Wednesday, 29 February 2012

An Open Letter to My Boobies

Today is pre-op day, meaning I am just 5 short days away from Toasting the Ta-Tas and from Dday. So today I want address my boobies and say my fond farwell.
An Open Letter to My Boobies:
Well girls we have had a good run, but on Monday we shall part ways. I want you to know it is nothing personal. In fact some might say you gals are one of my best assets, so I will be sad to see you go. And I can only hope (and pray, and dream, and wish) that your replacements will even come close to measuring up.
We have had a good run - and while it is being cut short - we have still had a great 14 years together. I spent the entire 6th grade praying for you to arrive (yes, that was my biggest worry back then). And then I spent the entire 7th grade trying to wish you away once you had made your presence a little too noticeable for hormone riddled boys in my class. We settled into a fairly comfortable routine after that, and I started to enjoy your company. You made a welcome addition to most outfits. And you sure did make it easy to rock a bikini.
You have provided me with loads of show-stopping cleavage over the years. And I think I owe you a nod of gratitude, because you probably helped me land all over my former boyfriends, and even probably had a hand in my marriage. It will be sad to say good-bye next week, because you have been an integral part of my life as a woman.
 There will certainly be things I miss, but I am choosing to put my health first. I wish things could be different. And there is part of me that still clings to the idea of growing old together. But that’s just it, isn’t it? We would never get to grow old together. Either because I simply would never get the opportunity to grow old or because you would inevitably become cancerous and all this would have to happen anyways. And while you ladies sure are fabulous, health trumps beauty every single time.
So on Monday we shall say our final farewell. Please know that you were loved and will be missed!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Motivation Monday - Trying to keep calm

As I type this, I am exactly 1 week away from my half marathon and thus 1 week away from toasting the Ta-Tas. Yes people, I am only 1 measly week away from the highest high and the lowest low. I will experience half marathon glory then immediately become a Boob-less Wonder - all within about 24 hrs.

I have mixed emotions about the upcoming week. My stomach is churning just thinking about everything.

There is part of me that is excited. I am excited to run my race. I have been training. I have been looking forward to this. A lot of my friends and family are coming to the race to support me - and I am excited to celebrate with them afterwards. I am excited to see how I do, what my time is, how it feels to take the plunge into distance running. I am excited for all of that.

There is part of me that is even excited about my surgery. Werid, I know. But I just ready to move forward with my life. I want to close this chapter. And once I close my eyes on Monday morning there is no going back, no more worry about the results, whatever will be will be, and I will just need to accept the results and move forward. So I am excited to move on.

There is another part of me that is terrified. I am nervous to actually run this race. I have a whole lot of pre-race jitters. I have been talking about this run for so long now, so it is sort of nerve racking that the day is almost here. I am scared my performance won't live up to my expectations. That the race will be harder then I anticipate. I am nervous I haven't trained enough. I am apprehensive that my ticker won't cooperate. The list is long, but I guess what I am really scared of is what this day really means. Race day means that Dday is also here. Once I run this race, it means that surgery is the next step.

And as I sit here waiting to take this plunge, I am scared.

I am scared of the results.

Scared of what I am getting into.

Scared of what I am losing and scared of what I will be getting.

Scared I won't be strong enough to love myself afterward.

Scared I will never be able to embrace my scars as beautiful.

Scared I will never feel sexy again.

Scared I won't be able to look at myself the same way again.

I am just scared.

This is all part of the process. This all part of the journey. And I need to remind myself that is gonna get worse before it gets better...But it will get better.

My goal for this last week - Keep Calm and Sparkle. There are things I can't control, including some of the emotions I am going to feel during this process. But in the end I want to Sparkle. I want to sparkle all the way through my half. And I am going to get my sparkle back when the hard part is all said and done. I am going to sparkle through a long, healthy, and happy life. I will sparkle again.

So Keep Sparkling Friends,
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

10 more days + the Power of Protein

If I thought life was getting real before...things are really getting real now!

