Feb 27 2011

Why Me Time Is Important

Finding Your Light

by: Sharon DeVellis

The last I wrote about speed skating, I was up in the air as to what to do.  I wanted to try it, Son No. 1 was vehemently opposed.  Since then we had a little sit down where I explained I wasn’t only “a mom” I was a person too and that he’s inspired me to try something new. Long story short, if I promised not to skate any meets in the first year, he was all for it. 

Since then I’ve gone twice and from the moment I stepped onto the ice, arms wind milling while I tried to catch my balance, I’ve loved it.

In a way, speed skating has allowed me to see how far I’ve fallen when I never even realized I had been falling to begin with.

On paper, this past year for me has been great:  I’m editor of a website, a story I’ve written is going to be published in a book, I’ve made new friends who are dear to my heart, found mentors who I trust and admire, I've travelled, tried new experiences, my husband is still my best friend and man of my dreams, and my boys…well…they just amaze me with their awesomeness.  I’ve had people tell me how lucky I am and they’re right.  Here I was at 41 finding my stride and moving forward in an upward direction.  Or so I thought.

Sometime over this past year I disconnected.  Like somebody clicked a switch and I started only going through the motions.  This isn’t to say there weren’t days where I laughed and felt good but underneath, there was a certain “meh” about it all. 

Have you ever gone swimming and you’re just below the surface, not much - maybe a foot.  The sunlight is permeating the water but the heat isn't hitting your face, you hear the voices and laughter of everyone who’s heads are above the water, but you’re not a part of it.  You’re there just below wanting to join in but if you open your mouth, even for a second, you’ll start to drown.

That was me.  Not drowning, but not actively playing above the surface.

I went through my days doing what needed to be done, but I wasn’t “there”.  And yet no matter how hard I tried to stay engaged, no matter how much I promised myself I was going to be there fully and completely, I couldn’t. By the end of the day I was done.

The insomnia has been bad, not gonna lie.  Every morning my husband and I have the married routine of asking each other how our sleep was.  I would garner a guess that out of 365 mornings, a minimum of 200 has been me responding….good until about 4:00 a.m. and then I couldn’t get back to sleep.

This isn’t depression, I’ve gone through that before – twice – and this is no where near that hellish experience. This is more along the lines of becoming so intrinsically involved in life that I forgot I was also supposed to live it as well.  I was so busy doing - moving forward full force like an ox pulling a cart, eyes focussed on the ground below so as not to trip on a stray rock, I failed to notice the beautiful scenery surrounding me.  My head disappearing beneath the surface of the water was such a slow decent nobody noticed.  Not even me. 

Until I went speed skating.

And for one brief moment, I broke through the water's surface and was able to breathe again.

I’m on my way back.
 

"
Feb 13 2011

Why I Can't Stick To An Exercise Plan

Finding A Plan That Works For You

by: Sharon DeVellis

When I first started blogging I made a promise to myself that I would be honest about my successes and my failures.

No Matter How Humiliating.

I was kind of referring to my parenting skills or lack thereof but, you know, life happens. Sooooo…….remember when I wrote about how changing my attitude can change everything?

This is where I now tell you I totally fell off the band wagon. 

*Insert humiliation here*  Ooooo….look at me….I can’t keep my commitments and still have a bum that belongs on a teddy bear hamster.

I mean, I didn’t fall off completely.  I still wholeheartedly believe changing my attitude will help me change my life and I do celebrate the small successes.  Just yesterday I high-fived myself for driving to downtown Toronto and finding parking By Myself!  Which if you know me, is a big deal.

When it comes to my kids, husband, friends and family, I have no problem keeping my commitments.  I’ve also never ever missed a work deadline.  I eat healthy (yes, including lunch every day which does sometimes includes Healthy Choice Gourmet Steamers), don’t skip meals (people who say they forget to eat really annoy me) and always get enough sleep (I’m lazy). Yet I seem to have a genetic flaw which prevents me from committing to exercise on a regular basis.  I start all gung-ho and then just stop.  No rhyme or reason for it, one day I’m running and feel great, the next I just quit.

