Intermittent Fasting: How I Lost 12 Pounds During Lent

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

On Fat Tuesday, I went to a birthday party and ate a few slices of really good pizza along with a piece of fancy birthday cake from a bakery.

Two days later on March 7, I spontaneously decided to give up eating snacks and desserts for Lent.

I really like to eat potato chips, cookies, and ice cream whenever I have the chance but during the six weeks of Lent, I was only allowing myself to eat three square meals a day, with nothing in between, often for five, six, seven, eight plus hours each day, my version of Intermittent Fasting.

sushi on the table.
Photo by Sarah Pflug @ Burst

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a scheduled eating plan that is more about when you eat than what you eat. If you leave several hours between meals, (rather than eat a little bit here and a little bit there and a lot over here), you give your body a chance to process and digest your food more efficiently.

Basically, I ate whatever I wanted during my three meals a day (including bread, potatoes, meats, and cheeses) but that was it to the next meal.

To me, Intermittent Fasting is related to the Keto Diet in the sense that Ketosis occurs when the body burns stored fats for energy rather than using quick sugars and carbohydrates.

It’s like going back to the warehouse to buy something rather than taking it off the shelf in the store.

Once you start burning fat for fuel, you’ll start losing weight. But remember, one little grape will knock you out of that process, so it’s important to not introduce any sugars what-so-ever into your fasting time.

Did you know the word “Breakfast” comes from “breaking the fast” from the last meal you had the day before?

I had tried Intermittent Fasting a couple of years ago with great success so I already knew what I was getting myself into but this time was quite different from the first.

The first time I tried Intermittent Fasting, I basically coasted through it.

I didn’t realize that this time I’d be embarking on a spiritual quest, filled with days of emotional upheaval.

Yes, I often felt hungry and cranky and tired but I stuck with my eating plan because I realized that I no longer wanted to stuff down my feelings and numb myself out with food. Emotional eating wasn’t going to be my coping strategy anymore and I wanted to face my feelings and my demons head on.

In my mind, as hard as it was to get through the rough patches, the intense emotions actually meant that I was dredging up a lot of old emotional junk that I had been hanging onto for decades.

Each day as I fasted, I was releasing and clearing tons of emotional baggage so it wouldn’t weigh me down anymore and keep me from living the life of my dreams. Being emotional was actually a good sign!

To me, snacks and desserts represent too many extra and unnecessary calories and I was trying to run on approximately 1500 calories a day, without actually counting anything. I’ve learned that we really don’t need as many calories as we think we do.

The good news is, as of Easter Monday, I’ve managed to release 12 pounds in just over 6 weeks, which is less than 2 pounds a week, which is a very healthy and sustainable pace. I plan to keep going.

drinking tea.
Photo by Matthew Henry @ Burst.

My Guidelines for Intermittent Fasting

Of course there are many approaches you can take if you want to try Intermittent Fasting and/or the Keto Diet but here are the guidelines that I personally follow.

  • Talk to your doctor before attempting any kind of significant dietary changes.
  • Know your big why — I happen to have a big 50th birthday coming up so that’s motivation enough for me!
  • Weigh yourself and record the weight in a journal. It’s not really about the weight and how many pounds you lose but it’s a good idea to know where you started. The real evidence is how you’re feeling about yourself.
  • Reduce carbs and sugar — less bread, potatoes, pasta, and rice.
  • Eat more fat because it helps you feel full and it helps your brain function better and it helps keep things running smoothly.
  • No snacks, no desserts, no wine or alcohol.
  • Drink lots of water and tea. In another blog post, I’ll share a Turmeric drink that I discovered that I found helpful and I really enjoy.
  • See websites that talk about Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting.
  • Eat three times a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Try not to eat past 7pm.
  • Eat mindfully and taste each morsel of food you put into your mouth. Food does start tasting better and better as you go along.
  • Take supplements including: Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Omega 3’s, Women’s Daily or Men’s Daily, and Magnesium.
  • Take Wellness Walks 4-5 times a week.
  • Workout and lift weights at least once a week.
  • Train to run — I’m up to running 8 minutes!
  • Find an Acupuncture Clinic and go as often as you can — they can tailor your treatments to help support your digestion and weight loss efforts and it’s really relaxing!
  • Do stretches daily.
  • Reach out to old and new friends and have one meaningful conversation, (preferably face to face and in person), each day.
  • Get a good night’s sleep every night.
  • Crystals that might help include: Amethyst, Angelite, Bloodstone, Blue Apatite, Calcite Alabaster, Carnelian, Citrine, Garnet, Labradorite, Red Jasper, Rhodonite, Rose Quartz, Sunstone, Tiger’s Eye, Turquoise.
  • Good foods for weightloss include: Low carb/high fiber veggies, avocados, Greek yogurt, eggs, cheese, olive oil, coconut oil, berries, nuts, dark chocolate, fish/seafood, meat, poultry.
  • Eat lots of orange foods like carrots, salmon, and mango — they’re about honouring the Divine Feminine within all of us.
  • Meditate every day.
  • Check weight at least once a week and record your progress in a journal along with any other significant details (like your mood or wins or the weather, etc).
  • Practice daily self-care.
  • Relax and manage stress.
  • Clear clutter in your environment.
  • Live from your essence and take your ego out of it.
  • Assure yourself that this isn’t starvation and that you’re doing this for your long-term health and you will eat lots of good food every day.
  • Talk to a Wellness Coach, like me!

