Friday, April 22, 2011

Christmas in April

Some time in January my brand new Trek Top Fuel 9.8 WSD arrived.  And it quickly took up residence in a quiet corner of the Store's basement.  The plus side of being married to Trek Barrie's store manager is the beauty Top Fuel 9.8 that I've been privileged to ride for the last 3 seasons.  The down side - my bikes get neglected until there is time around the shop to build them, which wasn't until the middle of last week.

Now, I know... you feel so sorry for me - whahhhh!!!!  I can hear all of your little violins.  Okay.  I'll stop whining.

The new bike is AMAZING!  Here's a picture:  be JEALOUS :)

Got it out for a ride last week.  Changes over last year include further weight reductions, stronger carbon designed for mountain bikers, front and rear shock lockouts conveniently located on the handlebar.  Best part of the bike is still the ABP technology, which stands for Active Braking Pivot.  While most rear shocks stiffen up when braking, ABP remains active - so on descents, when you need your rear shocks and brakes to work at the same time... they do.

Also, it's pretty.  Which is important.  Stolked to get it out on it's first race next weekend :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Losing the X from Small

 I step out of the dressing room, presenting myself to the salesgirl.
She doesn’t blink. She looks at me like an art curator trying to assess the value of a vase. A rather large vase.
“Carina,” she decides finally. Cute.
I ask her in Italian if she could please tell me honestly whether these jeans are causing me to resemble a cow.
No, signorina, I am told. You do not resemble a cow.
“Do I resemble a pig, then?” (E. Gilbert)
A similar conversation has taken place almost daily with my far too patient husband.  I no longer fit into my very skinny jeans.  Jeans that if I am honest, would not have fit me after I hit puberty and I was skinny then.  There is a part of my brain that is okay with this.  It is the part of me that looks in the mirror and sees muscle, the part that revels in my ability to do pull-ups and push-ups (full man ones - not to be sexist), and loves the numbers that my Powertap so brilliantly displays.  
But, the other side of my brain (the not logical and somewhat annoying part) looks in the mirror and does not like what she sees.  My legs are big, my jeans are tight and the waist is baggy.  Not hot to this side of my brain.
But what all of me agrees on is how fantastic I feel.  I've been in a bad mood and somewhat depressed for 4 years.  Coincidentally - completely coincidentally this is also how long I've been married.  It all started when I dropped about 20 pounds over a span of 2 months leading up to our wedding - much to the seamstress' chagrine as each time I was fitted in my wedding gown, she had to take my dress in another inch.  Now, noone loses that much weight all at once, so I think she thought she was going crazy.  And, I was eating - or so I thought.  But certainly it was not enough food and it certainly wasn't the right food.  At about the same time I started having panic attacks and the moodiness had started.  I put it all down to stress, of which I had a lot: I was quitting my job, moving to Barrie to live with Jeremy, my mom was selling my childhood house, I was buying a house but was about to be jobless and I was planning a wedding.  Enough to send anyone for a loop, but the problem is, I never really recovered.
Eventually, my poor nutrition led to sleepless nights, 3am wakeups to eat (when I did sleep at all), depression, anxiety, mood swings and lack of energy.  Trying to ride my bike on top of this led to frequent illness - but, I put that down to being a teacher and being around sick kids.  Everything can be justified.
Changing what I've been eating was step #1 and it got me to 80% healthy.  But the perfectionist that I am wants 100% health.  So step #2 involved upping the calories.  That part was hard.  I wasn't starving myself on purpose.  But, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy looking in the mirror and seeing the skinny me.  I hate to eat and even as I type this, I am sitting here with my lunch which is getting neglected in favour of well, my blog at the moment, but I'd rather do ANYTHING than sit here and eat for half an hour to forty minutes - which is about how long it takes me to get enough calories in.  That coupled with the thought that skinny people probably climb hills better and fit better into their jeans perpetuated the cycle.

So, now my jeans don't fit and I am forced to swallow the good advice that I've given to a few colleagues and friends who are frustrated when they eat healthy food and don't see the numbers dropping on the scale.  When you eat healthy food and exercise, you may not lose weight - in fact, you might gain weight in the form of muscle .  I have gained muscle (and weight).  You can see it on my legs.   But none of that matters.  What matters is that I feel great.  I sleep great.  I am in a good mood almost all the time.  I can manage life's daily stress and still keep a smile on my face.  I'll keep telling the annoying side of my brain this fact until all of me believes it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wine, Cheese, Bicycles and Women

Now that I have your attention boys, this one is only for the WOMEN.  The first meeting of Trek Women will take place at Trek Store Barrie on Monday April 11th at 6pm. (If you live in Toronto, their meeting will be held at the Trek Toronto store on Saturday April 9 at 6pm).

This is your chance to find out more about the club, meet fellow club members and snack on cheese and wine.  You can also sign-up for the club.

The cost to join all club rides is $40.  Dates for the rides are posted here.