My pre-op appointment is scheduled for next Wednesday, meaning I am only going to be working for 4 more days. Meaning I am only 10 days away from my half, and thus 11 days away from Dday. EFFF!!! Those numbers are looking small aren't they?! Like I said things are getting real…real fast!

Mmmm Protein!
I have mentioned on this little blog many times that I enjoy FOOD. And I enjoy food that is not always considered healthy. AKA treats like chips, cheese, dessert, wine, a big dinner out every now and then - you get the idea. But it because I enjoy all of that stuff that I choose to focus more on exercise than diet. I think it is easier to work off those extra calories than it is to do without. So the thought of taking a forced hiatus from my regular exercise routine for the next 2-3 months (doctor's orders), is frankly scaring the BAJEEZUS out of me!

I know I need to make nutrition more of a priority. I don't want to come away from recovery looking like a Franken-Titty Couch Potato! NOT CUTE! And I know nutrition is going to play a key role on the road to recovery - helping me bounce back faster. So my goal for the next 10 days, and the 3 months that follow is to eat clean, lean, nutritious meals to fuel my body during my half marathon, Dday, and recovery.

So with all this nutrition stuff on my brain, especially after coming off last week's Stress Binge Slug Fest, I decided to do some serious meal prep. And with my half marathon fast approaching (10 freakin’ days people!!) I wanted to ensure that my muscles are feeling fresh, happy, and strong. What makes fresh, strong, happy muscles?! Protein!

This week I have actually started using a supplement to help increase my protein intake. A lot of my serious running buddies have recommended it, so I decided to give it a whirl.
Collagen Sport heard about my half marathon dream through one of my Fitfluential buddies and offered to help. And ever since I have been making some kick-butt shakes to help my muscles recover post-run. I wanted to share my new go-to recipe with you…

1 Scoop NeoCell 4-in-1 French Vanilla Protein Powder
½ Cup Water
½ Cup Strawberry Flavoured Soy Milk
¼ Cup Frozen Strawberries

Blend together and Enjoy!

Not only will you get the added protein boost from Collagen Sport’s formula (30 g!), but the combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents found in strawberries is well-known to fight against the onset of many different forms of cancer. Thanks to the vitamin C, folate, and the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol that they also contain, strawberries are a delicious defense against potentially cancerous cells. It’s a winning combination for a Darwinian Fail like me!

Hope you guys ENJOY!
Love your favourite Darwinian Fail,

Monday, 20 February 2012

Motivation Monday - The Evil Stress Binge

So I was re-reading some of my recent blog posts, and I noticed a couple of trends over the last little while.
  1. That I have been stressed and struggling with the reality of my upcoming surgery.
  2. And I have been blabbing non-stop about my battle with proper nutrition. All those elusive questions surrounding ideal running weight and the marathon-mindset while training. Not to mention the overwhelming information overload regarding the links between cancer and nutrition.
So it should be no surprise that these 2 preoccupation met during the last week or so, and manifested in one big
 Stress Binge Slug Fest
BLAH!! I wish I could say that slowing down on my training made me feel refreshed. And relaxing on my nutrition made me feel better. But instead I feel guilty and gross. I don't know why I do this to myself, because I know I actually won't feel good afterwards. But I always get stuck in the cycle. I drink wine, I eat chips, I binge on sugar, and I snack way too much. It is one of my worst qualities, but when I feel overwhelmed I tend to "turtle". 

**"To Turtle" - means to turn inward, and shut down, aka crawl inside my dark little shell and shut out everything else**

 So for the last week-ish I have been turtling. I have been trying to shake off the funk, but it just didn't happen last week. Not great as my half marathon quickly approaches - hence where my guilt is stemming from. Sooo...this weekend was necessary to actually regroup. I baked, I spent time with family, and more importantly I ran!

13 miles complete! 2:05!
So as always, this week has a theme song. This week's song is...
Florence and the Machine's - Shake it Out.

