Back to basics: the natural way of life

I was in my yoga class and the teacher reminded us that our breath was the first thing we did when we were born, which is why we sometimes take it for granted and don’t conscientiously think about it.

As I was “thinking about nothing” in my pose (ha ha ha… or trying to anyway), I figured that going back to basics what part of a formula that we naturally gravitate to, in times when we are confused, exhausted or overwhelmed. We’ve been bread to achieve growth as our main goal in life, which inevitably leads to chaos. But you can’t fool Mother Nature’s cycle of life who will have us seeking simplicity and minimalism in due time.

When we have too much clothes, we purge and build a capsule wardrobe that does the trick. When our business grows too fast, we stop and evaluate why we started it in the first place. We pay people to sleep in tents outside and get pleasure from cooking our food on the fire.

As much as it sounds counterintuitive, going back to basics is a sign of growth and a rite of passage. You can’t go back, if you haven’t moved forward. If you’re feeling like you need a time out, in life, in your relationship, in your health or your business, consider the notion of “going back to basics” and see where it takes you.

I promise it won’t disappoint.

On that note, I will soon publish the results of my readership survey! I was feeling lost and detached from my readers and wanted to connect. My survey was a way for me to get back to basics, and remember why I started this blog in the first place!

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#Squidgoals: Mermaid for a day at Aquamermaid school

This past weekend, I, along with my blogger friends, was invited to try out AquaMermaid, Ottawa’s first and only mermaid school. Yup, you heard me… I was a real mermaid for 1 hour, and I totally loved it!

First, what an awesome workout on your abs! Swimming is such a great way to stay active and refreshed at the same time. I say this, but you will NEVER see me doing laps in a pool, I am more of a dipper (in French we say “saucer”). What I am trying to say here is that, I shouldn’t omit swimming from my workout routine, especially if I can do it #MermaidStyle!

Aquamermaid Ottawa Mermaid School

So how does it work?

At the base of the tail, you have a set of flippers where you place your feet, one next to the other. You then wrap the flippers in a bathing suit type fabric and pull it over all the way to your waist. It’s quite light and comfortable and fairly easy to move in. Other than having your feet strapped in, it’s not as claustrophobic as I imaged. The tails come in different sizes, colours and fabrics! I chose the pink because it matched my bathing suit 🙂 You can also buy your own Mermaid tail and practice at home!

We learnt the three basic swimming movements: front, back and side. All of which entail (tail! haha) a graceful wave-like flowy motion from your feet to your hips. If you’re a good swimmer, this should come pretty easily to you. After a few tries, I got the hang of it and only got better as I swam more.

This would be awesome for a birthday party, bachelorette, or just for a fun with the girls! Who knows, you may get addicted and get lured (more fish puns!) into a membership.

If you’re looking to try an introductory class with some gal pals, they are available at Lower town pool and costs $60 for one hour. Classes are available for kids and adults.

Aquamermaid Ottawa Mermaid School Ottawa Fashion Blog

Thank you to Aquamermaid who hosted us for this session!

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Transformation: Feeling blue this summer

If you’ve only been reading my blog recently, you may have missed the entire part where I wrote about my weight loss journey. The reason I don’t talk about it anymore is because, well, things are not going as well as they used to. I don’t exercise like I used to, I gained a bit of weight this winter while on vacation, and it all just escalated from there. Yes, I love food! And no, I don’t have an eating disorder and I am not obsessed with my weight, it’s just that I am the strongest and best shape of my life (and on a good day, the lightest I’ve been in a while!). But today, I am scared. I don’t want to lose it all, over some sweet desserts or a few too many drinks. I made a promise to myself that I can NOT go backwards. I have updated all my closet with new clothes in smaller sizes. It’s just not happening.

The problem is summer and it’s tempting parties. The problem is that I am tired and overwhelmed. The problem is that I have a 3 year old who is turning into a demon. The problem is that I am dealing with some health issues. The problem is that I love blogging and it’s taking over my time and energy. Notice, how I am really good at excuses and can convince myself of anything. I have to stop.

I have to stop being so negative and so hard on myself and start practicing what I preach! I need to remind myself of where I was and how good I used to feel. I need to be myself again!
So, the following is an open letter that I am writing to myself (as prescribed by my personal trainer- thanks Tina!)

Hey Chants!

What’s up girl? How’s it going? I know your stomach pains are getting worse and Victor is turning into the devil and giving you a hard time, but don’t worry, it will pass. Think of all the amazing things you’ve accomplished in the last few years. You are super strong, you’re managing your shoulder and back pain like a boss, you’re blogging career is exploding and your loving family is there to support you. Sure, you started indulging a little bit more lately, and slacked on your lunch-hour workouts. Big deal, we’re human!

