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. ❤️

Irish in my heart

I’m fortunate as I grew up knowing and learning about my Irish heritage. I loved listening to the stories of my ancestors from my Gram and her sisters. Four of my Gram’s siblings came off the boat with their parents, for dreams of a better life. After the devastation of the Great Potato famine of 1845-1849 my Great Great Grandparents and their kin, survived and without them I wouldn’t be here today to tell this story.

Michael and Elizabeth left Scotland at the age of nineteen and traveled by ship to South Hampton, England. At the time, they had three daughters and a son in tow. With competition for jobs, financial security, and food being scarce with the population boom, they made their way to Canada and settled in British Columbia.

My Great Grandparents *image courtesy of my cousin*

My Great Grandfather Michael found work in the mines and was there for twenty-nine years. They hadn’t lived there in the community long when devastation ravaged the town with floods from 1848, to 1947, the mining disaster in May of 1908 that killed one hundred and three miners, and the Great Fire of August. 1 st of 1908 that destroyed the town.

My Great Grandma Elizabeth was pregnant with my Grandma Margaret and due to give birth that hot summer. There were ten lives lost and thousands of homes burnt to the ground. There was a lot of hardship and sadness that my ancestors had to encounter in the new land. I’m happy to report my Gram made it safely into the world as the hospital and the church were the few buildings that were left.

Time passed on with my Gram and her siblings growing up and their parents had added on to their family with four more daughters. More hardship would come to the family as the mine would be closed in order to investigate the fire of 1908. My Great Grandpa Michael had to find work elsewhere. All the daughters worked as well or helped look after the youngest children.

My Great aunts such lovely lasses. *image courtesy of my cousin*

That was the life back then, everyone had a strong work ethic and supported one another. I remember my sweet Gram Margaret telling me stories of her housekeeping days, collecting oranges at the train yard, and working as a caddy at the golf course. The sisters all went on to marry and have families of their own. They still remained close as they raised their children and visited each other when they were Grandparents.

My Gram and 3 of her 5 sisters *image courtesy of my cousin*

A tragic accident in 1917, took the life of the youngest family member Josephine and she died at the age of two, with severe burns to the chest and abdomen. Poor baby girl lighting up the world with her beauty and smile, and for her life to be snuffed out like a candle is so sad. Peter, the only son of nine children returned home from World War 1 and fell ill as well. He succumbed to cerebral meningitis at the age of twenty-six on March. 17th 1922.

He was to sing in the St. Patrick’s day concert that evening for the Knights of Columbus, and he sat up in bed and sang then died. The song that he sang was Danny Boy, a beautiful Irish melody that is dear to my heart to this day.

My Great uncle *image courtesy of my cousin*

After the youngest daughter and only son had passed just 5 years my Great Grandma Elizabeth became ill. My Grandparents were set to get married in the summer month of July and Elizabeth passed 9 days before the wedding. Instead of the church wedding that was planned they quietly got married in the priests rectory of the Holy Family Catholic Church.

My parents got married there as well and my middle sister followed suit and my husband and I proudly married there after. As a devout Irish Catholic family that attended mass every Sunday and invited the priest over for dinner after one of my Great aunts went into the sisterhood. She took the name Sister Michael and lived out her young life devoting herself in service to God.

She passed tragically in a car accident when I was a little girl and my Gram would tell me stories about her love of the family and of the church. There was always tears and hugs given when she spoke of her siblings that had passed on.

My Great aunt Elizabeth and her Father Michael *image courtesy of my cousin*

I celebrate my dearly departed loved ones memories and I carry on the namesake of my Great Grandma, my Great aunt, and my Mom. My Great Grandpa Michael lived on to see his daughters marry and meet his Grandchildren. My Mom had a special relationship with him and would speak of him with joy on her heart. He passed on well into his 80’s to be reunited with his lovely wife and daughters and son.

My Gram and my Mom *image courtesy of my cousin*

My Gram and Mom always said I had the gift of my Great uncle’s vocal talent. To this day when I sing the song of my ancestors homeland Oh Danny Boy I feel uplifted on their angel wings. St. Patrick’s day is celebrated in our family household as much as the joy of birthdays. Wishing you all Irish blessings and may the luck and love of the Irish be with you always. 💚☘️

An adapted version of this story originally appeared on The Wellness Universe titled Irish heritage.

*Special thanks to my cousin Maureen for the use of her family pictures. The late night chats of our family’s story helped me feel closer to my Irish clan.*

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Ten Things of Thankful-Some kind of wonderful

It’s time to join up with the merry band of thankful crew. I’ve been on a little hiatus due to back to school craziness. It’s been a wild month of keeping track of all school responsibilities and I need to dive waist deep into some thankfulness. This is where my heart is and always will be whether in participating in the TTOT linkup or just reading all the wonderful talent that reside there. 