Regrets collect like old friends. Here to relive your darkest moments
I don't want to regret the way I handled these last few weeks. I have worked my ass off to get here. I have been training. I have been running. And I don't want all the dark thoughts, and the unknown hold me back. No regrets. No negativity.

I like to keep my issues drawn
Turtling is not an healthy way to channel my energy. I know this. And I know I am prone to doing this. This is why I signed up for my half marathon. Training and my health is where I need to focus my energy.

Its always darkest before the dawn
It has been a dark couple weeks for me. I keep thinking why bother?! "You are gonna look like a mangled hot mess when this is all said and done. And all the effort you have put into improve your time and your fitness is going be wasted when you have to spend the next 2-3 months convalescing". But I am doing this for my health and it is almost over. I am so close. So very close. And I am gonna get through this.

And I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't
That is kind of how I feel about this whole process. Once you know you are BRCA+ your options are to be vigilant and screen regularly, but accept that during one of those screening it is very likely that you will be told you have cancer. Or choose to willing mutilate your body and essentially cut off your breasts. That is the reality. There is no clear cut great answer.You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't.

 And I'm ready to suffer and I'm ready to hope
The road to recovery is gonna be long. It is going to hurt. I am going to suffer physically and mentally when the events of Dday come to pass. But I am ready to move forward. I am ready to close this chapter. And I am ready to hope for a bright, happy future and a long life.

So this week I am going to...
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaaah
And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah

Sing it with me folks! Just two weeks to go! 
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

My Valentine

This post is dedicated to my hopelessly supportive and loving husband, because without him I would not have survived the last 14 months.
This year has been a hard year. There is no other way to say it. Although a lot of what is happening will be happening to my body, this journey is all happening smack dab in the middle of our life. As relative newly weds we knew there would be struggles, that life would throw curves, and that there would be ups and downs. And I know we said "in sickness and in health", but this battle wasn't something either of us saw coming.

I talk a lot about how BRCA has affected me, my body, my life, my perspective, and my plans. But I know this process has hurt him just as much. It takes a strong man to be able to stand by and support someone you love so deeply, but never let them see the way you are hurting too. So that is how I know I married one of the strongest men going.

I will be the first person to admit that I have spent the majority of the last year generally being a hopeless mess. I have been far, very far, from my best and floundering just to stay a float. And for every brave moment you all see on this blog, you should know there have been at least 3 times as many tear-filled nights spent in his arms to get there. His love, his support, and his strength has been my saving grace this year. There is no way to express how truly grateful I am. And how lucky I feel to have a man like this in my life.

So this post is a promise to him. This post is a vow for better days ahead. I know this year has been hard and not exactly what we had planned - but we are almost there. And I am going to work really hard to come back to you healthy and happy. Happily Ever After is still a work in progress, but I promise we are going to get there. I promise.

I love you!
Happy Valentines Day!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Monday, 13 February 2012

Motivation Monday - Sparkle

So if you have been reading along, then it is no secret that last week was a tough week. I had my final appointment before pre-op, and it didn't go well. A lot of my questions remained unanswered, the obnoxious attitude of the intern I met with left a bad taste in my mouth, and I was left feeling like I was going to end up looking like a troll with my shirt off. Not great. Not great at all.

I found myself sitting on the couch wondering "Why bother?". "Why try so hard? All my efforts aren't going to matter in a couple weeks when I go under the knife to willing managle my body. And then as I have to spend the next 12 wks living as the princess of Slugdom while I struggle to recover?" I was depressed. I felt tired. I felt overwhelmed. But more than anything else I felt sad, because deep down there is a part of me that just wishes things were different.

But things are not different. This is all happening. And I needed to seriously regroup. So when I woke up Thursday morning to this message from one of my favourite companies, I couldn't help but smile.

