Andrea and the Epic Quest of Awesome.

Remember all the way back in March when I claimed that I was through collecting underpants and was going to be more productive on my blog?

Yeah. 6 months later, I think we can all agree that was a big ol' lie. 

Over the last couple of days I've been, yet again, doing some soul searching to try and figure out the best use for my little slice of the internet. Writing? Adventuring? Self-improvement? These are all things I want to do more of, so it seems intuitive to use this blog to help chronicle that, but we all know how that's gone in the past. (six months, no post...) So, how to actually work towards those things? 

I read a lot of articles about goal-setting and the like, and over and over again, I read how writing your goals down is supposed to help you with your goals, encourage you to work towards them. Which then reminded me of Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness, and his Epic Quest. It's part bucket list, part life-goals, and he's encouraged folks on the Nerd Fitness site to make one of their own.

So, I have! You can find my epic quest here. It's still a work in progress, and I suspect it will be an ever-evolving thing. My plan (and we all know how those work out *eyeroll*) is to work on those 'quests' and update my progress here on the blog. 

For the time being, if you have any suggestions for my epic quest, let me know! 


No more underpants collecting here!

This post is inspired by the best friend, Craig (of, who in turn was inspired by Felicia Day after reading her book You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)Much like his blog, mine also gets ignored, as I often feel I have nothing interesting or worthwhile to write about. 

I've always been much more of a dreamer than a do-er, which isn't really conducive to getting anything accomplished. I love to read and plan and learn about new ways to be more creative productive, but never manage to translate what I've learned/read into actually being productive. Over on, they call my specific version of procrastination 'underpants collecting' (and yes, that is a South Park reference).


My dear friend Sandra often tells me she wants me to write more, and I mean to, there are quite a few stories rattling around in my head. In fact most of the pins that I get sent on Pinterest are writing's like my friends are trying to tell me something...

So, I'm officially accepting the challenge that Craig in no way issued (pretend I'm Barney Stinson here) to be a more creative person. I'm hoping to that posting here will keep me more accountable in those endeavours. 

Work it out!

Over the course of January, I've been trying new things, which included building some better habits.  It started with having a tidier home sweet home. It's been going quite well, and with the addition of my 'get rid of one thing a day' plan, I now have some new space on my shelves! I think I've decided that my big goal for 2016 as far as decluttering will be to empty and get rid of one bookcase, as well as empty and get rid of one of my dressers. I have three dressers. THREE! WHO NEEDS THAT MANY CLOTHES?!?!? No one I tell you. No one. 

And yet....I can't seem to bring myself to part with any of them. 

I have problem. I know this. I might need to bring in the lovely Sam (of Jedi Council fame) to help me get rid of some clothes. She's notoriously ruthless when it comes to this kind of thing. 

The other thing that I've finally gotten back into the habit of this month is working out. I'm one of those lucky people who has a gym right in the basement of my office, and when I first started working at this job, it didn't take me long to get into the knack of working out at lunch times. I'd be down there three times a week doing my damndest to not be the girl with the upper body strength of a baby bird anymore. And I have to admit, I was pretty dang successful, I'd never been in better shape, and I lost probably 12-15lbs along the way. In October of 2014 my best friend started working at my office. I was so excited, now I got to see him EVERYDAY! However, in a good news/bad news scenario, it also meant I (emphasis on *I*, this was all me) that I stopped going to the gym at lunch. I wanted to eat with my BFF! We almost always went for a half hour walk after we'd eaten, so I didn't feel quite so bad about missing my workouts, except light cardio and weight training aren't exactly the same. 

Cut to 2016, and after experiments with working out after work (too tired after a long day) and before work (wear myself out WAY too fast with early morning workouts) I decided, since I already see him EVERYDAY, it was time to say goodbye to three lunch-times with Craig and head back down to the gym. I must admit, going back to the gym after a long time away kind of makes me feel like a superhero. It's like "oh yeah, I can totally lift heavier things than I thought!" If you'd told me back in high school that there would be a time that I actually enjoyed working out, that girl would have probably laughed in your face, but it's true!

I've also incorporated some extra 'moves' into my dailies on Habitica. My doctor diagnosed me with bursitis a while back, and it doesn't flare up often, but when it does, it's THE WORST. A flare up happened at the beginning of January and after some Googling, Pinteresting, and general asking around I discovered the 'reverse (or upside-down) pigeon' yoga pose, and it has worked wonders. Since I was already dragging out my yoga mat every evening to stretch out those hips, I also decided to introduce a daily plank, since I've read about how good that move is for your core (and I hear a strong core is a good thing). I started out only being able to hold it for about 5 seconds, but am up to about 30 now. They're little things, yes, but they're little things are slowly but surely making a positive difference for me, and I'm completely fine with being the hare in this scenario if I'm going to see results eventually.

In other news, I've completely kept up with my 'new is always better' challenge! No re-watches for me in January. I've watched a ton of Oscar nominated films, and a couple episodes of the USA series Mr. Robot that I really need to finish, 'cause it's amazing so far. I've also been trying some new things in my city! Craig and I went and experienced a couple of Vancouver's Hot Chocolate Festival offerings at The Last Crumb and 49th Parallel on Main Street. The ladies of the Jedi Council and I went to The Teahouse in Stanley Park for Dine Out Vancouver. What a lovely restaurant, excellent service and great food! I would highly recommend getting out there if you have a chance.

Let's try some new things!

I have two things that I'm trying in January: building better habits, and decluttering my life. (Yes, I know I've talked about decluttering before, but I have pack-rat genes and they're apparently hard to un-do)

I'm a life-long procrastinator. Which means my best, and strongest habit is putting things off.

Go me.

It's gotten better over the years, but I'm still one of those people who can always find a way to justify doing something another time, or find something better to do, especially when it comes to chores. Being a single person who lives alone, I have tendency to let dishes amass for a couple days before finally buckling down and washing them, or instead of putting whatever craft I'm working on in the evening away when I go to bed, just leave it out, since I'll probably be working on it tomorrow. 

Way back in 2014 I joined HabitRPG, a website that encouraged people to improve their habits by gamifying their lives. I think I initially read about it in Chris Hardwick's The Nerdist Way, or maybe on a blog, or wherever. However, despite it seeming like a good idea, I didn't really use it, and promptly forgot about it. Fast forward to 2016, and me trying new things, improving habits, being more productive, and I discover Habitica. Which, as it turns out, is HabitRPG 2.0, new and improved! 

This time around, Habitica is helping me build better habits (like washing dishes right away, or putting things back in their place) by turning me and those good or bad habits into an real life RPG. This is me in Habitica, with all my sweet Rogue gear.

Yeah, that's right! My weapons are a shovel and a cup of cocoa

Yeah, that's right! My weapons are a shovel and a cup of cocoa

Habitica encourages me to reward myself for good habits, but also punishes me for ignoring a habit I should be doing. Knowing that a reward or a loss of health depends on me actually flossing after I brush my teeth helps convince me that I really should take the extra 90 seconds before going to bed and actually do it. 

On top of that, I've recruited 10 friends into Habitica, we have a party, we go on quests, and generally encourage each other to keep our new good habits up. It's amazing what can get a nerd on the path to better life choices!

One of the habits that I've added into my life is all about de-cluttering. I'm forcing myself everyday to look around my tiny little Vancouver apartment and get rid of ONE thing. On the first day of this little experiment I got rid of a series of books (that will now be moving on to my friend Melissa's house) and then two movies that have been sitting on my shelf for ages. I've watched them, but I doubt I will again, so out they go. Yes, it will be a long process if it's just one thing a day, but I have a feeling as I go on with this, I'll get better at recognizing when there might be a collection of things that don't need to be in my possession anymore. (I really hope this is the case.) 

Oh! One last thing to mention! I've made a deal with myself, with the exemption of things for my podcast, no rewatching this year. I think we all get into the habit of watching things (especially series in my case) over and over again, because you don't have to concentrate quite so much since it's already been processed once by your brain. I was really guilty of that last year, and I'm finding more and more things that I've been meaning to watch, that I've just "never gotten around to". Because I was being lazy, re-watching Sense8, Scrubs, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Daredevil. NO MORE! I'm taking a page out of Barney Stinson's (oh yeah, I re-watched HIMYM last year too...) book and going with the 'New is always better' motto when it comes to watching content, movies, TV, etc.

New Year, New Me?

