Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Journey to Health and Happiness

          It's not a diet, or a quick fix, or a magic pill. It's a change in life style. It's going to the gym when you'd rather be curled up on the couch. It's having a salad on the side when you'd rather have the fries. It's one day at a time, one healthier choice at a time, one work out at a time. It will happen, but it takes time. You didn't get to your "I've had it!" point over night and you won't reach your "where I want to be" point over night either. It's not easy, but if it's truly worth it to you, then easy doesn't matter. Choose a goal, a real reason for the change, your WHY for doing this. And when a tough day happens (and they will) remember the WHY. 
          My first WHY was simple, and I'm thinking pretty common. I was tired of looking like I did and I wanted to look better. As I got further along the path into my journey I started to take note of some side affects of the healthier eating and working out. I had more energy for me and more importantly my family. I slept better, felt better, and was starting to feel like I looked better. Sometimes we are so busy trying to get down to the "perfect" size that we miss the other benefits along the way. 
       My journey started back around 2009. It has had ups and downs, thankfully more ups. It has introduced me to people whom I never before would have thought I would have in my circle of friends. It has challenged me and rewarded me with new strengths and accomplishments. It has made me take a look at a lot of things in my life with new perspective. It has helped my to find my true WHY. My children. My family. Sometimes the kids tell me I spend too much time at the gym. In my defence I'm not even there every day. But when my daughter asked me why I like to go so much, I jokingly responded, "So I can be around long enough to live in your basement when I'm old!"
     Upon reflection, that's not too far from the truth. I want to  be around (maybe not in her basement) for when my kids have their kids, and not pushing around a walker for myself. I want to be healthy enough to enjoy my retirement (when it ever gets here) with my husband. I want to live a long and full life and be there for my friends and family as long as I can. THIS is why I am on the journey to health and well being. It is as much for my family as it is for me. Sure it might be nice to slip into a pair of size 5 jeans again some day, but in all honesty, it feels just as good to lead a 55 minute spin class or an hour long Body Pump class and see that I can help motivate others along their journeys as well.
     So I am going to post 3 pictures below. The first is obviously the "before", the second are 2 of my "WHY"s and the third I will call my "during". I'm not finished with my journey, it's just getting good, so I am definitely not ready to post the "after".
    Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday. Find your WHY and enjoy the simple things!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Today has been a great day

 How many times have you taken a moment at the end of your day, to pause and reflect on it?  If you are like me, the honest answer is, not nearly often enough. This makes me sad. Why? Simple. We are so rushed these days, so scheduled, that if it's not booked into our day, then it doesn't get done. I, for one, dislike living like this. OK, so here's where those of you who know me are saying, "but you are always busy!" True :)  But in my defence, my Monday to Friday job is necessity, the others I do for me.
 Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being busy, but it depends on what I'm busy with. Also it's different when you schedule yourself a full day as opposed to have someone else do it for you.
 Today was a full day. The front yard was rid of dandelions before it was mowed. The garden had weeding phase 1 accomplished. All four of us biked over to a local mini trade show. The kids and I went out and bought scooters (for them, not me!) and as soon as we got home off they went to test them out. So yes a busy day, but definitely one of quality. These are the days that count. I want to hang out with my kids while they still want to hang out with me. My little family is the most important thing to me. I just wish that the work week was 4 days instead of 5 so that I could have more family time. 
 When did things change so that being busy from sun up to sun down was the only way to survive? When I think back to when I was a kid I can recall many wonderful memories of times spent together as a family. I was fortunate enough that Mom was a stay at home Mom so we could come home for lunch during the week and there was always home cooked meals for us. Dad worked and was always home for supper, so family dinners were the norm. On the weekend we would spend time with friends and family, usually with a big family dinner on Sunday (5 adults and 6 kids most times). That was the "schedule" back then. Now it seems that most families have both parents working, kids are in after school programs or coming home to an empty house until a parent gets home. Dinners are delivered, or nuked, or from the freezer to the oven. Rush through it, do homework, put kids to bed, pack lunches for next day, throw on a load of laundry, go to bed, set the alarm, sleep, rise, repeat. BAH! Does it really have to be this way? I don't know about you, but when I have days like this I'm lucky if I remember my name as my head is hitting the pillow, let alone if there were any moments in the day that were meaningful.
  So that being said, today was a great day! I spent time with the people that mean the most to me. We had fun, we laughed. Jon and I sat on the curb in front of our house after dinner and watched the kids practice tricks on their new scooters. And now that they are all tucked into their beds, I get to sit back, relax and reflect. A little "me time" at the end of the day. 
 Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, and I hope you get time / make time to sit and reflect on your day :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Today I choose to be thankful...

