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April 11 –

I had a full and productive day today & I am giving much credit to the sunshine and the view of the Golden Ears and Mount Baker while driving today.  Began my day with Body Sculpt class, then met with TMC challenger Teresa G. to borrow some bling, then stopped in to visit my husband at work with the kids (unannounced, as I accidentally left my phone at home) & then took my kids to Arts Umbrella $2 Drop In art class.  When I got home I tried on both of my potential outfits tonight and am STILL UNDECIDED!!

I am going to yoga tomorrow morning and then taking the kids to an Easter Party tomorrow afternoon which means I will need to do my hair before the party and do my makeup and put on my little black dress after with not much time before I need to go to Sammy J’s to set up my items for the Cocktail Party.  Gift basket - check.  Photo frame – check. Still need to pick up bobby pins and some insoles to help my party shoes fit better.

So looking forward to a fun party, a night of shopping (the silent auction baskets), and hearing the TOP 6 ladies names announced tomorrow night (mine included, hopefully!).

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April 10-

I am up in arms over which outfit to wear on Wednesday night.  Sort of a good predicament to be in.  I had to return a piece of my first skirt and blouse outfit for a smaller, more form fitted size and in the meantime I found an amazing dress (that really caught my husband’s attention!)

Sending my best wishes to the Abbotsford Top 15 & Top Wildcards, they find out tomorrow who will be chosen as the top 6 at their Little Black Dress Cocktail Party.

 

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April 9-

The Pink Ladies were in the Langley Times Newspaper again, for when we delivered the 72 purses filled with toiletry kits.  It was a gloriously sunny afternoon, and I felt so happy in my heart to be with my Pink Ladies sharing some kindness with the Gateway of Hope.

 

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This weekend was spent preparing, shopping, and putting pieces together for The Little Black Dress Cocktail Party on April 12 at Sammy J’s.  This will be the event where the TOP 5 and TOP Wild Card are announced!!  It was really hard to find the perfect dress because I was trying to shop “for my body shape” but found the task to be quite tedious (because I love ruffles!).  I’ve been trying to conceal my body shape since my kids were born but looked for monochromatic colour and just a bit of ruffle (I HAD to!)   It’s challenging looking at a dress on a hanger and not knowing how it will suit me, wondering if it is too formal or too casual, what sizes to try on – the size I think I am (and one size bigger and smaller), wondering which foundation pieces I need to wear underneath my clothes (this is needed before trying on the dresses), and remembering the finishing touches; nail colour, hosiery, hair styling, shoes, jacket, and jewels.  Thank goodness I was able to reach out to my fellow TMC ladies to browse dresses with Shannon and talk jewelry with Mary-Barbara and Teresa G.  Aside from perhaps needing to get a size smaller on one piece of my outfit, I’m pleased with how I was able to put it together.  I met with Sara, who donated a silent auction gift basket to me for the LBD Cocktail Party.  It was really nice to get to know her, hear her story and graciously accept a wonderful selection of therapeutic and pampering products for my basket.  I’m going to keep the items a secret until the party … but it’s so good!!   And we have a collaboration in the works … stay tuned.


 

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Edited on 2017-04-11 05:38:11

April 4-

In the Total Makeover Challenge so many of us have formed new friendships.  We really want to see each other succeed.  Getting together to celebrate birthdays, go for hikes, group shopping excursions, meeting up at the gym, planning a summer family bbq for all or selflessly making other people’s Voting Posters and advertising competitors for voting, we have a top notch group of ladies here that I’m proud to know and be a part of.

As the competitor with the youngest children, my weight loss goals are slower but steady as I’m still a nursing mom.  It is authentic for me, which is what this TMC strives for us to discover in our own lives.  I’m finding strength from these ladies, who have gotten through the early years, who are empathetic to the realities, who have amazing grown families and have had amazing careers and life experiences. 

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March 31-

Tonight’s the night we’re gonna VOOOOTTTTEEEE!!!  10x from every device (computer/ipad/phone/etc.) Please spare a sec to click ten times each day until April 6.  It could help me advance to the Top 5 … and wouldn’t that be cool?  My progress has been steady, I have gained so much!  Well, not weight, I’ve lost weight!  But I have more stamina, strength, endurance, skill, and friends!  Just take a look at that radiant woman in the bottom picture on the left.  She is telling you, this challenge ain’t over yet.

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March 30-

I’m home from a pub night fundraiser at Townhall Pub for the team 9 Strong and their chosen charity, Breakfast Club of Canada.  I enjoyed my time there.  I like how they geared the earlier part to the kids in attendance ($2 toss for treats!).  There was a photo booth – yes!  Burger & Beer (w/salad)-yes!  Door prize ticket/50/50 ticket/raffle tickets-yes!  Silent Auction bid-Yes & I won it!  I can’t wait to meet Tyesa Turnbull, Photographer for JB Photography.  I have to say, the chicken burger and especially the salad were quite phenomenal.  I could see myself going back there soon to try some more off their menu.  I loved the rainbow colours in the team’s decor – which was pointed out were the colours in the Breakfast Club logo.

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Tomorrow is the first day of VOTING AGAIN … for the TOP 5!  PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT EACH DAY TO TAP TAP TAP YOUR VOTES FOR ME!  TO HELP ME CONTINUE INTO THE TOP 5!  

I really want to get there – as I’m sure you believe from reading my blog & following my adventures on Instagram @tracytotalmakeoverchallenge and on the “Total Makeover Challenge by Shape Your World Society” Facebook page.  And if not, go check them all out!

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March 30-

I am a frugal fashionista.  I look for quality and a great price point, even if that means consignment or thrift stores.  I have been wearing clothing that doesn’t do much for me for far too long, since my kids were born.   I am not comfortable in most of my old clothes and they don’t fit the way they used to. I always buy for the kids because I love getting bargains on marked down items.  But for myself, I don’t even know what is “in style” or what size to try on, or what top to match with what bottoms, what colour or pattern, which shoes to wear with it … I usually end up buying one or two pieces at a time here and there, as I don’t get much time to shop on my own and I don’t ever shop for a whole outfit at a time.

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In steps Cheryl Anderson, owner of The Rack mobile clothing boutique.  She said she makes private appointments to take the time to help people dress for their body shape.  And her items were classic, chic, flowy and feminine.  The price points were well priced too.  They offered multiple mix and match options.  I have always desperately needed an 1-1 style coach, but honestly didn’t know they existed for “ordinary” people. 

I had seen a mobile boutique (Cheryl said one of her co-buyers) and I liked EVERY PIECE OF CLOTHING they had.  The only things holding me back from buying were:

1) We were at an appointment and the location was not appropriate for me to spend a lot of time trying on clothing.

2) I was still carrying baby weight and nursing an infant

 3) My husband was with me.

I’m so happy that I can get a chance to meet with Cheryl.  She said almost anyone can wear a jean jacket, and I always believed I couldn’t, thought they made me look too boxy, wasn’t sure what season they were good for, didn’t know if it looked dorky if I was wearing it with jeans on the bottom ala Canadian Tuxedo.  So, I want to get her advice on what to look for in tops and bottoms to accentuate my hourglass body shape.  Yes, you heard me! Apparently, I’m a curvy hourglass?!  I always thought I was rectangular without much waist definition with large hips and bum but I stood in front of the TMC ladies (holy vulnerable) and they agreed I have curves for days and I should embrace them!  And not cover up my bum.  Well, ok then!  Who am I to argue with these ladies!

I’ve been holding onto a gift card for quite a while and I’m going to use it to get fitted for foundation pieces that fit properly and will support and accentuate my body comfortably. Thank you, Cheryl, for taking the time to share some important tips that I will be utilizing asap!

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Created on 2017-03-31 04:55:41

March 29-

Carrie from The Passionate Home was our first guest speaker of the evening.  She talked about how loving your surroundings can help you create a beautiful and happy life.  She shared with the group about how Chalk paint can transform almost anything and I know it, because I love using it.  After her talk, I wanted to go home and paint everything!  (kitchen chairs, kids play table, the steps in our garage, stencil the front door patio.

I’ll add pictures soon.

Created on 2017-03-31 04:38:18

March 29 –

images-4I took some refundable beverage containers into The Pink Ladies Account at Willowbrook recycling and the service attendant chuckled knowingly at the competition between two of the TMC teams with recycling accounts set up. He knew it was “The Pink Ladies” when I said account #192 so I hope that means we’ve had some refundables dropped off for donations to our two charities (Shape Your World Society & The Gateway of Hope).

