"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, December 31, 2011

Goodbye to 2011

It's been an interesting year.  It would take me forever to review the entire year so I'll keep it as brief as I can. 

Suffice it to say that it started out pretty good.  I was on a roll with my nutrition and workouts.  I was making moderate progress.  Of course it's never enough ... or fast enough ... for my liking.

Spring hit and with it gardening season.  Crazy busy.  Always lots to do (I have a decent sized garden to tend to and there's lots of moving and dividing etc to do).  I was so tired all the time and getting up at 4 a.m. was a little more than I could handle regularly.  Unfortunately gardening alone was not nearly enough activity for what I needed to accomplish.  Add to all the work, our social calendar this past year has been NUTS!  I love it though ... and we actually went to other peoples homes mostly instead of the usual us entertaining.  I love balancing the two ... entertaining and visiting.  I tried to eat well ... watch my portions ... but somehow the weight crept back up.

Things weren't very good at work either for the first 8 months this year.  There was just a lot of frustration in a lot of areas of my life.  I kept trying to make progress ... kept slipping back.  Then I had a conversation with my newest teammate at work.  And a lightbulb went on in my head.  I decided to shake up my life.  Little did I know what I was getting myself into.  But things got a LOT better at work.

It started with a new hair colour and style.  Then I met Andrew (my RMT and health coach) and my life was completely turned upside down.  He recognized the frustration.  He also recognized that I would do this ... he didn't quite think it was going to be done in such a major way.  But hey ... if you're going to do something ... do it right.  It took completely changing the way I eat, the way I think and the way I work out to make such a dramatic change.

Is it a struggle sometimes?  Absolutely.  Do I get tired of such a restricted diet?  You bet.  Do I EVER want to go back to where I was before?  NEVER!

I had my biggest test and my biggest victory just a couple of days ago.  Long story short, I lost my temper over something stupid (I was frustrated).  Thankfully Barry and Leila went for a drive to look at Christmas lights ... he offered to stay home ... I definitely wanted to be alone.  So I'm home alone and all of a sudden I had this wicked urge to eat something completely "illegal".  So I went upstairs, thinking I would have a couple of the chocolate coconut drops that are in the freezer.   Then I decided I wanted something to crunch on instead.  I had my hand on the box of crackers (I'm gluten and dairy free ... crackers are VERY bad for me), pulled them out of the cupboard ... looked at them and said "NO!" out loud.  I put them back, went back downstairs and immediately calmed down.  Dunno what that was all about ... all I know is that I won.  And I am damned proud of myself.  That was the first big test in 3 1/2 months.  I don't get cravings any more.  But this was a trigger.

The thing that kept me from eating the crackers ... I am TERRIFIED that if I have one cracker ... one cookie ... one of something that I shouldn't (especially my trigger foods) ... and especially if it's an emotional reaction ... that I am going to slide terribly and be back to where I was 4 months.  I cannot ... I will not ... allow this to happen. 

I am happy to live a very structured life ... in workouts ... in eating ... even the timing of when I eat ... I'm just fine with all that.  What I'm not fine with ... is an out of control life.

Can anyone do this?  Absolutely ... if they choose to.  Does everyone need to?  I don't think so.  But I do believe that if you've tried and tried and tried and nothing has worked well ... then you need to shake up your life.  Is it scary?  You bet!  Is it worth it?  ABSOLUTELY!

I've even decided to change my career.  Not sure exactly what yet.  But it will have something to do with health, wellness, fitness, nutrition.  Perhaps a health coach.  Perhaps a nutritionist.  I don't know right now.  That's definitely a conversation I need to have with Andrew.  But that's for 2012.

So I'm ending 2011 a very happy woman.  Along with all these changes, my marriage is better than ever .. Barry is an amazing supporter.  We've been together 19 years ... he met a fairly slender woman ... watched as I ballooned up ... and has supported me as I'm shrinking.  What more could a woman ask for.

I believe with all my heart that 2012 is going to be our best year yet.  And I hope that it is your best year too!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I haven't disappeared ....

What a crazy, insane week this has been.  Thank God it's over tomorrow!  I haven't forgotten you ... I'm not avoiding blogging ... I'm trying very hard to keep my head above water this week.  Going on about 5-5 1/2 hrs sleep a night .. without blogging.

Please stay tuned ... I promise things will get better after tomorrow :)


Sunday, December 18, 2011

One Week to Go!

I can't believe it's only 1 week to Christmas ... 2 weeks until the end of the year.  It's been pretty crazy this year.

But I know that 2012 is going to be a phenomenal year!  I can't wait to share it with you ...

Wishing you a fabulous week ... don't get too stressed out with Christmas coming.

Yours in health


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Peeling Back the Layers

I always thought I was an open book ... easy to read ... I recently had a conversation with a certain someone who disagreed with me.

He felt (through experience apparently) that I put on a good front .. the person I allow people to see is fairly superficial.  Pleasant, fun, a little wacky perhaps .... but I tend to conversations fairly superficial.   Writing this, I remember a similar conversation with a new friend of ours.  I do tend to let bloggers see a different side ... I'm more open with my blogger friends.  It's a lot safer than "in person" relationships.  During my walk with one of my girlfriends last night, I mentioned this and she tended to agree. Guess I'm not quite as self aware as I once thought.
But its scary to let people in; to be vulnerable.
So ... Like an onion ... I'm starting to peel the layers away ... To allow more of my authentic self to show through.
I'm not worrying so much about what people might think of what I do or say. I try to always be respectful; never intentionally hurtful.
I think its human nature to put up walls ... not to be deceptive or to hide anything ... simply as a means of protection .... how sad is it that we feel that we have to hide our true selves.  Of course not everybody does that.  I know those who don't and I really admire them.

So tomorrow I have a mission.  I am going to make myself vulnerable to someone at work in order to deal with a situation.  I HATE confrontation.  I'm kind of a "live and let live" kinda girl.  But it's been weighing very heavily on me the past couple of weeks and I certainly don't want to bring the boss into this.  So ... time to gut it up buttercup.

Stephen Covey talks about changing paradigms.  Confronting issues head on but not in a confrontational way ... in a way that works together to fix things.  I like that.  Let's just hope that my coworker buys into this ...

So here's my first big revelation ... it would appear that I have ADD.  It explains a LOT about me ... about my frustrations with school.  My distractedness.  Why I can't sit still for very long.  Why I seem to be a little self centred sometimes ... like I'm not paying attention.  But I do.  So many things .... Why my boss and I just couldn't communicate for the longest time.  I told her about it.  She was great.  Things at work have improved immensely. Life in general has improved immensely.

I'm learning to be true to my authentic self.  I'm a caring, loving person who only wants the best for people.  I'm sensitive (a HUGE sap ... but that's kinda one of my most endearing qualities), fun, wacky, serious, concerned as hell about the state of health of our country...but I will deal with one person at a time on THAT issue.

The past 3 months have taught me so much.  I will try to share some of that with you.  And maybe one day you will feel comfortable enough with me to share some of who you are ... some of your struggles ... and your victories ... it's our experiences that shape who we are.  My mom never understood that.  I don't believe in regrets... they're a waste of emotion.  I always said that if I hadn't gone through what I went through, I wouldn't be the person that I am.  And that would be kinda sad.

Until next time ....

Yours in  health,


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Inspired to try to Make a Little Difference

My third month-aversary on my quest for a new beginning is tomorrow.  So I emailed Andrew yesterday to see what I should do.  He's had specific instructions for the past 2 month-aversaries.  He said "act of charity".  I'm like ... OK sounds great!  What the heck am I supposed to do??????

So off to bed I went last night (Monday).  The evening got away from me and I never did have a shower before going to bed ... yes, I indulge myself with both a morning and evening shower.  What can I tell you ... I work out twice a day most days.  Believe me .. I need the showers.

Anyway ... so I'm tossing and turning and trying to get to sleep because believe me ... 4:10 a.m. comes incredibly fast.  Because I haven't showered ... I'm feeling kinda icky.  Then it hits me ... there are so many people out there who don't even have a home, never mind a shower.  I have a hard time getting through one night without a shower, never mind days on end of actually living on the streets.  There's a man I see outside Union Station ... I heard him last night ... clear as a bell ... like he was standing beside me saying "please help, please help me get a meal".  I'm laying in my nice warm, cozy bed, and I start to cry.  Yes, I am a colossal sap.  And proud of it.  I started thinking about what I could do to make this man's life just a tiny bit better.  So I thought I would get a care package together for him.  I'd make a sandwich, some carrots, an apple, a couple of cookies and a bottle of water.  Then it struck me that he's not the only one.  Can I afford to make a huge difference in a lot of lives?  Unfortunately, I do not have those kind of resources.  I can, however, give 3 people (why 3, I have no idea ... that was what came to me) a meal.
Below is a pic (courtesy of my wonderful hubby) of the care package.

I was still awake at 11 p.m. last night ... but once I decided that this is what I wanted to do ... I fell instantly asleep.  This seems like the right thing to do.

Yours in health


Monday, December 12, 2011

I've been scolded ...

My group went out for our Christmas lunch today.  We went to one of our regular spots ...The Hot House Cafe in T.O.  I normally had the jambalaya. I decided to have it today.  WHAT a mistake that was.

For those who don't know ... I have been wheat, flour, gluten and dairy free for three months. Not only have I dropped 20 pounds and 20 inches ... I've lost a LOT of inflammation from my back. And most importantly ... my health is WAY better. Pretty good results, right?  The only challenge is now when I do eat something I really shouldn't (like today's lunch) ... I suffer.

So here I am suffering ... and I decided to email Andrew and tell him. Well ... I got my wrist slapped.  This is the first time he's been tough on me.  It really upset me.  He went on to remind me of how many times I've slipped lately. I have a bad habit of pushing limits (just ask Barry).  So I thought about it ... realized I need to get back on track .. even if that means being very strict and not listening to anyone other than Andrew ... then that's what I'm a gonna do.

He hasn't led me astray yet. I put my total faith in him the first couple of months and made tremendous progress.  I've been self sabotaging the past few weeks.  I called it "pushing limits" or "testing the water".  But let's call a spade a spade. It was self sabotage.  And I knew it. Hence why I confess my sins to him.
So ... a little tough love from my coach ... and I'm back on track. No more pushing limits ... no more
self sabotage.  As of right now (not tomorrow) .... I am refocussed.

Moral of the story?  Even if you falter ... or self sabotage ... you can get back on track. Just refocus ... and do it immediately ... Don't "start again tomorrow ... next week .". Do it now.  Right now.  And don't look back. You can't change the past.  Only the future.

And if you need a little help .. a little direction ... a little encouragement... I'm here. Just drop me a line.

Yours in health ....

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A New Beginning ....

The past 3 months have been crazy. So many things happening ... so many changes. Great changes. A couple of men (other than my awesome hubby) have been powerful influences on me.

But before anyone could have that kind of impact of my life ... I had to be willing to change. And I was so ready to change. I was frustrated.... I felt like I had been hitting my head against a wall for years. I would have some degree of success and then a setback. I never got very far ahead ... something was always there so set me up for failure. Not that I don't take full responsibility for my life ... because I do. I just didn't know any better....

Less than 4 months ago, when my self confidence was very low, when my job was not going where I wanted it to, when my health and wellness was frustrating me to no end, when I was not happy with my appearance or my life ... I decided to change. I said that my husband and my home were off limits. Everything else was up for negotiation. First step was to change my hair.

And then I met Andrew .. and my life changed dramatically. I used to say that I went back to who I used to be. In reality my "authentic self" was always around ... she was just lost for a lot of years. Our reactions to what life throws at us can do that sometimes. Andrew showed me a way out of a hole that I dug for myself. And he's been helping me ever since ... guiding me ... nudging me out of my comfort zones. And of course Barry has been incredibly supportive. Far more so than ever before. Because he's seen the commitment ... he's seen the results. He knows how much better off I am now.

So Andrew was the first of two huge male influences in my life. And he introduced me (or rather re-introduced me) to Stephen Covey. Not in person. Andrew recommended that I read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I read that book probably 17 years ago. It had a very large influence on me then ... but those lost years took a toll on almost every aspect of my life. Reading it again reaffirmed those principles and I'm ready to make some major changes in my life.

My job is much better ... because I'm much better. But I have decided that I need a change. I need to help people. To help them improve their lives ... their health ... their wellness. I wanted to do this back in my early 20's before there was such a need for it. I just didn't know how or what. Now, as I look around at what people do to themselves ... I just want to reach out and help others feel as good about themselves as I do about myself.

This blog is about my journey.  It's a place you can hopefully come to for encouragement, inspiration, motivation ... a positive, proactive model.  You can either comment or send me an email.  I hope to hear from people I've known for a long time as well as new friends.

I wish you all a victorious life.