Weird Mom Stuff (…please tell me you relate)

After hearing all the horror stories about having kids, I delayed motherhood as long as I biologically could. And although I was quite aware of the hard work and patience this important role required, nothing prepares you for the reality of it all.

So here is my list of weird things I never experienced before being a mom…

  • Having a running commentary while I poop. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
  • (in the same line) Having someone ask me out loud, in a public restroom, whether I am pooping or peeing. And when I get out of the stall there is always an inquisitive look on at least one other restroom attendee to whom I feel I owe them an answer.
  • Trying to convince someone the importance of wearing pants.
  • Being reprimanded for using the yellow cup instead of the blue cup… and the next day, being reprimanded for using the blue cup.
  • Getting the fright of my life when waking in the middle of the night to a 3-year old staring at you while you sleep.
  • Finding the answer to so many life questions such as why that man has a big belly (and then incessantly repeating the question no matter how hard you try to ignore them).
  • Having someone point to your face and say with disgust: What’s that? when I have a pimple.
  • Getting some poop, puke, snot anywhere you least expect it and only finding out later that same day when you are out in public.
  • The satisfaction of successfully removing a booger from my 3-year old’s nose.
  • Carefully combing through long hair and breathing a sign of relief when you didn’t find any lice.
  • Take a day off work to go to the emergency clinic and waiting for hours because your child complains of an earache but the doctor doesn’t see anything abnormal and as you are leaving your daughter says: See the doctor fixed it, it doesn’t hurt anymore! When all the doc did was look in her hear with a flashlight!
  • Having someone eat off your plate because your piece of chicken tastes better than the exact same piece of chicken on their plate.
  • Hiding in a corner in the kitchen eating the last remaining cookies/chocolate/chips out of the box so that you don’t have to share.
  • Getting overly excited when you find a toy, sweater, bracelet, book, hat, ball, game, shoes, socks, gloves, dress, lunch box, glass, napkin, pen, clip with one of my daughter’s favourite Disney princess.
  • Having a 3-year old pick out your outfit in the morning because your brain is too fried from lack of sleep.
  • Being told my legs are prickly (it’s Winter people, give me a break!).
  • Being told I’m the best mom ever and then referring to me as a poop face in the same sentence.
  • Arguing with someone about why they shouldn’t eat a five-day old Cheerio laying on the bathroom floor right before they pop it in their mouth.
  • Hearing someone screaming from the bathroom to help them wipe their butt.
  • Being asked by my child’s teacher if the argument I had with my husband last night is resolved because there was a lot of noise coming from our bedroom.

Ok so for the sake of ending on a positive note and writing that all the good stuff of having kids overrides the bad… well, in reality, not always. But one thing is for sure, I love my daughters with all my heart and they make my life the best thing ever (chaos and boogers and everything)…. Plus, they greet me like a Rock star whenever I come home from work and THAT is the best feeling in the world.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

It’s my birthday and every year I feel a sense of excitement around this time. My husband, on the other hand, in no way, shape or form “gets” birthdays, so he always looks at me strangely when I make a big deal about mine. And mind you, I feel as excited and giddy about anybody else’s birthday. Birthdays are special! We are walking-living-breathing miracles. Think of the odds of being born. There is just one of YOU in this world. Each one of us is unbelievably unique and I believe that is reason enough to celebrate!

This year, I will be 42 years old. The strange thing in getting older is that the image I have in my mind when I think of a 42 year old woman is not quite the same as how I see myself.

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I picture a 42 year old woman as having her shit together: confident, strong, takes no crap from anyone. Always knows what to do or what to say in any situation. Her clothes, makeup and hair are impeccable at all times. Someone who understands all the writings of a mortgage and RRSP and all that adult stuff. A woman who knows exactly where she is going and has a clear idea of her future life path.

