Tag Archives: health

Sun safety, Starting school and Spending time!

19 Jul

I have been away for quite some time and I would like to apologize for the disappearance. A lack  of an internet connection is to blame. Well, I guess  I am to blame, as my lack of paying bills on time caused the lack of internet connection. Sorry, but that shizz was getting expensive. But alas here I am! This time with cheaper internet!!

First off I would like to start by saying that I am going to try my darnedest to blog regularly again, although I am not going to commit to a specific schedule just yet. This is because it is the summertime and I strongly feel that the words “summer” and “schedule” cannot coexist. I try to be outside as much as possible in the summer because for one it is too damn hot in my house, which results in cranky kids and an even crankier mommy. Second of all, summer is just too freakin’ short! You see, I am not fortunate enough to live somewhere that is hot year round. Way up North,  here in Canada, we have like eight months of stormy, slippery, freeze-your-b*lls-off winter and then only four or so measly months of actual “summer”, half of which is overcast and rainy. Don’t get me wrong, I love my country and I think it is beautiful, but if i ever win the jackpot the first thing i am doing is relocating to somewhere where it is never below plus 30 Celsius. I am 100% pure summer girl. No really! In September I am already counting down until NEXT summer. I can’t help it. I just love the the feel of the suns rays beating down on me, the balmy breeze in my hair, the clear blue skies and, probably most of all, the luxurious golden bronze hue that my skin obtains. Now wait! Before you start flooding my inbox with scary skin cancer statistics please note that my children and I ALWAYS wear sunscreen when outside and I do NOT lie out in the sun and bake myself to a crisp. It is just that I am outside a LOT during the sunny season and I also happen to tan very easily without doing anything at all. I know right! Please don’t hate. I used to frequent tanning beds regularly when I was in high school but after seeing women who have spent years tanning with faces that resemble cowhide leather and hands look like they belong on an eighty-something year old man, I have opted out. Not to mention the horrific skin cancer stories that are abundant in magazines these days. I won’t lie though (and I know I am not alone on this one), I really love how I look with a tan. My eyes look bluer, my skin looks clearer, I look more toned.  I feel way sexier and with a golden glow. There is just something about a suntan that makes you feel healthier and more confident. But these days I depend more on NYC bronzer than UV rays to emphasize it. So just for good measure I am going to take a moment to remind you all to practice safe sun:)

-Always apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 to all exposed areas of skin and reapply every two hours and after excessive sweating or swimming. And don’t forget the face! PS-Use more than you think you should as most people don’t use enough!

-Take breaks from the immediate sun and seek shade or go indoors whenever possible. This is especially important between 10am and 4pm, when the suns rays are at their strongest.

-Wear protective clothing like long sleeve shirts when possible. And don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses (but make sure the sunglasses you choose actual protect against UV rays, it. Fedoras and floppy straw hats are all the rage this season. Find one you love and wear it!

-Check your body regularly for any spots that weren’t there before or that you are unsure of, or any existing spots or moles that look different in size, color or shape. See a doctor if you have any concerns. Better safe then sorry!

