Body Positivity Movement

I am joining the body positivity movement. I am optimistic that I can embrace the positivity. I am not getting any younger or thinner and starving myself is out of the question. I know very little about body positivity. I have been hating my body for pretty much all my life but mostly since I was about 25, so that is almost 20 years of hating my body and putting all myself worth into how flat my stomach is or is not, which it is not flat by any means. I have an arm load of reasons I am not getting skinny and why my muffin top is not shrinking. I loath my muffin top and now I am adding my upper arms to what I hate about my body. Okay, back fat too, I hate that as well, but see it less often since  it is behind me. See where this is going?

Here is my arm load of reasons (some may call excuses) why I am not getting skinny

  1. hyperthyroid
  2. menopause at 3o
  3. whacked out hormones
  4. IBS diet
  5. diets don’t work, I have done lots ( WW, clean eating, no carbs, reduced carbs, paleo, LA weight loss and the list continues, I have lost and gained the same 15 lbs I don’t know what many times)
  6. I have overcome too much shit in my life to never have ice-cream and birthday cake again
  7. I have many habits of “skinny” eaters and I still have a muffin top

 

I am sure there are a few more, if I want to spend the brain power thinking about them and no …..one of the reasons is not because I am lazy, unhealthy, unmotivated and overweight and making excuses.

Enter….. body positivity which to my understanding will help me blast these some of these myths and misconceptions  and once and for all I will love my body and appreciate all the does for me. Let the journey begin.

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Younger Self

My oldest son turns 16 years old tomorrow. Milestones, like this one get you thinking about how much time has gone by and of course how quickly times goes by. When Nick was born I fell head over heels in love. Literally! Who knew what joy a little version of yourself, offspring could be. I don’t think my mother loved me like that but who knows. I am glad I loved like that.

Looking through some photos of him as a baby I came across this one.

(no make up, no filters, smiling 🙂 , in love)

Nick Baby

I was a bit sad to see a spark in my eye that I didn’t see in a recent selfie I had taken of myself.

15 years plus a few months later……

(Recent Selfie-no make up Monday, no filters, no smile )

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At first, I felt sad about that missing spark I perceived. Ultimately, I know I am really just being hard on myself. Then, I wondered, what would I tell this younger version of myself today and so I wrote..

You knew the moment you found out you were pregnant what a special love you had and the joy that followed was more than you imagined. While you already knew life wasn’t all rainbows and pink cotton candy. You knew the birth of a child, your child was a new beginning, a new start. An opportunity, to love and experience love, a complete unconditional love. In the moments, right after birth, you knew it wasn’t just about you anymore. Your child first and your were second and that was perfectly okay. Most things you worried about before the birth, were not nearly as important. What a relief that was. A fresh breeze. A state of happiness. Your child’s happiness, well being and upbringing was in the forefront. Your mission was to raise a child that knew he was loved and cared for, no matter what. Something, you didn’t feel you had. Your mission was to raise a child that would have no fear showing affection, crawling into bed with you, never would he be afraid or doubt your love. Your child would have know a loving, kind mother. A mother who’s  eyes brightened when you walked in the room and wouldn’t hesitate to scoop you up in open welcoming arms.

You never knew that a couple years later you would be in the fight of your life. That the shock of such news would shake you to your very core. You didn’t know that your children would be the ones that gave you purpose to rise every morning. You had a mission! Your children needed you.

Shaken to the core you were. You had no idea the long term effects socially, emotionally and physically. But you fought, fought, fought and continue to fight! Fall down seven times, get up eight.

While some of your carefree innocence and spark faded with your fight, your love for your children only grew, your life adventures multiplied, you pushed through fear after fear and you learned to be truly grateful, less self-fish and have compassion and kindness for others. The mission you set for motherhood never faulted, didn’t fail. The gratitude you have for each day with your children  makes your heart overflow. Your relationship with God and faith is solid.

