Mother-Daughter Trip to Toronto

My summer, so far, has been really wonderful. I work a lot and I don’t get to spend as much time with my daughter as I would like to. So we carved out special time to go on a few vacations. One being our very first time going on a trip ALONE, just the two of us.

For our Mother-Daughter trip we decided to go to Toronto. Only a few (4) hours away from home, but we had been talking about this trip for close to 2 years. All of the fun attractions we would get to go to, the amazing sights we would see, and of course all of the shopping that we would do. And trust me…we did them ALL! Going into it I was really nervous about how my daughter would react to the noise and total chaos that is Toronto (remember her issues with change in setting etc). Honestly though, I was totally surprised by her grown up attitude and the fact that she literally had ZERO break downs the entire trip. Sadly, I cannot say the same for myself lol

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Our first subway ride #UnionStation

We had a lot of firsts (for both of us) on this trip. First time travelling alone, first time going to the CN Tower!! (WHAT?), first time riding the subway, first time at the aquarium. It was all amazing and we got to do all of these firsts together!

Our first day was The CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium. This was honestly the day that I worried about Brook’s reactions the most because  we were taking the subway, there would be a ton of walking and it would be super busy, and I just didn’t know what to expect. Brook’s reaction was not the one to worry about though because she did amazing, staying calm and keeping it together. I, on the other hand, did not keep it together. Before we left the hotel I

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CN Tower fun

had a panic attack. We almost didn’t go out. But after talking to my cousin (he lives in Toronto and gave me some direction) I got my bearings and we headed out. It was all about me not being able to take full control of our surroundings but my daughter and I empowered ourselves that day and it felt incredible.

We ended up having the MOST amazing day that day. It was actually my favourite day of the entire trip. Brook’s reaction to seeing the CN Tower was priceless. And the endless fish tanks at the aquarium, with a million different things to learn about, had us busy for a few hours.

We spent the next day at The Ontario Science Centre. It took us 5 hours and about 12,000 steps to get through it but we honestly loved every second of it. They had a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not exhibit that was pretty impressive and my daughter is all about science and experiments so it was the perfect place to spend the day.

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AMERICAN GIRL #lookatthatface

The third day was spent shopping. We found out before leaving for Toronto that it has one of the only American Girl Doll stores in Canada. Well my daughter is ALL about AG. Obsessed! So this was an obvious stop on our trip and I set money aside just for this moment. The excitement that radiated from her all the way there and then the smile that was PLASTERED on her face from the moment we saw that iconic red sign until she fell asleep that night. Lets just say these moments will be something we both hold onto for years to come.

Our entire trip I reminded myself (and my daughter) that we were here to have fun. There was no rushing aloud. We decided that if we didn’t make it to a certain place one day, we would just go the next day. We took our time getting to and from each place, exploring everything along the way and just taking in the scenery! Taking time to ‘smell the roses’ if you will.

Our trip together was part of building our Mother-Daughter bond.  It was quite amazing learning things about my daughter that I didn’t know before. Seeing how much of a young lady she is becoming before my eyes. Seeing how strong she really is. Seeing how she struggles but is learning to manage her emotions and reactions that come with the territory. I am happy to report that the trip was eye-opening and definitely brought us closer together.

As for the rest of the trip I will let the pictures speak for themselves 🙂

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Life With My Daughter-Giving Up Is Hard To Do

Today I watched my daughter give up on something she is Completely in love with. One of the things that she has worked so hard for (outside of school). The one thing she was so excited to do every week. It was the one thing that, after she had done it for a while, you could see the change in her (for the better). Today I watched as my daughter’s disability took over.

My daughter has ADHD as you know. She also has another, yet to be diagnosed, ‘learning disorder’ that affects her ability to cope with changes, deal with her emotions and regulate the way she handles some of her responses to external stimuli (among many other things). Going to new places, trying new things, doing regular family stuff that involves being out in public or just around people in general (even our own family) and any kind of quick change of plans or change in routine…these things are excruciatingly difficult for her.

Over the years we have tried many different extracurricular activities; soccer, dance, Girl Guides etc.  These were all her choices of what new activity to try next. And while the idea of doing these things really appealed to her, the social aspect of these activities threw her for a loop and she hated them ALL. We are not a quitting family, so yes she had to finish out the season or the session of whatever she had chosen to try but after each session was finished she was not required to go back unless she wanted to. The only one that had stuck, for a while at least, was Girl Guides and that was because I became one of the leaders in the hopes that she would be able to feel more comfortable with me there to support her if she needed it.

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Feeding Ginger

Then came horseback riding and it was love at first trot.  She was scared at first, who wouldn’t be? But then she flourished. Horseback riding constantly brings her out of her comfort zone, pushes her to do things she didn’t think she could do. It makes her work on things that she normally struggles with like independence or trying those new things. It built up her confidence, helped her with leadership skills and to learn responsibility.

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Playing with Houdini

 

Within a few weeks she was blossoming into such a different girl. She was coming out of her shell, she was happier, less likely to ‘freak out’ over the little things. She LOVED horseback riding and her Ponies, Ginger and Houdini. If she wasn’t riding at the farm or doing her chores at the farm, she was talking about riding, making her dolls ride their ponies, building “jumps” at home and pretending to ride a horse while galloping at full speed and jumping over them herself. Obsessed is the word I would use, but that was ok with me. I LOVED that she loved something this much. I loved that when we left the farm she would ask how many days it would be before she would be able to go back and ride again. Nothing peeked her interest quite like horseback riding did.

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Yes she is backwards on her horse. Around The World builds confidence.

And then one day, just a few weeks ago, she froze atop her horse. Anxiety is what I am guessing it was and it stuck. She froze like she was terrified. She started to cry and she couldn’t move even with her trainer right beside her talking to her. None of us know why. We’ve asked B and she doesn’t know, she just all of a sudden is scared and cannot handle it. We tried going back to the basics, no riding just brushing her ponies, walking her ponies, playing with her ponies and bonding with her ponies. She loved it. She wanted to ride. She was ready she said. So we got her back up on a pony and she froze again. Didn’t even get a single step in before tears started rolling down her cheeks and she had that same panic attack all over again.

 

It was awful to watch her react that way to something that she loves doing. All the way home she cried and said ‘I hate myself’, ‘I hate my body and brain for not letting me ride’, ‘I want to ride but I am so scared now and I don’t know why’. It

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Riding Houdini with no lead rope.

was absolutely heartbreaking. It was heartbreaking because nothing happened that should have made her scared. It was heartbreaking because a ‘normal’ kid wouldn’t have these difficulties. A ‘normal’ kid would be able to work through their fears. It was heartbreaking to see B not being able to work through those fears. It was heartbreaking to watch her give up on something that she loves so much even when she knows she wants to do it.

 

Today I watched as my daughter cried while she brushed her pony, knowing that we wouldn’t be back (at least for a while) until we could figure out why this was happening. Today I watched as my daughter gave up on one of her dreams. Today I watched as my daughter’s disability took over and the only thing I could think of was; is this what the rest of her life, our lives, will be like?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Pain No Gain

No pain no gain. That’s what ‘they’ say right? Well I am definitely feeling the pain today.

Last week I went to Zumba and nailed it, but as for getting to the gym I only made it there once. So I felt like, while I ate great and stuck to my meal plan for the week, I was really slacking in the workout department. I didn’t have the motivation to go by myself, I went to bed early most of the nights instead of heading to the gym and was just lazy. But I started this week off much better and I am feeling pumped!

I spent the better part of an hour at the gym last night. This is the very first time I have gone to the gym by myself in years. If you know me, or have read my previous blogs, then you know that this is huge for me. As I stepped out of my car I could feel the familiar tightening in my chest. The dreaded panic attack. It’s so bizarre. I can walk into the gym without feeling like this when I am walking in with a friend or my sister, but the second I try to walk in by myself it shows its ugly head. It took me a few minutes to get out of the car and put my feet in motion but once I got started I didn’t let myself stop until I was on the treadmill to warm up! Once in and working I am ok, no panic. It’s just the getting there that trips me up.

I am happy to report that I killed it at the gym last night, all by myself 😀 . I did cardio for 15 minutes, a deep stretch, upper body workout including weights (Im only comfortable lifting around 5 lbs with free weights but I’ll get up there eventually lol), and then I finished up with 10 more minutes of cardio. I felt like I really worked hard, gave it my all and didn’t slack, which I find happens when you aren’t working out with a partner. This really was a great workout and I definitely feel it in my shoulders biceps today.

Meal prep yesterday went really great as well. I will give you a summary as usual, and later this week I will be posting a recipe because honestly, my lunch today was delicious and I cannot wait to eat it again tomorrow!


Breakfast: 165 calories, 22 carbs

  • 1 toast
  • 1/4cup of cottage cheese
  • 4-5 mini cherry or grape tomatoes
  • COFFEE (this is always included in my breakfast even if I don’t write it lol)

Lunch: 400 calories, 37 carbs

  • 1 Sesame Salmon filet
  • 1 cup Sesame Lo-Mien
  • ½ Grilled zucchini and carrots

Snacks: each around 100 calories, almost 0 carbs

  • 1 cup Mixed fresh veggies (few carrots, cauliflower and cucumbers)
  • 2 tbs Pesto basil hummus

OR

  • 1 tbs Peanut butter (if Im really hungry Ill grab a table spoon of peanut butter to tide me over between meals)

OR

  • 1 Greek yogurt (oikos is my favourite)

Dinner:

We all know that I don’t cook dinner during the week SO hopefully I can control my calorie intake during this meal.


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At the gym with my SEESTOR. Being cool taking selfies ❤

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I am feeling great this week with my meal prep and workouts. I hope everyone else is doing well with their Journeys, whether it be weight loss or life in general! Let me know how you are doing and what steps you are taking towards a better you!

Headed In The Right Direction

This past week has been amazing in terms of motivation and actual workouts. My meal planning was not as spot on as it was last week, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t prep at all. I’m waiting for SOMEONE to make cabbage soup with my weekend leftovers soo…I prepped for 2 days instead of the whole week lol

My meal plan for this week includes:

Breakfast 310 calories, 42 carbs – toast with cottage cheese and mini-medley tomatoes

Lunch415 calories, 60 carbs – brown rice, glazed carrots, and my turkey and spinach meat balls OR cabbage soup (once its made and IF there are left overs)

Snacks 90 calories, 4 carbs – mini cucumbers and humus

Monday, as always, was Zumba night. I wasnt feeling great, but I participated. It was a half-assed participation but I made it through the entire hour so I call that a success haha.

My sister and I had talked about wanting to go back to the gym. We also agreed how difficult it was to go to the gym without some kind of partner to encourage us. I need that in my life. I can almost guarantee that I will not go to the gym unless I am going with someone.

So guess what I did on Wednesday AND Thursday?! I went to the GYM :O. It was awful and wonderful all at the same time.

Wednesday was leg day and cardio. I choose the bike almost every time, mostly because of the arthritis in my feet. My legs hurt the next day and by day 2 I couldn’t walk to save my life! But honestly, I welcomed the pain. Yes I bitched about it to anyone who would listen, but I loved every second of it. It meant that I was building muscle and what does muscle do? Muscle helps burn fat 🙂

Thursday I actually pushed my sister to go back to the gym. I was definitely feeling the motivation to get moving. We decided to do arms and abs and then I went for a walk on the treadmill to try and stretch out my sore legs. I would not recommend this as I wanted to keel over the next day lol I should have just done some really good stretches through my thighs instead.

I find the gym or going for a really good walk (it would be run if I was allowed to run) really clears your head. For me this is huge. I over think everything. I re-play conversations or interactions with people over and over again in my head until I am crazily analyzing everything that happened that day or the day before. So I need the gym, the physical exertion, to clear my mind. To think only of what move to do next, what muscle group to work, to push harder…that was bliss to me this week.

I have Zumba again tonight and plan on heading back to the gym at least 2 nights this week. I can’t believe I am saying this but…I am STOKED haha

“Weight loss is like driving: If you ever veer off the the road, just make a U-turn and head back in the right direction.”

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Me and the SEESTER showing off our lack of guns (or at least my lack of guns) at the gym lol

Getting My Groove Back

quote-fitness-motivationThis blog is supposed to be real, and full of what I am actually doing with my fitness journey, so that is exactly what I am doing today. Filling you in on my current ‘Journey’ or motivation plateau as I am calling it right now.

These past few weeks have been so hard in terms of motivation and pre planning of my meals. Meal planning, for me, is key! If I don’t prep my meals on the weekends, I eat like crap all week. I don’t make my lunch, therefore I eat out. I don’t bring my breakfast and snacks, therefore I grab a breakfast sandwich with my coffee on the way to work. And working out? A real, muscle-building, cardio fuelled, calorie burning work out? There is not a chance in hell.

These past few weeks have been a bust. It kills me to write this but I have gained back 2 pounds of the 13 pounds that I lost so far this year. I know some people may say well 2 pounds isn’t SO bad. But you know what? I worked my ass off to lose those 2 pounds. It took me weeks to lose those 2 pounds in the first place and I’ve let them come back. I am pissed at myself.

I can feel the difference in my body that ‘JUST’ 2 pounds creates. The unease within myself knowing that they are there. I know this is in my head but with those 2 pounds comes an anxiety that I can feel like no other. ‘What have I done!’ ‘All that work for nothing’ ‘You will never lose the weight that you wanted to lose’.02b6db8964fbd93b4b34cfdd9442aa34

However, this current week has been a little bit different. This week I met up with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time. This friend has been through a lot of stuff in his life but he is getting his shit together. In his blog the other day he said:

‘The beauty of life is that it is what we make it. We can choose to stand still, live in negativity…Or we can scrape our sorry asses off the pity train and live! I choose to live!’

I realized, when I read this, that this is EXACTLY what I need to do. I am scraping my sorry ass off the pity train and getting my shit together lol.

Now I may not be ready to hit the gym with him anytime soon BUT I am taking  steps (albeit small) to get that motivation back that I had, not too long ago. Going for walks, Zumba, thinking of putting those DREADED T25 videos back on, or God forbid get on a bicycle haha (that is a funny sight to see). I felt that negative, anxiety filled, energy pulling in a different direction this week. I’ve pinned some new recipes for my weekend meal prep. I’m planning my grocery list as we speak and I will work out MORE than my once a week Zumba class.

This is me, being accountable for my choices and my life. This is me, hitting a small fork in the road. And this is me, getting my groove back.

Have you ever hit a motivation plateau? What did you do to get out of it?

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Zumba! With A Hint of Anxiety.

I started in a Zumba class this week. Its taken a lot for me to feel comfortable participating in any kind of excersize class. I dont want people to see me and all of my jiggly bits, jumping, bouncing OR shaking (and trust me we shook ALOT).  Honestly, I was not comfortable at first BUT I pushed through that social anxiety and went…by myself.

Going by myself is huge. I have always suffered from social anxiety and to think about just a few years ago when I could not go anywhere by myself. I always had to have someone come with me almost everywhere or I would make up excuses as to why I couldnt go or do something. Whether I was with a group of friends or not I would have all of these thoughts running through my head about how others perceived me, judged me. I wasnt pretty enough, or thin enough, I was way to fat, or at least fatter than ALL of my friends, I wouldnt know what to say or be able to come up with any witty comebacks etc.

…to now…going to a fricken zumba class by myself? Im pretty impressed with me right now 😀

Im not saying that I did not have any of those thoughts. At times I thought, omg everyone just saw me trip on my own foot, or I eww Im disgusting by how much Im sweating. But guess what I saw when I looked around? I saw other people tripping…and sweating..and still having fun! So guess what I did? I let myself have some damn fun too!

It was a great class! And yes, everyone was DRENCHED by the middle. And I actually did not feel as judged as I thought I would. I liked it so much that I signed up for the rest of the 10 classes in advance. :O I know, I cant believe it either haha.

So go get out there and let yourself have some fun and get some excersize while your at it!

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After Zumba

Panic At The Disco

Just an FYI: This does not have much to do about working out or weight loss or anything like that.

So I am panicking. 100% out of my mind, knot in the pit of my stomach, sweaty palms, cannot concentrate. Why you ask? Because I have 4 days left before I am done at my current job and 8 days until I start a brand new one.

I have been at my job for just shy of 3 years. I love my work family (most of them anyways), and this job is so comfortable. But that’s the problem isn’t it? When we get too comfortable we loose sight of what we wanted out of our careers and out of our lives in general. This job was getting stagnant, so I went out searching and found an amazing opportunity. One that will put me into a more prominent role, as well as, get my creative juices flowing.

I’m ecstatic….but that means leaving this cushy, comfortable job behind that I have worked so hard for the past 3 years. I’m panicking because I know I have SO MUCH work to do before I’m finished, so many loose ends to tie up. I’m panicking because I am going to miss the friends that I have made here. I’m panicking because I start a whole new type of journey in less than 8 days and what if I fail miserably?

I can feel the bile rising in my throat, the knot in my stomach grow just a little tighter at the thought of being finished and starting over somewhere new. The anxiety of walking into a new office with very unfamiliar faces looking at me thinking, “whos the new girl?”.

I am pretty easy going, so I pray that I can get along with everyone just like I did here (at my, now, old job). I pray that I am the right fit for the position like they (my new employers) said that I am. I did originally feel like I was the perfect fit for the job, and that they job was made for me, but now that its mine…Im freaking out lol. I pray that I am good at my new job, please let me be great at it, and successful and love what I do (eventually). I pray that I do not fail. Please God don’t let me fail.

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