The Imperfect Parent – Snack Time, Are You THAT Mom?

The Imperfect Parent - Snack Time, Are You THAT Mom?

Do you fret about what to pack for snacks, how to pack them, and wonder what others are doing?

You know how it goes, you go to the park, mall or a playgroup, everyone is watching you as you haul out the snacks for your child. Or at least you THINK they are all watching you. Honestly, every parent is probably feeling judged for the umpteenth time during their day already, they are likely all sheepishly hauling out their snacks as well.


My #80lbJourney – more than just weight loss

6 months in and at a standstill
I spent the past 6 months learning how to incorporate exercise and healthy eating back into my life. The struggle to keep up with these changes is hard, very hard. In the past month, through meeting with Michelle at Sculpt Health & Wellness Riverveiw, I have realized that I need to work on me, my barriers and my environment. ​My update today is all about our weekly meetings and how they are not focused on the scale, but on me as a person. Yes, I am weighed each week, but it is the hour spent talking that has made all the difference to me.
My Reality
You can know and understand the mechanics of weight loss (food and exercise), but those are not the only factors in why we let ourselves be unhealthy. Over the past month or so, through talking with Michelle, and being at a standstill on the scale, a switch flipped in my brain. How can I focus better on me? What is preventing me from reaching my goals and why are these barriers there? Yes, there are mental barriers, some of which are in physical form and can be purged. In order to focus on me, and my health, I need to clean house, literally!! We have too much stuff, we cannot live and enjoy what we have because of this clutter. It is not practical and it is certainly not healthy.
Clutter, in my brain and my house
For years my de-cluttering mode has been in "on" and "off" mode several times. I am positive I am not alone here. This week I decided that it needs to be a permanent "on" mode. Why do I have a house full of stuff? It weighs me down both mentally and physically, so why do I let it pile back up. Most of what I hang on to is "in case we will use it", those are the items I am selling or donating. Then we have the paper and random garbage clutter (ie. kinder egg toys and McDonald's treasures!). Clothing is another out of control area that I really have a hard time with. Then there are toys...not even touched yet, but will get there by this weekend.
Where to start?
Over the years, I have started this purge and de-clutter so many times, only to give up. You know, you start to clear out one room or closet, only to end up putting stuff in another room and finding more stuff to de-clutter, and falling into to overwhelming trap of moving stuff around and not throwing anything out. You stop, defeated and give up. THIS TIME I thought long and hard about where to start. My closet was easy, take everything out, and only put back in what I actually wear....then 2 more laundry baskets of clothes came into the room and I have not been back to finish that purge. That is for today's task. Through figuring out where to really start this week, I decided that my Storage Room would make sense. It is a drop zone for boxes, seasonal items, stocked up supplies, tools, etc....there literally is a little bit of everything in there. This week I tackled the storage room, and although not completely done, it will be today. Then moving onto our Office/Craft Room.

Progress and Weight Loss

Since this will be a large project and an ongoing process, I will share my journey in purging through other posts. The reason I am talking about it in my 80lb Journey journal is that I know once this area of my life is tackled, it will help me to focus and set more goals for the weight loss journey. Being at a standstill has been frustrating, but realizing what some of the barriers are gives me a reason to keep going. With determination and the support and encouragement from Michelle, I will succeed.
What are some barriers you face, that maybe you didn't realize are linked to your health or weight struggles?
I started a Facebook page to share the ups and downs, recipes and tips. JOIN US THERE and share your thoughts in the comments below as well.

Here is my journey unfolding:

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:

My #80lbJourney – On The Road and On Track

My #80lbJourney - On The Road and On Track When life gets busy, it can be so easy to derail oneself while trying to make the right food choices.  Family activities, busy schedules, and traveling can all wreak havoc on your plans to eat healthier. I will be the first to admit, the last few weeks have been a struggle for me when it comes to planning ahead. If I don't take time on Sunday's to plan my meals and my snacks for the week, at least my lunch and snack options, then I get off track very quickly. Today I am in Halifax for the day and I took the time last night to plan my food options in advance. If I hadn't done that, I can honestly tell you, I probably would have stopped for a burger or something worse along the way. Instead I have healthy options in my cooler in my car. Knowing I would be in the car for at least 6 hours out of my day, I decided that the first thing I had to do was to make sure there was water with me. When I drive I need coffee to keep me going, so in order to counteract that coffee my body needs water. Let's not forget, I still have to get my normal water intake for the day (about 3 ltrs). Because I am drinking so much today, some of it is flavoured.  I usually do not drink flavoured water,so it is my treat. The next thing I planned for were my snacks. I packed pre-measured bags of almonds and a couple clementines for my morning snack. In my cooler I have a chicken wrap, cheese, Greek yogurt, apple slices, peanut butter and a boiled egg. Plenty of food to get me home without stopping for muffin or donut! Sure, I am stopping for coffee, but that is it. I am stocked up on healthy prepared options. Everything is easy to grab in the car and leaves me no excuse for cheating. It is not easy, and yes, spending all the prep time on myself seems selfish at times. But I am worth the effort, my good food choices today will continue to lead me on a path to a healthier life. Planning ahead for these type of situations makes a huge difference. I used to think that I made fairly healthy choices when eating meals, but when you're busy,you don't always make the best choices. When planning ahead, you can have healthy options available and easier than ordering a cookie to go with that coffee. Have a great week, and remember...plan, plan and plan some more!