I noticed you’re wearing that blue and white dress today, and I wanted to point something out to you, something that I came across on the internet. Remember this photo? Man, that was a while back. This was taken before you had Victor. I mean, your makeup was on point, but girl… I know you were hurting inside. This was the biggest you have ever been. I know you were dealing with a recent miscarriage and maybe over doing it on the “treats”.

Blue stripe dress before

But look at you now! You have a chin, cheek bones and shoulders! Don’t forget how hard you have worked to get here. Don’t be so hard on yourself, just schedule you’re workouts and start cooking with the veggies that are coming out from the garden. Carve out some “Chantsy” time and take care of yourself. You look amazing!

Blue stripe dress after

XOX Chantsy

PS- You’re dress is too big for you now, give it a new home!

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Tummy Talk: What is Endometriosis and why is it ruining my life?

My stomach is hurting tonight, so I think it’s time I start talking about it. I have Endometriosis. Despite all the commotion in my stomach, every month I am reminded that I have it, and every month I am reminded that I am not pregnant.

Ok, let’s get one thing straight, I’m not dying. I also realize that there are bigger problems in the world, but, this is my world. There is a lot of pain that comes with endometriosis. And I am in a lot of pain most of the time, especial when I have my (.). I also have a lot of pain, because my endometriosis has progressed significantly, that it is now causing infertility. It’s hard to talk about infertility because you’ll hear people say ignorant things like “at least you have a son” or “well, you’ll just have to have more sex!” or “you can just drink and party in the meantime.” On a side note, I have been doing a lot of the later, and I realize now that it is my coping mechanism. Also, there is a mild chance that I could still get pregnant… but that just seems like a cruel joke at this point.

I’ll get into infertility later, but for now, just know that it’s basically never okay to discuss these things with anyone unless they start talking about it first. Don’t ask people if they want kids, because you’ll know if/when they are pregnant! There is really no need to ask folks if they are “trying” either, since you may as well be asking them when are they having sex. A wise doc I used to work with once told me “all couples are tying.” This is an important thing to remember.

Also, I have no resentment for pregnant women or expecting mothers, just to be clear 🙂

So, what the heck is Endometriosis?

The Mayo Clinic defines Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) as an “often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus (endometrial implant). In endometriosis, displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would — it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. Because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts called endometriomas may form.”

How do you know you have Endometriosis?

I have always had very bad period cramps growing up and they seem to have gotten worse over the years. I used to work for a women’s health association doing public health education and one day we got the Endometriosis file plopped on our desks. After reading all the guidelines and medical information, I was like “I have this, 100%.” And no one cared, until now. It’s not a problem, until it’s a problem.

Typically, endo is diagnosed only through laparoscopy. However, a few months ago, I was officially diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis, which I guess was confirmed by the large cysts that have now taken over my ovaries. Also, my ovaries seem to be glued together from all the tissue. These are clear signs of endo. No official diagnosis needed here. But overall…NOT. GOOD.

The good news is that my tubes are clear (is that actual good news though? Do my tubes even matter at this point?) Again, another cruel joke.

What is the treatment for Endometriosis?

Hormones, a.k.a birth control. More cruel jokes.
But for realzees, Anaprox to help suppress the cramping, and Advil to manage the pain.
Apparently, having a hysterectomy doesn’t relieve you of endo, since the surrounding cells still function as endometrial cells. You’ll still have the cramps, except now you’ll have early onset menopause to go with it. No one wants that.

Can you get pregnant with Endometriosis?

Yes, of course. I had Victor after all. But even he was hard to conceive. And now that my cysts have quadrupled in size and the endo has progressed, it seems nearly impossible. All this to say that I am waiting for an appointment with a fertility specialist.

What can we do about it?

Sadly, even though endo affects 1 in 10 women in their reproductive age, it is still a highly under-funded and under-researched condition. It is also called the “working women’s disease” which is the most disgusting term you can ever label anything related to a woman’s uterus. Yes, we delay pregnancy because of our careers, but come on?!

So on May 28, I’ll be running 5K in the Ottawa Race Weekend to support research in Endometriosis for the Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s Women’s Health Centre. So far I have raised $520, that’s 52% of my goal!

I want to end this post on a positive note because I don’t want negative thoughts to cloud my energy tonight. If this cause resonates with you, I would love your support and welcome your donations!

 Thank you for caring and reading! Tummy actually feels better 🙂

xox C

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