Life Rising

An Ongoing Journey to Sexy

What’s On Your List…?


*I took this photo at WDS2015 while Jeremy Cowart was speaking. 

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” ~ Diane Ackerman

A million years ago, I used to work in a discount clothing store downtown. One quiet Sunday, I was in the store, and it was close to closing time, and this woman came into the store. After awhile, when she came up to the till, she said “I don’t know you, and I’m sorry if I’ve been staring, but something in me is compelling me to tell you to go buy the books “Feel the Fear And Do it Anyway” and “The Aladdin Factor” asap. She didn’t say much more than that, and I have always been a believer of being given signs, so as soon as I got off work, I went to the used bookstore next door, and bought copies of both books with the last $32 in my wallet.

I went home that afternoon and devoured those books. Especially “The Aladdin Factor” by Mark Victor Hansen.  That book CHANGED MY LIFE. Back in 1995 when I read this book, long before bucket lists were a thing, he talks about making lists. Lists filled with outrageous items that we’d never dream of telling anyone about. I never forgot that exercise. He says do not stop making that list until you have at least 100 items on it. Back in 1995, I couldn’t even think of 100 items. It took me WEEKS to come up with that many items. And outrageous? Gosh, y’know, looking at that list now, I hadn’t yet even learned to think big. I remember putting things like “Get a VISA”, since I didn’t have a credit card, or “buy a pool table”, which was weird cause I didn’t have a house to put it in and i didn’t play pool, and i didn’t even include “buy a house” on the list. That will give you a sense of it though. That first list was tough.

He also says “get as outrageous as you can. the more outrageous the better.” So, back in 1995, the most outrageous thing I could think of for my #1 item was “Meet Bruce Springsteen (backstage pass or otherwise).” I remember writing it down and I had butterflies. It seemed SO ridiculous. Meet Bruce Springsteen? Are you kidding? How on earth? BUT he did say, “be outrageous”. And that to me seemed pretty flippin’ outrageous.

I have since become a huge fan of lists. I even bought a journal that i use specifically for my list. And over the years, it has become fluid, so I’m constantly adding to it, as I cross things off. I get a lot of enjoyment out of highlighting the items I’ve accomplished. I’ve transferred items over to new lists, all the while, #1 always remaining the same. “Meet Bruce Springsteen.” Never occurred to me to take it off the list, but it also never really occurred to me that it was something that I’d ever cross off. What’s funny, is that it has always remained the most outrageous thing I can think of. Even with all the other big, outrageous things I’ve done.

A few months before I left for a road trip this summer (also a list item), I purchased tickets for Springsteen in NJ and shared with my FB world that i’d be going, how excited I was to be crossing this off the list. I shared it because I was excited about the concert tickets. AND in sharing it, it set some things in motion…

Remember when we were kids? 5, 6 7, 8 years old. “I’m gonna be a fireman!” “I wanna be a doctor!” My own nephew when he was 4 started telling us he wanted to be a paleontologist. What did we do? We bought him dinosaur books, and backpacks, and pajamas, and I took him to see a big dinosaur show that was here a few summers ago. He knows everything there is to know about each of the dinosaurs, and he made us love them again too. And because he was so excited about dream, we were excited too. So we did what we knew to do to help him along. To make it real for him. Whether or not he grows up to be a paleontologist no longer matters. What matters is helping him make any of his dream come true. And now, at 8 years old, he still loves dinosaurs.  So why, when we’re so eager to make children’s wishes and dreams come true, why wouldn’t we be doing that for ourselves? Or for each other?

Why am i even telling you this story?

Well. Because. After 20+ years of keeping my #1 item on my list as my #1 item on my list, I’m meeting Bruce Springsteen on October 4th.  I shared my outrageous dream with others, others got involved in helping to make it happen. Which put energy under it and into the Universe. Sometimes you can run into him on the streets of New Jersey, but you’d have to know where he hangs out for that to happen, and of course, a girl from the west coast of Canada doesn’t really have a good shot of that happening in her every day life. Despite the fact that I’ve seen him in concert 5x, it just never dawned on me how I would meet him. But, it stayed on the list.

How is it possible that I’m meeting Bruce Springsteen? Because one friend took it upon herself to make it happen, by being my fairy godmother and making it happen. The tickets sold out in under a minute for a special event in Portland. But she managed to get one for me. And it is safe to say that when I do meet him on October 4th, I won’t be the only one excited about it. When we get personally involved in someone else’s dream…it starts to matter to us too. It starts to make dreams possible for us as well. It lights a fire under us.

If you know me, or you’ve read any other my other blogs, you’ll know, I’m a huge fan of list making. I have challenged friends to make lists. I love lists! Lists are fun! Lists have us live our lives in ways that we may not otherwise. Lists force us to go beyond our comfort zones. Lists force us to be true to what we want. Especially when we share them.


20 something years ago, I put that #1 item on my list. A bunch of words on a piece of paper. And the day I cross that sucker off the can bet I’ll be sharing it with the world.

