You Can’t Stop The Beat

Hairspray Cast

After 4 months of rehearsals and performances, Storybook Theatre’s production of Hairspray ended on a high note after 20 shows. It was bittersweet. I’m happy to have my free time back, while at the same time wondering when I can be involved with another incredible experience like this one.¬†I’ve met so many incredibly talented & amazing people throughout this adventure. The passion each person had and the way a group of strangers could come together and execute such a massive production was incredible. Continue reading

Tips for staying motivated

It’s just under two weeks into my epic journey of health and I feel great. One of the hardest things I find is staying motivated with most things. I generally get excited about something new and shiny, then move onto the next about 5 minutes later. My health is one thing that I can no longer forget about. While I love hopping on my treadmill after work and getting that boost of endorphins, it helps to have some good music playing. Since running in the same spot can get boring, I watch music videos instead of simply listening to the songs. I find pop and dance music has a great beat to keep me pushing myself. Here’s a couple:

Yes, Nsync. Don’t hate. ūüôā

LMFAO is great for brisk walking.

Really good beat to run to.

A few other tips for staying motivated:

1. Constantly challenging myself

I make myself deals while I’m running. Such as telling myself I’ll slow down once a verse of the song is over, then I convince myself to keep going a bit further. Works every time.

2. Visualization

Just thinking about the coming days, weeks, months and how much better I’m going to feel is such a great motivator to keep going when I get tired.

3. Psyching myself up at work

About midway through my day (when I’m losing steam), I think about how excited I am to get home and¬†exercise. It helps me stay focused at work, and gives me something to look forward to when i get home.

4. Talking with others

I’m quite the open and honest person, so I’ve made sure to tell anyone and¬†everyone¬†I can about my new goals. Just talking about it helps me want it more, and also hold me accountable when people ask how it’s going. Blogging is a great way to document my journey, so that if I hit that¬†unavoidable¬†wall, I have something to reflect upon to keep going.

I’m still adapting to the changes I’ve set in motion for myself and I couldn’t be more¬†excited. It has not been an easy journey to get here. It’s taken a LONG time for all of this to set in and make sense. I’ve has many false starts and half assed attempts, and then realized that I’m the only one who is accountable for this to happen.

So now I pose a question to you: How do you stay motivated and focused with your eyes on the prize? Comment below and let me know. Until next time ūüôā

Goodbye fatty….my journey to a healthier lifestyle

It's too bad eating grilled cheese doesn't help with losing weight.

I’ll cut straight to the point….I’m a fatty. Not the type that needs to be taken out of my house using a crane, just a bit fat. My weight has crept up on me after many, many late nights binge drinking, eating low quality (but delicious) fast food meals and simply not taking care of myself. I’ve never worked out or been in amazing shape, but it dawned upon me as I looked at photos from my recent trip to Florida that I have packed on the pounds these few years. Look at my photo from Summer 2005 and compare it to now:

Carefree days of eating whatever I wanted....
Now 35 pounds later....

It’s really fun and easy to pack on the pounds, but not so much to take it off.¬†The thing I’ve realized (and it took so long) is there is no easy way to get in shape. It takes hard work and perspiration. No magic pill or crash diet will work. I don’t get why we all think it will. Deep down inside, I believe we know the truth. We just like to think the pill is going to work because it requires no effort.

Right now, I’m starting with 45 minutes of intensive jogging/running and some light weight lifting. I get home from work and get right to it. No excuses. I read one of the best ways to stay accountable is to mark an “X” on your¬†calendar¬†the days you work out, so that you have a visual representation of when you didn’t. I must say, such a simple motivator and yet it works. As with most things, keep it simple. I’m not going to do some crazy cleanse, crash diet or take some magic bullet pill. I’m not going to weigh myself that often, after all it’s just a number. I’m not even going to change the way I eat at first. I mean, yes I am eating better, but I LOVE McDonald’s and I will not stop having the occasional lunch there. I figure once I get the¬†exercise¬†portion under control and imprinted in my habits, I will slowly change other aspects of my life. If you jump in too far, you may give up too quickly. I’m guilty of this, hence small changes.¬†For the record, I started this adventure at 217 pounds. I’m sure I’ll know when I’m losing weight with¬†increased¬†energy and¬†endurance.

As always, I’ll post my progress and struggles right here. Comment below if you have any tips/words of encouragement for me.¬†In the meantime, I’m headed out for beer and wings. Happy Friday everyone ūüôā

Look at that body. I work out!

New Year, New Adventures

As I sit down to write my very first blog for 2012, there is so much happening behind the scenes in my life. At this point, I cannot discuss in detail. But give me a week or so and you’ll know exactly to what I’m referring to. I’ve been attempting to stay sane after being home for just over a year now. The urge to pack up my life and take another grand adventure seeps out of my pores 24/7. I’m happy to FINALLY be working in advertising and getting experience with social media. A few years ago if you told me I’d be getting paid to be on Facebook and Twitter all day I would have laughed in your face. At times, I truly feel there is an unseen force guiding me in the direction I’m meant to be. Two years ago the job I’m doing right now didn’t even exist, and 2012 is going to be a year of massive change for companies and the way they use social media. It’s a good career to be working in, with lots of prospects down the road. Other than finally getting a job,¬†2011 was a tough year for me. But for every part of 2011 I didn’t enjoy, I did learn and grow a lot because of my experiences, so it wasn’t a total write off. And I do remind myself that at the end of the day, I’m better off than 99% of the world, so I’m very¬†thankful¬†for that. Here’s a very quick recap of ¬†my 2011.

