Contestant Profile

Choose an Existing Sponsor

Or Create a New Sponsor

A sponsor at the very least must consist of a name and a image of their logo. This image must have a maximum width of 238 pixels, a minimum height of 90 pixels and a maximum height of 120 pixels. The image will automatically be resized if it does not fit within these parameters.

Selected Sponsor

Pictures May 2017 E's Phone 103

Monday, May 15th, 2017

 

Tomorrow is the Fashion Show.  I’m calm and excited.  I’m hoping everyone coming to cheer me on shows up on time to get seats, as the event has been oversold!  So many supporters of all us challenge ladies!  I can’t believe that we are at the final event already.  I have been continuing to de-clutter my home since our talk about de-cluttering our lives.  It’s making a huge difference.  I have been moving to a more and more minimalist lifestyle over the past few years but had recently stalled.  This de-cluttering challenge was a nudge back in to gear for my motivation.  I continue to purge things daily in addition to making my bed in the morning, doing a 15 minute tidy each day and picking up/putting away 10 things in the morning.  I feel less anxiety when my home is simple, clean and tidy and in order.  I continue to post a picture each day of something that makes me happy and it fits well with my daily gratitude.  I am thankful each and every day for things in my life that I am blessed to have or experience.  I’m feeling so many mixed emotions about the challenge coming to an end.  It may be coming to an end but my journey is not.  I have more work to do, more goals to accomplish and more to take on.  I welcome the more relaxed schedule without all the commitments that came with this challenge but I will miss the constant support and social interaction that came with it.  I am excited to see the ladies from the Top 15 and Top 30 to reconnect and I’m pumped to follow up with new friendships that I know will continue in my life.  I look forward to having fun tomorrow night as we showcase our sponsors clothing and accessories.  It’s something I never thought I would do but I’m all about taking a step outside comfort these days.

comfort-zone-300x207

Created on 2017-05-15 20:33:46

18403525_10158615272595534_7731780942896775173_n

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

 

We headed out to Rack Fashions in Tsawassen this morning to grab our last outfit for the fashion show.  This one is more casual than my others and I feel great in it.  I stopped in at home for some snuggles with my babes.  It was hard being away from them on Mother’s Day.  Then, we had our last Fashion Show practice at the Phoenix Lounge in Abbotsford.  We’re going to have so much fun with this fashion show and I am feeling great about having so many people come and watch.  Before this challenge started I didn’t attend many events.  I didn’t post pictures of myself.  I didn’t let myself be seen or celebrated.  I now have about 20 plus people coming to the Fashion Show to show their support for me and I couldn’t be happier to show off my hard work!  Not just losing almost 40 pounds, but the mental change that even allows me to walk around a room, with eyes focused on me.  I have come so far from the person I was when this challenge began.  I’m stronger now.  I’m a better version of myself and I’m excited to share that.

Created on 2017-05-15 20:30:29

18403359_10158615381570534_3484173918321345873_n

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

 

We headed to Vancouver for 8am and arrived a bit early.  We found some parking, the checked in to the race registration to get our running bibs.  I am not in this run for time at all – only to finish.  All the ladies that did the 10k were talking about how they didn’t want to and I sort of realized it *may* have been my idea.  We had the choice between 5 or 10.  I felt like 10 would be a good challenge.  I did not, however, regret pushing for the 10K.  Everyone did amazing!  There was a mix of running, walking, run/walking and a mix of 5 and 10 kilometers.  I felt amazing for the entire race – which I was not expecting.  I have run 10K three times in my life and they were all very difficult (one I ran with broken legs – there’s a story for another time), one was my first ever and one was a number of years after my first and felt difficult the whole way.  Today’s run was incredible.  Most of it was through the trails in the forest which is my favorite place to run.  I had music thanks to a friend that heroically filled my daughter’s music player the night before with tunes I would enjoy.  I had a running buddy as Charlene and I had committed to run the 10K together.  The weather was perfect – not too hot but no rain.  I didn’t feel exhausted or tired or drained.  It didn’t feel hard or awful.  I wasn’t wishing for the end.  I finished feeling like I could have done more.  I wasn’t really hurting.  My bladder was questioning the race organizer’s choice not to have washrooms along the route but that was minor.  I sprinted across the finish line and enjoyed the glory that came with it.  This was a long time coming.  Finishing this run felt different than the others I had done.  Not only did I feel accomplished crossing this finish line – I felt great.  I felt energized and eager to take on more.  I felt proud of myself and I may have even, finally, felt like a runner.  We stayed to cheer our team mates across the finish line and then did some stretching and checked out our swag bags.  I was flying high the whole time.  I wanted to run again.  I was trying to take it all in.   What an awesome morning.

Created on 2017-05-15 20:28:42

Friday, May 12th, 2017

 

Tomorrow is the Shoppers Love You run we are taking part in.  I chose to run 10K but have not run that far in my training but somehow am feeling totally okay with it and excited to do it!  I tried to really take it easy today so I would have maximum energy for the run tomorrow.

Created on 2017-05-15 20:27:10

optimism-300x169

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

 

I am thrilled that voting is over.  What a sense of relief.  It’s tough to watch the placings change around and just as tough to field questions from people wondering why I’m not moving back up or why I slipped down.  It’s not so much the voting itself that stresses me out but the fact that the voting could possibly tip me one way or the other as far as the overall challenge rankings go.  To think that because I don’t have a large social network – I could lessen my chances of being chosen as the challenge winner when all the work I have put in and success I have earned shows I am deserving.  I take to heart the fact that voting is only a percentage of what goes in to our “points” system but it can sway the outcome nonetheless.  At the end of the day, I know I have given my all, been successful in everything I have set out to do throughout the challenge and done so with honesty, integrity and heart.  I enjoyed a beautiful Mother’s Day Tea with Thing Two today and cherished each and every moment.  It was a great place to be while the voting was finishing up.  I ended up in fourth place for voting and #1 in my heart :-D  Seems like a win/win to me.  I’ve noticed that one of the benefits I’ve received from going through this process is the ability to manage my stress.  I can’t always control my stressors but I can control how I react to them.  I have somehow managed to take things in stride a little easier and let things roll off my back far sooner than they would have before.  I have a sense of calm about me no matter the situation.  I am dealing with stressful situations with a clear and level head.  It’s brought me a feeling of such peace.

Created on 2017-05-15 20:26:45

weigh-300x294

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Tonight was our last official weigh in before the final event.  I was hoping for a three pound loss this week simply for the fact that it would put me into a new number category on the scale.  I worked really hard all week with my fitness training as well as my nutrition intake.  It sure paid off!  I lost three pounds and entered the new category on the scale.  Numbers I don’t recall ever seeing in my adult life, really.  That’s a total of 38 pounds lost so far!  What an accomplishment!  We had our final dinner as the Top Six at Sammy Js in Langley this evening.  I’m so grateful to them for sponsoring our meals.  I had a quinoa salad and snuck in my own beans to throw on top.   Just because our last weigh in was over doesn’t mean I was going to jump off the wagon!  I filled up on water and salad and was quite content with that choice.  We had a nice time and were happy to relax and enjoy each other’s company.  I will definitely miss the social aspect of having challenge commitments each week and am glad we are already getting things in place to keep meeting as a group once the challenge is over.

Created on 2017-05-15 20:23:18

 

18386905_469280716748173_1180589516_n

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

 

Another long day.  Today was a rest day but not by choice.  We were on the go all day again with some family things to take care of, as well as a clothing fitting at Vanilla Clothing.  I went way out of my comfort zone with this choice for the fashion show but am glad I did and will have fun with it! Stay tuned for that on the runway!  Feeling exhausted and frustrated with voting.  The support I am receiving is overwhelming and I am so grateful for it.  I am putting trust and good energy out in to the universe and am doing everything I can to stay dedicated, committed and honouring of this process. Change is hard.  Change is good.  Change is needed.

Created on 2017-05-10 05:31:28

Monday, May 8th, 2017

 

I started my day with Zumba and am sure glad I did.  EnVie had a new instructor today.  I had thought about not going to the gym today because we were all up early to head to the airport and I was on the go literally all day long.  But I pushed myself to squeeze it in.  And the Universe delivered.  Brenie was so full of contagious energy, enthusiasm and funky spirit… I couldn’t help but get a little wild, work hard and have fun doing it. I also had my photo reveal today.  I got to choose two photos to have as a keepsake and it was difficult to choose two.  I wish I had my husband there with me (he was away on a business trip) as Thing One and Thing Two had differing opinions on every single photo.   We had another fashion show practice today – this time at the venue.  It went pretty smoothly and we had a lot of fun being sassy and cheering each other on.  Voting stress continues to creep in.  I want this so badly and it’s hard to watch the placements change.  I’ll sleep well tonight though after three hours of strutting in heels and having my mind try to coordinate dance moves with music and walking and posing.  A long day, but a productive one.

Created on 2017-05-10 05:30:34

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

 

I had another fitting today at Rebel Kat to switch my outfit.  The first one wasn’t sitting right with me and I’m super happy with the one I have now!  So much fun in this store!  I must have tried on half the store and loved the way everything looked and felt.  It’s perfect because you can check them out then head to the beach!  We had our first fashion show practice today.  It was fun hanging with the Abby girls along with our Top Six.  I got my Schwaiger Swagger on while we strutted our stuff around a table!  Ha ha.  Not the most ideal practice spot but we totally made it work.  Next practice will be at the venue itself.  I’m looking forward to that so I can better visualize the space.  I continue to feel great about my food intake and continue to feel voting week stress.  I watched my video again today and cried as I was thinking about the person I was when I started this challenge.  So much has changed.  So much I didn’t expect to change.  I’m proud of me which is a feeling I’m not used to feeling.  I’m feeling awesome about the changes but also excited to make even more!

Created on 2017-05-10 05:30:08

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

 

Thing Two and I had a special date at Family Zumba at EnVie Fitness today.  What a blast!  She kept up with all the moves and songs and was super happy to get a little break and do some freeze dance and guess the animal moves.  We’ll definitely be going back!  It’s fun to stay active while hanging with my fam <3

Created on 2017-05-10 05:29:44

Friday, May 5th, 2017

 

Voting began today.  As always. It feels stressful and it’s hard to watch the placings jump around.  I am trying to breathe and let it go.  I can only do what I can do.  The rest is out of my hands. But the frustration still creeps in.  I went boxing this morning at EnVie and it was so awesome!  I love this class so much.  It feels great to hit things.  It feels empowering and I feel so strong and competent doing this.  I am going to have to seek this style of class out more because it really agrees with me.  I have been super “on” with my food this week and I am proud of that.  I’m not taking any liberties.  We went to Cleo’s today as they are one of our Fashion Show sponsors.  It feels pretty neat to be able to try on clothes in mall stores… and fit them.  And being able to try on styles I wouldn’t typically try… and like them.  I’m getting excited to walk down that runway!

Created on 2017-05-10 05:29:20

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Today we went to Rebel Kat clothing on Marine Drive in White Rock to try on clothes for our fashion show.  It’s sort of pin up style and was so fun to try.  Afterwards, we were going to have a walk down the pier but no one was up for braving the rain – except me!  I said goodbye to everyone and was so disappointed to not be able to enjoy the beach as I don’t get down there often.  Then I thought to myself “Why can’t you?!?!” I decided to go it alone.  And let me tell you – it was one of the best dates I’ve had!  I walked down the pier and back and walked in the sand out to the ocean and meandered around in and out of the tide pools.  It was magnificent.  I found a Starfish, Charlie, and some seagulls, some Great Herons, beautiful shells, a rainbow, a gorgeous sunset, laughter, water…just general soul food. I took my time, I took great pictures and I enjoyed every.single.moment.  I never would have done that before – ventured out on my own.  Fear and anxiety wouldn’t let me.  Tonight I wouldn’t let them control me. Anxiety, fear, doubt and sabotage used to win all the time.  And now I win all the time. But each time I have a win it still feels just as sweet.

Tomorrow voting begins for the final round of the challenge.  Please, if you have received any value from my journey or would like to support me just because – send your votes my way every day for a week.  If you are proud of me or think my success is awesome, vote for me J Voting begins tomorrow afternoon and will finish on Thursday at noon next week.  You can vote from each device, 10 times per Day.  I have been changing my life with this challenge and have taken it seriously all along. Please hear my call – I need your help with votes!  Each one does matter and I desperately would like to win this challenge.  I’ve put my all into this and continue to do so.  I’d love the accountability of winning this challenge in order to help me stay on track through the journey forward…and your votes can help make that dream a reality!  I still have a lot of work to do! Thank you, in advance, for all your support.

 

 Image may contain: sky, cloud, twilight, ocean, outdoor, nature and water

Created on 2017-05-05 05:11:52

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

This evening we worked on Dream/Vision Boards.  We cut things out of magazines like crazy and I ended up with more of an inspiration/vision board rather than a dream board.  I may make another one but for now, I think this is what I need in my life and that’s why it materialized the way it did.  I welcome with open arms whatever will help me grow.  I was having a good chat with someone and they had asked me why I deserved to win the challenge.  Without giving it deep thought, I let whatever needed to come out just flow….and wow did it pour.  So, there is no rhyme or reason or structure to it but it’s raw unfiltered goodness about some of the reasons I feel deserving of a win.  She suggested I share it on my blog and I don’t see any reason not to as I am completely honest with you all J  So here it is: So, first of all, I am a totally honest person.  I don’t find any value in lying.

If I didn’t think I deserved this win – and your votes – I would say so. There is a reason I have made it to the Top Five of this challenge.  I have worked so hard and really committed to this process of change.  There have been some really difficult choices and sacrifices as far as my family and children are concerned in regards to my dedication to this challenge.  It took me until the end of the second segment to realize that these sacrifices benefit them in the long run because I NEED to be a better version of myself if I am going to be any help to them.  I was completely unhappy with myself and my body.  I was so focused on weight loss as my #1 goal when I began and wow am I ever surprised at what overshadowed that.  I suffer from anxiety and depression and have for years. Anxiety has had a crippling grip on my life and has affected everything I do.  It got worse with the birth of each of my children and I never “bounced back” or recovered.  I made a conscious decision when starting this challenge to push myself out of my comfort zone and outside the safe, little bubble my anxiety kept me in.  It would paralyze me with fear to talk with strangers, let alone be on video.  Fast Forward a few months and I am doing Live Facebook posts, entering rooms or businesses full of strangers and having conversations.  Does it come easy? No. But I am doing it and I never could before.  I wasn’t even able to make phone calls to book appointments.  Now I’ve booked, and attended, appointments.

I have made a conscious effort to really take in what I’m learning.  I’ve openly sought advice from our sponsors and reflected on what they have to offer so I can make lasting change in my life.  This challenge is not a quick fix for me.  I didn’t want to quickly drop weight and then go back to how I was living before.  I was barely living at all.  I was a shadow of my former self.  I committed to doing this on my own, while eating a healthy, whole foods, plant based diet.  It has been successful thus far in earning me a 35 pound weight lost, as well as helping to reverse my symptoms of my autoimmune disease Hashimotos.  I have lowered my antibodies by about 200, coming down from the 500’s to the 300’s.  They should be under 35 so I am heading in the right direction.  I went from feeling like an unhealthy 85 year old woman with severe joint pain who could barely get off the couch to a gym going, box jump loving, runner that seizes every opportunity to move her body.

I set out to blog daily throughout this challenge and have done so. That alone is an accomplishment!  Fitting it in hasn’t come with ease but I’m glad I stuck to it.  I’ve posted my 100 Days of Happiness each and every day without fail.  I have completed all mini challenges and sold all tickets.  I’ve sought sponsors and been successful in securing donations, etc.  Those things are not what matter most to me though.   What matters most is that I have changed my mindset.  I have changed my internal dialogue.  I find myself beautiful for the first time since I can remember!!  I have energy and spunk and have regained the confidence and self-esteem I had when I was 8 years old.  I gained the ability to run alone, knowing I could protect myself if need be.

I have been setting an incredible example for my girls about what it means to commit and be dedicated to something.  We only talk positively about bodies in this house – we always have…when the kids were around.  I was always so self-depricating to myself behind closed doors and to my husband…NO MORE!  I appreciate all my body can do and why it looks the way it does.  My shape does not define me.

At the beginning of the challenge, it was hard to get weighed every week and have the number on the scale matter so much.  I had spent two years making that number NOT mean so much.  I had been damaged by a fitness mentor before and was shamed for eating certain things and was left with a very unhealthy image of myself and very unhealthy relationships with food and the scale.  It was a mind battle to realize that as much as other people charted, followed or praised my weight loss – it didn’t matter to me.  Changing my life mattered to me.  Being able to run around with my kids mattered to me.  Getting to the point of fitting into my wedding rings mattered to me.  Showing my naked body to my husband without shame mattered to me.  Taking control of my life and not being controlled by my anxiety mattered to me.  The number on the scale DOES NOT MATTER TO ME.  Does it feel great to be 35 pounds lighter? Well, it feels great to fit into “regular” sized clothes again.  It feels good to be able to wrap a towel around my body.  If feels good to like my reflection in the mirror.  If feels good to be able to tie my shoes without getting winded.  It feels good to feel in control of my own health.  It feels good to have my joint pain drastically reduced and my heart palpitations gone.  These are the things that feel SO good. And I worked REALLY hard to get them.  I tried so many new fitness classes and began running again.  I went to the gym and after a week of staying on the treadmill, I ventured in to the weights and weight machines and rocked it.

