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Get your voting fingers ready, voting for top 5 opens on March 30th at 3 PM and runs until April 5th at noon. Don’t forget you can vote 10 times per day per device for your favourite contestant. Just go to takethechallenge.ca and follow the link to the voting page then click on my picture, and click vote 10 times.

Last night I decided to join a get fit boot camp. I tried to do it last year, but I wasn’t able to continue it since I had just finished my radiation treatments and I was way too burned to be working out at that time. This time I will be able to stick to it. I can’t wait to see what it does for me.

Tonight is weigh and measure night, I can’t wait to see where I’m at. Then this Saturday we have our fundraising event at Chances Casino in Abby. So much exciting stuff going on right now, I’m excited to see how much money we can raise for the Shape Your World Society and the Abbotsford Food Banks Starfish Backpack Program! If you happen to be at Chances this Saturday be sure to come check us out in the Banquet room. We will have some amazing silent auction items, games, 50/50 and other prize draws.

 

Don't forget to vote for me at takethechallenge.ca

Don’t forget to vote for me at takethechallenge.ca

Team Dollars and Sense are hosting a fundraiser to help the Shape Your World Society and Abbotsford Food Banks Starfish Backpack Program.

Team Dollars and Sense are hosting a fundraiser to help the Shape Your World Society and Abbotsford Food Banks Starfish Backpack Program.

Created on 2017-03-28 23:25:36

Edited on 2017-03-30 00:47:09

YAAAAAY I made it to the gym today for a quick cardio workout before heading to Save On Foods for our pre fundraiser, fundraiser. It was a weekend full of fun for me as it was my photo shoot yesterday, which meant I went to Art of Hair Design to get my hair done by the amazing Sandra, then off to Fire and Ice where I met with my favourite Arbonne consultant Karina, and her lovely assistant Bethany who did my makeup, and then it was off to Photoart by Simpson to get my photos taken. My sneak peak made me well up, I’m so excited to see what the other photos look like.

 

After that it was home to get the rest of the family and head off to Castle Fun Park for some go carts, bumper cars and mini golf for my daughters 15th birthday, and finally IHOP for dinner and home for a movie.

My before hair and makeup, and my after!

My before hair and makeup, and my after!

January 15th and March 25th!

January 15th and March 25th!

Created on 2017-03-27 02:23:13

It’s been a very busy week and a bit since my last post. I always plan to blog about my day and then by the time I get around to it, it’s time for bed. These days it seems like I don’t have much time for the extras. I’m finally starting to feel a bit more like myself which is great, now to get back to business with my workouts. I had plans to go to the gym Friday, but that got kyboshed when my fiancé needed to be rushed to the hospital for a reaction to a new treatment he received that triggered some really bad vertigo. Not to worry though, he’s going to be just fine!

Yesterday marked 2 years from my mastectomy and sentinel node dissection, and what better way to celebrate that milestone than to go get some new ink from my favourite tattooist, Dana at Fantum Jester Tattoos! Through my treatments my mom and my aunt kept telling me “attitude is everything” so I thought it would be cool to get an infinity tattoo with that incorporated into it.

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Created on 2017-03-19 21:00:10

Edited on 2017-03-20 01:50:26

What a great meeting last night. We did our weigh and measure and then our amazing Herbalife team brought their Tanita scale again so we were able to see that progress as well. I’m very pleased to say that I’m down another 2.2 lbs and 1.5″. According to the Tanita scale, I’ve lost a total of 6.7% body fat, my water has gone up 4.6%, I’ve gone from 92.2 lbs to 100.8 lbs of muscle, my bone mass has gone from 5 lbs to 5.4 lbs, and my visceral fat, also known as belly fat, has gone from a 10+ rating to an 8!

 

Today I was scheduled to have a minor surgical procedure done, but sadly after fasting and doing all my pre-op stuff, and about 2 hours after arriving at the Jim Pattison centre in Surrey, I was told that my surgeon was running way behind and that they were cancelling my procedure. I was upset, but understood. It’s been a long 2 year journey for me and I was looking forward to having one more step complete, and being that much closer to being at the end of my journey. Fingers crossed that my new surgical time will work out though. This now means that I can focus on my challenge more and work harder on reaching my goals. :-)

 

Created on 2017-03-09 02:18:22

Well it seems I’ve been slacking a bit with my blog. I have been dealing with a very nasty cold the last week and a half so even getting out of bed has been quite the chore. Since the amazing race on the 25th I have had some anniversaries, some good and some not so good. February 27th was the 2 year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis, it was a good anniversary because I’m still in remission. We had our weekly meeting and weigh in on the 28th and I was delighted to see that I was down 3.6 lbs. We also got a new challenge, the “Apprentice ” challenge. In this challenge we were split into 3 teams that had to come up with a fundraising event. Of the funds raised, 90% will go to Shape Your World Society to help fund the Total Makeover Challenge and the remaining 10% will go to a charity of our choice. We chose the Abbotsford food banks Starfish program which takes back packs and fills the with food for the weekend so kids who would not normally have enough to eat over the weekends will get all their nutrients. Our team felt that this would be the best way to give back to our community. We will be holding our event at Chances Casino on April 1st.

