I must really suck at this..

my 6 tried and true tips for navigating social media as a new mom 🤦‍♀️

“comparison is the thief of joy.” – theodore roosevelt

you are not your feed, you are also not the opposite, the anti, or the enemy of someone else’s feed. you do not need to do look, act, or post a certain way in order to be a good mom and it DOES NOT matter what any one else is doing when you are taking care of a new baby. Unless that person is helping you (everyone you know should be helping you).

It’s to remember with the “new normal” in this age of social media, but the things that are going on in the world, or social media, are no where near as important as the things you are doing to care for yourself and your baby. Then again, with all the hours we spend up in the middle of the night, nursing, feeding, reading, rocking, and so on, it’s hard not to get sucked into all the things every one is doing “better than us”.  Of course they’re not, it just looks that way online. Which sucks when you’re a new mom just trying to get through the way without getting puked or crapped on, let alone eat or pee or get some sleep. It’s hard enough.

But look, you’re not alone. we all do it ** that’s how they make money** so let me just remind you again that you are not your social media feed, and other people are not theirs, and that you are amazing- and beautiful, and incredible, and doing a BOMB-ASS job of being a mom.

But you and I both know you’re still going to spend lots of time on the internet. Lots and lots of time. So let’s talk about some ways that you can safely navigate and still reap the benefits of social media (cause there are many) and not go completely insane or spend all your savings on tummy flattening tea and carseat covers, akay? K. Buckle up, here they are.

  1. limit social media use. if you have the new iPhone update, there’s a nice little app on there called “Screentime”. That little devil is going to watch your activity on your phone and tell you when & where you’re spending your precious time on your phone. It can be a little alarming but also really helpful. You can even set time limits on it. A great option for new moms and anyone else with neck pain from looking down at their phones all day. But seriously, give yourself a time limit on phone use(set a timer for 10-15 min when you pick it up and when it goes on, put it down), or specific times of day/night when you don’t use your phone. You know what they say, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. put the phone down girl..that is.. after you read 2-6 of course 🙂
  2. out of sight out of mind. – remove your sM apps from your homescreen. hide them behind “keynotes” or something else completely irrelevant. I mean, how amany times have you opened your phone to check the timeweather and end up scorlling your feed for 5 minutes never hacing known what time it was in the first place. Stick those apps in the back (or delete them altogether! ) and see the freedom it creates in your mind and in your life.

  3. Curate your feed. turn your social feed into a soothing spa.
    this is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten or given. You have a choice what shows up in your social feed, so curate it… by clicking that pretty blue button called “unfollow”. You should really only follow people/pages that make you feel awesome — and even if that is constantly changing, so what? follow, unfollow, it’s your life – it doesn’t matter how a follow makes someone else feel, assess how your feed makes you feel and if the answer isn’t exhilerated and inspired, or mellowed and comforted, then girlfriend hit that unfollow button. there’s no reason to feel like crap. If you would be better off following pictures of water and leaves then follow your natural flow mama and follow your heart. I can’t express this enough, your social media is yours. Unfollow, unfriend, do your thing. life’s too short to read about Pessimistic Patty’s failed relationship for the umpteenth time or  watch moms of 6 benchpress their husbands in bikinis. if that shit doesn’t light you up then girl LET. IT. GO.
  4. It’s called SOCIAL media. use it to communicate. find people like you, who like the things you like. slide into those DM’s and say “Hi – my kid doesn’t sleep either! let’s send each other memes at 2 am”  and BOOM a beautiful friendship is born. send messages, comment, engage (in a positive way) and get social. motherhood can be isolating and social media is a brilliant opportunity to feel connected and engaged, if you use it the right way. join the #betterafterbaby community or a local community in your area. Join a group for moms who love the bachelor,  I mean if you love it, there’s probably at least half a dozen other mamas who do, so go find them, and laugh a little.
  5. UNFOLLOW. I kind of covered this in #3 with curating your feed but I cannot stress enough how important this is. If you come across a post that makes you feel icky about yourself, UNFOLLOW. If pictures of #thatgirl from high school keep popping up and making you feel like you aren’t good enough just the amazing gorgeous way that you are then unfollow or unfriend or whatever – WHO CARES?! It’s just the internet. It’s not real life. I repeat: it’s not real life. And your mindset & sanity matter a lot more than someone’s follow count. I promise. If you decide later down the road that you’re just nosey and want to know then go look, request to follow, it happens every day. If there’s something you think will be helpful down the line, then unfollow now, and come back later. That’s the beauty of the internet, it will still be there when you get back. And on the off chance that it’s not, something very very similar will have popped up in the meantime.
  6. take a break. just take the weekend off.
    Seriously. Just put your phone down. set it to Do Not Disturb with emergency numbers only and hide it in the medicine cabinet and live disconnected for a while. capture moments in your memory not your cloud. Do some yoga and don’t tell anyone about it. Just be you – cause you’re really amazing, and the people who matter know that, they know it … even if  your Instagram is full of blurry pictures of your kids sleeping cause that’s the only time they sit still.

Social media can be an amazing tool for discovering new people, places and things. But it can also be dangerous, and stressful. Use these suggestions to help you navigate the online side of what is already a really exciting and terrifying time in a mama’s life. Facebook Communities like #BetterAfterBaby are a place where you can be yourself, connect with other moms and feel normal, in a world where everything feels new and scary. Use social media for it’s intention, socializing & fun, and you’ll have no trouble at all. And if you do find yourself caught up in the comparison game, just jump into #BetterAfterBaby and confess, all the other mamas (including myself) will be there to commiserate with you. Cause you are not alone. I repeat: you are not also. Don’t ever let social media make you think you are 👭

 

I Had Fun Getting Fat.

& 5 Signs You Need To Make A Change

 

I spent all last year experimenting.

I did things I’d literally never done before.

I went completely out of my comfort zone.

I went against my better judgement and did things I’m not proud of. But it was a good experience, and in some ways made me a much better person, in other ways not so much.

I gained 30 lbs. Honestly probably closer to 40. But who’s counting?

I. Ate. Everything. 

I drank wine every day.

I worked out maybe once or twice a week. Maybe not.

I did a whole lot of nothing, and I loved it.

I have always been one for an active lifestyle, but last year, after baby #3, it just felt like too much. I felt like the pressure to get back into shape was overwhelming, but not so much as the pressure to be a happy & functioning human being. And something had to give.

So I chose the latter. I chose to listen to that little brat inside my head telling me that it was “okay” to eat whatever I wanted, drink whenever I wanted and skip a few dozen workouts. In the name of my mental health, it was the best thing for me. I wasn’t in a place where I could be happy and healthy mentally AND work on my physical fitness.

I knew that, I acknowledged it, and I listened to what I needed.

But now I need a change. 

I have felt it stirring for the past few months. I have felt my body and my mind showing me the signs that there was something not right anymore.

I had to read the signs carefully, though. Despite some serious weight gain and the usual #momlife stuff, I was happy. I enjoyed it all…

Full disclosure: I had fun getting fat. 

Maybe a little too much fun.

I had never let myself go there before. I have always been strict with my eating and drinking, always followed an intense exercise regimen, because it always worked for me. It was always what made me feel good and feel good about myself. But last year that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t what my body wanted.

What my body wanted was cheese. And pizza. And kettle corn. And peanut butter cups. And red wine. And anything else you could throw at it.

I watched more Netflix last summer alone than I think I have in my entire life. I just needed rest. I craved comfort. And I went for it.

And if I’m being totally honest, I loved it.

But in the fall things started to change. It didn’t feel good anymore.

I went all summer without feeling bad about my body. In fact I had felt really good. I wore bikinis at the beach and my shortest shorts with no regrets. I never compared or felt concerned about what other people thought. I was just living and having fun and it felt good.

