Where did that Irie feeling go mon?

I admit it. I’m writing this hiding in my office praying for ten minutes to de-spaz.  Just a few days ago I was calm, relaxed, totally irie mon. Now, I’m shooting fire out my nostrils and forcing myself to stop and breathe. This is how busy life was before I left and it seemed okay, what’s up with the short fuse now?

My mother in law ran away when we returned from the airport. A few quick updates, you know – oops crashed the van, some issues at school and my youngest turned out to be wilder than previously imagined and then “okay see you!”, she was out. I somehow managed not to froth or be upset in any way, I understand what she was juggling at the age of almost 74. I am 39 and I get tired and want to run ha ha! Besides, I don’t like the van and am now hoping it’s close enough to total the thing. C’mon new car!

This week, albeit two days in only, has me firing off fireballs over everything. Un-eaten lunches, toilets with gifts left quite some time prior, toothpaste gobs in the sink – all have me smoking. It’s like I was never irie at all mon, which has me completely pissed off!

OH MY LORD…all the Lords actually, someone swoop in and paint me a different picture. I don’t like all this work right now. What was I thinking? I also received confirmation I am registered for the early date to attempt certification for a program I am a candidate within and it’s eight weeks away. HAVEN’T TOUCHED the material. For some reason I thought unicorns and rainbows would be waiting for me when I returned from the turning 40/overdue honeymoon/ ten years together as a couple retreat. The signals got crossed, I can’t find a unicorn and there’s no sun to make any rainbows. Where is the Caribbean Sea? What happened to the steel drums? White sand???
unicorns

Maybe that’s why I am pissy – seven days of sun followed by two days of darkness and freezingness ( even the tank less hot water tank froze – WTH?) has me pissy and blowing smoke.

Whatever it is, whatever the cause my timing is (ahem as per usual when I think these thoughts) off. I had thought I’d quit wine for a while post booze-indulgent vacation. So not going to happen, in fact I should probably stop writing and go fire my hubby a “LCBO” text. He knows what that code means……

Anyone else suffering post vacation blues / reality is sucking / where oh where is the sun blues?

2012

When I sit here and think about last year, what an adventure!

It started off amazingly. We took our first ever family vacation to Disney in Florida. Awesome.

Shortly after we returned we discovered my hubby has cancer. Skin cancer. The same as his father who passed away from cancer.  Not so awesome.

My colicky baby finally stopped screaming – THANK THE LORD – ALL LORDS!

I returned to work post mat leave – semi awesome depending on what’s happening. I miss being at home focused on only the kiddos.

I began and completed my courses for coaching.

I opened my practice and began certifying myself as a coach.

I discovered something about myself. I’ve been struggling with what it is I wanted out of my workouts/my physical self. I’ve previously always had specific image related/strength related goals. I can sculp myself into what I choose, but the results weren’t coming. My effort inconsistent  I realized it isn’t really my goal anymore. I don’t care about that, I see through it. I recognize the behavior and mindsets within myself that are damaging. Not just to me, but to my children, society at large. I am participating in something I don’t truly believe in – fitness. Wellness – yes. What is now identified as “fitness”, NO.
I’ve grown tired of seeing women working out in bikini’s with curves that cannot be made by Momma Nature herself with headlines like “fit women can be curvy”.  I am cautious on how I present this material as this is a non-judgmental statement and yet people I adore may be offended by my statements.  That is not my intention.  It’s how women in “fitness” are being presented and what women are sculpting themselves into that worries my soul.
What it is is that I want more for us. I know we are worth just as we are, we don’t need anything else. We don’t need boobs, tinted eyelashes, laser treatments, botox… We just need to be okay with ourselves. We are damaging our souls by following this path.
And so in this 2012 adventure of mine I have created my way of participating in change. If you believe in something and it’s cause and fail to take action on it why bother thinking it? It’s just a random passing thought then….
I have stopped acting mindlessly and started living on purpose.  I am bringing myself into the moment as much as possible. I want to be present in my life, not just running on auto pilot. This is what 2012 stirred up in me, advanced action.
My tiny steps towards my ultimate destination weren’t effective. It’s time to take bigger ones. Drastic ones. Whatever comes of it is still one step further than where I am now and that is exactly what I am aiming for. Movement. Purposeful movement.
I know exactly what I want in my life. For myself, for my children.  This clarity is new for me. Maybe as I was in baby making mode and distracted by screaming colicky babies BUT whatever it is, I’m clear now.
I’m also so grateful for my hubby.  I feel like this really strengthened this past year.  He’s amazing.  I’ve known he was amazing for years but it’s easy to get distracted by what is happening in the house.  I’m making a greater effort to be just as focused on us as the kids.  It’s lead to a great year. What should be the seven year itch has been more like a  honeymooney year. It’s been awesome.
And last but not least, I’ve learned that the greatest gifts I have in my life need to know they are my greatest gifts regularly.  Anything can happen in any given moment that removes your ability to speak this truth for yourself.  We have the gift of today, let’s celebrate it.
2013…this seems so “spacey” ha ha.  Back to the Future was one of my favorite movies and this was beyond the future they traveled to ha ha!!

