When I left my job last September, I looked forward to being in the best shape ever. I planned to work out daily – coffee with friends in the morning, followed by a power walk or yoga, and then a light meal of grilled fish and veggies. I would look and feel amazing in no time … 

That didn’t happen. 

Walking a wet Seawall in Vancouver

It’s now the end of March and I’m sitting in the doctor’s office after my annual physical. I’m down ten pounds but that came from stress and eating solo after a snowier than normal winter in Vancouver where I was trapped inside. My fitness levels are fine the doctor reassures me but I feel like shit. My energy is down and I’m annoyed at myself for not taking this time to really have made a personal difference. It’s like I put my body on a shelf and left it there for six months. Goodbye toned dreams. Hello slug reality. 

Looking back to sunnier cycling days in Stanley Park.

Now that spring is here in Toronto (hoping I’m not jinxing that) I’ve come up with a straightforward common sense plan to get my aching body (sore knee, stiff joints and insomnia) back on track. 

  1. Buy new sneakers and use them, a lot! I’ve moved into a vibrant area of downtown Toronto with lots of residential streets and parks to explore. Instead of relying upon the car, I’ll be walking at every opportunity. 
  2. Buy a bike. I’ve always loved cycling. I have the best memories of pedalling along country roads in Tuscany and Avignon so I need to get back on two wheels. 
  3. Eat better. I’m known for my sugar obsession – candy and chocolate are my Kryptonite. I often joke that one day I will explode and all that will be left is a little pile of white sugar! And it occurred to me today that may actually happen. Sugar is the new dreaded health toxin so I need to snack on more veggies and wean myself off my daily chocolate. A tiny piece of dark chocolate is not the answer. I’m a Cadbury Easter Cream Egg lover so I’ll still have one … but not three in one sitting. 
  4. Eat less. I always figured that if I’m eating healthy foods then I can eat a lot. Wrong. A giant fruit smoothie or oversized plate of fruit is too much of a good thing. I’m going to watch my portions and use smaller plates.
  5. Change my nighttime habits. Scrolling through social media – especially the Twitter news – does little to calm my busy mind. And that leads to sleepless nights when I’m trying to solve my problems at 2:35am (why am I always awake at that same time?) I’m also going to buy crisp new cotton sheets and replace my duvet with a lightweight cotton blanket. I know that I’ll sleep better. 


    So there’s nothing earth shattering here. But back to basics is exactly what I need right now. I know that I’ll start to feel like my old self in no time. And that healthy peace of mind is the exactly what my doctor ordered.