The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Product Review 014 – Fitbit Charge

Two months ago I bought a Fitbit Charge.  I was a little concerned about the 150ish dollar price tag given that there was a high probability that it would end up in the back of my drawer with all the other weight loss and exercise gizmos I’ve bought over the years, but I polled my friends and many gave it very positive reviews and I was fortunate enough to have a Costco gift card so that helped.

I have to admit that I struggled a bit with the set up, but part of that was…ahem…user error.  Once I got it set up I put it on and immediately it started tracking my steps, flights of stairs climbed, distance traveled and calories burned. When you sync it to your computer or mobile device the basic dashboard lets me put in my weight loss goals, enter my food and water intake, it tells me when I am active during the workday and it even monitors my sleep patterns.  There are a number of other functions as well like alarms and caller ID, however using these additional features can drain the battery much sooner than the 7-10 days they claim in the Fitbit literature.  I can also add my friends to my dashboard and compare steps with them on a daily basis, cheer them on and send them notes of encouragement.  You can also send a jeer to your friends which I have to admit I don’t like because trash talking people who are making an effort is well crappy in my book.

There are a few drawbacks to the Fitbit Charge like you can’t get it wet so yesterday when I was doing dishes and other chores around the house I had it off for the majority of the day so I tallied very few steps and sometimes it doesn’t acknowledge stairs, but I have found that you have do a certain number of stairs at a specific pace to get credit.

I am actually on my second Fitbit Charge as the first one was only lasting a couple of days between battery charges which wasn’t really so bad, but wasn’t what the company promised.  I was encouraged by a friend of a friend to contact the company and they were swift to respond, even on a Saturday night, and after a few simple questions to confirm my warranty was still good they sent me a new Fitbit Charge within a week.  I’m testing it now, but so far it’s gone 5 days on one battery charge and according to my dashboard the battery is about half way.

I am working on losing weight and have lost a bit on my own, but with the Fitbit Charge I am already starting to notice changes in my appearance and most definitely changes in my behaviour.  For instance I’ve started making more trips around the office instead of waiting until I had a bunch of stuff to deliver, I’ve started stepping in place while reading correspondence and I even popped in my earbuds and went for a walk at lunch the other day.  It wasn’t a long walk, but it helped boost my steps for the day and it did wonders for my self esteem.  In fact one of the most pleasant surprises was noticing just how many steps I was already getting in on a typical day and then being able to track my efforts to improve upon that.  So often I feel like I have to make a special effort to go to the gym or make time for a marathon walk and if I can’t fit that in then the day is lost.  My Fitbit Charge is showing me that every step, be it to the gym or around the grocery store is a step in the right direction.

Given the money I have spent on potions and tinctures and various doodads to lose weight over the years the Fitbit Charge is well worth the money, but I do have to admit for the average person on a budget the $150ish price tag is pretty steep.  If you are in a position to put a little money aside though I think it is a wise investment.

I give it 8 goddesses out of 10.

–  the Goddess










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A Message For Teenage Girls And All Their Sisters

Melissa Newman-Evans has a new fan in me.

– the Goddess


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There Is No Spectrum Of Mean

A few months ago I was feeling like I was taking it from all sides and I felt very vulnerable.  There were days that a sideways look was enough for me to want to dissolve into a mess of sloppy tears.  It only lasted for a couple of weeks, but it got me thinking about how I treat other people and how we don’t always realize that an off handed remark or a kind hearted jibe might be all it takes for someone to reach their tipping point.

In high school I was known as the sarcastic one. The one who always had the quick retort and shut down a bully quickly and efficiently.  I didn’t realize how “good” I was at this until I got to university and people who I barely knew from high school would come up to me and say hi and that most of all they remembered my sarcasm. Even now when catching up with old friends on Facebook they often mention my sarcasm, not my humour, but my sarcasm, as the thing they remember most about me.  Of course for me the sarcasm and biting humour was a defence mechanism, a way to defuse someone before they could attack me with comments about my weight, but regardless of the reason for it, the end result was that I was mean to people.  I was mean to people who might have been acting out because of their own struggles and I was mean to people who were likely innocent bystanders hanging around the “cool” kids as a way to survive the social minefield of high school.

And so a couple of months ago I decided to be kinder, specifically I decided that I would put a pause button on my mouth.  Before saying the funny and generally well intentioned sarcastic remark that springs to mind I’m going to take a beat and consider the outcome of those words.  If it’s someone with whom I have an easy banter and an understanding with then perhaps it’s fine, but I don’t always know the kind of day someone has had and maybe my off handed comment is the last straw for them or maybe they are the kind of person who feels very deeply and my comment,  said for my own amusement and forgotten seconds later, might stick with that person for a long time to come.

