Using the Baby Weight

Oh man I am tired today.  I really had to talk myself into doing Wednesday’s planned exercises.  I didn’t do it this morning while Isabel napped because, well honestly, I don’t remember why.  It’s only 2 pm and I don’t remember what I did from 9-10 this morning.

I bet I drank coffee.

Oh yeah, and I watched an episode of Workin’ Moms.

Obviously too busy to work out.

And then noon came and I picked Nathan up from daycare.  He’s so great.  I often feel guilty for having him in daycare when I’m home, but at the end of the day I do think it’s better for him, me, and Isabel too that he spend three hours a day playing with some other kids.

Anyways, so Nathan went down for his nap at 1 just as Isabel was waking up, as is the way.  So I decided if I’m going to work out (which I have committed to doing every week day) then I might as well do it now.

Today’s Progress Report

So today’s workout was:


I was going to go downstairs and get the weights when I realized, I have the perfect weight right in front of me – a 13 (ish) pound baby!  And a pretty cute one at that, if I do say so myself!



So I picked Isabel up and did three sets of 15 squats.  I was winded at the end but I didn’t go to muscle failure (or whatever that term is that my husband uses).

I then put her down to do my lunges.  These were hard for me without any weights – again, haven’t worked out in about a year.  I did three sets of 15 again.

As for the ‘ab thingie’ this is just bridge pose with leg extension things.  Not sure if that makes sense.  I can’t do crunches because I have some ab separation and so this was the alternative.  And they were hard!  I didn’t expect them to be that hard.  I did three sets of 10.

Here’s video proof of my work – not the best lighting and no sound, but it’s proof!

The whole thing only took 16 minutes – I probably should have done more reps but I’m pretty happy with today’s workout.

Plan for Tomorrow

Tomorrow I’ll be dusting off our elliptical and hopping on there for at least 20 minutes.  It’s supposed to be a beautiful day out so I may swap this out for a 45 minute walk outside.  I’ll have to check with the boss first to see if that’s ok 😉

Until tomorrow..


Cultivating Some New Habits

Oh hi there.  It’s been a while, I know.  Seven months in fact.  It’s been so long that I don’t even know how to begin this post.  So I will begin with why I am writing again.

I’m ready to cultivate some new habits.

And that’s really why I haven’t written here in so long.  I’ve been a bit busy to cultivate anything but babies.

Yes, babies, as in plural.

I now have two babies.  Nathan just turned two in February, so technically he’s not really a baby anymore.  He’s full blown toddler which comes with a whole lot of toddler sized “fun”.  Seriously though, he’s super cool right now.  Learning new words every day, really watching us to see what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, and he continues to be very brave and physical.  He’s also a bit of a lunatic, but aren’t all toddlers?

My second, Isabel, is just the sweetest baby girl.  She’s 10 weeks old and her smiles make my heart melt.  I had a tough pregnancy and a crazy intense home birth (maybe I’ll tell that story here one day) – pretty much everything was different the second time around. And she is so different from how Nathan was as a newborn.  He was high needs and could not be put down, including to sleep.  She is super chill and sleeps long stretches on her own.  It’s aaaaamazing.

So yeah, I’m 10 weeks post partum and I’ve got a few ideas for habits that I want to cultivate.   I’m finding that being a mom to two little ones makes me a bit obsessed with being a mom.  Which is not a bad thing really, but I don’t want to lose myself in motherhood.  I want to continue to do the things that make me feel like me.  And since Isabel actually naps and I have time in the day I want to make sure I’m making the most of that time –  meaning, not binge watching bad tv or scrolling through social media.

So I’m going to start with getting back into my physical body.

I’ve asked my husband, Danny, to put together a workout plan for me.  I asked him to keep it to 30 minutes a day, that I can do it at home, and to make sure it’s post partum appropriate (no crunches, not too intense – I honestly haven’t worked out in about a year, so I need to take it slow!).  This is what he came up with:

SHOULDER FLIES (with weights)
SHOULDER RAISES (with weights)




BENT OVER ROW (with weights)
DEADLIFT (with weights)

I totally meant to start today but I didn’t.  And I have excuses!  But I can always have excuses, especially with two littles at home.  So if I want to do this, I need to prioritize it.  And I need to do it at the same time every day – but not at the end of the day which is what I had planned to do today.  I’m just too tired once the kids are in bed and our evenings are often a bit hectic.