So. I ask you. What’s on your list? What dream are you willing to look foolish for?

There are people in our lives just waiting for an opportunity to contribute something to someone they love. What if that someone is you?

Share with me some of what’s on your list and if I can help, I will! And you never know who might be reading this post who might be able to do something to help you achieve the #1 item on your list…

Rita xo


Well Sh*t “I don’t deserve to be loved.”

Yikes. Don’t you want to just hug the person who said it? Guess where it came from?

The dark, scary recesses of the back of my mind. Truly.

If you know me, you already know that I am a huge sucker for love. Love is where it’s at. Love is my religion. I want EVERYONE to have love that blows their minds, that grows their hearts a few sizes. I want everyone to experience love. In all it’s forms. In all it’s glory. Because what is life without love? A part of me wants to burst into song. And yet…another part of me…the part of me that believes that sentence above, is staring at the florescent light above her desk to keep from crying, because for me to believe that I don’t deserve to be loved is the saddest thing I ever could’ve discovered.

Don’t worry. I’m not wallowing in it. I’m sad. Oh boy. Am I ever. I’m sad that I believe that to be true. That at 45 years old, I’m living my life on my own, and watching the world go by…holding hands, making out in corners, sharing lives together. Because everyone deserves to have that. Well.

Everyone except me.

Somewhere, a long time ago, someone said something to me. And I believed them.

I have had an issue with my weight since I was about 8. Well. Actually let me rephrase that. My parents. Society. Etc. had an issue with my weight since I was little. For me, it wasn’t an issue. Until I was reminded of how big an issue it was. That no one would love me if I didn’t lose x..y…z. That no one would want to marry me until…And somewhere along the way…I started to believe it. I didn’t know I believed it. I mean…I live my life like love is all there is. I make sure people know that. If someone came to me and told me that they didn’t believe they deserved to be loved, i would be heartbroken for them. It’s simply not true. Everyone deserves to be loved. Everyone.

Except me.

Until yesterday afternoon, I didn’t know. I wasn’t aware. I had no idea that I thought/believed/felt that. It was just something that was back there, in the dark recesses of my mind, where no one looked, and I just lived my life. Like nothing was wrong. Every now and again, pondering, wondering, questioning, why I might not be in a relationship after all this time. But never turning the lights on back there. In the dark corners.

And then yesterday…I had a conversation with a friend, and suddenly, it came to me. It just flashed through my mind like an electronic billboard quickly switching to the next ad. I waited for the ad cycle to go through again. And then BAM. There it was again. “Rita you don’t deserve to be loved.” I was surprised. I think I may have gasped out loud. I quickly shared with my friend. Who immediately wanted to tell me how crazy that was. But I asked her to listen. Just to listen to what was there. Because if I didn’t get it out of my head, it would get spooked and go back to where it came from. So I just kept sharing. And a part of me was almost excited. Finally. Some movement. Something. I shared with a few people. The more I shared, the more real it became.

Until this morning. When I woke up and realized that this thought. This belief. This banner that I quietly fly over my head…was no longer in the dark corners of my subconscious. It’s right there. Sitting on my face, like an alien hand reaching out to suck out my brain. And no manner of etch-a-sketching my head is making it go back to where it came from. I’m sad to know that for most of my life, I have lived it silently believing that I don’t deserve to be loved. It’s f**ked up. And if you knew me, you’d know how ludicrous this is. And yet…There you have it.

I don’t quite know what’s on the other side. I’m delving into this blind. I don’t know. All I know is that in this moment, it’s uncomfortable. It’s scary. It’s sad. My heart breaks for the me that has lived life with this belief.

And…I asked for it. I said, I wanted to get a look at whatever it is that stands between me and being in love. Well there you go. I just wasn’t expecting it to be such a big mother f**king big thing.

It’s why I make sure that people experience Love. It’s why I’m such a relationship cheerleader. It’s why love is so important to me. It’s why I fight for it. Because I don’t deserve it. But God forbid anyone else ever feel that. Even for a minute.

Tell me. Is there something you believe to be true about you that if you were to say it out loud, would sound ludicrous. And yet…you are 100% sold on it? Share it here. Let’s make this the dumping ground for all the bullsh*t that keeps us from having the lives I showed you mine.

I’d be honoured if you’d show me yours.


#100Days Like A Boss

100 days

When Cindy and I started the #100Days workout challenge, neither of us really had any idea what we were getting ourselves into. It sounded cool to say 100 day work out challenge. But other than that, we didn’t really think it through. We had no idea we’d be tired for much of the 3 months. And when Cindy took on a 30 day yoga challenge at the same time, that sometimes, she wouldn’t have time to do anything else. The days when we thought doing a double was a good idea, or the days when just getting out of bed to go about the day was tough. Who knew that buying groceries, or keeping up on the housework or having some social time with friends would become less and less doable. My house wasn’t clean for the first 2 months. At least not as clean as I would’ve liked. I never seemed to get enough rest. God forbid I should want to spend time with friends. There was no time for that.