Stay Strong and Sparkly! That is really what this journey is all about isn't it?! There are aspects of this journery I can't control. But I am in control my actions and my attitude. The night is always darkest before the dawn. And out of the darkness I want to sparkle. And I want to shine. That's why I bother. That is why I am working so hard. That is why I started this process.
So when this pink sparkly headband appeared in my mailbox, with an accompanying email telling me to SPARKLE all the way through my half marathon. I was so touched. Not only are these bands super cute, but it stayed in place during this week's long run. I got my sparkle back in more ways than one. I have 3 weeks of training left, and I am going to run Bright, Sparkly, and Radiant all the way to Dday.

So Thank You Sparkly Soul Inc!
And if all you lovely folks are interested in getting your sparkly workout mojo back, head over to Sparkly Soul 's website and enter the discount code DarwinianSparkle to receive 15% off their adorable products.

This week's goal: Stay Sparkly! Let's do this!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Thankful Thursday and the Truth about BRCA

The internet is a strange and wonderful place, isn't it?!

Since I started sharing my story and my struggle I have been embraced by an amazing group of people - many of whom who live in my computer. Words cannot express what it means to me to read all your comments, emails, tweet, and messages. People who I have never met have taken time out of their day to write me, to ask questions, and send messages of support. It is truly overwhelming to wake up after a day like yesterday to an inbox chalk full of LOVE. So THANK YOU! This has been a tough road and a long year. And it has been even tougher now that reality is setting in, and it means so much to know that you guys support me so whole-heartedly. So to all my blog-o-sphere friends and in real life friends...

 "Thank you for your unwavering love and support! I promise I will make you proud!"

When I started this blog way back in April, I started it thinking that no one would likely read it. But with the hope that maybe, just maybe, another woman who was facing the same struggle might stumble upon it one day. Or that maybe someone with Long QT, might find it, read it, and see that life gets better, that you will get better. And that in some tiny minisucal way I could help. The truth is though that this blog has helped me in more ways than I can ever properly articulate. This little virtual world has been a huge source of comfort, support, and motivation - all things I am truly grateful for.

But I wanted to share my story, because I wanted women (and men alike) to know the truth about these conditions. And now that all you amazing folks are reading and watching I feel like I owe it to you all to answer your questions and share my experiences to say thank you for all of the support. So let's get truthful, shall we? These are a couple of the questions that have been emailed to me this week.

Question: What are the chances that you will actually get cancer if you are BRCA positive?
So there is no guantee you will get cancer. And as far as I know I do not currently have cancer. But my risk is a lot higher. I want to stress that actually. So for the average woman your chance of developing breast cancer at some point in your lifetime is 30%, as breasr cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among all women. If you are BRCA positive your risk jumps to somewhere between 50-70% (with some studies suggesting stats as high as 80%). The question for women who are BRCA positive is which side of the numbers they see themselves falling.

I confess that I am not a glass half-full kind of girl when it comes to my health, so I would rather act preventatively and proactively. I see myself in that 50-70%, so I would always wonder. And I would regret choosing to do nothing, if and when that diagnosis came.

Question: Why do you have to get rid of your nipples?
Ha! Okay so this question made me laugh, because I definitely spent way too much time asking this very question. So the full truth is that if I really pushed the issue, then I probably could keep them. There are nipple-sparing procedures. But it isn't what they reccommend. If you are willing to get rid of your boobs why are you so fussy about your nipples?

The point of a preventative mastectomy is to try to eliminate as much potentially cancerous tissue as possible, the nipples being part of that mix. I gave a lot of thought to this particular matter, because I am still a slave to vanity - but my surgery is already complicated. The pacemaker thing is already an added component, so I decided to give up the nipple dream.

I am gonna take this one step at a time. And if I really miss them then there are lots of nipple reconstruction options out there. I can't really fathom it right now, but give me some time to heal and we'll come back to this topic in a few months!

Question: What are your feelings related to your surgery and the occurrence of post surgical breast cancer?
So this is an interesting and important question, because like everything related to cancer this is not a cure, it is a treatment. And until we have a cure there are no grantees. The preventative mastectomy has a proven 90% success rate, and from a statistical stand point is the unequivocal front runner for women with a positive BRCA diagnosis.

