Jsack's Mom's Blog

Welcome to my blog where I share my special needs parenting journey with my heart, truth, and love, one story at a time. ❤️

5 ways to make 2016 my year 

Happy new year blessings to you!  I rang the new year in the same way I do every year cuddling with my sleeping children. They try to make it to midnight and watch the ball drop in Times Square on Dick Clark’s Rocking New Years Eve party. Earlier I spent an hour in the hot tub with my husband talking about our goals for the new year. This is a list I’ve come up with as result of that conversation. I’m in restoration than resolution mode as these are ongoing gifts I will be giving myself and my family. 

1. I will love myself more. 

I’ve gone through a lot of self reflection and introspection throughout last year. Every problem, issue, or obstacle that stopped me in my tracks is at the core of my not loving myself enough. I will be changing that from this day forward as I deserve to look in the mirror and say I love you and really mean it! 

2. I won’t let fear hold me back from my persuing my goals. 

I’ve accomplished a lot of amazing things in 2015. Submitting my writing to various websites, guest blogging, growing my blog and social media followings, being accepted into the Wellness Universe community to spread love and positivity, and being published as a contributor in Lose The Cape-(Never Will I Ever than I had Kids). 

  

Available on Amazon Kindle store in ebook and print format

I’m so grateful for these fabulous opportunities in my life! This has been amazing to know I did all these wonderful things yet I know I could’ve done more if I didn’t let my fears and anxiety take over. 

3. I will have faith in myself and my abilities. 

I had a tremendous cheerleader in my life and that was my beloved Mama. After she died I felt a piece of me die with her. She always told me I could do anything I set my mind to. I did do that in the instances I wrote of above, but I had so much fear! I fought through it the best I could but this year I will put faith in God, myself, and the project at hand at the forefront. 

4. I will continue to put my self care as a priority in my life. 

I did this in 2015 which led me to being 30 lbs and 20 inches lighter! I’m very proud of this accomplishment as I learned more about myself on this health journey while getting my stress levels in check. I did this with the help of some amazing people like my coaches on each fitness challenge. Game changers have changed my life for the better and made me a Beach Body Coach. I’m excited to reach even more fitness goals for myself and my family. 

5. I will continue to write out my goal list every day to give me incentive and accountability to keep persuing what I desire. 



I did this for 90 days, everyday for 3 months and my life did indeed change! I was able to start writing my book and work on various other passion projects, be published with the Lose The Cape Team, find an amazing publisher who wants to see me reach for the stars with her guidance and expertise. For my son I was able to secure funding for his therapy team at preschool and at home, and recently got accepted for funding for our family to have respite care. For my husband and I our couple is our goal to make more a priority and stronger in the new year. It’s easy to lose sight of each other as special needs parents. Our children deserve to see us closer, united, and in love more than ever. 

Thank you 2015 for all the life lessons, learning, and showing me I’m stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally than I ever thought possible. Hello 2016 I’m ready for your love, gifts, guidance, and abundance of awesome! 

  This has been submission to the January Blog Hop with Blogs & Business-Mom’s who do it all there are a lot of other talented bloggers who joined in check them and their blogs out today. Thank you! 

January Blog Hop List #1

1. Mrs and Momma

2. Souls Searcher Mom

3. Blessed be the tie

4. Tiggy Poes and Flutterbys

5. Kids Kicks and Cloth

6. Cook with 5 Kids

7. Stay at Home Yogi

8. Harlem Parent Xpress

9. Kids Money Lessons

10. Mommy Gone Tropical

11. Western Newyorker

12. A Kreative Whim

13. Life Lemons and Lemonade

14. Hello Little Bean

15. Sequins in the South

16. Beck List

17. Messy Cutting Board

18. My Dysautonomia

19. Aileen Cooks

20. Jsack’s Mom’s Blog 

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Monday Musings Worry

Waiting for days on end for news that I’m praying will be positive instead of negative. I watch my son’s behaviour to indicate if he’s having seizures and I’m missing out on documenting them. My mind can go in a thousand different directions without hearing any results for a month. And trust me it has, is this how my life is supposed to be in constant worry for his health? 

I never knew when I rubbed my belly at eight months protecting him from the news of my Mom’s death that I would be in this state of mind now. I never knew with him arriving at thirty-six weeks we would encounter all these medical issues. I wasn’t prepared for my one and only Mom’s death, nor ready to to give birth prematurely. 

I went home from the hospital reeling with grief while my baby had to stay behind in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive care unit) I had a four year old son and a husband that needed me and I felt so torn. All I wanted was my Mom to hold me and tell me everything would be alright. But I didn’t have her then and I don’t have her now. 

Being a special needs parent feels a lot like venturing out on a lonely road to find my happy, peaceful place in my mind and body. A lot of the time reading and researching helps so I know how to approach Dr’s and specialists with my questions. What is the reason that my son’s Global Developmentally Delayed, why does he struggle so much with basic concepts of visual spatial relations and verbal fluency with his conversational speech? 

Why does he suffer with anxiety, OCD, and possibly ADHD behaviours?  I’m told he was born early so he would be delayed to reach his developmental milestones. Which is half true he sat up and crawled later then his peers, but walked early and ran laps around me by the time he was fifteen months. Yet there are challenges, his speech was delayed, he had a high threshold to pain, but a weaker immune system and was sickly as a baby. 

Life has turned into a system of checks and balances he’s been tested for genetic disorders, allergies, and I’ve completed many developmental questionnaires. To date he’s had a polysonogram and an EEG that will be followed by an MRI and surgery to help improve his severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea Disgnosis. He has a wonderful therapy team that is helping him succeed so I question myself what do I have to worry about? 

I worry for his future will he hold down a job, graduate and go to college, meet someone special and fall in love? What will it be like when he does and he gets his heart broken? How will he cope with his anxiety, how will I? Will he still be living with us or in assisted living? I pray he will be continue to be his own success story as I cheer every accomplishment he makes. The latest is remembering words to the Christmas carols he practiced in preschool. As well as being able to sing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes while performing the actions. 