If you follow this blog at all, you'll know that last year started out with bang! (or with a freezing cold Polar Bear dip in English Bay, either way, it was fun) Introducing you to the Jedi Council, myself and my two amazing friends Sam and Kate, and our decision to make the year all about health and fitness. For the first few months we were dedicated, and the posts were plentiful(ish), but as the year waned, so did our dedication, and the posts dried up. 

Then I decided to 'take back my blog' for personal posts, and much like the inside of my head, the posts were scattered. The fall of 2015 was a ridiculously crazy time for me, and all interest in blogging dried up - hence the three and a half month gap between this post and last one (where I was super excited about KonMari-ing my place...and then the fall happened)

In December I got a message from my lovely author friend, Sandra Wickham, who, like me, was starting to think about her plans for 2016. She challenged me, and our amazingly crafty friend Erika Glover (from Vancouver Crafty Geeks) to blog more regularly. However, (and rather unsurprisingly) it turns out that we were all a little overwhelmed in December to make that kind of commitment in the New Year. Nonetheless, it did get me thinking with what I wanted to do in the new year. I think I've mentioned in the past that I'm not one for resolutions, but I do like the idea of goals for the new year, they worked pretty well for me last year.

Then I googled 'New Year's quotes' (as one does) to see what the world wide web had for me in ways of  inspiration for my New Year. I shouldn't be surprised that it was Neil Gaiman that had the most perfect words for me. From a blog post back at the end of 2011: 

Gaiman's long been one of my favourite authors, and I feel in this quote, that he just gets me, 'cause if any knows how to make mistakes, it's me. Moreover, I love the idea of trying things, failing, trying again in a new way, challenging myself, and the like. 

"Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it."

Oh Neil, is that a dare? A challenge? 'Cause I'm going to take it as one. 


I would much rather be spending my evening curled up with some tea, my cross stitch and a new Netflix series (seriously, I need a new series now that I'm done Ripper Street), but instead I'm working through the final items in the 'Clothing' category of my KonMari organising. I said eight weeks and I MEAN EIGHT WEEKS!!! 

konmari all the things.jpg

In the KonMari method, she recommends, instead of going room by room, going category by category. 'Clothing' includes anything you wear, from underwear to jackets to bags and accessories.

For those of you who may not know this, I'm a bit of clothes horse. I was already well aware of this fact, but there's nothing quite like going through every piece of clothing you own to remind yourself of just how many clothes you own. I thought when I moved back at the end of February that I'd done a good job of culling my clothes before the move.

I was wrong folks. So very wrong.

My lovely friend Kate (who some blog readers will know as a member of the Jedi Council) held her second 'Naked Lady Party' two weeks ago - no it's not that kind of party - which was a great impetus for getting this section of my organising done quickly. The Naked Lady Party consists of a group of ladies (fully clothed) together, and they bring bags of all the clothes they want to get rid of, emptying said bags on to Kate's floor and then digging through the pile to see if anything catches your fancy. 

I brought two and a half bags of clothes, like big blue IKEA bags, to Kate's and came home with one dress, one cardigan and three pairs of shoes. The clothes I took with me were mainly things that were too big for me now (yay) but that I'd held off on getting rid of for some reason or another. There were also a LOT of t-shirts. I love t-shirts, they're part of my daily uniform when I'm not at work, but there are only so many that I can love at the same time. Some of the ones that I got rid of were from 'grab bags' or that I'd won, and some were ones that I'd really loved at one point in time, but they just don't spark that joy anymore. All of the ladies that came got some new additions for their wardrobes and the remaining clothes went to the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre.

I still need to finish going through my own shoes, bags, accessories, and jewellery to cross this first category off my list, but so far I'm pretty impressed. Not only do I feel like now I only have clothes that I actually wear in my house, but they're all 'properly' folded and in their drawers. The KonMari way of folding has you fold your clothes so that they can stand vertically on their own. I don't know what it is, but there's something very satisfying about finding the 'sweet spot' of any given garment. 

The bags are going to be a hard one folks. I have a love of bags ingrained in my DNA courtesy of my mother. However, there are only so many bags a human can possibly need, right? Although, to be fair, in the past two weeks I think I've used 4 different bag/purse combinations in my daily jaunts around the city. This one's going to be tough folks. 

Which leads me to the next category - books. I just did a HUGE clean up of my books a couple months ago. When I finished, I really felt like I'd managed to get my collection down to a manageable number. Now that I look at the shelves though, there are probably a few more that I could comfortably get rid of. I'm going to try and be as ruthless as I was able to be with my clothes...but we'll see. 

Autumnal Changes

I've never been good at Spring cleaning. I don't know if it was growing up in a city that didn't really get spring until May, or that it was so soon after New Year's and all those resolutions. I've always been an autumn girl at heart. It's by far my favourite season. School starting, my birthday, scarves, sweaters, leaves shifting from green to gold and red, that great crisp smell the air gets. I love it. 

It's also the time of year that I like to do my 'spring' cleaning, and start new projects. And since it's been far too long since I posted anything on my poor neglected blog, I thought writing about them here would be a good start. 

I have two 'big' projects that I'm going give a whirl in September; the Age of Pandora from, a 30-day immersive fitness quest and using the KonMari method to organise, tidy and generally declutter my apartment.

If you've read this little blog before, it probably means you've heard all about the Jedi Council and out fitness/health journey over the course of the year. It got to be too much for us to keep updating as a group, but that doesn't mean we've stopped our journeys to healthier lives, we're just unorganised and busy, and updates fell by the wayside. While we still have Mudderella Whistler coming up on September 26, which promises to be an experience, if nothing else, all other 'organised' fitness attempts have fallen by the wayside in my life. Enter's Age of Pandora. I've been a fan of the site for a long time, they have a ton of bodyweight workouts that are based in pop-culture, like The Night's Watch workout, or the Cheetara workout (for you Thundercat fans out there). They've created the Age of Pandora as an immersive workout, where the workout you do reflects the activities you do as a survivor in a post-apocalyptic narrative. THIS sounds like it's right up my alley. It has a map, and complete narrative to go along with the workouts. I've had a look, and can see that the workouts get harder as the days go on, but I'm excited to give it a go. So, I'm going to take a page of thenoblehero's book (that would be best friend Craig) and do weekly updates about the program to let everyone know how it's going. (although, he's decided to take a hiatus from his updates...oh well) I'm going to call it Fitness Friday (can you guess when I'm going to post the updates?)

On the other side of the coin, I'm also working on de-cluttering. I'm a life-long packrat. I'm pretty sure I inherited the gene from my grandfather. When I moved from my two bedroom basement suite to my new one bedroom apartment back in March I thought I'd done a really good job of purging, but the more I look around me, the more I realise I have a ton of stuff I don't need. Then I read this article over on last week and everything came into focus.'s David Cain used the KonMari method to do his own experiment in organising his life, and had a lot of success. The more I read about KonMari, the more I thought it might be something worth a try. Yes, holding each item I own and seeing if it 'sparks joy' sounds a little hokey, but I really like the idea of only having things that make me happy in my home. Shouldn't that be what a home is? Your happy place?

I'm going to give myself 8 weeks to do this project, and try my best to be as ruthless as possible. Again, I'll post updates as I go along, nothing like an experiment in organising, amirite?

Anyone else do any 'autumn' cleaning/projects?


Fashionably Late

I know in our last post we said that we were switching back to bi-weekly posting, but I’m taking full responsibility for being an additional 4 days late. So, apologies to you lovely reader of this, and apologies to my lovely co-Councilors. 

Sam's rededicated herself to running, with a little less intensity than before, but hopefully with more staying power this time around. Kate bemoans her weird brain, and Andrea's first 6 months of 2015 are not what she hoped they were.


It’s June in a week. A freakin’ week! I can’t believe it. That’ll mean we’ve been at this for six months. While I haven’t been as successful as I would’ve wanted to be in the first six months of the year, I know that it means that I have whole other six months to make sure I finish 2015 with a bang! I said at the beginning that this was going to be a journey, and it has been. I’m also pretty sure I mentioned that I knew I was going to make mistakes along the way as well, which I have.

Having a busy couple of months have really thrown my routine for a loop, but now that I’m gearing up for summer, where things settle down a little, I can respawn and refocus, and be ready for whatever the second half of 2015 has in store for me!


Oh man! It's been a week already? How did that happen? I'm not prepared!

