My Exercisers Creed

Before I get to my exercisers creed let me start with my exercise background.

I’ve been working out on and off since January 2003 when I got a gym membership. To create my workouts, I started by using Arnolds Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding because that’s what was available to me as well as the suggested circuit at my gym. I was quite a newbie but you’ve got to start somewhere.

From there I progressed to magazines and the internet for examples of workouts. as well as Oxygen magazine (the previous version) were my go to sources for ideas and information.

Exercisers Creed - Dumbbells

In 2010 my husband and I decided to buy some equipment for home and ditch the gym memberships. It really helped me cut down on time needed in the morning and helped get my lazy butt out of bed since my gym is now just a flight of stairs away. One of the most common excuses I used for skipping the gym was being too tired and not wanting to get out of bed.

Exercisers Creed - Gym

I prefer to work out in the morning because I have found that I am much more likely to have excuses why I can’t work out if I attempt to schedule it for the afternoon/evening (I really need to quit it with the excuses). When I was working I planned my workouts for first thing in the morning (after a snack) and they will go back to that time of day in a few months when I return to work. I’m currently still working out in the morning but the timing changes depending on the baby’s nap schedule. Most recently I’ve been able to workout with Little M awake but I have still kept it to the morning time.

My preference is to follow a planned workout schedule rather than just winging it. I like to create checklists and sheets on which I can track my sets and weight lifted. I’ve had success following Jamie Easons LiveFit trainer (found at which I have gone through (mostly) several times and have used it to create my own plans when limitations didn’t allow me to follow it to a T.

Currently I’m following Busy But Healthy Transform to Fit plan and am loving it! I really like the way the sets are split up. I think the three groups of three exercises trick my brain into thinking its less work than it is. But boy I still feel it the next day so I know it is real work.

You may have noticed I have not said anything about cardio. I know I should be doing more (there are bursts of cardio style exercises as part of the plan I’m following) but I really don’t care for it and haven’t been able to convince myself to get my lazy butt outside to run (I have done the running thing in the past but never stick to it through the really hot or cold seasons). Now that its getting colder here I know the likelihood of it happening is pretty much zero. I’ll probably try again in the spring. For now, I plan on creating a few cardio burst workouts to be done first thing in the morning. More on that in a future post.

Now since that’s out of the way onto the real point of this post. Recently I read on Body for Wife, James Fells’ exercisers creed and thought I should write one of those for myself. I always seem to focus on trying to lose fat when I know I really should be focusing on trying to get stronger (not that I don’t have fat to lose I just think strength would be a healthier approach to exercise). I’m nearing forty and know that having a healthy strong body (rather than just being skinny) will be more important as I age.

Exercisers Creed - bike

So here goes, My Exercisers Creed:

I will stop making excuses. I have a saying up in my gym to remind me – you can have results or excuses not both.

I will not be a wimp. I am stronger than I think and I will show myself respect by not doubting my abilities. I will listen to my body but be honest with myself. When it wants to go hard I will let it but if next time it needs me to ease off I will, no judgement.

I will fuel my body appropriately but I will also not put myself down if I give in. I will understand that the occasional indulgence is necessary and will let myself enjoy food. I will keep in mind that exercise is not an excuse to be a glutton. I will work on balance in this area. Knowing I have a really hard time saying no when I really know better and that the food I eat can greatly affect how I feel (and how much I can push myself during my workouts), I will work on making better choices more often.

I will not view exercise as punishment. I don’t currently see it this way but want to include this point in case I ever change my mind. Exercise can be fun and I believe being fit makes all aspects of life so much more enjoyable (and easier to participate in).

I will not focus on vanity. I want my motivation to come from strength and what my body can do not just what it looks like. I need to be a good role model for my daughter.

This is the only body I will ever have so I need to make sure it keeps moving efficiently. I am making a life long commitment to keeping it healthy and that will always include exercise.

If injury or illness requires that I take time off, I will return to exercise as soon as possible and be honest with myself about my limitations and abilities. The longer I stay away from exercise the longer it takes to get back to my usual self.

I was going to end this with wish me luck but I think that it sounds too negative, like I might not succeed. I prefer to end it in the same way James did.

