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Accountable to me…

Well this week I was tired and took some much needed down time. However, my down time included skipping out on the gym and eating a not so clean diet. The result, I was up 2 lbs at the gym this morning. Ok,so I went on a bit of a bender and learned a lesson, I will always be accountable to ME. For all I know my weekly weigh ins will end on Tuesday and my life will go on. So, what does this mean? It means that at the end of the day all that matters is that I will be accountable for my own actions and results. If I take everything I have learned over the past 3 months and keep with with it, I will be successful in losing my next 25 pounds. If I chose to go back to the way I was living before I will be exactly where I was at the end of 2016, fat, sad and depressed.

The other motivator for me is all the people that have followed and support my journey. When I look in the mirror, I also see all my backers cheering me on. I know it does not matter if I am in a contest or not, I have many people that have been supporting me along the way and to some degree I let them down as well.
So tomorrow I will be at the gym again at 8am, ready, willing and able to work off all my treats that I had today.
On another note, I had an amazing anniversary day with my husband. It was nice to reconnect over lunch and a long drive. We had no phones or distractions and spent the day really talking to each other. I had vowed to be more present at the beginning of this year, but have not lived up to it at all. This challenge has definitely kept me plugged in and it was nice to turn it all off for a bit.
This will be my last post before our Little black dress event on Tuesday. Regardless of the outcome, I am proud of my accomplishments and have learned so much. I am grateful to have made it this far and vow to continue with or without the challenge. I am so very thankful for this journey and the support of entire TMC crew. I am also very thankful for all my sponsors and donaters and voters:) When I doubt myself I will always think back to this experience and remember all of you cheering me on:)
Thank you

Created on 2017-04-09 04:28:17

Bumps in the road

Sometimes it feels like life is a little like playing a game of Frogger. Instead of dodging cars we are dodging bumps and hurdles that life throws in our path.
I have had an emotional week and have come to the following conclusions:
1) life is not for the faint of heart. You have to be able to see the bumps and hurdles and find the best way to work around them. Just when you think you may have figured life out, guess what… something happens that makes it CHANGE. This is just the way life is and you can not dwell on it.
2] Marriage and relationships.. prepare to be challenged every day! Marriage is messy, ugly,intense,happy,blissful… and sometimes you feel all of these in a 10 minute time span. The bottom line is if you love that person enough, you dig in and find ways to work on it. I guess relationships are like a garden and if you don’t tend them, they will die. This goes for friendships too, and I believe everyone women should have that one(or more) life long kindred spirit. If you are not wiling to invest in someone then it is difficult for them to invest in you. And you could change that around and say if you are not willing to invest in your self, another will find it difficult to invest you. This is something the challenge has truly taught me, investing in myself provides the best return on investment for my relationships. This challenge has kept me pretty better and my investments in others is running a little low, however my self investment is full. So, now I need to find out how to balance both so everyone is full. I think with looking ahead and planing my time, prepping meals I ahead I can learn how to balance it all. As I say I am constantly a work in progress, and if I stop progressing then I must be dead.

Created on 2017-04-07 04:20:23

How do we know the difference between being selfish and self-full

These last few weeks have been overwhelming to say the least and have definitely taken a toll on me and some of my relationships.
It seems to be a fine line to know when we are being selfish with our time or when we are filling our selves up. I have had very little time with my family between the competition and working full time, let alone working out and yoga. Time with friends, even phone calls are sparse. There is a little voice in the darkness of my mind that wonders what will be when this is over. In the end the votes don’t matter, the points don’t matter, as my life when go on.
Sometimes someone can say something to you that can hurt to the core. I wonder if I have know how to recover when I feel wounded. I guess the difference me now, is I will find a way to pick myself up, study the situation and either rectify it or move forward. When I am faced head on with hurt, I tend to pull away say screw you. I don’t want to share my hurt and I don’t want the other person to see how they have impacted me. Perhaps this has been he Cindy show lately, but in order to make myself better this is what I needed to do.
It is important to remember that words are things that stick to things and can never be unsaid. My responsibility in this, is to understand my role and work with my own actions and emotions.
And so with this I will take some rest and mindful reflection and know that tomorrow is a new day. And if all else fails, Pray about it and let it go.

Created on 2017-04-04 04:09:54

Casino Night Fundraiser

Just and update and thank you to everyone who donated, attended and supported our fundraiser. The night went off well, a few hitches but nothing my fantastic team could not handle. I was so proud to part of such a well organized and team oriented group. So many times women can breed drama, but we had a great mix of personalities. We all complimented each others strengths and weaknesses and shined our own talents.

We had a sold out event and were within 200 dollars of our goal dollar total. The feedback I heard back was pretty positive, so I consider the night a success.

Created on 2017-04-04 03:54:59

Well here we are…

This second segment of the competition just seems to be flying by. Now, it is the dreaded time of voting. When I think of this competition, I see the voting stage as the ying and the yang of the challenge. In order to grow from this experience, we must learn how to put ourselves out there and gain votes. However, the shadow to this is the waiting to see where you sit in votes every day. Often, it feels like the perceptual wall flower at the sock hop waiting to asked to dance. I do think thought, part of this competition is to turn that wall flower into a confident women who would ask someone else to dance. I view myself as a constant work in process in this regards. I have shed many insecurities in this challenge, but the stinkin thinkin still creeps in every now and again.
On Tuesdays meeting we had a lesson in dressing for our body type. I am not quite there with my body image yet, and I am not ready for the female bonding in a change room moment. I feel great about my progress all week and then on Tuesdays I feel mediocre, like my progress is not that great all compared to some awesome results others are having. Ie, stinking thinking… This is that old self talk that pops into my head and says “see you are not worthy of success, you should just give up.”. This stems from many places in my past life, and really I don’t have room for it here in this moment. This is more difficult than any weight loss or inch loss, self love vs self loathing. When parents are unable to nurture their children, they are left feeling unworthy of acceptance, love and many other aspects of positive relationships. I have come so far in this challenge emotionally, I find it strange that at the height of most of my success I am dealing with these feelings. However, now that I have typed that I have had my AH HA moment! I am feeling these feelings because I somehow deep down do not deserve the success. Well, there it is, hmmm. I am so successful at self sabotage, if that was part of the contest I would win that one hands down. Well screw that! I have literally worked my ass off lol So now to go ponder how to work through this and get some sleep!