I’m thankful for having a more organized week and making each appointment and having my sitters lined up for the last week. My kids enjoy spending time with these special caregivers and I’m grateful for some me time and a date night with my handsome husband. 

I’m thankful for celebrating 11 years of marriage. There are times when life beats me down and I feel overwhelmed. I look towards my husband and he’s always there cheering me on and believing in my inner strength that I know I possess but need a reminder of when I’m feeling clouded by doubt. 


I’m thankful for the wonderful friendships I have in my life. I’m never without a kind word, strong shoulder, or zany sense of humour from my tribe. The real life friends make me feel so loved and appreciated. My online friendships have grown and have taught me to believe in myself and the power of my words. Words that can make a difference and be the change I wish to see in the world. 

I’m thankful for a successful week of charting and tracking my daily life habits. I’ve had 3 successful weeks of tracking my behaviours of food, mood, anxiety, sleep, and OCD I’m a journal. I’ve begun to see patterns of my behaviour that I can now work on changing and revitalize my self care regimen. 

I’m thankful for my behavioural therapist that I’ve been seeing for the last month. Cognitive behavioural therapy is the game changer in my life and I’m looking forward to more successes that I will accomplish with her support and expertise. 


I’m thankful for my sons doing well in school. It’s only been a month but they’ve both felt positive about being in their classrooms. Soon I will find out what funding is available for my youngest with autism and a teacher conference for my oldest to see how he’s doing in school. I’m proud of them both and the resilience and inner strength they’ve shown me. 


I’m thankful for a wonderful day spent at the women’s show. I met a lot of different vendors and listened to an amazing guest speaker. I sat in the sunshine and painted a wine glass and met some very interesting kind people. It was a rewarding day of being social followed by a 3 hour successful theatre practice. The most memorable part of my day was signing the poster asking the question in one word describing myself. I chose to say I’m inspirational and the loving energy that poured out of me from that moment onward was incredible. 

Speaking of theatre I’m thankful that I was cast in the lead role of the pantomime play! I was going to be brave and try out for a bigger role than in the previous years and I did. I’m memorizing a lot of dialogue, dances, and really enjoying my character. Performing is where my heart is when I’m on stage I feel like I’m invincible. 

I’m thankful for autumn days and walking along the river with leaves crunching under my feet. The pictures I take at this time of year thrill me as Mother Nature decorates these beautiful tapestrys of colour and wonder. 

I’m thankful for all things pumpkin now that it’s October. Halloween is a big deal in our household so let the dessert making and decorating commence. Stay tuned for guess what Halloween costume I’ll be wearing coming soon. 

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Pause 

There are moments in time I’d like to freeze as my children are growing up so fast. One tells me I’m the mayor of Crazy Town (in our household it’s a real place) the other asks me such interesting questions about the Mir space station and will Steve Harvey ever host a Miss America pagent again? 

I still remember when they were babies and the circumstances that led up to me bringing them into the world. One two days late and long and skinny and purple as Barney the dinosaur. The cord was wrapped around his neck and his head was too wide to engage down into the birth canal. He had the brightest eyes and watched my every move as fascinated with me as I was with him. Oh how I loved him I knew he was waiting for me all along. 

I have to pause that moment when he squeezed my finger and looked up into my eyes as it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Now he’s 4″8 and soon will be height at nine years old and towering over me by the time he’s licenced to drive. His little brother made his scary and rapid appearance before I had a chance to prepare for it. I knew nothing about early onset labor and all that will follow having a premature baby. 

I have to press play on my memory bank as those two weeks of having my baby in the hospital NICU are a blur of emotions. He came into the world sleeping the OBGYN actually woke him up as he cut him out of me and lifted him over top of the blue sheet. He was like a little loaf of bread all curled up and he made this meowing sound and I burst out laughing. I looked at my husband and said “did our baby just meow?”

Then the whole OR started laughing and it broke the thick as ice tension with the seriousness of my son’s early arrival. He was such a mystery to me and didn’t open up his eyes for five days. Then when he did I felt like I could see all the wonders of the world. My baby had an old soul and he looked at me as if to say it’s ok Mom I’ve done this before. 

The love I had in that moment enveloped me like a warm mist floating through me and all around as I was lost in the swirling rainbow of emotions. I have to pause that moment in time as everything I read about Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet came flooding back to me. 

Your children are not your children.

They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not of you. 