As time went on though, as we got into the 40s and the 50s, we start to find our groove. I could see myself racing from work to an earlier class if I had something going on that night. I could race home and shower and go out again if I had to. I was less sore. While my body still hurt all the time, I wasn’t incapacitated with how sore I was. The more I worked out, the less sore I was. Weird hey? I think it was because I was constantly doing something different. Cindy and I do the same bootcamp together 4x a week (as often as possible) so we were always mixing things up. No class is ever the same. So we never got bored. Well, I suppose it’s wrong to say never…because I remember around Day 75 saying to Cindy…”I kinda feel like we got this one already and I”m a little bored with it.”

Funny how that happens. You take on something you’ve never done before, and never thought you’d be able to do and then’ve done it. You’ve shown yourself it’s possible. And then one day…it’s Day 100 and you’re out celebrating with a hearty breakfast of pancakes and omelets and the like. We reflected over breakfast, what we wanted to get and whether we achieved those goals. For me, my number one was to see if I could do it. For Cindy also. I am not what I would call an athlete or even an active personality. I do a lot, sure. But that’s never been my life. I played team sports when I was younger, but preferred walking and aquafit/swimming to team sports. I never learned to play baseball nor did I have a desire to learn. I was more of the sit in a corner and read kind of person growing up. Plus I was always forced to do exercise as a kid, (that’s too long of a story to share here) in some pretty humiliating ways, so for me, as a grown up, i didn’t have to do that. But there came a time when it became important to me. It did wonders for my self esteem. I felt stronger. I felt hotter. It was starting to transform me mentally. I Liked it.

That’s how I felt with this challenge. My second goal was to alter my point of view about myself. That I actually could be someone who works out all the time. I could become one of those people that other people knew went to the gym a lot. There was a time in my life when people would be looking for me and they’d find me at the club every night. And now…if people are looking for me, they know they can likely find me at either of my 2 gyms. I wanted that. I wanted to alter my own point of view, but also impact my environment. I also wanted to inspire someone. Anyone. Even one person to take on something like this. To want to push themselves out of their comfort zone.

Cindy and I talked about how people work out all the time. Especially those who are training for races. They work out hard core, all the time. But neither Cindy nor I are those people. We aren’t training for anything. We aren’t entered in a race. We just wanted to do something to show ourselves we could. And we did. We are not the same height, the same build, the same body type, or even have the same lifestyle. And we both did it. I like to think that we proved to the “every man” that it’s possible.

Exercise is one of those things that you either love or hate. And let’s face it, it does kind of suck. BUT if you find something you love, it makes a huge difference. While I don’t love bootcamp, there are elements of it that I do love. Especially the support of the rest of the group when something is particularly hard. Like last night’s Day 101 class. It was the worst class EVER. I’m surprised I could get out of bed today. But we all did it together. And we survived. No one puked or passed out.

There are always reasons not to go. Too busy, too tired. Gotta go buy groceries. Have to get the kids to their x, y, z. Need to make dinner. Have to something or other. But Cindy and I…we kind of debunked every single excuse in the book. We started off the challenge, both of us with tooth infections and root canals. We both put our right hips out. We both suffered from exhaustion. And yet…we just kept showing up. I had a fever for a few days, and I kept doing something. Because I said.

So often I have let my reasons get in the way of what I said I was committed to. If I had said at the beginning that I was going to do some form of physical activity every single day for 100 days, but I could double up if I knew I was going to miss a day..then great. I could’ve done that. But I didn’t. I said every single day for 100 days and if we miss a day, we start over. Trust me..when you get to day 55 the last thing you want to do is start over.

It’s been an amazing journey. I am taking tonight off. And I”m pretty excited about that. Monday starts a new journey…I hope you’ll join me.

Thanks for being here.
PS a big giant thank you to my dear friend J who doodled this amazing photo for me in celebration! xo

Day 97 #100Days Tough It Out

You know what?

I am not one one of those people that other people look at and think ‘Wow..I bet she works out every day.”

I hate that. My guess is that most people think “Wow she could really benefit from working out.”

Even my mum, who knows how much I work out, thinks I’m not doing enough. Bless her. She’s a little bit one track minded. Unless the exercise is doing any “good” which would mean that I’m actually “losing copious amounts of weight” she thinks I shouldn’t bother. I get it. Sometimes, I wonder the same thing. why bother? What the heck am I doing?

My intention in starting the #100Days workout challenge was to gain some momentum and workout regularly. I wanted to get back to the gym and I wasn’t reliable to go for the past many months. So, i came up with the challenge. And it’s been good. I have great upper arm strength, I can feel the muscles in my quads. My cardio still needs work but that’ll come. I lost 1lb in the past 5 weeks and I actually don’t even care. It’s about so much more than that now.

