You have Cancer, maybe, nope …what?….!

Sometimes it feels like there are no words to describe how something went down, but then as I sit here there are so many words competing to make it to this page.  Regardless of all of the intelligent possible openers the only way to start is to say Holy Shit Batman, that was a f’n emotional ride!!!

To make the back story as minimal as possible I will cut right to the chase. For just about twenty years now I have had digestive issues. I call it “tap ass syndrome” <<warning – some may find the following gross>> meaning the liquid shyte comes out as fast as water from a tap.  Medical folks call it IBS.  I have had multiple colonoscopies, endoscopies, CT scans and ultra sounds over the years. I’ve taken foods out and brought others in.  Gone on meds, off meds. Still the same result – tap ass.  It makes face to face business encounters and social eating events stressful at times but for the most part I’ve learned to manage my issue. That said, sometimes it gets in the way of everything.  Be it cramps or shooting pains or bloating like I am nearing my third trimester there are times I become, as my mum would say, utterly useless… Two weeks ago I was in agony. I could feel my insides aching and every now and then it got so intense the feeling shot down my right leg.  I woke up the Friday morning and knew something was wrong and I took myself to the urgent care centre nearby.

There are times I could complain about an emergency room encounter, however, this was not one of them. Within three hours I had been assessed, blood and urine tests completed and had a CT scan.  It was amazing. That would have taken me about half a year to acquire via my family doctor. As an example, I saw my family doctor in July and she referred me to another gastro specialist. My appointment is December 18th….

After the CT scan, however, felt like forever. You haven’t changed in the way you feel but now you don’t get to lie down. You are sitting there on a hard chair against a wall (near the clean linen rack) rammed beside others also waiting on their findings.  Usually when you are waiting in the ER they just blurt your results out for all to hear (sometimes you feel like a dumb-ass like when they tell you its just a sprain vs a break or to put polysporin on it… ) In this case, I was called away to get my results. That doesn’t happen. I also wasn’t the next in what would be the sequence we went in. Up to that point everyone pretty much got them in order of who had gone in for their scan. I was about six people away from what should have been my turn when he called me to join him down the hall.  He spoke so softly saying they found something serious. I needed to have further exploration and so I would be hearing within a day from a gastro specialist who would perform a colonoscopy immediately.  I remember staring at his glasses and listening to him say something about how I am too young for colon cancer but it was important it be addressed right away…. He then shuffled me back to where I’d just been sitting to wait for paperwork.

I felt like everyone was staring at me. They weren’t , they were inside their own heads wondering what he could have said to me, what that could mean for their results. I know my face would have revealed what I was feeling. I was shocked.  Forty has meant cancer for people I care about. Some of them are not here anymore after dying horrible cancer deaths and so using that word just as I turned forty meant it could be real…  and of all cancers it had to be my ass. If you knew some of my relatives you would know that even if it were terminal, there would be ass jokes….it’s one of they many things I love about them.

CT Scan Results

CT Scan Results

Fast forward a few days and I had my colonoscopy. I was awake this time. Not my favorite – I prefer completely unconscious with no view of my colon. One, you can feel it. Two, you can see it. I watched my colon on the screen. I think she said twenty five feet were viewed but I was on drugs, it’s a blur. Why they share so much with you when you are whacked out watching your freakishly long colon is beyond me.

Long story short – diverticulosos perhaps? I have inflammation, spasms and another label but NOT cancer. NO CANCER. Who cares about the rest? For days this was what was wearing me down…what if… what then? Everything else is manageable.

So what then does this really all mean? A wonderful woman said to me this morning that “digestive issues reflect one’s inability to digest something in their life right now.”  She knows me well.  It’s so true.

I’ve been thinking about this for days. I’ve been given this gift of time to heal right now and I’m focusing on more than just my gut.  I am making significant changes in my life.

Basically, I am claiming back my life.

