Happy Father’s Day!

I realize this blog is more than fitness, eating well…it’s about life. My kids, my husband, my job…

Today is Father’s Day.

I would not be who I am without the man who raised me. He was a strict, typical Italian father. Growing up I often wished he was like my friends’ dads who let them do anything. I didn’t realize why he made the decisions he made until I became a parent.

It’s tough having kids and letting them go…run a little farther from you, go to their first birthday party without you, their first sleepover…and I am not even at the stage of high school or driving!

But I do understand why my dad was strict. His culture was different than where he grew up and he only knew what he knew. And obviously at 43 years old, all of those parties don’t mean a thing now.

So many of my friends were surprised when I went away to university. How was I allowed?? LOL…I have no idea but I moved out to live in busy, chaotic, crazy Toronto for four years and my dad supported my decision to become a journalist even though he begged me to become a teacher – go to McMaster – stay home.

Every time I came home for the weekend or summer, my dad would say, “don’t worry about the money, if you want to come home and leave Toronto, that’s ok.” But of course, I didn’t want to leave Toronto. I am grateful for the experience he allowed me to have and for the reassuring fact that I could come home, anytime.

Being a parent is the greatest, most fulfilling job in the world. You watch your kids become real people with real personalities and skills and talents and you literally watch them grown up in front of you.

And being a parent is the also the scariest, saddest, most frustrating job in the world. It’s crazy busy, it’s a lot of sacrifice and when I say sad, I say it because they are LITERALLY growing up in front of you. They become more independent, which is what you want, of course, but also creates some fear and the realization that they don’t need you in the same way anymore.

I can imagine that was incredibly tough for my Italian born, traditional father. He never said it, but now I know it.

I may be a little like him now – a little afraid to let go, to let the kids run a little farther from me. But I also know when the real time comes I will watch my kids as he watched me, start the life they are meant to start, even if it means moving away. But don’t you know, I will always tell them, “don’t worry about the money, you can always come home.”

Thanks, Poppy.

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm


My Forever Baby

jacoblog

My Forever Baby.

He will always be my baby. But today, he turns 10.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. My heart is full and broken at the same time.

Jacob was born on May 29th 2008 – just 1 day past his due date. My kids know that their birth stories are so indicative to who they are today. Jacob is pretty easy going in getting him to go anywhere. He just needs a little nudge, a little coaxing and he’s good. His birth was like that. At the doctor’s office the day before, on his due date, I told my doctor, I needed this baby out – not like his older brother who made me wait days and days!

My labour started early the next morning.

Ten and a half hours later, Jacob Michael was born …so tiny at 6lbs 9oz. At first glance he looked EXACTLY like his big brother, but he quickly changed and he was his own little version of John and me. His skin and hair so dark, his little body swam in newborn clothes. I couldn’t wait to bring him home.

Jacob as a baby is much like how he is now. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. He cried… a lot. He hated the car seat and the stroller. He had me stumped! What baby doesn’t like car rides or falling asleep in the stroller?? This guy, that’s who! He only wanted mama’s arms. And he only wanted mama standing!! It was definitely something getting used to. But…Jacob was (and still is) a great sleeper. So I had a crying, clingy baby but he slept through the night.

Today I have a funny, loving, sensitive guy whose competitive nature can get the best of him sometimes. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. That’s my Jake.

I don’t know where the time went. I don’t know when he stopped fitting into my arms or stopped sliding across my floors, backwards, in a crawling motion. I just know that it stopped. I’d love that time back. Even for a day.

I love to watch Jacob play hockey, soccer, football…but I also love when he sings. I don’t think he knows how much joy that brings me. He’s got a flare for drama but won’t listen to me when I say he should go into acting. He’d be so good. He’s got a quick wit, a sensitive heart and a great laugh.

He’s smart and sarcastic, funny and loving and can say the sweetest things ever to make me feel the best.

I watch him grow in his own confidence every day. It’s tough being the younger brother, I know. But I tell him all the time, he is tougher than those insecurities.

People say that when you know a child is your last, you will always see them as your baby. I thought I would have another after Jacob, but maybe deep down I knew he was my last.

I just knew he was my forever baby. And even though today he turns double digits…growing faster than I would like, I can still see the chubby cheeked, smiling babe in my arms. You may not fit my arms any more, Jake, but you will never outgrow my heart.

meandjake

You made our family complete…just like I wrote in your birth announcement, 10 years ago…

“These are the moments

I know heaven must exist….