But I have to say…it really bugs me that when people look at me, they automatically assume I’m lazy, or don’t care about myself, or don’t take care of myself. Never mind that my heart is healthy, my hair has never looked healthier, my skin glows, and let’s face it..I look about 10 years younger than I am. My blood work always comes back fine, aside from the fact that as a life long vegetarian, my iron and b12 levels are always low. But no one cares when they look at me. To them I represent the “minority” of people who don’t take care of themselves.

Stop doing that. Stop assuming that I don’t take care of myself. Stop telling me about the latest diet pill or the latest in miracle juice cleanses or this awesome exercise class guaranteed to shed 10lbs in one class. Stop it. I have worked my butt off this past 97 days. I’m proud of my accomplishment, and for some reason, I still feel like I “should’ve” done more. I “should’ve” accomplished more. I should be the poster child for #100Day challenges.

But, I’m not. I’m just me. In this body. In this moment. Still trying to figure out how to get through the next 3 days…

And if it’s okay for me to say…I wish when they looked at me, people just saw me.


All The Stuff I Don’t Want You To Know #100Days

I just spent the last hour or so, sporadically looking for the perfect photo for this post. And just now, I realized…this is one of those posts that doesn’t need a photo. This isn’t about the bells and whistles. This post is about me keeping my promise to share all the stuff that comes up emotionally, physically, mentally and even spiritually while on this journey to find my healthiest self.

Today is Day 69 and the week started out with me asking myself the question “What is the point in all this?” And that hasn’t gone away. I’m still asking the question. Only now, I’m asking it in a different way. “What the fcuk is the point!?” WHAT THE FCUK IS THE POINT!?

I had a meltdown at bootcamp on Monday. I fought with one of our trainers. Cried. Hated every single moment of it. Hated it. Spent much of the class talking myself out of quitting. Gratefully, I’m not much of a quitter, but I wanted to. Believe me. When I was leaving, I had a conversation with the trainer that I fought with. By the time that conversation was over, I realized she’s just really committed to every single person in that program doing awesome and that’s it. Everything she says comes from THAT place. So the fight wasn’t about her. My being wasn’t about her. But I was visibly upset by it all. I was shaken. Thrown off. Mad. Sad. Vulnerable. And I wasn’t sure why. Because in the grand scheme, it wasn’t that big a deal. But it felt like a REALLY B I G D E A L.

Then yesterday, while I had lunch with a friend, she heard something in what I said as I was sharing with her about Monday night. So she asked the question that I was afraid she’d ask…without knowing she’d ask it. “I heard you say to the trainer – You don’t know what it’s like. What did you mean? What is it like?”


I spent 3 months living in Beijing, China when I was working during the 2008 Summer Olympics. It was definitely my dream job, and I worked with amazing people who are great friends of mine now. We had a lot of fun. We experienced a lot of new things. We climbed the Great Wall of China. We saw the Terracotta warriors. If you ask anyone, they loved it and can’t wait to go back. Some of my friends have since, gone back. But me?

You couldn’t pay me enough to go back.

I don’t talk about why. I don’t tell people what happened, or what my experience was like. I just tell people “Yeah, I worked in Beijing during the Olympics and yes, it was very cool.”

I don’t talk about what it was like to have to spend an extra hour or two psyching myself up in the living room, pacing back and forth to put myself in the right frame of mine so I could leave the house. I have never told anyone that the people, so unused to seeing someone overweight walking the streets, used to point at me, and grab each other and make sure I didn’t walk by unnoticed. I can’t even talk about all those people who pulled out their cameras to take my photo when I stood at the stop light. Or those who simply shout the words “ooooOO FAT” at me as I’d walk by them. Never mind telling anyone about those people who would take out their video cameras and film themselves standing behind me or beside me and doing some commentary, so they could show the folks back home about the “circus freak” wandering the streets of Beijing.

No one can know that I would wear my sunglasses even on rainy days because I didn’t want anyone on the street to see the pain in my eyes when they’d stare at me like I was some kind of monster. Or that time that toddler looked up at me and screamed and cried because clearly…I’m a scary monster.

The people I was in Beijing with, the friends I made while I was there, don’t know that I used to walk out of the lobby of the hotel, and get straight into a taxi because less people could see me, and get out of the taxi right in front of the building where I worked, so the least amount of eyes would be directed at me. They had no idea that the times I went to get deep tissue massage done at a clinic for my knee, that the people in the clinic would try and up-sell weight loss acupuncture for a half hour before they’d treat my knee.

Every. Single. Time.

I can’t tell people that this me, this person who loves and who lives and breathes and is ever grateful for the kindness of others, and the love that people have for each other, that I’m the same person who actually fears what people think when she walks down the street. That I literally cringe when I see a tourist with a video camera. That I couldn’t keep my shit together long enough to enjoy my experience in Beijing. Because I have never in my whole life felt more humiliated or embarrassed. That I would go out shopping, come home, have a cry, and then go on with my day. I can’t tell people that if I could put on an invisibility cloak and walk down the street to be saved from people’s stares and jeers and pointing…I would. I don’t want people to know I was weak enough to have had that experience, and that it forced me to find new ways to protect myself and my heart.