I can’t afford a gym membership or a photoshoot, or a family vacation for that matter.  The prizes would be a huge benefit to me and my family and I would like to reward them for their patience, love and support through this challenge.  Winning this challenge would help me to stick to my new life choices even after the challenge is done.  I feel like I need the pressure of being the “winner” to help keep me accountable to the path I continue to follow.  It would be SO easy to slip back in to sugar addiction and taking too many liberties.  I can see that in myself already.  Coming from a drastic, awful, embarrassingly awful sugar addiction, I need all the help and support I can get to not fall backwards.

 

I do think I deserve this win.  I have changed my life and would like to continue doing so.  I have given so much of myself and stepped into so many vulnerable places in order to affect change and growth.  I have given it my all, while doing it my way and I am so proud of the honesty and integrity that has seen me through this challenge.

Created on 2017-05-05 04:54:43

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

 

Last night I created my video for our video challenge.  We are to make a video that represents our journey with the Total Makeover Challenge.  It was incredibly fun to do and I’m thrilled with the way it turned out.  I spent some time today at Optiks International in Langley as they are a sponsor for our fashion show.  I chose some frames and some sunglasses to strut down the runway in.  We have a mini challenge to make a video about Optiks International and I have been working on that this evening.  Stay tuned on my Facebook page to see that one very soon!  I went for a run today.  Thing One accompanied me on rollerblades and we crushed our workout around the neighbourhood.  It was a beautiful day outside.  I snuck in some time later at She’s Fit and was happing to conquer an effective workout there.  I am so grateful for the sponsorhsips that allow us to do such awesome stuff.

Created on 2017-05-03 05:18:16

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Thing One, Thing Two, Teresa.R. and I had a skytrain adventure downtown Vancouver today to deliver Nine Strong’s cheques to The Breakfast Club of Canada.  They were so thankful and happy to have the kids deliver them.  The Things got to ring a bell as was tradition when funds are brought in, and they were the stars of a group photograph with all the Breakfast Club employees from the office.  Teresa and I were so proud to be a part of delivering these funds after our team worked so hard hosting an amazing fundraiser and won the fundraiser challenge.  Over 1800 kids will receive breakfast because of this team.  Job well done, ladies!

 

Created on 2017-05-02 05:31:40

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

 

Today brought a special birthday party for a one year old in our life.  There were beautiful cupcakes as well as cupcakes that I had brought for my tinies and it was all so tempting.  I wanted to create a distraction to draw the party guests outside so I could eat each and every cupcake one by one until my stomach hurt.  So, the sugar monkey still likes to hang out on my back sometimes.  I had to leave the party early to make it to our self-defense class that Mary Barbara had arranged with one of the sponsors.  This turned out to be a blessing for my brain because no matter how many veggies I stuffed in my mouth, I just kept thinking about those darn cupcakes.  The problem is not that I can’t eat a cupcake. Because I totally can. And have.  The problem is that I wouldn’t be able to stop at just one cupcake.  I know this about myself and it’s easier to abstain that to get stuck down the rabbit hole of treats and feeding my sugar addiction.  Self-defense class was super fun.  It was great to see so many Top 15 ladies again after a couple weeks hiatus.  We felt confident with the moves we’d learned and I practiced them all on my husband when I got home.  I kept asking him to attack me in different ways so I could take him down.  I think he was pretty happy to oblige.

Image may contain: 12 people, people smiling, selfie and closeup

Created on 2017-05-02 05:28:14

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

PHOTOSHOOT DAY!!!! All capitals so I can get the excitement across.  What an amazingly full, tiring, awesome, fun, inspiring, encouraging day.  I set my alarm and woke early.  The house was quiet as I made myself some breakkie to tide me over while I got my hair done.  I knew it would be a long day without hanging with my tiny humans so when I heard their little morning peeps as I was walking out the door, I turned back around.  I grabbed some snuggles and kisses before heading out.  I was early for my hair appointment so I got to hang with Charlene for a bit while she got her style as her photo shoot was first.  Bonnie popped in as my hair was getting started as she was in between mine and Char’s.  It was comforting to hang with my ladies as it really eased some of my nerves.  I gave Brittany, my stylist from The Looking Glass Salon, carte blanche with my hair.  She chose to just clean up the cut, as I am growing it out, and give it some shape.  She chose some auburn and copper coloring and did darker at the roots and lighter underneath with some balayage to give it a natural, graduated kind of look with the colour.  It turned out beautiful and when she curled and styled it, the colours just popped – as did my eyes!  I was a happy client indeed.  On to make-up next.  I went for a softer look this time around compared to the first photo shoot.  I wanted to really focus on ME and my progress and achievement – not the make-up job.  The make-up enhanced what was already there and I was pleased with the final result.  On to the photo shoot!  Bonnie was still there when I got there and was running a bit over time so I had the opportunity to get all my clothes laid out for Tarra and I to choose from.  We had wardrobe changes galore and the camera was a clicking.  Tarra was great at giving direction and I just trusted her vision and tried to make my body do what she asked me to.  There was laughter and tears, excitement and emotions galore.  I felt pretty and beautiful and also a little anxious and self-conscious as I wasn’t in positions that bring me comfort.  I do believe I said in the beginning of my blog posts way back when that life begins outside your comfort zone so I was more than willing to get a little uncomfortable.  That is what bring us new levels of understanding and new experiences can shape and change us.  It was fabulous.  I can hardly wait to see the images at my private photo reveal.  I went straight from the photo shoot with the AMAZING Tarra Lee Photography to The Running Room Langley to try on some clothes as they are sponsoring our Fashion Show.  I love active wear and it was fun going through a bunch of things I wouldn’t normally purchase for myself.  Kerry was super helpful and honest with his opinions helping us ladies try to find the outfit that suited us best.  Go into the Running Room Langley for some great deals on active wear.  I bought my runners here and they are fabulous.  I went over to Optiks International Langley to try on some glasses.  They are generously sponsoring our fashion show as well and I wanted a sneak preview of the goods before my appointment on Tuesday.  It was nice to hang with the ladies at the various sponsors today.  I felt a little bit like a movie star today and it was pretty awesome.  Tomorrow will be a little more low key and I look forward to that as well.

 

 Image may contain: 1 person, selfie and closeup

Created on 2017-05-02 05:25:25

Friday, April 28th, 2017

 

Took a boxing class at EnVie Fitness Langley today.  I just can’t get over how welcoming it feels walking through those doors.  I, of course, loved every second and vowed to come back to this class.  It feels so empowering to throw some jabs.  I felt strong and capable which alone made it worth it – not to mention the elevated heart rate, sweat and sore muscles.  I ended the evening with a trip to Life+App to hear the story of a woman brave enough to share her story on stage.  From Life+App’s website: “Finding our identity and life purpose is often a journey. In 2006, Jasmine Bhambra’s sister, Manjit, was murdered by her husband Mukhtiar, a Surrey high school teacher. 5 days later her badly burned body was found on a beach in Delta. She was expecting their second child. This coming Friday night Jasmine Bhambra will share her story from her struggles as a young teen, to the murder of her sister Manjit Panghali and her triumph in the court systems to win custody of her 2 year old niece Maya, Manjit’s daughter. Finally Jasmine will share how discovering her purpose in life was what gave her the courage to live life again after an attempted suicide.”  This felt like a fitting follow up to the many brave and wonderful speakers that shared their stories of trauma and triumph at the Tigh Na Mara weekend away.  I am so thankful for EnVie and Life+App for being sponsors of mine along this journey.  I encourage you to take the opportunity to check them out – they do not disappoint.

0f9e8059c58fa4f9e810cd7ac3bd36e8

Created on 2017-05-02 05:20:59

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Today felt great.  I hit the gym in the morning and went for a run later in the afternoon.  I solidified some outfits for my photo shoot on Saturday.  I am so excited to have my hair and make-up done again, and have a full hour photo shoot.  Now to find a way to get the ever so trendy “pet hair look” off of my clothing.  It feels so nice keeping up with exercise.  I look forward to pushing myself even more this week.  My energy levels continue to be manageable.  I have brought my antibodies down by about 200 points.  I have another 300 or so to go but things are moving in the right direction!  I’ve been having some flare-ups lately with symptoms but am taking them in stride and they are not nearly debilitating like they used to be.  I did another live video this evening and had some great feedback from the honesty of that.  I’m missing my fellow challengers that didn’t make it to the Top Six but am happy to be catching up with some of them in a couple days at a Self-Defense seminar.  I am so happy for all the support I have received, and continue to receive, throughout this challenge.

We have been given another set of raffle tickets to sell.  They are 10 for $20 and I do get points that help me move to the next round if I sell the books.  The prizes are awesome and I would be happy to be your date on any of the vacations if you need a travel buddy!  Voting for the Challenge Winner starts next Friday, the 5th around 3:00pm.  I would really appreciate all efforts on this one, folks!  I’ve got some hefty voting competition so if you could encourage everyone in your life to vote 10 times a day for a week, that would be amazing!  Again, voting will start on Friday the 5th of May.

We have some fashion show clothing fittings and rehearsals coming up over the next couple weeks.  I imagine it will be so fun learning the runway walks and practicing with the Abby ladies as well.  The Fashion Show and winners will be announced on Tuesday, May 16th.

 

As always, I am an open book.  If you have any questions about me or this journey, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me.

18119050_10158536516565534_7871526685220190068_n

Created on 2017-04-28 05:11:59

Wednesday, April 26th, 2010

 

Today was bitter sweet.  I had to miss The Things’ choir concert to be at our weekly meeting.  I have never missed anything like that and it was really hard.  The upside is that I got some value from the meeting.  We were talking about de-cluttering our homes.  I used to be an expert at de-cluttering but have lost some of my motivation to do so.  I gained some inspiration again and we are now going to be donating or getting rid of, in some way, 5 things a day for a week.  I hope to continue beyond that as well.  In addition to removing 5 things from my home each day, I plan to do a 15 minute tidy each day. No matter what.  A lot can get done in 15 minutes! I was up a pound and am totally not sweating it.  I will be upping my workouts this week and am confident it’s just a stall – not a breakdown.  My attitude about the number is back to a good place.  I had some good chats with my fellow Top Sixers after our meeting and it was nice to have some support and heartfelt connections.  Looking forward to more of those.

Image result for declutter

Created on 2017-04-28 04:58:58

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

 

Let’s talk eyelash extensions.  Let’s talk about how I was completely uninterested in getting them and how much that contrasts my extreme love for them.  I was dead set against getting the lash extensions from Hush Lash Studio in Langley that came with our ‘Top Five’ prizes.  It wasn’t for me, I thought.  I’m not a real make-up oriented person, I said.  Well, as it turns out, neither of those things matter.  When she was finished and asked me to look in the mirror, I absolutely LOVED them.  And I had pretty spectacular eyelashes before.  I never wear mascara, save for my wedding day and photo shoot day, and was convinced this would be wasted on me.  The process took about two hours and I actually fell asleep on the table.  What else is there to do when your eyes are closed for two hours and you are given permission to zen out while your kids are happily playing with Daddy at home?  So, thank you Total Makeover Challenge and Hush Lash Studio for opening my eyes (see what I did there?!) to this fabulous thing people do!

Image may contain: one or more people and closeup

Created on 2017-04-28 04:52:34

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Today I was missing my challenge friends that did make the Top Six <3  I’m so glad we are still connected and look forward to visits soon.  We are all still on the same Facebook groups and I am so glad we can connect in that way until we can connect in person.  It was hard having such an amazing weekend away without some of those that didn’t make it.  It would have been so lovely to experience and share that with them.

I made an appointment to get my eyelash extensions.  This is not something that I want but it’s something that we get as part of being in the Top Six.  The other ladies are so excited about theirs and it’s just not my things.  But, I will try and see how it goes.  I am so thankful for our sponsors and glad we have these opportunities.

My second photo shoot is coming up on Saturday and I am so excited, nervous and feeling totally unprepared.  I don’t know what I am going to bring to wear.  I have a couple ideas but nothing really fits the vision I have in my head.

I’m confident it will come together because it always does.

I spent the entire day today with my kids and dog at the park.  We walked around the lake and hung out at three different playgrounds for hours.  It was just what I needed after a weekend away from them.  We weren’t rushed and had nowhere to be.  We were in the moment and appreciated the slow pace.

 

Note to self: Forget laundry and dishes.  More days like these are needed.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, plant, tree, grass, outdoor, nature and water

Created on 2017-04-25 20:45:12

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

We gave ourselves the morning to sleep in and wake naturally instead of getting up for a beach run.  We got ready, packed and cleaned up before heading down to the beach for one last soothing infusion of all the glory the Parksville shoreline has to offer.  Charlene, Bonnie and I walked out till we found the ocean as the tide was quite far out.  The wind in our hair and sand on our feet made for some morning fun.  We breathed in the last bits of goodness we could and took in all the beautiful little details of rippled sand, coloured shells, sand dollars, birds, gentle water, trees, wind and sunshine.  As excited as I was to get home and see my family, it was hard to leave such a sacred space.

We arrived safely at the ferry and shopped the little market while waiting to board.  The ferry ride felt fast.  Much faster than when we were heading there on Thursday.  I enjoyed the time spent with my challenge friends as we chatted, took in the view, and perused the gift shop.

The ride home was full of chatter and it was lovely to have conversation to distract from the traffic.

My kids were thrilled to see me and the feeling was mutual.  Hubby was glad to have me home and I was happy to be there.  Another sacred space for me. My family.  They have my heart.  The energy was so different at home than it was on the island – both just as awesome in their own right.

After enjoying my kiddos and snuggling them to sleep, I chatted my husband’s ear off all evening with everything I was processing from the weekend.  Big changes are on the horizon.

 

 No automatic alt text available.

Created on 2017-04-25 20:37:10

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

Another morning, another beach run.  Followed by a workout in the parking lot.  I brought my 15 pound sandbag with me.  I debated bringing it because it made my bag incredibly heavy, but decided I would make a point to use it.  So three of us did a parking lot workout behind our cabin.  It felt awesome!  I enjoy functional fitness so much and am thrilled to be incorporating it back into my life.

Fitness actually plays a role in my future business plans, which I was inspired and motivated to pursue because of the conference.  I’m excited to make some plans and make things unfold.  I realize this is a bit cryptic and it’s intended to be as I haven’t quite shaped and polished it all yet.  But just the idea of following a passion has me excited!

Today proved to be very difficult with dessert treats being offered after lunch.  It made me realize, as I plotted and planned when and how I could devour the maximum amount of treats without being noticed, that I am not yet ready to fly on my own.  I still need some accountability and direction.  It’s been a long road for me and sugar and we’re not quite done yet.  Have we come a long way? You bet, but I feel it’s still got the potential to hit me when I’m weak.  I’m proud to say I did not eat the entire dessert buffet, by myself, in an empty cabin.  I did not binge on bad foods, nor did I feel guilty when I did have a little treat.  I have been shamed for my food choices and eating before and refuse to let anyone guilt me for what I choose to put in to my body.  Do I eat more than some people? Absolutely.  Do I eat less than some? For sure.  Healthier than lots of people? Mmm Hmmmm.  As healthy as some? Nope. But it doesn’t matter because it’s MY choice.  I have been extremely successful in this challenge as far as healthy eating, whole foods choices and balanced nutrition goes.  It’s served me well enough to lose 35 pounds and change my mindset around food.  That’s a win for me and when it’s my body the food goes into, I’m the only one that win counts for.

Another day full of amazing speakers sharing their wisdom and standing on their stories.  I, again, was honoured and floored.  I am so grateful to be a part of this sisterhood of women.  I was amazed when I chose a seat today and was later joined by a woman who has a daughter that suffers from Hashimotos as well.  I rarely find anyone that has even heard of Hashimotos, let alone has a family member affected.

The universe was well aware of this meeting of minds at the Tigh Na Mara this weekend.  Connections were found all around me.  Heart connections, mind connections, business connections.  Laughter was contagious, as were tears.  Stories flowed from the heart and healing began for some.  For others, a path was illuminated.  Goodbyes and closure came to those that needed it.  Subtle (and not so subtle) “signs” were showing up for these ladies left, right, and center.

Saturday evening brought the Top Six to Cedars restaurant where we enjoyed each other’s company, stress free and floating, after the very full weekend.  We had laughs and selfies while we munched on some good food.  An evening at the Grotto mineral pool followed dinner.

We were given comfy robes, sandals and instructions.  We made our way to the mineral pool for some recovery time.  The mineral pool is useful for healing inflammation, muscle and joint pain as well as detoxifying the body.  I could definitely use all of those.  We would have a 15 minute soak and lounge in the pool, jump into a col little waterfall shower to seal in all the goodness, then melt into the warmth of the hot tub. Repeat.  We took a break and headed upstairs to the lounge for some water, tea and fruit.  We all but became one with the couches before heading back down to the mineral pool.  I let my body and mind release anything that might be holding me back.  After a hot shower and getting jimmied up, we headed back to our cabin for some much needed rest.  Or so I thought.

 

Jenn, from the Abbotsford crew, messaged me that they were having a dance party and we NEEDED to be there.  Three of us headed over and found ourselves enjoying much more than a dance party.  We were doing handstands, mattress lifting, mattress surfing, coffee table jumps, push ups, and so much laughing.  It was a fun night that kept us active, entertained and up late.  We crept back into a sleeping cabin and were away to the fairies before we knew it.

Image may contain: sky, tree, cloud, plant, outdoor, nature and water

Created on 2017-04-25 20:22:26

Friday, April 21st, 2017

I was up early for a run on the beach.  ON THE BEACH.  I didn’t know I actually liked running until I did it on the beach.  Amazing.  Watching the sunrise, breathing in the cool sea air and taking in the most gorgeous views made for a great way to wake up after not much sleep.