So when I started to feel like I wanted to make some changes, it was important for me to know that they were coming from the right place. And that whatever I did or didn’t do was still in the pursuit of happiness and health.  However I chose to make those changes, I needed to be acting out of integrity.

Needless to say over the past few months I’ve thought tirelessly about this, and as I approach this stage of going full force into making a big life change, I want to know that I’m acting out of honesty, integrity, and with my best intentions at heart. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of the most obvious signs that I needed a change, and if you see them popping up in your life, it’s probably time for you to seek change too.

5 Signs You Need to Make a Change

 

  1. You spend more time hating on your body than you do loving on it.

    When you look in the mirror each morning is your automatic reaction a  “daamnnn girl” or “oh no”…? It’s really pretty simple. Are you wallowing in self pity or cheering yourself on? When I was spending more time staring the mirror reminiscing on what I used to look like that feeling proud of what my body had accomplished, I knew it was time for a change.
  2. You compare yourself to other and long for what they have.

    It doesn’t even have to be about your body. If you’re comparing your life, your car, your job, your kids, anything at all it’s a sure sign of dissatisfaction with what you have going on in your own life. It’s just your brain’s way of distracting you from the things it’s not happy with in your life. If you are constantly comparing yourself to other moms, friends, people in the media, you may want to stop and re-examine what it is you’re unhappy with in your life.
  3. You have no energy when you wake up in the morning.

    Now I know we’re all moms here so there’s a big part of this that we can’t change, but if you wake up every single morning more tired than when you went to bed, there is definitely something wrong.  After a night of sleep, or honestly even a few hours, you should wake up refreshed, looking forward to the new day. If your life doesn’t even make you want to get out of bed, it’s definitely time for a change.

  4. You count down to bed time.

    This kind of goes with #3 but particularly as it pertains to moms, this one is all bad. If your life makes you so miserable that you don’t even want to be awake for it, literally counting down ’til it’s over, then it is definitely time for an intervention. That is no way to live. You need to make a change. But I’m guessing by now you already know that.

  5. There is something you’ve wished for for years and never accomplished.

    AKA: You’ve known this whole time you need a change but have never through with it. You have all the excuses. You did it before kids, but it’s just out of reach now that you’re a mom. You have all the reasons why that’s just not how you do things. You’ve tried everything. Whatever it is, I’ve probably said it to myself a hundred times, and I see right through it. You’ve never put yourself first. You use your kids as an excuse not to make yourself and your goals a priority. You treat your own dreams like they can wait. And how is that working out for you? Something has got to give.

 

I’ve already given you the full monty here, I loved eating everything, resting my body, allowing the pounds to pile on and feeling free of my lifelong need to look a certain way and maintain a certain size. It was glorious for a time. But after a few months, the novelty wore off.

I had been using food & drink as a way to make myself feel good, but it was coming from the outside, in.  It was temporary, and it was at the cost of my well – being.

I started to crave the energy that came from a healthy lifestyle. That feeling of radiating energy and joy from inside out. That hadn’t just been something I’d made myself do all my life, it was part of me. And it was part of me that I was beginning to long for.

So some slow changes came into play, first I had to get my ass motivated. After nearly a year of not exercising, it was hard to get through even a simple workout. Not only was by body heavier, but it was weaker than it ever had been. My cardio was garbage, I was a beginner. It was awful. But here’s how I looked at it:

I had an opportunity to do something I could be really proud of. That was hard, but do-able, and would make me better. Here’s something I can look back on and this “I can’t believe I did that, but I’m so happy that I did.”

I’m at that place now. I’m back into most of my healthy habits and it feels so good. The real kind of good. The kind that makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning, to get to my morning movement and to enjoy a silent cup of coffee because I just like being me, in the quiet of the morning. Something I haven’t felt in a long time.

I feel like myself again and I am flying so high because of it. I am proud of myself and love my body in a whole new way. Appreciation doesn’t even begin to express for what I feel about this amazing body I’ve been gifted. I wish I could give this feeling to every woman in the world. This genuine self-love is something I’ve been seeking my whole life, and now that I’ve got it, I want to share it.

I’m hosting a 21-day Challenge, and I want you to come with me. I truly believe that the lessons we learn during pregnancy, motherhood and all that comes with it makes us better. I don’t believe that we lose ourselves in motherhood, I think it makes us who we were always meant to be, if we are willing to do the work and discover it. I am #BetterAfterBaby and I know you are, too. Which is why I designed the #BetterAfterBaby challenge just for us, the mom who needs to be reminded how good it feels to workout, just for her. For the mom who needs to eat better because it gives her more energy, and that means a happier, healthier you.

The challenge starts February 12, 21 days of workouts, self care, and commitment to looking and feeling the best of your entire life. I’ve found what works, I’ve come full circle, not just back to myself but into the version of me that no longer longs for what I had before. #BetterAfterBaby will teach you how to embrace now and feel excited about what’s to come

Sign up below and commit to the best year of your life, and the best life you’ve ever lived.

 

 

 

I’m not perfect.

I genuinely didn’t know this until the last year. That’s so embarrassing to say. But until last year, I thought I was just naturally better than everyone else. More disciplined, stronger. Better at stuff. I’m not. I’m so far from perfect.

What a relief.

I’m 30 years old and have 3 kids. 

My weight has fluctuated up and down for the last 6 years, in huge waves during and between pregnancies.

I have gone from 120’s to 180’s and back again. Many times over. Understandably. Pregnancy requires a certain change in size and weight in order to really function. At least in my body.

I’ve gained weight eating Oreos and FiveGuys burgers. Also eating soup and salad. I’ve lost weight eating 800 cals a day, and also mindfully feeding my body with delicious nutritious food.

I’ve done all the things, over the last few years. But this last year, was a whole new thing. And I didn’t get it at first. But now I know it was meant to be. Now I know why, and the lesson is becoming clear. Because I don’t believe that there is or ever will be an experience in my life that doesn’t teach me something. Every moment is an opportunity to learn.

So before I share this one with you, a little background on me.

I’ve had two miscarriages and an abortion in my time on this earth, some more traumatic than others. These experiences have made my pregnancies sacred and joyful times for me, and at times sad and mournful. Overall, I love pregnancy, birth, and everything that comes with. And I feel extremely blessed to have been able to have had each experience with it, even the ones that didn’t produce children.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I threw out all my “skinny clothes”. I knew for sure I would be fat forever after, and cleared out my closet of anything smaller than a 6 that wasn’t sleepwear.

I gained about 50 lbs in that pregnancy, and lost it all and more is less than 6 months postpartum. I did it in the worst way, and if you want to hear about that – I wrote a whole blog on it which you can read here.

The second time around, I worked out through my whole pregnancy. Ate really well and but also consumed the appropriate amount of chocolate. I kept my habits strong and square and maintained a level of fitness that made pregnancy, birth and postpartum a breeze.

The third time, my last pregnancy, with Bobby, I was experiencing chronic pain. It started about the end of the first trimester. It was so bad some days I couldn’t walk my kids to the park a block away. I had pelvic and lower back pain, despite having done everything right in my previous pp recovery. I could barely get in and out of the car some days. I would cry for hours trying to get to sleep, but for the pain. I tried exercising to improve it, I tried yoga, I tried everything. I could NOT make this pain go away. I got a support belt and just lived with it for the next 6 months.

Before this experience, I had never known pain. Not like that. That pain made me miserable. It made me depressed. It made me angry, and confused. It made me yell at my kids, and shame and blame my husband for things he had no control over.

I had never known pain before this. It was there when I woke up and there when I went to bed. Nothing helped. Most things just made it worse.