I have all I waited for…and I could not ask for more.”

 

Happy Birthday, Jacob.                                                        

Love, Mom                 


Grocery List 101

grocery

It is FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Although for many of us that means the end of the working week, we really know that there is still so much (different) work for the weekend! Cleaning, running errands and of course…grocery shopping!

Before you head to your favourite grocery store(s), I thought I would share some stapes that I have on my list to make sure I have lots of healthy choices for the week. I know many people on my challenge asked for this, so here it is!

But before I post my list, I have to things to say this about the food you eat. Here’s my advice.

Don’t eat food you don’t like, just because it’s healthy.

I do believe that you will have better success at changing eating habits if you eat healthy food that you also like to eat.  Don’t force yourself to eat salmon if you hate it. That’s not making a sustainable lifestyle change. Now, if you want to try different ways/recipes to see if you do like something, then try. But after a few ways/tries and you still hate the taste….choose something else. Something you look forward to eating!

Unfortunately, junk food, processed foods, cookies, etc. are a lot cheaper than buying healthy food – most of the time.

Think about No Frills’ constant Dollar Days…and all the canned goods of Chef Boyardee or Macaroni and Cheese that is on sale for $1 and how busy the store is during these sales. It’s a bit more expensive to eat better, it’s true, but the investment is your health.

Here’s a typical grocery list of mine…this can be a guide for you and you can substitute for things you like that are similar (i.e. Vegetables that you like) I have highlighted the items I buy the most

Protein Sources

  • Ground turkey and chicken
  • Extra lean ground beef
  • Chicken or turkey sausages (not breakfast sausages)
  • Basa fillets (or sole, cod, haddock)
  • Shrimp
  • Skinless, boneless chicken (Rotisserie chicken – use for a few meals!)
  • Steak
  • Pork chops/tenderloin (not my favourite, but my family likes it)
  • Chick peas, lentils, black/kidney beans (I eat these in moderation due to my tolerance of them – often upset my stomach)
  • Canned tuna
  • Protein powder
  • Eggs and egg whites
  • Turkey bacon
  • Greek plain yogurt
  • Cottage cheese

Vegetables

  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Turnips/Acorn Squash/Spaghetti Squash
  • Beets
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Mixed greens
  • Sweet peppers
  • Sweet onions
  • Asparagus
  • Bok Choy
  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Green beans

The list can go on and on because I buy vegetables that are on sale but my staples are above!

healthfood

Fruits

  • Berries!!
  • Bananas (use very sparingly)
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Seasonal fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe etc
  • Lemons!!
  • Limes

Fats

  • Coconut Oil
  • Natural peanut butter, natural almond butter
  • Raw or unsalted almonds, walnuts
  • Sunflower, pumpkin seeds (unsalted/raw)
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil

Grains

  • Quick cooking oats
  • Steel cut oats
  • Ezekiel Bread (freezer section in organic area of Fortino’s – best eaten toasted)

Condiments

  • Hot sauce
  • Salsa
  • Mustard
  • Apple cider vinegar

(I make my own ranch dressing)

Other

I typically don’t eat/drink dairy so I buy unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Canned coconut milk for shakes and sauces

Daiya Cheese – non dairy cheese

Hummus

Pitted dates

Nutritional yeast – Aside from B12, nutritional yeast is also a “complete protein,” it contains other B vitamins, is low in fat and sodium, is free of sugar and gluten, and contains iron ( I sprinkle it on eggs, cooked vegetables, pasta, etc)

Here are some tips on preparing the above foods!

Ground meat can be used as burgers but also cook with peppers and onions and whatever else you like and throw a cup of salsa in it and there you go! Put in a wrap, on lettuce like a taco salad or over sweet potatoes. Easy and good!

Don’t get sick of chicken like I did…I have a TON of recipes for chicken to spice it up. Look for a future blog on new ways to make chicken!

Hardboiled eggs are a great snack! Next blog is centered on healthy snacks!

Tuna – try my sweet pepper stuffed with tuna that I posted a couple of weeks ago…so good and filling and no bread for those of you trying to cut carbs. Same goes with the above ground meat…stuff peppers with them and bake or put your burger patty in between lettuce buns!

Eggs too consuming for breakfast? Make an egg bake so that you have it already prepared for the week. Cut in slices and you are ready to go.