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,

but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

For such a young little life he had this wisdom about him and I was captured by it. When we brought him home he conpleted our family with his gentleness. It took him two more weeks to find his voice as he was quiet and serious. It was like he was taking every moment in of his new world and didn’t want to miss a minute of it to sleep. We settled into our family of four and I went into grief recovery as my Mom had died five weeks prior to my baby’s birth. 

I felt so much guilt because I loved her so much I couldn’t hold onto my pregnancy. I wanted to pause the last moment I had with her as I told her we were expecting again. The warmth in her hands as she squeezed mine, and the glow in her eyes was my most cherished moment with her. 

I know she watches over my children and wants our greatest gift to be our happiness. Cuddling with my husband while watching our kids entertain us with their antics these are the moments I’d love to pause and hold them in their youth a little longer. 

This had been my Stream of Consciousness Saturday with Linda G Hill as part of Just Jot January posting everyday for the month. Today’s prompt was the word pause. 

  

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Christmas traditions

Hello my name is Jsackmom and I’m a “Christmasholic” There I finally admitted it, I get very excited about the prospect of celebrating as I’ve always been fascinated with the magic of Christmas. I remember traditions from when I was a little girl and being at my Grandparents with their ceramic tree with plastics lights all lit up. 
It would sit on the china cabinet looking so tiny but beautiful, while I sat on the floor looking up at those lights twinkling in the evening glow. We would help my Mom and Gram prepare for dinner and get our pyjamas on then my sister and I would get our snack ready for Santa with our Mom’s help. We would put out the homemade shortbread cookies, carrots for the reindeer, and a cup of nice tea to wash it down with. My Gram would help us hang our stockings on the towel rod in the kitchen while my Grandpa looked on with a mischievous smile.
 You see those stockings were his socks that he loaned to my sister and I. Next we would go off to the living room and magically there would a present there on the floor for each of us. We would open it up knowing each year it would be the same, pyjamas, slippers, or a house coat. We didn’t care though it was the excitement of getting to open a gift on Christmas Eve that made the holiday more special. 
We would sit on the couch in our new sleepwear and sip on our hot chocolates while we sang Christmas carols and then my Mom and Gram would tell us the Christmas story of baby Jesus and the Nativity. I had always loved the story and still tell it to my children as our tradition. Then we would get sleepy, rubbing our eyes, and toddle off to bed. My sister would have the couch and I would have the blue cot that folded out. My Gram would push the coffee table up close do I wouldn’t roll out of bed. 
Sleep would find me late into night as the visions of sugar plums, turkey with all the trimmings, and toys to be had, would dance in my head. The next morning I would be bouncing around waking up my sister as I was delirious with excitement and more of a tough and tumble Tom girl than sliver bells and cockleshells and we would race to the kitchen to open our stockings. We would dig in and find candy, nuts, mandarin oranges, tiny little doll toys, and whatever else Santa could stuff in a men’s sock! 
Next we would go to the living room and see what else Santa brought us. There would be a Barbie for my sister and I would have a doll complete with accessories of a hair brush, bottle, and outfit. We would also open clothes, books, more candy, and always a religious item of a holy statue. My Mom always made sure we put the Christ in Christmas as to never forget the true meaning of the holiday. 
We would say Grace and have a hearty breakfast as we would go off to our relatives to visit and play with our toys with our cousin. We would always have baking, copious pots of tea, and plenty of singing and dishwashing. We would return back to my Grandparents while my Grandpa would shovel the sidewalk and make his strong coffee in his special pipe whistle cup afterwards. We would help in the kitchen preparing dinner as my four other siblings would join the festivities. My Gram and Mom would fill the coffee table full of appetizers, fruit cake, cookies, a mixture of nuts, hard candy, and liquorice. 
The teapot would never be empty long and we would start preparing to set the table while setting up in the living room with my Gram’s fine Christmas China that would be laid out on the table. There would be at least ten people there and my Gram would say the blessings and my Grandpa would carve the turkey. I would marvel at all the delicious food and watch one of my brothers say “pass the buns” while my other brother would throw him down one at the end of the table. I would laugh and have my bowl of tossed salad mixed with croutons and olive oil. I loved how my Gram would make that for me. 
My plate would be heaping with mounds of mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts, veggies, dark turkey meat, a little gravy, and I would eat my weight in my Gram’s homemade stuffing. After we would clear the table, drink tea, and enjoy pumpkin and lemon meringue pies. My Mom loved the lemon so it was always a staple at the dinner table. After us kids would go out to the foyer and play and have our pictures taken on the steps to the upper floor in the apartment building. 
Then the night would wind down, my older siblings would leave for home, and my sister and I would be getting ready for bed in our new Christmas pyjamas. We would lay there as sleep would come quickly after a fulfilling and wonderful day. We would fill that tiny two bedroom apartment with presents, laughter, decorations, Santa with his sleigh full of toys, and most of all the presence of our love for each other. As we got older and Santa came to the houses of younger children we would go to midnight mass with my Mom and Gram.
 I remember seeing the church’s alter glowing with all the lights. I would listen to the priest speak of that first Christmas Eve when baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Then the choir would rise up in voices of pure love and sing O little town of Bethlehem. My voice would ring out with them feeling exalted on high like nothing could touch me, as my spirit was raised to the heavens. I wept in those moments as my earthly vibration would thunder through my body like I was floating. There was magic in the air on that night and I’ve never felt more loved or connected to God, Saints, and all his angels. Being raised that way was a gift, and one I will continue with my children as they grow in the love and spirit of Christmas. To think it all started with that one little ceramic tree perched up high. 

