3 Tips to Eating Better, Feeling Better

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You read headlines everywhere – 5 ways to lose your belly fat this week! Eat these foods to get skinny! Lose cellulite now with this drink!

Typically these are all garbage…and yet we click…JUST to see what they have to say. LOL.

I do however have 3 tips that help me to stay on track and that changed my life…or at least my tummy.

This blog is short but important if you want to eat better, feel better and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

3 – Limit dairy. I am not saying to eliminate dairy but I do believe that the consumption of dairy…or at least over consumption can, and does, cause inflammation – mucous, bloating, constipation, acne and more.

2 – Try new recipes. NEVER eat food that you don’t like. Keep your food interesting AND healthy. It can happen – especially with sites like Pinterest around now…you can find new ways to make typical healthy dishes. Don’t just eat the same old chicken over and over and don’t cringe at boring salad. Eating healthy doesn’t mean boring, bland food. Add seeds, nuts, fruit to salads – use sesame oil to change the flavor, grill vegetables to add, add black beans, corn…and the list goes on and on…Love what you eat. Be excited about it or you will become resentful and think about all the things you are “missing out on” and not focusing on all the amazing food you are filling your body with.

And you don’t just have to eat salads all time. The variety of vegetables that you can eat without even making a salad is incredible!

And….

1 – For me, this tip is crucial to how I feel overall.

No night snacking.

I don’t mean no snacking ever… for the rest of your life. But for most of the time try to go to bed without food in your belly. You will most likely sleep better (after you get used to it) and you will wake up lighter and way less bloated. And there is some sort of satisfaction of waking up and NOT feeling guilty for what you ate the night before. No more, “why did I eat that??” “Ugh, I feel so crappy/my stomach hurts.”

I don’t have all the answers, but I do believe in the above tips. Try one or try them all and see how you feel! Email me at carmbozzo@sympatico.ca

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm


We’re in This Together

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It’s incredible how motivation…inspiration… comes into your life sometimes. It’s incredible that sometimes it all comes from strangers.

As most of you know, I started a 6 week health and wellness challenge on a closed Facebook page. I invited friends, family and colleagues to join. Through that, friends of friends joined too.

What started off as a small group has now reached 39 women!!

Most of these women don’t know each other and yet, they are writing each other the most supportive, “you got this”, “we can do this” messages I have ever seen…so quickly. Our challenge just started Monday!

It’s amazing how nurturing women are by nature. I know…I know…sometimes women can be mean to other women…we see it sometimes even in grade school. The drama, the gossip, the peer pressure.

But there is something about this group, and about another group I am a part of, that is so beautiful.

Maybe it is because we are all so different and yet we are finding a commonality – getting healthier, feeling better.

I was bursting with happiness Monday as everyone posted and posted and how so many answered with such support and positivity. I feel everyone that was a part of the discussions was so motivated.

It’s such a struggle for most women to put themselves first, and, so often, our wellbeing (physically and emotionally) suffers. We think we are the only one who crumbles under pressure and eats badly, eats when no one is watching, caves into temptations and always…always…feels guilty afterwards.

What so many of these women in my challenge are learning is that they are NOT alone. We all can breathe a sense of relief that, we too, have all lost weight only to regain it, all of us have eaten well all day only to eat ice cream out the carton after putting the kids to bed. AHHH…we are not alone!!

In this group, we are all different ages and sizes. And none of that matters. We struggle the same. Often, I have to remind myself that it is not really about the food, the scale, the mirror…it’s about how we feel about ourselves. Body image and self-esteem are related, intertwined.

I really hope that this group of strangers will boost each other to a place of confidence and love for themselves. I know that will take time and quite possibly, more than 6 weeks. But man, imagine how far we can go in 6 weeks??

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm

 

 

 

 


Who Runs the World? GIRLS!

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OK, so typically I wouldn’t quote Beyoncé. Not that I don’t like her music or some of what she stands for, but lately with her pregnancy photos and baby photos…I don’t know…she has turned me off. Anyway….that’s not what this is about!

I started to promote my 6 Weeks to a Healthier You Challenge with the hopes of gathering about 10-15 women who want to make some changes to their health…their lifestyle.

To date, I am OVERWHELMED at the response. I have 35 women who are committed to these six weeks of challenges, food tips, support and motivation. It’s absolutely amazing.

Let me tell you all – all 35 of you – we are all different sizes and shapes. We are all different in how we live, how we work, how we eat, how we enjoy life. And all of that is AWESOME!

So many of you are afraid of the weigh ins…I am too and I am the one organizing lol!! I have the MOST pressure ha ha!