Anyways, back to the blog. In the next few weeks I plan to do a back-to-school blog mini-series, mainly for parents with children who are starting school for the first time. Obviously, being a parent of such a child, I will not really be speaking from experience, however, i have been scouring the internet and magazines for all things “first-day-of-school” in an effort to make my little guy Cody’s transition to kindergarten as painless and enjoyable a possible. And I have found so many awesome tips and tricks on the subject that i feel compelled to share them with other parents going through the same thing. Truthfully, I think I am more afraid then Cody is. I can’t believe my bouncing baby boy is already starting school! I do,  like every parent, have my fears and reservations. I worry about him being away from me because he has never been for more then a sleepover at Nana’s and even that was pushing it. I worry about him doing well academically because although he is incredibly smart, and has an incredible vocabulary and did great on his preschool assessment, the one thing he seems to have no interest in is learning his ABC’s. This causes me some worry because obviously a lot of kindergarten is focused on letter identification and sounds, etc. The alphabet is the foundation of reading and writing. However, as a mom said on an amazing parenting website “When a child is reading a book, you cannot tell whether they learned their alphabet at age two or grade two”. And this is true, all children learn at their own pace, and it is when we push too hard that they begin to resent learning, so although I still point out letters in everyday situations and still play ABC’S games and read books with him, I have forced myself to back off when it comes to the whole flashcards, worksheets, etc. Truthfully, i dont blame him for losing interest. I don’t enjoy those things either. And I especially don’t enjoy them in the middle of a beautiful day in the summertime. I do plan too start early with my daughter when it comes to the alphabet, numbers and such. She is 22 months old right now so I haven’t taken it much further than singing the ABC song and pointing out letters, but she can repeat the entire alphabet to me when I say a letter she repeats it and we go through the whole alphabet that way while pointing them out. The reason I want to start early with her is because I took a slack approach to teaching Cody the alphabet and never really took it seriously and I am seeing the results (or lack thereof) of that now with him having no interest and not being able to identify is letters yet.Now with Cody i have taken a more “learning-through-play” approach. And while I haven’t seem amazing results just yet, I am okay with that, because i know that he is having fun and I know i am helping to foster a love for learning. If I keep at it it is bound to sink in sooner or later.

Well I hate to cut this post short but I am about to do just that because I am heading to bed to catch up on some much needed sleep. So be sure to check back regularly over the next few days for my first back-to-school post. I am aiming to do at least one back-to-school post per week until school begins. And come September you can look forward to hearing all about Cody’s journey into kindergarten-dom. Hopefully with him in school from 8am to 1:30pm daily and only one ankle-biter around I will actually be able to post daily. But then again probably not.

And now I leave you with pictures from our family day at Centennial Park which is right by my house and best of all: FREE!:)

                                                                                                    Cody being a monkey!!

                                                                                                        Chanel striking a pose ❤

                                                                                                           Such a Daddy’s girl

                                                                                                      Sketchiest slide ever! No lie!

                                                                                                        Swinging with Daddy!

                                                                         They were LOVING the giant rocks

Is your toddler eating enough?

16 Mar

Parental Concerns

If I had a penny for every meal that ended up on the floor instead of my daughters tummy, well lets just say I wouldn’t be living in an apartment building staring at a ten-year-old computer monitor.

When it comes to toddler eating habits, it is safe to say that they are never on par with parental expectations. One day they seem to go all day on no more than milk and juice and then the next you can’t help but wonder where they are putting it all. Three common parental concerns are that their toddler has suddenly become a picky eater, that they throw more food than they eat or do not sit still long enough to eat at all, and that all they want is liquids. It is also common for children this age to eat something one day and then totally reject the same type of food the next day for no apparent reason. All of these issues can become a cause for much frustration for parents. We know that our children need to eat a well-balanced, variety of nutritional foods in order to grow and develop properly, however, who wants each and every meal to become a battle?

Normal Toddler Eating

There are a few things that parents need to keep in mind when it comes to feeding their toddler.

Many parents, including me, will give their child a banana and then after their child takes three bites, try to convince them to eat the rest. However, it is important to keep in mind that a normal serving size for a toddler is only about 1/4 to 1/3 of an adult serving. So in reality, it only takes about 1/4 of a banana to fill their tiny tummies. Do not expect your toddler to eat what you would consider a normal serving for yourself or even for your six-year-old. Keep their meal size proportional to what is the normal toddler serving.

