Project 200 – February 2018 update

Can you believe it? Already a whole month of this new year has gone by already? Time waits for no one! That’s for sure!

It’s the first of the month and it is time for an update on Project 200.



Reduce night eating by at least 50%: I’ve achieved this and have even gone lower than 50% now.

Eat smaller dinners: I’ve been successful with this. In fact, our main meal now is at lunch time. So dinners are very small.

Add a minimum of 15 minutes of exercising 4 times a week: I’ve not achieved this. I’m still resisting exercising.

Create a Project 200 Vision Board: I have done this and posted it a couple of weeks ago. I’ve enjoyed making this. It had been quite a while since I had done a vision board.

Be still for at least 5 minutes per day, connecting with my essential self: This is touch and go. It definitely isn’t a daily occurrence yet.


I started the month struggling with cutting down on my food intake. I did cut down but it wasn’t ‘kick ass, let’s get this done’ kind of effort. So my body decided to give me a little push in the form of a digestive system issue. I had my gallbladder removed about 4 years ago. I think that I had stones still remaining in my bile duct. This gets painful when my fat intake is too high over a period of time. At about mid-month, I had pain that was very worrisome. I thought I would need to go to the emergency at the hospital. I sucked it up and proceeded to make very drastic changes to my diet. For a couple of days, I ate very little and avoided all fats. Over time, the pain went away. I still feel discomfort at times so this tells me that I may eventually have to get this taking care of. I’m hoping that it will clear on its own though. This was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to make major changes to my diet. Then I started to feel the weight coming off and that was the encouragement I need it to get me to build a momentum.

I have lost 18.2 lbs in January. In doing so, I have gained a bit of trust in myself and a greater sense of hope. I feel lighter. I can move a little bit more easily. Grocery shopping is less strenuous and I don’t dread it as much as I used to. I look forward to Spring partly because I’ll be able to get around better and enjoy it.

I’ve made a couple of big changes this month aside from eating less and better food. 1) To alleviate the stress on my digestive system, my husband and I are having our biggest meal at lunch time as opposed to dinner time. We have been doing this for about two weeks now and it is working very well. 2) About ten days ago, I’ve cut down my anti-inflammatory medication intake to half what I’m supposed to take. I’m not a very active person and I find that I can do alright with the discomfort and pain at this time. Having lost the bit of weight has helped with reducing the pain too. I  might have to tweak this once I get more active. For now, I’m sure my stomach is grateful for the reduced onslaught.

My goals for February are: 

  • Continue to eat small, low-fat, nutrient-rich meals
  • Add a minimum of 15 minutes of exercising 3 times a week 

January was a good month, all in all. I’m on my way! Project 200 feels more do-able than it has been now. See you on March 1st with a new Project 200 update! To our health!

Vision Board aka Dream Board and Treasure Map

“No self-respecting buccaneer would set sail in search of a buried treasure without a map. Why should you? A personal treasure map is a collage of your ideal life that you create as a visual tool to focus your creative energy in the direction you wish to go.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

Last week I shared my Project 200 vision board with you all. You can see this post HERE. Today, I will share my own vision board process. I first was introduced to Treasure Maps around 1992 after reading Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I have done a few vision boards since then. Many of the things on these vision boards have materialized. I know that vision boards are a great way to be clear about intentions and goals and have a visual reminder of these that can be seen on a daily basis. So let me share this process with you.

“The best way to achieve your goals is to keep them top of mind, so you’re always looking for ways to move yourself closer to them – and a vision board is the perfect tool to help you do that.” – Jack Canfield

What Is Needed

  • A surface to glue images – I’ve used mostly large 24″ X 36″ poster boards. I think these can be found at Walmart or that type of stores. Any large cardboard will do. The one I posted last week, was done on poster board cut into a heart shape.
  • Images, words, phrases – I love harvesting these from magazines. The process of flipping through pages to find the right images/words/phrases is a very meditative activity. I have asked friends for their old magazines in the past, for this very purpose. Images, words and phrases can also be found on the internet and printed out.
  • Glue – I like glue sticks the best, Lepage or UHU stic are the ones I’ve used. It is important not to use a wet glue as this will make your images wrinkled.
  • Scissors – I use a regular pair of scissors and sometimes a smaller pair to fussy cut smaller elements. Fussy cutting is definitely not necessary though.
  • Time – Last but not least, I ensure that I set time aside without disturbances for this process. I tend to be slow so I may take 4-6 hours for the whole process. Sometimes I will do this in one session and sometimes I will spread over two sessions.