When we would sing that song before he’d get so confused and start yelling and putting his hands over his ears to block out all the excess information flooding his brain. I had to explain to his preschool teachers that the song irritated and I think even scared him. It broke my heart to see his reaction so after three months of therapy he can sing the song with a smile on his face. Then I think you don’t have anything to worry about he’ll be fine. I’ve heard this from well meaning people in my life and I always say he will be with the proper early intervention in his life. 

The call I’ve been waiting for finally came in today after waiting for thirty long days! The results were great there’s no seizure activity but his brain will need to be assessed at his MRI. So I arm myself with Teflon encased around my heart, cover myself in prayer and I realize I’m not emotion or bullet proof but I have God and a wonderful support network on my team. I will help my son get through this with love, acceptance, and prayer. I’m a warrior, and I love homand I may get knocked down with worry but I will always get back up ready to fight. 

It’s time for #Mondaymusings and all you have to do is this list of things. 

Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and link to this post.
Add your link to the linky which you will find either here and on the post of a co-host.
Use our #MondayMusings badge to help other bloggers join in too. Write Tribe is going through some maintenance so it will be hosted at a different website for a few weeks. 
Today’s Monday Musings is co-hosted by Crazy Little Family Adventure and Everyday Gyann please check out their posts and all the other talent that link up. 

26 Comments »

Monday Musings-Procrastination

Here we are 11 days before Christmas and anyone ready for it? Slowly raising hand in the back of a crowded shopping mall… Actually you won’t find me anywhere near a shopping mall I avoid them like the plague. I’m a very sensory individual so my personal bubble is close like a vest. I have to resist the urge to throat punch most people around this busy bustling season. 

I’m usually quite a calm person but the harried, hectic energy of the holidays sends me into a tailspin! Just driving into a parking lot to mail my Christmas cards is enough to send me into a panic attack as I drive around and around looking for a parking spot. I prefer to do my shopping really early or late at night at a big box store. Then if all else fails I have the online option sitting on my couch and I don’t even have to wear pants! I do though because it’s winter and damn cold in my fridge box of a house. 

 

This isn’t my meme, I found it on Facebook and it’s brilliant dont you think? 😉

 
My husband discovered I turned up the heat last night to a balmy + 25 degrees. Comparing that to 77 degrees Fahrenheit which some states are experiencing this winter! Our Canadian one came upon us graciously and gradually compared to the blizzard of 2014 that had me wearing my winter coat and freezing my ass off in September brrrrrr! 

This year we were blessed with chinooks (a beautiful phenomenon that has warm air meeting cold air and the result is higher temperatures) In October we had a + 20 degree day ( 68 degrees Farenheit) and I set up the bouncy house for my kids. They loved it as did I, it’s a great workout bouncing all my stress away. It was fabulous and fleeting but I enjoyed every minute of it. 

 

This is my meme and an example of the mighty Chinook weather pattern

 
Getting back to the winter and procrastination at hand, I’m not usually a Bah humbug I love Christmas as you can read about here. But I’m a Grinch about shopping it’s either done very early or very late on my time table. This year early didn’t factor into my plans and late well I’m not entirely there yet but I will be soon if I don’t stop procrastinating! 

In my defence though I had the flu bug hit my home like an assault team taking no prisoners. It took down each member of my family with no mercy. I cleaned up enough bodily fluids and wiped down and sanitized every square inch of my household. I was cursing the former owners on their decision to install beige carpeting in my kids rooms! 

Even now my plan was to mail off my Christmas cards and parcels today but my youngest child is sick with a nasty chest cold. I’m doing my best to not share in that misery but my loving little germ factory is crawling all over me as I write this. Sigh I can’t say I blame him though all I want is my Mommy cuddles when I’m sick. But unfortunately heaven doesn’t take drop ins just permanent guests. 

  
I felt I was more on the ball this time then last year. There was a death in my family two weeks before Christmas and with that experience I learned 

  1. That death can devastate you even at the most special time of year 
  2.  That the good really do die young. 

     3.Cancer really, really, sucks. 
This year I had one of my closest friends and a family member die. It’s a time of self reflection, sadness, and also to realize what’s important in life. Not the crossing off every present on my kids list, shopping for family members that can’t shop for themselves, or even passing along my own wish list to my husband. Who was kind enough to buy me some new specs so that I can see properly since my eyes are getting older. 

The list that matters that I’ve lived, loved, and learned from is as follows.

  1. Kindness above everything  is the most important gift to possesses and give freely. 
  2. Gratitude is a game changer in life. If you’re not grateful for what you have, you won’t appreciate what you want. 
  3. Love solves everything, is everything, and means everything. 

It’s like the good ole wise Grinch from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas found out and narrated by the late great Boris Karlov says:

  
It’s time for #Mondaymusings and all you have to do is this list of things. 

Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and link to this post.
Add your link to the linky which you will find either here and on the post of a co-host.
Use our #MondayMusings badge to help other bloggers join in too.
Today’s Write Tribelink up is co-hosted with The Bespectacled Mother, Vinitha Dileep, and Everyday Gyaan. Thank you to these lovely ladies for co-hosting and letting me part of some Monday magic. ❤️

35 Comments »

Ten Things of Thankful

It’s Sunday a day of rest and reflection from the week. Well not for me Sunday is one of my busiest days as I’m usually on the road for hockey. Not today though one boy on the road and one home sick and feverish. Tis the season for germ warfare, let’s go back to reflect on my week of thankfuls. With my gratitude to the TTOT thankful linkup that bless me with their stories each week. 😃

I’m thankful for being home after a busy weekend. It was a fun time mixed up with some stress but we survived and that’s all that matters. It was so wonderful to see my son get his reward for the player with the most heart and hustle. Second year in a row for my Captain, I couldn’t be any prouder Mama! ❤️

   
I’m thankful for getting back to our routine and more Christmas decorating and baking. My youngest son has been very excited about Santa Claus coming soon that his Advent calendar is his favourite time of day. This is a double thankful moment because I received the amazing news that my son qualified for some provincial funding. We’ve waited a long time to hear those words “you’re approved” and wow what a beautiful response it is! 💖 

I’m thankful for the most exciting day of the week when the book Lose The Cape Never will I ever then I had kids that I’m a contributor in got published! I’m so happy that my words will be read and shared and I can show my son’s to follow your goals and pursue your dreams, and never ever give up. I am a writer! 

