And We’re Back.

A new week…a new beginning and I’m wearing my sports bra and exercise top in hopes that it’ll be the extra push I need to get a workout in tonight.

life's little surprises...fitting into a top I was avoiding wearing because of my little stress weight gain.

These past couple of weeks have been insane…from the filming of my public service announcement to the pre-production of this semester’s documentary short and dealing with every other demanding assignment in between, I’ve been to the edge of insanity and back a countless number of times.

I’m feeling much more stable now…and no longer wallowing in the depths of depression, sitting in my dark room, bawling and wondering if the hell would ever end (because, yes, that’s just how bad it got).  But 3 weeks of madness has inevitably left me with depleted energy resources and some extra weight that I’m definitely not comfortable with.

Being thin…losing weight…looking hot…whatever.  It’s honestly not the centre of my universe…nor do I even have the time to make those a priority.  I’m more concerned with the quality of my food intake and being fit for the sake of my health and the future marathons and adventure races that I hope to take part in.

I just want to feel good.  I just want to feel healthy and I know that filling myself up on an excess of processed foods…and everything else I set out to avoid this school year (namely bagels and muffins) certainly doesn’t help my cause.

That’s why I’m looking at this week as a fresh start for me.  I’m not aiming to be perfect (at least I will write that as a reminder to myself)…I’m just aiming to gradually get myself back on track by tapering off on the refined sugar and late-night eating and doing more things to keep my mental health in check…like getting some light workouts in and taking impromptu walks in the woods on sunny Sunday mornings…

the woods in autumn...always beautiful

And so with all those tools in place, I am looking forward to smiling more, breathing easier and freaking out a whole lot less as I journey through the next 7 weeks before winter break.

By the way, if for some reason you’ve actually managed to make it through this less than stellar blog post, first of all, thank you for making my words at least have some purpose…and secondly, good luck this week. 🙂  Whatever you’re struggling with, wherever you are in your journey of life, I can promise you that it is all worth it and that you will survive.  Trust me…if I’ve survived the mental chaos of these last couple of weeks, you will make it through too!

Happy Monday!

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Life is Better When…

Life is better when I don’t have to force myself to go to the gym to get some minimal form of exercise in…

it's either too cold or too dark back to the gym it is!

Life is better when the laundry, dishes and garbage take care of themselves (though they never actually do)…

the sink gets like this every few days...let's not even talk about the garbage bin..

Life is better when Mum makes the dinner and all I have to do is grab a fork…

keeping it wholesome - college style. Frozen pizza, cauliflower and absolutely delicious combination!

Life is better when I’m not crumbling under work that seems unending and impossible…

snapping a photo of myself working on a big project...clearly not struggling enough yet!

Point is…on any given day, we can probably find something that we think is holding us back from achieving a utopian existence.  But, what good does it do us if we keep focusing on the negative?

Yes, we are allowed to feel torn down…we are allowed to curl into a ball on the bed and sob…but we also have to pick up ourselves, wipe away the tears and put one foot in front the other.

As you might be able to tell from this post, I’ve been having a couple of rough days..blame it on the dreary weather, blame it on the growing pains from school…but it’s truly been a personal struggle to keep my head above the water this week.

I honestly was trying to wait until this low period blew over before writing another post, but since this blog is a reflection of my life, I feel like it’s only right to share the less glamorous moments of me learning to stand on my own two feet.  At least I am now in a place where I can reflect upon the emotional roller coaster of this last week and come away with something that I’d like to think is a bit of wisdom.

And what is this wisdom?

1) PMS is clearly to blame.

2) Homemade nachos help to ease the pain.

But, most importantly,

3) Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m Possible”.

…Alright, so I might have stolen that quote from Audrey Hepburn…but I can guarantee you that it totally applies because even the most daunting of situations…(like realizing that the organization you’re researching is closed all week and only reopens the day that your project is due)…is not insurmountable.

Some way, somehow, it will all work out.  And even if it doesn’t go according to plan, well then, you’ve certainly learned a very valuable that procrastination is a silent killer and that you better get working on the next project the day your teacher assigns it!

my pick me up - my homemade nachos with hummus and salsa on the side 🙂

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Little Victories

Today I pitched an idea for a PSA (Public Service Announcement) in my Film and Broadcast class.

