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Shake it Off or How One TedTalk Inspired Me to be Courageous

First off, I just need to take some time to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to watch my first video blog post! To those who sent me their words of encouragement, advice and support, I can’t tell you how much it means to me!

On that note, I had a few questions come out of the last post so I’ve addressed them in my second video blog! Yep, I did it. I went and posted another one. I suspect it helps that I’m already wearing makeup and have my hair done so I really didn’t have an excuse to hide…Anyway, here it is!

There’s a bit about the Disappearing American, a bit about mortgages and my attention span and a little bit about courage, as inspired by Dr Brene Brown’s TedTalk on Vulnerability. I encourage all of you to watch it, she’s a very engaging speaker with some strong messages that just might inspire you to do something that scares you, show others your vulnerable side and become a stronger more courageous person in your own life.

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback. Thanks for watching!

I Was Outta My Head, I Was Outta My Mind or How My Brother Taught Me A Thing Or Two About Boys

I’m happy. You heard it right, I’m genuinely happy! I’m back in Ottawa, close to the people I love, doing a job I love, in an apartment I love, with lots of potential for fun in the future. AND I’ve even started losing weight again. I guess the whole ‘healthy mind, healthy body’ thing has some truth to it. Things really are GRRRREAT!

The only thing that seems to be missing is a +1 in all of this. In the past, I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on how much I don’t want to date. Generally speaking, I’m confident in my day-to-day life but being a fat chick  occasionally has an impact on the ol’ psyche and where it hits hardest for me is about dating. I’d much rather focus on my physical needs than let myself get emotionally involved with someone. But honestly, I don’t even do that.

You see I don’t date because I don’t want to fall in love and risk a man leaving me one day. Since, you know, every man I’ve ever loved has left eventually…And I don’t date because I think that every man who’s attracted to me must have something wrong with them. I mean, why would any man be attracted to fat chick, right?

My brother recently asked me what I’m so afraid of when it comes to dating. He summed it up best with a Dinner for Schmucks analogy and he was oh so right: To my very core, I’m terrified that any man I might be interested in is only interested in me to take advantage of my perceived low self esteem, humiliate me and/or make me the butt of some elaborate joke about fat chicks. Don’t worry, I know how irrational it sounds – but that, my friends, is my biggest fear. You can see how that might make it difficult for me to date, yes?

It’s messed up in my pretty little head but I’m working on it…

A couple of years ago, I (half) made a decision to start dating again. When I made that decision, I made it thinking I was ready to invite someone into my life. I was looking for a connection – mental or physical – I didn’t care which at that point. The truth is that I just wanted to feel SOMETHING.

So, I started chatting with a potential suitor from an online dating site. We spent some time getting to know each other virtually but despite his best efforts, I could never commit to meeting him in person. It was safer that way – if he couldn’t see me, he couldn’t reject me. Even though we clicked in a few very important ways, I was just too scared to take the risk.

We’ve kept in touch over the years. As it turns out he’s actually a pretty cool guy who I’ve enjoyed chatting with on a number of occasions. Sometimes about things I’ve never spoken to anyone about before. We’ve developed a rapport. I trust him. And I’ve always enjoyed the attention.

That said, at some point along the way his pursuits (d)evolved somewhat in that he shifted his strategy from dating to something a little more mechanical. This in and of itself made the situation more appealing to me. It made me feel attractive and desirable for the first time in a long time. So, after some lengthy discussions and 3 years of his ever so patient pursuits, I finally managed to convince myself that I could give his proposal a shot. And what happened next, you say? Well, just when I’d resigned and chose to accept his advances, he tells me that he’s started seeing a lovely gal he’s been keen on for some time. Ain’t that a bitch?

I don’t have many regrets in life. But I can honestly say that not giving this guy a real chance during his nearly 3-year endeavour to meet me has certainly turned out to be one of them. The timing just wasn’t right and I don’t know what would have happened between us.

Truth be told, we were both pretty messed up on the relationship front so it most likely would have been purely physical. There’s something still lingering between us though so I’m doing my best to keep my distance. He seems to be doing much better now though. I guess I’ll just have to adjust the settings on the greenhouse window that is StalkBook so I don’t have to continue watching their relationship blossom.