Check out my other #80lbJourney Posts here:

My #80lbJourney – Getting the hang of this…I think

My #80lbJourney - Getting the hang of this...I think

Different tools for sport on black background   The past month has been a learning experience for me when it comes to food, and looking at it in a whole new light. I am not just eating, I am fueling my body, so that I feel better, have more energy, can workout and sleep better. The mornings are where I see the biggest change. No longer craving coffee is weird, really strange for me. In the past I have had coffee first thing when I wake up, then at least 2 more before noon. Now, I still drink a coffee most days, but not always first thing in the morning, and I am not craving it. It is more habit than anything. Last week I posted this video update, have a look/listen (sorry for the poor audio). I was struggling with sticking to my plan. But got through it!

Thanksgiving weekend was looming all week, and I was a little scared how I would make out. You know what! I had turkey, sweet potatoes, apple & pecan coleslaw and a small dish of apple crisp. Everything EXCEPT the dessert fit into my eating routine, I ate at lunch time, so I was okay on starches, and by supper was not hungry, so had a light snack. My 18th wedding anniversary is today,so Saturday night we went on a date night. We went to the movies that night and ate NOTHING! I love theatre popcorn, but I survived without it 🙂 As you already know, on Sept 11th I started my 8 week challenge and today is a big day! Today, in addition to it being Thanksgiving & my anniversary, it is midway weigh in and measure day for my 8 Week Challenge with Journey to Wellness. When I started my journey in July (on my own, no guidance), I started cutting out little things, started working out occasionally at Airtime Fitness, and thought I was making all the right choices. I LOVE my workouts when I get there, and do more at home through their on demand classes, plus Deb provides an exercise routine for the 8 week challenge as well. SSUCv3H4sIAAAAAAAEAJ2QywrDIBBF94X+g7jOwmJoY38ldDFRCVITwUdKCfn3+ojgujvn3Lnj3NmvF4TwBE5x/ER7qmKttA7OW/DKrBGT7uRSKG+sAp1gYkdWsPPgg5MujTgRBy/n2Fvg6a//jKVGVchidEQJ465hLkyZVXR0fzvL41WjwCxX/s0LN0Gs1BJKkLG04vfHS7u00TYlpGlqCEKZJuVmOOhkoM1kHg9qlsYl4oHShjdKGO0frB8GxuidEBJ3Pn4VaI6nmAEAAA== Starting today, I am going to ramp up the workout routine. I am happy with my results, but feel I focused most of my energy learning how to eat properly, which is half the battle, and although I was working out, my intensity could be higher.

So here it is!

  • Sept 11th - 238lbs   //  TODAY - 230lbs  //  Down 8lbs in 1 month
  • Chest - Lost 4"
  • Waist - Lost 4"
  • Hips - Lost 3"
  • Thigh - Lost 2"
  • Calf - Lost 1"
weightlossaug_oct So overall I am happy. Since Day 1, back in July, I am down 20lbs. Starting at 250lbs, I had no clue what I was doing, just going for a walk was tiring, and now I am feeling so much better. My goal is to be down another 20lbs by Nov. 30th.  I feel confident in my food choices now, so now to get moving and moving more often with more intensity!!! I will have to try to get a video of my home workouts, when my son (almost 4) joins me. That kid can do the perfect Burpee! Me, not so much, lol. front1month back1month Goals for this week:
  • Continue on my meal planning, prepping and routine
  • Drink 3L water every day
  • Workout every day, even if it is just a 20 min workout, or half hour on the exercise bike.
  • Continue to de-clutter my office (mental health is important too, and clutter is stressful!)
  • Make plans for a date night again with hubby. We deserve it. He is on his own weight loss journey and doing great as well!

Read Other Posts About My #80lbJourney

The Imperfect Parent – We Are All Strangers Until We Meet

The Imperfect Parent - We Are All Strangers Until We Meet

What ever happened to having a best friend, or group of friends?

I understand that we all go our own ways, and start families or careers at various times, we lose touch and life gets busy. But when did it all begin to mean so little to us. I am 41, with two children, a wonderful husband and very few close friends. Even the people I consider close, I rarely see in person. Then when I am out I continue the "lonely" trend by being an introvert.


The Imperfect Parent – My Kid Lives On Crackers and Milk!

The Imperfect Parent - My Kid Lives On Crackers and Milk!

Frustrating is the nice way of putting it when I describe meals with my 3 1/2 year old.

Do you have a "picky" eater?

You start to wonder if you are failing at this whole parenting thing. You feel like everyone is judging you.

I can't tell you how many blog posts and expert articles I have read about feeding a picky eater. They pretty much all tell you what your kid should be eating, and tricks for how to get them to eat veggies and fruit.

I get it, I understand why it works with some kids...but just because it worked for you, it doesn't mean my kid will react the same. (more…)

7 Tips To Survive Your Period (and get to the gym!)


Okay boys, this one is for the ladies and I am warning you now, it is about periods.