But that pain also taught me things I could never read in manuals, or learn from a mentor. As a trainer and coach, I never had much(okay, any) sympathy for clients who claimed they were in too much pain to workout. Or who said nothing helped. I never got it. Honestly, I never cared. Which I hate to say, because there were times where that mindset made me feel like now that I was in pain, no one would care about me.

I didn’t work out when I didn’t need to (I was still training clients) for almost a year. It was SO hard to get back into exercising. That habit was completely lost. Even when I tried, I had no motivation. Things I never realized before the last year:

  • It’s impossible to workout when you’re in that much pain.

  • It’s hard to get motivated when you’re out of shape.

  • Workouts are harder with extra weight on your body.

  • Habits are SO hard to form/break.

  • I’m not perfect.

  • I can still love myself even overweight.

  • I like watching tv & eating potato chips

  • I like exercising and kale better.

  • I am human.

And so many more.

I really never did appreciate what other women were going through. I never thought I would be overweight, I thought it was something I was incapable of. Like if my first pregnancy didn’t tip the scales, nothing would. I thought I was different, no – I thought I was better than other people.

I’m not. I’m the same. I’m JUST LIKE YOU. Unless you’re perfect, then I’m nothing like you.

Because I have a hard time resisting temptation these days. I have all the reasons in the world why I should watch TV instead of working out. I have a closet full of clothes that don’t fit and 3 pairs of stretchy pants that I wear so frequently they won’t make it ’til spring.

But I’m telling you, I wouldn’t trade this moment right now for anything in the world, because I have an amazing opportunity in front of me.

I can lose this weight. I can regain my habits. I can become Supermom again.

I can come back from this year, and I can share it with you. I can prove to myself that I’m more. I can tell you all about how awful and awesome every step is and maybe, just maybe, I can help you on your journey. That would be pretty cool right? For us to be in this together.

The worst part of the last year was feeling alone. Feeling the the only one. Feeling like I didn’t belong in the role of personal trainer because I didn’t act like one. The feeling of being so other, so different made me sad and lonely.

And then I shared, and all these women started to tell me their stories too. Like I’m not alone. I’m normal. I’m so painfully normal. I’m so beautifully accepted by these women who are normal and imperfect like me.

How lucky am I?

That feeling I got, knowing I wasn’t alone, that’s the feeling I want to bring to all women. Safety. That’s why I’m sharing my journey. Cause I did it alone for too long. Not only does it suck, it never works.

We are meant to be in this together. 

 

 

I’m not having a birthday party for my baby.

Bobby’s not getting a first birthday party.

He’s great, my third child. He’s a dream. I say it all the time. Happiest baby ever. By far.

Honestly, I feel bad for the other two. Cause if it was a competition (which it’s clearly not) and if I did have a favourite (which I don’t and never would) he’d be an easy front runner.

He’s sweet, funny, chubby and full of joy. His giggles makes baby birds fly in the windows and dress him like a Disney character.

Well I think you get the point here. Bobby is awesome. I love Bobby. Everybody loves Bobby.

But he’s not getting a birthday party.

now THIS is a baby’s idea of a good time.

You see, Bobby, while turning one next week, is still very young. He doesn’t need (or want) a birthday party because he doesn’t know what parties are. Or what birthdays are for that matter.

He’s a baby. And like all babies, enjoys milk, sleeping, pooping, and touching toilets. He really doesn’t give a shit about birthday parties. Not his own or anyone else’s.

 

He typically likes to sleep all afternoon, which is when birthday parties are typically held, so even if I did have a party for him, he’d probably miss it. 

 

But the cake smash! the Cake! Nope. He’s had cake. His siblings have birthdays. Sure, I’ll let him smash a slice, but no I’m not making or buying him a beautiful cake just to smash for a photo – op and then immediately tear away before he has “too much sugar”. Nope. He’s good. We’ll take his picture. And even if we don’t, he’ll still turn one.

 

But you have to celebrate! It’s his first birthday! he’s one! Come on.

Yes. You’re right. You’re completely right. But you see, I had parties for the other two when they turned one. And in doing so,  realized that first birthday parties for aren’t really for the 1 year olds, they’re really for the moms. 

 

So I’m not having a party for Bobby.

I’m having a party for me.

 

I celebrate my kids everyday. I cheer them on, praise them, love them, treat them every single day of their lives.

 

I give my heart and soul and every ounce of my energy to my babies. Especially in the first year of their lives. Sleepless nights, endless cuddles, feeding, loving, giving, giving and giving.

 

This time, I’m celebrating me. Me keeping Bobby, his siblings and myself alive for the last year.

I’m proud of that. I’m so proud of myself for what I do. I love being a mom, but it’s a hard ass job. And I do it with my heart on my sleeve and give them everything I’ve got. That deserves to be celebrated.

 

All my friends are moms too. And they deserve to be celebrated too. So I’m inviting all of them to my party.  We are willing to give up time, energy and money for a party for a 1 year old who will not remember it, just to have a few pictures and a mess to clean up? No thanks. I’m doing it all for me this time:

 

I deserve a party. That’s that.

 

This past year, I’ve survived stomach bugs, sniffles, and everything in between. I’ve powered through potty training. I’ve battled bed-wetting. Kissed my kindergartener Goodbye as he stepped on the bus for the first time. I’ve breastfed. I’ve birthed. My nipples have bled. And so have many other parts of me. I’ve comforted, cuddled, coddled, loved, and scrubbed every inch of these babies.

 

This baby, lovely and sweet as he is, has not done much more than eat, sleep and poop. So while I’m happy to celebrate his life, because a joyous occasion it is, this party doesn’t need to be in his honour.

It needs to be in mine.

I need a party. And so do all my friends.

Because they too have given it all for their children. This year and every other.

I love parties. 

I do. I love having friends around. I love being surrounded by my people. I love music, and noise and laughter. I love cake and presents. I love wine and cheese. I love letting loose and having a good time. Parties are my thing, and throwing parties for my friends makes me sooo happy. And I throw a damn good party if I do say so myself.

So although I do deserve this party, I don’t need to deserve it. I can just have a party because I love parties. I can just celebrate life, be it life I made or life I’ve lived or the very life I’ve been blessed to live this very day. I just love to celebrate, and this time, it’s all about me.

And by the way, no one else was about to throw me a party. If I didn’t do it, it might never have happened. I waited through 3 pregnancies for someone, anyone, to throw me a baby shower. Three newborn babies for someone to show up with a pastel cake. It never happened. I felt alone, lonely, unappreciated. I felt insignificant. I thought my friends didn’t love me. I thought my family didn’t care I was having babies.

But look, no one is going to throw you a party you don’t ask for, not when you’re an adult. Sorry, mama, it’s just not going to happen. No matter how much you deserve it. I’m a grown-ass adult and if I want a party, it’s up to me to make it happen. Isn’t that the whole point of growing up? So we can do what we want? I want a party.

Listen, you can keep having parties for your babies. 

Hey if that’s your thing. More power to you. Throw another party for someone else. But don’t go doing all the work and then complain about never being appreciated. At least in this case you have a choice. For me, the choice was easy. I’ll take pics of Bobby eating cake. But these celebrations are about me spending time with people I love.

This includes my children, friends, and family.

Celebrating motherhood, it’s trials and hilarity and the over all accomplishment it is just to keep everyone’s limbs attached day in and day out. 

Being a mom is hard. Being a grown up is hard. But it doesn’t have to be boring. What do you want to be doing? Is it having a party for yourself? Cause if it is. I say to do it. And if you’re sitting there wondering what it is that you do want. I say figure it out. Cause this, right here, is what you’ve been waiting for. This is your life.

