Canadian-Sun-Protection-Infographic

This week from Monday, June 2 to Sunday, June 8 2014 is National Sun Awareness Week in Canada. The Canadian Dermatology Association has been running this campaign annually since 1989. This year it will be marked by a number of events and activities across Canada, including:

  • Free skin screenings all over the country (find one in  your location)
  • School visits by dermatologists
  • A video competition for teens

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50daysWL

Today is Day 1 of my 50 Days to Weight Loss Plan. 

Remember at the beginning of the year when I was so motivated and I went out and purchased a scale? That was to keep track of my weight loss, remember?

So it turned out that I paid $25 for a crappy scale that doesn’t work, and it’s now on sale for $10. I can step on it every two minutes and it will give me a different weight. I put it on the tile floor and it gives me a different weight than it does on the hardwood floor. I GIVE UP. No more scale. I don’t care, I’m not spending $100 on a scale.

But I’m still gaining weight.

My clothes don’t fit right. Not at all. Everything is shrinking. (I swear, it’s the clothes, not me… ha ha.)

Why A Challenge?

I have a million and one reasons to do this weight loss challenge. My diminishing self-confidence, my expanding waistline, my active children, my health, my clothes not fitting – there are so many. It comes down to health reasons, but there’s also my vanity, my depression, all wrapped up in the same yoga pants I wear on the daily.

I’ve realised that the next 50 days are going to go by whether I work out and eat well, or not. I want to make the next 50 days count.

Why 50 Days?

I think 50 days is a good time period in which to notice a difference in your body. I’ve done 21-day challenges (where I notice almost nothing), I’ve done 30-day challenges (where I feel like I accomplish something little then give up), but 50 days? I’ve never done that before and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

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body-weight-scale

During the Great Purge of 2013, I got rid of my scale.

We were moving out of one big rental property into a small tiny rental, awaiting the construction to be finished on our dream home. All the “stuff” that one acquires in life was therefore being put into a storage container – all of our furniture, our off-season clothing, toys, kitchen appliances, shoes, skis, bikes, and things were being carefully placed into storage.

It was worse than moving.

Not only was I packing things away that I was hoping I wouldn’t need for the next 6 months, but the knowledge that I would then have to move them INTO my home and unpack 6 months later – it gave me nightmares.

So instead of blindly packing everything away I purged. I sold. I donated.

Anything and everything that seemed useless or unnecessary. Clothing, shoes, furniture, electronics, DVDs, Barbie dream houses – things kids hardly played with, books I never read – all the CLUTTER that one acquires was quickly sold thanks to Facebook Buy & Sell pages and Craigslist. Anything that wasn’t sold was quickly donated or recycled.

The scale was one of those items.

I am constantly reading that if you really want to lose weight then you should get rid of your scale! (examples: here, here, here, and here.) So I sold it for $10 and went along my merry way.

However!!!! View Post

anxiety-depression-natural

I’ve written quite a bit about my experiences with post-partum depression (here, here, and here), and I’ve received quite a few emails and messages from readers who have had experiences with all forms of depression and anxiety symptoms. I’ve hesitated writing what I’ve been doing lately – I’m doing a lot better, but as anyone who has struggled with depression knows, I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting for it all to go ‘bad’ again.

First, if you think you have some sort of depression, you should go talk to a doctor. I turned to google and researched the hell out of it before breaking down in tears at my doctor’s office when I couldn’t find a cure for myself. Why did I even go to the doctor? There was a point where I was constantly living in the ups and downs of emotional highs and lows. When I felt good, I felt great – life was great! Family was great! Nothing could go wrong! And then the next day I’d wake up and just not feel good, bickering with my husband, talking down to my loved ones, yelling at my children – I never was “suicidal”, I never wanted to cause physical pain to myself, but I would often think of how much happier my family would be without me. How they would be sad at first but they would survive without me. These weren’t good feelings to have, and I really couldn’t hold them in anymore.

Why did I wait so long to talk to a doctor? Because I didn’t want to be another statistic. Yet another person – another woman – on mood-altering drugs, on medication that is supposed to be temporary but ends up as a permanent way of life for people. I didn’t want to be “one of those”. But sometimes you can’t do it alone. Sometimes there are hormone imbalances at play and life becomes difficult. I know this now, and I know there is no shame in asking for help or admitting ‘defeat’. This is life. We can’t always do it all, nor should we. View Post

Depression

Depression is such a boring topic. It’s not even an accurate descriptive of my feelings. I am not sad. I don’t have the “baby blues”. I’m just stuck inside of a bucket deep in a well of my own making, there are times when the bucket rises and I can see blue skies and butterflies and then other times the rope seems to slip and I delve deeper into this dark pit of nothingness.

The horrible part of all of this is that I KNOW THIS IS HAPPENING. And I can’t seem to pull myself out of it. I shake my head at myself in constant amazement that I cannot seem to “level” myself out.

A big problem for me lately is my anti-social behaviour.

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Go Run

Life can be so funny sometimes. I started off this year wanting to really pull myself together again, live the life I had always imagined. Together my husband and I started to slowly eat better, in March we actually quit alcohol for the month  and were eating healthy foods about 90% of the time (a girl still needs her emergency chocolate!). I was so motivated to get this healthy goal of mine going.

But in April, my motivation started to wane. We started to have more and more “cheat” nights, started ordering pizza again, and by May we were back to our weekend food binges, Tuesday night pizza, wine on a Thursday (because why not?), etc, etc. I realised that the 12 pounds I lost in March had all crept back on.

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postpartum

After the births of each of my children, I went through periods of postpartum depression, which I am still going through today. The one surprising thing is that after the birth of each child, the PPD symptoms were different.  Just like each child is completely different, so were my mental health problems, I suppose.

I was 22 when my first child was born, I was young, I was not prepared for the realities of motherhood, and really, who is? But I know in my heart that my maturity level wasn’t truly ready to accept the changes in my life. I was weepy for the first few months of my daughter’s life. They called it the “baby blues”. I would cry at the drop of a hat, I wasn’t ‘sad’, I didn’t feel ‘depressed’, but I would cry for no reason at all. I tried to keep it hidden away, pretend everything was okay in my life, and on the surface I thought I had succeeded. Only the closest people in my life really knew, and the closest ones usually receive the shit end of the stick (like my poor husband found out)…

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