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Now only if I had a flying car………

Be well.

Mad luv

Happy New Year!!!

Hitting the juice…

Life has been an adventure as of late. When I think of this past year and all that has been….. well, it’s led to a lot of wine ha ha. 

October is proving to be no less eventful than all previous months. We are ten days in and five of them were spent in hospital with my 18 month old.  She’s on the mend and back at home now. So grateful!!!

Now that my little monkey and I are back at home, it’s back to my need to address something I’ve been avoiding. 

I have had IBS for just over fifteen years now. Sometimes it is a non-issue. Other times, like lately, it’s impacted my over all well being. I’m a digestive disaster. The foods I rely on for weight management are becoming a problem. I’m shooting some of what I’m eating out within the hour.

I’m in the gym when I can, moving myself as much as possible, eating healthy foods and yet it’s all in vain. When you pass it out that quick there’s little of the health benefit being utilized by the body. Some staples in my diet are actually proving more of an issue than others. Like salads. The thirty minutes of enjoyment isn’t worth the torture that follows. Same goes with pretty much everything raw. 

So, in order to get the results I am seeking, I’m trying different things. An example, juicing!

I have researched ways to heal my condition using food. I’m not a pill popper and so I’m not really interested in my Dr’s prescription. It doesn’t address the problem, just temporarily disguises it.

One major life shift is to add green juice to the daily do (the thought being remove the pulp that interferes with my digestion and maximize on the enzymes and nutrients).  My uncle was an obsessed juicer while he fought Pancreatic Cancer. I admit I didn’t jump at the chance to partake despite his many attempts. It was very, well, green looking.

Now, a year later, here I am, a green juice consumer. It tastes like I am licking the front lawn BUT I feel amazing. 

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Wheat grass, kale, spinach, parsley, celery, cucumber….
I’ve learned a few tricks to lesson the foam from the grass since this pic 🙂

In addition to this I’ve also taken out red meat ( NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO), started eating Fish. I’m still working on the fish part….and am seriously mourning the absence of beef.

In the meantime it’s just nice to be home. Our Thanksgiving was full of thanks for amazing pediatric nurses, family/friends and good food (hospital food sucks! ).

I hope that those that were celebrating also enjoyed the opportunity to give thanks to those they love. It’s not just a one time event, take time every day to celebrate those you love. You never know when the moment may come wherein you wish you had ceased moments before…

Be well,

N.

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…

Blind to the obvious…

Once a summer, in July, my hubby and I receive a “pass”.  It’s an over night babysitting gig via my hubby’s mother. We are not in the habit of rejecting this type of generosity as once you have a third child, babysitter’s disappear.

July is both my husband’s, as well as, my birthday month. It’s also our wedding anniversary. It’s the perfect reason to leave over night, that’s for sure!

I will say, my mother in law was awesome. She arrived at 8am Saturday morning and told Dave and I to take off.  We were out within twenty minutes.  I don’t recall showering at that speed in a long time but I was really impressed with our ability to exit quickly and fully prepared!  We had not yet packed before she arrived. Really an amazing accomplishment, I was very proud of us.

Our check in time was 3pm. It was 8:30am. It was a gorgeous summer day. The sun was shining, the humidity was non existent.  It was hot, cloudless and gorgeous.

After first having stuffed our faces in at a local breakfast place, we opted to hop on a boat and head over to Toronto Island.