I really don't have anything new or exciting to report, but I did have a conversation with Andrea this morning that yielded a bit of interesting brain trickery. I'd been having a "poor decision" morning (fatty breakfast, mocha, half a cookie...all before 10am, yikes!) and I was bemoaning my failure. Andrea jumped in with cries of "not failure! misstep. MISSTEP!", and then we both, simultaneously, began relating the exact same struggle:

"Oh man, I've totally blown it. I've been terrible. So bad this morning. This day is totally shot, I might as well just keep eating crap. That's it, bring on the ice cream."

What's up with that, brain? So weird!

So, today is now a clean slate and fresh start. Salad for lunch!


Sitting down and writing a short blog post ever week is hard. I find that I run out of things to write about. I have no idea how my writer friends do it, I have great admiration for them.

I’m back to running again, although not quite as often as I was doing previously during my February running challenge month. I found that three times a week was too hard for me to maintain long term and I burned out. So now I’m aiming for twice a week and if I get a third run in, great! I’ve been working on trying to get my runs under 9min/KM and yesterday, for the first time I did it, 8.45min/KM. Now I’ll have to see if I can keep it less than 9min/km on my next run that’d be great!

Yesterday I ended up running after work, which is not something I normally do. My internal monologue in the morning as I was trying to get out of bed at 4:45am went something like this:

Me: What is that infernal noise, oh, my alarm clock (note: its 4:30am when it went off)

Brain: Turn it off and go back to sleep

Me: but I really need to run twice a week, it’s important

Brain: But the bed is nice and warm and cozy & sleep is important also

Me: I should get up though; if I don’t go running today maybe I won’t go ever again

Brain: You could always go after work

Me: I’ll never do that, you know that brain

Brain: What if you bring your running gear with you?

Me: maybe, that could maybe work

Brain: it’s decided go back to sleep

Me: ok

So I went back to sleep for another hour and a glorious hour it was. When I did get up, I packed up all my running gear and brought it to work with me. Before I left the office at the end of the day, I got changed and then stopped at a park on my way home and went for a run. Some people might question why I didn’t just go home and change then go for a run, well, if I did that, I know myself well enough that despite the desire to go for a run, I just wouldn’t have done it. I have to work with my weaknesses and while I don’t always succeed, sometimes I do and then get rewarded with 8.45min/KM

We are busy people.

I don’t want to brag but the ladies of the Jedi Council are not only the type of people who try to make positive changes in their lives, but sometimes they’re also so GODDAMN busy that writing a coherent sentence is an impossibility. Or at least that’s the excuse I’m going with for this ridiculously late blog post (after accidentally skipping a week of posting…) First we were waiting on Kate, then it came down to me throwing it all together and putting it out and I just so dang busy that that didn’t happen until now…Luckily Sam’s usually on top of things, one of us should be semi-responsible.


I am such a slacker.

Holy crap, I have been so bad at this! I mean, I know the whole jedi council has been a little hit or miss on updating lately, but I gotta say, a lot of the lateness falls squarely on me. I can partially blame it on abruptly switching to a much busier and bigger work schedule, but I also have to admit my own slack-ass nature had something to do with it.

I apologize!

That said, this has been a pretty good couple of weeks. I've continued with my "walk to work" initiative, and while I haven't really increased the distance yet, I'm still getting several km in every morning, which makes me feel good.

I've also been getting back into green smoothies, and most mornings I'm making one for breakfast and drinking it as I walk. I've developed a habit of buying greens like sprout, mache, kale, and spinach when they're on sale, taking them home, and whirling them up in the blender with some water. I pour that lovely green liquid into ice cube trays and boom - easy green smoothie ingredients! I've kinda nailed it down to my favourite recipe, and while I can't give you amounts (measure stuff? Ain't nobody got time for that), this is what I'm using:

  • Milk kefir
  • ice cubes
  • frozen mango or pineapple
  • frozen kale
  • frozen green cubes
  • 1 tbsp fruit syrup or jam

So tasty! So filling!

Green smoothie goodness!

Green smoothie goodness!


Achievement Unlocked! A couple of weeks ago Andrea and I completed the 31st Annual Vancouver 10 km Sun Run. Our official finishing time was one hour and fourty seven mins. It was really amazing to see the city (of Vancouver) from a different perspective. I’ve been everywhere we walked before, but it was always in a car or walking on the sidewalk, but seeing them from the middle of the road, gives you a different view of your home. There  was a ton on random people just cheering on the runners. I think my favourite sign I saw was from this one girl that said "Way to go random strangers". I was a little bit sore for the few days after the Sun Run, but now a few weeks later I’m ready to go again. Our next marathon like activity will be the Mudderella up in Whistler in September. So I’ve got to find some monkey bars and re-learn how to use them. Apparently you forget how to swing on monkey bars once you leave the playground.

Evil, evil tongue.

Evil, evil tongue.


Oh hi there May. How the hell did you manage to sneak up on me? It was probably in between moving, being busy, doing the Sun Run with Sam, and generally being my busy self.

The Sun Run was one of the most fascinating experiences I’ve ever had. There’s nothing quite like feeling the energy of all your fellow Sun Runners, along with the folks along the side, cheering you on, well, it was all a bit surreal. It’s also a completely unique way to see Vancouver; from the middle of the road, not having to worry about traffic. It was amazing. My goal was to finish in less than two hours, and Sam and I finished in an hour forty-seven,  so mission accomplished!

I’m not going to lie, the rest of my health endeavours have kind of fallen by the wayside. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I guess it means I need to dig back through my inventory of potions (yes, I’m always going to make this a video game reference) and find a way to strengthen my resolve and get back on track. 

Sam and Andrea and post Sun Run glow

Sam and Andrea and post Sun Run glow

The Jedi Council loves Star Wars.

I bet after taking our little break, and then being all introspective last week you thought that this week’s blog intro was all going to be about how we’ve built on last week and are back in the swing of things, making progress and blah, blah, blah.

It was.

And then this happened.

And then we, all three of us, FREAKED THE HELL OUT WITH EXCITEMENT! I mean, there’s a reason this little adventure in health is called ‘A New Hope’ and we refer to ourselves as the Jedi Council!

So, now that we’ve all watched that trailer again (for the 40th or 50th time), let’s get down to the business at hand. 


Well March is over and now April is almost half over? Where on earth does the time go? Wibbly Wobbley I guess. The Sun Run is fastly approaching (this weekend) and I'm looking forward to it, however woefully underprepared I am. I've done the Sun Run once before, and I know that I will do a lot better this time and with Andrea by my side, we will at least have some fun while doing it. Now what should I put on my Sun Run play list?


More than anything, I really spent the last week refocusing on the ‘you can’t outrun your fork’ concept. My lovely mother was in town last week, and as much as I love her, we really don’t eat great when she’s here. We spend all of our time out adventuring, and that leaves little time for cooking a good, healthy meal.

 This week, I made some Scotch eggs, they’re tasty, but didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted. I’m not generally a fan of hard-boiled eggs, and definitely didn’t know how long to boil them for, thus breaking a few along the way. Slight kitchen disasters aside, I’ve found having a protein-rich breakfast has really helped bolster my willpower throughout the rest of the day. I don’t know what kind of Jedi mind trick I’m pulling on myself, but it’s making me feel pretty awesome.

Finally, (and unbelievably) the Vancouver Sun Run is this weekend. And I’m so not ready. Luckily I’ll have Sam with me to make it a fun experience. I figure, no matter how long it takes me this year, I’ll have a time to try and beat next year. In fact, just making it TO the race this year is better than last year. Last year at this time I was informed by a doctor that I had walking pneumonia. When I jokingly said, “I guess I shouldn’t do the Sun Run on Sunday then.”  He immediately responded with, “Don’t do that. No, definitely not.” So, I’m taking it as a win! Just need to fill up a playlist and try and outsmart Vancouver weather with whatever I decide to wear.


Hello, spring! I feel like it's actually here this time. No really. All this gorgeous sun, the flowers blooming, the way the air smells.....I don't think this one is a trick! So, accordingly, I've started my new "walk to work" initiative. I just transitioned to working 5 days a week, and work is 5.9km from home. Walking all of it every day is a bit daunting, so I've sectioned off the middle bit and given myself permission to take the bus through that part if I need to. So far I haven't walked the whole thing yet (I also transitioned to starting work at 8am. There's only so early I can handle in the morning, guys, jeez), but I have been averaging 3.5km every morning. And damn does it feel good! What a fantastic way to start out my day and get me on the right track to good decisions, right from the get go. Between the extra exercise, and the novelty of actually delivering oxygen to my poor body while sleeping, I've been full of energy and positive vibes this whole past week, and I love it!

