In Loving Memory…

Love is patient and kind, love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

~ 1 Corinthians 13 4-6

Quite simply; to me David Chesterton (who I am both privileged and honoured to have called Grandpa) exemplifies the true meaning of love in its purest form.

I’m quite sure we could all agree that David was an extraordinary man who led an equally extraordinary life.

I doubt there is a single person in this room or otherwise who had the priviledge of meeting him who wasn’t in turn blessed by it. David had a heart of gold, and a genuine wish to help and ‘love on’ the people he cared for.

I can’t personally speak for any of you but can speak from my own experience in that I am better for him and for his presence in my life. He taught me to embrace my flaws and then grow from them, to look inward and be humble. An introvert by nature, it is because of him that I am able to stand up before all of you today and speak.

Both he and my Grandma have always been a constant; both of them with their unceasing and unconditional love and Grandma for her listening ear, support and her encouragement to come through whatever I was enduring at the time.

Many, in fact; if not most of my fondest childhood memories involved one if not both of them.

I learned at a very young age from the both of them the real beauty and magnificence in art and all its forms.

Because of them I have a love for classical music and writing. I also learned the beauty of life, even in the struggles because both of them have taught me how to ‘life’, they’ve taught me the importance of self reflection and that change isn’t something to be feared but rather; embraced and the most important to continually seek personal growth.

In fact; I attribute (very gratefully) much of the woman I have become to them and the truth that they never gave up on me or our relationship even if I had already done both.

Oh Grandpa, there are so many things I never got to adequately convey or articulate to you before your passing. It’s only in the past months and even more recently writing this speech that I realize how truly blessed I am for your love and all that you gave. Thank you for being a constant especially amongst the many years of chaos. I wouldn’t be who I am today without you or everything you gave.

To say you are missed is the understatement of a lifetime. Until we meet again,

I love you xx

Some Days It’s Too Much…

Do you know what it’s like to be consumed?

I do.

I remember when I was [a lot] younger, naive and let’s face it, maybe (more than) just ‘slightly’ arrogant. Dare I say that young people can sometimes be arrogant in their thinking?

When we are younger we often believe we are invincible – that nothing can harm or touch us and so we walk around with the mentality ‘oh, not us.’ Similar to this thought, I often wondered (I shamefully admit) why people were larger or even obese? Please keep in mind I have also been put into both of the above ‘boxes’ (for lack of a better term).

Part of this belief was ignorance for me – I didn’t realize there were medical conditions that could contribute to or even create issues with a persons metabolism. Another, more prominent part was arrogance – I thought “well just stop eating! How can you allow yourself to be so big?! I know, most definitely arrogant!

As I mentioned before, I’m ashamed to admit that I ever thought those things/that way. The thing is, it is only through my life experience in which I have learned that situations are often not as they appear to be. There’s is always much more than meets the eye…

Looking back on my life I now realize that both food obsession and body issues have [simultaneously] always been great struggles for me. Unfortunately (for me) by struggle I mean all-consuming obsessions.

I remember hoarding my Christmas goodies when I was a kid, I remember being overrun by my thoughts of food. When was I next eating? How long until then? What would it be? When would I next eat something I truly loved? Would there be enough? Would I have to workout for hours to burn it off? How could I sneak food and when? The list goes on and on. Also unfortunate was the fact that I began obsessing about my body at a very young age. I was too fat, not pretty enough but mostly that I wasn’t ‘skinny’ enough, people didn’t really like me, and much more negative self-talk.

From a very young age, food (for me) equaled comfort – my parents split when I was young and never truly got along. I was often in the middle of things (though not purposefully on either one of their parts). Being a very sensitive child, I took everything to heart and I mean EVERYTHING!

Enter food – food equaled comfort! The only thing that was completely constant was the comfort, escape, numbing (however you wish to call it) that I could get from food and everything that came along with it.

I realize all of this now of course (hindsight is always 20/20). However back then I didn’t give it much thought. It really wasn’t until I was to marry my first husband and wanting that “perfect” body that the yo-yo dieting began and I consciously realized just how much food was, in fact; a comfort, an escape, a chance to ‘numb’ or ‘check out’. The trouble with any vice is that reality awaits on the other side…

I also learned that with dieting, you are taught the completely wrong approach – focussing on what you can’t or shouldn’t have while feeling deprived and forced to eat things that aren’t your favourite instead of learning how to nourish it so you can thrive. Actually, not just thrive but to feed YOU in a way that shows you love yourself.

