Returning To Form

I know I’ve been MIA for a week, but last week I got hit by a cold: HARD. I was feeling good on Sunday morning, having completed Week 3: Day 1 of the Couch-to-5K app. On Sunday evening, though, I felt my throat getting sore. Sure enough, I woke up on Monday morning like a Mack truck had run me over.

I didn’t go to work on Monday, but wasn’t able to rest much as I worked from home. I was coughing and hacking and sneezing and everything seemed to be non-stop pretty much all day.

I didn’t go to work on Tuesday, either. My youngest stepdaughter, Lil’ Mo, was also sick so we stayed home together. She sat on one side of the couch and watched movies while I sat on the other side of the couch doing more work (thank goodness I can work remotely when I’m not in the office).

On Wednesday, I dragged my sorry butt to work. For whatever reason, I felt nauseated around 11am and rushed to the restroom. Thankfully, the janitor had just finished cleaning as my head hit the bowl. SIX TIMES. Unbelieveable. When I walked back to the office, between throwing up and my non-stop coughing for three days I had pain in muscles I didn’t even know I had.

I was pretty much shot for the rest of the week. No running…no blogging…nothing.

Yesterday I tried to re-do my Week 3: Day 1 exercise, but had to stop halfway through the workout after my 3-minute stretch because I was coughing and hacking so much. I walked back to the house dejected as I realized that I wasn’t as healthy as I hoped I was.

Still battling… #CouchTo5K #fitness

A video posted by Todd (@canadianbaldguy) on

But that’s not going to stop me. I plan on going out every single morning that I can. When I’m not running, I want to go walking. I need to step up my game here…and the only way to do that is to actually do something and not simply wait to feel better.

My weight is now at 241lbs, so I’ve still got a very long way to go (last week’s inactivity certainly didn’t help). Instead of getting dejected and depressed about my inability to run the way I want to or losing weight like they appear to do on TV, I’m just going to take a deep breath and keep on truckin’ on.

No one is in charge of your happiness except you

Wasted Talents?

On Tuesday I was sent a message from my daughter in Ontario (Rugrat). She had sent me a great pic of some art that she had designed herself. I love looking at her artwork.

Y’see, Rugrat is a really good artist and has been for awhile now. She had dreams of going to art college after high school (she’s 16 and graduates next year), but has now changed her mind. She still loves to draw and the photo below is from a glass pen that Sunshine and I gave her for Christmas.

Rugrat art

She doesn’t want to go to art college anymore. She doesn’t like being told what to draw and thinks she wouldn’t enjoy herself. She only draws animé and pretty much refuses to do anything else.

She now wants to become a hair stylist; not so much someone who works at the local Super Cuts, but someone who designs hair and does whatever styles she wants to do.

I’ll support her in whatever she wants to do, but it almost seems a shame to see her waste her artistic talents.

Throwback Thursday

While I was out running yesterday morning, I was looking out at the beautiful morning and thinking back to a time when I really loved running. It’s weird…I never thought I would love running, but I’ve become a person who does enjoy it. Maybe not all the time, but I certainly like it or else I wouldn’t do it at all.

Anyway, so I told Sunshine that I was thinking back four years ago to our last real vacation. On the morning we were to transfer from the hotel to the cruise ship, we were up at 6am and out behind the Holiday Inn Tampa in their beautiful pond/walking path area. I felt like a million dollars, so I went running around the path.

I was training for a race at that point, so I didn’t really have a plan or anything. I was just running until I had to slow down to catch my breath. It was beautiful, it was sunny, and I felt great.

I want those feelings back once all this snow finally disappears. I’m looking forward to tackling my half-marathon goal for later this year.

Throwback Thursday

Why Do I Love Entertainment So Much?

As you may know by reading my blog over the past five+ years, I’m a big fan of all things “entertainment”.  I’ve written about movies and television series and music and celebrities numerous times. It was only last week that I realized why.

