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Today is the end of the most influential 4 months of my adult life. There are shining moments we will forever remember in our lives and this is one. I will not take home the big prize tonight and that is not me calling defeat. Not in the least. This is a competition remember and in that regard there are others who had the numbers that I do not; and I am 100% okay with not winning because (cliche alert), I’ve already won.

I have won back my faith in myself.

I have won back my pride.

I have won back my voice.

I have won back my confidence and courage.

I have gained incomparable knowledge and strength, the friendships of some of the most fierce women I know, a network of support and I’ve lost the ability to fall victim to my circumstance AND about 20 pounds and 23 inches of myself in the process.

I hope Jenny and Trish are ready because they are stuck with me. This challenge has given me back my life and for that I will be forever indebted to the people who tirelessly volunteer their time and passion into the TMC, to the sponsors who support us and the people who have pushed me to re-realize my potential.

I have been a roller coaster of emotion the last 24 hours as the end looms near. Not because I’m nervous or upset that I won’t be number 1, but because this challenge has been very much apart of my life and I’m terrified for tomorrow when it is gone. But, I know I have been given the tools I need to keep at this. This time next year, you’ll see me on the other side (and you’ll see even less of me physically), guiding a group of woman who are lost and giving back full circle the amazing experience I have been blessed to be apart of.

Thank you for following my journey.

Humbled and anew;

Your Gnarly Carly

Created on 2017-05-16 19:30:59

May 15, 2017

Mothers Day has come and gone. I love my children but yesterday was hard. The last week hasn’t been easy and I’ve been dreading the day every time I wake up. I’m tired, I’m stressed, my anxiety won’t let up and I’m just done. All I wanted was for my boys to get along, or at the very least just to leave each other alone. But of course, that is not what occurred. I try and stay positive for as long as I can but I’m at my breaking point. Just trying to breath myself through the hours…

My stress level is so high I almost forgot that today is our last day before the fashion show and the END of the challenge. I can’t quite put it into words so I’m going to just sit in my head for a while before making my final post.

 

Created on 2017-05-15 18:25:03

May 13, 2017

Today we had our Shoppers Love You Run for Women’s Mental Health at UBC! This was my first run as an adult. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a huge runner. In school I joined track and field for long distance running and didn’t do terribly but was never a high ranker out side of local meets. I didn’t do any real intense training for this run either. I ran on the treadmill a few times, kept up my elliptical runs and did some running in the boot-camp class I’ve been taking. I had 2 personal goals; run the entire 5k and do it in under 45 minutes.

Still not entirely sure what happened but not only did I run the whole 5k, I did it in 29 minutes and 38 seconds. And I had the quickest time for the 5k in our group and was 12th out of 101 in my division. Talk about blowing your expectations out of the water! I NEVER saw myself as a runner but now I’m second guessing my entire life haha Super proud of myself for setting goals and crushing them. This challenge has taught me to set attainable goals and just go for them.

Created on 2017-05-15 18:18:10

May 12, 2017

I just want to take the time to acknowledge a super amazing man in my life. My partner Dan has been beyond supportive throughout this whole process. Not only has he held me when I break down but he basically moved all my stuff in the middle of February during the craziest snow storm we have had in over a decade (and this was not planned to happen at that time), he watches my kids for me on the weeks I have them and challenge activities to do, he picks them up and drops them off to and from school when needed, does all the parental duties with them, drives me to and from wherever I need to be and keeps the house clean. As the last segment of the challenge comes to an end and we are consistently in and out of appointments and what not, I can’t help but feel overburdened with a sense of gratitude for all he has done and continues to do for me and my children.

Support is the most vital part of a journey such as this and I certainly am not lacking it.

Created on 2017-05-12 23:20:51

May 11, 2017

Me again, to share with you yet ANOTHER tale of an amazing sponsor and pampering experience. Yesterday I went to MD Cosmetics and Lazer clinic for a hydra facial. I had a consultation with Kim who seriously knows her stuff. As an adult, I have had an on again/off again battle with acne. I’ve managed to pin part of it down to being hyper sensitive to gluten; my guts go crazy and my skin freaks out. Since cutting gluten out (every now and again I cave because gluten is delicious and I just suffer through the pain lol) my skin has improved drastically. Combined with regular exercise and sweating out those toxins, it’s the best it’s been in about 3 years. However, I have lots of scaring in my chin area around my jaw line from the 30+ pimples I would have at any given time and  I do still have periods where things flair up. Kim had so many suggestions on how to fix my problem and was very honest about the results I would see. After my assessment, she recommended that I get a silk peel instead of the hydra facial. I can’t even remember the last time my skin felt that soft (and still does this morning). The professionals at MD Cosmetics and trained and some are actual doctors so they know what they are talking about!!! Look at this glow!
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I also forgot to give you my final weigh and measure numbers!
Down a total of 20.2 lbs and 23.5 inches!!! Keeping with the theme of my journey, I only lost .6 in pounds but almost 4 inches in my bust/waist/abs and hips (I gained in my arms and legs because of muscle)!!! It is so important to track those inches so you can keep in a positive mind frame when that scale plays with your head. I am so proud of my results and progress and can’t wait to see where I’ll be at this time next year.

Created on 2017-05-11 16:45:26

May 10, 2017

We got absolutely spoiled last night by Earl’s Chilliwack and Shape Your World. The top girls in Abby, along with Jenny, Trish and Candace got to dine at the Chef’s table. 5 courses with a drink to accompany each course. OMG. Seriously; to die for. We started with THE best dynamite roll I have ever had and a tropical tasting martini. Next up was a santa fe salad and mint mojito (yum). Third in line was fish taco and wine. Our main course; Salmon, asparagus and rice with a lemonade slushy AND whatever this delicious coconut/lemon custard masterpiece was, along with the adorable tiki cup filled will 2 types of rum and mix. I couldn’t finish it all. I wanted to, super badly.

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Created on 2017-05-11 16:08:41

May 9, 2017

Got 1 final work out in for points this morning as today is the last day for gym visit points to be collected, which means my fate will be pretty much sealed after voting ends tomorrow. It’s sort of relieving to know that it will be out of my hands and up to the numbers after that point. By final workout, I certainly don’t mean forever lol I have worked out in some form almost every day since we started this challenge regardless of whether I make it to one of our places that count for points. I do calisthenics and yoga at home from apps I downloaded, hip-hop cardio on you-tube, long walks, hikes or intense tag sessions with my partner and kiddos. I’ll continue to do all those things, along with my 6am boot-camp at T&N because that’s just what I am doing from now on. By doing so, I will keep moving forward. I don’t need to do it any particular pace or everyday. Just consistently being aware of the choices I make in my activity and food and I will improve. It’s such a simple concept really but we tend to hype it up in our heads, afraid to fail, so we never give our-self a fighting chance.

Speaking of making proper food choices; tonight, I am not! Yet another awesome perk of this challenge and making it to the final segment is a delicious 5-course meal, paired with specific beverages for each course, courtesy of Earl’s in Chilliwack. Tonight, we dine!

Created on 2017-05-09 18:39:27

May 8, 2017

Monday. That means up again at 5:10am for 6am boot camp. I went Monday-Saturday last week and that will be my regular schedule from now on as I’ve used up my free intro week and bought a month pass today! A huge shout out to my girl Tara for being my support. I know because of her drive and passion I will be able to continue to push my self to stick to my new lifestyle (and even if I try and stop, she’ll force me to keep going haha)

That really is such a huge important part of making any change in your life, especially one like this where you are constantly working on yourself, fighting your old habits, trying to stay positive and keep your mind clear. Having a support system who will be there to push you, hold you and keep you sane is imperative to success for most. I envy those who are able to push forward on their own, but everyone needs a little help sometimes.

We have our first REAL practice for the fashion show today at the Phoenix which is where the event will take place. Last nights as around a table in our meeting room at Save-On haha Super excited to start seeing it all come together!

Created on 2017-05-08 18:07:29

May 7, 2018

As the end of the challenge looms near, our commitment is in full swing! We have clothing fittings, beauty services booked, run way practice and a 5k run on Saturday. I’ve never been so busy in my life!

We had our first fashion show practice today and as usual when we get together, it was a blast. I am BLOWN away by the amount of confidence and sass both Langley and Abby has. Our guests are in for a real treat at the fashion show. This year, the fashion show is being lead by the wonderful Nikki who sits on the Shape Your World board. She was also in the challenge 2 years ago and won “top model” so we know we’re in the best hands! xo

Created on 2017-05-08 17:29:32

Edited on 2017-05-12 23:24:14

May 6, 2017

Boot camp at T&N Fitness Studio; check.

Fashion show fitting at Cleo’s; check.

Lashes courtesy of Fabutan and Hush Lash Studio; SUPER check.

These are all businesses who in some shape or form have been standing behind us ladies, as sponsors and supporters in our journey. This challenge isn’t all work, we get to play and be pampered too!

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Look at them lashes everyone!!! Just amazing!

