Health – A Year Later

As I have not been using this blog, I have not tracked my successes and failures in keeping healthy. Please note I call it healthy rather than ‘slim’, ‘trim’, or ‘skinny’ as these words do not describe my idea of healthy.  Don’t get me wrong, I know it is unhealthy to carry too much fat on one’s body, and I do like to fit into my clothes without feeling like the buttons are going to pop, but healthy is more than just measurements and appearance.  


However….I am SHOCKED by my big fail over the past year.  I have been mindful of eating well (family dinners have been regular and always organic, healthy foods).  I have enjoyed many fun games with the kids..a great way to exercise and bond at the same time.  The fail happened recently….over the summer vacation when my common sense just seems to fly out the window.  You see, we love to do day trips and spur of the moment adventures’ which I am totally useless and planning for in terms of food.  We end up eating out all the time and my love of pasta and rich sauces seems perfectly reasonable when I am paying for it and someone else is cooking it…not to mention  the accompanying drink that seems just part of the package!   

In addition, I have not danced in months.  My schedule was the initial block, followed by the dance studio closing for the summer.  I did not realize just how much that exercise helped me stay fit!  

Here are the stats from last August:

Weight: – 144lbs

Height:  – 5’6″

Waist: – 33.5″

Chest: – 37.5″

Hips: – 40″

Thigh: – 22.5″


Now take a look at today’s stats….eek!

Weight: – 152 lbs

Height:  – 5’6″

Waist: – 35″

Chest: – 39″

Hips: – 40″

Thigh: – 23″


What on earth????  So reality hits home and I am disappointed in myself because I had done so well with my plan from February.  Blast those wonderful summer days of over-indulgence and zero self-discipline.  Mental note to self – be mindful of summer temptations and be stricter about packed lunches.  (Yes, I know I wanted to get away from the grind of making packed lunches every day which we need for school…but I can’t let myself go like this again!)

I will be posting my efforts to get my curvy but not quite so uncomfortable body back.  I will also share the daunting  but very worthwhile attempt and joining Team in Training for a half-marathon.  Yep…I am going to try 🙂  More on that soon..I just have to get up the nerve to send in the application forms…can anyone say procrastination?

Getting Back on Track!

healthI have been very busy lately. It is summer and I have been avoiding the rut I got into last year of blogging all day. Instead, family time has been a priority. I was hoping that the more relaxed schedule, the ability to sleep in past 5am, and the absence of work stress would help me feel less tired.

You see, I have been fighting fatigue for some time now. My doctor gave me the all clear, reminding me that I have been more than stressed for the past three years as my son battled leukemia. I feel now, however, that I should have recovered more from that than my body actually has. I will never ‘relax’ and forget about it all, but I don’t have the immediate stress of the illness anymore. So what is going on?

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Summer Smoothies

I am a Smoothie fan. I like to create my own versions and discover new and interesting tastes. Not everything works out, especially as I am not good at following measuring rules, but sometimes I hit the jackpot!

My shining glory this morning was a recipe inspired by recent posts on other blogs to do with Kale. I am not a lover of this green, leafy vegetable, but I do know how wonderful it is nutritionally. Naturally, I have never managed to get my kids to eat it, as I don’t cook it much. Continue reading

Belly Fat Zapping Menu- More Ideas

Belly Fat Foods - Fruits

As I continue to try to zap my belly fat, I am working on creating a healthy daily menu plan. I am not good at piecing a whole week together and then sticking to it, so I’d rather share ideas as I actually use them myself. My goal is to eat nutritious food that also contains fiber, protein and the right kind of fats. Continue reading

Zapping My Belly Fat

Belly fat is not pretty! As I get older, I notice I gain weight much more quickly around my mid-section than before. This is inconvenient: my closet does not have elastic waistlines and I am NOT going to buy more clothes to accommodate the bulge. Worse still, belly fat is a sign of potential health risks. According to the Mayo Clinic, extra pounds around the belly can lead to:

Cardiovascular disease
Type 2 diabetes
Breast cancer
Colorectal cancer

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Physical Wellbeing

It had been almost a year since I began the first incarnation of this blog. It started out as a fitness journal; a way for me to track my stats, eating and exercise. It has morphed into so much more, but I have decided to use this month, given it is the same month my little blog hatched, to see where I am in terms of health. Click here to see my original motivation and stats.
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Delicious Dish Tuesday: Chicken Soup

Before the cold weather leaves us, I wanted to share my recipe for chicken soup. As with most of my recipes, I make most of it up as I go, depending on the ingredients I have in the fridge. This combination has proven to be extremely popular…I have been asked to share with friends and I cold live off it all week. I have never had the chance to freeze it, which makes me think my culinary dabblings are working on this one! Continue reading

The Vitamin Debate

In an ideal world, our children would be getting their vitamins directly from the diet they eat. It is possible to provide a balanced diet so rich in essential vitamins and minerals that no supplement is required. However, there are not many children who would actually eat everything you needed them to in order to get all the nutrition they need.