National EnquirerWhile listening to the local morning radio show, Sunshine and I overheard the hosts talk about how their parents used to read The National Enquirer when they were younger. I’m said, “My mom used to buy the National Enquirer and Star Magazine every single week.”

Sunshine replied with, “Well now you know why you’re so crazy about entertainment.”

I had never really thought about it before, but she was right (she loves hearing me say that, too). Finally, at 42 years of age I realized why I was so bloody interested in all things Hollywood when I have zero connection to the entertainment business at all: my mom!

feedlyI mean, my feedly playlist has some sports and local news and blogs thrown in for good measure. But it’s almost 75% entertainment stuff from Buzzfeed or Screen Rant or WWTDD or TMZ. I used to watch shows like Entertainment Tonight religiously when I was younger (i.e. pre-internet). Now it all makes sense.

It’s silly, really. I guess that makes me no better than the ladies that gather around my aunt’s table to gossip about the people of my hometown, only it’s me interested in the gossip of celebrities and people I don’t know at all.

Hey…there are certainly worse things that could have been passed down to me from my mom.   :-)

Week One

So the first week is now officially over and the second week has begun. I completed the first three workouts on my Couch-to-5K app and I’ve been tracking calories all week with the MyFitnessPal app. How did the results reflect this morning?

One pound lost.

Hey…I’m not trying to complain about that, though. This isn’t Biggest Loser or anything. Losing one pound in a week is a solid effort. I would have preferred two, but I’ll certainly take one. Here’s the thing…if I continue and lose one pound a week for the rest of the year, I’ll be a skinny bastard when 2016 rolls around!

This isn’t a sprint. That, I think, is the toughest thing to remember when making this lifestyle change. I’ve told myself before that it’s not a race to lose weight, but I’ve always lost the ability to stay focused and not be disheartened by a low weekly number.  I don’t think I’m in that headspace anymore, though…so I’m prepared for whatever number happens to pop up on that scale.

The scale won’t determine my mood, nor will it tell me how I’m going to act that day. It won’t control me. I refuse to let it.

My calories have been okay. My FitBit tells MyFitnessPal how many steps I’ve had, and MapMyRun tells MyFitnessPal whenever I go for a run, so my calorie goal for each day changes. So far, though, I’ve done a pretty good job to stay under my daily goal.

Net calories - Week 1

So all in all, I’m doing okay at this point. I started Week 2 of the Couch-to-5K app yesterday morning. It was a little tough, but that’s okay. I used to be able to run 10 minutes at a time, so if I’m having issues at 90 seconds then that just tells me I’ve got some work to do.

Staying focused; staying positive. I’m still planning to tackle a half-marathon in the fall and I’m still planning to own 2015.

Let’s do this!


Customer Service

Customer ServiceLast week I was hit with three separate instances where customer service was less than desirable. In fact, I almost walked out of a restaurant before even ordering. But I’m skipping ahead…

Tim HortonsWhile in a drive-in line-up at one of the local Tim Hortons, I placed an order that came to $2.55. I had my $3 ready when I drove up to the window. When I got there, I was handed my order and then that was it. I just sat there looking at her, waiting to get my change. She asked me if I got everything I ordered. I said, “Yes, but I didn’t get my change.” At this point, any change I may have left as a tip was coming back to me.

She apologized and asked me how much it had come to. I told her $2.55 and that I had given her $3.00 when I drove up. She grabbed some change out of the register, handed it to me with , “Here you go” and off I drove. I opened my hand to find a nickel. A NICKEL.

Now listen, I’m not upset over the $0.40 cents I was short-changed. It isn’t about the amount of the change. It’s the fact that (1) she forgot to even give me change and (2) she didn’t know how to subtract 2.55 from 3. It was very frustrating.

Lower DeckOn our Date Night last week, Sunshine and I went to a restaurant that we had never been to before because we were both craving burgers and they offered gluten-free buns for her. It was a weird atmosphere…set up like a country bar, the wait staff were all wearing kilts, and they were advertising the local dance radio station doing live DJ’ing on the weekends. I dunno…it just all seemed like a mish-mash.