As most parents have already realized, toddlers are at an age where they are fiercely independent. They are determined to do everything by themselves and to challenge mom and dad in any way that they can.  Unfortunately for parent, what and how much they eat is one thing that they can exercise some control over. So while it may be tempting to spoon feed their entire meal to them for your own piece of mind, the better option is to feed them a few bites and then show them the proper way to hold the utensil and allow them to have a go at it. Better yet, forgo the spoon altogether and let them have fun with finger foods. Not only are they more likely to eat without a fight if they get to do it themselves, it is also critical is helping them develop their fine motor skills. Try offering them a variety of different finger foods  such as crackers, cheese cubes,  apples slices and banana wheels,  and boiled egg slices as opposed to serving one large meal. There is nothing wrong with them eating what the family eats for dinner just make sure that it is cut up into smaller pieces so it is easier for them to handle. It is also a good idea to add a few finger foods on the side of the main meal in case they aren’t too interested in eating what is on the menu. Although I have found that all it usually take is for my daughter to see mom, dad and big brother enjoying a certain food and then she is more than happy to join in.

Tips to make mealtime more enjoyable

Thankfully, there are many simple things that parents can do to encourage healthy eating habits and make mealtimes  happier and more relaxed for everyone.

  • Offer a wide variety of nutritional foods. Even though toddlers may refuse a type of food one day, it is important to keep offering it along with a wide variety of other nutritional options. It may take toddlers five tries before they will even consider eating something, so be persistent!
  • Have fun with food! Making meals more appealing can be as simple as making a smile face on their plate with grape eyes, a banana nose and melon slice for a mouth. By keep things bite sized, colorful and fun children are much more likely to try a few different things on their plate. I know that smily faced pancakes always tasted much better than plain ones. Makes sense, right?

 

  • Eat together at the table. While many families are often so busy during the day that everyone may very well be somewhere different (work, daycare, school, etc), it is very important to make an effort to sit down as a family for at least one meal a day, AT THE TABLE. Turn off the TV, ignore the phone and put away the toys. As a child I can remember my father’s rule: If we didn’t want to eat, fine, but we had to sit at the table during mealtime. I claimed to hate it at the time, but looking back it was often the highlight of my day.
  • Schedule regular mealtimes. Having set times for each meal helps prevent children from grazing on everything they can get their hands on to curb hunger. A small snack is fine, and often necessary, for toddlers to keep them satisfied and energized. Just be sure to keep it relatively healthy, keep it small as too not fill them up too much and give it to them at least an hour before their next meal.
  • Be a good role model. We’ve all heard the saying: “Monkey see, Monkey do.” This has never been more true than in reference to toddlers. If they see mom and dad enjoying a wide variety of nutritious foods then they will be much more likely to do the same. However, if they see their parents eating junk all day every day, it is safe to say that they will probably not have the healthiest eating habits. You set the biggest example for your child because you are their whole world. It is your responsibility to provide them with healthy, well-balanced regular meals and snacks each and every day. It is their choice how much and if they will eat it.

Which brings us to the last, and probably most important, piece of advice:

  • RELAX! Stop keeping track of every morsel of food that passes their lips and just relax a bit. Getting your child to eat healthy should not be a full-time job. While it is important to ensure that they are getting the vitamins and nutrients that they need and are not malnourished, you don’t have to stress about a few unbalanced meals-or even days. Children will NOT starve themselves, when they are hungry, then they will eat. If they are happy, active and growing well then it is safe to say that you are doing a good job. You do not have to cook up complicated and elaborate meals each and every day. As long as you keep on offering nutritious choices, children WILL eat them. Stop begging, threatening, bribing and encouraging and simply step back and let them be. Before you know it they will have eaten their full meal and be asking for seconds.

Eating Well for Life

When it comes right down to it, there is only so much that you can do when it comes to getting your toddlers to eat. You can provide them with a variety of good, healthy food, you can make mealtimes a calm and enjoyable experience and you can set a good example for them, but that is ALL you can do. At the end of the day the rest is them. Keep on doing what you’re doing, give the above tips and try not to make a huge deal of it. If you are doing these things already then your toddler is already well on their way to a great relationship with food and a lifetime of healthy eating.

