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I mentioned before that I enjoy drawing and painting and creating more than anything else. So I thought I would upload a few of the paintings I had done in the past few years. My involvement in the TMC has helped to remind me that I love to create, and in order for me to feel complete I need to be creating things, and surrounding myself in colours and light. I think I am going to go to Chapters this weekend and get a book on starting a home business. Its time for me to get everything in order for me to start up a home business of some kind. Even if I am never hugely successful at least I will be creating things and feeling that I am living my new found mission statement.

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Created on 2017-02-24 06:05:04

I have had a lot to think about over the last couple days after attending the ‘Real Me’ seminar. I am completely emotionally exhausted. There was a lot of soul searching (for lack of a better description) that went on. I found that I was psycho analyzing even more than usual.

 

I would like to thank all of the presenters for doing a wonderful job at keeping the topics fresh and interesting. I found that I was very focused on the topics, and that though some of the assignments were a bit more ‘intense’ than I would normally prefer they accomplished what they were supposed to.

 

I learned a good deal about myself, and also about the other women that are involved in the challenge. I found a new respect for everyone, and maybe even a few friends.

 

Look, I am not a crier. I am not a sharer, I find it incredibly challenging to talk to about feelings, and I tend to feel a bit ashamed when I am upset about something. I am however a very good listener, and I really listened to what was going on around me, what was being said to me, and in once instance, what was being said about me. I have a thick skin, and yes, I am hard to get to know. I can see these things in myself, I am aware of them. Changing them however is a great deal more challenging.

 

There were a couple instances that I wanted to share (which involved going in front of the group of 60 women and talking about experiences or feelings). But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was very grateful to the women that had the strength to do so, and for that I thank them. I heard a great deal of inspirational stories from the presenters and also the women who shared. It astounds me and in some cases horrifies me to think what people must overcome in order to push down barriers, and destroy mental walls. The courage in the room was absolutely awe inspiring.

 

I learned a few things about myself, and though it is a bit cliche to make a list, I am going to anyways lol because its just easier for me to keep track that way.

 

The things that I personally learned from the ‘Real me’ seminar were:

 

1. I am not ready to share feeling publicly. I can present or pitch computer software until the cows come home, but so help me gawd do not ask me to talk about my feeling or my past in front of an audience. It is the quickest way to get me to shut down completely.

2. I am ready to share my feeling with other people willing to listen. This is a pretty big step for me. I told things to complete strangers this week that I have not told members of my family!

3. I am still socially awkward. I don’t know anyone in the group, I have not met anyone in the group before the TMC started. During the lunch break on Saturday, I sat in a chair on my own doodling instead of socializing. I just can’t find the words to start conversations. I will gladly talk if someone approaches me, but I a still working on being able to carry conversations. Oh man, am I ever awkward.

4. I did have some good discussions with people around me that were kind enough to strike up a conversation with me. Thanks guys you know who you are! I think I did a pretty good job for me, so I will award myself a big gold star for that!

5. I cried a lot. No really, like a lot hahah I was terrified to cry, and upset about crying, but you know what? After a while I noticed that pretty much everyone was and crying isn’t so bad. I used to think that crying was a shameful thing that should only be done in private, and never ever where people can actually see you! But I think I am beginning to understand that crying is something that everyone should do from time to time. It can be cleansing.

6. Apparently I will sacrifice myself on a sinking ship?! that one shocked me a lot. But I thought about it, and I truly believe that if something were to happen to me, my husband is a fantastic loving father, and he would give our son everything that he needed. I also know that both my family and his would all come together to make sure that my son was taking care of. I am completely incapable of choosing my life over another leaving being. I just can’t, it is easier for me to sacrifice myself then have to condemn someone else to death. Even as I had made the decision my heart was racing and it felt like it was going to pound out of my chest!

7. I am good at my job, and I think it is a good fit. But I maybe need to try and find something that will challenge me a bit more creatively. I have no idea how I will find that job in the agency that I work for, but perhaps it is time to put a bit more effort into finding it. I am not 100% happy at what I am doing right now, and I have a lot of years of working left to not be happy.

8. Human beings are amazingly strong creatures. I can not stress enough the strength that I felt between those 4 walls during the seminar. Truly. The human spirit is an amazingly strong and fragile thing.

9. I am fiercely competitive, but I am not sure that I will make it into the final 15. The competitive side of me would be very sad, but I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to break out of my routine, get a bit uncomfortable, shake myself up a bit. I have tried to do my best at the things I thought I could do best at and that all I can really ask of myself right?

10. Sacrificing yourself my be fine in a hypothetical exercise, but doing it on a daily basis in life is not healthy. I will have to change that aspect of me a little bit moving forward.

 

Thank-you for the opportunity to learn and grow! I hope to be a better me moving forward, or at the very least have a better idea of who I really am.

 

The whole purpose of the seminar was to find our own personal mission statement, and I after tweaking it a bit I think I have finally settled on “My mission is to dream and create so that I will be able to bring people joy, inspiration and beauty”

 

I have some training at work over the next few days, so I am not sure that I will be able to write as much as I would like to, but if you are reading this please go and vote for me :)

 

 

Created on 2017-02-20 06:20:16

Voting time is coming and everything has passed by in a blur. I am not even  100% sure how much weight and inches I have lost at this point. I have been weighing every other day at home, and all the numbers are starting to meld together. Especially because the numbers go up and down and sideways. I hope that once the numbers are posted on the site that they are not so far from the numbers I have in my head.

Looking at the numbers on the sheets at the weekly meetings, after my day at work filled with numbers of all other sorts, its hard for my poor brain to focus properly or do math.

Yesterday was the first day of the ‘Real Me seminar’. I am still processing what went on to be honest. I wanted to blog about it yesterday but thought I would give myself some time to figure out what had just happened in my little world lol.

