2015 in Review

IMG_75332015 felt Grand. Like not awesome-grand (which it was) but more so like vast-grand. If that makes sense? This post is going to be a thought dump, so hold on!

I stayed closer to home more this past year than I have in a long time, the farthest we traveled was Edmonton or Calgary. Seriously, I can’t think of a year in my entire adult life that I haven’t left the province. So that in itself is pretty impressive 😉

Matthias was also closer to home this year – he took a job in town and has been home every night since February. It’s been a good adjustment. Quinn absolutely loves him and he loves her and him being home every night has definitely helped them bond.

I also feel more disconnected from my Nursing, but I guess that is to be expected as I went off work at the start of February. That means I will be going back to work at the start of February… when Quinn is only 10.5 months old. But we won’t talk about that right now because hello, *DENIAL*. I remained active with CARNA, but not as much as I had in previous years, and I definitely found it harder to make it to meetings. It will be bittersweet when my term is over in September 2016. While part of me wonders “What’s Next?” a bigger part of me says “NOTHING UNTIL YOUR DONE HAVING BABYS” haha.

I lost all that baby weight I gained and then some, which feels good, and I suppose is noteworthy, but in the grand scheme doesn’t really matter. My relationship with food is peaceful. I eat if I want to, I eat what I want to, and I no longer have an emotional connection to eating.all.the.things. That feels really, really, good. I’m no longer at a place where I feel controlled by my caloric intake. I don’t beat myself up if I eat a box of Kraft Dinner (that was today’s lunch in fact 😉 and it was delish). I’m no longer tempted by the ice cream in my freezer. It’s just there. And when I really want some, I’ll have some, instead of obsessing about it.

I found a way to enjoy home workouts! That is also pretty rad. The connection of a Challenge Group has been pivotal to this one, and for that I’m grateful.

I’ve said it before but Beachbody Coaching has made a world of difference in my life. It’s given me that sense of “More Than Just a Mom” that I need.

I continued to teach spin until my 35th week of Pregnancy and then started again in September! I also stepped out of my comfort zone and started instructing yoga. It was both terrifying and humbling, and now its something I look forward to every week.

The pets are getting older, which makes me sad. Our oldest cat is 8 and our oldest dog is 6. How?! Tucker has been dealing with some health issues throughout the year – he’s been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that attacks his nails so he has had multiple infections from that. It sucks. He’s hopefully on the mend now but will be on TID meds for the rest of his life. *cha ching*

I still really would like to buy a different house, but I’ve come to terms that it won’t happen for a while. I sure hope it happens before baby #2 though, because I might lose my mind if it doesn’t haha.

We’ve really worked hard at getting our expenses more under control. And while we are ending the year in more debt than we started it, I feel confident that 2016 will be the year we can make some large strides in turning that around.

The grandest part of the year has been Motherhood. It’s been a ride. It’s also the hardest and greatest journey I’ve ever embarked on. It’s been profoundly transformative. It’s hard for me to even articulate how motherhood has impacted me, but that might also be because I have a cold and its 10pm at night. 😉

Did you make it this far? I know it doesn’t all seem that Grand, but my heart has never been bigger, or more overflowing with love, than it is right now. So cheers, 2015. You’ve been so good to me.

Committing.

As I reflect on my fitness and health journey, as well as continue to share my progress in my challenge groups, I thought it would be fun (and appropriate with New Years coming up) to talk about how “commitment” has helped me see fitness in a new light.

Back in the days of my running I created a plan and I stuck to it. Life was a bit simpler then.. I was in school/newly graduated.. Didn’t have a baby.. For part of it I was single and had no one to report to or check in with, it was just me myself and I.. and then when Matthias and I got back together we both were very committed to our fitness goals and didn’t mind each other spending time on them.

Slowly life started to shift (as it always does), and I started to lose my running Mojo after completing a marathon. I wanted to try other things, but I didn’t really know what, and I didn’t really have a plan. I spent a year enjoying crossfit, and then another year enjoying yoga, but again with no plan keeping focused – no goals I was working towards.

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Pre-Marathon “Glow”

At THAT point in my life, that is exactly what I needed. I had been so focused on structure for so long that I needed NO structure. That also left my level of fitness at the lowest it had been in a while, I was feeling softer and a bit more fluffy, but I wasn’t too concerned about it.

I really dropped off the commitment train when I went through my first trimester of pregnancy, and for some time after that I struggled. I wasn’t in super good shape so I didn’t feel confident to start a workout program, so I kept up with light activity plus spinning once or twice a week.

Fast forward to Quinn. And all the emotional stuff that came along with that transition and I was truly grasping for anything to help me feel like “me” again. So I took the plunge and committed myself to 90 days Turbo Fire.

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1 Month Postpartum

Beachbody recommends doing some form of Personal Development every day, and I must say, this has been so important for me. I’m always looking to grow and improve so PD aligns perfectly with my values. I’ve been reading, listening to podcasts, and watching webinars and videos on Youtube.

