Saturday, February 11, 2017

90 days to a Healthier Life!

Thomas Rae (the RMT at Vitality for Life) approached me several weeks ago wanting to undertake a 90 day challenge for himself and his wife. If you have read his previous blog post about his health journey, you know that healthy eating, exercise and weight management has been a recent endeavor in his life, and Thomas likes to stay motivated!

I loved the idea of Thomas and Stephanie sharing their journey (and struggles) with all of you - it's SO relatable to most of us! So if you want to follow along, follow Thomas's Facebook page and the Vitality for Life Blog and you will be getting updates!

We've heard from Thomas, but today's guest blogger is Stephanie Rae, Thomas' better half:)

Stephanie, take it away!

Day 1

Ok here we go :)
My name is Stéphanie. I am Thomas's wife. We have been together for almost 10 years now and have lived and experienced crazy things but I think this next adventure we are about to start will be another great chapter in our life, but first a little bit about us.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people sittingThomas and I met right after high school. We both went into the culinary field and went to western Canada to train after college. Myself out of Montreal and him out of Toronto. We worked in the kitchens for a couple years. It was very intense and rewarding at the time, and we aquired great work and life skills but it also took a tool on our health. 

We made the decision to move from Montreal where we had great careers in the industry (I was his boss 😊) and we ran the kitchen of an excellent restaurant/wine bar) and decided to move to Ontario for a change in scenery.
We were exhausted and not healthy. Although we cooked great food for people we ended up eating late, drinking too much and eating fast food (or just too much foie gras and pâtés.) We needed to change. Thomas had to have a gallbladder surgery ( yes at 24 years old !!) And it definitely was an eye opener that something needed to change. 

So we moved to Orillia, after resting and figuring out what we wanted to do, Thomas started crossfitting. I remember telling his dad.. "Don't worry this is just a new FAD he can't possibly keep talking about it so much for much longer" -but was I wrong. Next thing you know I drank "the koolaid" and started too. His dad too actually! The whole family went Paleo and we never looked back. We felt amazing, had energy, lost weight, got married, and we got pregnant with our first child. 

Throughout my first pregnancy I felt amazing - I crossfitted until the day I went into labour (thank you double-unders) and had an easy natural labour with my awesome midwife (oh yes and of course my very supportive husband!). My nutrition was on point. Just before finding out I was pregnant was actually the first time in my life that I was in great shape and enjoyed working out. Even after my first baby and some of the baby weight had gone I was still much smaller than I was in my early twenties.

I started working out right after the recommended 6 weeks. I must admit I could not believe how hard it was to start again after only a short pause . I worked thru it slowly and after a little while got back in my routine. Then I got pregnant again. Our kids are 18 months apart. By then we had made a move to Barrie, Thomas was halfway thru massage school and we had a busy almost toddler at home. I worked from home which was convenient for being with our daughter but I found it hard to get out of the house to go to the gym and stay active. We tried having our home gym but that was a failure considering I can't take orders from my husband the military type workout partner ;). We signed up to another crossfit gym in our neighborhood. I was going but I had a hard time getting myself there, giving myself the excuse that I was pregnant and not really pushing myself. I ended up stopping and trying to just keep it easy and go to a regular gym. So this is when things kind of started to spiral. I was tired, pregnant, and full of excuses. Our baby boy was born in August 2014. Again very lucky with an even easier labour, great support team, and a perfect healthy little boy. Went home that afternoon to introduce Walter to his big sister Lucile. 
That time around I took 1 year off to spend time with the kids. I enjoyed every minute of it. Great timing too as I would have the summer off with them before going back to work. That summer even though I was out and about and doing all kinds of activities with the kids I felt like a zombie. I was not myself. I was not myself since I had the kids. I love them don't get me wrong but I didn't know how to get myself back in the swing of things. Forget about working out, that went out the window before Walter was born. I tried but would get discouraged and even more upset. 

Shortly before Walter's second birthday I decided that I had enough. Both my kids slept thru the night, I was done breastfeeding, I had a job that I loved, an amazing husband and 2 beautiful children but yet I was not happy. I finally opened up to Thomas and told him something was up. None of this "I'm a new mom and it's normal to be tired and lug myself around like a zombie.” My kids are 2 and 3. It's not normal anymore.  We went to our family doctor. He was really supportive but also wanted to get my mental health in check. I politely turned down taking something for it. Having a history of mental health issues in my family,  this was the part that worried me the most. We decided to turn to Naturopathic care. By then Thomas was working at Vitality for Life and had met this awesome Doctor that is Dr. Anna. 

Dr. Anna was great. She did a bunch of tests in collaboration with my family doctor who is very open to alternative medicine and worked out a plan for me. 
Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting, sunglasses and outdoorShe gave me a food guide to follow and supplements to support me. So far it's working pretty well except I was totally unable to really get my eating under control. Since Walter was born, I was barely eating Paleo. Again full of excuses to stop at the drive-thru Tims or to eat that cookie at Goodness Me. I was trying to made efforts but also was still full of excuses, still exhausted and had this I don't give a ** attitude. I wanted to feel better but even with all the support and help unless I really got my head in the game nothing would change. Just before Christmas this year I joined a gym near my house. Something low key just your typical gym. I want to get myself in better shape. I had started yoga this summer but wanted a little bit more. It was hard. I had panic attacks at yoga if it was too busy and the same thing would happen at the large room at the gym. If I am alone in the women’s only section I might be able to get a decent workout.. 

SO.. this is why I am here.. Thomas and Anna talked to me about putting together a 90 day reboot challenge. Thomas is doing it too (we always have more success when we do something together) Am I apprehensive?  Absolutely, but I think it is time to push myself and feel better. I know how to cook, I know how to eat well, I know how to workout and what I like.. so really I need to shut the voice in my head telling me I can't do this and give it a try. This challenge I think will be great to keep us accountable and to help us stay focused. I plan on working out 3-4 times a week, eating as clean and as close to the paleo diet as possible and push myself. I know I have my partner in crime to help me stay motivated and on track and I also want to give my kids the best example possible. Dr. Anna will keep following me and we will monitor our weight and measurements throughout this 90 days. I hope if anything during that time we will inspire others to get moving, get healthy and do what feels good for them. I know we will be giving it our best. Now let's get this thing started! 

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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