Me, as a 42 year old woman, goes more like this: I’m flying by the seat of my pants to get my small kids out the door in the morning. Most often than not I feel like a hot mess. I get shit done but in no way do I really know what I’m doing half the time. Dry shampoo, concealer and ponytails are staples in my makeup repertoire. The days when I notice an oatmeal stain on my pants (left by a half-cleaned three year old), I usually wipe it off with my own spit! Usually I don’t even notice the stain, until I worked all day and looked down at my pants at 4pm and wonder WTF is that?!?

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I have to agree that one thing I have in common with my imaginary 42 year old self is that I do have a certain level of confidence that I didn’t have in my twenties or thirties for that matter. I feel better in my skin and don’t feel you have to prove anything to others to own your worth. I also feel like I have so much to learn and have found a new outlook and curiosity for life. I’m no longer trying to achieve this and that but rather look at life as a learning experience and am intrigued by people and situations and put my heart and soul into trying new life opportunities to learn from and share with others.

I embrace and am grateful for the 42 years I have been on this Earth. I look forward to the next year and am ready to seek and appreciate all the moments that show up. I look ahead, surrounded by all the wonderful souls on this Earth, and chose to live the best life and grab all the wonderful opportunities that come my way. No second wasted.

How do you celebrate your birthday?

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Dear Motivation, You suck!

Dear motivation,
Once again, we were having so much fun before you decided to leave me once again. We had this great thing going. I was happy to get up every morning to workout and plan my healthy meals; then you bail like you have done in the past, slipping quietly out the back door.

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Why did you have to leave me again?! You always do this to me. Right when I think I finally found something that works and am filled with energy, you always manage to slowly disappear, get lost, and vanish.

And to make matters worse, you leave at the worst moments: when it’s cold outside, when I’m feeling stressed, when I have a bad night’s sleep, when the kids are sick, when I go on business trips, when I leave for a relaxing vacation… Don’t you understand that THAT’s when I NEED you the most!!!!!

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Why can’t you be more like Discipline, I can count on her. She whips my ass out of bed (no matter how grumpy I am), gets me up when I don’t want to and pushes me into action. Sure, sometimes I push her aside but then she always wins because I know she’s right. I know that my workouts make me feel better, I know that eating regularly keeps Mrs Hangry pants at bay; why don’t you get that and stick around. Damn you motivation!

How do you expect me to get anything done if you’re not around? I look for you everywhere. It’s not like I don’t want to workout or lose the weight or tone up or stop eating that extra piece of chocolate, you’re just not there when I need you. Screw you! And willpower too while I’m at it!

And then once and a while you come back and were soo happy again and you make me feel like this time it’s forever, a new start, I can take on the world but then two weeks later you sneak back out again. I don’t have to take this.

From now on, we can have an open relationship. You can come and go as you please but if you’re looking for me, I’ll be with my new crew: Discipline, Patience and Consistency.  They may not be as sexy as you but those chicks, I can count on to get the job done EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

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See ya around mothafucka.

SEPTEMBER: TIME TO RESET YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Anyone else feel like September is a new beginning, a fresh start?

Summer is winding down, the air is getting cooler, the light outside shines a spot on the fact that it’s time to get back to business. And by business I mean more discipline with our health and mindset goals. While Summertime is slacker heaven, Autumn is time to get workin’.

When I was in school, every year around this time, I used to get excited for all the new possibilities of the school year. I vowed to myself that I would study regularly and work on my assignments when the teacher would give them instead of the day before it was due. I looked forward to cracking open that new agenda with all those blank spaces and dates to be filled with new experiences.

Setting “Back to school” resolutions is a fun and practical way to keep you accountable without leaving you feeling guilty if you haven’t stuck with your New Year’s resolutions… This is like a second chance!

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Here are my 5 REASONS FOR SETTING “BACK TO SCHOOL” RESOLUTIONS:

  • NOW IS YOUR CHANCE TO MAKE YOUR COMEBACK: September is a chance to start over and learn from the first half of the year. Think of the first half as a rehearsal or practice and now you are ready to tackle and crush your goals once and for all. Plan out the next 3 months. Since you have a smaller window of time, set goals that you feel you can achieve in that timeframe. It will only encourage you to keep going.