I’ve spent the last few years working towards several goals and I achieved all of them. I also opened and small coaching practice which I run in addition to my full time position. I have been fortunate to connect with some amazing clients. The past few days I realized how much I have enjoyed this, and, that I do not want to continue. Although it is very rewarding work I want those hours back in my personal life. I work early mornings or evenings with my clients and although it has benefited my career, my finances, my ability to provide for my family – I’m closing my “office” doors.  I am fortunate that I love what I do by day and I am able to use all of my learning/development.  It’s either or and so I’m choosing to put the pause button on this one and to shift my time.

I want to play more. I want to take more half days off, take the kids out of school and go play together.  I want to go on more of their school trips and not feel guilty about what I’ve left behind for a day at work. It’s one day. It’s time to end all of the little stories I tell myself about why I just can’t…. yes…. I can.

I want to make the time to create the foods I need to nurture and heal myself. It’s easy to do when I am not working, it’s hard to do when I am. I want to create a better balance. Tying into this, I also need to give myself more credit for what I do accomplish. I am a driven person and I always see potential to grow / maximize / enhance.  We rarely eat anything from a box or can or picked up/out….we make fresh meals three times a day.  I have to remember to be kind to myself about what I am achieving versus the one thing I did not. Negative self talk leads to an angry ass – completely avoidable by choosing another way. I do not have to put this kind of pressure on myself.

I need to pause and ask myself if the action I am taking is one of self – love or not.  In every sense. Money cannot buy this time back. Yes it can buy awesome things like Jamaica trips and a new pool in the backyard BUT I’ve been pushing myself this way for three years and clearly my ass cannot handle it. Your body will always reveal the truth about how it has been cared for.  The key is to create a platform that, in every sense, creates a balanced life.

Sitting here now with days between all that happened what amazes me is what came to mind when I was worried about having to deal with something that could compromise my life. We are constantly reminded, sometimes a little more bluntly than other times, of all we have in our lives. When we forget or let things get in the way the universe reminds us. I’ve clearly not been paying attention and so this time it took more of a screaming effort vs a gentle nudge. It’s up to me to make this lesson stick…this one is worth it.

Be well.

N.

To be online or not to be online….

I’ve been struggling with the volume of screen time I’ve been taking as of late. I have actually caught myself ignoring live  beings to read a few news headlines or status updates. It’s so rude, I don’t tolerate it of others and yet this is exactly what I’ve been doing. Not all the time, but I caught myself today in lieu of playing with my kiddos responding to a non-urgent or relevant text. It was just joking around with a friend and I think I should have picked up the phone to chat live vs just fired off an awesomely witty one liner ( i was quite creative if I do say so myself ha ha).  I am constantly talking about being present, committing to the people in front of you. There were my kiddos waiting for me…and I was texting.

Ultimate hypocrite, that’s my deserved title.

That said, I am working on it! Tomorrow is Sunday and I’ve promised my kiddos, spouse and self that there will be no cell phones, no emails, no anything electronic. We may have a family wii battle – but that’s about it.  We have sunny skies with warm weather in the forecast, there is no reason to be indoors or online.

So why am I so freaked about being offline?

I tell my clients to log off and go play, I’m overdue in consistently taking my own advice.

GOPLAY

How much time do you commit to being offline / week?

Laying the foundation…

The time has come for me to launch this next chapter of my fitness/wellness business and I find myself toggling between perspectives.

In listening to clientele at present, as well as, potential clients, I recognize now more than ever how the way we measure our successes at present really tear us down vs build us up. Stepping on the scale in front of large groups, points systems – these can cause more harm then they can good. The scale does not at all reflect one’s wellness and yet it is used as a tool to determine if someone is “successful” in their attempt to control their physical well being.

I’ve decided this is not the side of wellness or fitness I want to focus on.

My target audience is women. Single women, mothers, daughters….females.  I can relate to women (naturally ha ha) and so I want more for them.  Their lives should be more than numerically focused. It’s time to change it up and bring women to a new level of awareness.

We are more than we are currently seen at present.

We are capable of pushing and lifting heavy weights. We are capable of strength, power, determination.  We are capable of leading our families to another way of living, one that honors their well being and their inner selves vs becoming the next woman working out in a bikini and see-through heels. Image

 

As I sit here attempting to recreate my professional pathway I really wonder what it’s going to take for us to retrain our way of thinking.  How do I empower women to be themselves vs a societal byproduct?