 

Divining Your Dreams

5 Tips for Making New Year #goals That Actually Stick

 

The onset of a new year is one of the most controversial times of the year. Like one year we’re making resolutions, the next we’re swearing them off. Then it’s a new year’s challenge, then it’s #fuckchallenges. It feels like we can never get it right. No matter what you want to do going into a New Year it feels like everywhere you look someone is telling you it’s the wrong thing to do.

 

Honestly I can’t keep up. With 3 little kids at home I can barely keep up with the laundry let alone what I am and am not allowed to do in the New Year. The fact is, New Year’s Eve represents a new beginning, and with it, an opportunity for change. The calendar turns over and it’s literally a new year, so why not implement some changes?

 

If every day is an opportunity to start anew, then there is no reason we can’t have a new beginning on January 1st. 

 

Look, I’m not here to tell you there’s something wrong with your life. I’m sure you have everything you ever dreamed of: the job, family, body, house and lifestyle you’ve always wished for.

You’ve got it all right?

But entertain me here, for a moment, say you didn’t. Say you still had some lingering bad habits, some late night bingeing you could kick? Maybe a little shopping addiction that needs to hit the road? Or are you still giving your work just a “good enough” effort? Yea, let’s dig into that.

Like I said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you. But if you are still reading, then there are definitely things you want to change. And only you have the power to do that, no matter what time of year it is. But why not take the opportunity of a New Year as a “new beginning” and grab life by the ovaries and really get what you want?

Seriously girl, why not?

If you want it, why not go for it? Well, I can answer that. Because you don’t know how. Trust me if it was that easy I wouldn’t hit snooze an undisclosed number of times every morning. There is a way, you can have the things you want. We all can. There’s just a few steps you have to take first.

Now how ever you word this, however it works for you: resolution, #newyearnewme, or just #goals, I am here to bring you the best way to do it, and manifest the fuck outta your dreams without feeling like shit about the way things are now.  Cause that’s the reason we’re making changes isn’t it? So we can stop feeling awful, exhausted, fat, ugly, lazy whatever poisionous words you’re throwing in the mirror. Let’s kick that habit and get better. Starting today; here’s my top 5 tips for #goals-setting this New Year:

1. Decide how you want to feel, not how you want to look. 

So many of us have goals that are centred around health and fitness. I mean, it’s one of our biggest struggles, not just how we look but how we feel about how we look. This goes for material things too. We are always comparing what we have to next mom, and that is no way to get what you want out of this beautiful thing called life.

Now I’m all for the kind of goals that get you your dream body, or driving that LandRover, whatever your thing is, but let’s be clear, if that is your goal, you will not make it happen, or at least not with integrity.

You must make your goals about how you want to feel. So if it’s your body, you need to visualize how it would feel to have that body. Would you feel healthy, strong, energetic? Would you feel powerful, full of potential? Are you searching for financial security, financial abundance, or success? All of these are good, but you need to understand that there is a lot more than just dollars involved in getting what you want. You have to be that person the day you start working toward the goal.

2. Understand what a habit is and how you form new ones.

A habit is something you do over and over without needing to be reminded. It’s the coffee you drink the second you get up. It’s the shit-talk you give yourself when you’re trying to squeeze into your dreams. It’s the workout you talk yourself out of and it’s the snooze I hit over and over, morning after morning.

If you really want to form new habits, which is what making is all about, you have to let go of the old ones. That being said, you can’t just decide on a list of new habits and kick the old ones out on the way. They have been with you a long time. You will need daily reminders of what you want and don’t want. You will need accountability. You will need a plan and you will also need to give yourself grace to slip up.

You will also need integrity. When things don’t go the way you planned you have to take responsibility (without beating yourself up) and move on. Wake up the next day and be a bad ass. Remain responsible and in control of your habits, because that’s all they are.

3. Make plans – real dates & times. 

Be specific about what you want. If you want to get up and workout every day then decide on a time, set an alarm, decide how long, how many times, and what you’re going to do. Going to bed, setting an alarm and thinking “Yea I’ll workout tomorrow” will not make it happen. Not a bit. You have to have a plan. You have to know exactly what you’re going to do when your feet hit that cold hard floor.

The same goes for business, family, finances. Be specific. With numbers, dates, tasks. Whatever it is. You want a big promotion? Put in the time. You want to strike out on your own? Figure out how to save enough to make it happen. Make a plan. Write it down. Study it, memorize it. Allow it to be flexible but know what you want and how you’re going to get it.

4. Specific – NOT perfect.

You read #3. You panicked: “I don’t know what’s going to happen next year, I can’t promise this, what if I get a flat tire and have to spend my savings, what if my company goes under, or I get pregnant, or or or or”. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. These thoughts are totally normal. Which is why you are going to make a plan.

So that when you start to doubt, and panic, and think you’re not cut out for that big job, or you’ll never have that body, that you can always come back to the plan. See what you wrote, see the specific framework you created and believe in it again.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. I repeat: It does not have to be perfect. It just has to be.

Action over everything else.

5. If you’re going to make changes, make sure you actually want those things.

Oh, I could say this over, and over and over again. I could pound it into your head. You would still find yourself chasing someone else’s dream. It’s so hard to shut off what the rest of the world wants for you and from you and actually go after what you want.

I have been chasing other people’s dreams for years, only to end up back where I started because I had no fuel for the fire I was trying to keep burning day after day, year after year.

Until I actually sat down, did the work, put in the time and searched my soul to find what I really wanted.

I don’t want it to take you years to get what you want. I want you to get it this year. So I have a gift for you. I created a “cheat sheet” of sorts, for getting what you want. I know how hard it is to sort through all the clutter in your mind so I am helping you along the way by narrowing it down to a few quick questions that will help you find the thing that you can really do this year. Because you can. I promise you. It’s all in your hands.

5 Hip Stretches for Moms [who sit a lot]

I would also recommend this to all moms who have either been pregnant or given birth. So I’m talking to moms who care for babies. Or have cared for babies. Or children. All the moms. I’m talking to you!

 

Your body just doesn’t move like it used to. Sometimes it feels like it’s not even your own any more? That feeling, when you get up with the kids in the night and your hips are so stiff it’s like you shuffle instead of walking. I’ve been there. With each pregnancy it feels like it gets worse. And sitting at a desk, sitting with babies, well just plain sitting creates more and more tension in the hips, day after day.

 

It seems like it’s too easy to build tension in the hips, but almost impossible to release it. Most of us don’t even know the difference between a hip stretch, side stretch, and quad stretch. Most of us are so tight we couldn’t even feel the differences in these stretches if we did.

 

I, too, have sore, painful hips. Which leads to sore knees, which leads to back pain, which leads to one miserable mama if I don’t take care of it. So I put together these 5 hip stretches for moms who sit a lot. These are stretches I do almost every day, most especially on days when I’ve done more than my fair share of sitting.

 

You want to feel better, you want to move freely within your body and enjoy your life pain free. These stretches will make that possible. Follow the instructions carefully, read all the way through first. Tight muscles are tender muscles and you don’t want to hurt yourself trying to feel better! Take it slow, and allow your body lots of time and space to get used to these positions – since they are likely the opposite of how you spend most of your time!

 

Here they are: 

5 Hip Stretches for Moms {who sit a lot}

 

When focusing on releasing one part of the body, it is essential that we don’t focus too much on that part. What I mean is, all of the muscles in our bodies are connected, and it impossible to just stretch one of them. When we want to focus on the hips, we need to pay attention to the legs, back and buttocks as well. No one muscle in the body works alone, so it’s important to listen to your whole body as you move through these postures.