Sautee your kale in two tablespoons of olive oil and garlic over the stove and let it crisp up…add some pink salt and munch away or add to your meals as a side!

Broccoli…cut your broccoli or cauliflower and roast in a pan with 2 tbsps. of olive oil, garlic and salt. They will crisp up and you will never eat them any other way again!

Throw zucchini, peppers, onions, eggplant all in one big casserole dish, add 2 tbsps. of olive oil, salt, pepper…spices you like and roast!

Add lemon to your water. Always. Lime for your homemade guacamole!

Cook your oats and then add a scoop of protein powder and a tbsp. of nut butter. Delicious! Or add nuts and seeds instead of the nut butter.

I put salsa on everything…eggs, chicken, veggies…

Hope this is helpful! If you have any other staples on your healthy grocery list…send my way!!

Happy shopping this weekend!

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm


Prepping for a Weekend Away

vacationfood

I always say prepping food is the key to success when eating healthy and staying on track of your goals is important.

On my Facebook weight loss challenge page, I encourage my challengers to take a couple of hours a week to prep food for at least 2 days at a time.

For me, my family knows that Sun mornings are for my prep – and if I can’t make Sun mornings then I make sure to carve out a couple of hours on Saturday.

Prepping for a normal work week is great but even more important is prepping for your day if it is NOT going to be a normal work day…i.e…you are on the road that day (or for days) and can’t always get to healthy food.

This is what happened with me this weekend as my husband and I took the kids to the Falls for two nights. If you know my hubby, he’s a foodie. He’s also 6 feet tall and much leaner than I  am and loves to eat. The only thing we have in common here, is the “loves to eat” thing –lol. He can get away with it better than I can.

I decided it was important to me to stay on my meal plan as much as possible. So here’s what I did…

We got to the hotel at 6pm on Sat night. Since the boys and John ate a very late lunch they weren’t as hungry as I was. We finally got to a restaurant at about 7pm and ate closer to 8. By this time, I was beyond hungry. I ordered a burger and salad. I ate the burger and took a few of the kids’ fries. After dinner we headed to the lobby and my husband wanted ice cream…no the kids didn’t ask for it…my hubby did. Welcome to my life.

Of course, Sweet Jesus is right in our hotel lobby. Have you had Sweet Jesus ice cream? It pretty much lives up to its name. I took a few bites of the massive, delicious cookies and cream version my husband ordered, which happens to be my favourite ice cream flavor. Go figure.

Since I planned this splurged Sat night I knew I had to be on track the rest of the weekend. Here’s how I did it.

Sun morning breakfast – I ate my measured Greek yogurt, oatmeal, protein powder concoction. Washed it down with a Starbucks cappuccino. Meal 1 on point.

Lunch – While the family ordered Wendy’s, I brought along my grilled chicken, sweet potato slices and cucumber. Another successful prepped meal eaten.

Snack – 2 energy bites from Freshii – instead of the massive chocolate chip cookie my family ordered

Dinner – I ordered the Work’s Waldork salad (mixed greens with walnuts, beets, avocado) with grilled chicken, balsamic dressing on the side while my family ordered and ate pizza. I ate two small crusts and used that as my carb source. Meal 3 done!

Monday morning – I brought along my natural peanut butter – 1tbsp measured and ordered a 12 grain bagel, which I am allowed on my meal plan. Ordered the egg white sous vide from Starbucks as my protein source. Meal 1 success!

Lunch – ordered another Waldork salad, this time I added my own grilled chicken and ate that on the way home. Family ate leftover pizza. Meal 2 on track!

Snack – 1 and a half rice cakes.

Dinner – we got home and I made myself a chicken stirfry with chicken that I still had in the fridge, with my measured rice and a ton of vegetables. Meal 3 done…even though I was a bit sick of grilled chicken, I was looking for a nice hot meal! This hit the spot.

This is the first time I ever went away with so many prepped MEALS.  I do usually prep snacks but full meals was a first…and that I stuck to them! I surprised myself that I didn’t give in to the pizza – or the ice cream.

Was I perfect this weekend? No. I ate a chip here and there, too. But I was much more focused on sticking to my goals because I had the food already prepped and ready for me to eat! Plus, I love the Work’s Waldork salad…full of such goodness that I didn’t feel deprived.

There’s a time and place for splurging and this wasn’t my time.