We were asked to picture our childhood. And I was surprised that during the exercise when I pictured my childhood (which I assumed was under the age of 10), I envisioned with great detail my childhood home. The kitchen, the livingroom, my bedroom (with the puffy balloon curtains) the beadspread (pink foral patterened), my back yard (huge with a path theoufh it and an alley at the back), the textured plaster walls in most of the bedrooms. I could hear our cockatiel squwaking in the backgroud, I seen the popcorn ceiling with the multi coloured sparkles in it. I seen the cotton candy pink and blue bathroom. I thought of the dog I played with in the yard. The sun coming through the windows in the breakfast nook across the table, and the brown plexiglass sliding doors on the kitchen cabinets, the pattern on the beige/yellow lenolium flooring.

There was no real emotions involved or people (I am sure that psychologists qoud have a feild day with this one lol). Just details, minute details I suppose most other people would have forgotten. Things that I spent a lot of time observing, staring at or scrutinizing in someway.

I was asked to relive what I wanted to be as a child and how my parents reacted to my asspiration. But I only dwelled on this for a short period of time. My parents never put any expectations on me in that way. If I wanted to be a florist they were like ‘cool’ if I wanted to be a vet they were like ‘awesome’ if I wanted to be a unicorn they would giggle and say ‘go for it’. I never felt compelled to impress my parents. I just knew they loved me and supported me in whatever I did.

I was asked to do the same with myself at 12 to 14….. oooooooohhhh me at 12 to 14 lol. How filled with angst and longing to be pretty, and thin. Teen Beat magazines, mixed with a somewhat unhealty obsession with Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, my guitar and my friends. For me 12 to 14 was alllllllll about pushing my parents away and finding me. I spent almost all of my time with friends, and if not with friends then talking on  the phone with them. Marathon conversations for hours (before cordless phones were in my house) and we had a 30 foot long phone chord that everyone would have to duck under and leap over depending on which room in  the house I had wandered into. My parents daily question of “how was school today?” Was met with “meh” as the answer. Any attempts they made to talk to me were met with eye rolls and long exasperated sighs. Parents don’t get it right?

I was going to be a rock star, played guitar and wrote my own music. My mother even helped me come up with a band name! I went to recording studios and played small town youth functions, just me and my guitar. Other then my amazing music career that was sure to take off, I only hoped my future self would be pretty and thin. Seems shallow and rediculous now, and maybe lacking in long-term planning lol, but it was what it was and I was who I was. My teen beat magazines were replaced with Guitar world and Rolling stone.

There was mention that Friday night was when tough questions were to be asked, and that crying would ensue, which makes me nervous. I am not a cryer lol. Not that I fault anyone for crying! I applaude those for thw strength to express themselves. If anything were to make me cry it would be seeing someone else in pain, and imagining myself i n thier place. I rarely cry when thinking about myself these days. I spend an enormous amount of energy trying not to cry. I feel that crying reflects weakness. I hate feeling weak. Which is funny because I think the exact opposite when someone else is crying. Hmmmmmm?

Ok. Enough inner reflection now. I will let you know if I am blubbering mess after the 2nd portion of theseminar tomorrow night.

Wish me luck!

Autie

 

 

Created on 2017-02-16 20:32:59

I found the last weekend and the begining of this week pretty hard. My energy levels are dropping, I have to try to keep going though, I can’t let this slump get in my way. We were asked to take photos of our selves for tomorrows class, and in the pile of photos I noticed the signing book from my mother’s celebration of life. I read through all the wounderful things people had to write about her.

After reading through a few pages of signatures I noticed a runnig theme. Strong, generous, intelligent, compasionate, loving. These are all things I hope one day will be wrotten about me. I want to be tge best I can be, and though I am struggling now I have to keep in mind that struggles are inevitable, but also keep in mind they are never infinate. If I continue to push through I will get to the other side.

Keep fighting, keep strong.

Autie

Created on 2017-02-15 05:17:18

Ok. yesterday I ate an entire box of Jelly beans.

It was one of those things where I said to myself “self, we will only have a couple Jelly beans” so I had a couple. And my sugar deprived self went on auto pilot. Before i knew it the whole box was gone and all that was left was my elation (also known as sugar high) and then sadness, because I have done so well for the last 3 weeks. Then it was followed by anger and shame, as I should have known better.

But you know what, after meditating on this all of today, i am ok with it. I think I still have a ways to go to curb my enthusiasm for sugar, but I think that fact that i even NOTICED it was a big step.

I am not going to beat myself up about it, I am not going to dwell on a negative. Was it a negative? I went to the gym today with extra vigor and motivation and I had my riding lesson and it went extremely well, likely because I had worked out earlier in the day. I have eaten really well today, drank all the water I was supposed to and the protein I am supposed to.

I feel great and I think it was in part due to the fact that I had the slip up yesterday. now that isn’t me giving myself permission to slip up everyday, but I think it that I have taken from it what I should have, and I am starting right back up again instead of dwelling on it and feeling bad.

The worst part about it I think, is that I have to re-ween myself off of the sugar again, and if you have ever tried to stop eating sugar or even cut down on sugar, it is the absolute hardest for the first 3 to 4 days, maybe even longer depending on where you are at emotionally . So I have to keep moving forward.

have a great night!

Autie

Created on 2017-02-14 05:44:11

Before I had my son, I had no idea the change he would bring to my life, and the way he would change the way I see the world. Before I had my son everything was about me, or my husband, and what we wanted to do. As soon as my son came along everything shifted and now my main concern is what he wants, and needs.

I think in part the TMC is going to help me rediscover that my wants and needs are still important. I think as a mom, I stopped trying to better myself in anyway, and I stopped trying to do anything just for me. There is a weight of guilt that comes with asking for things as a mom, or trying to take time away from the family. 