I’m thankful I brought a bunch of food and snacks to help keep me on track through the weekend.  The food offered for breakfast was pretty much danishes and other forms of sugar craftily sculpted like little clouds of deliciousness.  For a recovering sugar addict this was hard to walk by every time I went in and out of the conference room.  I had eaten breakfast in our beautiful rustic looking cabin with the company of my Top Six ladies.

I was happy we would be starting Friday along with everyone else – it felt less intimidating than the previous evening.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect as we hadn’t been given a lot of information on the conference itself and I knew it was business focused – which doesn’t really apply to me.  Or so I thought.

I was stunned at the vulnerability and honesty of the women that spoke and the women I met.  I was honoured to have their story shared with me as so much of what I heard resonated with me.  So many different backgrounds were represented in one room and I am so grateful I was a part of it.  All of our stories have value, and are important.  I learned I need to stand ON my story – not IN it.  We were told that each and every person in that room had something that someone else needed.  We were told that the person that had what WE needed was in that room.  We were told that our cups would be filled and overflowed.  Right on all accounts.

It was an absolutely draining day full of tears, laughter, insight and just so. many. emotions.

I went out of my comfort zone so many times throughout the day.  Social situations are very difficult for me – especially with anxiety in my back pocket.  Okay, who am I kidding – with anxiety wrapping itself around me like a shawl made of itchy, uncomfortable fabric.  I had a defining moment when I spoke with a woman and shared with her how my anxiety holds me back.  She, in a nutshell, said “No it doesn’t. Not in this room.  Your anxiety doesn’t exist here. It doesn’t need to”.   So, I made the choice to believe her.

Friday evening we had our video filming of our three minute speech.  Everyone seemed very nervous and had been going over their speeches as I kept wondering why I wasn’t nervous.  We knew we were speaking from the heart about what the challenge has done for us but for some reason nerves were high.  I am not hesitant to be in front of the camera anymore.  I have been pushing past my comfort and making live facebook videos and haven’t been shying away from the camera at all.  I wasn’t nervous.  Until it was 10 minutes before speech time.

I suddenly felt nauseous, shaky and clammy.  I attributed it to not having enough food to eat and took some deep breaths hoping the feeling would pass.  It didn’t.  It was soon my turn and as soon as I sat on a chair in the quiet filming room, I could feel my heart beating in my chest.  I felt as though I was being questioned at a police station in a concrete room and being blamed for a crime I did not commit.  It was so weird.  I wasn’t nervous to share my feelings or to be filmed.  I was actually nervous because I had to keep it to only three minutes and I had so much to say.  I didn’t want to squash any importance out of this part of my story.  Such a strange feeling.  I didn’t go under time and I didn’t go over.  As soon as I was finished I felt instant relief and all uncomfortable side effects of nerves went away.  I started to leave the room but was stopped.  Apparently, there were some surprise bonus questions for me.  That went fine but I didn’t feel confident because I like to give thought to something before I say it.  I had to just spit out the first thing on my mind and, of course, once I was finished decided I would have worded things differently given more time to process.  I suppose that was the point.

Friday night brought some relief.  The speeches were finished, we knew what to expect from the conference, and we enjoyed our well-deserved beach time!  I had some great laughs with my Top Sixers and enjoyed making some very special memories.

I took another giant leap outside my comfort zone in the evening and let my friends hear me sing. I love to sing.  I sing all the time at home, in the shower, in the car, for my kids, to my husband, while I’m running, etc.  I no longer sing for other people.  I used to have someone in my life that would ask me to sing and would then proceed to criticize every part of my voice and song.  It was heartbreaking and after happening so many times, I turned my song inward and kept it very protected.  So I shared and was overwhelmed with the support that came from these ladies.  It filled up my heart so much.  A million thank yous to my cabin mates for allowing me a safe place to share <3

 

Another late night came to a close as I flopped into bed letting the emotions of the day wash over me.

Image may contain: one or more people

Created on 2017-04-25 19:52:22

Edited on 2017-04-25 19:52:58

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

 

The Top Six from both Langley and Abbotsford, along with some of the leadership team, had the pleasure of attending a Leadership Weekend away in Parsksville, BC on the island.  We were treated to entrance into the Frock-alicious Life: Best Kept Secrets to Success (in life, love and business) event, hosted by Jo Dibblee, author of Frock Off.  My day was spent trying to “keep all the balls in the air” as I got the house ready for me to leave it for the weekend.  Of course, my husband is amazing and I could rest assured the kids are in good hands.  It was a whirlwind of a morning and before I knew it I was on my way to pick up the rest of the Top Six!  I was pretty much instantly relaxed.  It was vacation time and, as my hubby can attest to, Holiday Erin is so fun and stress-free!

 

Once everyone was in the car, we were off to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal.  We were super early so we parked and explored the little village a little.  I was admiring the view at the beach and trying to take a photo of myself and Tammy, my fellow Top Fiver, when a man approached us and asked if he could take the photo for us.  We ended up chatting with Randy, a musician, for quite a few minutes as he told us some of his story.  He makes his own CDs of his music and sells them.  I love to support local artists and entrepreneurs and even more so ones that offer to take my picture on the beach.  It was an honour to purchase a CD from him and I can’t wait to listen to it!  We boarded the ferry and I enjoyed the windy outside deck – it made for some fun pictures with my ladies.  A few people were working on their speeches.  On Friday, we were going to be filmed sharing about what the Total Makeover Challenge has done for us and we were limited to between 2 and a half and three minutes.  I had written mine and printed it out before leaving and was feeling prepared so I enjoyed all of my ferry ride.

 

We arrived after the Thursday “Mastermind” session had already begun.  It felt awkward entering a room with round tables full of people when we hadn’t been there for the start of the evening.  I was seated at a table and they immediately explained what they were doing and that it was my turn!  We had thirty seconds to share who we were, what we do and any challenges we need help with.  Once that was done, they would brainstorm and offer ideas, contacts, encouragement, and solutions to our challenge.  When I mentioned that I would like to write children’s books, I found out that our table leader was a published author…including children’s books!  These little embraces from the universe happened all weekend long.  Not just to me, to everyone.  It was incredible to witness so many life changing moments all in one place.  I stayed up WAY too late chatting with my Top Six friends but it didn’t matter because Holiday Erin can handle it with ease.  Memories were being made already and I couldn’t wait to find out what the conference had to offer.  We’d only just begun and it felt like I was in exactly the right place.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, beard, sunglasses and outdoor

Created on 2017-04-25 05:47:09

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

Well, I needed to shop for some pants today because I don’t have any that fit my new body.  This is a good problem to have for my self-esteem, my body, and my confidence but not so much for my pocket book.  I hit up WalMart and got some rockin’ deals so I wouldn’t be the only leggings-wearing, workout shirt-sporting conference goer.  The excitement is building.  I love ferry rides and am curious to see what the Tigh Na Mara will be like.  I am open to receiving whatever comes my way this weekend and am keeping myself centered.  Tomorrow is the big day!

Created on 2017-04-25 05:41:34

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

I spent my time today running around getting things ready for my weekend away at the Tigh Na Mara Seaside Resort and Spa.  I am incredibly excited for this weekend.  I had a speech to write and took some time to prepare that.  We are going to be filmed sharing what the challenge has done for us so far.  I’m excited to share this experience with the other ladies.  Lasting memories will be made I’m sure.

Created on 2017-04-25 05:37:45

Monday, April 17th, 2017

 

The Easter Bunny visited our home last night.  For the first time in my entire life I was not tempted by any unhealthy Easter treats.  There was one other year I can remember where I didn’t eat any unhealthy junk, but I did crave it and I remember it being very difficult to stay away from.  This year is different, I just don’t have an interest in stuffing my face with a bunch of stuff I know makes me feel awful.  This is a personal win for me in the battle against sugar.  The bunny knows to bring toys and candy-alternatives to our house (or healthy-for-us food treats) so that is not an issue.  The issue used to come from walking through the stores and having sugary junk food in my face with every grocery shop, store visit, or errand.  I have tried avoiding those aisles and displays but this year I didn’t even feel the need to dodge around them.  I walked right on through, or past, and didn’t even engage by looking at them. This may seem silly, trivial, or extreme for some but to me, it’s a huge deal.  I enjoyed my holiday with my family and am incredibly grateful for the time we got to spend together.  I went for a trail run today at Aldergrove Regional Park!  It’s so much fun to run with a friend (especially when they bring music!) and even more fun when I get to see squirrels!  I attempted my second Facebook Live post but it cut me off, I think due to the reception in the trees.  I am not deterred and will try again!  So, stay tuned for more live Erin!  I am getting excited for a weekend away, but also stressed a bit with the last minute details of getting things together before I go.  It will be an amazing weekend and I am committed to staying on track with food and exercise while we are there.  Three more sleeps! Yay!

aldyparkmap

Created on 2017-04-17 23:33:07

Edited on 2017-04-17 23:35:01

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

 

Another run in Campbell Valley park to start off the day today!  I absolutely adore running in the trails.  The scenery, the fresh, clean air, the dirt paths… it’s all so engaging.  I feel a sense of peace being among the trees and definitely see myself working more trail runs in to my life.  I’m trying to add more salads in to my meals, so I made a nice big salad to enjoy with dinner this evening.  I forgot how much I love greens.  Things are feeling good all around today.

AldyPark

Created on 2017-04-17 23:27:37

Edited on 2017-04-17 23:34:38

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

 

I went for 2 runs today.  One in Aldergrove and one at Campbell Valley Park.  My body is feeling great, and my joint pain continues to stay away (thank goodness!!).  I really am in shock that I’m able to be this active without pain.  I am in disbelief remembering it was not that long ago that I couldn’t walk, sit or stand without tremendous amounts of pain. I can’t remember the last time I felt so well and I just can’t wait to keep it up and see how much better I can feel.  I did my first Facebook Live post today!  Talk about conquering fear!  I am not sure I can explain why I have had anxiety around that.  It felt difficult but also less intimidating to do another now that I have conquered it once! I call today a success.  I continue to feel energized and motivated.

campbell-valley-regional-park-2

Created on 2017-04-17 23:25:37

Friday, April 14th, 2017

 

After finding out I made the Top 5, I have a renewed passion, excitement and dedication going forward into the 3rd segment of the challenge.  My goals for this segment include being active every day (and not always in the gym!) and attempting some Facebook Live posts.  I haven’t done that yet and I would like to conquer that hesitation.  I’m feeling confident, happy, and challenged.  I have some awesome ladies in my Top Six crew that I’m excited to get to know better and have in my corner.  I am SO grateful that the group of women in the Top 15 was able to make connections, lasting connections, which will hold strong through this last segment, and beyond.  We all have plans to still meet up in person and keep each other accountable.  I know I have people to turn to for support and that it really isn’t just a Top 6 – there are so many more women in this still and fighting the daily fight to better themselves and keep the momentum going.  Today brought an amazing run in the forest.  We enjoyed the day off with a walk in mind.  The kids brought their bicycles and I completely forgot how hilly this particular trail was so I ended up running, sprinting and jogging to catch up to Thing One and Thing Two.  Hubby and I also ended up pushing some bikes (sometimes still with The Things on them!) up a few hills.  It turned out to be a multiple hour excursion.  Definitely an adventure and a butt kicker to start off this segment of the challenge.  I was happy for the fresh air, great weather, and fun company.  After dropping the family off, I headed to the gym and then for a walk around Mill Lake.  It was an active day and I feel amazing.

milllake

Created on 2017-04-17 23:24:38

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

I was feeling all day today the excitement of last night all over again.  At the same time, I felt like it hadn’t really sunk in yet.  I’ve already booked my time slot for hair, make-up and photo shoot and spent a large portion of the day communicating with the Top 6, arranging photo consultations, checking on paperwork, making travel plans for the leadership weekend away, etc  It was like a whirlwind of things.  A whirlwind I am grateful for and eager to continue experiencing.  I am really looking forward to this team building weekend and what it might hold!

 

Back to running!  I hit the track tonight with a friend.  I’m looking forward to exploring some trails.  It feels amazing to have a little more wiggle room in my day.  It’s not so much a struggle to make time now with the cocktail party and fundraiser behind us.

shoes

Created on 2017-04-17 23:22:49

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

I MADE THE TOP FIVE!! I MADE THE TOP FIVE!!  Not only did I make the Top Five, I received recognition for the Highest Percentage Lost Award, Challenger’s Choice Award, and No Weight Gain Award (I have consistently lost each and every week).  And a big win was that our team, Nine Strong, won the Apprentice Challenge!  The hard work paid off not only for us but for our chosen charity as well.  Breakfast Club of Canada got an extra 5% of the donations to be given to them. We will be delivering a total of $1,780 to them.  We raised, after expenses, $4496.01 at our Pub Night fundraiser and I could not be more proud.  Thanks for the work put in, Team Nine Strong!  I feel like I am floating.  I received some awesome gifts from our sponsors and am grateful for them because Who Doesn’t Love Prizes?!?!  I am appreciative of my friends and family that came out to show their support.  Each time my name was called, my cheering section’s hoots, hollers and clapping filled the room – along with my heart <3

 

It was fun to have a night where, after our auction basket was set up, we didn’t have to do much besides enjoy ourselves and celebrate the hard work that went into our transformations thus far.  I had an odd sense of calm about me and a smile on my face all night.

TopFive

Created on 2017-04-17 23:19:05

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

 

It’s not easy making the right choices all the time.  It’s not easy making the healthiest choices.  It’s not easy being active.  Even when it’s enjoyable and I love it and feel so great after making all the right choices.  It’s still hard. Really hard.  I know I’m not the only one that struggles with this.  It takes work to see results, we know this. But it also takes work, mentally, emotionally and physically, to keep going.  Some days are harder than others and I find on those days, it’s the most important to push through.  At the beginning of this challenge, someone said to me “Just DO SOMETHING every day”.  Even on days when it feels extra hard, I make sure to just do something.  Maybe it’s meal prepping for the next day, maybe it’s a forest walk or walking the dog on an extra long route. Just do something. I like it.

49330457a43eef137fd9e421fc7ab0e8

Created on 2017-04-17 23:09:44

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Monday, Monday, Monday. I have been thinking about sugary snacks all day.  I wonder if this is linked to my level of anxiety.  That is something I may look in to.  I was hoping for some nail polish that goes with my dress for the cocktail party… and also some earrings.  I messaged my amazing sister today because she is all things coordinated, all things pinterest (in a good way, not the over-the-top-makes-me-want-to-throw-daggers kind of way), and all things at the ready for a sister in need.  Naturally, she has the exact color of nail polish needed, and the perfect earrings to match my dress and necklace.  I’m not a jewelry kind of person so it’s a wee bit fun getting all “put together” for this evening.  When I make the Top 5 it will all feel totally worth it :-D  Picked up hubby from the ferry terminal today and am so happy to have him home.  It felt awesome knowing I can rock this life with him gone, and it feels just as great to have him back by my side.  I navigated my way to a new place (the ferry terminal) without a GPS or the comfort of having my phone (because I forgot it at home).  Thank goodness for my brother-in-law who told me it was basically a straight line from their house to the ferry itself.  That put my mind at ease.  We pulled up at the exact same time hubby was exiting the terminal and walking towards us – see ya later anxiety!  Tomorrow will be a day for tying up loose ends… wrapping silent auction baskets for the cocktail party, painting nails, grabbing a picture frame for my headshot that will be displayed there, etc.  I’m getting so excited to celebrate the hard work we have all put in!

 

 i-love-my-husband-image

Created on 2017-04-11 05:07:50

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

 

I spent lots of time outside today and the fresh air was glorious.  I enjoyed Thing One and Thing Two and our quality DMT (Daughter Mommy Time) with Daddy away for the weekend.  We, of course, called to sing “Happy Birthday” as he was enjoying his morning solo, in the sunshiney funness of the disc golf course on Pender Island.  I wish my husband so many good things.  All the good things. The best. And more.  I am so lucky to have an amazing life partner.  The Things and I enjoyed a movie night made complete with snuggles in Mommy’s bed and their first viewing of E.T.  I have been really enjoying all our special moments and it’s been nice not to worry about dress shopping or baking a cake or selling tickets or voting.  I hope this calmness carries through to Wednesday.  Happy Birthday to the man I am blessed to spend my life and laughter with!!Happy-Birthdfay-to-super-husband 3e4489a0abd9a21af6fcf28784b89404 bf6ffb013aa7685695ef2ee049e061cd

Created on 2017-04-10 18:38:44

Edited on 2017-04-10 18:39:07

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

 

This morning was a bit of a flurry.  We locked ourselves out of the house and got off to a later start than we’d anticipated.  I didn’t have time to eat so I grabbed some healthy snacky items and threw them in my bag while I was running out the door (after sending Thing One through a small window opening).  I met up with a few fellow challengers so we could have a dress trying on party to find a cocktail party dress for a few of us.  I brought my top two.  I put on the first one and it had a good reaction from my girl friends and it was thought perhaps “yes, this is the one”. But then I tried on the 2nd one and all of them shouted YES! That’s the one!  One friend said “Wow, I totally thought the first one when you sent the pictures but the photo didn’t do the 2nd one justice. Definitely that one”.  And so the dress was chosen.  Can’t wait to get all dolled up on Wednesday and have some fun!

