April 28, 2007

Upholding the masses

We've all seen the Oprah Winfrey/Dateline investigations over the last little while I am sure. An epidemic affecting up to 70-85% of women. Thousands of women in North American (and no doubt the world!) are living with this everyday....and like many of them, I too was a victim. Floating through life, repeatedly hitching up that fallen strap, blissfully unaware - until I heard Oprah say the following:
"Every woman watching, this is going to change your life Everyone's talking about it. And I'm revealing a beauty secret that literally performs miracles. It can reverse aging. It can make you look 10, even 20 pounds lighter."
...and it suddenly hit me...I was wearing the wrong bra size. (Cue dramatic music).

It seems in our mid 20's we find a size that fits...and we stick with it. Regardless of changes over the years, weight gains, weight losses, nursing, gravity etc. we assume that "the girls" are going to remain the same forever. We all have memories of those first "training bras" our mothers bought for us umpteen years ago. (And most of us can remember the stinging "snap" of elastic against skin as various school boys ran around the playground testing these new catapults). Yes, the tight, white, ugly constrictive devices, complete with tiny embroidered rosebud or bow in the centre (Marks & Spencer Style #: UGLY01). We couldn't wait to move up to something a tad more delicious. We craved something that screamed "Victoria's Secret" or "La Senza" - barely there gossamer. "I must, I must, I must improve my bust...the bigger the better, the tighter the sweater...the boys rely on us!"

By the time most women hit their 30's however, the desire to be seen as a "Hooters" girl has diminished somewhat. OK for me it took 'til I reached my 40's, but that's another story. So hitching my shoulder strap for the umpteenth time that morning, I was drawn to the ladies fitting room of a large department store... after a perky young sales assistant had told me the dress I was trying on would look "awesome" in the right fitting bra (bitch!)...to ask for that most embarrassing of services. A bra fitting.

Bra fitting is not sexy, it is scientific. A cold eye, colder measuring tape — one almost expects calipers and a short stout German woman named Helga prodding at you mercilessly. It's a mathematical formula: this measurement...add 3...then another measurement, divided by the square root of standing on one leg...that finally produces not only the band width, but that ever important cup size.

Cup size, ah yes - so now we get to the crux of the matter. They range from training size AA (fried eggs) to H (big enough for a kiddies paddling pool on a hot day). The old leering adage of "more than a handful is a waste" proffered by local scallywags, accompanied by a knowing wink has been heard by many a woman who has contemplated her assets. According to statistics the average American bra size has grown from 34B to 36C. Move up to a D cup and the bra fashions out there shrink considerably - think of a suspension bridge, that can double as a fruit bowl on weekends. Sexy? Not on your nelly!

And let's not even get into the torture devices known as under-wire. Any woman worth her salt has experienced the "poke through" effect of a well worn and well loved under-wire bra...and probably has the scars to prove it.

Less than 10 minutes later I was mentally digesting the news of my new size and contemplating the various styles of "over the shoulder boulder holders" on offer. I actually ended up going to 3 different stores that day to be measured and fitted. Call me suspicious by nature, but I needed confirmation that Helga was in fact correct and that I had been wrong all these years. Turns out Helga knew her stuff, and her colleagues in the industry confirmed the results.

$100 later I am gleefully skipping home with my new purchases. No more slipping straps, permanent indentations on my shoulders or permanent marks around my ribcage. Do I look any better? Heaven only knows, but my posture has certainly improved. Shoulders back, chest out...onward girls - onward!

April 27, 2007

For Debbie & Monette

Jo had me out at the gym yesterday, working on my new program. I have to admit there is a huge difference between working out alone and having a buddy along. She wouldn't let me give up - and by the end of our one hour weight program I was more than ready to call it a day...so naturally she dragged me over to the treadmill and had me interval training for another half hour.

I officially hit the 40lb mark today (I've been hovering all week) - woot! I will post real photos once I hit the 50lb mark, instead of just updating the virtual model in the side bar.

April 23, 2007

House delays....

I mentioned briefly in a previous post that my new house has been delayed before we have even broken ground. The builder claims delays "from the town" on various items have pushed back the completion date. By the time we finally get our new place it will have been almost 2 years from when I first signed the purchase agreement. The land was supposed to be serviced last November...they are hoping to have it done before the end of this month. Although this is very disappointing there are however a few positives to this delay:
  • My closing date has now been moved from January 2008 to May 2008 - therefore I won't be trying to move in sub-zero ice storms.
  • More time to save for various upgrades.
  • By the time we finally move in the property will have accrued 2 years of equity from the time I signed the purchase agreement - and it hasn't cost me a bean.
  • The builder is offering a 10% discount on all upgrades to make up for the delay.
It still doesn't make up for the fact that I am disappointed and May 2008 feels like an eternity away. *sigh*

April 20, 2007

Postives and negatives

facebook logo
I appear to have gotten sucked into that latest "crack" of the internet known as face book. I can't even remember how it started, but now two months later, I am seriously wondering where it's all going to end! I have one 'blog buddy' on my list so far (thanks Josh!) so come on the rest of you. You know you wanna!

On the plus side I have gotten back in touch with a few friends from my years with "Biff". One girlfriend in particular I was thrilled to hear from...and 2 hours later when we finally hung up the telephone, it truly felt that we had never been out of touch in all that time.

