Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Non-scale victories

So in my journey to an improved me, I've often relied on the scale to tell me if I was on track.  And it's amazing how de-motivating that number can be when it is not going in the direction you want it to go in.  I have really tried to not let that silly number determine how my day goes, but it's hard to break out of habits you've had for awhile.

My amazing boot camp instructor, Liz, shared what she called a "non-scale victory" after one of our sessions.  Got me thinking - I need to start looking for other ways to see progress. 

All I can say is Eureka baby...had 2 a-ha moments in the last couple of weeks that have had me realizing how much my hard work is paying off - and neither of them have to do with a number.  I had these two dresses hanging in my closet that I loved.  Both I bought when the number on the scale was lower than it is now, but I never felt comfortable wearing them - I could just see too much jiggling for me to feel confident in them.

I pulled both of them out this week to see how long before I could wear them comfortably and boo-yah - they both fit well enough that I wore them!  Not naïve over here - still going to push hard to get my body to where I want it to be, but I can't tell you how eye opening it was to realize that the "number I hate to see" is not the only determination of progress.

I am stronger, I jiggle less and I am pushing my body to do things that a year ago I never would have imagined doing.  And I have my boot camp girlie to remind me of how far we have come together in those moments when I forget.  I am back to enjoying running, but am loving the way boot camp a couple of times a week just makes me feel stronger.  I think I've finally found two things that I love enough to stick with them!!

Thanks Liz for making boot camp fun (visit her site if you want to do the June session - she truly rocks) and thanks Sonia for reminding me how awesome we really are.  And remember as long as you are having fun, the results (whatever your definition of results is) will come.  Find something you love and stick with it - and get a group who can kick you butt when you need it.  Makes all the difference in the world.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I've got a case of the "Tomorrows"

So I used to be one of those people who would do things tomorrow.  I would start exercising regularly tomorrow.  I would stop eating chocolate tomorrow.  I would eat healthier tomorrow (cause there is left over cheesecake in my fridge).  I had the "Tomorrow syndrome".  A couple of years ago, I did a mind shift and got rid of my tomorrow thinking.  We start things today; we keep going today - that was my new mantra.

Well fast forward and here I am today caught back up in the tomorrow syndrome.  For a couple of months now I've been trying to get my eating back on track - I have caught myself thinking more than once that I would start tomorrow (cause there is a party this weekend and I don't want to limit myself).  And there it is...the biggest danger in my journey to getting healthier.  I started thinking in absolutes.  I have to limit myself to only eating green stuff; I have to exercise an hour every day in order for it to be worth it; I have to eat no sweets.  Trust me...this is a trap.

The only time my mind shift ever worked is when I stopped thinking in limits or absolutes.  I trained myself to say "15 minutes is enough if its all I've got to run" or "go ahead and have the cookie but just have one instead of a whole row".  What I am remembering is it is about changing the way we live so it becomes second nature, and not about dieting or being the fastest at completing a 5K.  It is about health and choices.

Say it with me...It is about health.  And I learned I can be healthy even if I only get out a couple times a week to exercise.  I can be healthy even if I splurge on wine and chocolate every once in awhile.  And that splurging that one day does not mean I have to "start over tomorrow".  It just means I need to remember the reasons I can't have chocolate and wine every day - because it is unhealthy for me NOT because it messes up my diet.  In fact, I banned the word diet a long time ago and started thinking in terms of choices. Way better way to think especially when I'm trying to teach healthy bodies to my 2 pre-teen daughters!

I find when I get to write it out (why I love blogging), it helps me re-focus and get my choices back in line with where I want to be.  So here we go...started using MyFitnessPal (thanks Sonia!), boot camp tonight (thanks Liz!), and a full water bottle on my desk. 

We do it today.

And when I need to, I will go back to my other blog to remember all the reasons why the mind shift is a good thing (BTW if you used to follow me there I'm not blogging there anymore - going to just use this one).

Thursday, March 5, 2015


I've spent quite a bit of time recently chatting with my daughters about the importance of seeing the good in situations and not always defaulting to a negative space.  I decided that I was going to practice what I preach and make March my month of positivity.  Well, it's March 5th and here is what I know...keeping a positive mindset is not easy.

I truly envy those people I know who seem to always have a positive outlook.  You know who they are - they are always smiling, always saying uplifting things, and the energy that surrounds them makes you feel lighter.

I really have been trying.  I have been waking up in the morning and counting my blessings.  I've been trying to focus on all the amazing things and people I have in my life.  I have been catching myself before I get into a negative Nelly type mode.  I have actively been trying to pull away from negative speak and avoid negative energy.  But it is hard.  Actually harder than I thought it would be and that surprises me.  It takes a lot to re-frame my initial thoughts to make them positive ones. Maybe it's because I am more aware and trying to walk away from negativity, but it feels like there is lots of less than ideal energy floating around.  Or maybe because this week has just been a little sucky.  Whatever the reason, it's been difficult to wade through it all and keep my promise to make March positive.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not naïve.  It can't always be sunshine and roses - but I do think that how we look at the sky can help determine whether the clouds are passing through or if they are here to stay (wow...that was really deep for me LOL).

But I won't go back.  I will continue to look for the positive in situations, and I will strive to be one of those people who bring good energy with them wherever I go. I know it will be worth will make me happier, healthier and a better person.  And it will show my daughters that it can be done.  As for the days when I feel like it just can't be done, I'm going to go find one of my friends who seem to have this positivity thing down to a science and just hang with them for a bit.  With any luck, it will rub off...and if nothing else I know it will bring a smile to my face.

Stay positive!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ouch has a new definition

So I've talked a lot to my friends about getting back on track this year.  I know its about finding the time, putting it in my routine, and getting back to running which I love.  But let's be honest - it has been way too cold to run outside in Ottawa recently (and I do not love running on the treadmill).  So I decided to look for something else that would help me get back into the swing of things.

Enter Boot Camp.  An amazing fitness coach that I follow on Facebook posted that she was starting a twice a week, 30 minute boot camp near me.  I thought - Perfect!!  The timing works, and I can certainly handle 30 minutes twice a week.  Then I went to my first one.  All I can say is ouch.  Like serious, I can't put my socks on, ouch.  And I loved it.

I love the atmosphere of a small group of ladies with the same determined look on their faces. I really do like feeling like I've worked out cause my muscles scream at me for two days afterwards.  And I really like how motivating the coach is.  Btw if you don't follow Liz on Facebook you should - .  Not only is she inspirational but she is real...and she posts funny stuff too :-)

As much as I love Boot Camp I'm not gonna lie.  I could barely walk after the first session.  And lifting my arms to brush my teeth after the second session brought tears to my eyes.  And I found a new hate for burpees.  But I have a goal...I will be able to do a full set of burpees by the end...this is my focus for right now.  Well that and being able to comb my hair the day after the sessions.  And thanks to my sister for doing it with least we can commiserate together the next day.

As I've said before, try something new, find something you love. That is what will keep you on track.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Staying Active

I have never hesitated to share my opinion that the key to staying active is to find something you love to do and do that.  For me, it was running (I haven't run much the past few months but am getting back to it).  For my kids, they never really found anything that stuck - we tried dance, sports, martial arts but nothing grabbed them enough for them to want to really stick with it.

Until now.  Both girls have fallen in love with something that keeps them uber active and I love it!

Ally has found cheerleading.  And for those who hold on to the stereotype that cheerleaders are not athletes, I dare you to try to run, jump and do stunts continuously for 2 hours at a time.  I dare you to lift girls into the air, throw them and catch them, have them stand on your legs while you support them.  They are athletes - and amazing ones.  These girls are strong and have to work as a team every second they are on the floor.  The flyers need to trust their teammates implicitly - and the bases and backs know how important their jobs are.  It is a thing of beauty to watch.

Marianna has found tumbling.  She always loved to jump, but gymnastics didn't stick because she didn't want to do the beam and vault.  She just wanted to flip and tumble.  She has joined a trampoline and tumbling class and loves it.  It is 90 minutes of hard work (she is sore the day after), repetition and bending in ways that  make me cringe. And she does it all with a smile...well unless she is ticked off she can't get something fast enough.  Then she just gets this determined look on her face and goes to do it again.

I love that my girls have found this stuff.  And the best part is I discovered (thanks Kelly!) a gym where they can do both.  If your kid loves to cheer, you  need to check out Black Widow Cheer Gym; and if tumbling is their thing, you need to call Laws of Motion. I can't say enough good things about both of these organizations - we're hooked!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Give me Strength

So here's the truth...I've always considered myself a strong person. I can handle lots, am pretty good at turning the other cheek when I need to, and I can square my shoulders and take stuff head on with the best of them. I try to avoid drama when I can, but when I'm in the midst of chaos I can take a breath and handle it pretty well.

I thought I was strong...then I had children. Now I watch them and marvel at their strength. I don't remember school days being so tough - I guess that's a good thing. I'm sure there must have been days growing up when I felt like I was drowning, but I can't clearly remember any of them.

I've watched my girls have amazing times - giggle with their friends, take silly selfies, act like kids. I've also watched them struggle with things that would make us cringe as adults - people talking behind their backs, realizing friends weren't really friends, trying to figure out "why them".

Even on days when the "why me's" outweigh the silly selfies, I've seen their strength. I've seen them do their best to turn the other cheek, or to just remember to breathe when chaos takes over. I've also listened to them rant and held their hands through tears. I've tried to explain, with little success cause I don't understand it, why some people feel the need to put others down.

Through it all I've seen their resilience and I've seen them be stronger than I would have been at that age. I've seen them develop a thicker skin and I've watched how they have found reason in the actions of others...even when those actions are not reasonable. I've seen their strength outweigh my own.

I wish they didn't need to have this kinda of strength right now. I wish it could stay rainbows and roses for a little while longer. But it can't. So that means I need to continue to nurture their strength, and to find my own when I'm ready to lose it on the situation at hand. I need to make sure they keep talking to me about everything that is going on, and I have to stay in listen mode rather than go into fix it mode. I must encourage them to find the good in all situations even when they are not sure their is any.

Most of all, I need to remind them that it's ok not to be strong all the time. It is ok to lose it, to ask for help, to lean on those who care about us. Sometimes that is when we find our strength we didn't know we had.