 

  • GET BACK IN THE GAME AND GO FOR THE WIN: If you had a health goal like losing weight, or eating healthy and have fallen off track, here is your chance to get back in the game. You know what they say: THE COMEBACK IS ALWAYS GREATER THAN THE SETBACK!

 

  • IT HELPS TO REEVALUATE YOUR PRIORITIES: Ok, so Summertime sent a curve ball in your healthy eating plans but now is the best time to get back to healthy eating habits. Plus, think of all the delicious veggies and flavors in season this time of year. Fall recipes are the ultimate comfort food, think warm butternut squash soups and apples and cinnamon… yummmm!

 

  • YOU WILL FEEL MORE IN CONTROL: Getting back in the game will make you feel like you have taken back control over your life. You are ready to crush those goals and not let the Summertime setback get in the way of your focus.

If you feel you need help getting back to your health goals, join my Challenge Group (Get your Badass Into Shape) starting August 27th, 2017. It’s a 30-day challenge group where you choose one of many Beachbody programs that you can stream from anywhere and get to chat and share your struggles, tips & advice, recipes, workout questions and wins with a group of like-minded individuals and ME as your coach, in a private Facebook group. If you are interested, all you have to do is enter your information below and I will contact you to give you more details. Looking forward to seeing you there!

WHAT I LEARNED FROM TRAVELING WITH KIDS

DON’T DO IT!

Just kidding! (or not)

I was already stressed before leaving for my two-week vacation to beautiful Italia. This was the first time we were traveling in an airplane with our kids. I was worried of everything that could go wrong: lost luggage, pukey kids, tantrums, … but sometimes you can never truly prepare yourself for what is to happen until it actually happens.

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Here is the breakdown (no pun intended ;P)…

Before the trip:

-you research and ask friends, family and colleagues for tips and tricks on what helped them travel with kids

-you carefully pack fun activities and toys that will keep them busy for an 8 hour flight

-you are happy to see their excited little faces anxiously waiting to board the plane.

-you are still stressed but feel like everything is under control because you carefully noted everything everyone told you and that you read. You THINK you got everything covered… I mean, what else is there?!?

In the plane:

-you will be the family nobody wants to be seated next to. You may not even want to be seated next to your own kids.

-you realize all those activities and toys you packed to last an 8 hour flight were played with, broken and thrown after the first 15 minutes.

-you also learn that night terrors can start at any time and at any age even if they have never had one before in their lives, while being on the ground

-you learn never to bring crayons with caps in a plane; you will be spending your time picking them up all throughout.

-you will be so embarrassed of your screaming child that you avoid all eye contact with strangers and you make no friends. Even the ones that are nice to you are probably grumbling something at some point under their breath against you and your screaming child; especially on an overnight flight.

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During the trip:

-you wonder if it’s too late to put your kids up for adoption.

-there will be yelling. Loud yelling… and your kids will be yelling as well.

After the trip:

-you will appreciate the little things, like being on the ground.

-you will vow never to step on a plane again with your children!

That being said, there were good things as well. Like being all together with my parents in such a gorgeous country, sharing some family history with your children, see your kids play together and bond.

The lesson learned from this trip is that things will happen, there is good and bad in everything and whether you worry about the bad stuff or not doesn’t matter: LIFE HAPPENS. No matter how well you think you are prepared to handle stuff, something new will throw you off.

My tip to you if you are travelling with toddlers: Trust yourself that you will be able to handle whatever life throws your way. Live in the moment, know that it will pass and keep doing those breathing exercises; they sure come in handy!

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How to Get Over a Setback?

Ok, so who totally overdid it this past weekend? My name is Alex and I am a SUGAR ADDICT. I literally go crazy on Easter weekend, and Halloween, and Christmas and Valentine’s day and any day where we are swapping chocolate and stuffing our faces with dessert! I admit it: my kryptonite is CHOCOLATE and CAKE and COOKIES and…anything sweet and yummy and gooey!