**CALL YOUR DOCTOR if your child is losing weight, doesn’t eat anything for more than a day or you are concerned that they aren’t eating a balanced diet. Follow you gut, you know your child best, if something doesn’t seem right or you are concerned do not hesitate to discuss it with your child’s doctor or pediatrician. NEVER give a child vitamins, supplements or meal replacement products without the advice of your doctor. SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION if you child is experiencing persistent vomiting, severe stomach pain and/or cramping, refuses to take any liquids for over 8 hours or shows signs of dehydration.**

Want to lose 20LBS by the summer? Here’s How

8 Mar

Are you tired of hiding behind a beach towel?

Join my on my weight loss journey and get bikini ready before June!

GO ON NOW, CLICK ON THE “GET FIT” TAB AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE FOR THE INSIDE SCOOP ON MY HEALTH AND FITNESS JOURNEY.

You will find a detailed guide to my entire exercise regime including strength training, cardio, workout equipment and gear and much more. Join me on my journey to a bangin’ bikini bod NOW! Put on your workout clothes and break a sweat with me!! Your body will thank you:)

**COMING SOON: My Nutrition and Diet Guide..The FULL Scoop on my journey to eating healthy and cutting out the junk…It ain’t an easy one! Including my meal plans, ideal calorie and nutrient goals, portion control, recipes and more!!

Red "no excuses" sign with black font

Fraud, weight loss and Everything in between!

6 Mar

So it has been a while since my last post, mainly because the hubby has been working full time and I have been chasing the kids around and doing all the errands by myself. But some odd happenings have taken place during my hiatus. I have two different things I want to share with you, starting with the crappy one and saving the best for last! Okay, so, I posted an ad on good ol’ Kijiji to try to get rid of some off the junk accumulating in my small place. One of the ads I posted was for a bicycle that we had bought for my son last Easter. It was pretty cool, from Fisher Price, and converted from a Tricycle to a two wheeler bicycle. Not to mention we payed about 150$ for it and it was only driven like three times. So anyways I posted an add for it asking for 50$. Well the next day I got a reply from a man saying he was interested in purchasing it and that he hoped to have a “good business relationship” with me…Okaaaaayy…

So I agreed to sell it thinking that he lived in my city, as I had posted the ad on my local kijiji site for my town. However,h e told me that he lived in Ontario and that he was going to send me a money order. I said ok, I figured that was how things were done when you are buying something from another province. He told me that he would send it via UPS and when i received the money order i was to deduct the asking price for the bike then wire transfer the remaining funds through Western Union to his “shipper”. Now things started to sound a bit sketchy but I figured that he had done this before and that it was normal because he spoke very professional, although he did keep emphasizing that i send the fund as soon as i received them.So I agreed to do so, thinking that he would only be sending a little bit of extra money, enough to cover the shipping, although now that I think back I realize that it made no sense, and why wouldn’t he send the money to his shipper himself, as opposed to trusting a stranger to do so.

After he emailed me the address of his shipper and things got even weirder because I noticed his shipper’s name was Emmanuel something rather and his address was in Tokpa, Benin…Ummmm okay…that is no where near New Brunswick, where I live OR Ontario, where the buyer supposedly lived. Yet again, I gave him the benefit of a doubt. Fast forward a few days I received an envelope delivered through UPS and the first thing I noticed was the sender’s name, which said Victor Hupe…Alarm bell went of in my head because the person I was speaking to initially claimed his name was Joseph Poole, I went onto Joseph’s email account profile to see if I could put to and two together but surprise surprise..He had NO profile info or pictures, nothing…hmmm. So I called my hubby and told him he was going to have to drive me to the bank to cash it…Then I opened it and that’s when the alarm in my head started BLARING.