Amazon Link for Kindle
  
I’m thankful for all the support from family, friends, and people that bless me on social media that  I’ve received since I shared the news about the book. It’s been a whirlwind since I found out my essay was accepted and I’m keeping busy by writing and submitting to some more sites and anthology’s. It’s in the doing that we find out what we’re really made of. 

I’m thankful for my family’s love when I haven’t been loveable, and letting me have the time to read and write when the words in my head need a release. I’m thankful for all the amazing, hilarious, caring and even crazy things my kids say and do. They make writing about my journey a happy experience so I can share with all of you how much I love them. 

 

saying your sorry and being forgiven


I’m thankful for the magic of Christmas and how the joy and laughter of my children help my heart to heal a little more each day. We’ve had the tree up and decorated since Nov. 25 th at the insistence of my Halloween loving child and seeing his reaction to the wonder of the holiday has been a gift. 

I’m thankful for those special nights of the bath, book, bed time routine where my oldest son reads to us and his confidence is growing as is his grade level in reading. Then how his brother takes out his favourite book and tells us his story that he creates. Both of them have such a wonderful imagination I’m so excited to see and read their journey in school. 

   
I’m thankful for the ability to nap when I’m tired. My youngest is fighting a cold and between late feverish nights and early morning wake up calls for hockey we spent the morning catching up on our rest. 

I’m thankful for baking and filling my home with the smells of apple cinnamon oatmeal muffins. They tasted so delicious with apple sauce to dip them in. This holiday I’m going to bake and create and pin less. My kids love when I get into that mode of homemade and handmade with love. 

  
I’m thankful for great books to read, keeping up with my own word count for my passion project, and always having someone who appreciates my efforts. I’m so grateful for friendships that have stood the test of time and make you feel like Dorian Grey stopped time at the most perfect moment.  I’m grateful and thankful for all you lovelies that read my ramblings. I reached 500 followers in between book promotion, hockey tournament, and the infestation of the flu bug. Thank you to each of you that stop by to read, share, laugh, love, and comment on my latest story. You make my heart super happy and I’m hugging you from afar. 

  

20 Comments »

Book review for How to Reach Your Writing Goals Like a Pro-by Author M.C. Simon

  
I love books, reading, collecting, and sharing stories about them. I thought I would challenge myself and start writing one. I signed up with the masses for Nanowrimo (also known as National November Writing Month). I was so excited and started out writing out my large word count each day. I was also busy with my theatre schedule and then there was a death in my family. 
The loss sent me into a tailspin as death doesn’t always bring out the best in family’s. My writing project was put on hold as I made the phone calls to spread the sad news.I continued throwing myself into busyness so that I didn’t have to feel the pain. My writing of my novel came to a stand still and I wrote other words of poetry and how to deal with my grief. I was very fortunate to come across M.C.Simon earlier when I was lucky enough to win one of her books Feng Shui for writers. 

  

Amazon Buy Link-Available in both paperback and Kindle versions



I picked up my kindle app and started it reading again to give me inspiration than I realized after checking my email she had a new book out I signed up to beta read for. So I got busy and started reading. This book was the answer to my prayers to help me focus on my novel again. M.C. Simon offers clear, concise, steps to reach your self publishing goals. 

  
I was so excited to read and absorb all the information presented before me. She covers everything from setting yourself up as a writer with website, social media links, and the tips on how to use Amazon Create Space. The most amazing thing that M.C. writes about is understanding how Universal energy works. You put the best out to there in the world and the best will come back to you. There’s nothing more special than reading something where you feel the author wrote it specifically for you. This is how I feel with everything M.C. writes, that it’s just for me. 

Genre: Non-fiction 

Book Blurb:
HOW TO REACH YOUR WRITING GOALS LIKE A PRO is your Step by Step Guide for becoming a Self-Published Author.
This book provides all the proven steps that you need to plan your success and see your writing goals fulfilled. It will not only help with your writing goals but if you adapt the procedures described within this book to all your life goals, you will soon become a Master of your own life.

Amazon Buy Link-Available in both paperback and Kindle versions

REACH YOUR WRITING GOALS LIKE A PRO


Will address those who feel that writing is their calling but still don’t have the confidence to do it.

Will show you how to find your answers to: who, what, when, why, and how?
Will give you the boost to overcome all your worries and finally start what should have already been started.
Will prove to you that the road you wish to step onto is not as hard as you may think, or as difficult as others have convinced you of being.
Will show you how by following a good plan, you will finally see your book published from ground zero. Meanwhile, you will learn to enjoy each accomplished phase. And most of all… you will learn to relax while you are working for your goals.
I know she reaches more than just me by the number one best selling status that she has on Amazon. Her system works and she’s living proof of it as her background is in engineering and project management. I loved reading about her story of how her journey came to be. She worked in her chosen career field for years and felt her calling. She knew nothing about writing a book or being published. She’s a wise woman and set out to do her research. What she found gave her the purpose she needed to be a writer. With this knowledge, tenacity, and love of her dream and Fengshui for Writers was born. 

This book came into my life the day I signed up for a publishing workshop. I was nervous that I had made a big mistake and I was in over my head. I was trying to convince myself to cancel my accepted invitation then I came across an email saying open me. I did and it was the lovely author informing of my win in a book release party I had attended. 

I immediately replied to her request to get the book and thanked her for rescuing me from my self doubt. We all have those moments in life when negative tapes play in our heads of “you’re not good enough.” It’s a sad state of affairs when we just give into those naysayers and believe them and live with the heartache and eventual heartbreak of not pursuing our dreams. 

I’m determined not to let that happen to me, so with M.C.’s support, and knowledge, I break free from these chains of doubt, shaken self esteem, and negative cycle and look out literary world I’m a force to be read and acknowledged.  Thanks to this amazing and talented author who taught me to believe in myself again. I’m so grateful that divine intervention led me to M.C. and my dreams of being author will come true. 
  