And on a totally non - health note, that new Star Wars trailer? Yeah, not hurting this mood any.

We ARE The Jedi Council, after all.

No More Self-Sabotage!

Back on March 12th, an article from appeared in my inbox (because I had subscribed to it) and it kinda rocked my brain. Which meant, of course, I immediately had to tell the Jedi Council about it. The article was called “Are your beliefs sabotaging you?” and is essentially about the conscious and unconscious limits we put on ourselves, often due to a bad experience or an off-hand comment. Steve Kamb, founder of, put it like this:

1.    We hear we’re bad at something, or have a bad experience with something.

2.    We avoid trying again, because we are shying away from the potential for more pain of that experience.

3.    If we do try again, we try half-assed, so we can point to that and say, “See? It didn’t work.”

4.    We never get better at said activity, because we never practice it.

5.    It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For me the perfect example was when I played soccer when I was around 12 or 13. I’d played other sports, but being kind a human cyclone of klutziness and thereforenot overly coordinated put the kibosh (<- first self-fulfilling prophecy!) on things like tee ball and baseball, dance, and skating. But I had legs, so I could play soccer. Let’s be fair here, I wasn’t a natural athlete, but I was (and still am) full of enthusiasm and sportsmanship. We were told by our coach that on game days, the first people to the field would get to start the match. Do you know who was always one of the first six people to arrive for a match? And also who never started? Yup. This girl. I stood on the sidelines and cheered my little (semi-broken) heart out for my teammates, and occasionally got to sub in, but that was about it. What my poor pre-teen brain took from this was that I was terrible at soccer and therefore sports. It will not surprise you to learn that was the last year I played sports.

That story wasn’t to make you sad for young Andrea! It’s totally working out for her still. But it shows how much we let the outside world tell us what we are and aren’t good at, be it sports, public speaking, singing, what have you. It’s an indication that many of us are more fragile that we realize, and little things may be stopping you from accomplishing amazing things. 

SO, I challenged the Jedi Council to look back and see if we could find some of the self-sabotage that might have put in our own way, and how we’re trying (or going to try) to overcome it and decide our own fate! Self-fulfilling prophecies be damned!


It’s funny, I came up with my ‘perfect example’ for the lead in of this post in seconds. However, when it came to writing something a little more substantial, I was at a loss. I don’t know if it’s because I feel like I’ve created so many self-fulfilling prophecies about myself, or if it’s because most of them are much more personal than ‘not being good at sports.’

I think it might have something to do with the fact that I kind of have come to terms with being the ‘big girl’. I’ve been her for a long time. I’ve been the sidekick to a lot of pretty girls, before they shed me for prettier friends. I’ve also been the funny girl, because when you’re the big girl, you better be ready to be the first to laugh at yourself, or you’re going to spend a lot of time with hurt feelings or crying in the corner, or both. I let that ‘big-boned’ (<- not really a thing) person be who I was. But now, coupled with my deep desire to healthier and more able to wear and do the things I want, I find that I also have a deep fear of who that person is. I've been able to hide a lot of personal failings behind being a big girl; not being very popular, not really having any meaningful romantic relationships, that kind of thing. And now that I'm on a journey to shed that image, I don't know what the future holds for the 'new me' and that's kind of terrifying.

I have a much better idea of who I am as person now, the girl behind the image, and I think that’s something that starts to come as we get older. It also helps that as I take steps towards that ‘new me’, the me that isn’t quite as big as before, I have the Jedi Council by my side. ‘Cause quests are always easier when you have a team of awesome people with you.


Well, it's the end of March. I'm a bit surprised by how quickly it's gone by, because it feels like only last week that I was planning out what I was going to do this month. I felt so optimistic about March, and how I was going to tackle it and beat it into submission, and while the reality hasn't quite been as successful as that, I'm still feeling pretty good about it.

I've been trying not to get overly personal on these blogs, but Andrea challenged us this week to write about ways that we've allowed ourselves to be held back by setting ourselves up for failure so we don't have to take ownership of our own insecurities. Most of us have some of these sneaky little negative demons tucked away in our brains, quietly influencing our decisions and I've been making a concerted effort over the past few years to tackle mine. This past month has involved a pretty persistent one.

I've known for a long time that I very likely have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. When we enter REM sleep, our deepest sleep cycle, our muscles relax (so we don't act out our dreams!). For some of us, our muscles relax too much and the muscles in our throat actually collapse upon themselves, blocking the trachea and preventing us from breathing. This causes poor sleep (duh) because your body is constantly cycling into lighter sleep patterns in order to breath, and it also causes all sorts of other health problems like heart arrhythmia, increased risk of stroke and diabetes, and a whole host of other issues. Also, strangely enough, it causes chronic tiredness. Go figure, right?

Anyway, like I said, I've suspected I had this for about a year. And I did nothing. Why? Because it's scary. The idea that I might have it is scary and the treatment (having to wear a positive air pressure mask hooked up to a machine while sleeping for the rest of my life) is scary. You know what's even scarier, though?

I've spent most of my adult life thinking that everyone is as tired as I am, they just cope with it better. I've always assumed that there's just something inherently lazy about me because I'm always more exhausted than everyone else, and clearly they manage to make it work. So when I came upon the idea that maybe, just maybe, there's something wrong with me that can be fixed? That would be incredible!

But the other side of that coin is that if I get treatment, and it doesn't help....what does that mean? As long as I can safely say "oh, I'm just tired all the time because I probably have sleep apnea", then I have a crutch and an excuse. I can use it to justify how I feel. Is it rational? Of course not. Have I avoided being tested for sleep apnea for almost a year? You betcha.

So, this month, I got tested. They assign everyone numbers, based on their night time breathing. 0-5 is normal, 6-10 is possible OSA with further testing needed, and 10+ is confirmed OSA, treatment necessary.

I scored a 14.5

So, as of today, I'm on night 6 of wearing that scary breathing mask while sleeping. In 3-4 weeks I should know if it's going to make me feel less tired. And yeah, that's scary. But this whole project is about becoming better, healthier versions of ourselves, and that means tackling the scary.


This week Andrea challenged the Jedi Council to talk about a time when we let limits that we’ve put on ourselves or others have put on us in the past and how we are working to overcome them.

I’ve personally been struggling with writing this particular blog for about two weeks now. I’m sure that this is something that I have done to myself in the past or that even other people have done to me, but I just haven’t been able to think of any examples to write about. I guess that’s a good thing?

The closest thing that I can think of is that I used to have a friend, a number of years ago now, that wasn’t very encouraging about me trying to make changes things in my life. I am no longer friends with this particular person and since then my life and myself has changed dramatically (and for the better). While she never told me I couldn’t do this or that, she would encourage the bad habits that I did have and never encouraged the good habits I was trying to make. Want to go out to dinner? Don’t get the salad, get the burger instead, it will taste better. You don’t need to go to the gym, come to the movies instead. That sort of thing.

Thinking back on this friendship that lasted 17 years, it wasn’t always like that, but as we got older, I started to grow as a person and started doing things that made me feel more like myself, started to become more confident of the person I was becoming and standing up for myself, and because I was growing (and she wasn’t) our friendship changed.

This change was too hard to overcome and four years ago, we stopped being friends. That person that I was starting to become, well I am her now (for the most part, you can’t ever stop trying to achieve to be the best person you can be for you). I’m happy, I have an amazing new group of supportive friends, and the couple of other people I was friends with before I met my amazing new group, well I truly feel that once I figured out who I was, I became a better friend to them.

While maybe it’s not quite what Andrea asked us to write about, it did make me contemplate my life and articulate something that I learned four years ago. Surround yourself with people, who are supportive and encouraging, it makes all the difference in the world.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

I can almost hear the heads shaking through the computer screen, but I'm sorry, any movie that opens with George Carlin saying "Welcome to the future," absolutely deserves to be on this list. A movie that also has blatant Doctor Who references and a baby Keanu Reeves are also high on my list of things that are great.

Let's be honest here, how many 'science fiction buddy comedies' are there really? Not that many, I promise (or else I probably would have seen them, and they would probably be on this list as well). In "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, the adorably dense best friends, Bill S. Preston Esquire, and Ted "Theodore" Logan have to find a way to stop from flunking history, so Ted doesn't get sent to a military academy in Alaska. Also to ensure that the bright, utopian future that's built on the tenets they live comes to exist, as it would be put in jeopardy if the two of them should be separated and never form their band, Wyld Stallyns.