Created on 2017-03-30 05:19:09

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People have been asking what I have been doing for workouts at the gym. I only have about 1 hour in the morning before work, so I try to get the most bang for my buck. I start with elliptical for about 40 minutes then go over to free weights for my arms and core work out. I have been working on increaseing the intensity of my cardio this week, and I will see if this pays off tomorrow night. My goal has been to be at the gym 6 to 7 days a week, and I have been hitting the goal the past couple of weeks. I track my food in my fitpal app on my phone, and I keep track of fat, sugar and calories. I am not completely focussed on this, I use it as tool to understand portions and see what is in the food I am consuming. I will update you tomorrow and let you know my weigh and measure results.

Just a reminder that voting opes again on Thursday March 30th at 3:00pm. Getting your voting fingers ready!!!

Created on 2017-03-28 04:50:27

Sometimes life is a blur

Have you ever sat back and thought to yourself “The week has just flown by and I am not sure where the time went?” This has been me for the past few weeks, as this challenge and life has kept me busy. This past weekend we were given the opportunity to have our hair and make up done and then treated to a photo shoot. I will not lie, it felt pretty amazing to be all dolled up and in a study posing for a camera. When I got home, my husband thought we should go out for the afternoon. So, all dolled up and off for some wine tasting we went.
We met some very dear friends and spent a little time catching up. Rob and I have had these friends for over 18 years and we have had many laughs together. The one thing that amazes me is to see their cohesiveness as a couple. When we talk about soul mates, these are the two that I picture together. Sometimes we see in people things we admire and we want to surround ourselves with that goodness. Often, when life is so busy we forget how precious time is, and how fast it can go by. To some, time is something that they can not depend on and they learn to live in the moment. Life is so unpredictable and being present in the now and loving those close to you is so important. When I see a couple standing strong, side by side, I am reminded how important sharing your life with someone is. This weekend was a special reminder.
During this challenge, I am not the only one who has participated in my family. I have had a partner at home who has taken care of so many things to lesson my burden. He has cooked my dinners, washed my work out clothes and held me while I had many a melt down and wanted to give up. But, you see this is what a true partnership is, leaning on one another to get through life. I did not grow up with this example, but have been blessed beyond measure with in-laws that have instilled this strength into me. I grew up watching a lot of chaos and not understanding how treat someone you love respectfully and lovingly. However, over the past 19 years I have learned how intricate of a balance marriage is. It is not about who is the head of the house, it is about working together in unison. So, even though he did not sign up for the challenge himself, he has been doing it right along side me the entire way. He is in the stands holding a sign that says.. Buy my wife’s tickets! So, even though I am exhausted and a little frustrated this week, I continue to work at this challenge. And when this challenge is over, I will continue on this path I have chosen to work out and eat clean. The challenge has given me the tools and I plan on planting a solid future on this path.
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Created on 2017-03-28 04:39:18

“Words are things. You must be careful, careful about calling people out of their names, using racial pejoratives and sexual pejoratives and all that ignorance. Don’t do that. Some day we’ll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally in to you.”

― Maya Angelou

Created on 2017-03-26 05:11:37

Getting to know
This journey has been very much about being out of my comfort bubble. I use the term “bubble” because I have a comfort area around me that I do not like other people to enter. I am not a huger or a touchy person, and I have no problem letting people know this. Usually, it becomes apparent when people come in for the hug and I stick out my hand vigorously (perhaps aggressively if), for a fist pump or handshake. However, the women involved in this challenge seem to be sneaky hugers and I never quite get the sense that it is coming and before I know it, it happens, the dreaded hug. I happen to have several people in my life now who enjoys this type of engagement, and my bubble is deflating slowly. Perhaps, this can referred to as personal growth and may mean I am allowing people to get to know me.
Tonight, I got to spend time with some amazing women who are also doing this challenge. I let myself out of comfort level and had some fun. I enjoyed listening their stories and gain some perspective as to what their world is like. I have always been a people watcher and learner. I love to sit in the back of the room and watch people, and I love to hear people tell me about their life perspective and story. This is how we learn acceptance and understanding as to why people do or react to things the way they do. Tonight, I learned that perhaps I was hasty and miss-judged some people and I am glad I got to know them better. It was definitely a reminder to not be hasty in judging people, and to remember they have their own truth. If you take the time to sit and listen to them, you grow a little, and learn a little.
The second thing I learned tonight, is we are all strong women, however we are also still a little vulnerable. We must work on building and encouraging each other and leave the drama behind. Too many times when their are many women working together, the feeling of team work gets left behind. Remember that woman/girl you are snickering at or talking down to, she is someones mother, daughter or friend. A person who is trying to change her world and her story and it is our job as fellow women to support that. I vented tonight about some things that were bothering me, and perhaps sounded a little negative in some of my comments. However, I got out what I needed to and am ready to move on. Tomorrow is a new day, and I will be given the opportunity to make it positive and happy.

Created on 2017-03-26 05:11:23

Weigh in results…..

Well today is Tuesday which means another weekly weigh in. At the start of this challenge I dreaded Tuesdays because I had a very slow start to my weight loss. Today, I was there 10 minutes early to get weighed in! I lost 4.4 pounds in two weeks(I missed last week because I was away training)! I am steady at approximately 2 pounds a week and I am happy with that. I have also lost 6 liters of visceral fat and gained 8 pounds of muscle. I feel that I now have a program I can carry on after this challenge is over and remain successful. I have a target weight goal which is another 17 pounds away from where I am at now and if I continue on this way I should hit this by May.
I have changed so much over the past weeks, both physically and emotionally. The one thing that will never change however, is my complete honesty. I am incapable of being phony or fake to people. I generally like most people and I like to invest in getting to know people. I will encourage and support anyone, regardless of who they are, it is in my DNA. However, I wear my heart on sleeve and tend to get my feelings hurt easily. When people brush me aside and ignore me in one situation, and then pretend to be a supportive friend two days later, I withdraw. Because I do not have a poker face and everyone knows what I am thinking or feeling in the moment, I feel it disconcerting when people come across as not genuine or real. I still find it uncomfortable to be in a room with people and feel like I am the odd person in the group. I am still working on presenting myself as self assured and confident. So, today I chose to shake it off and focus on a good rest tonight, a great day at work tomorrow and the positives in my world.
Night my peeps.