Your spark maybe more cautious and more mature with riding the waves of life but I’m proud of you. Maturity, isn’t all the bad. Don’t ever let anyone take away from you your struggles, your victories, for they know not the shoes you wore. Be grateful for those who shared the road. Continue to be grateful and celebrate all occasions in style.  Continue with your Mom mission you are doing a great job!

 

February Ramblings

January 2016 was a month of being in a total funk. Once I took down the Christmas decorations I took on the winter blues. I went to work, came home and went to bed and worked some more. Thankfully, that month is over and the sun it sitting a little higher in the sky and my spirits are starting to pick up. January is definitely the most depressing month of the year.

February has already been so much better! We purchased a new travel trailer for camping season. I am definitely in the full glamping category now. It is a mini cottage on wheels. We also have more social events planned with our friends. AND! Spring is not too far now. ( I am not thinking about the fact that I am off work today because we are going to get walloped by a blizzard, nope DENIAL)

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OH! and we are going to BAHAMAS in March. ( I hear the winds starting to blow outside.) How can you not  be excited by that?

I also won a $150.00 gift card from a RICKI’S RATE and REVIEW contest. Looking forward to new Spring clothing line and a little shopping spree!

So that is the exciting stuff, the not so exciting stuff….

I had to cancel my  monthly IPSY bag to make way for the payments on the new trailer. I really loved getting that bag of goodies every month. I may look at TOPBOX in the future as it is in Canadian dollars and a cheaper monthly cost and no US exchange to worry about.

My oldest son (almost 16) and his girlfriend broke up. I honestly, think it was for the best.   He needs to be enjoying his high school days and he was a hermit at home. No one likes to see their child hurting but it is part of the experience of eventually finding the perfect one.

Health wise physically and mentally, I am doing good. I had some routine blood work done and have my yearly mammogram coming up and my colonoscopy. Any medical appointment or test is anxiety provoking but I just keep pressing forward and believing in GOD that everything comes back clean,clear and demonstrating perfect health.

Today is hubs birthday and I made a crazy ass cake for the celebration. He likes these complicated multi layer cakes. Here is the pic.

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Here is me embracing my laugh lines. It is not easy when you start to see signs of aging on your face but at the same time I am grateful to be aging as many don’t ever get the chance. Embracing aging is challenging for me as some of my identity is in young and pretty. Can you be older and pretty?

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I Don’t Make New Year Resolutions Volume 2

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I don’t make specific New Year resolutions because I know you can’t keep them just as I know diets don’t work. With every loss cell of collagen as you get older you actually do get wiser. Cost, benefit relationship.

As the kids get older the parenting gets less  intense, less hands on. They get more expensive, I wasn’t quite expecting that. They don’t need me like they use to. That brings about some sadness but at the same time I enjoy their independence. They need to be independent, honestly, before you know it they will be flying the coop. They need to know how to survive. I need to call off the helicopter and active the GSP. I will be broken hearted. Which is why I also must prepare and begin working on my life after kids. Saying that, I so wish I could freeze time. We are all at the perfect age. They need me but not too much, they are great to travel with, they can be left alone for periods of time, they are still young ducklings, not too grown up yet but able to make themselves a sandwich and not starve.

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So, why and I talking about my boys in this “I don’t make new year’s resolution post? ”

Because I want to freeze time. I have had an amazing year. I feel that despite the challenges I have, I have pushed through, maybe this year the pushes were less or the door wasn’t always as heavy. I just know that I am happy most of the time and I  am not afraid all of the time.

Aside from jetting off to live in some tropical destination to pursue my dreams of acting and singing. Splitting my time between living off the grid and in the penthouse in Las Vegas. Being happy most of the time and not afraid all the time is good enough. I will take it! Good enough is great. I did the hard work and the past year feels like a reward.

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Since I am not Elsa, from Frozen and I can not freeze time, only my fingers on the steering wheel. I know this year is coming to an end on the calendar. My boys will keep growing which makes me sad but I am excited about the adventures we will all have as a family.

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So once again for 2016 I declare…….

I declare I will be free from anxiety and fear.