In Preparation

Sacred Space – First I like to create a sacred space for this process. For me creating a sacred space involves putting on meditative music, burning incense or diffusing aromatherapy oil and lighting a candle.

Visualization – Then I sit quietly with myself, closing my eyes. In my mind’s eyes, I visualize myself living the best life I can imagine. I visualized this with as many details as I can. I start with waking up in the morning and go through the day till I set my head on the pillow at night. What am I doing? Who is with me? What is around me? What do I see? What do I smell? How am I feeling? I spend a few minutes doing this. When I’m ready, I open my eyes and then write about my experience. What has come up for me through this visualization? What are my deepest desires? What are my wants? Needs? How do I want to feel?

Once I’ve done this, I’m ready to create my vision board. I’ve done vision boards before without going through this process and it was fine. However, I find that this process helps with clarity and makes this experience richer for me.

Creating My Vision Board

I take my stack of magazines and I flip through the pages, ripping any images, words and phrases that catch my attention. This is something that I do mostly intuitively. I try not to engage my mind in this process. I trust my inner guidance that has been activated by previously visualizing my best life. From this process, I gather a good stack of images, words and phrases.

Then I look at the images, words and phrases I’ve gathered. Keeping in mind what I have uncovered from my visualization and writing, I keep those that feel aligned with my wants, needs and desires and put the ones that are not aligned aside. I also keep in mind the size of the surface I will put these on.

I fussy cut some of the images, words and phrases and trim the others. I then arrange, without gluing, these on my poster board in a way that is pleasing to me. I prefer having some blank spaces here and there so that things don’t feel too cluttered and chaotic. Once I’m pleased with how I’ve arranged these, I glue each piece in place.

My vision board is now done. I write the date at the back. I now sit with it for a bit, admiring my work.


I hang my vision board where it is the most visible to me day in and day out. My present one is hanging in my bedroom by my side of the bed. I can see it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I’ve sometimes placed my vision board in my art room too.

“Research has revealed that images or scenes that are accompanied by intense emotion will stay locked in our memory forever.” – Jack Canfield

It’s important to interact with my vision board on a daily basis, or at least a few times a week. I sit where I can see my vision board clearly. I look at all the elements and imagine these already being a reality in my life. I make this imagining as vivid as I can, adding sounds, smells,  and tastes as well as how I would emotionally and physically feel. Once I have done this, I release these and give thanks to the Universe for making these a reality. Then I go on with my day.

To be honest, I’m not very disciplined with this last step and it is certainly something I need to work on.


  • I do a vision board for all of my life stuff. Some people like to do different vision boards for different areas of their life, such as one for their personal life and one for their professional life.
  • Some like to use a corkboard and pin their images, words and phrases instead of gluing them on a poster board. Things can be removed, changed around as needed this way. Some people like to have a vision journal to which they keep adding items to.
  • Couples can do a vision board together as well as families.
  • Some people like to start the new year with a new vision board.
  • Some will do a vision board for a specific project or area of their life such as I have done this time around for Project 200.
  • There are places where one can do a vision board digitally online. These can then be used as desktop images on computers, tablets or phones. I personally would not recommend this. There’s something magical, for me, in the creating of a vision board with my hands.

More Ways to Activate Your Vision Board

  • Write affirmations from your vision board.
  • Keep a journal of the future.
  • Express your visions publicly.
  • Surf the internet for your vision.