 

Created on 2017-05-08 17:06:51

May 4, 2017

I have to say it because I’m a big Star Wars fan; May the fourth be with you!

How fitting that such a day also happens to be voting day?!?!

I’m on day 4 in a row of 6am bootcamp at T&N, working on crushing some major goals I have for myself in the next few months. I’m sleepy, but it’s so worth it!

Here’s a look at my newest photo. Photoart by Simpson has done it again folks!

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Please read my blog and look at my video and give me some voting love 10 times a day per device until next Wednesday at 12pm!!!

http://abbynews.upickem.net/engine/Details.aspx?p=V&c=288911&s=84885122&i=3&sort=#SD

 

 

Created on 2017-05-05 00:11:48

May 3, 2017

Update on weigh measure; up .4 lbs BUT down 2 inches. I think I have fully excepted that my weight doesn’t know what the heck is going on but I am consistently loosing inches so I know I’m moving forward. That brings me to a total of 19.6 lbs and 21.25 inches lost since January 15, 2017. However, just like my journey won’t end when the challenge is over, it also didn’t begin with the start of the challenge. Since end of August/beginning of September, I have lost 37.4lbs. I am not sure about my inches from the start as I didn’t measure but I was in between a 1 & 2x/16-18 at that weight (in the pictures below) and I am now a  med/large/10-12, which speaks for itself! The pictures show it all! (Other than the unflattering angle of my face in the most recent one, taken last night at Jenny’s house while we did our vision boards)

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Remember; voting for the winner of the 2017 TMC starts tomorrow at 3pm!!!

 

 

Created on 2017-05-03 17:45:33

Edited on 2017-05-03 17:50:00

May 2, 2017

Up again bright and early for another boot-camp at T&N Fitness Studio. This time, the class was run by Tara and lemme tell you. That girl sure knows how to make you sweat! I am sore all over and it feels like success I tells yah!

Tonight is our final weigh and measure for the News Paper and our meeting is going to be Jenny’s house to create a vision board. According to my scale, I’m still sitting at the same weight as last week but we’ll see what the measuring tape says. I can’t believe we are exactly 2 weeks away from the fashion show and grand finale of the challenge….*cue anxiety and heavy breathing*

Created on 2017-05-02 17:44:56

May 1, 2017

Time to commence some real commitment to my health. I have a goal in my head of where I would like to be by July 22, 2017, which is the day of my cousin’s wedding which I am officiating (have to jig it a bit to make it legal but I am running the ceremony for them, which I am completely honored to do).

Part of that is no more cheats. I have been pretty loosey goosey the last few weeks, which is reflected in my yoyo weight. Not the end of the world and I’m cool with it but if I have a goal weight in mind to reach in less than 2 months, then I need to buckle down to make that goal. The other part is upping my exercise. I have burned 500 calories almost every day for the last month, but without pairing that with perfect food it’s not going to do much and that’s not always a work out. Sometimes I just walk. A lot. Any movement is great but I need to focus more on the sweat producing, muscle burning for some real results. So, my girl Tara (who was in the top 15) convinced me to drag my ass out of bed at 5am to join her for boot-camp at T&N Fitness, who was a sponsor of our amazing race event. Surprisingly, I am not dead yet. I am NOT a morning person. I believe I blogged about it in the first segment where I did successfully wake up for many mornings and worked out at home but that didn’t last long lol It goes against my very nature. However, morning work outs are the way I am going to be most successful as it gets it done and out of the way for the day so I’m just doing it.

Feeling a little sleepy and sore but mostly pumped and ready to go!

 

Created on 2017-05-02 17:36:19

April 29, 2017

Sundays are always the best. When I have my kids (their dad and I share parenting time, alternative every week) Sundays are usually our day to just do what ever. Walks, shopping, activities; you name it!

Today, we spent that day in the partial sunshine with some of my oldest and dearest friends and my friends son. It was perfect. Topped off with some gelato and then board games at home and followed with a delicious homemade seafood dinner.

To top if off, I got a bit of a sun burn too! Spring has sprung!

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Created on 2017-05-02 17:28:21

April 29, 2017

Today was FAN-FLIPPIN-TASTIC!

The top 6 in both Langley and Abby had a day of pampering and livin’ the life style of the rich and famous, courtesy of the TMC and our fabulous sponsors.

I started my day at the chair of stylist Sandra from Art of Hair Design. She was really great and truly knows her stuff when it comes to hair. She had all the knowledge of what cuts and products would best suit my type of hair and gave me a sleek new cut that leveled out my lengths a bit and a bit of dimension and shine to my natural color. Next, I was off to the home of Arlene and Andrew Simpson (which is GORGEOUS!) to start with make-up by Bethany (Beauty by B) using natural & vegan Arbonne make-up provided by another sponsor of ours, the stunning Karina Lanting. To top it off, we got the super star treatment in the Simpson’s back yard and had our photos taken. I am so blown away by their level of knowledge when it comes to photos and once again, was taken away by my sneak peak.

After that, I did what any mother who just had a day of pampering would do; I strutted the isles of the grocery store looking like a movie star, equipped with my iced americano from yet another amazing sponsor of ours, Clik Coffee!

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Created on 2017-05-02 17:10:48

April 26, 2017

It’s funny. I think most of us went into this challenge with the number one focus being our weight and right now that is the last of my priorities. I want to be healthy and will continue to focus on that but I didn’t think I would go into this competition and come out with not only less of me physically but more of me in my heart. We did a recap of our time a Tigh-na-mara last night and I felt the rush of emotion move through my body. My post from a few days ago is just the beginning. I am still in a large state of anxiety from posting it but it’s kind of relaxing in a way. Acknowledging my struggle and putting it out there means it’s not constantly following me in the shadows, asking me questions of “what if”. Now, I know and I’m just fine. Within a few hours of posting my blog I had friends commenting, messaging me privately and texting me; applauding me on sharing my story. Many of them said “I never would have guessed that you were dealing with this”, which to me is the biggest kicker as I CONSTANTLY had the track playing in my head of thinking everyone could see my struggle and was judging me for it. It’s funny how we build up this huge facade. We get so focused on what others will think when more often than not, they don’t even notice. I am certainly no expert but if sharing what I deal with can empower at least 1 person to wear their bravery on their sleeve then it is worth taking off my frock! (Read the book “Frock Off” people, do it. You won’t regret it, trust me.)

All of us shared our moments from the weekend, and they were all simply beautiful. I am so proud of the women I am walking beside and the women that are leading us through this journey. None of our stories are the same and we have all discovered something different within our selves; whether that be acceptance for our past, acceptance of ourselves, moving on from a relationship or career. We have fully embraced this life changing opportunity and I can’t wait to see what we all accomplish once the TMC has ended.

Created on 2017-04-26 16:51:40

April 25, 2017

We had our first “normal”meeting last night since the little black dress. Weigh in; down 2 pounds! After a weekend of just enjoying myself, I’m happy with that. I let myself live but I had worked out consistently the week before and got back on track once we got back from the island. I’m sure the 4 hour dance party helped too.

We learned about Love Languages last night. What an eye opener that was! We learned the ways we give and receive love which provides so much insight for our romantic and other relationships. I am definitely a person who feels love by words of affirmation while my partner is 100% physical touch (not that I can get him to take the darn quiz but I already know what he is lol). I think we are both the exact opposite in our love languages with my lowest being physical touch and his lowest likely being words of affirmation. Understanding this is a huge key to success in your relationships.

Created on 2017-04-26 16:21:59

As some of you are aware, as a part of this years TMC, the top 6 in both Langley and Abbotsford were given a trip to Parksville to attend a conference at Tigh-na-mara for 3 nights and 4 days. We embarked on our trip last Thursday and returned yesterday afternoon. The next few blog entries will be a day-to-day breakdown of what has truly been the most eye-opening, spiritually enlightened event in my life so far and will forever be THAT moment in my life where everything changed. This blog is more of a short story capturing the events of the past 4 days.

Day 1; Thursday, April 20, 2017

My 2-day work week had come to an end!. I had come into work for an hour and ended up staying for 4 (such is the life in law) but then I was free to go home, finished packing and off we were to Horseshoe Bay Terminal! The ride to the ferry was a pleasure as Gwen, Jenn and myself chatted and sang the drive away. The ferry terminal is a close part of me as I used to live on the Sunshine Coast and am a frequent traveler on BC ferries. Our ferry was a tad late but we arrived in Nanaimo around 7pm and off we were to Tigh-na-mara!

We checked into our adorable little log cabins, situated our things and headed to the conference room. Between all the hustle and bustle of the challenge and just life in general, I hadn’t found the time to research the conference we would be attending for the next 2 ½ days. All I knew was the main speaker, Jo Dibblee, had a phenomenal story that you didn’t want to miss but I had no clue what I was in for.