After I had my son I was so happy that there were so many fitness option for a new mom and baby, which was super important for me to avoid getting cabin fever. The malls offered a free stroll fitness class, and I could go to 3 classes a week. The YMCA offers mommy and baby fitness classes as well which was also great, I could bring my son to the spinning classes and the music was played low, and he could snooze in his car seat while I spun away. I found story times at local libraries, and also local drop in play times at local recreation centers! I even joined in with some meet-up groups that would jog or walk through local parks on nice days. 

For the most part Mat leave was great! I had managed to only gain 40 pounds while pregnant, and 25 of it I lost as soon as I had my son. The rest came off rather easily through all of my activities.

I think the real struggle was going back to work. We had decided to buy a house for the future of our son, in a community that we love. However it required a few sacrifices on our part in the mean time while we tried to make ends meet. One of those sacrifices was me going back to work full time.  

The first few months of being back at work were torture, still are to some degree. But I work 9 hour days with a 2 hour commute, and when I am leaving the house at 7 to drop my son off at daycare, and getting home at 6 in the evenings to be able to see him again. I have to cook dinner, spend two precious hours with my son before he goes to be at 7:30. Those few hours for me are non-negotiable for the most part. I need time with my son, and as he is not yet 3 I want to spend as much time as possible with him now while he still wants to spend time with me.

I would like to think that there has to be someway for me to fit in some fitness, but everything is closed y the time my son goes to bed, and on weekends. I want to commit to fitness, but going to the gym on my lunch breaks is good 3 to 4 times a week, but eventually it get boring, and I need someone to push me out of my comfort zone when I plateau so that I am not stuck in limbo.

There is also the sticky point that because we are just getting by financially the cost for a lot of fitness programs are just too far out of my price range at the moment, so I am also limited on what I can do there.

How do I break the cycle? I feel that I am already sacrificing so much by working full time and missing large parts of my son’s growing up. Can I sacrifice more time with him in order for me to get into shape? Even thinking about it makes me tear up a bit. I know that food is a large part of the weight loss, and the part that I have struggled with most in the past, but I ENJOY in fact I LOVE being active, I love the second wind, and I love the adrenaline that comes from s good work out. I love when I get into the groove, and the music I listen to is powering me forward. I love the strength I feel building in me, and I love the longevity that I build the more frequently I go. But since this has more or less been what I have done for the past 10 years of my life, and I am still struggling with weight, obviously something has to change. But I need to figure out what, and hopefully my involvement with the TMC will help give me the motivation I need to figure that out.

 

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

I have been called a ‘Snake’ in the past. I could go all day on a cup of coffee and nothing else. I didn’t pack lunches to work, so I would often go for quick junk instead. There was a mini store in my office stocked with chocolate bars, candy, chips, and anything you needed for a quick fix. This was usually my go to when I did get hungry. Then when I get home my husband and I would go out, or I would make enough food to feed a small army, and would stuff my face. On the weekends when I was most busy, I sometimes wouldn’t eat anything at all.

My body constantly going in out of starvation mode has contributed to my weight gain, and my inability to loose weight. I think I may have done some major damage to my poor metabolism over the years. It is a struggle for me to eat throughout the day…

Funnily enough, except for when I was pregnant. When I was pregnant I would get so ravenously hungry every couple of hours I felt physically ill. And because I was responsible for a tiny human in me I ate very little junk food, and very little sugar. In the first 6 months of my pregnancy I actually lost 25 lbs! I think mostly in part because my favorite snack foods like popcorn and chips grossed me out, and also because I was constantly snacking through out the entire day.

I never truly understood what hunger was until I got pregnant. Having the pang hit me and the surge of nausea was a good enough motivation for me to have snacks on my at all times. I had crackers and hummus, carrot sticks, apples, greek salads, cherry tomatoes, pepperoni sticks and I never went anywhere without a snack.

And even though, I had witnessed first hand how eating well and consistently throughout the day contributed to weight loss, I still went right back to my snaky ways once I had my son.

I have been good lately about having snacks throughout the day and trying to maintain a level of energy using healthy foods. I am monitoring the food that eat how my salt, fat, protein, and calories it has and I feel better. Though I have not seen any major dips in my weight as of yet. Though that may take a while yet as my metabolism was so out of whack after 3 years of living like a snake.

I am also not an emotional eater at all, which would also contribute to my body storing fat, thinking that I am starving it. I am actually the exact opposite, I am an emotional starver. I can’t eat when I am stressed, tiered, angry, worried. Instead I drink coffee and don’t eat. As I type this all out I feel so bad for my body! I am sorry body! I am so not the good to you! But I am trying to be better! It won’t be an overnight change, but most of the goals I set for myself were for the end of the year anyways, so I have time, I just need to find the patience.

Well I hope you have a good night and tomorrow!

Autie

Created on 2017-02-11 04:43:59

Edited on 2017-02-11 05:28:43

I sunk into a deep depression after my mother died. I shut myself in, I didn’t socialize anymore, and I stopped doing the things that I love. No guitar, no singing, no drawing, no painting, no nothing. There was no real range of emotions left in me, I was stuck in a perpetual loop of

Fear

Anger

Loneliness

Pain

Anger again

Bursts of rage, weeping fits. Struggles to breathe, not able to take joy from anything around me. The world had lost all colour, and I was floating in a grey abyss.

I was waiting for someone to say something to me, or do something for me that would make it better, that would make the empty numbness go away. It hurt me even more that the person who used to provide me with those things as I grew up, was no longer with me.

I was mad that people weren’t saying the right things, that the didn’t know what to say, or that I could see only pity in their eyes. No one understood, no one got it, no one got me. I was angry that I couldn’t control it, that I couldn’t make it better myself. I was helpless and I hated it.

For around 2 years I hung out in this hopeless place. I had seen some therapists, but they didn’t help, and one of them actually made things worse. I noticed that people were distancing themselves from me because I had become so volatile, so isolated, and so hard. I remember during a particularly bad sobbing fit, I wished inwardly that someone, anyone I knew would experience the same fate so that I would have some one to empathize with me.