I declare I will be an active mother to my children.

I declare I will raise Godly sons filled with love, kindness, gifts and talents.

I declare I will have a loving, vulnerable, fun marriage with my husband.

I declare I will have a happy, comfortable home that brings joy and peace to my family and friends.

I declare I will make a difference in the lives of children, leading them to their gifts and talents. Showing them that they can move above and beyond their circumstances.

I declare I will travel to new places and experience the world and activities that God has created for us to enjoy here on earth.

I declare longevity for my life.

I declare perfect divine health, free from all sickness, illness, infirmities, cancers for me and my family.

I declare I will have a true kindred spirit best friend.

I declare I will use my voice in song to bring others in the presence of God.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

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A Year in Review

IMG_6334It is my blog one year anniversary month.

The greatest challenge and change for me this last year was starting a new position at work . I went from a special needs teacher/coordinator to teaching grade 3 and having a class all of my own. The change was a personal challenge because of my medical needs. I worked with a therapist and an occupational therapist  for a few months to help me prepare for the change.  I am happy to say that I am doing well in my new job and my stress is significantly reduced.

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We also finished our basement and created a warm and inviting family room. I am really happy with the outcome.  I continue to decorate and will do the reveal one of these days.

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I am most happy when I am outside. We got lots of camping in this year and had some great walks and hikes. Sometimes my “issues”, yes let’s call it “issues for now on, prevent me from getting out sometimes and that really frustrates me. My therapist says I need to be kinder to myself when my “issues” prevent me from doing what I want. I am working on that.

I have probably doubled or even tripled my make up collection in the last year.

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I was one proud Mother when my son graduated from Jr. high and he had his jr. prom.

Prom

Our big trip this year was Vegas and seeing Britney Spears in concerts. We also did some local travelling.

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Staycation

I feel blessed to have a strong core of friends and a supportive family.

I celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary.

A big accomplishment for me this year was with the scale and diets.  I stopped weighing myself nearly everyday and go weeks without stepping on the scale. I can say with certainty that diets don’t work. I spent my 30’s going up and down on the scale with the same 10lbs and I am done with that. I am me, this is me and I am happy with me. I am active, healthy and happy. I can live with being a size 10.

This year going forward I continue to pray for health, happiness, growth and personal adventure. Never stop believing, never give up hope, live in the moment, move forward, live adventure, never allow dullness in your life, never act your age, don’t allow anyone to put you in a box and tell you have to act or be a certain way. These are the inspirations for my life and my blog.

Here is to another year of happy life, happy blogging!

Toss it out!…not so fast.

I am pretty good at keeping clutter to a minimum in my house except when it comes to make-up. I just can’t seem to toss it out. Maybe it is because I am very conscience about recycling and donating items and with make-up a lot is tossed in the garbage. Really, who wants a used lipgloss? ahh, noone!

But here are a few tips to keep somethings from the landfill…..

When I tire of shampoos,conditioners, body washes I put them in my kids bathroom and let them finish off the bottles and then I recycle the empty bottles. You could even offer them to a close friend.

I always toss bottles of nail polish and any unopened product in the good will bag.

Some makeup companies/counters will take items and recycle them for you.

Try to use up all the product.

Try and buy only what you need. ( I know, I know..make up hoarders anonymous..right with you)

Take off tops or break off parts that can be recycled. Collect all excess product in one container and take to pharmacy for disposal.

Support companies that are reducing packaging and using environmentally friendly and non-toxic products. Two of my favourite  retail companies right now are The Body Shop and LUSH.

As I change seasons in and around the house. Here is what I was able to part with from my make-up table. Some of these items will be donated, recycled and a few will end up in the garbage.

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Still working it all out

photo-1422544834386-d121ef7c6ea8Looking at the beautiful pictures from yesterday’s beach hike you would never know that there are moments of anxiety in my life. Some moments that can be very challenging.