I received an unsolicited message from a guy who works for the same organization as I do...and two weeks later we are planning a second date this weekend. He's a cop, young (don't ask), hotter than h*** and Irish (well we can't all be perfect). ;)

On the negative side (well that's debatable...but I have a feeling this will all end in tears). The boy received an unsolicited message from his father's wife. This is the first contact regarding him in over 15yrs. She found him on face book and sent a few inquiring messages to establish identity.

The boy's emotions have ranged from excitement to pure rage, so I have no idea how this is going to go. What do you say to the deadbeat father who walked out of your life 15 years ago and never so much as phoned, paid a dime or even sent a birthday card in all that time? Well I guess we will find out tonight...he's supposed to be phoning this evening.

April 8, 2007

Lock, stock and treadmill

Well I'm not supposed to be sitting at the computer at this precise moment. In fact right now, (looks at wrist watch), I should be sweating away on the elliptical after finishing my weight routine at the gym. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the gym this morning I was greeted by at least 4 tractor trailers, multiple police cars, security and the Sheriff.

Turns out my gym has been closed/evicted by the landlord. No doubt the tractor trailers will be loaded with all the equipment in lieu of payment. I wandered up to the door from the parking lot, all wide-eyed (especially after I saw the police cars) my first thoughts being that there must have been a break-in or something overnight to one of the neighbouring shops (my gym is in a strip plaza). I spotted the eviction notice pasted on the door around about the same time as I was approached by the Sheriff.

I am so guilty of stating the obvious with my, "Oh, are they closed then?" (10/10 to the redheaded rocket scientist). The Sheriff confirmed my suspicions (I should've been a detective) and said the landlord had ordered the gym owners out. My earth shattering 6 o'clock newsworthy response? "Oh bugger!"

So RIP Roo's Fitness, you were my gym for the past 3 years and thankfully I only had just over 2 months left on my membership, so I don't feel too ripped off. Yesterday had been business as usual, with no hint of anything in the offing. As I left yesterday I even confirmed with the receptionist what their hours of operation were today seeing as it's Easter Sunday - oh yeah, happy Easter everyone - (although I don't think the Sheriff normally announces his intentions ahead of time when he's coming to kick you out, for fear you'll do a moonlight flit with any valuable chattels).

So now I am gym-less - which is a major kick-in-the-pants set back. On the plus side the weather is getting better outside. I will be watching to see if any of the big box gyms step in to take over the facility, as has happened recently in Southern Ontario with a major chain-gym. I also happen to have two very good friends who work part-time for Goodlife Fitness. One is a receptionist and the other was just hired and completed her personal trainer certification.

I did notice a Goodlife Fitness mini van parked in the lot as I drove away. I wondered briefly if they were there because a) they are taking over b) they are signing up old Roo's members or c) they are just vultures watching the local competitor in his final death throes. I wasn't curious enough however to go back and check them out...although I did wish that I'd had my camera with me.

Edit: So I sat here twiddling my thumbs for an hour or so and then decided to head over to the gym again (this time with camera, but sadly all the mayhem had calmed down and photos of trucks parked at shipping doors just doesn't convey much.) I did however pull up next to the Goodlife minivan and a cute perky little blonde thing (oh god I hate her already) hopped out to come and talk to me. She's the Goodlife district manager and it turns out "yes" Roo's has gone under and "yes" Goodlife are taking over the space.

OMG can I call them or what??

Goodlife will honour all Roo's memberships over the summer months (yay!) and they hope to reopen Thursday once they have their own equipment installed. In the meantime they will honour all Roo's membership cards at any of their facilities - the nearest Goodlife to me is only a few minutes up the road, but the only one near here open today (Easter Sunday) is two towns over in Oshawa. Considering I haven't a clue where in Oshawa it is, and the town is notorious for it's one-way system to confuse the bejesus out of motorists, I think I will take this day to mourn the passing of Roo's and tackle the new gym question tomorrow. All being well I will be back in the old Roo's facility on Thursday.

April 6, 2007

Date rape drugs

"The Girls" and I were at a singles social in a neighbouring town last weekend - I danced my face off, and paid dearly for it the next day. No, I am not talking about a hangover, I am talking tender tootsies! That'll teach me to wear killer high heels on the dance floor! (but damn I looked good!)

The only thing that marred our evening was when one of our friends got sick. We'd only been at the bar a little over an hour and the poor woman became violently ill. After walking her around in the parking lot didn't appear to help matters, a couple of the girls were dispatched to get her home safely and they returned to finish the evening. Now we can be Monday morning quarterbacks, but in hind sight we are all thinking that her symptoms reek of ghb/Rohypnol. She wasn't drunk by any stretch of the imagination - I believe she was still on her first drink. She was violently ill both at the bar and at home. She claims certain portions of the night are "blacked out" in her memory and her symptoms the following morning were akin to an extreme hangover.

It goes to show that even us "thirty and forty somethings" have to be careful when out socially in mixed company. Date rape drugs aren't just something that hits the twenty year olds on the club scene. Thankfully authorities here in Ontario recently acknowledged this problem and are now allowing bar owners to apply to have their liquor licences amended to include areas like washrooms, so that drinks don't need to be left unattended. Not all bar owners have taken advantage of this yet, but hopefully more will.

I Googled ghb just to see what information is out there...and the results are startling. Everything from how to order it, make it at home, dosage, long term effects...even people who are addicted to it.