Something in my brain slapped me across the face then. “Did you just wish that someone else would loose their mother?!? What is wrong with you?” Something inside me shifted. Had I gotten so bad? had I become so selfish? It was time for this part of me to go away, it was time for me to stop looking for people outside of me to fix what was wrong, I couldn’t ask other people to be responsible for fixing my wounds, I had to do it myself.

 I wanted to lose weight, and take better care of myself. But I seemed to always hit walls. When I lived on my own it was easy to loose weight, but it was and is so much more difficult to make smart food choices when you are surrounded by other people who are eating bad food in front of you.

I had to learn self control, and I just wasn’t there yet. So though I was active and I was building strength and muscle, I was having troubles actually loosing any fat.

I joined a gym, I hired a personal trainer, I started attending yoga classes, and body pump classes, I was well on my way to join the land of the living again, though I was never quite as vibrantly as I had been, I was trying.

I got into horses again eventually after 4 years  of not even looking at a horse. This was a major step for me. My mother was horses, she lived, breathe, and loved all things horse. She would talk endlessly about them, she knew things about horses that I couldn’t believe anyone would even WANT to know. Me entering the horse world again was bitter sweet, but it was the beginning of the healing process for me. An essential part of it. The smell of a barn, the eyes of a horse, the sounds of a barn, brought me back to the farm I grew up on and made me feel as though my mother was still with me in some way.

 

 

Created on 2017-02-10 05:33:16

Ok. The cold is getting a bit better now! Yay I may be able to breathe again. And it sound like its juat in time for another snow storm to roll in, so there is that. *thumbs up*

I have been struggling with water a bit lately. Mostly because I absolutely HATE water, it tastes like nothing and just is not something I choose to drink. In all honesty before I joined the challenge, I could go days without drinking anything other than my morning coffe. (I know right bad mojo!). So now that I know how much water I am expected to drink a day (half your weight in ounces) I at least have a target to shoot for. I also found that enfusing water with fruit or herbs helped too. Things like strawberries, lemon, mint, and cucumber. It gives the water some flavor and makes it far more palletable.

I have been drinking my shakes for breakfast and lunch most day, I bought some protien powder too from the nature’s Fair store we went to last wednesday meeting.So I have been hitting my targets on protien daily (100 grams) and managing to stay under or at my calorie goals most days. And staying away from carbs and sugars for the most part. I am fairly certain nutrition has been me week poi t for weight gain. All my snacks tend to sneak up on me, or I get sucked into my hubbies british after dinner sweat tooth. But I have been logging diligently in the ‘my fitness pal” app, and hubbies sweet tooth is much better now that the whole house is under “go mommy go” mode.

There of course are up and downs, i am not expecting to have lost much i  the way of weight or inches for tomorrows weigh in. What with me being sick, my son being sicm, working fulltime, working out regularily and having my dressage lessons. I don’t have much tim left over to worry about the down parts.

Gotta keep moving forward, gotta keep pushing through it. Its hard and yeah it sucks sometimes, but hey thats life. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and better prepared for the next bump. Because you know there will be another bump, eventually there is, and its how we handle the bumps that determines the type of person we are. You can either fall flat and give up, push ahead, or maybe even land somewhere in between. Just keep trying, don’t five up!

Have a good night

Autie

Created on 2017-02-08 00:41:39

I have a cold…again. I guess that is just the reality of a young child in daycare. Now between the months of October and April, I am basically in and out of illnesses! But despite the sickness I had a pretty good food day. I tried some new recipes that were a hit over the weekend. Cottage cheese pancakes, banana ice cream, banana dark chocolate yogurt muffins, and creamy yogurt spaghetti squash casserole. I love trying new things, and I love even more that eating healthy is a challenge for me. I didn’t get much done in the way of exercise, as I am nursing the cold, but I did eat well, and cam close to my water goal (still some time to go).

It’s Gord Downie’s Birthday!

I love the Tragically Hip, I have been listening to them since I was a young kid. My parents would put on their early albums and they quickly became the soundtrack to my young life. I had mentioned in my bio that I love to sing and play guitar. I have been musical my whole life, it is a part of me, it makes me happy. If I am sad, I play guitar and sing. If I am happy I play guitar and sing. If I am angry, I play guitar and scream (lol).

I found that I haven’t played in a while, but during the last few weeks I have been picking it up more and more. I wamted to post a video of my doing a tragically hip cover to celebrate Gord Downie’s birthday, and also to celebrate how much better I have been feeling lately. I thought I would share it on here for something fun to break up the heavier entries, but I have no idea how to share a video on this page, so just go to Youtube and look up Autumn Rose – “38 years old” Tragically Hip Cover.

I hope to get some exercise in tomorrow, that is of course if the entire lower mainland doesn’t have a snow day!

Have a great night

Autie

Created on 2017-02-07 02:00:54

My entry get a bit heavy today, sorry, but it’s just the way it is.

The lowest of low. Something I struggle with every day.

I sat at the dining room table staring at the piece of paper in front of me. Barely registering the words that were on it as my eyes were partially in focus. Funny to think that such a minuscule thing, a thin piece of paper, could have such an immense weight. Had it come to this already? Was this really happening? This was one of those things that you read happened to other people, not to me, not to my family.

The house was quiet. In the very far distance the silence of the country air was being sliced by the shrill cry of an ambulance. On my family farm, here out in the countryside, that was a strange and alien sound. I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t feel anything. I knew that I should be upset, and yet I continued to stare blankly ahead of me.

The title on the paper.

“Do not resuscitate”

Three little words.

My mother had a short battle with Cancer. A highly aggressive cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. I had dropped out of college to return home and help my step father take care of my mom in her final weeks. Though I can’t imagine I was much help. I was only just 22, and was still trying to figure out how to transition from high-school to ‘the real world’ myself. Looking back I don’t think the true gravity of what was going on really hit me. I slid into ‘survival mode’ and everyday became a goal of keeping it together. Unfortunately the only way I discovered how to do that, was to shut down emotionally.

