Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Motivation

We all know that I've been struggling lately. And what I've noticed is that many other people are, too. So, when I was contacted by Emily - a woman who wrote a previous blog post for me - I knew exactly what topic she could write about this time: staying motivated. I hope you enjoy her post, "4 Tips for Fitness Motivation"! It's worth reading!


"When I start a brand-­‐new fitness regimen, I am full of motivation. As I get toned and make more progress with the workouts, I feel better and it keeps me going. But after a while, the improvements start to slow down. And if I’m not seeing a big difference either in the mirror or on the scale, it can get more difficult to stick with it. Luckily, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to give myself a boost and keep my momentum when I need it most.

1. Planning. I am a mom, and that means everything is scheduled. If I do not have time set aside to eat or even sleep, it won’t happen. If that is the case for my absolute basic necessities, you better believe it is the same for exercise. When I plan out my day, I make room for exercise. If I ever find myself thinking, ‘Oh, I’ll find space for a workout sometime throughout the day!' I need to get in gear and reexamine my priorities. My world revolves around streamlined simplicity, so that’s how I structure my workouts. If I have some spare time and I can get in a long workout at the gym, I am pleased. But if not, I rely on my home workout routines. I purchased two from Beachbody. One program, T25, is only 25 minutes, so I’ll pop in that DVD on busier days. Having options is key when your day to day schedule varies.

2. Friendship. Before I had kids, I did not always have a lot in common with my friends. But now that I do, almost all of my friends are moms too. The biggest thing that we have in common is that we would like to have more energy than we do. And, nothing is better for energy than a good workout. I’m a bit chatty, so having an exercise buddy is so good for me. It helps us to be accountable. Neither of us would skip going to the gym because we don’t want to leave the other one hanging. And when we get there, we are inspired to push further to help each other achieve our goals. Plus, it is nice to have someone to spot me while I’m lifting the bar.

3. Inspiration. I will admit that I used to be a bit of a skeptic when it comes to inspirational language and imagery. That is, until I figured out how well it works for me. A couple of months ago, I latched onto a phrase I saw on Pinterest: “Be stronger than your excuses.” It can be so easy to find a reason skip a workout, but when I decide to make it a priority, I can’t let the excuses control my actions. Find what will motivate you. Maybe it’s a picture of yourself from when you were in better shape, maybe it’s a song that gets you pumped up – know what works for you and keep it close by for the days when you need that extra boost.

4. Accountability. Holding myself accountable is on be of the most important aspects if I want to stick to a workout regimen. Some people find that saying their fitness goals out loud, or telling others will help keep stay accountable. For me, I like to log workouts in my FitBook. It helps me stay on track, and is also great to reflect back on. Seeing how far I’ve come is great motivation to keep pushing forward. It’s also easier when I see my workouts on paper. Maybe it’s the mom in me, but having a hard copy of my workouts recorded makes me feel more accomplished and prepared.

I look at fitness as a lifetime activity. As such, I don’t worry about making a lot of progress in a short period of time. I remember that health is just as much about the journey as the destination. That helps me to stay motivated, no matter how things are going for me."

Hope you enjoyed this special guest post! Please give Emily some feedback in the comments section, if you don't mind :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bad Blogger

Blogging Slacker = Me.

In my defense, you know I was sick. Again. For the third time this year. Me, of former “I never get more than one cold a year” infamy. It’s getting annoying, to say the least. I’m hoping that my body’s newfound love of germs is a short-lived affair, and that there will be smooth sailing for me during the next few months. Fingers crossed.

Other than being sick (and eating my feelings), I have been in a creative mood lately. Sometimes I get the urge to craft, but can’t find the write project to take on. After spending the fall crocheting, wreath-making, and card-designing, I wanted something a big different. So, on a whim, I decided to make my daughter a board game. She’s really loving her games lately, so I’m combining ideas from some of her favourites along with her favourite theme (My Little Pony). I’m crazy, and have already spent way too much time on it, and I’m not even halfway done. I’ll show you the end result once it’s all finished.

I am also trying to figure out something to make with silhouettes of my children. Stay tuned for that as well.

I’m still struggling with eating, but sickness aside, exercise is going well. I still have time to get in shape for summer, and I’m using that as motivation.

The biggest issue in my life is that my depression and anxiety are really acting up again, and I’m finding it really hard to get out of bed in the mornings, and am having difficulty making it through the day sometimes. Sigh. Will it every go away?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Shock of all Shocks

I am sick again!

Dang Nabbit!

I am getting really tired of this one-sickness-per-month thing. I used to never get sick...except for MAYBE one little cold per YEAR!

I think perhaps a trip to the doctor is in order...???

Monday, March 10, 2014


After all of my recent whining and griping about my pitiful eating habits (which, for the record, have been awesome the past week), I've decided that it's about darned time I set some goals for myself that aren't weight-related. Goodness, I am so SICK of feeling tied to the scale! I need something else to focus on. And, since one of the best feelings in the world for me is hitting a fitness goal that I thought was out of reach, I've come up with a new list: my fitness "to do" list, if you will.

When I first set out to get fit, I had a mental list of things I wanted to be able to do, and I achieved many of them: I wanted to be able to fun 5k, and I can; then I wanted to be able to run 10k, and I did that; I wanted to be able to do a 2-minute plank, and I worked my way up to that. Just to name a few. But I haven't really set any new goals for myself in...gosh...almost a year? No wonder I've been struggling!

Here are the new challenges I've set for myself. I don't have a specific timeline for most of them, but within the next few months would be great!

