A FODMAP friendly request….

It’s been a while since I last published anything here. I have been writing, however, I’ve been keeping my stories private. A little while ago I started to think about the others who were in my stories and I wondered….would they approve of what I am writing? Long story short, after much thought I realized I didn’t want to ask them. I’m writing my perspective, so in lieu of having to be thoughtful and what not I just don’t publish. Today, however, I am writing all about me and so no permission required.

Where to begin….

I feel like I should start with a disclaimer as I am impaired. As a result of my Thanksgiving indulgence I had to pop a pain killer this morning. Scalloped potatoes and cherry pie. Not eaten on the same day, I dare not. Stupidly consumed one day apart and although each were heavenly they both have blown out my bum. Diverticular disease + IBS = don’t eat that shit but it calls to me…sometimes loudly. Following the FODMAP way of eating is not yet equating to eating FUN food. I’m working on it but it is challenging to eat with or to visit family while being so restricted. It’s not like once-upon-a-time wherein if I strayed from my food routine it meant only extra calories (well likely – there was a lot of diversity within my fitness regiment food wise so if I was “Cheating” it was probably some delicious creamy pasta or such). Now straying from the plan means illness and disruption. It’s annoying. Food is becoming my kryptonite.

I’m hoping to connect with others who are following the FODMAP diet to manage their diseases and/or conditions. If you have a blog or are following a great blog or such with FODMAP recipes, would you mind posting a link to the site below in the comments??

I’m hoping by whining out loud (hey it works for my kids after a while lol) I’ll come up with a few new dishes I don’t mind eating alongside others eating scalloped potatoes and cherry pie. It’s a long shot I know, but, one day I may actually learn from my experiences and just stop eating these delicious demonic temptations. I expect my kids to learn from their mistakes, one day soon I will apply that methodology to myself. Yep, one day soon.changeahead

Thanks for any sites you can recommend! I appreciate it.

Be well,

Cheers,

Nicole

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.

I did it, and the world didn’t end!

Who knew I could do it. I went a whole day without texting, logging on or such. The world didn’t end, no tragedies unfolded,  and…the kiddos were so happy to be with me! Holy ego boosting, I should have put my phone down a while ago.  It’s amazing how positive the kids are when they realize the whole focus is on them vs shared with gizmo’s and gadgets galore. 

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courtesy of google

We all have them, those friends who you get together with who never put their phone away. It may have taken weeks to dedicate time to get together and there they are, texting away to others while your live ass is right in front of them. I cannot stand it. I find it to be so rude and inconsiderate, especially when I’ve dragged myself out (when really I just wanted to pop the big bra off and get in my jammies!).  

What I didn’t realize was how often I’ve been like that around my kiddos. My hubby will text me, my friends and while I am making dinner or whatever I’m reading and replying with my live little monkeys around me. What message am I sending them?

My folks, their folks, my friends and cousins (same age or older-the younger ones would “die” if they did this apparently) all survived without being this connected. We were ok with waiting for letters to take a week to get to each other and feverishly wrote back excited about the reply that would come in a few weeks. Who knew what could unfold in that gap? Well now, there is no gap. If someone farts they have a status update about it….you know what’s going down in almost real time. 

I’m keeping screen-less Sundays (my hubby is still dealing with his addiction and cannot fully commit at this time LOL). IF people want to reach me, they have to use that old fashioned land line OR get in their car and come see me. It ‘s a crazy wild idea, I know…but I’m liking it….

Has anyone else taken this plunge?  What did you realize?

 

Wishing you a wonderful Monday,

Cheers!

Nicole  

 

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?

A game changer…

Clearly I am leaning towards more the of the sucking side in terms of having lived up to my promise to self to blog more.

I made a few such promises to myself. One being blogging, I do love writing. The second being exploring different ways of working out. I’ve grown away from the gym environment lately.  I love weight training, I’m just not digging the gym itself.  And so I have been. It’s been fun. My third, my game changer is this:

Play More

 

Two simple words have changed the way I am experiencing my life.

I am really enjoying my time. I’m relaxing on things that used to make me uptight ( laundry) and just giving myself permission to take time out and play. The kids and I have ” wii battles”.  They may be six and seven but they are fair game when it comes to wii!

We’ve been enjoying board games or just playing outside in the snow. Regardless of what I’m ignoring in order to create time to do this, I’m really happy right now. I know in a blink of an eye these moments will pass. I see my eldest already wanting more time with her friends vs her amazingly cool mom.  It’s going to happen and there isn’t much I can do about that. That said, there is much about what I can do now. And so I am, one playful moment at a time.

I’m really grateful I took the time out to write for myself today. That said, I’m anxious to log off and get back to playing. Just writing about it confirms that this new motto is changing the way I feel about my life. I’m experiencing it, not just navigating through it.  This is new for me. It’s my new norm…I’m absolutely loving it.

Log off time!

Wishing you a wonderful and playful day,

N.

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.

September = time baby! The kiddos are back in school :)

Things have been so busy I forgot about my blog. I have spent some time on-line, but no where the volume I was six months ago.

“Me” time has been on the steady decline. My 6 year old and 5 year old both have social agenda’s that require my transporting/hanging with parents. I’m not complaining. It’s just so different than life was just one year ago! The result meant offline time with the kiddos over summer vacation. I will say, although I love them, I had a GREAT first day of school.

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Courtesy of Funny or Die

It’s amazing how productive I was! Back in the gym, meals cooked, snacks prepared. Amazing. I had been on vacation for two weeks leading into the Labour Day weekend. My boss suggested when I initially requested the time to add the first day of school if I’d like. It was soooo worth it.

Now that; I’m back at work, the kids have made NEW friends in addition to the existing friends, lessons for the kiddos have started, I’m working towards my CPCC as of Sept 18th which is approx 10 hrs/wk + client work….I’m feeling a bit pinched for time.

What does that do for me? Well, it seems to lead to more wine really.  By the time I get to sit down at night I find myself practically inhaling my wine. My husband and I have, post vacation mass consumption, now placed limits on ourselves during the week. I could not believe the empties pile post vaca. I’m making him take it back this time!!

My workouts aren’t as relaxing as they once were. I have such an agenda by the time I’m at the gym my one factor of stress is time. I can’t go more than 30 minutes, so every minute counts.  I’m getting in power workouts, but sometimes wish I could stay longer to stretch. I squeeze that in after the kids go down but it would be waaaaaaaaaaaay more relaxing to do so post workout.  The upside to the style of workouts I am completing in the gym is I am gaining some serious strength. My ISO Rows are back to what I once could pull prior to my baby break.  I love it.  Now only if I could actually do an unassisted pull up. I’m working on it!

Otherwise, life is good. My daughter has begun grade 2. Her tears from the discovery that none of her friends from last year were in her new class have since stopped. She has found a new friend two doors down and they are hilarious together.

My son is the big cheese in SK. I have no idea how they squeeze learning into the two milliseconds he spends in his class ( you blink and it’s pick up time ).

Rachel is now 17 months old and never stops moving. She dances, she sings. She is awesome. I love this phase.  It won’t be long now until she is as expressive of her dislikes like her siblings….

Life is pretty amazing right now. I’m trying to take time intentionally to just be with myself and my family / friends. It’s easy to let my schedule run me. It’s going to be a really heavy seven months with my course certification, my work, the famdamily…. but I’ve chosen it. So, to make it work and to create the balance I want in my life…less on-line time.

I love these moments where in I get to write. It’s one of my favorite releases. It also means, however, that I’m sitting on my butt…I should get up and move!

<3.

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…

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! ♥

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