About the Author

M.C. Simon (Author)

Writer, translator, engineer, researcher, project manager, blogger, eternal student… these are only a few words to describe M.C. Simon.
Contact the Author:

Amazon Author Page

Blog
Twitter
Writers Website

Facebook Fan Page
Google Plus
Linked In

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Monday Musings-hiding in plain sight

Life has a way of catching up on you without you realizing. Whether you’ve been eating unhealthy, sleep deprived, or skipping out on daily workouts. All the above has happened to me I’ve been dealing with death, disillusionment, and deadlines. It started out as a way to protect my heart, my family, and just not wanting to deal with the sadness of it all. 
I found it difficult to concentrate on anything so I just kept putting my head down and plowing through life. The late night spent reading, researching, and staring at the moon and asking for answers to life’s mysteries has taken their toll. I had to take a backseat as I felt like my emotions were in the drivers seat. I had to share more than I wanted as I walked away from my business, ignored emails, and my accountability fitness group. I protected myself and put my attention  into my family and my passion and dedication to my theatre group. 

This hasn’t been the first time I put my grief on hold. There’s many times when the pain I felt as an emotional reaction and the empathic aftermath of the grief of others has sent me into a tailspin. You wouldn’t know it to look at me. I got up and got my kids off to school, folding my ever flowing laundry baskets, and made my daily phone calls to family and friends to inform them of the sad news. I had to cut of communication with a family member who’s need for greed was too much for me to bear. Yet I continued to pray that their heart and mind would change. Death doesn’t always bring out the best in people. It’s a rude awakening to see it happening right before my eyes and being powerless to change it. 
Every night for eight shows you’d seen me bright and shining on stage with my cast of our pantomime play. I only told three people how I was really feeling and then dry my tears and put my makeup on and carry on. We had boisterous sold out crowds and small appreciative ones who’s interaction with the pantomime play was as entertaining as the acting itself. 
On our final show I was backstage at intermission and everyone was running around signing each other’s programs and making efforts to keep in touch and it struck me like a thunderbolt, that this was my lifeline. These people, the script, costumes, heart to to heart chats whispering back and forth were my way of divinely grieving. I was honouring my loved one by continuing to live! I had dove headfirst into something that gave me a chance to escape and in the process I was healing my heart. I didn’t realize it until I looked around the room and saw those smiling beautiful faces. It thrilled me to have this ephiphany and I wrote something quickly in my notes so I could cherish this moment for always. Today I share it with you and I hope my words bring you some inspiration about finding your passion in life. Thank you never seems like enough to say so to exude those feelings of gratitude is even more special to me. 
  

  
Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.

Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and link to this post.

Add your link to the linky which you will find either here and on the post of a co-host.

Use our #MondayMusings badge to help other bloggers join in too.

Today I link up with #Mondaymusings hosted by Richa Singh and Vidya Sury thank you for having me in your linkup today. 

37 Comments »

Situation 

I’ve always been an honest person, I speak my mind, and do my best to not judge a book by its cover. I’m human so it happens from time to time, but here’s the situation I judge myself very harshly. I don’t know where it comes from but the second guessing myself gets exhausting. 

You know what the worst part is? Passing all the angst and anxiety onto my children. I watched it happen in my own childhood as the adults around me transferred their stress onto me. I didn’t blame anyone though, I just believed they were victims of victims and of life. A profound outlook for a five year old to have. I learned at a young age we create our circumstances through our thoughts, and these become our situations. 

If I want to create something happy and fulfilling I just need to think positive. I can bring what I desire to me by thinking about it. It’s proven in the laws of attraction you get what you expect. The energy that we put into repelling our good fortune is equal to what we gain, by accepting and appreciating the very best life can offer. You can try and find another way around it, by disbelief, ignorance, or denial it still is the same result, you reap what you sow.  

So I ask myself as I worry and wring my hands with anxiousness, how do I get myself out of this situation I created? How can I stop it from affecting my children. I can think positive, feel happy, and secure and believe that no matter what happens God will take care of me and my family. I do believe that’s true, yet there’s still a shred of anxiety flickering on and off like a light switch.

 There are days I feel so happy and I celebrate that joyfully. These are the days where I just trust that everything is going to work out fine. This is after I’ve spent time in prayer and meditation. I always need to have a plan B, it’s a no brainer with sensory children. Lately I’ve felt I’ve just been getting by on a wing and a prayer. 

Last weekend was different though I took chances, felt happy, and stuck my plan B in my pocket for safe keeping. I went to dinner with a new couple I had met through a group online. Which was a brave and beautiful thing because the lovely lady and I had been corresponding, but we were a mystery to each other till last week. We had our big reveal where I signed a card with my name. We made plans and after dinner we attended a carnival, went geocaching, and ended the night with an ice cream treat. 

I was elated we all hit it off and are already planning our next get together. I wasn’t anxious,  I was estatic and from someone who is constantly watching, worrying, and waiting this was like an epiphany! I have always said have faith, trust in God, and the universe to give you what you need. I do believe in all of that, but there’s always been that sneaking fear, doubt, and anxious vibration that didn’t allow that belief to seep into my cerebal cortex. 

Now I know more than ever I have to hold onto to this profound way of thinking. I owe it to my myself and my family to believe once and for all, that I got this and we’re going to be fine. Every day I spend worrying is another day taken away from living, loving, and appreciating my children. Every moment I spend wrapped up in doubt takes me further away from who I am and who I’m meant to be. Every minute I let fear take over and win makes me die a little more inside. If I live and exist with doubt I’m not honoring my true, authentic self. 

 It’s not easy to be anxious internally yet project confidence on the outside. I’ve been doing it for years and I always write more about my feelings than sharing my personal struggles. People are busy in life and the only one I expect to hold my hand through all of this is my husband. So here’s to closing this chapter in my book of life that doesn’t serve me well. And onwards and upwards to writing a whole new book about me being anxiety free!

  

This has been my Sunday confession with the amazing More Than Cheese and Beer. Please check out her anonymous confessions on her Facebook page, as well as the talented bloggers who linked up. Thank you. 😘

30 Comments »

Taking back me challenge continues on 

 

*Image found on Facebook , and not my own.*

 


What was your week like with meeting your fitness goals?

Jsack Mom:

I had a great week I worked out everyday and completed my four week fitness challenge. My clean eating was on target and my stress levels were managed. 

Tracy on the Rocks:

This past week was tough. I had an event out of town so it was hard to control what I ate as well as I could have if I had been at home. I did my best to make healthy choice though, and I brought workout clothes so I could hit the gym at the hotel! 