People can’t know that THIS is the reason I get so riled up when people are unkind to eachother. My level of passion and/or disdain for the stories about bullying…there isn’t an explanation for it. When I hear of another teenager killing themselves because of all the makes me want to slit the throat of the world we live in. Because how in the world can we be so fucking ignorant to one another? Don’t you know the damage that can be done to another human being? We all have feelings. Doesn’t matter how old we are or how old we get. Shit like that stays with you.

I was 38 years old in Beijing in 2008. And, 6 years later, on Monday night, I cried like a 10 year old at bootcamp because we had to go outdoors and walk through downtown to get to where we were going to run some hills and I was mortified. I was humiliated all over again. I didn’t know it at the time. Because what happened in Beijing…was supposed to stay in Beijing. No one needs to know that I was bullied by an entire culture. No one needs to know that.

And honestly..the last thing I wanted to do was tell you about this. To put out into the world the humiliating experience that has impacted me for the past 6 years…There’s a reason why I don’t talk about my experience in China other than to say “I’d never go back” and “yeah, it was cool” even though it wasn’t.

Because my experience in China, broke my heart.

And the only way I know to protect it is to eat all the mini eggs. And pretend like it never happened. But, that hasn’t exactly worked for me…so I thought I’d try something else.

~ Rita

Disappointment Illusion #100Days by @lolaspeaking

we expect

Today’s post isn’t so much about what day it is…although for anyone keeping track, today is Day 63 of the #100Days workout challenge.

This week has been a tough one. I worked out twice on Friday and then made a 5 hour drive with some friends to a relaxing girls getaway weekend. So amazing and relaxing and fulfilling and restful, filled with good food, great friends, lots of laughs, some tears, and lots and lots of chocolate. I worked out but it didn’t feel like a regular workout because I could just put my pajamas on after I showered or sit in the hot tub. It was fantastic. In fact, I came back on Monday and I was exhausted from all the relaxing.

But this week has been a challenge. Wednesday, I was ready to throw in the towel. In fact, I think I spiritually did. I went home, put on my pajamas, took out my contacts, and sat down to watch the news. Oh yeah. I was done.

Except that I changed my status update to tell people I was done. And bless ’em. People are so great. Everyone was very supportive and great and shared their insights and their kind words. 40 minutes, I sat there like that. Until my 100 day buddy left a comment. Very simple. Very effective. “GET YOU A** TO THE GYM. I’LL SEE YOU THERE!” So, I got up off the couch, changed into my workout gear, and off I went. I wasn’t happy about it, but I went. And I got my a** kicked. But so did she. Tuesday was just as hard to get myself to a workout. But I did that and my reward was a fantastic dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile.

This morning, I had a bit of an epiphany. I got some rest and it was like I lost my momentum. My greatest fear. What if I fall off the workout wagon? What happens when it’s over? I can’t be trusted. I am not reliable. And on and on the negative thoughts go. If I’m not keeping myself busy and being responsible for the negative thoughts…oh my goodness, they just take over. But this morning, as I was brushing my teeth, I found myself thinking about how disappointed I am in myself. That the results “should” be more noticeable. That my clothes “should” be bigger. That people “should” be noticing more changes. And then all of a sudden, it hit me.

Someone asked me when I started the #100Days what I wanted to get out of it. My response was simple. “To finish”. I have never done anything like this before. I may never do it again. But I’ve never done it. So I wanted to see if I could. I thought that was a pretty damn fine goal. But now that I’m well past half way…I think I want more. I think I want there to be more. And there “should” be more. Shouldn’t there?

We humans are so funny. Here I am, doing something that not everyone would be willing to do…and I’m disappointed because I’m not achieving the results I want to achieve. Except that I am. I said that the result I wanted to achieve was to finish the #100Days. I never said anything beyond that. I’m such a jackass. Do you see what I did there? I’m practically giving myself an out. Like it’s okay to not finish because I didn’t get what I wanted anyway. Duh! So dumb! It’s kind of like finding the missing piece to the way I sabotage myself. So if I’m disappointed that I’m not achieving anything, then what’s the point right? So that gives me license to just quit. Oh. No. Not so fast. If what I wanted to achieve was to finish the challenge, well then, I’m achieving that. Full stop.

This morning I put on a pair of jeans that haven’t actually fit for about 2 years. And this morning, they fit. Really well. I’m actually comfortable in them. Thankfully they aren’t outdated so I feel even better about that. I’d say that’s progress. That’s an achievement. Albeit an unexpected and really not very noticeable one. But it’s an achievement.

So what that epiphany says to me is that if saying out loud that what I want to achieve is to finish the challenge, and that’s already happening…what could I say out loud that would have me achieve something else for the next 37 days?

Well. Let’s find out shall we? I’m going to spend the weekend thinking of what I want out of the next 37 days, and I’ll share that.