Getting out of my own head will certainly help me with my dating dilemma. So that’s what I’m gonna do. I’ve said it before but this time I mean it…really. I think…

Something I wish I Wrote Myself or Why Its Not Awesome to Be Single in Ottawa

This great post called An Open Letter to People Who Judge My Single, Post-College Lifestyle from Timothy McSweeney’s Open Letter website expresses exactly the way I feel about living life in Ottawa. Living in this city is uber frustrating for a single gal still living a super social life.

Unless you’ve got kids, a house and mountains of responsibility, those that do tend to look down their noses a bit or worse, they express their joy at your ability to be so ‘frivolous’ and they ‘live vicariously’ through you.

I work hard and I play hard and I’m entitled to live my life the way I want to, thanks. Just sayin’.

Wine Wednesday

I recently visited the very delicious Wellington Gastropub. I went with a friend for a special advance birthday dinner a deux. We drank a few glasses of wine in honour of #WineWednesday and indulged in a happy helping of some of their finest fare.Wienert - #winewednesday

It really was fantastic! The best part was that the portion sizes are perfect for the Slimbandster. Just big enough that when you tell the wait staff you’re finished they actually believe you when you say it was delicious. All too often my servers think I haven’t enjoyed my meal because I’ve eaten less than half of what’s on my plate. Not this time! I even managed to save room for desert. A beautiful birthday dinner with a beautiful friend!

Stay or Leave

Well, for someone that complains about not having enough to do, I sure know how to neglect the things I do like to do. It’s been a couple of months since the last time I told some tales and it’s high time I checked in. So here goes…

Waiting room stick figureI feel like I’ve spent the last year of my life waiting for my life to start. I’ve been on a short-term contract with a crown corp working on a website redesign/migration project involving SharePoint 2010 since August of last year. For someone like me, being on a contract means I’ve always got to be looking for the next-best-thing. I’m never quite committed to what’s right in front of me because I’m always thinking about what’s next.

So, I’ve been openly on the prowl for the perfect position. Since I live in a city I find mediocre at best, it does nothing but reinforce my gigantic ego when I get attention from what I consider to be some of the hottest private-sector ass in this tiny town. However, when every dalliance ends with a handshake rather than a proposal it does get rather discouraging.

I’ve tried to embrace my Ottawa life, but every time I did, I found myself looking over it’s proverbial shoulder at what maybe, possibly, might be my very own next-best-thing. But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

And, instead of continuing to look for the best job in this mediocre town, I’ve been toying with the idea of leaving our oh-so-socially conservative capital to go swim with the sharks in the ocean of marketing opportunity that is TO.

But it’s a big step. When I left London, I left for a lot of reasons. One of the biggest was that something was missing from my relationship with that town. I had a great career, a spectacular social life, and some incredible friends that I have great affection for. But I still wanted more. Despite all London had to offer, it just wasn’t enough. I realised what was missing was sharing my joy and my experiences with the people I love most in the world – my family. So, I left London behind.

Finger hug

But being in Canada hasn’t quite worked out the way I wanted it. In some ways, it’s better: I’m currently closer to my family than I’ve ever been in my life (geographically and emotionally), I got a lap-band and am slowly but surely shedding the pounds I’ve been carrying with me around the world for two decades, and I’ve got some pretty fantastic peeps that keep me entertained (a little less frequently than I would like but it’s probably better for my bank account anyway!).
I guess the point is, despite my previous protests and a very obvious opportunity to indeed ride off into the sunset, I’m not quite ready to break up with my Ottawa life just yet. I think I might just need to focus on what’s important and really commit to it. So, this is my commitment to myself to have an open mind, focus on the best things and start planning some things to look forward to that I couldn’t do living in London or swimming with the sharks in TO.

Beautiful Day

I do love the fellas. I especially love the hot fellas that happen to be my friends from back home. And when I say hot, I mean smokin’ hot guys that have abs for days and guns I just want wrapped around me for the rest of my life. They would most certainly give The Situation and his ab-tastic physique a run for his money. And unlike The Situation, they’re not meatheads and they’re super nice guys so of course its always been a pleasure to be one of their friends.

Some of these little lovelies came to O-Town this week for BluesFest and we hit it. Hard. It was awesome!

It’s probably the most fun I’ve had in quite some time. Over the course of a couple days I did a lot of thinking. I thought a lot about how much fun it is to hang with a group of male friends. I’ve always had lots of ‘em (junior high, high school, university, Munich and London). Some of my best friends have been/are guys. It’s been great. Sadly, I’m lacking a pack here in O-Town.

For the better part of my life, I’ve had purely platonic but fairly intimate friendships with quite a few attractive guys. They’ve inadvertently acted as a boyfriend substitute and allowed me to avoid taking A LOT of relationship risks. They filled the void and didn’t even know it.

Substitutes like this make it oh so easy to be single. Why, when I’m surrounded by super hot, super nice guys would I want to take any risks and ruin it by hitting on one of them? I mean, I’ve always wanted a relationship but I wasn’t ever really willing to give up anything to get one. Be that friendship, time, space or pride.

And I guess I’m lying a little. Some of my platonic relationships with men have started off with me having a crush on them. And instead of going for it, I take us to the friend-zone and bury any chance of a romantic relationship. I do this because this way, they can’t reject me on the basis of my over-sized lady lumps, I won’t get hurt and I still get to have them in my life.

Despite my physical and mental transformation over the last 14 months, I’m still repeating the same mistakes I did before. I’m getting what seems like a bit more attention from the fellas (or maybe I’m just more aware of it?) but I’d still rather be just friends with lots of hot guys, rather than let any of them know I might actually be a bit more attracted to or care a bit more about them than I let on.

I’m consistently aloof and internally continue to focus on the Curse of Curves. Frankly, I still believe it to be true. Why would guys like them, ever consider someone like me…Even if I did sacrifice my pride and crawl out on that limb to reach for the relationship I really want, I still can’t believe it’s worth the risk of them rejecting me and disappearing from my life.

It’s so frustrating and absolutely paralyzing to know full well that I’m the reason I’m in this position – single, lonely and wishing I had more male friends to act as crutches in my life. I know how pathetic it is to wish for a crutch rather than wish for a relationship. But to get myself to the point where I could even consider that I’m worthy has been and will continue to be my biggest challenge in my weight loss journey.

At this point, I feel it’s very important to note that I have a beautiful group of girlfriends here in Ottawa that love me and try to change my mind about my aversion to dating on a fairly regular basis. But I just need some boy time now and then and if friendship is how I’m gonna get it, I’ll take what I can get.

See, I’m a girls’ girl and a guy’s best friend. And it has its pros and cons. But really, I deserve more than that. I deserve to be more than just a really great friend. I deserve to have someone love me for me and I deserve to have them treat me as well as I treat my friends. I just need to get out of my own way to have it and be confident enough to put myself out there. So, I’m working on it. I’m going to try to be a bit more clear about my intentions. I’ll keep you posted.

It Feels Good

So, I’ve been a bit busy lately and have been keeping my written rants and raves tucked neatly away in my lollipop. Although I’ve had loads to say I just haven’t really had the chance to type it all out. For my own self indulgence I feel the need to do a little brain dump so in the interests of keeping my blog brief yet informative, my musings will follow here in point form today.