Not sure.

But it’s time to open some wine and ponder this….

I’m not your usual wellness woman. I’ve competed and seen the error in that lifestyles ways. I’ve denied myself things saying it was in my best interest. I know better now…and this knowledge means no more denying myself wine to save an inch on my waist. I workout, I eat real food, I drink wine. I have muscles and am continuing to lose the prego blub.

I’ve, after a decade of searching, finally found balance.

Amen…

A source of inspiration…..

86 YEARS OLD – Johanna Quaas is a true inspiration to all of us as she is spending her days tumbling, spinning and twirling on the gym floor and on the parallel bars no less!

Just recently, Cottbus, Germany hosted the 2012 Cottbus World Cup where Quaas performed her exhibition routine on the floor and on the parallel bars. Although the 86 year old has won 11 medals in senior gymnastics competitions, she ultimately just continues to practice “for fun.”

I doubt that this lovely white-haired athlete sat around at home watching TV all day when she was younger. In fact, in 1954, Quaas was a member of the handball team that took the Eastern German Championship! Today, she continues to astonish audiences in events across the globe.

Stories like these that make me feel like I should detach myself from my computer screens and go outside and do some push ups or something! ♥

Lessons learned along the way.

Once upon a time this had such different purpose.  Maybe I was more passionate about it or maybe it was really just that I had that extra time or drive, but I feel rather lack luster about it in comparison this time around.

I’ve taken all the same steps, followed what proved once to be successful for me in terms of staying focused and tracking successes (and lessons).  This time around, it’s very different.  I care, I sense I do indeed have passion surrounding this subject, but not PASSION.

I’m okay with not always executing things as planned.

This is not like me, not at all like me.

What I am discovering about the evolving me is that I am perfectly okay with going with what feels like I should be doing in that moment.  Not being lazy, there is a difference.  I am not okay with not executing my workout plan to sit on my ars. Arses expand with lack of mobility, that’s not what we are talking about here. I am okay with missing my workout to play with the kids. I am okay with missing my workout to sit down and have an hour lunch break with my kids or my hubby or a good friend.  I find other ways to move around all the while maximizing on the moments I have, while I have them.

This does not lead to the physical results I have longed for in the time frame I longed for.

So here’s what else I have learned, who cares.  It’s falling off, an inch or half-inch at a time. It will continue to do so until there isn’t chunks o’ post baby making chub to rid myself of….but I’m really enjoying my life right now.  I haven’t felt this satisfied with my life before.

This is something much more meaningful.  I discovered this by accident while focusing on my workouts.  My very meaningful workouts have led to another chapter in my life. A satisfied one. One where in I feel like I am living on purpose. I am doing exactly what I should be doing in the moments I sense I should be doing them.  I’m seizing moments to socialize or network when I would normally isolate myself in the gym.  I’m walking outdoors more and taking in the fresh air vs walking on the treadmill.  I feel very connected, very alive.  Very full.  My relationships are deepening as I invest my time into them. I’m focusing on my studies, my personal growth.  I’m now working from home and able to use my time to create a new balance in my life. I feel so fortunate right now.  I am realizing just how truly fortunate I am.

I sit here reflecting on my day feeling full.

Here’s the thing I love most about working out. It always leads to a deeper connection with self.  Investing time in myself leads to this sense of self love that opens  me to a new level of appreciation.  I know what I am capable of, I know I am capable of more.  Every time I set a goal for myself in my workout and achieve it ( a specific weight or rep amount for example), I KNOW I can do MORE.  We limit ourselves with our minds and I am no exception.

I’m opening my mind to more and creating more for myself in my life.  This is my commitment to self. It reaches far beyond the gym floor.

Courtesy of Google

 

A 20lb success…meet Jennah!

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Jennah “before”

** Feature blog: Sharing in the successes of our community!

Once upon a time in Whitby Ontario, this was Jennah.  Like many, Jennah had struggled with maintaining the lifestyle she longed for. Noting that motivation was lacking, Jennah opted for change. 

