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:

Wild Lights at the Magnetic Hill Zoo 

Wild Lights at the Magnetic Hill Zoo

wildlights Our family have been Magnetic Hill Zoo patrons for years. We have had season passes several years, attended birthday parties and zoo camps and always try to fit in at least one Spring Sunday opening each year. Now, we have a new yearly event to attend. I was looking forward to seeing and experiencing the Wild Lights display, but really had no idea just how well it was done. Friday night we bundled up and ventured out to check out the Wild Lights at Magnetic Hill Zoo. Having never been there at night before, Clayton (almost 4yrs old) was a little timid at first. Once he saw all the lights, it he was on to exploring. Walking through the admissions building and stepping out into the park, the lights hit you, right away something magical happens. Trees are lit, a giant snow globe greets you before you enter the park pathways. On your walk down the pathways, lights are strung above lighting the way. Animated lights of deer jumping, swans, and monkeys are just a few of the fun features on your walk around the zoo.  There were so many large trees almost fully lit, it was just breathtaking. We stopped by the canteen for hot chocolate, and you can also warm hands and feet by the bonfire along the pathway nearby. zoocollage3 zoocollage1
Check out the look on Clayton's face above....pure awe!
As you start to feel the night's chill you can slip in to visit some of the zoo animals in the Primate Center, Discovery Center, and Eco-dome to warm up a little. zoocollage2 There are also special afternoon viewings of the outdoor winter hardy animals on weekends and December 26-30 only from 2-5 pm. We went after dark, but I would suggest going around 4pm to see more animals and walking back through to enjoy the lights as it gets dark. Running through the month of December, this event features hundreds of thousands of holiday lights throughout the 40 acre park. You can visit the Wild Lights at the Magnetic Hill Zoo weekdays from 5pm to 9pm, and weekends 2pm to 9pm. For pricing and details visit www.moncton.ca/wildlights Bundle up and head over for an evening stroll through the zoo. Take the whole family and check out the beautiful displays!

GIVEAWAY TIME!! We have 4 ticket s to give away.  Get some friends together, take the family, it's up to you! Winner will be drawn Sunday, December 18th at 9pm. Must be picked up from me in Moncton (Kingswood/Evergreen area).

ENTER BELOW TO WIN:

Wild Lights Tickets Giveaway

*our family received passes in exchange for writing this post. All opinions & experiences remain my own.

FREEBIE ALERT: 28 Day Free Trial – Workout at home for FREE!

If you have been following along the past few weeks with my 80lb Journey, you will have heard me talking about Airtime Fitness. I have gone into the studio now for 6 workouts over the past few weeks and I am hooked. It is not just the workouts that make me feel amazing, it's the people! Rob and the other trainers at Airtime are so encouraging and keep you motivated. Being almost 100lbs overweight, I was extremely intimidated to go to a gym, but I did, and I am glad I did. Again, having amazing staff to be encouraging and offering me alternatives to some of the exercises (no need to get hurt trying to do it all), makes me want to keep going back. Fortunately I have a gap of 10 years between my children, so my 13 yr old can babysit, and it allows me to venture out of the house to work out. Something I need to do more often, get out and do something for me. That being said, over the past few years it would have been much harder for me to get out of the house to work out, and this is where Airtime has done something different. You can workout in the comfort of your home, with the kids by your side or having a nap. Different workouts daily, access to the videos 24/7 and past workouts to check out as well. You can do a 28 day trial for FREE with Airtime. Online you get the benefit of having a motivating trainer show you the exercises for each workout, do a warm up with you and then motivate & entertain you throughout the entire 20-30 minute workout. That's what is so great about Rob and his team. They are energetic and funny. The time flies by as you push yourself to complete the workout. Before you know it, it's done and you feel so much better for having made that commitment to yourself. I have done a few of the on demand workouts now, having my older son away this week. You need minimal equipment and enough room to move around a little. Here is a clip of what you might see in the on demand workouts. Rob and Matias (first time co-hosting) having fun! This kind of banter will keep you amused as you work out each day. Sign Up, give it a try, you have absolutely nothing to lose! Get your 28 Day Free Trial NOW! ~~~~~~~

Read Other Posts About My #80lbJourney

Disclosure: I received a free membership in exchange for sharing the service with my readers. The experience and opinions are my own. I was not asked to review, but feel the need to share something I am loving!

Art After Dark – so much fun!

Art After Dark - so much fun!

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So I was at playgroup with my 3 year old a month ago, and one of the mom's comes over and says she heard I was the "coupon lady" (my more commonly known persona!). She told me she is an artist and offered me a couple tickets to a group painting event called Art After Dark.

I was intrigued, and not sure who to invite with me. I studied Fine Arts and Communications in college, so have painted before, but not in about 20 years. The idea of a guided painting seemed the perfect way to get back into painting. A few friends of mine have attended in the past, and loved it. So I asked Judy, my deal finder over on the Moncton Coupon Lady site. She laughed and said she couldn't draw a stick figure, but agreed to join me and try it out. We picked an event and a week later we were sitting at a table at Lotus restaurant in Moncton, with paint brushes in hand.