I am on a meal plan for another 9 weeks and it is too soon for me to really be playing around with it if I want to get to my goals. I still had a great time with my family and I don’t believe that eating junk food or greasy meals is the only way to enjoy yourself.  Some people do. They think it is part of the fun.  And that is totally fine for them.

I guess it may also be easier for me to say no because I have some digestive issues that are compounded by certain foods. I think about how horrible I will feel physically if I eat certain foods that taste good at the time, but keep me in pain afterwards.

And then I think about all those people who train for marathons and fitness shows and who must always prep their foods no matter where they go – even on hot destination vacations! So if they can do it, I can do it for a two day trip to Niagara Falls.

And if you wanted to, you could too.

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm


Comfort Foods with a (Healthy) Twist

Creamy Avocado Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Taco Lime Grilled Shrimp 800 6768

I really didn’t think I had to write a blog about warm – healthy – comfort foods in mid April, but this ice storm has left so many of us homebound, chilly and hungry!

Don’t reach for the heavy, unhealthy, common foods because I have some easy to replicate hearty meals with real ingredients, real taste and real nutrients!

My Facebook survey says the below are the most favourite comfort foods. I have some great ideas and recipes that will allow you to have those meals without all the guilt.

Chili – Use turkey meat and add sweet potatoes and other veggies to increase the fiber and vitamins. Here’s a favourite of mine that’s vegetarian – use Greek yogurt as your sour cream and YES use homemade guacamole on top!

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/250222/sweet-potato-black-bean-chili/?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=etg_526166167

Nachos – I slice sweet potatoes really thin (yes I love sweet potatoes) and bake those for approximately half an hour until crispy. These are my chips and I load cooked meat (extra lean beef, turkey or chicken – or shredded chicken) on top with salsa, sautéed peppers and onions and lettuce…you can add cooked black beans too. I use dairy free cheese but you can use some cheese to melt on top. To keep it really healthy use plain Greek yogurt and/or homemade guacamole on top – just like your chili! Avocados are a fabulous way to get good fats into your diet!

Pasta – If you are watching your carb intake, use zucchini or spaghetti squash in the place of pasta noodles. I love to add sautéed chicken or shrimp and make it true hearty meal. I honestly never miss the pasta.

Burgers – I love burgers. I think they are my favourite. I use extra lean ground beef or turkey. Here’s a couple of ways to spice up your burgers. I don’t always put mine on buns either. I have done lettuce wraps and even portabello mushrooms as my bun! So good!

https://www.budgetbytes.com/2011/03/greek-turkey-burgers/

https://www.wellplated.com/teriyaki-burgers/

Pizza – Ok some of you may not want to change up your pizza…I get it.  BUT…I have to say I have made both cauliflower crust and chicken crust. I preferred the chicken crust – and I tell you it is sooo good and so filling! I put everything I love on pizza on it and it was full of great protein and taste! Here’s the recipe I used but I used a grilled chicken breast I had leftover…

https://www.ketoconnect.net/recipe/no-carb-pizza/

Chips and Dip – Make your own chips using kale or sweet potatoes or thinly sliced pita bread. Your dip can be homemade guacamole or a Greek yogurt based dip using a variety of spices. https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/the-best-chicken-soup-recipe/

Soup – Here’s a couple of hearty soups to warm up your bellies!

https://www.yummyhealthyeasy.com/healthy-tuscan-vegetable-soup-easy

https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/the-best-chicken-soup-recipe/

Ice Cream – Halo ice cream is now in Canada. My favourite flavours so far are chocolate and oatmeal cookie. Many love the peanut butter one and the mint chip. Alternatively, and of course I have something with more nutrients – take canned coconut milk, scrape of the cream from the top, put some protein powder on it, some very ripe banana and blend quickly. You can even add some natural peanut butter. So good. Make sure not to blend too much or you will get more of a smoothie consistency. To make a mousse like concoction, take half cup of Greek plain yogurt, half a scoop of protein powder, tbsp. of peanut butter and mix…easy and a healthy snack!

Shepherd’s Pie – Ok I will be honest…this one stumped me because I don’t think I have ever eaten Shepherd’s Pie! Here’s a recipe I found… https://www.skinnytaste.com/shepards-pie-lightened-up/

Grilled Cheese – Choose a sprouted grain bread like Ezekeil brand (found in the freezer in the organic section) or high fibre bread – or even higher protein bread that you can now find in the grocery store (Dave’s Killer Bread).  Instead of putting so much cheese on it, add less cheese and add other goodness to it…turkey slices and sautéed onions and peppers, turkey bacon, tomatoes, spinach, etc…make it more hearty by adding more things to it while not adding as much cheese. Pan fry in coconut oil instead of butter.