I will not quit!

Have you written (or kept in your mind) an exercisers creed, something to keep you motivated to not quit?


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Alphabet Based Activity Plan – ABCD

Are you looking for some loosely planned activities to do with your little? How about ones based on the alphabet?

I don’t recall what prompted me. If it was something on Facebook, Pinterest or just my own brilliant thinking J but I got it in my head that I should start planning specific daily activities to do with little M rather than just winging it. Which is mostly what I’ve been doing during my leave from work and time at home with her. I say mostly because we do participate in scheduled activities like swimming and gymnastics but while at home it’s been kind of a free for all.

Even with the knowledge that my little may still be too young to really grasp the concept of the alphabet (she’s really good with identifying colours) I’ve started planning an alphabet based weekly activity plan. My plan is to schedule daily activities based on select letters covering two letters each week.

I’ve created a printable to help me keep my ideas organized but since it’s still a work in progress I won’t share it until I feel its worthy of being posted J. Based on my brainstorming ideas I selected some activities. I’ll list what we did below.

Alphabet Activity Plan - A&B - for site

Last week we did the letters A and B.

  • Monday we had some apple pie and read Ten Apples on Top.
  • Tuesday we coloured airplanes and made paper airplanes.
  • Wednesday we finger painted ants (well I painted ants while she made a mess, lol), and sorted buttons.
  • Thursday we moved to the flight of the bumblebee, blew bubbles and made banana bread.
  • Friday we searched for teddy bears and had burgers.

Alphabet Activity Plan - C&D - for site

This week we did the letters C and D.

  • Monday we planned on looking at clouds but to my surprise there were none, we also read The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
  • Tuesday we made chocolate chip cookies, and made a card for dad that we coloured with crayons.
  • Wednesday we sang songs about ducks while playing with rubber duckies.
  • Thursday we played drums and danced to drum music.
  • Friday we ate donuts and decorated construction paper donuts.

A few things I learned over these past couple of weeks:

-Although she liked the pie, cookies and banana bread I think she preferred helping mix the ingredients to actually eating them. When it comes to sweets she was much more fanatical about Halloween candy last month.

-I think we’re both enjoying having activities planned for each day. It’s only been a couple of weeks but I’m definitely going to keep this up.

-She is not quite ready for the alphabet but I know she’s a sponge and taking in everything I’m trying to teach her. It will click one day.


Have you planned this sort of thing to do with your little? How did you organize the activities (like I did by letter)? Do you have any other ideas for activities to do for the letters A and B or C and D?


Organizing Weekly Outfits

On social media recently I came across pictures of the various ways people organized their kids clothes for the week. Although, I’m not yet trying to get little M ready and out the door in the morning. That day will come sooner than later and some sort of system may come in handy. In the meantime, it’ll mean I only need to think about selecting outfits for her once, maybe twice a week. For whatever reason picking outfits for her (also for myself, I may do this for me once I go back to work) causes me to feel a bit anxious so only having to do it once or twice a week sounds like a great plan so I decided to give it a try.

Since I already have a closet organizer for her I figured I could use that. The items that it contained were no longer necessary since she wasn’t such a little baby anymore (items like swaddle blankets and drool bibs) so I moved them out. I wish I took a before picture, but oops I didn’t.

I decided not to label the slots with days of the week but instead used numbers. My reasoning for this, she will be able to recognize numbers sooner than read words so I’ll be able to direct her to choose her outfits based on the number slot they are in (maybe one day?). Who knows if this will work but hey no harm in trying.

Since I only had so many spaces available (wanted to keep towels and blankets where they were) I only used numbers one through six. Saturday and Sunday share a slot.


Maggie's Closet - resized

So far so good, the system has been working great for me. Since she doesn’t recognize her numbers yet when I ask her to get her clothes she selects her outfits randomly. Maybe that’s better since she gets to make a decision but I still get to put her in a matching outfit (and still only have to put them together once or twice a week). Yay, win win.


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My Road to Motherhood

I started off writing a (more detailed) post about the medical process of my experience with infertility and miscarriage but changed direction. I may one day add a post with more details (if there is interest) but for now I’ll try to be a bit more concise and comment more on my feelings. Before my daughter arrived I suffered through three losses, one more significant than the other two but still three losses.

