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By Chris Reeve

I’m a work at home mom and in October 2015 I was invited to be part of the Fresh Fit Foods YEG and World Health Club 21 Day Challenge. For 21 days we ate all of our meals from Fresh Fit Foods and trained three times a week with a personal trainer. The challenge was amazing and I was hooked. I still don’t drink coffee (one of the strong suggestions for the challenge) and try my best to work out four to five times a week. Of course, it doesn’t always work; kids aren’t feeling well, I’m not feeling well, the hubs has a week day off so I don’t ALWAYS make that happen, but I sure try. That’s my time – it’s important to me – not just for my body but for my head as well.

The Canadian Institute of Health Research cites Dr. Gordon Asmundson “A number of studies have shown that exercise has an immediate, positive impact on mood,”  This holds true for me and was one of the first things I noticed while doing the challenge. I had already booked an appointment to discuss issues I was having with anxiety with a psychologist. It was scheduled after the 21 Day Challenge and I almost cancelled because my issues were practically gone. I did keep the appointment though and he told me had I not been feeling better this would have been one of the first things he suggested: exercising, limiting caffeine and eating healthy.

When I’ve had some time to “fill up my own cup”, I have more to give to others and I am more calm/controlled and less anxious/stressed out.

Back to school and this fall has me feeling a little nervous. My world is changing and change can be scary. Here’s what I’m nervous about: I’ve been doing so well and I am feeling really good but the kids starting back to school means a whole new routine, again, and I just got used to this new routine of summer!

This fall, my daughter will be in full day, Grade 1, five days a week and my son will be in half day morning preschool, So, instead of panicking (old me), I’m just planning ahead. Those will still be my regular World Health weight days for one hour, that’s all I need, and I’ll have mornings to work without my kiddos around. I’ve tested my 6am workouts and luckily, I can get still home, shower if needed and get out of the house to drop them off at school on time… Yippee! I can also still fit in some yoga in the evenings and on weekends. The kids are going to miss Kids Club a lot, so this way they can have some fun in there too, just on weekends now. So, basically it’ll be go go go.

Fall will be nothing like the sweet, sweet days of summer where sometimes we had plans, sometimes I had to work, but heading to the gym and Kids’ Club was always that was on the list.  I just have to get back into that routine; it’s what’s best for me and my whole family. When I’ve had some time to “fill up my own cup”, I have more to give to others and I am more calm/controlled and less anxious/stressed out.  Will I not be able to go to the gym sometimes because of the craziness of life? Yes of course, but if I make it part of the routine I’m less likely to let it fall by the wayside and that would be something that’s just not good for me. This I know.

Here’s to saying Good bye to summer and Hello to new routines, a new school year and new adventures! I’ve got this!!!

Chris Reeve is the Associate Publisher for Edmonton’s Child Magazine, a local family publication. She is mom to a 6 year old girl, 4 year old boy and 14 year old American Eskimo dog. She enjoys a good glass of red wine with Netflix after the kids are in bed and has a weakness for anything salted caramel.

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