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Go inside, ding their bell, hand over your bags.  They sort them, they count them.  They deposit the $ into our account!  You leave with clean hands & a happy heart!  Please take in your refundables until April 1 to help us help our community!

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Created on 2017-03-29 21:00:39

Edited on 2017-03-29 21:02:38

March 28-

I didn’t get downtown to do the Urban Grind.  The weather every Tuesday in March was unseasonably snowy, sleety, gloomy, and wet.  I didn’t want to take a trip up 633 steps to get to the top and not get much of a view, so I will keep it as a goal for next year. 

Today it was such a dreary wet grey day that I decided it would be a good day to pop into Fabutan for a 20 minute red light full body skin rejuvenation session.  Prior to The Total Makeover Challenge, I had never thought of going to a tanning studio and didn’t know anything about any of the services at Fabutan.  They have regular tanning beds, spray tans and Red Light Rejuvenation which does not use any UV Rays.  There is also Hush Eyelash Extension Studio on site.  Manager Stacy was awesome, setting me up teaching me how to adjust the controls and getting me a pair of disposable eye covers.  Once inside the bed, I turned the music off, expecting a quiet meditative rest.  When the machine came on, it wasn’t meditative in the way I imagined.  It was super bright (duh!) and the machine had a rhythmic hum and gentle vibration.  It was meditative, but exhilarating! I imagined it was the sound of a speed boat and the wind mingling over the water.  I turned the music on inside the bed thought “This must be what it feels like to sunbathe naked on a speed boat!” The only thing missing was a boozy drink in hand!  Near the end I really felt as if I had packed up and gone away on a vacation somewhere warm.  Afterwards, I wondered why I was putting on a fleece jacket and boots … until I stepped outside and I was in the dreary rain again.  I have a 7 day trial and would love to make it to my sunny paradise again soon.

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Created on 2017-03-29 16:35:03

March 27-

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It’s surreal when I see my picture in the newspaper.  If I end up on the cover or on tv it might just blow me away!  The Total Makeover Challenge, and specifically The Pink Ladies, were covered in an updated article in the Langley Advance.  Keep an eye on the Langley Times “Times in Focus” later this week for coverage from our delivery of the purses to The Gateway of Hope.

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Created on 2017-03-28 04:23:28

March 27-

Honestly, I’m feeling very weighted down lately. I’ve begun to doubt myself, my goals, my values, my confidence.  The guilt creeps back ever so easily.  And at times, I feel like I’m back at square one again.  Funny, that I thought the challenge would be a straight line in one direction, uphill all the way.  I didn’t anticipate the dips and valleys and having to retrace my steps or reroute my journey, seek out new people along the way or leave others behind.  Naive, but I thought they would just jump along for the ride with me and be just as excited as I am. Instead I’ve heard “Just because you are doing this doesn’t mean everyone else has to” and “I don’t get why you want to go all the way downtown to walk up stairs in a building when we could just go to Fort Langley and go for a longer walk together.”

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It’s about new experiences, new scenery, and being a part of community.  A community that cares, that strives to achieve the same goals, that helps each other along.  I am grateful for all your encouragement and support.  Just because I falter for a couple days doesn’t mean I don’t want this experience, or that I don’t deserve to discover how to persevere through the negativity.IMG_3109

 

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March 27-

There is still time to buy a 50-50 card for $5!  Just ask one of The Pink Ladies before April 1 to get your card entered in the draw on April 2.

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March 26-

The Pink Ladies got together today to fill the donated purses with the donated hygiene products.  It was a lot of fun and felt really good to be working on this project to help out other women in our community.  We can’t wait to set up a day to deliver the purses to The Gateway of Hope!

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Our bottle return account #192 is ongoing until April 1.  All of our fundraising gets wrapped up on Sunday April 2.  We will calculate how much money we raised, draw our social media hashtag winner (#TMCPinkLadies ) and our lucky 50/50 winner in Facebook Live Videos.  Stay tuned!  We could be calling you (if you bought a card)!

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Edited on 2017-03-28 04:25:08

March 25 –

How is it the days are so long and the nights so short?  I am so happy to share that my team The Pink Ladies fundraiser at Rusty’s Pub on March 23 was a HUGE success, in part to the generous sponsors and individuals who spent a few hours of their evening with us.  We worked hard and were happy to see that everyone had a blast.

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FB_IMG_1489139648802I had the pleasure of attending the Open Arms team’s Oh La La Soiree fundraiser the following night.  It was held at the most enchanting and magical venue, Art’s Nursery.  The ladies held a fashion show, had pumped up tunes, an amazing spread of the most delicious appys, wine & coffee.  Garden lights and charming home décor from the nursery’s retail shop (for sale at 15% off for us) added charm to the soiree.  My only complaint was that I was outbid at the last minute by one of my fellow Pink Ladies on the silent auction prize I was vying for!!  (But I am happy she won – she & her son are getting Lifestyle Portraits done and they’re sure to be really special.)

breakfastclubToday I visited team Nine Strong at Save on Foods for their BBQ fundraiser in support of Breakfast Club of Canada.  The ladies got to meet my kids and my Dad, of whom I introduced (myself included) as “The Hot Mess Express” (my kids in mismatched socks, wearing pj shirt/sweatpants/tutu/hat).

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The Pink Ladies are still working hard at continuing to generate donations for our charities until our challenge deadline of April 2.  Please take your refundable alcohol and beverage bottles and containers to Willowbrook Recycling and donate to “The Pink Ladies account #192.” Tomorrow we are filling the purses with the toiletry items that have so kindly been donated by SO MANY PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES.  We are so thankful of the outpouring of support and the generosity of so many individuals.

Current Going-Ons:

Pink Ladies 50-50 card $5 each (Facebook Live draw on April 2)

“Little Black Dress” Cocktail Party (April 12) tickets $35 each

Vacation/Spa Prize Contest Tickets: Book of 10 tickets $20 or $5 for single ticket (draw May 16)

(NO COST!) hashtag -> # yourself participating in any of The Pink Ladies fundraising efforts (at our pub night, taking bottles to our account, buying 50-50 tickets, or any of our upcoming fundraising events) with #TMCPinkLadies on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to win a prize (Facebook Live draw on April 2)

Keep checking back here on my blog, my photos on Instagram @tracytotalmakeoverchallenge and in the Facebook group “Pink Ladies” for updates on our fundraising and my progress in the challenge.

   

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Edited on 2017-03-26 06:24:16

March 20-

Whoah!  The past few days have sure been something! Intense exercise (Body Sculpt Class at EnVie!!), intense fundraising ideas, and intensely fun times with The Pink Ladies.  So much TMC jam packed into my days.  Live it.  Breath it.  Feel it.  Love it.  I can’t wait to see how our team efforts pay off for our fundraiser, this Thursday night.  We were spotlighted in the Langley Times newspaper on March 17.  I’ve been invited to the Fundraisers for the other two Langley teams, so I am looking forward to attending their events, soaking up some entertainment, trying out my luck and doing some shopping with their prizes!

Section 2 of the TMC also has a fun hair styling by The Looking Glass Salon, Makeup by Shoppers Drugmart and photo shoot by Tarra Lee Photography for all of the Top 15 competitors.  This past Saturday I had my “make over” and felt like a 50’s pin up!  I made sure to get out with my husband for a lovely dinner together since I was all made up and feeling sexy!  The photo from the photoshoot will be displayed at The Little Black Dress Cocktail Party at Sammy J’s on April 12, when the Top 5 winners are announced!

Lots of personal reflection happening these days.  I’m trying to maximize the minutes in my days.  Some days it works out fine, some days I’m wishing for an extra hour or two more.

I still have a goal of doing the Urban Grind at the Harbour Centre downtown Vancouver before the end of the month. (by myself! – unless someone brave wants to join me!)

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Edited on 2017-03-29 16:39:56

March 14-

We all have limitations and capabilities.  All our resources are different: time, money, energy, desires, our network of support, our comfort zone, our willingness to let things go, our willingness to commit.  It doesn’t mean we need to stop, quit, or admit defeat if we don’t do it all or don’t get it all done.  We are becoming more self aware of our limitations and capabilities and the how’s and why’s that go along with them.  We are learning new ways of doing things.  This is my biggest gift from the Total Makeover Challenge.  I’ve learned how to shake things up.  Meet new people, try new foods, make new friends, Connect with new businesses in Langley.  Connect in ways you never imagined you could.  Grow.  It is amazing watching it all unfold.  I am so lucky.

