Looking for the Carp

Seize the carp! Or the day! Or the moment! Anything that will help make this life of yours richer, filled with love, and acceptance of yourself. This is my little journey to always be on the look out for that carp, grabbing it, and never letting go. This is the only life we have and it's too short for what ifs and maybe laters!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

21st Carp- Whole 30 to 30th and kicking my Food Addiction

Today I want to take a minute and share with you my Whole 30 to 30th journey as it has completely rocked my body, mind and soul regarding my relationship with food and eating. But to do that, you need to know where I was starting from and how I hit "rock bottom" in terms of unhealthy eating. 

I believe that genetics has a lot to play with addictions. I think that some families have genes that make them more susceptible to problems with drugs and alcohol. My family, on both parental sides, has issues with addictions so I always was very prudent when dealing with cigarettes, alcohol etc. But I never thought that food had the possibility of becoming my drug of choice. While home, I found myself going to the corner store for *fixes* every day. EVERY DAY! I realized that if my trips were to the liquor store and not the Irving, that people would take notice and have some sort of intervention. When I stood on the scale and was quickly approaching a number I had during my 9th month of pregnancy, I gave myself an intervention. I did not want to look or feel this way leading into my 30th birthday. I wanted to look back at turning 30 with happiness that I felt great and was comfortable in my own skin. 

The beginning of October I started eating better. I started researching lifestyle changes and what would be best for my body. I didn't want a diet, I didn't want to count calories or points, I wanted something that was designed to make my body work better, rebuild and give it the fuel it needed to work its best. 

Through my research and talking to friends that have learned the benefits of clean eating (thank you Ilana and Chris!) I decided to take on the Whole 30 challenge! Best decision ever. It means no sugar, no wheat, no dairy, no legumes or alcohol for 30 days. Hard, yes. Manageable- VERY! But the book "It starts with Food" went through the science of these 'no-no' foods and confirmed how they were actually altering my brain chemistry like a drug would. "That's it", I thought, "I have spent my whole life making sure nothing was in control of me but me, I am not allowing myself to be run by my food addiction". 

To psych myself up for it, I made a flip chart of motivational sayings to start each day in the right mindset. Some of my favourites were: 

Rome wasn't built in a day, but they worked on it every single day. 
This month is going to be awesome! -LilBub 
I just want to feel awesome, know I am healthy and rock any outfit I choose. 
It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change! 

To see the whole album, you can find it under Instagram with the hashtag #whole30to30th. 
My direct Instagram account HERE  

I highly suggest that if anyone is feeling like I felt, to try whole 30. It is hard, but simple in it's execution. I could eat anything I wanted that didn't include the above mentioned foods, in any real quantity as long as I was eating to fullness, mindful of portions, and not have to worry about tracking. I just ate. And I ate real, honest to goodness, good food. 

During the challenge, I had my bad days. It seemed like everyone and their dog was having a birthday, and there was always cake around. I had bad nights with the baby that made me want the instant energy gratification that sugar gives.I had nights out at restaurants. My son went into surgery and I desperately wanted the soft, creamy comfort of milk chocolate. Basically, I lived my life but was still able to stick to plan. If you are in the right state of mind that failure isn't an option, this really is easy and YUMMY. 

Alright, you're thinking... this is all well and good but let's see results lady! Well, here they are: 

I lost 11.8 lbs on the program and 17.8 pounds since the beginning of October. 

I lost 11 inches over all. 

And this is me now! Wearing a top I wore to my engagement photos taken over 6 years and 2 kids ago! 

But more than the results on the scale and the tape measure, I actually feel awesome. I have so much more energy, I'm not as sluggish or irritable as I was, I'm not snacking because I am just not hungry in between meals, and I feel much more in control of my eating habits. 

I won't go back to how I was eating before. For now, I will allow myself to eat the OCCASIONAL piece of cake or sweet for a special occasion unless I find that it is opening a door to worse eating habits. Also, I have switched to eating a more Paleo diet which incorporates natural sugars like maple syrup and honey in moderation. I am finding recipes to make food that I thought I would have to give up forever, like pancakes, and making them fit my plan, like COCONUT PANCAKES. Hello ! I am feeling great and I hope, if you are ready, to feel great with me too. Give yourself 30 days, you'll be amazed. 

What's your carp? 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Review- Erin Condren Life Planner and GIVEAWAY

Hello All,

The last product I reviewed didn't really get my 5 star seal of approval. Well, move on over and watch out because my Erin Condren Life Planner is covered with my stamps, seals, and gold stars of approval. It's a game changer for anyone who likes to keep organized with a paper and pencil calendar.

At first, I must admit, I was a little put off by the price tag. I mean, it's an agenda... how could I spend so much on an AGENDA. But then the little voice inside me said, "You are talking to the person who would drive all around the city and go to different office supply stores to find the perfect organizational tool." When I worked at Chapters Indigo I became the Agenda Guru and could point out flaws, good points and great additions with any of our styles. So I thought, maybe, just maybe this would be the holy grail of life planners that I have been searching for all my life.

Well kids, just like Indiana Jones, I FOUND MY HOLY GRAIL!

I will go through the whole life planner, but if you would like to skip ahead and look at them yourself then here is the link to her website. www.erincondren.com

BUT use this link to make your customer account so you can get $10 your first purchase.

AND come back with your invoice number for a chance to win a bonus $10 from Erin Condren.

Now ladies and gents- here is how I use my Life Planer and why I think it is awesome.
First look at how cute it is packaged. There are lots of freebies included in your orders like extra stickers, gift bag tags, coupons for future purchase etc. etc. There is no detail overlooked to make you feel like this is one of the best purchases you have ever made.
Under the bubble wrap you can see the planner I chose plus some add-ons. I wanted the pen holder so I wasn't constantly scrambling for something to write with, and the elastic bands to keep everything together. Bonus, those elastic bands are also really awesome for a quick hair band if you're needing one.

Above is how I initially put together my life planner. The small book on top DID NOT come with my Erin Condren order but was something I was using initially to keep organized. I thought I would use them both in my day to day life, but I really didn't have a need to after moving into my workhorse of an agenda. You can also see from the side the easy to find tabs indicating the different months and how my pen snuggly fits against the back cover. All seamless. 

 Another bonus I really like is the perpetual calendar they add to their life planners. I have put all important dates in this guy and I can now keep it each year to remember birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates that might slip my mind. Love it. 
After the dual flap page, there is this sealed plastic pouch that you can keep odds and ends in. Right now I have all the stickers and gift tags from my shipment, but I would put business cards, reminder cards, receipts or anything else that I didn't want to lose in here. Very handy. 
 OK- Here is the nitty gritty of it. This is a monthly spread from October. The first full month I had the life planner. You can see it is very full. I am using it to organize paintings I am doing for others, Christmas DIY projects, every day life and so on. What I love love love about these planners is the movable stickers. That's right, I said movable, replaceable stickers. See the two up at the top that say massage? Well I had to cancel that massage but just moved the stickers off my calendar and perhaps I can reuse them again later. All of the stickers that come in the back of your planner are replaceable. So if an appointment changes you don't have to worry about crossing out and re-writing which eventually makes everything look messy. Instead, just move the sticker to the new date. Voila! 
Now here is an example of how I use the weekly spread. The three categories are morning, noon, night. Which might be great for some but right now I am re-titling them Chores, Body, and Soul. Being on maternity leave, I have to remember that there is more to me than mom, maid, chef, nanny etc. So I try to only do 3-4 chores a day which means that I still have time (and energy) to work on my body and my soul (which usually includes art). It has helped me feel accomplished in my every day tasks without sacrificing my feeling of self and identity. Also, I have been using this to keep on track with my Whole 30 journey (blog will be up once completed) so you can see I have also been using the bottom to meal plan. A great tool! 

So I think that's it. Again, I love my life planner. Every week looks full like that so I can totally justify the price tag of the product. It has made me much more organized and less frazzled about everything that needs to be accomplished before Christmas. I really will never go back to another type of agenda again because this is laid out so beautifully and lends itself to ease of use. 

If you would like to get yours, remember to use this link while setting up your customer profile.
You will get a coupon code for $10 your first purchase once it has been set up! If you make a purchase, come back and put in your order number so I can verify that entry in the rafflecopter below for a chance to win an additional $10 off. :) 

I can see this tool, and their TEACHER PLANNERS= HELLO AMAZING being great Christmas gifts for yourself or that special someone. 


***Canadians- the shipping to Canada is rather high so if you have an American buddy or US address you can use, I suggest doing that to save you some cash.This is the only downside I have seen to ordering from her. But after having the product, one that wouldn't hinder me from purchasing.***

a Rafflecopter giveaway