The preventative mastectomy is effective, because it removes all of this potentially cancerous cells. No Boobs. No cancer. Simple, right? There are still residual cells left behind as part your chest wall, however, and this is why this treatment is not 100% effective. Those cells cannot be removed, so there is still a 10% risk that they may at some point become cancerous.

So my decision is all about the numbers. My risk is lower than the average women once I take this step. And if I end up among the very unlucky 10% then I will have to face that challenge when the time comes. But there will be no "What ifs" for me. I will know that I did everything I could to ensure that I stayed healthy, so I will face that challenge with a clear head and a clear heart.

There have been lots of these lately and I am happy to talk about this stuff. I wouldn't blab about it on the internet if I wasn't. So keep you questions coming, and I will keep answering!

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Almost There - Beautiful

Who need Chanel?
Today was my last appointment before pre-op, and I officially got measured for my new set of ta-tas. I spent all morning rocking a sexy over-sized, thin, blue hospital gown - sexy I know. Flashing my boobs to more men then should be acceptable for a married woman. And explaining my complicated medical history to a bunch of over-eager plastic surgery interns, who were less educated on medical matters than I am. This appointment didn't exactly leave me feeling warm and fuzzy.

There is just over 3 weeks until Dday. Just 3 weeks until all of my musing become a very real and cold reality. In just 3 weeks my body will be different and there will be no going back. There will be fresh scars and a healthy dose of silicone added into the mix. It has been hard to accept all of that, especially as we get closer and closer to March 5th.

But beauty shines from the inside out, right? At least that's what they say. Audrey Hepburn says "The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, and the place where love resides." So I am sure hoping she's right, especially about the whole "figure that she carries" part.

I believe beauty can be found in strength, in stamina, in kindness, in patience, in grace, and in love. Those are sentiments I believe whole-heartedly about everybody else, but struggle to believe about myself. I am trying. I swear I am trying. But am scared that it will be hard to ever love my body again after I make these changes. That I am going to wind up looking like Franken-titty and feeling like Quasimoto's younger sister. I am scared I am losing something I can never get back. And that I am going to have to live with the results - whatever they may be.

The only thing I know for sure about how it will all turn out, is that I will be healthy. And health is why I am doing this. So today I declared that this appointment is about saying "scars, cybrog heart, no boobs, fake boobs, whatever - this body is strong and so am I!". And that is beautiful. I will silence that inner critic yet. Because...
"I am beautiful, no matter what they say, words can't bring me down"

Christina Aguiler's Beautiful is this week's theme song because this is the place I want to be. Singing loudly, and proudly about the beauty I see and feel about my health and about my happiness. Taking pride in my scars because they mean I am strong. Embracing these changes because they mean I am a fighter. Looking at the girl I see in the mirror and seeing a survivor. That is the girl I want to be, and it is still a work progress - but I am going to get there.

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Motivation Monday - Week 5

Meal Prep
If I am being honest, last week SUCKED! It was a busy week and I got competely knocked on my butt by a killer migraine for 3 days. So needless to say my training did not go as planned. I didn't log the miles I wanted to. And I did a horrible job managing my nutrition.

BLAH! But it is MONDAY, so all the "blah" of last week is left behind with the start of a fresh week. My Half Marathon is exactly 1 month away, so I need to regroup and kick my training into overdrive for the next four weeks.

So as sucky as last week was, I learned some important lessons to help me progress... I think there are 2 key areas I need to work on during my last month of training
  • Make Nutrition a Focus
  • Stay Organized
So Nutrition has been a big struggle for me during my latest training challenge, a struggle I briefly alluded to in my last Winning Nutrition Wednesday post. My biggest problem being that I haven't really paid much attention to my nutrition at all during my first 4 weeks. I have been so focused on logging my miles that not much else has mattered. And I have definitely fallen prey to the whole "marathon mindset". AKA I tell myself "since I just ran 20km, I probably deserve a bag of chips, or a piece of cake, or a cheese burger" see where I am going with this. It has been really easy to justify eating those high calorie treats because of the amount of cardio I have been doing. On a long run I am burning over 1500 calories, so I obviously need to increase my caloric intake to maintain to this level of activity. But I have not been fueling up with REAL food, so I need to make a conscious effort to get back to clean eating.

This week's plan of attack

I have also been struggling to stay organized, which is also wreaking havoc on my diet. Trying to log my weekly miles, with all my other life commitments - work, family, and school (oh did I mention I started taking classes again? EEK!) has been tough. My metabolism has kicked into overdrive during the past month, but my meal planning has been lax. I haven't been doing a very good job fueling up during the day, leaving me straving by dinner time and playing catch up all evening. That also means I am more likely to make bad choices and go for the quick fix. So this weekend I decided it was time to get my butt in gear and do some proper meal planning. I stocked up on good wholesome ingredients, and spent a good chuck of Sunday organizing my meals. I created a general meal plan to follow for Breakfast and Lunch to make life easier and simplify my meal prep. So for this week I will be tweaking the following...
  • Increase protein to build muscle and power my workouts
  • Eat meals made with whole natural ingredients
  • Eat every 2-3 hours to keep my metabolism burning
  • Hydrate! (3 litres of water daily)
  • Take my vitamins
Its a relatively simple plan, but it is going to take commitment and organization. My last long run was a reality check for me. After a week of lax nutrition, poor hydration, and laissez faire traning I ran my first 20 km run - and it didn't feel too good. You get out of your body what you put in, so let's just say lesson learned. I've got a plan. I'm organized. And I'm MOTIVATED!

1 month to go! Let's do this!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Friday, 3 February 2012

Stay Truthful Thursday - 11 Random Things

So Stay Truthful Thursday has become "Stay Truthful Friday" instead. I got my butt kicked this week by a migraine that I just couldn't shake, so I have fallen a little behind here...

But while I have been sleeping for the last few days there has been a little blog-sphere chain challenge circulating the internet. My lovely virtual run coach Michelle, who I rave about oh so often these days tagged me in her 11 Random Things post. And then one of my favourite Fitfluential buddies Meredith tagged me in her post as well. And since this concept is still very much related to being truthful I thought today would be the perfect day to take them up on the challenge and kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

Here are the rules:
1.       Post these rules (check!)
2.       You must post 11 random things about yourself
3.       Answer the questions set for you by the person who tagged you
4.       Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5.       Select 11 peeps and tag them on twitter, facebook, or on their blog
11 Random Things About Me
My last race!
  1.  I was always LAST (or almost last) when we ran Cross Country in elementary school. I always liked the idea of running and I tried out every year, but I am by no means a natural runner. In fact I would go so far as to describe myself as bordering on horrible. I don’t run because it is easy. I run because it is hard and probably not something I should really be able to do, but something I hope to one day be good at. (I am working on it!)
  2.  Before I got into running, I used to swim and dance competitively. Growing up I used to dance 2-3 nights a week and I swam on my high school swim team. Back-stroke is still my favourite, and I have never fully mastered the proper flip-turn.
  3. I am a Big-Time People Watcher. Maybe ever gawker or stalker. I am so bad for this! I am such a Nosey-Nelly, which I blame entirely on my small town upbringing. My husband is constantly telling me not to stare, because whatever I am thinking is written all over my face. Not great, but I think people are fascinating! I just can't help myself!
  4. I have had the same group of girlfriends since elementary school. They are my best friends and I love them dearly. There are 5 of us and we nicknamed ourselves "Fox Force 5" after an obsure reference by Uma Thurman's character in Pulp Fiction. "Fox, as in we're a bunch of foxy chicks. Force, as in we're a force to be reckoned with. Five, as in there's one... two ... three... four... five of us". It is a long standing inside joke, but it just fits!
    Fox Force 5 - Erin, Me, Diana, Jessica, Lauren
  5. I am a HUGE bookworm! My books are some of my most prized possessions, and displayed proudly on the full length of my livingroom.
  6. While we are on the topic of books I can not fall asleep without reading. I fall asleep every night with a book in my hand. And if I wake up for any reason in the middle of the night, I have to read at least 1 page before I can fall back asleep. This habit is complicated by the fact that I now share a bed with my hubby and turning the lights on the in the middle of the night can be sort of disruptive. Which is why I have my very own SPYLIGHT!

