Dream Creator

Dream Creator
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Just a small town Canadian dreamer... This started as the diary of a young woman's experience with breast cancer and continues 5 years later as the diary of a woman, like many other, who has decided to take her lemons and make lemonade. **If reading this blog for the purpose of learning about my breast cancer experience, PLEASE START AT THE OLDEST POST (October 2009) AND WORK YOUR WAY FORWARD**

Monday, August 31, 2015

Registration for the Fall 2015 Healthy Role Model: Fit To The Core Program has opened!

I often compare my experience with Healthy Role Models like reading the most amazing book...When you're done reading it, you just want everyone else to experience how wonderful it was and so you go advertising it and shoving it down every one's throat! Haha...
Truly though, 
I guess I always thought that my past attempts at a healthy balanced life failed because I wasn't ready...
Like, I'd have to be so ready, more ready than anyone could imagine, like I'd have to put on a suit of armour, graduate with honors from a nutrition course first, have a closet full of Lululemon, and have zero doubt in my mind Ready.
However, once I realized that I succeeded even though I was a blubbering mess at registration time, I mean I almost backed out a couple times, I had nightmares I was going to fail! Once I realized I could be these things and still succeed, that's when my excitement to share with others appeared. 
It's cliche to say "if I can do it, so can you!" But seriously, if I can do it, anyone can! 
So looking back I feel like I can see some of the building blocks to my success.
Everyone has different key components to their success but I'd like to share mine to those Inspired to sign up and to those contemplating making the change...

The things that helped me succeed in this program:

-Number 1 key component would have to be that I committed. I committed 12 weeks to this program. That's not really a very long time, and I knew I could give it my all for 12 weeks at least and see what happened.

-TRUSTING the journey. I put my trust in the process. I trusted Sarah and David, the other members
and when I was ever faced with doubt, I'd go onto the website or Facebook page and look at the
before and after photos of all the women who stuck to it and trusted.

-My sister who was my mentor during this program gave me great advice when I signed up. She said, the most important part of this program is being active on the private Facebook page (Sarah adds you to it when you've registered) and she was right. At first I didn't like the page, women who had been in previous challenges were already posting their workout posts and selfies and it was intimidating and even a bit annoying to me at the time, because the challenge hadn't even started yet and they were already working out and my mind was NOT there. But I forced myself to check in a few times a day, watch the videos that Sarah posted daily, really LISTEN to what she was saying, TAKE PART in the mini challenges and contests she would post and keep TRUSTING.  From that, along with my workouts starting to happen and my brain starting to feel more clear and positive, it became second nature for me to cheer on my fellow HRMS posting on the page. It became almost impossible for me 
not to share my sweaty selfies post workout because I was excited and proud! The snowball effect
began to take place and by the end of the challenge I had a whole new community that I loved, loved me and was always positive and supportive. The BEST MOTIVATION EVER. The magic in the HRM Facebook group is what differentiates this program from others.

-DO YOUR HOMEWORK..making sure you create your vision board, write out your "why's" (all homework in the early part of the program) it's all so important in keeping grounded, and keeping your vision clear. Do the homework asked of you, trust the process, and commit for the 12 weeks. Just do it, there's always a good reason for it, you'll understand once it's over.

-Try not to compare yourself with others. This one was hard for me. I mean, I was busting my ass the first month and really didn't see much physical change. Others were posting pics and sharing that they were dropping pant sizes like mad! It was hard not to say "Screw it, this doesn't work for ME!" And quit...but I didn't, and eventually my time came. I turned a corner and I started to see my results and
that was enough to keep me going. Every one's journey is different. Don't give up!

-LOVE yourself and applaud yourself for even the little things.

*This is something that the HRM community preaches a lot, and it's important. If you only complete half a workout one day or eat a donut, don't freak out and beat yourself up and quit. I truly think this was the reason I quit every other diet or exercise program I tried...I thought I had to do everything full on, perfectly to see results. If I couldn't give it my all (some days you just can't) then I'd give up. Instead of beating yourself up over it, flip the situation around and look at all you HAVE done. "I didn't do 3 sets of that workout, but I did do 2, and that's so much more than I ever did before!, So talk nicely to yourself, be your best cheerleader and praise yourself for what you HAVE done, don't focus on what you haven't. With that being said, there's some common sense that needs to be brought into this equation...if you're choosing to eat pizza every night, you aren't going to get to your goal very efficiently (maybe at all) so keep focused on your "WHY" and your goals and try to take as many steps in the right direction to get you there. IF you happen to fall, pick yourself up, give yourself a hug and keep truckin'. :)

Most of these points are things that will be taught to you in more detail via the Facebook page, but pointing them out to you now might be beneficial in helping you succeed...they were my most important factors.
I also want to mention a few point note form things I try to do everyday to keep me on track. Most are very simple things I try to be mindful of day to day...