Intermittent Fasting isn’t easy but eventually you get used to not eating as often. Somehow, I managed to get through baking without sampling, cooking breakfasts for crowds, 3 dinner parties, 1 restaurant lunch, potato chips in the house, and Easter brunch without giving into temptation.

Now, my skin in clearer, my hair is softer, my eyes are brighter, my pants fit better, and I’m living more as my authentic self. To me, that’s worth it and I’m planning to continue to eat like this for the foreseeable future.

If you have any questions about Intermittent Fasting or would like some Wellness Coaching, please contact me, Maria, by email.

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky.

20 Ways to Save Money on Gas for your Car

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Initially, when I heard that gas prices in Victoria, BC were going up to $1.619/Litre for regular gas ($4.61 US Gallon), I was angry. It’s crazy how expensive it is to fill up a car these days.

HHR car.

I suspect the jacked up gas prices are politically motivated — something to do with the pipeline from Alberta that BC is protesting.

From what I understand, the rest of Canada is paying 25-50 cents a Litre less than we are. Well, you have winter, we have high gas prices. Take your pick.

Regardless of the reason behind the gas price spike, (1.539 sounds like a bargain now) this is actually a great opportunity for all of us to go even more Green and do what we can to drive our cars more mindfully.

We can’t afford to waste this precious natural resource and until we figure out a way to get around without burning fossil fuels, we all need to drive our cars less.

Look at what people did back in the 1970’s when there was a huge gas shortage — cars got smaller, for one, and fuel efficiency became the buzz words for new car sales.

As a Wellness Coach, I’ve been brainstorming some ideas on how to save gas, save money, and be Greener in this uncertain Canadian climate.

20 Ways to Save Money on Gas for your Car

  1. Keep to a gas budget. I’ve started at $35/week which is $5/day. If you spend the same amount every week, then the fluctuating gas prices per Litre won’t bother you as much.
  2. If $35/week doesn’t seem like enough for you to get around, think about where you can cut back on your driving before raising your budget.
  3. Instead of driving your car, consider alternative transportation — taking the bus, or riding a bike, or walking on your two feet can get you from A to B too!
  4. Make sure your car is being maintained regularly. I had the oil changed in my car today and I got new tires last autumn. Tire pressure and clean air filters also help with fuel economy.
  5. Don’t carry any unnecessary weight in your car and try to distribute the weight you’re carrying evenly across the whole vehicle.
  6. Don’t let your gas levels go below 1/4 of a tank. Riding the line is not good for your engine.
  7. A cool Litre will go further than a warm Litre so try to refill your gas tank first thing in the morning when your tank is cool. This will give you more bang for your buck because as the gas warms up, it gets thinner and more volatile, which decreases it’s shelf life and you’ll end up paying more for less.
  8. Same goes for the gas station. Don’t fill up just after their tank trucks have left the station or in the middle of the afternoon after a lot of traffic has come and gone. All of the gas will have been stirred up and will be more diluted with air.
  9. If you’re running errands, try to turn 4 trips into 3 trips. The less often you start your car, the longer your gas fill-up will last.
  10. If you and your neighbours are heading to the same place, why not suggest a carpool?
  11. Keep to the posted speed limits. Excessive speeding burns more gas faster.
  12. Don’t accelerate too quickly.
  13. Don’t idle in one spot for too long.
  14. Don’t ride your breaks — nobody likes a tailgater!
  15. Pay attention to weather conditions, road conditions, and road construction sites. If you don’t need to travel, don’t.
  16. Use air conditioning instead of rolling down your windows because nowadays, the A/C will create less drag for the vehicle than wind from your open windows.
  17. Don’t pay for fuel by credit card because you can potentially be paying interest on that $50 purchase for years. That will make the already expensive fuel price that much worse! Of course, if you collect air miles and don’t keep a running balance on your credit cards and pay off your cards each month, this one doesn’t apply to you.
  18. Just like you’ll find seat sales and better deals on flights on Tuesdays, buy your gas for your car on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. Prices often go up on Wednesdays to Saturdays, but stay lower during the first part of the week.
  19. Consider driving a Green Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
  20. Join a gas co-op if there’s one available in your area. We have one here on the Island and each December, I get a nice rebate cheque!

At the end of the day, be grateful! Not everyone has access to a car, a valid driver’s licence, car insurance, money to spend, and decent roads to drive on. In many cultures, having a car means freedom, so enjoy the ride!

And instead of getting angry about gas prices that are out of our control, get creative and resourceful! Do you have any ideas to add to the list? Please share them with us in the comments.

Crystal Mapping Sessions

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria to book your free Crystal Mapping Session today!

Request a free crystal mapping session with Maria today!


Seeking to Build a Wellness Meetup Leadership Team

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Calling all Wellness Professionals in Victoria, BC!

I have an idea for a Wellness Meetup-type Group that I’d like to launch here in Victoria by the start of summer, 2019.

by Matthew Henry from Burst

Essentially, as a Wellness Coach, I’d like to collaborate with other wellness professionals in the area like:

  1. Acupuncturists
  2. Aromatherapists
  3. Artists
  4. Athletes
  5. Authors
  6. Bloggers
  7. Caregivers
  8. Chair Massage Practitioners
  9. Chefs
  10. Chiropractors
  11. Counsellors
  12. Energy Healers
  13. Entrepreneurs
  14. Estheticians
  15. Event Planners
  16. Financial Planners
  17. Hair Stylists
  18. Health & Safety Officers
  19. Holistic Dentists
  20. Life Coaches
  21. Massage Therapists
  22. Motivational Speakers
  23. Musicians
  24. Nurses
  25. Nutritionists
  26. Personal Trainers
  27. Physio Therapists
  28. Reiki Masters
  29. Retreat Leaders
  30. Social Workers
  31. Spa Therapists
  32. Spiritual Advisors
  33. Teachers
  34. Tour Guides
  35. Veterinarians
  36. Wellness Store Staff Members
  37. Workplace Wellness Coordinators
  38. Workshop Facilitators
  39. Yoga Instructors, etc…
by Nick Chung from Burst

And create a monthly event that will allow us to showcase our wellness products and services to health & wellness enthusiasts here in the Greater Victoria area.

The yet-to-be-launched Meetup-type group will center around the importance of practicing daily Self-Care.

So if helping people practice self-care is part of your family-friendly business, join us!

Member participation involves attending a Wednesday night planning meeting and renting a booth at the Self-Care & Wellness Fair on Sundays, once a month.

You’ll also have opportunities to speak and give presentations to further extend your reach.

by Matthew Henry from Burst.

And of course you’ll get to know and have a chance to collaborate with other like-minded Wellness Professionals in a positive environment.

This is a big idea and I’m going to need some help getting it rolling!

So, if you’re a Wellness Professional based on Vancouver Island near Victoria, who’d like to:

• volunteer on this Wellness Meetup Leadership Team,
• get in on the ground floor of this opportunity,
• be the go-to practitioner in your field, and
• organically build your clientele here in Victoria,

please express your interest to me, Maria, by email.

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky.

In your email, let me know your area of expertise, why you like this idea, and anything you can contribute to Meetup group (like a venue for example) and we’ll arrange a time to meet.

Also, if you know someone who’d be so up for this, kindly share this blog post with them!

If by chance you’re only interested in joining the group once it’s up and running and not joining the leadership team, and would like to be notified of our next meeting, that’s OK, just send me your contact details and I’ll keep you posted.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

I believe this Wellness Professionals Group has tremendous potential!

Let’s make Victoria, BC the wellness and self-care capital of Canada!

by Nicole De Khors from Burst.

12 Things to Look for in a Great Wellness Coach

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Are you interested in healing a health concern in your life? Would you like to work with a Wellness Coach? If yes, you may also be wondering, “How on earth am I going to find a qualified wellness coach” and “where do I start?”

When "I" is replaced with "we" even illness becomes wellness.

First, to find a qualified Wellness Coach, do an online search using the keywords “wellness coach” and “your city.” You might also like to add the words, “best” and “near me.”

Also, ask your friends and co-workers for a referral — maybe they know of someone who does a good job.

With today’s technology, you don’t necessarily have to live in the same city or area as your Wellness Coach, but scheduling appointments is much easier when you live in the same time zone.

Another good idea is to keep an eye out for upcoming live wellness-related workshops, talks, and events in your area. Hearing a Wellness Coach speak is a great way to preview their professional style and area of focus and it’s a wonderful chance to meet likeminded people, too!

Come up with a list of at least three names, (my brother told my mother to find three bids on her home renovations and I think that’s good advice when you’re thinking about hiring any professional services).

let's connect on Skype.

Once you have your list, take the time to review their websites and then call them to see if you can set up a consultation appointment to meet them — either through online video, by phone, or in person — to see what they’re all about.

Consultation Appointment

As you’re meeting with a prospective Wellness Coach, look to see if they have the following qualities:

  1. Interpersonal skills: Do they make you feel comfortable? Do they establish a good connection with you? Do you like them enough to spend time with them?
  2. Communication skills: Are they explaining their work in a way that makes sense? Are they actively listening to what you have to say?
  3. Professional: Are they presenting themselves in a professional manner? Do they take pride in their appearance?
  4. Caring Personality: Do they have a friendly, calm, patient, and caring nature?
  5. Practice Self-Care: Are they walking their talk, practicing what they preach, and taking good care of themselves?
  6. Empathetic and Compassionate: Can you tell if they have an understanding of what it’s like to be in your shoes?
  7. Knowledgeable: Are they knowledgeable in their field of practice?
  8. Self Confidence: Do they know their own value and the value of their coaching services? Are they assertive enough? Are they good at solving problems and making decisions?
  9. Physical Stamina: Do they have the energy and stamina needed to keep up with the demands of their profession?
  10. Flexibility: Are they willing to be flexible to accommodate your needs?
  11. Trustworthy: Do they come across as honest, trustworthy, respectful, and reliable?
  12. Like their work: Do they enjoy what they do for a living and do they genuinely smile often?

Hopefully, you’ll have a check mark next to all of the above. Feel free to add you’re your own preferences to this list as well. You’ll also want to keep your eye out for any of the following red flags:

Red Flags

  1. Distracted by drama: Are they focusing on you, the client, or are they busy with something else?
  2. Closed Communication: Is it hard to reach them by phone or email? Are they dismissive or rude?
  3. Burnout: Are they showing signs of fatigue, depression, stress, and burn out?
  4. Frazzled: Are they unkempt? Are they organized? Are they running late?
  5. Arrogance & Snobbiness: Is their nose in the air? Is their ego in the way?
  6. Judginess: Do they make you feel bad about yourself by judging your appearance, age, state of health, lifestyle choices, marital status, etc?
  7. Exorbitant Fees or Bargain Pricing: Are their coaching fees in line with other life coaches and wellness coaches or are they way too low or way too high for the market?
  8. Gut Instinct: Do you have a bad feeling when you’re talking to them?