 

(***if you’ve got 9 minutes, CLICK HERE try this happy hips flow from my YouTube Channel!***)

 

#1. Standing Quad Stretch: 

Standing on one leg, find your balance before reaching back, to grasp the top of the same foot with the same hand. Keeping the knee of the bent leg slightly behind the hip, push gently into the hip flexor and feel the quad begin to lengthen. Stay here for 30 seconds before switching to the other leg.

 

 

 

#2. Wide Leg Forward Bench & Reach:

Standing with legs wide apart, point your toes toward the front of the room. Inhale, standing up tall by lengthening the spine, and on your exhale hinge forward at the hips. Take your hands down to your mat and take a few breaths here, feeling the deep fold in the hips.

Once you’ve gotten comfortable here, start to shift the hips from right to left, keeping the legs straight. Push into the right hip, feeling the left hip rise, and then shift back to the left. Repeat this 6 or 8 times to start to release not only the hips but all the muscles that surround it.

Coming back to centre with the hips parallel, begin to walk the hands over towards the right foot, either grasping the ankle or the top of the foot. Take a few breaths here as you feel the side body and back begin to unravel. After 5 -6 rounds of breath, walk the hands to the left and repeat.

 

 

 

#3. Runner’s Lunge:

Take a long stance on your mat, one foot in front of the other. Reach toward the front foot and bend the front knee, placing the hands on either side of the foot. Keep the back leg straight and allow the hip to sink lower, closer to the ground, with each exhale. Stay here for 5-10 breaths, depending on your comfort and level of flexibility.

After 5-10 rounds of breath bring the front foot back to meet the back, and repeat on the other side.

 

 

 

 

#4. Half – Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch:

Begin kneeling and bring one foot up to the mat, so that both knees are bent at a 90 degree angle and you are in a half kneeling position. From here, gently shift the hips forward, only an inch or two, as you squeeze and engage the glute of the top leg. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and repeat on the same side before moving on to the other leg. Keep the hands on the top knee, or reach over head for a more intense side stretch.

 

#5. Pigeon Pose:

From a Downward Facing Dog pose, bring one knee into the chest, and place it on the mat in front of you with the heel toward the groin and the knee toward the same wrist. Keep the foot flexed to protect the knee from over rotating. Sink your hips and sit up tall, using your hands for support if you need. From here you can stay sitting tall over your hips, or reach forward  and rest the head on the hands or on the mat. Stay here for a few rounds of breath.

After 5-10 rounds of breath, place the hands under the shoulders and lift back into downward facing dog, before repeating on the other leg.

 

There you have it! 5 awesome & easy stretches you can do right now, at home, in your office, at the playground, wherever #momlife takes you today! And I guarantee, after implementing these stretches into your daily routine,  you will start to feel stronger and more free in your body!

If you love these stretches and want more, I have a new FREE group for moms called #BetterAfterBaby where I’m inspiring moms to love themselves, work hard and get in the best shape of their life. Being a mom of 3, I know how to do all of this and maintain a busy, non-stop #momlife. Click Here to Join Today!  You deserve it!

 

 

The First Cut Is The Deepest

 

It’s been 5 years. At first I didn’t write it down because it was too painful. And then I’d pushed it down so far, suppressed the pain so effectively that I thought it was no longer painful, but painfully predictable, -I mean, who didn’t have a difficult delivery? – and no one would want to hear it. It turns out that was just another way of suppressing painful memories.

 

I sat down to write a story about my journey with postpartum fitness, but there’s a prologue to that story, and it’s my first birth story. The story of George’s birth. He will be 5 next month. I’ve been a mom for 5 years. He is my heart, and my soul, and he is my body. I built him, not just his body but the sweet, loving curious kindergartener that he is today. I’m proud of that. I really am.

 

For a long time pride wasn’t a word I would have used towards motherhood. It was shrouded in shame, and I tried to hide under a enviably fit body, in hopes that people would see my fab figure and assume that I had to be a great mom (which I was), even though on the inside I felt like a complete failure.

 

I guess I should start at the beginning, then.

 

I was 24 when I got pregnant with George. I had just moved 3000 kms from my hometown to a strange and dark new place. I was deeply in love and so excited to find out I would become a mother. I had an effortless pregnancy. I was gorgeous and glowing. Thick hair, clear skin, I gained the perfect amount of weight, looked adorable in skinny jeans and maxi dresses and carried the whole thing off with an air of ease and a glamour even I barely remember.

40 weeks pregnant

And it really was easy. I felt great, baby was healthy and I managed to stay active through my whole pregnancy. I went to the gym, walked every day and stayed busy working(up until 30 weeks – I was still a hairstylist at the time and the ten hours days in heels were too much for me – I was the kind of girl who’d rather bow out gracefully albeit a little early than give up my pumps).  

 

As the end of my pregnancy neared, I had read all the books and knew exactly how to have the best birth experience. I was having a quick, unmedicated birth from which I would return promptly home to scrapbook the whole experience in my luxury robe, eating bonbons and gazing lovingly at my sweet new baby boy.

 

BOY WAS I WRONG.

 

But you’ve guessed that by now.

 

So week 40 rolls around and my OB (who I’ve only met once at this point, she never seems to be in the office when I have appointments, so I’ve met with a different doctor at every prenatal up until now) tells me I need to start thinking about induction. She has tried to do a membrane sweep at this time, and although baby is head down, he has not descended at all and I’m not dilated at all. She assumes the baby will be “overdue” and books me for an induction the following Monday.

 

I really didn’t want to be induced. I knew my body was capable of doing the right things, and if baby wasn’t ready to come I was willing to wait. I wanted to do what was right for him and his health, and my mother’s intuition told me not to rush things. To let it be, and let my body do what it was made to do.

 

The disappointment had already started. I felt hot with shame every time someone asked me about whether I’d “had that baby yet”. I had tried everything – spicy food, sex, supplements, teas, oils, massage – you name it I’d done it. I couldn’t bear to have one more message or call from someone, so not only was I waiting for this baby, I was completely alone and had isolated myself by staying off social media. In an attempt to hide until the perfect birth experience I had planned went perfectly as planned and I could show everyone what a perfect mother I was.

 

Sunday night it rained. I was so desperate not to have the induction that I went for a run. In the freezing rain (Edmonton in October people, it was freezing) in my sweats and sandals because my husband thought I was just going for a walk. I ran until I couldn’t run anymore. I was desperate to start labour. I did not want that induction. I was made for this, I could do this. My body knew what to do.

 

But nothing happened. I woke up again Monday morning and still hadn’t felt anything different than what I’d felt all throughout my pregnancy. I wanted to trust my body but I also had very little support, knew nothing about having babies and was terrified to do anything that might put baby at risk, so I went to the hospital for my induction.

I wanted to trust my body but I also had very little support, knew nothing about having babies and was terrified to do anything that might put baby at risk

I was so poorly informed by my OB that I didn’t even know what I was going in for. I packed a bag like I was going to go in, get induced – I sort of pictured some IV medication and someone pushing on my belly to make the baby come out – and then leave with a baby. Again, BOY was I wrong.

 

First they hooked me up to a machine for an hour, to monitor my baby, who was perfectly healthy and had to reason to be evacuated. But we went ahead with it anyway.

 

I had something called Cervidil inserted in my vagina, which was supposed to soften the cervix and start contractions(I think). I was then told to go home, and wait for labour to start. This was at about 10 am. The nurses told me most women come back in about 12 hours because the pain is so bad they need medication, but labour probably won’t start until the next day, so try to stay home as long as possible.

 

By about 6 pm I was in excruciating pain. Not contractions, just one long, horrible cramp. I had tried a bath, a shower, a walk, the ball, and nothing helped. I almost didn’t make it home from the walk cause I keeled over in pain and couldn’t catch my breath to get back up. It wasn’t labour, the nurses said that would start tomorrow, so I held out. But by 8 pm my husband packed me in the car and took me to back to the hospital. I held my breath the whole way. The pain of sitting was so bad I started to vomit. Thank God the ride was only 7 minutes.