  1. I had a fill chat with cheerfully friendly Jody from Slimband who at one point considered the idea that I may not actually exist in real life due to my elusive cell phone behaviour. She performed the inevitable and scheduled a chat with Nurse Nancy.
  2. I finally got the job of my dreams. I’ve been interviewing for real jobs in O-Town. Not just the kind of jobs we want when we don’t actually have a job but the kind of jobs we want to drop everything for. I interviewed with Schleich (the Germany toy company that distributes the Smurfs) and with Export Development Canada and….I got the job with EDC. Yayyyyy!!!!Something tells me I may have actually been selected for the Schleich job too but I inadvertently announced my acceptance of the EDC job on LinkedIn via Twitter thinking I was Tweeting to my chums rather than my professional contacts. Tut, tut Vickie dear. This is not the best way to start a career as the Web Marketing Manager for Canada’s crown corporation responsible for providing export assistance. But, better to make these mistakes now, eh??  I start the job on August 3rd.
  3. I got scolded by the lovely Nurse Nancy. I guess I deserved it but it sucked the wind out of my sails a bit. Since my second fill, I’ve been doing very well to ensure I’m eating less and moving more but I haven’t really felt all thatrestricted. I had one incident with a plate of Chinese food where I’m pretty sure my lap-band spoke to me in a more than stern shriek about the importance of chewing one’s food but other than that it’s been pretty smooth sailing for this bandster. So, I mentioned this very point to Nancy and expressed my disappointment that my band wasn’t shrieking more often.
    Full belly frogMuch to my dismay, she was very stern herself in explaining to me that THAT feeling isn’t the ‘soft warning’ for the ‘feeling of fullness’ I should be looking for. THAT feeling is in fact, the feeling of overeating. So, I absolutely should NOT be hoping for that feeling EVER. Hmph. This of course frustrated me to no end because if I could stop eating before I was feeling completely full, then I really wouldn’t have had to spend $16000 on a lap-band. But I gotta do what the good Nurse Nancy says and focus on food quantity before I actually put it in my mouth. That being said, she did schedule another good sized fill for me with Dr B so I ultimately got what I wanted despite the debate. I haven’t made my appointment yet though.
  4. I’m currently having some good times in The Maritimes visiting my home town of Saint John, NB. Very nice to be back in The Port City chillin’ with some friends and watching the world go by near the ocean. There’s really not too much better in the world than a day at the beach. Although the landscape and the view have changed somewhat since my departure, Mispec Beach still holds a special place in my heart. I’ll be heading to sunny Shediac to Parlee Beach for a wedding this weekend then on to Mabou, Cape Breton for another one. Lots of great stuff to do before it’s back to the grindstone!

Mispec BeachThat’s about it for now. Bit of a big blog post today but had some stuff to say so it’s good to get these things on screen. Remember back in the day when we wrote things on paper??

In Those Jeans or How Ottawa Plus-Size Shopping Sucks

Got a phone call from Jody at Slimband yesterday to arrange my ‘next appointment’. I’ve had some food and fill related chats but other than that, it’s the first time I’ve heard from them regarding healing and surgical followup since Day 5 post-op. Haven’t had a chance to ring them back yet but suspect it’s going to be a 3-month followup appointment at their offices in TO.

bluesfestNormally I’d be super excited at the thought of returning to Slimband’s clinic and spending some fun time in TO but I’m more than a little busy in the next couple of weeks what with potential job ops (YAY!) and family fun time.

To top it all off, it’s Bluesfest here in the Capital and I’d rather spend my time tearin’ it up there than driving to Canada’s Big Smoke. It is indeed a rare occasion for THAT occurrence!

In other news, if there’s one thing for sure about my journey from the fatness to the fitness, it’s that there’s a lot to think about. Sometimes it feels like the one thing I know for sure is that having a lap-band is going to get me to my goal this time and I will indeed be healthier within 12 months. And other times it feels like that’s the escapist fantasy of convicted food offender.

Sometimes this blog reflects that very sentiment but most times, I try to focus on the positive parts to keep me motivated. When that happens I mostly think about what my life will be like when I get to my goal. I keep hearing about all the wonderful things in store for me and all the endless possibilities for my future. So, I dare to dream more often than not. But it certainly is a challenge to keep my head in the clouds.

This is especially true when I accompany my aunt (henceforth referred to as The Wallet) on her shopping expeditions on an almost daily basis. Not only does the woman have a whopper of a wallet, she also wears a size 10. She’s not a trendster but she’s glamourous and fairly fashionable so I frequently envy her purchasing power. But I wouldn’t buy what she buys even if I could…she’s 58!

Although this is yet another example of how my London life has spoiled me, I dream of one day dropping my dough on my very own perfect pair of designer jeans. I can certainly find them here in a smaller size because Ottawa’s skinny shopping is pretty sweet. But I couldn’t find a fabulous pair of plus size jeans in this town if my life depended on it! Let alone something suitably glunge for me to kick it in da’ club.

boom boom jeansEven plus size retailers here in the Capital can’t believe I would ever disagree that their duds are just that. Some of them actually believe in the stereotype that plus size women want to hide their hides. I’m not a big chick that likes to regularly rock the bodycon (I’d certainly wear the sexiness pictured here though!) but I do like my clothes to cling to my curves and they just don’t do it in Canadian plus-size fashions. Seriously, if I could draw I’d design the best damn denim for babes with a booty this country’s ever seen.

