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Ta Friggin Da!  We did it.  We finished this bad boy with a bang.

The whole fashion show was a trip.  It was a sea of nude spanx in the change room as we frantically changed outfits for the next scene.  And yes, it went so much faster than we imagined it would.  The whole night went faster than expected (except for my feet, it was a long, hard night for my feet). And my killer hair held up, I went for a big and edgy look to go out with a bang on. It also brought all sorts of people to me to look at and touch it.  It is still feeling super Mad Max-y this morning.

I was so proud to have my family and friends there supporting me and literally cheering me on.  And it was especially great having my son there to see how this whole challenge came to a close.  I know there were many people who couldn’t be there in person who were texting and messaging all night.  It was a big ol’ love fest from my closest people.

I was beyond thrilled to be runner up to the winner, Karen.  She earned it and she really is what this challenge is all about and will make a great spokeswoman going forward.  I am really proud to have placed in the Top 3 for many things in this last round – Top Blogger, Top speech, Runner Up commercial, 3rd place weight loss and 3 place inch loss and second place for the whole enchilada (which I ate at 11pm after the show, delicious). I was most excited to just be standing up there with these new and wildly strange and wonderful friends I have been lucky enough to make, made it a really special night.

So today we go back to real life – except for my hair, it is still in fashion show mode.  The kids are all stirring and will want to be fed, groceries are needed in a serious way, I need to get off my butt and get preschool for September figured out, and the dust bunnies are starting to evolve into gremlins.  I need to sort out gym and yoga memberships now that I am a regular paying client and it is time look at my goals for the next 6 months.

I am looking forward to continuing writing as we go forward.  It is time to resurrect my blog avoidingthetrainwreck.com Come over a visit once in a while, to check out what is cooking.  And I will being doing a piece about my experience for Stimuli Magazine in the summer, so watch for that too.

And if you have been watching and wondering how you would fair in this challenge, do it!  I know a bunch of ladies that would reap some pretty cool things from doing this challenge – both in Langley and Abbotsford.  I have brought it up with some and the response is usually “hell no” 0r “I could never do that”, which really makes for the perfect candidate.  If you have followed along from the beginning, you will know it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, it takes a big commitment of time and energy, but there are some great nuggets of growth you can gleam along the way.

I was never sold a time share and I think we are just still on the safe side of “cult”.  And so I would say that it worked out pretty great in the end.

Created on 2016-05-11 11:58:18

It’s Sunday, Mother’s Day, and I am getting everything a fancy girl like me could want.  I lazed in bed until noon, after a breakfast and coffee was delivered to me there. I had custom homemade toilet paper roll binoculars made for me. The children are washing my car and I have been promised a day free from diapers, laundry, dishes, floors and any general cleaning. It is like winning the parental lottery.

I am beyond lucky to have all of this and to have a family willing to do all of this even after all they have sacrificed for me to participate in this challenge for the last 4 months.

My husband has been the ever-present rock in this cheering me on, even when  the time away from the family passed self-care and turned inconvenient.  He still whole-heartedly cheered me on.

My friends and family, especially my MIL, have been wonderful about helping with the kids as I dashed off to the gym or a meeting or a photo shoot.

My whole tribe around me has constantly supported and cheered me on this whole time.

Thank you also to the women of SYWS and all of the sponsors.  This challenge is no small feat to organize and execute. The money and the volunteers hours that go into a gaggle of women to be them best selves is pretty incredible.

I am grateful. I feel like spinning around on a mountaintop in the Swiss Alps, although it may have been done before.

Thank you for this whole experience.

Created on 2016-05-08 16:27:36

That time when your people shored up their networks and pulled for you to win something they aren’t even directly benefiting from? Ya, I remember that.

This week I have been bowled over by the sheer tidal wave of fevered voting support from my tribe.  My people getting their people to get their people to press a button ten times a day.  (I am pretty sure that is also how cults are formed).

Someone asked how I suddenly got all of these votes (as I placed 3rd and 5th in previous voting rounds), and I had to think for a minute.  And really I think it was a lucky combination of things. The online marketing of yourself as a product, although strange, became routine.  And connecting with my work peeps a little more this time around.  And digging up all sorts of odd places to post and ask, ask ask and beg for votes.  And in this round, I was not stressing like I had in previous rounds of voting.  I was just having fun hustling and dealing, strategizing and marketing.

But even if I came in last in voting, what struck me was that every time I put out a call to action, BOOM, folks just jumped in.  No questions.  For that I am still in awe and very grateful.

And so it is done, and we continue on with regular programming. Kids, homework, family visits, pro-d days, stoves that have been ignored for 4 months need cleaning.  The real life bits.

Someone asked me last night, why I wasn’t celebrating coming in first in voting.  And I had celebrated for a moment, I am also keenly aware that that portion of this challenge doesn’t really reflect on real life.  For a while, this challenge took me out and away from real life, and now I am trying to stay grounded here where the real things happen. I am really grateful to have placed well, and am frankly surprised I did so well. It now gives me a fighting chance to be a potential Grand Prize winner of the challenge.  Yet more and more in this final round, that seems less important.  Deeper things have changed.

Going in I was ready to “win” at all costs.  And I am competitive still (and always), but the perceived value of “winning” has shifted.  I think differently, I act differently and yet I am still very much me.  I still over-share and under-listen.  I still offer to help, but now with less of a thought about what is in it for me.  I am still a smart ass and a knowitall, but maybe now with the edges softened a little.  I still give my opinion whether you want it or not, but now I will stop and ask your input too.  These little tweeks are part of a larger work in progress.  I am grateful for the new tools I have as I go on with my life.

In 4 days, this whole experience ends with a bang.  I am so looking forward to the fashion show and to seeing how this whole thing plays out.  I look forward to proudly showing off the clothes and strutting like I never would have before. I am excited to stand up with these women, my friends, as the winners are announced. I am ready to genuinely cheer for whomever’s name is called.

At this point it is just points on a spreadsheet, all of the work and breakthroughs have been had.  And we are all coming out new versions of our still pretty great old selves. We are not new people, just with a tune-up and some time to focus on ourselves, we have come out stronger. We have been pretty lucky to be able to get this far and wring every bit of goodness and light out of this experience.

Real life is waiting on the other side.

 

Created on 2016-05-06 16:33:13

We hit last night hard and I haven’t laughed that hard in a loooong time.

As Top 6 Ladies, we were treated to a fabulous Chef’s Table dinner at Earls (thankfully after the final weigh and measure- in the restaurant batjroom no less). I joked to our server that we hadn’t eaten for 4 months and this was going to get messy. And it was a delicious shit-show indeed.

Everyone let their hair down to varying degrees- some more than others. Some of us, not naming names, may have got cut off and needed a chaperone at all times. We may have been the loudest and most obnoxious table Earls has had the pleasure of having in a while. But we ate, we drank, we talked about sex, analyzed voting positions and we laughed. There was so much amazing laughter.

We then piled into the car of the only sober, responsible adult and ended up doing karaoke at one of our local dives. And then we drank and sang and laughed some more.

At one point I sat back just to take in the moment. A group of disperate women with different stories and journeys, sitting together enjoying each other for who they are. Nothing more. The feeling of laughing with and at eachother that I think everyone needs every now and then. It felt so great.

I have learned so much from these women. I have made some deep connections and what I hope are life-long friendships.  We have had the chance to build these relationships that are based on authenticity and forged in competition and teamwork. It is not often you get that opportunity in life.

Please forgive my hangover-induced mush ball moment. I have almost enough coffee to tackle the morning after last night.

All that merriment hurts a little this morning.

Created on 2016-05-05 13:25:17

So I spent an hour crying in a change room yesterday. At the time I couldn’t really figure out the real reason as to why, but I figured it out eventually. All I felt in that long moment was dispair + frustration = all the messy tears.

In preparation for our fashion show next week, we had to go to fittings at 4 locations. And while I had tried to flag that I would not fit into this particular “regular sized” store, people were far more optimistic than realistic that I would still fit. I haven’t fit in “regular sized” clothes in a long time. There is no judgement attached to that, it is just a fact. Their clothing goes to a certain number that doesn’t match my number.

As I proceeded to try on the largest sizes in the store, and none fit, determination of the stylist won out over the laws of physics. My body tested the quality of every seam and the strength of each zipper as I spilled out in all the wrong spots.  Instead of calling uncle then, the lovely lady decided we needed to cover my flaws.

After no less than 15 outfit attempts, she switched tactics and went with camouflage. Here is a full length sweater, that will hide the bulge there. Here is a poncho, that will cover that up. Do some squats in these pants to loosen them up.

“Maybe you have Spanx to help them fit better?”  Great, thank you, I AM ALREADY WEARING THEM.

So the tears flowed, the snot flowed, I tried desperately to not snot on the expemsive garments. And once the tears started, they couldn’t stop.

Poor Jenn, my fellow competitor, I was texting her the entire time. I live-streamed this horrible experience.

I wasn’t crying because the clothes didn’t fit. That wasn’t the issue. But I couldn’t explain it. The poor stylist, she didn’t know how to handle my breakdown. She kept trying to reassure me that size is just a number, that I just had 2 babies back to back, that my size isn’t a reflection of my worth – assuming it was a body confidence issue.

Turns out it was the very opposite.

The issue was this: DON’T COVER ME UP! I have worked too hard and am body positive enough to feel great frustration at the idea of doing a fashion show in front of friends and family covered up in a poncho to hide the “flaws”. That was who I was, not who I am now. Don’t put Baby in a corner.

My body is. It just IS. It is on a perpetual journey and the process is fluid. And while it is not my ideal or anyone’s ideal, it is not a vessel to be “fixed” or “covered”. I don’t want to blend in with the background, I want to wear loud colours and show off my tits a little.

In the end, we finally found something that almost fits as we would like. It will have some movement on the runway and there will be a whole range of styles and sizes from this store, and everyone will be happy. And I won’t be fully covered up.

Please believe me, I was a deeply weepy wounded bird when I went immediately to the next fitting. Luckily, the first dress I saw that came in my size looked amazing on. Bold colours and great fit. One try and boom I was lifted up again. No tears in that round.

I have one more fitting in a store I have shopped in for years and feel great to be able to showcase their clothes.

So the moral of this long story is this: if we are charting growth in this process, yesterday proved so much. Don’t hide my body, don’t camouflage my vessel, let me live out loud. That is my confidence renewed.

 

Created on 2016-05-03 13:38:21

I love the smell of competition in the morning!

 

Being deep in competition is my happy place.  I love the challenge and the push.  And I love competing with these women.

Notice I say “with”.

Created on 2016-05-02 12:40:33

If it feels familiar, go the other way.

That has been my driving mantra for a number of years now.  It was the filter I have put  large life decisions through.  It was how I ensured I took risks and did new things.  But in all honesty, I may have only applied it selectively.