Going on a diet meant I had to count my calories and watch everything I put into my body and for me all this did was feed the food obsession that much more. Instead of eating healthily, I would starve myself all day so that I had enough points/calories leftover for the crap that I really wanted.

For the next few years my weight would go up and down much like a yo-yo from one extreme to the other either obese or far too thin, very rarely was there a happy medium for me.

It wasn’t until a few years ago when I was speaking to a counsellor and talking about my abuse of my thyroid meds, laxatives and all the other things I’d tried (along with my food habits) that Overeaters Anonymous was brought up and there was now a name to my [gluttony] actions and behaviours.

That I began the [rocky] road to healing. I am constantly tripping, stumbling, and often times falling flat on my face but I have a greater understanding of what all this is about (and when I’m not sucked back into the food); how to get to a happier, healthier version of me and the steps I need to take consistently to get there. I’m not going to suffer in silence but instead, share what it’s like to live with this oftentimes all-consuming food obsession and the struggles and hopefully successes that come with getting [back] to the recovery stage of compulsive overeating.

Thank you for reading. Xo

Been MIA Lately

I shared this on one of my social media platforms a few days ago and have been wracking my brain trying to figure out what my next blog post should/could be about.

A really good friend of mine suggested sharing that post here…

It’s not written in my typical blog post form but rather directly copy & pasted below.

Afternoon coffee & cartoon watching with my two fave girls 💖

🚨🚨Long Post Alert 🚨🚨

Been kinda MIA lately. 😶😶

This move has been really tough, my social anxiety reared its ugly head with a vengeance (the last time it did I didn’t leave my house for 6 plus months 👉🏻basically not unless I absolutely HAD to). 😳😳

I don’t do well with meeting new people, doesn’t mean I don’t like meeting & making new friends. What it does mean is that I’m not the greatest when it comes to small talk and I sometimes have trouble ‘letting people in’.

This time I was using wine 🍷 as a coping mechanism and due to health concerns and feeling like it was becoming a terrible ‘bad habit’ I felt led to give it up (at least for a time).

I’m 5 days in and although I haven’t noticed any huge changes – I can say I’m happy – not only have I given it up for now, I’ve steered clear of binging (another thing I was doing to cope).

The truth is, just because I know what’s good for me doesn’t mean I always do it. 😮😮

I’ve been trying for weeks to get back into the recovery phase of compulsive overeating.

I remember when I was younger and didn’t struggle (as much) with my food and by that I mean I could ‘regiment’ myself better (which I’m not sure was the right way to go about things either)…

I could abstain from many things with an almost ease (my friends used to call me crazy and other names – like weight watcher ‘something’ the term they used isn’t politically correct 😮😮) but it’s because even back then I would OBSESS about what I was or wasn’t eating – I needed to be sure not to overindulge unless I was willing to punish myself with excess exercise or eat less calories the next day… 😰😰

Honestly, I’m not perfect – I’m SO far from it. But you know what changed this year? Aside from my coaching commitment (which has also been FAR from perfect). What changed for me is the realization that I’m NOT alone – that other people who are wonderful have similar struggles, and more importantly that just because they struggle doesn’t change WHO they are… 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

I’ve learned that even when I fall down (and don’t get back up straight away) that there is this little flame inside me still burning, pushing me to keep going. No matter WHAT that looks like at that present moment! 😁

Sometimes it means full boar back on track, other times it means being kind to my mind all the while not completely losing track of my long term goals. 👍🏻👍🏻

Today is a reminder that these past couple months have been but a hiccup, a blip on the radar in my journey and I will NOT let them define me OR my abilities as a person or a coach.

The thing I’m most grateful in all of this is the constant support, love, friendships & encouragement I have gotten from this incredible network of people in which I feel incredibly grateful and blessed to be a part of! 😍😍😍

Cheers to pushing through previously set limits & boundaries and realizing what YOU are truly capable of! 🙌🏻👍🏻💪🏻👏🏻

Finding My Purpose

It’s been a few weeks and quite frankly I’m still feeling a bit lost…

New town, new house, both kids at school, hubby is at work, off work due to overusing (and re-injuring) my back during the move…

What do these things add up to for me? Well, I’ve been struggling and have been self soothing/comforting with food and wine (my usual go-to’s when the going gets tough).