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Toronto, ON

I have not been to the Island in years. Many, many years. I was a kid.

It is so beautiful there.  Dave and I loved the boat ride over.  We were kid-less and so the mission was to hit a patio and have a beer immediately. It was just past 11am.

We arrived and immediately claimed the last of the waterside tables.  We sat here for a few hours enjoying pints and sharing some food.  It was fantastic. I miss this grown up time. Where you can just sit back and not worry about washroom trips, who peed their pants, why is the baby screaming, why aren’t they eating and what not.

We didn’t have to drive. We had no time lines or schedules to adhere to.  For the first time in ages, this was just “us” time with no agenda.

That first stop at the restaurant pretty much set the tone for the day.

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My handsome hubby waterside on the patio….

We wandered around the island, soaking in what we both forgot existed within our little universe. After returning via boat to the city we just wandered around the water front. Again reminded of what’s been right in front of us the entire time.

It was absolutely gorgeous. The day was awesome. Pints on different patio’s. We ate well. We met up with friends and then spent our evening alone together.  The Royal York hotel was great (location is amazing for wandering around).

Not only did I re-discover Toronto, I was reminded of how much fun it is just hanging out with Dave.  We enjoy each other. We like spending time with each other.  Get away’s like this allow you to really, really have fun with one another. We were only away for just over 24 hours and I feel so very full right now.  We’ve been smiling all week.

Or maybe our bodies just don’t know how to respond to actually sleeping.  One passes out quite heavily post many pints a’wanderin’ the town!!

I was really impressed though with our ability to plan ahead.

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First time ever having breakfast delivered to the room. Ridiculous amount of money for a bran muffin and fruit BUT worth every penny for the carafe of coffee!

Not only did we sleep in ( just past 8am!! MIRACLE. Can’t believe we made it that late!),  but we didn’t have to feed people. They fed us. Amazing.

I’ve got so many ideas on how to spend time with the kiddos now that we’ve seen all that we have. Family bike rides on the water front. Ferry rides, family bikes ( 4 ppl bikes) and picnics on the island.  I love how inexpensive these ideas are AND that they remind us all that has been in front of us the entire time.

There’s so much more than the hustle and bustle available to us.

I will also say of myself this past weekend, I ate well. Really well. We found locations with organic chicken breasts and salads…I felt so well.

Beer and salad. Yum.

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

 

2010 and 2012….

Every now and then you get a before and after glimpse of things.

This past weekend we attended a family wedding and I wore a dress I hadn’t worn in some time. I love the dress, just haven’t really dressed up that much as of late (which tells me I should get my butt out more!).  I was so happy to see a new version of me in an old dress.

This was moi July 24th, 2010. Image

Yes, I’m very impaired ha ha and very large chested!! The dress definitely didn’t hide my girls, but there is no hiding them once they hit a certain size.

Two years later, OK one month shy of two years later, this is moi…coincidentally, my daughter was conceived the night of the above referenced pic. So two years and one baby later, this is moi….

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For whatever reason, this refuses to rotate. It has more attitude than my children!

Seeing the difference re-inspired me. Especially after last week! And to those who like others joked about my wearing this dress again to a wedding and how that one played out – no – there will be no new additions to our family this time around. The baby making machine is retired and not seeking renewed employment.  It’s time for the next phase, raising them! 

Back to my renewed energy…

I had a few treats while away for work last week. For the most part I ate cleanly, I’d rather drink my calories than eat them ha ha. That and I really feel well and energized when I’m eating well.

My personal favorite not-so-clean dinner was one my colleague and I picked up at Ottawa’s ribfest.

We chose this vendor due to his mass collection of ginormous trophies and 1st place winnings around the US, as well as, as they were this years winner of the festival.

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YUM

I chose this, and I inhaled it! Except the bun – not really digging bread these days. The ribs & beans – SO so so so good. It was five billion degrees celcius on this day. Nothing compliments a rib feast more than an ice cold beer (or several). Heinekin not pictured…

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Yes I am that person who loves their food so much she insists on photographing it before inhaling it….

 

Things haven’t been as they normally would be on the home front. Between travel and weekend courses, I’ve been over scheduled. 

As of this weekend I am officially home based for work. I’m looking forward to the balance I hope this offers in my life. 