During the past 4 months, I have used that filter more readily.  Whenever something in this challenge was tasked or presented to us, I tried to put it through my Mantra Filter (I am going to trademark that).

This isn’t to say that I didn’t tackle the new things or the challenging, comfort zone pushing tasks without an eye roll, mutter under my breath, some wise-ass comment or I think I know better question.  I did LOTS of that through this, it just couldn’t be kept inside.  It is like a form of Knowitall Tourettes (still to be officially recognized by the AMA).  And I can tell you, I am pretty sure it didn’t win me the judges votes.  But you know what, I still did all the things, even if begrudgingly, and I am better for it.  So judges please know – some of this stuff did sink in.

I began to use the Mantra Filter (TM) as a way to say, “why not give this new thing a try?” It helped me let go of some (not all) of my “that’s not how I would do it” judgments.  More than anything, it helped me let go some of (not all) of my control tendencies.  While I am by no means an easy-going, just-go-with-the-flow, anti-scheduling convert, I have learned to start to trust the process, whatever the process may be.

So let us call that growth, just in my own way.  But I still don’t love group hugs or do trust falls.

 

Created on 2016-04-30 01:52:33

It happened. The dreaded injury that takes you out of training. And now of all times.

I pinched a nerve in my lower back and it has taken me out of training for the past week and for the next week as well, I suspect. This is when I would want to push hard, as we hit the final calculations next week.  Such is life. But dammit all the same.

I don’t cope well being injured or sick, if you remember from previous posts. But this time, I am OK with it. I know that if I don’t listen to my body, it will just get worse and I have lots to still accomplish with this vessel of a body. Umm, there is a fashion show in 2 weeks and I will be strutting my junk all over that runway, so healing happens now.

While I have accepted the lack of mobility, the competitor in me is crying big ol’ crocodile tears. If I hope to win this thing, every inch, pound, dollar and vote counts.

So I need your help. Help me hit new heights in voting this round. Cajole your coworkers to vote for me en mass, share my voting link on your FB feed, don’t let your clients leave your place of business until they have voted their 10x.

I humbly thank you for supporting me and raising me up. The fact I have so many people in my corner has been the biggest takeaway for me. Thank you for helping me rebuild my confidence, back to its old over inflated self.

Much love.

Created on 2016-04-28 22:40:15

The day we had our initial Meet and Greet back in January, I had no idea what to expect.  It isn’t often that you walk into a social event with 75 women you don’t know.  In addition to the unknown about the challenge in general, my biggest question was, “what am I going to wear?”

I was 3 month post partum and at the largest I had been in years.  I knew they were going to take this skookum “before” shot that has haunted me for the last 3 months, but I wasn’t showing up in that.  I went to the mall to see if I could grab something that would be presentable but hide my entire body.  But I HATE trying clothes on, so I eyeballed a couple of shirts, they biggest they had in the store.  They looked more than generous and hidy to suit my needs, so they came home with me.

When I got home and tried them on- they didn’t even come close to buttoning up.  Great.  Not only do I have nothing to wear for the meet and greet, my body is 10x larger than I thought.  Self-esteem dropping to sub-prime.

Outfit selected? A black knit turtle-neck cape- hide all the things.

So throughout the challenge as I have lost weight and inches I have periodically tried on the 2 tops I bought (you don’t return and admit defeat).  Slowly I could button them up, but they were still so tight I looked like a slug stuck in a straw – showing every lump and bump and bulge.  Nice.

I have been struggling with a couple of plateaus – in the last round, I lost pounds but not inches. In this final round, I seem to be stuck on the scale, but it looks like the inches may be decreasing.

I figured it was a decent time to decimate my self-esteem again and try on these symbolic shirts, just for shits and giggles. And they finally fit.  Both of them.  I was finally able to pull off the tags and know that I could wear them in public.

These shirts are representative of how I saw myself.  At my biggest, I knew I was big, but I never grasped the full reality of it.  My mirror and my brain colluded to protect what little confidence I had left.  In 3+ months, I am finally at physically in a place I thought I was at the beginning of this.  And now this is the start, as I have a ways to go to get to my ideal health, but at least I have a realistic picture of where I am and and where I want to go.

 

 

Created on 2016-04-25 13:33:55

Our “secret challenge” (for points) is to make a commercial for TMC.

How the heck do I distill this whole thing into 60 seconds?

I was telling Karen that I was almost done mine and for once, I probably under-thought it. I’m trying a new approach- go with your initial gut idea and edit, edit, edit down.

Less might actually be more?

Created on 2016-04-24 18:29:14

If I could bottle yesterday and pour it all over myself and others when they need a pick-me-up, I would be a rich woman.

We had another photo shoot, longer and very different than the last one. Instead of just head and body shots, we got to play around.  With killer hair, good makeup and my favourite dress, I felt amazing.

I turned on a part of me that I had no idea even existed. I was working the light, some poses and the whole vibe in a way that would make Tyra proud. Hannah even asked if I had done this before (I’m sure she says that to all the girls), but it was anot her confidence boost (not that I needed it).

In that moment, I wasn’t worried about my size, my double chin, asymmetrical eyes or bare upper arms. I just got to play and show off my self and my favourite dress. It was a bit of an epiphany, I could have modeled all day. You know then that there has been some internal changes when you WANT to be in front of the camera, instead of trying to disappear.

I had to go to the grocery store on my way home, and I worked my glam hard as I grabbed diapers and lunch meat. I may have taken it a bit far.

The trick will be to keep that feeling when I see Hannah’s finished photos. I hope to still feel how I felt during the shoot when confronted with how I really looked. That is the kicker.

 

Created on 2016-04-24 18:24:02

I cannot remember a fortnight time frame being so frenzied and full (yes I just used “fortnight” in a sentence).

Shall we breakdown the numbers?

  • 2 fundraisers (one being ours) and a Cocktail Party.
  • 2 glorious nights away with the TMC ladies. Good times, even the booze-induced 2/3am bedtimes.
  • 4 ass-handing workout sessions at Guts, courtesy of the most supportive aunt-in-law you could imagine.
  • 6 Oxygen workouts.
  • 1 counseling session.
  • 1 hair cut, colour and style – thank you Jessika, you maybe stuck with me for life now, sorry.
  • Many fluctuations on the scale.
  • 50+ liters of water.
  • Many friends left wondering if I was still alive due to my lack of friendship stewardship as of late.
  • A 60 second commercial, oh boy.
  • And a different sense of being in this skin.
  • Oh and the 4 kids are still alive and my 1 rockstar husband still loves me.

In the past, a 2 week period like this would have sent me into an emotional tailspin. I would lose my shit on someone (usually Dwayne) as the heaviness of managing and planning this much would have left me in an emotional cesspool of guilt, stress, control and disappointment.

I felt that monster coming on a couple of times, but was able to delegate tasks, take things off my plate to address later or *gasp* ask for help, all without martyring. Big gold star for me, for real. The juggling has been INTENSE, but I feel like I have weathered it OK.

Outside of my 6 month old giving me the hairy eyeball upon my return from 2 days away in Sun Peaks, the biggest thing I’m struggling with is trying to keep up and foster my friendships. I owe about 8 people responses or I have meant to call or text but have been rushing off to the next thing for about 25 days straighy.  So here are some of the thoughts and responses that have been jingling around in my head, in no particular order:

  • Ashley- No worries, the event went fantastically. My rockstar oil right now is Arborvitae- diffuse with a citrus and clary sage, OMG.
  • Amanda- word on the street is you are sleeping again. Thank the Lord. You must feel like a million bucks, welcome back to the land of the well-rested.
  • Mom and Dad- how’s the puppy? Is he a chewer? Any chance you will overy here for the challenge finale on the 10th?
  • Crystal- I miss you so much and you aren’t even gone yet. I cry every time I think about you. But I am so happy for you and I love you to pieces. Thank you for your love.
  • Julie- you got half a text convo with me today. I owe you a million more. Miss our banter.
  • Rory- DLR is right around the corner and I am so proud of you and what you do. I wish I could have been more of an actual helper for your event. *double chest bump/peace sign*
  • Jenn- I meant to msg you today to say that it is official our sons are clones.  Reading out loud, gah!
  • Charlie- I have a picture of a chicken I keep meaning to send you, as it made me think of you (like a week ago).
  • Nicole and Angela- we go from an intense month of a million message a day to crickets. We need a middle ground.

I’m hoping that will buy me another couple of weeks of friendship, because that is all the time I have left in this challenge. May 10 is finale time.

I’m super jazzed from this weekend in Sun Peaks as I got to know the women better and they have relit my competitive spirit.  I know I will need to stand on my head while yodeling the Latin alphabet to rank on top for voting (yeah, that shit starts again next week) and get in the last pound/inches to come close to being a contender for the top spot. But I will try and they are pretty amazing women to be competing with, some are even stuck with me for life, #sorrynotsorry.

So please continue to bear with me. It’s back to juggling flaming chainsaws around here and I hope I will still have your love when this is all done.

Created on 2016-04-22 01:39:21

Well this post feels almost anticlimactic after the previous “here are all the ways I have changed/swan song” post.  So I made Top 6!

Bangarang.

I am very excited to move on and see what the next month will bring.  Word on the street is that this round is the reward round.  I will take it.  First up, ladies weekend away.  Umm, yes please.  My days consist of toddlers trying ingenious ways to break me, and the thought of 48 hours kid free is amazing.  Not kidding – yesterday alone almost did me in. I (almost) don’t care what we do this weekend, it is kid free, that is enough.

It will be easy to forget that we are still in competition for first place.  How does one balance “drink all the drinks because drinks” and “game on Player 1″? We shall find out, no?  At the very least, we will have some great company, a few laughs and wine. We have been promised wine.

In the quest for victory, this week I have been taken to a new level of workout by my aunt. Hammer swings and rope pulls and push ups on balance boards.  And before we all pat me on the back saying how hard I am working, please note that this morning, I slept right through my 545am workout I had booked at Oxygen.  Somebody needed some sleep it seems.

Speaking of tired, can everyone please love hard on Dwayne?  He has cheerfully and supportively encouraged my participation, which means this weekend he has all the kids, all the time. Queue the mom guilt.  Hopefully winning a trip to Vegas will partially make up for it?

So my bags are packed and I am ready to go. And here is to hoping there are zero trust falls included in this weekend.

Created on 2016-04-15 17:25:42

We are 24 hours away from our Cocktail Party.  An about 26 hours away from the announcement of the Top 6 moving forward in the challenge.

I figured this would be a great time to post what is likely my penultimate post.

It was 100 days after Miller was born that I applied for this challenge.  With no idea what was involved, but the pull to do something, anything, to boost my self-care and self-love was the main reason I applied.  I had been on a bit of a journey the previous year, and  after 100 days post-partum where I had struggled and lost my vibe, I knew I needed to get back on a path that would take me to the places I felt fulfilled and confident in myself.  I wanted to get to a place where others’ opinions of me wouldn’t dictate my motives and actions, where I could surround myself with strong, positive, rawr-affirming people, where I could be comfortable in what and how I was modelling to my kids.  W hile the gym and yoga was a bonus, it was the non-physical I was most interested in.

That was 90 days ago.  I think I have made great strides in getting to that place, that feeling, that state of being.  On Saturday, after a bottle of wine and still feeling the exhaustion from our fundraising event the night before, my husband asked me what I think I had learned or how I thought I had changed.

The best I could explain was this: I have always just gone along my merry way being myself. And unless someone really had a problem with me and told me what they didn’t like about me, I didn’t get much feedback, or at least I never heard it.

What this challenge has done has surrounded me with 29 other women.  They each became a kind of mirror, being both transparent and reflecting back at me.  In those women, I saw characteristics and values that I admired and then wanted to ensure I also incorporated those into my everyday.  What I also have seen are the characteristics and ways of being that I want to avoid at all costs.  There were a few cringe-worthy moments in this process that made me take a serious mental note: “Self – do not do that. Ever.”

Being surrounded by metaphorical mirrors has been a catalyst for polishing off the good I already had in me, and being intentional about how I approach things and people, trying to ensure I don’t give off the negative vibes.  And without the women around me, I probably could have gotten to this point over time, but with them, it was faster and more fulfilling.  This, I think, has been the most profound shift in the process.

But there are more ah-ha moments along the way, and I will be less verbose in their explanation:

  • For the past 90 days I am have been constantly asking myself if this, that or the other thing serves me.  Some things do and some people don’t;
  • I am not defined by my numbers, whether pounds or inches.  My abilities and my capacity mean so much more. And to this point, it actually became a hindrance to my spot in the challenge.  At first it was obsessive tracking of macros and number of minutes spent doing X activity.  But it was during one lecture on food, that I realized that being lectured on food intake was not something that served me- and I fought the old feeling to verbally disagree, I just let it be.  I didn’t want to be confined or defined by what I could or could not eat.  That on my journey to wellness, I was going to live my life in the best and most enjoyable way I could – and yes that sometimes includes wine and butter and guacamole.  Because when you obsess about the numbers on the way down, I find you have given the numbers an unwieldy power that can be devastating when they aren’t always going in a downward trajectory. Ok moving on….;
  • I will  NOT apologize for who I am.  While I am aware of how I am perceived, I will just be.  I am competitive, it is a fact.  I have a craving for knowledge, that means I am ALWAYS going to be the one asking the questions (so many questions).  I care about those around me, so I will seek out your feels and make sure you are ok….and then I am going to ask you if need a hug.
  • I am starting to slay the FOMO-Monster.
  • I am getting reacquainted with the feel-good burn of working out hard.  It has been over 15 years since physical activity has been a regular visitor in my life.
  • I asking for all of this time for myself, I have become more aware of the time that my husband needs as well.
  • I am humbled and so moved by the number of people who wish me well and would go to great lengths to support me and my family. I am not sure what I have done to deserve it, but I am so blessed in that regard.
  • The women – I have been surrounded by some amazing women.  The challengers and the board members are a beautiful mixture of ladies that I have learned so much from and hope that some of them will let me stay in their lives.

And so on the eve of what could be my last day in this specific journey, I am thrilled with all I have gotten out of this experience.  And if you are considering joining next year, and I hope you do consider it, know that you get out what you put in.  The past 12 weeks has been a SHIT-TON of work.  It has upset the equilibrium we had established in our home, and that is not a bad thing.  There are about 10 women in my immediate circle who would gain so much by going through this process.  I look forward to finding a way to make this experience even better for the crew coming next year.

Thank you for following along with me on this journey.  You deserve a medal for reading through allllll of these posts.

Created on 2016-04-12 20:40:42

It is the morning after the night before.  My feet hurt, my neck hurts, I have yesterday-hair and day-old makeup.  I have a cup of coffee in my hand as I begin to recharge and take stock of all that happened last night.

Last night was the Ladies Night Out Fundraiser and it was an even to behold.  At the peak of the evening, I took a step back and looked around.  All around the very loud room were groups of women laughing, joking and having a great time.  I saw women around the auction table, chatting with our vendors and elbowing their way to the food.  I saw old friends who hadn’t seen each other in 10 years reunite and I saw women forge new friendships. In that moment and all through the night, I was so proud of what we three had put together.  It really felt like an event.

We were so lucky to have volunteers come help us out.  The four volunteers made the night move along well, helping the 3 of us immensely.  And then there were the family and friends who also hopped in to help where needed all through the night.

When midnight rolled around and I was finally on my way home, I realized I hadn’t eaten the whole evening.  But I didn’t forget to drink some wine.  The first wine I have had since starting the challenge back in January.  If I didn’t have to adult today, I would have enjoyed more wine until I could see no more.

When baby got up at 6am, I was so glad that I didn’t drink all the drinks.  After she went back down and before the others got up, I had a quiet moment to go through the bins of stuff that got hauled home.  By the grace of the event gods, we only have one auction bidder to follow up with, everyone’s personal items  used at the event are accounted for and we balanced our financials within 95 cents.  My insane and often anal pre-event organization (ask the ladies about the spreadsheets) really paid off both at the event and in the aftermath.  Excel for the win!

And so it is done.  I get to attend one more fundraiser and then just be a part of the Cocktail Party on Wednesday and see how this all plays out.

Time for another cup of coffee.

Created on 2016-04-09 13:22:03

So I came in third place in voting. But first place in life, baby! (That was written in cheesy font).

Thank you to the army of people who clicked and shared and pursueded on my behalf. It has made my heart swell an numerous occasions.

And now we wait.  I’m not sure if it will be enough to make it to the next round.  I lost 0 inches in the second round and so there is a zero on that 10% valued category.   I just don’t know how it will go.

I do, however, know our event TONIGHT is going to amazing. If only due to the people that will be there. So many of the women in my life will be there, supporting the event that our little team is going to KNOCK OUT OF THE PARK.

But until then, life goes on. Coffee must be consumed, I can hear the baby on the monitor, the girls are in their room colluding on how to attack my sanity. And the laundry….always the laundry.

Then I get to put my mom hat away for the evening and put my ladies night hat on.  Big lashes, fun hair, and my game face….ready to tackle any hiccup that comes our way tonight.  Our planning was meticulous  (ask our ladies about the spreadsheets) and that heavy lifting will help for a smooth event.

Come buy Nicole, Angela and I a drink tonight – a custom TMC Cocktail no less- because ladies, we worked it and we are worth it.

 

 

 

Created on 2016-04-08 12:08:57

Today I am an emotional wreck.  I am on my 4th bout of tears.  So clearly, I have to write this shit down. (Sorry, I know I swear too often for a public forum, but that is just how I do).

I don’t have the sads. I have a case of the gratitudes. The fact that people are so willing to go out of their way to help me, cheer me on, or push me forward has been the biggest revelation in this process.  That there are so many people who wish me well and say crazy things like “inspiration” or “proud” that it regularly, physically overwhelms me with emotion.  And then the tears.

Accepting that people really do want to help, and I don’t have anything to prove by doing things all by myself is one of my biggest take-aways from this experience (I promise to touch on more learnings soon).  That there are women (and men) who will be there when you really need an army, or even if you don’t, is profound.  I cry about it every time.  Solidarity. That is the word.  It was always been an emotional trigger for me, but I am usually experiencing it from afar.  When it is in your own life, it is even more beautiful.

And this is not to say things are all kumbaya right now.  Things are batshit crazy.  The event planning and prep has eaten up most of my waking hours.  My kids have made comments about how I have to go out all the time, so it is being felt by my family too.  Our small team has set a big plan, and we really want to bring our vision to fruition.  Nicole and Angela are so incredible in putting everything into this and pushing themselves, I don’t know how this event would have worked if they weren’t as committed.

And then there is the voting.

It has turned me into a full blown insane asylum candidate.  And not the, “oh my friend is so kooky” kind of crazy. It’s more like the, “we don’t let her watch our children” kind of crazy.  The kind where “she would forget to feed the children while she obsessively presses ‘Refresh’ on the voting page,” kind of crazy.

But admitting it is the first step right? We all know by now that I am competitive. Not the kind of competitive that would make me want to step on my team mates, but still UBER competitive.  So when I say I have run the scenarios to see how Top 5 is going to roll out,  I literally mean I have a weighted spreadsheet with my best guesses or knowledge of how these women will rank in each of the 6 categories.  Just stop for a second and know, I know that is crazy.  And yet, I still have the spreadsheet.

So clearly, I am invested in this challenge.  The women I have met- the shine from them that has rubbed off on me- it is all incredible.  The weight loss etc is nice. But there is so much more.  And I know this hasn’t been the best experience for all of the challengers, there are some who have stepped away and some who just want to float through until this round wraps up, and that is all OK.  There are many things that we can do to make next year even stronger, and I look forward to giving that feedback when the time is right.  Those who have lived it will be able to make this even better for next year’s crew. But I do want to continue and I am somewhere on that cusp of Top 5.  And I cannot tell you how many hours between now and the 13th that I am going to spend obsessing over it.  Whatever number you pick, it will probably be more.

The top 5 voting have been so close, that positions are switching on the regular.  My nerves are shot.

And so I breathe.  So much is out of my control and I have to let things play out as they are meant to.  Just another of the things I am working on.

Created on 2016-04-05 18:13:43

Sssshhhh. Quiet. Do you feel that? Yup, it feels like momentum.

The momentum is building hard and fast. With 5 days until our Ladies Night fundraiser, things are clicking into place. Vendors? Check. Auction items? Check. Crazy brain bleeding minute details? Double check.

We are a team of 3, doing the work of 10. I am so frigging proud of us. Friday is going to be a great evening that should do Shape Your World Society.

We promise you won’t leave without at least one nugget of fun.

Fun. We need to put that shit on everything right about now.

Now stop reading and either go get a ticket or vote. Or better yet, both.

 

 

Created on 2016-04-03 20:43:24

Growing. Learning. Hustling. Voting. Pushing. Selling. Juggling.

Stressing.

Breathing.

Carrying on.

 

 

Created on 2016-04-02 19:22:08

Hi dear voters.  Are you new here?  Welcome.  Namaste.

Last voting round I did you the service of truncating my blog into the main bullet points in case you didn’t have a spare 17 hours to binge read my entire thing.  This time, you are SOL.  I have a word count of over 12,000 here, can’t shorten that amount of verbiage (story of my life for those that know me well).

So welcome to voting.  The largest official popularity contest I have had the pleasure of being a part of.  And a small point of clarification on behalf of my vanity.  I have not gained 6 inches this round, it is a small typo that will be fixed.

Your votes will help me get through to the Top 5, just one step closer to Top 1.  This has been a varied, intense, funny, amazing, strange, and unrepeatable experience so far, and I kind of want to see how far you will take me.

I could say that I am campaigning on a platform of world peace or ending world hunger, but I am not.  I am campaigning on a platform of I am me, a little odd and a little great, so I am grovelling for your votes.  Thanks for making that enough.

Peace out.

 

Created on 2016-04-01 17:20:27

Holy Bananas.  So many things.

First – Thanks for the photo love, I have come around and moved past my initial reaction.  My hair and shoes were rockin!  It is a vibrant shot and I enjoyed being photographed.  I am really excited to see the headshot.  I am also really excited to have more photos in the coming month.

Second – I am not even sure what week this is, in terms of the challenge.  Let’s just say it is week number green.  I do know voting starts tomorrow, our fundraising events are quickly coming up and the 13th caps it off with the announcing of who keeps going in the challenge.

The army of supporters and champions of Shannon are amazing and numerous.  On many occasions I have been brought to tears, overwhelmed by the feels, because of the many people who I am blessed to have in my life.

If the awareness and appreciation for the people of my tribe- which is larger and more vocal than I ever thought possible- is the only thing I get out of this challenge, then I have done well.

I can tell you, there will be champagne consumed soon in celebration- win, lose or draw.  I hope you will join me.

ALL THE DRINKS.

Created on 2016-03-31 18:56:00

I took a look at the Langley Times site that we use to do the voting, since that is starting on Friday, and SURPRISE, all of photos from last week are up.

I went through and looked at all of them, and the ladies looked incredible.

And then I came across mine.  The thoughts that immediately went through my head were horrific.  Why does it look like my leg was photoshopped out, I look like the lamp from A Christmas Story?  Ugh, that double chin.  I should have worn a different dress. Terrible job with the hand placement. And so on…

And before anyone jumps in to compliment me, I promise, this is not a phish for compliments.  When you take a step back, and I really did, it makes you wonder about all of the underlying things that take us to that point of instant criticism of self.

Why do we (or maybe just me) do that to ourselves?  Why is there such an instant and visceral reaction to photos of ourselves?  I felt great that day when I looked in the mirror.  I feel really good right now.  So for WHY this weird reaction to a photograph?

Objectively examining my gut reaction is interesting.  I have no answers, it is just interesting.  There would be no way I could or would criticize the other challengers’ photos.  I looked through them all and they were great (other than maybe some awkward mannequin arms on some of us).  They captured these amazing women and their light.  Why did I not afford myself the same genuine appreciation?

Some things to think on, no?

Created on 2016-03-31 18:53:16

This weekend was time spent marveling at my kids; spending a good chunk of time with my family and just being was divine.  We existed in a little bubble of just each other and the sunshine.  There were as many laughs as there was sunshine, and it felt really refreshing.  I am aware of how fast time goes, and they are growing and learning and becoming these incredible little humans, and I don’t want miss it.

I spent the same time that I starred goo-goo eyed at the 4 monsters, pretty much trying to avoid any thought of the crushing weight of stuff that is coming up so very fast with this challenge.

Tickets, we need to sell many, many tickets for our fundraiser.  Our team’s tribes and peeps have been ever so supportive.  When my soon to be SIL texted to say she needed 5 tickets, I did a little happy dance. Thanks Sarah!!  That and the girlfriends hoodwinking other girlfriends to come, has given me the feelgoods, but the crushing sense of doom still is there.  Hi, Doom.

We also have to sell tickets to the Cocktail Party. I am running out of people to ask.  Flip side? I have beefed up my auction items for that event, fingers crossed it is enough, so at least my c0-challengers and their many guests will have some items to bid on at my table.

Oh, selling my self. Yes, that too. Voting starts this week.  So I need to find a balance between promoting our event, as we want to make it great and promoting myself and my voting needs, without making my entire network want to delete me (any more than they already do).  Queue the juggling of flaming chainsaws again.

But this is what it is all about, the last push to get to Top 6.  Have I mentioned that I really an gunning for Top 6?  And honey, let me assure you, Top 6 for me isn’t going to be earned on weight loss this round, so events and voting is where it is at.

So if you know 40 ladies that need a night out on April 8th, have I got a deal for you!!

 

 

Created on 2016-03-30 01:29:03

Ok, now that I have whinged and whined and commiserated with my fellow tired soldiers in battle, back to it.

Here are some wins from recent days:

  • I have survived the Chocolate Apocalypse known as Easter, relatively unscathed.
  • Danielle LaPorte is donating to our Ladies Night auction (fangirl here is stoked).
  • Our tulips are blooming and they are incredibly gorgeous.
  • Our event tickets are slowly starting to make their way into people’s hands.
  • My mental block for writing on this platform has cleared a little.
  • I think I have pulled together my auction items for the second event in April, the Little Black Dress Cocktail party on the 13th.

It is time to get my head around voting starting on Friday.  If I am going to make it into Top 6, this is the #1 most impactful way to get there.  We have put so much energy into our event, but realistically it is only worth a small portion of our total points.  Voting. Voting is where it is at. Bah, this gives me anxiety. *goes and looks at pretty tulips and rocks manically in the corner*

 

Created on 2016-03-28 12:43:17

I’m stuck.  My numbers are stuck and my ability to articulate my thoughts on here are also stuck.  And me thinks they might be related, Gov’na.

It has been almost 10 weeks since we started this journey.  And when you spend that amount of time with a person or organization, you start to see all the bits.  And like us fallible humans, not everything is all rainbows and butterflies.  This second round of the challenge is not a party.  We are planning a party and we are selling tickets to another party and needing to attend our fellow competitors parties.  But this round does not feel like a party right now.

The first round was all “Weeee, free gym and yoga.  Look at all the numbers I am dropping.  This is balance and I am awesome.”  This round feels more like “trudge, trudge, yoga, sponsor says all food is bad, sell, sell, sell some more, trudge.” 

I said coming into this challenge that not everything would be for me in this.  That I need to take the nuggets that work for and apply to me, and let the rest go.  Easier said than done. While I can’t speak for anyone else, word on the street is that I am not alone in these feelings.  I think many of us are trudging through this round. I see the heaviness on some of the ladies shoulders and I want to fix it for them. I can’t. For many reasons. But we carry on. The coordinator noted that the third round (the top 6 after April 13th) is more of a reward round for all of this trudging.  I think I would very much like that.  So just two more weeks of trudging and this round will be over in one way or another.

And don’t get me wrong, I am very much looking forward to our fundraiser.  I think it will be a great time and there will be lots of value-add for all of the stakeholders involved.  And we should raise a good chunk of funds to help next year’s Langley TMC be bigger and better.  It just feels like a million miles to go with less than 2 weeks to pull it off.  Trudge.  Our team is committed to making it a success and they have worked so hard, this is where you keep your fingers crossed that there is truth in the saying that “good things come to those who work hard.”

So Debbie Downer here needs to check her attitude a bit, I get that.  But please indulge me and let me wallow for just a wee moment.  Tomorrow I will be back to spit and vinegar and “do all the things!’  Round 3 has my name on it, although I know I have to get my shit in gear to get there.

And as we progress, I am hoping to be able to articulate some of my learnings, because there have been many.  But today, it is just UGH.

 

Created on 2016-03-27 16:25:23

I’m typing as fussy baby sleeps and snores deliciously in my arms, and the other 3 monkeys are relaxing in their PJs on the couch with me.  I haven;t had many moments to just sit an be like this lately.

In the business of Spring Break, family gatherings and event execution, I am so grateful that my husband has had the last week off work.  It has allowed me to slack on the parenting to be able to put time in for our event, while still getting to yoga and just generally staying sane. But most importantly, I am glad to have had this extra time with Dwayne this week.

The chance to cuddle a little longer together in the morning, tackling the mess that was our home, making coffee for one another, cooking and child wrangling together has been divine.  In our 10 married years, we have always put our relationship first. It is the foundation that our whole kooky life balances upon.  And sometimes that foundation can benefit from a little maintenance, a little spit and shine.  That is what this week together, just living our lives, has done.

He is my idea bouncer offer, my life complaint department, my win celebrator and my biggest supporter.  And this week together (with even a date night out to celebrate his birthday to boot) has reminded me how lucky I am and how grateful we are to have grown in tandem as we built this life.

Hot damn, I love that sexy man.

Created on 2016-03-21 14:58:16

You know what is super effective for weight loss?  Buffets. Even more effective? Two buffets.

We have had 2 seperate family events at 2 different buffets within a 24 hour time frame.  Weigh in Wednesday is going to be a party.  (That was written in sarcasm font).

But that is real life, yo.  And I did ok, I rocked  my plates o’ protein.

And while my restraint for all things carby was pretty on point at these buffets, I am eternally grateful I have not been invited to an event with an open bar, because that would be bad news bears.  Twist my rubber arm to drink myself into oblivion right about now.  I have abstained from alcohol for almost all of this competition (a couple bourbons early on), but one drink right now would be a gateway drug of epic proportions.  Not that I had a serious problem, but Mama here likes a good drink.

Clearly I need to work on healthier stress relief options.  It has been a bit hairy with planning our event.  Our event will be amazing, but we did set a bit of an ambitious plan, which has become obvious right about now.  Our team is amazing, pulling in sponsors and donations like rockstars, but I am feeling the stress of the short timelines and the amount of tickets yet to be sold.  Oh and the second event that we need to push tickets and get donations for that is only 5 days after our event. No biggie.  Ugh, the things, so many things.

I am definitely feeling less confident about my ability to make it to the next round.  Last round I felt pretty confident, I was putting up big numbers in the weight and inch loss, and I ended up doing ok in the voting.  This round?  I would feel way more confident if I knew which judge I could pay off like 90’s ice skating competition.  Which judge is France?

 

 

 

Created on 2016-03-20 18:33:05

I told my husband today that if I were working (and not on mat leave), I have no idea how I would be able to juggle this challenge. This round is KOOKY.

Getting our event up and running requires some serious horsepower and time. And I have yet been able to bend the laws of time and space to get more hours in a day.

Today we got in some yoga, with hubby and a good friend, a visit with my MIL who watched the kids while we do the yoga, a little play time, a couple of hours of work on the event and then it was time to go to.our TMC meeting. Blink and it’s over.

At the meeting my body (and a couple of others) broke logic when our measurements went up for the first time. I was down 4+ lbs this week, finally breaking my plateau, but apparently expanded I the process. They said it could be due to “shifting”. Awesome, I am shifting in an outward fashion. Totally what I signed up for. Not really. Note to self: wear tighter underwear next measure.

And speaking of underwear, I was so excited that I actually have pulled my life together enough to actually wear matching panties and bra….at the same time. Big day. I even showed all the ladies at our meeting.  Modesty isn’t one of my dominant qualities if you hadn’t picked up on that yet. And by now this amazing group of ladies has gotten to know the real, loud, always with a question, competitive me, so really they had it coming.

So here I sit in my new red lipstick (obtained at the meeting today) and matching underwear set sending my love and quirkiness out to you all.

And if you haven’t heard the word, our fundraising event is a Ladies Night at Newlands on Fri April 8th. We want to give the ladies in our life a snapshot of all the perks and benefits contestants get as part of the challenge with some mini pampering and self-care help and fabulous raffles of wine and other treasures.  And in return we want to empty your wallet for a good cause and think about being a part of this next year.  Find us on FB to see the deets.  Bring your sister and mom and girlfriends.  *plug over*

Created on 2016-03-17 02:02:44

Back again as I just figured out how to explain how yoga can be as a big person.

Regular sized folks: please imagine putting a rubber sledding tube around your waist and put on a pair of blow up water wings. Then do all the bends.

You can be as flexible as all get out, but some things are just a lot harder when you are so well insulated.

By no means is this a complaint, I just want to give those non yoga folks or regular sized yogaers an idea of what it feels like to do yoga in this body.

Created on 2016-03-12 18:28:55

It is Saturday afternoon. I’m relaxing in my living room with the windows open, diffusing the most amazing smell oil blend, enjoying a period of quiet while my 3 girls are napping and my son is sharpening his Minecraft skills upstairs.  All is well in the world for this moment.

Well as long as you ignore the muddy floors from the dogs after being in our mud pit yard or the forlorn basket of clean laundry on the coffee table or the kitchen which needs some serious cleaning or the diaper genie tube of poop at the front door hasn’t yet made it to the garbage can outside. I haven’t had a shower since yeterday morning; I had hot yoga last night, and was puked on more than once this morning, so I smell fantastic. But it is all OK. I’m not stressing it. Maybe I’m not stressing it a little too much?

Doing it all is impossible. I’m not sure if it means lowering your expectations or this what “balance” is supposed to look like? If so, balance is kind of messy and my expectation bar is low.

I was able to get yoga in last night, but it meant skipping family movie night.  I was able to start tackling the guts of our business plan this morning, but that meant slapping on Netflix and calling it “childcare”.

A little side story about yoga last night- we had a substitute instructor who normally does the mutant yoga in the mornings. And she took us through a deep stretch practice and by some witchcraft I was not only able to rock a bunch of level 2 poses, I even hit some level rockstar poses – Wheel, Bow, and Tiger. Now I am sure for the regular sized yoga folks that isn’t a big deal,  but for this rubanesque yoga newbie is was a big flipping deal. I whoo-hooed in my head more than once last night. It felt great.

OK back to balance. I’m pretty sure it has become the most clichéd buzzword/level of attainment since “happiness”.  It’s the kind of concept that will drive you to drink if you let it. All I know is that you can’t do everything, it just isn’t possible. But do what you can, the best you can and be OK with how it plays out. I’m working on this, I know my fellow contestants are working on this. It is hard work.

With that said I have to go tame the laundry monster before it takes over.

Created on 2016-03-12 18:12:39

Event Planning. Ugh. It is a gift and a skill and an art. 2 days into event planning for our fundraiser and I am reminded why I stayed away from event planning in my non profit career. Details. So. Many. Details.

I am a big picture thinker, I like to sit and vision and then let things simmer and percolate until the vision becomes more vibrant. Ain’t nobody got time for that. We have a month. Decisions need to be made asap. And we have to do decision making that gives space to all the members on the team. I’m the “does not play well with others” kind of leader most often sometimes, so I am pushing myself to be better.

I can just see my coworkers and husband laughing at me as I try to keep up with my stellar team. Questions, suggestions, options, opinions, what abouts. So many balls in the air. All while keeping the kids alive here at home.  I don’t juggle all that well at times. My brain imploded by the end of the day. Note to self – go into event planning hydrated and with a full night sleep. Oops.

So after a great sleep, rescheduling of my wishful thinking morning yoga class and a good dose of cold meds, a pep talk from one of my teammates, I’ve got this.  My team has got this.

Organize and mobilize. After a day of headless chickening,  I can breathe better and know I’m less likely to have a brain hemmorage now that we have a framework, some options and a little familiar methodology. Prospect list you say? It’s like music to my ears (I’m a Major Gifts Fundraiser by trade, and while events is sooooo different, there are some familiarities that give me a little comfort, like Prospect Lists).

So as our group continues on, we will put together a great event that we can be proud of and that will have raised a whole schwack of money- because at the core of it, that is the task. And the money is going back to Shape Your World Society so that more women in my/our community will have this opportunity next year. That’s exciting for me. Come be excited with me.

So if you have been quietly lurking on the blog, following along, step out of the shadows and let me know. Come join us, engage with our group and help us put on a smokin’ great fundraiser. Auction items, connections, attendance, manual labour, moral support are all welcome. Maybe we have never spoken before, maybe we haven’t spoken since high school, it doesn’t matter, the more hands the lighter the work and the more funds raised and more women being transformed and strengthening of our whole village. You can find me on Facebook, shoot me a message.

 

Created on 2016-03-11 16:37:04

Weigh in Wednesday. I actually moaned to myself earlier today that it wasn’t fair that I couldn’t weigh in naked, because my results would be better. Yeah, yeah, we say the numbers don’t matter, but they do. When you are trying to get somewhere new, those quantitative landmarks are necessary and encouraging.

And by some shift in the Earth’s gravitational field, I was down again this week. Not a lot, but in the right direction.  And many of the ladies who came in not expecting positive results, also had surprise losses, so that brought the energy up.

Also on the menu tonight was team picking for our fundraising challenge for round 2. And by some crazy way, I came in second place in Round 1. How the what? Ummm, thank you. In my mental calculations of my possible outcome based on points, there was no way I was placing that high.

This placement gave me the honour of being 1 of 3 captains in Dodgeball style team selection. My research had suggested this was how it was going to go down, and I had already had a plan on who and how I was going to select if I ended up in that spot.  Not going to lie, there had been some backroom wheeling and dealing already. But when the school yard rules were announced I saw some of the ladies’ faces drop and there was an audible groan. Memories of school disappointments, being picked last or not being with the cool kids you so desperately wanted to be on the inside with, flooded through more than half of us.  I knew then that my strategy, for at least my first pick, was to make someone feel good, to show them they were valued and desired as a teammate. And it turns out putting kindness first (which isn’t always my first instinct) meant I didn’t have to settle at all- I could be kind AND put together a competative team.  What a great team we have put together: Angela, Darci, Melanie and Nicole. There will be swearing, mocking, eye rolls and lots of laughs. Already there were inside jokes as we got to know one another, that made us giggle like disruptive children for the remainder of the evening. And there will be a good dose of gettin’ ‘er done. It was EMPOWERING to say the least. ;)

So stay tuned as we hammer out what our fundraising event will look like and I hope you will find a way to support it or at least support our team.

And thank you for all the support to date.

Created on 2016-03-10 02:31:57

Blerg.  Only one day into Operation Yoga All The Days and I’ve hit a speedbump.

Its like the cosmos are saying, “Simmer down, cowboy. Stop ‘all the thinging’. Try moderation, see how that feels.”

Me: But I like all the things, all the time. Until it gets to the point where I like none of the things ever again.  Everything. And go! It’s a race.

Cosmos: Moderation.

Me: How about 2-a-days? Wheee. All the hot yoga for all the points.

Cosmos: Modera-

Me: All the things.

Cosmos: Fine. Here is a cold, you dumbass. Simmer down while I suck all the recently regained energy from you.

Me: *cancels tomorrow’s 545am yoga, while waiting for the Nyquil to kick in, while lying in a hot bath with every anti-inflammatory essential oil in the collection, because clearly Monday 2-a-days might be a bit much*

Me: So…moderation?

Created on 2016-03-08 01:52:40

Yesterday’s Amazing Race was kind of dull.

Yeah, kidding. It was so fun, running around the city riding an inflatable T-Rex with 3 other lady-friends that I admire.  We didn’t win, and that was more than OK.  The looks on people’s faces was so worth not winning. You can’t help but laugh when you see 3 or 4 dinosaurs running down the street.

Luckily I made it through to the Top 15 and with the Top Blogger award to boot. (Umm Hi to everyone, I’ve been surprised by the number of folks -friends and strangers- who have been following along here on this wordy forum).  I am 17 kinds of grateful and excited for the next round.  I really do hope I will place high enough to be a Team Captain, but I promise to be a good team player even if I am not (cross my heart and hope to die). Unless my team captain has a dumb idea, then all bets are off.  Again, kidding.

But after yesterday’s magical day with friends, costumes and prizes, today was NOT all rainbows and butterflies.

Today was waking up on the wrong side of the bed. It was fussy babies who didn’t sleep all day and were miserable for it.  It was hacksawing through an old drain pipe to rescue the car keys that one of your toddlers dropped down there. It was knowing that the spare key was also down said pipe and has yet to be rescued. It was a eat all the snacks in the house, instead of drinking enough water kind of day. A MOAR COFFEE kind of day.

It was just a long, rough for no particular reason kind of day. And in the domestic mayhem, there wasn’t space for me to work out or even have a 30 minutes to myself where I could recharge kid or responsibility free.  And I actually felt a little resentful and had a good pout. I had to check the feeling, knowing I have spent a significant amount of me-time with my family time being sacrificed. So I had to suck it up and be present to just get our clan through the day on one piece.

So this grumpalump here will drink a gallon of water in the remaining hours before bed and focus on manifesting a better day tomorrow.

I know the competition just got a little stiffer in this round, so I don’t have time to be mucking about. Game face on.

Created on 2016-03-06 23:24:56

RAWR.  Getting ready to RAWR tomorrow at our Amazing Race.  And keeping my T-Rex toes crossed that I make it to the next round.  I am having a great time and am not ready for it to end.  However, if it does end tomorrow, I am so grateful for all that I have gained in the last 6 weeks.

Created on 2016-03-04 17:49:10

FIELD TRIPS! This week we got to go on a couple of field trips after the weigh/measure extravaganza.

First, Nature’s Fare for all that is healthy. Yum. And second, Shoppers Drug Mart for some additional makeup tips.  I got to be the model for the “dramatic look” and was game for anything. I got to sit in front of the group as they walked everyone through the process. And we all know by now that Mama here loves an audience. :)  They kept the look just this side of drag, but I really was hoping for some fake eyelashes. Oh well, next time.

The look, with all Dior makeup, was intense. I wish I had pre-coordinated drinks out with the ladies, it would have been fun and done the 3 pounds of expensive makeup the justice it deserved. But instead I went home, had a tiny bourbon and ate some sausages in my flannels. And no, that isn’t a euphemism. I ate the leftover sausages from dinner.

It has been great to get to know these women. And I really hope I can stick around for phase 2 and do more of this friend making/self improving stuff. And the shrinkage isn’t a kick in the teeth either…down another 4 inches this week.

Carry onwards my friends.

 

 

Created on 2016-03-03 02:15:16

I love to write.  I don’t have a skill set for fiction or music; I just love getting the junk out of my head and forming it into a sometimes pithy, maybe humorous form.  I was writing on my personal blog for a while, semi-regularly for a year or so.  It wasn’t a widely read endeavor, just followed by family and friends mostly. Then I got too busy, too overwhelmed and stopped.

This challenge has done many things for me so far, including getting me writing regularly again.  And more than that, it has made me so hyper aware of all the good shit going down in my life on a daily basis.

I look back to 8 months ago when in the last trimester of my pregnancy, everything was going awry.  I had been on sick leave with a complicated pregnancy, our house felt like it was the only house in the province that hadn’t sold in the hot real estate market, friendships had been severred with the ease of a rusty steak knife through metal, and it just felt like too much.  I look back now and laugh a little, because a month after I thought I was at my limit, we had to live in a hotel for 2 weeks after the big windstorm when three 100 foot trees fell on our house- super fun at 38 weeks pregnant with 3 kids (not really).  The limits of chaos just keep expanding.

I remember how raw I felt on that one day it was just too much, I wrote about it and that helped a little. You can read it here: http://avoidingthetrainwreck.com/2015/07/17/life-by-a-million-paper-cuts/ 

I hated feeling that raw, overwhelmed and frankly a little alone.  It was from then on that I really started to look around me at the friendships and relationships I had and the ones that I needed to cultivate.  I looked at what was important to me, what values and strengths I had and how to polish them up and make them better.  It was then I started being consciously OK with who I was and OK with the bits that needed work.

I think if I hadn’t started that work then, I would not have been ready to tackle this challenge, be open to what it could bring or be ready to really appreciate the amazing women it has brought to my life.

And extra bonus for providing the catalyst to write again.  Even if it is just the insane musings of a odd duck like myself.

 

Created on 2016-03-02 00:36:53

OK,  crazy person confession time. I am competitive. Like stupid competitive.  And on things big and small. It’s like I was born with a chip on my shoulder, ready to show the world that THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE.

It doesn’t bode well for friend making or keeping (that is a whole seris of posts for another place and time). But even when I try to explain that I compete with you because I admire X quality about you and I want to emulate and push myself to be the best at X, it still comes off as assholish at times.  Does it count that at least I am aware of it?

It can be on things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Example- in our weekly meeting, those who had completed a small task of posting how much water you drank daily for a week were rewarded with a water bottle. I have a water bottle, many actually.  I had completed the task, but when I was left off the list of those who completed the task, I couldn’t stop it, I had a monetary mental argument with myself, but my reptilian competitive brain won. “But what about me? I did it too.” I immediately regretted it. I got my pity water bottle, accompanied the the self rebuke and inner backtracking.

So skip to this larger part of this competition. My rational brain brain has no chance against my must-win-to-be-validated brain.  Rawrrr- best costume, I want it. Most money raised- need it. Most poundage- gimme gimme. And votes? MUST. GET. THE. VOTES.

Crazy lady here had an eye appointment to follow up on the kooky eye shingles incident. “Um, can I have your WiFi password?” Vote 10x. Then I sat in the mall where my optemetrist is, and scoured the WiFi signals for all the open and available signals to vote. Toys R Us. Tim Hortons. And HP Laser Printer 74.

Mixing someone with an addictive personality with an irrationally competitive one = no bueno. And still I don’t really want to “beat” these amazing women I am in the competition challenge, I just want to be as great at it as they are, because I look around and these women are killing it in all areas- weightloss,  insights, life balance, self-awareness. I want to be like them when I grow up.

So after all that, who wants to play Scrabble?

 

 

Created on 2016-02-29 17:52:44

Days in our home are loooong. Sometimes very loooooong.

Some of those days are mitigated by salads and the gym.

And some days, life is sponsored by rib eye steaks and bourbon.

Cheers.

Created on 2016-02-27 20:45:39

Voting continues and our little voting system is having a psychotic breakdown. And that in turn is driving the ladies and our supporters to drink.

I humbly thank those going out of your way to register, use data or switch devices to vote. Even if you didn’t vote for me. I get that we have been asking you to go out of your way to vote. So thank you.  Fingers crossed it gets easier on Monday.

Now back to regular programming. Last night, for the first time in a month, I got to just sit and be with my husband. I’ve missed our time together as of late and it was so nice to put on an interesting show,  cuddle up and just be. It has been this time that has been most sacrificed with activities from the challenge. And we are both finally well after the hurricane of disease that swept through this house.

Things are looking up.

Created on 2016-02-27 12:48:39

Oh man, voting starts today. I see that below my photo are my stats. I’m not gonna lie, I worked hard for those numbers. I think I’m 2nd in our group for both most weight AND most inches. Not that this is a competition, wait, it is a little bit. But know, this whole group has worked so hard to get to the end of the first leg.

I don’t hate the before photo anymore. I keep reminding myself to be kind as I was only 3.5 months post partum. That body had a full human in it less than 125 days prior.

I realize that maybe you haven’t been reading my blog posts regularly or you don’t even know who I am, someone just was strong arming you into voting for me. Sorry and thank you. And if you started to read, you may notice I have been a pretty prolific blogger and I offer you the service of shorthanding my posts . Here is my blog in pointform, because TL;DR:

  • Starting this competition. Scared.
  • Didn’t poop while doing mutant yoga on a detox/cleanse. Hooray.
  • Anxiety about first meeting with our 30 ladies.
  • Lost 7+ lbs first week. Impressed by fellow lady-beasts.
  • Roar. 545am mutant yoga. Still going.
  • Life is messy. Learning to let go when out in the world with our brood of 4 kids. Vomit and puddles.
  • Attempted murder via donuts.
  • You are a warrior.
  • I am a warrior. Down 13+ inches and 10+ lbs.
  • Flu, flu,worrying about what others think of me, existential crisis, date night, flu.
  • Pants.
  • Nope, not flu. Pneumonia.
  • Feely feels weekend. Tears. Group hugs. I don’t do trust falls.
  • Shingles. My body hates me. Miss exercise. Boo urns.
  • Personal growth. Seeing myself through the eyes of my cheerleaders not haters.
  • Divorce. Subconscious splitting up.
  • Thank you village for your support.

And now that I saved you six hours of reading, please vote for me. A lot. Like 10 times a day. Seriously.  OK if you have to put some votes in for my fellow challengers, that’s legit, they have earned it. But maybe just a couple extra for me?

Do it for the children.

Created on 2016-02-26 10:45:09

Voting starts tomorrow. The voting is the most heavily weighted component that will take our group from 27 down to 15.  And while there is an opportunity to continue in hopes of being a wildcard later, it does feel strange knowing the group will be cut in half. We are all wishing to end up on the “you are safe” side.

We had a weigh/measure at our meeting last night. Picture 27 women taking off as much clothing as publicly acceptable, standing awkwardly in a line waiting for the one scale and another line to be measured up.

It was amazing (I know I use that word a lot) to see how much our bodies have changed in 5 weeks! On the blog here you see the before picture as the constant representation, but when you see the women each week the lightness isn’t just the the pounds and inches lost. The energy has lightened as we have gotten to know each other and embraced a little more confidence and self acceptance. (OK,  let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbaya now, geesh).

On another note, I am SUPER EXCITED for the Amazing Race on the 5th. My team (Team T-rex) consists of 3 girlfriends who I admire for many reasons, but their resilience tops the list. So they are all game to dress up and take Langley by storm. While I know this is a family friendly event, my competitive spirit turns on and then I get the “must win” tunnel vision, kids would just slow me down. Just being honest. So kick ass costumes are in the mail, to accompany my kick ass team.

I’ve been buoyed by the support of my village. The folks who have pledged me- family, close friends and friends from childhood- have really surprised and humbled me, thank you. And the number folks who are ready to vote their brains out starting tomorrow is awesome. And although there isn’t a feedback mechanism on this blog, I’ve been surprised by the folks who have been regular readers, thank you as well.  And if by the off chance you have a group, following or are owed favours by thousands of people, maybe you can convince, demand or arm wrestle them into voting for me.

I am really hoping to make it to the next round. I’m almost back to full health and ready to kick up a notch again.

Thanks for being you. So as my 2 year daughter says, “You are so beautiful. You are perfect. You are my best friend.”

 

 

 

Created on 2016-02-25 13:20:06

For the last month or so, I have been dreaming about divorce.

Not fantasizing, but nightmaring, about my husband divorcing me. It’s become a thing. And I should clarify, I think he and I are good; we have always been in step, he supports the shit out of me, he gets me, he is the best father out there and we have always focused on keeping in sync as a team. And still, in my dreams he has been leaving me on a now frequent and regular basis. I hate these dreams.

After another one last night, that I actually woke from, I finally spent some time looking up some potential dream meanings. What is up in my subconscious?

WELL….if we look beyond the obvious that I fear my husband leaving (knock on wood, spin 3 times and spit that it won’t happen), I came across some info that resonated so very deeply.  Here is a quote from one article:

 

Divorce can also symbolize the separation of yourself from another aspect of yourself. This kind of dream usually comes about when a person has a particularly sensitive revelation that will change their lives or their outlook on life. If you have a dream in which you go through a divorce this could just mean that you have gone through a life altering change and are trying to work through this new vision of yourself that has resulted from this change. So basically, don’t panic too hard, because this is not a terrible revelation about your future.

These little changes here and there that have come from being a part of this challenge are going deep. Really deep. And they are being layered on top of the exploratory and validating self work I have been doing for the last 6 months. My subconscious must be exhausted!!

I am literally divorcing parts of myself as I “work through this new vision of…” myself.

Umm, yep.

So this small revelation has both relieved me of some marital fear but also struck me that the self work is paying off.

Maybe a couple counseling session would be good, just for insurance. ;)

Created on 2016-02-24 17:06:36

I think the personal growth seminar this past weekend is still percolating.  I’ve had a bunch of little moments the past couple of days where I have caught myself and switched an old behavior and tried on a new one just to see how it fit. And it’s hard being aware enough and I know there are more opportunities to switch behaviors and attitudes that fly over my head unnoticed (can’t win ‘em all).  But where I can, I will try some new approaches.

What will happen if I relax a little at dinner time? Oh, what a pleasant dinner we had.

Remember to praise my son for the good things I notice instead of pointing out what he did wrong. Oh, he stood a little taller.

Maybe interact with the people you admire or are intrigued by, instead of holding back in intimidation? Oh, look a growing circle.

When a friend texts that they aren’t well and you launch into how sick you have been, apologize ASAP for making it about you. Oh look, you can be be sympathetic and identify with someone without appearing to one-up them.

And I am not sure what specific exercises from this weekend brought these out, other than being more aware in the moment and bringing my actions into the conscious.

We are all works in progress and I really do dig the person I am AND the person I want to be. So I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater and pitch out all of me. But being conscious of one’s assholery can’t hurt.

 

Created on 2016-02-23 11:44:35

Pneumonia and now Shingles. For real. In the same week.  My eye was a little rough this weekend, thinking it was just a cold sore. But this morning? BOOM- swollen  shut. Hot.

For my next trick….POLIO.

It’s not the end of the world and nothing is owed to me, but when is enough? I worry about my baby, she isn’t vaxxed up yet being only 4 months old.

And I’m frustrated it will put me further back in the challenge. I really enjoyed yoga, but it will be a bit until I am a bit more healed.  So for the weight loss, it will be diet alone for a bit.  It’s the way it is, not much else I can do about it.

The upside? A pirate patch. I watched my hubby stifle a full belly laugh after I put it on. Now I am going to own it.

We just finished our Real Me seminar this weekend. Goodness, the feels and the tears. And I have my own eulogy pre-written, so bonus.

What I really came out of there with was that I have spent a good amount of work really gaining self-awareness. And my weirdness is OK. And the things I value in myself aren’t new, I just needed a refresh.

I had been stuck for a while seeing myself through the eyes of people who don’t want to spend time or friendship on me. That was dumb. I am better served seeing myself through the eyes of the people who fiercely love me, inspire me and build me up. And I got that in spades this weekend.

There were women who got so much more out of this weekend and I am so glad for them. It was amazing to watch.  Some found their purpose, some forgave deep pains and others saw themselves for the first time in years. It was touched the core to be a part of that.

And yes the 2 days were filled with all of the things that make me cringe. High fives, group hugs and group singing. But I did it all in earnestness.

And thanks the stars…no trust falls.

Created on 2016-02-21 16:31:07

We are 2.5 hours out of the official start of the Real Me seminar.  The pamphlet says “An intense 12 Hour journey”.  I am pretty sure that there are a bunch of us, myself entirely included, ready to poop their pants in fear/nervousness/righteous indignation about the thought of opening up the feely bits and looking inside.

My body  hates me right now and it giving me unsubtle signs any chance it gets, so by letting the inside feely bits get poked around in too, I expect to be nothing more than a puddle of chromosomes after this 12 hour journey.  It won’t be hot for planned date night on Sunday.

But I promised to be open.  And I will be.  I am going to work so hard at reframing pretty much every initial negative instinct. I am a judgy judgerson, and I can be very critical of facilitators. I admit it, I don’t have a rational reason for it, but I admit it.  I am working on it.

So free your mind and the rest will follow.  (Name that tune).

 

 

Created on 2016-02-19 18:46:58

So it turns out the flu I have been talking about left a while back. What came in its place and bothering me was pneumonia.

I was busy, busy, busy at Deep Stretch yoga on Monday night, visiting with some of our ladies, came home to a small flood in the basement, but I felt GOOD, thinking it was just taking me a whIle to get back to 100%.

Tuesday am around 10 I started to feel BAD, really really bad. I had to call my husband home from work as I couldn’t extracate myself from bed as I was freezing and shivering and pain all over and it hurt to breathe. I’m tough, but this was something else. So after calling 811 for a nurse’s advice, it was time for 911 – ambulance. I was worried I was having a heart attack.

By the time I got to the hospital my fever was so high I felt like I was going to pass out. A bunch of tests and some IV saline and drugs and it turns out I have pneumonia.  I was glad for a diagnosis, but by the ride home from the hospital I was back in tears in pain (every joint was screaming and my left side hurt to breathe) because the hospital drugs had worn off.

Hubby to the rescue- Tylenol, Advil, Extra strength cold and flu and antibiotics were all in me by 8pm. He even made a trip to KFC for some chicken- I hadn’t eaten all day and it still fit into my macros, judge away.

So I will miss the weigh in and meeting tonight, but have the OK to do the seminar this weekend as I will have had 4 days of antibiotics by then.

The doc had said it may be 2-3 weeks until I feel 100% again, and I was thinking “how about 2-3 days?” I don’t do resting well as there is so much happening in a family of 6 heartbeats that resting, napping or taking this time feels incredibly selfish.

I have been trying to up my self-care for months, it is what brought me to this challenge. I just struggle with the idea that doing nothing is the best thing for me. Who has time or patience to do nothing?

My brain does know that if I don’t care for myself now, it will only get worse for me and in turn my family.

Signing off now, I have a date with my pillow, it is time to sleep.

Created on 2016-02-17 18:29:30

This week is a rough week for me. The flu just won’t leave our home and we are dragging our butts and the “YAY DIET AND EXERCISE FOREVER” honeymoon is getting a little old. I’ve been replacing my arse-kicking yoga classes with stretch ones as it is all I have the health and energy for right now. I’m hoping Wednesday to be back.

This week is the 5 year anniversary of my mother’s death. It’s a tough one. I did her palliative care for her last month as it was important to her that she died at home. But that was hard, for her, for our family, for our village, for me. So I am feeling extra raw this week.

And this is the week of the Real Me seminar. I am FAH-REAK-KING OUT. I can be vulnerable, I am a highly emotive person. I just am deathly allergic to public vulnerability, you know the “please have your emotional breakthrough on demand in fron of all thsee people” kind of things. So here comes the growth part,  whether I want it or not. And I am a serious ugly crier.

I signed up for this gig fully aware and I have committed to doing everything and being open. I’m just in need of a little pre-kumbaya tantrum. In my chat with Life Coach, Heather Reider  (who nailed my control issues in about 37 seconds btw), she gave me some tips and tools to utilize going into the workshop. So I will actively be working on being present and being open to the process that I hAve zero con troll over. (It’s almost painful to write as that is not my general MO).

In chatting with our ladies, it seems I am not the only one who is apprehensive and may have good company while sobbing through my breakdown breakthrough in the corner.

Kumbaya.

P.S. I don’t do trust falls.

Created on 2016-02-15 18:41:30

The word of the day is PANTS. Like real pants, with zippers, buttons and *gasp* pockets.

Outside of a small 2 week period after Miller was born in October, before the birth control of doom started, I haven’t really worn real pants for almost a year.

I have lived in maternity pants and leggings. And don’t forget maternity leggings.  The stretch and elasticity, while comforting, does not communicate “adult” is says “this is all I can manage; I cannot be trusted with the responsibility of adulting, with zippers and buttons and things”.

OK,  maybe that’s a little hyperbolic, but seriously, I am super excited to be wearing (and appropriately fitting into) a pair of jeans. Real pants. I’m wearing them with pride today. 3 weeks of work and the shrinkage is starting to show.

Next up…real bras. After pregnancy, nursing bras and the such, I have lived in the comfort of the less than attractive sports bra…same rationale as above.

One step at a time.

 

 

Created on 2016-02-13 16:51:27

Welcome to Win Some, Lose Some Wednesday.

My win was another week of slaying it to be down another 5+ pounds. For a 3 week running total of 16.7 pounds. It helps reinforce that my way of eating and being in a steady state of ketosis really does work for me. I feel great and I have a steady stream of fuel (no shortage of fat fuel here).  It may not be right for everyone, in fact I believe I am the only keto contestant in the challenge, but it is a happy hot damn for me.

Hoorays, parades and medal for my 6% shrinkage. But at what cost, you ask? The cracks are starting to show in the veil of I can do it all-ness. Making this the Season of Me, means balls are going to drop. The first was tonight.

My 7 year old son’s Valentine’s Day cards for school. Oops. For some reason they are doing them tomorrow. And we didn’t get around to buying any or doing them. I tried to grab some at the store on my way home from the weigh in, but there were none to be had. And I just didn’t have it in me to drive anywhere else at 10 pm on a Wednesday night.

So I jerry-rigged it. I addressed and signed on behalf of my son, 20 of my good thank you envelopes. Inside each was stuffed nothing but a leftover Halloween candy. I made extra sure to leave out any chocolate eyes or gummy fangs. And to seal the not at all flat envelopes, I jacked my toddlers’ Paw Patrol stickers and haphazardly stuck down the flaps.  Really classy.

It shouldn’t matter, stuff like what kind of Valentine’s are given out in grade 2, but it matters to my son to give his friends something. And while I am putting myself first in many areas, I couldn’t just leave that ball completely dropped.

Trick or treat my friends!

 

Created on 2016-02-11 02:06:52

It feels like a million years since I have written; it is amazing how much can happen in the space of a week.

The sick is slowing starting to leave our home, everyone except my husband managed to find some germ to cling to for a while.  Last night was the first night in a week that everyone slept all the way through, including my rockstar baby.

I found myself really needing to get to yoga when I was sick, I needed the heat and the stretching and to connect with the strength in my body that I wasn’t feeling in my sickness.  I was able to get to 2 deep stretch and a happy hips class. It was lovely, although in some positions my extra fat nearly choked me, us rotund women literally have some extra hurdles in the bending department.  Whale’s tale? Not with these thighs.  Reverse cross? Nearly choked myself with my breasts and giant upper arms. But I can rock a pigeon asana.  I am hoping that soon my twice c-sectioned abdomen will get its ass in gear and find a little core strength.

As with most of the other challengers, if you are following along with them as well, one of the biggest challenges is being OK with making time for ourselves.  Because it almost always means it is time that is being taken away from time spent with or on someone else in my family.  My husband is really taking on more (and he is already the most amazing, hardworking man and partner one could EVER ask for) so I can spend this time and do this work.

We talked about going out for Valentine’s Day…but 4 kids? Who in the right mind would sign on for taking our 4 kids for a night?  We hadn’t even even bothered to ask anyone close to us, knowing it was such a big thing to ask of someone.  I have a hard time asking people for help, my alpha-ness wants to conquer everything and show everyone how strong and capable I am.  I have written about it in the past as well, a reoccuring theme you may say: http://avoidingthetrainwreck.com/2015/09/09/miss-independents-struggle/

But more than anything I wanted to show my husband how grateful I was for his support. So I sucked it up and asked my in-laws if they would watch the kids for a night so we could go out…alone…just us.  And of course they said yes.  So we managed to get a late seating reso at our favourite restaurant, we got 2 of the 4 kids in bed before Grandma and Grandpa even arrived.  And we had a lovely night out.  And we didn’t stray too far from our way of eating (low carb), we hit the indulgent proteins hard – oysters, caviar and bison tartare and had cauli and broccoli as our veg.  And my one bourbon was so entirely worth it.

Hubby and I celebrate 10 years of marriage this year and consciously focusing and cultivating our relationship has always been a high priority. Of course that becomes harder as you add more kids, but we always had the evenings for us.  And that is the time that I have really been spending on the challenge, so in the reduced time we have together each week, it is these moments of connection mean so much.

Created on 2016-02-10 11:59:50

I am feeling a bit sorry for myself this morning. I have managed to share the germy germs with my gross kids and snagged a chest cold.

I had to skip my Total Body class at Oxygen as I am sure it would have killed me a little bit. It isn’t for the feint of heart, let alone lungs.

And then my brain does what it does best. Spiral on the tiniest thing. I feel bad because I don’t feel well and then I worry what everyone else thinks (really, like anyone really worries that much). What if the yoga instructor notices my absence and thinks I quit? What if the other class participants think I was too weak? What if the other TMC contestants think I’m a wuss?

While all illogical trains of thought, it is where my brain goes. The level of self doubt can run deep on the smallest things. I hate being sick because I hate appearing weak. It’s a long running trait. It’s a bloody chest cold woman, give your head a shake.

Part of me can care less what others think about me, but there is a big part that worries. It worries hard.

You know that saying…”it’s none of your business what other people think of you”? I hate it. I want to know, I need to know. And in absence of that knowledge, I make it up, I assume, I worry.

And so letting go of fictionalized opinions of my chest cold…or any other thing about me….in the minds of others, is clearly another thing for me to work on.

Man, this process it bringing out all the bits. You will find me in the corner wallowing over my cold wondering what you think.  But only for a bit.

Tomorrow, I will pick myself up and continue living out loud, without concern of what anyone thinks.

 

Created on 2016-02-05 13:59:14

I’m enjoying a morning with my girls who are under the weather. So it is a lot of snuggles and playig the neverending guessing game to find a food they will eat as they don’t eat much when sick.

I really enjoyed getting to know some of the ladies a bit more in class last night. I can tell there are some kindred spirits in the room and again,  I left inspired by the other women and their progress.

I was also super stoked to see that after weigh in and measure that in 2 weeks I am down 10.5lbs and 13.5 inches. I’m walking around like a proud peacock with that little tidbit.

The body analysis portion was fascinating as well. While my body shape most closley resembles that of the Michelin Man, underneith I’ve always known I was muscley  (or at least hoped so to use it as a way to excuse a way a portion of my weight) but apparently I have almost 145lbs of lean muscle mass and my bones are super strong. Those were about the only 2 positives from the analysis. But I like focusing on the strengths, so that is where I will keep my attention.

Knowing I have so much muscle (albeit currently weak and wobbly) helps me better frame what a goal weight can be for me. And it will help me feed my body an appropriate amount of protein to keep that muscle. And now I just have to get them strong.  Because after yesterday’s workout about 142.7lbs of that muscle are screaming in protest and soreness.

I hope maybe soon I can convince someone to come to the 545am ass kicking sessions with me on Wed and Fri. Any takers?

 

Created on 2016-02-04 11:59:39

“You are a warrior.”

I have said this to myself countless times in the last 2 weeks. It is the mantra that is getting me through each workout, it is what is pushing me further.

I am not the brightest bulb, so I have always been able to outwit and convince myself I was working hard….when I wasn’t.  Pushing through the mental barriers I have littered myself with over the years, like landmines of “I can’t” and “that’s not for us”, is one of the biggest things I can achieve in this TMC process.

My warrior mode is engaged fully in my workouts.  And I have been working hard…every class has been an ass-kicking beyond my fitness level.  I am always the biggest and weakest person in the studio.  But I am there…at 5:30am ready to push. I chant “you are a warrior” to myself, while trying to ignore that cynical part of me rolling her eyes at the cheesyness. But as I said, I can easily convince myself.  So before and especially during I coax out my inner warrior, doing a couple of more reps or doing 3 more minutes of cardio or lifting those weights just a little higher.

I breathe it out loud, I grunt it through my grit teeth as I push. “You are a warrior”.

I am battle worn and I have seen some things on the battle field that can’t be unseen, but I bravely push on. (I’ve probably watched too much GoT and Last Kingdom). But basically my little brain gets out of the way and let’s my body push on.

This body is what I have. I haven’t always been kind to it. And I don’t know how long I will have it in relatively working order. So now is the time to get strong, in order to keep it around for longer.

Tonight this mess of a warrior’s body gets weighed and measured.  I think I am looking forward to it. I had great success the first week, but it was mostly that first dump of water weight after dropping the carbs. This week will be a better reflection of cause and effect.

Battle on.

Created on 2016-02-03 11:07:49

I defeated the donuts. Just in case you needed closure on that.

Created on 2016-02-02 23:54:04

People love with food, I get that. I love on my people with food all the time.

But donuts? Really? You are killing me.

Our landlords came over with a giant box of donuts. While thoughtful, it is going to test me all day. They will sit and stare and beckon.

Willpower don’t fail me now.

Created on 2016-02-02 15:20:07

Taking our whole brood out into the world is a big production. Babies, toddlers and 7 year old boys.  And this weekend we had 2 family events that took us out to restaurants…in public….at a specific time.

The first night, before even getting into the restaurant, there was a diaper bag accidentally abandoned in the driveway, a car sick toddler, that same vomitous toddler falls in a puddle and a boy who forgot to go to the bathroom before we left the house. You couldn’t make this stuff up and yet thus is our normal.

Getting to events on time and in a smooth manner is almost impossible and drives me to the brink of insanity. No matter how organized we are, how much prep is involved, something goes sideways and my blood pressure goes through the roof.

Even just writing this Im having a small breakthrough moment. You can plan all you want, but life is messy. My control freakness has a hard time coping when things don’t go as planned in my head….which is pretty much every time we leave the house.

I try to breathe more. I love my essential oils for helping me get in the right frame of mind. But sometimes I just wallow in the hardness of this phase of life.

The upside is that in being conscious of the above, I’m also able to gleam more moments of joy when out and about. Like watching my son interact with my dad, bonding over Star Wars. Or seeing my 2 year daughter eat eel sushi and salmon sashimi like a boss. And knowing my MIL really enjoyed the 60th birthday party her sons threw for her.

I always end up laughing about our crazy antics, I just need to work on keeping cool(ish) when the shit hits the fan.

Goals. So many goals.

Created on 2016-02-01 11:57:59

ROAR!

I had a 545am Total Body Conditioning class scheduled for this morning.  That means up at 450am.  I was up with the baby at midnight, my toddlers got into an argument at 330 am because one wanted to snuggle with the other and apparently that was no beuno. So 450am sucked hard when it came around. I decided I have earned an actual rest day. I logged into my yoga account and cancelled my class, turned off my alarm and lay back down.

I lay there for two minutes, giving my inner lazy person (the one instrumental in getting me to this point of rotundness) a good shake and logged back in and reregistered for the same class.

I hustled. I sweat. I pushed. I may have even have made some unbecoming gutteral sounds in my cornery of the studio. I lived. I kind of liked it.

Who am I? What am I becoming?

Created on 2016-01-29 10:59:37

All week after busting it at mutant yoga (that’s its name now, deal with it), today was going to be my rest day. But at our first group meeting yesterday, the other women in the group knocked it out of the park in terms of weight loss in their first week.

I was seriously impressed. One woman dropped almost 5% of her starting weight in that first week!! That is bananas.  I would have to lose 13 lbs in one week to cut 5%, crazy (go ahead, do the math to figure out my starting weight)!!!  And while I thought my 7.4lbs was pretty impressive, there were women all around me putting up big numbers too. Lady-beasts, the whole lot of us.

And so I am inspired and my inner competitor is fired up. So as soon as I can get this overtired baby to sleep, I am making a beeline for the gym to get in some cardio.

Rest day? Forget it.

Created on 2016-01-28 22:14:55

Bah! The “before” photo in the profile sidebar kills me. But it is also my truth, so I can’t be that mad.

Any weightloss I have achieved in the last 5 years has always been focused on getting pregnant. Lose the weight to get my bits ready for baby making. We have 4 kids now. Baby shop is closed.

This will be the first time that improvement of my general health will be the primary focus.  So instead of just dropping poundage, I am excited to get strong.

Over the years, I have found that a low carb way of eating is the best for me. It puts my hormones and lady bits in check while providing me enough energy to keep up with my life.

I have gotten in another mutant yoga class (and btw, what kind of yoga has burpees, push ups and reverse planks??) and was able to do 30 minutes straight on the elliptical with lots of energy to spare. Why? Because instead of using glucose for fuel, my low carb witchery means I use my own fat for fuel. And that stock pile isn’t in threat of depletion anytime soon.

Scarier than the exercise and weightloss is the first meeting with our top 30 tonight. While I am an extrovert, being in a group where I know no one is a STRUGGLE. And my personality doesn’t always lend to doing well in groups. That will be the hardest work for me…the inner growth and interpersonal.  In short- I don’t love warm and fuzzy; trust falls and group hugs make me itch.  But if this challenge can help me soften (a little) it won’t be a bad thing at all.

Warrior on.

Created on 2016-01-27 13:32:15

A week in. Phew.  Coincidentally, I had signed up for my first cleanse ever that coincided with the start of this challenge.  Before even applying, I knew I needed to rebuild my health, and I thought shop-vaccing my insides would be a good first step.  And then I got selected for TMC.

I’m following through with those plans.  Good times.  While I will spare the general public the details of the cleanse, I will share that I had valid concerns about doing me first ever yoga class at Oxygen Yoga while on said cleanse. Lets just say, passing GAS is not the concern.

Let me emphasize that I have NEVER done a yoga class before, ever.  So, did I start with the nice quiet candlelight yoga? Nope, I decided that the 5:4am, mutant yoga with weights and aerobics (while on said cleanse) would be a wise decision.

5 minutes in, I have faked my way through enough to not embarrass myself completely.  Take your shoes off first?  Check.  Grab some weights and a cute tiny exercise ball? Easy. Lie quietly on your mat as everyone arrives? This yoga thing us a breeze. And then boom…60 minutes of getting your arse handed to you on a sweaty platter in the heat of the 7th circle of hell.

But wouldn’t you know it, I lived. I modified where I needed to, I pushed where I could. I was kind to myself, remembering I had a C-section less than 4 months ago.  I left with my head held high congratulating myself for not passing out AND grateful my worse fear of yoga + cleanse never came to pass.

And what is more, I am going back tonight.

Onwards.

 

 

Created on 2016-01-25 11:42:35

With a swimming head and a nervous flutter in my stomach, it is time to start this challenge.

I think about how I am going to fit this all in to the very busy and full life we have in my home.  My husband and I have 4 kids: a three month old, a two year old, a three year old and a seven year old.  I am home with the three youngest girls while on maternity leave from position as a fundraiser at BCIT.  It is a crazy house most of the time, and our life generally resembles two clowns juggling flaming chainsaws – a little odd, a little scary and a little bit wondrous! And loud. Our life is very loud.  So this should just add to the cacophony.

As I start to come out of my shell-shocked fogginess of new baby life, I am ready to do some work on me.  I am not going to lie, I do think I am pretty fabulous, but I am so looking forward to building on that.

So I will shrink some poundage and grow the warm fuzzy bits on the inside and feed the competitive beast of the Alpha Female that lives inside me.

Here we go!

Created on 2016-01-20 17:48:53