If the consultation goes well, go ahead and book your coaching sessions. But if any of these red flags show up, then go with the person you feel will help you the most.

Taking the time to arrange a consultation appointment and meeting a prospective wellness coach on the phone or in person is a great way to see if you click before you make any long-term commitments.

Working with a talented Wellness Coach is definitely worth the investment and I hope you find a great Wellness Coach who ticks all of the boxes!

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky.

And, if you’d like to meet me, Maria, for a complimentary consultation appointment to see if you’d like to work with me as a Wellness Coach, I’m currently offering Free Crystal Mapping Sessions. If you’re interested, please call or email me. I’d be happy to meet you online or in person (if you live in Victoria, BC) at your convenience.

Request a free crystal mapping session with Maria today!

Love this Song! Thanks, Natasha!

Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
Oh, oh, oh

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
Oh, yeah, yeah

Songwriters: Danielle A. Brisebois / Natasha Anne Bedingfield / Wayne Steven Jr Rodrigues
Unwritten lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Unwritten
“The rest is still unwritten…”

I’ve adopted Unwritten as my own personal theme song for this year. It’s so upbeat and fun and inspiring and the video makes me smile.

I’m going to sing this song to myself whenever I like! Maybe even dance a little, too!

I’ve always liked this song, first released in 2004, even though it made me a little uncomfortable — I didn’t quite get it — but now some of the lines really jump out at me.

“Open up the dirty window” — it’s like, let some fresh air into your past and let it breathe.

“So close you can almost taste it” — I feel like I’m on the verge of a breakthrough and it’s within reach.

“Release your inhibitions” — that’s about accepting yourself as you are and just going for it.

“No one else can feel it for you” — you can’t look outside of yourself for validation or live vicariously through other people.

“Live your life with arms wide open” — that’s about surrender.

“Today is where your book begins” — You can only create from here, the present moment.

“The rest is still unwritten” — Endless possibilities.

Wow. That’s a really powerful song!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to live your life as your most authentic and vulnerable self — no shame, no inhibitions, no fear, and be able to connect with other living beings on a genuinely deep level — no egos, no games, no agendas — just being and letting things unfold naturally?

How refreshing is that?

Crystal Mapping Sessions

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria to book your free Crystal Mapping Session today!

Request a free crystal mapping session with Maria today!

The Top 1970’s TV Shows that Influenced my Life

On Friday nights, back in the 1970’s, when I was a kid growing up in Nova Scotia, I used to love opening up the hide-a-bed, popping a bowl of popcorn, choosing a bottle of pop from the Poppe Shoppe, and watching the TV show, Donny & Marie.

top 1970's tv shows that influenced my life.

Maybe you can relate to the days when TV’s were:

  • square,
  • when they were either black & white or colour,
  • when they had rabbit ears that never quite sat in the right place for best reception,
  • when you had to turn a chunky dial to change channels,
  • when remote controls were a luxury and some even attached to the TV with a chord,
  • when there were only three major networks,
  • when there was only one TV in the house, and
  • your parents said, “Don’t sit too close to the TV or you’ll hurt your eyes.”

If you can remember those days, you’re probably a Gen-Xer (born between 1961 and 1981) like me.

When I think back on all of the TV shows I used to watch when I was a kid, I’m struck by how inspiring many of them were.

I have a CD of TV show theme songs which I listen to every now and then when I need a little pick me up. How can you not feel better when you hear, “Who can turn the world on with her smile…” or “Well, we’re movin’ on up…”?

Yes, listening to music is part of practicing self-care and I like to call it, “Music and Sound Therapy.”

The theme song lyrics are really empowering, especially for women, who were breaking new ground in those days and the messages are just as powerful today!

I believe these TV shows from the 1970’s shaped my values and my dreams and expanded my ideas of what was possible for me to do in my life!

My Favourite 1970’s TV Shows

  1. Donny & Marie
  2. the Carol Burnett Show
  3. the Mary Tyler Moore Show
  4. the Brady Bunch
  5. Wonder Woman
  6. the Bionic Woman
  7. Charlie’s Angels
  8. Happy Days
  9. Laverne & Shirley
  10. The Love Boat
  11. Bewitched
  12. Little House on the Prairie

I know these TV shows might be a little cheesy and campy in today’s world, but that’s part of their charm. I, personally, appreciate their wholesome inclinations.

As you may have noticed, these TV shows, in their own way, are all about striving to have a better life, regardless of your humble beginnings.

All it takes is a little love, creativity, imagination, resourcefulness, smarts, physical fitness, a sense of adventure, a sense of humour, and close friends and family!

How about you? What are some of your favourite TV shows from your childhood? Please leave a comment and share your memories.

If you also watched and enjoyed many of the TV shows I mentioned (though of course there are many more) when you were in elementary school, please contact me.

Perhaps I can help you navigate this next chapter of your life as you approach perimenopause and menopause. Yes, Gen-Xers are currently in our 40’s and 50’s and that’s worth celebrating!

Let’s continue to carry the torch of empowerment and keep running the good race!

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky.

Crystal Mapping Sessions

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria to book your free Crystal Mapping Session today!

How to Save an Extra $1378 this Year

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Since we’re heading into a new year, I thought it would be nice to share a system to save an extra $1378 in 52 weeks.

