Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 3

By: Canadian Living

Author: Canadian Living

Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 3

By: Canadian Living

Read about this family's wellness journey with Canadian Living Magazine and a dream team of coaches.

George's journal
Month 3 is upon us and up until now, I have seen small results with my weight loss. I have only lost a few pounds and I am very discouraged by my results. With Fran's ongoing encouragement and "lecturing" on what kinds of food to eat, the portion size and learning how to control the portions, it seems I am finally getting my eating in line with my goals -- to lose weight, decrease my cholesterol and keep my blood pressure healthy.

I have spent a couple of phone sessions with Fran discussing stressful food situations -- for example, what can I do when I am grocery shopping and want to buy all the "bad" food? And how can I get through a meeting at work when people always bring in cookies, cakes and donuts and -- more importantly -- how can I keep my mind off food; my constant, non-stop thinking about food?

I am now on a regular schedule for meals and snacking. I have my cereal at 6:30 a.m. before I leave for work, fruit at 8:30 a.m., low-fat fruit yogurt at 10 a.m., and a mixture of seeds and nuts -- only 1/2 a cup of course. I usually eat my lunch between 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. and then for the afternoon a diet pop helps me get to dinner. I find spacing my food out throughout the day keeps me full and occupied with lower-fat/healthier options. It beats going to the coffee shop during my break where they have donuts and other things that I would love to have!

Sue's ongoing support at the gym has finally paid off. A couple of days ago it was time for another assessment. I wanted to see how I had done weight-wise and measurement-wise. It was amazing! It has just been over 2 months and it's working, I am down 11 pounds and 6 inches! The exciting part is there are 2 inches off my waist! I was so happy! WOW, all the salads and chicken do pay off.

I am very pleased with the results because I did not think it could possibly work. I kept thinking turning 40 is tough and since I have had problems losing the weight in the past it was going to be harder now. But it was not as bad as I thought; I am down in size and I'm starting to feel really strong and confident.

Confidence is something that I was lacking a couple of months ago. I was at my heaviest weight ever, my clothes were not fitting properly and getting to the gym was a battle that I lost every day.

Cassandra our life coach has helped in the confidence part, she has assisted me in dealing with stress at work, helping me deal with the daily challenges of parenting and helped me realize some of my strengths.

Despina's diary
It is hard to believe we are already into Month 3 of our makeover. It sure has been a busy couple of months! In fact, I am finding it difficult getting used to a new routine. It seems we are so busy now.

George and I have both incorporated regular exercise into our lives, both of us going to the gym minimally 3 times a week. I have changed my workout time to the mornings so I am getting up at 5:15 a.m. in order to be at the gym at 5:45. I do a 10 to 15 minute workout on the cross-trainer and then Sue meets me at 6 a.m. for the weight training part. Because of the early hours, I have to get to bed earlier. This has been a big change for me. I used to stay up until midnight, maybe even 12:30 a.m. but not anymore. That was one of the first things Sue wanted me to change. My body needs rest with all the workouts. I found out pretty quickly that I couldn't manage on 5 hours sleep!

George, on the other hand, prefers going to the gym in the evening. He usually heads out at 8:30 or so and isn't back until 10-ish. Just around the time I am heading to bed. Our schedules are very mixed up at this point.

I am "time starved" at this point. The expression "time starved" seems so appropriate. I need more time in the day to make everything work. We were busy before but now we have added a lot more. In a 24-hour day, I am trying to fit in an eight-hour workday, plus the drive to and back from Toronto every day, plus workouts in the morning 3 times per week, plus 1/2 an hour of cardio workouts another 3 times a week, plus 2 very active girls, plus a house, plus family, plus LIFE. Ahhhhh!

I really want this makeover to work. I am so excited about what this could mean for all of us. I have talked with Cassandra a couple of times about figuring out how to make this work in my life. We have come up with some strategies that I am trying out and will talk about over the next few months.

One thing that keeps me going and makes me work even harder is seeing the changes, seeing the successes, concrete evidence that my workouts are making a difference. This is definitely a high point for me because after 9 weeks of going to the gym I have lost 13-1/2 pounds and 12-1/2 inches!!! I am so excited! Family and friends are noticing the difference too and that gives more validity to the process. Yeah!!!

Ria's writings
In Month 3 there were some highs and lows. I think the best part about this month was going to Olympia Sports Camp. All the running and conditioning I have been doing really helped. Stefi and I did the triathlon camp. Running and swimming were the easiest! But cycling was a bit of a challenge. I am not used to cycling up some big hills. Camp was really fun but a lot of work. Every day we swam, cycled and ran but in the final triathlon I swam 350 m, I cycled 10 km and ran 3 km. I completed it in 1:10. I was very happy with that.

The weeks before camp it was hard to run. School had just finished and I didn't have a new routine yet so it was hard to organize myself. After I got into a routine for the summer it was easier to get back on track.

Stefi's story
I think Month 3 is my favourite month because I have a lot of highs but I do have one low. The one low that I had this month was that Sue wasn't here for half of the month and I got a little off track with the running but I did pretty well.

One high this month is that Ria and I went to Olympia Sports Camp and did the triathlon camp. We trained for the whole week then we did an actual triathlon. The triathlon we did was a 350 m swim, 10 km bike ride and a 3 km run. I completed this in an hour and 26 minutes but I wish I could have done better. I think part of the problem was my knee really hurt and I had really bad cramps for part of the race. But I am very happy that I finished and that I did it under 1 hour and 30 minutes.

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Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 3