So the question I want to leave you with is…what are you disappointed in not having achieved, because you never said you wanted to achieve it?

Yeah. Wrap your head around that one.

Day 60 – What I’ve Learned So Far #100Days

Guess what?

Today is Day 60 of the #100Days workout challenge. Seems hard to imagine that 60 days ago both Cindy and I were freaking out a little bit that we had just committed to this giant thing. This challenge that didn’t seem all that possible. What the heck were we thinking? Who does that?

And today…we’re at Day 60. We are more than half way there.

Cindy has completed her 30 day yoga challenge and is nursing a bit of a hip injury so she’s taking it a little bit easy this week.

I was away for the weekend and before I left, I worked out twice on Friday. Once at 6am and again at 830am. WHO. Am. I?

I also took a time out from the girliness of the girls weekend so I could fit in my dirty dozen workout in my room upstairs at the B&B. What the heck?

I won’t lie. Sunday morning, i took full advantage of the hot tub on the deck and sat in it for 90 minutes…my body was so grateful.

I’m utterly exhausted from all the relaxing the last few days.


We don’t spend a lot of time being idle…Cindy and I. We both had to buy more work out gear because we were constantly doing laundry. And today, I find myself wondering what I’ll do when the #100Days is over. I got some messages on the weekend from people who I didn’t even know were paying attention to what I’m up to, who were inspired by what I’m up to. One friend who was going to secretly take on a challenge of his own, and was cursing me for raising the bar for everyone else. I wasn’t intentionally doing that. I just knew for me, I needed something, a positive focus to help me get through my heartbreak. And while it’s still there, and I will never be the same person I was before it happened, I’m stronger. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually and especially physically.

I have made new friends through this process who feel like forever friends. One in particular who inspired me to kick some a** at my other gym and while she’s no longer going to be working there…I’ll think of her every time I go and work out there. Because she really got what I’m all about. That my challenge wasn’t just about me. That it was about so much more than that.

I’m just a small piece of what this challenge is about. And honestly..I haven’t had the results on the scale that I would’ve liked so far. In fact…I’m pretty sure I lost the first 10lbs and then stayed put. I have learned that I don’t eat enough. Which I never thought I would say. But I’m about 400 calories less than where I need to be every day for the level of activity. I’ve learned that I actually kind of like squats and push ups and I really really don’t like burpees or mountain climbers. I’ve learned that the people you think aren’t even paying attention, are. And they are cheering you on. I’ve learned that dedicating my workouts to the people who inspire me makes a world of difference in the level of work I do when I’m at the gym. I’ve learned that I’m much stronger than I think I am. I’ve learned that I hate the kettle bells as much as I don’t hate them. I’ve also learned that something like this wouldn’t ever even be possible without buddies helping, supporting, cheering you on. Taking on a challenge like this, quietly, isn’t the most effective way to go. Taking it on and kicking a** at it means sharing about it. Getting people under you to build you up.

The fact that I’m even considering continuing once my #100Days is over speaks volumes. I don’t want to stop. Stopping means risking falling back into the rabbit hole of heartbreak and I’m not willing to go back there. Stopping means, while the scale didn’t go down the last little while, it didn’t go up either. And I’m not willing to go there either. Stopping also means losing focus. And I’m definitely not willing to do that.

In fact…I’m considering up’ing my game.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? On how do do that? Seems hard to imagine that I’m considering doing that given I still have 40 days left…but I don’t want to lose the momentum and I definitely don’t want to survive the next 40 days. I want to kick a** during the next 40 days.

How about you? Where in life could you use some momentum?


Day 40 – What am I Doing Wrong? #100Days


Today is Day 40 of #100Days

Did I wake up excited? Did I wake up like I needed to celebrate something?

Nope. Instead I woke up and my first thought was this:

“After 40 days of working out and going to the gym and hardly socializing, why haven’t I started to notice a difference?”

My second, third, fourth and so on thoughts went a little something like this:

“Why is this so hard? Why can’t I just wake up one morning and BAM! notice a difference? Why is it so easy for ‘fill in the blank’? Why does it seem to easy for Cindy? Why can I see it on her, but I can’t see it on myself? Why? Why?”

And the rest of my morning went just like that. I started to think that my feet were puffy and my fingers and my hands, and my clothes don’t fit right. And then I started to imagine that my neck was expanding and I suddenly now had a triple chin. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. Wait…does my jacket feel tight?

It’s madness. I am telling you. Madness. It took me a couple of hours to pull myself out of that slump, but thankfully I was able to do it. A friend asked me, “How did you pull yourself out of it?” and I said “Well, I just stopped thinking that way.” Which is so simple isn’t it? I’m not doing the #100Days because I want some quick fix. That’s not why I started it. That’s not why i was excited to take it on. I did it for me. Because I needed something to challenge me. I wanted to gain some momentum at the gym. I wanted to build back the muscle I lost after taking a 6 month hiatus from really doing much of anything. I wanted to feel stronger.