And that’s exactly what happened in between my last Healthy Choice blog and now.  I started off great – I fit in exercise throughout the day and even started a Couch to 5k running program. 

Then it died out and being the Queen of excuses, I never restarted. 

So Healthy Choice wanted to help me out and generously pointed me in the direction of Bruno LoGreco who is a life coach.  I was kind of rolling my eyes at the thought of speaking to him because I’m a do-it-myself kind of gal and didn’t put much heed in life coaching (sorry Bruno, you had your work cut out for you).

Prior to speaking, Bruno had me fill out a form with 155 questions pertaining to my life and I had to answer them on a scale of one to five.  One being “No” and Five being “Very Likely”.  It turns out, even though I’m a shade of grey person in real life, I answered the questions very black and white, using ones and fives frequently.  This apparently set off alarm bells with Bruno. 

Thankfully after we talked for a few minutes he began to see I wasn’t crazy, I just didn’t understand some of the questions.  Bruno and I talked for close to an hour.  He went through the questionnaire with me confirming some of my answers and asking me more in-depth questions. 

What it boiled down to is this. 

I’m an adventure seeker, which wasn't a surprise to me at all.  There's a reason I took trapeze classes, went zorbing, took on my fear of heights at an adventure course and am signing up for speed skating.  I love to try new things. 

What surprised me is my adventurous nature also needs to be applied to my exercise habits. 

Huh? 

Ya…my thoughts exactly. 

Six years ago, in an attempt to lose the baby weight from Son No. 2, I signed up to run a half marathon.  I had never run before and I trained by myself for 4 ½ months.  When someone asked why I did it, my response was always the same “I felt if I focussed on a goal, it would take my mind off the weight”. 

Race day came, I ran, I finished and I never had the inclination to run another race again. 

Turns out it wasn’t about the goal, it was about the adventure of trying something new.  Once I had done it, my interest was gone. 

It was a light bulb moment for me.  Essentially I make excuses to not run on a treadmill because it bores me to tears. The same holds true with any other sort of repetitious exercises.

That being said, realistically I *will* have to incorporate boring exercise into my life but the core of my exercise needs to come from trying new things that will offer me excitement and fill up my need for adventure -  like speed skating. 

I never would have discovered this without the help of Bruno.  And I’d like to thank Healthy Choice Gourmet Steamers for giving me the opportunity to discover why I wasn’t making healthy choices for myself. 

I’ll see you on the speed skating rink.

And quite possibly rock climbing.  My arms are starting to look a little flabby.

 

This blog is proudly sponsored by our friends at
Healthy Choice® Gourmet SteamersTM

"
Feb 11 2011

Love Notes For Your Little Ones

Add A Little Love To Their Lunch

by: Sharon DeVellis

We don't buy candy or cards for Valentine's Day and instead we give gifts to make the boys feel special -- like these t-shirts. The shirts were inexpensive, super easy to make and the kids loved them.   

Another thing I do to make my kids feel special is put a note in their lunches every day.  While they typically never say anything about the notes, if I miss putting one in, I hear about it. 

And not in a nice loving way either.

But on occasion, due to circumstances beyond my control *twitter cough cough* I don't have enough time to write a note and put it in.

So I was very exicted when Hallmark sent me these this week.

Cute, aren't they? It's part of their Valentine's Day collection but for a note writing mom like myself, these little notes will be making an appearance throughout the year.  They have cute sentiments on each one and the best part is you you can just tear them out and slip them into the lunch bags. 

Assuming that you didn't spend too much time on twitter and actually made your kids their lunches.

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Sharon is a Common Sense Parent which is somewhere in between being free-range and helicopter. She believes in being active as a family and eating well 85% of the time. The other 15% is for the days when she's PMSing and then all bets are off. So far her parenting style has worked wonders for her two boys who astound her on a daily basis but that's not to say she doesn't have time to totally screw it up. She can't teach you how to keep your house clean while balancing a job and motherhood but if you're a mom who's struggling to figure it out, you've found your tribe.

You can follow Sharon on Twitter: @SharonDV

You can also visit her at: Speed Skating Mom: On The Slow Track To Becoming Fast

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