The other anniversary was March 5th. This is a very sad day for us, on March 5, 2016 some very dear friends of ours lost their 15 year old daughter in a devastating crash on the way back from Stave flats when the car she was in lost control and hit a tree killing her pretty much instantly. So on Saturday we went up to where the crash happened cleaned up any debris and garbage from flowers left previously, and laid some fresh flowers at the memorial site that we set up for her.

Tonight is meeting night and we will be weighing in again and getting our measurements taken. I’m super excited to see where my weight and inches will be this week. My weight watchers weigh in over the weekend showed a pretty big loss so I’m eager to step on that scale tonight! Then it’s home to bed because tomorrow I will be having a surgical procedure. Stay tuned for an update after tonight’s meeting.

RIP Lidia

RIP Lidia

Side by side progress pic. Left is Jan. 15th, right is Feb. 28th

Side by side progress pic. Left is Jan. 15th, right is Feb. 28th

Created on 2017-03-07 17:49:44

Wow what a day it’s been and what a whirlwind of emotions. I’m so excited to say that I made it into the top 15, thanks to all the support of all of you. It’s been another rough week for me, with appointments all week for my recovery, physiotherapy and massage courtesy of my sponsor the Apollo Clinic, without their support and amazing therapists I wouldn’t be where I am today! Then there was my pre-op tests which consisted of an ECG, a chest X-ray and blood work that left a nasty bruise on my arm, and to top it all off I woke up yesterday sick as a dog. Today I woke up and didn’t want to crawl out of my nice warm bed, but I just couldn’t miss the amazing race, that was so much fun, and of course the announcing of the top 15 ladies, but I made it through the events of the day and now I’m resting, so I can get better and get back to the gym. I had an amazing team which consisted of my fiancé, my younger daughter and 2 great friends that all put up with my grumpy sick self today and did such a great job in our amazing race! I can’t wait to see what this next round has in store for me. I will try to post on my blog more consistently so you can follow me in this super cool journey to a better, healthier me! Much love to all of those who have been following and supporting me, I can’t even being to express the gratitude I have in my heart!

Some pics from the amazing race.

Some pics from the amazing race.

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Created on 2017-02-26 02:13:27

Today is a tough day for me, it marks 7 years since the day  I laid my very best friend of 17 and a half years to rest. He was not just my best friend, but my first horse. I was 16 when my mom got him for me for my birthday, he was a 5 year old thoroughbred with very little training aside from being trained to race, but he never made it to his first race due to an injury her sustained as a baby, so he became mine. I learned so much from him and he became my safe place, my stress relief, my counsellor. What makes today even harder is that it’s also a reminder that tomorrow marks the 7 year anniversary of my step moms sudden passing. Let’s just say February isn’t a great month for me, more specifically the 22nd and 23rd of the month.

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Created on 2017-02-22 19:19:24

Edited on 2017-02-22 21:32:49

After some intense training at the Real Me seminar this past week, it feels good to be able to get back in the gym. I got to connect a bit more with the other wonderful ladies in the competition, and learn a lot about myself while doing it.

Time to vote is running out! Voting ends tomorrow at noon so be sure to get your votes in to help me proceed through to the next round. This weekend is The Amazing Race and I’m so excited to participate with my awesome team. After that they will be announcing the 15 competitors that will be going through to the next round. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead in the challenge. I’m starting to really see the results from the chants I’m making and I’m loving it. I suffer from panic and anxiety disorder, and since my cancer diagnosis it has gotten progressively worse, in the end causing me to develop insomnia, so for the last almost 2 years I have been taking using prescription medication to help me sleep. Well I’m happy and very proud to say, I’ve slept the last 4 nights without meds, so this in itself is a new beginning and huge milestone in my journey! :-)

Working out with my fellow competitor Amber.

Working out with my fellow competitor Amber.

Having a blast at the Real Me Seminar.

Having a blast at the Real Me Seminar.