We show up at the tail end of the master minds event and found a seat wherever there was one. I sat at a table with Trish and some other ladies. We were then asked what was our “ask”. An ask is your reason, your “what/why/how”. Why are you here? What are you looking for? Being completely unprepared I just went back to one of the reasons why I joined the challenge and knowing this was an event of speakers, my “ask” was “how do I find my voice again?” As a child, I was larger than life. Always the first one to say hi, ask a question, filled with a love for public speaking and theatre. But as I get older, I realize I have lost that spark and part of joining the challenge was to push me out of the comfy bubble I had created and get over this learned fear of putting myself out there. One of the ladies at our table had tears come up as she said that my words really hit her, because to her, that was one of the most important things this weekend provides. That was just a small glimpse into one of the most impacting weekends I will ever experience in my life time.

Our time at the conference was short lived our first night, we met a few of the woman who would come to shape my road future path over the next 2 days and we returned to our cabin to change for the hot tub and just bask in the beauty of where we were.

Day 2; Friday April 21, 2017

Up bright and early for an 8:30am start at the conference. The event was titled “Best Kept Secret to Success in Life, Love and Business”. Now, truthfully, I cannot remember every event of this day nor can I recall the exact order that everything happened but what I can tell you is this will forever be the day that my life changed. Even now as I type, I have tears forming in my eyes (I thought I cried them all out). I decided to sit at a table with no one I knew because after all, I am here to push my boundaries and this is the perfect time to do it. To top it off, I chose a table right up at the front because I was diving head first into my uncomfortable zone.

Best. Decision. Ever.

I sat in awe as I listened intently to every word that Jo had to say. From the beginning to the end of her heart breaking yet completely inspiring story, my soul grew to a size I never knew possible. Here is this woman, who I felt was speaking directly to me, who had endured so much through her life and she just radiates beauty and light. She has risen above her story to stand on top of it and declare “I am not my story” and use that power to lift others who have had similar experiences or can find a glimpse of hope for themselves through her words. At the end of our morning, Jo brought me up to acknowledge me in front of the group. As I said earlier, I felt like she was speaking just to me and only to me. She had opened something inside I knew I had to deal with but didn’t realize just how dire it was. Mine and Jo’s stories are not the same. Before attending this event, I admired women who suffered and struggled in life and rose to success but it also made me feel terrible about my own struggles. “Why am I so sad, look what they went through and I haven’t had to deal with anything near as horrific.” What I have learned is that is not true. Each story is different and JUST as important and impactful as the next. We need to stand ON our stories and share them with the world because you just don’t know the type of impact you will have. I had a lady approach me in the bathroom during a break to tell me my words had truly got to her and that I had made a big impact on her. Me? I made an impact on you? I was floored; I barely said anything, how did I impact you? And that was when it really hit me, just how true the statement above really is. You sit in silence forever, being your own judge and jury on your value and worth, but why? What are you protecting yourself from? Success? Failure? By sitting in the same place you have been in, you have already failed. By not speaking up, you are robbing the world of the chance to hear your story and make a difference in someone’s life.

Cue lunch break and we had to do our speeches for Trish, Kristyn and Janine (next years Vancouver city coordinator for the challenge). We had to tell, in 2-3 minutes, what the challenge had done for us so far. I thought I knew what I was going to say; had it written out and everything. And then life happened and hit me with 10,000 tons of bricks in the form of Jo Dibblee and at the last minute I threw the speech down and just went with what I know knew in my heart. I suffer from mental illness and issues with my mental health. I have spoken briefly about my struggle but it’s far more than just the situational depression and constant anxiety. From a young age, I have battled voices in my head and as I get older, the struggle effects my work, relationships, my children, confidence and every other aspect of my life. The biggest struggle has been acceptance. Accepting this part of me and not letting it define WHO I am. Not being afraid of what people think or how they will react. I chose to ignore it for a long time because I didn’t want people to pander to me or treat me differently. I was afraid of how a doctor would react; I was scared acknowledging it would somehow make it worse. I am 29 years old and I struggle with borderline schizophrenia. There is still a lot of work to do. I am going to go get a second opinion to fully understand my condition so that all the fear will no longer be present but I am no longer going to allow the fear to dictate my decisions and my life. If it wasn’t for this weekend, I’m not sure when my “ah-ha” moment would have come; but this was it.

The rest of the day went on similar to the morning. Story after story of beyond amazing woman, sharing their struggles and triumphs. I ended that day not knowing what the hell just happened to me! They told us in the beginning that by the end of the weekend our cups would be over flowing and mine was already dumping into the streets. After the conference had ended, I accompanied another one of my challengers Bonnie and a lady we met who fully embodies the spirit of the earth to say goodbye to her brother who had passed shortly after the challenge had started.  She walked us through the process of inviting Bonnie’s brother to be with us, some Hawaiian breathing techniques and as Bonnie said farewell to a part of brother into the Ocean, we could feel him as he went into his peace. We ended the day with a wind down in the mineral pool which I think we all needed. It was an extremely eye opening and emotional experience for all my TMC ladies and I am so thankful I could experience it with them. As I came to terms with my struggles, they were there to offer me support and I feel truly honored to have been by Bonnies side during her moment of release.

On a small side note; I am equally as glad I got the chance to know the SYWS vice president Trish a bit more as she shared her wealth of wine wisdom with me. Does she ever know her stuff! Everything Trish talks about is filled with her undying passion and I admire that quality in her so much!

Day 3; Saturday, April 22, 2017

We began our morning bright and early at 8am with a soul lifting session of yoga, meditation and a few self-defense moves from one of the ladies who spoke that weekend. Yet another astounding woman who had overcome so much.  Then, onto more inspiration, encouragement, strength, wisdom and light with each further speaker we had the honor of hearing from. I could have lived in that moment forever; and a part of me always will.

After the end of our last day at the conference, I hugged and thanked those who had bared their souls to me and thanked them for their stories. We then went back to the cabin, gussied ourselves up and went over the restaurant to treat ourselves; boy did we EVER deserve it. Wine, good food, laughs; we had it all. To top it off, we ended the night with one of the most epic dance parties I have had the pleasure of being in (still feeling that dance party now with my never-ending jello legs).

Day 4: Sunday, April 23, 2017

Our last day at Tigh-na-mara was sealed off with a delicious breakfast at the restaurant with Bonnie and Jenn from my Abby group, Deb who volunteers with the Langley group and several of the speakers from the conference. It was great to chat and delve a little further into our realizations and to thank them for all they gave us. It was bitter sweet to end the weekend but I was equally as happy to return home to my family and life with a bit more of myself in hand.

To Jo and everyone other lady who spoke at the Best Kept Secret to success in life, love and business; thank you. If there was ever a most sincere, humble, honored thank you given in this life time, this is it. The impact your words had on me will forever feed my purpose and I just cannot thank you enough. To Shape your world society; thank you for adding this element into the challenge. This weekend complimented all we have learned and experienced to no end and I can only hope that the stars align to allow the future challengers in TMC to have this experience.

 

I am ready to take on life with a fierce new drive and passion.   18056897_10158451861365234_1760137996549350910_n18157325_10158451867305234_1950977865733129250_n

Created on 2017-04-24 20:06:58

Edited on 2017-04-24 20:14:36

April 19, 2017

As expected, I did gain last night. Only 2 pounds though and I’m fairly certain it has to do with the inner plumbing so I’m relieved. I went down 1.25 in inches in my stomach, stayed the same everywhere else and went up in my legs but that would make sense seeing as how I’m currently preparing for the Shoppers Love You Run for Womans Mental Health which is on May 13, 2017 which means lots of fast walks, hikes, elliptical, stair master and today I start the dreaded treadmill (NOT a fan!). My goal is to run the full 5K, even if I am moving at the pace of a turtle. I was more worried about the gain based on what I thought it would be because it was perplexing but 2lbs isn’t the end of the world and I am confident the tanita next week will tell me I am doing jusssst fine (like it always does so just calm down Carly lol)

It really, truly is a full mental exercises this whole healthy life style/losing weight thing. Constantly second guessing, feeling guilty about your choices and then feeling guilty about feeling guilty because this is life and you have to live too. As long as I continue to ground myself and trust in my actions, I’ll be fine.

In other news, last night was a blast! We had a paint night at Zealous Art in Langley. This was my first experience and now I know why it’s so darn popular! Frida at Zealous turned us all into artists. I used to have a very creative streak as a child but I eventually lost my abilities so I wasn’t so sure mine would look anything like what it was supposed to but alas, I was extremely impressed with the results. It was great to have a night with both the Abby and Langley top 6 groups and now I can’t wait for our lovely weekend away. Once again, a great big THANK YOU to SYWS for all these amazing opportunities and activities we have been able to participate in. I will forever remember my time in the TMC and look fondly back on these memories.

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Created on 2017-04-19 17:03:54

April 18, 2017 (WARNING: Long blog ahead)

Why are 4 day weekends not a regular thing?? Then I realized I only have a 2 day work week due to our trip to Tigh-Na-Mara and got super excited (and stressed because that’s 5 days of work I need to cram into 2 but it’s been done before!)