Created on 2017-03-22 05:02:27

Saturday, March 18, 2017

11:37 PM

Today was all about balance!

Today was an amazing day celebrating with family and friends. Today we celebrated my grandsons 1st birthday. I love the fact that I am fit enough to chase after him and go up and down the slide as many times as he likes.

But, today was also about balance, because I knew I would be surrounded by food that I no longer indulge in. I started the day by going to the gym this morning and having a great cardio work out. I balanced my day by eating from the veggie tray and eating the inside of the turkey sandwich instead of eating the bread. I ate a piece of my grandsons birthday cake and loved every moment. I no longer stand at the food table of party, eating and drinking until I feel ill. I balanced the day with both nutritional sense, while still being able to partake in the party atmosphere. The old me felt awkward and uncomfortable in these situations and would eat in order to overcome those feelings.

My life today is so full of laughter and blessings and I love waking up each day! I hear from some people that I have inspired them to go back to the gym or change their eating habits. It blows me away, I am living my purpose! What an amazing feeling that at the end of the day.

 

I have people in my life that have been the cheerleaders throughout out my journey, supporting and cheering in the stands along the way. I have other people in my life that have quietly supported me, but I know they are there. Sadly, I have lost people in my life that do not understand my journey, and this is ok too. Sometimes when someone in your life goes through a drastic change in a very short period of time, you might be skeptical or not understand the dynamics of the changes. People come into your life for a reason and a season. I no longer need others acceptance and approval and I will not apologize for working on becoming a more positive me. I am worthy of the investment that I am now putting into myself and my soul is grateful for it. At the end of the day the only ones I am truly accountable to are myself and God, and he hasn’t struck me down with lightning yet! To those of you that are walking this journey with me, supporting me all the way, I truly thank you. When I started this journey I did not see in myself what you saw, something that was worth investing support in. Your love and encouragement started me going and now fuels me every day! Thank you

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Created on 2017-03-19 06:42:56

Edited on 2017-03-19 06:44:01

Without change there would be no butterflys.

The real me seminar was a life changer for me in every possible way. During this seminar I was able to tear down huge blocks both mentally and emotionally. The day after the seminar ended, I woke up with a vision. I already had my mission statement, but I needed to make it permanent, as it was now my purpose. You see for years, I did not have purpose in my life. Yes, I had a family, friends, job and responsibilities, but my soul did not have a purpose. So, at the end of this seminar I truly felt like I had found it, my mission and my purpose.
So, I had woken up on the Sunday morning with a vision, and went running into the other room and said to my husband, “I need to get a TATTOO, right now today!”. Needless to say, he was slightly skeptical. But , he humored me and listened to my story. I told him I had this vision to get a tattoo of my mission statement and purpose. Now, my husband is a little more concerned, but he heard me out:
Without change there would be no butterfly’s, so I need to get a butterfly tattoo. It has to be a monarch butterfly. When I was a child we would go hunting and in the spring there was one spot that was always covered in monarch butterfly’s. My mom was a very peaceful and quiet person and she would sit down and they would land all up her arm. One of the few times I would ever see my mom calm and happy. A semi colon, because the story never truly ends. My family has battled mental illness in many different forms and I choose to honor this and not keep it a secret. It is a symbol of overcoming against all odds. The word inspire, because my mission is to inspire people to change through positivity. The tattoo is on my left arm, because like change when I try to do things with my left hand, it is awkward and uncomfortable.

As I was getting all this together in my head, we went to the amazing race and I won a gift certificate for a TATTOO! I never did tell my mom (who now has dementia and lives in a care home) about what i wanted to get. Then I went to visit her on Sunday and she takes me over to some artwork she had done and on her picture, was a monarch butterfly. So today, I went to get my tattoo and I started talked to the artist. It just so happens his mom is a life coach and her company name is INSPIRE.
So, apparently I am on track with what I am suppose to be doing because the universe seems to be sending me a message. I will never forget my purpose, my mission and I will always strive to keep my soul fed with positivity and good things.
Good night.

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Created on 2017-03-14 03:49:43

Edited on 2017-03-14 03:56:32

Well it finaly happened!

We all have that 1 completly unrational fear in our life, like spiders or snakes and in some cases these fears can be extreme. Well, mine for the past 6 weeks has surounded my time at yoga. Now, let me first explain that when you under go an extreme diet change your body experiences, some changes. For example, your digestive track is under revision, shall we say. So my fear was to be in the most zen peacefull moment in a yoga class and then it would happen! My digestive track would express itself loudly, when the room was silent. This has been a fear every single class that i have atteneded. I mean, let’ face it between downard dog and childs pose, if its going to happen there is no stopping it.
So tonight, yes it did happen, I lived my fear. I passed wind!
For years as a child I was ridiculed or teased because I was heavy or I had boys cut, really it didnt matter what the reason. This allowed me to fear situations where i would be pointed out, laughed at or ridiculed. I just want to sit back and fade into the background and watch others because I do not want to have anyone judge me or make me feel embarrased or stupid. So my fear in yoga class, as unreasonable as it sounds, was that i would fart and the class would stop and everyone would point and laugh. I felt this way because I was pre-programed to belive people were waiting for that moment to take a shot at me. So, when it happened, guess what? No one even noticed! Except me. Life went on. lol
My friend and I laughed all the way home in the car, and she was not laughing at me she was laughing with me. Learning to be in a place of acceptance of myself and not allow others to affect my being will be a life long process for me. However, every time something happens like tonight, I learn to let go of a little more insecurity. I mean really did I ever think I would blog to the entire public that I farted in Yoga class? NO The point is this, real life happens and I am learning every day to let go a little more. Perhaps I let go a little to much tonight ;) lol

Created on 2017-03-13 05:04:22

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Created on 2017-03-10 05:47:05

Weigh in update and backsliding

Well this weeks weigh was pretty consistent, I was down 1.6 pounds and 3.25 inches. I am happy as I am staying on the downward trend. I have upped my workouts in the gym to include more intense cardio, free weights and a good core workout. I can say I feel a difference and all my muscles are screaming at me, so it is a job well done. My team, Dollars and Sense is working away at planning our fundraiser for April 1st. It is so awesome to be part of a team of such hard working women. Everyone is pitching in and getting so much done. I am excited for the actual event to happen, I know we are going to have so much fun!