Yeah. It's that type of movie. 

Luckily George Carlin's Rufus is on hand. He's from the future and has been tasked with making sure these two dimwitted metalheads pass with flying colours. No small task, I assure you. However, with the help of his time travelling phone box (did I mention the BLATANT Doctor Who references? Sadly there are no 'vworp vworp' sounds from this time machine) the boys recruit help for their final report from across history. Picking up historical characters as they travel and learn about history, including Joan of Arc, Napoleon, Billy the Kid, Ghengis Khan, Abraham Lincoln, Beethoven, and Socrates (who's name they routinely mispronounce So-crates, if you know someone who says Socrates this way, it's probably because of Bill & Ted).

Despite clearly not being in the front of the line when they were passing out smarts, Bill and Ted have an extremely entertaining vocabulary of big words, like egregious, triumphant, and bodacious, all used in proper context. And I think, when it really boils down to it, this is what makes this movie work. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winters are charming, goofy and downright whimsical enough to make this silly movie about time travel work. The pair of them are downright winsome as Bill & Ted, and never fail to make me smile and laugh when I watch the movie. And THAT'S why this movie is on my list. (yeah, it took me a whole blog post, but I figured it out)

PS: This is an addendum that will probably be downright unpopular. I also adore the even more ridiculous sequel, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. Some bad guys from the future want to stop Bill & Ted's utopia from happening, and try to kill them with evil robot versions of Bill & Ted. That should give you an idea of how we've jumped the shark a little here. Plus William Sadler plays Death. Who has a weird European accent. It's amazing. 

These Tortoises are Going to Win the Race!

Ah yes, the mid-month slump. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it seems like every time we hit the mid-month post, at least one, if not all three of us is lamenting some kind of breakdown in our efforts for the week. It was a tough one for all of us, as I mentioned in our last post, with the trip to Victoria and ridiculous amount of food that was enjoyed there. Despite that, we’ve all got right back on the wagon (more or less) and not letting one weekend of indulgence throw us too much for a loop.

Then the other day, I was lamenting the fact that I’ve *only* lost 13lbs to the Jedi Council, when Sam kindly reminded me that it’s a normal amount of weight to have lost in the time that we’ve been going.  Which serves as a reminder, I think, that even though we’ve all made some missteps (as any normal person will), along the way, we’re only 11 weeks into our adventures in healthier living. Change is happening, and habits are being built, but we’re tortoises here, not hares, the race will be won, but it’s going to take some time.

If we're tortoises, I want to be *this* tortoise! SHARK TORTOISE!

If we're tortoises, I want to be *this* tortoise! SHARK TORTOISE!


I'm going to chalk this past week up to divine intervention. Miraculous miracles, perhaps. Maybe even Nargles. Cause really, how else do I explain the fact that I've lost a whole 4lbs this week? I mean, do you know what I ATE this week?? Do you?

Last Friday was my wedding dress fitting, and I foolishly skipped breakfast due to nerves and oversleeping. I gotta say, standing perfectly still and square for 2 hours while a lady pins your dress for hemming is NOT something you want to do on an empty stomach. So of course, when we went for lunch afterwards, I was starving and ate a whole lot of junk I shouldn't have. Ok, one meal, no biggie. But then I went out for dinner with my bestie, and it was Thai food. I love Thai food. Oh dear.

Also, I love my Mother dearly, but she is blessed with that motherly gene that says "everyone must be starving", and visits with her involve endless amounts of eating. Saturday morning was hot cross buns and eggs, and then she fed my friends and I a huge lunch "just in case", because next was my bridal shower....where there was more food. Lots more food. At one point our lovely hostess announced it was time for dessert, and I just started giggling. There might have been some hysteria there. How could there be more food? How? And it was all SO good.

So good.

So, anyway, I'd been avoiding the scale since this weekend. I figured I'd give myself a couple days of normal eating so the number wouldn't so terrifying. You can imagine my shock when I discovered I was down 3lbs, and then this morning when I was down another 1lb. What in the world is going on??

Unicorns. I'm blaming unicorns.


Gluttonous Sloth. That has been me for the past week. Well, that may be a tad of an exaggeration, but compared to the last two months or so, it sure feels like I've been a gluttonous sloth. I've been on holidays from work this week, and I also took a bit of a break from over scheduling myself. I've still been busy every day of my holiday, but I've also slept in every day and eaten what I've felt like eating. Next week I'm back to work and will get back to my running and eating healthier, but for the rest of the weekend, I'm taking a break and not worrying about anything.

But the CUTEST of the sins!

But the CUTEST of the sins!



I really, honestly, and truly do want to get back into strengthening up all these muscles that are hiding beneath my generally soft appearance. I mean how else am I going to be able to do try parkour if I can't even do more than 4 push-ups? And I really want to try parkour folks. It may seem a strange aspiration, but I’m a bit strange.



Other than my lack of progress in the above mentioned strength areas, I've been pretty dang on track! I’m still trying to work out what the best running route is around my new place, I feel like it’s going to be a bit more trial and error, until I really figure it out. I really miss my graveyard folks. It was my absolute favourite place to run.

I know I’ve said it on the blog before, but I think this will have to be the week that I give up some of my lunch time walkies (yes, we’re apparently dogs now) with Craig (from and hit up the ol’ work gym. I mean, it’s here, it’s free, and I should be using it. I guess it would help if I remembered to bring my workout gear to work as well…*enters several reminders into her phone in an effort to make technology help her workout*

We're Marching on

Yes. I know. I said I was going to be more on top of things, and get these posted on Fridays like they're supposed to be (since it's #FitnessFriday!). Today is Monday, not Friday. Mea culpa. HOWEVER! If it's any consolation, the entire Jedi Council was over on the Iron Island (Victoria, for the non-Game of Thrones fans) getting our wedding shower on for a certain Council member, and THAT'S why this post is late. 

Also, to get it out of the way, so we don't have to dwell on it come this week's post, yes, there was a LOT of food. And yes, we ate a LOT of said food. That being said, I don't feel too terrible about that. Over the past couple of months all three of us have worked damned hard, built some great new habits, and said no to a lot of things in the meantime. Which is why I think this weekend felt like such a treat. And as Tom and Donna say...

Sure, we may have overindulged, but if you're the type of person who can be presented with as much wonderful food as we were and still say no, then good for you, you have far greater willpower than the three of us. But if you're like us, then the most important thing is, that after weekend like that, to get right back on plan. I know I am, and I'm certain the other ladies of the Council are doing the same. 

I have one other fun little tidbit to add in before we get to the individual updates. A little over a week ago I wore a dress that I love to work, only to promptly realise after arriving that this dress was now definitely too big for me. I lamented to the Council, 'cause I love this dress and was sad I wouldn't be able to wear it anymore. (This is one of the things they don't tell you when you start losing weight, a lot of the clothes you love are going to stop fitting you, and it's going to be both exciting and super annoying) Three VERY different responses came out of the conversation re: the dress. After debating with myself, I suggested donating it to goodwill, so someone could enjoy it as much as I had. Kate, ever practical, suggested getting it taken in, so I could continue to enjoy it. Sam, on the other hand, had a completely different approach. Burn it. Torch it in a symbolic gesture of some kind. 

Sam found this very entertaining, Kate's practical, I'm generous, and she's....a pyro?

Sam: (March 13)

After a weekend away I'm back to eating better. Over the weekend I let myself have a number of goodies that I have been missing for the past two months (note ~ while they did taste good, I sure didn't feel very good after, my stomach was quite unhappy with me). I've been quite busy this week with life stuff so I haven't had the chance to go out for any runs, but I'm off for a week from week next week, so I've been planning on getting back at it then, just not at 5am anymore. 5am just plain sucked, I was just too tired all the time and I figure 2-3 workouts per week is a nice amount, and I can fit that into my schedule at a more reasonable time of day.

Andrea: (March 16)

I'm writing this after the weekend of indulgence, but I still have lots of progress to share!

It was Pi Day on Saturday! PIE FOR EVERYONE! (Victoria Pie Co. GO THERE!)

It was Pi Day on Saturday! PIE FOR EVERYONE! (Victoria Pie Co. GO THERE!)