How many times did you work out during the week?

Jsack Mom: I worked out everyday this week for 30-45 minutes a day. I’ve been taking more time to stretch since I saw a massage therapist last week. She said my back was a mess of knots. After a year of going without a massage or chiropractor treatment it didn’t surprise me. 

Tracy on the rocks:

I squeezed in 3 workouts last week. 

How was your eating plan, did you stick to it or cheat a little? 

Jsack Mom:

I ate well for the first four weeks of my first fitness challenge. Now I’ve been eating a very strict menu plan. I’ve allowed myself to have a handful of nuts at the end of the day. I find its just what I need for the tummy growlies, and helps me sleep better. 

Tracy on the rocks:

I actually got a stomach bug at the beginning of the week, and then at the end of the week I was out of town and “cheated” as well as drank wine! So hopefully not being able to eat much at the beginning of the week balanced things out! 

Do you allow yourself to have a cheat day? 

Jsack Mom:

I was on a new fitness challenge so the food menu was quite regimented for results. I had an extra snack later at night because I was starving and I couldn’t sleep. 

Tracy on the rocks:

I had a book signing Thursday with some of the other contributors to an anthology I am in, so yes, I cheated. Mostly with wine. And some sweet potato fries at lunch! Eekk

How are you feeling, sleeping better, eating clean, stress relief wise?

Jsack Mom:

This was a detox fitness challenge so it was tough on me physically, emotionally, and mentally. I felt good the first couple of days then mid week I developed a cold with headaches. That made for difficult sleeping habits,and not getting enough rest made me stressed out. The workouts and drinking tons of water, (at least 2 litres a day) helped a lot. 

Tracy on the rocks:

I am entering my 3rd week and I am sleeping better, waking up a little easier and overall have more energy! When I work out, it makes me WANT to keep eating healthy! 

Have you noticed any results since you began your fitness challenge? 

Jsack Mom:

I have never owned a scale not since I was at my heaviest. But I take measurements and I lost 2 inches around my hips, waist, and I lost a pant size! This is after one month and recovering from my back injury!

Tracy on the Rocks:

I’ve lost a total of 7 lbs so far! 

What do you hope to gain from your fitness challenge?

Jsack Mom:

I hope to gain more strength, endurance, and the knowledge to eat a clean, and healthy diet. I’m changing my mindset so this is not a “diet” for me this is a new lifestyle change. 

Tracy on the rocks:

I hope NOT to gain- I hope to lose…weight! Haha But, I hope to gain healthy habits too! Joking! 😉

 

*Image found on Facebook, and borrowed from my coach Ryan Luhning.*

 


What’s the one thing that’s keeping you motivated throughout this time? 

Jsack Mom: 

Knowing that I’ve had Tracy to team up with has helped me a lot for support and accountability. My Beach Body coach Ryan Luhning with http://www.yycgamechangers inspires and motivates me everyday with his positive charged up attitude, expertise, guidance, and never ending energy!!! Him and his wife Carolyn are an incredible team who’s passion for fitness inspires my own again. And after a long time of putting myself last it feels incredible again to have that support. 😃

Tracy on the rocks:

Fitting into my skinny jeans!!

What’s been your favourite meal that helps fill you up and still have you eating healthy?

Jsack Mom:

I’ve recently been eating brown rice again mixed with steamed veggies and skinless chicken. I forgot how much I loved brown rice. I stopped eating it because of the convenience factor. But I made a big batch of it and had some for lunch and dinner.  

Tracy on the rocks:

This is more of a condiment- I put hot sauce on everything! And that helps make bland food like chicken and vegetables have some zip without the sugars of other sauces. 

 Do you have a favourite snack?

Jsack Mom:

For my go to snack I’ve fallen in love with Greek yogurt mixed with oatmeal and fruit. The creamy texture and sweetness of the berries fills me up and satisfies my sweet tooth. I will include the recipe at the end of the interview. 

Tracy on the rocks:

I have been trying to cut back on snacks, but my mom had dried out a huge bag of sliced apples and I asked her to send me some more because they are good when I need something sweet, but still healthy! 

Did you clean out your cupboards to avoid temptations? 

Jsack Mom:

No I didn’t, there really wasn’t a point because not everyone was eating the same meal plan as me. There’s trigger foods in my house all the time I just avoid them, or eat them in moderation. 

Tracy on the rocks:

No, because my roommate and I live like bachelors and we never have any food to begin with hahaha. 😉

Have you weighed and measured yourself since you started a month ago? 

Jsack Mom:

No I didn’t weigh myself I only do that once a year at my Dr’s physical. I did measure myself though, my best method is to how well my clothes are fitting. I also took daily pictures to motivate me and keep me on track. 

Tracy on the rocks:

I only weighed myself. I should measure myself and take pictures. But I don’t want evidence of the “before,” just hurry up and get to the “after” portion! 

What are your results?

Jsack Mom: inches lost and down a whole pant size! 

Tracy on the rocks: 7 lbs down total! 

What’s the next goal for yourself? 

Jsack Mom:

I’ve been invited to participate in another challenge, the Beach Body 21 day fix. And another personal one with a friend and her team. I will weigh out the commitments to each and make my decision from there. 

Tracy on the rocks:

I am hoping to continue at 2 lb loss increments 

Will this become a lifestyle change or is just to drop some weight? 

Jsack Mom:

Absolutely lifestyle, I want to teach my children more about healthy choices and eating clean. My oldest son already eats very healthy, but he’s a big snacker. Now I have healthier options for him to choose from. My youngest has a lot of food texture issues so I just try to get him eating lots of fruits, and he’s content with carrots so I don’t force the issue. I make the sneakiest and healthiest pasta sauce because I blend up tons of veggies in there. Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook Deceptively Delicious is pure genius with her methods of incorporating vegetables into a family food menu.  

Tracy on the rocks:

Lifestyle! I don’t want to yo-yo diet! The fitness part is definitely something that I need to incorporate into my life and not just as a fad. I also realize I was drinking alcohol way too often. Before I started keeping track of what I was eating, it was easy to make drinking a glass (or a bottle) of wine nightly a habit. 

Do you keep yourself accountable to a group, friend, or partner? 