I had a really great weekend. I went to Vancouver on Friday to the Commodore to see a band play that I never thought I would get to see; for those of you who are a fan of the 90’s, I got to see Prozzak and my life is now a little more complete. Paired with great friends and a delicious breakfast the following morning at Chewies, it was a wonderful time. I then had a fun evening out with my boys for sushi and bowling. Come Sunday, I decided to cook the 6lb chicken I had and make a mock Easter dinner; gluten free friendly for myself and it was delicious. We had our good friends Jenn and Andrew over and topped it off with a board game for the whole bunch.

Now, here is where things get frustrating.

When we weighed in on Tuesday at the little black dress, I was up 1.8lbs. Not the end of the world and admittedly, I was not on my best behavior the week prior so it wasn’t a shock. However, other than that evening (where, in all honesty I barely ate because I was so nervous and just drank like a fish), I was back to my regular routine. Balanced food, tracking my eating, exercising daily. Yes, I had some gluten free pizza on Friday and a couple vodka waters which put me about 400 calories over. But that fit into my day as I had burned close to 1500 calories between the gym and a busy Vancouver day equipped with hours of walking. Saturday I was on point within my calorie goal, no booze, no cheats. I had sushi but I stuck to sashimi and soy beans, plus we went on a big walk and I did my home work out. Sunday I had some Easter dinner but I weighed what I ate and portion controlled. I had 5 jelly beans and no chocolate and 2 glasses of wine BUT this was all within my calorie goal, plus I went to the gym and had a big walk that day. Monday, I was on point with my food but getting to the gym was a big struggle. I was having some stomach issues and was just not into it but I forced myself to go ONLY to discover that the gym scale says I’ve somehow gained 5lbs. If you have read my earlier blogs, you will know I have spoken about that terrible scale and my up and down realizations with how it works. Yet, among all the self discovery and understanding, that number still effects me. I won’t lie; at this point in time, I feel defeated. I feel like I need to not have any of life’s little pleasures in order to succeed, which just won’t work for me nor will it heed positive results. While I may have had a couple things that don’t fit with a “healthy lifestyle”, I tracked, weighed, measured and supplemented with exercise and I gain 5 pounds?! I mean, I wasn’t expecting to lose a whole bunch but I figured with the amount I exercised and portioned that I would at least stay put. Hopefully the scale is drunk but it’s been pretty darn close to the one we weigh in with at our meetings so I’m a little lost. As much as I do feel discouraged by that number; I have decided I can be discouraged but not let it really effect me because as I have said; the scale is just a number and it likes to play mind games with you. It might be a number I care about but if you are being honest with yourself then it’s easier to come to terms with because I know for a fact that number does not reflect what I did this week. Maybe it’s muscle, maybe I’m a bit backed up (TMI but that would explain the tummy trouble), maybe I’m pregnant (jokes don’t always come across in writing so, cue a snicker). Who knows. What I DO know, is that I won’t let this give me an excuse to say F* it and eat my entire kitchen (which has crossed my mind several times). So, instead of calling defeat, I will call this a win for not letting the scale derail me.

 

Created on 2017-04-18 17:01:26

Edited on 2017-04-18 17:10:36

April 13, 2017

Back into the full swing of things! On point with my eating, at home exercise planned for this evening and a gym trip before the Prozak concert tomorrow to kick off my long weekend!! Followed by a venture out with some of the TMC ladies and our kiddos. That is honestly one of the biggest bonus’s from this challenge. All of the donated gifts and prizes are amazing but the friendships I have gained; just never expected to grew such amazing friendships out of this challenge. Feeling pretty blessed lately xox

Created on 2017-04-13 19:13:12

April 12, 2017

I am moving along slowly this morning in my work as a I nurse a very well deserved minor celebration hangover because……

I MADE IT INTO THE LAST SEGMENT AS THE WILD CARD!!!!

I am thrilled, excited, proud, happy, relieved, sad for those who don’t move on and a whole bunch of emotions. Before they started the announcements I was sure the spot was going to another wild card and I had made peace with that as I stepped back from the group to video the announcements of the top 5 and wild card. I have done so well in this competition in terms of self growth, getting a hold of my health and ME again and made a bunch of really amazing new friends. The challenge had given me exactly what I set out to achieve; so who can really be upset by not moving on to the next segment? However, that all being said, I welcome moving on to the final round with happy, open arms! To all the other ladies who didn’t make it to the top 5 and to my wild cards; it was an absolute pleasure riding this journey with you and  I hope this is not the end for your journey or our friendship. We should all be so proud of what we have accomplished for ourselves and with the TMC in our fundraising efforts (which we all blew out of the water!)

Now is where sh*t gets real. No more cheat days, no more indulging. Not for forever, but the next 4 weeks is time to really hunker down and show you all what I am made of because after all, it is a competition and a trip at the end of this would be oh so lovely! I’ve been allowing myself to have a little something here and there, and I will continue to do  this BUT for now, it’s time to get serious. My reward will be winning this thing (and maybe some cheesecake!) Look out ladies, Carly is bringing back the Gnarly!

Created on 2017-04-12 18:54:47

April 11, 2017

I wasn’t going to blog today, I figured writing an entry yesterday would be my final but then I read Tara’s blog and realized today could very well be the last time I get a chance to put my thoughts down here, so I wanted to put my last few words down.

I slept about 2 hours last night and had numerous dreams that either involved me showing up to the cocktail party in the buff or going to speak and it coming out as chicken clucks. Either way, should make for an interesting evening, am I right?!

I was doing some self reflection and realized; yah, I probably could have worked out more and ate better at times. However, I won’t allow my self to fixate on that as the reason why I don’t move forward, if that is the case. The reality is, this IS reality. If my journey in the TMC ends tonight, my journey in life does not and it needs to be sustainable for my every day ins and outs so that I can continue on in the success I have made for myself. So no, I didn’t exercise every day and I drank wine and ate deep fried deliciousness and wheat and paid the price in the over whelming amount of acne I now have. But that is going to happen. I just need to keep focused on the success I have made and how I feel so that I can continue to make the choice to eat a not-so-healthy meal one day but not let it defeat me and get back to regular programming the next.

So, here is to all the ladies that have been with me on this journey. I tip my hats off to you for the courage, bravery, determination and love you have displayed the last 3 months. You are all so inspiring and I owe a lot of my re-found strength to the examples you have set.

Good luck and congratulations on making the best decision we can make; to make a commitment to ourselves to be the best we can possibly be.

Peace out!

Your resident Gnarly lady xo

Created on 2017-04-11 18:09:10

April 10, 2017

I had a really great weekend. My aunt met me and my sister in Vancouver for the weekend and we had a girls mini vacay. It’s been almost 3 years since I last seen my aunt so it was wonderful  to have a weekend of just chatting, catching up and laughing. Of course, this was accompanied by lots of yummy food and drinks but I think I managed to find a balance between indulging and will power. I ate the nachos but I had a shake and protein bites a few hours before so I only needed a few and I was full, and then I stopped. I also got in over 25,000  steps for the weekend and we went dancing for hours on Saturday so all in all, it was a win! It was also exactly what I needed to distract me from this Tuesday which is now all I can think about lol

One more day and the immense pressure will be over with.

 

Created on 2017-04-10 17:00:57

April 6, 2017

A perk of making top 3 wild card was getting to have your photo’s taken by the AMAZING Photoart by Simpson, owned and operated by the unstoppable duo Andrew and Arlene Simpson. They are fantastic at the craft of capturing a moment and ones essence. Andrew could feel my nerves and tried his damnedest to calm me down (it worked; a little). When I lost myself over the years, I also lost that spark that gave me my confidence to go on stage, be the spotlight and truly shine. This is a shame because once upon a time theater, acting, public speaking and all things of that manner were what defined me. I am getting closer and closer to that spark burning just as bright as it once did.

I got a sneak peak at some of the shots and I can’t wait to see the final product at the Little Black Dress next Tuesday. If you are in the market for some breath taking photos, I strongly urge you contact Photoart by Simpson.

http://www.photoart.ca/

Here’s a sneak peak of what my hair and make-up looked like for the photo shoot.

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Thanks for all my friends and family on facebook for the insane love this photo got. This lady here is certainly not short on support!!! xox You all rock!

Created on 2017-04-06 22:57:29

April 5, 2017

The results are in folks and drum roll…………………………….

I made top 3 wild card! Wooooooooo. Now cue 6 days of panic and anxiety as I analyze whether or not my weight and inch loss will be enough to meet or beat the average of the top 15. Such is a day in the life of Carly’s brain. I’m confident my weight will be enough as I pulled out an astounding 4.8lb loss yesterday which puts me at a little over 11% loss (and a total of 21.8lbs since the beginning of the challenge; 40lbs since the start of my own journey in September of 2016). However, my inches scare me. But, of course in the true nature of the total makeover challenge, Trish and Jenny will give us no hints as to whether we even qualify as a wild card… I think they secretly like to watch us squirm (Just kidding Ladies…maybe lol)

However, all crazy brain aside, my fate is already sealed. Final weigh and measures are in. All points will be tallied by Friday and they probably already know who the wild card is so over analyzing won’t change anything. It also doesn’t validate my progress. I’m very proud of what I have accomplished and I owe thanks to TMC and Jenny and Trish to helping me find my fire again (I know, a ginger who lost her fire?! How?!)