Only my step father and I were in our little family farm house. My mother was suffering from kidney failure, she was too weak to open her eyes. She would need care in Victoria which is quite a distance from Port Alberni. A 3 hour drive roughly, a lot of things could happen in that distance.

I continued to stare at the paper, as if it had wronged me in some way. I could feel the crease in my for head the furrow in my brow. Mimicking the crease where the paper had been previously folded. I thought if I stared hard enough it may disappear, or that I might disappear.

There were 2 witnesses signatures required on the form for it to be legally binding. One had already been signed.

I knew It was my mother’s wishes, and my Step father in no way put pressure on me to sign the waver. He understood they weight of the situation. I knew my mother wanted to not be brought back if something were to happen during the trip. She was already resigned to her fate.

I remember being vaguely aware that the siren had gotten louder as I finally scrawled my signature on the paper.

Then the siren was upon me, echoing off the walls of the house as the ambulance turned into our driveway. screaming  through the sliding glass doors. Banging around between my ears and tearing my attention from the form.. The paramedics came and loaded my mother into the ambulance. I had kissed her good bye and told her I loved her as they closed the doors.  She was a shell of her former self. Shallow eyes, yellowing skin, I could see the bones in her arms her wrist looking frail. Her hair was just starting to grow back from the chemo, though it was gray now.

Be strong.

Keep it together

Keep it together

I followed with my step dad behind the ambulance in the passenger seat of his big Diesel truck, exchanging small talk between us as the world whisked by outside our vehicle. Feeling the unusual numbness wash over me. Should I not be freaking out? Should I not be meting down, breaking, crying? I was worried to be sure, but did this mean there was something wrong with me?

If she died on the trip to the hospital, because I signed the do not resuscitate form, would it be my fault?

I didn’t eat that day.

My mother lost her battle to cancer the night of February 1st 2006. It was not on that trip to the hospital, but rather in her own home surrounded by loved ones a few weeks later. It was a bumpy few weeks what with the palliative care nurses and taking care of our 5 horses. I didn’t have much time for grief, or feeling sorry for myself.

But on the morning she passed, my sister popped her head up the stairs of the loft room I was sleeping in and said 2 words “She’s gone”. There are no words to say really. I rolled over in bed and stared at the slope of the ceiling above me. I remained in my bed and listened to her body being taken out of the house. She was gone now. She finally had peace, and was now no longer plagued by pills, or pain.

She never once complained. She never once cried (that I had seen anyways) She told me once during a phone conversation “I want you to know, I am not afraid to die Autie, If it is my time, it is my time” I changed the subject, and pretended that nothing was happening.

As I lay in bed, I let the numbness wash over me completely. Devoid of emotions, unable to feel anything. Understanding that something monumental had just changed in my life, but unable to acknowledge the emotions ANY emotions at all.

I didn’t eat that day either.

I didn’t eat for days.

 

Created on 2017-02-05 19:40:13

Ok so snowmageddon happened today and I was stuck at home with my little guy cause the roads were crazy, and my car was stuck. So with me being stuck at home I had to get creative with my exercise and try extra hard to eat well.

I tried a new recipie for breakfast…cottage cheese pancakes, and I know you are pulling a face right now, but seriously they are good! Even my 3yo aon enjoyed them! You go try them, go now do it! I will wait right here…… done? Good right!?! TOLD YA!

Anyways I also decided that due to my inability to go to the gym that I would shovel our rediculously loooooooong driveway and get my car free from the snow that just did not seem to stop coming down!

When I was done digging one car out, I decided to dig the other one out too, and once both cars were done I did the sidewalk, and once I did our sidewalk I also did the neighbours sidewalk! So a little over a  hour later I was done, standing victoriously at the end of a pristine driveway. Basking int he glory of that wobbly muscle feeling that is the sign that YES YOU ARE ALIVE! God I love that feeling. Of course as soon as I took a step after standin still for a minute, I could tell that I am going to feel this tomorrow!

Saturdays are usualy me cheat day where I allow myself some kind of treat guilt free. Tonight I am eating sunflower seeds (spitz) and having a delicious ginger tea. As a family we went for a swim tonight and played in the pool for an hour or so. So I think I was active enough to warrent my treat.

I prepped some speghetti squash for dinner tomorrow I am stoked to try the recipie! I hope everyone stayed nice an warm today, lets all pray together that spring is on its way!

Good night

Autie

Created on 2017-02-05 01:28:29

I am going to continue with my story tonight, though I am really tiered so I will likely have to break it out into one more entry.

When I went into Junior high, I was self conscious about my weight, wearing baggy boy clothes and nervous about entering a school where all kids my age within the area would also be siphoned into grade 7. Nothing says tween like a hole bunch of awkward kids within closed confines trying to figure out who they are and what pecking orders should be set in place!

It didn’t take long to figure out who the cool kids were. They were anyone who wore Adidas Gazelle shoes, or Umbro or Nike track pants (remember the ones that buttoned all the way up the outside of the legs and kids would spend most of their time trying to pants each other in the halls?) anyway, I digress. Cool kids wore brand name track pants. I wore the cheap K-mart rip offs called ‘Keds’ and got relentless picked on about it.

One weekend shortly after school had started, my mom offered to take us to the next town over to buy our school clothes. If you are from a small town you will know why this is a big deal. There is not a lot of selection in a small town, and if you don’t want to wear the same clothes as EVERYONE else in town, then you have to go somewhere with actual department stores to get some variety. So we went into the next town over, to the gigantic Winners, which was a relatively new store at the time, at least to me anyways. While sifting through the isles and isles and isles of never ending assorted and seemingly unorganized chaos that was before me, I stumbled upon something… The holy grail of somethings!