Last week, I finally started running again. With the craziness of my move it's been a struggle to get back into that routine. I found a 'route' that works, but I need to rework it since, at the moment, it's running back and forth along two streets. So boring. I miss my graveyard so much you guys! However, despite the evil hill at the end, I'm going to try a new route that takes me down to the water, it should be a nice change of pace, and I expect, some excellent photo opportunities as well.

I'm trying a new app, the Nike Training Centre. I already use the Nike Running app, and enjoy it, so I thought I'd give their training app a go as well. It has a 4 week, 3 different workouts per week, training schedule for beginners (which I still feel like I am) that I'm going to try out. I'll definitely update on whether it's awesome or not as I work through it!

Kate: (March 13)

March is going well!

I've been really good with my desserts this week (to the point of agonizing to the Jedi Council over putting a teensy bit of sugar on some strawberries), and I've been getting out and walking in the sunshine. I think the spring weather has made everything so much easier, because really, who doesn't like walking through a shower of cherry blossoms?

I'm beginning to learn that exercise doesn't have to be arduous and that simple things like the smell of flowers, or a pretty day, can really make the difference in whether or not I'm willing to get out there and do my thang. 

And maybe I'll need to do a little more of my "thang" next week in penance, cause I just remembered that this weekend is my bridal shower and I've been told there will be chocolate. Oh dear.

Bridal shower fanciness!

Bridal shower fanciness!

Let's March!

It's been two months. TWO MONTHS! I can hardly believe it! And with those two months under our belts, it's time for some serious re-evaluation. What's working? What isn't? If you remember from my section of the post last week, things hadn't been working so hot in February, which lead me to declare March to be time to respawn. 

"In video games respawning is the recreation of an entity after its death or destruction, perhaps after losing one of its lives."

From the looks of Kate's post, she's also taking a new tact for March, even Sam's coming at her goals from a little bit of a different viewpoint this month. This is, for me at least, the only way to succeed in video games, and in life. If something's not working, re-evaluate and come at it from another angle. 

No specific over-arching goals for the Jedi Council this month. March is a chance to re-evaluate and find new ways to succeed. 'Cause we're going to, even if we have to respawn a few more times.


Oh March! I hope you're ready for me! February may have knocked me down, but I'm back up and raring to go. 

I'm rehashing my goals, and trying to make them more specific (most importantly, inputting them into my calendar, making them appointments with myself, I've long said "If it's not in my calendar, it's not happening.") Firstly, no more steps goals. I can't remember the last time I had less than 10,000 steps in a day, and I've just moved to a new place that is a half-hour walk from work. Let's just say that this isn't going to be a problem, and therefore no longer a goal that needs to be achieved - I'm totally there.

Running. In the midst of my not-so-great February I completely fell off my Zombie 5K training. Now that I've moved, I'm ready to start up again, hopefully I should be able to finish the training in time for the Sun Run on April 19th. So the new goal is to follow my schedule of running 3 times a week.

Eating. While my diet wasn't too terrible in February, now that my kitchen's unpacked at my new place, it's time to get back into eating properly. One of the things I've rediscovered in this two months is how much I enjoy cooking. There's nothing quite like throwing a bunch of ingredients together and having a delicious things come out the other side. Like this frittata. You guys, I love frittata. 



Strength training. This is the big one. The one I've fallen down on the most since we've started. I try to find time in my schedule to work out, but for some reason, unlike running, it doesn't seem to work. So, I've told my lunchtime walking buddy (Craig from that I'm going to be abandoning him 2-3 lunches a week and using the gym in our office to workout. 

Those are my respawn plans for March. Well, the fitness respawn goals. I'm also respawning some personal goals; such as making sure that these posts go out on Fridays, like they're supposed to, and restarting my Movie Monday posts, as well finishing up my series. Oh March, we're going to have fun, you and I.


Hey there March! I've gotta say, I'm feeling pretty good about you. I'll be the first to admit that I went into February with a bit of a defeatist mindset. I was expecting it to be tough work, and painful, and I wasn't truly expecting to succeed. This is a pretty typical strategy for me - set myself up for failure, so when I do fail, I can say "see? I knew I couldn't do it."

Well, no more!

March is round two of the fitness quests, and this time I'm pumped. I figure if having a poor attitude and not trying as hard as I should have got me as far as it did in February, I can do wonders with just a little more will power. So....

The gym! I'm buying another rec center pass. Having it in my wallet and knowing I could go anytime I wanted and it was already paid for was actually really helpful. Even if I only felt like I could go for 15 minutes, I didn't feel like I was wasting a punch card or blowing my money. This month I'm going to aim to go to the gym twice a week, and do an hour of exercise while there. If I go 3 times a week, awesome. But no pressure.

The great outdoors! Spring is truly here in Vancouver, and I'm not going to waste it! Once a week I need to get out and do some fresh air exercise. Walking, biking, or swimming (though probably not yet!) are all valid.

No more just desserts! I need to curb my sweet tooth. I did pretty well in January, but February saw me sneaking back into the chocolate again, and that just won't do. So, I only get one sugary treat a week. I know Sam has been following that rule and I feel like emulating Sam in this whole endeavour is probably a pretty safe bet.

So, March...let's do it! I'm excited!


After a very intense two months of diet and exercise I gave myself permission to take a week off. While I haven't succumbed going big back to my old eating habits I have been less strict this week about what I've been eating this week. I also thought I needed a short break from my 5am runs. I sure was right I no longer feel that bone level weary exhaustion I was having.

As I am now in Calgary on a mini-holiday (I came here to watch curling event; The Tim Hortons Brier) I am giving myself until Monday when I return to continue being a little lax in my eating and exercise. Although that means I'm not getting up for me 5am runs, I haven't given up in exercise entirely. I just got back from a quick workout at the gym in the hotel where I just discovered that Running on a treadmill is WAY easier than running outside. This was my first workout in a gym since I started on the running path.

Fitness February: Post Mortem

Remember way back at the beginning of February, when the Jedi Council announced that we were going to be selfish and make sure we put fitness first in February?

Well, some of us (coughSamcough) were far more successful at this than others. However, having that idea of it being ‘Fitness February’ definitely did help us be more active than we would probably normally be during the second month of the year. (Although, being on the currently gorgeous, and non-snow inundated, West Coast was probably also a contributing factor.) However, as it often does, life reared its (sometimes) ugly head this month and got in the way (for some of us, and by some I mean mostly me). Maybe if we were further along, and more entrenched in our goals it would’ve been easier to keep the ‘fitness first’ going. But, unfortunately (for me, at least) it was the first thing to fall by the wayside.

And on that not-so-inspiring note, here are this month’s updates!


February has been fitness month, and I sure took Andrea’s challenge to heart. I’ve only missed one scheduled day of exercise (which I plan on making up this weekend) and have even done extra days of exercise. I’m just about half-way through the Zombie Run 5K training app. Three times a week I complete the challenges in the app as I am slowing learning to run. In addition to this, I have also been going for another run or bike ride at least once a week and have attended a couple of spin classes. So for February Fit month, I have gone from practically no exercise to exercising 4-5 times per week. I’m exhausted. Like, utterly and completely exhausted. To top off the new exercise regime, I am still curling one day a week and have school another day a week. I can’t stay up a late as I used to and I’m so far behind on all of the TV shows that I watch I may never catch up. Reading, well I’ve still managed to keep that up a bit, by sheer force of will. Being in bed and asleep by 10pm is now a common occurrence. Coffee is my friend. It has been a recovery week on the Zombie run app, and for that I’m grateful. All of my muscle aches are starting to go away, which is nice since I’ve been sore since the beginning of the month. I wonder what next week has in store for me?

I even ran in the rain.

I even ran in the rain.


This time it's my turn to make the update late! Sorry, Jedi - That damn life thing happened again.

February has been an interesting month for me, and overall I'm surprisingly pleased with how it's gone. I say surprising because I didn't actually accomplish any of my goals. I didn't go to the gym enough to make the pass worth it (though I went far more often than I would have without that incentive), and I got lazy about my stretching and really only did it 2-3 times per week. Still....that's 2-3 times per week more than I was doing in January.

I also only made an average of 9000 steps per day on my pedometer, but again....better than I had been doing.

So, no...I didn't make any of my goals, and yet just the act of having those goals in the first place got me out and being active, and doing more than I otherwise would have. The scale is finally starting to reflect that, and overall I'm ok with February. Now it's onwards to March, and to keeping these same goals. Let's see how I do with some practice under my belt!