Take tonight for example:  an entire beer smashed on our kitchen floor which woke the baby up which upset Nathan.  The dinner I made turned out disgusting (though the face Nathan made was pretty great) so we ate peas and pizza instead.  Both kids went to bed fairly easily but after cleaning the kitchen that last Corona in the fridge was just too tempting.  And we all know Coronas and pushups just don’t mix.

So today starts with just setting my intention.  Putting it out there that I will commit to this plan for 3 weeks.  After three weeks I’ll reassess and see where I’m at.

I started this website 3? 4? years ago as an accountability tool and that’s what I’m going to use it as once again.  Each day I will post here how many reps I did, any obstacles I overcame to get the workout in, and just sort of a progress report.

So tomorrow I will begin this journey with YOGA!

Super pumped.

Not Quite a Sugar Free Weekend

My brother is up visiting from Toronto this weekend.  It’s been a really great weekend so far with my siblings (my sister lives here) but really hard to stay on with my goals (be healthy, do what I say I’m going to do) and my habits (namely yoga, splits, meditation, and no sugar).

I knew it would be hard.  Especially with the sugar because it’s not just a matter of setting aside an hour for myself to do my things, I have to think about it at every one of our meals.  So I decided to give the habit some leeway this weekend.  I didn’t throw it out the window completely, but I wasn’t about to let it interfere with any of our plans.  Most of which revolve around food (as best plans often do!).

I told my siblings right from the start about my plans to stick to my habit.  My brother tried to pull me over to the darker, sweeter side, and I was so tempted.  But I stuck to it, for the most part.


I didn’t put sugar in my coffee, and while they enjoyed Danny’s pancakes with maple syrup and jam, I had eggs and homemade hashbrowns.

eggs and hashbrowns


Nacho chips and salsa.  I decided that I didn’t care if the salsa had sugar in it and I ate it.  I was super happy when I discovered that it, in fact, had no sugar.  It was a very exciting moment in my day.


My sister made us dinner and I told her not to worry too much about it.  But having the amazingly supportive family that I do, she went out of her way to try to make something without sugar.  We had a super tasty stir fry.  Yes it had a bit of sugar in the sauce and it was delicious.  For  dessert I had a mango that my sister bought special for me as I watched the two of them indulge in sweet decadent desserts.


We went to a house party and there was a ton of food laid out, a lot of which more than likely had sugar (I’m looking at you delicious crackers).  How could I resist?  How can anyone resist, really?  Particularly after a few tequila shots.

party food

Those name tags you see are our porn star/stripper names.  This is me, Iona Trailer, with my sister, Penny Tration, and brother, Dusty Chotsky.

stripper names

I haven’t been 100% on my habit this weekend, but I don’t feel bad about any of it.  Once I decided it was OK to have a little sugar, I also decided to banish any and all guilt, because guilt feels worse than a little sugar.

Today is a new day. My brother is still in town and we’re going out for brunch.  Not sure it will be entirely sugar-free, but it will be great.

100 Day Do the Splits Challenge: Week 5

I can’t believe I’m still going strong on my Do the Splits Challenge.  Five weeks!  I thought for sure I’d quit after 21 days.  And here we are.

Last year when I started Cultivating Habits I did it to bring 12 new, healthy habits into my life.  By the end of the year I had successfully cultivated ten of them.  This year is different – this year I’m still challenging myself to commit to new ‘habits’ (doing the splits every day is hardly a habit, but you know what I mean) only this time it’s for 21 days or 100 days.

Today is day 35 and I may not be any closer to doing the splits, but I’m so much closer to being able to do anything and everything that I say I will do.  And that’s what this is all about.

Do the Splits: Week 5

Week 4

In week four I changed my perspective.

Week 3

In week three I was feeling very frustrated.

Week 2

In week two I wasn’t seeing any progress and wasn’t sure if I would go past 21 days.

Week 1

In week one I learned the importance of warming up before going into the splits.

100 Day Do the Splits Challenge: Week 3

Today is Day 21 of my 100 day do the splits challenge.  I didn’t practice two days so for my videos I made a drawing of happy stick woman MK doing the splits and my very dashing husband showing off his very own splits skills.

I have to be honest with you, this was a rough week for the splits.  It’s a whole different mindset trying to do a habit to achieve a goal.

With yoga, I didn’t do it every day to get better, or stronger, or be able to do a tricky pose.  It was to simply do yoga.  And I did get better, and stronger (and I did that pose!) – without any expectations or desired outcomes getting in the way.  Same with reading, meditating – all of my habits.  They were about doing the habit and not expecting results.

I’m realizing I’m a much better habit champion when I don’t expect results.

I need to find a way to not let the result (doing the splits) interfere with the daily practice (stretching).  I know that sounds backwards, but I’m afraid I’ll get frustrated and push too hard and hurt myself!

And with that, here is my take on 21 days in – splits montage and all.

Taking a Break to Mend my Yoga Relationship

Some time in the last few weeks I began to lose my zest for yoga.  I started to wonder what the point of it was.  And this feeling still lingers with me today.

When I decided to do yoga every day, it wasn’t to lose weight, or become bendy or stronger or any of that.   I didn’t have intentions of doing new poses.  It was simply to just do yoga.  To be mindful of how I was spending my time.  To connect and check in with my body every day.

In the last few weeks, I started to put too much emphasis on poses, the physical part of yoga.  I was super pumped to be able to do a headstand.  Holding crow felt like an accomplishment.  And it’s all good and great.  Headstands feel awesome.  But somehow, these ‘accomplishments’ seemed to take away from my practice.

I don’t want to bring goals into my yoga practice.  I don’t want it to become about ‘the next pose’.

Because what’s the point of that? Seriously.  It’s not like being able to do side crow will help me in any way in my life.

I guess some people will say that it’s the mental part of it, the fixed concentration, the breathing, the stilllness in the pose that can transcend into real life.

I can’t help but shrug my shoulders at this.  So what.  I mean, I can also get that feeling out of savasana (well, if I could control my thoughts, maybe I could..)

The fact that my body hurts pretty much all the time too is not good.  And because of this, I can’t help but question if doing yoga every day is actually good for you.   I need to think more about that one.

make time for yoga
From artsyville on Etsy

So when I saw this poster on Etsy: “Make time for your yoga, it’s important”, being in the mood I’m in today, I thought: is it?  Is it ‘important’?  I can see ‘Make time for you, it’s important’.  Taking time out to breath is important.  But how important is yoga?

I know, I shouldn’t be so hard on yoga.  It’s not yoga, it’s me.  And I’m not breaking up with it or anything, we’re just having a bit of a falling out.  And I do feel like this relationship can be mended.  I know I’m feeling this way because I’m stuck on the physical.  I need to get back to the mental, checking in business.

Which is why I’ve decided to take a weekend break from the physical practice of yoga.  I’m going to check in and breathe and be present.  Bring myself back to that place where meeting goals and accomplishing poses won’t get you that gold star.  Where just being is enough.

Sticking to the plan

Oh, January. We start off with the best intentions, only to say fudge it two weeks in. Why is this? Why do so many good intentions go sour?

I think we have a hard time sticking to the plan because the plan sucks. It’s full of idealistic goals and unrealistic expectations.
Winning wiht Coconut man in Placencia, Belize

I think to be successful, you’ve got to start with a good reason for doing it in the first place.  Then follow it up with realistic, doable and measurable ways of tackling it.

Each January I state, with conviction, that I will stop drinking for a month.

And each year I fail.

Why?  Because I never really want to do it in the first place, for one.  And two, I have yet to have a good enough reason to follow through.

Now, let’s say I wanted to save money.   One way of doing this could be to cut down on wine.  AHA! Suddenly there’s a paradigm shift from a negative (taking away my wine) to a positive (yay! More cash moneys!!).  I would keep a money jar, or write down how much money I was saving, that way my progress was measurable and positive.

So far so good…

This year I have not vowed to stop drinking, nor to subject myself to any other idealistic goals.  Instead,  I’m doing yoga every day.   It hasn’t been easy.  But it aligns with my damn good reason: to get off my butt and stop being so lazy.  It’s also:

  • Positive
    Yoga is awesome.  I’m not taking anything away, only adding awesomeness to my day.
  • Realistic
    I allow myself to do just 10 minutes if I don’t feel like making a thing of it.
  • Doable
    I can do it anywhere.  I don’t have to join a class or leave the house if I don’t want to.  It’s something I can even do while drinking wine 😀
  • Measurable
    At the end of every day I can say yes I did it or no I haven’t.  And if I haven’t done it by the time I’m ready to go to bed, I do a little bed time yoga.

To be successful, I also needed something to hold me accountable.  This blog and the blogging community have done just that.

And let me say, so far so good.

I honestly think that this is the longest I’ve kept to a new years resolution (even though this is not a nyr).  I’m enjoying the challenge and I’m super excited about sticking to the plan.