The new normal.

“Are you diabetic? When was the last time you had any blood work done? We found sugar in your urine.”

I had this really irritating UTI, damn thing would just not let go. There is nothing more annoying than having to pee every 20 minutes, so much to the point that I couldn’t leave my house for too long without mapping out bathrooms first (true story).
However, it ended up being a blessing in disguise because had it not been for that UTI, I wouldn’t have known that there was something much more sinister.

Being a Chef with an irregular and stressful schedule, combined with being too tired for conventional exercise, no real desire to cook at home, a love of carbs (mmmmm), genetics and mental illness oh and keeping most of the local area restaurants employed because takeout happens at least once a week. Anyone in the industry knows this dance, the steps might be a little different here and there but at the end of the day, it’s essentially the same.

I had a sneaking suspicion a while ago that I was diabetic. Denial though, that’s my jam. Mostly because I had no real symptoms, which is truly alarming. Aside from being chronically tired, but I also have depression so there’s that.
Needless to say, I wasn’t too shocked when she said that I was ‘super diabetic’ which struck me as odd since my sugar at that time was at 19, which isn’t great of course. However, *I* feel much better knowing that I caught it so early after hearing horror stories from people whose numbers were 40+
They’re lucky they’re not dead…

It used to be a long running joke that I would be fucked if I ever became diabetic (because I hate needles), well fuck me because here I am.

The upside? I have no choice but to take better care of myself.

I have the advantage of being able to afford to stay home so I can work out at my leisure at home. Really not a fan of the gym, because I am certain that working out in my underwear would be frowned upon. I actually enjoy working out, it’s good for my mind and my body.

I have to meal plan now, which I admittingly hate. Being a Chef for over 20 years have spoiled me in many ways (all the prep is done, you have someone to do your dishes and all kinds of equipment at your disposal that the average person doesn’t have at home). The upside to that though? I can still eat most things that I enjoy with some exceptions.

No pasta/white breads/flours/rice, which makes me sad. I’ve opted to go as low carb as possible, because it’s more beneficial to me overall. I have horrible cravings for sweets/carbs when I eat pasta and I can have so little of it, it’s not worth the effort/frustration. No rice either which sucks because I just found the best place that makes a killer chicken fried rice and sushi. I also miss grilled cheese, because fuck brown bread. Fluffy white bread is where it’s at! Red meat for the most part is also a no go, I can have veal but I won’t go out of my way to buy it for ethical reasons. So steak has become even more of treat that it used to be.

I reactivated my account on my fitness pal, that helps to keep me accountable and track all the things. Measuring and weighing out ones food isn’t as daunting as it sounds. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass, but worth it.
Also a bit surprising sometimes when you see just how much of something can be in such small amounts of something.

My eyesight has changed for the better. Which admittingly freaked me out at first because I didn’t know that was possible, I just knew that diabetes can cause blindness. My glasses didn’t have the same effect as before, in fact wearing them made my vision even worse. It wasn’t until 2-3 days of taking my meds and doing the good stuff that I realized I no longer needed to wear them. Which kind of sucks because I actually really like my glasses -and- I just bought new ones less than a year ago. So now I have to wait until my sugar is stable for at least three months before I get my eyes checked out again.

I’m trying really hard to be as positive about this as I can. Some days are tough because there’s an endless stream of dishes and grocery shopping now and I went from being a grazer/snacky type of person to having to full on make proper meals, half of which need to be comprised of vegetables. There’s a bakery across the street and it smells so very delightful when they’re baking bread, but it’s also torture because then I want bread.

Although being diabetic has also cured my ignorance about it. SO many people assume that you get to be that way by eating too much sugar. Not true, never was. It’s not just about being overweight either (although that is a cause because your organs don’t always work as they should when they’re being crammed together). Thankfully I have type two, which is preferable over type one.
Stress is also a contributor and genetics as well. So I didn’t stand a chance in any of those arenas.
I’m not a fan of having to test my blood sugar three times a day, those test strips aren’t cheap (they’re about a dollar a piece from my pharmacy). We thankfully have insurance here (both private and provincial) but so many people don’t.

Overall though? I feel really good 80% of the time. The other 20% is dealing with irritating cravings, my mental illness and life in general. Which has improved greatly now that i’m making more of an effort to take care of myself but it’s not a one size fits all solution either. It’s the right kind of kick in the ass that I needed, I just wish the circumstances were different.







2018 round up & reflections.

I used to do these every year, it’s always interesting to take a look back on what you’ve done or perhaps have not done. 2018 was a lot of things for me, most people thought it was pretty terrible and that sucks. For me it was a mish mash of things. It sure as hell didn’t start off on the right foot for me. My mom had a ‘cardiac episode’ on January second and I honestly thought I was going to lose her. Thankfully she’s doing well, better than ever as a matter of fact.