435475708_463ef55841

Created on 2017-04-10 18:29:51

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Happy 60th Birthday to my Dad today.  Celebrating a milestone is so fun… it’s also nice how it causes reflection of our own lives.  I am so thankful that I am taking on this journey of health and wellness now so that when I’m 60 I can still rock all my fitness goals and enjoy adventuring with my family.  I have a top 2 for dresses.  Not a bad problem to have.  That relieves a little of my stress.  Although, I can’t seem to choose between the two and when I send the pictures to friends the response comes back an even split.  My anxiety is creeping up a wee bit since hubs is going away for the weekend. I had my slice of cake and it was AMAZING. Chocolate cake with coconut whip and crumbled cookies in the center with fudge chocolate icing.  It was everything Desperate Icing Licking Thursday Erin was hoping for.  Every. Last. Crumb.

 

 pin-happy-60th-birthday-clip-art-constellation-aviation-consulting-on-x0dR29-clipart

Created on 2017-04-10 18:26:02

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

 

Voting is done! Phew.  Glad that stress is over.  There was a lot of conversation surrounding this round of voting coming at me from all directions; friends, family, challengers, etc.  I am happy to be over that hurdle.  Hubby and I made some icing today for a birthday cake we are making and it’s taking everything in me not to eat it all. Pre-Challenge Erin has eaten icing.  Pre-Challenge Erin has actually just eaten plain icing sugar.  I have needed to exercise total self-control.  When I have a slice of that birthday cake tomorrow, it’s going to be worth the wait.  I’m hunting for a dress that I feel great in for the cocktail party.  I could not be more excited to hear my name be called for the Top 5 and continue to put forth positive energy and vibes into the Universe.  Fingers and toes crossed.  The dress hunt is proving to be fun and also frustrating.  For the first time since I can remember, I like clothes on me.  What a change to be able to try things on and ship for hours without giving up and leaving in tears.  But I still haven’t found one that feels like “the” one to show off all my hard work J

frosting-beater-w

Created on 2017-04-10 18:22:38

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Weigh in day brought some awesomness.  I am down another 2.8 pounds for a total weight loss of 32.2 pounds! And I have lost 31 inches!  Wow.   I actually won this week for highest inch loss! (it was 7 and a bit).  I was nervous about weigh in this week (aren’t I always) so I am thrilled.  We received feedback on our fundraising event from the judges and it went well.  We are so proud of our event and how much money we raised.  We brought our event to life and gave people a good time.  I can walk away knowing I put my all in to it. Voting ends tomorrow at noon.  I have not budget from 8th place in the voting ranks which is frustrating because I know way more people are voting for me this round than last.  But, I haven’t slipped down at all either. I have been working so hard and know that voting is only a percentage of what can get us to the next round.  I’m happy for voting stress to be over tomorrow and am so excited for the cocktail party next week!

winner

 

Created on 2017-04-06 06:31:49

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

My amazing daughter (Thing One) shaved her head into a mohawk today.  This isn’t the first time and I’m sure it wont be the last.  I had always wanted to do it myself so a couple years ago, I chopped off  almost all my hair and shaved my head into a Mohawk.  Thing One wanted to be like Mommy so she followed suit, then Thing Two wanted to be like big sis so she followed as well.  My husband wasn’t one to be left out of the family haircut so there we were, all four of us with matching mohawks.  It was beautiful.  Can girls shave their heads? You bet they can! It was never a question in my mind, nor my daughter’s.  I am so proud of her ability to make bold choices based on what she wants – not what society or others deem acceptable.  And so here she is with her Mohawk again and she rocks it. She is so comfortable in her own skin and it inspires me to reflect on my own hang ups and send them packing.  Thank you my sweet girl, for being braver than you know.

 

 d119537

Created on 2017-04-06 06:25:36

Edited on 2017-04-06 06:25:54

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

 

Today I conquered a fear that has prevented me from a few things before.  I travelled to the United States, with my kids, but without my husband.  This has always activated anxiety and fear in me that could not be controlled, nor explained.  So, I never did it.  We have some friends over the line that have come to visit us and it was time for us to return the favour.  I travelled half an hour past the border, spent about 5 hours in the States and returned home.  It was manageable and freeing.  There was anxiety present but not so much that it stopped me from going.  I am so proud of this and can’t really believe I did it.

border

Created on 2017-04-06 06:21:52

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

 

Our expense report was due today.  I’m glad we had it finished the day after the event.  It feels good to look at our total!  We raised $4496.01 ! That could not have happened without the support from donors, people buying tickets, and the friends and family supporting each member of our team.  We raised well above our projected income and could not be happier.  Everyone on our team worked well the day of the event to ensure it ran smoothly for all our guests.  And it paid off!  I attended a baby shower today that had cupcakes starting at me.  I’m pretty sure they were trained to call my name whenever I got close to the table.  I rejected their advances and chose some mini tomatoes.  It wasn’t quite as satisfying to the sweet tooth but was definitely satisfying to the impulse control center in my brain. We were spending time with family for dinner and they kindly arranged to have gluten free choices as well as veggies, fruit and nuts.  I am so grateful to not have to prepare my own food when going to someone’s house for dinner.  It’s a nice break.  We took a nice after dinner walk around the neighbourhood and took turns racing Thing One and Thing Two.  I’m really enjoying active rest.  I’m savouring the walks and hikes instead of feeling like they aren’t “enough”. Sometimes, they’re exactly what I need.

cupcakes1

Created on 2017-04-06 06:13:53

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

 

Went for a family walk in the forest today.  It was nice to get out and not have to worry about planning a fundraiser!  It felt strange.  It’s been weeks of go, go, go paired with intensity and stress and now it feels like I can finally exhale.  I went to another Abby challenger group fundraiser tonight.  It was at a casino and I topped my night off with a one hundred dollar win from Blackjack.  It’s been nice the past couple days being able to enjoy the fundraisers and relax, knowing ours is over and was successful.  It feels as if a weight has been lifted.  I’m super excited to get back to the gym tomorrow and have a more regular schedule now that fundraiser planning is over. Phew.

aces

Created on 2017-04-02 07:31:52

Friday, March 31st, 2017

 

And just like last round – voting is super stressful.  It’s awful to watch the standings change.  It’s hard to constantly remind people to vote and know that not everyone appreciates the desperation J I went to another Abby challenger group fundraiser this evening.  I thought it would help get my mind off voting, but as soon as I got there some of my Langley ladies were there talking about voting! I can’t escape it!  I won a silent auction item that I bid on so that was a nice finish to my evening.

VOTE

Created on 2017-04-02 07:29:39

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Finally, fundraiser night is upon us. The evening was incredibly successful.  The venue was packed.  Not an empty table in the place was to be found.  Everything went off without a hitch, a fun time was had by all and we had so many compliments from our guests.  All our details were pulled together nicely and there were many happy faces, prizes in hand, leaving the venue at the end of the night.  I’m super proud of our event and all the hard work that was poured in to it. I can’t wait to update you all with the totals of what we raised.  Thank you so much, to everyone that bought a ticket, showed up, donated, or supported this event in any way.  Without you being so giving, this event would not have been so successful.  I’m sporting an attitude of gratitude today – thanks to everyone that supported our event!

 

Special reminder that voting starts tomorrow (Friday). 10 votes per day from each device can help me earn a spot in the Top 5!!  Thank you!

Created on 2017-03-31 22:48:52

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

 

Let’s get right down to it.  I lost 4 pounds this week for a grand total so far of 29.4 pounds lost!!  To go along with the fat loss, I have lost 23.5 inches.  I’m feeling pretty happy about that.  I have been feeling great.  Better than the past few years.  My energy levels continue to soar, my patience has increased, my anxiety has lessened, and my confidence has been boosted.  I can’t wait to make the Top 5 (with your voting help starting Friday!) so I can see how much farther I can go!

Created on 2017-03-31 22:48:26

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

 

More wrapping, prepping, and decoration making today!  I spent the day running around town picking up donations.  I am so grateful for my understanding family.  They have been paramount in my success and so supportive of most of my time and energy going in to this fundraiser.  I have not been able to get to the gym as much as I would like due to fundraiser planning, so I have been hyper focused on my food and hoping it pays off tomorrow at weigh in.

Created on 2017-03-31 22:48:07

Monday, Mach 27th, 2017

 

I am incredibly pleased with how well our fundraiser is coming together.  I’ve been spending many late nights putting things together and making sure all the details are just right.  It feels good to pour so much energy into something, knowing there is a benefit to so many people in the end.  I’m happy with how our team has tiny details covered and a cohesive theme that carries throughout.

Created on 2017-03-31 22:47:40

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

 

Still sick so no gym for me.  It’s tough to “take it easy” when you want to go, go, go!  Nine Strong met today to prepare some of our silent auction items and door prizes for our event.  Seriously, folks, there are so many items to be won!  Our event will accept cash as well as all major credit cards, so don’t be shy getting those silent auction items you desire!  We are feeling so ready for our event and are so excited to support a couple amazing charities.  Shape Your World has changed our lives and Breakfast Club of Canada has changed the lives of so many children.  We are thrilled to represent them both at this Pub Night.  We still have some tickets available.  Please get in touch with me to reserve yours now!

tickets

Created on 2017-03-27 04:23:05

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

 

Today was our hot dog sale at Save-On Foods in Langley (201st and Fraser Hwy).  We are so grateful to Save-On for donating all the supplies to help make it a successful event!  I woke up (after a long night of no sleep) sicker than I have been since I can remember.  I am so thankful to those on my team that pulled together when I couldn’t help as I wanted to.  Our hot dog sale was a success as we’d hoped and we even got some errands for our fundraiser taken care of afterwards as well.  The ball is rolling and we are SO excited with the way our event continues to shape up.

hot dogs

Created on 2017-03-27 04:19:49

Friday, March 24th, 2017

 

Today was so busy – good busy.  The Things and I went to a morning Forest Group for a couple hours, followed by an afternoon Nature Group for a few hours where we did some ‘art in nature’ activities.  This evening was spent at the second fundraiser which was a fashion show.  I was so proud of my fellow challengers that strutted their stuff around the room.  Seeing the confidence and bravery was awesome! It makes me excited for the fashion show that happens in the next segment!  (hint hint: help me get to the next segment by voting for the Top 5 starting this Friday the 31st).

forest

Created on 2017-03-27 04:16:38

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

 

I took Thing One and Thing Two to a phenomenal event at Aldergrove Regional Park today.  Hosted by Metro Vancouver, the Enchanted Forest experience proved to be a magical time for us all.  We hiked some trails, scavenger hunted, performed special tasks and answered trivia questions about nature.  The Things had a blast and I enjoyed spending quality time with my tiny humans and appreciating the fresh air and treed landscape.  This evening was the first of the Langley Challengers fundraisers.  We attended a pub night to support our friends.  It was nice to see fellow challengers letting loose a little bit and having a good time.  It felt like everyone let go of some stress for an evening.  Laughs and good times were shared and this lady had some great chats with new friends! It’s also super strange starting an evening when I’m usually getting into my pyjamas.  I kid you not, when I know we’re done with the outside world for the day – the PJs are on before I do anything else.  This was the second day in a row that I did my hair and make-up as well as dressed up (I use the term “dressed up” loosely based on the fact that I have been in leggings and hoodies for a year or two).  It felt nice and seems to up the confidence a little bit. Thanks for the push, ladies.

fairies

Created on 2017-03-27 04:14:56

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Tonight’s meeting was a great meeting for me.  I had promised a fellow challenger that I would show up dressed in my new clothes with my hair and make-up done… and I did!  It was the first night since day one of the challenge that I didn’t have my hair in a bun, leggings and a baggy shirt.  Truth be told, I felt kind of… nice.  I tried to do my make-up and hair and feel like I may have done an okay job of those.  Weigh in was great – I was down 1.2 pounds. Not as much as I had hoped but a loss is a loss. I have consistently lost each and every week and that is my goal.  I have officially lost 25.4 pounds!!!! That is just incredible to me.  We had a guest speaker discuss public speaking with us.  Toastmasters was the theme of our evening.  We were given some tips and were then selected, one by one, to speak for two minutes on a topic given to us.  I actually had my topic given to me by a fellow challenger who knows me well.  It was along the lines of “How has your family been affected by this challenge?”.  It’s amazing how fast time flies by when talking about my kids.  It’s also amazing how easily I cry when talking about my kids.  I’m not sure how coherent I was, but it was from the heart.  As everyone else was sharing their stories I was having great thoughts about what I might say…but then my topic totally caught me off guard and I spoke directly from my emotions.  Maybe that’s not a bad thing.  We now have tickets to sell for the cocktail party where they will be announcing the Top 5, contest tickets to sell (GREAT prizes… message me for more info if you’d like!), and we are continuing to sell tickets to our Pub Night Fundraiser coming up on March 30th.  If you would like to support me in any of those areas, please message me and I’ll connect with you!  I enjoyed a Zumba class today – it’s always fun to be reminded how I can still enjoy myself even when not 100% co-ordinated.  Tomorrow I will be supporting one of the other team fundraisers.  I’m excited to have a night to celebrate my fellow challengers and all the hard work they have put in.  Wishing them good luck with their event.

 

 bear

Created on 2017-03-23 05:28:56

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

 

It was a little sad wiping off all that makeup last night.  I had felt, for the first time since I can remember, beautiful, sexy, confident and not schlubby.  Thing Two asked me to “take off the make-up but please leave the hair that way”. Too cute.  I enjoyed the soft curls.  Maybe with practice I could achieve a similar look.  A LOT of practice.  I went to a Barre class today and it was nice to have a fellow challenger to chat with, laugh with, and groan with through class.  I finished off my night with a 6.3km run.  It remains to be seen if I will be friendly with 5am tomorrow.  I was feeling like I was processing a lot today.  I was questioning everything. “Am I making the right choices for my kids? Am I being the best Mom I can on a daily basis? Am I living up to my potential? What if I’m not being as good of a wife I can be? My husband is incredibly supportive and I am so lucky for that but is he having to pick up too much of the slack while I’m in this challenge? Am I getting to the gym enough? It’s so hard to get water in these days.  Seriously, am I making all the right choices to raise my kids in the best way?” and so on.  After my run, I felt drastically better and the questioning thoughts seemed to ease.  Looking forward to kicking my feet up and having some husband snuggles.

rock

Created on 2017-03-22 04:54:06

Monday, March 20th, 2017

picwow

Photo shoot day!  I debated getting up early for the gym but decided to let myself sleep in so I could feel refreshed and at my best for photos.  This was actually a hard decision for me because every time I choose something else over the gym I feel a scooch of guilt.

Step one this morning was make-up.  I was early and she was free so she took me in right away.  I did my make-up with Nicole from the Thunderbird Shoppers in Langley and she was great!  She was chatty and put me at ease.  I gave her a blank canvas and “carte blanche” with my face.  She seemed shocked that I hadn’t had my make-up done since my wedding day seven years ago.  I felt slightly pampered having someone do something for me – and it was a strange feeling.  Usually I’m the doer and the giver so it felt odd to just sit there and have someone do something for me.  I didn’t peek in the mirror until she was completely finished.  Wow! I barely recognized myself.  I liked the look she gave me, and how it brought out the brightness of my eyes.  I’m not used to wearing any make-up at all so the foundations (or whatever? Lol) felt a bit thick for me but Nicole is awesome and did an amazing job.  Onward to get hair done!

nicole

I had my hair done by Brittany from The Looking Glass Salon.  She was cheerful and did my hair, totally effortlessly, in about 15 minutes.  I was amazed.  It was fabulous and I loved it.  I wasn’t used to wearing my hair down and I absolutely loved it.  I have never had a flare for styling hair – I’m a wash-and-go kind of gal.  When I wake up in the morning, I have a shower then brush my hair and throw it into a bun – where it remains for the rest of the day until I go to bed and take the bun out.  I wake up and repeat the process.  Seeing my hair and make-up both finished made me feel incredible.  I felt like I was floating.  When Brittany asked me if she could put some glitter in my hair, of course my answer was “Absolutely – I feel like I need to sparkle today!!”.  So she did… with spray glitter!! SPRAY GLITTER, folks!! Fabulous. ‘nuff said.

brittany

Onward to pictures!  I ended up being about 45 minutes early for Tarra Lee Photography and she graciously and enthusiastically invited me in and started my shoot right away.  Tarra has awesome, warm energy and her passion for photographing women is inspiring.  She posed me how I needed to be (Phew! Yay!) and was encouraging when I didn’t realize I wasn’t even smiling.  Some of the poses felt awkward but I know those can produce the best final product.  I have a bucket list sort of passion for learning how to photograph in a meaningful and beautiful way.  Tarra was totally positive and inspiring while chatting with her about that.  Many thanks to this woman for what I know will be headshots to treasure!

tarra

After my photoshoot, I met a fellow challenger for lunch at a salad shop (yay current Erin! Pre-Challenge Erin would have met at a bakery, Fast Food establishment or Coffee Shop full of donuts).  We had a nice lunch and a great chat.  It felt nice to relax after running from place to place all morning.

Headed home and had a visit with my Mom, who delivered new shoes for Thing One and Thing Two, which was nice.  It’s really nice to have Grandma step in with things like news shoes when needed! It removes worry from us and I am eternally grateful for that support.