It was just after 5pm and was NOT busy when we walked in. Staff saw us and one of them said that we should go seat ourselves. We were there for five minutes…staring at each other and looking around the restaurant…just waiting for a menu to look at.

A waiter walked to the table next to us with some food. He went back to the bar and never came back with menus. Another couple of guys walked in a solid 5-minutes after we were there and a woman walked behind them with menus.

I started to get upset. I raised my voice and waved my arms, “HELLOOO!?!?”  At this point, Sunshine asked if I wanted to leave. She was probably just as annoyed with me over-reacting as she was with the lack of service.

Thankfully, somebody finally came over (the waiter that was just by us earlier delivering food) and we proceeded to have a great meal.

SubwayThe next day, both Sunshine and I went to the local Subway at two different times to pick up lunch. We  both noted that one of the servers was NOT in a good mood that day. Sure, he gave us the proper script and said the right things, but he had a very audible “tone” in his voice like we were annoying him.

And we both also saw him throwing food around like he was a child. I saw him whip some cheese back into the bin, only he missed and it went into the lettuce. He grabbed it and chucked it back into the cheese bin. Sunshine saw him throwing onions around, too. It was just a really uncomfortable situation.

On the weekend I went to a sporting goods store to look at their ballcaps. Normally, the guys who work here are all over you as soon as you walk in the door. It wasn’t busy and there were two guys working on this day. No greeting when I arrived. Alright…not a big deal.

Sports FanaticI had my New York Jets ballcap on and was looking at their rack of caps on the wall. I walked up and down looking for the one I wanted to get but couldn’t find. One guy was up against the back wall looking around, the other guy was folding shirts next to me. Sure, I could have asked for help…but I was hoping they would ask me first. They didn’t so I walked out after about 10 minutes of staring at the caps trying to find my team.


It’s the old saying: consumers will tell, on average, twice as many people about bad service than they will about good service. And having been a waiter for about a decade, I would like to think I know a thing or two about good customer service.

I don’t expect to get perfect service out of a drive-thru coffee chain. But I’d like to think that if you miss one thing, you don’t completely blow the other. And even if that job is the best job you can get, they shouldn’t put you on the drive-thru register duty if you can’t count or subtract simple decimals.

I don’t expect to be waited on hand and foot as soon as I walk into the door. But if restaurant isn’t busy, then I certainly expect to be waited on in a certain amount of time…especially if the wait staff is just standing around.

And I don’t expect everybody to be super-excited to be “Sandwich Artists”. But I don’t expect them to throw food around like an 8-year-old throwing a tantrum. Even if you’re in a bad mood, there are certain standards that still need to be met.

I would LOVE to hear some of the bad customer service situations that you’ve had over the years…just so I realize that my situations weren’t that bad.

10,000 Steps

I’m finding it difficult to hit 10,000 steps on a regular basis. I mean, I went for a morning walk/run yesterday and got almost 4,500 steps. By the time 4:30pm came around yesterday at the office, I was only up to 5,800 steps. Obviously, I’m sitting at my desk way too much…but I was really surprised to only hit that mark after the entire day.

I spent the evening making sure I got my 10,000 steps in…doing whatever I had to do. Today was a day I wasn’t planning on going out for a walk, so that means I’ve got a much tougher time trying to get those steps in.

I don’t know how people do it, especially people who work in an office environment all day. Maybe things will be easier once it slows down a bit at work and it gets a bit nicer outside. I hope so, anyway.

I was feeling a bit sore yesterday and I can feel a bit of tenderness this morning, but I expected that to happen. Thankfully, I didn’t go too nuts yesterday morning so I’m not wrecked by any stretch. I can say, though, that I’m absolutely looking forward to doing this C25K app from the beginning to the end again because I know that I can do it. Last year I was motivated but timid…thinking I could actually run a 5K but not entirely sure. I’ve got the confidence in knowing that I can do it now, so it’s really a matter of trying to keep up the pace.


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