Monday, November 14, 2011

Justine Munro

Canada’s lone representative in the Bikini International shares a bit more about herself and what her day is like. She offers some tips to parents and how to make things work in a busy schedule. Check out what Justine Munro has to say.

Hello Again!

I wanted to start off by thanking for selecting me along with the other beautiful ladies to participate in writing weekly blogs for this website! Taking the time to put my thoughts on paper has been a great experience.

The Arnold is is less than four weeks away…I am getting more excited, a bit anxious and yes… NERVOUS too!

Often I get asked, “Do you get nervous before a show?” Like anyone else…absolutely I do!

One thing about myself I have learned over the years is that, I am “worry wart”! I like to plan everything in advance, making sure I have everything prepared right down to the very little detail. I drive myself insane at times, but it’s just the way I am I guess. Once I have all my travel plans ready, my suits determined, my schedule figured out and my personal effects in place…I feel much better and worry less and can keep my FULL focus on my training/diet.

For many of you who don’t know me very well, this is a little about me:

I am passionate about the development of children and have been in childcare for the past 5 years. I live in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. I work with children mainly from infant up until 13 years of age. I truly believe that it is important that children grow up feeling good about who they are and have the confidence in themselves to do whatever they inspire to become. Self-esteem is what makes the world go around and its starts from within one-self. I take what I do very seriously and know that I am making a difference with the children I work with, not only their social skills and in their intellectual abilities, but in their physical development and their personal values. I love what I do. I don’t look at it as a job, but an opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life. The most fascinating discovery for me is that working with children has made me a better person. I learn from them all the time.

I have been blessed to work with a number of great families. Although they are all different in their own way, this has made it a more exciting journey for me. Often I am considered “a big sister” which I like, as I am the baby in my own family. There is nothing more satisfying than assisting a child develop and then watch them grow and develop and become a good person.It makes me proud!

My day starts at 5:45AM every day and I typically get home around 7-8PM. In between these hours I never stop. I am always planning and organizing events, preparing meals and providing a lot of TLC! (tender loving care) to others but that’s what I do! I give a great deal of credit to parents—how do they find time to plan their day and then plan for the children etc?

One comment I often hear from parents is how they struggle to find time for themselves. By the time they get home from working all day, they feel guilty to take some time for themselves, whether it is go to a gym and/or setting a routine around eating healthy by making specific meals, the reality is they are tired by the time they get home from work and feel guilty if they don’t give the children the attention they need.

Having the opportunity to observe a number of families and talk with many mothers…(and fathers too), here are a few suggestions that may help:

1. Put “YOU” higher on the list of things to do! Call it a little ‘ME TIME’ but you need to give yourself some time each day. Whether it be first thing in the morning or later in the evening….make a promise to yourself to put YOU AS #1. It could be just taking a bath, reading a book, doing your nails or even maybe even your hair…whatever it is, it’s only about YOU. You will feel better inside, but outside too.

2. Make a commitment to yourself that you want to eat better! Feeling better about yourself starts by eating healthy foods. You have full control over the food you eat. Eating healthy doesn’t mean starving yourself. It actually means eating more food, more often through out the day—but the right foods! Planning your food meals every day will result in your entire family eating healthier as well. This is a good thing! I bought a crock pot! It is one of my best friends now. When I leave in the morning, I prepare my meal (it takes only minutes) and when I get home, it’s sitting there waiting for me fully cooked and it smells so good too! All left over food becomes my meals for the next day. Just an idea.

3. If you don’t have time for the gym, that’s okay! Don’t feel guilty! There are many activities that you can do with the kids that will give you the physical exercise that you need. Take the kids to the park, for a walk, play a ball game, go tobogganing —kids have a ton of energy and it needs to be released, so go crazy with your kids, make exercising fun and part of your daily routine without realizing it. You could even buy a DVD on exercising and have the kids do it with you. Be crazy together. They would have a ton of fun and more importantly, they would be doing it with you.

4. Spend time with those that matter most in your life. Sometimes we all get so caught up in our lives with our busy routines, scheduled activities that we forget about spending some down time together just doing nothing. When I take the time with the kids I care for, I am always amazed about what they have to say. We sometimes share stories, but often they express themselves about how they feel about something. These moments are precious and need to captured. As I said at the beginning, I am learning all the time from those around me.

These are only a few suggestions for you to consider. I salute all of you parents out there…I really do! You are always thinking of everyone else around you, but yourself. But you need to put yourself higher on the list and if you do so, you will find that you will feel better and perform better too!

I can only hope that when I am a parent I could be half as good as you are! There is no written rule book on being a parent—but if there were, I would highly recommend that putting “ME TIME” is part of it. You deserve it! Have a great one!

Justine Munro

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