Who couldn’t use an extra $1378 in their pocket one year from now?

piggy bank.
Matthew Henry, photographer

52-Week Money Challenge

It’s called the 52-Week Money Challenge.

You may have come across this 52-Week Money Challenge system before and you may have thought it was a good idea, but for some reason you didn’t follow through. Well, it’s a new year and a new you so let’s give it another try together!

And if you have managed to save money with this challenge in previous years, please let us know in the comments and share your tips on how to be a successful saver!

In my coaching conversations, I talk about practicing self-care often and saving money is part of a healthy Financial Self-Care plan. I highly recommend getting into the habit of paying yourself first and tucking away some money for your future!

Anyway, I’m planning to follow this 52-week Money Savings Challenge myself each week for the next 12 months and I’m inviting you to join me. It’ll be fun!

Instructions

There are 3 different ways that you can participate in this 52-Week Money Savings Challenge so don’t feel like you have to follow it to the original letter (Option #1) to be successful.

Option #1 — Original Method

  • Week: 1, Deposit: $1, Account Balance: $1
  • Week: 2, Deposit: $2, Account Balance: $3
  • Week: 3, Deposit: $3, Account Balance: $6
  • Week: 4, Deposit: $4, Account Balance: $10
  • Week: 5, Deposit: $5, Account Balance: $15
  • Week: 6, Deposit: $6, Account Balance: $21
  • Week: 7, Deposit: $7, Account Balance: $28
  • Week: 8, Deposit: $8, Account Balance: $36
  • Week: 9, Deposit: $9, Account Balance: $45
  • Week: 10, Deposit: $10, Account Balance: $55
  • Week: 11, Deposit: $11, Account Balance: $66
  • Week: 12, Deposit: $12, Account Balance: $78
  • Week: 13, Deposit: $13, Account Balance: $91
  • Week: 14, Deposit: $14, Account Balance: $105
  • Week: 15, Deposit: $15, Account Balance: $120
  • Week: 16, Deposit: $16, Account Balance: $136
  • Week: 17, Deposit: $17, Account Balance: $153
  • Week: 18, Deposit: $18, Account Balance: $171
  • Week: 19, Deposit: $19, Account Balance: $190
  • Week: 20, Deposit: $20, Account Balance: $210
  • Week: 21, Deposit: $21, Account Balance: $231
  • Week: 22, Deposit: $22, Account Balance: $253
  • Week: 23, Deposit: $23, Account Balance: $276
  • Week: 24, Deposit: $24, Account Balance: $300
  • Week: 25, Deposit: $25, Account Balance: $325
  • Week: 26, Deposit: $26, Account Balance: $351
  • Week: 27, Deposit: $27, Account Balance: $378
  • Week: 28, Deposit: $28, Account Balance: $406
  • Week: 29, Deposit: $29, Account Balance: $435
  • Week: 30, Deposit: $30, Account Balance: $465
  • Week: 31, Deposit: $31, Account Balance: $496
  • Week: 32, Deposit: $32, Account Balance: $528
  • Week: 33, Deposit: $33, Account Balance: $561
  • Week: 34, Deposit: $34, Account Balance: $595
  • Week: 35, Deposit: $35, Account Balance: $630
  • Week: 36, Deposit: $36, Account Balance: $666
  • Week: 37, Deposit: $37, Account Balance: $703
  • Week: 38, Deposit: $38, Account Balance: $741
  • Week: 39, Deposit: $39, Account Balance: $780
  • Week: 40, Deposit: $40, Account Balance: $820
  • Week: 41, Deposit: $41, Account Balance: $861
  • Week: 42, Deposit: $42, Account Balance: $903
  • Week: 43, Deposit: $43, Account Balance: $946
  • Week: 44, Deposit: $44, Account Balance: $990
  • Week: 45, Deposit: $45, Account Balance: $1035
  • Week: 46, Deposit: $46, Account Balance: $1081
  • Week: 47, Deposit: $47, Account Balance: $1128
  • Week: 48, Deposit: $48, Account Balance: $1176
  • Week: 49, Deposit: $49, Account Balance: $1225
  • Week: 50, Deposit: $50, Account Balance: $1275
  • Week: 51, Deposit: $51, Account Balance: $1326
  • Week: 52, Deposit: $52, Account Balance: $1378

Option #2 — Random Method

Option #2 uses the same chart as above, but instead of following the incremental order as outlined, you can pick any amount from the list and deposit that amount during any given week. You may want to get some of the bigger ones out of the way early so they don’t all pile up at the end and stop your progress. Just remember to check them off as you go!

Option #3 — Equal Installments Method

Option #3 is perhaps the easiest option of the them all. Some people stop doing the 52-Week Savings Challenge part-way through because they forget which week they’re on and how much they’re supposed to deposit at that time.

The answer is depositing the same amount into your savings account each week, every week. No pressure, no guesswork. In this case, if you still want to go for having an extra $1378 at the end of the year, just deposit $26.50 each week (or $1378/52 weeks) like clockwork for 52 straight weeks!

Whatever option you choose, have some fun with this. Remember you’re a creative and resourceful human being — you can find this extra cash if you keep your eyes open!

But if you happen to miss some weeks, that’s OK. Just pick up where you left off and keep going. Even a fraction of the $1378 is better than nothing!

Photo by Shopify Partners

Tips to Save Money

First of all, in order to start saving money on a regular basis, it’s important to have a safe place to keep your cash. You can open up a designated Savings account at your bank. You can also save your cash in a special jar at home.