Tune in next week to see the exciting finale!

Created on 2017-04-05 20:06:23

April 4, 2017

Just a quick last blog before tonight’s final weigh in. Made it to the gym yesterday and kicked my butt. Busted out a hard 20 minutes of the stair climber; that machine is deadly. I have improved a LOT since I could only do about 10 minutes and had to REALLY push myself lol It really gets you sweating and is a great calorie burner and boy can I ever feel it in my legs this morning. Did my usual 3 rounds of resistance machines and circuit BUT I was able to go up another level and increased my reps by 5. That makes 3 levels total since starting!!! I weighed myself at the gym, which has been almost identical to what our scale at our meetings says and I’m happy with the number. Now, I just wait for another 7 hours before I know where I’m at haha (I’m terrible with waiting!)

Wish me luck!!

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Created on 2017-04-04 18:04:29

April 3, 2017

Tomorrow, I find out my fate and whether I have made it as a top 3 wild card to go after the coveted wild card spot in the last segment.

I planned on being 100% with my fitness and nutrition this final week and that did not happen. The fundraiser took over my life; so other than last Monday and yesterday, I didn’t get much else in for exercise. My nutrition was fairly on point up until Thursday. Thursday-Saturday I didn’t eat enough each day nor was it the most balanced. Friday I basically lived off vodka waters and Saturday I had a veggie burger. I’m not supposed to have gluten so my skin is blowing up, my insides feel like garbage and to top it off, my monthly visitor thought right now was a great time to show up. I’m the type that bloats during these weeks so I am not overly optimistic for what the scale and measurements will say tomorrow but this is just one week and bad timing. I’m extremely proud of what I have accomplished in 3 months. 17 pounds, 17.25 inches down, a massive change in my inner body compositions, an overall increase in self esteem (I seriously check myself out like 3 times a day; DAMN lady. Look at that hot bod! And you worked for it!)

Yes, of course I want to make it into the last segment but if that isn’t in the cards then that’s just how it is supposed to be. I have gained more from this challenge then all the prizes and that’s what matters most.

Created on 2017-04-03 18:18:30

Edited on 2017-04-03 18:18:45

April 1, 2017

Wow. That’s the easiest, most simple way to describe last night. I can’t honestly remember a whole lot of the evening because all 6 of the ladies in our group were constantly on the go slinging tickets and smiles to the whole of the Canadian Brewhouse. What an experience!

Let’s break this down for you:

Our venue

I want to recognize the amazing management and staff at the Canadian Brewhouse (“CBH”), who not only allowed us to host this event that their establishment but really let us run with it. We weren’t constricted to our own spaces; while we had 2 areas designated only to our guests, our guests were allowed to sit anywhere in the restaurant and we were allowed to engage with all their patrons, allowing us to really maximize our fundraising efforts. The Rack Pack’s server, River and the other girls, did a fabulous job. I served for quite a few years before having kids and I was extremely impressed with their ability to navigate such a large group of people with minimal mistakes. Not to mention, we were alllll up in the business throughout the evening blocking their pathways and they remained cool as cucumbers. Kudos to you CBH and staff. Your venue really helped contribute to the amount of success we had!

Our team

Not that I haven’t already essentially bowed down to the awesome that is the Rack Pack but I really can’t say enough about them. This was my first real experience with a fundraiser and it was a fairly large event too. We ended up with a total of 116 tickets sold, and as I mentioned earlier, we were able to engage with the entire restaurant (which was packed the whole evening with a 3 hour waiting list for general public) at over 200 seats so we barely got to stop moving until the end. As is expected in any event, things don’t always go 100% as you pictured but in the grand scheme of things, everything moved pretty solid. No major hang ups or mistakes. Anything that didn’t go quite how we wanted we just rolled into something new. Everyone stuck to their posts and worked it (and boy did we EVER work it!). I truly don’t think it could have gone any better. So proud!

Our Event

Our secret surprises really tied everything together. Our team, named the Rack Pack, had that name for a reason which wasn’t revealed until the evening of when all 6 of us showed up channeling our inner Rosie Riveter’s, Marilyn’s, Betty’s and all my other favorite bombshell icons; sporting a do and outfit from the “Rat Pack” era. We all brought that 1940-1950’s vibe to life! I made our judges some hair flowers and boutonnieres so they could join in on the classic look and fun. All the ladies looked absolutely breathtaking. We had an early bird and night owl draw which was the perfect way to split up all the prizes we had for equal opportunity and not to bog people down with too much chatting. Our MC’s Jenn and Tanya did an amazing job at engaging our crowd and we had so much positive feed back from our guests about the whole experience. It really wasn’t just 1 single thing that made it stand out but a combination of ideas, dedication to making those ideas into a reality, dependable team members, support from our friends and family and a fantastic venue with great food and a great atmosphere.

I cannot wait until the reveal of who’s team made the most. All the groups between Langley and Abby really knocked it out of the park this year. Whether the Rack Pack wins the apprentice challenge or not; I wouldn’t change a single thing about our efforts, team and event and am beyond proud of what we have accomplished.

Created on 2017-04-03 17:44:48

Edited on 2017-04-03 18:05:06

Mar 31, 2017

TODAY IS THE DAY!!! The day of our fundraiser!

I could barley sleep last night; it was like being a kid on Christmas eve. Except, instead of dreaming about all the fun stuff awaiting you and waking up to presents and goodies, I couldn’t stop my mind from recreating my list of things I couldn’t forget to bring the next day, along with the 3815 possible outcomes for things that could go wrong and then woke up to a day of go-go-go. Oh how things change lol But, as with everything in life, I just take things one task at a time. Up with the kids, off to school and then to work. Payroll and tasks that must be done before I leave early and then off I go to get ready for the evening.

I can’t wait to get this thing started and I just know it will be a blast. See you all there! xox

Created on 2017-04-03 16:17:52

Mar 29, 2017

Quick update: Plateau beaten. 2.6lbs down this last week, 3.25 inches lost. BAM! Take that self.

That’s a grand total so far of 17lbs and 17.25 inches lost since the start of the competition (a personal total of 34.6lbs lost since I decided something needed to be done in September).

One more week to give it my all and then my fate will be decided! (fingers crossed for wild card!)

xox

Created on 2017-03-29 17:56:57

Mar 28, 2017

Today was a day. One of THOSE days. I work in a fairly high stress environment which I thrive in, but at times it can be fairly taxing. My groove is still shaken due to the time change and as the last few weeks loom in of segment 2 of the challenge I find myself becoming increasingly more anxious about whether I will make the wild card spot. Unfortunately, this means my mental health is keeping me on my toes.

I am trying very hard to not focus on the outcome and be positive but it’s not always up to me. My mind literally is it’s own entity at times. Not moving forward brings me thoughts of inadequacy and failure. And I can’t shake those; but I can reflect back on my blog, the photos I have taken, the messages of positive reinforcement and the videos I have been making of my journey that show this is SO much more then my own personal validation. This is about my health; including the mental health side. I’m usually a little on edge on Tuesdays since it’s weigh day but this is a little extra as I have all the regular stresses of life added in with the challenge, our upcoming fundraiser and making sure I don’t eat my stresses lol (Which I may have done on Saturday at my belated birthday dinner with my best friend Amber…chicken wings and wine…the silent, delicious killer)

Here’s hoping the scale goes down tonight!

Created on 2017-03-28 23:29:20

Edited on 2017-03-28 23:30:35

Mar 27, 2017

And once again a week has flown by and I may have slept through it all. My mom used to tell me that time speeds up as you get older and boy was she ever right!

So many exciting things happening right now. The apprentice fundraisers are under way, with 2 of the Langley teams and the Dazzling Divas of Abbotsford holding their events this last week. Next up for Abby; yours truly and team Rack Pack kicking it off this Friday at 6pm at the Canadian Brewhouse and Grill. We have all sorts of fun in store! Come join us for the early bird with auctions and raffle prizes being done at 8pm or if your a night-owl like myself, come on down for the final part with draws and auctions closer to the end of evening after 10pm. Here’s a little snip-it of the almost 8 hours of gift wrapping we did yesterday (and we didn’t even finish….and that’s not all of what we did yesterday either. Seriously. I had dreams of wrapping paper and giant purple monsters…)

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Tomorrow is the final weigh and measure for the top 15 for the Abby News as voting starts THIS Thursday!!! Please take a look through the top 15 ladies; read their blogs, look at their progress. We have all been busting our butts and the competition is real now lol I know they all want this so bad and deserve your votes.