I was nervous, shaking and anxious…yet incredibly excited to finally share something that I’m passionate about in hopes that those who listened would see the value in my idea too.

I spoke and the teachers seemed intrigued.  I felt hopeful that perhaps my chance to create something meaningful had arrived.

But, unfortunately, the class voted and my idea received the lowest score…so I accepted the reality — Yet again Patrice is second best…third best…maybe not even best.

But then something happened.

The teachers spoke up for my idea and though they couldn’t change my classmates’ opinions, they had the authority and had made a decision.  (It’s not exactly majority vote, but hey I’ll take it!)

So now, I’ve been given the opportunity to create a PSA on a topic that I hold near to my heart…which, if successful, might actually have a greater purpose than simply getting my group and me a decent mark.

So what is this PSA about?  Well, it’s about eating disorders…specifically, seeking out help for your struggles so that you may find the life and happiness that awaits you in recovery.  Pitching this idea today was like presenting my soul to a room of blank faces, not knowing whether they’d understand or even care about this issue that touches the lives of so many people around us each day.

And that’s why I feel so grateful to have been given the chance to make this PSA…because for me, it’s not just a school project…it’s a little personal victory that I can proudly store up on the shelves of my memories…and, moreover, it’s something that I feel is an opportunity from God to use my talents to make even the slightest difference in this world.

…And for the first time in a long time, I finally feel like I belong in this program with all the creative, imaginative and excellent people surrounding me…and that, today, is the greatest victory of them all.

taken almost a year ago with some classmates after a shoot. (i'm the girl on the far right of the bottom row)

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That Happy Moment When…

…I’m grabbing my wallet and key to buy a pack of cookies from the vending machine in my lobby…when suddenly I find myself washing some blueberries and blackberries and mixing them into a mug filled with yogurt.

favourite yogurt ever.

After a particularly indulgent weekend week, I was thinking “ehh cookies…why the heck not!” but, in some sudden epiphany, decided that yogurt for late night treat would be much much better.

So maybe it’s not as attractive as those double chocolate chip cookies could have been, but honestly, it’s exactly what my body needed tonight and was so much more satisfying!  Ohh greek yogurt…how I do love thee…

In other news, I have to confess that I’ve been a total bum this past week…even sleeping until the sluggish hour of 11 a.m. on Saturday…so I am definitely looking forward to a new week of less laziness and more physical activity!

This gloomy fall weather has really been doing a number on my energy levels.  I know it will be a challenge to push myself to workout this week, especially as things are about to get hectic school-wise…but if running races is anywhere in my near future, then challenge accepted!  I will be back to report on how amazing (or painful) my exercise session is tomorrow!

And finally…

Do you see the plumbobs!!

Tonight, I’m making real life sims!!  This is one of the more fulfilling parts of being a Media Arts student…getting to draw on your own life experiences and bring them into your work!  (how sad is it that I count the game Sims as one of my life experiences?!)

Wishing you all a great week ahead!

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Some days I’m afraid of heights, of flying in an airplane or losing a loved one.

Some of days I’m afraid of a being called on in class, not knowing what to say and embarrassing myself.

Some days I’m afraid of germs, of touching door handles and breathing contaminated air.

My fears are rational.  My fears are irrational.  And like everyone else, I manage them on daily basis, trying to enjoy the world around me.

But today, my fear comes wrapped in Tim Hortons packaging…

A fear that sometimes engulfs me when I sit down to a meal…

To some, it’s just sustenance — it’s their breakfast or their lunch, their fuel to power them through the day…and many times, I wish I could think the same way.

But to me, it means so much more.  It’s “unhealthy”, it’s “carb-loaded”, it’s a reason to eat all the high calorie foods I can get because I’ve now blown my healthy diet.

It’s a reminder of my all or nothing mentality.  A reminder of the days when I’d feel like a failure for not eating a salad instead.  A reminder of all the other food I’d punish myself with because I had one bagel.

But today, I had one bagel.

I had one bagel and realized that it wasn’t the end of the world.  That it wasn’t a good enough reason to grab some poutine, scarf down a bowl of pasta and follow it up with a muffin.