I don’t mean to sound like a whiny baby because I know there are many things to be thankful for. Please believe me when I say that I’ve been grasping at them, trying really hard to focus on the good and for the most part I think I’ve been doing alright.

Sometimes though, it’s hard to stay afloat and the good things are hard to see. I suppose it may be a bit like being in the water during a storm. You know that land is out there somewhere and you are trying to see it and focus but with the storm going on around you, it’s easy to get turned around and further from the shore. It’s sort of like how I’m feeling, I look around and feel joy – I can see all the good but with all the other stuff, changes happening – I’m having trouble hanging onto it all.

That likely didn’t come out as I intended but it’s been too long again since I last wrote and I’m more than a bit rusty.

I should say that the move went very well aside from my back flare. We now live in this amazing and beautiful home (not trying to brag – simply trying to illustrate that I do, in fact, know how blessed we truly are). Our kids are adjusting (fairly) well to their new school, friends and teachers. We are all healthy and have one another. I know I have MUCH to be thankful & grateful for.

So why am I so lost? Why can’t I seem to get my sh*t together? I think part of it may be because my youngest is now off at school full time and my (current, though temporary) inability to work has left me feeling without a ‘greater’ purpose. Sure I do all the ‘wifely’ & ‘homemaking’ duties but I’ve always done more…

My husband, along with friends and family all assure me this isn’t the case – that I absolutely do have great purpose and this is simply a ‘break’ but I’m certainly struggling…

Stay at home mamas/parents – where does your purpose come from? Have you ever struggled with a sense of purpose once both children were in school?

Healing From The Inside Out

This month in my focus group we have decided to push weight loss (and all that comes with it) on the back burner so-to-speak if only, temporarily.
Some would call this decision insanity – they may argue that those are 'the pillars of success' when it comes to leading a healthier lifestyle. The short response to that claim would be, yes they are. But I'm not looking for short answers right now.
What I am doing, is asking my challengers (and myself for that matter) to dig deeper. I want all of us all to get to the root of our unhappiness – whether it be with self, weight, or something else altogether.

Speaking from personal experience (I have mentioned before that I am a recovering compulsive overeater) I will tell you that I HAVE been at "my goal weight" and I wasn't any happier for it. Not only did I reach it just before my youngest was born but I did so in such a way that I'm (quite frankly) lucky to be alive.
The obsession to be skinny [for me] was so great that I was willing to risk everything (including my own life to achieve it!)
What is even crazier is that once I got there, I didn't even see myself as being any different. I didn't love my body, my life, my self any more than before when I was at my heaviest. The only thing that had changed? My shallow perception that people would hate me less because I was no longer 'fat.'
I share this vulnerability because I am at the root, ashamed and embarrassed for ever even thinking this way! I would NEVER treat my friends with such an attitude or judgement. So why would I do it to myself? I, instead embrace and love them for who they are, because what matters most? WHO YOU ARE as a person! We are NOT our weight or size, those are merely numbers! I also share this because if I have been there then I am thinking I may not be the only one.

*Side note – I would also love to add that to me, you could be the most good looking person out there but if you have an ugly personality then your looks don't make a difference.

I digress, why is it that we treat ourselves so unfairly, so unjustly and with such self hatred sometimes?

I love this quote from Geneen Roth:

For some reason we are truly convinced that if we criticize ourselves, the criticism will lead to change. If we are harsh, we believe we will end up being kind. If we shame ourselves, we believe we end up loving ourselves. It has never been true, not for a moment, that shame leads to love. Only love leads to love.

It's the honest truth and speaks volumes! This month, we are digging deeper, getting to the root of our (for lack of a better term) "issues" because if you want lasting change you need to dig deeper than the surface and that's what weight is, that's what "appearance" is – the surface! I want to know why I punish myself with food, with negative self talk and sometimes even self hatred! I want to learn to love the skin I'm in RIGHT now, at this point of my journey RIGHT now!

I want to embrace myself, flaws and all and truly start living this life!