The amount the money order was for was 2500.00$!!! Which is conveniently that maximum amount you can send via a money order…So I went on Google and type in Bank of Montreal Money Orders and guess what I found? Pages upon pages of stories just like mine, about people that had been send funds and asked to transfer them to a shipper or back to the sender, etc and then it turning out to be a scam and they end up having to pay their bank back the money, and even facing criminal charges.The scenarios were identical to mine, right down to the dollar amount. Once I knew for certain tat it was a scam things immediately started jumping out to me as tell tale signs something shady was up. Like the fact that the address of the sender was in Oshawa, Ontario, yet the money order was from a Bank of Montreal in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Now, you have to understand the consequences that would have happened if I had not trusted my gut instinct. I get ALL my income directly deposited into my account, money for my rent, groceries, EVERYTHING. If I would have cashed that, I would have been forced to pay back that 2500$. My monthly income isn’t even 2500$, so as soon as my money was deposited, the bank would have taken it all. I wouldn’t have been able to pay my rent, feed my children, I would have probably got evicted for not paying the rent. Not to mention my bank could have closed my account or even contacted the police for fraud. All this could have happened if I hadn’t typed those words into Google and found out what I did. I emailed the guy back immediately to tell him that I WOULD NOT be sending his funds to his shipper and that if he was looking for his funds that he should contact my local police department because that was where they were. And, because I was so pissed I decided to play with him a bit, so I told him that there was an investigation underway as a result of his attempted fraud, which, by the way, I said was a federal offense and would result in incarceration. And for good measure I told him that I hoped that he hadn’t done so from his own personal computer because they are tracing his IP address as we speak, not to mention the addresses and names he provided. Funny that he never replied, he had always replied very quickly when he thought we had a deal…Hmmm..

Looking back I realize why I would appear as a good target. He was counting on me being a young girl, someone that would be very naive and easy to convince and build trust with. What he didn’t count on was me having a good head on my shoulders and a strong intuition. I saved all conversations and contact in case anything comes out of it, however, sadly the police don’t actually catch these scammer’s because of the simple fact that the internet allows you to be nearly anonymous. It takes all of five minutes to create an email address, and I have found out the most of the time the address of these “shippers” ends up being a hotel or a business, not an actual person, making them all the more difficult to track. These scammer’s are usually from underdeveloped or far flung countries. So while the chances of them being caught and convicted are slim to none, there are things that you can do to avoid a similar fate.

READ THEM, LEARN THEM AND LIVE BY THEM…SERIOUSLY! People always believe that internet scams won’t happen to them or that they cant be fool, but the truth is that some of these scams and fake documents are so well done that even bank tellers can’t tell, and by the time they realize what has happened it is often already too late…I was almost one of those people!!

  • NEVER give out personal or financial information of any kind unless you are actually buying something from a business or person that you know or trust and you are POSITIVE that it is a legit source.
  • If you must accept another form of payment ask to be a sent a cashier’s check for the exact amount and do not ship the items until the funds clear.
  • When you can, pay with a credit card, that way you can dispute the charges if the company/person does not deliver what they have agreed to.
  • Do not fall for offers of easy or free money…You know the old saying, if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Do not let company’s pressure you or try to tell you it is a limited time offer or you must respond immediately. A real company will give you time to make you decision and will give you information in writing if you request it.
  • Get a phone number and physical address in case things go bad during a transaction, even better, call the number before you do anything to be sure it is the real number. A real company/business/person will understand and have no problem with it. If you are still unsure, contact the Better Business Bureau for confirmation.
  • Do not deposit anything into your account until you have the bank verify that it is legit. Also, do not agree to forward any funds to ANYONE. Tell them to send the money to their shipper themselves (which is what a legit person or business would do in the first place, not trust a perfect stranger with their money).
  • Do not enter personal or banking info on a public computer. There are ways for people to access or obtain it after you are logged off.
  • You don’t have to wait long to use the money, but that doesn’t mean the check is good. Under federal law, banks have to make the funds you deposit available quickly – usually within one to five days, depending on the type of check. But just because you can withdraw the money doesn’t mean the check is good, even if it’s a cashier’s check. It can take weeks for the forgery to be discovered and the check to bounce.