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March 14-

Exciting plans in the works. Pinkalicious wants to know, what’s your favourite berry?

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March 11-

Segment 2 of the TMC, known as The Apprentice, helps the contestants navigate through working on a team with the goal of creating a business plan, an event, and fundraising methods for Shape Your World Society (so they can continue to offer amazing TMC challenges’ like this one in future) and a local charity of our Choice.  I’m one of The Pink Ladies.  There are 8 of us, a blend of ladies in the “Top 15” and “Wild Card Participants”.  Everyone has strengths that blend together to form a successful team! It is such a pleasure to work with these talented, creative, hard working and fun ladies!  We chose to raise funds for The Gateway of Hope and collect donated purses and personal hygiene items to create “care packages” for 50 women for a month’s supply of personal items.

We have an amazing 50/50 draw happening until the end of the month.  Pretty easy to sell tickets (for only $5 each) when the max prize winnings is over $1000!  Buy a couple of our cards for yourself and some for your friends and family who have birthdays coming up in March, instead of a regular birthday card!  It is sure to be a memorable gift (especially if they win!)

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Who: Langley Total Makeover Challenge Participants “The Pink Ladies” team

What: The Pink Ladies Fundraiser Pub Night (minors are allowed in our section)

When: 6:00 Thursday March 23, 2017

Where: Rusty’s Neighbourhood Pub 17770 56 Ave. Cloverdale

Why: Fundraiser for Shape Your World Society & The Gateway of Hope

How:

*Buy a ticket from one of the Pink Ladies: $20 for : Burger (beef/chicken/veggie) & Beverage (beer/wine/soda/coffee/tea)  (& 8 pm Karaoke) & A Door Prize Ticket

*Donate prizes for our raffles / draws

* Buy raffle/draw/auction tickets at the event (10 for $10)

*Buy 50/50 tickets now until March 31 ($5 each)

*Toss your Twoonies for great prizes at Rusty’s

*Donate purses, hygiene items, $ for our women’s hygiene kits now or at the Pub Night

*Stay connected to our Public Facebook Event & Public Facebook Group

*Keep an eye out for more ways to become involved as we add more ways of raising funds from now until April 2, 2017.

*Share the news – social media, word of mouth, get a tattoo?! Just kidding. 

Only question left is: What shade of pink am I? Who knew there were so many?

 I’m looking forward to getting our matching t-shirts and our next planning meeting together. We have lots more FUNdraising ideas in store from The Pink Ladies, we will be sure to tell you how you can be a part of it!  Let’s make it a huge success!

 Reach me on Instagram: @tracytotalmakeoverchallenge.com

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Edited on 2017-03-13 04:30:19

March 7 –

It felt good to get back to She’s Fit tonight for a go around their circuit.  It was nice to see the ladies who work there again, and a couple of the TMC challengers.

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March 7-

The Sugar Challenge-

We were challenged by our nutrition coaches to track sugar intake from Thursday – Sunday.  I had never tried to cut out, cut back, or track sugar content as I thought it would be too hard.  But this challenge put a few important things into perspective for me, although I tweaked the “challenge” slightly.  My goal was to consume around 50 g a day.

 Thursday -   Tracked all meals in MyFitnessPal, end of the day 83 g.  Yikes!

Friday – tracked all meals in MyFitnessPal, under goal.  Yay! 48g

Saturday – was out for the day at an event.  Had a couple chocolate samples.  Had a boxed lunch.  Drank the Ruby Red Grapefruit cocktail (35 g) without much thought.  Same for the chocolate chip cookie (18 g) in the box with my apple (16 g) and sandwich. I was thinking to myself “other health conscious people are eating this too, so it must be ok.” And that was all it took to throw me off, wayyy off.  I was too ashamed and embarrassed to post my final # for the day in the Facebook group.

Sunday- I was still put off because of Saturday so I only tracked some of my food but as soon as it hit 48 g of sugar, I got derailed and wanted to avoided the challenge.  I thought about lying about my number, I thought about giving up and saying “screw it”, but I didn’t.  I took a break from it and took a good look at it all on Tuesday night. For Sunday, I put 50 g in the bag to remind me “that’s my goal!”

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 Prior to beginning the Total Makeover Challenge, I just ate. Quick, on the go, drive thru, the easier the better.  Basically – no accountability at all.

So far in the Total Makeover Challenge I’ve learned about the importance of Protein, Water Intake, Fibre, and Sugar.  Wow.  It has changed the way I prepare my meals most days and it is frustrating when I slide into old habits of the “quick and easy” meal prep when I know better!  I have been blessed with good nutritional advice and I get good results when I follow that advice!

 So, I decided to finish off the sugar challenge begrudgingly.  I am not proud of the amount of sugar I consumed this weekend but I am proud of what I am learning. 

I am coachable.  

I am a team player.  

I am enjoying exercise. 

I am trying new things.  

I want to empower myself. 

I want to share all this with the people in my life.   

Created on 2017-03-08 04:59:33

March 5-

This evening my Apprentice fundraising group, The Pink Ladies, had a productive meeting discussing our plans for our event and ways to raise funds for Shape Your World Society and Langley’s Gateway of Hope.  More to come as we work hard to turn all our plans into reality!

IMG_1039Yesterday’s SheTalks YVR event in Surrey was a really cool event with 16 amazing and inspirational speakers.  The foyer hosted vendors and product samples, door prize draws, chocolates, and lunch was included!  Darlene (TMC Wild Card Challenger) and I had a great time!

I have some exciting propositions scheduled this week, to network with individuals who may be able to augment my current TMC accomplishments.  More on that as it unfolds.

 

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March 3-

20170303_153816000_iOSI woke up this morning and put on some meditative music on the tv to wake up to.  When my daughter woke up shortly after she insisted I put on “her show!” in her demanding three-year-old manner.  I told her I was keeping it on for 20 minutes. And left it at that.  I was shocked when she initiated conversation about the picturesque scenes of waterfalls, riverbeds, forests, and animals in nature.  We talked about our favourite ones, how they made us feel, and began the morning much calmer than usual.  I thought this was such a productive way to begin our day.

 1295407.jpgI was running errands this morning and popped into Save On Foods to grab something to eat because I was on the go with the kids.  I went to the deli section and selected a “Summer Spinach Salad with Candied Walnuts.” It also had dried cranberries, strawberries, red onions, creamy goat cheese and a choice of salad dressing.  I have never picked up a salad on the go, but it was delicious and was already a logged in food choice in My Fitness Pal, bonus!  But beware – those evil salad dressings (the one that came “free” with it) was loaded with calories and fat!  I would have been better off to have purchased a full-sized vinaigrette dressing (or none at all, or squeeze citrus on it, etc. I know there are a multitude of ways I could have made it better) For being on the go with the kids, I felt pretty good about my choice. (Even though it felt weird munching on a salad while waiting in line at the children’s clothing store). 

20170303_221759709_iOS I stopped into Shoppers Drug Mart and picked up a few grocery items (the frozen pc Brussel sprouts are my favourite and were on sale 2 for $5!!)  I received a coupon for $10 towards my next purchase online at beautyboutique.ca.  I browsed the fragrance sets I’ve had my eye on and at some eye shadow palettes with bonus points, but decided I’d hold onto it until there was an item I truly needed (but only until March 31, 2017).  How cool is that?! 

20170304_042111000_iOSPart of the second segment of the Total Makeover Challenge is working as a team to host a fundraising event for Shape Your World Society and a charity in Langley. Today I connected with some local businesswomen who I had met in the past year.  It is so amazing to see the chain of “women helping women help women” extend beyond me on either side.  More on this as our ideas evolve in the next few days.

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Tomorrow I am carpooling to SheTalks YVR with Darlene Jamieson, a Wild Card challenger (not in the top 15 but competing independently for a chance to earn a spot in the top 6). Looking forward to some inspiring stories and a fun day.

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March 2 –

I have felt all over the place today.  Lots to think about, lots to do.  I did a Zumba Gold trial class at EnVie Fitness this afternoon and decided to purchase a studio membership and continue to attend their amazing classes during the week days when they offer free childcare!   