Meatloaf – This turkey meatloaf is extremely tasty and husband approved. I don’t use ketchup – because ketchup has a ton of sugar in it but also because that is just gross lol…I use homemade tomato sauce.

https://melaniemakes.com/blog/2013/02/turkey-meat-loaf.html

Mashed Potatoes – Try making cauliflower mash – super tasty OR keep the potatoes and add Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and add fresh chives, use coconut oil instead of butter and you are filling your plate with some extra goodness that you wouldn’t normally have in traditional mash. Also you can use…yup…sweet potatoes!

Hopefully this cold weather, snow and ice are on their way out for good this year and we won’t feel the need to fill up on comfort foods BUT now you have some alternatives to consider if you don’t want the extra calories, fat or sugar.

For more amazing and healthy recipes visit – https://www.facebook.com/upandliftingrecipes/

Happy cooking!

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm


5 Things Strength Training Taught Me

 

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I started strength training in my mid 20s…then stopped after I had my first son. I didn’t really get back into lifting weights until after my 2ndson was born – I was 33.

No matter what types of fitness programs I have done in and outside of the gym (cardio kickboxing, running), I always find myself back to the barbell.

There is something about lifting heavy stuff.

I realized lately that I have learned more about myself through lifting…

5- The obvious – I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I may not be the strongest mama in the gym but I consider myself pretty strong for my size and my age.

4- I like to push myself. I like to be in an environment that screams, “challenge yourself” and I like when I listen to those screams.  This environment, for me, is in a gym. Strength training allows me to put my fears and doubts to the side and I PHYSICALLY feel better by going beyond my limits and pushing my body and my mind to another level.

3 – I learned I have a real passion for fitness and especially strength training. I look forward to my next workout…how I can better myself, get stronger, leaner, faster. And this passion has pushed me towards this blog, my Facebook weight loss challenges and now my own UpandLifting tank tops.** It feels amazing to find a true passion and dedicate yourself to it!

2 – Dedication/Consistency – Even after working late, feeling a bit off, wanting to sleep in, I get up 5 days a week at 5am (lately sometimes earlier) to get to the gym. I am dedicated to this lifestyle. It’s definitely taught me how to stay true to something really important to me and to always give 100%.

1 – Motivation – I look at those in the gym pushing themselves and I feel inspired and motivated. I also see how my strength, my passion, my dedication and consistency has motivated others who take my boot camp classes and see me at the gym every morning.  I am by no means an expert in fitness or nutrition, but my passion I believe has allowed me to help some other women in a small way.

Sometimes…or maybe most times, we feel stuck in our every day life. It’s so important – no matter at what age – to find something you are passionate about. Make it a part of your life. It may take some sacrifice (like getting up before sunrise or spending some extra money) but it will add so much to your life and it can lead you in some awesome opportunities or towards some incredible new friends.

I hope you have found your passion and if not, start thinking about what that means for you.

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm

**If you would like to purchase an UpandLifting tank top, email me at carmbozzo@sympatico.ca  – Tanks are only $15!

 


Practice What You Preach

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A woman in the health and nutrition industry that I know, and admire, posted something on Instagram that struck a big chord with me. It made me take a deep breath. It made me gulp. It was the slap in the face that I needed.

She said, “I practice what I preach” with a photo of her lunch at a fast food restaurant. She ordered a Cobb salad instead of a burger, a fried chicken sandwich, or fries. She is a holistic nutritionist who teaches the importance of connecting what you eat with what your body needs and how you want it to feel. I believe this whole-heartedly. I do.

And I know, most of those who work with me, live with me or hang out with me, etc. marvel at how well I do eat most of the time. I am a pretty conscientious eater – until I am not.

I think I stress ate through February. It’s typically a very hectic time of year at work for me and this year was a little more than usual.

I was tired. I didn’t feel like prepping much. I forgot to pack enough food so I was starving by the time I came home and because I didn’t prep much I didn’t have good food waiting for me at home. I said yes to snacks and meals I typically say no too.

I WAS NOT PRACTICING WHAT I PREACH.

I tell the women and men on my challenges to not let stress win. The stress will be there regardless if you eat the cake, ice cream, pizza…whatever your crutch is. So why feel worse by eating it?

