a peek inside the fishbowl

01 Nov, 2007

Chips and hips

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

It wasn’t my idea, but Sarah declared she didn’t want a store-bought costume. She wanted to be a ghost. Fine, sure, let’s be a ghost, but surely was there something more to do other than find a white sheet and cut holes in it?

I wanted her to have a bride-of-Frankenstein’s-monster updo. I was ready for lots of backcombing, powdering, hairspraying and I already had images of spiderwebs and spiders running over the whole thing. This was not to be. She didn’t want her hair showing at all. Oh well.

Mary bought us some plain white fabric for the costume. A couple days ago I draped it over Sarah, cut out a small hole for her face, two slits for her arms, and a strip off the bottom to tie around her neck. As you can see, she was into the facepainting, and requested the black eyebrows (“they have to be shaped like triangles mummy”) and the linebacker-types stripes under each eye.

Emma thought up her own costume. She was a rock star.

Mark and I traded off, and took turns handing out the candy while the other walked around with the kids.

I totally gorged on candy last night. I ate a bag of chips, some rockets, a tootsie roll, four (or five?) bags of swedish berries and a half-dozen mini chocolate bars all within about 15 minutes. I felt kind of ill this morning. I haven’t eaten candy in ages (you know, my body is a temple yadda yadda) and my body just into shock mode.

Why was I wasting my time on some crappy old Lay’s chips? If I’m going to eat chips I’d rather have restaurant-style tortilla chips and a good salsa. Or Miss Vickie’s. If I’m going to eat chocolate I’d rather get it from Truffle Treasures. They have peanut butter cups that are to die for.

Why I am eating this sh!t?

I think that might be it for me. No more. But we’ll see how well I actually do in the willpower department.

The girls don’t care how much we eat of their stuff. We’ve always told them that Halloween is the Season of Sharing.

“Total strangers share their candy with you, so why not share with your parents?”


re: this health thing I’ve been doing
(I know how boring it is reading about someone else’s fitness regime so I’m tucking it under the fold.)

I feel great. Really great. I have virtually eliminated most processed foods from my diet, excluding granola and bread because I need my fibre and I’m can’t see myself baking my own on a regular basis.

But during the past few weeks I’ve also discovered that life without a couple of foods (at least for me) would be a very sad one indeed. Those tortilla chips I mentioned, as well as homemade Rice Krispy squares … I love them too much and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. ;)

I don’t think I’ve lost weight. I don’t weigh myself very often. I weigh about the same, but this isn’t about weight loss. It’s about Good Health. Did anyone catch the news about obesity and cancer risk? Seems you have to be pretty slim in order to cut down the risk factors.

I only have one live to live. And I want to make it a good one.

It takes a bit of effort, but I am worth it.

I’m at the gym about five times a week. I love it. I’m up to 25 minutes on the elliptical trainer and it’s getting easier. I can actually walk without clutching the handlebars. (!) I am hands-free except when I’m at the peak of Hill Climb #2, which is a killer. It’s done wonders for my balance, which is a totally unexpected benefit.

After that I usually do a circuit of the weights, including this hip machine I really like. My legs are strong, but I haven’t gained any extra strength in the arm department. I’m not concerned, just mildly embarrassed. I struggle to bench press 20 reps on the lightest weight possible. I’m not training for Ms.Olympia or anything, but gack.

When I’m finished the circuit I do another 15 minutes on a different cardio machine. Sometimes it’s the treadmill, but mostly it’s the recumbent bike. And then I walk home. There’s always a bounce in my step. You’d think it would be the exact opposite, but I am raring to go. If a good tune is playing on my music player I’ve even been known to take an extra turn around the block.

My mother is reading this, and freaking out. (Hi Mom!) She thinks I’m too thin. I’m not too thin.

One important lesson I’ve learned here is this: energy begets energy. I know we’ve all read it in hundreds of news and magazine articles, but it’s really true. And it doesn’t take long to find that elusive Extra Energy.

Now that I have more of it, it gets channeled into all kinds of good places. I am walking taller. I am a happier person to be around. I am motivated. I don’t feel as tired. I admit that I don’t bound out of bed when I wake up (I am destined to be a grouch in the morning, no matter how much I exercise) but I no longer suffer through low periods in the afternoons… ones that drive me to nap (which I always paid for with restless night-time sleeps) or intense coffee cravings.

I am suddenly more aware of my body working, and it’s working well. I feel my legs when I’m going up the stairs, I feel my glutes when I’m walking around the neighborhood, and amazingly enough, I feel my abs when I am ironing. (!) Speaking of which, I now see a shadow of what might very well be a six-pack (or maybe a four pack) somewhere under there. Yay me!

I’ve also been really trying to get to bed earlier. (The girls have a bedtime, so why didn’t I?) I’ve also been using my Litebook, and taking a multivitamin again as well as extra vitamin D.

I feel like my old self again. Wow. An investment in “me time” has been totally worth it.

4 Responses to "Chips and hips"

1 | porter

November 1st, 2007 at 4:53 pm


I don’t think your fitness/health regime is boring at all. I’ve also been stuffing my face full of crap and it didn’t even dawn on me that instead of crappy junk why not eat good quality junk! haha but it’s true.

2 | andrea

November 1st, 2007 at 5:43 pm


No kidding. This is a major part of my strategy! It’s also the logic I use at the grocery store with the girls, especially when we’re in the lineup and there’s a big rack of candy right at eye level.

I tell them it’s crap (it is, after all, crap) and that if we’re going to eat candy we’re going to eat THE GOOD STUFF.

3 | BeachMama

November 2nd, 2007 at 3:11 pm


I just have to say that I saw you not that long ago and I don’t think you are too skinny at all, you look healthy and strong, which is awesome.

I only wish I could get my willpower back. I used to be so good at it, but seem to have a few more difficulties lately not snacking on the bad stuff. I cleared our house of at the request of Hubby and myself only to find him bringing home stuff every weekend. That and all the candy that came in, it is killing me. I need absolutely nothing in the house to regain my control. Sad but true.

4 | a peek inside the fish bowl

June 1st, 2008 at 8:16 pm


[…] Nov: It wasn’t my idea, but Sarah declared she didn’t want a store-bought costume. […]

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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