Stock photo provided by the internet

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Ten Things of Thankful

  
I’m back for another week of thankfuls after missing my chance to post by falling asleep before the linkup expired! You know you’re sleepy when you fall asleep writing. Usually it’s the opposite the words pouring out of my brain to my digital paper keep me awake. Tonight won’t be any different as I replay my week and share my thankful moments positive or negative. Thank you to the TTOT gang to have a place to ruminate, reflect and replay my bucket full of thankfuls. 
This has been a rough week I’ve had a death in my family, four theatre performances, and a lot of appointments. I’ve been emotionally and physically exhausted and fell off my workout scheduled. All I’ve been able to do is exchange it for yoga and meditation. This is the second death to hurt my heart in six months and I feel the need to hide away for awhile and heal my wounds. But alas my life’s not designed in the way so I just take a break from things that I don’t have the energy for. I’m thankful that I’ve realized I can do that without any guilt to weigh me down. 

My son had a polysonogram sleep study last month and I’ve recently got the results that he has severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. I knew this before the test was done as I’ve been walking this path with him for nearly two years! I’m so thankful that I found someone to help him finally! He was seen by the first ENT who said his tonsils were fine and he just had a long tongue and there wasn’t anything he could do for my son surgically. 

  Fast forward to 7 months later and I know his medication regimen has shrunk his swollen tonsils but he will require surgery. I’m so thankful for the new ENT that will be performing the surgery. His office administrator was amazing to me as she explained the procedures and what to expect before and after surgery. My son will also require further testing of an EKG to rule out seizures, and an MRI to measure his brain size for his developmental challenges. I’ve called these his invisible forces you can’t see them until they come out in his behaviour. Even though my sweet boy has a lot to endure for his tender age of four he still smiles, lives life with a gusto, and loves with all his being! I’m so thankful for his tenacity and inner strength that inspire me daily to be better and advocate more for him and his brother. Life throws me curve balls and I’m thankful that I’ve been able to knock them out of the park. I’m only one Mom with an amazing support team and for that my gratitude is endless. 

I have another passion in life besides reading, writing, and fitness  and that is theatre. I’ve been so blessed to become part of an amazing cast in the  pantomime Beauty and the Beast. We’ve had four performances this week with a sold out show today! I love being part of this very talented cast of all ages with the camaraderie we share on stage and backstage. This is my theatre family who make me laugh, cry, and feel grateful to have this connection. I’m so thankful to be able sing, dance, and entertain and put some happiness in some sad hearts- including my own. 

I’ve been keeping up with my book writing and I joined up for Nanowrimo (National November Writing Month) I’ve enjoyed finding writing buddies to encourage me and my own local region that keep me inspired with my daily word count. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to write out the pain that engulfs me and to let it go in print. Being busy has got me further behind with my word count but I’m thankful that I still have some time to catch up. 

Through all of this worry, stress, and grief I have my family holding me up when I feel I will fall. I stumble from time to time and they’re always there to lift up my heart again. Death is difficult, I don’t see the final goodbye to life as a beginning at first. I need time to process it as I think about all that I’ve lost in the last ten years and I’m overcome with emotion. I’m thankful for these dark nights of my soul as they help me appreciate the sunshine in my life. I would be lost without my loves who are my greatest support and the best cheerleaders to be blessed with. 

I’m thankful for a place to share and I thank you for letting me pour it all out here. I write to make sense of things in my life, and to feel less scared. I truly believe that each story I give birth to helps me to heal one fragment of my heart at a time. For that I’m thankful and feel so blessed. 