But I didn’t listen to my own advice.

You know what happened?

I gained weight. I felt physically and emotionally heavy. I was more lethargic. My workouts suffered. I was more anxious. I was moody and not fun to be around. I was unhappy.

And…I was still stressed.

This post, I practice what I preach, was EXACTLY what I needed to kick me in the butt – to RECHARGE me!! I read that and it hit me immediately. My attitude changed in an instant.

And now, I seriously FEEL different! I feel connected to my goals. I don’t feel stuck. I feel motivated again.

I have to remember this saying. It’s an important one for me.

Thanks Kathy Wilkes for the inspiration! If you are interested in a holistic nutritionist – she’s a great one to connect with so that YOU can connect with your food! www.energiahealth.ca

If you are interested in knowing more about my next 6 week health and wellness challenge, message me at carmbozzo@sympatico.ca The next challenge begins April 3rd! You CAN win money at the end of the challenge but most importantly you WILL feel and look better!!

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm

 

 

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Don’t Ask Why…

 

vaw blog

I know…this blog is supposed to be around health and fitness…my every day life of working out, feeling good about myself, eating well and HOPEFULLY inspiring other women to know they are not alone in the struggle to feel whole.

Every day I try to do the above – and have taken that passion to start this blog, to teach boot camp part time and to start now my third Facebook health and wellness challenge with another group of fabulous people.

But another big part of me is what I do professionally – at a women’s shelter in Halton. No, I am not a counselor – I leave that job to the highly equipped! I am the woman behind the big events, the fundraising and the media promotion. Although stressful, I love that I have become an advocate and it has shaped my role as the mom of 2 boys, too.

So this week, I dedicate my blog to the crisis that is – and has been – in front of us. Just a few days ago – in our community of Hamilton – another woman, Holly Hamilton, was killed and her ex-boyfriend has been charged with her murder. They have a 4-year-old daughter whose life is forever changed.

In Oakville, a man shot his wife and himself – same week.

My heart feels so heavy. And yet, this is not a new phenomenon. Women have been abused at the hands of partners and ex-partners for as long as time has ticked.

It’s 2018 and enough is enough.

We won’t end violence against women in our generation. But we need to work harder than ever so we can move towards the end. In Holly Hamilton’s case, her ex boyfriend was once charged in assaulting her and got 90 days in jail. 90 days. He continued to stalk and harass her. Now she’s dead.

I truly believe that the ONLY way we will ever end violence against women is by educating our children. If the stats say 1 in 4 women will be abused in their lifetime, think of all those kids in YOUR kids’ classrooms who are living in those homes…whose first understanding of love is equal to power, control, abusive words, screaming, fear, emotional threats…physical altercations.

We need a continual discussion and learning for kids of ALL ages on what healthy relationships look like, what sexual harassment is and how they all can play a part in being a part of the solution that ends violence against women. These kids need to know that if they are living in these households, they do NOT have to follow in these footsteps…that is NOT their future. There are places to go to for help, phone numbers to call, people to talk to.

More than ever, we need to engage young boys and men to be male allies. To stand up for what is right on their playgrounds, in their classrooms, locker rooms, parties and campuses.

We need their voices!

Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm, my work centers on engaging the community, raising much-needed funds, creating partnerships and trying to make a change. But when I close my office door I open a bigger, more important one as I pick up my boys.

My job really starts then and will never stop. I talk to my sons all the time about respect, consent, love and what is happening in the world today. They are 9 and 11.

They are lucky. They have parents who love each other, show respect to each other – no family is perfect but what they are seeing and hearing at home will provide a good foundation.

You may not have that home. I understand. But that’s even more of a reason to talk to your children. And if you don’t have this at home, I hope for you that you stay safe.

I will never ask, why didn’t she leave? There has never been, nor will there ever be, a good enough answer. She doesn’t leave because of love…yes, love…fear, shame, guilt, the unknown, her kids, her pets, her family, her financial security….

Don’t ask, why doesn’t she just leave? Ask, what can be done to keep her safe? Ask, how can I be a part of the solution?

Demand more from the justice system.

Demand more from the Ministry of Education to implement specific curriculum about healthy relationships. (In Halton, Halton Women’s Place has a Public Education Program that has licensed teachers – including two male educators in classrooms…but funding is needed to be in more classes!)

Demand more from our workplaces to take care of those women who are missing work because of the abuse.