There is one thing in particular that stuck out to me that helped solidify my commitment. I was watching a Webinar and the person speaking talking about how she looked at getting in her workout as a part of her job. As a health and fitness coach you need to lead by example. Looking at your workout as a part of your job means you have to show up. Period. If I didn’t show up to my nursing shifts I’d lose my job. If I don’t show up for my workouts I won’t be building a successful business.

So what about those folks who don’t work in the fitness industry?

Think of it this way – It’s your job to show up for your family every day. Now most days, that is a good thing, but lets be honest here, not every day is sunshine and rainbows. Those days are the ones you especially want to be on your A-game. Working out can help you feel like a better and happier YOU. You need to show up for your family and lead by example. If fitness and healthy living becomes a part of your values and you believe it is something important it will be a lot easier for you to commit to your goals.

Now that I have completed two programs – Turbo Fire and the 21 Day Fix Extreme. I am setting my sights on my next program – The Masters Hammer & Chisel (releasing TODAY!).

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As far as my goals for the New Year – I’m planning to run the Woody’s 1/2 marathon, so I will be creating a training plan for that and going from there, probably early February is when I will start to train :)

In summary:

  • Think of a way to incorporate Fitness/Healthy Living as a part of a JOB you have to do
  • Find ways to work on YOU every day – podcasts, health articles, books, educational videos
  • Set realistic goals, if your goal is to not have structure, that is okay too :)
  • Write it down! I find that if I have a plan written down or if I schedule my workout into my day I am much more likely to follow through with it.
  • Accept where you are today in the journey, its exactly where you need to be right now, don’t worry about tomorrow or yesterday, focus on what you can do today and what you have control over right now

On Teaching Yoga

AmieHalfLotusBlogYoga. This beautiful, fulfilling practice that has become a beacon back to Myself. While I took pretty much my entire pregnancy off of practicing, I have added it back in to my life postpartum and I have once again been reminded of how important it is for me to maintain a regular practice. My life feels fuller and more balanced with it.

Back when I decided to do Yoga Teacher Training (Part 1, 2, and 3), I never actually imagined that I would be teaching yoga. It was more so a final adventure or hurrah before settling down and having a baby. It was something I wanted to do to deepen my practice, to learn more about the foundations, the philosophy, and how to incorporate yoga in to all of my lifestyle, not just as part of my exercise routine.

I got pregnant 2 weeks after returning from my trip. I like to think my trip played in to this… I can’t recall a time in my life ever that I have been more present for such a large chunk of time. The memories I have of Yandara and the experiences are vivid in my memory. I can recall all 5 senses of being there… The sight of the early morning sunrise through the windows of the paviliion, the sound of the waves lulling me to sleep at night, the taste of papaya and oatmeal with homemade granola, the feel of the hot sand between my toes as we walked to the beach during our lunch break, and the smell of the hot apple cinnamon tea that was consumed in large amounts instead of coffee. The trip centered me. I treated myself to massages, an astrology reading, and more importantly a reiki session to balance my chakras – something I think I needed for a long time and something I attribute to me finally getting pregnant after 16 months of trying.

So then I didn’t practice for close to 10 months, and when I did start practicing in the spring with Emily and Ebb & Flow Yoga, I was excited to make it a regular part of my life again and was hopeful she would continue teaching in Blackfalds. Then I found out she was pregnant herself 😉

When Emily asked if I wanted to rent the space she was renting to teach I was actually pretty taken back by it… Me? Teach Yoga? It honestly sounded a bit absurd at first. This was a practice I kept fairly private. Something I did for myself without blasting it on Social Media. Something that I incorporated into all aspects of my life, not just as physical asanas. Could I really teach? Would people even want to take my class?

After thinking about it for a few days I decided to give it a go.

So I went about navigating the process of setting up a class – advertising it, registering people, getting some things together to set the vibe, and sequencing my very first class.

I thought I had it *just right*. I was going to go into that classroom and kick ass at teaching Yoga. I was going to make the most zen experience for all those yogi’s they weren’t even going to know what hit them.

And then the day arrived.

And I got nervous.

And you know what energy I created in that classroom?

Nervous Energy.

I can’t deny it. There’s no point. I was really freaking nervous. I was so worried they were going to see right through me as a sham. Someone who wasn’t good enough to teach yoga. Sure, I was able to adapt the sequence to their level during the class. I was able to tone it back because what I had put together wasn’t a good fit for their first class. But it threw me for a loop.

And therein lies the problem. I let my thoughts of what others may or may not think of me cloud my thinking and take me away from the real purpose of teaching yoga. I let my energy change the feel of the class and so I fumbled on my words and I mixed up my lefts and rights and I left feeling awkward and unsure that I made the right choice to try this whole “Yoga Teacher” thing.

I took the next day (during nap time of course) to reflect on the previous evening and what I would like to do differently the next class.

I decided the next class would have a different energy. I was so worried about who I thought I should be that I forgot to just be ME.