Sweet Merciful crap! It was an addidas track jacket! And it was on clearance! I don’t think I had ever moved that fast. I ran over to my mom and begged and begged and BEGGED to please please please please please let me get the jacket. This jacket was my nylon mixed easy breathing ticket to being accepted! She had to understand how important it was!

When my mom agreed to buy it for me I just about died with joy. I barely slept that night as the visions of me being plunged into the cool kid group. I was giddy as I slid into my too big black and white addidas jacket, right before sliding out the front door and beginning my walk to school. I think the skip in my step was worthy of playing the track “staying alive” by the Bee Gees over it. I was feeling pretty darn good about myself.

I walked into my first class of the morning, and new that one of my biggest bullies would be waiting there. As I pulled the chair out at my usual table and sat down, I could hear him and his friends giggling behind me. I felt an uncomfortable twinge up my back just as he said “Oh my god! Look at her, she is trying to be cool. I bet you dug that jacket out of the garbage didn’t you, what a loser!” insert stereotypical bully laughter.

I didn’t say anything, I didn’t have anything to say. He was right, I was trying to be cool. And the funny thing is, I don’t think his taunting had the effect on me it was meant to. I thought to myself “well, I can’t fit in if I am not trying, and I can’t fit in if I am trying!! So what the heck am I trying to prove to anyone else anyways?” I took off the jacket that all of 15 minutes previously was going to be my ticket to acceptance, hung it on my chair and decided that I was through trying to get acceptance from other people.

I asked my older sister to dye my hair black, I started listening to metal and punk music and in general I stopped caring about what anyone thought of me. And funnily enough, I noticed when I stopped caring what people said about me, or to me, eventually they stopped picking on me. I found my own group of friends, and I had a pretty normal teen life.

 

I lost a lot of weight in grade 12, as I discover ephedrine which was totally legal at the time. Tiny little white pills that completely eradicated the want for food. I could buy a bottle of ephedrine for 10 bucks from the health food store with 100 capsules or more. I thought that I had hit the jack pot! I had also started smoking, which is an appetite suppressant. Smoking became my new crutch instead of food. I stopped being an emotional eater, and became an emotional smoker. I spent around 4 years, starving and smoking. Functioning on caffeine and nicotine almost exclusively. Though I looked good on the outside, I was short of breath, wheezing and coughing, having chest pains, and more or less feeling like total crap. No wonder! I wasn’t taking care of myself.

 

What happened next made things even more difficult for me, but that will have to wait because I am too tiered to type anymore.

Have a great night

Autie

Created on 2017-02-04 01:01:49

I am beginning to find the new eating plans easier. I have always been fond of exercise and the gym, so now it is a question of upping my game, and pushing myself through to the next level.

I have been working on cardio sprints and getting my heart rate up and the sweat flying! I do find the water challenge very hard. I am trying to drink 3 litres of water a day which is hard! especially when I HATE water. I am sucking it up though and chugging back the water, and infusing the water when I can with berries or mint or lemon which makes it easier for me.

I didn’t loose any weight in the last weigh in, but I am proud of losing quite a few inches. So obviously I am on the right track with my eating and exercise. I am no so much worried about what the scale says, and more how I look and feel.

I am allowing myself a certain amount of slip ups, but realizing that any allowances on the bad food front are met with more exercise. So if I feel the extra exercise is work it I will allow myself a treat.

I plan to jog another 4.6km this weekend so long as the snow that is threatening doesn’t actually come! I guess I could always just jog around the dog park if need be, though I don’t know the exact distance of the track.

I have started with my meal replacement shakes today, so I have a shake for breakfast and for lunch then a healthy balanced dinner.

I am pretty sure that every muscle in my body is sore at the moment, my legs from the sprints and my arms from the weights, but I LOVE it. I don’t think that a work out is worth it unless I am completely soaked and breathless at the end of it.

I have been using pinterest to find good weight lifting programs, and mixing from upper to lower body exercises.

I am very happy that I have found the motivation through TMC. I needed something to push towards so badly, and this is giving me something to aim at, and keep me motivated to move forwards.

Have a great night!

Autie

Created on 2017-02-03 01:52:10

Today is an anniversary that I wish I didn’t have. On Feb 1st 2006  my mother lost her short battle with cancer. She was 45. I was 22 and my brother was 18. Its true that when you lose a loved one they are with you everywhere you go, everday, and every moment. I think about her everyday.

I sometimes see her looking back at me when I look in the mirror, a shocking revelation at times when I am not prepared for it. I hear her in the rediculous things that I yell at my son “be careful! My goodness child!” “What ARE you thinking!?!”

I also hear her in  the tones of my voice as I speak, and the way that I stand (one leg bent slightly with arms crossed over my chest). I think of her most fondly every single time I step into a barn, anywhere, as all barns have the same musty sweetness as the barn I grew up in. I see her reflection in the eyes of the animals that I love, because she taught me all that I know about animals (including fish, birds, guinea-pigs, goats and turtles.)

Through the miracle that is life, I can see her in the way my son (who has never even had the pleasure of knowing my mother personally) stands, the way he walks sternly when he has a purpose. The way he is not afraid to stand up for himself. I hear her in his laugh, and how he says “WHAT?” With real emotion if he is shocked by something you have said. I love that he calls her photos”Grandma horsie” even though the title was first used by my beautiful niece, who knew my mom, and knew the family farm, and our horses.

Though my son will never know my mother personally, he will know her through me, and without even knowing it, he already knows her through himself. For he would never be the wonderful little boy that he is without a tiny part of my mother.

I love you mom. And I will miss you forever.

Autie

Created on 2017-02-03 00:37:15

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Created on 2017-02-01 18:56:45

I would like to use this post to thank everyone for the tremendous amount of support they have shown me over the past couple weeks!