My mental health took quite the downward spiral and I have finally decided to actually do something about it. Which I will save for another post.

I lost my job in September, which ended up being a gift/blessing in disguise in the grand scheme of things. I am currently exploring the world of self employment and school.

I’m currently nursing a sprained knee which is not how I was planning on spending my first day of 2019 but here we are. Without further ado:

  • What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
    Travelled to the Maritimes and it was the most magical trip! We went to Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick, all places that I/we have never been.
  • Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    I feel that new year’s resolutions are pointless. There’s no reason that anyone should wait until the new year to grow, change, be a better person etc. Everyday is an a new opportunity for change.
  • Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Not close to me per se but a lot of people in my social/social media circles have given birth to a bunch of beautiful babies!
  • Did anyone close to you die?
    Not this year, which is a nice change.
  • What countries did you visit?
    N/A
  • What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
    Better focus, a better memory, less stress, more money, less bills.
  • What dates from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? January 2nd, the day my mom had a heart attack.

  • What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Seeking out professional help for my mental health.
  • What was your biggest failure?
    Letting toxic, useless people get the best of me.
  • Did you suffer illness or injury?
    Yes. My depression and anxiety reared their ugly head to the point that I truly thought I would have a nervous breakdown. I sprained my knee really bad coming home from Christmas and other assorted illnesses that I am sure no one wants to hear about ha ha.
  • What was the best thing you bought?
    That’s a tough one, it was nice to be able to spend money on myself for a change.
  • Whose behavior merited celebration?
    My amazing husband. He’s been my constant and no matter how messy life gets, he’s my rock.
  • Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
    That list is much too long and personal and I will not call out anyone here.
  • Where did most of your money go?
    Bills, travel and spoiling myself.
  • What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    Travelling to new places with the man I love.
  • What song will always remind you of 2018? Honestly, I can’t think of one song in particular for this year.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Practicing my craft (photography), reading more, learning more.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being distracted, housework. Wasting time on things/people/places that didn’t really matter.

How did you spend Christmas?
I was in Ontario with my family & friends as I do every year and it’s always great 🙂

Did you fall in love in 2018?
Every single day. <3 Nick so very much

What was your favorite TV program? Riverdale, Life in pieces, Big bang theory.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yes. I wouldn’t go far as to say hate but more despise I think would be appropriate.

24. What was the best book you read?
Blood, bones and butter.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
So many, too many to list and by that I mean I can’t think of any off the top of my head ha ha.

26. What did you want and get?
To take some time off to figure myself out.

27. What did you want and not get?
For some people to mind their own business when it comes to aspects of my life that have nothing to do with them. For others to be humble.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I did enjoy the secret life of pets.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 40 and I had a lovely Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed brunch with family and friends.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having better mental health. Winning the lottery. witnessing karma as opposed to hearing about it second hand.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
I don’t really have a fashion concept. I am making it a point to branch out a little bit. I don’t like to follow trends, but I like some things, therefore I indulged myself a little bit.

32. What kept you sane?
-My friends, most of my family. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them this year! I am so very fortunate to have such amazing people in my life!
-Photography.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don’t.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

So many… Mostly the gross doings of 45.

35. Who did you miss?
The friends and family that are no longer here.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I can’t pick just one, but I’ve met some really great people this year!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.
That karma is GLORIOUS!

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

” But I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell
I know right now you can’t tell
But stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see
A different side of me
I’m not crazy, I’m just a little impaired
I know right now you don’t care
But soon enough you’re gonna think of me
And how I used to be.”



2015 wrap up

1003242_734298300034136_8194264915489910123_nIt’s been one hell of a year. I’m not sad to see it be over.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

Went to a bunch of cities that I had never been to. Graduated from university. Went camping with Nick (not the first time camping of course, just the first time together). Took my first flight.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I haven’t bothered with them in years.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My cousin’s girlfriend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes. My father passed away on Feb 28th.

5. What countries did you visit?

Sadly I haven’t left Canada in a long, long time.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

Being able to communicate in French on a more functional level. Be more focused.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

February 28th. The day my father passed away.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Graduating university with honors.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not taking better care of myself.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes. My depression and anxiety have returned with a vengeance, but i’m doing what I can to be kind to myself.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A signed print from my favorite artist.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Nick’s, that boy is nothing short of amazing.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My sister.

14. Where did most of your money go?

School & my wedding.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Planning my wedding 🙂

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Hozier, take me to church.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

I am mostly sadder, fatter and richer in a non monetary way.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Practicing my craft (photography), reading more, learning more.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Being distracted, housework.  Wasting time on things/people/places that didn’t really matter.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

I was in Ontario with my family & friends and it was awesome! I had an exceptional Christmas this year!