As a working mom, I regrettably fall foul to the pressures of too much to do and head for the instant Mac n’ Cheese or frozen chicken nuggets. While it goes against every bone in my body, I know I have to cut myself some slack and feel good that at least I read the labels and bought the healthiest instant food I could find…organic if possible…and I let it go: I need to stay sane! Continue reading

Heart Health: Finding Time

Working full-time means the late afternoons and evenings are taken up with homework, diner and housework.  Heading off to the gym is a thing of the past, although I dance once a week (usually) as my ‘escape’.  I am, unfortunately, gaining a few pounds lately.  The clothes I have managed to somewhat organize in my closet are a little tight.  My boobs walk into a room a few seconds before the rest of me.  My chin has a twin!  You get the idea.

February is also Heart-Health month and my son, Peanut, had been training for Jump-Rope For Heart at school (children asked to be sponsored to jump-rope to raise money for heart disease).  He had been jumping rope and was getting quite good. Heart-health is something I take very seriously; my grandfather passed away after a heart-attack and I have a slight murmur.  I also know that children are generally not getting the exercise they should in the modern world of driving to school, shortened recess, technological toys and over-scheduled lives.   But how could I fit in some more exercise without giving up other things such as time with the family?

Peanut actually came up with a great idea to tackle my desire to exercise more and my need to spend time with him.  We would exercise together.   He was also learning how to do circuit training in his the Phys. Ed. lessons in fourth grade.  Armed with some great exercises, Peanut put together a plan for the pair of us.  We started today…gently for Mom…and spent a wonderful  hour together.  And I really worked up a sweat!

The Plan:

  • Warm-up by walking the dog briskly around the block (extra points for getting yet another ‘got to do’ accomplished)
  • Stretches
  • Jog to end of cul-de-sac and back
  • Walk dog again (extra points racking up!)
  • Jump-rope for tem minutes (this nearly killed me)
  • Crunches
  • Push-ups (I used the modified version)
  • lunges
  • Cool-down walk

I have to say it was so much fun!  I worked on Peanut’s form with some of the movements, and he encouraged me to keep up when I was flagging.  The dog thought he was in heaven getting walked so much, although he did want to stop and sniff around which, much to his chagrin, he was was not allowed to do as we were on a mission.

Peanut and I had a bonding session which meant the world to me.  Even if we manage to squeeze in a condensed session during the school week, it will give us something to do together which is just for us and helps keep us fit.  I am always looking for ways to spend quality time with my sons.  Now I can take some pressure off myself as I am also taking care of our health at the same time.

How do you squeeze in time with your children and exercise?  Are your schedules as deranged as mine and how do you deal with it all?

Thoughtful Thursday: Does Everything Happen For A Reason?


Oh boy!  This is a really loaded topic for me.  Yes, I do believe things happen for a reason, but not in the ‘God decided it should be so’ sense.  Not that I don’t believe in God…I’m a little on the fence about organized religion, but I believe in the ‘force’ of God and the power of good, love, compassion, and forgiveness.  (Hmm…seems most wars start because the different religions argue about how to best show goodness, love, compassion, and forgiveness…but I digress!)

So, do things happen for a reason?  Yes…sometimes.  For every reaction  there is an equal and opposite reaction….or, there is a knock on effect, or the ‘what goes around, comes around’ yadda yadda yadda.  Whichever way you look at it, one just needs to think about examples in our own lives to realize, sometimes, things lead to other things and, therefore, there was a reason for it.  Am I making sense?  Let me give you an example.

I know a young boy who developed cancer.  He was in middle school and he fought tooth and nail to beat it.  He celebrated five years clear of cancer this winter.  I also know a six-year-old who was diagnosed with cancer…the same type as the brave middle schooler.  This little boy was terrified, his parents were terrified, but there was an amazing presence; the older boy, who was now a strapping senior, provided so much hope and was such an amazing role model, the six-year-old was able to face each battle with strength and courage.

Was it fair that either child got cancer?  No, of course not!  What is amazing, however, is the absolute belief both mothers share…it happened for a reason.  The senior became the rock that supported the six-year-old; the youngster will go on to inspire and encourage others faced with the terrible disease.  You may think I am being too “pragmatic or naive in the face of great anguish and potential tragedy”.  I don’t think so as I know both these mothers.  In fact…one of them is me!