Why I’m Ridiculously Ridiculous

I realize my last blog post was in October of last year. I have created 6 drafts since then and I hit publish on none of them.

Since October, I have however managed to figure out what doesn’t work for me in the equation to maintain my healthy weight.

There are many ways to lose weight and keep it off, for me personally it’s an equation. If one part of that equation is missing, it just doesn’t work.

Here it is…

1. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals filled with raw vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains. Follow the 80/20 rule. I am on-track with my meals 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time, I’m not so stringent. I enjoy suppers out with friends. I eat until I’m full. No need to scrape my plate clean! I need the freedom to enjoy a thoughtfully prepared meal in a nice restaurant without guilt. I just do.

2. Stay active with purpose: Cardio + Strength Training. ¬†It needs to be activity that I enjoy and this requires music turned up as loud as it will go. Make it count. If I only have a 1/2 an hour to workout, I better make it worth it. If my face isn’t bright red and sweat isn’t pouring, then I’m not working hard enough.

3. This is the most important part of my equation: My mindset. I must look at staying healthy and fit as a lifestyle. The word “Lifestyle” means for Life and to do so with style. ūüėČ Not for a month, or a week, or a day, but for always. ¬†As long as I’m physically able to move, damn it…I will. ¬†I must look at this lifestyle as a gift. Because it is.

Now let me explain how I’ve failed in my equation for the last few months, specifically in the Mindset area.

I’ve had a little pity party for myself that has lasted far too long. I haven’t been too far off on the eating and exercise part of the equation (given I will always enjoy the foods that come along with Christmas); however, I’ve had a piss poor attitude about it.

~Insert spoiled brat face here~

My inner dialogue was one of defiance:  Why do I have to continue to watch everything I eat, exercise 5 times a week just to maintain my healthy weight when I know many people who are blessed with a much faster metabolism who can skip work outs and eat french fries and still weigh the same.

Guess what? I am ridiculously ridiculous folks.

Here’s why. My sister (who once was a track star in her teen years) has¬†Multiple Sclerosis and I don’t.

If I have the ability to run, move, make healthy food choices for myself, then why am I angry about it? My health is my responsibility alone. No one can or will make those choices for me. ¬†If I decide (and yes, it’s a conscious decision) to make unhealthy choices and destroy the healthy body that I’ve been given…wouldn’t that be so sad? What a waste. I get that choice when others, such as my beautiful, full-of-life, track-star sister had their choices ripped away from them. Do I actually think my sister would complain about exercising daily? Would she moan about getting into her car and driving to the grocery store to pick out fresh produce? Would she be annoyed that she has to prepare her own fresh salad?

I will tell you one thing I know, if my sister could be given my body for one day, she would put me to shame. She would fit more life, activity, connection, and joy into a 24 hour span, than I do in months. I took the time to think about that which was an uncomfortable feeling. You need to feel the uncomfortable and the pain. You need to sit in it, bathe in it, take a walk with it, let it sink right in to truly understand the changes your life requires to reach your goals. You need to change the way you think about life.

Yes my friends, I am ridiculously ridiculous. I’ve used “things” so that I don’t have to feel uncomfortable. I’m stripping that away.

I am full of gratitude and thanks for this healthy body I have. I will treat it with respect. I will feed it the foods it was meant to be fuelled with. I will wear a smile as I run. Because it’s a gift. Anything short of treating it that way is insulting…especially to those who struggle with their health.

I’m not sure if I’ve articulated my thoughts as clearly as I’d hoped. I want to encourage you to get up and get active if you are lucky enough to be able. I want to challenge you to think about the belief systems that are not serving your life in a positive way. To think about the lies you tell yourself that enable you to stay in a pattern of behaviour that make it impossible for you to reach your goals. That is not your truth.

We do not have to settle for mediocre effort. We do not have to settle for just getting by. When was the last time you pushed yourself out of your physical comfort zone? Do not compare your progress to another’s. You just have to ask yourself: Did I push myself today? Can my body do more than it did the last week? Am I getting stronger? Is my endurance improving the more I push? ¬†That is what matters. That is what will allow you to feel the joy of success.

From my heart to yours,


The Biggest Responsibility of a Parent

Here in Canada, we just celebrated Thanksgiving.  Status updates of thankfulness flooded my facebook news feed. Posts about family, love, and happiness were abundant. I spent a wonderful week-end with my family.  All the people I met while out and about in preparation for a week-end of food and family were full of joy. The spirit of Thanksgiving had touched everyone I crossed paths with.

It was rainbows, unicorns, and butterflies…at least for a little while. Until¬†the week after Thanksgiving came and I could only wonder if there was a full moon.

Some angry dude cut me off in traffic.

A message of hate popped up within a group supporting Children’s hopes and dreams. To be honest my first thought was “You sir, are an ass hat.” I tried to reply with tact in the face of such hatred and ignorance.

My facebook feed of thanksgiving was replaced with a handful of rants and complaints. ¬†Not many, but just enough to make me want to shut down my account in annoyance. I have so much to be thankful for…we all do. The freedom of expression and of speech, a warm house to live in, and food in my belly. The fact I’ve struggled with my weight all these years is a clear indicator of just how lucky I have been to have a fridge stocked with more food than I need.

My daughter came home in tears because a girl in school called her fat. Again.

I could list more examples, but it doesn’t matter. You get the point.

As I was wondering what is wrong with people, a thought came to mind “Who are these people’s parents? How is it they don’t know how to treat others with respect?” ¬†The answer to this question, and the responsibility for this issue flooded my heart. I realized that I hold the key to the solution.

Because I AM A PARENT.

One thing I’ve learned through raising three kids, is that they are born pure of heart. They learn their behaviour based on their environment. ¬†Kids are giving, loyal, loving, and accepting. ¬†They play hard, dream big, and love with no limits.

We as parents have a responsibility my friends. ¬†Among the many responsibilities we shoulder, above all we need to teach our children to be kind, patient, loving, and giving. We need to show them how to put the needs of others before our own, to help our neighbours, our friends, our family, and yes…even strangers too.

As I was deep in thought, I challenged myself with these questions: Am I the example my children need of a person who shows others love and kindness? ¬†Are they learning these important lessons at home? ¬†It’s not enough for me to explain kindness to¬†my kids, I need to show my children through my actions.

Actions speak volumes, and repetition of action breeds habit. Acts of kindness will be engrained within them like rings on a tree. It’s effortless because it becomes who they are as people. Given the environment of generosity and selflessness, little people with big hearts mature into grown ups with giving hearts.

I wanted to share this with you today not to imply that you aren’t raising your kids right, but rather to encourage you to show love to others in ways that your children will replicate. Our children are watching us.

I am humbled by today’s revelation, and I will put these thoughts into actions to make sure that I am an example of kindness that my children desperately need to in turn show kindness and acceptance to others.

I may not be able to change the world, but I can affect the way my three amazing children view this world. I can teach them to give and in turn they will make this beautiful world a better place not just for themselves, but for those around them who need their support and love.

It’s not enough to be kind to those we love. Anyone can do that.

To awaken each morning with a smile brightening my face; to greet the day with reverence for the opportunities it contains; to approach my work with a clean mind; to hold ever before me, even in the doing of little things, the ultimate purpose toward which I am working; to meet men and women with laughter on my lips and love in my heart; to be gentle, kind, and courteous through all the hours; to approach the night with weariness that ever woos sleep and the joy that comes from work well done – this is how I desire to waste wisely my days.
Thomas Dekker 

From my thankful heart to yours,