Things One and Two in tow, we headed to the Old Spaghetti Factory in Abbotsford to support one of the Abbotsford Total Makeover Challenge teams.  They were having an extra fundraiser and were serving food to earn money (tips, etc) for their team’s chosen charities.  We love to support and were happy to help.  The Things were a little shocked they did not win the “Guess How Many in the Jar” games but were thrilled with a spiraled cinnamon apple for dessert. The RackPack ladies were cheery, helpful and awesome servers!

family

 

I really felt the love today from people that saw my “transformation”.  Some awesome reactions from touching to hilarious (thanks Tammy’s Mom!).  A friend of mine brought to light the fact that what was so beautiful was the fact that my “after but not done yet” photo from yesterday highlighted my confidence and happiness. She noted it seemed as though the difference was that I was always beautiful only now I knew it like everyone else.  Maybe she’s right ;-)

differencesidebyside

Created on 2017-03-22 04:47:23

Edited on 2017-03-22 04:50:03

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

view2

 

Today was a “rest day” – which now translates to “active rest” for me.  I no longer desire loafing around the house, more specifically the couch, and eating awful foods.  On a day where I am not scheduled, over scheduled or busy, I used to crave my couch and television.  On a day where I have “down time” now, I crave getting outside and going for a hike, a walk, a swim or…anything active really.  This makes me really happy.  I headed out for a 6.25 km walk/hike today and the views were amazing.  Tomorrow is photo shoot day!  The Top 15 challengers get hair, make-up and headshots and I’m both terrified and excited!  I have not had make-up done since my wedding day about 7 years ago.  It’s been quite a while on the hair too.  I’m excited to wear one of the shirts I picked up on my shopping date yesterday.  I really hope I’m guided on how to stand and pose for pictures ‘cause I don’t even know how to take a proper selfie!

selfie

I don’t really know what to expect tomorrow or what to think.  I’m thrilled to be given this opportunity and am happy to step outside my comfort zone some more (never thought I’d be saying that!).

View

Created on 2017-03-22 04:30:21

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

What. A. Day.  I had Thing 1 wake me way too early today.  It hurt to open my eyes.  I coaxed her into our bed for some snuggles and more sleep time.  It wasn’t long before Thing 2 followed suit. I also coaxed her in as I was not ready to get out of bed.  I had 10 minutes until I needed to be up for the Sun Run training.  I started to bargain with myself “You really need this. You can sleep in, and do the run later on your own when you’re well rested…”.  The truth is, I know I would not have run it on my own.  It was a longer run today and I struggle to get the long distances when it’s just myself out there.  Plus, it’s spooky for me (thanks, anxiety) to run on trails alone. And I ADORE trail runs (and trail walks, hikes, skips and saunters).  I breathe better and feel like I just run better out in the forest. So, I got out of bed when I was supposed to.  I got dressed for my run and set the kids up with breakfast.  I hydrated and nourished my body because I knew it would be the longest run so far in training.

I kicked the trail runs butt!! I was delightfully surprised that I ran for 8.3 kilometers without feeling like

     a)       I HAD to stop

     b)       I was going to pass out

     c)        walkers were going faster than me

     d)       I might not be able to finish the required time

     e)       my body was shutting down

     f)        I wasn’t designed to run

I ran for 8.3 kilometers!  The Sun Run is 10kms so I’m feeling more ready and like it’s actually doable. What a great feeling.

I mentioned in Wednesday’s post that a friend had offered to come shopping with me to pick something out for the photo shoot.  Pre-Challenge Erin would have thanked her for the offer and never brought it up again.  Likely made an excuse if questioned.  Current Erin decided to go for it and accept such a kind offer!  I am not really a fashion conscious person – nor do I have a true perception of myself.  I need help to snap out of those.  So we went shopping today.  I think I kicked shopping’s butt today too.

I found out that all my clothes are too big compared to what I should be wearing for my size.  I found out that shopping can be fun.  I found out that it is SO much easier with a friend.  I love having an honest opinion.  I want to know if something doesn’t look right.  We enjoyed finding trends I didn’t think would work on me but clearly do. We enjoyed poking fun at certain pieces of clothing… some while they were on me.  I successfully bought more than one article of clothing, and it wasn’t three sizes too big! I loved the way I looked and felt in real pants (sorry leggings, you need to make room for jeans).  I realized I can wear more than just black.  And I can like colours.  And some colours actually look good on me (even when I thought they wouldn’t).

I am so full of gratitude for someone that would take time out of their day to help make mine bright <3 This makeover challenge is infusing my life with so much goodness that I did not expect.  I’m now totally looking forward to getting all dolled up for my photo shoot on Monday.

 

I have now had two challengers that have encouraged me to wear my hair down more (it’s been in a pony or a bun since the challenge started…and also for the past year maybe).  I am going to try! Small changes! Even the smallest steps count!shopping

Created on 2017-03-19 05:42:54

Edited on 2017-03-19 05:44:18

Friday, March 17th, 2017

I took Thing 1 and Thing 2 to Forest Group today.  I was cold but I could deal with it better than usual.  One of the symptoms of my autoimmune disease is not being able to tolerate cold temperatures and having cold extremities that are unable to warm up.  Today I felt great in the chilly temperature, didn’t feel any joint stiffness or pain with all the walking and standing, and my energy level was up.  These are things that might seem minor or insignificant, but are huge strides in the right direction for me.  I warmed fairly quickly once we were back in the car which is a nice change.

I was not able to go to the gym today as hubby was away.  I’m not sure if that’s what affected my mood and thinking patterns or what but I had such ups and downs in my thoughts all day.

My stream of consciousness ran something like this: Wow. I can’t believe I have lost 24 pounds, that is awesome. Oh I hope it doesn’t stop or slow down now. It must right? At some point? Oh no, what if this is the week I don’t have a loss? That hasn’t happened yet. What a disappointment. UGH. So sad to work so hard and not have results. Wait a minute, that hasn’t happened. Get the good energy out in to the universe. Project what you want to attract.  I am working hard and that will show.   I could totally go for some cupcakes.  Why can’t cupcakes be an everyday food? Maybe they can. I could make healthy cupcakes.  Like I have time to make healthy cupcakes. That’s one more thing on the to-do list that I don’t have time for. Maybe I should make time. If I were more productive with my time, I could probably accomplish way more throughout the day. My ankle is a bit sore. I should look in to that – I want to be able to keep running. Totally not as sore as my shoulder though I think it’s getting worse. I really need to make an appt for a massage and some chiro. I have to pay up front so should check the banking. Ah, banking – need to pay bills…add that to my to-do list. Speaking of things to do, we have a brunch tomorrow, I’m going to need to make something. Maybe Gary can help. Right – he’s away tonight.  Oh no… it’s so hard being alone at night, my anxiety kicks in to overdrive. I will have to make myself busy tonight and do all the things I did last time that made it easier to keep my anxiety at bay. Anxiety is so awful. It’s feels unfair that it even exists. Does it serve a purpose that is helpful at all? Not when it gets in the way of life. I super love my life though.  I am so grateful to be in this challenge. And my kids and husband – they’re so amazing. And supportive. I’m glad I have a good team backing me while I navigate the total makeover challenge and implement life changes. I hope they can see it’s lasting this time,  not like the other times I started and stopped and regressed. I really want to make it to the next round of the challenge. I need to make the top 5.  I know I need this motivation in my life right now. I don’t feel ready to go it on my own yet. Seriously though, why do cupcakes keep popping in to my head.

So, I did end up making some Vegan Nutella Banana Bread, some Energy Balls, and some Vegan Nut Free Nutella.  All turned out well and the baking took the focus away from my anxiety.  I’m up far too late to get a long enough sleep before Sun Run training tomorrow.  It’s a big run too. I have my clothes laid out and ready to go. Fingers crossed.

 

anxiety anxiety_sucks_by_socij-d6gpsvk

Created on 2017-03-19 05:33:49

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

 

I did a circuit class at EnVie Fitness today.  By the end of the day, I could feel everything in my body.  It was great!  Sun Run training felt awesome tonight.  I’m starting to think maybe, just maybe, I like to run.  Time will tell.  The ring I am wearing in place of my engagement and wedding rings is getting quite loose.  I’ve almost got enough nerve to try my rings on again.  It’s sort of hit me that I have lost 24 pounds since this challenge started.  It is easy to brush of the first few (as exciting as they are!) but there is no denying that hard work went in to dropping 24 pounds and several inches.  I’m feeling proud and inspired to stay strong with my motivation and keep going.

installing-muscles

Created on 2017-03-19 05:16:56

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

I lost two pounds this week! I really wasn’t sure what tonight’s weigh in would look like, given the stress I have encountered this past week. That makes 24 pounds lost so far.  No wonder my clothes are loose!

We had some guests today speaking of hair, make-up, and our photo shoot.  I’m excited to get my hair and make-up done for the upcoming photo shoot. I desperately need clothes that don’t look like I’m wearing a blanket or a sheet.  I have spent so long thinning my wardrobe of anything form fitting.  Now, I am finally at a place where I feel like wearing something a little less body camouflaging and I don’t have anything left!

One of my fellow challengers offered to go shopping with me so I could get something that I feel good in.  I don’t always see myself with a proper lens, and fashion sense is not a strength of mine, so I am incredibly grateful for her offer and plan to make it happen!

I was shocked to hear my name called tonight as the top inches loser from last week!  I couldn’t believe it!  That makes me incredibly happy and sort of reassures I’m doing things right.

 

I’m feeling energized.  My goals this week are to sell tickets to our fundraiser and secure silent auction donations.  We are so happy to be supporting the Breakfast Club of Canada and Shape Your World Society.  Breakfast Club of Canada provides free breakfast for school aged children, in their participating school, 5 days a week. Hungry children can’t focus on learning, developing and growing.  We hope to be a part of ending the cycle of hunger in school kids.  Shape Your World has done so much for me already, I am happy to support them empower women and their families to lead better, fuller, brighter lives.  If you are able to, please show your support by purchasing a ticket to our event!  It’s happening on March 30th in Langley from 6-10pm at Townhall Public House.  Buy some tickets for your employees to say thanks for a job well done!  Buy some tickets for your spouse to go out with their friends! Have a date night with your special someone or your friends!  Bring your kids! We would appreciate donations or silent auction items as well and are grateful for any and all support!

breakfastclub Shape

PUB NIGHT CHARITY FUNDRAISER

Thursday March 30th, 2017

6PM-10PM

SILENT AUCTION * GAMES * ENTERTAINMENT * DOOR PRIZES & MORE

 

ALL proceeds from this event will go to Breakfast Club of Canada and Shape Your World Society

Townhall Public House

#101 – 19640 64th Avenue, Langley, BC

Tickets are $20 and include a burger (veggie, chicken or beef), a beverage (beer, wine or pop), a side of fries and a chance at door prizes!

For tickets please contact 604-727-9723

Created on 2017-03-16 07:09:45

Edited on 2017-03-16 07:10:34

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

I went to a local print shop to print off the business plan for our event.  I navigated my way through the machines and fired off the colour copies. I discovered, once home, that the program that read the document was formatted differently than the program I created and saved it in.  Everything printed, for lack of a better descriptive word, wonky. Totally wonky.  Pages were printed half on one sheet and half on the other, photos and logos were covering writing, and paragraphs were misaligned.  It was a mess.  So, major revision number three began.  I had to re-format, cut and copy each page one by one and print them off my home printer – for which I had to grab ink for.  The business plan is due tomorrow so it’s felt like a very overwhelming few days.  The hours of work spent were worth it.  I was pleased with it in the end.

We had a team planning meeting tonight, at our event venue.  It was nice to get together in person, in the space we will be using.  We were organized and efficient with meeting agendas and meeting minutes being shared with the group.  We had questions answered and left with tasks and to-do lists.

I have learned some important things about myself this week;

I do have time in the day to accomplish all the necessities, if I structure my time right and pre plan.

I can delegate.

I can lead.

I can conquer really tough “techy” computer tasks!

Even when I think I can’t go out of my comfort zone again, I prove myself wrong.

I can deal with stress in a healthy way.

Wanting to run and be active is becoming a habit and a desire.

I’m a good Mom even when I’m not at my best.

When I have an attitude of gratitude, I feel more present in my life.

Supporters and helpers are not always those who I would have expected. Some non-supporters are also not who I would have expected – and I’m okay with that.

 

Noone expects me to be perfect.

58c8a1e74c2a917f3dc3e97eface39ef

Created on 2017-03-16 06:58:14

Monday, March 13th, 2017

 

RETURN OF STRESS!!  We hit another major road block with our fundraiser planning and had to take a major detour.  This meant revising the business plan again.  And not just changing little things here and there but changing our group logo and major information within the business plan…so pretty much switching up the whole thing.  But hey, it’s not how hard you hit – it’s how hard you can get hit and keep going! So… I went to the gym to sweat it out and while I was doing that all I could think about was how I wanted to blog it out later on as well.  Healthy ways of dealing with stress!  I’m letting it go and not dwelling on things.  Stress happens… it is how we deal with it that matters.

hftf2bv0gt8y

Created on 2017-03-16 06:52:11

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

 

I felt a little more positive today, a little more upbeat.  I have been making decisions and getting things done.  My team, Nine Strong, has had to make some tough choices in relation to this fundraiser we are planning.  It’s coming together.  I have been working very hard on a business plan and have had to revise it and re-do it due to a roadblock we came across.   I dealt with my frustration in a healthy way.  I didn’t cave to easy processed meals, or to sugar – as much as I wanted to.  I vented to my husband, walked away from the computer when I needed to, took stretching breaks and tried to remain positive.  To my surprise, it worked.  Not only did these things work but I didn’t really have to make a conscious decision to do them – it just came to me.

StressRelief-462x200

Created on 2017-03-16 06:48:47

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

STRESS. Feeling so much stress.  We’re having some issues with our fundraiser, a couple snags have come up and it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing.  I went to my Sun Run Training and for the first time since I started running this year, I zoned out on my run.  I fell into a rhythm and I completely zoned out.  It was so great – I felt like I could have kept going all day.  I didn’t feel my body aches, I wasn’t aware of what my breathing was like or how much my shoulder injury hurt.  I just ran and I liked it.  It helped to relieve some of the stress I was feeling but very temporarily.  About half an hour after my run finished, I was back inside my head and feeling pressure from all the challenge things going on this week.  I did my best to remain optimistic and that seemed to carry me through.

optimism

Created on 2017-03-16 06:46:55

Friday, March 10th, 2017

I had my gym clothes ready to go, last night, on my dresser.  My plan was to try and reconnect with 5am and smooth things over.  Everything was all set. But then life happened.  My eldest tiny human, Thing One, crept in to bed with us in the wee hours of the morning. Maybe it was the middle of the night – I’m not really sure.  What I am sure of is that Thing One isn’t the sleeper-inner.  This morning she slept through me tossing and turning, me getting up to go to the bathroom, the dog thinking he owns all bed real estate, and the cat thinking he can wedge himself so close to your thigh it’s impossible to turn over without squishing him, and through Daddy getting up and getting ready for work.  She was snuggled up so close to me, seeping all my warmth and hoarding it as her own.  I loved Every. Single. Second. It was glorious.  Maybe I needed it as much as she did.  But, clearly, Thing One needed a sleep in and so I gave it to her – my own warmth included.  The gym will always be there but these moments wont.  I try to remind myself that this challenge isn’t about making temporary changes.  It is so important to make lasting, realistic changes that are doable in my own life.  This morning was a great reminder of that.  I could always go to the gym later.  And I did.  I hit the gym in the afternoon and felt so happy that I took the time in the morning to enjoy my bonus cozy time instead of rushing off to work out.

momandbabes momandgirl

 

As for the “Apprentice” challenge, we are hosting a fundraiser at the Townhall Public House in Langley on Thursday March 30th from 6-10ish pm.  Tickets are $25.00 and include a burger (veggie, chicken, or beef), a beverage (wine, beer, or pop) and a side (fries anyone?!) as well as a chance for some door prizes!! There will be some fabulous entertainment, a silent auction, and more! Please get in touch with me if you’d like to buy a ticket – or look for our event page on Facebook.  My group, 9 Strong, would be happy to accept any donations for our door prizes, silent auction, etc.  This will be a great night out with some friends, a fun family escape from the kitchen, or an awesome reward for your staff members!  All proceeds are going to two charity organizations so come out and support a good cause!

InvitationFB

Created on 2017-03-11 05:29:55

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Zumba again today!  I loved it even more this time.  The first time I tried, I felt like I caught on to about 75% of it.  This time, I felt like I had about 98% of the moves.  I nailed the “Footloose” routine so that must get me some points somewhere, right?

footloose

I’m feeling really stressed out, overwhelmed and tested by this “Apprentice” challenge of planning a fundraiser.  I am trying to take some me time but am just really feeling the weight of things today.

todolist

 

Tomorrow is a new day, with new chances, and new energy. 

tomorrow

Created on 2017-03-11 05:07:50

Wednesday, March 8th, 2018

Weigh in day!  I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one.  I lost 3.2 pounds for a total so far of 22.2 pounds and 19 inches lost!!  I can finally see the difference in my body (not just my face).  I’m proud of the weigh and inch loss and am thrilled to keep giving it my all and seeing results.

We had a fabulous speaker tonight, Monique, who was easy to listen to and very engaging.  We were learning about sacred gifts – one of which is compassion.  I have the gift of compassion and was so happy to learn that it is considered a sacred gift.  I have been labelled a “bleeding heart” in a very negative way before and was told that having so much compassion was a bad thing.  Perhaps those people didn’t have it as one of their dominant sacred gifts.  It was interesting to me to learn that we don’t have to “have it all together” ourselves in order to share our sacred gift and be of benefit to other people. I can’t wait to make some time to check out www.feelonpurpose.com and see what else I can learn from Monique.

compassion-word

How appropriate that I would get to spend International Women’s Day with a group of strong, encouraging, dedicated, powerful, inspiring women.  Thank you, ladies, for blessing me with your authentic selves.