I woke up looking forward to celebrate “Dr.Seuss Day”.  I bought coloured goldfish crackers for my kids to sort and rhyme “one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish”.  We sat on our Cat in the Hat blanket, I read Fox in Socks and we watched a bit of the Lorax.  Then I tried to dress my kids in outfits inspired by Dr.Seuss characters as Fox in Socks and the Lorax.  And why did I do that?  Did anyone else notice? No.  Did the kids care? No.  It may have caused a bit of anguish and grief but you’ll never know.  Because …

The TMC Meeting gave us a whole bunch of new challenges to implement this week.

We were challenged to go a week with “NO COMPLAINING” and as I find my self beginning to complain, I am trying to remember NOT to and am consciously reframing my thinking.  I can’t believe how many times I’ve done this today already.

 

We were challenged to track our SUGAR intake for Thursday-Sunday this week.  Today my intake was VERY high, it almost makes me feel ashamed but I am looking forward to learning how to decrease it in the days to come.

We were challenged to work in teams to build a freestanding structure with 21 pieces of spaghetti noodles, 1 marshmallow, 1′ string, and 2′ tape.  It was very interesting to see how the individuals, our team as a whole, and the other teams worked to conquer the challenge.

In these teams, we were also challenged with our “Apprentice Project.”  We have been tasked to organize, host, and fundraise for The Shape Your World Society and a charity of our choice.  Our team is collecting donated purses, filling them with special items and necessary toiletries to give to The Gateway of Hope to provide women in-need connectedness and a sense of femininity while helping them maintain their dignity as members of community- A Community of women, The Community of Langley, and A Community touched by The Shape Your World Society.  I can’t wait to watch where we go from here.  If you have a purse to donate, please reach me through instagram

 

 

 

 

Created on 2017-03-03 06:21:21

How many months have 28 days?

*****

*****

They all do!

I tricked my husband -Mr.Logical- and now he hates that joke.

February 28 –

I had to cancel a play date I scheduled with a pregnant friend because of the flu germs in our home and I got a text from her saying her baby was born this morning at 12:30am!!  So happy for her and hope to meet the new bundle soon!

I tried a Barre class this afternoon at EnVie Fitness for the first time and now I’m sold!  I have my final Yoga class with Julia tonight (Township of Langley) until April.  I’ve really enjoyed her instruction and her classes.  Wish I could begin every day and end every day with yoga.  Who knows, one day it might happen!

Created on 2017-02-28 23:05:02

Edited on 2017-03-01 00:51:30

February 27 –

It’s interesting how my grocery list is changing as I am looking for healthier options and high protein content in the food I buy now.  Just 6 weeks ago I never looked at protein content. I never bought lean pepperoni sticks or protein bars or cottage cheese, because – yuck! (But now I mix it in with scrambled eggs).  Costco has a diverse selection of high protein snacks, if you know what to buy!  I’m not just buying healthy high protein foods for myself, but for my whole family.

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My husband appreciates a looser waistband too, the baby is enjoying eating (feeding himself) all types of food and my daughter (age 3) is beginning to tell me when she feels hungry (a huge success) instead of just telling me she wants to eat.  I used to think it was bad to allow her to feel hungry, but now I know it is a way for us to self regulate our eating habits.  It’s ok to let myself feel hungry too!  But don’t wait too long or else Hangry Tracy appears.  I am getting better at packing snacks and meals for when we are out for the day and our snacks are spaced apart after lots of activity or exercise.

Speaking of exercise, my mother-in-law strained her back while caring for the children on Saturday and my husband still has that terrible flu so instead of getting to go to She’s Fit!  this week, I am trying out a 7 day free trial at EnVie Fitness in Langley.  They offer free childcare and their classes look fun and motivating.  They were also a sponsor for our Amazing Race (they gave away water bottles and fruit when we stopped in to get our passports signed!).  I will write up my experience after my 7 days are done.  After yoga today, the kids and I met friends at Go Bananas! and we all played there for 2.5 hours!  Then, I took the kids to do a quick (50 minute) run through Costco (yay no lines!) before dinner.  And it snowed again today!?  Such unbelievable weather we are having lately!  It looks pretty and wasn’t too terrible today and my daughter brought my attention to the beautiful sunset this evening, that was pretty special.  “Look at the sunset Mommy!”

It was a fine Monday.

Oh, and through two of the TMC ladies, I heard about a really cool event at the Vancouver Harbour Centre called the Urban Grind.  I am hoping to attend at least one (hopefully 3) of the four dates the event is running in March.  Yay for goals!

Created on 2017-02-28 05:23:13

Edited on 2017-02-28 05:58:56

February 26 –

I found inspiration for a team name for the Langley Amazing Race from this picture I came across in a google search.  My team was called THE FRESH MINTS.

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  I spent way more time than reasonable to come up with four “mint” names for the people on my team.  I knew I had to be COMMIT-MINT because I am committed 110% in this Challenge.  I couldn’t do it without ENCOURAGE-MINT and the love and support from all my friends and family,      ENJOY-MENT to remind me to find happiness in every part of the challenge, and MOVE-MINT because nothing is going to change if I don’t get up and move.  Our team was comprised of my Uncle Garry, Aunt Carol and my cousin Lisa who was the replace-mint for my sick husband.

We had a lot of fun and only a few mis-adventures!  I got to meet some wonderful people at businesses I had never been to before but will visit in the future, thanks to their sponsorship of the Total Makeover Challenge’s Amazing Race.  It really means a lot to me to have such wonderful support from my family, friends, and community as I strive to improve my health and wellbeing through the Total Makeover Challenge.

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Created on 2017-02-27 06:23:58

Edited on 2017-02-27 06:32:36

I made it into the TOP 15!

There is not one ounce of doubt that every woman in the challenge competed to the best of her abilities.  We were all faced with personal obstacles ranging from broken bones, hospitalization of loved ones, sickness, funerals, snow, transportation, work, childcare needs, finances, learning how to break habits and likely a range of others not disclosed.

I was overjoyed to hear my name called up as one of the 15 women moving on in the challenge.  It was bittersweet looking to the crowd of women waiting with hopeful smiles. I wanted to cry happy and sad tears at the same time but I couldn’t bring myself to do either.      

The night before the Amazing Race my husband, who had originally been one of my team mates, came home really sick from work and was unable to do the race or care for the children all day Saturday.  My cousin Lisa stepped in to take his place to be on my team (along with her parents).  My inlaws came over early in the morning to care for the children until the end of the race.  Anticipating the sunny weather from earlier in the day to remain, I had asked them to walk with my children to meet me at the end of the race.  They did but both children fell asleep on the way over and the weather had turned to a bone chilling wind that drove them to retreat to a nearby café to warm up. The outdoor stage we were on seemed to form a wind tunnel and it was uncomfortably cold!  I am looking forward to the new experiences in the second part of the Total Makeover Challenge! Thank you for all the votes and for believing in my endeavours.  It has been amazing!

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Created on 2017-02-27 06:04:44

February 24 -

My husband brought home the flu with him from work today so a minor blip in preparation of The Langley Amazing Race tomorrow.  I put out a plea for a replacemint and quickly had my cousin on board!  I’ll introduce my team and teammates tomorrow morning before the race begins!  I think we are going to have a lot of fun!  I am excited and nervous and really hoping to forget about the stressful parts of the competition and just have fun with it all tomorrow.  I’m anxiously awaiting the announcement of which competitors are the 15 moving ahead.

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Created on 2017-02-25 06:54:12

February 21-

Another takeaway from the Real Me Seminar:

Holding onto resentment is not going to make the other person feel bad.  It is only going to make you feel bad.  If the other person truly feels sorry for what they’ve done, they will already be carrying around the burden of their wrongdoing.  

During the seminar, I didn’t want to “release the resentment.” I maybe kind of said it while I rolled my eyes a bit.  I didn’t feel any different and honestly thought the activity failed to work, but let me tell you … I do feel lighter and happier.

 

Created on 2017-02-22 06:48:07

February 20 –

The secret to my better eating is EAT MORE CAKE!

Try it, but not before reading further …

I bought a bundle of beets to make a Chocolate Beet Cake for my Valentines (and a smidge for myself, too).  I used to throw away the stems and greens until I learned they were edible.  I LOVE eating wilted greens!  I had some with my lunch and dinner today and froze the stems to put in soups or stirfry.  I don’t usually buy beets but will be buying them more often now.  (And not just so I can make cake.)