As I write I’m under attack, I’ve spent more than a few moments on the computer and the gig is up.  My monkeys have busted me. I’ve been over ruled and so it’s time for their turn – Nick Jr games here they come!

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

 

Rest on the weekend you say? Nay I say, NAY!

Once upon a time long weekends meant doing luxurious things like sleeping, crazy amounts of binge drinking and socializing like no-one’s business.

Fast forward a decade and now, it’s all about building decks in three days.

Did we succeed? No – but damn’t we tried, and tried, and tried. I’ve got the farmer’s tans to support this labor filled effort.

Where does one begin?  The equipment we rented to reduce the workload didn’t work. After mass amounts of swearing we reluctantly resorted to old school tools. What can you do? Either give up, or keep trying. I don’t quit. In this way, my hubby and I are the same. Once our mind is made up, it will be done.  We had baby sitters lined up and there was no way we were wasting the opportunity.

As the unskilled assistant, I got the shyte job. The gas-powered auger wasn’t co-operating and so I was the post digger. My shoulders still feel seriously jacked.  WHAT A WORKOUT!   I dug out eleven post holes, then re-dug them as the f’ers weren’t big enough.

We were only able to land baby sitters for the first morning and so by noon I was back on Momma duty.  Our helpers had long weekend plans and as the forecast was so unbelievably beautiful, we couldn’t even bribe them to stay. Can’t say I blame them, curse them sure but blame them? Nope….

As Momma on duty while the baby was awake I was with the kiddos, the second she napped I became joe-handy chick with two cheerleaders following me around. Thankfully for me my youngest opted for single naps in lengthy durations. I was able to contribute and be a part of the deck-building-team.

My husband is a custom cabinet-maker.  He deals with wood.

I am a virtual trainer, personal trainer, life coach and totally useless wood worker. I was fired as joe-handy chick.  The extent of my contributions became the lumber moving assistant and dirt mover (which was ok by me as I’ve been working on my strength and this was one of those moments that proved to me my efforts are starting to show).

I was also the bartender.  Something about hot sunny days really increases ones desire to have multitude of beer. It may take a few days to deflate from all the bloating but it was worth it.

So what did I learn this weekend?

First, my marriage can survive anything! We’ve renovated a house together, landscaped together, lost a parent, experienced still birth, are dealing with his cancer and raising three monkeys in an urban jungle and even when the power tools fail or you are one board short from finishing the second set of stairs, we can spaz out completely and still laugh at one another.  I am so blessed.

Secondly, and this is a selfish moment of self praise….

I’ve realized I am STRONG enough to do these tasks.  It felt AMAZING to recognize my own power in those moments.  I don’t believe in playing gender cards and I am raising my children with the same philosophy. Work hard, empower yourself to do as much as you can and share your talents with others.    The more skills we have as individuals the more personal power we have over situations (as we become flexible beings willing to take on tasks vs shy away from them) and more natural resources to draw upon when we have things we want to do.

As I stare out my window at my unfinished deck I am feeling enormous pride. Doing things yourself and creating the home you’ve always dreamed of for yourself is very satisfying. Even though this is NOT where we will live forever , it is where we live now. We intend to live every moment to the fullest and so we enjoy investing our time and energy into creating our ultimate retreat. We have a few more weekends of seriously intense labour and then a summer of weekend “chill outs” to enjoy.

Ze deck, partially anyway...

A railing to complete, as well as, privacy wall to construct and then – voila – complete! The BBQ area will be ready to go….

I can’t wait to start building the gazebo for the bar.  That construction begins the moment the decks are complete.  We figure by July (aiming for a Canada Day celebration of no more weekend projects!), we should be able to relax on weekends and just enjoy our time with one another.

What do you like to do in your space to create your personal oasis?

A beautiful pic….and an image I can’t wait to forget.

I saw this on line this past Mother’s Day. I love the words, the intent, the meaning….

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I am, however, shallow…and although I would change nothing about every experience I’ve had as a Mom, I can’t wait to leave this reality behind.

This literally could have been me a few months ago. A few thousand push ups and squats etc. later, I don’t look like this anymore. I can’t wait to shed the last of it.

Being a Mom is amazing, that said, so is being fit!

 

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