Ballet Feet

Ballet Feet

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Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
As a mom to two girls, I often heard "it takes a village to raise a child" but it also takes a village to make a mom. If it wasn't for the love, support and random sharing of other moms I don't think I would be enjoying this journey of motherhood quite as much. PR Friendly contact me at

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Making Changes

I am sitting down to write after spending an amazing three days at Blissdom Canada surrounded by phenomenal women (and men), learning their stories and sharing experiences.  I laughed, I learned and I came away with lots to think about so for that...thank you.  You also reminded me that the reason I started this blog was to share my experiences and hope that it touched or helped someone else. You also reminded me that in the end it was just as important that it touched and helped me and that's what this post is ...the beginning of helping me with making changes.

What Happened
Ironically, the Sunday prior to the start of Blissdom  I was flipping through pictures my 7 year daughter took on her ipod and I saw one of myself that made me cry and realize it was time to make some changes

photo that changed it all
The photo that changed it all 
Our mornings are hectic and I am in the habit of making lunches for the girls, grabbing a coffee with a muffin/sweet on the way to work for me and then grabbing a less than healthy lunch on the go.  I sit at my desk all day and manage to walk next door to the Tim Hortons a few times for coffee but that is the extend of my exercise on a normal day. My husband does the cooking and is an "overportioner" but he's a great cook so I gladly eat my big dinner and then snack with him later in the night.  The thing is my husband exercises (a lot) and probably has a higher metabolism than me. 

thin me on my wedding day
The "thin" me on my wedding day
I have known for some time that I was no longer the slim version of myself that walked down the aisle nine years ago but, after 2 children I found lots of excuses to ignore those changes. I weigh myself daily as a 'check in' to make sure that my weight is not getting away from me (as it had post-college). With my first child I took full advantage of eating for two and gained almost 40 lbs and lost all but 10 lbs that I had gained.  I felt pretty good about that.  As we tried for a second child, I thought to myself, now is not the time to diet - I would lose that pesky 10 lbs after the second baby (ya right!)  After child number two I was now fifteen pounds heavier but was suffering with some severe postpartum 
back pain which at times made it hard to even walk, so exercise was out of the question. As the years crept by the scale would inch up and then back down and I would tell myself as long as I don't go over the next five pound mark I'll be fine. Then I would hit and surpass that five pounds and just shift to the next "don't get pass that" weight.  Even though I am short (only 5'4") I managed to carry my weight well, or so I thought.  I mean other that your children who's going to tell you that you have a jiggly belly.  Last Sunday everything changed.  I looked at the picture of an overweight mom with her stretchy track pants and sloppy belly and realized I needed to make a change. I was eating too much, the wrong foods, not exercising and I had replaced water with coffee for my daily fluid intake.  I rationalized that I was a busy mom of two children, working full-time and that it was normal to adopt these bad habits.  What I didn't admit was that I didn't want to go to the pool with my girls because I hated the way I looked in a bathing suit and I passed on most active time with my family because I was too tired (and out of shape).  I am an emotional eater and I like food, all food, so no matter what's happening in my life it's likely to involve food.

Yes my husband cooks
Yes, my husband cooks
Making Changes (part one)
Day one (Monday) I rose resolute to make a change, eat healthy and heck I might even sneak in some exercise. I downloaded a diet app to my iphone and set my calorie goal at 1,200 per day because I knew that I could manage my food intake pretty easily but getting exercise was going to be harder. I had been down this road before and I managed to lose 25 lbs without too much hardship but then I was single and only had to worry about me - a fact that I didn't consider. That morning, I made the girls lunches and got them packed away. I made a healthy smoothie for breakfast enjoyed my morning coffee at home and then make a lunch for myself counting calories and plugging them in the app as I went. I tracked my snacks, made my own dinner, drank lots of water and stayed under my allotted calories.  Day one was a success! Day 2 and 3 were similar but I was getting frustrated, my mornings were rushed and I was having time management issues plus my culinary skills are slim to none so I was eating the same thing for lunch everyday and it was getting boring quickly. Day 4  things started out well, I was packing for Blissdom and looking forward to the days ahead but I didn't have a plan for eating other than relying on my rapidly diminishing willpower. I tried to make good choices while I was away but I ate too much, enjoyed lots of coffee along with the donuts that Tim Hortons were so generously giving us (how do you turn down a delicious free donut?!?)  I had brought along my bathing suit and workout clothes but both remained packed away in my suitcase all three days.  On the upside I was having a great time.  The euphoria faded today when I stepped on the scale for the first time in 3 days it hadn't moved an inch.  Damn! 
breakfast at blissdom
Melon offsets that bacon & sausage right?
I was angry with myself for not having enough willpower to say thanks but no thanks to the bacon for breakfast and the brownies at lunch.  I am questioning if I have the time and energy to portion and count every calorie I put in my mouth and I want to make sure that I set a good example for my daughters.  I never want to say I'm dieting because I'm fat/overweight - although that would be true.  I want them to know that I am making changes to how I eat and hopefully adding some exercise into my routine so that I am healthier.  My daughters are 4 and 7 years old and I want to run, skip and play with them. I want to swim in the pool and build sandcastles on the beach.  I want to set a good example and I want to be healthy.  

My girls
Now what?
I have always been the kind of person that goes "all in" and it has worked well for me when I needed to attain a goal.  Tomorrow is Monday and once again I will reset and start anew.  I am not sure if counting calories is going to work this time, my life is busier now and I have to consider this.  I can't just focus on me anymore, it's a new dynamic for me to have to set a goal and work on adjusting a bit at a time to reach my desired outcome. What I will do starting tomorrow is to make changes.  I will drink more water, I will cut out the late night snacking, I will make better lunch choices when I eat out and some time in the near future I will reach my goal of losing 20-25 lbs.

I hope you will follow me on this journey and I welcome your tips, suggestions and recommendations on reaching my goal.  Day 1 starts tomorrow.


  1. LInda! I'm in the same boat as you. I've decided to make changes with my diet, my fitness and my whole lifestyle. My husband, like yours, LOVES to cook for me. For him, the sound of me telling him that the meal tastes awesome, is the sweetest reward. However, I need to keep portion sizes under control. We've changed things up. We are eating way more vegetables than heavy carbs, meats etc. We aren't frying things. We're baking and steaming as much as possible. We're also cooking from scratch as much as possible. I avoid the ketchup and opt for a freshly cut up tomato as a savoury topping. We cheat a bit, but it's more of a small indulgence. I will have one piece of cheese instead of 3 or 4. We also eat the carbs in the morning, lighter foods for lunch, and try to keep to veggies or a salad and steamed fish or chicken for dinner. Exercise is a must. At least 25 minutes on the treadmill, going for a walk around the block two times, or a hike. Sometimes it's the stationary bike. We also purchased Jawbone activity and sleep trackers to hook up to our iphone/ipad. It helps motivate me to beat my hubby and father-in-law in daily steps. I take the stairs more. Stand up at work to walk. It's working. I lost about 5 lbs since end of August. Slow is best.

  2. Thanks Margaret for sharing your tips is a slow and steady process. I am working on the diet first and then going to figure out how to incorporate exercise.

    1. I did the same thing for a while with focusing on food. It's a good way to get into a good routine and positive mindset. The exercise will help show some positive results. This past weekend I saw my parents and my uncle for Thanksgiving dinner. I've lost about 8 lbs (a bit of a push the last week) and my uncle said he had noticed I was looking slimmer. It was the validation I needed to keep on going. Here to support you Linda! Keep at it!