    Glimpse at my Bedside Table
  7. I did my first year abroad at Queen's University's International Study Center, which just happens to be located in Sussex, England at Hersmonceux Castle! It was an amazing experience! It was so surreal. I kind of can't believe I got to spend a year of my life like that. And it is also where I met my husband, although we were just friends at the time.

    Yep, I spent a year of my life here! LOVE
  8. My husband and I got married very young by today's standards. I was 22 and fresh out of university when we got engaged. And the ripe old age of 23 when we tied the knot. It is hard to believe we have already been married for close to 4 years, but I know I married the most amazing man and my best friend. I feel lucky to be with him everyday.

    What a PERFECT day!
  9. I have an obsession with office supplies. I love speciality notebooks, sticky-notes, and sparkly pens. I am always making list, charts, mind-maps, and schedules. And I never leave the house without my old school agenda - which is colour-coordinated of course!
  10. I have a secret dream (well not so secret now) of one day competing in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. I watch that race every year and think it is such an amazing physical feat! One day I hope to be able to say I am an "IRON WOMAN".
  11. I nicknamed my pacemaker Georgio, when I first got it in 2003. The name is courtesy of a silly night with the Fox Force. My second pacemaker was dubbed Georgio Jr. But I think since I will be getting a brand spaking new one in March, I am going to have to come up with a new name. So far Petunia is in the lead, but I am open to suggestions.

    Michelle's Questions:
    1. What was the first race signed up for?  When was it? Where was it?  How did you do?
    I signed up Run the Lake in Ajax, ON in 2010. It was a 10 km and my first ever race. I wasn't really running a ton at that time, so it didn't feel too good. But I ran it in 1:02:36 so not to shabby for not really training.

    2. What is your favorite color?
    Pink! I am a girlie girl!

    3. Do you prefer to read stories and the training of elite runners or every day runners? Why?
    It is definitely inspiring to see what dedication and training can do! I know my body is a bit of a dud, and I have limitations, but I like to pretend that one day if I try hard enough I can get there too.

    4. Treadmill or dreadmill?
    I am not a treadmill girl, so definitely DREADMILL! I run outside in snow storms for heaven sakes! All to skip the monotonous run on a treadmill.

    5. Gear junkie or Run Naked?
    Somewhere in between? I need my ipod, heart rate monitor (always), and I love cute workout gear, and my Mizuno shoes, but don't need anything else.

    6. Is there an era of music that you prefer? Oldies? Classic Rock? 90s?
    I listen to everything, but I think its pretty clear by now I am a product of the Spice Girl generation. Love my girlie-pop music!

    7. Coffee or Tea?
    COFFEE! I am a starbucks whore! I LOVE IT!

    8. What is a childhood secret you never told your mom?
    Ummm my Mom reads my there is nothing haha

    9. Favorite Olympic Summer sport to watch?
    Marathon obviously! But I also love the swimming events!

    10. Favorite movie of all time?
    Breakfast at Tiffany's. Love that Audrey Hepburn!

    11. Cake or Pie?
    Meredith's Questions:
    What made you laugh this week?
    I have a pretty funny job. I work with adults with disabilities, and they have the best sense of humour! So I laughed a lot this week.

    If you were a dog, what breed would you be?
    Westie! I have one and he is 100% my kindred dog spirit

    What book--any type--do you recommend most right now?
    So in love with all things Jo Walton. But if I had to choose it would be "Tooth and Claw" its a take on Pride and Prejudice, but written with dragons!

    If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    Salt and Vinegar Chips, they are my weakness and I never get tired of them.

    Team Gale or Team Peeta?  (If you don't know now, you'll know by March.)
    I have yet to take the Hunger Games plunge, so I had to google this one ha! So don't know.

