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Visiting Thomas when he was on tour - July 2014

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The family and I at my brother's - May 2014

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As a friend's matron of honour Sept. 2010

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(Updated April 26, 2014.)

My name is Joy, and I am a high school chemistry teacher in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As of this writing I have been married for 13 years to my high school sweetheart, and I have a two-year-old son who LOVES to jump and to be chased! My life is busy and far from perfect, but God is good, and I have a lot to be thankful for.

I have come and go from SparkPeople as I've needed (and as I've remembered it, had the motivation to try it, etc.). Before my son was born, I was able to use this site to get to my goal weight, which I was able to maintain for a little while before I got pregnant. I hadn't needed to lose a LOT of weight, but it felt GREAT to have accomplished that, to have some healthy habits, to be less interested in junk food, and so on.

During my pregnancy, I didn't follow a particular program, but I was still able to put on only the recommended amount of weight. I was pretty happy that my pregnancy went fairly well (other than some morning sickness and, near the end, some really frustrating heartburn), and the little boy I got out of it has been quite the delight as well :)!

After my son was born, I didn't push myself to lose anything right away. I didn't want to put my milk supply at risk, plus someone had told me breastfeeding would make the pounds melt away -- yeah, that didn't work for me.

So, now that my son is two years old, what is holding me back from getting back to where I was?

I have changed, and my life has changed. This is not a whine (well, maybe partly!), but a recognition that I have new factors that I need to work around. My commute has not changed, nor has the need for me to prepare for each day's classes and mark student work outside of class time. My desire to have a decently-looked-after home has not changed. My husband's sometimes long hours at work and resultant late arrival home have not changed. My struggles with chocolate, candy, Coke, perfectionism, and procrastination have not changed. However, I now have daycare drop-off and pick-up on top of the commute. I now have to get another person besides myself ready to face the day...and into bed at night. Having another person here means I have more clothes to wash, fold and put away (especially since we use cloth diapers) and more dishes to wash. Besides that, I'd be a crappy mom and wife if I didn't interact with my family at least a little once we get home! I also took on a lot of responsibility at the beginning of this school year, becoming one of two co-leaders of the science department at my school and one of two co-leaders of our Sunday school program at church. While I really do feel that I am well-suited to both roles, they do put additional demands on my time. I'm pretty sure some of the ways in which my body works are also different now compared to the way they did pre-pregnancy, partly because I still nurse my son a small amount.

All this change has taken a LOT of getting used to. Last year wasn't too bad (perhaps because I was teaching less-demanding courses), but I really think that I had some mild depression going on during the first several months of this school year as I really struggled with basic things like getting my teeth brushed each day, let alone my responsibilities at work and home. Too often, there was through it all an overwhelming fatigue when sleep was sacrificed in favour of trying to get it all done, leading me to turn to sugar, Coke and other junk to get myself through the day.

Now, however, as the days are getting longer and our seemingly longer-than-usual winter is drawing to a close, I am finding that my outlook is improving. Dishes and laundry are getting done. I am thinking more clearly about my classes. I do still get tired, but it's not as soul-crushing as it was before.

Now, I feel like I really can take on again this journey back towards my goal weight, despite the things I'm finding challenging.

Now I realize that I may have to do things differently than the first time I lost weight, because my life is different, and I am different.

Now I can recognize that yes, I am busy, but so are a lot of other people -- and that doesn't mean I can't find time to do this. In fact, it means I *need* to find time to do this.

Now, I would be happy to have you as a friend along for the ride, if you're looking to interact positively with someone else who's still figuring this whole thing out :) (drop me a comment below!).

Thanks for stopping by my SparkPage! Here's to working towards our goals together!

A little about my interests:

When I get a chance for some "me time," I enjoy reading, gaming, watching a few TV shows and seeing friends.

Books: I mostly read science fiction/fantasy, but also books on Christian living, organization, and leadership. As of this writing I am working my way through The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, and I have Inheritance by Christopher Paolini and Powers that Be by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough waiting to be read "sometime." I mostly enjoy audiobooks these days, as they let me get "reading" done during my long commute (i.e., I don't have to "find time" for it). It's fun to be read to, especially when the narrator does a good job (using different voices for different characters, pacing things appropriately and using the right tone for action scenes vs. quieter moments, etc.). However, I am finding that books on leadership, organization and other things like that are probably better for me to have in hard copy so I can better review action steps to be taken, see the big picture/outline of things, etc.

TV: Shows I currently watch include Once Upon a Time, Castle and The Big Bang Theory. I'm patiently waiting for the next season of Haven to come to Canada, too. I watched the first season of Game of Thrones, but have had to stop -- while I have read all the books (and will likely continue to read the series), seeing the violence and sexual parts of the saga (especially the bits that combine both) is too much for me.