I figured, if I felt stronger physically, that would translate mentally and emotionally. And it has. Of course it has. I can do more push ups now. I can do squats forever now. I can even do a variation of mountain climbers, where I couldn’t do them before. Hello. I’ve done tire slams! I’ve never done those before. I can squat while holding a tire over my head. I’ve never done that before. I still hate doing burpees and i try and get out of them as often as possible, but now I can do push ups. Did I mention the push ups? I’ve even started trying pull ups. Those are dumb. The point is, there are things I can do that I couldn’t do before. I’ve started to notice little shifts. For example, (and you do not get to laugh), my underwear fits really well. Not like I bought underwear that was too small, but you ladies know what I’m talking about. They just fit better. I don’t feel as silly when I go to bootcamp, and I can’t do all the things that others can do. I just do what I can do. Eventually I’ll be able to do what they can do. Much of what we do, I’ve NEVER done before. I never would’ve imagined that I could do those things. The same goes for what I did on Saturday night. I didn’t think I could do some of those things either, but physical activity makes a difference in SO many areas of life…;)

So what the hell am I ragging on myself for? I have worked out for 40 days in a row (well after today), and I’m beating myself up? Do you see how crazy we are? Humans are insane. We never give ourselves a chance to succeed at anything because we just assume we’re going to fail. Don’t deny it. You know you do it too. People ask me about boxing all the time. I’ve been doing for a year and a half and I still can’t do the warm up skipping very well. I used to skip as a kid in my driveway all the time and I can’t for the life of me, skip properly anymore. So. Do I beat myself up about it? Do I not go? Do I skip the gym altogether? No! Of course not. I go. I keep going. And eventually, I’ll be able to skip properly. The point is that I warm up. That’s the point. The rest doesn’t matter. The rest is just noise in my head. Right?

Yeah. Easy for me to say isn’t it? But we all go there. We all do it. We all find something to beat ourselves up about. Don’t we? The other day, someone told me that I wasn’t putting in enough effort, and I needed to work harder. Not in reference to anything in particular, but about my workouts. I think I took it personally. But this person doesn’t know me. Nor does this person know that I am at the gym every single day of every single week, busting my ass (most of the time), what do you mean i’m not working hard enough??? After I had a chance to step away from it, and think about it, I know that’s not how the comment was intended. And no one really knows how hard I’m working, except me. And I know if I need to kick it up. Or if I need to go to yoga instead of bootcamp because my hip is sore. Or if I need to go for a walk after work so that I can manage to fit in a movie with a friend.

This is MY #100Days It can suck. Or it can not suck. I’d prefer it not suck.

I know we all feel like failures sometimes. I know we all think we’re not doing the right thing, the perfect thing, we could be doing more, we should be doing more, we should take out an extra 500 calories or we shouldn’t have had that cookie, or maybe i should walk to work, or maybe, or maybe, Or if only…Listen. We can “should/maybe/if only” ourselves to death.

I’ve been down that road for most of my life, especially in this arena. I’d like to try something new.

Day 40. Pretty effing awesome.


That Time I Farted At Bootcamp #100Days

Catchy title don’t you think? We’ll come back to that.


So welcome to Day 35. Holy macaroni.?! I’m not sure even I thought I’d make it to Day 35 and yet here I am. My mum says I look taller. I’m feeling pretty bloated these days, and the scale says I’m only down 1.6lbs in the past 2 weeks. Stupid fucking scale. But regardless. I’m coming off A super bad cold. Tomorrow will be officially 2 weeks since I got it and I’m still coughing a bit. But definitely better. I had a fever for 2 days, and did some yoga. Did i mention that? Yeah. I think I did. Back to bootcamp as of Monday. I know there are a number of others doing different #100Days challenges and I just thought I’d mention, mine is every single day for 100 days. Minimum of 30-45 minutes a day. Something that makes you break a sweat. Gets your heart rate up. Not hard to do when you’re sick and you’ve got a fever, and some would say you’re not supposed to work out when you have a fever…but those people have never done a #100Days challenge where if you miss a day, you have to start over. I know! I’m an idiot! I made up the rules. What was I thinking? But…we’re 35 days into it now. Cindy’s now doing a 30 day yoga challenge too which is awesome, so some days she does just the yoga, and other days she does the yoga AND bootcamp. She’s looking amazing! I noticed it at the class on Wed. She looks good. Lean. Something’s happening for her. For sure.

My friend Nicole is also doing a 30 day Yoga challenge. And she came up with a really amazing way to make the most of her practice. She’s been dedicating her practice, every day, to people in her life she’s inspired by. So every day she posts a photo on FB of the lucky person of the day, and shares who they are for her and how much she loves and appreciates them and makes it public. Who doesn’t love to be acknowledged publicly like that? It’s beautiful. Three days ago, I stole her idea (I actually asked for permission) and have started dedicating my workouts to the people in my life. So each day before I go and work out, I share on their FB page. First of all, who doesn’t love a great post on their FB wall? I mean really. And second of all..the challenge, is then no longer about me. I’m doing it to honour the people in my life. It’s a win/win. Last night’s workout was especially difficult and the trainer at the gym, just kept reminding me who I was there for. It was pretty cool. Very inspiring. Very inspired. Very awesome.

