Monday, April 30, 2012

To Dance Again....

For years I was a dancer, until an unfortunate run in with a trampoline at 17 ended any hope of dancing professionally.

Several months ago my oldest daughter started dancing with the Dance Academy that her school has. And I've watched her becoming a natural and potentially very gifted dancer. To watch her begin to become the dancer I never became is inspiring.

So recently I told her something that I've shared with only a few people. I have a goal--more than running--within the next 2 years I want to perform once more, in front of an audience. BUT this time I want the audience to be comprised of the people I love, because for me performing in front of strangers isn't a challenge, it's those that love you that can hurt you the very worst, so my goal is to do this, on a REAL stage and in front of all the family I've chosen over the years.

I know I CAN do it, but the question becomes, WILL I???

I guess if "Aunt Viv" can do can I, you all just have to hold me accountable to this! :)

Friday, April 27, 2012


So in the last few weeks I've come to find that there is a restlessness in my soul surrounding my professional life. Things have been changing and while I have loved what I've been doing to date, there are days, like any human, where I'm finding some of the change doesn't match my vision for MY future. Even more so, I've found that my skills are progressively being underused and as of today I'm a highly overpaid Admin. Most people would have coasted, submitted full hours and expected pay for that time, after all we live in a society of "it's not my fault" and I know far too many people who would have sat idly by taking a pay cheque for no personal investment of time, effort or productivity.

Some days I wish I were wired like that...luckily that feeling is rare and fleeting.

Instead, I've worked minimum hours, got the job done, and billed accordingly for my time. Two years ago I became a Business Consultant, as a result of meeting and having had the distinct privilege of working for someone I respect and admire, and he's encouraged my professional growth and that I take entrepreneurial chances that I've never been encouraged to do by ANYONE before. It's been crazy fun and tumultuous, but during that time I've not had to worry about providing for my family, and in fact, his recognition of my skills has allowed me to build skills, marketability and billing accordingly.

Recently, he's suggested a partnership that would take my talents and gifts and exploit them. This is both terrifying and exciting at the same time. It would push my boundaries and make me grow again. Change is scary.

As I begin the researching and planning this prospective opportunity I find myself facing moments riddled with fear and uncertainty. Somewhere within me, I know I can DO it, the question is, with all the risk involved do I WANT to? Do I want to start another business? How is this going to effect my work with other clients, current or prospective? What will this do to my income? Will I become too focused to focus on other revenue streams? Do I want to go through the fears, frustrations and failures that entrepreneurship inevitably brings with it? Clearly I'm my biggest hurdle.

Just the thought of it exhausts me. Just the thought of it exhilarates me...I'm still not sure what direction things will take but WOW what a ride it is becoming!

Today I choose to breathe and trust that it's all going to turn out in the end, because as a wise person said to me not that long ago....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Secret Addiction

This morning I received a TEMPTING email from my favorite website, telling me a dress I LOVE is almost sold out. Evil tempting websites....Most people who know me, know I HATE the mall. Hate it.

So I avoid the mall. Now lots of people think this means I don't like buying things, but the secret reality is that I have a horrible on-line shopping problem. I love finding stuff on line, I love getting the stuff I ordered on line. No lines, no stupidity, no hassles. LOVE IT! In fact nothing makes me happier than having something show up in the mail, and to put this in perspective, my UPS guy and my Priority Post guy both know me by name...yeah, it's a bit of a problem.

I've been saving money and am getting ahead financially for the first time in my life. In my proactive pledge to be a better me, I have begun getting my licensing and certification in the wonderful world of Financial Services, so my knowledge of money is growing.

But I'm not listening to my own advice.

I think the reason for my unashamed online habit is simply this: For years I was in a situation where I wasn't "allowed" to buy things that I wanted or (much more often) needed. When I did buy things I was guilted for doing so, or worse. For the first time in my life, I am in a position to not sweat or worry when I buy a dress, or a pair of shoes, or a book...or 9 of them....*she says a little sheepishly*

In the last 24 hours I was inspired by a blog I stumbled upon, check it out:

This blog isn't the only amazing example of dedication and financial responsibility in my life. I have the good fortune of the leadership in this area my good friend (and client) Julie is taking with her family. She is not just talking the talk, but she's showing me how to 'get it done!'

So in the spirit of becoming a better me at 40, I've decided to start an 'online shopping fast' for the month of May. My intent is to be accountable by posting this now, and then tracking the money I would normally have spent, making a list of it, and then putting that money on our mortgage. Depending upon how I do, and how it goes, I plan to continue through out the year with this and hopefully break my 'addiction' to "stuff"!

I wonder how much it is going to horrify me to see what I actually spend in a month normally! I wonder how proud of me Kyle is going to be??

Monday, April 23, 2012

Yes, I did complete 5km yesterday and didn't die!

So some crazy lunatic signed me up for a 10km run on May 27. Y'all realize how soon that is??? I mean, don't get me wrong, I love this aforementioned crazy loon with all my heart but some days I think he has way more confidence in me than I do! After all, just Thursday I thought I was going to collapse and die from the 3km run I did.

So Sunday, I decided to see if I could do 5k and out my front door I went...I DID IT! I sure did...In fact, I ran OVER 5km yesterday. Ok...finnnnnnne....maybe I didn't "run" the whole thing...maybe I walked a few segments in between running, but the point is that I did it. I pushed myself out the door and just kept going.

Yeah I wanted to quit...approximately 9 times I wanted to turn off the street I was running on and cut it short, but I didn't.

And I didn't get into that "runner's zone" that everyone talks about where you experience a "runner's high". I'd love to get there but I'm not there yet. But I did prove one thing to myself...I CAN do it, maybe with the world's worst 10km run time ever but I can definitely do it. Today is my 'rest' day, which means I'm in the gym training.

