Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 5

Author: Canadian Living

Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 5

George's journal
The year-long makeover continues and things are going pretty well now. I am beginning to see a difference in myself as a result of my diet changes and the regular exercise. At work, people are beginning to notice that I am losing weight and trimming down. I have had a number of colleagues comment they can see a difference and that whatever I am doing is working.

This program has dramatically changed me, not just the weight loss and the feeling of my clothes fitting properly but the confidence I have in myself and how I feel. Prior to this opportunity, I did not have a life coach. Despina was my coach. She is still there for me to talk with but now I also have Cassandra who makes me think a little differently. She assists me with a number of situations in my day-to-day activities. It's great to have an independent opinion.

I have been keeping weekly food journals for Fran. Since the food part of this makeover has been the biggest challenge for me, Fran continues to work quite a bit with me. Fran reviews the journals and we talk about choices I made. This makes me think about my daily choices and I find my thinking is changing. It is changing slowly; from eating because of cravings to eating because of dietary requirements. Now I think, "have I had my grains, fruit, and protein for the day, have I had my four to five bottles of water?" Fran has noticed a change in my eating habits. She encourages me to continue with the weekly food journals, which she will look at and we will discuss together.

Another suggestion that Fran talked with all of us about was meal planning for the week. Despina and I find it difficult to come home after a long day at work and fix a "proper meal". It's a lot of work. Fran suggested we try to plan for our weekday lunches and dinners ahead of time, prepare a shopping list with items that we will need, and go shopping so that we have everything in the house that we need. We did that on the weekend, we sat down as a family and each of us had a chance to pick a dinner for one night of the week. The kids loved it! We will update you next month on how well it worked.

For the past couple of weeks, Sue's training sessions have consisted of attending a couple of classes at GoodLife. The one I found most interesting was the Skip Circuit class. Now this is a workout! I felt completely drained and exhausted yet at the same time full of energy! It was a boost of adrenaline and left me wanting to go back for more.

Despina's diary
Month Five certainly is a busy one in the Morfidis household! I find myself running around trying to make sure I get everything done. Sometimes I feel like it will never happen. The time factor, or should I say, lack of time, is still a huge issue for me. I refer to this problem as being "time starved". I need more than 24 hours in the day to do what I have to do!

To an already busy schedule, I have now added regular exercise, I'm trying to get to bed at a decent time because Sue constantly reminds me how critical that is for a healthy lifestyle, and I'm trying to plan healthy meals and snacks for our family. We all know that takes a lot more time! I talked to Cassandra about this "time starved" issue during one of our recent coaching calls. We are trying a few strategies and hopefully I will have more control over my time.

Besides the challenging time issue, Month 5 brings some exciting news. I am now down 18.2 pounds and 20 inches! Yeah!! I have been exercising at least three times a week for almost five months and the changes I am experiencing are more evident. Seeing the changes that exercise is making in my body, and my life, encourages me to keep going.

There is another reason Month Five is a very exciting month for me. I bought ski equipment! I am absolutely thrilled about this! One of my initial goals when we started this wellness makeover was to ski this winter. When the snow arrives, George skis and Ria and Stefi both snowboard. Last year during the winter season the four of us were at the Oshawa Ski Club every Saturday and Sunday. We met our friends there and everyone skied or snowboarded while I was the designated "table sitter" (definition of "table sitter": important person who sits at the table saving chairs for family and friends so when they come in to warm up or take a break they have a place to sit).

Actually, I enjoyed being the table sitter. I met a lot of nice people sitting inside. Other non-skiers and I would exchange stories about how great it was to be inside, nice and warm. Meanwhile, secretly I was missing the fun and activity that was going on outside with my family and friends. I felt left out. All our friends encouraged me to try skiing, to take a lesson or two but I kept telling them I wasn't comfortable and I was too afraid to try it. Yes, I was afraid but I also knew I didn't have the strength and stamina required to ski. So I avoided it. I knew I would have problems.

I tried skiing once many years ago. George took me to a ski hill and tried to teach me (unsuccessfully). After numerous falls and just as many failed attempts to get up, George decided it was time to try a new tactic. He said "meet you at the bottom" and left me there, at the top of the hill, paralyzed with fear. I finally got up on the skis, made a treacherous beeline for the bottom of the hill, screaming in terror the whole way. Once at the bottom I headed straight to the chalet and have been a table sitter ever since.

Now I believe I can finally put that experience behind me. I feel stronger and more confident in my abilities to ski. Regular exercise is allowing me to think that way. I know it will be a challenge, and I don't envy the person who will be teaching me but I am definitely excited and looking forward to being on the hills.

Bring on the snow!

Ria's writings
This has been a very interesting month for me. At the beginning of the month Sue did the flexibility test on me. I had been doing stretching exercises and in four weeks I had improved. Both Sue and I were very happy.

I was also continuing with my running. I was running almost every day during the week with one of my neighbours, Kyler. Stefi would come with us sometimes but she would ride her bike. We were running almost 3 km every day. We tried to change our runs all the time. Sometimes we would sprint really fast and then we would slow down for a while. I was feeling pretty good.

Unfortunately, one day I fell and sprained my ankle very badly. Stefi and Kyler called my mom and she came and picked us up and then took me to the hospital for x-rays. It hurt really bad. I used crutches for almost a week. I also went for physiotherapy for a few times. The physiotherapist gave me some exercises that I should be doing to strengthen my ankle. He thinks I will be running again in about one week's time. I'm glad about that because I have been missing it.

Stefi's story
Month 5 has been a very busy month for me. Fran came over and we talked about doing our food journals again. This is hard for me because I have to remember to write down everything I eat. I eat good things most of the time but sometimes I eat too much candy. I am trying not to do that too much. Even my trainer at gymnastics tells us not to eat junk food. Fran wants to make sure I am eating enough and getting all my vitamins.

Cassie and I worked on getting me back into the routine for school. Together we made a "don't forget" morning list. On the list, it has things that I can't forget to do in the morning before I leave for school like brush my teeth, make my bed, and turn off all the lights. I look at this list to make sure I have done everything I am supposed to do. It really helps me to remember what I have to do.

Sue and I are still working on making me stronger with my upper body strength for gymnastics. We were doing chin-ups at the gym to help me with this. I feel like I am doing better with this and that makes me happy.

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Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 5

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