REMEMBER-YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHECKS OR MONEY ORDERS THAT YOU DEPOSIT.EVEN IF YOU ARE A VICTIM AND WERE UNAWARE OF IT BEING A FRAUD, THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT THE POLICE OR BAN WILL BELIEVE YOU AND IT DOES NOT MEAN YOU WILL NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE AND FORCED TO PAY THE FUNDS BACK. SOMEONE HAS TO PAY AND IT IS VERY LIKELY THAT IT WILL BE YOU!!

Now that I am done my lecture it is time for the good news!!! As I posted on my last post, I have decided to revamp my lifestyle and overhaul my food and exercise (or lack of) habits. So after browsing around for different weight loss and dieting sights, I stumbled across SparkPeople.com, the answer to my prayers. You see, I used to be the kind of girl that could eat anything I wanted and never gain a pound. However, this is mainly because I was a drug addict and only weighed 100lbs. Back when I was in middle school, I was a perfectly healthy size 7, at the time I hated it because I always had bigger thighs and hips and what the boys used to smack and call a “ghetto booty”. And while I liked the attention it garnered, at the same time I was always jealous of my girlfriends stick thin figures. So when I started using drugs the weight started literally falling off, and I won’t lie, at first i thought it was great. But that didn’t last long because soon I was so skinny you could count my ribs. And it was not a healthy skinny, it was a gaunt, sunken, skeletal skinny.I tried to eat anything and everything to gain the weight back, but it was pointless because I was still using drugs. Even after my first child, my son, even though I was clean during my pregnancy, I started using again not long after his birth so I lost the weight almost immediately. You couldn’t even tell I just had a baby.

With my daughter on the other hand, I was put on methadone and was clean for the duration of my pregnancy and she is now 18 months old and I am still clean to this day!! Now while that is fantastic and I couldn’t be happier, the one thing that I am not overly happy about is the weight I have gained back, and them some…Now I am no where near obese, not even overweight really, I, like the rest of the planet would just like to lose a few pounds and get rid of the tummy bulge, love handles and the extra few inches. So my current weight is 148lbs while my height is 168 cm. This puts me at a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 27, which is just barely into the overweight category, but no where near the obese one. So in order to bring myself back down to my ideal range for my height, I would like to lose about 20ls. My goal is to weigh 125 lbs by July 1st/2011.

This is where SparkPeople comes in. Sparkpeople is an amazing site that is developed to help you set and reach your health and weight loss goals. It does this in many ways, including allowing you to set and track goals, by providing you with a personalized meal plan (or a SparkDiet), a food tracker (to track your calories and water consumption among many other things), a personalized strength and cardio workout and fitness tracker to track your exercise. Along with my main goal I have also set many smaller goals for myself, such as drink more water, exercise three days a week for 40 minutes each, complete 30 minutes of cardio three times a day, and get outside at least once a day. Now i have only been following Sparkpeople program for two weeks but I already feel so much better and my hubby swears that my tummy is flatter and my muscles are more defined. I don’t know if its a crock of bull or not but I like it!!

My exercise program consists of a variety of different strength and resistance, as well as pilates inspired moves. I use a resistance band for some of them, as well as 5lb weights and ankle weights. For cardio I jump rope as well as doing kickboxing videos, dancing, and whatever other cardio seems fun and interesting to me at the time. I do my workouts on Tues, Thurs, and Saturday, as well as a Sunday workout that focuses just on my target areas (my cores, thighs, and hips). I usually do my cardio immediately after. As far as diets go, I am not following the Sparkdiet, I am using it as a guide. I am simple trying to eat healthier, stay in my daily calorie range of 1200-1500, chose high protein foods to fill me up and give me energy, and drink a lot of water. I do not deprive myself in any way, I actually get to have three snacks per day!! I track every single thing I consume in my food tracker to ensure I am on track. I also track my fitness, and so far I have 276 fitness minutes in!!! Not to bad if I must say so!