On my way to the gym tonight the radio announcer said “The weekend, coming up after Mariah” and I instantly felt a flash of confusion – WAIT, isn’t it Monday?!  Oh, The Weeknd.  Carry on Monday, because MY weekend on February 25th is the Langley Amazing Race.  Although, I’ve heard a possible forecast for SNOW!

Keep on voting, friends!  (10x Daily until Feb.23)  Thank you for all your support!

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Created on 2017-02-21 05:41:22

Edited on 2017-02-22 04:21:58

 February 19 -

It is awesome hearing back from people who have voted for me.  Please take a moment to vote daily until February 23.  I need as many as I can get to help me advance to the next section of the challenge.  Don’t think “She doesn’t need my votes” because I do and

I promise to do great things with your votes!

*****

 I’m feeling quite emotionally sensitive today so I’ve been thinking back to the happy and profound moments I experienced at the Real Me Seminar this weekend. We were fortunate to have Certified International Whole Brain Practitioner & Life Coach Kristen Olynick speak to our group.  She shared that one simple strategy to work your whole brain is to practice using your non-dominant hand for daily tasks so I used my non-dominate hand for brushing my teeth this morning.  It was easier than expected and I hope it will lead to better connections between both sides of my brain.  (Will I feel smarter, more balance, more level?) 

I also created a Mission Statement on the last day.  I tried it on and it didn’t fit! For those who weren’t there, we were given an analogy that a mission statement is like a jacket – it can be altered but it essentially remains the same.  It may need tailoring for it to fit authentically.  So, I made some tailoring adjustments to make it reflect my mission more clearly.

8d8a15f817de5ed4c037369e9ed85c11My newly created Mission Statement is: 

 to unite people to discover

their creative abilities

and generate success in themselves.

Created on 2017-02-20 04:08:34

February 18-

The Langley and Abbotsford Challengers participated in The Real Me Seminar this past weekend.  It was insightful in so very many ways.  The 15 hr. course helped bring awareness to unconscious thinking with a final purpose of helping us craft a personal Mission Statement for our lives.  

Socially – All 60 competitors sat together and had many exercises that required us to work 1-1 or in small groups. It allowed us to get to know the person behind the name tag (and beautiful smiles) and allowed us to connected on a deeper level (especially when we were knee to knee gazing into each other’s eyes for 2 minutes, trying to guess what the other person’s occupation was, right Angie?!).  To all the wonderful women I worked with this weekend, thanks for sharing and opening yourself up to me. 

Physically- The kinaesthetic aspect of the course kept us engaged with our whole bodies.  It was a dynamic array of Hi5’s, standing up and sitting down, moving around to sit with different people, coming up to the front to share in front of the group.  

Interactive-  The course was experiential for the participants and required lots of  “repeat after me,” working together (deciding who sinks or gets to safety on the sinking ship/group effort of the puzzle), and influence from the participants.  Working on the jigsaw puzzle was so therapeutic. It was so rewarding to connect the pieces one at a time with a small group of ladies passionate about “working together to achieve the full picture” as much as myself.  

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Cognitive techniques- We had several speakers who shared various aspects of bringing unconscious thoughts to the conscious level.  (Whole brain profiling, releaseing resentment, stress management) The purpose was to use the skills and experiential exercises to execute a personal mission statement and share it with the group. 

Emotionally- We all expected some emotional moments. We were encouraged to refrain from comforting others with touch, as to not interrupt the release of their emotion.  My emotional moment came from comparing the photo of my parents to my picture, and noticing for the first time the similarities between my Mom (passed away 13 yrs ago).  I was surrounded by strangers yet I felt safe and free to release the emotions. 

Spiritually- I felt a physical sensation of connectedness to my innerself the “least discovered place on earth” as described by one of the speakers.  I felt connected and energized from the other ladies and spiritually nourished.  This all made it easy to forget for awhile that we are competing against each other.  I took away much more personal revelations and feel completely at peace with my full participation and progress in the challenge.   

*****

The voting aspect does cause nervousness for me.  The public sees the surface improvements but I have been working on much more.  I hope that my can install hope and inspiration to others to begin their own improvement journey or apply for the Total Makeover Challenge in the future.  Please take a moment of your day to send votes my way so I can keep sharing my insights with you! 

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Created on 2017-02-19 06:21:31

Edited on 2017-02-22 04:18:43

February 17 –

Look below my pictures on the left and you will see my progress thus far.  9.4 lbs lost and 2″ lost!!!  It was funny at the last measurement because my bust measurement went UP!  I’m nursing my infant still so that measurement fluctuates frequently.  The work outs at the gym are building muscle mass as reflected in my weight loss.  I have worked hard to make this progress and I don’t intend on stopping!

Public voting for British Columbia residents begins for the Langley Total Makeover Challenge later today and continues until February 23.  Public votes plays a part in advancing competitors to the next section of the TMC, along with our weight losses, participation in various “surprise challenges”, social media presence and attendance.  Each person voting may vote up to 10x per IP address.  Votes may be split amongst different competitors or used all for one person.  The langley.totalmakeoverchallenge.com website has a direct link to the Langley Times Newspaper’s voting page.  Please take a moment of your day to vote.  I truly appreciate every interaction this experience has brought into my life.

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Created on 2017-02-17 19:44:18

February 16 –

I voted for the Abbotsford Total Makeover Challenge. Good luck!

Created on 2017-02-17 05:55:26

February 15-

 I used to work well with timelines and deadlines with my job, with university assignments, with scheduled appointments.  If I wasn’t 20 minutes early I considered myself late.  It was a possibility, I told everyone, that my first born could be born early since I was on my maternity leave a month before my due date. Having an 11 days overdue baby born has changed my life in regards to what I consider “on time” any day of the week.

Today is crunch time for submitting our teams for the Amazing Race and I am an anxious bundle of nerves!  All morning I have had that horrible anxious feeling in my stomach and constant worry.  Thoughts of inadequacy were trying to poke into my thoughts.  It’s hard for me to trust that others will come through for me.  I unfortunately set my standards low and try not to expect too much and am thrilled when I am proven wrong. However, I am not satisfied to continue to set the bar so low for myself.  And it all begins with me; what I expect from myself and what I can do for myself.  I know that I can’t just sit idly unfairly expecting people to know what I need from them but that is what I usually do.  Sometimes it works and sometimes I’m left feeling bitter and annoyed.  At the gym, one of the other competitors said her “benchmark” for activity was 100 calories burned in 15 minutes on the stationary bike.  I had not thought to set a benchmark for myself, that’s one example of how I set the bar low.  But that moment inspired me to adopt the same benchmark.  (Thanks Jenn!  You have no idea how much those 15 minutes cycling together helped change my mindset of what I could expect from myself).

So, even though I wasn’t sure if the Coordinator of the Langley Total Makeover Challenge, Anita, would accept my call, I took the chance to ease my worries.  She was warm and responsive when she answered and told me she was at work and immediately I regretted calling her.  I was sorry to disrupt her but I also knew she wouldn’t have answered if it would have been truly disruptive so thanks in part to an opportunistic three-year-old climbing on my back, I kept the call short and sweet, asked about what I was anxious about, got a response and some relief.  I’m still waiting to hear back from potential team members for my Amazing Race team.  I made a call this morning and had an email sent out to prospective teammates on my behalf, now I’m just waiting to hear back tick-tock tick-tock.  I feel like this all has to be done before our TMC meeting tonight, I may be right I may not be, I’m not sure.  I’m working through so many overlapping challenges and tasks and deadlines and trying to do my best with all of it.   Either way, it’s what I am hoping to accomplish today.

Deeeep breaths.  Weigh in and measurements are tonight and after tonight our total losses will be online and published in the Langley Times Newspaper.  They count towards, in part, the competitors moving ahead in the next segment of the TMC.  (So does public online voting which begins February 17 – February 23 and I will be making heartfelt pleas for your votes during that time!)

Created on 2017-02-15 20:01:22

Edited on 2017-02-15 21:17:00

February 14 –

Our event, The Langley Amazing Race, is coming up – February 25th 9:30 am at Douglas Park (in Langley) and precedes the announcement at 3:00 pm of which 15 women are moving forward with the Total Makeover Challenge, which I’m hoping to be a part of (and there is a way YOU CAN HELP MAKE THAT HAPPEN!).  I’ve been busy tying up the loose ends of the challenges I’ve been tasked with as part of the competition.  One was to get a team organized to participate in the Amazing Race.  The other task was connecting with Langley Business owners who would participate in the Langley Amazing Race. 

 Andy at Menchie’s Willowbrook was keen on being a Race Stop for the Langley Amazing Race.  He asked for posters for their in-store community board so their customers can watch the racers arrive in team costumes, answer a Menchie’s trivia question, and get a photo snapped with a Menchie’s staffer on Race Day.

I took my kids to Menchie’s for the 2 for 1 Valentines Deal advertised on their Facebook page.  They loved it!  We will definitely be going back for frozen yogurt and customizable toppings from the “yogurt bar” (fruit, candy, nuts, cereal, tapioca pearl, etc.) – hopefully to celebrate me moving forward with the challenge!!  Stop in and get a Menchie’s Smile Card and earn points for every dollar spent which is redeemable for more Menchie’s!

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Created on 2017-02-15 06:04:53

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Created on 2017-02-13 17:58:54

February 13 –

Family Day Spotlight on Some Very Important Family members

When I was looking for a sponsor for my blog page, I gave the opportunity of business advertising exposure to my friends and family from my facebook connections before going to businesses in the community. This challenge for me is all about strengthening my relationships; in the community and with friends and family.  I felt it would be more meaningful to me to have someone close to me sponsoring me when I began the unknown of the challenge.  I got an almost instant reply back from my Uncle Kevin Connick’s business GIT R DONE HORSE LAUNDRY.  PERFECT!  No, I’m not washing or repairing horse blankets in the TMC, but I thought – there could not be a better motto for me in this challenge!   

Gotta drink that water –Git R Done!” 

Push through a bit harder at the gym – “Git R Done!” 

Prep those meals and snacks - “Git R Done!” 

The Connicks’ are a horse riding, rodeo loving, western décor adorned family and their business is owned and operated by my Uncle Kevin and Aunt Linda out of their home in Sardis, Chilliwack.  They professionally launder all types of horse blankets in a non-agitating commercial sized washer, use cold water and hang dry to avoid shrinkage in their special drying room equipped with commercial fans.  They use a specially formulated cleaner which leave the blankets clean, bright and odor free. If you have horse blankets that need laundering or repairs, give them a call.  I’m certain that Kevin will answer the phone with “Gooooood Afternoon!” or “Gooooood evening!” Be sure to let them know you heard about them from me.

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I wanted to thank them on Family Day because they are more to me than just my Uncle and Aunt.  They have always been close by whenever I have needed them to cheer me on, lift me up, or let me lean on them.  They have been cheering me on from the start by making healthy lunches when we get together, babysitting my children so I can exercise and run errands, listening to me share my enthusiasm about the TMC and they have generously supplied a gift for the Total Makeover Challenge’s upcoming Cocktail Party’s Silent Auction

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Want to hear a dirty joke?

A white horse fell in the mud.

 ***

Not dirty enough for ya?

Two white horses fell in the mud!

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Created on 2017-02-13 17:36:16

Edited on 2017-02-13 18:09:06

February 12 -

I had my makeover yesterday at Shoppers Drug Mart (they are Diamond sponsors for the TMC) and it was nice to talk to the beauty manager Melissa. I found the handout on types of makeup brushes especially handy. I needed a good make up remover so she showed me the new “it product” Micellar water make up remover that all the brands are coming out with and I purchased a Bioderma gift set for $30 with four products including micellar water. My favourite part of my consultation was smelling and sampling the perfumes. I am still thinking about the Nina Ricci perfumes!  I wore home L’Extase and can’t stop thinking about Luna.  I don’t usually wear perfume but it smelled so beautifuI! am going to keep those in mind as rewards for when I reach my goals.  I left feeling like I could accomplish any goal I set for myself after I left Shoppers. 

However,

later that evening my emotions got ahold of me.  After a lovely enjoyable dinner out with my husband I became irratible and anxious. It was so perplexing because we had a great time out and a great healthy meal.  It makes me sad because I genuinely had a perfect day- alone while I was getting ready to go out and during my makeover and when I was out for dinner with him.  But I think taking a WHOLE day for myself (which I’m not used to since my children are so young) made me believe a lot of the negative thoughts listed in my previous post. I felt good, but throughout the positive thoughts the self destructive ones were swirling around. 

I’m going to reflect on the destructive thoughts and see where my thinking takes me. This is such an unbelievably personal and multi-faceted journey. This challenge is touching on aspects of myself that i tend to avoid or fail to acknowledge.  Here’s to a day of self-reflection. 

Created on 2017-02-13 00:31:38

Edited on 2017-02-13 17:14:40

February 11-  

Connotations of Make-Up

These are the thoughts that ran through my head today as I was thinking about why I wear make-up, how it makes me feel, and the destructive and uplifting self-talk surrounding it. Who knew there was so much to process about make up?

 

Self-care,   Nurturing,   Caring,   Loving,   A treat,   Uplifting,   Shining,   Glowing,   Radiant,   Beautiful,   Pretty,   Girly,   Feminine,   Me-Time,   Rejuvenating,   Luxurious,   Effort,   In touch with myself,   Honouring my body,   Love the skin I’m in,   Enhancing,   Love who you are,   Be-you-tiful,   I want to wear make-up,   Nourishing,   Investing in myself,   Self-improvement,   I Feel important,   I Feel special,   Ready to take on the world!,   Put-together,   Fierce, Bright, Shining,   Smart,   Approachable,   Happy,   Fresh faced,   Sun kissed,   Bronzed,   Healthy,   Vibrant,   Glamorous,   Grown up,   Sexy,   Turn heads,   Attention grabbing,   Stunning

Selfish,   Indulgent,   Wasteful,   Boastful,   Vain,   Non-important spending,   Time consuming,   Prissy,   Self-indulgent,   You don’t need make-up,   Insecure without it, Insecure with it,   Show off,   Can I carry off the look?,   Are you trying to compete with the prettier girls?,   Are you in denial of aging?,   Does this suit me?,   Is this me?,   Why do I need make-up?,   Why do I want make-up?

Created on 2017-02-12 23:41:45

February 10-

 Yesterday I went to the gym feeling cold and tired but ended up having my best workout yet!  I love how the ladies who work at She’s Fit! are following along our journeys, keeping involved in our ongoing fitness goals and keeping our spirits high and hearts pumping. Afterwards I stopped by Nature’s Fare for a fresh made organic Kale Quinoa Salad from their Apple Bistro to go along with some Vietnamese Vegetable Rolls I made for dinner.  So delish!  Today my husband, our two children and I spent today at Granville Island’s Kids Market and sampling some of the amazing delicacies the market has to offer.  It was the first time it was not super busy when we were there and it was quite nice, compared to the hustling and bustling crowds it draws on weekends and in warmer weather.  Tomorrow I am having my beauty consultation at Shoppers Drug Mart.  I’m not really sure what it entails besides a makeover but my husband and I are going out for dinner together afterwards since I wanted to go out after getting “all made up.” I’ve already planned out my meal I will be ordering in the restaurant.  I find that viewing menus online ahead of time helps me make healthier choices and sometimes the nutritional information is listed making it even easier to log in MyFitnessPal App.

Oh, I almost forgot to share that I bought a ticket for the SHE TALKS YVR event in Surrey on March 4.  I had never heard about it before until I heard such good things about it from ladies who had attended the one in January.  “16 INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN, 8 MINUTE STORIES, 1 AMAZING DAY.” I’m so incredibly grateful for the new people and opportunities that have come my way since beginning the Total Makeover Challenge.

Created on 2017-02-11 07:07:10

Edited on 2017-02-11 07:21:13

February 7 –

WHYS & WISE & HOW

My daughter turned three last week.  And like a switch was turned on she is full into the “Why?” stage.  She questions EVERYTHING.  It’s amusing and must be when children truly believe their parents are WISE, because, why else would they keep asking if they thought we didn’t know the answer?  (How’s that for a confidence boost?!)

I’m always asking people “HOW?”  I feel like I don’t know a lot of stuff that I should know “as an adult” and wonder how everyone else knows the answers.  I guess it’s by asking how or being shown how or by giving it a go trial-and-error-style.