Today I had one bagel and I enjoyed it.

And I can now sit in my own skin, without burning in the regret of binge caused by my fear of screwing up.  I can now move through the rest of the day with a stable mind and a body that does not feel overloaded and fatigued by an inordinate amount of food.

I can continue to strengthen my belief in a future where I am not gripped by disordered eating and the guilt and shame that come along with it.

Today I can celebrate this little victory, put it in my pocket and move forward with a little extra inspiration and motivation for the decisions ahead.

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Turkey Day, The Canadian Way

A day dedicated to thanksgiving and turkey…it’s not a celebration that’s part of my culture back in Trinidad, but this being my second Thanksgiving in Canada, I’ve come to know it as a time to get together with my Canadian family and eat platefuls upon platefuls of turkey.  In other words, Thanksgiving = Happiness.

Last night we celebrated the joyous occasion with my aunt’s delicious turkey…

my mouth waters just looking at this piece of yumness.

…And took advantage of the unusual but beautifully warm fall weather by filling up our plates and dining in the backyard with a fire burning and crackling beside us…

my adorable baby cousin, enthralled with the outdoor furnace

lavender -- freshly picked from the garden for our table decoration

great big trees in the backyard

I had literally been looking forward to this meal all week long….ohh from the turkey stuffing to the sweet potatoes and corn…I can’t even tell you how wonderful it all was and how happy I was to sit with my family, surrounded by nature and enjoy a home-cooked meal.  It’s simple moments like these that I’ll remember for a long time to come.

turkey, stuffing, sweet potato and corn...deliciousness on a plate.

…Not to mention my favourite Moscato D’Asti wine from my Uncle’s fine collection.  From one “ginger ale-at-the-bar” drinker to another, I can promise you that this wine is the sweetest and lightest (and best) thing you’ll ever taste.  I absolutely adore it!

my favourite wine in the whole wide world!!

Dessert came a few hours later (we were all stuffed so silly that we needed some time to digest!).  It was well worth the wait and came in the form of a vegan pumpkin pie made with spelt flour.

oh yeah.

Ohh with words like “vegan” and “spelt flour” this dessert is right up my alley!

my huge slice!!

It was also my very first taste of pumpkin pie ever…and although I won’t put this particular pie on my list of top 10 favourite desserts just yet, it was great and just so very part of the autumn season that it’s hard not to enjoy!

enjoying pumpkin pie with my uncle!

And, of course, as all great Canadian Thanksgivings do, we ended by injecting ourselves with pathogen filled syringes.

dun dun dun!

Just kidding!  I was just getting my annual flu shot from my uncle, who also happens to be doctor!

want my lollipop and smiley face band-aid after! (if not, another piece of pumpkin pie will suffice!)

All in all, my Thanksgiving was wonderful…and has even continued into today with a plate of turkey at breakfast and another huge serving at dinner.  Delicious, Sumptuous, Scrumptiousness? I think – YES.

To all my Canadian friends and family, Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope you enjoy your turkey  and your long weekend! 🙂

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Aunt Jemima for the win!

So maybe 3 minutes in the microwave was a little too long for my oatmeal…


Oh, What a tragic sight!  Nevertheless, I took it as a sign from the universe that I was really meant to have the pancakes I’d be considering for the last day or two.  Cue Aunt Jemima!!

For frozen pancakes, they are actually quite good and taste pretty much like a pancake right out of the pan…all I needed was a little bit of butter and some syrup to make it perfect.

Still, I enjoyed it and followed it up with a banana for good measure!  Can’t survive without my morning fruit!

Today I am finally fleeing the confines of my dorm room to visit my Uncle’s for the weekend.  Living on a campus that is a small as mine, it sometimes feels like I never leave school as I can literally step out of my door and walk to class in under 5 minutes.  So it’s always nice to get a break from the academic surroundings and remind myself that people still do live in houses with full kitchens, couches and a yard!

so i'm obviously not the lightest traveller -- packed a full suitcase for only 2 days!

It’s also Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada so I’m looking forward to lots of turkey and a hot home-cooked meal this evening!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and a turkey (or tofurkey) filled Thanksgiving!

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