Jsack Mom:

Yes I’m accountable to myself, my Beach Body coach Ryan, my fitness teams, and of course to Tracy and all you wonderful readers following along. I’ve been blessed to have many supportive friends and family in person and online cheering me on as well. 

Tracy on the rocks:

Myself and knowing I’m going to have to report my results in this challenge! 

Name 5 things that are keeping you motivated today. 

Jsack Mom:

  • 1. Keeping track of my progress through pictures, posts, and hard work. 
  • 2. That wonderful feeling of adrenaline and euphoria before, during, and after a workout. 
  • 3. Beach Body fitness trainer Shaun T. His workouts are geared for results. His exercise progressions are small in increments but very powerful. His ecouragement and his hotness factor are motivating me too. 😉
  • 4. My energy level at the end of the day is amazing. Before I was dragging my butt at the end of the day; I could’ve carried it to bed with both hands. Now I feel so much better and what little sleep I get (die to my son’s sleep disorder) it’s solid and rejuvenating now. 
  • 5. Being pain free with my chronic back pain is my goal. As well as being an active Mom who teaches, learns, and grows with my children. While teaching and implementing healthy habits for my whole family to use. 

Tracy on the rocks

  1. Fitting into my jeans 

  2. All the sacrifices I’ve already made will be for nothing if I don’t stay on track

  3. Fitting into a new dress for my friend’s wedding (which happens to be on my birthday) 

  4. Umm…being too busy to eat

  5. That’s all I’ve got. 

 Name someone who’s been supportive of you meeting your fitness goals.

Jsack Mom: Tracy on the Rocks! She’s been incredible with cheering me on and always so supportive with my posting schedule when answering her own fitness questions. My coach Ryan from YYC Game changers is a bottomless well of health, enthusiasm, advice, and motivation. Him and his lovely wife Carolyn really walk the walk, and talk the talk. I’ve been following their fitness journey on their blog, and now their motivating You tube channel as well as Instagram. They live, breathe, and promote their passion daily with Beach Body health and fitness.  

Tracy on the Rocks: Jsack Mom! 

Everyone’s actually been really supportive! My roommate is getting married so she’s doing her own challenge and my girlfriend found out I was doing Medifast and she told me she did it too so she keeps checking in. Everyone wants me to succeed! 

Is there anything that’s sabotaging you to not meet your goals?

Jsack Mom:

Yes right now with this detox challenge it’s the yummy, tantalizing foods I can’t have. My husband brought home a honey ham for dinner and I had to leave the house. It smelled so good I was afraid I was going to cave. So I took a quick jog around the block and felt better when I got home and everything was put away. Honestly though it was a long night and I sulked while eating my salmon salad and NOT having a beer while watching the hockey game. 😝

Tracy on the Rocks: Not yet….

Recipe: Greek yogurt and berries

Here’s my favourite new snack so easy and so delicious. 

  • 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of fresh fruit (raspberries or strawberries or both.)
  • 2 Tablespoons of oatmeal. 
  • Mix together in a bowl and BOOM 💥 you’ve got a delicious, healthy snack. 
So there you have it Tracy on the Rocks and I will be back next week to share tips, recipes, and what’s making us feel great on the #takingbackmechallenge. Thank you for coming along on our journey. ❤️

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Gamble

I’ve been living the life of a gambler. I’ve been running on empty for a long time thinking that I can continue this way. I’ve been going on whiffs of exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Reacting strongly with my emotions and easy trigger finger of blame. I have spent more time looking at a bottom of a wine bottle with only tears and rambling writings to show for it. I have spent nights in overwhelming valley and vacationed at heartbreak hotel. I’ve given my power away only to feel like a shell of my former self. 

I have decided enough is enough since my crazy train has run off the rails. I’m taking a gamble on myself and putting myself on my list of priorities. Self care will be my goal each and everyday. I will exercise to walk, run, move my body to feel good. I will get more rest, even if it’s not a lot of sleep. I will find a routine that works for me. I will have fun again as me not just Mom. Where I can laugh, love, find my hobbies that make me happy. I will be with others who share these common interests. I will begin to create again to draw, paint, scrapbook, and craft with my kids and on my own. Art is the way to my heart’s inspiration, love, and light. 

  
Eating well and maintaining a balanced diet of healthy foods will feed my body and nourish my mind. I will be kind to myself, by putting myself first, seeking guidance from my family and friends, and counselling from my therapist. I will get outside and explore my new town and surroundings. I will bask in the fresh air and the sunshine, and get my hands back in the dirt with my love of gardening. I will seek daily ways to relax, not just when the stress is choking me physically and emotionally. I will not gamble with my health and happiness again. I deserve to be fully, completely, safe and comfortable in my skin. 

 I will participate in my yoga practice, keeping mindful with my deep breathing and my temper. I will put my deepest thoughts that aren’t meant to be published in my journal. I will read to fill my mind with beautiful words, my heart with the longing to write my own words to inspire, and my soul with the love of making those chapters part of my being. And when the world is too much for me to handle I will sink into my loves arms and find my solace and believe in myself again. I vow to make my self care an integral part of me that it won’t be a chore, a list of demands to meet, it will be my gift to me. 

This has been my submission to More Than Cheese and Beer please check out her anonymous Sunday confessions and all the talent who link up. Thank you. ❤️

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#Taking back me challenge Part 1

Today we embark on a new journey to fitness and beyond. I Jsack Mom and Tracy on the Rocks are teaming up and are in it to win it! Follow us as they embark on individual fitness  challenges. We will log our personal results, our struggles and more importantly our wins! Getting fit isn’t easy- especially when you’ve fallen off the wagon! But we are determined!!! 

My Story:

I looked in the mirror tugging at the extra skin left over from two emergency cescarean sections. Looking at my body that housed my children not with respect, but with disgust. This body used to be strong, and now I wake up everyday in chronic pain. I cringe as I get out of bed each morning and slowly get my son up for school. After a old back injury of a bulging disk five years, ago mornings are the worst for me. 

My youngest is up and breakfast is served and we eat together I set him up with a cartoon. I get my yoga mat and settle in to do my yoga routine. I do this so I can move throughout the day.  I wish this was relaxing and zen but the pain doesn’t allow me to feel that until I loosen up. I don’t talk about my chronic pain it’s just something I’ve lived with. So now I’ve decided after surviving life I want to thrive so the fitness challenge began. So let the Q&A begin!