 My inlaws tend a huge garden every year (carrots, corn, squash, garlic, onions, beets, cucumbers, cauliflower, lettuce, brussell sprouts, broad beans, peas, and parsnips) and berries (blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries) and have tomatoes in a green house (toe-mah-toes as they call them or as my daughter fondly calls them toe-mar-toes), plentiful fruit trees – apples, pears, cherries, figs and grape vines.  It is truly like a magical wonderland wandering through their mini orchard.  I am so thankful my kids get to grow up roaming through the orchard and picking berries right off the bushes until their bellies are full and their hands and faces are stained blue and red, that they get to experience pulling carrots from the dirt, brushing it off on the grass, searching for cucumbers growning under spiky leaves, and eating snap peas straight off the bush. (Bush or vine?)

 I have tried gardening but haven’t stayed committed for various reasons (usually about the upkeep) but I feel so fortunate that we get to eat fresh veggies and free-range eggs whenever we go to Gran & Grand-dad’s house.  Without planning to make this goal at the beginning of the competition, I am making a goal now to learn how to make a small garden in our back yard.

I think I’m feeling inspired because I am really enjoying eating fresh veggies. I’m learning that just because food is in plentiful supply, I don’t need to eat it all.  I will have an opportunity at the next meal, or the next day to eat. This is a huge revelation for me. I’m creating relationships with healthy foods.

Please comment on my Instagram account @tracytotalmakeoverchallenge with suggestions for success and tips for maintaining and enjoying a garden.  Also, share your tips on involving your kids in the joy of gardening.

Created on 2017-02-07 20:34:31

February 4-

I never thought I would be writing you this letter.  

There was a time when I thought my love for you would stand the test of time

and nothing could come between us.  Unfortunately, the years have chipped away

at our once perfect relationship and the way things are now, you are no longer a

positive influence on my life.  You just make me miserable instead of happy and make

life harder rather than easier.  I want you to know I am not blaming you.  

It is clear to me that we are fighting a losing battle.  I believe that parting now

is the best thing for both of us.  I need to concentrate on making the present as happy

as possible and try to keep a positive outlook for the future.  

A year from now, I will be doing much better and will

wonder why I hadn’t done this sooner.  

An Open Letter To: My Pantry,

To the “last tablespoon”  I’m talking to you peanut butter, hummus, hellmans light, jam, ice cream, and hunk of cheese. Normally I would put you out of your loneliness by including you with your friends “1st, 2nd, 3rd” and even sometimes “4th tablespoon”. You will see less of me from now on. Before you served the purpose to scoop and now you serve the purpose to measure. And so, I’m really not sorry to say you are being replaced by your smaller and portion-friendly chum, teaspoon. And even then, teaspoon may not have very frequent visits from me.  

Perhaps you will get to meet my new pals I’ll be seeing more of: quinoa, berries, veggies, salad and grainy mustard. My bffs, protein and water, are always with me to boost me through the pitfalls of the day that I would normally rely on coffee & sugar for. 

Salty and crunchy, I am having a tough time saying good bye to you.  I still see you on occasion but it’s a shameful dirty secret that frankly, is getting too hard to hide.  The crinkle of your package behind closed doors is a dead giveaway that I am straying off course and going back to your greasy little bag.

Bread, buns, cakes, cookies and pastries I’m going to miss you the most.  I thought we had a good thing going on but apparently too much of a good thing is a bad idea.  We’ll become casual acquaintances again sometime.

To you all, you’ve gotten me through some tough times, exciting times, times of celebration and tragedy, when I have been happy and sad, tired and bored, times I was lonely and times when I had company. You have always been there for me in plentiful supply. But you see, I am eating when I am hungry now and learning how to eat healthy.  Simple as that.

However, Chocolate, you are so dear to me.  I will always find a way to see a tiny bit of you each day. 

-Tracy

 

Created on 2017-02-04 21:59:14

February 2-

Yesterday, the first day of February was jam-packed full of TMC activities from early in the morning until late at night for me.  I met with my Blog Sponsor GIT R DONE HORSE LAUNDRY in Chilliwack.  The little shop is so cute.  These folks don’t just work the cowboy way, they live the cowboy way.  Every corner of their home and shop is cowboy, rodeo, boots, horses, bling!  Yeehaww!  Keep your eyes on my blog for a special spotlight on their business & services on February 13.

I met with Faleen, our Herbalife health coach, at THE CLUB  at 12:30pm to go over my wellness report.  I find myself lagging behind in my nutrition as I keep telling myself there are other “more important” aspects to focus on first.  Deep deep deep down, I don’t want to give up some of my go-to’s for the engrained attatchments I have to them.  I don’t want to admit to myself or anyone else or face the fact that it is so hard for me to separate myself from some of the unhealthy foods I eat.  Faleen shared samples of several Herbalife products and I posted a video on instagram of myself downing a shooter of lemon-lime flavoured aloe.

In the evening was the TMC weekly meeting.  I lost for the second week in a row.  Very proud of myself for the consistency thus far.  We had two group outings scheduled for the evening afterwards.  The first stop was Nature’s Fare Market.  I have meant for far too long to make it in there but never had until last night.  I have always been intimidated by knowledgeable people in the service industry, fearing they would be judgemental about the food choices/skin care/make up/fashion/etc. choices I make.  However, as soon as I walked in I wish I had visited when they opened in Langley 7 years ago!  My first impressions were that everything was so FRESH and the staff were friendly and approachable. We were taken on a tour of the market, given samples from their organic Apple Bistro and from products RIGHT OFF THE SHELF!  I definitely plan on stopping in for lunch at their Bistro one day soon!  We were having so much fun and other customers asked curiously what was going on so I took no chance to waste promoting the Total Makeover Challenge.  I am so proud to be a part of this experience.  I want everyone to know who deserves the credit for lifting me up so I feel like I am worthy of the care and attention I am putting into myself.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still the one doing all the work!

Our second outing was to Shoppers Drugmart to meet the Benefits beauty rep Brittany.  I was one of the first few ladies who arrived and I offered myself as a model for her demonstration and she used me to demonstrate Brow Mapping to the group.  Here’s the thing – I NEVER pay attention to my brows.  I have only pulled the occasional hairs, waxed them once, threaded them about 10 times – ever.  I underappreciated my brows, never really knew what impact they could have.  I heard about “the Instagram brow” a couple years back and expected the “full bold brow fad” to blow over quickly or only look appropriate on women who were trendy, stylish, and younger than me.  I didn’t think I could pull the look off.  I had even bought a brow pencil from Shoppers months ago but was afraid to try it out incase it ended up looking fake.  But after Brittany did her magic on me, I was converted.  I felt really grateful that she would take the time to do the lesson for me.  It really lifted my spirits and my confidence.  I bought a couple of the products she used on me Benefit’s Gimme Brow  brow volumizing fibre-gel and Benefit’s They’re Real – Double the Lip beyond sexy lipstick and liner in one.  As I have many times in the past, I used my Shoppers Optimum card to redeem points for $30 of store merchandise and received 2000 bonus points on my lipstick purchase!  This morning before heading out I recreated the arched brow for the first time!

I was truly impressed with Benefit’s vivacious, playful, vintage nostalgia and their “quick makeover” products.  And …

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I was told for the first time in my life that I had good skin – which I attribute to the all the water I’m drinking.

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January 31-

I missed two days at the gym.  I can’t believe I MISSED it.  I absolutely look forward to losing myself to my workout.  On the weekend I indulged in reconnecting with friends I had not seen for a long time.  It was uplifting, refreshing, and a lot of fun.  (And I can’t wait to make the Morning Glory Muffins my friend Lindsay brought).  I know that skipping a workout to nourish relationships is not bad, I didn’t feel bad about it.  I just really was looking forward to getting back to the gym today and then my yoga class this evening!

Today I brought some good reading,  The Total Makeover Challenge 2015: Naomi’s Journey, to do while I cycled before doing the circuit.   All of us challengers were given a copy (signed in person by Naomi!!) at our initial Meet & Greet event.  It chronicles the blog of Naomi, the 2015 TMC winner, and the other ladies in the challenge that year.  Their initial uncertainty, worries, and challenges was not uncommon to what I and many of the other TMC 2017 competitors are experiencing.   But they also share their excitement, motivation, dedication and commitment that we ALSO experience!  This challenge is such a roller coaster ride!

I would often tell people “every day feels like Monday morning.”  But now I tell them “every day feels like the last 5 minutes of the work day on Friday!”  I especially enjoy the longest day of the week, Wednesday, because I get to meet up with the TMC challengers for our evening weigh ins & meetings.

