To the women I admire most in the world

International Women's Day is a day of recognition that I honestly wasn't aware of (isn't that a shame?) until about two years ago. In all the years I've worked for and with women, this day was never brought up or recognized. 

Back in the days when I worked for the State of Florida, when my mother and I were employed in the same bureau, I had the absolute pleasure of working with a group of women who I liked personally and professionally a great deal. Many of these ladies were, in fact, also old enough to be my mother and in true Southern style they didn't mind telling me what they thought or what to do. (I even went to school with one of the women's two daughters.) I dubbed them my Ten Moms. I still miss the camaraderie I had with those ladies. I miss them period. Sadly, my mother and other that I know of have  passed away in the years since I moved to Canada. Time moves on and so have I but the memories I have of the first women I looked up to in the workplace will stay with me. I am so blessed to have two truly wonderful women to work with in my part-time job - they are lovely, funny and awesome. I couldn't have picked better if I'd had to choose myself. 

Back: Vicky (Mieka), Lara, Me, Front: Barbara (Reid), Donna, Sara

Back: Vicky (Mieka), Lara, Me, Front: Barbara (Reid), Donna, Sara

Getting involved online has opened up my world to many people, places and things. There's the obvious fact that I met a guy and moved from Florida to Canada to be with him. But that doesn't count on International Women's Day. What does count are the women like Lara, Sara, Vicky, Donna and Barbara who were the original Losing it in Ottawa gang. Most of us were strangers one day and friends the next. Though we've gone on to do other things for the most part, I still count them as friends and admire their chutzpah. Seriously, when you admit your struggles as openly and honestly as we did, it takes guts.

Karen & Lara-0016.jpg

One person who I definitely haven't been separated from in that group is my business partner, Lara. After founding Losing it in Ottawa together, we worked together to start Social Capital Conference. When she needed a new partner for Kids in the Capital, I said yes. The only thing we weren't doing together was consulting - and then we were. I've had a lot of co-workers that I've clicked with and worked well with, but Lara's different. It's like we feed off each other. Ideas burst forth and we seem to complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. We can tease each other about our eccentricities and quirks. A mutual friend, Jordan, has often called us Statler and Waldorf for our twitter conversations that happy when we're feeling goofy and loopy. I admire Lara for many reasons, but the one that is most clear is that she knows what she wants and she isn't afraid to go after it. She's the best kind of partner to have in business.

In general, I don't get starstruck by people who are public figures, but there are people I've come to know through social media that I definitely get starstruck with. I'm still embarrassed when I think about my giddiness meeting women like Amber Mac and Gini Dietrich. I look up to them and respect them as women who are contributing value to their respective fields. Gini, in particular, is someone I follow with great interest because she's so down-to-earth, approachable and she's just plain good at what she does. Also, when I have employees, I hope I'm half the boss she is. Or maybe I should just convince her to let me work for her too. ;)

Ultimately, the women I admire are not famous. They aren't doing outrageous things for attention. They are being who they are, doing what they do the best they can and being awesome at it. This is merely a select few women that have influenced me in my life and I haven't even talked about the most influential woman in my life much in this post. My mother helped shape the person I am more than any other woman in my life. There is no doubt that I was incredibly blessed to have her for a mom.

Who are the women you admire in your life? Make sure they know today!

Should I or shouldn't I? That is the question.

I’m asking this question over at Losing it in Ottawa today:

If coyotes are being spotted in my neighborhood (two just yesterday - one in the early morning, the other in the evening), should I be concerned about starting a C25K that’s going to take me out and about around them? The goal is early morning before work and I hear that’s coyote-roaming time.

There’s other stuff in my post over there that has nothing to do with coyote sightings. Feel free to wander over and take a look.

Coyote experts are particularly encouraged to comment and advise.

Please and thank you. :)

The never-ending struggle

Today is my day to post over at Losing it in Ottawa.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been doing this for 39 weeks and that we’re just 13 weeks away from our first anniversary.

Honestly, after such a long time, I thought I’d be a lot further along in my progress, which has me wondering what to do next. Do I continue, even though I know that I’m not giving weight loss top priority in my life anymore? Or is this part of the journey for me?