No voting for me since I’m vying for a wild card but my final weigh and measure will be taken on April 4. I have changed a few things up this week and according to the gym scale, it’s helped but we’ll see what ours says (scales are never on the same page as we all know). After the final weigh, we will know who the top 3 wild cards. We will then be given tickets to the Little Black Dress event where they announce top 5 and the wild card winner. (eeeeeeee!!!!!) I need to have the same or higher percentage of weight loss and inches in order to qualify for the wild card spot so fingers crossed my hard work will be enough to land me that spot!

Created on 2017-03-27 16:30:31

Mar 23, 2017

Made it to the gym yesterday for the first time in almost 2 weeks. Now, that’s not to say I haven’t been working out at home but life has got in the way a lot lately. Work has been quite busy and my eldest son has been having a rough go at life so it’s required quite a bit of my time. I have still been getting in yoga, cardio hip-hop and calisthenic workouts but it’s nice to get to the gym and zone out on the elliptical and resistance machines for 2 hours. Along with increasing the intensity in my work outs, I am also switching up my diet this week in hopes to shake this plateau in time for final weighs.

In other news: we are 8 days away from The Rack Pack’s main event at the Canadian Brewhouse. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, I highly suggest you get on that! $25 for your meal and drink, plus far more prizes than we even know what to do it! We also have a lot of little surprises in store so don’t miss out!

Here is the link to our facebook event page to get in touch for ticket sales. You can also check out the list of awesome vendors who have generously donated prizes for our event.

https://www.facebook.com/events/264076750709198/

Created on 2017-03-23 17:23:21

Mar 22, 2017

Only 2 more weeks until my final weigh and measure as a wild card. (Can you hear the nerves?) I am at week 2 of my plateau. I have been sticking at 179 for the last 2 weeks (give or take a few decimals). It’s frustrating, ONLY because this is a competition and of course I want to make it to the end. Mallory could feel my frustrations so she said we would do a tanita scale reading yesterday to see where everything else is at. As per usual, Mallory is right lol

My weight may not come off fast enough to get me in that wild card spot but I feel like I’ve already won. How can I even be upset if my weight doesn’t move with results like this?!

 

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Created on 2017-03-22 17:22:41

Mar 21, 2017

Today was FAN-TASTIC! Our mini fundraiser at the Old Spaghetti Factory (“OSF”) was a raging success. Not only were we on point with our waitress skills but we killed our profit goals, completely surpassing our expectations. A huge thank you to Jason and his staff at OSF for putting up with us!

Here’s to us: The Rack Pack!

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Created on 2017-03-22 16:38:07

March 20, 2017

Once again, the weeks blow by in what seems like an instant. How is it already the last half end of March?!

Today, other than being a very Monday-Monday, is an exciting day! My fundraising group the Rack Pack will be doing a side fundraiser at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Abbotsford. Nothing different really; you make a reservation under our group name, order off the same menu, pay the same price, have the same great food. But here’s the catch. You get to be served by the ladies of the Total Makeover Challenge from the Rack Pack! All tips gathered from tables in our section will be put towards our fundraising efforts.

The manager Jason has done an amazing job at putting together this fundraising opportunity and we are so grateful to him and his staff for helping us with this (especially since our most recent serving experience was 6 years ago lol)

It has been great team building exercise. Not to mention, a great workout haha

We still have a few reservation spots available so if you were looking to go out for dinner tonight or don’t feel like cooking, call 604-854-1130, and ask for a reservation with the Total Makeover Challenge group (between 5:15 and 7:30)

We have a little fun in store for the evening as well so bring your toonies!

Created on 2017-03-20 16:26:23

Edited on 2017-03-20 16:29:05

March 13, 2017

This was my plan for today:

Wake up, do my morning fitness apps of yoga and calisthenics. Make my shake, pack a super kickass lunch with all the fresh groceries I bought last night and be out the door to get to work early for 7am. Kill it at work; catching up on everything I need to. Pick up my kids from school after their week with dad, soak in all the awesome stories from dads, do our catch up and then meet up with my group for the challenge fundraiser. Basically, win at life.

This is how today has gone so far:

Weekend was pretty hectic and day light savings threw me right off track so my brain couldn’t shut off last night; didn’t get to sleep until 12am. Slept through my alarm and woke up at 6:45am, no time to work out, rushed to clean my self up, put together a shake to bring to work and threw left overs into my lunch bag. Made it to work by 7:20am. Fought and swore with the computers and didn’t finish the work I planned to have done by 9am until about 10:30am because technology is rising against me. Reception was sick, but thankfully our student was in which would have been the difference between me barely surviving and me going postal. Then, I got a text saying my eldest is having a major behavioral crisis and I need to pick him up from daycare. This brings forth almost 3 hours of unexpected hard, deeply emotional parenting. And now I’m back at work to close up, no further ahead in my work, taking a second to breath as I softly cry to myself in an empty office. Parenting is so hard. Eating healthy and keeping to a plan is hard. Life is hard. And honestly? Right now, all I want is to curl up in bed and never leave. Instead, I’m going to go home and work out because it will help me get out some of this frustration I have built up and while I may have NO control over my child at the moment (best mother of the year award goes to me who feels a little like a failure right now) I can control this.

Created on 2017-03-13 23:58:40

Mar 9, 2017

It’s been a busy last 2 weeks. I didn’t make the gym last week at all but in the nature of making sure this whole healthy life style thing sticks after the challenge, I exercised at home. I’ve found a lot of really great you tube videos for at home work outs, as well as some great apps for yoga and calisthenic workouts. Download down dog yoga and Skye Daily Workouts. If you do both, it’s about an hour and a great at home work out.
However, it’s back to the gym this week! I am proud that I took the plunge and got a membership.

I am down another 3.2 pounds and 5.5 inches this week!! That’s a total of just under 14lbs and 13 inches lost. I just keep trucking along with the support of my partner, my friends, work and family and the TMC ladies who are like my second home right now. (seriously, I talk to them more than I talk to my kids haha) The whole process is becoming less work daily though. My eating habits are becoming automatic. I have started to memorize the calories and sugar in certain foods and know how many calories I can burn in certain work outs. I’m happy that my mind is adjusting to the new habits as that is the only way I will be successful after the fact.

Created on 2017-03-09 17:48:46

Mar 3, 2017

Bring on the weekend!!

March is my favorite month. It’s mine and many of my family and friends birthdays, spring arrives and the count down to summer begins (for me at least). As a wild card I was given the choice of choosing which group I went with for our segment 2 challenge which is a fundraising event for Shape your world and a charity of our choice. I went with team leader Jenn (in top place in the challenge because she’s a fricken power house!) and her team. We have our first meeting tomorrow to go over the details of our event so stay tuned to here about it because it’s going to be legend-wait for it. DAIRY!

Created on 2017-03-04 00:45:44

March 2, 2017

I would like to take this time to give a HUGE shout out to our nutritional team at Herbalife; Gina and Mallory. Their wisdom is beyond anything I could have hoped for. They are there to answer our every question when ever we need them and helping us each step of the way when we hit our walls to offer encouragement, support and tips to help us move past the hurdle we have before us. Our group was split between the 2 of them and Mallory has been one my biggest cheerleaders. I feel so fortunate to have her helping me on this journey.

On a side note: if you are looking for a great nutritional shake, I highly suggest the Cafe Latte Formula 1 Shake. Tastes delicious, low sugar, gluten free, decent fiber and mixed with a protein powder or milk it gives you anywhere from 17g plus of protein!

Created on 2017-03-02 23:42:00

Edited on 2017-03-09 17:48:58

Feb 27, 2017

 

Well, the results are in and I did not make the top 15. And yes, I bawled like a baby lol I know it isn’t the end of the world and my journey does not end there but I’m a sensitive lil thing. It also broke my heart when my youngest started crying because I didn’t make it. I felt like I let my kids down. But I have been analyzing it since Saturday (as I usually do) and this challenge is a high-intensive competition that doesn’t just ask you to commit to your health and weight loss but there are all these other aspects that I just couldn’t compete with. I tend to be a little reserved when I’m pushing myself outside my comfort zone which was what I did when I joined the competition so I feel like the panel didn’t get to know me enough and I can’t force people to vote online for me or sponsor/pledge funds. I was up against some of the strongest willed, determined woman I know and I’m so proud of all of them for making it to the top! I’m very proud of my physical results and the emotional transformation I have made so far and that’s the biggest prize. Looking at the bright side of things, I now get to continue the journey to try for the wild card spot still with the support of the TMC but with more focus on my fitness and diet.
I would like to give a shout out to my amazing friends and family who have supported me so far, especially this rag-tag bunch of awesome who participated in the Amazing Race!