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the services of vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde

 

“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”  – Malala Yousafzai

strong-women-quote-1

Created on 2017-03-11 05:00:53

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

I tried a Barre class this morning at EnVie and really enjoyed it!  It wasn’t a fast movement, sweat inducing class but within the first couple minutes my arms and shoulders were hollering at me.  By the end I felt like I had a great, whole body workout.  I’d been wanting to try this style of class for quite some time but hadn’t been able to find one near me.  I’ll be signing up for another for sure.

barre

 

I have been wearing a ring that my Grammy gave me, years ago, in place of my wedding and engagement rings.  I need to get the setting checked/tightened on them after losing a stone out of one of them.  That’s what I have been telling myself (and everyone else).  The super honest truth is that they barely fit me anymore and it was a very real struggle to get them on or off at all. So they have been off for a loooooooooong time.  I miss them.  They hold so much meaning to me and I miss wearing them proudly. The replacement ring I’ve had on is now getting loose so I’m thinking I should check my rings soon and see if they fit again.  I am really nervous to try them, just in case they don’t.  It would be a huge disappointment.  I have been putting it off.   I just don’t have the guts to do it yet.  Soon.

rings

Created on 2017-03-11 04:46:53

Monday, March 6th, 2017

fear

 

A typical anxiety trigger happened for me today and for the first time, I dealt with it really well.  Instead of having constant, high anxiety, I had a couple peaks, and some manageable lower grade anxious times.  I attribute this to the change in my fitness and nutrition.  I am feeding my brain and fuelling my body better than ever and it has really impacted the way I dealt with my major anxiety.  I am hoping that the next time is the same, I get to rule over the anxiety instead of the other way around.

brain

Created on 2017-03-11 04:41:20

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

 

Swim day.  I’m still rocking the bathing suit I bought for myself.  I feel even better in it and have noticed my confidence is up.  I am so glad my kids have the same passion for being in water as I do.  I continue to make an effort to move my body more (treading water, etc) while we are having our family swim.  It doesn’t feel like work and it’s an easy way for me have an active rest day.

confidence

Created on 2017-03-11 04:37:52

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Sun Run Training Day!  Today was an exciting day.  I ran for 40 minutes and it felt wonderful.  I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep pace with my group but I did. For forty minutes. FORTY MINUTES. It’s been about a year since I have run for that long.  I love being back at it and am excited to complete the Sun Run this year!  It’s really tough for me to go out and run on my own.  I’m glad I have a group to train with.  The snow has made for a lot of missed runs outside.  I have been doing them on the treadmill but it’s just not the same.  I’m happy to be back outside, breathing fresh air, and letting my head reflect and zone out.  I haven’t been running with music and it’s been sort of nice.  I like the time to let my thoughts wander.

 

run runview

Created on 2017-03-11 04:32:30

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

wakingup2

 

I knew I would be unable to go to the gym in the evening due to a scheduling conflict – so that left the morning option.  5am is not my friend.  I have tried to coax 5am into a friendship with me by prepping food for us, telling 5am that I enjoyed hanging out, and going to bed earlier so 5am could have my full attention.  I even went so far as to letting 5am have a little sleep in and meet me at 5:10am.  I regret to inform that 5am and I are still not in a very loving relationship.  I did go to the gym and I hurt.  Waking up hurt. My eyes hurt. My workout felt hard. The cold felt colder and the early felt earlier.  But I went. Until next time, 5am.

wakingup

Created on 2017-03-11 04:30:23

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

I feel like this challenge is off to a great start for our team.  We named ourselves 8 Strong and covered a lot of ground right out of the gate.  I’m feeling more confident about it today.

I tried a Bootcamp and TRX classes at Envie Fitness Langley tonight. I got my heart rate up, and down, and back up again more times than I can remember.  I got my sweat on and managed to leave still smiling!  It has been so long since I’ve loved the feeling of physically working hard with and for my body.

 

We are logging our sugar intake (all sugar, natural sugars from whole foods included) and I am pleasantly surprised with mine.  I cut out all processed sugars the moment I started this challenge.  I can only imagine what my numbers were before.  This is the longest I have gone without consuming processed sugar on a daily (…hourly?) basis.  The changes have been incredible.  My body aches and joint pain are minimal, my skin is tighter and brighter, my eyes are brighter, my energy level is up, my brain fog has lifted significantly, and the list goes on. I could not be more proud of myself for making the choice to deal with my sugar addiction.  It is such a huge hurdle and challenge in and of itself; sugar is a hurdle I have tried to jump over but ran right into many times before.  This time, I keep clearing the hurdle every time I jump and it, finally, is getting easier.

bunnyhurdle

Created on 2017-03-11 04:26:09

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

 

I hit the gym this morning, and later morning headed to EnVie again to try a Zumba class.  I had never done a Zumba class before.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect and I didn’t have the comfort of any fellow challenge ladies with me this time.  EnVie Fitness has daycare, which works out perfect for my tiny humans.  They were thrilled with the facility and had so much fun with Natasha in the kids room!  I noticed the same look I felt like was on my face on a couple other women.  It was their first time too!  I felt better just knowing I wasn’t the only one who was super green to this class.  Well, as it turns out, I’m not as uncoordinated as I had originally thought.  I definitely have a left and a right foot, I just can’t always tell them apart! Ha ha.  In all seriousness, it was so much fun.  I had a blast.  Turns out I love Zumba and can’t wait to try more classes.  I found out at our meeting tonight that I was in THE TOP THREE of the 30.  This completely shocked me.  I had no idea.  I didn’t expect it and some feelings of “why me?” surfaced.  The old me would have dwelled on those wondering how I was deserving.  But the new me quickly squashed them and owned it.  I worked REALLY hard from day 1.  I gave things up, tried new things, completed all the challenges, gave it my all, stepped so far (maybe stumbled…) out of my comfort zone… and this was the pay off.  And I am proud of that.  Weigh in was successful as well!  I lost 3 pounds for a total of 19 POUNDS LOST!  Woo! We received our new challenge and we are to host a fundraising event, supporting an organization of our choice.  I have a fabulous team to work with and am eager to get started.  I’m both excited and terrified of this challenge.  Here’s hoping they both drive me to success!

zumbakitty

Created on 2017-03-11 04:21:52

Tuesday, February, 28th 2017

 

I hit the gym this morning again and was so glad I did.  Sometimes I go in there with a plan, others I wander around aimlessly.  No matter what my plan (or lack thereof) going in is, I always feel accomplished coming out.  This evening, I ventured to EnVie Fitness in Langley to try some new classes!  I was so happy to have the comfort of a few other ladies of the challenge to join me.  We moved our bodies like I hadn’t anticipated in a Dance Hall Hip Hop class, and then got bendy and flexy in a Yoga class.  Both were great.  I am learning that I’m not really picky when it comes to exercise.  I love to move and challenge my body.  I like to work hard.  It seems I enjoy pretty much everything I try.

 yogakitty2yogakitty1 yogakitty3

Created on 2017-03-11 04:19:16

Monday, February 27th, 2017

 

Is still does not feel any easier getting up at 5am to head to the gym.  Yet, I keep doing it.  I always love it when it’s over.  I have never heard anyone say “gee, I really regret doing that workout”, but I have heard people say “ugh, I should have slept in”. Ha ha!  So, I’m not sure where the balance is in there.  My focus is on getting to bed earlier so the mornings don’t feel so hard.  A milestone happened today!! I realized that I can fit a regular towel around my whole body again without a big gap!  In my journey of constantly and drastically changing size over the years, I remember this feeling from long ago.  I had been so used to not having a towel go all the way around me.  It’s such a weird thing to feel good about, but it does feel good.  That’s a good marker of progress for me I suppose.  I almost feel ready to try on my rings again…

towel

Created on 2017-03-11 04:15:51

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

 

Energy is still up today!  Not much to report, but I went for a run and went swimming.  Sort of floating on the high of making the Top 15.  Nutrition is still great and it feels like this is the longest I have even gone without sugar.  My symptoms from Hashimotos are seeing positive effects from the way I’m eating.  I have gained back a pep in my step that I forgot I ever had.

great

Created on 2017-03-11 04:13:02

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

superfam

I MADE THE TOP 15!!!!  I am thrilled, excited, proud of me, and grateful for all those that voted for, encouraged, and supported me along the way!  What an exciting moment.  It was bitter sweet as we saw some women we have connected with not make it to the top 15, but I know that they will continue the journey as wild card contenders and will keep their flame burning.  The weather kept us dry today but it sure didn’t keep us warm.  My kids thought they were going to freeze into ice statues but they were such troupers and I am so proud of them.  There was a fair bit of waiting around outside before and after the event and they were amazing.  They wanted to stay and support Mommy whether she made the top 15 or not.  I received a prize for losing weight/inches each week, as well as a prize for recruiting the most teams (I was one of two people who received this award) so special shout out to my friends that came out to support!!  I also received a beautiful bouquet of flowers for being a part of the TOP 30.  When we were running back to the finish point of the race, my leggings were falling down.  I actually had to hold them up while I ran.  There’s a win!  Finally, after so many weeks of seeing the scale drop, I can notice it in a tangible way.

super

There were a lot of sponsors that contributed prizes to this event and I am so grateful that the participants were given wonderful things to enjoy :-D When we were driving home from the event, a good friend of mine told me that I had motivated her (with this journey, and making the top 15) to go for a run.  This is a friend that has told me, numerous times, that I inspire her.  I have always had a hard time believing that.  Today she inspired me.  I spontaneously asked if I could join her.  The text flew into my phone before I’d had a chance to really realize what I had said.  I was exhausted form all the in and out and running around of the race, not to mention the coldness.  Nevertheless, I went for that run.  We did it together and we absolutely rocked it.  We hit the trail with the intention of running pretty minimally, while doing walk/run intervals.  We ended up running between 4 and 5kms.  It felt amazing. I felt amazing.  I didn’t think I had lost any “oomph”, but after making the Top 15, I feel like I have it back!  I’m so pumped to work even harder this next round and see where it takes me.

 

 16906814_1240957945958125_6816175444497268736_n(1)

Created on 2017-03-11 04:10:18

Friday, February 24th, 2017

 

Today brought an evening full of last minute costume preparations and mapping out locations for The Amazing Race – Langley event tomorrow.  I stayed up way too late but felt better knowing where we were headed.  Hubby works better with a digital map, I work better with paper in hand.  We both had different ideas with what route to take, but it was fun coming to a joint decision on how to tackle it!  Above all else, we are in it to have fun as a family tomorrow. I’m so excited and nervous for the Top 15 announcement that will happen after the event.  I feel good that I have done my best, made changes, and stepped outside my comfort zone. Way outside the zone.

comfort-zone

Created on 2017-03-11 04:01:41

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

 

Voting ended at Noon today and I could not be more relieved.  It was hard to see the placements change and just when I’d distract myself for long enough not to worry about it, someone would mention where I was in the standings.  I kept worrying that I wouldn’t get enough votes to make the top 15.  And I need to make the top 15.  From what I could see when voting closed I was in 6th place.  I hope that’s a good thing.  Either way, I’m glad the voting is over. Phew.  I have been giving some thought to what this challenge has done for me so far and I can’t imagine not having the support or motivation behind me.  I’m not ready to go it alone yet.

fingers

Created on 2017-03-11 04:00:19

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

I was a little anxious stepping on the scale and getting measurements tonight.  It was an off week with not a lot of sleep or gym time, and little focus on food.  I ate good foods, I just wasn’t as focused on it as I have been.  Well, I lost 2.8 pounds and 1.5 inches.  That is a total so far of 16 pounds and 12.5 inches. YAY!  In a rare occurrence, I was wearing my skinny jeans (as opposed to my comfy leggings) and they were falling down all day.  They were so tight when I started this challenge that I stopped wearing them at all.  Finally, some noticeable change!

One of our topics tonight was financial smarts.  This was a hard one for me.  We have had a series of unexpected setbacks and challenges with finances for a while and it’s just…. not fun.  I hope to dive deeper into this aspect of wellness and find some creative solutions to some tricky issues.

We had a doTERRA rep, Sara Darwin, share some of her story with us.  She has lovely energy and a generous spirit.  She brought some goodies in the form of essential oil product samples!  One of my favorite things and something I hope to learn more about.  I have several friends that have managed many issues with the use of essential oils and I’m excited to incorporate different ones into our family wellness protocol.

 

Tomorrow shall bring my Sun Run Training, a trip to the gym, and costume prep for The Amazing Race event on Saturday.  Fun times ahead!

oils

Created on 2017-02-23 06:40:40

Tuesday, February, 21st, 2017

1:15am a beautiful baby girl came into this world.  Her Mommy was a rockstar throughout her ferocious birth.  She’s perfect and tiny and smooshy and loveable.  She’s new and pure and full of light.  And I got to witness that miracle.  A miracle of strength. A miracle of persistence.  A miracle of pure love.

My drive home at 4:30 am was one that would have ended with a stop for sugary treats and snacks a few weeks ago.  This proud girl went straight home, checked on her own little miracles, then cozied in to bed.

The rest of the day was…jam packed.  All the minutes were dedicated. Again.  How does this keep happening?  I am missing the gym and wondering what weigh in will bring tomorrow without as many gym sessions as my body is used to.  This has been a very busy week and I’m ready for some calmer days ahead.

The upside to the busy week is that I’ve been totally distracted from focusing on the voting standings!  There are still 3 days left to vote!  I am incredibly grateful for those that have supported me thus far with their votes.  People I didn’t expect to be are voting and it warms my heart.  It is sad to think that after Saturday’s Amazing Race Langley event, half of our group will not continue on in the challenge.  I am starting to make connections and really care to see these ladies succeed.

Part of our busy Sunday was getting costumes ready for the Amazing race event. The tiny humans are getting pumped.  Should be a fun event!  I’m still in shock that I was able to get 3 sponsors for this event!  This challenge has been such a thief to our family time so I’m really looking forward to participating in this event with my loves for some quality time.

 

 whimzy

Created on 2017-02-22 05:26:03

Monday, February 20th, 2017

Today was… also jam packed.  No extra minutes.  My friend’s labour was progressing (be it slowly) and the plan was for me to be at the hospital for what we have excitedly been calling “BABY TIME!” for months now.  I ended up at the hospital around 4:30pmish… and there I stayed until 4:30am-ish the following morning.  I have no rights to complain about lack of sleep or a sore body after what this new (again) Momma is going through.  My adrenaline kept me going and I was most pleased with myself for packing healthy snacks!  It was amazing.  Especially being awake for an all-nighter.  I brought healthy food, and I ate it.  That’s it. No running out for snacks or making poor choices.  That is HUGE for me. Win!  Watching my friend go through an intense labour, which so closely mirrored my own, for hours was incredible.  I just kept thinking how incredibly strong she is.  I never doubted her, even when she doubted her own body.  It wasn’t until after the baby was here that I made the correlation to myself.  I was strong in that moment too, when I had my girls. I am strong now, through this challenge and my daily life challenges.  Even when I doubt my body, or my mind, but others are cheering me on – I am strong in those moments.  It is a powerful thing to watch a friend be one of the bravest warriors you have ever seen.

 

 women

Created on 2017-02-22 05:17:49

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

 

Another day with no extra minutes.  We were booked solid all day.  Our day ended with swimming, which I enjoy more every week.  I need to remind myself how amazing I feel being in water.  I was tired and needing a good, solid night’s rest so I could get back to the gym the next morning and get some food prep done.  The Universe had other plans, as a good friend of mine had her labour start.  I jolted out of bed to make up a cozy nest for her son to sleep in when they dropped him off some time after midnight.  I was not able to force myself to the gym in the morning.  I listened to my body and gave it the rest it craved.

swimming

Created on 2017-02-22 05:14:39

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

 

Day 3 of The Real Me seminar today.  Well. What can I even say?! We did an exercise that was meant to identify our coping mechanisms and things in our daily life.  Again, if you’re reading my blog and are curious – shoot me a message and I will fill you in on more details. It was a group exercise that I did with 4 other women. 4 other fabulous, amazing women who all possess admirable qualities.  I had a LOT of choice words throughout this activity, as well as a LOT of tears.  A large amount of my anxiety peaks with unrealistic scenarios in regards to my children being without me, or vice versa, and this activity touched on that very deeply.  It was a difficult exercise to complete and I was actually amazed at the comfort level that developed within our group.  The openness and willingness to share from each of my group mates was awesome. I was surprised that I found that comfort level, especially when being honest about something so private that I keep close to my heart.  We made a first draft of our personal Mission Statements today.  Mine read: “My mission is to inspire others to create happiness, release negative energy and share their light to spark a more peaceful world.”  We read these aloud, one by one, in front of the group of 60ish people as everyone cheered, clapped and screamed while we received their affirmation with open arms.  Talk about stepping out of the comfort zone.  I really enjoyed our closing because we sang and lit candles and it brought back memories of my time spent through my youth at camps and retreats.  I started attending camp as a youth and ended being a leader, a planner and a co-chair by the end of it.  Some of the people that helped shape my life the most, I met at camp.  Closing our seminar in this way sort of felt like coming home.

candle

A candle loses nothing by lighting another flame

Created on 2017-02-22 05:13:00

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Voting started today and it was full of confusion and kinks which was completely frustrating.  I’m having enough stress trying to stay on top of everything needed to be successful in this challenge.  I had a day that was booked solid. Literally, no minutes to spare.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to jump on to the voting website right at 3pm when it went live, but some of my supporters did.  My phone was all but blowing up with messages asking what was happening and if they were doing it right and why they couldn’t vote ten times, etc.  There was apparently a “bad link” going around for voting that basically everyone was using to vote for me and I didn’t know it was a bad link so I kept sharing it.  It led to a place they could vote but some other challengers said they had heard those votes won’t count.  There wasn’t anything to do really.  I tried to figure it out as best I could when I got home around 10pm from The Real Me seminar.