What is your history/background with fitness? 

Jsackmom: I remember doing my first Jane Fonda workout in the 80’s and I loved it. Compared to what they teach now it was contraindicated scary aerobics but no one knew the difference back then. I embarked on a fitness career after high school when I took my training to teach general choreography aerobics, step aerobics, weight training, and personal training. I ended up teaching for seventeen years as well as yoga for ten years. 

 Tracy on the Rocks: Unfortunately, my relationship with fitness has been a sordid one over the years. My mom’s side of the facility struggles with weight and my grandmother was morbidly obese.  Weight issues definitely run in the family. I have never loved working out and when I am working out regularly, it’s not because I get some great high or rush out of it…it’s because I’m very conscious that it’s good for me and that I should do it. 

 Have you always struggled to stay on track to be fit? 

Jsackmom: I was always really active playing sports in and out of school. Fitness and weight gain didn’t become a problem for me until I was sixteen. I moved a long ways away from my family to live with other family members. I was very homesick and depressed so I gained the “freshman fifteen.” I ended up losing it all with the Fit for Life plan written by Sam Garcia. Then I moved back home to my former province and became serious about working out regularly at the gym. 

 Tracy on the Rocks: It pains me to admit, but like many adolescent women, I didn’t like how I looked starting in Jr. High and into high school. But, the first time I gained a bunch of weight was in college.  I worked my butt off to get back in shape. The short answer is yes. I will get at a good weight and be on a great streak of working out and eating healthy for a few years.  But, it’s been a pattern that I’ll gain weight and then have to work really hard to take it off again.  I really want to find a healthy balanced lifestyle so I don’t “Fall off the wagon” every couple of years.  Side Note-To my point that I’ll stay on a good streak for a couple of years, here’s a post from my blog from 2 years ago about working out.  It is one of my most popular posts and I think you might find it quite amusing. 

 Who is your biggest inspiration to getting healthy and fit? 

 Jsack Mom: My inspiration is my children. I want to be fit and healthy so I can keep up with their activities. I’m classified as an “older parent” with two young children in my early forties. I want to teach them healthier ways to eat, think, and live. My husband and I will be those parents that are keeping are children’s minds and bodies fit and active with physical literacy. 

 Tracy on the Rocks: I wish I had some answer here that made me seem less shallow.  But the truth is, my pants stopped fitting and I don’t feel very good about how I look right now. I kind of hit rock bottom with tipping the scale and having to buy new pants so um yeah it was glaringly obvious that I needed to reel it in.. 

 Is this about not liking the numbers on the scale or for health reasons? 

 Jsack Mom : I personally don’t own a scale so I weigh myself once the year at my Dr’s office or a friends house. My clothes are my deciding factor of whether I’ve put on weight. I had a health scare back in December and I had to get a complete blood panel to rule out diabetes. I’m happy to say that I’m healthy and my Dr told me to keep doing what I’m doing. My pain level has increased and I need to address that as well. I don’t sleep a lot with my youngest son’s sleep disorder. I very rarely feel rested so my body doesn’t feel refreshed or healed. I need to do more than have stress and anxiety be my chosen weigh to shed pounds. I don’t have a great balance right now and I’m feeling the adverse affects of late nights, poor eating choices, and sleep deprivation. I’ve been researching for the last while about the affects of losing sleep and it scares me. I don’t want to be a statistic!!!! 

 Tracy on the Rocks: It’s about both.  What I said above is true, feeling bad about the number on the scale and having my clothes not fit…that’s a reason for sure. I saw a friend a couple of weeks ago who has lost a lot of weight recently- I can tell he is feeling good about himself and that was probably ultimately the catalyst.  I was jealous- not in a malicious way, but envious nonetheless- of how what he had done and I wanted to remember how it feels to not be ashamed of how I look. That said, I also care about being healthy and fit.  I care about being more active. I care about having a healthier lifestyle.  I care about balance- right  now I have many of the other areas of my life balanced: career, friends, family, writing….and the one area that’s really hurting right now is my fitness. I notice that usually it’s one thing that I let go unattended. When  I had a job I hated, I would use working out and my blog as an outlet for my stress. So while my blog and fitness were doing great, my career was not.  I hope that this last go of it will be my way of finding balance in all areas. I know it won’t be perfectly balanced but I’m working on not neglecting one area too much for too long. 

 What program are you doing? 

 Jsack Mom : I’m doing the Beachbody program complete with workout, meal plans, shakeology, and fitness challenge group.  With them and my coach they keep me motivated, supported, and accountable for my daily check in’s. 

 Tracy on the Rocks: I am incorporating exercise into my schedule including boot camp and fitness classes. I am also trying the Medifast meal plan. 

 What was the deciding factor for choosing that program? 

Jsackmom: My health, motivation, and my pain level has increased so I need to get that in check. Plus I’ve spent the last few months getting to know my amazing coach before I signed up. He’s a great motivator, supportive, fun, and energy I wish to bottle and sell to make my millions. His experience with the program and how honest he’s been about his and his wife’s own personal journey has been the deciding factor in a long list of positives. 

Tracy on the Rocks: Boot camp and yoga are paid for by my work and they are right at my office so I have no excuse.  I also have a bunch of co-workers who go and who can hold me accountable and shame me if I don’t show up haha.  As for the Medifast, my friend reps it and honestly I am just lazy. I needed an easy “grab and go” solution because I am sososoos busy and I just don’t have time right now to shop, prepare and cook health meals all week. I opted for just shakes and bars for convenience. I didn’t realize that there is a whole diet/restricted foods business to go along with it. I recommend you do a little research before diving into a system like I did though hahaha. #lazybones

 What are your ultimate goals with this challenge? 

Jsack Mom : My goal has been to 

What is your history/background with fitness? 

Jsackmom: I remember doing my first Jane Fonda fitness class in the 80’s and loving it. I decided I would embark on fitness journey and make that my passion. I acquired my fitness training after high school, and started teaching for 17 years. I also took some yoga training and taught that for 10 years. 

 Tracy on the Rocks: Unfortunately, my relationship with fitness has been a sordid one over the years. 

