Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 4

Family makeover diary: Month 4

Author: Canadian Living

Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 4

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

George's journal
It's difficult to believe we are in Month 4. It seems like yesterday we began the changes in this yearlong journey.

Ria and I have started running on a fairly regular basis and I continue to train at the gym three times per week. I am also enjoying my weekly cycling. I have lost 11 pounds and a number of inches, feeling strong and confident that the makeover is working.

Fran and I are working on strategies with my food choices and cravings, especially with our latest vacation. The hotel we were staying at offered a breakfast buffet that was exceptional. Going into this situation really made me nervous and unsure how I was going to survive the big breakfast buffet. During one of my bi-weekly discussions with Fran, we strategized on how to survive the buffet and enjoy my food during the vacation. My goal was to start with fruit, move to cereal with skim milk and then get what I really wanted -- of course, with a few minor changes. To my surprise everything was working well, after the fruit and cereal I settled on an egg white omelette with vegetables and no cheese. I then had to go back and just have a final look. I decided to help myself to the huge lemon danish and the chocolate croissant. I could not resist.

You may be asking yourself how could he? What is he thinking? What kind of ending is this? It was simple; I had a small piece of each one and did not eat the rest. Ria and Stefi helped themselves to a small piece of the Danish and croissant. The exciting thing was we did not finish them and, in fact, the small amount was enough to curb the craving and satisfy the need for something sweet.

Some days are difficult and challenging, but the ability to turn down fries, cheese and high-fat dressings is becoming easier and not as difficult to battle. Sue, Fran and Cassandra tell me it's a slow, life-long change that takes time and commitment. I am finally realizing they seem to be right.

Despina's diary
I am sitting here writing this month's entry with a smile on my face. Tonight George and I took the girls to GoodLife and all four of us joined in a FLOW class that Sue was teaching. It was so amazing! We were all together exercising and it felt really good. This was the first class I have done at the gym since we started our makeover. Sue has been telling me that I would eventually go to classes and I would be able to do them. And I kept insisting that I didn't think I would like them and that I wouldn't be able to do them. Guess what? Although I wasn't able to do all the moves, I managed to get through the class. And it feels great!

I am continuing to notice changes in my body. I am feeling stronger and my clothes are starting to fit differently. In fact, I had to go shopping to pick up a few things. I have now lost almost 15 pounds (14.7 pounds to be exact) and a total of 17 inches. Seventeen inches! I notice changes in my hips and legs, my arms and my abs.

One day when we were in the car, George took a corner too quickly. I reached up to grasp hold of the support handle, I pulled on it to steady myself, and my arm ended up in a flexed position. I noticed the beginning of a muscle popping up. I think I squealed when I saw it! The girls thought it was very funny but I was so excited. As for the change in my abs, this certainly has been the talk among our family and friends. I think it has something to do with the fact that I am often heard inviting family and friends to "feel my abs!"

It seems that exercise is slowly becoming a part of my life, at least at this point. A couple of weeks ago our family went away for a few days. When George was booking the hotel, I asked him to check if there was a gym onsite so we could work out. You should have seen the surprised look on his face. This, from a person who, a few months ago, didn't know what the inside of a gym looked like. I have to admit, though, knowing that Canadian Living is following us for the year adds to the motivation! (By the way, the hotel had a gym and we did go work out.)

Last week I spoke with Fran and we discussed how the nutrition piece is going for us. The Canadian Living Test Kitchen took some of our recipes and "recreated" them by making them lighter, reducing the fat. Fran has seen them and we talked about them briefly. We are currently trying them out and comparing them (taste-wise) to the original recipe. Beginning again next month, all four of us are going to keep a food diary for Fran so she can see the changes we have made in our food/nutrition intake.

Month Four is almost over and everything is moving along really well.

Ria's writings
Month 4 has been a busy month for me. Cassandra and I talked about setting goals and working towards them. At the beginning of the month I set a goal for myself to run 3 km straight without stopping. My Dad and I clocked out 3 km, making sure we included a few hills for good hill training. I ran a few times a week. Sometimes Stefi and Dad came with me and one time even Mom came and ran for one minute and walked for two minutes. I don't think she liked it too much because she hasn't run again since. I can now run 3 km straight in about 30 minutes.

A few weeks ago Sue did a test with me to see how flexible I am. Since I am not very flexible Sue gave me some stretches that I do daily. I think I am improving. I will soon do another flexibility test to see if the stretches are helping and if I am improving.

We had a fun time with Cassandra last week. She came to see us and did communication exercises with Mom, Dad, Stefi and me. We talked about one- and two-way communication and the difference between the two. And we talked about how important communication is when trying to understand and explain things.

Stefi's story
This month, I feel, has been very good for me -- especially in gymnastics. My coach Krista has talked with Sue and told her I need to work on my upper-body strength. That has always been my weakness. When Sue works with me at GoodLife, she helps me with this. I have been doing chin-ups and other things to make my arms stronger. I was so happy because this week I finally did my back handspring.

Another thing Sue is helping me with is my balance. She has been putting me on the Bose Ball. Together we work on drills and each time my balance is better.


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Mind & Spirit

Family makeover diary: Month 4