I highly recommend it as a daily practice. Keeps me grateful and inspired and on a day like today when the last thing I want to do is go and work out…I’ve already dedicated Day 35 to someone…So now I’m going for him. Not so much for me and the noise in my head telling me not to go. Win/Win.

So yeah…about that other thing. Monday the middle of ab crunches with a buddy…I farted. I wasn’t expecting it. I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I was on the floor crunching…and it just happened. Thankfully the music was up loud and no one actually heard it. That I know. I don’t wear headphones, so I know. oh man, I felt bad for my buddy. She didn’t even flinch. I was mortified but I kept going. I figured if I didn’t do or say anything, maybe she wouldn’t either. What you don’t know about me is I’m not a public farter. Not ever. Not in front of my mum even. Just not my thing. Not once in my last relationship. Gotta keep the magic alive. Y’know? So…this made my indiscretion at the gym all the more mortifying. I knew if I didn’t say anything…I’d never be able to look my buddy in the eyes again. So…during the stretch, I whispered to her “Hey…sorry for farting…” (don’t laugh). And GOD BLESS HER. Her response was simply “You aren’t the first. And you likely won’t be the last.” And that was it. I still think about it. And I did promise that I’d share all the elements of this #100Days and it would seem…farting at bootcamp is one of the elements. dangit.

Now you know.
Have you started your own #100days yet? If so, what are you doing?

I’d love to support and cheer you on. Share if you please.

Have a great weekend!
PS…I can’t believe I just told you I farted at bootcamp. Good God.

This Isn’t Going According To Plan #100Days


So, it’s Day 31. Of the #100Days workout challenge.

I’m still here. Alive. Kicking.


Oh yes. I got a full 4 weeks of perfect health under my belt and then BAM! My second cold of the year. A doozy this one too. I had a fever for 2.5 days. It’s a full 9 days later, and I’m still totally stuffed up and coughing. Not fun. If I had to guess, I’d say mostly, it was because I was exhausted. I took 2 vacation days so I could get some rest. My body was over worked. I was killing myself. Slowly. Using bootcamp as my weapon of choice. But I couldn’t help it. I committed. That’s how it works. And man. Let me tell you something. It isn’t going according to plan. Which is the funniest statement of all. Like I knew how it would go. Like I had a plan, and then I was going to follow it. Unfortunately, much like life, nothing works that way. You can plan something to the nth degree, but it’s never going to go that way. It can’t. Life has a way of getting in the way. Just like I can plan out a vacation in it’s entirety, in my planning, I can’t really account for things like meeting new people and perhaps wanting to go and do something different with them. Or a wine tour that I’ve just been offered. Or perhaps a super cheap plane ticket to another country I had no plans to visit, but always wanted to be in. Life doesn’t work like that.

Neither does this #100Days Getting sick wasn’t part of the plan. Do you know how hard it is to go from doing high intensity bootcamp and boxing on alternate days, to laying on the floor doing a yoga or pilates video? B O R I N G! But I did it. Every day, I found something I could do. Despite the fever. Despite the cold. AND I made sure I got ample rest. I’ll admit, I didn’t eat as well as I probably could have, but only because being sick, I wasn’t hungry. So I had a lot of extra protein shakes. But I stayed on track.

This morning, I woke up stuffed up and coughing, but I can’t stand the idea of another walk. Or some at home video work out. (Can you believe I still have my VCR hooked up…) I need to go be with my people, even if all I can do for the hour is ride the spin bike. At least I’m with them. It’ll give me some energy. It’ll get me moving in the way I’ve been missing.

So. What have I learned? That getting sick is the PERFECT excuse to bag this challenge. Throw my hands up in the air and say “forget about it!” And believe me…some of the thoughts that have run through my head have been just that. In the past, this would be right around the time that I’d quit. Don’t you know? I just got really sick…and I need to stop it. It’s not working. Thankfully, it’s not the past. Thankfully, this is not the Rita from the past. Thankfully this is me. The new me. The one who has learned discipline. The one who knows that I’m bigger than some stupid cold. I wouldn’t quit. Actually…I WOULD HAVE quit…but I didn’t. I didn’t quit.

I’m still standing.

And tonight, even though the skies have opened up and I feel pretty crappy..I’m going to bootcamp. I’m going to get some energy from my fellow bootcamp survivors, and I’m going to be sore tomorrow. And I bet I’ll feel awesome too. Or not. But it’s Day 31. What else is there for me to do?

Go forth and kick ass.

That’s what.

When’s the last time you took on something that stretched you out of your comfort zone and when the going got quit…or almost quit?

Thanks for being on this journey with me.