 

We got to L&D and I was put in a room with 8 other women (yes 8) in various states of labour.  At first I was distracted by how public it was but soon the pain took over and I was vomiting again. I was told I was only 2 cms dilated, the pain wasn’t too bad yet (yes they told me my pain wasn’t that bad) and gave me a little painkiller and told to sit tight.

 

Even through all of this I felt like I could do it. I could tough it out. I had to do it. I had already gone overdue – FAIL. I’d already had the induction – FAIL. I couldn’t go and get pain medication too. I just couldn’t.

About an hour later, I guess they got sick of my moaning and vomiting and took me into a delivery room. At this time I was desperate, in more pain than I had ever thought possible, and scaring the shit out of my husband. I still hadn’t felt a contraction yet, it was just the same horrible pain that had started nearly 8 hours earlier. I agreed to an epidural. I needed something. They told me it’s really common to have an epidural with induction because labour can come on so quickly. I felt a little better. Better enough to fall asleep.

 

I don’t remember much of that morning. I can see my husband sleeping in the corner. Feel myself vomiting. Feel the IV in my arm. Nurses faces. I woke up again in pain, they had put my on a pitocin drip at some point and the contractions were starting to come through the mediation again. I was so scared of the same pain coming back. They asked how I was, I said it hurt. They quickly gave me another dose in my epidural.

 

Twenty minutes later the doctor checked my cervix. Fully dilated, time to have a baby.

 

“Can you feel the contractions?”

 

“No, I can’t feel anything.”

 

“Okay, grab your legs.”

 

“I can’t feel my legs.”

 

“Hold on with your arms, right here.”

 

“I can’t feel my arms.”

 

“OKAY PUSH!”

 

“Am I pushing? I can’t feel anything, I can’t feel anything!”

 

Baby was in distress. The cord was wrapped around his neck and his arm was stuck besude his head. They had to give me an episiotomy. I had no choice, baby was in distress. Heartrate dropping. My husband was terrified. I could see it in his face. I was more worried about him than me. I saw the forceps. I just remember thinking it looked like a kitchen tool. It’s all a blur, it happened so fast. Like 20 minutes from first “push” to birth. I just have flashes.

 

My baby. Oh my baby. He’s here. I did it. I love you. I love you so much. You’re here. Hello. I love you. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I love you.

George Andrew Welsh was born October 16, 2012 at 6:30 am. 7 lbs 13 oz of perfection.

They stitch me back up and I hold my baby. He finds my nipple and a glimmer of success reappears. Maybe I can do this. A lot of people are hanging out between my legs, and it takes a long time to stitch up. But I have my baby. I’m here, he’s here. He’s perfect. I’m okay.

I fall asleep, I wake up. He’s still there. They wheel me to a room I have to share with another mother. It’s not her first kid, and she has family visiting. No one visits me. I have no family to come. The nurse makes me get up to go to the bathroom. As soon as I’m standing I vomit and pee all over the floor. I’m humiliated. I’m a mess. What just happened? She takes me to the bathroom and has to clean me up. I am too humiliated and exhausted to resist. I can’t wait to crawl back into bed with my baby. All I want is my baby.

Steven(my husband) has me moved to a private room after all this. And I feel a little better. At least I can relax. My baby and I sleep on and off for 24 hours. I beg to go home at every nurse visit, but they have rules. I am in so much pain. Everything hurts. But I just want to go home.


When they finally let us go, I stood at the admin desk shaking. I wasn’t well enough to leave and I knew it. But I signed the papers. I just wanted to go home. To get out of this place that held so much pain and so much shame. I needed out of this place. I think the only reason I stayed standing was so that they would let me leave. With my baby. My perfect baby.

 

I am in so much pain. Everything hurts… I just want to go home.

Welcome home — I wore this outfit for at least 3 weeks straight.

We get home safe and sound. And I get to know my baby. I love him, he is amazing. He is perfect. But as the days go by I remember more of the birth, and the disappointment grows. Offhanded comments from friends and loved ones start to sting and take hold. And I am ashamed. I start to change the story when I tell it. I leave out the gruesome parts. I leave out the pain. I leave out the shame and disappointment. But I kept it all to myself. I never told anyone. I held it inside.

Every woman on this planet has babies, how could I have been so bad at it? What was wrong with me?

Every woman on this planet has babies, how could I have been so bad at it? What was wrong with me? My womb, birth canal, all of it had failed. I had ‘needed’ so much medical intervention, did I even really give birth? I don’t remember it that well, was I even really there?

The months go by and I dealt with postpartum depression, which I know now was connected to my birth trauma. I found ways to heal, I got better. I got not so good again, and then a little better. Self doubt consumed the first few years of motherhood for me, and I covered it up in the only way I knew how. I looked good. I worked out for hours a day, restricted what I ate obsessively and hid behind a rock hard body, while on the inside I was crumbling.

learning how to laugh again


I felt disconnected from myself emotionally, and getting back into fitness made a huge difference. I know I didn’t do it the right way. I went too hard and too far too fast, but it was what I needed to start healing. I ended up taking the long road, but if I hadn’t I would have never learned all that I did or found my passion for healing moms.

I had been fit all my life and since having a baby I felt like my stomach muscles, for lack of a better term, had died.

I felt disconnected physically too. I had been fit all my life and since having a baby I felt like my stomach muscles, for lack of a better term, had died. I couldn’t engage them and it made me feel floppy and flabby, even when I was in great shape. I couldn’t do things I had always loved doing because it just wasn’t there. My body wasn’t mine anymore and it was just one more way I had failed as a woman and now as a mother.

 

It wasn’t until I found my Postnatal trainer (THE Jessie Mundell) that I really started to understand what my body was doing. What it had been through and how I could heal it. And once the body started to heal, so did my heart. The trauma and the feelings of failure got lesser and lesser as I started to feel my body get strong again, and function the way it was supposed to. I no longer felt like a failure, at least not physically, and I was able to face some of the emotional trauma of my labour and delivery.

George (age 4) and I, doing what we do best.

Being physically strong and connected allowed me to be emotionally strong and connected too. As I healed my core muscles, I realized how connected the heart and the mind and the body all are. We need them all to work well, and work together. That’s what #COREconnection is all about. It’s not just about working out. It’s not just about abs. It’s about so much more. It’s about being connected, physically and emotionally to your core, to your centre. To feeling strong and proud of motherhood and the changes it has made to your body. It’s about allowing us to let go of the past, learn from it and grow from it and move forward, stronger than ever. It’s about getting back to yourself, back to the things you love and the things that make you, you.

It’s about being connected, physically and emotionally to your core, to your centre. To feeling strong and proud of motherhood and the changes it has made to your body.

It still hurts to write this. I can’t say it’s not through tears that I hit “Publish”. But I want you to know that there’s hope. It’s not all dark days, and you don’t have to hate your body. You don’t have to feel like a failure forever. I am living proof of that. I’d love for you to join the #COREconnection challenge and do some of this work with me. Get reconnected to your core: mind, body & soul. Get back to doing what you love and feeling like yourself.

I’ve done it, it’s worth it, and I want that for you. Even if you don’t want to join the challenge, reach out. I’d love to hear your core story, too. 

 

The Hunt For Motherhood

I’ve been learning from her since day one. Literally.

She’s taught me everything I know about motherhood. She’s taught me more about life than I know yet, but I continue to uncover her wisdom day after day, as I grow into motherhood myself.