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Ten Things of Thankful

Ive been feeling so many emotions lately and I know that’s always coincided with a full moon on the horizon. Today I spent time reading and I looked out onto a sunny day and the thankfuls were bursting from my heart! I had company this weekend and it was the first time they had been to my house. It was so much fun to show them around and enjoy their company, as my kids jumped around like they were surgically attached to pogo sticks. Today I’m so happy to link up for TTOT and share in my bucket of thankfuls. ❤️

It’s these moments in time I’m so thankful for my family the one I created, and the one I was born into. I’ve been keeping busy reading and writing and I’m so thankful to be published for the first time at Lose Your Cape. I have the blessing to be in their upcoming book Never will I Ever as a contributor. So to read myself there and be introduced as such made my heart glow and tears spring to my eyes. 

I joined my theatre group again this season and we will be putting on the pantomime play Beauty and the Beast. I’m playing a singing chandelier as well as being in the chorus. I’m so thankful for my time with my cast and creativity spent on stage. Singing, dancing, and acting, are three of my greatest passions. So to be able to do all of them at once fills my love bucket to the brim!

I’m thankful that I’m expanding my social circle and enjoying time with my book club. We met today to discuss an urban fantasy novel we had read and as I sat and looked around the room of smiling, kind, very gifted, and knowledgeable people I realized I had found my tribe. I’m so excited that they chose one of the books I really wanted to read and that I will be hosting book club next month. 

There’s times in my life I’m not able to be two places at once so I’m so thankful for my husband for being so supportive. He took our kids to hockey so I was able to be social today and be where I was needed the most. He does this without any need for thank you’s, but I still show and tell him I’m appreciative. As he knows it’s important that I have the me time to feel fufilled and be a better me!

I’m thankful for the busy week I had with running my kids up and down the highway to school and extra curricular activities that I was able to have a day at home to rest and recharge. Being strong and fit are essential to my well being. I get such joy, vitality, and energy from my Beach Body workouts that I’m thankful that I’ve made them a priority in my daily life. I’ve completed my tenth fitness challenge in a Piyo group. This is a combination of Pilates and yoga poses and it makes me feel so much more stronger, dynamic and balanced in my hectic life. 

I’m thankful for the writing opportunities that have come my way on my blog, submissions, and my own book writing in progress. I’ve had the most fortunate experiences to meet and discuss with my new real life, and online friends and authors. I’m learning so much to help me be a success at honing this writing craft, that I’m so proud to be able to do and share with you all. 

I’m so thankful for all the things I’ve learned from my beloved Mama. She is never far from my thoughts and her influence in my life is so greatly appreciated. Her gifts are heaven sent and bestowed on me in little messages, signs in nature, and our special times in the dream world. She is who I write for knowing with her love and guidance of the spoken and written word, I know I’m making her proud one day and one story at a time. 💖

 

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My blessings

10 years ago I married the love of my life. I can honestly say that no one ever gave me dancing butterflies like he does. Or make me so mad that I’m foaming at the mouth when I’m angry! It’s real deep love when after that there’s forgiveness and remorse. I have loved him since I set my eyes upon him 30 years ago. He was my goalie man and I adored him from afar and developed a raving crush on him. And here we are today celebrating 10 years with our amazing son’s, 4 job transfers, and living this wonderful life. Proving that dreams really do come true when they’re touched by love and happiness. Happy anniversary sweetheart I love you more than I did yesterday, and I will love you more tomorrow, because each day my heart grows with my love and adoration for you. I thank you for loving me and being my partner in life here’s to our future wherever it may lead us. As long as I have you and our son’s by my side I know it will an adventurous ride. I love you so much as the world just keeps on turning and we keep evolving with the love we have for each other. You’re my rock, my laughter, my love, and soft place to fall. I thank God every day I’m blessed to spend with you. ❤️
  

🎶So glad we made it, look how far we’ve come now baby.🎶

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Writer’s Quotes Wednesday

Today I’m sharing the inspiration and adoration that my son inspired on a rainy day. I usually feel quite sad when it rains. A light sprinkle I’m fine with, but if it rains for days I can fall into a slump. I lived in a costal area where it rained a lot so I always have this reaction. When seeing the joy on my son’s face and how he brought smiles out from all around was a beautiful thing to behold. Cheers to rainy days and rainbows as part of my Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays with the lovely Silver Threading. 🌈

  

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Writer’s Quotes Wednesday

I watched my youngest son watching the sunset as he exclaimed “the sky is beautiful Mommy, like you.” And that magical  moment inspired this quote.

   
This has been my submission to Silver Threading Writer’s Quotes Wednesday. Please check out all the inspiration and creativity there, thank you. ❤️

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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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