I want you to know that yes, I know weight loss is mostly what you are all looking for. I can relate. I want you to know that it is NOT the only thing to look for. I promise you in this group you will feel supported no matter what. We all really only care about the number on OUR scale not anyone else’s.

I will be posting my weight every Monday. It’s a new thing for me, so here I go!

If you are truly uncomfortable, you can email your weigh ins but I want you to post if you lost weight, etc…you don’t need to put your weight on the page…if you truly don’t want to. I am hoping with time, you will be ok to. But I respect everyone’s comfort zones.

I also don’t want you to get a head of yourself and think this is a miracle pill. LOL. If it was, I would have a six pack! This is going to be a great way to be accountable for your food habits and exercise habits. You will be supported and motivated EVERY DAY. I promise.

I can’t wait to read all of your goals and achievements as they happen – even the small ones…those count just as much!

When I plan a meal in advance…that’s an accomplishment! It will be for you too.

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be something relatable. I wanted to be relatable. I am just like you…regardless of our weight, body fat, muscle, hobbies, lifestyle. There are days I have nothing to wear because I don’t like how anything fits…not gonna lie, threw out a pair of underwear I was wearing in the middle of the day because I hated how they fit. How does underwear change mid day???

Don’t be afraid of this challenge. Don’t be afraid of what everyone else is doing, will do. This is FOR YOU. I want you to remember this quote as we move along…

“Look in the mirror, that’s your competition.”

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm

 


**VACATION ALERT** Call somebody else…

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Last week my family and I took a road trip to Myrtle Beach. It’s the first time we have ever driven that far. I wasn’t sure how we would fare out in this 14-hour drive – even split over two days. But we survived!

I was looking really forward to doing absolutely nothing on this vacation. Like most families these days, I was feeling overwhelmed with the busyness of our lives. Work was stressful – just the nature of the job, my body was tired (my own fault of pushing every workout to a max and little rest in between), my mind was crowded with a tight schedule of kids activities, dinner preps, lunch preps, cleaning house, laundry…and finding laughter in between all of that. For about 7 weeks, the kids’ activities had us out from Mon-Sat…and in fact Monday nights we fit 3 activities in AFTER my workday. I don’t want to complain because the kids love their sports and we love watching them play. But we were tired.

Myrtle Beach was great for John and I. Sitting out on our balcony that faced the ocean, sitting in silence – no rush to get anywhere, no schedules to coordinate, no work deadlines blocking our minds.

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We sat on the beach together and brainstormed life ideas. No kids interrupting. John spent time in the ocean – either with kids or without – and became replenished.

I read a whole book and started another! I made great notes about my blog, my boot camp classes and my upcoming 6-week challenge. I felt invigorated and inspired. I even started a grateful journal and encouraged Jacob to join in me with this. I want to continue to start my days with this activity and change my mindset first thing in the morning and start the day with a positive attitude instead of my anxious, worrywart perspective.

The kids jumped in and out of the pools, rode the lazy river, went down water slides and even conquered a fear.

On this vacation, I didn’t watch my meals as I usually do. I didn’t make every meal an unhealthy one, but I did snack on things I usually don’t eat. I didn’t drink enough water and I didn’t workout until the last couple of days of our vacation and even then, I knew it wasn’t at 100%. I won’t lie and say it didn’t bog my mind because it did, but I didn’t do anything to really fix it, either.

As usual, eating like this caused some pretty big digestive problems for me. I should not have been surprised. To be honest, we have been home for a couple of days and I am JUST starting to feel back to normal.

I do wish I would have moved more and perhaps not have eaten so many fries lol, but man, did it feel really good to put everything behind me and enjoy the sun, the sand between my toes (even though I am not usually a sand lover) and sound of the ocean first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

We are off for another week and taking it easy at home. I am back at the gym and my usual routine and today I prepped some meals. It’s going to be really hard for us all to get back to work on Monday but I am hoping that these 2 weeks off have brought some new life in our work, our hobbies, our families and with ourselves.

I’m back at the Squat Rack ~

Carm

 

 


Who’s Up For The Challenge?!

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I know many of you have already signed up for my upcoming August 6 week “Get Healthier, Slim Down, Get Stronger” Challenge.

This challenge is solely online and in a closed Facebook group so that the entire world doesn’t see what you are posting. Some days I am sure you will post some struggles – we will all relate – some days (most days!) you will post accomplishments…small, itsy bitsy ones and BIG ones! We will be here to celebrate with you!

These challenges will be what YOU make them. I will keep you accountable because I know that is what works, but I can’t force you or anyone to make any changes.

You will be inspired constantly on this challenge! You will learn new food tips, ways to keep moving and you will look forward to the weekly challenges that will tweak your lifestyle so that you are mindful of your health all the time.

If you haven’t signed up by sending me your email or sending me a private message, and you are interested – sign up BEFORE June 25th!!

Email me at carmbozzo@sympatico.ca

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm


More Beautiful Than You Think

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Although I am always talking about loving yourself – regardless of what you think about your legs, tummy, butt, smile – I am my worst enemy at this sometimes.

Yesterday I was in a staff meeting and our facilitator showed us this video created by Dove –I am pretty sure I have seen it before or, at least parts of it, but it REALLY resonated with me this time.

The Dove Self Esteem Campaign has a mission statement that reads, “We are on a mission to help the next generation of women develop a positive relationship with the way they look, helping them raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential.”

Ugh, I wish ALL of us had that positive relationship with how we look. I really wish, despite all I do, and all I believe, that I did for myself. I am getting better at this relationship and if YOU are a woman who does have that relationship with her body already – Hallelujah! Totally Amazing!

Watching this video yesterday hit home for me for some reason. It was really disheartening to hear the women describe themselves in certain words, with specific, unflattering descriptions of what they looked like – because I could hear myself saying some of the same things.

What do I often say? The struggle is real. People think that I don’t have my own body, self-esteem struggle. But I do. Sometimes I don’t see what people see. And sometimes… you don’t either.

Let’s open up our eyes to our own beauty. Let’s turn every criticism about ourselves to a compliment. We can do it.

Watch the video. Let me know what you think of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGk

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm


Joy to MY World

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This week has been a bit of a struggle for me. Stress coming from lots of places and hormones kicking around everywhere. Near the end of the week I started focusing on joy – but ONLY because it was asked of me. What brings me joy…what is joyful about me…my life…my circumstance?

It seems like an easy thing to do…to look for joy. But in the day to day grind it is often really difficult and time consuming. We rush from one thing to another and don’t breathe properly. We don’t connect enough. We don’t treat ourselves enough. We ask questions, but sometimes don’t really hear the answer.

Because of the hectic schedule we have put ourselves in this summer, I am not eating properly. Because of some added stress elsewhere, I am not feeling confident in areas I normally excel at. I’m going from one moment to another without thinking. And that’s not fair to my family. And it’s not fair to me.

Today my husband picked me up for lunch. This never happens because he works in Mississauga, and I in Burlington, and I never go out for lunch – I’d rather take my hour at the end of the day. But he was off today and we spontaneously decided to get together. He took me to one of my favourite restaurants – and…it was such a beautiful treat. Something so small and it made my day a million times better – joyful.

I get to watch both boys play hockey tonight. More joy.

I get to watch both boys play football tomorrow and there’s no running from one sport to another. Joy.

I get to celebrate my husband, his brother and his father tomorrow…and I don’t have to cook dinner …double the joy!

I get to celebrate my father, my brother and my husband again on Sunday for Father’s Day but also my 5 year old nephew for his birthday. Again don’t have to cook dinner AND there’s cake involved…ha ha…Watching Noah open up his presents with his two best cousins at his side will be more joy than I can handle. Can’t wait.

I know I can’t get away from stress. It’s in the work that I do, it’s in my parenting style, it really is who I am. But I want to remind myself of why I am working so hard, what I am working for…in and outside of my home. Nothing is more important than life’s joys. I don’t want to be so busy, so stressed that I miss the joy. I feel that that is where I have been, missing the joy. I want out of that, I want back in to the beauty of my life. I want to recognize the things that bring me most joy and surround myself with it as much as possible. It won’t be easy because busy lives, stressful schedules and deadlines will take me over but in the end, I hope joy prevails.

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See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm


Perfectly Imperfect – A Conversation with Sit With She…

 

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I had the pleasure of meeting Lindsey, creator of SIT •with• She – an amazing blog that connects women regardless of age, religion, culture, ability or interest.

In her own words, “SIT •with• She” invites you to join the amazing journey back to yourself. Sitting first with yourself. Remember who SHE are despite the world that surrounds her. When we come home to our most natural self we can grow, change and impact others in ways we never thought possible.”

Lindsey and I talked for two and a half hours. We talked about raising and teaching kids, fitness and nutrition, being productive instead of busy, struggling with perfection and letting perfection go.

I learned a lot in those 2 hours. I learned – again – how so important it is to talk to women – friends, family, colleagues, neighbours…and even complete strangers like Lindsey was to me. The power in talking to each other…validating each other’s fears and aspirations, laughing, brainstorming, sharing secrets (like how to buy the perfect strapless bra!) is amazing!

It leaves us refreshed, inspired – and full of energy! I encourage you to follow “SIT •with• She” on Instagram and read about the incredible women of this City. We are all different and yet some stories resonate so deeply that somehow we are so much the same.

We are Powerful. We are Beautiful. We are Strong. We are Resilient. We are Perfectly Imperfect.

Read her blog on me. FYI …she didn’t write one note while we chatted and yet captured our entire conversation!

https://sitwithsheblog.wordpress.com/perfectly-imperfect/

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm


Date Night

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Last night I went on a date with an 8 year old…oops, sorry…almost 9 year old.

His brother and dad were out for their own special evening and I wanted my youngest to have a great night too. I asked him where he would like to go and he chose McDonald’s. (Yes, I cringed…lol…so many other great places!!) Oh well, he’s 8…almost 9.

He wanted to wait until his brother went out at almost 8pm so that he was out at the same time. Thank goodness I already ate…8pm is WAY past my dinner time! I would have been eating my arm by that point.

He ordered his food and we sat in a booth and talked. He told me about his day – his first day of EQAO, the video they watched at school, his friends, his plans for the next day…and I sat there, leaning forward, my hand on my chin, listening but more so, watching him. One on one time is so precious and hard to come by in the busyness of our lives.

I told him…”this is like we are on a date.” And he smiled. Giggled. Then went on about something else.

Since he is like me in the way of loving to be comfy and in bed comfy even more so  – I mentioned we should get home, put on our pjs and watch Game 7 of the hockey game in mommy’s bed – all comfy and warm! He loved the idea as he never watches TV in our room.

We got home and of course, something was wrong with our TV (insert husband’s eye rolling). So as I tried to get it to work, Jacob yelled “don’t come into my room.”

I was so flustered with the TV; I didn’t even question what he was doing.

Two minutes later, he is standing beside me, in his Communion suit (one year later and now too short), jacket buttoned, tie on, belt in hand.

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He dressed up for the remainder of our date.

I will never forget how he looked. I will never forget his thoughtfulness.

He didn’t stay long in the suit because our plan was pjs and hockey, but it didn’t matter.

It was one of the best dates I ever had.

I am now planning more date nights out with my sons.

Even if it is at McDonald’s.

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm

 


Happy Mother’s Day…

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I’m a mom. Two boys. Loud house. Hockey games in my kitchen. Balls bouncing off my living room walls. Wrestling on the tiles. NHL. NFL. TSN. Anything with three letters.

Constant conversations hover around hockey statistics, scores, whose team is better than the others, who cheated, who started the fight, who left the mess, who is picking the game to play, who is sitting beside mom, who is sitting beside dad, who is not tired to go bed, who is not hungry, why lunch wasn’t eaten at school…

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. The only day really when the kids love me enough to get a long for about 3 hours, where I am served some food, when I am told to rest. Literally by 1pm last year I had to remind the boys that it was STILL Mother’s Day so threatening each other was not really part of the gift.

This year I will be up at out of the house to watch my youngest play football.

I could complain about it and say I am not getting breakfast in bed like I usually do, but my gift is watching him play.

I could complain that my house is so loud with voices and balls bouncing, loud with their own commentating, but if it wasn’t filled with these voices, my halls would feel empty.

I could complain that I’d like to talk about something other what the score was during football/soccer recess but then I’d miss their excited play by plays.

I could complain about the pillows, books, games, nerf gun pieces on my floor, but that shows me that they are home.

I could complain that they always need to sit between me and my husband but soon they will be out more than they are home.

I could complain that I am always in the kitchen making somebody something to eat, but then I think about when they are off living on their own and not telling me that I make the best peanut butter sandwiches anymore.

I could complain that I need some rest. I could complain that I need some peace and quiet. I could complain that I would like to go and see Beauty and the Beast and not Iron Man. But I know, soon enough, as they start to hover over me in size, as their voices start to change, as their priorities shift as ours did, I will get all of that.

They will be independent.

They will find a love.

They may move away.

And I will miss the balls bouncing, the brotherly fights, the excited play by plays, the zombie books on the floor, the hockey night in Canada theme song, and even…yes, the butt talk.

So for right now, I will try not to complain. I will try to live in THEIR moments. I know it’s easier said than done but maybe that’s my Mother’s Day gift to myself.

And when they are fighting and hating each other for the moment, I will remember Julian’s good night to me this week “Goodnight, Beauty” he said. I will remember Jacob running to me after I picked him up at school saying, “I missed you so much today, mommy.”

Heart melting moments – they make it all worthwhile.

But, if they do move away…guess who is moving with them?!! I’ll give you a hint. It’s me. Who needs peace and quiet anyway?

See you at the Squat Rack ~

Carm