-DRINK WATER. Lots of water. Carry a big bottle with you everywhere. Try to drink 3 LITERS a day. It helps with boosting metabolism, cleansing and curbing (fantasy) hunger.

-Always have your freezer full of healthy treats. Use the HRM recipes (on the website and the 185 pg cookbook on the Facebook page) to find treats that appeal to you. Make up varied batches regularly and keep them on hand if you get cravings...same goes for savoury treats...roasted chickpeas, greek salad, kale chips, popcorn, seeds and nuts are all ones I like...the Facebook page is a great place to pick up new ideas and share. Most HRMS set aside a few hours every week to prep food so that there's always a healthy option to grab. :)

-EAT REGULARLY! Every 3 hours is best (Sarah will talk about this). I'm lucky I adore my
Isagenix.. I start my day with a shake. I don't like eating breakfast but I've learned the value of eating first thing in the day to get your metabolism fired up and also so I have energy for my workout. These balanced meal replacements are chalk full of nourishment with the perfect amount of calories needed  to keep me energized! Because they're only 240 cals, I know im getting what I need but no more than I need...it is hard for me to understand calories, so I appreciate the simplicity of grabbing a shake and being able to trust I'm getting what I need and nothing more. (Isagneix is not mandatory in this program, use what works for you)

-I try to keep most of my carb intake to the earlier part of the day. I consume very few carbs at dinner.

-Change up your workouts if you're getting bored, just make sure you keep moving. If I've been
doing treadmill cardio all month and am feeling bored. I'll switch it up. I'll drop in for a class at the
pool, or go for a hike. Keep it interesting, remember, this is going to be your new life...you don't
 neccesarily want to be chained to one piece of equipment.

- I reward myself regularily with items that compliment my new lifestyle. I'll buy a new            
  headband here and a cookbook there...how fun and guiltless! Treat yourself like you'd treat your best friend. 

-Always remember this is your new lifestyle. Make this work for you for LIFE. For example, if the thought of you cutting out birthday cake at all of the birthday parties you attend is NOT realistic to you, and the thought of it makes you want to pack up and quit the program, then don't cut out the cake. This needs to work for you for the long haul. Eat the cake, enjoy the cake, and maybe skip the cheese and crackers instead. Just be mindful.

Please don't be too overwhelmed by all of this info if it seems too much. Just take from it what you need, and check back once in a while and incorporate more as you find room for it. Remember BABY STEPS
in the right direction....
I'm so excited for those that have decided to join me on this journey. I was actually moved to tears
reading all of the emails from friends and family who have decide to take the leap.

I trusted this process and now it's proven itself to me, both with my own physical results AND its ripple effect on others I love.
Here's to the Fall 2015  challenge and more lives changed!!
Watch this video below to see some more about the program and see some amazing transformation photos.

Other Resources are: Healthy Role Models on Facebook,  Youtube, Instagram and the website: www.healthyrolemodels.com

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Megan Re-invented.

I can't believe its been 3 years since I've been a cancer blogger. 
What a ride that was.
Here I am now, a whole new girl! 
I've been a supporter to other women who've been diagnosed...
My husband has been a supporter to other cancer supporters,
We've been regularly giving back thru hosting fundraisers and we've genrally made the most of our past cancer experience.
There is still some fear of recurrence, but mostly we live in the moment, happy and carefree.
There's still some signs left behind from the cancer, scars, numbness, brain fog etc, but all seems very minor in the grand scheme of things. 
All in all life is grand. 
I survived, just like thousands of women every year,
I survived.
So why am I back here on this blog? 
Well, I'm newly enlightened, re-invented!
I've found my newest passion and my new identity.
And sharing this new passion isn't always welcomed on social media. 
Not everybody is as excited about our passions as we are, so this platform gives those that are, the option to check in or not. 

So here's my new story...
In March, I was on a vacation with my husband in Italy...
I was at my heaviest weight.
We were travelling thru Italy, endulging at every turn, and I'm glad we did, but I had been carrying a burden on my shoulders for some time. 

You see, I've always wanted to be healthy.
Fit, athletic.
But I have never found it natural to put in the effort to be this person.
I've always been terrible at sports, 
I was a self proclaimed exercise LOATHER.
The girl who made self deprecating jokes on a regular basis.
And for years I was naturally skinny, so it didn't really matter! I wasn't fit, but the physique didn't show my laziness...
I wished I could love exercise. I wanted to be the person who lived healthy, and loved it. Who found it natural to do so.
I tried this or that...
Weight watchers, 
cross fit, 
Nothing stuck.
Until Italy. 
I call it a perfect storm.
I was lying in my hotel room, at the end of my vacation. 
I was carb loaded, puffy, tired, and feeling very unhealthy.
Not to mention the anxiety. The fear of recurrence that creeps in when you know you aren't living the ideal lifestyle for prevention.
And in that low moment, my half sister sent me a Facebook message.
She had been following a health program for some time. 
I had seen her progress on Facebook.
I knew she was looking fit and seeming much happier.
I had checked in with her at one point about what she was doing to be in this mental and physical place, and she explained the program, but I wasn't ready to join in.
But in Italy, in that moment, when she messaged me saying there was an hour left to join the next session....
I pounced.
That was it.
She signed me up so fast she didn't give me a chance to change my mind...
I returned to Canada a few days later and on our drive home from the airport I stopped for my first load of "healthy, new me, new family, new life"  groceries, wondering what I had done and how long this would last before I'd quit just like I had everything else I had ever tried.
I definitely didn't feel ready.

Little did I know that I WAS ready.
The program I joined is called Healthy Role Models- Fit To The Core. (HRM-FTTC)
and the 12 weeks of the program was a RIDE.
It was so much more than a workout schedule and meal suggestions...the real gold of the program is the daily 24hr support.
When you sign up, you are added to a private HRM Facebook page where Sarah, David (the founders of HRM) and the other Ambassadors post regularly via posts, and video blogs.
They give you things to think about and focus on for the day or week and challenge you to self improvement tasks and contests (yes there are regular prizes).
These daily posts re-train your brain to think differently than before. Its such a hard thing to explain unless you have experienced it, you will never understand it's value.
I just remember my lightbulb moment when I realized why everything else hadn't STUCK ...it was because I was always hating on myself.
Being so hard on myself.
Expecting too much too soon and the pressure was too much, I would just quit!
If I couldn't get on the treadmill and run for an hour and lift 20llbs weights on day one I would tell myself I wasn't cut out for this and just quit...or dread doing it for the next few weeks and THEN quit...
HRM taught me (sorry for the cheesy clique) to love myself.
To talk to myself like I would talk to my best friend.
Applaud myself for every attempt at living a healthier life, even it was only making one good choice in my day (that's one more good choice than I WAS making before the program).
Even if I could only do 15min of cardio one day, it was still 15min more than I was doing before and that gentleness and patience of knowing, "there is no time limit to a life of healthiness", and "that every day is a new day" and "Rome wasn't built in a day" and so on... It made me think differently.
 I will ALWAYS be working on my masterpiece, and being healthy and strong makes me feel GOOD! And that good feeling LASTS and grows and ripples out to others around me, and they start wanting the same for themselves and that's the point of Healthy Role Models...
Since I started in April I have lost 28llbs of fat and gained plenty of muscle. I've lost many inches and built strength and endurance, confidence and I now radiate happiness and gratitude daily.
My family has jumped on board, and are living healthier lives with ease...many of my friends are as well...
Though it seemed so foreign and overwhelming on day 1, I just told myself " Megan, you can do ANYTHING for 12 weeks...it's only 12 weeks. Now commit, and see what happens..."
I am proud to say that I was named a finalist in the 12 week challenge amongst 600 + other women. I am so proud of that...I put my mind to it and I prevailed.
And the joke's on me....what started as a 12 week challenge is NOT THAT AT ALL. It's a change for LIFE. There's very few women who commit to the 12 weeks and then quit once it's over.
Did you know that if you do anything for 66days straight it becomes a new habit? Meaning it's easier for you to continue with that routine than to stop that routine...(another thing I learned during my 12 weeks)
So that's my summary,
in a nutshell.
I look forward to reflecting more on key points from my 12 week journey as well and journaling my current experiences as they reveal themselves.
It's all such a wild thing how life takes us down these twisted paths, but we always end up right where we belong.