I have had a few situations this week that have forced me to step back and regroup. When we are going through drastic changes in our life, we are also a little fragile. This new me is a re-creation of myself, but it is new and still wobbly on its feet. I still struggle with conflict in my emotions, and it is easy to put on a brave face and every thing is fine. However, eventually I will be alone with myself, and I can not longer deny my inner self the ability of feeling true feelings. I must internalize and process emotions, using healthy methods. I am happy that I am able to incorporate new methods of coping with challenges that I am confronted with, but it is a big reminder I am still a work in progress. I find now that when I am conflict I want to take time to center myself and process how to respond, instead of just react in a defensive manner. Now I need to work on to not all life to get to me or allow myself to feel overwelmed. We have so much going on in the challenge right now, creating the fundraiser, mini challenges and lets face it, life in general. Thank goodness for the zen of my yoga classes. I find my meditation is becoming more intense for longer periods my body feels opened up and ready to accept the rest of the evening and whatever the next day may bring. I never thought I would find lying on my back on a floor with my up a wall a relaxing and zen position. lol
Thank you for following my journey and please stay tuned for more updates this weekend… I may have a surprise to post before Sunday:)

Created on 2017-03-10 05:39:03

It wasn’t a food problem it was a me problem.

Over the past few weeks I hear a lot of people talk about this or that food they craving. Something sweet, or something salty or something really gooey and greasy. For me, this has not been something that I have really ha an issue with, yet. I say yet because, as I am learning, things are always changing in this journey. I know when I first started this challenge, I “gave up” a lot of food, like I was never ever going to eat it again. Funny, when I look back at just 6 weeks ago how my outlook has changed.
I have learned it was never a “food” problem, but a “me” problem that kept me overweight and unhappy. Food, was only a symptom of all the issues I had going on within me. If I was happy I ate, if I was sad I ate.. for every emotion there was a food. Changing my lifestyle and eating clean was not going solve that. I need to step back and take a lot at the whole picture. What was make me sad or unhappy and how can I work through that so that I do not have the symptoms anymore. Just like a flu or cold, my spirit was sick and needed to be healed.I have done so much soul searching and working through emotions over the past few weeks, but I have not turned to food. I have allowed all emotions and feelings to flow over me and then let them go. I still have much work ahead of me, but I believe if I can keep this awareness front and center, I will succeed. Does this mean I will never eat a chocolate or an English Bay White Chocolate Macadamia nut cookie again, ahh NO. However, I will not eat 6 English Bay White Chocolate Macadamia nut cookies, I will eat one. I wanted this journey to be one that I could sustain for the long haul. So every day I wake, I remind my self that I am strong, I am worthy and I am whole.

Created on 2017-03-07 05:25:03

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Created on 2017-03-06 05:26:58

Feeling like the butterfly

I spent yesterday getting my hair done, and normally this would not have felt like quite such a big deal. However, yesterday it felt significant. It was one more piece to removing my cocoon and allowing more of my butterfly to come out. It is interesting to see the metamorphosis that has occurred in me over these last 7 weeks. I share my journey with strangers and I do it with abandon! I want other women to look at this challenge and see what is has to offer. I talk to people and I make eye contact, I smile when I greet people and I laugh when something is funny.
I still have much work to do, as I still find I can be reactive in certain situations. Growing up in chaos taught me to react to situations quickly and negatively. I am still working on this and trying to teach myself to stop and breath before reacting. However, it is one of the most difficult behaviors for me to change. I know it does not serve me well, so every day and every situation I try to self talk myself down off that ledge. I understand now that it is a combination of toxicity and anxiety that allows me react this way (well, and if I haven’t eaten, lack of food can make me reactive). So, the promise I make to myself each morning, is that I will take the day as it comes. I will wait to speak until I have internally clarity on what I need to say. I will speak and treat others with patience and respect, by doing so this is what I will receive back. Because I love myself, and this is what I deserve, so it will be.

Created on 2017-03-06 05:24:03

Accidently skinny

I have only ever lost weight “accidently” before now. Often when I was sick or had surgery , and the best one of all was waiting for gallbladder to be removed. When I was waiting for my gallbladder surgery I could eat no fat, drink no alcohol and eat very small portions at a time. It was amazing!!! I dropped down to the weight I was in high school, 170 pounds. I could not believe it, I started shopping and really enjoying my new body. I swore up and down I would keep it up after the surgery, I mean how could I go back? Well, about 5 days after surgery I went to Safeway to the delie. I ordered my favorite sandwich, the turkey and harvarti panini on whole gran. Just a test I told myself, to see if I could eat that kind of food again. Just in case I wanted a “treat” one day. I ate it, and waited to see what would happen. I waited and waited and nothing happened. No reaction at all. Well that was the beginning of the end for me and over the course of about two years I gained all the weight back, with a few bonus pounds added.
This is honestly the first time I have really fought my battle with weight with everything I have in me. Really, who wakes up at 44 and decides to revamp their entire life and routine. Someone who has never been athletic, not in the least, is no going to go to the gym 5 to 6 days a week for a minimum of 60 minutes a day. Well, that would be me;) Despite how tired and worn out I felt today I would not change this path I am on. Tonight was rough for me and a little emotional. So much knowledge and change coming at me and trying to push myself at the gym, all while working full time. I believe we are all entitled to these kinds of days, it is what we do with them at the end of the day that matters. So as i go to bed:
I BREATHE AWAY ALL THAT NO LONGER SERVES ME
GOOD NIGHT

Created on 2017-03-03 05:20:09

Wow, what a blur that last few weeks have been. The flow out of the Real Me Seminar back into real life interesting to say the least. I went to Yoga last night and as the instructor was guiding us through our breathing I became very aware of something. When you deal anxiety and panic, breathing is your life line. I don’t think I ever thought of breathing as relaxing and soley doing it for this purpose. When you are anxious you gulp air trying to control your breathing, while panicing and your heart is racing. Last night I was able to let go of the last of that old shrapnel and focus on obtaining peace and contenment. I reached the best meditation level to date and came home and slept the entire night. For any woman who is in full blown menopause, you know what a treat that is.
At tonights meeting I shared another enlightment, another that came out of the Real Me Seminar. When I started this challenge, I said I wanted to do this be a better mom and grandma. Today, I want to be a better me. By becoming the best woman I can be, this will radiate and affect my family, my friends and my community. By taking this approach, my abilities to inspire other to change through positivity is endless.!
And I was down another 2 pounds this week::)
Night my peeps!