To Conclude

There is so much information about vision boards on the internet. There might even be videos on youtube. I encourage you to create a vision board for yourself in any way that feels attractive to you. It’s a wonderful thing you can do for yourself. If I can support you in any way through this process, let me know. I would be happy to help in any way I can.

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward

If you can imagine it and dream it, you are deserving of it!

Project 200 Vision Board

I’ve made many vision boards over the years. It’s been possibly 4 or so years, however, since I had made one. I love the process of making vision boards. I love going through magazine images and words and intuitively pull the images and words that align with my goals and intentions. This is a very sacred activity for me. It is a journey within myself, to a place where all is possible. I feel my way through visioning. For me, it is not about what I want to get or to do, by rather about how I want to feel, to be.

This is the vision board that I have done for Project 200 last week.

A dream come true / Within reach

To be free of the food addiction, to be thin has been a dream for so many years. I intend that this dream becomes a reality. I deserve this. I’m good enough for this. I’m worth it. This is within my reach.

Reclaimed / Homecoming

I  reclaim my body from the burden of unecessary fat and food addiction ravages and restore it to vibrant health. I rejoice in this homecoming.

Can do energy

Good food filled with nutrients and a positive mindset provides me with very necessary can do energy.

Feel light

To feel light in mind and in body is how I intend to live the rest of my life. I shed all unnecessary thoughts and pounds so that I can achieve this.

Right on track

I’m right on track with my eating, with my body movement, with my mindset. I have what it takes. If I find myself stepping off track, I notice this quickly, and with self-compassion bring myself back on track.

Move your body

I create opportunities to move my body. I love feeling my muscle tighten and the blood flowing through my body. My body is stronger and healthier every day.

Health is happiness!
     It really is about QUALITY OF LIFE.   
          I AM mistress of my own fate!

My vision board is where I see it many times a day, in our bedroom on my side of the bed. I see it first thing in the morning and I see it every time I go into our bedroom. I sometimes stand in front of it and take in its energy. This act recharges my resolution to make this project a success. YES!

Project 200 – January 2018 Update

It’s time for a Project 200 update. I’ll be totally honest. At about mid-month, I was dreading this update. I was mentally looking for a way out, wondering how I could be so stupid as to have started this project here, in the open, on this blog, for all eyes to see. It’s easy to share successes but a whole lot harder to share failures. I thought I could just delete all traces of Project 200 and hope no one would ask me about it. I even went so far as thinking of putting an end to my blogging days and closing my blog. None of this sat well with me. Then I realized these thoughts were all shame-based. This realization shifted my thought process. I’ve carried a whole lot of shame in my life and I’m still working on releasing remnants of that same. I do NOT need to add more shame to my load and as much as I possibly can, will do all that I can to NOT add more.

As I moved from feeling ashamed about gaining weight instead of losing weight and not adhering to the goals I had set for myself at the beginning of December, I was able to feel more compassionate about my ‘failures’. If the reality of losing weight, for me, was as simple as setting goals and doing the work, then I wouldn’t have been heavy for most of my adult life. I wouldn’t be where I’m at physically. I would be healthy, thin and would have a healthy relationship with food and my body. This isn’t the case. I struggle with a food addiction and I do not have a healthy relationship with food and my body. I hope and intend that I will be free from this addiction someday and that I will develop a healthy relationship with food and my body. BUT last month, I did not. In fact, this project has awakened my Rebel big time! She ain’t having none of this Project 200 crap!

The good news is… I”M NOT GIVING UP! I’m not giving up because I deserve a better quality of life than this present body is offering me. I deserve to feel light in body, in mind and in spirit. So the journey continues.


Weigh in on January 1st: 350 lbs

Reduce night eating by at least 50% – This did not materialize. In fact, I probably increased night eating by 50% at least.

Add a minimum of 15 minutes of exercising 4 times a week – I did not exercise at all.

Keep a daily journal – I didn’t do this either. I realized this is an unrealistic goal for me. I’m not a journal writer.


I was very excited about launching Project 200. Yet instead of adhering to my goals for the month, I went in the other direction. The urges to compulsively eat, in the evening, were quite strong and I didn’t fight these. At the beginning of the month, I told myself that I had plenty of time. That is one of the lies I tell myself. There’s plenty of time. Later. Tomorrow. Then I didn’t care. I cared about the January 1st update I had to write but I didn’t care about losing the weight. I easily get into this non-care mindset. I have a strong habit of ‘checking in and out’ from life. Checking out usually translates into night binges, watching too much Netflix, etc., playing online games. I really want to change this. I ‘checked out’ in December. I’m grateful that the new year has rolled around, providing me with renewed energy to check back into my life.

I ate, ate and ate and I tortured myself with worries. I worried about my digestive system and the stress I put into it with eating too much fat. I worried about my heart and clogging my arteries. I worried about my knees and their ability to keep on carrying my bulk. I worried about the pain I anticipated when I next going grocery shopping because it has become painful to walk and stand for periods of times. I worried about snoring too loudly and waking up my husband. I worried that this was it, that I would never find freedom from this self-inflicted torture.

Writing all this feels important. A friend asked me how she could support me on this project. I wasn’t sure what to answer. I think I know now. To bear witness to my journey, in its ‘successes’ and in its ‘failures’, without judgments, is a way to support me. Empowering and healing thoughts and prayers sent my way, is also a way to support me. In gratitude.


My goals for January are: 

  • Reduce night eating by at least 50%
  • Eat smaller dinners 
  • Add a minimum of 15 minutes of exercising 4 times a week 
  • Create a Project 200 Vision Board 
  • Be still for at least 5 minutes per day, connecting with my essential self

See you all on February 1st with a Project 200 update!

Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year to you!

May 2018 be a year filled with our hearts desires and all that we need on our life journey as evolving and growing human beings.

May we be kind and compassionate with ourselves and all those we cross paths with, be it in our homes, our workplaces, on communities, on the street or our local shops. We all need and deserve kindness and compassion.

May we take time to be quiet in solitude, traveling within to rest in the heart of our own essential self. There is no better place.

May we love deeply and unconditionally and allow others to love us as deeply and as unconditionally. Love is a two-way street.

May we remember that each person’s life paths are as unique as they are and that includes us. Let’s honour and respect our journey and each others’ journey, knowing that we are all doing the best we can.

May we be grateful for the abundance that permeates our lives, remembering that the greatest treasures are not necessarily those we can see or touch.

May we make time to play, to laugh and engage in activities that bring us joy and lightheartedness. We don’t have to take ourselves so seriously all the time.

May we connect with our lives in a deep way, with mindfulness and presence. This our lives now, given to us. Let us cherish this wondrous life day by day, hour by hour, breath by breath.

Happy New Year my friends!

She Asked for Wings

Title: She Asked for Wings
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Size: 24″ X 18″
Quite a few months ago, I started this painting. I really loved what I did in the body and neck area. However when I did her face, I messed it up. I painted over the face and put it aside. Truthfully, I was too intimidated to go back to it. I really didn’t want to mess it up again. So she stayed in the closet for months. She moved when we moved and resided in another closet for a few more months. 
I haven’t put my paintings up in our new place yet eventhough we have been in this place for almost 4 months.  Last week, I finally decided to go through my paintings to see what I could display around our place. Much of what I have are not a good fit for our new place. I did took a few paintings out of the closet anyway.
While doing this, I came across this unfinished painting. I decided to see if I could bring it to completion. I wish I had taken a picture of it then, but I didn’t. It would have been great to see the transformation. I worked on it for five days in a row and enjoyed every minute of it. Well, almost every minute. I’m not very good at doing faces. I need to practice more. So the face was a tad stressful to do. It was still fun though and it was great to have a project to work on. It had been a long time since I lost myself into a painting project.  I’m quite happy with how it turned out. The face is far from perfect but I’m happy with it. I’m happy with the whole composition. And the colours,, oh the colours! The colours are so rich and vibrant!
When I was trying to figure out what to paint on her right side, the thought that she wanted wings came to me. So… SHE got wings! 


Project 200 – December 2017

Thank you to all of you who have left me messages of support and friendship yesterday. I feel very grateful for each one of you and each one of your words.

As I mentionned yesterday, today I want to share my Project 200 goals for this month with you. I also wrote that I would share about where I am physically. I realized that I have done this already on September 2nd when I first started this blog. If you have not read this post and are interested see the post titled X Marks the Spot, by clicking Here.

Project 200 has 5 components: Food, Exercise, Mindet, Self-Compassion and Accountability. Every month, I will set a goal for each one of these components.

My goals for December are: 

  • FOOD: Reduce night eating by at least 50% – Most evening after dinner, I eat and this is whether I’m hungry or not. This is when my compulsion to binge is at its strongest. For me, watching stuff on my iPad and eating go hand in hand. One of my goals this month is to significantly reduce the number of times I eat in the evening. I will keep a watch on my hunger level and do the best I can to not eat when I’m not hungry. If this means putting my iPad away in the evening, then I will do that.
  • EXERCISE:  Add a minimum of 15 minutes of exercising 4 times a week – I’m highly resistant to exercise. I. Don’t. Like. It! It has become a bit tricky now that my knees and hips joints are in such bad shape. I don’t want to speed up their deterioration. Yet I know that I have to exercise. I need to exercise. This month, I will ensure that I do exercise 4 times a week for at least15 minutes ensuring that I do not place an unnecessary burden on my joints. 
  • MINDSET, SELF-COMPASSION and ACCOUNTABILITY: Keep a daily journal – I will take time daily to write about what is going on within myself and do my best to re-frame any negative mindset and bring more self-compassion to myself. This will help with keeping me mindful and at the same time will help with accountability. I will also share, on the 1st of January how things have gone for me in regard to these.

I will return on January 1st to share the first month of the Project 200 journey with you all.

Project 200 LAUNCH!

I’ve been looking forward to today because I’m quite excited about what I’m about to share with you all. I’m actually excited about this!

Today, friends, I’m launching Project 200 and I thought it would be fabulous if you were to accompany me on this journey in whichever way you choose to.  Support and accountability are important components of this project. I invite you to be part of my support team on this project. I hope you will accept my invitation.

What is Project 200?


Project 200, in a nutshell, is about me getting serious about my health, my body and my weight. It is about my goal of reaching 200 lbs. It is about releasing 142.2 lbs as of today’s weigh in. It is about dropping the pounds one by one, lightening my body in the process and giving my joints a much needed respite from being overburdened for so many years. It is about giving myself the gift of an increase in the quality of my life. All this without a specific date in mind but with the intent of mindfully and compassionately making choices day after day that is moving me forward on this journey.

How will I bring Project 200 to a successful completion? 


I will do this by addressing the following: food, exercise, mindset, self-compassion and accountability.

  • FOOD  I will be mindful as often as I can of what I eat and drink and when I eat and drink, letting my body guide me.
  • EXERCISE: I will be mindful of moving my body in some fashion most days with the intent of making my body stronger, specifically my knees and hips joints and my core.
  • MINDSET: I will be mindful of what is going on in my thoughts and do the best I can to shift any thought patterns that are not aligned with bringing this project to a successful conclusion.
  • SELF-COMPASSION: I will be mindful to bring compassion to myself as I journey this project. I will remind myself that I don’t need to do this perfectly or that it is ok to fall sometimes. I’m human. I have some deeply rooted patterns that have led me where I am in my body today. I will be compassionate with myself and love myself through the imperfection and the falls.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY: I will share my progress here on this blog with you on the 1st of every month. I will share my successes, challenges and failures; tools and strategies I may be using; and anything else I might feel like sharing.

I will do this, also, by setting MONTHLY GOALS in the form of very small achievable steps in areas that I want to focus on. I will share these goals and my progress with these with you.

As I wrote at the beginning of the post, I’m quite excited to launch Project 200. I wouldn’t be fully honest though if I didn’t tell you that it does also bring about its fair share of trepidation. I have a very poor track record when it comes to losing weight and in truth, my self-trust is quite thin in this regard. HOWEVER, I refuse to give up on my body! So there! Ready, set, GO!

PROJECT 200 is now officially LAUNCHED! 

Since this post is quite long as it is, I will wait until tomorrow to share my monthly goal with you. Since I think it will be interesting to track the changes that inevitably will take place in my body as I journey through this project, I will also share where I am physically. If I’m courageous enough, I’m might even share pictures. Gulp!

We are so much stronger when others stand with us. I would love for you to support me as I journey through this project if you are so inclined. And if you are interested in embarking on your own health project, whatever it might be, I will definitely be there standing beside you with my support. It would be a joy for me to do so.

Here’s to OUR health! Here’s to MY health!

In the Right Direction

On August 18th of this year, I stepped into ‘retirement’. That was a bit more than three months ago. Three months have gone by! How time flies! So far it’s been an interesting experience.

At my retirement party, I was asked about what was next for me. My response was a true Ginette response, of course! I tend to be quite an open book, maybe a tad too much at times. My response went somewhat like this… “First I want to put my energy into re-building myself, my self-confidence. I’ve done quite a number on myself in the past few years and I want to change this. Once I’ve done this, I’ll see what comes next.”. I said more than this but that is the gist of it. It’s been more than three months now. How is this re-building job going?

As I contemplate this question, I realize that perhaps ‘re-building myself’ are not exactly the right words and maybe not even the right intent. Firstly, these words are heavy with judgments. Secondly, they eradicate any forward movement I might have done in the past few years. And finally, these words are telling me that I’m not good enough as I am right now and that until I have achieved this ideal goal of re-building myself and my confidence I cannot enjoy being at peace with myself. What if increasing being at peace with myself was the ideal goal? Wouldn’t the rest naturally follow?

In the past 3 months, the necessity of accepting myself as I am has become very evident. This is the first step. It makes no sense to want to change things about myself if I haven’t yet accepted myself as I am now, today. Interestingly, this is something that is happening naturally within myself, bit by bit. I’m surrendering more and more to what is. I’m aware that this is happening on a very small scale and that I have a long way to fully accepting myself as I am. However, I am moving in the right direction and I choose to celebrate this. That in itself brings me peace of mind. In this now moment.

Letting Go of Control

Do you observe yourself? I mean as if you are a separated entity from who you are in your day to day activity, without judgments, just observing yourself do what you do and think what you think? I do that! I didn’t always do that but I find myself do this quite regularly now. There’s so much information I can gather about myself when I do observe myself without judgments. It is usually information that can help me, if I so choose, in navigating my inner and outer life better.

One of the things I’ve observed about myself lately is a need to loosen up in my art practice. I realized that there is something holding me back. Back from what, I’m not sure. But I do know that I’m not putting ‘myself’ on my art journal pages. Art journaling can be a powerfully therapeutic practice. I know this but I have yet to reach that in my own practice. There’s a definite struggle taking place there.

The need to let go of control comes to mind.

Then I think of another ongoing struggle that permeates a great part of my life: the food addiction, health issues related to body weight, wanting to lose weight and never reaching that goal, and the resulting reduction in mobility and consequently the quality of my life. It occurred to me yesterday that I was putting a whole lot of pressure on my self in the way that I judge myself and in the way that I burden myself with unrealistic expectations. I’m relentless with myself. In my mind.

And again, the need to let go of control comes to mind.

The truth is the more I try to control something, the less control I actually have. This is not news to me. I’ve known this for a long time. Or did I? As Laozi said long ago: “To know and not to do is not yet to know.”

Art… Life… What is the link? There is a link there for sure! Letting go of control. Loosening up the grip on my art and on my life. What does that mean? How do I do this? How do I learn to trust myself to the point of surrender? That’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it? To trust ourselves to the point of surrender? TRUST, then, IS the answer. Indeed, it is!