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My food intake is usually on track but sometimes life happens and you just gotta give in. It happens to the best of us! We are doing great, we are motivated with our fitness routine, sticking to our meal plan and then it hits… one moment of weakness and we feel that all that hard work went down the drain. We get down on ourselves and the negative committee in our heads chimes in: Why am I so weak? Did I really need that extra piece of [fill in the blank]? I can’t do this. This is too hard. I will never be healthy. I will never lose the weight. I’m just not strong enough to do it.

NOW STOP. BREATHE.

Why not switch off that voice in your head that is telling you that it’s time to quit or not even worth starting? If we listened to that voice in our head every time we started something new, we would not be walking today and we would still be wearing diapers. Let me explain:  when a baby learns to walk, they will inevitably fall down, stumble, trip… but does that baby tell himself or herself: What’s the point? I suck at this! I might as well stop here before I hurt myself even more? NO! They keep going and keep falling and learn how to stand, then learn how to take a few steps, then finally they learn how to walk. That doesn’t mean they will never fall again. Heck, we all have tripped on a stair or carpet even once we’ve mastered the art of walking. But do we give up? NO. We get back up and continue our walk as if nothing happened.

Now, how about we use this same approach to our health goal?

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Here are 10 tips to get back on track today:

START NOW – you can’t undo the past but you can definitely do better in the future. Learn from it.

DRINK WATER – This helps flush out all the toxins. Add lemon for extra flavor and a detox boost.

EAT – Don’t make up for overeating by not eating, just make better choices

PLAN – Plan your meals this week, including snacks. It takes the guesswork out especially when you’re in a pinch for food and tempted to grab anything on the go.

VEGGIES – Load up on ‘em

MOVE – Get your sweat on. Trust me you will feel better after. If you don’t at least you will feel less guilty ;P

BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND – What would you tell a friend if they “screwed” up? Would you beat them up about it or would you tell them to not be so hard on themselves and move on? Unless you’re an old Italian grandmother, I think you would chose the positive option!

RE-FOCUS – Put your focus back on WHY you wanted to get healthy in the first place.

REMEMBER: Life happens!

REPEAT this tomorrow, or why wait ‘til tomorrow, REPEAT this at your next meal!

And if you still feel you need an extra boost to get on track, you can always contact me and join my motivation challenge group! It’s never too late to make healthy choices. YOU GOT THIS!

 

Do you have the mind of a two-year old?

Last weekend we bought a “big-girl” bed for my two-year old daughter. She was very excited of having her very own big-girl bed. She rolled around in it frantically once it was assembled. Nap time came around, my husband laid her down on her new bed. She resisted because she wanted to keep playing but my husband left her on the bed crying and he came downstairs. I was hearing her cry but I wasn’t hearing her run around. I figured he put her in her crib (which we didn’t disassemble in case she might want to return to it this week). When I asked my husband where he left her, he said he left her in her bed. It seemed that she still hadn’t figured out that she could climb out. So there she stayed, crying, until she fell asleep!

I thought that was incredible and how it relates a lot of our everyday actions as adults. When we are children, our infant, unconscious, brain is still in its primitive state to protect, shield, and react to new situations in a way that creates a safe and secure comfort zone. My daughter was so used to being confined in her crib that she didn’t even fathom the possibility of climbing down from her bed even though there were no bars holding her in.

I feel sometimes that is exactly what we do in our own lives. We are given a gazillion opportunities each day but sometimes our perception of the world, our mindset or what we believe to be “real”, limits us from grasping that opportunity. We are limited by our set beliefs when, in fact, the possibilities are endless if we can just climb out of our heads for a minute and see what is offered to us.

We are not victims of circumstances. Instead we must choose to make the most of our circumstances. The American author Dan Brown once said “Everything is possible, the impossible just takes a little longer”. Each one of us has the gift to go beyond what is in front of us and to move beyond what we know; take a leap of faith into the unknown. Go ahead and overcome obstacles you set out for yourself, there is a whole wonderful world to discover just waiting to happen.