The Gnarlies

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Revenge of the Nerds

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Created on 2017-02-27 18:31:01

Feb 24, 2017

Tomorrow is the Amazing Race! It is also the announcing of the top 15. I noticed a very big change in the group of woman who I have on my facebook that are in the challenge after we did our Real-me seminar:

These woman poured their heats and souls out to a room of 60+ strangers. We dug deep into our subconscious to figure out all the in’s and out’s of our  emotions, past, present, etc. What happened after was an undeniable fire ignited in so many of these woman. Their posts were positive, straight from the heart and so many of them were posting selfies again, which I know many of us had been struggling with. I too felt the empowerment and the weight that had been lifted from the experience. While I was in Seattle, my friends and I decided we would get dolled up for a change and go out. This is the photo I took and rather than hiding behind my clothes or shying away from the reaction, I basked in the compliments from my friends and family and for the first time in a very, very long time, I truly felt beautiful.

Even if I don’t make it to the next round, Jenny and Trish and everyone else involved in the TMC; I can’t thank you enough for what you have given back to me.

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Created on 2017-02-25 00:14:50

Feb 22, 2017

 

Voting is over. This means my voting anxiety is over and now my “do I have enough combined points to make the top 15″ anxiety takes the reigns. As a perfectionist and person who needs to be in charge I really need to just calm down and let what is coming, come. I’ve busted my butt with my nutrition and exercise, while also understanding I need to forgive myself when I don’t eat perfectly or make it to the gym because this is a life style change and being militant about being healthy doesn’t fit into who I am. I’ve attended every meeting, I’ve done our little challenges, I’ve been to our seminars, I’ve listened and absorbed. And all the knowledge I have been consuming is truly working. I stepped on the Tanita scale to see where my body is at and I have lost 10% of my body fat and turned that into 13 pounds of muscle. Mallory from our amazing nutrition team at Herblife made point to tell me that she just hasn’t seen a transformation like that in such a short amount of time and I am so proud of myself for finally taking the steps needs to better my health. If I don’t make the top 15, as I said in an earlier post; I am committed to this challenge and milking it for everything I can get. I can’t promise I won’t cry, because I’m an emotional thing but the experience so far has been nothing short of amazing (I know, I’ve said that word about 100 times but there’s just no other way to describe how AMAZING it all really is). I’m excited for the next phase of the TMC and to see what other treasures I am hiding inside this body of mine!

Created on 2017-02-25 00:06:06

Feb 20, 2017

 

The last week has been a crazy whirlwind. I topped off the 3-day Real Me seminar by going straight to Seattle to see one of my best friends and meet their partner for the first time (whom I fell in love with! What amazing souls those 2 are. Seriously, I am beyond blessed to have the people I do in my life). I could go on and on about the impact the real me had but I think I will focus on my favorite of the 3 days; Friday. We did an exercise where we looked at our lives and what we want to accomplish. We dug deep into our unconscious to figure out where we have faltered from our path to appease others, the things in our life we have not accomplished because of fear and the other various blocks in our lives. We ended the exercise by writing our own eulogy through the eyes of our dreams (as if we had lived our lives just how we have always wanted). This hit me hard. I lost my self over the years and only recently have been able to find my way back but each day is a new struggle and challenge as I learn to love myself for who I am now. I hope to be able to leap past the hurdles and fears that keep me from living the life I want. I truly feel this challenge has put more into perspective that I ever expected. I’m feeling pretty grateful.

Created on 2017-02-25 00:00:26

Feb 16, 2017

TODAY IS THE DAY! Voting people!!! I wanted to provide a break down for you for the weeks:

Week 1: I was down 2.2lbs

Week 2: I was down 2.4lbs and 7 inches

Week 3: Down 7.8lbs

Week 4: Up 2.8lbs and down 2.75 inches; Grand total of down 9.6 pounds and 9.75 inches in 1 month!!!!

That “up” week made me sad, ONLY because I won’t get the “no gain” prize lol I was still down inches, and as I said in my previous blogs, that scale means squat and I just need to keep remembering that. The inches talk more than the scale.

 

You can vote from today at 3pm until next Wednesday at 12pm, 10 times per day per device and connection. So, if you have a home computer, smart phone/iphone and a tablet/ipad, you can vote from your wifi on your computer and then turn the wifi off on your phone and tablet and vote again from your data! 

Created on 2017-02-17 18:29:21

Feb 14, 2017

Has anyone ever tried to work out with a fresh tattoo? I’m sure it’s extremely comical for those viewing in to see, however I felt ridiculous as my right arm gingerly hovered over the elliptical yesterday.

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This lovely little piece was done by my friend Jaquie at Memento Mori Studios. If you are in the market for a tattoo, make sure to check them out!


I am still trucking along, taking each obstacle that comes my way in strides. Like the birthday party I attended this weekend in which vodka-fueled me decided a late night cheeseburger was a good idea. (ps. It wasn’t and my tummy made sure to let me know that the next day). Not only am I not supposed to have gluten but it’s been over a month since I ate something that greasy and processed. The best choice I made that evening was walking the 45 minutes’ home to help offset it even in the slightest.

Note to self: the cheeseburger is NEVER worth it.

 

And on that note, think happy thoughts for my final weigh and measure tonight for round 1. These are the numbers that go into the paper for voting!!! Here’s hoping that cheeseburger hasn’t done me in…

Created on 2017-02-15 01:32:15

Feb 10, 2017

I forgot my runners at home on Monday and didn’t realize until I was already at the gym after busing there. I forgot them because I haven’t needed to wear my snow boots since starting the challenge. Rather than being defeated, I went to the grocery store, bought food to do meal prep with and went home to exercise. The rest of the week has had a similar tone (anyone else happy the rain is washing away this horrendous snow?!). The weather prohibited the vast majority of my office from coming in so I was alone most of the week which left me with piles of paperwork to catch up on by Friday. Unfortunately, this held me at work until 8pm last night which meant no gym. I was angry and thrown off. I almost walked to the liquor store to grab a bag of chips and wine (my favorite coping duo) but instead, decided to finish breaking down boxes from moving, making several trips up and down the 8 sets of stairs to and from the dumpsters in my building. I pushed to go as fast I could. I did the same with moving some more things into storage and then proceeded to frantically sweep and hand-mop the apartment. Per my fitness tracker on my phone, I burned 378 calories which is 378 more than I would have burned by sitting on my butt for the evening (not to mention the extra 1000 calories I would have tact on by indulging in life’s pleasures). This is what I need to keep in my mind. The days and weeks are not always going to go how we want them to. S**t will happen and mess up your plan; I just need to learn to work with what I’m left with and be active in whatever way I can. That is the only way I will be able to continue with this change after the challenge.

Created on 2017-02-10 19:40:43

February 8,2017

 

You always hear people say: the scale doesn’t dictate your health and should not reflect your success. I have repeated this notion over and over since I began the challenge but it didn’t really sink in until last night. I prepared myself all day for our weigh in: “I only went to the gym 3 times last week and my impromptu move threw my schedule completely off from Friday to Sunday. There’s no way I lost any weight, I most likely gained”, and I decided I was okay with that. The move was out of my control and this doesn’t mean I have failed at this challenge. However, much to my surprise, I lost 7.8 pounds last week according to our scale!! That’s when the whole “the numbers on the scale mean squat” thing REALLY hit me. No longer will I judge my success by those numbers. Not going to lie, it’s really nice when you hit that big number because it gives you validation that what you are doing is working. Except, it doesn’t actually validate anything. I stuck to my eating and work out plan to a T the previous weeks and lost just over 2 pounds each week. From now on, I judge my success by my energy, my waist line, the confidence I earn each time I push myself to go to the gym when I can barely move and my overall health. 

Created on 2017-02-08 20:09:43

February 6, 2017

We are coming into our 4th week of the challenge. Those lbs are coming off slowly but I know with consistent eating habits and something active every day, I will see those results in other ways even if the scale doesn’t show me those big numbers. My skin is getting better, my sleeps are more refreshing, my clothes are getting looser: the hard work IS paying off.

So far, I have had the necessary assistance to keep my schedule fairly in-tact: time to meal prep, friends and family to help with the kids, work being supportive of my new found eating habits which having me eating at my desk at all times of the day it feels. However, this weekend was the true test. I had no choice but to move in the biggest snow storm we have had in a very long time. This was not planned so within 2.5 days I had to pack, clean, move and unpack. Again, not possible without the help of my partner and friends but it was a true test on my new found eating habits. I didn’t make it to the gym at all, however I certainly had enough activity going on. I easily burned over 1000 calories with all the crouching, lifting, scrubbing, pulling, etc. for roughly 12 hours a day to pull this off. My eating was my biggest worry. If anything, I fear I ate too little and it will affect my weigh in tomorrow; or that could be the half bag of chips and bottle of wine I devoured on Friday. But rather than focusing on that, I am focusing on the positives:

 

I cleaned my old place, packed and moved 85% of my belongings, unpacked and cleaned my new place and managed to do that all without grabbing a burger and fries; I had a Wendy’s salad. The rest of the time I relied on my Herbalife shakes and protein bars to keep me going, mixed in with rice crackers, cheese and cold cuts. Everything was such a blur that I can’t remember the amounts and how much water I consumed so my weekend diary on myfitnesspal is sad and empty. Looking on the bright side: I didn’t drink every evening like I reallllly wanted to and I didn’t live off of fast food like I normally do in times of stress. I’m taking it as a win.