Thanks for following!

Lighting your own Fire…

**Please note that my grammar sucks and I am once again trying to find my groove so my thoughts may seem all over the place. Please also forgive me and be patient as I ease back into this writing thang!

What do you do when one of your (or so you thought) supporters isn't really supporting you and it's breaking your heart?

I won't name names because that serves no purpose but I will say that had I not been so blind, I may have perhaps recognized this a whole lot sooner!
Turns out even my husband noticed it ages ago.

So, what do you do? Do you abandon your dreams, goals, ideas you have for yours and your families future? HECK NO YOU DON'T! Perhaps the craziest thing here is that 5 years, 1 year, even as little as 4 months ago I totally would have. I would have listened to the perceived lack of confidence in my abilities – I would have said ya, what good can really come from all of this? What was I thinking cutting my hair, piercing my nose, taking this course, and more… what was I thinking?!

But you know what?! Even though I am disappointed in the lack of support and encouragement, I'm doing all of it anyways. Why you ask?! Because I am finally learning to REALLY just do ME!

I have to say it's scary, it's terrifying even but it's so gosh darn worth it. I have been doing the whole "fake it till you make it" jazz and I am starting to recognize that it's getting easier, I am caring less and less what people think. Doesn't mean I'm walking around being a nasty person, I'm just doing and going for the things I've wanted but I was too afraid to in fear of failure. Not just failure for myself and how I would cope but more importantly what others would think or how they would react — Especially if there was doubt on their end to begin with. Someone I really love and whom I am blessed to call my Step Dad mentioned that I need to just go for it, ignore the naysayers, "haters" and JUST DO IT! He actually used far more expressive language but I'm not going to repeat it lol.

This journey called life is messy, it's been even more than usually so this past 7 months and I am doing my best to rise to the occasion. We only get one life, why waste it being miserable – trying to please others and all the while abandoning who you really are… I mean let's face it, we are never going to make everyone happy and even when we try we end up being miserable. So I ask you this, is it worth trying to make everyone else happy but in turn living a life filled with crushed dreams, disappointment in not having gone after what you really wanted and felt called to do/be?!

Thanks for following and the continual support. Xo

To Set The Record Straight…

I’ve had a lot of wonderful people approach me through many different social media outlets over the last while. I’ve had compliments,  encouragement and I’ve also been told I inspired them. That I’m rocking my fitness journey, some have said they want to be as dedicated to their own health and fitness journeys like I have been for the last bit.  I have to say that while I’m both incredibly flattered and grateful for the kind words of support and encouragement, I’m no different than any of you!  

Guys, I’m not rocking it, I’m failing forward because I have to, I NEED to!

I don’t take a special pill or anything like that lol! Sure becoming a coach (and the incredibly wonderful community of support it offers) and also my shakes do help me – but I still struggle on the daily!

I struggle with being a good enough wife to my wonderful husband, I fail often at being the Mom I want to (and feel I should) be to my beautiful girls.   For me, and as a recovering compulsive overeater I’m hard wired to turn to food when things get tough so I have to make a choice. EVERY-SINGLE-DAY!

Is it hard? HECK YES!  Do I want to give up sometimes? OF COURSE I DO!  Do I want to go back to that person I was, who I used to be? ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY NOT!! 

I can’t, I won’t, I REFUSE to – not because it’s easy, not because it’s comfortable or comes naturally. In fact it’s hard, uncomfortable and pushed me out of my comfort zone all the time.  I can’t go back to that person I was before – she was angry, she was lost, sad, depressed and miserable. MISERABLE in EVERY sense of the word. When I’m in the food I am NOT a nice person (to put it very lightly), I have a one track mind – FOOD!  I obsess about what I can and can’t eat, I get angry and feel resentful, there are so so many negative behaviours that rule  me, my thoughts and my actions when I’m not ‘on track.’

I digress…

Now it may sound like I’m punishing myself on this new journey, and this path I’m on but I need to assure you, I’m not. 

I really enjoy the person I become when I’m clearer, more focused. Am I perfect? No I’m not but I will not give up. I will fail forward, I will keep going, I will keep pushing. 

I already know what it feels like to quit – I’m going to see what happens when I don’t. 

Thanks for following! 