Created on 2017-03-01 06:26:36

Well, here I am one of the Top 15! I am over the moon excited and have already started shopping for my little black dress. lol However, my very wise husband(hopefully he does not read that, or I may never live it down!), did state perhaps I should wait. I seem to be losing weight more steady now, and if I buy something now it may be too big by April 11th. He might be right:) Wow talk about progress, I have referred to him as wise and right!
I am so honored to be in the top 15, but there was so much more that happened yesterday. I bonded with my friends, and I laughed as we tried to make our way around Abbotsford in the Amazing Race. I was mentioned for many different achievements, one of which was being acknowledge for over all change. To have the judges see the progress I have made, well that means more to me than anything.
So, for this next segment of the challenge, I am going to up my online presence. I vow to post more live video, and blog more. These are definetly areas I need to improve on, and as I grow more and more comfortable in my skin, I am positive it will get easier.
I am so excited to see where this next part of this journey takes me, but one thing is for sure. I am going to embrace every momemnt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Created on 2017-02-27 00:01:46

I have not written much this week, as I have felt the need to just process everything I obtained at the Real me Seminar.
When you suffer from anxiety and deppression you tend to shut the world out when you become overwelmed. This week with the opening of voting, I am touched with outpouring of love and support. When you spend many years not loving yourself, it is hard to imagine anyone else loving you, let alone, an entire community.
I spent many years locked in my own head, and when I became overwelmed, I allowed anxiety to speak for me. This week I have laughed more, smiled more and loved more than I have ever done in my life. I have made a point of telling those around me kind things and I thank my husband daily for all he does for me.
I realize I am not cured, and that I will have moments in my life when I feel overwelmed or anxious, but I now have to tools to power through these moments. I choose not to allow anxiety to speak my words anymore.
Today as I get ready for the amazing race, I am excited to spend the day running all around town, laughing and being silly with my friends. As much as I want to move into the top 15, it is really not important. I have already won! I have recieved so much out of these last 5 weeks… peace, laughter, joy and empowerment!
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Created on 2017-02-25 15:26:57

My mission is to educate and empower people to foster positive thinking and actions to inspire change.

This is only one of the end results of the Real Meal Seminar I attended this weekend. When I walked into this room of 60 woman I was overwelmed, I was nervous, I was anxious and I was not about to share my deepest thoughts and experiences. Well, wih Trish and Bruce leading the seminar that lasted all of 10 mins. I cried all the way home on Wednesday. I could not stop looking at that picture of the 12 year old me, the age when so much of life was falling apart. In the seminar we learned we are here for a reason and in this place because this is where we are suppose to be. Well, here I was sitting in a room, litterally 10 mins away from the house I lived in as a child. A house where my world fell part at the age of 11. Looking at the picture I was asked to bring of me at the age of 12, an age when all the trama of the year really began to take root. I looked at that young girl and when I was asked to remember what her hopes and dreams were, I honestly dont think she had many at that point. I learned that in order to move forward, we most look at the past find the things that prevent us living to our full potential. Once we look at these events, we must release them, as they no longer serve us.
During this weekend I was able to grieve over childhood trauma, learn where my negative thinking started and bring down many many blocks. Are there still a few blocks there? Perhaps, but Rome was not built in a day. I will continue to journal or blog to ensure I release every day, to prevent things from building up.
I took away so much from this seminar it is impossible to write them all down. When I came home last night, I felt the need to cocoon myself a little, not call anyone or chat on facebook. Perhaps I felt a little wobbly, like a newborn colt trying to stand for the first time. This new mission needs to be broken in until it becomes that broken in favorite jacket you wear every day.
I bonded with womn I barely new this weekend, and watched some amazaing transformations. I saw their brightness come to fruitition, and shine with ambundance! What a blessing this was and an experience I will never forget.
Honestly, the tools I have recieved and the experiences I have had during this challenge have been priceless. But this seminar changed my life. I always knew God had a plan for me, and was always guiding me. However, I felt his presence and light this weekend in a way I have never felt it before. For this and all my gifts, I am truly grateful.

Created on 2017-02-19 15:07:31

Without change there would be no butterflys.
These past few days have been amazing and I truly feel like the first layer of my cocoon has come off. I was able to share my last blog post with my mom and make peace with our relationship. My mom has temporal lobe dementia and has been sick for a long time. There are days when we go to visit and it is a challenging ordeal filled with anxiety and frustration on both our parts. But there are days that are majical and filled with smiles and clarity. Yesterday was one of those days, filled with laughing and smiling. Those are days I chose to remember:)
I have been reving up my workouts and have pushed myself beyond anything I thought I could ever do. I had a make up session with Melissa at Shoppers Drug Mart and I truly feel amazing. I was able to handle several social occasions that revolved around food and not feel regret about what I ate or drank. I downloaded an app on my phone and have been able to track my food and see how much I am actually consuming. I had a few treats this weekend, but I cut them in half and enjoyed them in smaller portions.
Today was another day to step out of my comfort bubble as well (I do seem to be doing this a lot more often lately). My sponsor Katts Photography offered to take some promo photos for my blog and facebook page. So I took everything I had learned this week about make up, and self confidence and put it all on display in photos. Stay tuned for the pictures to be posted soon. What an amazing experience and Tim did a fantastic job! I highly recommend anyone who wants photos to be done to contact Katts Photography!
So, the spring my step gets greater and my personality is shining. I am beautiful, funny and smart. I am owning these attributes!
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Created on 2017-02-14 00:55:17