Another site I am using to help me out is www.Fatloser.com. I know i know, it sounds pretty sick, but it actually a great site for keeping you motivated. It is a website where you are coached by world renowned expert Steve Siebold that is centered around developing “mental toughness”, which is necessary to stick to any plan and achieve any goal, especially once as big as overhauling your whole fitness and health style. Fatloser‘s makes you hold yourself accountable and forces you to accept responsibility for how you gained weight in the first place.  It gives you the tools necessary to develop a whole new relationship with food and gives you the strength you need when your old habits try to rear their ugly head. How it works is simple: You sign up for a FREE account and each day you are given a new video to watch with questions to answer. It sounds boring but it is actually something i look forward to every day because it allows to me to take my fitness and food journey one day at a time, which makes it much easier to stick to. So if you want to lose weight, get in shape or just get a bit healthier then hurry on over to Sparkpeople and FatLoser and sign up asap. Did I mention they are both absolutely free!! There is no excuse so what are you waiting for, you have nothing to lose, well except the weight:)

COMING IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS...

***I will be posting my complete diet and workout information including my general meal plan, my complete strength and cardio program, including a schedule of when and what exercises I am doing, as well as my goals and challenges that I am currently doing, along with a detailed list of all the equipment I am using, the fitness videos and books I am following and the resources I am using. I will also begin posting a healthy, low cal recipe every week that I have tried and enjoyed!! Come back soon for the latest progress report and info on my weight loss/tone up journey to a bangin’ bikini bod!! See you soon!!***

“Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not!” -Author Unknown

4 1/2 monthes to a BRAND NEW, BIKINI READY ME!!

17 Feb

So lately I have been not feeling the best about myself. You see, when I had my son in November of 06′ everyone was always saying “Oh my gosh, how did you lose the weight so fast?”. Well the truth was, I didn’t do anything, it just fell off. I have never been a lazy person, but I have also never been the type of person to count calories or exercise. I just took it for granted that I didn’t gain weight no matter what I ate. Now part of this was because when I was struggling with drug addiction I never weighed more than 100 lbs to begin with, and honestly I hated it. At first it was great because I went from a size 5/7 to a size 00 in no time at all. Obviously this was because of the amount of drugs I was consuming, and it was not healthy, I even stopped getting my period eventually because my body weight had dropped to such an unhealthy level. I hated the way I look just as much as if I had been obese. My bones jutted out of my body and my cheeks were sunken and sallow looking. So when I got pregnant for my second child, my daughter, I made a vow to get healthy again and back to a normal weight for my body (I am only 5’2, however, before I ever used drugs, I ALWAYS had a tiny waste and bigger hips, thighs and a “ghetto-booty”, a la J-LO…Most of the time I loved it because it caught the attention of the boys. So when I found out I was pregnant for my daughter in january 2009, I was put on the Methadone Program, which a whole other story that you can read by clicking “Confessions of a Junkie” at the top of the page.  So I was drug free throughout my pregnancy, and still am to this day, which has been just amazing. I feel so much better and wake up looking forward to every day. I am a better person and a better mother. There is only ONE thing that I want to change. You see, one of the effects of quitting drugs and being on methadone is weight gain. Combine that with the birth of my second child, and needless to say, I have put on more than a few extra pounds. I am currently at my heaviest ever. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my body and I am happy that I gained back some weight, however, I am NOT happy with the love handles and the extra tummy bulge I now carry around. I am now wearing a size 9 to 11 pants. So I have decided that it is time to do something about it.
I recently mentioned to my hubs that I wanted to start working out and eating better, to try to shed some extra inches and pounds. He surprised me with some workout gear, he gave me a resistance band, walking weights, ankle and wrist weights and a cute workout outfit. Now I know most of you would kill your man if he randomly bought you weight loss products, however, I repeatedly bugged for them, so that is why he got them for me. So now I am geared up for weight loss. My hubby also wants to get into shape, and he recently purchased a wight set, so I will be borrowing those too.  So now that I have a live-in workout buddy, the next step was to do some research and develop a fitness and diet plan that would work for ME. After browsing MANY website, many of which required a credit card, I finally stumbled upon one that I think is going to really help keep me motivated and assist me in reaching my fitness goals. I joined www.SparkPeople.com, a FREE (Seriously, no catch) website that allows you to develop a customized fitness and diet plan that is tailored to you, it is 100% personalized by you. They provide so many awesome tools, including a fitness page that tracks your exercise routine, goals, calories burned, allows you to add/remove exercises/cardio, watch fitness videos and much more. Then there is a Nutrition page..This page allows you to create and track your meal plan, by choosing and logging the foods you eat from their VAST database (Seriously, EVERY food is there, right down to specific brands…I even found my guilty pleasure Post Honeycomb Cereal!! “, It tracks your calories eaten, carbs, fat and you can also set it to track other nutrients…It has a fruit/veggie and glass of water counter, it tracks your daily and weekly progress, and lets you post notes and print your meal plan and grocery list. On top of those amazing tools there are countless other tools to help you stay on track and get motivated, including groups to join, challenges, trophies to earn when you reach different goals (i e: 30 minutes of cardio per day streaks, lbs lost, pant sizes dropped, and tons more trophies). There are tons and tons of articles and videos to browse through including workout/exercise and fitness, motivational, inspirational and many more topics. It also allows you to add friends, create a blog or Vlog of your journey, add friends, update your status and other interactive tools. You can also browse through tons of success stories and before/after photos, along with a page to track personal appointments, keep a journal, track other personal goals, and so much more. Also be sure to check out the huge SparkRecipe database, the Health Condition database and the huge, the Healthy Lifestyle section, and the friendly and oh-so-inspirational Spark Community. And don’t forget to check out the SparkStore for workout gear, books and much more!I am pumped up and determined to stick with this and generate REAL RESULTS.

