Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 6

By: Canadian Living

Author: Canadian Living

Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 6

By: Canadian Living

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

Here we are at the halfway mark! When Cassandra and I talked at the beginning of the month, we realized that six months had gone by since we began our wellness makeover. Cassandra was quick to point out that we need to celebrate this milestone. After thinking about that for a bit, I realized she is quite right. Even halfway through, there is lots to celebrate and I want to share some of these things with you.

Reason #1 to celebrate: Since starting the wellness makeover in May, I have gone to the gym at least three times per week, every single week (except for last week). Last Wednesday was the first day that I missed my workout with Sue. I wasn't feeling very well so I called Sue and asked if it was possible to change our early morning workout to the end of the day.

I explained I wasn't feeling well and could use the extra hour's sleep in the morning. I told her I would go to the gym after work. Sue replied that she didn't think I had ever missed a session and since I wasn't feeling well perhaps I should take a break. My response to that was, “I know for sure I have NOT missed a session to date.&" Sue laughed and told me to take a break and feel better.

So I missed one day that week but otherwise I have been at the gym regularly. This is a big thing for me to celebrate! Six months ago, I began this makeover as a woman who stayed as far away from exercise and the gym as she could. Now, I'm a woman who, for six months, has exercised at least three times per week. Yeah!

Reason #2 to celebrate: We have all become much more conscious of how much physical activity we are getting…or not getting. We talk about it and we encourage and support each other to exercise. For example, the other night Ria and Stefi offered to clean up the dinner dishes so I could go for a walk, and on the weekend we delayed a shopping trip so George could get a run in.

Unfortunately, at this time, Ria is having some difficulties getting out for her runs. She is very busy with school and finds it difficult to make the time to run. She is planning on writing about this in her Month Six diary. But overall I have to say we have all become more conscious of the need to exercise. Yeah!

Reason #3 to celebrate: At the onset of the makeover we started eating differently: making time to have a healthy breakfast, packing lunches, taking snacks. But we still had difficulty with dinners. By the time George and I got home from work it would be almost 5:30 p.m. If we hadn't thought about dinner before, we would make something quick and not always nutritious. For the last four weeks, we adopted an idea Fran recommended: Meal planning for the week.

As a family, we sit down some time over the weekend and create a meal plan for the following week. Fran suggested that each of us pick a dinner -- that way all favourites would be included. On the fifth night we include all suggestions. Once five dinners are planned, I create a list and go grocery shopping. This has been wonderful for us because everything we need for dinner is in the house. And with the weekly meal plan posted on the board, any one of us can check what is on for dinner that night and begin preparations. Yeah!

Reason #4 to celebrate: Total weight lost for me -- 19 pounds. Total inches lost -- 22.75 inches. Yeah!

Six more months to go!

My struggle with food continues. It is a daily adventure to keep from getting bored with my food choices. (I am so sick of fruit salad!) I started planning my lunches weekly. Fran suggested this after the family began planning the weekly dinner meals.

Cassandra and I started working on a daily calendar and a “To Do” list. I can't believe I have been trying to remember important dates and things I need to do in my work and my personal life with little pieces of yellow sticky note pads.

My weekly workouts with Sue are awesome and I enjoy every minute of my time at the gym. Sue's creativity and ongoing challenges in my workouts always keep me guessing. I can definitely feel a difference in my strength. Recently I assisted a friend of mine with some work he had to do setting up a new coffee shop. I helped him move equipment and counters and boxes. There was very little effort required on my part to lift, move, push and pull. I know my strength training is a big factor in this. At no point did I complain about any pain in my back, arms or legs.

When Cassie came to visit us this month we did a really fun family activity. We made origami things. We did three different exercises and all of them were about learning something about ourselves. We also learned something about each other.

I had fun this month in the fitness area. One day when we went to the gym, Ria, Sue and I did a spinning bike class. Even my dad joined us. We did about six to nine tracks. Some of them were relaxers and some were hard hills. It was very fun and I hope we do that again.

The past month has been a bit of a struggle for me. You could say I've been slacking off. When I sprained my ankle I couldn't run for a few weeks and I still haven't gotten back into running. Also my running partner (Kyler) wasn't running for a bit so we have had a break. We hope to start again soon.

I am still seeing Sue every weekend at the gym. She is planning new and different things for Stefi and I to do in the winter. Some of the new things are the skip circuit class, a biking class and the new body flow class. It has been a lot of fun.

Something new that we just started this past month is meal planning for the week. Every weekend we sit down as a family and plan our dinner meals for the week. Each of us gets a chance to pick dinner for one night of the week. This ensures that we all will like and enjoy dinner. With our busy schedules and constantly being on the go, it really helps because it is one less thing we have to worry about planning during the week.

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Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 6