There is so much we can all do. We just need to do it. Do it for all those women who are living in abuse, for all those who have lost their lives…and for the children – like Holly Hamilton’s 4 year old daughter, who will grow up without her mother because she could not be protected enough from a man she once loved.

Carm 

 

 

 

 

 


TRANFORMATION 2018

TRANSFORM

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything here.

It’s been a crazy busy few weeks and to be honest, nothing jumped out at me to inspire me to write.

I finished my second challenge near the end of November and lost a lot of motivation. I still continue to workout hard at the gym – as you know – that’s never my problem. Food continues to be my issue, even though I know what foods I need to stay away from.

But that is not what this blog is about.

I want to talk about 2018.

This year – 2017 -and every part of it – the good, the bad, the ugly is almost done. Staring us in the face is a brand new year…a brand new start!

What are you looking forward to 2018? What changes are you going to make – or have you even thought of it?

I belong to a great Facebook group of women who every year choose certain words as their goal for the year…like Peace…someone who wants to achieve more peace in their life in the New Year…patience…strength…resiliency…

This year my word is Transformation. I chose this word for a couple of reasons.

Yes…physical transformation. I want to see a big difference in my body this year. This means some big changes in my nutrition. Yes, I know…I do eat healthy most of the time. This is a bit different…this transformation will be from eliminating some food from my diet. A big shift in how I eat and how I view food. Stay tuned.

But I chose this word to also represent a transformation of my mind – I could have chosen the word “confidence” but it is more than that…I want to transform my thoughts, which will transform my actions, which will make some changes in my life.

I know I am most hard on myself than anyone else. My 2018 Transformation needs to also happen – in fact more so – with my own thoughts about myself. This will be harder than any physical transformation I plan to accomplish.

And I am most skeptical of this one. But isn’t that what new beginnings, fresh starts are about?

I also want to transform my life to include more of what I love and to simplify my life a bit (I say a bit because I also have to be realistic!)

 

This is my year. Transformation. Simplification.

What is your word for 2018?

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm


It’s Time to Slow Down…

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When did it become mid November??

Wasn’t it just Thanksgiving? First day of school? Summer vacation??

Is it as you get older, time flies by you? Is it when you have kids and literally run from morning to night to get everything done? So often I write about sitting back and enjoying my kids more, my days more…my life more.

But sometimes I can’t help myself. I have to remind myself to LITERALLY take a breath. The other night in bed I made myself breathe in and out with large sighs to wind myself down. It worked. I’m trying to do that more.

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I know my husband wants me to slow down. I know because he told me so last week. LOL. I rush my body and my mind from one thing to another – get kids ready for school, get out of the door, get to work, do a million things at work while at the same time thinking about dinner, homework, volunteering, our hockey schedule, a birthday, my blog, my challenge, the laundry…then I rush home, rush the kids out of my mom’s house, start dinner knowing most nights kids are rushing out to hockey, cleaning up, arguing with kids to take a shower, get PJs on, get to bed…by then I am exhausted that I go to bed, too. Just to do it all over again.

Part of it is my personality – high anxiety, trying to please everyone (even though this in the end, pleases no one), but it is also because I add too many things to my already busy schedule. But I know I am not alone, I know many of you women who are reading this are doing the same thing.

Let’s all take a collective breath. In and out….in and out..

Some changes have already happened to take some stress off me…housekeeper hired for every other week – YES! Crockpot is coming out more – YES! We are stopping one kids’ activity, which will open up so much more time – YES! I have books to read and I am reading them – YES! I am not ironing my kids’ uniforms anymore (yes I did that) – YES!

I attended a great event yesterday called The Well. It was created by women for women and you could almost hear the huge, collective sigh of relief from the 200+ women in the room as guest speakers talked about how much stress we put on ourselves as women…as partners…as moms…and that we are NOT alone in this. But they also talked to us about believing in ourselves, reminding us that we are worth feeling great about ourselves and that we are worth our dreams and goals and that we need to take the time to find pleasure. Its important.

So much more to do to create a less rushed, less stressed life…but I am not planning any more because that will just stress me out lol. I’m going to take my husband’s advice and slow down. I hate when he’s right!!

Now, who’s with me??? I’d love to hear from all of you on how you have simplified your life so that you can breathe more, enjoy more… email me at carmbozzo@sympatico.ca or respond to my Facebook page!

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm