"live with intention. walk to the edge. listen hard. practice wellness. play with abandon. laugh. choose with no regret. continue to learn. appreciate your friends. do what you love. live as if this is all there is." Mary Anne Radmacher

Saturday, July 7, 2012

For those who have never seen them ... or who may have forgotten .... this was me in 2008 @ 221....

Me and two of my sisters in law at Easter

 and this is Barry and I now ....

I still can't believe this is the same person.  And I'm living it.  Truth be told ... I'm not the same person at all.

I don't publish these to say "look what I've done".  I publish them to say ... "if I can do it ... you can too".

I've got about another 15-20 pounds and more strength and definition in my near future.  School starts in 2 months so I'm pushing to accomplish these goals by then.

I will.  It's amazing what people can accomplish when they set their minds to something.

Yours in health....

Thursday, April 26, 2012


You've heard a LOT about Andrew.  So has pretty much everyone in my life.  As I was soaking in the tub tonight (this is a VERY dangerous place for me to be ... I get epiphanies ... I get emotional breakthroughs ... all kinds of things happen while soaking in the tub) I finally figured out how to explain why I feel the way I do about this man.   Thankfully I have a very understanding husband who gets me ... who is comfortable with himself and confident in our marriage.

I've been trying to figure out how to explain the impact that Andrew has had on my life.  When he met me ... I was in a VERY bad place in my life.  I was so frustrated, so unhappy with almost everything in my life, so in need of lifeline.  I liken it to being in a very, very deep hole.  I would try to claw my way out of it, only to get so far and then lose my grip and fall back down again.  This happened time and time and time again for more years than I care to admit to.  I desperately needed help.  I just didn't expect it to come in the form of my RMT.

About a month before I met him, I made a conscious decision to shake up my life.  My husband and my house were sacred ... everthing else was up for negotiation.  Then my body seized and took me to "him".

I honestly thought he was a complete wing nut the first day I met him.  He told me about the program and I saw a light at the end of the tunnel ... and it wasn't even a freight train.  I saw a way out of that deep, dark hole.  But I was afraid I couldn't do it.  It would mean changing a LOT of things in my life.  I honestly didn't know whether Barry was going to support this or not.  I mean, I had tried ... and failed ... many, many times in the past 20 years.  Why was this time going to be any different?  I fought Andrew the first couple of weeks.  I tried to negotiate.  But he basically said "it's my way or the highway".  He stood up to me ... wouldn't back down ... made me accountable.  THAT was what I was missing.

For some still unknown reason ... I trusted him implicitly ... if he told me to do something, I did it.  If he said no, I didn't.  I didn't question (although I asked questions I wasn't questioning whether he knew what he was doing) I just did.  Barry tried to figure out how to get me to obey him as much.  Yeah .. not gonna happen ... TOTALLY different type of relationship.

7 1/2 months, 38 pounds and 36.5 inches later, I am a new woman.  I sent him a picture of me from shortly before I met him.  He didn't recognize me.  I was fat, blond and tired. He showed my pictures to someone today.  She couldn't get over the difference.  I think I gave her hope.  I'm hoping that I can show people what can be done.  Yeah, I had to change the way I cooked, the way I ate, the way I work out.  But what I got in return has been a new body, a new attitude, a new confidence that I can, and will, accomplish great things in my life.  I told Andrew today that sometimes I look in the mirror and I don't recognize myself.  It occurred to me later that I didn't just mean physically.  I mean, I look at this woman and she's so different.  She smiles all the time.  She laughs a lot.  She has hope for the future.  She knows she's meant to help others and to accomplish amazing things in this life.  It's a little overwhelming.

So when I go on about Andrew this, and Andrew that ... it's because of the ENORMOUS impact this man has had on my life.  Yes ... I've done the work.  But he has guided me, encouraged me, and yes, even scolded me from time to time.  A little tough love does wonders.

And Barry has been phenomenal.  I couldn't have done this without his love and support.  He could have tried to sabotage me.  A lot of men would have.  But instead, he has supported me, reminded me when I get a little off track (I love to push limits and both of them can attest to).

So I have Barry on one shoulder cheering me on and Andrew on the other shoulder encouraging me, advising me, keeping me on track.  It gets a little noisy in my head sometimes ... lol

So do I have a little crush on Andrew?  Absolutely!  Does Barry have anything to worry about?  Absolutely NOT!  When someone has that kind of impact ... it's hard not to be incredibly grateful.  And yes, a little smitten.  At least that's the way it is for me.  Gratitude is such a scarce commodity these days.  But man, I've never been so grateful to one human being in my life. I am a new, improved woman who wants only to help others be the very best that they can be.

Until next time...


Sunday, April 22, 2012

I've been trying to decide whether I was going to continue blogging or not.

For the longest time, I didn't feel like I had too much to say.  Since I changed my blog I didn't really feel I was making a difference.

Then life got crazy and I was so wrapped up in the experience of what I was going through, I just couldn't give much of myself.  I needed to get "me" right before I could share myself with you.  I believe I'm in a good place now and I'm ready to share myself with people again.

Great news ... hubby and I did the CN Tower climb yesterday ... completed it in 38 min. 13 sec.  AND I had energy to spare at the end!!!  I've been wanting to do this for several years but my health and fitness were horrendous so I never even signed up.  But after all the success I've had the past 7 months I decided it was time to stop talking about things and actually get off my butt and do them!  Hence the climb.  I've already decided to do the climb in October for United Way.  Goal time ... 25 minutes.  Barry of course is joining me.  Gonna try and get a bunch of us to do it together :)  So my training starts tomorrow at lunch.  I work in a 28 storey office tower.  So I'll take the elevator down to the lobby and then walk up ... I work on 19 so if I need to stop I can. 

Now that the climb is over I can finally get back to weight training .... YAY!  It's only been 2 weeks but it feels like it's been 2 months!  I miss my weights!  But my coach (Andrew) has given me directions on preparing for the climb and they've paid off.  38 minutes is by no means a record ... but it's a benchmark for me and something I can strive to beat.  After all, the only race is with myself....

It's interesting ... I never used to be a "bath" person.  I was all about the shower ... it's quick ... get in, get out.  Then my coach decided he wanted me to have a bath 3 nights a week.  The first bath ... I talked to my girlfriend the entire 20 minutes and then I got out.  The second  night was only 20 minutes but I decided to chill instead.  Now ... I'm addicted.  I get these epiphanies in the tub.  This may sound strange, but I actually have "conversations" with Andrew while I'm soaking.  He helps me work things out in my head.  Of course he's not ACTUALLY there ... he's just in my head. (I think he's taken up permanent residence there.)  Tonight I finally understood why I've been struggling with one of my co-worker's attitude.  She is so negative, so whiney and complains about EVERYTHING!  I've been fighting very, very hard to stay positive regardless of the circumstances but she tests my patience.  The particulars don't really matter ... suffice it to say that now that I understand why I have such an issue, I can move past it and move on.  Whew!  It was really starting to affect my attitude.

I am officially registered for night school (holistic nutrition) ... September 10th is my first class.  Even though I have several months before classes start, I am so excited!!!  I've almost blabbed to my co-workers but I really don't want them to know.  This is "my" thing.  Of course I'll pass along the info ... just won't tell them where the info is from :)

My next challenge is going to be doing Zumba twice a week.  It's awesome for cardio and will definitely help me achieve my weight loss and fitness goals.  And it's fun!  I also highly recommend using a medicine ball ... especially for toning arms.  It works wonders!

Getting late ... still stuff to do and I definitely need my beauty sleep.

But I will be back soon :)


Sunday, March 25, 2012

It's been a month!!!!

I cannot believe I haven't posted in a month!  It's been a REALLY crazy year so far.  But that's no excuse.  I made a commitment ... I need to honour it.  So an update ....

I started my new job February 29th and I'm loving it!  It's challenging, I'm learning like crazy, the people are great, the company is fairly small but growing, and our office is moving over Easter weekend!  YAY!

And I'm down 36 pounds since September 14, 2011 ... I have SO much more energy, my mind is clear and my attitude is so much more positive.  AND I've been following through on things I've been talking about doing for a while.