   Yes, I choose to be thankful.  Sometimes it's easier to muddle through the day, going through the routine of work and life,  only focusing on the negative that happens.  We have so much these days that over looking the basics and wanting more is fairly common place.
   So today instead of complaining about having a long day at work, I am thankful to have a job to go to.  I am thankful I have a house to come home to, and for my family that was waiting for me when I got there.
   It's amazing how you can change your overall mood by focusing on the good things that surround you. It's like stepping into the sunshine after being in a room with no windows.
   So today I choose to appreciate all that I have; my friends and family, my health, my job and everything I own. I am going to enjoy the sunshine and put on a sweater instead of complaining about the chilly temperatures. And I am going to enjoy simply sitting on the couch with my kids and my hubby and watching a movie. The simple things I am thankful for.

Have a wonderful weekend!

~ Jenn

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

One small step...

 I have been contemplating on getting back to blogging. Lots has been going on the past few years and I have often thought it would be good to share. I know I always like to find a blog that inspires me, so I am hoping that perhaps some of what I have been up to may resonate with some of you out there.
 Let me back up and give you a quick over view of my last 12 years...
Moved away from my beloved Nova Scotia due to lack of employment, leaving behind my entire family. Got married, had 2 children, got swallowed up by post-partum depression, tried to eat my way to feeling good, only making matters worse. Tried a last ditch quick fix "supplements" based diet and by fate or good fortune, met a fitness instructor (LT) who actually was able to push me to get my life back on track! The "supplements" based diet was yet another waste of money, but meeting LT made it worth while. She kicked my butt 2 - 3 times a week and I loved it! I was moving again! Losing weight and having more energy! I was no longer ready to give up on myself because she wouldn't let me. Then circumstances beyond our control had us part ways. I was at a loss at first, but I knew I didn't want to stop what was happening to me. I was beginning to feel like my old self again and I certainly didn't want to go back to my days of hiding in my house, trying to eat away the loneliness. Again, as fate would have it, I opened my email  to see an offer to join a boot camp twice a week at my work place. Perfect! Exactly what I needed to keep me going. I signed up and had a great workout every time I went. After 15 weeks I started looking to add at least one more workout to my week. A friend told me to join her for an early morning spin class. After the first class I was hooked! The instructor was amazing and pushed us to work to our personal 100% every time. I became a loyal Saturday morning spinner right up to the very last day the instructor taught before moving to another gym. And because I was a spin junkie, I followed the instructor to her new gym so I could keep spinning with her. 
 Now I'm going to make a long storey, short. The new gym was GoodLife. Brand new and the only one in town. The Group Exercise manager turned out to be my first inspirational trainer, LT!  She did some crazy talk, and before I knew what was going on, I was registered and in a training weekend to become a certified spin instructor! At this point, I had been on my fitness journey all of about 18 months and could hardly believe I was actually doing this.
 Well, let me tell you, if you have ever been to a GoodLife gym and taken any of the Les Mills GroupEx classes, you know how tough they can be. Training to be a Les Mills certified instructor is no walk in the park! I won't go into all the details now, but it takes about 4-5 months, from your training weekend to getting your assessment video results back. It is a true commitment. I worked and practised and rode that spin bike until I almost didn't want to, but I did it! I am a Les Mills certified RPM instructor and I LOVE IT!  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be a fitness instructor, but here I am, a year and a half later.I wouldn't change it for the world!
 So how does all this tie into One small step? If I had never taken that first step into that diet clinic, I would never have met LT and started off the chain of events that has brought me to here and now. I believe that we all have something we desire for, whether it be getting back to a healthy and fit lifestyle, or leaving the security of working for someone else to become an entrepreneur, or writing the next New York Times best seller. It may seem like a daunting task, but how will we ever know what could be if we don't take that first one small step...