So here is an overview of my fitness goals and plans. My main fitness goal is to lose 20 lbs by June 1st/2011, in time for bikini season of course. I also have other smaller goals such as:

Drink 8 glasses of water per day.

– Stop the nighttime overeating of unhealthy foods when I am bored, lonely, etc.

– Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night (No more late night WordPress)

– Cut  back and Eventually QUIT smoking cigarettes, however that is a long term goal, as I dont want to put to much pressure on myself.

– Get at least a half hour of fresh air outside per day.

So in order to achieve these goals I have chosen to follow a fitness regime that includes:

-30 minutes of exercise 3 days per week, including light strength training (3lb weights) and use of a resistance band and exercise ball (Mon, Wed, and Fri)

-30 minutes of cardio three days per week (Mon, Wed, and Fri) including walking briskly, hiphop dancing, Spark Kickboxing, and whatever other cardio I can squeeze in.

As for my nutrition/diet plan, I am not following a set in stone diet, instead I am shooting to eat healthy balanced meals that included lots of fresh fruit and veggies and lean protein. I am aiming to stay within 1200-1500 calories per day, 130-250 of that being carbs and under 50 grams of fat per day. I am starting small because my eating habits are truly horrible so my main goal is to find a diet plan that works for me, gives me enough energy to chase my children and keep up my exercise yet keeps my satisfied and not deprived.  I also aim to cut down on all junk food and trans fats and drink lots of water. I also aim to try to get proper 8 hrs of sleep a night too, as I am on a nocturnal sleep schedule.

So in order to keep myself motivated and hopefully motivate some other people I am going to track my progress not only on SparkPeople but also here on my blog. I also challenge anyone who reads this to check out it out and reevaluate your OWN fitness goals. It is the perfect time to get in shape for summer.  Subscribe to my blog now to follow me on my journey to a new me and join me on SparkPeople to change your body too!!

PS- I WILL BE POSTING BEFORE PICS AND MEASUREMENTS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS.

Join me at: SparkPeople.com

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