What is Beachbody? Getting past the cheesy name…

Infomercials. Pyramid scheme. Oiled-up muscle men and women. Tight-abbed folks. These were the thoughts that crossed my mind before signing up. I learned about Beachbody through an old colleague who was posting her workouts on Facebook and whom I saw shed some serious post-pregnancy pounds. Not only did she look amazing and strong but she looked like someone who had her sh**t together. I had to know her secret, after months of procrastinating (and rolling my eyes at her workout posts), I finally got the nerve to contact her.

At first, I was a little overwhelmed by all their program options suited for all types of workouts and different levels. I was happy that my colleague (now my Beachbody coach) was able to guide me through the choices. I was surprised to find out that all their programs include a meal plan and nutrition guidelines and a workout calendar, it’s an all-inclusive type! (woohoo! It did all the thinking for me!) Plus the part I loved the most was that you get a personal coach assigned to you! I lucked out because my coach gave me the attention, motivation and tools I needed to get started (be careful, I heard not all coaches are that amazing, so you need to look out for that. However, you always have the option to switch coaches at any time if you aren’t happy with yours).

The first program I picked was 21 Day Fix because losing 10 pounds in 21 days seemed like a good challenge. Luckily, my coach was there to check up on me because the first couple of weeks were pathetic. I was trying to figure out when to work out with my busy life and meal planning took over my entire weekend. But through the challenge/motivation groups and talking with my coach, I got tips and cues on how to make my workouts fit in to my lifestyle and how to simplify meal prepping for the week. And within a couple of months, it became part of my life.

Since then I have gone on to complete eight of their programs including 21 day fix extreme, PiYo, 22 Minutes Hard Corps, P90x3, Country Heat, Core de Force, Hammer & Chisel and now T25 Focus. And there are so many more I can’t wait to try: Body Beast, I have my eye on you! I went from couch potato to waking up at 5am six days per week to get my workout in. The changes both physical and psychological cannot be described. My life has changed once I got over the cheesy name and has led me to become a Beachbody coach myself and share what I have learned and give back.

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My transformation results from June ’16 to October ’16

Beware, Beachbody is not a magical solution but the ingredients and YOU are what make it work. Given my lazy background, I also modify a lot of the moves, I don’t jump and I have chocolate every single day! I found that short workouts, easy meal ideas along with the motivation and someone to keep you accountable were the key to a healthier life. It’s definitely worth a try!

If you are interested, contact me and you can join me in my March Challenge Group called “Getting your sh**t together for Summer!”

There is something magical about magical thinking

You know the saying “Think it and it will happen!” (or something around those lines)? Well, I truly believe it. Sounds naïve right? But think back to a time when you really, really, really, really wanted something with every fiber of your being. For me, there were many instances that proved this theory right: a job I really wanted, a trip, a pair of shoes (hihi!) but for the sake of this post (and because I almost didn’t think it was possible but still wanted it), a big one for me, was to marry my (spoiler alert) now husband. We had been dating for five years and coming from an Italian background, the need to marry this man was greater than anything I ever wanted. Problem was, he did not view marriage the same way therefore was happy simply living together forever without the “piece of paper”. I, on the other hand, envisioned our life together, united forever with a “piece of paper”, building a family together and going through the chaos of raising children together; and I wanted it badly. The topic was discussed, argued, scoffed at… I tried being nice, angry, there were tears,… and then when I didn’t think there was any hope… he caught me off guard and finally proposed.

Now I’m not saying that everything we want we will get without making any effort. I am talking about those dreams and hopes and wishes we truly believe in right to the core of who we are. The ones that we can envision and somehow know deep inside that it will happen even though we have no clue HOW it will happen. Don’t lose sight of those. Write them down if you need to but never let them get away or rationalize them away, because it is those very dreams and wishes that will guide your actions, and everything you do. Your energy will exude those dreams and whishes and one day they will get you to your goal. In fact, I would twist the saying around and scream “Think it and make it happen!”.