our classic hangout
  • And then… going to the Christmas party for my boyfriend’s work on Sunday night. My roomie is also going (with a girl that works there) and we’re debating as to whether we should talk in random accents all night, or, since the party is for the 3 stores in the tri-city area, we want to pretend we work at whatever store each person we talk to doesn’t work at. I’m so amped. And don’t even get me started on being able to wear my dress…!

Knowing that I have all that stuff to look forward to suddenly makes this assignment a little more bearable. I think it’s time to get back to work!

But first: my friend and I were listening to random Disney songs on YouTube last night (as well as re-living our high school band days). When I went on there this morning, YouTube had the following suggestions for me:



Ok, assignment time for real now!


Where have you gone, November?

I’m sitting here looking at my calendar, realizing that a) I haven’t blogged in a good 10 days and b) November is almost over! Where does the time go?

I’m currently supposed to be writing a paper (or two… ahem) so this will be quick & pictureless.

What’s new?

School is hectic. From now until the end of my school term (December 16th) I have the following to finish: two papers (about 20 pages between the two), a poster presentation, a quiz, a lab report (12 pages) and a final exam. I also may or may not have about four weeks of reading for my psychology & religion class to catch up. Oops!

I’m also starting to apply for jobs. I sent out my first resume on Wednesday, to a company that I really, really, really want to work for. They’re not advertising that they’re hiring right now, but I figured sending out a resume wouldn’t hurt. You should have seen me there at the computer getting ready to email it. My boyfriend is sitting with me, telling me to just go ahead and press send, after I’ve asked if he’s sure it looks okay. Repeat this about ten times and combine it with mild hysterics and panic. I finally had the mouse over the send button and then hit it, following which I had another moment of panic thinking of all the things I might have done wrong on my cover letter/resume.

So, my fingers are crossed.

On the exercise front, I’ve been all over the place. I set a goal to be active in some way each day for the next month (November 11-December 11) and I’d met that goal 80% of the time. I’ve gotten back into running though I seem to have myself convinced it’s too cold to run outside (never mind the fact that I started running in March, not exactly a balmy month) so I’m relegated to the treadmill only when the roomies aren’t home (for some weird reason, the treadmill messes with our internet connection). I do want to get in some outdoor running before we get too much snow. I just need to go out and do it.

As for eating vegetarian, I’ve been sticking to it 99% of the time. I’m addicted to eating ham on my grilled cheese sandwiches and that’s honestly been the hardest thing to give up. I caved today and I also have in the past, but otherwise I’m making the transition well! And seriously, I love tofu. I feel bad for ever doubting it!

Going home next weekend should be interesting – I have only told my boyfriend that I’m eating vegetarian. My parents have yet to learn, but I’m planning to take some tofu home so I have that as an option at dinner. I’m not entirely sure what they’ll think!

Alright, essay time (again)!


Who Am I?

I'm Valerie, a university student trying to strike a balance between school, my social life and a healthy lifestyle. Over the past year, I've made a lot of positive changes to my life that resulted in losing over 40 pounds! I'm now trying to lead a fully balanced lifestyle and maintain my weight.
July 2018
« Jan