It’s All About Connection – With Yourself!

It’s All About Connection – With Yourself!

For the past month I have been battling against my anxiety attacks, getting out and attending networking events and workshops, introducing myself and my blog to businesses and simply stepping a HUGE leap outside my comfort zone. This weekend will be the symbolic icing on the cake for me.

Do you wake up every morning looking forward to the day?

I think we can all agree that the answer will vary daily on this question. But overall, do you feel good about where you are, or feel bogged down and lost? Maybe you believe you are not reaching your true potential?

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40 Something and Looking For Friends – Join Fabulous@50

There, I said it...I am over 40, feeling alone at times and needing to make some real connections and lasting friendships.

Sound desperate? I might have thought that a few years ago, but the truth is, as a woman and a mom, my focus for over a decade has been on my kids and family.

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My #80lbJourney – Reflections…Back to the gym and moving forward

The promise I made when I started this series last summer, was that I would share the ups and downs.

Well, the past few months have been tough. I knew the holidays would be nearly impossible to stay on track food wise, and in retrospect, I managed okay. Maintaining weight was my goal and it was achieved.

Over the past month I was beating myself up about what I have not been doing or how I was not following the steps I knew worked for me all Fall.

This week I stopped looking back and made a very conscious decision to move on...move forward....looking at what I am doing right and trying to add more positive changes to keep moving forward. 

Joining the gym was a barrier that was overcome this week. Even when the day started off with a flooded storage room and getting my monthly cramps knocking me down, I considered using them as excuses, but didn't.  I showed up. I showed up!

Michelle met me at the gym and set me up with a 3 day strength training workout. We did chest and back exercises and she showed me the other machines to complete the reminder of the exercises on other days.

While we were there, I cringed at my full length reflection in the mirror. Right away Michelle encouraged me to always look at myself and even if I do not like what I see, remember that I love myself, which 99% of the time i do. She also added that I am there, at the gym, doing something about the reflection I cringed at.

In general I am happy with me, but as every person in the world, I have my moments of doubt. It is not always what looks back in my reflection, sometimes it is unexplained anxiety, other times it is feeling like a failure as a parent or wife, we all have those moments. The key to moving past these feelings is doing something about it and realizing that my expectations are sometimes unrealistic. One step in the right direction is worth so much more than dwelling on the past or beating myself up about why I should know better.

Today I was supposed to go back to the gym, but Clayton was with me all day and will be at the sitter tomorrow, as tomorrow I am off to a blogger's networking and learning day in Halifax. I knew I would not get there tonight as we had running kids around on the agenda. So this morning I hauled out my 10lb dumbells and did my arm exercises and a few ab exercises thrown in for good measure. 

So, I am feeling more positive and energized this week. In addition to exercise, I am now following a custom program for clean eating from Sculpt Health and Wellness Riverview. It is based on my likes and exercise level, to help me stick to itand see results.

Moving forward i will be posting each week, not only to share with you, but also to keep me accountable. I trulybelieve in being honest in this journey, and it is not all losing pounds and happy days. It is hard work, and breaking bad habits is never easy. 

Are you struggling with weight, physical limitations, or anxieties that keep dragging you back to those bad habits?

Check out my Facebook group for motivation and support, or feel free to share here in the comments.

 

tgiF- Who Are You, Really?

think. grow. inspire Friday -Who are you, really?

When I was working in the Human Services field, there is a term in use “Social Role Valorization”. Basically it means that society tends to identify certain groups of people as “different” and therefore of lesser value. For example, the difference in our perception of people asking for money. If we see a homeless person doing it, we call it begging, if it is a sports team, we call it fundraising. Our “social roles” are how we identify ourselves and others. So who are we really?

When I was born, I was an only child. That changed when my brother was born 3 years later. I became a big sister, and the only girl in the family. That changed when my sister was born when I was 5. Now I was the oldest of three, the responsible one, the helper.

At this time, I started kindergarten at the school where my father was the Principal. I’m sure I was treated differently by some of the teachers because of this. I know that I got a lot of attention from older students. When I started grade 2, we moved to St. John’s from the small community where we lived, and I became “the new girl”. Through my elementary and junior high years, I was the day dreamer, the bookish one, and the one who just didn’t do well in gym. I was nerdy, and an outsider, even in the group of kids in the neighbourhood.

Then there was another move, this time to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Where the new girl in school started over again. I was also a Newfie on the mainland, who spoke just a bit differently than everyone else. I made friends with a girl who lived close by and who was involved in the school band, so I tagged along with her to all of the band functions. Now I was a teenager, and socially awkward, and trying so hard to be one of the crowd.

Three years later, and another move. This time to Moncton, the summer before I started grade 12. The new girl again, but now in a school where everyone had grown up with each other, and were preparing to graduate from high school. I became Ray’s girlfriend.