From my husband staying home with our son, while I zip off to meetings. and yoga, and gym classes. To my friends who have been coming with me to the yoga classes and helping me stay on track. I would like to thank my co workers who know not to flash the donuts in my face, or the potluck food leftovers. A co worker of mine even came to the gym with me, which was great to keep me motivated and pushing forward through the weight reps. We are going to go again tomorrow and do some cardio sprints, and then maybe some Ab work! My riding coach is even joining me in my water challenge right now, half your weight in ounces a day! which is waaaay harder then I thought it would, but also waaay more rewarding then I thought it would be once I got the hang of it.

Even my son who will be 3 in February has been chanting “Go Mommy Go” I think I have finally found my groove. I just need to keep the momentum moving forward, and not dwell on the little slip ups!

I hope everyone out there can find something that gives them the motivation to challenge themselves.

Have a great night an tomorrow!

Autie

Created on 2017-02-01 00:34:24

Hi Again! I have been doing a lot of thinking and inner searching since I have been accepted into the TMC. In doing so I have drummed up a lot of memories and emotions. I would like to share them here, not in anyway to start a Autumn pity party, but more as an emotional exploration for myself to better understand me, and what parts of me I feel are getting in my own way.

I will try to mix and match my heavy entries with some uplifting and empowering ones. But I feel that in order for me to enjoy what ever progress I make in the TMC, I will first have to explore why I am even here to begin with! After all, even with the heavier memories, we all know there is a happy ending! I am here right? And I have the wonderful opportunity in the TMC to be honest and open about my struggles and my successes. I hope that in exposing some past wounds’ I may possibly encourage some healing and growth moving forward.

Who knows, maybe there are some people out there that can identify with my story, or relate in some way?

*deep breath* OK here goes…

 

I was in grade 6. In my home town, Grade 6 was the end of Elementary school and grade 7 was the beginning of Junior high.

I had gained quite a bit of weight over the summer holidays as I had an active social life with my friends from the previous year of school. An active social life for me of course meant lots of sleep overs and lots of bad food at other people’s houses. My mother had noticed the weight, and she was trying to counter act this by becoming even more strict with sugary sweets in out house. he seemed completely baffled as to how I was so ‘big’ when there was nothing to eat in the house! I had also begun to get an allowance for doing chores around the house that summer, and I was spending almost all of my money on what my mother called ‘junk food’. I would go to play with Friends, and stop at a corner store with my hard earned chores money, and I would buy as much chocolate and chips that I could. I never brought any home though, because I knew my mom would throw it out or lecture me about healthy eating. In short I was hording food, and also hiding it from my mom. S

When grade 6 came along the friends I had over the summer holidays were all in another grade 6 class, and to make things even more awkward I was in a 5/6 split class. GREAT! This was a travesty. So not knowing anyone in my class, I entered the new classroom rather sheepishly.

15 minutes into the class. Of course. WHY WOULDN’T WE HAVE TO GET UP IN FRONT OF THE CLASS AND DO A PRESENTATION ABOUT OUR SUMMER VACATION! Because that would be super awesome. I felt my blood run cold at my impending doom. I wanted to shrink into the cubbie at the back of the room crawl under the shelf and hope that no one heard me breathing under the jackets. The teacher scanned the room looking for the next ‘victim’ and I wonder if anyone else in the room could hear my heart beating.

Please not me

Please not me

Please not me.

 

“Autumn?”

 

He may as well have shouted it as loud as he could, for I certainly had a ringing in my ears as though he had. I could actually feel the the anxiety streaking through me from the base of my skull down my spine. OH GOD! Standing in front of the class. No one familiar to work off of, no one to rest my eyes on. No one to feed me any good energy.

Without turning to face the class I felt every single eye in the class on me now.

*Deep breaths, Keep Breathing*

I was pulling at the bottom of my hoody. My hoody that was about 3 times too big for me. I wore super baggy clothes to hide my tummy, and baggy pants to hide my legs. I wore boy clothes only because the baggier and the more shapeless the garment the better. I was literally trying to shrink away and to hide in my clothes.

At the moment though, I was acutely aware of what a terrible job my clothes were doing of hiding me right now.

*Deep breathes, Keep breathing*

I stood at the front of the class (looking I am sure, as awkward and uncomfortably as humanely possible). There was a long folding table at the front of the class (you know the wood ones that all schools always have in spades, with the brown or black folding legs). Without even thinking about it, as almost a nervous tick, I hoped up on the table because I thought that maybe sitting would be less awkward than sitting? There was also the added bonus that I could hunch over while sitting and disappear even further into myself. Or at least that was my unconscious thought process.

Before I even had a chance to open my mouth, a boy near the back of the room yelled out “OH MY GOD! LOOK SHE IS SO FAT HER BUTT COVERS HALF OF THE TABLE!” The other students laughed, and the noise seemed to slow down to a dull drone. I vaguely remember the teacher barked something at the boy, then the rest of the class.

It had taken a few minutes for what was said about me to truly sunk in. I tried to laugh, like it was no big deal, but I could feel my heart breaking. I could feel the hot ring around my eyes starting to form.

*please no, not here, not now, it’s the worst possible time for this to happen, no, no, no, NO!*

But despite my efforts it happened. I started crying, in front of the entire class, WHAT A NIGHTMARE! I could hear my brain saying *STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT!* but they just kept coming.

The teacher looked at me with pity and told me to wait in the hall while he talked to the class.

I was vaguely aware of what he was saying while I hunched behind the door in the hall crying, and hating myself for crying.

I still didn’t understand why I was ‘fat,’ I hadn’t considered food really. I wanted desperately to be normal, to be accepted, to blend in and fade away. I felt like my weight was a huge flag to the world that said *pick on me* or *I am not good enough* and what happened in the class that day had confirmed it.

I withdrew into myself for the rest of the year, I tried to do as little as possible that would draw any attention to myself. I would avoid presentations, I wouldn’t ask questions, I would avoid other kids and read books on my own. I developed a favorite spot at the very back of the football field where I could read books in peace and just escape.