What an amazing morning! Woke up very stiff and sore from boot camp yesterday, boy did Tara kick my butt! The difference today is, I got up an went to the gym anyway! Instead of making excuses, I put in 45 mins cardio and feel better. After the gym I had a wonderful conversation with Heather Rieder, our life coach. So much was packed into this conversation and I wanted to share with you what came out this meeting. I truly feel this is a pivatol time for me in my life and I am ready to move forward, but to do this I must divorce myself from my past. So here is my dear John letter to my past self:
Dear past me
We have been interceding in each other’s paths for some time now. I have allowed you to cloud and muddle up not only my present being, but also my future. We have had a long and co-dependent relationship, one where I have allowed you hold me back.
I did not realize until today that you were unwell and unable to allow love to flow through you. You were not able to accept that were worthy of love and friendship. You allowed anger and resentment to guide you in life choices, which in most cases ended badly. You were unable to fully appreciate and accept the blessings you were given in your life. You allowed all the negativity and anger to drive you to succeed. When life went off course or something bad happened, you thought to yourself, “See, this is why I can’t be happy”. You walked through life always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I will give you credit for helping to build and create a stronger me, but I will no longer give you the blame when things in my life begin to go sideways. I will always have my memories with you, some positive, but many are not. I am releasing you from my present and future being and moving forward. The present me is stronger and healthier and wants to remain that way. The present me has forgiven those who hurt her, the father that did not love her. The present me is no longer tied to the you, the past. The present me is not worried about the future me, as I am positive she is a powerful and beautiful spirit. The present me will look in the mirror, and say I love you. It no longer matters, past me, that the parents that were entrusted to raise and nurture you messed up. The present me knows she has risen above this and grown into someone special. I will no longer wear the past me as a badge of honor, showing my scars. The present me is happy to just live in the moment, bathe in the love and blessings around her. When life throws a curve ball, the present me will catch it, deal with it and throw it back to the universe. The days of harboring negative thoughts and feelings are gone with this separation. As the present me writes these words, she feels lighter and more peaceful. In most separations, belongings are split 50/50, however past me you can keep everything. I only wish to walk away new and free. The present me is ready to laugh more, trust more and love more!

Created on 2017-02-10 18:30:24

The weekly meeting and weigh in this week was an emotionally charged evening for me. I am struggling this week and then to step on the scale and see a gain, well it was discouraging. I am so lucky to be part of this group of woman who are all so supportive. I do feel better about the gain tonight, but it took me some time to work through the emotions. I know the work I need to do to change thought patterns and behaviors and I have become very self aware. That being said, sometimes the stinking thinking gets a hold of me and takes over. I have to remember that change is going to come slowly and just showing up every morning at the gym or every weight in half the effort. If I keep showing up, it will happen. I want to make it to the next level of the contest, but more importantly I want to be healthy. I know the emotions I was feeling were going to lead me on a very self sabotaging path, one where I would give up. This is where my progress is most evident thus far, I corrected the behavior. I got up and went to the gym, worked out my frustration and downloaded an app on my phone to help me track the ration of food vs exercise. It turns out I am not eating quite enough so I boosted my protein and fibre intake today. I learned that being fixated on the number on the scale was my inner self setting me up to fail or give up. I am thankful that I am learning to be aware of these feelings, and confront them head on, and change the course. So, off to bed and tomorrow is a new day!
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Created on 2017-02-08 23:36:27

Monday February 6th

Learning about oneself is often challenging, painful and eye opening all at the same time. This journey that I have embarked upon has proven to be all this and more. I am looking at myself more thoroughly and at times, as others would see me. These past few days where I have been feeling out of control of my circumstances, have brought out my “not so pleasant side”. There is no way we could have anticipated the impact of the last snow storm. The commuting back and forth to Maple Ridge for work, in less than ideal conditions, left me feeling very anxious. I grew up in a very chaotic and un-controlled environment, and because of this I have adapted the need to be in control of my environment. I think being insecure allows these tendencies to come across as cranky and bossy. When I came home last night I was very overwhelmed with the stress of the day and the commute. I allowed myself to speak through my anxiety instead of stopping and taking a breath. When I am in this state of mind, I want to just give up on everything. I allow the anxiety to block all possible solutions to the challenge in front of me. I was just about to storm off to bed and let the day get the better of me, when my husband spoke very strongly to me. First, he suggested I go to the gym and then stop and put gas in the car, so I could go to my meeting the following day. I was hurt that he wanted me to go out in the snow and drive, and I admit, I over reacted. My husband simply stated, I want you to succeed and I want you to be confident again. Solve the problem, and make the solution happen. What a blessing I have in my life, to have a spouse who completely supports and loves me unconditionally. As I was at the gym working out, I had the realization of how I can allow my anxiety to speak for me in difficult situations. I ended the evening as the strong capable woman he believes me to be, but also the woman I want to grow into.
People do not talk about mental health and the day to day challenges it has on individuals and their families. I have not spoken of my depression or anxiety, because I was always told this was a weakness. Now I am realizing the weakness is not the admitting or talking about it, there is strength in acknowledgment. This is the first time in my life I feel like I am taking control of mental health, and facing it head on. I want to inspire other people to speak their truth and share their stories. The worst feeling in the world is feeling completely alone, overwhelmed and useless. This journey is turning into so much more than weight loss; it is becoming a movement of self-empowerment!!!!