Her final send off to the lifestyle she was leaving behind? A pizza. The entire thing.  Jennah shared she sat in the dark eating her biggest weakness and said her goodbyes. Things were going to be very different this time. 

So what worked this time around? BEING REAL.  Instead of jumping into everything there was a methodic approach to this new lifestyle.  She shared what she was undertaking with her family and friends.  She considered what she really could manage and built her lifestyle around it.  Knowing herself and being herself were her tools to success.  It’s working.

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Jennah today!

Twenty pounds lighter, here’s Jennah.    Combining a realistic nutrition plan (which includes pasta and beer), along with exercise has aligned Jennah with her ultimate goal; Health.  “Everything has changed!! I sleep better, I look healthier, my skin is better, I am more productive at work and I just feel better about myself overall.”

“I made an effort to surround myself with people who have the same goals as well. “  Jennah further supports herself by using social media sites to provide recipes, motivation, workout ideas and share in local events to stay on track.

“I have learned that I really can do it. I made an effort to put my health first but not miss out on the foods, drinks or late nights that I am used to. I just always try and make the best choices when I am out.”

So what’s next? “…making it this far has only made me wonder what else I am capable of!” Now looking to build muscle, Jennah’s journey continues.

To those just about to embark on their wellness journey she shares “..the hardest step is the first one. Once you get yourself moving, it’s like a chain reaction. I always tell myself that I only have one life to live and I want to live it feeling good about myself. Once you get into a routine and start feeling amazing, you will wonder how you ever lived your life on the couch with a pizza and ice cream. You CAN do it, you just have to find it within yourself to start!”

Her tools for success: social media, weight watchers, spin class, Bob Harper workout DVD’s, Hot Yoga, NO RUNNING – despises it, recipes from Heart and Stroke foundation website, Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean book.

Congratulations on your 20 lb success Jennah! 

 

If you would like to share your success story, please contact me! Be well. 

A rebirth….

I saw this picture yesterday and the image has stayed with me. Not just because I; am into gardening, obsessed with growing my own organic foods / supporting organic lifestyles or because as a coach it bares such symbolism/metaphoric representation but rather just as it is so simple. It’s gorgeous.

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via Organic Green Roots on Facebook

Sitting at my office desk in the midst of my boxes ( I’m officially home based at the end of this week) I found myself just kind of staring at it. I love when people find creative usefulness to things. It reminds me how different our perspectives are on anything and everything.

Once upon a time the thought of being home all day did not inspire me. I would have found it torturous I think.  Now sitting here in this chair a midst an even larger pile of boxes, I’m so excited.  I’m creating a whole other chapter in my life, one with balance.

As a Mom it feels like sometimes I am carrying this huge load. I know my hubby feels his own weight with all that is in our household and even though they are both huge, sometimes I feel over loaded. I’ve been heavily loaded nearing over loading for a while.  I see it in him as well, he is tired looking. Worn out.

My hampers look like they are barfing out clothing.  I have piles of boxes, books, files and trinkets spewed all over what it to be my office.  I am running off to my daughter’s soccer game tonight with all 3 kiddos (hubby pulling O/T to make up for his reduced hours last week while I traveled).  I’m thinking I’m picking the kids up for lunch at school tomorrow as I am honestly really not into making any lunches tonight. I just want to park my butt on a comfortable chair. Chat with my hubby about the days we’ve both had. Have a glass of vino and pass out. I’m totally OK with this going down before 10pm too…..

In fact, I’d better get on it. It’s nearing 9…..

Be well,

N.

Mommamia

I’ve been a busy Mum these past few weeks. Summer season of kiddo sports has started, I’m shifting to working from home full-time and my hubby has been pulling some crazy hours. It’s making me tired just writing about it.

That said, it’s also so energizing to have the warmer weather here again. There’s something about the sun, a cool breeze on a warm day and the smell in the air that makes me want to move my butt even when it’s dragging on the pavement.

I’ve really been struggling. My youngest has taken to waking during the night again. I thought I had it made, but she’s reminded me I’m totally NOT in control here, she is.   My husband looks almost ill due to lack of sleep and I feel like my ass is expanding due to non-activity (it’s only been a week of this hideousness but I was on a roll and so the pause makes me feel like I’m losing my gains).

In fact yesterday I started an account on caloriecount.com and it told me I am sedentary. I thought really you f’er? I’m working my ass off here and apparently it is a sedentary attempt. I DISAGREE.  It didn’t ask about chasing a toddler or battling an attitudey kid in grade one while combatting the meltdowns my son is having. Those burn thousands of calories per millisecond in adrenaline, rage, laughter…. That’s where most of my energy is going these days!

The reason I started this account isn’t actually about calories, I feel “off”.  So I’m just logging my food to see the nutrient intake. I think I am missing something and I lack the mental power to pull it off without something else doing the calculations. Gotta love the internet and phone apps for remedies such as these!

I supplement my B12 intake heavily with Douglas Laboratories Methylcobalamin Liquid B12 as I do not absorb it.  I used to be a-ok in that regard, then I had kids and they sucked it out of me. After getting shots for a few years (which hurt and have cyanide in them), I switched to this product. Is amazing for those that may be considering.

So after one day of logging my food I haven’t found a trend. We’ll give it a few days to see what I’m not ingesting enough of and tweak it.  Oddly enough though without counting calories I am on target!! You don’t have to sweat those details when you eat REAL food.  It’s when you key in a piece of bread that your caloric count shoots through the roof – lord help you if you had a donut.

So for now, as I am sluggish, it’s been walking, short workouts on my bosu ball and using equipment at home mixed with a few workouts at the gym per week. I’m travelling for work again so booking hotels with workout facilities.  I’m not giving in OR giving up, just staying as active as I can.

What do I really want to do? Bust out a hammock, call over some chiseled young tanned eye candy bartender dude to bring me fruity cocktails while having another fine, young, chiseled bronzed man working the BBQ. I’m feeling lazy, and in need of a luxurious getaway. Ahh well, I guess that’s what dreams are for – if you can sleep!

Courtesy of Google

 

Plyo Power!

I am sitting here at my desk wondering  how exactly I am going to stand up.  My legs are dead! A good dead, as in I killed my workout dead, but also as in I am totally incapable of movement just like I was after my very first workout. 

I’ve added in Plyometric movements in between sets to increase the intensity AND the results. It’s working, exhausting, but effective.

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courtesy of Google

 

I added these as my time hasn’t increased, I am still stuck with approx thirty minutes max to do the do. So, this is my way of getting the most out of it.  By the end I could barely squat, never mind jump.  I walked like a toddler to my car incapable of total balance. So awesome, not so attractive, but awesome knowing that I gave myself the gift of a challenging workout. 

What do you do to keep your workouts intense and effective?

A sweaty mess….

I have a tendency sometimes to over complicate things. I get this notion in my head as to whatever it is I am obsessing about having to do and I forget the alternatives.

This applies to workouts in addition to my usual doing the do.

Last night as the hubby and I sat outside (LOVE this time of year and how amazing it is in the evenings outside) yapping about our day over a glass of vino I started to think about this mornings workout.

I opted for something a little different, something simple.

In lieu of my usual bolt to the gym, I opted to cut the grass, rake the yard and weed the garden.

I was a giant sweaty mess.

It’s not like I don’t push myself at the gym, I do.  There is something about completely failing out in my exercises that gives me instant gratification.  That said, I sweat more this morning than I would at the gym. Resistance training or cardio, it’s not at all like I was!

So I decided to calculate my caloric expenditure :

Raking the grass and bagging it: 175 calories took about 30 min

Weeding the front garden and side pathway 150 calories ( also moved soil )

Cutting the grass: 160 calories ( although it doesn’t say how big a yard this is based on – only hourly? So note rough estimates here as per above highlighted calculator)

Watering the gardens: 45 calories.

TOTAL caloric expenditure: 530 calories

VS:

Vigorous weight training as per above highlighted online calculator: 350 calories burnt.

No wonder I was so sweaty!!!!

It’s worth it!

There are so many different possibilities in terms of workouts, it just boils down to completing one.

Be well,

N.

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