Oh February! How you slipped through my fingers. Things were going well, I was super on track. Then vertigo made an unpleasant visit, I made it through that only to have my landlord’s sell my house and let me know that the new owners wanted vacant occupancy, which means a hunt for a new place was in order. I hate making excuses, but life really made it hard this month. I’ll be honest, I didn’t eat terribly well, and my planned workouts suffered.

 However, that’s enough of the ‘oh woe is me’! My vertigo is gone, and I moved into my new place this weekend (also contributing to the lateness of this post), which means it’s time to RESPAWN! For the last two weeks the video game called life kept battering at me until I finally ‘died’. And what do you do when you die in a video game? You respawn and try again with the lessons you learned during your downfall!

It’s time to rehash my goals, learn from my mistakes and take on March like a MOFO! I’M COMING FOR YOU MAAAAARCH!!!!

If Master Chief can respawn, then so can I!

How I Learned I Loved Cross-stitch - second in a series on experiences with

When I sent out messages asking the friends I've made through meetup for their insights about site, and 'finding your people' and all that jazz, I have to be honest I wasn't sure what I'd get. However, what I have discovered is that a lot of people have similar experiences. Having the realization that if you want to meet people, you actually have to put in a little effort, and that in the end, that effort can mean meeting some awesome folks. 

When I think of the first time I really 'remember' Erika, it's from the NerdHQ Halloween party two years ago. She dressed up as Tippi Hedren from Hitchcock's The Birds and it was AMAZING, while we probably had an interaction or two prior to that, it was the amazing costume that flagged her as 'get to know' in my brain. Little did I know that was just the tip of the creative iceberg. The bleach t-shirts she creates are amazing (Bob Dylan, for reals), and she can decoupage Edgar Allan Poe onto a vase, but the thing I'm most in awe of is her crazy cross-stitch skills. One day at a crafternoon with NerdHQ she was cross-stitching Mario and I was in, that was it, I had to know more. Now I have my very own collection of embroidery floss, and while I can't create patterns quite like the master, I can follow a pattern and make my own cute, geeky, cross-stitches. 

Yeah, that's right, I made a Marvel alphabet cross-stitch!

Yeah, that's right, I made a Marvel alphabet cross-stitch!

While, I was going to post this earlier, I'm kind of glad I ended up having to push it back, because that means I got to see the Surrey side of Erika when we went to Roller Derby in her 'hood this weekend. The sass we got to witness was amazing. Now that I've known her for about a year and a half (is it only that much?!?) I feel like a fun new, slightly darker version of Erika is starting to appear, and it's both hilarious and amazing.

Master cross-stitcher, Erika, made these Adventure Time buttons for me for my birthday! 

Master cross-stitcher, Erika, made these Adventure Time buttons for me for my birthday! 

Here are Erika's experiences with, in her own words:

I think we all know people who can make friends with anyone, anywhere. That friendly, confident person who can strike up a conversation with a stranger in a bookstore and actually translate that encounter into a genuine friendship.

I am not one of those people. I am an introvert and have always been a little shy, with a pinch of awkwardness and a dash of anxiety sprinkled in for extra flavour. I’ve always had a hard time meeting people and it was becoming harder the older I got. 

It’s not like I didn’t have friends. Facebook told me I had lots, but I felt like I was really lacking a social circle with meaningful connections. People I could just be myself around, hang out with, go do various activities with etc.

I realized as I was rounding out my twenties that unless the pizza delivery guy wanted to stay and watch X-Files reruns while I organized my excessive amount of craft tape, then I needed to make some changes and actively force myself out of my comfort zone. No one was going to do it for me. But how? It’s very daunting to set out with a mission to make new friends when you are almost 30. I couldn’t use school as an option anymore. I wasn’t interested in going to ‘singles’ events or business networking events, clubs and bars are not my thing and I was much too shy to start a conversation with a stranger. I figured if I got out of the house and did things that I enjoyed doing, with other people who enjoyed the same things, then maybe something good would start from that.

This is how I found out about Meetup. I was looking for art and photography classes in my area. While searching online I thought it would be nice if there were more “clubs” (for lack of a better word) that brought people together with similar interests. Like movies - I like movies, so it would be awesome if a group of people wanted to get together and watch movies. Or crafting - I’m all about crafting - surely there are other people who loved to get together and craft (spoiler alert: there are). I searched a bit more and found which seemed to facilitate this exact thing. I was blown away by how many people were already using this site. As weird as it might sound, it made me feel normal. Obviously I wasn’t alone in feeling the need to connect with likeminded people.

I signed up with the site and joined some groups that peaked my interest. It was a little overwhelming at first. Some of the groups had 100’s of members, so I just lurked online for a little while. I finally forced myself to go to an event (the first meetup I went to was with the Vancouver Movie Lovers group) and I was terrified. However, the group was lovely. The organizer was very friendly and I even stayed for some post movie chit-chat. When I got home, I felt like a superhero, like I could do anything. I was so happy that I forced myself to get out.

Over the years my participation in various meetup groups would go up and down. Some groups closed and new ones start up. Not all groups work out, some are duds. When you find a good group though, it’s golden. Over the past year and a half I’ve been pretty active with the NerdHQ meetup group. It’s really the all encompassing group of awesome and has changed my life. It’s kind of like a second family. There are people I’ve met here that I feel like I’ve known forever. I’ve never been around a group of people who are so welcoming.

To anyone reading this who is new to meetup or is maybe on the fence about joining a group. Give it a try. I know it can be terrifying to walk into a cafe with a large group of people - who already know each other - but trust me, it’s worth it. You get what you give, so you have to go to gain the benefits. I’ve met the most amazing friends and so many good things have happened in my life. I’m a happier person in general, I’m more creative and get inspired by the people I’ve met. I’ve done so many things this past year - movies, shows, concerts, conventions, galleries, things that I always wanted to do, but never had people to do them with.

It’s also helping me overcome my shyness and anxiety. I realized I’m a lot more outgoing then I thought I was. It takes guts to drive to the middle of nowhere (literally, in this case it was Mission) to meet up people you don’t know. Meetup really has changed and continues to change my life.

Currently, the slogan for Meetup is “Find your people”. That’s really what it’s all about. Connecting with people - the right people. Well, mission accomplished. 


Mini-update for February 20 (or, I can't think of anything clever)

Let me tell you folks, this might be the shortest update yet. I think we all needed a bit of a week off from overly contemplating our mission. That being said, I intend to make sure next week's 2 month update will be a bit meatier.


This morning was the hardest morning to get up and go for my run. I did it, but I sure didn't run all that quickly. I'm also convinced that my cats didn't want me to leave the bed, let alone the house. Well, they wanted me to leave the bed to feed them, then go back to bed so they could cuddle. Every morning when I put on my running shoes, Vader's convinced we're playing a game, he attacks my hands and shoe laces until I finished tying them up. 

Vader vs the runners

Vader vs the runners

Go running?, nah, you wanna play with me, he's says. I ignore him and leave the warm house to join the cold weather outside. 

Morning run completed, now it time for kitty cuddles.


Meh. What can I say, it's been a bit of a week. Life did it's best to kick me down, and I had a few moments, but I had my lovely Jedi Council, and my super-awesome mum to lean on.

So, yes, I got up and went for my runs. Other than that life's been a bit of a write off. I ate relatively well, but I certainly didn't put in the effort I normally would into eating well. Blerg.

Also, my home currently looks like a pack of angry dogs rushed through and attempted to 'organise it'. Things are EVERYWHERE. Moving's no fun kids.

My goal for next week is to really get back on track, I'm not letting the universe keep me down!


I spent most of January considering creative ways that I could both punish and destroy our bathroom scale. While I know it isn't really at fault for continuing to show me the same numbers, day after day, I was still developing a pretty vengeful attitude towards the damn thing. Douse it in lighter fluid and set it on fire? Stake it out at low tide and cackle while the water gets closer? Feed it to sharks? All of the above?

Anyway, I am finally willing to let go of my murderous fantasies - I am officially down 6lbs! It's funny that such a small number can have such a big impact, but it really does. It makes all of this feel worth it, and makes me double down and want to keep going. Results, no matter how small, are awfully encouraging.

Next stop, 12lbs down! I can do it!

Dear body, you're awesome.

This post was supposed to go up on Friday, but then that thing called life got in the way for me, and since I'm the one doing the posting, it all fell apart a little. So, many apologies to my Council (who are amazing during life crises FYI, not just health/fitness encouragement). Nonetheless here's our 'Valentine's Post' for the Jedi Council.