Created on 2017-02-08 20:59:07

Making Lemons out of Lemonade

Well SNOWMAGEDDON has hit Abbotsford! There was a time when I would allow being snowed in as an excuse to sit on my butt, eat junk and watch movies all day. But now, it is only motivation to get creative! I was able to use my old elliptical to do 20 minutes of cardio and do 30 minutes of floor exercises. I then was able to complete 60 minutes of yoga via facebook live. Thank you to Parallel Yoga for making this an option!! So, I created the opportunity to complete an even bigger workout then I had originally planed:) In our townhouse complex, it is very common for us to get together with our neighbors for drinks and appetizers, especially in times like these, being snowed in. These are huge food hurdles for me, but I feel this weekend I conquered it well. I used a small plate, stayed away from chips and ate cheese, nuts and fruit instead. It would be very typical for me to drink a few glasses of wine and eat until over full. I chose instead to have one gluten free beer and drink water the rest of the night. It is nice to wake up feeling good this morning, not sick from over eating and drinking. I think I use food in social situations as I tend to feel awkward or afraid I will say something someone wont like. I know I worry too much about what other people think about me. Light bulb…… I guess because I spend so much time judging myself I think everyone else is doing the same thing. Wow I know I am people pleaser, because if I am likable and funny, people will like me and in turn I will like me. Wow, talk about processing as I write. Proof that I am not only a work in progress, but completely fixable. Perhaps this is why I find all the love and support I have had so overwhelming during this journey. I really hope my writing inspires someone who is lost to start looking inward and to be brave at what they find. I know it is allowing me to be much more present in my own life.

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Created on 2017-02-05 13:22:03

People have been asking me, “how have you found time to do all this while working full time?” The answer is … ORGANIZATION! Lol I am a bit OCD when I comes to being organized, to the point I think I drive my husband nuts. Secondly, I could not possibly do all of this without my husband’s support!
On Sundays, my husband and I do our grocery shopping and meal prep for the week. While we are grocery shopping, we are creating our meal plan for the week. After spending some time with my mom at the care home, we come home and begin prepping meals for the week. This includes pre-cooking chicken and making meals that just need to be heated up quickly. We eat a ton of salad because I am not a huge fan of cooked vegetables and it is quicker than cooking them.
On Sunday evenings, I begin prepping all my stuff I need for the gym and work for the next day. I get the coffee ready to go, place my shake stuff and the blender out. I put all my food for the day together in the fridge so I only must remember to grab one thing and nothing gets forgotten. I place the thermos by the coffee pot and my lunch bag on the counter. As I work out at 5:30am and leave for work right after the gym, I pack a thermos of coffee so I can have a cup on my commute. And let me tell you, there is no better reward after a good work out then opening that thermos and smelling that coffee!!!
I pack my gym bag with everything I need to get ready after my work out. I pick out my clothes for the next day and finish packing my gym bag.
When I get up in the morning, my workout gear and runners are right beside my bed. I literally roll out of bed and put my shoes on!
All these steps are necessary as they do not allow for excuses to not go to the gym. This has become such a way of life over the past few weeks, I would be lost if I did not go to the gym in the morning. This is another win for me!!!!
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Created on 2017-02-05 12:45:01

Tuesday January 31
Oh my word, what a powerful meeting tonight. We had Heather Reider and Kim Mallory as our guest speakers. Heather is a life coach and Kim is the founder of Pink Stiletto Women’s Network. I took so much away from this discussion, I am not sure where to begin. I related to Kim’s’ story in so many ways, as I was the child being bullied and feeling completely alone on the playground. I was a large child with a last name that added to the torture. These experiences as a child created a very insecure woman in later life. This with other factors in my childhood allowed me to associate being overweight with being ugly and unattractive. All my life I have heard you have such a beautiful face, if only you could lose the weight. How in the world does an 11-year-old child not learn to associated the fact she is overweight makes here ugly? I had filed most of these feelings away as I grew up, but when I encountered a bulling situation at work, it brought up all the feelings and emotions I had not dealt with before. This plunged me into some dark depression and I allowed these feelings to make me feel less than worthy and insecure. It affected all aspects of my personal relationships and I am not sure how my family lived with me. However, as Heather stated, we all have a story and we do not need to focus on what was. The pity purse needs to be put on the shelf. Through this challenge, I have found the strength and support I need to overcome these feelings and build a stronger me.
To end off the meeting, the group sat in circle and when it was your turn, the other women would tell you positive things about yourself. To hear all these positive words being said about me, I do not have words for the emotions it stirred within me.

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Created on 2017-02-05 12:29:28

Ah ha moments!
You know when you are having a conversation with someone, perhaps talking about life changes and personal growth and you literally have a light bulb show over your head? I have been having several of these over the past few days. I think self-sabotaging behavior is something we have all had experience with. I am not sure at what point I starting thinking I was not deserving of good and positive things in my life, but I am learning how to change that song in my head now. When I start to succeed in something, or become successful in a task, I unconsciously stop and begin using behaviors that will stop the positivity and success in its tracks. I have cared too much about people’s opinions of me, their take on my life, and now is the time for a change.
We all have that theme song in our head that signifies our life, what is yours? I am working changing mine and I am through this metamorphosis I will find a new turn to walk to the beat of.

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Created on 2017-02-05 12:07:39

Spirit

I find it so amazing how I feel after 60 mins of yoga. I am able to let go of everything and just breathe! The connection my body and spirit make during these classes brings me to a completely different awareness. There is no background “noise” in my head, no negativity , only positive oneness.
I am looking forward to getting back to the gym after being off this week sick. I want to make my body stronger, leaner and fiercer!
I am also making a new promise to myself… I am no longer going to be spending so much energy avoiding the camera. I am going to take selfies and look into the video camera during the meetings, and I will embrace it!

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Created on 2017-02-05 12:05:12