I promised myself last year that 40 was going to be the beginning of becoming the best me ever, and I have to admit that so far I'm feeling pretty damn proud of myself! 3 months in and I've lost 25lbs, am running 3-5km 4 times a week, eating better, going to the gym 3 times a week, and just generally gaining a better all around attitude.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ode to The Divine Ms. Marilyn

This weekend I get to see my darling friend and sister-by-choice, receive her Masters in Leadership. I think this utterly silly! Marilyn should be receiving a Doctorate in Leadership. Is there a level higher than this? If so, she's more than earned it. Make no mistake, she's one of the smartest people I know, BUT more than that, it's her grace and dignity, her discernment and wisdom that really makes her BRILLIANT!

She's taught me so much in the years I've known her. And for those of you who don't have the honor of having this amazing woman in your lives, I hate to rub it in, but you're REALLY missing out!

Her genuine humor and compassion for humanity humble me daily. Her love of family and friends and great food envelop me regularly. The way she leads by example in adversity and challenge is a lesson that the world needs to learn.

I used to be a single mom, but I don't like using that term. The reason why is not just because I happen to have an absolutely wonderful spousal equivalent now, but because I don't think I ever truly did it alone, Marilyn helped me see this not too long ago.

Somehow in my life, I've always been able to surround myself by wonderful strong women (and a few GREAT men) who have carried me through when I couldn't stand, much less walk on my own. When my family failed me, I landed on my backside HARD and cried. When I was done crying I looked up to see hands extended, pulling me, lifting me, carrying me. When my family failed my children, I stepped forward already ensconced in the arms of beautiful loving women who through their character, strength, and true beauty showed me the REAL value of family.

Marilyn is one of these women and I'm so proud of her. So tomorrow when she crosses the stage, I will thank a God I question daily, due to the actions of others, for this marvellous, loving, beautiful woman, who I have the great honor of calling my friend. Congratulations doll, you ARE my mentor and who I hope to be someday when I grow up.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Running to where?

So it's been nearly 3 weeks since I ended my second phase of my second run of HCG. Since then I've taken on a personal trainer at the gym three times a week and I've begun running five times a week. As a result managing to maintain my lowest weight has been easy in Phase 3.

It may seem like a lot of physical activity, especially for a full time working mom with four children and shared custody. But truthfully, coming from a girl who a year or so ago had critically high blood pressure and weighed nearly 50lbs more, I think it is a small price to pay, and really not that much time out of my week to really take care of ME!

Not hauling around an extra nearly 50lbs of flubber doesn't hurt, in fact it's pretty damn liberating to run and not see your ass jiggle in the shadow running beside you.

I'd be lying if I said I knew where this new found motivation has come from, or why I'm finding easy to go to the gym and do my run without whining about it. Maybe it is just getting older and accepting my world for what it is and being truly happy where I am. I'm sure that is a component of it, I have other suspicions I may share some other time.

I am going to attempt to post my progress, to hold myself accountable to the challenge and to maybe invoke some public accountability too.

Hopefully in September I'll be crossing the finish line of a half marathon a stronger and better person than I am today.

In the interim if you are struggling with losing weight or staying motivated could I suggest you take a look at, as I know that it changed my life. It may not be right for everyone but it is great for those of us who seriously lack willpower.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I fought the fat and I won!

Back in October, having eaten my way through LA, Miami and Las Vegas, and hit an all time weight high of 170lbs, I was frustrated, unhappy and unsuccessful in my attempts to lose the weight.

I had been seeing a personal trainer and was getting stronger and happier with my self, however, as the saying goes "Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym" and my eating was controlling me.

(Black Dress, October 1, 170lbs)

After much research and contemplating, I decided to try HCG as I've no willpower and can make every food excuse in the book to eat the things I love, like chips, or well buttered popcorn with flavors on it. I've never said no to a steak, and rarely met one I didn't like. I love bread, smothered in butter, and even though I am not huge into sweets, I had gained so much weight that I found myself wanting muffins and desserts and chocolate much more than I ever had before in my life.

Reading about HCG on, a website run by a friend of mine from childhood, combined with harassing her with questions, googling, watching Dr. Oz commentary did not change the 'fear factor' in starting such a restrictive diet. I have no will power, how the HELL was this going to work???

I was shocked and amazed that after the first couple of days I was able to actually stick to it! I tracked everything on a printed calendar, and watched the pounds drop off. Even my spousal equivalent, Kyle was impressed with the daily changes to
my body. We would literally go to bed and in the morning, he'd be able to see areas of me that were no longer sporting fat deposits. I felt strong and empowered and was so amazed with myself.

Following my first round of HCG I lost 23 lbs, and was at 147, that was immediately followed by a short flu and I dropped down to 144lbs, and as such I gained that back within a week.

My first round of HCG was just pre-Christmas and over the Christmas break I gained (and make no mistake, I expected to gain) approximately 8lbs back. Right after Christmas I started back to the gym and maintained at 152-154lbs, which after being a little over 170 was a vast improvement.

This March, I decided I still wanted to lose more, so starting March 1st, when Kyle left to spend 10 days in Toronto I began HCG again, and to m
y amazement lost 12lbs in the first 10 days. The look on his face when he returned and saw how much I'd already lost was invaluable to me.

Today I am at 135lbs and begin my 3 days per week training at the gym for the next 2 months. In September I am planning on running a half marathon.

Having turned 40 this year, I feel like I'm just beginning my journey, and they say "Do something every day that scares you." So today I'm posting pictures of fat me, and the me that has finally begun conquering that fat. And I can honestly say, I'm damn proud of me. :) THIS is only the beginning.

(Me at 135lbs--please excuse the unfolded laundry--I've been busy becoming the best me I can be!!)