Since it's Valentine's Day on Saturday, I've challenged the Jedi Council to find something about our bodies that we've grown to love, or loving something you can do now that you couldn't do 6 weeks ago when we began. To be fair, knowing the ladies Jedi, I was sure they'd come up with something poignant and lovely. I wasn't far off. Kate and Sam wrote very different pieces for this update, one short and concise, and one long and proud. Even though I'm the one who suggested the challenge, I find myself struggling with it, I don't know if I quite thought it through, having to find something to love. We live in a society that's constantly bombarding us with images of tiny, happy, girls, trying to convince us it's the ideal. However, I was reminded that ideals are constantly changing when I watched this video that Buzzfeed put together in January, tracking beauty ideals over the course of history.

Let me just people, if I'd lived in the Italian Renaissance, I would have been the talk of the town. Yup this little video is a nice reminder that 'ideal' is a fluid thing, ever changing, just like me. Just like you!

It's true! I'd much rather look like the lovely lady on the right. But hey, if you're one of those naturally skinny girls then the lovely lady on the left is probably more your jam.

It's true! I'd much rather look like the lovely lady on the right. But hey, if you're one of those naturally skinny girls then the lovely lady on the left is probably more your jam.



There was a time that if you'd asked me to carry something, I would have internally balked, and then shot out a joke about my 'weak baby bird arms' and then do my best to help carry whatever needed to be carried. Now I'm stronger than I've ever been, ready, eager and willing to lift heavy things. I've learned that my body can do things that I didn't think it could, which is kind of amazing. I'm still not an amazing runner, but I'm working on it. 

This week's been a bit of a set back in that area with the unwelcome appearance of vertigo in my life. BPPV (bening paroxysmal positional vertigo) makes the world feel like it's spinning, and makes everything seem a little off kilter. Workouts became a no-no and running was off the list until I could be sure that I wouldn't trip over my own feet. 

However, on the upside, here at the end of the first 6 weeks of our little experiment, I'm down 13lbs. True it's not the 15 I'd aimed for, but it's pretty dang close. On top of that I was extremely pleased to find that I can fit into Old Navy pants. I don't know if you've ever tried on their pants, but they fit small. It's been annoying...until now.

All these little things are constant reminders that I'm able to do more and achieve more than I maybe once thought I could. So, what I think I love about my body is that I have it. And that it works, (most of the time) and that I'm learning to use it better. I saw Kingsman: Secret Service on the weekends, and my desire to be able to Parkour has been reignited. It's a lofty (very lofty) goal, but maybe one day, with some serious work, I'll get there. 

Maybe one day I'll be able to jump off stuff and land like a cool dude....maybe

Maybe one day I'll be able to jump off stuff and land like a cool dude....maybe


For this weekly update, Andrea challenged us to find something about our bodies that we'd grown to love. It's been surprisingly hard to write this update, because I'm just not used to thinking of my body in terms of approval or satisfaction. I spend far more time focusing on what's wrong with it, even when I know how unhealthy a mindset that is. So, thanks Andrea! Time to send my body a valentine.
Dear Body,
The thing I've grown to love most about you is how resilient you are. This week has involved a fair bit of increased activity and exercise, and you've handled it with a minimum of complaints. Aside from the occasional tendency to sprain ankles, you've been remarkably good at keeping injuries to a minimum, and even when our inner ear makes poor life choices, you pick yourself back up and don't even bruise. You handle pretty much anything I throw at you, and for that, I love you.


Since it’s Valentine’s day on Saturday, Andrea has challenged us to write about learning to love our bodies or loving something we can do now that we couldn’t do 6 weeks ago when we started this new adventure. What I love now is that my clothes are starting to fit better, and now I can even wear some articles of clothing that had just gotten too small over the last year. One article of clothing in particular is a jacket. A few years ago I volunteered for a curling event (The Continental Cup) and as part of the volunteer package, I got a nice blue jacket. This jacket was perfect, not too hot, not too cold. It has been a staple article of clothing. Last year I grew out of the jacket and was unable to wear it. Well, this past weekend I tried it on, and guess what? It fits! On Wednesday I wore it to curling for the first time in a year. I was sure that it would be a winning game, (It wasn’t). Despite not actually winning the game, it sure felt good to have that jacket on, like all was becoming right in the world again. The other thing that I have noticed that I love is one of my winter jackets that I recently purchased is now just too big. I look silly in it. It’s awesome that it no longer fits, but in some ways I feel that I just wasted the money on that jacket. C’est La Vie. I guess that a good complaint though.

Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated; to get up for those early morning runs, or the late morning runs, or the exercise of any kind, but I’ve surprised myself and discovered that once my grumbling is done about the morning or the leaving of my house I’m actually enjoying learning to run. The app that I’ve been using (Zombie Run 5K) is definitely a big help.. The uniqueness of the app with their zombie survival story has helped me stay motivate. The other thing that helps me get up and out there are old pictures of myself. Last month I noticed people on facebook posting their very first profile picture. I took a look at mine and almost didn’t recognize myself. This weight thing has been a challenge for many years, and despite my setback over the last year, I have made so many positive changes over the last few years, eating healthier and exercising etc, that is can sometimes be hard to see where I started from. Looking at that old profile picture reminded me that I can do this thing. I can get up early, I can go for my runs, I can put in extra workouts, I can stay away from the chocolate and chips. This time around, It sure is nice to be going through this journey with Andrea and Kate. Being able to send them a picture of the giant Valentine’s Day cookie platter that just arrived in my office as yet another temptation sure helps me keep from breaking down and eating one (or two or three) of these cookies. There isn’t trying any more to make this work. It’s doing that counts.

How to Fill Your Life with Awesome People - a series on experiences with

This was going to be posted on Tuesday, but life and then illness got in the way! -A

Yesterday we celebrated Family Day here in BC, and I was lucky enough to spend it wandering around my adopted hometown with my mum. She was down visiting and we got to spend some quality mother-daughter time together. It was absolutely wonderful.
When my mum's not visiting, I'm lucky enough to have, not only extended family nearby, but also a wonderful 'found family'. This wasn't always the case, there was a time when I had such a wide open schedule, that I could bang through all 10 seasons of Smallville in about 2 months. It wasn't a fun time. I don't want to delve too much into my experience, but let me tell you, for an overly enthusiastic extrovert, those were some lonely days. 

I'd heard it before I'd moved to Vancouver, it's a hard place to make friends. However, once I decided to venture outside my comfort-zone (I may be an extrovert, but I'm also a nerd with socially awkward tendencies, take me to a party, you'll see what I mean) I found the opposite to be true - as long as you're willing to put in a little time and effort. I used to find groups that had similar interests, and eventually 'found my people', some of the most amazingly awesome people. I was curious as to other people's experiences with meetup, how they'd stumbled into the friendships and groups they have now. So, I reached out to a few of my lovely and amazing friends that I'd made through the site, some who've come from far away, and some who are local. It was meant to be just a collection of anecdotes, but people ended up have a lot to say, so I'm turning it into a little series! 

First up is Amanda, from Ottawa. (she's a Sens fan, but we don't hold it against her ;) Like many people who start coming to meetups, (and the NerdHQ meetup that I co-organise specifically) it feels like we've known Amanda forever. But it's actually only been about a year and half. She's a teacher with a big, beautiful voice, and musical talents I dream of having. She's also a little younger than the median age of our group, and we have no end of fun in giving her a hard time about things that she hasn't heard of or seen because of that.

Amanda (in her own on words)
I came to Vancouver a couple of summers ago from Ottawa as I had found work here as a teacher. I only knew one person and was up for adventure! While people in Vancouver are super friendly, I wasn’t making any close friends. A few months after I’d moved, I was doing some research to see if there were any group gatherings to watch the big Doctor Who 50th anniversary. Through my Google search I found a “meet up” in a local café. There would be food, people, games, Doctor Who (of course) and most importantly to me the write up was very clear that it was open door and all people were welcome. I am quite shy when first getting to know people but decided to jump in because I really needed to get out, take chances, and make some friends. Through this super fun event I found another meetup group, Nerd HQ, a group of wonderfully welcoming people, and my home away from home. I plan on using meetup more in the coming year to find people to share in hobby interests and practice American Sign Language.

This picture reminds me of Amanda. She has it on a sweatshirt, and it always makes me smile. Poor Pluto.

This picture reminds me of Amanda. She has it on a sweatshirt, and it always makes me smile. Poor Pluto.