1. To be able to do 10 REAL pushups...not the "girl" ones, which are all I can do right now!
2. To squat with a 50lb bar (I'm stuck at 40...if that's wimpy to you, I don't care! It's better than where I started!)
3. To be able to do Level 3 of the "30 Day Shred" without feeling like I'm about to die
4. To run one mile in 10 minutes or less
5. To be able to run more than 10k, and eventually work my way up to a half marathon (this one is a long-term goal, as I'm not sure I want to commit to the training time it would take with two little ones at home).

I think that this is a good place to start. Yes, I still want to get back to my goal weight, but I don't want it to be the only thing I care about. All scale and no fun makes Brenna a CRAZY girl!

On an unrelated note, I will finish this post with a little he melts my heart...

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Oral Fixation

Once, when I was in college, we had a guest speaker come into our class to talk about smoking cessation products. I was in school to become a dental hygienist, so this was very relevant to our profession. One thing that the speaker stressed was that there are different addictions to overcome when deciding to be done with cigarettes: the physical addiction (which goes away the fastest), the mental desire (which takes longer), the habit (taking a "smoke break" at certain times each day), and, of course, the oral fixation. This one stuck out to me.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately even though I have never smoked. But I definitely think that I have some sort of oral fixation problem, and I think it is why I tend to overeat. It feels like I have an overwhelming desire to have something in my mouth at all times (and NO - not in a dirty way! Get your head out of the gutter!). So I eat when I'm not hungry, when I'm bored, anytime I walk into the kitchen, anytime I am near get the picture. I also tend to chew on pens, sip my water 1000x an hour while I'm working, and chew on my fingers. Not my nails. My actually fingers. Yes, I have problems.

Is it possible that this is related to my anxiety disorder? Who knows. But it definitely seems to be the hardest part of weight loss for me. I want to eat ALL THE TIME!

It's why, I'm sure, that in the past I went from the next picture to the second in only one year:

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That was a 40lb weight gain. With NO pregnancies in there. That's a LOT in only 365 days, and I am a bit embarrassed to admit it. But, it also makes me happy that I've "caught" my most recent weight gain before it spiraled out of control. At least I've at a healthy weight right now!

I don't know what this realization will mean for me, but hopefully it helps me to be more intuitive in reagrds to WHY I am eating. Am I actually hungry? If not, why do I feel like eating? Will a glass of water help? You get the picture.

In any case, I can't wait to taste success once again!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fat Free Friday: A Poem

Roses come from seeds
Cake comes from lard
I lost 1.4 lbs this week
Weight loss is hard

That's about all I got for you today. I was really hoping for a bigger loss today, but I'll take what I can get. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it is so frustrating how quickly the pounds pile on, and how slowly they take to come off!

Last week, I managed to have 3 really good workout sessions. This week, I hope to hit at least 4, and also to just generally stay more active during the day. I also hope to make even better choices with my food, and to stop cleaning my kids' plates when they are finished eating!!!

I really want to be able to rock my bikini again this summer...even if I don't do it in public :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fat-Free Friday and TYMNKAM: Part 2

Getting right to it... I managed to lose a pound this week. Not bad, considering that it was an action-packed week with plenty of eating out, being on the go, and feeling tight for time. I also managed to get in 4 good exercise sessions (2 runs, one Body Pump class, and one generic gym session). I feel pretty good.

Now here are some more things that you may not know about me...

I once had professional modelling-inspired photos taken of myself, just for a self esteem boost (and for a favour for a friend)

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I got my navel pierced when I was 18 and left it in through both pregnancies...

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I think stuff like this is hilarious...

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I used to think posting pictures of this on my Facebook was cool. Now, I know it's attention-whorey

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I am a firm supporter of equal rights Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I am related to the man who wrote "In Flanders Fields" Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Whew...that's enough about me for awhile!!! Take care!

Things You May Not Know About Me (With Pictures): Part 1

Before I was married (and when I was bored), I used to take creative pictures of my animals. This one is a spiny mouse...

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When the mood strikes me, I like to draw...

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I LOVED high school, and was known to lead some crazy (lame-o) shananigans during school trips:

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Only downside to high school: a bad, bad flair up of depression and anxiety which caused me to lose lots of weight

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When I was in university, I'd use my webcam to take very seriously-silly selfies...

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I like dessert. A lot.

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That's all for now!

Ice Skating

This past Saturday, I did something that I haven't done since I was about 13 years old: I went ice skating.

My daughter had received her first pair of ice skates for Christmas, and this was our first chance to take her to the rink. I knew that my husband was a much better skater than I ever was, so we knew it would be on him to teach our little one what to do.

I was initially planning on just sitting on the bench and watching the, but then I thought to myself, "Why? Because I'm afraid? Who cares if I look like an idiot, I am skating with my daughter!" And it's a good thing I went in with that attitude, because I spent the first 20 minutes or so looking like this:

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Yeah, I was the oh-so-cool adult hugging the boards around the perimeter of the rink. But that's okay. Eventually I got just a little bit more confident and comfortable on my feet, and got to the point where I wasn't wobbling, and could even managed a little turn. So, I consider the day a success!

This has made me want to challenge myself this year by doing more things that scare me. For example, maybe I'll actually sign up for my first race...???

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pulling Up My Big Girl Pants

First of all, I wanted to apologize to you all for my recent whiney, self-deprecating attitude. I realize that wallowing in self pity and putting it on the internet isn't exactly going to endear myself to people. I want to be open and honest, but I think complaining that I feel like a failure took it a bit too far.

Most importantly, I don't want anyone reading my blog to think that THEY are a failure if they have the same challenges as me. We all make mistakes, we all screw up, we all have times where we fall back on our goals. It's okay. It means we are human.

So, I am pulling myself up by my bootstraps and moving forward. I weigh 15-20lbs more than I'd ideally like to, and rather than whimpering about it, I'm going to DO something about it.

I started today with a good gym session, healthier eating, and some goal planning. I'm back at it. Hopefully I will feel a bit stronger every day.