Gaming: I used to play World of Warcraft, but gave it up as it took too much of my time. I tried the Neverwinter MMO years after leaving WoW, since some real-life friends were interested in it, but again, playing that enjoyably would take too much of my time (my friends gave it up, too). Now I regularly play only Simpsons Tapped Out and Scrabble, and work my way through various adventure games when I have time. My favourite adventure games of all time are probably the Syberia series, The Longest Journey, and Dreamfall. I also try to get together once or twice a month with some friends to play Dungeons and Dragons (the pencil-and-paper version, not online). Yes, I know, I'm a nerd, and I'm mostly okay with that :).

My username: I have been asked in the past about the significance of my username. I chose Dreamer as my camp name years ago, due to my tendency to sometimes lose my head in the clouds daydreaming for a while, staring into space and not doing much else outwardly. (A worker at a summer arts program I attended as a preteen once had to call my name about 5 times to get my attention when I was in one of these spells!) When I tried to sign up on various forums and for e-mail addresses and such and found that "dreamer" was often taken, I didn't like just having a number stuck on the end of it, so I decided to stick on my favourite colour. That was also years ago, and, well, it's just what I'm used to now :).

Member Since: 4/6/2007

Fitness Minutes: 3,831

My Goals:
- target weight: 130 lbs.
- build cardio back into my life

Later, once I've got some momentum:
- improve my posture; strengthen my core
- improve my overall strength
- improve my flexibility?

- to fit back into my pre-pregnancy pants more comfortably, and more attractively
- to be able to feel my butt flex again and not feel that general lack of responsiveness I feel in my body when it has too much padding and too-little-used muscles
- to have more energy
- to keep up with Joshua and any future child(ren); to be able to run chasing him like he likes without feeling my butt bounce around, and to be able to play with him more actively
- to generally be in a better state to do all I want and need to do every day
- to be a good example to my kid(s), and encourage them to engage in physical activity themselves
- to be "heart-healthy" and live longer (and enjoy my kid(s) longer!), without fear of preventable health issues

My Program:
- tracking my food
- August 2014: 3 times a week working with my personal trainer, plus at least 2 days a week doing cardio on my own (whether right after seeing trainer or on different days)
- during the 2014-2015 school year: 2 times a week with my trainer, one weekend day following up with whatever the trainer suggest, plus at least 2 cardio sessions a week on my own
- this is flexible...if I get pregnant (as I want to), things may need adjusting!

Personal Information:
I successfully completed the 2009 [Walk] for the Cure, hooray! (It's actually called the Run for the Cure, but you are allowed to walk or wheel it instead.) I wasn't sore after it, either.

Other Information:

Read More About DREAMERBLUE - Profile Information moved here. (Updated August 6)

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  • v SLICKEM05
    Thank you DreamerBlue for posting on the message board today. I have two stepsons that have been living with my husband and me for a year now. We recently moved which was the best thing that could have ever happened. Before we were out of the school district where they were attending so we had to drive them everywhere. Well now our house is in walking distance to both of their schools! One manageable item that I have incorporated back into my life is SLEEP. I was doing awful on 4-5 hours a night. The only thing stopping me from going to the gym now is ME. After reading your simple question, I have made my mind up that I am not going to let me stop me anymore.. emoticon
    1990 days ago
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    Thank you for the Sweet Birthday Message

    Kind Words Are The Music Of The World ..
    They Have A Power Which Seems To Be Beyond Natural Causes,
    As If They Were Some Angel’s Song Which Had Lost Its Way And Come To Earth.
    ~Frederich William Faber
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1992 days ago
    Joy, I'm looking forward to our SP friendship and being a part of your journey. Sending you support and hugs. Have a terrific Thursday!

    emoticon H = HONORED to be spark friends!
    emoticon U = UNITY in support, encouragement and motivation!
    emoticon G = GRATITUDE to be a part of one another's journey!
    emoticon S = SUCCESS because YOU ARE a WINNER in all that you do!

    ~ Monika ~ emoticon
    1995 days ago
    Thanks for adding me as a friend! I added you as well. I look forward to cheering for you on your journey!
    1995 days ago
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    Joy, WELCOME to the DONE GIRL’S team! It's a great team to be on. You're not alone in this journey of yours. I'm embracing you in friendship, support and hugs from one DONE girl to another. TOGETHER, let's turn our goals into the results that we're striving for! Have a WOOHOO Wednesday! Go DONE GIRLS!!

    ~ Monika ~ emoticon
    1996 days ago
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