Five years after that, I became Ray’s wife.

In the years that followed, I became a stay at home mom and a working mom. I am a Black Belt, a body builder and a Bikini competitor.  I am a business woman, a writer, a friend and supporter to my friends.

So when I look at all the roles I fill in my life. I sometimes (often) wonder if I am doing the right thing at the right time. So many times I am “being” one person, and feeling guilty that I am not “being” another. Trying to be all things to all people is a sure recipe for disaster. I am learning to be in the “now moment”, and it’s not always easy. So many things vie for our attention, and it is hard to shut them off and focus on the project at hand. And to get back to my original paragraph, it is how we value ourselves in each of these roles that impacts us the most.

So, my challenge for you all this week, is to identify your different roles and to recognize the value you have in each one of them, and if one takes over a bit more time than the others, then give yourself permission to be that person.

Thank you for reading today!  tgiF!

~Michelle

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Other columns by Michelle: CLICK HERE

 

My #80lbJourney – 8 Week Challenge in review!

My #80lbJourney - 8 Week Challenge in review!

My #80lbJourney: 8 week challenge in review

Okay, I really need to get back to weekly blogging about my journey. Not only does it keep me accountable, I hope it also helps keep others inspired and on track.

It has been over a month since the last post, and I am truly sorry it has been this long. Many things have happened and I will recap for you with results, accomplishments and barriers. As you all know, this is a long term journey for me. There is no quick fix or magic solution. It is a learning experience and lifestyle change. If you have been following along, you will know that I joined an 8 week challenge with Deb of Journey to Wellness. During the 8 weeks, I received all the tools I needed to start fueling my body instead of just eating, exercising challenges to keep me motivated to stay active, and a support system that included Deb and a private Facebook group of other women to share with and support. My results in pounds and inches are noticeable, I lost 18 lbs and 22 inches, but what I found the most rewarding about this program was the way I felt during the entire process and the knowledge I carry with me now about how to listen to my body and work FOR it, instead of against it. Trust me, there were ups and downs, and when any of us had downs, the Facebook group was amazing. By sharing our experiences, goals and achievements, we were able to support and encourage each other on the rough days, the days we fell off the high of achievement, and felt defeated. We celebrated every little hurdle, and I truly enjoyed meeting all these ladies virtually. Deb checked in personally each week and provided feedback based on what I sent her. My meals and my thoughts for the week. She is a wealth of knowledge and understands first hand what it takes to be happy and healthy while also running a household with children. THANK YOU Deb for being an inspiration to us, and for sharing your training and knowledge with us, so we can continue to be healthy in the future. My only wish with this program was that I was in the Halifax area and would have been able to join in some of the classes Deb offers in Fall River. If you are looking for a fitness program, check out her page here. Here's what Paula had to say in our Facebook group, about how she felt after 8 week challenge we completed: "Deborah Hann,  Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, from the bottom of my heart thank-you for taking me under your wing.  For teaching me how to nourish myself,  for teaching me the difference between eating and nourishing,  for showing me that, even with my beat up old body, I CAN EXERCISE!!!  For making me believe and understand that I am beautiful, for helping me understand my value.  Thank you for helping me realize the mental strength that healthy living gives me.  Yes I lost lbs and inches!!!  I'm so happy for that, but I am so very happy and grateful for all of the things I have gained from this wonderful, life changing program. Deborah, you are an amazing teacher and a wonderful loving person.  I am so thankful for having you in my life.  All that I have learned from you will continue to be my everyday way of living.  (Yay!!!  No more binge eating!!!) To all of you wonderful, bootilicious, powerhouse women; Keep on keeping on!!!  I love you all so much, you have enriched my life and made this past 10 weeks, inspiring, funny, encouraging......xoxoxoxo"  

FOLLOW UP: What's happened since the 8 week challenge?

Since the challenge ended I have struggled with keeping on track. I gained and lost a couple pounds here and there, but still linger around the same weight. I have not remained consistent with exercise, and that is where I need to focus these days. This month I have set a goal to eat as best I can with parties, visiting, and some family meals planned. I know it is possible to stay on track, and my realistic goal for December is to maintain my weight.

Moving forward...

In January I will be getting back on track and working with a friend locally to stay on my journey to better choices and healthier ways. I look forward to sharing what I am doing and encourage you to share what you are doing as well. In January, I will also be launching a Facebook group for those who want to follow along and join me in the journey. I continue to receive positive feedback from my readers through emails expressing how I am inspiring them to make changes. It is an amazing feeling knowing that just by putting my journey out there, it might help just one other person decide to make positive changes. So keep going, no matter how many times you take backward steps, you can always keep moving ahead. One step at a time, one bite at a time, one push up, or carrot....whatever it is that challenges you, keep pushing forward!

Check out my other #80lbJourney Posts here: