Lifting, Life, and Whey Protein Powder

I haven’t posted for a while.  Sometimes life gets so busy and before you know it, a week or two seems to just fly by.  Life here has been busy and exciting.  My son finally got his learners license.  It was my daughter’s birthday and we were all together celebrating.  My husband, brother in law, sister and my son’s girlfriend were gently teasing him about not having his learner’s license.  It actually motivated him to really study that evening (3 hours) and write the exam the next day.  He passed!   Love how sometimes the best motivators can be family.  He probably hated every minute of it of the teasing yet he is smiling here with me.

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It never ceases to amaze me the difference between boys and girls.   My daughter tends to be much more motivated and able to adapt to life changes.   My hubby and I went away for one night.  My son was working that evening.  My daughter wanted some sushi so she got on the bus, went down to a shopping centre and bought some.   My son never would have done something like this alone at that age.   For some reason, boys tend to take a lot longer to do things.   I don’t know if its a lack of maturity.  Research shows that the frontal lobe, the part where rational thought and consequences exist in the brain, does not develop until kids reach the age of 25.   Boys tend to mature a lot slower than girls.  I still remember when my son would not go on a city bus until he was forced to.   The high school was too far for him to walk to that he had no other choice but to get over whatever was holding him back.  Now, there are no issues with the bus, just the unknown.  My daughter is already chomping at the bit to write her learners test and she’s only 15.  Maybe that was also a motivator?  Could you imagine if she got it before my son?  Oh the horror!
Let’s get back to my night away with my hubby.  We went out to the mountains.  We are so lucky to have them about an hour drive away from our house.   I highly recommend that you do “date night” or “date weekend away” with your significant other at least once a month, preferably every 2 weeks.  This will help to keep your relationship strong because life gets in the way.  You get totally absorbed with what is going on with the kids and everything else that you start to lose focus in your relationship with one another.   I don’t want my relationship to come to the point where I’m asking, who is this person that I’m married to?  I want our relationship to be strong so for me, it is vital to invest in it.   Our weekend away was wonderful.  We enjoyed lots of good wine and food, even though the weather was cold.   Here is a picture of what it looked like driving there.
mountain-roadtrip
It didn’t matter.   We were together,  enjoying one another’s company and not having any other distractions.   Gave us lots of time to reconnect.
Recently, a lightbulb came off in my mind and I totally realized I am a weight lifting junkie. I also started drinking a protein shake after every weight lifting session. I found this yummy  whey protein  called FitMiss from this website that said it’s the best protein powder brand for women. I am not gonna lie.. I was skeptical at first. However, I tried and I believe the protein supplement works.   What does this mean?   There’s nothing I would rather do than lift weights when I work out. And this whey protein supplement is going to help me reach my goals. Honestly,  I feel empowered and so much stronger.  I love the way that my muscles are developing and how I am feeling mentally and emotionally.   A lot of women do not like to try weight lifting because there is a misconception that they will become big and bulky.  This is totally false.  As women, we do not have the testosterone levels that men do.  For this reason, bulkiness will not happen.  Weight lifting will make you more lean and toned.  As we age, our metabolism naturally decreases but this is due to a loss in muscle mass.  Best way to regain it, is to lift weights.   I have done both Chalean Extreme and Body Beast and they are both amazing programs.  I even did vlog posts of my journey with Body Beast for those who may want more insight.  I still incorporate some cardio in my workout routine.   If weight lifting isn’t your thing,  that’s okay.   Do whatever makes you happy.   The key here is staying fit and active.
In addition to working out, you also need to be mindful of what you eat.   One of the biggest lessons I learned doing the 21 Day Fix program was that portion control and moderation was important.   I still want to enjoy the good and yummy things in life.  Can anyone say chocolate and red wine?   Having said that, when we do indulge, packing on the guilt doesn’t help either.  There’s enough guilt in the world that we don’t need to add any extra into our lives.   Being a mom seems to provide its own guaranteed amount of guilt.   Don’t add anymore to it.
What we need to add are things that help to decrease our stress and make us happy.  Find the time to do something that you enjoy.   One of the things that really helps calm me is coming home from work and enjoying a cup of coffee, in total silence, waiting for my daughter to come home from school.  I also enjoy relaxing by either reading or taking a nice hot bath.   Find what works best for you and go with it.  You will not regret it.
I was able to try out a new recipe from Canadian Living.   It is called Snow Pea, Shrimp and Carrot Saute with Brown Sugar.  It took a total of 30 minutes from start to finish.  Enjoy!

 

The Horrible Fear of Swallowing Pills for Teenagers

My daughter has been unable to swallow pills for the past few years.  This is due to the fact that she ended up chocking on one in the past.  Since then, she has been paralyzed with fear that she will choke again if she takes another one.  Using the word paralyzed may seem extreme but in her eyes she just could not do it.  As she said to me once,  if she had the choice to die or take a pill, she would chose death.  No joke.

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She would go on the internet and was amazed that this was not an uncommon issue for many teens.  She tried all the suggestions that were offered but to no avail.  She would even watch You Tube videos and still no progress.  She felt that at this age (14), she should be able to swallow pills but something was holding her back.

As a parent,  I tried everything I could think of to help her get over her fear but it was not working.  She finally asked if she could see someone to help her get over this fear.  My employer has an employee’s assistance program so I decided to take advantage of it and made her an appointment.  She was happy that the appointment was finally made but also was scared and unsure since she did not know what counseling was all about.  I was permitted to stay with her for the first session. She actually wanted me to be with her for all 3 sessions.  Yes, just 3 sessions is all it took for her to finally be able to swallow pills.  This is not to say she is totally over her fear but she has learned some techniques for her to manage her fear to enable her to swallow pills.
She has so graciously allowed me to share her story since she really hopes to help someone else who is in this same situation.  Having the counselor talk to her, examine the root of her fear, make her see her issue from a totally objective viewpoint and allowing her to to come up with her own suggestions, really worked for her.  We will share the top suggestions that made the most impact for her.
1.  Visualizing how she would feel once she took the pill.  For my daughter, she has been suffering through massive menstrual cramping for the past few years.  Since she could not take pills, there was really nothing I could offer her that she wanted to do.  Having her visualize herself as being pain free was one thing that helped.  Amazingly, when she did swallow Midol and the pain disappeared, this helped to reinforce this point for her.
2.  Not over thinking the swallowing part at all.  If she did not take the time to think about it and just drank a big glass of water with the pill, the pill would naturally be swallowed.
3.  Understanding that drug companies would not make pills that would lodge in the throat or get stuck.  This was a huge eye opener for my daughter.  Knowing this made her then believe that the pill was designed to be swallowed, not stuck.
4.  Visualizing that the throat is big and the pill is small.  This is one that she really wanted to emphasize as being very helpful.
5.  Coughing is a natural reflex when something goes down the wrong tube.  My daughter did not realize that this is the body’s natural mechanism to prevent us from having something stuck in our throats.
6.  Having me physically present.  She just needed me there “just in case”.  I did not watch her since I did not want her feeling pressured to succeed.  I was just doing whatever I would normally be doing in her presence but giving her the assurance if anything went wrong that she was not alone.  We could manage it together.
She is really lucky that 3 sessions was all she needed to help her manage her fear.  So far, things have been going really well but she could relapse again.  The counselor instructed her to remember the above techniques to help her manage her fear if it resurfaced and to come back for more counselling if needed.  I think having the option to go back to counseling is an amazing one.  She could do it for this issue or for something else she may be struggling with in her life.  Having someone listen to you and help you work through your problems with no judgement, is extremely valuable.  Just know that if your child is also struggling with swallowing pills, counseling is one option that you should consider.  You are not alone.  As parents, we just need to support one another and share our successes and failures and keep trying to find what works for our children.

Final update

Portionology

I am at the end of my 21 Day Fix program, 7 pounds lighter and feeling leaner.

 Portionology
I had to stop working out on day 18 because I was (and am still) feeling sick and I started thinking that was hindering my ability to get better.  That and the fact that I have not taken any rest between programs over the last few months.  Guess I need to listen to my body.  The extra sleep is probably very much needed.

One of the biggest things I have learned from doing 21 Day Fix is portion control and how to eat with more vegetables on my plate.  We had dinner at my mom’s house and while I did aim for a smaller portion of chicken cordon bleu (my fave), I also noticed I subconsciously added a smaller portion of potatoes than I normally would have had and really loaded up on salad and brussel sprouts.  Bread never made it near my plate.  Now birthday cake, I have to admit I wasn’t even thinking about portion control.  How could I when it was homemade black forest cake?  Sometimes you just need to indulge.   Having said that, the dinner choice really opened my eyes to the obvious impact 21 Day Fix has had on me.

One thing that has happened quite a bit this last week is that people have noticed that I have lost weight.  I was actually able to fit in size 30 jeans.  That hasn’t happened in like forever!  I also indulged in buying some new clothes and got myself a brand new suede jacket that is fitted.  Love when I can be proud of how far I have come and feel really good about how I not only look but also feel.
This week is my birthday and I am giving myself a few gifts.  One gift will be a mini vacation where I will have 5 days off.  On that first day, my birthday, I will be enjoying some time at the spa getting a facial, pedicure and massage.  If you have never done this, you really must.  We give so much of ourselves to others and you really need to rejuvenate yourself with things that you love.
I am going to use the next week to also get a workout schedule created that will combine 3 programs together.  I still need to complete the last phase of P90X3 but want to add some Combat and RevAbs in as well.  I love the challenge of P90X3 but need some cardio and targeted ab work.  The variety should keep me engaged and my body challenged.  I want this to be the year that I can feel confident wearing a bikini in public.
Now I am also hoping that I will be cooking more and sharing more new recipes with you.  Eating clean, unprocessed and healthy food during a challenge can be a bit boring at times.  Now it is time to spice things up!  I will endeavor to find, try and then share some good healthy (and maybe not so healthy) recipes with you that not only you will love but your family as well.

Weight Loss Update

Last week I lost 4 pounds with the 21 Day Fix.  I followed the program as was written.  I guess I started to become confident and started to play around with the rules of the program.  Specifically, the moderation and portion size component.  When will I ever learn?

I just started training a new group of staff which means for the next 5 weeks, I will be up and moving a lot more than usual.  Have to say that I was feeling a bit hungrier too so I decided to increase my protein and carbohydrate containers by one each.  Never mind that I was not eating all my vegetable containers which could be part of the “hunger” part.  This week, I will make myself eat all the allotted containers and really assess if I need that extra protein or carbohydrate or both.
I also have been failing on the moderation component of the program.  Treats are allowed 3 times a week but then they do take up a carbohydrate container.  Guess what?  I was eating the treat and still eating another carbohydrate portion as if the treat did not happen.  I am my own worst enemy when it comes to food.  Also, I have been eating carbs past 6 pm which is not recommended.  Having said that, my treats have been pretty decent compared to what I have had in the past.  Biggest indulgence was Kettlecorn popcorn (and an over sized portion at that), 2 chocolate chip breakfast cookies, a strawberry mini strudel and a large portion of nuts.  What I haven’t had is potato chips, a slice of lemon meringue pie (though I did have 2 bites of it) nor chocolate bars that my hubby and kids have been bringing home so that is a definite bonus.  I think the key to long term nutritional success is focusing on having a diet that is clean and unprocessed 80% of the time and enjoying indulgences the other 20%.  It is about finding a balance.
I am also sick so my willpower dives and I simply crave comfort foods.  I am proud to say that I haven’t given in to my Dairy Queen Peanut Buster craving splurge (yet).  So with this last week of 21 Day Fix upon me, I am refocusing and getting serious again.  I did take one day off from the workouts since my cold was seeming to get worse.  My body really felt like it needed the rest.  Glad I did because I even stayed home from work that day, slept 12 hours and laid low.  I started up with the workouts but have been modifying the moves since anything more than that causes me to become quite short of breath.  So far so good.  I don’t feel like I am depleting myself and have to say that I am feeling mentally and emotionally better even as I sneeze and curse my runny nose during the workouts.  Just need to keep listening to my body and adjusting the workouts accordingly.
So, does that mean I failed this part of the 21 Day Fix?  Absolutely not!  It is all about learning and growing.  I really was not happy to have gained 2 pounds but can see the reason why I did.  It is all under my control.  I know what did not work and how to make it work again.  I can totally do this.  I have the right tools.  I just need to make it work for me, realizing that weight is only one component of the getting healthy and fit puzzle.  There are even greater indicators of progress which include clothes getting looser (they are), feeling stronger and seeing muscle definition (my shoulders are amazing), feeling mentally and emotionally strong (totally) and being a role model to my kids and those around me.  Getting fit and healthy is not a 21 day event, it is a life long journey.  I don’t know about you but all these lessons learned will help me lead a better life as I age.  I intend to be sharp as a whip and still kicking butt long past my 80’s.

 

My ulcertave colitis problem

I believe I am experiencing my first ulcerative colitis flare up.   Needless to say, it is not a fun thing to go through.  I have been feeling really tired, not my usual self and I have had wicked waves of nausea for the last 4 days.   Add diarrhea, losing 4 pounds in one week, loss of appetite and night sweats to the mix, to come to the grand conclusion that I am flaring up.  When I saw the doctor in January, he warned me that flare ups would be a part of my future.   For some reason,  I thought the flare up would be more severe, kind of like what I experienced when I was initially diagnosed in the emergency department.  I have not been bleeding but I do believe if it is left untreated, the bleeding will start.   Time to take action.

Make sure to use whatever resources are available to you.  I may be a nurse but I am no expert in managing colitis.  I called the clinic and was so happy (read sarcastic) to restart the dreaded suppositories.  So not fun, especially when you have angry hemorhoids standing in its way.  Sorry if this is too much information but I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you’re probably somebody who’s interested in learning about colitis or managing a flare up.  No use in trying to sugar coat anything.
I am still amazed that I have lost 4 pounds in only 7 days.  Usually this amount of weight loss would make me giddy with excitement.  Unfortunately, I find this quite concerning.   The waves of nausea prevent me from really wanting to eat.  When I force myself to eat something, I get diarrhea.  No wonder I have lost so much weight.  I really need to be eating nutrient dense food that is easy on the system but full of good nutrients.  I have been making sure to drink my Shakeology and really believe this is one of those foods my body really needs.  So far, it has been very gentle on my body.
One major concern for me is dehydration.  I actually feel dry in terms of thirst.  I am making sure to drink lots of water and avoid drinks like coffee, which tends to dehydrate us.  Usually, I have no problem drinking fluids but it is a bit of a struggle when you do feel nauseated.   Thank goodness for Gingerale!  Another option is making tea and adding real ginger to it for the anti-nausea properties.  I also love slurpees.  Yeah, sugar!
I am still working out however I’m really listening to my body and only doing what it can do.  Thank goodness for Body Body Beast.  It doesn’t have a lot of cardio in it.  This way I can focus on the weight lifting and maximizing my form.  Being able to still workout is one of my sanity savers.  I may not have control over the flare up but I do have total control over working out.  The key is to not overdo it.  Resting is a must as it allows the body to heal.  Speaking of rest, time for me to do just that.  Perfect time for me to catch up on some missed TV episodes.  Game of Thrones anyone?