We are Women, we are Strong, and we have Periods.

Getting through that dreaded week each month can sometimes be hard. I know, because in the past I have been downright ill and in bed, especially when I was younger.

There are many factors that play a role in how you manage your period, and how you feel during that 4 to 7 days each month. Going to the gym and eating well, has helped me deal with my cramps and bloating. I actually felt somewhat normal this past cycle, and part of the reason was my recent lifestyle choices.

Here are a few tips to help get through those crampy, moody and bloated days:

  • Drink LOTS of water. Staying hydrated helps you everyday, but even more when you are not feeling at 100%. Warm teas such as lemon with honey, ginger tea and cumin and fennel tea are all soothing while hydrating.
  • DO NOT drink caffeine or resort to eating junk (salty or sweet foods).
  • Try to eat more fresh food, like fruit and veggies. Bananas are higher in potassium, which will also help.
  • Get moving. I know, who wants to even get out of bed, but I assure you, it will make you feel so much better. Grab your playlist and headphones, and go for a walk. BONUS: Exercise is known to make your period shorter.
  • Use a heating pad or hot water bottle to apply to your belly where your cramps are.
  • Get more rest. Rest does wonders for your body and mind. Make sure you give yourself a little extra during your period.
  • BE POSITIVE: Attitude has so much to do with how we feel both physically and emotionally. Periods are a good thing, they are part of being a woman, we all experience them, and you are not alone!

One of the tips above was to get moving. That is a tough one when you feel under the weather.

This summer I started to attend the gym regularly, after many years of not doing much exercise. It was not until the day my period started that I thought, "I can't do this". I almost stayed home, cramps lurking, a headache brewing, not to mention the fear of leakage during an intense workout in spandex. Even without the cramps and headache, it crossed my mind that I will be bending over, lifting heavy weights, and jumping up and down....oh my! We all know what happens when we are doing this while having our periods.  After a friend telling me she feels better and seems to have lighter flow when exercising each month, I gave myself a pep talk and went to the gym. It felt great, like most workouts and I was glad I went.

Since having my children I have used sanitary napkins and panty liners almost exclusively. I just don't seem to get the proper protection for leaks with tampons any more. Recently I tried Asana products, and they truly are different than any other pads I have used.

From the moment I opened the package, I knew they were different. They are so thin, I had never seen a "regular" pad so thin. Talk about great for stashing in a purse, or even your jeans pocket. The products also absorb moisture so fast that you really do feel dry, no matter what. And get this, they actually dispel odor, reduce comfort and enhance metabolism. ENHANCE METABOLISM, REALLY? I am doing that on my health journey with food and exercise, so now I can even say my metabolism is increasing while I am having my period.

Read more about the science involved and the awesome benefits of these pads.

  • Asana’s Biowave Advantage™ is a complete breakthrough in feminine protection.
  • Two vital components of Asana's advanced technology are tourmaline and silver, which act to reduce menstrual discomfortdispel odorincrease air circulationbalance the body's pH and enhance metabolism.
  • Health Canada has classified the Biowave Advantage™ layer as an antibacterial Medical Device Class 1 (which is a super hard designation to attain).
  • Asana also helps combat yeast infections naturally and is 95% biodegradable. Asana products are one of the thinnest on the market, yet offer the most absorbencyfastest rate of absorbency and best assurance of leak protection
  • No Chloride in the products
  • Their packaging uses Soya ink and is biodegradeable.

Asana is currently in a number of stores across the country and this month they are being stocked at Sobeys, Lawtons and coming to Loblaws layer this month.

Visit their website for more information on Asana and what they have to offer.  

We all want to feel confident during our period, especially when we are at the gym in our tights! 

Young women working out together on rugs

 *This post was brought to you by Asana. All opinions remain my own.

My #80lbJourney – Food, Fuel & A New Perspective


The 8 week challenge was provided to me in exchange for honest review. All wording and opinions are my own.

This week it is time to take control of the FOOD I put in my body. I always thought I ate okay, except evening snacks. But I started the 8 week challenge with Deborah Hann and Journey to Wellness.  Well, let me tell you, it has been eye opening to say the least.

It is no longer about eating when I am is about deliberately refueling my body throughout the day.

I don't even get hungry anymore, because I am giving myself the right food at the right times.

I am only on my 4th day doing this, but I can see such positive changes already!

No headaches, more energy and this morning, I didn't even notice I missed my coffee!

If you are following me on Facebook or Instagram,  you probably saw me post this picture.

August 2016 vs September 2016

The second shot is from Monday this week, its my "Before" pic for the 8 week program. I also did a fitness test and took measurements. I am most excited about how I am already feeling though.

If changing my food and increasing my water intake is making me feel this great so far...7 weeks from now I will be one happy lady, on a continued journey to get healthier each day by making the best choices for my body.

I am so very excited to see what changes will happen between now and the end of the challenge and beyond. Thanks for reading and I look forward to continuing to share this journey with you all.

Watch for recipes, meal planning and meal prep posts coming up as I continue to make positive changes for myself and my family.