We finally registered for the CN Tower climb in support of World Wildlife Fund.  So I have a month to prepare.  No pressure .... it's 1,776 steps.  I think I need to start training ... get my cardio in better shape and strengthen my legs some more.  I work out a fair bit but my cardio has been lacking a bit.  Today .. that changes!

Started a local garden club and had our first meeting.  It was a blast!  I just have to prep for the next one and get a directory together and figure out where I want to take this club.  With input from others of course. :)

I've been wanting to get more involved in the community and to volunteer.  So I FINALLY printed off the application form for Girls Inc.  I think it's SO important that girls and young women have positive role models to look up to.  And with my upcoming schooling in nutrition, it seems like a great place to start since Girls Inc. has health and well-being courses for the girls. 

Nutrition is so very important to all of us ... and we take it for granted.  I was just reading an article on my school's website about the prevention and treatment of Alzheimers.  Very interesting stuff ....

So much is happening ... it's kinda crazy .... but I wanted to let you all know that things are great ... I feel amazing ... and I'm so very thankful for the amazing life I have.

Don't forget ... if I can make these changes ... so can you!  And if there's any way I can help or support ... please reach out.  I'm never far away :)

Wishing you a fabulous life!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What a difference a couple of weeks makes.

The past two weeks have been crazy busy.

First there was our infamous Tiki Party. 

host and hostess
our funky palm tree
requisite flamingo lights
Toucan's cousin
some strange guy who happened to crash the party

Nutkin and his buddies

Then it was my birthday.  Then I FINALLY got my resume posted online on the 13th.  30 minutes later, I received a phone call from a recruiter I've known for a number of years.  Which started an avalanche of activity. 

Feb 14th  I was downtown for a massage and lunch with my girlfriend.  The dress in my profile pic was my 5th monthaversary on my journey present to myself.  Then the recruiter called later in the day to say the company wanted to meet me.  Barry was invited to a poetry reading that night at a local cafe.  Great place.  He read "Nightsong" which he wrote for me.  He made me cry.  I'm so proud of him.

beautiful roses my hubby brought home the night BEFORE Valentines Day
my wonderful poet
our charming hostesses
The 15th I met with my transition coach and got a call later in the day that the interviewer was available on the 16th.  So off I went downtown (again) for my first interview.  It went so well she introduced me to the other Administrator and told me right away she wanted me to come back to draft a lease (it's what we do).  Later that day the recruiter called to suggest 10 a.m. on the 17th.  So back downtown ... met the Regional General Manager, did the test and found out late on the 17th that they were interested.  So I provided my references this morning and now, at 8 p.m.,  I'm waiting.  I'm not a very patient person but I'm trying to improve myself.

I just have to remember to breathe.  And to believe that this is meant to be and it will happen.  It's funny how we can get a sixth sense about things.  As soon as the recruiter mentioned the position, it felt right.  I'm not sure why or how but I truly believe it's meant to be.  It's all happened so fast!

I've been reading a lot lately.  The Speed of Trust, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, How to Win Friends and Influence People.  How to Win Friends is 75 years old and it could have been written today.  The common theme ... how to build your character.  None of the books are about gimmicks.  They are all amazing books which I highly recommend.

And to boot I've amped up my workouts in collaboration with Andrew (the infamous coach).  Barry was wonderful enough to brave a darkened parking lot to purchase the latest Zumba DVD set from a guy out of the back of a van (it was brand new ... in its wrappings .... the story is pretty funny).  Andrew had been pushing me to do Zumba for for-ever so when Barry asked what I wanted for my bday ... of course I said Zumba!  Kijiji is a wonderful thing :)  And I'm learning and having a blast and getting a great workout all at the same time.

So life is great!  I hope yours is too :)


Change is afoot ....

You may notice over the next several days that the look of this blog is changing.  I'm in the process of shaking up my blog.  I figure I've shaken up my life enough ... now it's time to shake up the blog.

Thanks for your patience ... but don't hesitate to stop by.  I'll still be posting during the shake up.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's been a struggle.

You may or may not know that I have been unemployed ... it's been 4 weeks today.  Perhaps that's why this morning was so rough.  I'm not the most self-aware person around.  I try to be.  But even my former manager (who is now a friend and a very special person in life), always recognized when there was a problem, even if I didn't realize it .... or what it was.

Anyway ... one of the things I've been struggling with is the lack of progress recently in my quest to get thinner, fitter and stronger.  I've felt pudgy, uninspired, a little frustrated.  And my health coach has decided to step back a bit .... get me out of my comfort zone ... and make me listen to my gut more.  He won't abandon me ... he just wants me to have more confidence in myself.  Apparently I've been asking questions the past little while that I already know the answers to.  I used to do that at work too.  I'm not sure why I don't have confidence in myself.  It's like I know the answers, but I second-guess myself ... a LOT!

I was thinking back to what I was like in my 20's.  Like so many 20-somethings, I thought I knew everything.  I was confident (or at least I could fake it really well), not afraid of too much.  The past few years ... OMG things have changed.  I don't even recognize myself sometimes.  I'm trying to figure out what happened.  All I know, is that I am determined to become the confident, unafraid, self-reliant woman I want to be. 

Everything came to a head this morning ... I emailed my coach a request for help ... I need to get things moving again ... or is it all in my head?  I'm still losing, although not as quickly as was.  But that's to be expected.  I got so antsy this morning I couldn't sit still.  I had to move.  I had to get out.  Winter has always been a bad time of year for me.  If it was summer, I'd be puttering in the garden ... he said it was good I was out of work in the winter ... I thought he was nuts but he's right.  I wouldn't be in as much of a hurry to get back to work in the summer.  We're looking at adjusting a few things to see what we can do to kick start me.

Anyway ... the "old me" would have been "I gotta eat something" (you know that something would have been REALLY bad for me).  The "new me" thought "I gotta get out for walk".  The fact that I automatically went for movement rather than food ... is probably the biggest victory for me in this whole process.  I've dropped almost 30 pounds of scale weight (probably closer to 40 when you factor added muscle into the equation) and 27 inches of body size in 4 1/2 months. THAT was huge.  But that change in attitude ... priceless.

So off I went for my brisk walk (these pics are what I experienced on my walk but I missed the hawk and the chickadee) ... 90 minutes later, I felt amazing.  There's something about the water that totally calms me down.  Physically, mentally, emotionally, I felt relaxed.  I can't stress how beneficial walking is.  He wants me walking every day.  He wants me to get out of the house every day.  Shake up my routine.

I met with my outplacement counsellor yesterday (she and coach have such similar messages for me).  She's awesome.  She really wants me to focus on my schoolwork for the next 2 years.  As I was meeting with her, I realized that I will be almost 50 by the time I finish school.  So my mantra is "When I am 50, I will be a nutritionist".  In the meantime, I have to get back to work in the same field I've been in for over 20 years.  But I'm OK with that.  I enjoy the work ... I'm pretty good at it.  I can live with it for another 2 1/2 to 3 years.  This gives me the opportunity to have a positive influence on a whole new group of people who know nothing about the "old me".

I'm looking at ways to make a difference ... to contribute to society ... and fundraising seems to have become my "go to" thing.  I'm canvassing for the Heart and Stroke foundation.  I'm planning on doing a fundraising walk on February 25th (Barry's birthday but I don't think he's gonna be home anyway).  There's a 5 or 10 km walk in Oshawa to help raise funds for The Refuge ... an organization that helps street youth ... food, showers, laundry, counselling.  I really want to help out.  And then there's the CN Tower climb in April to support the World Wildlife Foundation.  I figure, I'll get myself active and help others at the same time.  I'm hoping to help out at Girls Inc.  I think it's really important to provide young girls with a positive role model.  I had thought about volunteering and helping out for years ... just never did anything about it.  Andrew (my coach) has pushed me past my comfort level ... challenging me to start giving back.  And I'm happy to do it.  All these things make me feel better about myself ... and it helps others so how can I go wrong....

This is my long, drawn out way of saying ... we all struggle.  We all have good days and bad days.  Days we want to hide under the covers and days we want to shout at the top of our lungs "today is a great day and I'm glad I'm alive!".  The trick is to never give up.  I am blessed with an amazing support network.  Hubby, first and foremost.  Andrew's been amazing ... he puts up with a lot from me.  And of course I have amazing friends who are so supportive and who believe in me.

I wish for you health, happiness, and a full life.  Until next time.