**Do you know why Wednesday is the longest day of the week??

**Because there are 9 letters in W-e-d-n-e-s-d-a-y!!

 

 

Created on 2017-01-31 23:59:00

JANUARY 29-

I was up late last night updating my blog after a 9 P.M. coffee (?!).  As soon as I got to sleep I was woken by the baby then the toddler then the baby again.  I was up until 2:30 am so when they woke early this morning my husband told me to get extra sleep since I’ve been exercising more and was up a lot last night.  I did and woke WAY later than anticipated so today I’ve been focussing on the other facets of me instead of being upset that I didn’t make it to the gym.  I ate healthy today and tracked my meals in MyFitnessPal App.  I’m a Mom who gets the groceries on a Sunday.  A Mom who takes the kids to the dollar store.  A Mom who gets her exercise today by carrying as many bags into the house in one trip.  A Mom who gets two loads of laundry washed and dried and hopefully by the end of today folded, hung up and put away.

A mom who decorates for a PAW Patrol themed birthday party for tomorrow for four 3 year olds all born within weeks of each other (and their younger siblings and their Moms).  It’s one of the easiest themes imo – I have already have red, pink, yellow, green, orange and blue reusable plates and cups, balloons, Happy Birthday banner and beach ball.(I’m sure the kids will make up some sort of game up with it.)  Each Mom is bringing something for the party.  I’ve picked semi-PAW Patrol themed outfits for the party for my kids.  I think they will have a blast.  And I can’t believe I will have been a Mom for three years already tomorrow.

This is all a part of the TOTAL me.

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JANUARY 28-

I enjoy the 23 min circuit circle at She’s Fit! I breeze through it twice in my “just under an hour” workout, looking forward to the red light at the end of every 45 second workout. It’s comforting like a big hug that congratulates me every 45 seconds “Yay! You did it!” Barely breaking a sweat -I’m just that good, so I thought. When I arrived this morning trainer Ajan coached me on how to amp up my circuit workout. I was ready for it and it was the perfect timing to add a bit of sweat to the mix. She suggested increasing reps on some of the weight machines. 3 x12 reps. After my first circuit I was sweating. And I was so pumped to do a second speed circuit before heading home.  I have such a clear mind when I am working out and it is so uplifting for the rest of my day.

I came home ready to eat my post-workout snack but it was lunchtime.  Normally that would mean I eat something bigger than a snack but smaller than dinner.  I would have made it with three pieces of buttered toast, three slices of cheese, two pieces of ham and two eggs.  BUT today I made it with one piece of toast (without butter), 1/2 piece of ham, 1 slice of cheddar, 1 soft boiled egg.  (I actually haven’t touched the butter in over a week).  It clocked in on MyFitnessPal App at 385 calories.

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JANUARY 25-

Each visit to She’s Fit! (our sponsor who has kindly given gym passes to all of us for the first 6 weeks of the challenge) I seem to always park in the same spot.  And there is an empty Reeses Peanut Butter Cups wrapper right beside it.  It always makes me laugh to myself because it could very well belong to any customer to one of the several businesses but I like to amuse myself and imagine it’s from someone who has left the gym and “treated herself” for a good workout.  It’s funny but it’s not.  It is totally something I would have done before.  

Our first week’s focus of the TMC was on “nutrition and healthy eating.”  Nutrition coaches Gina and Fayleen shared so much good information with us at the meeting the previous week.  What has stuck with me a week later still, is that PROTEIN is essential EVERY TIME I eat something.  And also HOW to drink water.  It sounds so silly but really I, as well as many of the other ladies, had questions about when to drink, how much to drink, what temperature of water, and more!

So, at least the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups had 5g of Protein (and 13g Fat, 210 Calories).  But it serves to me as a reminder that I could indulge but since I’ve worked so hard I deserve healthy fuel for my body.  Don’t get me wrong, treats have a time and place but it isn’t going to be two steps out of the gym for me.  

 

Created on 2017-01-29 03:11:24

JANUARY 20-

Portions. The package is telling me “this is the portion.  This is what you must eat.”  Otherwise you are left with some and who wants to wrap it up and save it for later, share it or throw it out (what a waste). So I eat all the cheese string. I eat the full piece of toast or two. I drink all the contents of a bottled beverage whatever that may be. I swear, I only order a Grande because it’s fun to say.  The struggle is so real, so engrained. I’m going to focus on consciously eating less than a pre-portioned food. Whether it’s a restaurant meal (eeks the worst!) or granola bar.  I need to get used to the idea of having some for now and some for later.   

Created on 2017-01-29 03:11:08

JANUARY 18-

This was the first morning where I set my alarm to get up before my children for no reason other than to be up before them. I was able to do my hair, use the washroom uninterrupted, make a coffee and sit down to enjoy it. While marvelling at the toys sprawling across the room and the serenity I was feeling i that moment, my three year old came barreling down the hall to give me an update on the big sisterly duties she’d performed – before i even got a sip of my coffee. “I turned the light on and gave the baby a baby” she proudly and smugly exclaims.  We go into the baby’s room and an overturned laundry basket is next to the crib.  A hard bodied baby doll is tucked gently under our sleeping baby’s arm. Aww.  My heart melts.

Turn off the light.

Baby stirs.

Close the door.

Get back to the living room and so close to picking up my coffee.

Baby cries.

Go get baby.

Milk for toddler.

Take a sip of coffee and then adorable cooing baby stands up against my legs with a twinkle in his eyes. Ah, this is the life.

I bring my coffee to my lips and the strong aroma of the start of a brand new day strikes my nostrils. 

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Oh no, it’s not coffee.  It’s time to change the wee one’s diaper. He cheekily blows a raspberry as I chide him for interrupting my moment of serenity. 

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JANUARY 16-

The “Meet & Greet” last night was amazing.  So much so, I slept the most deeply & soundly I ever have in three years.

Created on 2017-01-29 03:10:30

JANUARY 14-

2017 is going to be different. 2016 was personally challenging for me and I am going to learn how to overcome these barriers. After my second yoga class of the year, as it was a cold and icy evening I was taking my time zipping my coat and happened to look at the community events bulletin board.  A poster stood out to me but as I was about to snap a picture of it on my phone, the battery died.  I had to keep saying “Total Makeover Challenge” over and over until I got home and went online to see what it was.  Amazingly the application deadline was the very next afternoon and I had commitments happening all the next day.  My head was swirling with the unbelievable perfectness of this opportunity.  So without much thinking, I jumped right in with both feet (something I NEVER do!) into the application process and finished it off at 11:30pm.  

I had a haircut and colour scheduled for Saturday (the day callouts were happening).  I told my hairdresser that I had to answer my phone if it rang and sure enough, it did and I was asked if I was 100% committed.  I replied “NO.” and was met with silence on the other end.  I teased her for a second before I said “I’m 110% committed!” It was so awesome to revel in the moment of being chosen with peacefulness and a “special” coffee. I’m glad I wasn’t at home when I got the news because the celebration would have gotten lost amongst the every day hustle and bustle with the kids.

Created on 2017-01-29 03:10:14

It started like this:

Spring 2013…

I’m pregnant & nauseous I can’t exercise. 

I’m pregnant I can eat whatever I want. 

i’ll breast-feed and lose the weight. 

I’m breast-feeding and I am hungry all the time. 

20 months later I’m done breast-feeding. 

And … Yay, I’m pregnant!

I’m craving a cheeseburger every day. (But not eating one every day)

Clubfoot?

Will he ever walk/Will he be normal/What else is “wrong” with him?

A brace 23/hrs a day!?!?!

What did i do wrong?

My heart breaks over and over.  For him.  For me.  For our family.

The laundry , diapers, and crumbs are never ending. 

I’m so tired. 

I need another coffee.

Hey look, frozen pizzas are on sale. 

Pop one in the oven. Make it two. 

I’m too tired to exercise. 

It’s too cold. 

The house is too messy. 

The kids won’t leave me alone. 

I’d rather just sleep. 

I need to have a shower.  

It will cost too much. 

I don’t have anything to wear. 

I don’t have a babysitter. 

Fall 2016…

When did this happen?

How did this happen?

Why didn’t anyone say anything?

Early 2017…

Time to change this. I am ready but I don’t know where to begin.  I am a wife and mother of two and I find it challenging to know what I am capable of beyond mothering. Improving myself would benefit so many others in my life and hopefully I could encourage and teach others in a similar position as me how to make the changes that will positively impact their futures.

Follow along with me here on my blog and on instagram @tracytotalmakeoverchallenge

 

Created on 2017-01-29 03:09:50