I have lived by her words and her guidance for my entire life. And I’ve always admired her outlook, her mindset, her ability to persevere and above all, her patience. Because while it impresses me, it was not impressed upon me. I did not inherit patience. But I admire it.

mom and my oldest sister, Bizz
My daughter, Sandra Charlotte, named for my mother and my mother’s mother

In my lifelong hero, the woman who made me who I am and most of all, never tried to stop me from becoming it. She even let me hurt when it would have been so easy for her to take it away. When it was harder to watch me to go through it, she knew it was better for me to grow through it. She has never failed me, because her faith in me has never faultered, even when I was wrong.

And without further ado, I bring you your first slice of the wisdom beheld by her, my mother: Sandra June Hunt.

Over the next few weeks, I will ask her a series of questions, posed me and my siblings, with the intention of bringing forth the knowledge, wisdom and truth that lie in between the women in a family. As they move into, through and beyond motherhood. What each part of motherhood means to them. To us.

I invite you along to get to know each of us. To hear our stories, to learn our truths as we recount them, and as we hear each other’s for the first time. As we get to know each other and ourselves in a whole new light.

You will learn more than our names, but who we are. Within motherhood and without it. But to begin, I ask my own mom 2 questions. Two simple questions, but they are the beginning of this story. I mean, we can’t go back all the way. But to the beginning of my own mother’s motherhood. Here it is, the first answers, the beginning of the journey,

on                                The Hunt for Motherhood

I asked:

When did you know you wanted to be a mom?

I’m not sure what answer I was looking for, but I like the one I got. There are some things you sort of assume about your parents, mothers in particular. But do you ever really ask? Do you know the answer, or just have your own version of the story. That’s why I asked. I want to know her story like I would that of a new friend, of a peer. But obviously, with all the wisdom and experience of one who has already raised 4 children and moved onto grandparenthood.

She answered:

“I always assumed I would be a mom some day. When I was 28, I was losing interest in my job, ready to take on something new. The time felt right to start a family. At the time it was not a financially practical decision, but I have no regrets. It continues to be my most satisfying and rewarding experience.”

I asked:
What is the most important thing you learned from your mom? 
I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to ask this. Only because, if you asked me the same one, I wouldn’t know the answer. Or at least, not just one answer. She has taught me everything, how could I make it just one thing? And how, in my early years of motherhood, could I know what was the most important? But I still had to ask. I wanted to know what lessons carried through from her childhood to adulthood and motherhood. And when she answered, it was perfect.
She answered:
“The most important thing I learned from my mom is, that even though you will not always like the things your children are doing, your job is to listen to them, love them and honor who they are. She was right!”
This is it. This is the reason I wanted to ask these questions. Because this answer is everything. This answer says so much about my own upbringing. It also gives me guidance into the the kind of parent I intend to be. And when the day to day of raising young kids starts to drown me, I can remember these words.
So whether you learn from my mom,  take these questions and ask them of your own mom, or ask them of yourself, I hope you learn something. I hope you grow. I hope this takes you to a new level of motherhood. We are all in this together, because although motherhood is ever changing, it is also constant. Once a mother, in whatever capacity, you can be become un-mothered. It’s in us. Motherhood is in us.
As we embark on this journey, on this Hunt for Motherhood, I ask you to read, walk and love with an open heart and open mind. Just like my own mother taught me to do.

how to create an at home yoga practice

I love going to yoga class. I really do. Those hour long classes guided by a soothing voice in a quiet room that smells like the ocean, with the lights dimmed and the temperature is just right. Yeah I love that. Who wouldn’t? But in reality, I make it to about 4 yoga classes a year. Because I have 3 kids and my husband works out of town and if I get a babysitter it’s so I can drink wine with my girlfriends, not to go to a workout class. So I’ve had to make my own practice at home. I’ll be honest, at first it felt like this was a consolation. Like it was second best to being able to go to a class. But once I had gotten comfortable(and memorized a few favourite flows), I realized that I was actually getting so much more from my yoga practice.

These days the only decision is “pants? or no pants?”

First of all, I didn’t waste any time driving or packing a bag, and that meant more time to dedicate to my practice. Let alone having to pick an outfit. I can’t even think about how much time I’ve wasted trying to pick just the right outfit for yoga. Should I go bohemian free spirit? Or lululemon power mom? (These days the only decision is “pants? or no pants?”) And with that I also spent less mental energy on things other than my practice. Since yoga is as much mind as it is body, every bit of that mental space is incredibly valuable.   Second, I learned how to turn on my “yoga mind” really quickly. I didn’t need the teachers guidance to get into my mind and body to start my practice. My mental “cues” for getting started in my practice were no longer “Studio, pay 20$, teacher, soft music, roll out mat, wonder if I’m too close to the person beside me, why is that guy so sweaty we haven’t started yet?, shhhhh I’m trying to do yoga”.  But instead they were: Roll out mat. Pants optional. That’s all I needed to get myself ready to practice. This saved me time and deepened my practice by putting me in the driver’s seat of my yoga journey. I no longer needed another person to tell me it was time to begin. ** Third; I have had a chance now to learn from so many teachers, through books, videos and the fabulous internet that I have a better understanding of my own personal practice and how I want yoga to look and feel like for me.

“I have a better understanding of .. how I want yoga to look and feel like for me.”

Yoga is no longer “trendy”, the masses have moved on and instead now it’s become exclusive and elite, with expensive boutique studios leaving us SAHM’s and other “normal” people feeling left out. But yoga is for everyone. Anyone can do it. It doesn’t have to be expensive to add value to your life and it doesn’t have to be an hour in a sweaty studio full of strangers for it to be genuine. That’s all up to you. You’ve made it this far so I know you want to make yoga part of your life. So I’ve compiled a short list of the things you need to start an at home yoga practice. And you don’t have to buy anything to get started. So you can start right now, today. Read on future yogi, you’re one of us now 🙂

5 Things You Need To Start An At Home Yoga Practice.

1. a basic knowledge of your own anatomy.

No, you don’t need a kin degree or a PT certification. But you do need to know your right from your left and your head from your toes. Being aware of your own personal physical limitation is also important. Any old lingering injuries, muscle tightness or joint hyper mobility or flexibility will not greatly alter your practice, especially as a beginner, but it is a good thing to be aware of to prevent further injury and discomfort. Since you’ll be practicing alone at home, it’s important to be present in your body and aware of how it’s feeling, since there wont be anyone there to remind you! Try this 1 min meditation to get in touch with your body and how it is feeling today: Lying on the floor, or in bed, imagine your whole body is an ice cube. Then, beginning at your toes and working all the way up to the top of your head, visualize your body melting away to nothing. If other thoughts in your head, acknowledge them, and let them go to return to your melting meditation. 

2. 5 minutes per day.

Yoga classes are typically an hour long, but that absolutely does not mean that 60 minutes is required in order to have a practice. Your at home practice can be as little as 5 minutes, a few times a week. I truly believe in consistency over quantity in all things. Maintaining a regular practice a few minutes per day for a year would benefit you far more than making a few hour long classes with weeks of nothing in between. Try a Sun Salutation (2minutes) by following along with the video HERE. A few of these is all your need.

3. some inspiration.

Find someone who you can learn from. Maybe a big book of yoga? Maybe a Youtube channel with some great beginner flows. I have a beginner’s guide for new yogis called Stop, Drop & Flow that can get you on the mat, learn more about it here. Find someone whose teaching style you connect with or learn on your own terms from resources like books or websites. Once you’ve found a teacher you like, stick with them until you feel you have learned the basics. It’s great to challenge our knowledge and practice by learning from lots of different teachers, but when you’re starting out, it’s more important that your practice comes easily and naturally. And the best way to do that is by following an instructor who uses language, voice, and speed you feel comfortable with. (This is typically why people quit yoga, or why they are scared to start in the first place. Yoga is not just one thing. It takes on different forms to all of us, so try out teachn from a few different people. There are so many ways to share yoga, and it may take a few tries to find yours. Thank goodness for the internet!)