My mom’s side of the facility struggles with weight and my grandmother was morbidly obese.  Weight issues definitely run in the family. I have never loved working out and when I am working out regularly, it’s not because I get some great high or rush out of it…it’s because I’m very conscious that it’s good for me and that I should do it. 

 

Have you always struggled to stay on track to be fit? 

Jsackmom: I was always very active when I was growing up and played sports inside and outside of school. The struggle happened when I was sixteen. I moved away from my Mom and went to live with my brother and his family in another province. I was very homesick for my old life and I put on the “freshman fifteen.” I lost most of it with the Fruit for Life plan by Sam Garcia. But moving back home to my Mom and my Grandparents changed my whole perspective. Then I started attended a gym and working out regularly with my friend. 

 Tracy on the Rocks: It pains me to admit, but like many adolescent women, I didn’t like how I looked starting in Jr. High and into high school. But, the first time I gained a bunch of weight was in college.  I worked my butt off to get back in shape. The short answer is yes. I will get at a good weight and be on a great streak of working out and eating healthy for a few years.  But, it’s been a pattern that I’ll gain weight and then have to work really hard to take it off again.  I really want to find a healthy balanced lifestyle so I don’t “Fall off the wagon” every couple of years.  

Sidenote- To my point that I’ll stay on a good streak for a couple of years, here’s a post from my blog from 2 years ago about working out.  It is one of my most popular posts and I think you might find it quite amusing. 

 Who is your biggest inspiration to getting healthy and fit? 

 Jsackmom: My biggest inspiration are my family. I’m classified as an “older parent” having young children in my early 40’s. I want to continue being active with them and not let stress and anxiety be my main weight loss plan. I have an amazing coach that keeps me motivated with his wisdom, experience, and access to effective workouts and meal plans. 

 Tracy on the Rocks: I wish I had some answer here that made me seem less shallow.  But the truth is, my pants stopped fitting and I don’t feel very good about how I look right now. I kind of hit rock bottom with tipping the scale and having to buy new pants so um yeah it was glaringly obvious that I needed to reel it in.. 

 Is this about not liking the numbers on the scale or for health reasons? 

 Jsackmom: For years now I don’t own a scale. I will weigh myself once a year at a gym or a friends house. I had a health scare when a cataract was found in December. I then had to get a complete blood panel to rule out diabetes. I’m happy to say I’m healthy, but it encouraged me enough to put myself on my list of priorities. It’s very humbling to go from being very fit, and motivating to the general population, to struggling with motivating myself to get out of bed each day. I don’t sleep enough due to my youngest son’s sleep disorder so I very rarely feel rested. I get very concerned when I read the statistics on what prolonged sleep deprivation can do to the body. I don’t want to be a statistic!!! 

 

Tracy on the Rocks: It’s about both.  What I said above is true, feeling bad about the number on the scale and having my clothes not fit…that’s a reason for sure. I saw a friend a couple of weeks ago who has lost a lot of weight recently- I can tell he is feeling good about himself and that was probably ultimately the catalyst.  I was jealous- not in a malicious way, but envious nonetheless- of how what he had done and I wanted to remember how it feels to not be ashamed of how I look. That said, I also care about being healthy and fit.  I care about being more active. I care about having a healthier lifestyle.  I care about balance- right  now I have many of the other areas of my life balanced: career, friends, family, writing….and the one area that’s really hurting right now is my fitness. 

I go unattended. When  I had a job I hated, I would use working out and my blog as an outlet for my stress. So while my blog and fitness were doing great, my career was not.  I hope that this last go of it will be my way of finding balance in all areas. I know it won’t be perfectly balanced but I’m working on not neglecting one area too much for too long. 

 

What program are you doing? 

 

Jsackmom: I’m doing the Beach Body on demand plan complete with workout, meal plans, and shakeology. I’m also in a private fitness challenge where I have support and accountability with my fellow group and with my awesome, energizing coach. 

 Tracy on the Rocks: I am incorporating exercise into my schedule including boot camp and fitness classes. I am also trying the Medifast meal plan. 

 

What was the deciding factor for choosing that program? 

Jsackmom: My health, my family, and the pain level I’ve been experiencing has increased. I want to be a Mom who can keep up with their active lifestyles and not have to push through the pain. It’s very humbling to know and feel my age and poor choices affecting my health today. So I want to be that fit, active Mom and running around keeping up with my kids. Also in for their future teaching them healthy ways to eat, grow, and live. I also love the convenience of Beach Body on demand program with workouts 

 Tracy on the Rocks: Boot camp and yoga are paid for by my work and they are right at my office so I have no excuse.  I also have a bunch of co-workers who go and who can hold me accountable and shame me if I don’t show up haha.  As for the Medifast, my friend reps it and honestly I am just lazy. I needed an easy “grab and go” solution because I am sososoos busy and I just don’t have time right now to shop, prepare and cook health meals all week. I opted for just shakes and bars for convenience. I didn’t realize that there is a whole diet/restricted foods business to go along with it. I recommend you do a little research before diving into a system like I did though hahaha. #lazybones

 

What are your ultimate goals with this challenge? 

 

Jsackmom: My goal is to gain strength and cardio endurance and not have to since in pain whenever I have to move from a seated or prone position. I also want to tone up my body and like who I see in the mirror again. 

 

Tracy on the Rocks: My goal is to lose a total of 35 lbs, to fit into my favorite pair of Sevens again, and to feel GOOD about myself again. 

 What strategy do you intend on utilizing to reach your goals?

Jsackmom: I will be using the Beach Body on demand program with access to various workouts. As well as recipes, meal plans, and fitness nutritional products. I also have my fitness challenge group who keep me accountable, 

inspired, and motivated to keep to the course. 

Reply
Forward

 

Jsackmom:

 

Tracy on the Rocks: Accountability!

For nutrition: My girlfriend who I am doing the Medifast through will check up on me with the eating. I also downloaded “My Fitness Pal” app. 

For exercise : My friends at work with yell at me if I don’t come to boot camp and or yoga, and encourage me while I am there. 

Specifically, I intend on losing 2lb/week through the Medifast meal plan and exercise. 

 

 

Tracy on the Rocks: There is no Plan B!! I won’t fai 

 

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