I was unemployed for a bit and applying like mad to advertising agencies, I got a few calls and interviews. Interview A was for an internship at a really shady web marketing firm. I told them thanks but no thanks. Interview B was for another internship that I bombed in the interview mainly because the person interviewing me didn’t really click with my personality. Odd considering I can get along with almost anyone. I then had two interviews for real jobs at BIG, MASSIVE, advertising agencies in downtown Toronto. The first was for a media assistant position, which I knew was totally¬†unqualified¬†for, and went to the group interview for that. Had to talk about myself to the group and write a geography and math test. Ended up not getting that to no surprise.

I had forgotten I applied at Apple Retail while still in Florida, and they gave me a call in February. I went on a group interview (very similar to Disney), followed by an interview with the store manager. I got hired, went through 4 days of Apple Brainwashing and started at Apple Square One shortly after. I only lasted 2 months until I decided it wasn’t for me. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy getting screamed at in person and over the phone because people’s products didn’t work. this was 85% of the job. This coming from someone who has worked at Disney and Shoppers Drug Mart and has been in almost every possible crazy customer situation. I met with the store manager and told her why I wanted to leave and she was great and fully understood.

During the time at Apple, I got an interview for an account management position. I had 5 different interviews: Human Resources, 2 Account Managers (separate), another Account Manager who flew from NEW YORK CITY to meet me! And finally the Account Director on the phone from NYC. After the excruciating wait to find out my future, they went with the other person. Mainly over a bit more experience. To say I was crushed is an understatement, but I got over it.

I decided to head out to Calgary for the summer and try working out there. I packed my car, drove across the U.S. and Canada and arrived at Craig’s house. The living room became my bedroom, and we spent a great deal of time drinking, laughing and having a great time. Sadly, I couldn’t find work out there, but did apply for an advertising agency here in Ontario and ended up getting hired there. After 6 weeks in Alberta, I packed up again and drove home. I’ve been here ever since and am glad to be working in the advertising industry. My life isn’t that exciting at the moment, but I know it’s just a lull. Everything goes in cycles, and I’m in the part where it’s just about to reset.

I’m headed to Florida in a week to see some of my best friends and have 9 days of adventures. I also started a blog, Theme Park Canuck, to showcase my blogging skills and passion for theme parks. It helps keep me busy, creative and inspired.

I’m not sure what’s in store for me in 2012, but signs point to awesome.

P.S.¬†Something I want to start doing is a recap of the notable events each week. Mainly because I’m lazy and bullet points are faster ūüôā

Highlights of my week:

  • The return of my favourite blog ever,¬†The World According to C-Mac. A great friend of mine took a tiny break (a year and a half to be specific) from writing her fantastic, hilarious and inspirational blog. Even if you don’t know her personally, it’s a great read.
  • Planning my Florida adventures. I leave on Saturday and couldn’t be more excited to visit great friends, have some awesome adventures and be in my happy place.
  • Discovering the television show¬†Shameless¬†when I was sick this week. So good I watched 13 episodes in 3 days. It’s¬†about a totally F-ed family that shocks after every turn. Starring William H. Macy as the screwed up dad.
  • Secret project in the works. Please stand by.


Skating like a Pro

Worst quality photo ever, thanks Blackberry!

When I was a kid, I skated a lot, but lost interest around age 13 or 14. Fast forward to 2005, I was in Chicago and they had an outdoor rink and free skate rentals. Hockey skates that is. I was a little apprehensive, never having even tried on a pair of hockey skates (that’s a story for another day. Let’s just say I have a photo of myself as the Pumpkin from¬†Cinderella¬†somewhere that has never seen the light of day!) Getting on the ice was a bit rough. This was the only time I had skated in over 13 years. Being out of practise for such a long time was a little scary, but I knew that I must still have some skill. I spend a lot of time rollerblading in the warmer months, so I knew I could at least keep my balance. I got to the arena,¬†laced up my skates and hit the ice. It was a little scary, seeing that the 5-year-olds zipping around the ice looked like seasoned pros. I was a little intimidated, mainly because I assumed I would fall flat on my ass the second I hit the ice. I’m glad to say I was wrong. Once I hit the ice, I also looked like a seasoned pro as I whipped around that arena. The lesson: Quiet your inner critic. If you think you can’t do it, your setting¬†yourself¬†up for failure. Give ¬†yourself the benefit of the doubt that you can do the things you set your mind to. Also, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve done something, you can always jump back in if you have the right attitude. Thanks to taking this small chance, I may actually enjoy winter a little bit more this year! ¬†Have you ever tried a hobby or sport again after many years of not being involved? What was the outcome?