Just make sure you know your opening balance in your Savings account or piggy bank before you start adding cash so you know your starting point and then watch your savings grow from there!

Some experts suggest moving 10% of your paycheques into your savings account each time you get paid before you spend it anywhere else. You can set this up automatically with your bank.

You can also slide a certain dollar amount or percentage over to your savings account every time you use your debit card.

Also, if you get paid in tips, (which is free money in a way) try salting those coins and dollar bills away instead of spending them.

Another savings trick is to pay cash for everything. It’s old school but it may help you be more conscious of where you’re spending your money and how much you have on hand. Also, anytime you have some change leftover from your cash purchases, set it aside as well!

With cash, you also save your money because you’re not paying interest charges on top of the original purchase price for years on end on your credit cards. Why pay unnecessary bank charges?

Another savings tip comes after you buy something on sale. You know how your receipt often says, “You saved X-amount of dollars on your purchase?” Well, if you want, you can quickly move that same X-amount of dollars into your Savings account right after your shopping trip and actually save the money before you spend it on something you don’t really need. And then you’ve actually saved the money the store said you did!

If you’re starting with me today, you have until end of day on Saturday, January 5, 2019 to make your first deposit. Of course, you can start this anytime of year.

During this first week, think about what you’d like to do with your cash in 365 days. Knowing the why behind your effort and commitment to saving your money will help you stay focussed on your goals.

So, what is your intention for saving this money?

  • Are you saving money to go on a trip?
  • Are you paying for your own upcoming wedding?
  • Are you planning to put the cash towards a downpayment on a house or car?
  • Are you thinking of investing in yourself by going back to school or signing up for a coaching program?
  • Do you want to give this money as a gift to someone else?

Whatever you do, don’t say you’re saving money “for a rainy day” because that’s too vague and you’ll just end up creating a bunch of rainy days.

Save for something you’re excited about having one day. In our culture, we’re all about getting instant gratification but I invite you to train yourself to think beyond instant gratification and strive for the long-term. That’s what savings is all about!

Also, please resist the temptation to withdraw from your Savings Account before the end of the year! Keep it to DEPOSIT ONLY!

Add some Sparkle to this Savings Challenge

Also, as a bonus option, if you want to add some sparkle to your 52-week money savings challenge, you can:

  • Create a Pinterest Board or Vision Board
  • Say affirmations like, “My Savings account is growing and growing each day.”
  • Wear crystal jewellery such as Amazonite, Amber, Bloodstone, Citrine, Garnet, Green Aventurine, Jade, Morganite, Peridot, and Tiger’s Eye to remind yourself of your goals.
  • Use cloves as an essential oil and in cooking because it helps with prosperity.

Please let me know if you’d like to participate in this challenge and we can help each other stay on track. I’m looking forward to celebrating with you at the end of the year next year!

Good luck! Maria

Free Crystal Mapping Sessions Available

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria to book your free Crystal Mapping Session today!

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky.

What do I talk about in my next wellness coaching session with Maria?

by Maria Koropecky, Spiritual Wellness Coach.

Whether you’ve been working with a wellness coach for several months or if you’re about to have your first ever coaching session, sometimes it’s challenging to find a topic to talk about.

When "I" is replaced with "we" even illness becomes wellness.

Working with a wellness coach can certainly be a life changing investment! In order to get the most value during your time with your wellness coach, it’s important to show up prepared and ready to go, and part of that includes having a topic to talk about.

If you’re having trouble answering the question, “What do you want to talk about today?” take a moment to ask yourself some questions before your coaching call to get your mind in gear. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Is there a recent positive experience you’d like to share — maybe something to celebrate?
  2. Is there a recent negative experience that you’d like to reframe?
  3. Did you take the action steps that you talked about during your previous coaching session?
  4. Have any questions come up for you during the past week that you’d like to ask?
  5. Have you had any insights and aha moments?

Hopefully, these five questions will be enough to inspire an animated and productive coaching conversation with your wellness coach, but if not, and you’re still asking yourself, “What am I going to talk about in my next wellness coaching session?” I’ve come up with a list of topics for you to choose from.

Here are some wellness coaching topic ideas:

Rest & Relaxation

“I’d like to sleep better.”

“I’m having trouble coping with stress and I’d like to find better ways to manage stress and relax.”

“I’d like to explore some ways to manage my anxiety.”

“I’d like to add meditation to my morning routine.”

“I’d like to figure out ways to better manage my pain and/or chronic illness.”

“I’d like to go on a vacation soon and I’d like to plan something really special.”

Healthier Lifestyle Choices

“I’d like to make significant changes in my life starting with my health.”

“I’d like to take a break from my digital devices.”

“I’d like to quit smoking cigarettes.”

“I’d like to quit drinking alcohol.”

“I’d like to clear some clutter in my house.”

“I’m feeling stuck in life and I don’t know what to do next.”

Relationships

“I’d like to heal my broken heart.”

“I’d like to have a better relationship with my partner and family.”

“I’ve just moved to Victoria (or another new city) and I’d like to meet some new people and make some new friends.

Aging Gracefully

“I have a big event coming up (like a milestone birthday, class reunion, wedding, etc.,) and I’d like to look and feel my best.”

“I’d like to balance my hormones and manage my PMS, Peri-menopausal or Menopausal symptoms.”

“I’d like to have clear skin on my face and body.”

“I’d like to have a healthy baby.”