The comments so far in response have been full of the support that the LIO community has become known for. I’m blown away and humbled by the support shown every single time my posts are published. 

I hate exercise. Well, maybe not completely.

This week we’re welcoming our eight brand-new bloggers over at Losing it in Ottawa (LIO). It’s an exciting time of growth for our little venture and the new group has generated an excitement and energy we haven’t felt since early on. I think we’ll all see some pretty fantastic things happen this year with the LIO crew. I hope you’ll stop by and say hello to our new bloggers - they really are a great bunch!

Since they’re all introducing themselves this week, the rest of us are on a blog break, though the Losing it is hopefully still going strong. But I wanted to share some things and since I’m not up to post again for two weeks, I thought I’d just say them here.

I’m excited right now about what I’m doing. When I say that the new group has re-energized us, I really mean it. It isn’t easy to share such a personal part of yourself every week. Weight issues are fraught with insecurities and apprehension. And when you’re trying to lose, you almost need ten successes for every slip.

My ratio has been flipped the other way around, but that’s primarily due to poor choices on my part. Lately, though, I feel the need to recommit and even take some extreme action. I’ve started my extreme action with my regular workouts. I’m spending the time I would normally spend on my elliptical, but taking the intensity up a few notches and then I’m doing several challenges - 200 Squats, 200 Situps and 100 Pushups. I’ve just started, but it’s going well.

I’ve finally narrowed down a major block for me when it comes to exercise. It’s the getting moving part. Whether it’s the morning just after I get out of bed or the evening after Brandon goes to bed, something in me just wants to go (back) to bed. And it’s very easy to convince myself that “I’ll just skip tonight and work out tomorrow instead” which is too often a lie. So lately I’m forcing myself to get moving. Just do it. Even if it means I’m not done with stretching until after 9:30pm, I’ve been getting my exercise in.

The best part is that I’m not focusing as much on how much I dislike exercise. My focus now is on how much I like the results of having exercised. Results like bouncing up a flight of difficult steps - the kind that make you feel like you’re wading through mud going uphill. Results like running full tilt to catch my bus - and not only making it but not wheezing to death in my seat. Results like picking up my son a knowing that it’s getting easier, even as his weight increases. And then there’s the opposite result that I’m noticing more and more - skip a workout and the bounce is gone and I can only run five feet. There’s no doubt about it - regular exercise just feels good.

I mentioned in my last post over at LIO that I was going to do a sugar fast. I haven’t started it yet, but life legitimately got in the way of my planning for this week. My goal is to be ready to go by the end of this weekend, cutting carbs and sugar for a few weeks to get my body off the sugar highs and lows it’s been experiencing for far too long.

Oh, and did I mention that I’m down 1.7lbs? And, yeah, that makes my total weight loss at an even 20LBS!!!! I was thrilled to hit that milestone and I can’t wait to make it to 25. And one day maybe I’ll finally figure out what I want to do for myself to commemorate the milestones I achieve.

I’m open to suggestions - anyone got any?


PS - There’s lots of great introductory posts over on Losing it in Ottawa this week. I hope you’ll stop by and welcome our new bloggers.

December 17 – Lesson Learned (#reverb10)

December 17 – Lesson Learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)

Back in July, I felt a sincere desire to make some changes, but I lacked any motivation at that time to take the necessary steps to move forward. I questioned my readiness to  do what needed to be done.

As others came out of the woodwork with similar issues, we formed this amazing group that have bonded on this journey we’re taking together. Through the beginning, I maintained almost constant doubts about myself even as week after week things went well. I was doing it, even as I felt unmotivated, uninspired and inadequate. I not even sure where all of these feelings came from; they were just there. 

When everything went ass over tea kettle, my doubts came rushing back and now they’re holding me hostage - even six weeks later! This week I’ve been trying to conquer this mental block. I want to say again, “ready or not, here I go!” And then I want to see success again.

I know I can. I already proved it to myself once, but I keep forgetting that lesson.

I need to do burn it on my brain somehow so that I don’t forget.

Today is a new day, a new week, so ready or not, here I go!!