Granted it’s just a little wit, it’s not like I physically hurt these people or orchestrated a smear campaign, and we know from our legal system that  different crimes have different punishments so there is a sense of one crime being worse than another, but whether I point out someone’s shortcomings or I kick them in the shin I am being mean.

A few years ago a friend hurt my feelings.  When I finally spoke to her about it her defence was that the same action had hurt someone else’s feelings more deeply and somehow I was supposed to be thankful for that.  Recently another friend who is struggling with some personal issues sent me an article and wanted confirmation that he had never been as mean to me as the man in the article was to the author.  While my instinct is to protect him because he is emotionally vulnerable I have to admit that I was disappointed and hurt.  He wanted me to assure him that even though he’d been unkind that it was not so bad because he had been less unkind than someone else.


What both of them failed to comprehend is that there is no equivalent of the Richter scale on these things.  You can’t say well I only got a 0.2 on the Meanter scale, but that dude, that dude lemme tell ya he was a 0.8 with aftershocks, that dude is MEAN.  There is no spectrum of mean, rather I think of it like a toggle switch, on or off, mean or kind.

I’m not saying that we can’t express our feelings or that we can’t make a joke, I’m just saying that we need to own our behaviours and if we are mean we apologize and we make amends and we don’t try to deflect blame and responsibility by pointing to those who are “meaner”.

– the Goddess




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Doing That NaNoWriMo Thing

I’ve been threatening to write a novel for a while and after some false starts I have done it. Well I mean I have started.

I must confess I am figuring out the “Nano” phenomenon as I go since it appears that we are all “winners” which sounds a little quaint to me, but for someone like me who thrives on badges and clicking progress charts this really is up my alley.

I’m not sure what I will have at the end of this month, but I did have a eureka moment a few weeks ago with this story where all the pieces that were floating around in my head, the characters I wanted to include, the scraps of dialogue started to fall into place in a way that finally made perfect sense to me.  I’m not sure if I will share the final piece or if it will ever get published or if anyone will even want to read it when I’m done, but I’ve decided that for now my only concern is to get the words on the page, the rest I will worry about later.

Wish me luck!

– the Goddess

P.S. Yes I do get a badge for announcing my intentions on social media…how did you know???  :)


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Momma Murray’s Minions

Growing up I had several mothers.  I don’t mean in a “Heather Has Two Mommies” kind of way, it was just that for some reason other mothers seemed to look out for me and talk to me more so than the other kids in the gang.  Maybe they noticed something wanting in me or perhaps it was because I was precocious.  Whatever it was I cherish my “other mothers” and the relationships I’ve had with them over the years.  One of my mothers was Elaine Murray, the mother of my oldest and dearest friend Vicki.  Two years ago Elaine was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.  As she lives out of town I haven’t been able to see much of her, but I’ve followed her progress, and her journey is filled with highs and lows, the anecdotes often heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.

Alzheimer’s is a sinister disease robbing its victims of their memories, their loved ones forced to mourn their loss long before their time. New treatments and therapies are emerging, but more research is needed and that costs money.  So I’ve joined “Momma Murray’s Minions” and on January 30th, 2016 we are going to walk to support the Alzheimer Society of Toronto.

According to their website the Alzheimer Society of Toronto offers support, information and education to people with dementia, their families and their caregivers.  They work to increase public awareness of dementia, promote research, and advocate for services that respect the dignity of the individual.

If you’d like to sponsor me you can do so here.

– the Goddess

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To All The Beautiful Souls

I’m not sure who to attribute this to, a google search didn’t help, but it was too lovely not to post.

If you know who said it first, please do let me know.


– the Goddess

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Looking Like Stuart Little, Feeling Like A Superhero!

I have some issues with veins and swelling in my legs.  Part of it is just the luck of the gods, part of it is a medication I take and most of the time I just sort of ignore it and carry on with my day.  A few weeks ago though it was really bothering me and so I went to the pool and I ran in the water for about forty minutes.  This really gets the blood pumping and the pressure of the water on my legs seems to help and when I got out of the water I was feeling pretty good.  I know that I feel a bit better with lace up boots on so I went digging around in my closet for some lace up shoes that would stand up to me walking around all day at work and would also fit my orthotics.  At the back of the closet, still in the box, I found a pair of sneakers I had bought ages ago at the Soft Moc outlet.  A sucker for a sale I had picked up these shoes on impulse and then tossed them in the cupboard for a rainy day.  They are grey with highlights of red and black and they are pretty light for running shoes.  Though they hardly go with my usual business casual I have been struggling to find comfortable shoes which are up to the task of carrying me between different buildings at work and since work has no set dress code, well whatev’s.

I put the shoes on and I felt like I could jump and bounce and walk all day.  It was like being Eeyore and suddenly turning into Tigger!

According to my chiropodist everyone should be wearing running shoes as they offer the best support, but I have never put on a pair of shoes like these.  Suddenly I had a literal bounce in my step and I was bopping all over the office.  People are commenting on the difference and my trainer was impressed when I opted for run ups yesterday instead of my usual step ups and other than that swim two weeks ago the shoes are the only change I’ve made.  I think the biggest difference is that unlike the sandals I’ve been wearing recently these shoes are tight on my foot and keeping the swelling down on the top of my feet which means I have more range of motion – if you have ever experienced the tops of your feet swelling you will know that you end up walking sort of peg legged most of the time.  My trainer noticed that my legs appeared less swollen and I think that has to do with the shoes as well since I am more likely to walk around, more likely to pick up the pace and hustle while wearing them.

My shoes are Merrell Barefoot Shoes, but my trainer showed me her Nikes and they are also pretty light so it may not be the brand per se, but the style of the shoes, but whatever it is, my budget be damned I’m going to buy a pair for every day of the week!  I may look a bit special, but it’s a small price to pay for feeling this amazing.

– the Goddess

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Happy Pride Weekend Toronto!

No doubt today’s ruling on Gay Marriage in the United States will be mentioned once or twice this weekend.

Sadly Pride always falls on or around my mom’s birthday so I rarely make it, but my heart is with you!

Pride Canadian Flag

– the Goddess

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Too Busy For Love

My friend Fiona is my sounding board for all my foibles with men.  Every time I tell her of about someone odd who contacted me or a strange first date her first words to me are “That’s going in the book!”.  I’m not sure at this point if this book will ever be written, but certainly I give her fodder for her character development.  Sadly some of the people I’ve come across and even dated would likely seem unbelievable to most readers.  Case in point a recent date with a man who seemed kind, intelligent, maybe a little goofy in the humour department, but overall a good prospect. I suggested we meet for a coffee and when he suggested that he could just come to my house I reminded him that I needed to be safe because he could be a psycho killer.  I always have that conversation with men and I try to keep it light, but for reals people this is the internet, we’ve all read the horror stories, I’m not giving you my address until we’ve established that you’re safe.  We agreed to meet at a Starbucks nearby and I did suggest that we go for a drive since it was cold and we seemed to be hitting it off and I didn’t feel physically threatened by him.  I know Fiona is screaming “Stranger Danger” right now, but I felt safe and I had a cell phone.  We headed out in his car and he told me we were going to drive down to the lake.  In my mind I jokingly thought “hmm good place to dump my body” and no sooner had I thought it than he laughed and said the same.  We shared a giggle, it broke the ice and we drove on.  Unfortunately he was one of those people who doesn’t know when a joke is over and done and so for the next thirty minutes or so he pointed out wooded areas, abandoned lots, and creeks which would also be good spots to dispose of a body…After a few requests and finally a stern request he stopped with that particular flavour humour, but not before telling me that I’m too sensitive and need to relax.  The rest of the date was pleasant enough and I was delivered back to the Starbucks parking lot in one piece and so I agreed to a second date.  We would meet at my place the following weekend and he would bring lunch.  We texted a fair bit, making plans, becoming more familiar with each other and I asked for his surname.  He had mine since it was part of my email address.  He ignored my text and popped up a few hours later chit chatting about this and that.  In the course of the text conversation I asked him again and again he disappeared and a few hours later he called.  We bantered a bit and again I asked his surname, still trying to believe that he was just busy and had “missed” my previous text questions.  It was made clear to me that his surname was none of my concern.  This man who wanted to come to my house, who was already assuming that he would be invited to my bed, felt that his personal information was none of my business.  I objected, he retreated and finally he told me his name.  The damage however was already done.  I was uneasy that night, I was uneasy all the next day and the next morning I said I wanted to cancel our date.  He was shocked.  He was confused.  He demanded to know why so I told him.  He insisted that he had, in the end, told me his name, but as I pointed out it was only under pressure and it made me feel very uncomfortable.  And then it got really good.  He told me I was playing games, he told me that obviously I was seeing someone else, he told me that he now understood why I was single.  A couple of weeks later he asked if I wanted to try again.  I said that I didn’t think so since his last words to me had been so unkind.  He didn’t apologize or offer an excuse, he said “Fair enough.” and he was gone.  Ladies, if you’d like his number, I’m pretty sure he’s still single.

My next date fared much better.  As is seldom the case he was better looking than his profile picture, he was tall, dark and handsome, with Indian and Portuguese heritage.  Again we went to Starbucks, again we went for a drive, but he took me on a  tour of the not so distant countryside and we looked at scenic sites and golf courses and talked about our love of nature.  He was athletic, into golfing and hiking and camping and I joked that I hoped my enthusiasm would make up for my lack of physical prowess.  I daydreamed about him hiking up a craggy hill, long gliding strides taking him closer and closer to the sky, and me like a cross between a tortoise and a corgi puffing happily behind him.  We stopped in the parking lot of a little country store that was closed and he kissed me.  Long and slow and sweet, just the way a girl wants to be kissed.  We giggled and groped for a few minutes and all smiles we headed back making plans for our next meeting.  I floated home from Starbucks, flushed with anticipation and, dare I say, a little lust.  But, by three pm our relationship came to a crashing end.  He called to tell me that he missed me already and to see if we could meet any earlier the next day since he just couldn’t wait to cuddle with me.  I was pretty sure that was a euphemism and I felt it only fair to clarify that it would just be cuddling as I was um well being touched by the Goddess, so to speak.  The conversation went something like this:

HIM: Oh you’re getting your period?

ME: Yeah.

HIM: Ya know I’ve been thinking and this isn’t going to work out between us.  We’re not kids and we’re very different people.

ME: -Laughter-

HIM: -Silence-

ME: Oh.  I thought you were kidding.

What followed was a profusion of reasons for why we’d be better off not dating.  I finally cut him off and said that if this conversation was just going to be a laundry list of why I’m not right for him then I might as well just go.  We said our goodbyes and that was it.  I lay on my bed pondering what had just happened.  He changed his mind about me mid-sentence.  I wondered if perhaps he didn’t understand the female menstrual cycle, I mean it’s chronic, but not life threatening.  And then it dawned on me.  Mother Nature had screwed with his weekend.  He had no interest in dating me long term.  He wanted a dirty weekend with a chubby girl and then come Monday I would be on the curb with the recycling.  I can’t say it didn’t hurt, but it would have hurt more if I’d trusted him and been nekkid with him and then gotten the heave ho.

So now fast forward a few weeks and a new prospect is in the arena.  He’s a little younger, but not so much so that people will point and stare, he has a good job, he’s well educated, he has a couple of kids, he’s tall dark and handsome and says all the right things.  He was understanding and supportive during the two weeks my mom was in hospital this spring where every day was a blur of worrying about her and dividing my time between the hospital and looking after my elderly stepfather and trying to work full time.  I understand that time with his kids is sacred so he just isn’t available the three days of the week he has them.  And now two people who are very well suited for each other, who like each other, who want to spend time together are having trouble finding time for even a coffee together.  When people have careers and houses and commutes and appointments and most importantly dependents there is very little time left over for relationship building.  At this point it’s become comical, in a sad funny sort of way, that we can’t find a time to connect.  This guy isn’t for Fiona’s book, this guy is one of the good ones and we can’t connect.  We tried one night to get together after hospital visiting hours and I had to admit that I was just too tired.  My drive home had been scary because I realized I was just too tired to be on the road even with a healthy supply of caffeine.  I’ve kissed my toads, I’ve paid my dues, this is my guy and I’m damned if I’m going to let him go without a fight, but I’m starting to lose hope.  We’ve had a couple of near misses, but we can’t seem to follow through, each of us being pulled by family and work responsibilities.  I can see a future where we carve out time together by doing chores and grocery shopping together, where I schedule my appointments or my visits to my mom when he has his kids so we are free at the same time, I can even imagine creating a life with this person and we work together on all of the chores and child rearing and caring for parents….I just can’t seem to imagine a time where we can grab some coffee.

– the Goddess

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Dayum Girl!

It might surprise you to know that I have about one hundred partial posts drafted.  Sometimes I get distracted, sometimes I’m looking for the perfect quote or I’m trying to find a photo to add and sometimes I just feel that my writing isn’t up to snuff and I pause to find my voice.  I’ve been sorting through my draft folder and I’ve found some interesting posts that I will be working on in coming weeks.  For now there’s this:

pull off clothes

– the Goddess

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