 

The second night of “The Real Me” wasn’t quite what I had expected.  It felt like it was trying to trigger something that just wasn’t there for me.  I had a great childhood and don’t really have anything to make sense of in regards to it. We “journeyed to the center of our soul” and I wasn’t surprised by anything there either.  I have been quite self-aware for a couple years now and have been actively working on that.  Still no big “ah ha” moments for me but I was reminded of something I have always wanted to accomplish that I, weirdly, completely forgot about.  If you’re reading my blog and are curious – feel free to shoot me a message and I’ll let you know what it is!

realness

Created on 2017-02-22 05:08:17

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

 

Tomorrow at 3pm marks the beginning of VOTING WEEK!  I’m nervous, excited and eager to get it over with.  A friend from the Abby challenge (whose voting started today) was telling me how nerve racking it is to see your picture move around as the votes come in.  A whole week of that is in store for us all!  I will do my best to vote and walk away, without obsessing over it.  If you have been following my journey and are wanting to support me, I would really appreciate your votes!  You can vote up to 10 times per day per ip address!  Fingers are crossed that all goes well.

vote

Created on 2017-02-17 05:46:37

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

 

We missed last week due to a cancellation caused by snow.  In the past two weeks I have lost another 6.8 pounds and 5.25 inches.  So, in total, I am down 13.2 pounds and 11 inches!!  I am proud of my success and eager to see more.  I’m not yet feeling or seeing a difference in my body but I know it will come and I am being relatively patient.  We had the first section of “The Real Me” seminar.  So far, no big “ah ha moments” but I’m looking forward to more in depths discussions Friday night and all day Saturday.  I’m curious to know what I might discover about myself that’s been under the surface.

weigh

Created on 2017-02-17 05:45:16

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I was up WAY too late last night.  I was distracted by re-arranging my living room furniture after the kids went to bed.  The furniture arranging led to relaxing on the couch and watching an episode of the newest show hubby and I are watching.  The watching of one episode led to the watching of the next episode as it was the last in the season.  All the TV watching led to me remembering I still needed to make Valentines for my tiny humans.  My tiny humans are pretty special so I busted out the glue, glitter, feathers, foam paper, and sequins to make some Love Day cards.  They were fabulous, it was after midnight and I wasn’t completely tired.  I’m not sure why I was so wired.  Maybe that little lick of cupcake icing earlier in the day…

Today, I secured and picked up a prize donation for The Amazing Race Langley event.  Evolution Pilates and Yoga has very generously donated a 3 month unlimited yoga gift certificate.  Even more incentive to win this race!  Thanks so much Evolution!  This also earns me points that can help me move on to the next round.

I have met all the nutrition challenges, posted all the 100 Days of Happiness photos, logged my food, water and exercise intake daily, blogged every single day since the challenge started.  I have successfully sought out pledges, profile page sponsors, amazing race online and physical location sponsors, I have been to the gym nearly every day (with the exception of snow) and am staying on top of everything.  I’m feeling great about all that.  I have gone out of my comfort zone a lot, and faced some difficult times in the past few weeks, but am eager to continue and keep giving it my all.

 

Today, I am loving myself and the success I have already found.  I’m also loving the name my kids have come up with for our Amazing race team.  Be on the lookout for the SUPER SQUAD!!

evolution

Created on 2017-02-15 05:59:15

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Family Day!  It was so nice spending quality time with my crew today! The girls wanted to bake cupcakes for Valentines so we searched for healthy, “Mommy approved” recipes and away we went!  It took everything in me not to eat them all.  The old me would have eaten most of them by the end of the night and struggled to save a couple for the kids the next day.

I have a few pledges in to go towards our Amazing Race event and am SO thankful to my friends and family that were able to contribute.  I received pledges from people I did not expect and just can’t say ‘thank you’ enough!

I’m getting nervous for Wednesday weigh and measure as well as Thursday because voting starts!

If you are enjoying following my journey and would like to see me stick around to the next round, please vote.  I will post the link once we have all the details.  You are eligible to vote 10 times per day for each IP address.  I do not have a large social network so this part worries me a little.  But, I have been successful at completing all other tasks and really have given it my all.  I’m definitely not ready to leave the challenge and feel like I have more to learn from the process.  Fingers crossed.

 

My kiddos are getting excited for the Amazing Race.  They are narrowing down their choices for our team name.  I am so thrilled that Envie Fitness, The Bootcamp Effect and Alderbrook Health and Wellness Center jumped on board to be a part of the Amazing race Langley event.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

cupcakes

Created on 2017-02-15 05:45:23

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Swim day!  My magical children.  Wow, how I love them.  They have endless energy in the pool and it’s totally awesome.  I did my best to tread water and swim lengths whenever I could.  I challenged myself not the touch the ground when we were hanging out where my kids could touch the bottom of the pool.  I felt like I got some “work” in rather than just wading around in the pool.

 

I feel a sense of peace in water.  Ever since I was a kid.  If I am frustrated, mad, sad, upset, hurting – you name it – I find a sense of calm when I am in water.  Lakes, pools, rivers, hot tubs, bathtubs even.  I must remember this because it’s an underutilized calming technique that I could access when need be.  So, after having spent a lengthy amount of time in water today, I am feeling much better. Again. Ups and downs and back up again.

waterpeace

Created on 2017-02-15 05:31:18

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

 

Everything felt hard today.  Making food. Keeping on track.  Exercising. Keeping up with challenge things. I’ve been wondering; how is it that I have a great day and then a super down day with no warning?  It doesn’t seem fair. I feel like I can’t see or feel my progress.  My clothes feel the same. I feel mentally drained and like I would appreciate a full day under the covers, in my jammies, with Netflix and zero responsibilities or interruptions. There is never any down time with this challenge.  There is always something to do and it’s hard to work it all in some days.  I miss my kids.  I miss my husband.  My fabulous husband who is cooking dinner for the kids more days than I’d like to admit because I am at the gym or at a challenge meeting.  Food logging feels like it takes hours! Deep breaths. Very. Deep. Breaths.

spin

Created on 2017-02-15 05:21:58

Friday, February 10th, 2017

We were out and about today and I was successful at packing myself a proper “to go” lunch.  Usually, I pack for just the kids and run out of time for me but this challenge has me so motivated to change those small habits.  Today I am feeling grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this and get the push I need to stay on this path.

 

I was reflecting today on how my relationship with food has always been complicated and has never been healthy.  Until now.  I FINALLY feel like I have a handle on things.  I can say no to sweets and, surprisingly, the walls don’t come crashing down on me.  I can go for more than an hour or two without thinking about sugary snacks wondering when my next one is coming and what it will be.  I don’t have to finish the food on my plate.  I don’t need ginormous portions of heavy foods.  I don’t need processed foods.  I don’t even need to nighttime snack!  I prioritize feeding myself before daily house hold tasks.  Could it be that I finally have this sugar monkey off my back?

monkey nosugar

Created on 2017-02-15 05:09:16

Edited on 2017-02-15 05:11:10

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

 

Ice has kept us homebound today for safety purposes.  I was all ready to hit the gym, and had my workout clothes on… but the kids were needing my attention.  So, I remembered that if nothing changes, nothing changes.  I asked my kids if they would do a workout DVD with me and they were thrilled!  We worked hard together in the living room and had a blast.  We felt so great we decided to make it a regular thing!  These kids inspire me <3

Created on 2017-02-15 05:00:48

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

I secured another 2 amazing sponsors for The Amazing Race Langley event!!  The Alderbrook Health and Wellness Center in Aldergrove will be an online stop for the participants and The Bootcamp Effect will be a physical stop.  I am so excited for their support and participation in this crazy journey.

AlderbrookBootcampEffect

Our weekly meeting (and weigh in) was canceled this evening due to the snow. I understand completely, of course, as safety comes first.  It is, however, disappointing as I was really looking forward to checking in on progress and confirming I’m on the right track.  I will have to really motivate myself to train at home when the snow prevents travel to the gym.  That has always been a tough thing for me as there are so many distractions.

My amazing husband and I (have I mentioned how incredibly supportive he has been throughout this journey?) took the kids to a local sledding hill while the roads were still manageable.  It was quite the workout just climbing back up that hill, towing a sled every time!

 

My husband was called out to do some “side work” snow removal, which usually leaves me feeling very anxious when I’m in the house at night.  This was actually the least stressful evening alone I have experienced since my anxiety has been such an intruder in my life.  I believe it’s due to my lifestyle change of healthy eating, exercise and water intake.  My body and brain are functioning better.  It’s like the gears are turning more smoothly, and everything is well oiled and firing in better alignment.  Better brain = better… everything.

Gears

Created on 2017-02-09 20:18:35

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

 

Another milestone happened today.  I met a friend for dinner and I filled up on water and salad, then ate only half my dish.  I boxed the rest to bring home for my kids.  HALF OF MY DINNER!  I don’t think I’ve ever done that in my entire life. Ever. Not once.  I have always eaten until full, and then finished my meal, had some seconds, and then some dessert.  You get the picture.  I left the restaurant full and happy.  I was no longer feeling like going to the gym and voiced this to my friend. “Do you have all your gym stuff?” she asked. “Yup”. “Well, you’re well hydrated – just go. You should do it”.  So I did.  Sometimes it just takes that little push.

Daily

Created on 2017-02-09 19:42:43

Monday, February 6th, 2017

 

Happy Dance!  A friend drove me to the gym today!! Woo hoo! Not only did I get to the gym, I got there twice!  I rocked out cardio, and powered through some heavy weight lifting.  I feel great and thrilled that I could sneak in some workout time before the snow began to fall again.  It was starting to stick while I was there for round two, so I came back home and had a very hot shower and delicious food (which was made even more delicious because it was made by my incredibly supportive husband).  I’m feeling super motivated, but also nervous for Wednesday as I had a couple days without training at the gym this week.  I’m hoping I made up for it with great food choices.  I’m feeling INCREDIBLY grateful today to my profile page sponsors Life+App and Her Brothers, and my Amazing Race Langley sponsor EnVie Fitness.  You are amazing and I am genuinely touched by your willingness to support this journey <3 It is incredibly difficult for me to overcome my anxiety of talking to strangers in person, talking to people on the phone, asking for things from people I know and requesting things from strangers.  It was not easy to approach these awesome folks but they made it a much smoother experience than I’d anticipated. Actually, Her Brothers just upped and volunteered so many thanks for that ;-) More info on these incredibly generous sponsors to come soon!

LIFE+APP

Her brothers bio photo 4 0

Created on 2017-02-07 00:30:29

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

 

More snow. My goodness.  I went to the swimming pool this evening and it felt great.  I’m itching to get back into the gym and lift some heavy weights but feel so at home in the water – it was great to tide me over.  Water gives me a sense of peace and healing.  After a heavy, emotional past couple days this was a much needed refueling.

Image result for funny swimming memes

Created on 2017-02-06 23:55:07

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

 

Soooooooo muuuuuuuuch snooooooooow! I realized today that I miss the gym.  What a great realization! Could it be I have created a new habit?

 

Image result for miss the gym meme

Created on 2017-02-06 23:48:13

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

SNOW.  Due to the snow, there was no getting to the gym for me.  It’s about a half an hour drive for me to get to the gym, so it’s not within a reasonable walking distance.  I’m totally frustrated not being able to get to the gym.  I struggle to motivate myself to work out at home but am determined not to let this derail my momentum.

Image result for snow

Created on 2017-02-06 23:40:15

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Today was unexpectedly emotional. We have had a year of craziness and uncertainty.  We decided to sell our townhouse and rent for a while to save money (at the time, the numbers worked in favour of this plan).  We had moved to Mission, from Aldergrove, and spent a year there.  We had been stolen from a number of times and found out we were living next to some illegal activity.  The house we were renting was put up for sale and sold almost immediately.  We had decided to move back to Aldergrove and had the opportunity to move in to a suite at a friend’s house.  The plan was for us (us meaning my handy husband) to help build the suite.  We were looking for somewhere long term to settle and were only wanting to move if it meant at least 5 years in one spot. That had been the plan with the move to Mission and that was the plan with the new suite.  Work was well underway but was not near completion when we had to be out of the Mission house.  We bought a travel trailer and lived in it, on the property, with the intention of the suite being finished in a few weeks.  We’d spent what little we had on that trailer – with the rest going to inflated storage fees every month to house all our furniture and belongings.  The morning following our first sleep in the trailer, our friends came to chat with us.  Due to an unforeseen family circumstance, they were considering selling their house.  After a couple weeks of us awaiting a decision, they made the choice to list the house for sale, with that being in the best interest of their family.  We, obviously, couldn’t move in to the suite with that uncertainty and lack of stability for our kids.  At this point the rental crisis was in full swing.  It is very difficult to find a place that will accept furry family members as well as kids.  We spent weeks looking at awful, unsafe or overpriced places.  We had found something we could make work and the kids were so excited about it.  We had a move in date and were preparing a moving truck and getting our belongings out of storage etc. when we received an e-mail from one of the landlords (the husband) of the basement suite we were to be moving in to.  It was letting us know they changed their mind and didn’t want a family in there.  This seemed odd to me as I had just been talking with the wife about recycling schedules and such.  I e-mailed her to ask if we had done something to offend them or what was going on.  She said “to be honest, he was offered more money from someone else and is giving the suite to them”.  Wow.  Okay.  So, the hunt was on again.  At this point, it felt hopeless.  The weather had turned and summer trailer living turned to mucky, cold, dirty trailer living.  Eventually we found a townhouse in a lovely neighbourhood, thanks to some luck, an old friendship, and stretching the budget a wee bit beyond comfort.  We had purchased a truck (to tow the trailer) and had nothing but problems with it.  It had been back for repairs at least 6 times and then it died on me while the kids and I were heading out.  After lengthy discussions, we came to the conclusion that the truck needed to go, and we had to sell the trailer.  Financially, and storage-wise – it’s not practical to keep it at this time.  In preparation for listing the trailer for sale, we popped over there this evening to take some photos.  While we were there, we stopped in to say hello to our friends that were bustling about in the suite.  They were putting the finishing touches on it.  This is the first time we had been in there in a while and, well, it looked amazing.  It was so beautiful.  Family friends of theirs that just moved here from another country were moving in and they are such a sweet, deserving family. It was hard to be in there, the suite that we were supposed to live in, love, enjoy, and settle in.  It was difficult to see it finished.  It was exactly how I’d envisioned it and I felt some sadness that it wasn’t meant for us.  I felt sad that our year was nothing like we had planned.  I felt sad that my kids were so happy being a part of that suite being built and were so looking forward to living there and adventuring around the acres that surrounded it.  I felt sad that they seemed more settled and at home there, in a suite that was not meant to be ours, than they do in the home we have settled in.  I left the suite and went out back to the trailer.  As soon as I walked in to the trailer, I was overcome with emotion.  I love this trailer.  I had envisioned years of camping in this trailer.  I was sad to have to sell the trailer.  I felt at home in it and it has such great energy when you enter.  I was cleaning the floor, down on my hands and knees, when tears started to stream down my face. I’m not sure I can put in to words why I was so emotional.  It was as if an entire year worth of decisions, unpredictability, highs and lows came crashing down on me.  I was feeling a loss and needed to mourn the way things were “supposed” to be, the way things happened, and letting go of the suite and the trailer.  When we got home, I wanted to eat everything in sight.  Actually, I wanted to eat everything that might be in sight in a 7-11 store.  Every last morel of sugar, I wanted it in my mouth.

I tried to remind myself of some of the milestones I have had recently.  On the weekend, we had dinner at my Moms’ house.  I hadn’t mentioned that I have gone gluten free so there was non GF bread and spaghetti, along with salad, a veggie platter and beans for dinner.  The “old me” would have devoured the bread and spaghetti, three times over, even if I had been on a good eating path for a couple weeks. But the “new me” made a bowl of salad, cut up the veggies off the veggie tray and threw them in with some beans and almonds on top.  I wasn’t satiated, so I had another full bowl of salad until I was. Success. New patterns are forming.  I drank water all night instead of my usual “I’m at my parent’s house, I’ll treat myself to juice”.  Another success of note this week was coming home after a workout at the gym and stopping at Save-On Foods for some needed items.  My M.O. used to be stopping at Save-On after a workout and filling up on junk food. It was tough being in the store, after having just trained and having a hungry tummy.  I grabbed only what I needed, came home and made a delicious (and healthy!) dinner.  Another success.  Breaking old patterns and creating new ones.

 

At the end of the day today, I just feel heavy.  Heavy and overwhelmed.  When darkness descends, I’ll remind myself to look for the light.

Created on 2017-02-06 23:34:17

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Today was weigh in and measure day!  I had worked really hard all week with my eating as well as my training in the gym so I was expecting awesome results.  I was also busy mentally preparing myself all day not to get discouraged or disappointed if I had low numbers.  Last week sort of played a mind game with me and I didn’t want to have that happen again.  We had 3 stops this evening; the recreation centre where we usually have our meetings, Nature’s Fare market, and Shopper’s Drug Mart.  Due to the limited amount of time we had, weigh ins felt rushed and unexciting.  The first one we had, there was excitement in the air, video cameras capturing our reactions, and just generally more enthusiasm.  We had celebrated everyone’s success the first time and had everyone who had lost “x” amount of pounds stand up and we cheered and gave that recognition to all the hard work the ladies put in all week.  The first time, the “biggest loser” of pounds and percentage lost was announced – this time, we had nothing.  It felt a little anti-climactic.

I lost 4 more pounds (6.4 in total) and am down 6.75 inches!! I am thrilled with this result and seemed to be floating for the rest of the night.

We headed over to Nature’s Fare where Kathleen showed us around the store, offered samples and plenty of great information.  It was a fun outing and I managed to grab some gluten free, vegan, soy free dressing as well as a vegan EPA and DHA oil for my kiddos!