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

Every single day. <3 Nick so very much

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Grey’s & The big bang theory

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yes. I wouldn’t go far as to say hate but more despise I think would be appropriate.

24. What was the best book you read?

I haven’t read much this year that merits any mention.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Can’t say I have one of those.

26. What did you want and get?

Time with the people I love the most.

27. What did you want and not get?

A miracle.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Inside out and home.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 37 and had a small, yet fun gathering with family.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not being in debt and having better mental health.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Yoga pants, hoodies and t-shirts.  I live for comfort.  Especially when I spend so much time taking pictures, editing and sitting in a classroom.

32. What kept you sane?

-My friends, most of my family. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them this year! I am so very fortunate to have such amazing people in my life!

-Photography.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

That’s not my style, I could care less about that sort of thing.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The election.

35. Who did you miss?

Jason as always.  Nick when I’m on the road without him. My dad.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I can’t pick just one, but I’ve met some really great people this year!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

That some people will stop at nothing to try and make you look bad.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I’m always dragging that horse around

The surreal life.

In May 2014 I took a massive leap of faith and applied for school at Concordia University. My end goal being a diploma in professional photography and a second one in Digital Photographic Imaging. I was tired of the culinary industry and had developed such a hatred for it, I wanted to move on. I was slated to begin towards the end of June.

On June 11th 2014 (about 2 weeks after making such a huge decision) I got word that my father was dying. On June 12th 2014 I had an amazing birthday and on June 13th 2014 I lost my job.

Funny how things can change so damn fast.  

You hear about stories like this all the time, they might fascinate you, appall you, inspire you or perhaps scare you. Which is all fine and well…

Until it actually happens to you.  

My first thought was to immediately drop out of school (before I had even started) and run home. Home being Ontario. I didn’t, I internally rationalized it by telling myself that my dad’s death sentence was quite new and he might have years to live. So why waste it, just in case. Either way, I was loosing my dad, it was really just a question of when. I figured that I would get myself a new job right away and just keep going to school part time and that would be that.

Except life never works out quite like you planned.

I never did get another job. No one wants to hire someone who’s been in my position and I can’t say I blame them. We (future husband and I) were broke, but we figured it out. I ended up going to school full time and completed my final course for digital photographic imaging (Photoshop) in October 2015. While I had technically graduated university, it hadn’t sunk in yet because I didn’t have my grades yet. So it was a fair assumption that I would pass, at the very least. I checked my final grades today and I almost fell out of my chair when I seen my final grade. It was/is the highest grade I have ever gotten in my entire life. Which was a surprise to me because that last class was a struggle. Once I got over the shock, I sat there and cried, so hard.

It was finally over and I had made it. Not unscathed by any means…

I’m pretty humble overall as a person. It’s one of my better qualities and no one likes that jerk who brags (sorry). This diploma represents so much more than my education overall. It’s a accumulation of:

  • Debt. So much debt. Which we have most paid off (YAY).
  • Grief. I lost my dad on February 28th 2015 and it hit me hard.
  • Battling through class when you’re waiting for ‘that call’.
  • It’s getting that call and hiding in an empty classroom bawling because you know that you’re going to loose your dad sooner rather than later and you’re helpless against it.
  • It’s having your mom text you and knowing that the following phone call most likely won’t be happy news.
  • It’s focusing every ounce of who you are and pouring your heart into final projects that can take up to 60+ hours.
  • It’s referencing your notes and realizing you missed something important.
  • Watching countless videos on YouTube because you can’t figure out how to do that thing.
  • It’s missing meals and quiet time with the man you love because you’re staring at a computer screen.
  • It’s trying to quiet the voice in your head because depression is an asshole that lies.
  • It’s trying to quell your anxiety because your deadlines are looming and why can’t you find inspiration already.
  • It’s late nights and early mornings.
  • It’s missing weddings and other occasions because you have to hand in your final(s).
  • Tension headaches and sore backs. Awful eating habits and so much more.

That’s not all though.

  • It’s the professors who rally around you and let you leave class so that you can text/call your family.
  • Those same professors also give you deadline extensions and/or present for you so that you can go home and bury your father.
  • It’s your boyfriend turned fiancee who never stops encouraging you, even when he resents that you spend more time with your computer than with him.
  • It’s the friends and the family who rally around you during your darkest time and encourage you to not give up and remind you why you started on this journey in the first place.
  • It’s all the really cool things you learned to do with images that you never even dreamed of.
  • It’s all the amazing and talented people you meet who become your friends.
  • It’s discovering a talent that you didn’t know you even had.
  • It’s being inspired by the guy who delivers your parcels in the afternoon.

It’s all that and more. I can’t wait to get my diploma so I can hang it in my home with so much pride. It’s been one hell of a journey and it still doesn’t feel real, but at the same time, it feels pretty amazing just the same.

So if you ever think that you can’t…

Trust me. You can.