    What's your go-to recipe?
    I make a mean Apple Pie!

    What's your favorite color highlighter to use?
    Well that my friends depends on what I am highlighting. It is all about the colour coordination

    Are you superstitious?
    Yep, a little bit

    What sparked your commitment to healthy living (food &/or fitness)?

    What was your favorite childhood stuffed animal / blanket named?
    Clyde, he is a stuffed bulldog.

    What's your favorite color to wear?
    Hmmm tough, I wear a lot of pinks and purples

    My Questions...
    1. What is your theme song for this year and why?
    2. What is the one thing you could never live without?
    3. Who or what inspires you?
    4. What is your dream vacation?
    5.  Brag time, tell me what you are most proud of accomplishing?
    6. Sparkles, yea or neh?
    7. What is the best thing you ever ate?
    8. What is your guilty pleasure?
    9. What is your favourite form of exercise?
    10. What are you afraid of?
    11. Who is your celebrity crush?

    Okay and I am tagging....
    Allie from True Tales of a Toronto Actor
    Michelle from Rage Your Way Thin
    Calvin from The Orange Mask
    Kate from Pasta Free Runner
    Frank from Frank 2.0
    Erin from Creative Soul in Motion
    Victoria from Victoria Runs
    Morgan from Life After Bagels
    Robyn from Robyn
    Hank from The Business of Losing Weight
    Samantha from Health, Happiness, and Skinny Jeans

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Winning Nutrition Wednesday - Ideal Running Weight

I am half through my training. It is officially February now people! (insert nervous laughter and screams of terror) There is only 1 measley month left until my Big Race and by proxy Dday. Just 1 month! And it is the shortest month of the year at that! The pressure is mounting! This is serious! The time crunch is on!

If you guys have been reading along, then you know training has been going surprisingly well. I have been running well. I have been running fast. And I have been running strong. I know, I am just as surprised as you are. But I have noticed one small unexpected side effect though...I AM Freakin STRAVING! No seriously, my hunger is out of control. I can not stop eating. I have been eating anything and everything in sight. My body is craving carbs. It is craving high-fat. Its craving sugar. It is craving protein. It is craving EVERYTHING. I am feeling a big like a bottomless pit.
My sweet tooth is out of control!!
So this something you always hear about in the running world. A lot people talk about how they actually end up gaining weight when training for a distance race. We even had a feature on the Fitfluential Blog about this very issue this week. And I guess because I have never trained for something like this before, I didn't really know what to expect. And while I have not gained any weight, I know I have not been very diligent with my nutrition plan. Food = fuel and I have not exactly been fueling up with premium grade lately if you catch my drift...

Needless to say I don't have abs like this...yet!
Needless to say I have been feeling a little diet remorse. There are a million studies out there linking your weight to speed and maximizing your performance. I have read them all and I covet those hard-core running abs. I have been plagued by the idea that I need to achieve my Ideal Running Weight if I really want to rock this run.

I have been turning to all my running buddies and online fitness gurus for advice, expertise, and their thoughts. The Consensus: The ideal running weight is not an exact science. I got some great advice and much needed perspective from Dorthy over at Miles Posts. Because the truth is I too struggle with a negative body image and tend to be my harshest critic. I don't always set the most realistic expectations for myself. And with the changes I can expect post-operatively I have been more critical than usual. I loathe the body I see and all of its genetic deficencies. I just see a body that has never and will never be good enough...sigh...

Okay, that's enough! Let's ban the negative self talk shall we. And let's get rid of the unhealthy expectations while we are at it. The truth is I am 4 lbs shy of my ideal running weight according to the LIVESTRONG calculator I used. That is not a crazy number and it is likely very attainable if I focus on proper training nutrition. Realistically the issue is not what I weight on race day, it is whether or not my body has the proper fuel to power me through 21 km. So I am recommitting to nutrition not to be a slave to the scale but treat my body with the love and respect it deserves for getting me this far.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,