“I’ve seen other people suffer in their senior years and I don’t want to be in the same boat. It’s up to me to take charge of my health now so that I can enjoy my life to the fullest and age gracefully.”

Fitness & Nutrition

“I need to make better choices in regards to what I eat.”

“I’d like to add exercise to my daily or weekly schedule.”

“I’d like to lose weight at a healthy pace.”

“I’m planning to run in a 5K charity event or marathon.”

“I’m recovering from a car accident or sports injury and would like to feel better.”

Career

“I’d like to get along better with my co-workers.

“I travel a lot for work and I’d like to maintain a healthy lifestyle even while I’m on the road.”

“I’m giving a presentation at work and would like it to go smoothly.”

“I’m thinking about changing careers or going back to school.”

“I’m thinking about becoming a wellness coach myself.”

“I’d like to start a workplace wellness program at the office.”

Do any of these ideas jump out at you? With coaching, whatever you talk about is up to you, the client.

As a wellness coach and spa therapist, I help my clients relax and have piece of mind and all of these topic ideas relate to managing stress in some way.

If any of these wellness coaching topics resonate with you, I encourage you to explore them in your upcoming coaching conversations and see where they take you. They just might hold some missing pieces to the puzzle you’re working on.

Crystal Mapping Sessions Available

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Spiritual Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria to book your free Crystal Mapping Session today.

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky.

Making Peace with the Fear of Being Judged

by Maria Koropecky, Spiritual Wellness Coach

Many people like to sit on their high horses and look down their noses at everyone else and judge, judge, judge. It’s like a favourite pass-time or maybe even a sport!

man makes judging face.

Judging each other is nothing new. It’s part of our human nature. I think it’s like a survival skill. We need to know who is a friend and who is a foe and even 3-month old babies can read someone’s energy.

Quickly judging someone, rightly or wrongly, tells us if we can like and trust them, if we can feel safe with them, or if they’ll harm us or maybe even kill us. And with that assessment, we slap a big label on them and put them in a shoe box for future reference and treat them accordingly.

Often, the person being judged can suffer some consequences. Ultimately, I think that we fear being judged because it can literally mean a death sentence. Some people believe in a Judgement Day so that can tie into a fear of death. Also, if someone judges you, they can take away your livelihood and freedom.

When I was in high school, I read a book called, The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne — talk about judging! Set in Puritan Massachusetts in the 1640’s, poor Hester Prynne had to walk around with a big red A on her chest after she had an affair with a married man and became pregnant with her daughter, Pearl.

Can you imagine having to sew a red A for adultery on all of your clothes and say, “Hide your husbands everyone, Big A is coming down the street!” Thank goodness we’re not so strict anymore. Still, the judginess continues 400 years later…

As a highly sensitive person myself, I feel like I’ve been judged and criticized harshly all of my life. When I was growing up in the 1970’s, it seemed like the adults in my life (like my grandparents and teachers) only spoke to me when they needed to correct me about something — this time with big red X’s — and those criticisms were never sandwiched between compliments as they might be today.

Consequently, I interpreted their “well-meaning” words as “I’m not enough,” or “I’m not good enough,” or “they don’t like me,” or “there must be something wrong with me.” Not easy beliefs to live with to say the least.

By the way, did you know there’s a word for that?
Atelophobia is about the fear of imperfection and the fear of never being good enough, and by extension, the fear of being judged.

Who knew? Anyway, I also thought, well, “that’s how you treat people,” so I also became very critical of everyone I knew in my life, too. Needless to say, my opinions stated as facts didn’t go over well and I lost a lot of friends over the years. Not so much fun to be around. I’ve since worked on becoming less judgemental and not letting my ego run the show and I feel like I’m making good progress in that area.

But my fear of being judged still comes up every now and then.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been reminded of my beliefs about worthiness again. There’s an acquaintance in my life right now who is criticizing my every move and is bluntly and without care or sensitivity or warmth, pointing out all of my mistakes, making herself right and me wrong. She’s treating me like the adults did in my childhood! If only she could say something nice first, then I’d receive her “suggestions” better. Instead, I become defensive and I end up saying things that come out wrong and we clash and it’s not pleasant.

So I know what it’s like to be judged and criticized and it hurts. It’s hard not to fall into that trap of believing someone else’s opinion of you over your own.

I’m trying to remind myself, “Don’t let someone’s low opinion of you, lower your own opinion of you” and “Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth,” and

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” Eleanor Roosevelt.

I can’t blame this acquaintance for how she’s making me feel. It doesn’t have anything to do with her. She’s just holding up a mirror. It’s all me which means I can change what I do next.

The good news is, the recent events in my life have inspired me to write this blog post and this situation is giving me the opportunity to challenge my outdated beliefs and clear them away once and for all!

woman kicking.