Created on 2017-02-22 05:56:09

It’s the little things that you learn to really appreciate when you go through something life changing. 2 years ago today something happened that changed my life forever. I was on my way to work in Vancouver, yes I commute every day from Abby to Van for work, when I felt a sharp pain in my left breast like someone had stabbed me with a needle. When I rubbed the spot that hurt I felt a golf ball sized lump and that’s when I knew there was something really wrong. I continued to work where I went in and told my boss what was going on and that I was heading back to Abby to go to the emergency. In the days that followed I had a mammogram, breast ultrasound and a core biopsy. Which confirmed my worst fears, at 37 I had breast cancer, triple negative invasive ductile carcinoma. 1 month and 2 days later I had my left breast and 6 lymph nodes removed, then a little over a month later I had a portacath inserted in my chest for the 6 months of chemo that was to start a couple of weeks after that. During chemo I lost all of the hair on my entire body, gained a bunch of weight and in turn lost my self esteem and became even more insecure than I was before. The panic and anxiety disorder that I had more or less under control, began to get much worse, causing me to develop insomnia. Then you add in the steroids that you get along with your chemo and the chemo induced menopause, well lets just say I was a mess lol. Once I finished chemo, the portacath came out and the. I started 28 days of radiation that burned my skin worse than any sunburn I’ve ever had and I assure you, I’ve had many. Following my treatments my family was faced with many tragic losses in 2016. It almost tore us apart.

I have told my story many times and it’s not because I want sympathy, anyone who knows me knows that’s the last thing I would want from anyone. It’s because I want to educate people. If my story can help 1 person then my job is done. I mentioned before that my cancer was triple negative, but I was also negative for the breast cancer gene and have no family history of breast cancer. Plus I was only 37 and aside from being a bit overweight I was in good health. Cancer doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t care if you’re young, old, male, female, black, white, all you can do is get your health checked regularly and hope you don’t get it.

Now!

Now!

During treatment.

During treatment.

Before and during.

Before and during.

Before cancer

Before cancer

Created on 2017-02-17 02:33:19

Well today’s the day! The polls for voting open at in just a few more minutes, so get in there and place your votes. I’ve struggled through these first few weeks with my weight going up instead of down in the beginning, but I stepped on the tanita scale at Tuesday nights weigh and measure and learned that I had gained 6.6 lbs of muscle, lost 2.6 lbs of fat, which is 4.7%, increased my water intake and reduced my visceral fat, which is belly fat. So though I’ve not seen it on the scale I know I’m on the right path to a healthier more confident me! Oh and I’ve also lost 6 inches overall! 

Created on 2017-02-16 22:59:28

So it’s been a few days since I was able to post last. I’ve had a lot going on with my busy schedule, trying to balance getting back to work, appointments for my physio massage therapy and doctors for my rehabilitation, working out, kids, challenge meetings along with all the other fun stuff life has to offer. On top of all of that my fiancé and I celebrated 6 years together on Sunday, 3 years engaged yesterday and of course Valentine’s Day today.

 

I’m feeling really good about my progress so far and can’t wait to see what the scale and the measuring tape have to say at tonight’s weigh and measure. I’ve been trying to get my workouts in at least 4-5 days a week, but haven’t been able to get to another Zumba class as I still have swelling and pain in my knees, more so in my right knee.

 

For those who don’t know, I’ve been following the weight watchers smart points plan since March 2016, so I’ve been trying to figure out how to work in all the great health and nutrition info we’ve been learning from our Herbalife rep into my program and I think I’ve nailed it. My weight watchers weigh in showed that I was down 1.8 lbs in the last week, so I’m eager to see what the challenge scale says.

 

Last night I got to have my makeup done by one of the ladies at Shoppers last night, just one of this contests perks, and she nailed it. I’ve had my make up done before by others, and always felt they put way too much of the wrong colours on me and I felt like a clown, but this lady did a fantastic job. I didn’t have to change a thing about my makeup for my dinner date with my love. Tomorrow night we start our Real Me seminar, I can’t wait to see what we get out of it.

I hope everyone's Valentine's Day is full of love. ❤

I hope everyone’s Valentine’s Day is full of love. ❤

Dinner with my love. :)

Dinner date with my love. :)

All ready to go out to The Keg for dinner last night. Makeup courtesy of Whatcom Shoppers

All ready to go out to The Keg for dinner last night. Makeup courtesy of Whatcom Shoppers

Created on 2017-02-14 23:10:07

Edited on 2017-02-14 23:39:36

I’m happy to report that my weigh in at Tuesday nights meeting went really well. It wasn’t a huge loss, but a loss is a loss and I’ll take it. It means that all my hard work is not in vain.

Yesterday, however, wasn’t such a great day. I went for a 3 hour allergy test that ended up being 4 and a half hours, to see if I’m still allergic to almonds. Things started off really well, with no reaction after eating the first few doses of the nuts. After eating the full dose of 20 nuts I started to react and ended up quite sick, so I was unable to make it to the gym yesterday and also wasn’t able to eat much. Today I’m feeling much better so it will be a gym day and if my knees aren’t still too sore after the gym, I plan to go to another Zumba class at the rec centre tonight. This time I will be more mindful of how much knee bending I do lol.