In the meantime, I found a pair of skinny/straight leg jeans while with The Wallet at Winner’s this week. They’re from Boom Boom Jeans! and I just love them! They’re actually tight on my calves and they hug my bum just so. I love them so much I’m thinking I might get another pair! Gotta go back to Winner’s though cause I can’t get ’em anywhere else in Canada right now. Figures!

Oh, Canada!

Well, it’s Canada Day in the nation’s capital which makes it officially the best possible day of the year to live in O-Town. I’m super excited to head up to the Hill to see Hey Rosetta! and several other Canadian treasures entertain the masses decked out in their Canadian pride.

Parliament Hill Canada DayIt’s been 3 days since my 2nd fill so I’m hoping I’ll be able to participate in all of the fantastic festivities without losing my lunch throughout the day. Haven’t had too much trouble getting down the grub since Monday. Been waking up feeling pretty tight and I can most certainly feel it when I’m stressed or anxious but other than that, it feels okay. I’m pretty pleased.

We’ll see what happens today. Looks like a fun one! Off to spend the day with some uni friends and can’t wait to see them! Then on to a big a Deadmau5 show thrown by none other than my coolest cuz. Guest list an’ all. Guess this town anit so bad sometimes! ;o)

Lust for Life or How This City Mouse Misses London

A little off-topic (OT) but…

So, I’ve been getting some shi-I mean, feedback from my friends about my (harsh) comments about my life in O-Town. To summarize:

It has been suggested that perhaps I should try not to surround myself with families so much and that I need some single friends in the city. This is true. I only have 2 single friends here. Literally every other friend I have here is either in a relationship, married, flipping a house, having babies or all of the above. Ottawa is absolutely fabulous for that kind of thing! I’d love it in a second if that’s where I was in my life. But I’m not. Yet.

It’s been suggested that I should move to TO or some other larger city in Canada. This is the truest of the true. Ultimately, this is my goal. However, I need to find a job to fund the journey elsewhere. I’m also not too keen on moving away from every single member of my family to somewhere across the country. After all, I did move back to Canada to be closer to my family.

It’s also been suggested that each city is what one makes of it. This is also true. Since I don’t have much money I haven’t really been able to make my experience here my own. I am now vowing that this shall change when I get a job.

POP LIFE

In fact, I found this super awesome exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada that I definitely have to hit when I’ve got some dosh. It even came all the way from LONDON!! Yayyyyy!! It’s called Pop Life: Art in a Material World and I positively pumped to see it.

So, I’m hoping I’m wrong about living in capital and when I get a job I will test that theory. Until then, I’m a grumpy girl missing my city life.

Finding My Way

So, I pondered my little predicament over the last couple of days and I really am truely tired of this city. At first I thought it might be simply my lack of employment and general purpose in this imperfect society or perhaps my inability to chew away the pain, but the more I think about living my life in this small town city, the more I realise that ultimately, it’s not what I want.

Even if by some stroke of good fortune I find myself in the job of my Ottawa dreams I’m not sure it will be enough. A lack of consistent income has meant a steady increase in my debt-load which, quite frankly, I’m already struggling to cart around. So, any money I might make certainly won’t be the solution to my sorrows.

I’ve already got my family here and I’ve got some lovely friends. It’s just that I’m so BORED I honestly don’t know what to do with myself. And my priorities are simply NOT the same as most of O-town’s residents. It’s a LOVELY city if you want to own a house or you’ve got a family and plan to raise kiddies. But as everyone knows, little Baby Mac’s are NOT in my future.

Consider me the Carrie of my friends only a little less promiscuous and considerably less fashionable (and currently Mr Big-less). Speaking of which, I saw SATC2 and despite the critics’ condemnation, I quite loved it. It was a pretty simple story and a lot of the attire was ridiculous at best but it was a fun film nonetheless. And it made me miss London. A lot.


I don’t want to go backwards so I’m not going back to The Big Smoke (unless I’m visiting) but I really gotta get the hells outta Dodge. Where’s a bad man with a horse and a big sack of bills when you need one?

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