Spiritual Ideas to Make Peace with the Fear of Being Judged

  1. Practice Self-Care — If someone is giving you a hard time and is trying to push your buttons, do something nice for yourself (like get a massage or get your haircut or go for a long walk outside) and show yourself you care.
  2. Acceptance — The sooner you accept yourself as you are, accept others as they are, and accept the situation as it is, the sooner you’ll feel better.
  3. Forgiveness — Forgive everyone everything, especially yourself and anyone you feel is judging you. Let go of your past grievances because otherwise they may negatively affect your work (which would in turn create more judgment).
  4. Perfect is Boring — If you think being perfect will keep the judgers at bay, you’re not entirely off the hook. Some people are threatened by perfect people and other people will keep digging till they find some dirt. And striving for perfection is exhausting and if you do happen to be perfect, there’s nothing else left to do or learn anymore — no more room to grow — so what’s the point?
  5. Let Yourself Be Seen Anyway — Some people try to avoid being judged by hiding under the covers and staying home all day because it’s just too risky and dangerous to put themselves out there. But not going out into the world doesn’t work either because it’s a waste of our gifts and we’re here to share and help each other and shine our light.
  6. Lighten Up On Judging Others — Somehow, by not being so judgemental of others, others will not be so judgemental of you. When you find yourself making a mean comment about someone, ask yourself, “What’s that about?” We tend to judge people on what we think is important (like fashion or good driving) and if you catch yourself judging someone and ask yourself about it, you’ll gain some valuable self-awareness in the process.
  7. Relax Your Grip — Part of judging is trying to control other people. Don’t be so rigid about how people should behave or how things should be done. Everybody brings something different to the table and your way is not the only way. Give people a break and let them be who they are.
  8. Send Compassion Instead — The next time you see someone who doesn’t seem to be measuring up to your standards, send them compassion. They’re doing their best.
  9. Remember Your Sense of Humour — So what if you have spinach in between your teeth or if you’ve worn your shirt inside out in public — on the same day! 🙂 Turn your misadventures into funny stories that everyone can relate to and don’t take yourself so seriously.
  10. It’s All Just Feedback — I find if I look at comments as feedback and not criticism, it takes the edge off them. Also, if someone is judging you and telling you something you don’t want to hear, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re being mean. Next time that happens, remember it’s just feedback. You have the choice to accept their notes or not. But maybe, if you apply their observations to your life, it just might help you up your game and be a better version of yourself.
  11. It’s Not The Truth of Who You Are — Someone’s snap judgement about you is not the Truth (it’s an opinion at best) so don’t consume it like food and put it in your body and carry it around with you and give it meaning, especially if it feels bad.
  12. Labels Are Meaningless — We are not superficial labels of things. We are not our hair colour, we are not the cars we drive, we are not our jobs or our marital status, or the mistakes we make, or our accomplishments. The essence of who we are is so much more than packaging and appearances. We are human beings with tremendous potential!

Here’s a quote from Bob Marley about Perfection in a Relationship:

you're not perfect, he isn't either.

I hope this blog post helps but if you’re still struggling with the fear of being judged and you’re bouncing between perfectionism and avoiding being seen like I have, this is a topic we can work on in our wellness coaching conversations. Please contact me, Maria, if you’d like to talk about your options. I promise I’ll create a safe space for our meeting.

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky.

Crystal Mapping Sessions Available

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria and book your free Crystal Mapping Session today.

If I Owned a Ferrari…

by Maria Koropecky, Spiritual Wellness Coach

Of course I noticed the burnt orange Ferrari in the grocery store parking lot in the midst of all of the pick-up trucks and SUV’s and shopping carts on that sunny, Friday afternoon!

When I see something extraordinary in my day to day life, like a $250,000 sports car, I like to wonder about the people involved and what their lives might be like.

man driving in sports car interior.

This time though, not only did I see the car, but I also got a chance to see the driver/owner before he went into the store. He was an older gentleman and he caught my attention because after he parked his car, he got out and spent a good few minutes just admiring his car from all angles, like he was really pleased with his purchase and the aesthetics of the vehicle.

This observation got me thinking.

If I owned a Ferrari, I’d do my best to take really good care of it!

  • I’d wash the outside of the car weekly;
  • I’d keep the inside clean (no trash and junk cluttering up the space);
  • I’d keep the inside smelling nice like a new car (no junk food leftovers or cigarette butts or old gym bags);
  • I’d put high performance fuel into the tank and would keep it filled well above empty;
  • I’d bring my car to my mechanic for regular maintenance;
  • I wouldn’t drive recklessly (no drunk driving, no distracted driving, no texting while driving, no road rage, no show-off speeding, no stupid stunts);
  • I wouldn’t go into sketchy neighbourhoods;
  • I wouldn’t let strangers drive it; and
  • I also wouldn’t keep my car up on blocks under a tarp hidden in a garage somewhere and only take it out on special occasions, if ever.

And then it occurred to me. Although I don’t own a Ferrari, I have something far more precious and valuable! Something you can’t put a price tag on and it’s not about a status symbol or how much money I make an hour or what my life insurance policy says I’m worth.

I have a unique, special, and a one-of-a-kind, never to be repeated in the history of the Universe, BODY, MIND, and SPIRIT! — I HAVE MY LIFE!

Being alive, right now, is really extraordinary in the grande scheme of things!

I decided in that moment that I was going to be more mindful about how I treat myself and to honour my own existence. I can’t take my life for granted and that’s why I’m so passionate about self-care.

Just like the Ferrari, it’s important for me to cherish myself and do nice things like:

  • being well-groomed and doing an occasional spa treatment;
  • keeping my space clean, organized, and tidy;
  • fuelling my body with nutritious food (and avoiding toxic or poisonous substances);
  • going to see my doctor for regular check-ups;
  • not venturing into potentially dangerous situations;
  • not letting other people speak or think for me because I’m in the driver’s seat of my own life;
  • and not keeping myself as the best kept secret and never going out and enjoying new experiences!

Most of us aren’t going to be high-performance, Olympic athletes like a Ferrari but it’s still really important to practice self-care as if we are the most precious beings in the Universe, because we are — we all are!

Spiritual Guidance Available

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