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Created on 2017-02-09 18:47:28
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2 of the other lovely ladies from the competition after a Zumba class!

Today marks the 3 week mark in this challenge, and it has definitely been challenging at times. Still recovering from my first breast reconstruction surgery, trying to increase my hours at work, and my strength so I can return to my regular duties as a labourer, and trying to find a workout that won’t cause me pain in my arthritic knees has been tough. The other struggle is finding the right balance in my diet that will feed my body, and still allow for weight loss. After my first weigh in I was quite discouraged to see that I had actually gained some weight, then the following week there was no change in my weight, but that week they took our measurements and I had lost 5 inches overall, so that made me feel like I was doing something right. After working out 5 days a week for the last 3 weeks, it’s hard to see the number on the scale go up, or stay the same, but I know that muscle weighs more than fat so I might not see the results I want on the scale. I also know it takes some time for your body to get used to a change in diet. The body needs time to figure out what you’re doing so it knows how to react. That being said, I will weigh in tonight and if I don’t see a loss on the scale, I will not let it get me down. I will keep pushing forward, and stick to my routine, and stay positive, because soon my body will figure it out and I will continue to gain muscle and strength and lose inches, and that’s what really counts! IMG_1748

Created on 2017-02-07 12:15:50

What an exciting busy week it’s been! I got through my first 8 hour shift at work in almost 2 years, tried a Zumba class at ARC which I loved and can’t wait to do again once my knees feel better, and did some more running on the treadmill at the gym. As much as I resist some days, I feel so much better after a trip to the gym. It feels so good to know that I’m doing myself and my family some good by taking care of me and improving my health. This morning I met a nice lady while I was working out and she told me, “Sometimes we have to be selfish and take care of ourselves so we can be there for our kids and our spouses.” It’s so true, we’re no good to them if we’re not at our healthiest. What looks like selfishness is really not selfish at all.

 

Created on 2017-02-05 13:10:48

I had a good couple of days, I got to go to the gym yesterday and today, and I even got to go to yoga last night for my first class. What a great experience that was, I was so relaxed after.

Yesterday I did something I didn’t think I would be able to do, I RAN ON THE TREADMILL! This might not seem like a big deal to some, but for me it’s huge. I have arthritis in both my knees from years of dance and horse back riding, and a couple of accidents involving the horse I was on rearing and flipping over backwards landing on my leg, the last time resulting in a chipped knee, so doing anything that is high impact like hiking or running, or a lot of knee bending like dancing, tends to be quite painful and I usually end up in a great deal of pain the following day, so bad that I have trouble walking. I’m happy to report that today I woke up and my knees weren’t bothering me at all. I would also like to add that I wake up every day with a diff lower back and today my back was feeling pretty good. It must be from all those good stretches at yoga!

So today when I went to the gym I decided to try running again and I was able to run a little more. I felt such a big sense of accomplishment. Hopefully as I continue to lose weight and strengthen my muscles, I’ll be able to gradually increase my running. I would love to be able to do a 5K run one day.

Tomorrow will be another big day for me as it will be my first 8 hour shift since my diagnosis almost 2 years ago. I’ve been on a graduated return to work since last February, and had to go off for 2 months in September when I had the first of my reconstructive surgeries. It feels so good to finally progress and start to feel my energy levels increase. I can’t wait to have my normal back.

My passion!

My girls following closely in my foot steps

Created on 2017-01-30 23:06:41

Edited on 2017-02-19 23:23:16

I’m a 39 year old mom of 2 girls, almost 15 and almost 20, 1 son who’s 13, step mom to my fincae’s daughter who’s also almost 15, wife and grandmother to be, horse fanatic and breast cancer survivor.

I was always active as a child participating in competitive dance, riding horses and other school sports, and never had to worry about my weight. That all changed after having 3 c-sections, I’ve struggled with my weight since the birth of my oldest, and it’s time to take control of my life.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and had gone through a mastectomy, 6 months of chemo and 28 days of radiation. To say my self esteem and confidence had taken a hit is an understatement, but I never want to have to go through that again. So I’m doing whatever I can to get healthy so I can prevent the cancer from coming back. I have plans you know, I’m going to get married again, and in July I get to meet my first grand baby. I’m want to see my kids grow up, get married and have kids of their own, so I took a chance and clicked the apply now button and wouldn’t you know it I got picked!

I’m so excited to see where this new journey will take me, and so honoured to be going through it with such a wonderful bunch of women who have similar goals!

July 2015 Rocking the bald head after my first 3 rounds of chemo

July 2015 Rocking the bald head after my first 3 rounds of chemo

Created on 2017-01-30 23:01:28