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What an amazing start to my day. I met up with some of the other contestants at She Fit at 8am. To work out with these motivated ladies was an awesome way to start my Sunday. I stepped on the scale at the gym, as this is where I did my personal way in January 3rd. I wanted to be under 200 pounds by January 31st, well here we are on the 29th and I weighed in at 197!!! I started at 208, so this gives me a total loss of 11 pounds in 26 days:):) Now the first 6 pounds will not count towards the challenge, but they count to my personal goal. My new goal is to hit 190 pounds by February 25th, the day of the amazing race.
I was surprised at my weigh in because I have not been able to work out at all this week due to being sick. For me this win is just a reminder of the importance of the foods I put in my body. Now, being sick I was not able to consume many calories each day, but I was not exercising at all. So if I stick to my food plan and work out, I should be able to hit my target by February 25th.
After the gym I was able to spend some time with my daughter and grandson. My daughter turned 23, wow time flies. I still remember the cute little blondie missing her two front teeth. lol We had a very eye opening discussion in the car today. It brought tears to my eyes. I was explaining how food has always made me happy or feel better. If I was mad I ate, if I was sad I ate and if I was happy I celebrated by eating. I remember the kids being at their and I was at home on my own on Saturdays. I would get up early and clean the entire house, get all the chores done then shower. I would then drive down to the IGA and buy myself something “special” to eat, almost like a reward. A sandwich, some chips, a diet coke and something sweet. I would go home, watch the 1:00pm move on the women’s network and then nap.
These behaviors I distinctly remember in my childhood. My mom would stop at Robins donut (I would be about 11 years old), and bring home six of donuts. Three for her and three for me, and we would eat them all that night! The part that really broke my heart today was when my daughter said, “Yes, I think I got that from you.” As much as I thought I kept that part of myself hidden, my daughter still managed to learn that food fixes things from me. Now, I could be down on myself for this, or I could turn it around. I am now learning to deal with feelings and emotions as come up, and I am teaching her how to change. This has strengthened my determination to change our lifestyle. I will be honest when I say, it is time for me to deal with many things from my past. I may need to go and talk to someone a few times to get some things out and fixed, however I am choosing to work on nutrition and fitness first. I am learning I am not superwoman and cannot do it all at once (but please do not let my husband hear me admit that:).

Created on 2017-02-05 12:03:58

Strong is not always Loud (Beaches)
One part of being home sick, is it provides the opportunity to reflect on life and this challenge. I watched the remake of the Beaches movie today, and it put me in a very reflective place. When I look over my life, I have few constants. The one constant that I have had for over 30 years is my best friend. When I think of how my life has changed and moved throughout the years, she has always been the one to call me out. She will laugh with me, cry with my, but is she notices my behavior is self-destructive she calls me on it. As woman, it is not often in our lives that we can find another woman that not only shares our story, but drives us to continue and be strong. Before starting this journey, I was in a dark place. Many parts of my past where coming to a point that I needed to confront them. I guess, like an onion, it was time for me to peel back the layers. To me this challenge is shedding the last layers of this darkness. I know what is on the other side is beautiful, strong and very determined. Being alone in my own skin has always been a very difficult place me, and it often led to binging on a ton of junk food. Stuffing my face allowed me to avoid feeling alone, something I have struggled with my entire life. I have about 50 pounds of not wanting to feel this. Even if it is just a few sick days at home from work, the days would be long and depressing. Instead of focusing on getting well, I would seek what food could make me feel better. This week, however, has been drastically different. I have done constructive tasks, like writing here or reading a book. To me these little nuances are signs that I am ready for a better life. Strong is not always loud, and sometimes sitting in solitude can lead you to great places.

Created on 2017-01-27 22:49:44

Start of week 2
Well, I am sick. Talk about a setback as I sit at home with strep throat and an inner ear infection that has left me feeling gross. I have been feeling pretty bummed about not going to the gym or really being able to eat much. I see all the photos of the girls at the gym or yoga, who knew I would miss that! I seem to be on the mend except for the ear infection. I am hoping by tomorrow I will see some improvement with that. I need to get back to the gym and make up for lost time! Initially when I got sick, I thought perhaps I would give up. This is M.O., a road block comes up and I give up. I am either all in or all out, there has never been a half way point for me. This time is different! I jumping at the chance to get back out there and give it all I got. I have received so much support from friends and family, and if they believe in me, then I guess I have to believe in me!!

Created on 2017-01-27 22:49:20

Week 1 wrap up:
Well I am one week in and down 2.8lbs. When I started this journey I was adamant that it was not necessarily about weight loss, but man was I bummed when I saw my numbers. Other girls had lost 5, 7, or 9 pounds! I had eaten everything I was supposed to, worked out, went to yoga and drank my water! Ok time to get a grip, right I had lost weight, not gained and I am feeling so much better. I started this journey on my own at the beginning of January and had already lost 4lbs, at a rate of 2lbs per week. This is how my body is losing weight, and I need to fine with that. The fact that my joints are not hurting as much, there is a spring in my step and I have so much more energy, already! I have to keep my goals on tract and not worry about what other people are doing or thinking, that is a change #1 for me.

Created on 2017-01-27 22:49:01

Total Make Over Challenge
The thing that appealed to me the most about the Total Make Over Challenge, was it includes working on the entire woman. The challenge is designed to give me the tools to overhaul my entire being. The exercise and nutrition will allow a healthier me to emerge, but the seminars will work on overhauling my spirit. A spirit that is been a shadow in my life lately, instead of a shining star of who I am. I want this blog to be a true and honest representation of the total experience I am having. I want other woman to read this and be inspired to re-light their spirit, find their happy and take time to be self-full! This is a term I hear during a yoga class recently. The difference between thinking we are being selfish taking time for ourselves, and taking time to make ourselves self-full.

Created on 2017-01-27 22:48:40

Introduction to me
For most of my life I have struggled with my weight. I started gaining excessive weight around the age of 11 which led to much teasing and bulling for the next several years of school. I realize now, even at that young age, I was using food to deal with emotions surrounding my parents’ divorce. This spiral led to a struggle that has continued for the next 30 years. Over the years I have lost weight, usually due to medical issues, but have always managed to gain it back.
Fast forward to the age of 44… now I am a grandma of three and now tip the scales at over 200 pounds ( I am only 5’2’” tall). I no longer laugh as much, I need a nap on on the weekends and find it painful to be on my feet all day. My feet and knees are sore and I go to the doctor, where I am diagnosed with ostio-arthritis. The doctor is very honest with me and tells me I have to lose weight and start to exercise, or end up suffering immense pain every day. I make a decision to change my life, so I can run after my grand babies and I can be there to help my children.
I also made a decision that in 2017 I was going to laugh again, be more present and more conscious of the people around me. My husband and I have been together for 18 years, he is the light of my life and he deserves to have the girl he met all those years ago back again. I deserve to be that girl who laughs, is a jokester and always up or adventure. So this is what the Total Make Over Challenge means to me…. Finding my true self again.

Created on 2017-01-27 22:47:49