Since that first class the vibe has changed, it’s become more fun, less like I thought it “should” be and more how it is supposed to be. Does that make sense? I’m probably just rambling. 😉

It’s been a fun ride so far. I look at my practice differently. And while I never intended to “teach” that seems to be exactly what I was meant to do and I hope to continue doing.

Namaste, ya’ll. 😉

Mind & Body After Baby – Month 1

I’ve always enjoyed reading these series and seeing a glimpse into the lives of other new moms. Considering I sucked at writing consistently about my pregnancy, I thought it would be nice to chronicle how we are adjusting to life outside the womb.

Mind

So some days are better than others. That’s for sure. The first week of Quinn’s life was extremely difficult because of her being in the hospital still. Wow, emotional roller coaster. You know, I work as a Postpartum Nurse, and I’ve told Mom’s “Watch out for day 3! You drop a pen and you will cry!” and I never really knew just how true that was. I was a tear fountain on Day 3. No day was as bad for crying as that. And on Day 4 I got my encapsulated placenta and started taking that and I am pretty sure it helped with my emotions.

I feel grateful that Matthias was able to stay home with us for an additional 5 days after Quinn was discharged. He was so incredibly helpful. I knew he would be a good support person but I am still blown away at just how great he was during labor and delivery and then the days that followed.

The first day he went back to work was a tough one. Quinn cried pretty much non stop from 8am until 2pm when my Brother came over. And of course then she slept for about 4 hours in their various arms haha.

Since then, we have finally started to get to a place where I don’t feel totally scattered all the time. I’m able to respond to emails, empty the dishwasher, eat lukewarm meals, and do the laundry.

Oh yeah, remember how I decided to apply for my Masters? Well I got accepted, which is pretty awesome, but also totally terrifying. Hopefully by then Quinn will be on a better napping and sleep schedule and I will have enough time to work on my courses. I start in September and it should take me about 3 years!

Lets be honest about the very real resentment and jealousy that I’ve felt. Yes, Matthias has been an awesome support, but I am also realistic that it kind of sucks that he can just go play 2 hours of video games after work, or take a whole Saturday to go to Airdrie to visit his friends. Me? Can’t do that. My “Me Time” looks like a hot shower after he’s home from work and reading a chapter of my book a night IF I am lucky and Quinn sleeps that long. There is a power shift that comes with having a baby, taking a pay cut for maternity leave and then staying home and taking care of the baby all day. I still haven’t quite figured out a place where I feel okay with that power shift… I am slightly jealous of Matthias having grown up conversations all day and having the freedom to still do what he wants. I love Quinn, don’t get me wrong. But when you live your days in 2 to 3 hours increments it is a bit hard to look beyond that. I try to remind myself that it won’t be like this forever, and I need to savor it because she will only be this littler once, but my Type A personality craves a bit more structure and routine and ability to expand my mind a bit. So hopefully a Graduate Course in the fall will help with that.

Body

Physically I feel great. Again, as a Postpartum Nurse, I knew about the bleeding and all that gross stuff that happens, but I didn’t truly know the extent until I was in it. I passed some gigantic (like scary big) clots the first few days because I had some retained membrane bag (sorry if TMI). But after that settled down my healing went fairy smoothly.

I feel ready to start working out again, and so I have decided to start the Les Mills Pump program! I’m about a week into it now. I’ll have a separate post about that coming up if Quinn gives me a nap long enough to write it 😉

I’ve lost about 25lb so far, but I still have 40-50lb to go to get to the weight I feel most comfortable at. I won’t really be documenting my weight loss here, because I don’t want to get too caught up in the numbers and I also don’t want to effect my milk supply at all, so I won’t be restricting or counting calories. Just trying to make healthy choices :)

I really love breast-feeding. I think my previous knowledge really helped me establish breast-feeding and a proper latch early on with Quinn. She’s also a little eating champ, so kudos to her. Also, All Purpose Nipple Cream is the bomb. Totally glad I got that script from my midwife haha. I do have Raynauds Phenomenon, but it isn’t too bad.. and after getting the nipple cream its helped a lot.

Random Thoughts

  • I hate it when people ask you about Baby’s Sleep. Like obviously if I say it out loud how its going I will totally jinx everything and it will be completely different tonight. Just don’t ask me about it! No she isn’t sleeping through the night. Shes a month old and breast-feeding. Duh
  • I also hate it when people ask me if “It’s Everything I thought it would be” … some parts are, like the love I feel for her, and the heart explosion I get when I look at her perfect nose and big brown eyes or when she makes the funniest little pouty lip and fake cries. But some of it isn’t how I thought it would be at all … like the power shift I mentioned above, or the hours of crying, or the frustration I feel that I can’t stop her from crying because when she smells me all she wants to do is eat and then she gives herself a belly ache, or the guilt that I then feel for being frustrated because I’ve listened to hours of crying and I just want it to stop. That stuff isn’t awesome, but its our truth for now.
  • My kid is going to be a genius because we play classical music for her 😉 haha JK… but seriously.