This is the painting we were setting out to recreate. Poppies by artist Heather LeBlanc

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You can start out by snapping a pic of the original artwork on your phone, so you can see the details for reference. Once seated, you will meet the hostess and the artist, then you will be guided step by step towards creating your masterpiece. Throughout the evening the host/hostess will ask some fun trivia questions and you may just win yourself a drink!

During the evening there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions, chat with your friends and take your time completing the various stages involved in the art piece. The atmosphere at both events I attended was relaxed, enjoyable, and most important, it was fun!

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This week, my husband and I painted works inspired by this painting by Heather.

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I highly recommend this for a date night. My husband joined me, our first date in over a year, and it was a lovely experience. He really felt he would not be able to do much, but as you can see below, he did an amazing job. He has never painted before (other than craft with our kids and finger painting), so tackling an acrylic painting on canvas was a bit of a stretch. I think he did amazing, and our son, 13, likes dad's painting best 🙂

Doug's Artwork (left), in process (middle), my final painting (right).

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Heather will guide you through creating  your very own unique painting. You will be guided from blank canvas through to the final details of your own original artwork. Events last approximately two and a half hours and at the end of the night you will take home your masterpiece to show off to all your family and friends. There is a special place in every home, just for you to display your work, now you just need to join Art After Dark to start your gallery wall!

After attending two events I can't express how much I have enjoyed these evenings out. All in all a fun and very unique experience.

Here are more details and some pics of other paintings done here in NB.

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If you are looking for something different to do, try Art After Dark! It's the perfect date night, girls’ night out, birthday outing or a fun evening out with friends!

Art After Dark is a social painting experience held at local restaurants and hot spots across NB. All venues are licensed and have food options if you choose to eat before, or after. As you read above, it is perfect for a date night. Arrive early and have your meal, and maybe a drink.

They provide you with everything you need including easel, canvas, paint, and apron. You will create a 16"X20" acrylic painting on canvas. No painting experience needed to attend and produce your own unique piece of art. You may be surprised how much talent you have waiting to burst forth!

If you need a team building activity, or are hosting a bachelorette party, why not try Art After Dark? Private Events available upon request.

Kids events are starting June 27th. Paint Bash will be a unique experience for children 10 and up. Subject of the artwork and venue will be youth friendly. More info coming very soon about these events. Follow Art After Dark NB on Facebook to see what events are happening!

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Check out Heather's interview on Buzzlocal.tv

 

Holiday Gift Review Submissions

Holiday Gift Review Submissions

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We are now accepting submissions for our Christmas Gift Guide. Spots will fill up fast, so contact us today! Have your product(s) showcased and seen by thousands of people. The Moncton Coupon Lady Holiday Gift Guide will be advertised on Social Media outlets, and websites all linking back here to your review! This year we are pleased to offer Review opportunities through our new sister site Everything Unscripted as well. For your product(s) and/or service(s) to be featured in our Holiday Gift Guide you must meet the following requirements: >> Product must be within one of these categories:
  • Family
  • Woman
  • Men
  • Beauty
  • Baby
  • Kids (all ages boys & girls)
  • Pets (dog or cat)
  • Home & Kitchen
  • Home Electronics/Gadgets
  • Gaming (teen to adult)
  • Stocking Stuffers
If you have a product that does not belong in one of the above categories, please email me with product name and information. >> Listing Fee:
  • FREE for product reviews: Only full-size products can be submitted for review, items will not be returned and you are responsible for all shipping costs.
  • For a feature in our guide without a review: Photos and information must be provided by you. Please contract me for advertising rates when not providing a product for us to review.
What you’ll get when you’re product is featured on The Moncton Coupon Lady & Everything Unscripted Holiday Gift Guides: Review: • Inclusion in our Holiday Gift Guide • A feature blog post about your product • Review shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Some items may have Youtube Video review as well. • Links back to you on review post • Ongoing promotion of holiday gift guides Review & Giveaway: • Same features as above • Review shared on social media as above. • Limited Giveaway spots available, to allow for more exposure to companies offering prizes. • Giveaway posted daily while the contest is on. • Item must be shipped Free of charge directly to the winner. • MCL will provide the Winner's name and mailing address to you for prize delivery. Giveaway (without review): Please contact for set up fees. • Item must be shipped Free of charge directly to the winner. • MCL will provide the Winner's name and mailing address to you for prize delivery. • Blog post featuring your giveaway. • Contest shared on social media as above. • Limited Giveaway spots available, to allow for more exposure to companies offering prizes. • Giveaway posted daily while the contest is on. (Max. 7 days, Min. 3 days)   The Holiday Gift Guide kicks off NOW! Submit your products right away for the opportunity to be included and to receive maximum exposure. Submission period deadline is December 1st. All products must be received by December 10th, final deadline to be included! ☆ We do not accept every product review request, so please submit early for consideration. NEW FEATURE: In addition to the big brands, we are adding a "Shop Local" section this year. If you are a small independant business and would like a review, we will list your review under your region or town. Submissions accepted from anywhere, as we have readers across Canada and beyond. Limited space for Direct Sales businesses (Only one representative per company, regardless of location). If you are interested in being included in our Holiday Gift Guide, please email us at promo@everythingunscripted.com with subject line “Holiday Review”.