4. space.

And not even that much of it. Enough room on the floor to lay out your mat. Enough space to reach your hands above your head and you are good to go. Of course bigger space is great. Yoga is great outdoors as the fresh air can be cleansing and relaxing. But if you don’t have a lot of space that is just fine. Use what you have. Your mat can be used over any kind of flooring, it doesn’t have to be hardwood like a yoga studio. They work just as well over carpet or soft floors. ** I also ask that you make space in your mind and your heart for your new practice. This is far more important than the physical space you create. Give yourself space and grace to be a beginner. Create a space where it’s okay to be new, stiff, awkward. Your space is completely yours and totally safe. Create an empty place in your busy brain where you can go to when its time to practice. When you come to youur mat, visualize this space and try to stay there for your practice.

5. a yoga mat.

Ultimately  this is optional as well. I do lots of yoga without, since there is almost always one child or another sleeping in my “yoga space”. But eventually you will want to get one. It definitely does not have to be fancy, just enough to keep your hands and feet from slipping on the floor or carpet. I have seen mats for $4.00 at the Dollarama and I personally own one that cost $100. I’m sure there are ones that cost many times more as well. The price is not important. It’s the practice that counts. That’s it, I’ve given you everything you need to begin. This means you can start today. There is no reason to wait. If you want to try yoga, the time is now. And if you think yoga isn’t for you, then I STRONGLY suggest trying it. Because it’s probably exactly what you need.

 

There is only one more thing you need to begin your own at home yoga practice. And that is a group of women who are also starting their own at-home practices. And I can bring that to you, right in your home. When your purchase the Stop, Drop & Flow Yoga Program, you not only get 10 flows in both video and PDF format with a glossary of over 30 poses, but you will also be added to join a private Facebook Community where we will share our yoga journeys through pictures, questions and continuing education. I will be present in the community regularly to answer questions and bring new challenges.

BUY Stop, Drop & Flow Now!!




Or learn more by clicking here

The Hospital Bag – What I’m Packing. And What I’m NOT.

So I’m 39 weeks pregnant. With my third baby.  Time to plan what the hell I’ll actually going to bring to the hospital with me to deliver this baby.

People make a big deal out of the hospital bag. There are so many lists online, of what to and not to bring with you. There are rules, must-haves, must-nots and so much more. I really think what you bring with you is entirely personal. I happen to know from experience that I will bring at least one thing I don’t need and forget at least one thing that I do. This is fine! There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Just have some overnight stuff packed, and something to keep your baby warm and the rest will all be fine.

Both my other babies were born after their due dates, so it’s not surprising that I’ve taken no real interest in getting ready for this event. I know it’s important, and there are things I’ll be happy to have, but I just don’t take it that seriously. Like if I forgot just about anything it’s easily replaceable plus the hospital provides a LOT of things for new moms. Not that I’m a new mom, but I will be dazed and confused. So I’ll take all the help I can get.

So I’ve packed the bag. Actually I’ve packed most of the bag… just realized now I’d probably like to have a toothbrush while I’m there( making this amendment now ha! ) I’ll throw that in there today at some point… I think!

 

So here are the things I am bringing. To my hospital delivery. Of baby #3.

 

  1.  Clothes for ME: Every time I have a baby I buy myself new sweats to wear home. Nothing is yummier than the soft fabric of brand new sweats against tired skin so I am keeping up the tradition this time as well. I have sweat pants and a sweat shirt that I bought just for the occasion, as well as 2 old reliable v-neck t-shirts.
    Soft & Cozy!


    I also bought some large sized 3-pack cotton panties, that will be comfortable but I won’t miss if I throw them out after all is said and done. Most likely I’ll wear the big mesh bad boys that they provide for you, but just in case I’m packing a couple pairs of these.

    Also a nursing bra! The biggest one I own. For no other reason than that I don’t like things touching me, especially after something exhausting like childbirth.

  2.  Clothes for baby:   a  brand new one for him too. Isn’t he lucky? Thanks to my mother-in-law who loves my kids enough to buy them new things. I would have just found an old stained sleeper and called it a day. So I have two little undershirts and two fleece sleepers. I don’t anticipate being there long but it’s always good to be prepared.Also bringing a hat & scratch mittens. Again, this is just in case stuff. But if we were there for more than a day I’ll be happy to have it!
  3. Blankets for baby: One of George’s old baby ones. Nice and soft and fluffy. And our favourite recieveing blanket for swaddling that we used on both the other babes. Just the right shape and size and stretch for cuddling up little newbies.
  4. Assorted toiletries for me: Hair brush, hair elastic, face cleasing cloths, toothbrush & toothpaste, and tissues. Just the bare essentials. Again, I hope not to need much, but you just don’t know what you will come across in L&D and there are some things I just can’t go without. Like clean teeth.
  5. Pads  – Ugh. I hate this part. But it’s a necessary evil. Just like the big mesh undies, they supply the best ones at the hospital but I am definitely better safe than sorry by throwing some cotton super maxi pads in my bag.
  6. Diapers : For baby. 6 or 8 newborn size. Again, provided at most hospitals but I’m going to carry them with me everywhere for the next year so why not.
  7.  SNACKS: Protein bars and snacks bars. For me and hubby. I have special circumstances given that when I do go into labour my husband will be driving here from his work – which is 4+ hours away. So having a little something for him should he need it seems like the polite thing to do. Plus I heard you’re not supposed to eat while labouring at the hospital?? Try and stop me.
  8. Phone Charger: Again, for myself and my husband. I could be there a while, you never know. I use my phone a lot. And he will coming off a long drive. I feel safe having a phone charger.
  9. One can of wine: YEP. Wine. Equivalent to two glasses of zinfandel. Honestly, I probably won’t drink it, I will be a little preoccupied. I’ll be too excited. I’ll probably be too tired. But like the phone charger,  it makes me feel safe.

 

I also wanted to include things I’m not bringing, either ones I’ve brought in the past and didn’t need or popular “list” items that I think are really unnecessary.

  • Clothes for hubs – he is a grown ass man and can pack his own panties.
  • Entertainment – music, magazines – thats just not my jam. My phone and my brain will keep me happy.
  • My own robe/pillow/etc it’s risky and birth is unpredictable I know but I don’t plan on staying that long.
  • Nursing pillow – I am down with sidelying nursing and will lie down as much as possible for those first few hours.
  • Baby items: toiletries, creams, nail clippers, booties, swaddlers, co sleeper etc.

    So there you have it. My magical list of things in my magical “hospital bag”. I only want to be helpful, informative, and at the very least entertaining by sharing this info with you. It really doesn’t matter what you bring. Baby will come either way. You will be fine if you don’t have a nightie to wear at the hospital. Baby will be just as happy in pink as in blue. What matters is that you’re healthy and thriving with your new little one.

    The best part about me posting this before I go into labour – is that you can all laugh at me when I forget important things, and the my general over-confidence gets the best of me 🙂

Take my list with a grain of salt. I’d bring tequila with me if I could. I’m just not a preparation person and the hospital is like the authority that makes me want to rebel. I don’t want to be there, so I don’t plan on staying long.

And as always; mama matters. What makes you feel good and comfortable and safe is what you should have with you. If that’s music, your fav book, a yummy robe – then bring it! Fuck it if you have a team of bellboys carrying in your suitcases when you arrive. You need to be comfortable in order to have the safest labour and delivery. So do whatever it takes to make that happen. If there was ever a time to be selfish, this is it.

As you know, I’m all about #selfcare.