Created on 2017-02-08 20:09:21

January 30, 2017

Our blogs are up! However, my computer decided it didn’t like any of my posts I had been saving on word after January 18 and didn’t save :( But as they say; The show must go on!

Tomorrow is our first measure and I am excited to see the results. I have been trying to mentally prepare myself to not expect giant weight losses; our first weigh in last week had me at 2.2lbs down. I have abused my system for so long that it doesn’t know what the heck is going on right now. “All this timed, weighed, healthy food and an hour plus of exercise a day?! What are you doing lady?!” (That’s my body giving me what-for). I know I have been busting my rump to give this challenge my all and most of all being honest about what I put into my body. I expect that while my pounds loss will be minimal, I should see some good numbers in inches. That being said, I will be okay even if they aren’t. My main focus is how I’m feeling inside. My body is adjusting. The first 2 weeks have been difficult in general to adjust to but my body is starting to notice the pattern. Sleep is becoming easier to obtain, my muscles aren’t as sore (still sore, but the good kind), I can go longer and faster at the gym and my skin is happier than it has been in a long time. These are my signs of progress; not just what the scale and numbers tell me.

Created on 2017-01-30 19:51:08

 

January 18, 2017

 

5:39pm

 

Yesterday was tough. I left our first Tuesday meeting feeling more varieties of emotions than I can count. I was moved and awed by the power of the woman in the room with me and I was horrified as I read my Tanita scale results and seen the word “obese”. While I have never really had a hold on my nutrition and weight, I have always had a weird metabolism that would allow me to change my eating habits and lose 20 pounds in less than 3 months. I also had more youth on my side. Other than pregnancy, my weight was never above 170 pounds, I carried it well, my skin was fairly good and my energy levels were fine. Fast forward to 2 ½ years ago and I finally made the choice to quit smoking; one of the best decisions of my life. However, combined with being in my late 20’s, an extremely sedentary life style and no farts to be given about my eating habits; I gained. Fast. By August of this year, I realized I had been living in oversized clothing for so long I couldn’t remember the last time I broke out a formed fitting outfit. My skin was terrible no matter what skin line I used. I barley took selfies anymore and avoided the camera because there was no longer an angle I could hit to create the optical illusion of being slimmer than I am. Didn’t matter if I held the camera a foot above my head, I had a double chin and puffy cheeks. My arms looked like logs and I looked about 6 months pregnant. I got on a scale and saw that number: 212 pounds. Now, I know that numbers on a scale are just numbers and if I was a size 8 and felt great inside health wise, I would care less about that number. But that number reflected exactly how I was feeling and I had allowed it to progress so long that I was deep into rut I didn’t quite know how to escape. I decided that was it. Since then, I’ve been trying to be more active just in general day to day activities and paying more attention to my eating, as well as drinking less alcohol which is a weakness of mine. I have lost about 18 pounds up to entering the challenge; which is a great start. But I could feel the pull of my anxiety and my depression that follows in tow weighing me back into that pit, so I knew I needed to join to give me that boost to stay on track and really start to kick a$$ at taking my health back.

 

As I made the hour-long journey home last night across town (those of you who frequent our transit know it is lacking severely in timely service, especially at night), I cried softly in my seat so others didn’t see as I passed through thought after thought. How did I let it go this long? How am I at this point? Why can’t I do this on my own? Why don’t I have the motivation and others do?

 

While all the positive emotional support and uplifting words of encouragement are great, the reality of who I am isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I am someone who struggles with my mental health and the best way I discovered to deal with that through the advice of professional help was to acknowledge my sadness, frustration and lack of ability to barely move some days. Those who know me on the surface know a woman who is happy, strong and determined but they don’t know that every day I struggle to get out of bed, to do pretty much anything most of the time because I have this little voice who drags me into the abyss. Constantly telling me I’m not trying hard enough, I’m not giving everything I have, that I could do more, be more. I am my own worst enemy and this isn’t just negative thoughts; this is high functioning anxiety. But I take those thoughts, I say “hi” and I just do it anyways. Every time I get out of bed, I prove they are wrong. Every time I excel at work, I prove they are wrong. However, the reality of this is, I have to expend about 90% of my energy in just being present in life and as such, the anxiety has taken over the part of me that IS determined and CAN do whatever she sets her mind to. So now, to you anxiety, I say good day. I will still struggle, and that voice will never go away but I am summoning the strength of myself, currently fueled by the powers of the amazing woman I am walking beside, to let that voice talk allllll it wants; I’m just not really listening anymore.

 

Created on 2017-01-30 19:35:49

 

January 17, 2017

 

12:48pm

I was up a 5:30am this morning. Yes, you read that correctly. The worst time in the WORLD to be awake. My body reacts best to the early rise, once adjusted, but I’m a night owl at heart and it is so hard to retrain your sleeping habits. However, I want this challenge to give me the tools and set me on track for lasting results and a lifestyle change so I need to be making those conscious choices to change where I need to to make that a reality. My sleeping schedule is a vital part of that. I’ll be doing a half hour to an hour of beach body videos at home in the mornings, especially on Tuesdays as I work until 5pm and then it’s the rushing dodge to grab the kids from hand in hand care at school and get me to the Tuesday meetings and by the time I’m home from taking the bus, it’s 10:30pm and it is BED!

Created on 2017-01-30 19:29:35

 

January 16, 2017

 

8:20am

 

I spent the morning before work entering in dates into my organizer, pinning recipes and mentally preparing myself for the next 4 months to come. I have officially decided that this challenge is only the beginning. This is the first day of the rest of my life and I am going to honor that commitment as if we were married! That means, no matter how far I make it in the challenge, I will continue to follow along-side to offer support to those who continue on and to help keep me accountable as I form new habits. My personal challenge will continue after this is done with each day being a new one.

 

I will screw up. I will have days where I eat a chocolate bar and drink a bottle of wine (that will probably happen a few times…). However, I will not let that stop me. I am not striving to be perfect; I am striving to do better. Do better than yesterday. Feel better than yesterday. And honestly, I don’t plan on depriving myself. I just need to re-learn the meaning of moderation and bring that back into my life flow.

 

I made the call to the gym and set up a meeting at 6pm tonight to get my membership set up. If possible, it will be my first gym work out tonight and if not, I will be going home and breaking out my Beach Body videos and doing an hour-long workout with Debbie Siebers of Slim in 6. I made sure I had all the arrangements in place for who will watch my boys after work this week so I can do work outs and the Tuesday seminars. At the very least, this challenge is really going to help me relearn to make time for myself. There is always time, if we make it. As mothers and woman and independent human beings we generally don’t like to rely on other people. I know I am constantly taking on far more than I am comfortable with handling because I like to take the burden off the shoulders of others and have control in situations. This is going to teach me that you can ask for help, and it’s going to be okay. You can let others take the reins, and things will turn out fine. I CAN make the time to focus on me and my health and the goals I want for myself and the world will keep on spinning.

 

Created on 2017-01-30 19:28:41

 

January 15, 2017

 

10:04pm

 

I spent the afternoon on Sunday hustling through Winners as I gathered everything I would need for the challenge; runners, new yoga pants, sports bra, water bottle, yoga mat, gym bag and a white t-shift for my before photo (admittedly, I do not own white clothing because I am a grown adult who should probably wear a bib at every meal lol). I entered into the line to check out and this is when it became embarrassingly evident to everyone scoping out my basket in the check-out line that I am clearly an unfit person. I hugged myself in my oversized picot and hung my head (and why? Who cares. But the self-conscious part of me runs the show at times). I then rushed to the grocery store to buy food for the week because I knew with my kids coming home tomorrow and my new-found workout schedule, I would not have the time.

 

The orientation was all sorts of amazing. The energy you feel from Jenny and Trish and the team/sponsors through Shape your world Society is nothing short of remarkable. I work in social justice and advocate for those who are most marginalized in our society so the work these people do to selflessly help improve the lives of so many women resonates strongly with me. As if their energy wasn’t enough, you get to meet some of the woman who are going to be beside you through your journey, as they embark on their own. These women come from all walks of lives and experience and hearing their stories were inspiring and touching to say the least. The best part? No matter how different we are, we are all the same in one area. We have all hit that point in our life where we have said “enough is enough” and have pushed past whatever has been holding us back to take a risk on ourselves to strive for the “me” we want. The best me. The happiest me. The strongest me.

 

I am sure I speak for many when I say I am scared, nervous, overwhelmed and a little bit of every emotion on the spectrum. However, I have most definitely hit my breaking point and will no longer allow those doubts and insecurities in my strength to stop me. Knowing that I have the support of my family, friends and the amazing collection of people through shape your world and the contestants helps me feel at ease.

 

I am not alone and we can do this.

 

Created on 2017-01-30 19:27:25