In honour of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month I thought I would (try) to put my experience of attempting to become a mother into words.

With my first loss I didn’t even realize I was pregnant. I had recently started seeing a doctor at a fertility clinic, just completed the testing phase and was about to start what I refer to as “the plan”. On Christmas Day I started what I thought was day one of my cycle but turned out to be the first day of a week of heavy painful bleeding.

Although at the time of the loss I may have been about five weeks along I never felt pregnant. This loss didn’t feel like a real pregnancy to me since I found out I was pregnant and miscarrying on the same day. I never had a chance to even think of it as a baby (at the time).

My second loss happened about five months later. I had a positive pregnancy test but the technician was unable to locate the pregnancy on an ultrasound and my hormone levels were measuring too low. At the time the doctor feared it may be an ectopic pregnancy but luckily no intervention was necessary since my body resolved the pregnancy and my hormone levels returned to 0 on their own.

This pregnancy loss was a little harder. I had already suffered one loss and in this case I had about ten days between finding out I was pregnant and being told it was not a normal pregnancy. I was just starting to get into the idea that I was having a baby.

The third loss was the hardest. Before it was time for the pregnancy test at the clinic I suspected I was pregnant, I just felt pregnant. I took a home pregnancy test which confirmed my suspicion. An ultrasound showed I was carrying twins and based on day one of my cycle they were due approximately July 27th, 2013.

About two months into the pregnancy the babies were measuring small but I was told not to worry about it they were still growing. A few weeks later I had some bleeding on and off for a couple of days. I sensed something was wrong and I no longer felt pregnant.

On my husband’s birthday an ultrasound confirmed the loss. There was no heartbeat and the twins were too small for the timing. I was almost eleven weeks along. The next day I passed one of the twins.

I was given medication to pass the second twin. The option of having a D&C was given to me but because there is a small risk of damaging the uterus I opted for the more painful medication route. I only took two of the four doses of medication I was prescribed before the pain was almost unbearable. That day was spent on the floor writhing in pain from what at the time I could only assume were contractions until finally the second twin was passed.

This loss took much longer to “get over”. With the two previous losses within about a month I felt emotionally back to normal. This time it wasn’t so easy. I really started to feel like this wasn’t going to happen for me (for us). Like I wasn’t meant to be a mother and maybe I’m asking for trouble by using the fertility clinic to make something happen that appears to not be meant to be. I don’t remember what got me out of my funk. I guess just time. Maybe I just accepted that the twins were not meant to be. Although I don’t do anything to commemorate their loss or their possible birthdate I do think of them often.

Each loss was considered an unexplained miscarriage. There was no clear issue ever found, not that that made it any easier. The doctor tried to make it very clear that they were not caused by anything that I had done although that didn’t keep me from feeling like there was something wrong with me. I shared my experience with very few people. I tend not to talk about feelings easily. But I did find the more people I spoke to the more I realized how common miscarriage really is.

I have read that most miscarriages happen before a woman even realizes she’s pregnant. And that once there has been a positive pregnancy test there is a one in five chance of having an early miscarriage. I guess based on this my first two loses may have gone unnoticed if I was not seeing a doctor at a fertility clinic.

About four months later we started trying again. The first attempt was unsuccessful and I really contemplated giving up. I was very bruised from all the blood tests, feeling pretty off from the meds and worn down because of the losses. We decided to try one last time (it was our fifth of six possible rounds of this medication). I’m very glad we did.

All the bruising from the blood tests and all the ultrasounds and painful tests were worth it when in the spring of 2014 my perfect baby girl was born. Maybe all the heartache and physical pain will help make me never take her place in my life for granted.

Pregnancy Test

I haven’t decided either way whether or not we should try to have more children (I say “I” because I know my husband is happy with the one child but would go along if I wanted more). I have a fear of trying to get pregnant again. The losses were so hard to bear before having a child I can’t imagine having a miscarriage now knowing the joy I felt being pregnant and the disappointment I would feel if I was unable to provide her with a sibling.

Sunlight Maggie





October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month


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