We went straight from Nature’s Fare to Shopper’s Drug mart.  Brittany from Benefit Cosmetics gave us some make-up/eyebrow beautifying demonstrations.  There weren’t enough chairs for all of us and after standing for so long at the weigh and measure, then again and Nature’s Fare, my joints were screaming.  This was the first time since the challenge began that I was really suffering from my joint pain.  It was really tough to stand, I was in so much pain and was on the verge of tears.  It made it really difficult to enjoy what was happening.  I did get some good tips and the ladies that were able to get their eyebrows “done” were thrilled and looked awesome.

I received some sad news.  My challenge buddy, who was my person, decided to leave the challenge.  The first person I met way back at the meet and greet evening, the friendly face that cheered me on, was gone.  She had valid personal reasons for choosing not to continue and we will, of course, continue to support each other’s journey but I can’t help but feel a little like I have to navigate things alone again.

I came home tired and in pain, but it didn’t seem to matter as much as the joy that my hard work paid off and I lost 4 pounds this week!!  For having a disease that makes it nearly impossible to lose weight, I consider this a MAJOR win.  I am loving myself enough to work hard and am loving the payoff.

 

Created on 2017-02-06 22:05:24

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Well, I woke up at 5am to my alarm.  I got out of bed to see how it felt.  I didn’t really want to but once I was up I felt like I could go to the gym.  I texted my gym buddy but didn’t hear back.  I decided to call this a trial that would help my body learn to wake up early.  So, I hopped back in bed and dozed for a while longer.  Strangely, I had more energy today and I feel like it’s due to waking up earlier (even though I went back to bed).  I felt more alert and was able to maintain a steadier pace throughout my day.  That’s a win ‘cause this girls adores her sleep.  It was sunny and beautiful today.  The kids and I went for a walk with the dog and we meandered, raced, played, zig zaged and walked. I really took in the cool, crisp air and enjoyed the outdoor moments under a happy sky as the sun filtered through the trees.  I was totally productive all day long.  Ended my night with a great workout.  I tried the Speed Circuit class and the Stretch and Core class at the gym.  Wow… I know my abs are under there somewhere but it was sure nice to be reminded of that tonight!  Capped it off with some intervals on the treadmill.  I upped my incline and speed while I ran.   Overall feeling good.  I’m trying not to think about tomorrow being weigh and measure day.  I hope I can handle it better than last week and that it doesn’t affect my mood as much.  The trick is to be grateful when your mood is high and graceful when it is low.

 

Created on 2017-02-01 00:10:46

Monday, January 30th, 2017

 

Today felt a little blah.  I’m worrying about raising pledges and sponsors and donations, etc. They are things that I wasn’t counting on when I committed to the challenge.  I’m still in it 100%, I’m just having some trouble finding balance.  Logging my food and exercise every day is feeling like a chore now.  A time sucking chore that has no pay off.  I’m going to try and get up at 5am tomorrow and see how that feels.  I’m hoping for “Wake up with determination, go to bed with satisfaction”.

Created on 2017-02-01 00:10:19

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

 

Today was the first day that I didn’t go to the gym or run.  I went swimming and it was glorious.  I have a new bathing suit.  I didn’t try it on before buying because… Costco.  I threw it on tonight before heading to the pool with my family.  It is so, incredibly comfortable.  I felt great in it because it felt great on me.  I have always bathing suit shopped, with dread, for hours – sometimes days.  I always chose something that I felt like flattered, hid, or changed my body the most.  I chose suits that made me feel the most presentable to other people. Not this time.  My new bathing suit isn’t the most body flattering that I’ve ever owned but for the first time, I don’t care.  I didn’t have to pull at strings or sags, I didn’t have to adjust anything or keep yanking a top down or hiking a top up.  I wore my beautiful, comfy bathing suit tonight at the pool and I loved it.  It’s polka dots and my husband hates polka dots.  But I didn’t buy this suit for my husband, I bought it for me.  I didn’t buy this suit for the viewing pleasure of everyone at the pool.  I bought this suit for me. That is a HUGE win for me.  Today was a good day.

Created on 2017-01-30 00:18:26

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

 

Wow am I ever feeling my legs and butt from last night’s training session at the gym.  I guess that game face really got me going! I’ve been walking like Bambi and enjoying the “happy pain” that comes with climbing stairs, sitting, or touching my screaming muscles.  I had intended on joining the Sun Run training at my local rec centre last weekend, but due to the tiny humans being so sick, I completely forgot.  I remembered last night while I was at the gym and figured I would sign up on my way home.  I drove by the rec centre as it was closing.  This morning was the run.  I stumbled downstairs, still in my pyjamas, at around 8:15am.  There were two voices in my head at that moment.  I really wanted to listen to both of them.  I turned around, climbed the stairs, and headed back to my bedroom.  I put on my running gear and waited until the registration desk opened at 8:30am.  At exactly 8:30am, I phoned and asked if there was any room left to register for the training.  There was!  She asked If I could make it there for the 8:45am start and I happily said “YES!”.  I went, I ran, I enjoyed.  I also ran into a friend who has agreed to be one of my sponsors! I’m feeling confident and committed to the running program and feel like it’s a good supplement in addition to my workouts at She’s Fit.  I am in charge of how I feel and today I chose happiness.

Created on 2017-01-30 00:10:01

Friday, January 27th, 2017

 

Today felt a little better. I put my “game face” on at the gym to bust out of yesterday’s lasting mood.  I had an amazing leg workout and did some good running on the treadmill.  I’m feeling more energetic than when I started the challenge and am able to focus and concentrate on things more at home.  I’ve become a little more organizational which is something that’s been missing for quite a while.  Since I have cut out gluten (which is something my doctor had strongly recommended me to do ages ago because of the Hashimotos but I have struggled with) my brain fog has lifted significantly and I’m not feeling as low mood-wise.  At last, it feels as if there may be a light at the end of this particular tunnel.

Created on 2017-01-29 23:57:01

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

 

Today I’ve felt like a bit of a zombie.  I’m still feeling affected by last night’s meeting and weigh in.  I’m not really celebrating my loss or enjoying the process much today at all.  I am, however, still doing amazing with my food, water, and exercise.  I’m not letting this cloud derail my progress.  As I eat a vegan diet, I’m finding upping my protein to the suggested amount a balancing act.  A lot of my protein comes from nuts and beans so when I increase those, the carb and fat percentages go up as well.  I’m actually enjoying multiple litres of water a day and feel like my skin is starting to improve.  Tonight’s workout at the gym was good.  As of yesterday, I have added running intervals on the treadmill when I’m doing some cardio and I really felt it tonight.  Running doesn’t come naturally to me and I have a love/hate relationship with it.  I’m sticking to it as I have committed to running the Sun Run (10K) this year again. I wasn’t born a runner but I can definitely become one.

Created on 2017-01-29 23:48:30

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

 

Today was an interesting one.  It was our weekly meeting, and “weigh in”.  In my past, I have been through so many ups and downs in my head and struggled so much with my body image being attached, in part, to a number on a scale.  I finally conquered that a couple years ago, and threw out my scale.  It was difficult to get to that point.  I am so much more than a number on a scale so for it to be such a big focus in this challenge, well, I struggle with that.  I am aware it is only a small part of a much larger picture and there are so many more markers of success.  Can it be a victory to see the number on the scale go down after a week of hard work and dedication? Absolutely.  If that number doesn’t go down, does that mean there was no victory after all that hard work? No… but that’s sort of what it feels like when everyone is celebrating the weight loss instead of the hard work that went into every minute of every day all week. I lost 2.4 pounds this week.  I am so happy to have lost and was proud of myself.  Many of the women weighing in after me were getting big losses, 4 pounds, 6 pounds, 9 pounds, etc.  I felt a little defeated.  All bodies are different, fat percentages are different, results are different because people are different. I rationalized every way I could think of.  A loss of 2.4 pounds after 2 years of the scale not going in that direction at all was amazing!  But I didn’t feel amazing.  I felt disappointed in myself and like I didn’t work hard enough.  That is a problem because I did work hard enough and I had been proud of myself all week.  A number made me feel that way, and I don’t like that feeling. I worked so hard to get rid of that attachment.  After our weigh in, we had a few speakers and learned about social media from Tracey Ehman.  I felt completely overwhelmed again with having to have a very involved online presence.  We limit screen time in our house for the kids, and I don’t feel comfortable being on my screen too much.  It’s feeling like a tricky balance.  We also learned the details of the upcoming Amazing Race event that we will be doing in February.  We are encouraged to fundraise as well as seek sponsorship from local businesses, put together one or more team, etc.  There is a lot of networking involved which I am willing to do but find daunting as I have a very small/limited social circle.  I’m having to try really hard right now to take the first step instead of seeing the whole staircase.

Created on 2017-01-29 23:37:43

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

 

Today I love my smile.  I’m getting better at this mirror challenge because I’ve never loved my smile before.  It’s starting to feel good to look myself in the eyes and tell me what I love about me and mean it.  Today was a difficult day.  My oldest tiny human was very sick. I was pulled between needing to make good food and snuggling with my sickie to comfort her and giving enough attention to my youngest. The housework is piling up because I have been so focused on me and this challenge.  The dog needed to be walked, the laundry really needed to be done.  I started to question if I really do have this as together as I thought.  This is tough. Super tough.  I made it to the gym and checked out the Abbotsford She’s Fit.  It was another giant shove out of my comfort bubble.  My heart broke when, after I came home and climbed the stairs to my room where I could hear my husband reading bedtime stories, one of my kids said “You’re never here anymore and you keep missing bedtime books time”.  I had been so proud of myself for zooming home from the gym in time for bedtime snuggles every night, not realizing it was just as important to them for me to be here for books time.  I’m exhausted today both physically, mentally and emotionally.  I’m tired, but that’s nowhere near enough to convince me to give up.

Created on 2017-01-29 01:31:18

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

 

Today I love my fingernails. I’ve noticed that my fingernails (which used to be super fragile and flimsy) are all of a sudden strong and growing. Three cheers for good nutrition!  I was hungry all day today and had to pep talk myself through the day.  Perhaps I should have eaten more.  If I feel like that again, I’ll be filling up on veggies more often throughout the day. Eat Good, Feel Good, Do Good.

Created on 2017-01-29 01:30:50

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

 

Today I love my freckles.  I rocked the gym today with my workout.  I made a routine with free weights, body weight, exercise ball and medicine ball, worked really hard and was glad to get it done so I can enjoy family time.  I love the weekend gym time because I can go in the mornings.  It’s a great start to my day and then I get to be home for the rest of it.  I really enjoy spending time with my family, especially now that I’m away from home more going to the gym and challenge meetings, etc.  Time is precious, spend it wisely.

Created on 2017-01-29 01:30:22

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

 

Today I love my legs.  My legs are strong and useful. My legs also made me look like Bambi learning how to walk everywhere I went today.  Thanks, Leg Day! I woke up early-ish to head to the gym.  It was a very long night, with my youngest having night terrors and my oldest sneaking in to our bed.  Actually, I’m not sure it’s possible to wake up early when you haven’t really slept.  I met Mary at the front desk at She’s Fit in Langley and she was so enthusiastic and encouraging, it made it easier to put forth an impressive effort for my workout instead of meandering through it like a zombie-mom.  I have been active, eaten well and have been drinking water every day but don’t really feel like it’s second hand yet.  I’m still waiting to feel like I’m in a groove.  Just because something isn’t happening for me right now, doesn’t mean it will never happen.

Created on 2017-01-29 01:30:03

Friday, January 20th, 2017

 

Today I love my pale skin. And I really loved my time at the gym.  I branched out and dominated some leg machines.  I went in there not really knowing what I was going to work on and there was a whole empty section that is typically busy so I jumped right in.  I walked away from the gym today feeling amazing, strong and happy.  Not just happy that I had a great workout but happy that I left my comfort zone in order to make it happen.  If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Created on 2017-01-29 01:29:43

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

 

Today I love my eyes.  For our mirror challenge, that’s what I loved.  If I could summarize today’s water intake it would be best described as “To Infinity and Beyond!”.  Okay, maybe not quite – but 128 ounces.  Before this challenge started, water was like a forgotten food dish at the back of the fridge – unremembered, overlooked and unappealing.  Had a great workout at the gym.  Thankful to She’s Fit for being a challenge sponsor.  The gym still feels a bit awkward and I am looking forward to when I’m more comfortable in there again.  Onward and Upward.

Created on 2017-01-29 01:29:21

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

 

First weekly meeting today!! That woman I sat down across from at the meet and greet? – We had exchanged numbers to be accountability partners and had arranged to carpool in together to the meeting tonight.  It felt great to navigate parking and a crowd of people with someone else.  I had all my questions answered and was super motivated by the nutrition talk.  Thankful to Gina and Faleen from Herbalife for giving their time to us.  I’m on the right track and am going to up my protein and water this week.  We have a challenge to do at home: “When you wake up, look at yourself in the mirror and say one thing you like about yourself”.  This is feeling uncomfortable already as I have had such negative self-talk for a very long time.  Not only did I talk to multiple people tonight, I learned their names! I suffer from brain fog which leave my memory far from where it used to be so remembering names is huge!  I chatted and had some laughs with some great ladies and am looking forward to more get togethers.  Getting home at nearly 10 o’clock is a little deflating.  Late night Wednesdays is something I’ll have to get used to.  I have been struggling to get to bed at a decent hour and always seem to need some down time before I climb in to bed.  Since evening time is my gym time, I can’t go on Wednesdays due to our meeting so I ran today instead.  My goal is to run 3 times a week in preparation for the Vancouver Sun Run in April.  The run was tough but I was able to do more than I thought I would.  Tomorrow’s focus shall be water intake.

Created on 2017-01-29 01:28:52

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

 

I have not consumed any sugar and this is the longest time since I can remember! My healthy, whole foods meals have been easy to prepare but not yet delicious to eat.  I know it will take a while for my taste buds and body to adjust without a constant bombardment of sugar.  Meal prepping seems to be taking a long time because I’m used to grabbing something quick and easy (and oh so unhealthy).  I’m happy I’ll get to see everyone tomorrow at our first weekly meeting and am hoping I can really put myself out of my comfort zone to mingle and remember names.

Created on 2017-01-29 01:28:32

Monday, January 16th, 2017

 

Today my goal is to increase my water intake and concentrate on great food choices.  Our first weekly meeting is on Wednesday and I’m feeling a little lost as to what else I can be doing until then.  I really want to do everything in my power to be the best me.  As eager as I am, I am feeling completely drained from the ‘Meet and Greet’ event last night.  There was so much information given and I have been reading the handouts and feel like I need more direction.  Part of my focus on great food choices is quitting sugar completely.  I have been drowning in a sugar addiction and this is day one.  I know it won’t be easy, but I’m ready.

Created on 2017-01-29 01:28:08

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

 

Tonight was the ‘Meet and Greet’ event for the Total Makeover Challenge.  In my head, I was picturing a very casual gathering where the ladies that were chosen mingle in a smallish room and hear a little about what’s to come.  Imagine my surprise when I show up to women dressed with hot pink boas, a table to check in at and one to make a nametag at, and a walk around the corner into a ballroom full of what felt like a million people.  Upon my arrival, before I had gone into the building, I sat in the underground parking for a few extra moments.  I was waiting for someone else that looked as nervous as I felt to head in so I could strike up a “hey…are you here for the challenge too?” conversation and not have to go through those doors alone.  Not one person met my gaze or headed in my direction. I thought about turning around and going home.  This was a bit much for my anxiety.  Wearing my nametag, and a pale face I’m sure, I was told the areas I could choose to sit in.  How do I make such a decision? I quickly scanned the room to see if I knew anyone. Not a single soul. Some tables were full already and it felt like everyone was simultaneously involved in conversation and staring at me.  I know this was all in my head but I suddenly felt so awkward and scared. I saw a young woman with a friendly, welcoming face and sat down across from her.  I just need a person, I thought. One person to make a friendly connection with so this night will feel a little easier.  The initial shock wore off and the evening did get easier.  We received so much information and I left with some questions answered but even more to ask.  The whole evening was very overwhelming.  The women all seem fantastic and I am so excited to get to know them all as we take on this journey together.

Created on 2017-01-29 01:27:40

I am a mom to two amazing, magical, spirited girls, ages 6 years and 4 years young.  I am a wife to the most supportive, genuine, fun and patient man.  I am a sugar addict with a long history of breaking up with sugar and taking it back in moments of weakness.  I am determined to change my life and, in my husband’s word, tenacious enough to make it happen.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this challenge and am eager to make lasting changes in my daily life in order to better myself.  I have struggled before to lose fat and gain self confidence but it’s never been a permanent lifestyle change.  I suffer from an auto immune disease called Hashimotos that, among many other symptoms, causes deep brain fog, lethargy and severe joint pain.  Hashis also makes it very difficult to lose fat but easy to gain.  These symptoms can be managed with the right balance of medication, healthy whole foods eating, specific diet changes, and exercise – all things I am working on through this challenge.  I suffer from anxiety and depression and hope to work on some of my anxiety induced discomfort throughout the challenge as well.  Social situations are difficult for me to navigate so I know there will be lots of venturing outside my comfort zone in the coming weeks.  I intend on being very honest while I blog about my journey and am eager to share the ups and downs.  I’m grateful for the support from my family, and from the other fantastic 29 women on this journey along side me.  I plan on blogging here as often as I am able, sharing pictures, triumphs and challenges along the way.  My strength lies in my tenacity and if I don’t find a way to succeed with this, I will make one.

Created on 2017-01-29 01:27:10