As a teenager I was a very confident girl. I thought I knew how to do life. I knew to set goals for myself and take steps to complete them. I was going to make something of myself no matter how hard I had to work. I liked people and people liked me. I didn’t often second guess my interaction with others. I loved being around others and I was lonely when I was by myself. I did like some quiet moments of solitude where I could be alone with myself and think things over.

The only people I was afraid of as a teen was men. I was okay with most boys my age but men scared me. That credit goes to my mother. By the time I got to university, I was really nervous of men. If I thought a man was showing interest in me I would lose all confidence and run the other way. I was always extra careful to not put out any I am interested too vibes. It worked out fine because I had a steady boyfriend that I was very comfortable with so I didn’t have any interest in other men. I have never got over my fear of men even today.

But what has developed is social anxiety and that confident teen I once was becomes a misfit in many social situations. I get very uncomfortable sometimes around people and that leads me to acting “weird” or maybe a better description is withdrawn.  I retreat and when trying to get out of the way maybe act different. It is hard for me to judge what other people are thinking of me. Luckily, I have a core group of very good friends that I have had for a long time so I have a safe place to be me and those around are very understanding of my needs.

I have also been working really hard on overcoming the social anxiety in the last 12-24 months with progress I believe.  I didn’t even know I had social anxiety.  It developed slowly and on top of the health anxiety. I thought it was one in the same.  It wasn’t until I stopped retreating all the time and looked up and went something is off here. People don’t seem to be accepting me and including me, I am not even sure they like me.

I push myself out of my comfort zone and sometimes that is easiest with people you don’t know at all for example my hiking group. They don’t know anything about me expect what I choose to share. It gives my the opportunity to make conversation. Most people don’t know each other so everyone is on even playing field.

So where did this start?

When I was 18 I had my first cancer diagnosis. This is when I really learned reality,  that bad things could happen to me. I was always worried about being raped or molested. I didn’t know I had to worry about my health. I didn’t know I could die. I mean really die. This is when anxiety become a more prominent part of my life.  I had anxiety as a child but I didn’t know that at the time.

In my life plan that I was making I never planned beyond the age of 30. After surgery for cancer at 18 my life just resumed. I was very anxious about my health but I continued with my plans; getting an education, getting married, buying a house, having a child. But then what? I couldn’t see beyond that. Child number 2, then what?  What did you do with your life? Sometimes I wondered if I was going to live beyond 30.

Then at 30 I get a second cancer diagnosis. This one comes out of nowhere as I never suspected my symptoms could be cancer.  ( the doctors either) It was devastating. I had a 3 year old and a 3 month old. And this time it was very serious. I needed several surgeries, radiation, and chemo. It was during this time that I developed a very deep and spiritual connection with God. I was praying for my life but I was also learning about a lie, a terrible lie that I was told about not living past 30. The year I was in treatment I grew spiritually and I rebuked this lie and it was lifted from my spirit. I can’t recall the sequence of events but in the middle of my treatment I had a miracle happen. When the doctors went into to remove the cancer it was gone! All that was left was scar tissue and the surgeon said it practically fell out.  I did have 19 radiation treatments before surgery but none was expected it to be gone. All pathology came back clear as well. It was a miracle and the direct hand of God.

I started living even in treatment. I was afraid everyday but I knew for the first time what came after 30 and that was family. It was 2 amazing little boys and one very supportive husband.

After treatment, you get back to “normal” but nothing is normal. The world looks very different. In someways, it is more beautiful then even and other ways terrifying. I didn’t know it but I suffered with PTSD for a long time. Anxiety was as natural a part of me as breathing.

Surgery resulted in me having life long effects and challenges. These life lasting effects are what cause the social anxiety overtime. I was extremely embarrassed by my medical issues. Mortified at times. Think crohn’s and colitis that would be the closest comparison but without the abdominal pain.

Yesterday, I knew I was pushing myself, it was a full day hike with no washroom facilities. That alone had me nervous and was dangerous.  The day ended up being amazing and stressful all at the same time.  Sometimes I wonder if pushing myself is worth the stress and anxiety. Deep down I know it is but I still can’t figure it all out.