A Setback

This began as a Facebook post but once I started typing, I realized I had more to say than just a status update. 

I know I preach this all the time and I’m usually really good at it or at least I try to be!

Today, this moment; is a different story though.  I don’t like to share my downs but there is no such thing as a perfect journey – I am working on embracing this! 
I’m going to be real and authentic – I also want to add that I realize this post may make me seem a tad crazy, what with the back and forth ‘mind banter’ but it’s a struggle I think some may also face.  

My back has been a little tender the past couple weeks but I thought I was doing pretty darn awesome, getting stronger (I know I am or it likely would have happened sooner).  I have suffered with a sore back since a car accident in my late teens (no I wasn’t driving). 

It was pretty sore on Sunday and so I didn’t push myself too hard and then yesterday it was sore but more than manageable to do my Fit Test. 

When it came to the actual workout last night though, I got 10 minutes in and I just couldn’t do it!

Well let me rephrase that, I could have and the old me would have done it anyways, pushed through the pain (and signals my body was giving me to STOP) and made my back WAY worse than it already was at that point. 
Remember before I never did ‘grey’?! Well just because I’m doing (or certainly trying my darnedest to), doesn’t mean it’s EASY! In fact, I would say like any new skill you learn, it takes time! 

Yesterday I struggled greatly to wrap my head around ‘the grey’:

Me (talking to myself): WHAT do you mean I can’t do a workout because my back is out?!

The Grey: You are injured right now and unless you want to be ‘out’ for longer than necessary, you MUST take it easy and try not to beat yourself up!  (I might add that this is also how we talk to our friends) 

Me (talking to myself): BUT THE CALENDAR today says WEEK 6, DAY 1! 

The Grey: Look, I get it! You committed to a program BUT unless you want to do more harm than good, you have to rest!

Me (talking to myself): I’m so mad, I feel like I’m failing again, I have goals and plans for when Insanity is completed.

The Grey: But don’t you see, you aren’t failing or a failure!  You are learning your boundaries and/or limits and learning to listen to your body!  You WILL get back at it this time, you are no longer a serial quitter!

So this is what I’m struggling with right now. I’m working so persistently on embracing the grey. I’m also hoping that I don’t have to take too much time off…

I guess what I am trying to say is – life is going to happen. There will always be ups and downs. If a journey to health and fitness was straight and easy, everyone would do it. 

I think at the end of the day, it’s not WHAT happens, it’s how YOU handle it!  

New Lease on Life

I know that this is a very similar topic to my last post but I NEED to drive this home for myself. 

I have struggled for so long, food had stolen all joy from my life. I was beyond miserable, food consumed pretty well my every thought and more than that, my actions and reactions. I couldn’t focus on my blessings, my joy, my husband, children and of course anything else, really.  

My entire look on life was bitter.  Why couldn’t I be normal, why did I have to suffer this?  Why me, poor me, always in a pity party and unable to rise above it. 

This morning I made my husband and girls pancakes. I knew I would be making something different for myself.  You see, in the past I still would have done that but it would have been begrudgingly. I would have been so focussed and consumed on not being able to have it. 

Never mind that my stomach can’t handle gluten – I would have resented it – and been so focussed on the fact that I was ‘deprived’ instead of focussing on how wonderful it is to take care of my family and make them something they enjoy. I wouldn’t have heard the birds chirping, the sound of giggles from my girls at the table, the sounds coming from our budgie, I would have eaten my breakfast but not enjoyed it because it wasn’t what I really wanted…

This morning as I cooked and tidied the kitchen before sitting down to eat my own meal, I felt this peace and joy. That things have changed, that they are continuing to do so. Not only was I NOT disappointed that I couldn’t have pancakes, I was GRATEFUL that I was listening to my body!  I knew that I could have them because I’m not on a diet — this is a lifestyle change but I KNEW that I would immediately regretted my choice.  It would have lead to a terrible stomach ache. 

Instead, I sat down and enjoyed my meal, I felt happy, and dare I say it; proud.  But then I was thankful, you see I don’t often speak of it but I KNOW that this is largely attributed to prayer and the healing I have received.  I KNOW I have not done it on my own.  I know not everyone believes in God and I’m not here to force my belief system on anyone.  For me, though; my faith has gotten me through and continues to get me through MANY obstacles and trials and I am forever grateful. 

Oh how I wish I could properly convey the ‘feels’ I’m feeling, it’s beyond wonderful.  It’s incredible and I feel so blessed to be more aware, to have a better understanding. I feel enlightened when it comes to the food addiction I have suffered from for most of my life. Am I completely ‘cured’ you ask?  Oh no not at all – I still struggle, it’s hard some days, moments, minutes. BUT, I finally have hope because I know things CAN be different, that they are and that is THE.MOST.AMAZING feeling!  

Each day I have to make a choice and today I choose health!

Cheers to today!  Thanks for following xo

Hard Truths

I had initially wanted to go live to discuss this topic but seeing as it’s a topic that brings a lot of emotions to the forefront for me – I decided it would be much more beneficial to write about it instead. I believe that is partly due to the fact that I know my thoughts will be all over the place and at least this way I can go back and read what I wrote before posting. 

*edit – I did end up going live today but still wanted to post this blog anyways. 

There have been many thoughts bouncing around in my head these past few weeks and I need to “talk” them out so as not to continue down on this path to bitterness that I have been rapidly spiralling on. 
I would like to begin first, by apologizing for being ‘all over the place’ with my thoughts. It would seem the longer between my ’bouts’ of writing, the more jumbled my head & thoughts become.

I have spoken recently about trying to find myself and I now believe that this is what ‘it’ all boils down to – I was this food crazed and obsessed version of myself for a very long time, but not anymore. 

I am a recovering addict – I know, I know, for some that will sound ludicrous and you’re wondering how someone can actually be addicted to food?! However, I can and will assure you that my habits and actions were very much that of an addict – just ask those dearest to me. 

Miriam-Webster’s Definition of an addict

transitive verb

1: to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively • was addicted to gambling (or in my case food)

2: to cause addiction to a substance in (a person or animal) 

After reading an article today online called:   The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think (which I found to be more than just slightly enlightening), I realized not only CAN I get past this, I WILL! I KNOW this because I am blessed in the fact that I have the community in which the author speaks of in that article. 

I digress; I have been doing a lot of inward seeking, thinking, praying and personal development over the last while trying to get to the bottom of this food thing and where it all stems from. I do NOT want to end up back there because going back (for me) is NOT an option!! Everything I have read, learned, and realized has brought me to the realization that for most of my life “I ate my words & my feelings.”

I was so afraid; terrified even of thinking and/or speaking for myself for fear ‘they’ wouldn’t like or love me anymore; by they I mean everyone – friends, family, acquaintances, etc. In fact, I often found myself agreeing with the people in my life so as not to cause a ripple. Never, ever realizing that the people who truly loved me wouldn’t stop loving me for having a difference of opinion, or in my case opinions.  
I know that a portion of that is because my personal track record with speaking up in my past has not been good! Every time I ‘went against the grain’ I was either ridiculed, abandoned or my intelligence level and ability to think for myself was in question. 

I am becoming my authentic self which is something I never knew I always wanted…

Again, I have also spoken about being a people pleaser so as not to disrupt …life. Trouble is, these ‘habits’ I created made me lose myself in the process. MORE importantly deep down I was really upset at not truly speaking my mind, or voicing my OWN opinions and thoughts. This in turn, left me with a deep underlying bitterness at my own inabilities and at the people I couldn’t be my authentic-self with. I started “coping” through seeking solace in food and drink. 

To me, it was much easier to continue doing this than to wonder why I was being ruled by my addictions. 

Until one day I had enough!

I wish I could tell you the exact moment when I realized that I didn’t NEED to binge on food or wine; that I could change my path and journey to one of JOY! I can tell you that until the change really set in; the case with any change – there comes self doubt. Especially around whether I will lose more of the people whom I value, and love most?  
I guess it’s been on my mind quite a bit as my dreams over the last few weeks have actually been nightmares of these very worries coming to fruition. And now that I have to deal with my feelings instead of numbing them with food or drink, it’s HARD. We talk in coaching about ‘choosing your hard!’ and I MUST SAY this is the hard I choose. I’m going to continue down this new path and embrace my feelings, instead of numbing them!

Thanks for following. Happy Friday ☺️