 

If I couldn’t fit in, then I wanted to just disappear…

 

OK, it’s late. And I am super tiered. I will continue soon…. Remember happy ending!

Created on 2017-01-31 01:16:12

Today I tried hot yoga at Oxygen Yoga in Langley for the first time ever, and it was amazing! I had put off trying infrared yoga because I had always assumed that it was going to be similar to the heat in a sauna. The last thing that I wanted to do was possibly collapse in front of a class full of strangers! I am happy to report that it wasn’t at all like a sauna at all! It is a dry heat, and it was easy to breathe and wasn’t stuffy at all!

I went for a jog yesterday with my dog and pushing my son in his stroller. 4.6 km later, I am feeling a bit tight and ache so yoga is EXACTLY what I needed.

Seriously though, if you like yoga, you gotta try infrared yoga! Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate, just go. your body will thank you for it!!

Back to work tomorrow, I have my usual gym workout, and my riding lesson in the afternoon after work.

have a great night out there!

Created on 2017-01-30 02:00:47

Today I will write a bit about myself. I think I should try an explain why I personally think I have had struggles with food over the years. As promised I will be as open and honest as possible!

 

Growing up my mother was a total health nut. She would never allow any kind of sweet treats in the house, period. Any sweets that made it in the house were very stringently given out in very small portions. For instance, my Halloween candy would last for generally 6 months after Halloween, as my mother would hide the candies, and give us only one candy a day after school. I was so jealous of my friends who just got to free range graze through their candy sacks whenever they wanted to.

 

The most exciting cereals in our house was Shreddies, or plain cheerios. Our snack foods were bran crackers with tuna and on occasion we could make our own cinnamon and sugar toast in the mornings. I suppose to a lot of people would think this is fantastic! Healthy eating and good nutrition! But unfortunately when you never have the chance to eat junk food, there is no way to understand how to portion control or use self control for that matter when tempted with bad food. At least that is how it went for me.

 

I vividly remember at sleep overs with friends I would have 2 or 3 bowls of fruit loops, or luck charms or co co puffs or fruity pebbles or Trix. Other kids parent let them serve their own portions for breakfast!?!?! AND LOOK AT THE SELECTION IN THE PANTRY! My 7 year old heart could explode with pure joy. I remember getting strange looks from my friends, as I would pour the third bowl of sugary cereal and they were done and ready to go play somewhere. As an adult I am ashamed of it of course, but honestly it is still something I struggle with, and likely will for the rest of my life.

 

At birthday parties or pot lucks, I would overload on cookies, and ice cream and chips and pop and sometime (as ashamed as I am to say it) I would just park at the goodies table and not bother to go and play with the other kids. Having made my decision to stay and eat goodies rather than socialize. I remember trading my cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches with another kid at school for Twinkies and ding dongs. I could not believe they would want my healthy bland gross lunch and want to trade for a delicious cake!

 

As an adult I tend not to keep treats in my home (as eventually we do turn into our parents somewhat don’t we? Haha). My main weakness is still eating out, and if I do have bad food available I am still unable to control my portions especially since I do not eat breakfast or lunch. Which concerns me because I have a 3 year old son, who I want desperately to teach him not that bad food is evil, but that bad food is an occasional treat.

 

I am hoping that my involvement in the Total make Over Challenge will help me become aware of my flaws with food and help me overcome them. I would love to learn tools I can use, and teach those tools to my son.

 

I think that junk food is not an evil thing that I can never have ever, but rather something i can have a little of on occasion. What do you think?

 

 

Created on 2017-01-28 17:38:40

Hello and Welcome to my Total Makeover Challenge (TMC) blog site! My name is Autumn Emms, and my goal in the challenge is to write in this blog everyday, to both help keep me on track, and hopefully also give some of you out there some motivation to challenge yourselves!

I am going to be brutally honest in these blogs. Though the content will be rated G I promise, I do intend to be very honest about my struggles as I encounter them, and also about my feeling as I move through my own personal challenge.

How about a bit about me to start off? Let’s see, I grew up on Vancouver Island on a horse farm in Port Alberni. I went to College in Naniamo, and eventually moved to Surrey because my then boyfriend, now husband, lived in Newton(Surrey). I have always loved Langley and we were lucky enough to purchase our first home in Langley 2 and a half years ago.

For as long as I can remember I have struggled with my weight, and food. So when I was waiting in the doctors office and I seen the application for the TMC pop up on my Facebook, I figured I had nothing to loose by applying.

Imagine my surprise when I was called and told that I had made it into the 30 challengers for the Langley women! I got off the phone, jumped up and down, then immediately began to worry.

 

What if I was setting myself up for failure?

What if everyone seen me failing?

What if I couldn’t do it and it was too hard? 

What if I wasn’t strong enough?

What if I had to do a PRESENTATION!

 

But just as I thought that my heart was going to blow up out of my chest, and my anxiety was going to get the better of me, I realized something. Maybe some of those things would happen, maybe ALL of those things would happen, but would that really matter? If I wanted to truly make a change, it was now or never. I needed help and guidance to truly understand how I could change myself for the better. This was my chance! This is my motivation! This was my opportunity to move outside my comfort zone and challenge myself with something new. It is up to me to meet my goals, and do the personal best that I can in order to be a better healthier me, and I am ready now! I am willing! And I can do it!

I am tiered of being Tiered, I am tiered of not fitting into nice clothes, I am tiered of my headaches, and heart burn, and my aching joints. It is time for a change and I am ready. I am ready to do whatever I have to in order to succeed and meet my goals! I can do it, I WILL do it!

 

I hope that you will stick with me on my journey! Keep coming back everyday for a new entry!

Have a great rest of the day

Xoxo

Autie

Created on 2017-01-28 00:07:40