Thoughts On Love

Holy life lessons this year!  I’m so thankful for that!

Before I lost the weight, I was miserable.  You might think that the weight was the  reason I was miserable but it was not.  I lived in a cloud of negativity, judgement, and anger and I didn’t understand that I brought all of that into my life.  Sometimes you don’t see a lesson clearly until you’ve lived through it, get to a better place, and then look back.  It was so obvious, I’m not sure how I missed it.

So here are my thoughts.  These are just my opinions based on the life I have lived (and I have so much more life to live!)  Take them or leave them! 🙂

I believe the only person I can cast a judgement upon or try to change is myself.  If there is negativity in my life, absolutely I should do what I can to remove it; however, casting judgment, criticizing in a negative way, or putting another person down actually hurts me more than the person I am directing it towards. Anger can eat a person alive and most of the time the person I am angry at is oblivious to it.

If I truly love myself, and focus on bettering myself as a person, it is then that I can truly love others and accept them for exactly who they are.  I may not like everyone I meet, but that’s my right and I can then establish boundaries or chose how much I allow them into my life.

I believe there is a purpose for every single person that comes into my life.  Some are close friends, some are comic relief, some bring me peace…and yes, even the ones that have hurt me in the past are there for a reason. They teach me to cherish what I have, not to sweat the small stuff, and to value what’s important in life.

Forgiveness is essential for true inner happiness.  That doesn’t mean I am passive, it means that I need to let go of the anger and put it behind me.  I’ve learned that it is impossible to understand where another person is coming from because I haven’t lived their life or walked in their shoes.  Let go of the anger and move forward. That’s true freedom.

I have learned that when I let go of expectations I impose on others, then I am no longer disappointed in people.   If I’m angry at someone, I just have to look at the root of that anger to realize that it’s often because I “expected” something from them that they didn’t deliver.  People are busy, life is busy, I’m busy…I most likely disappoint someone somewhere daily!  I remind myself often to simply drop expectations.

I’ve heard this saying “You do you, and I’ll do me”. It’s so true! Why should I worry myself with what someone else is doing?  Who cares!!!  If the only support I give another person is understanding, love, and acceptance, that’s all anyone can ask for in a friend.

I have learned, that it is COMPLETELY FREEING when I focus on the good. The positive. The Love. The Kindness. The brighter side of life.  I don’t live life with rose-coloured glasses, I just search for ways to find purpose, wisdom, strength, and good through every negative event that comes my way. And I’ve also learned to be thankful for the negative because it’s only through times of adversity that I have come to appreciate the positive so much.   Say you are trapped in a dark room for months and suddenly there is light.  You don’t focus on the darkness you have experienced for months, you embrace and are thankful for the light!

Life is good when you let the goodness in and share it by lifting others up!

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”  I lose sight of the golden rule sometimes.  I continue to pray for humility, understanding, and a heart full of love.  Life is meant to be lived with joy and it’s hard for that joy to come in where there is anger standing in the way.

From my heart to yours,


The Beginning

It’s been a pattern this year to learn a life lesson from a few people all at once.

This week I’ve had the pleasure of real honest conversations with a few friends, all of whom want to make a change. I realized that I may not be putting out there the reality of how things began for me. The place I was in when I started this journey.

It hasn’t been easy.  I didn’t make the change overnight, and I still have a long way to go.  Changes on the outside begin first on the inside.  There were days, and there still are days, that I wanted to give up and go back to the familiar lifestyle that I lived for years…because there was a part of that lifestyle that felt safe.

Back when I weighed 242 pounds, even though I was miserable in my own body, I also felt comfortable in other ways.  I was OK much of the time with living on the sidelines and feeling invisible.  I was always the big girl among my group of friends and it was a role that I was used to and had accepted in many ways.

The first major hurdle when I finally decided to make a change, was realizing that I COULD make changes.   I recently found my old journal that I started in 2003.  When I read through the pages of daily records of what I ate and what I did for exercise, I realized that even at the beginning I had resigned myself that I was always going to be overweight. I randomly chose a goal weight of 180 pounds as I had a memory of once weighing that in high-school.   But even beside that declaration of goal weight, I wrote “I’m very out of shape” and “I would love to be 165 pounds” but I didn’t believe that I would actually get there.  I only wrote 180 pounds because I had read in a book that I needed some sort of goal to work towards.  In my mind, I just wanted to weigh under 200 pounds.

I remember that I tried not to think of the end goal, and would just focus on the day at hand.  Focus on upping my daily steps, fitting in a workout every morning, figuring out how to eat healthy.  I had no idea what eating healthy was about.  No clue!  But I was determined to figure it out and poured over books, health magazines, and resources online.  I was so confused over everything I read.  There were so many different opinions out there.

I decided to use common sense.  I would eat foods that came from the earth as close to their natural state as possible.  As far as the meat protein was concerned, I had read that if it swims, runs, or flies it’s more lean and has less fat content.  Made sense to me!

I also had no idea how much food to eat.  I had spent so many years never being hungry, that I didn’t really understand what it was like to just eat the proper amount to fuel the body.

I remember sitting out on the deck at our acreage, and looking out at the wildlife around me.  How is it there are no overweight animals (unless they are raised by humans)?  Because it’s instinct to know how much to eat. We lived in a society of super-size portions and we have forgotten to listen to our bodies to tell us when we are full.  I read that it takes about 20 minutes to realize you are full when eating a meal.  I started eating my meals slowly and really paid attention to when I was full…not stuffed…but rather not hungry anymore.

Drinking enough water was another issue I had!  I had no idea that my body would confuse hunger for thirst.  So I started drinking 8 glasses of water a day and I just naturally ate less.

Exercising was not easy at the beginning. I felt big, clumsy, and was worried what people would think about seeing a big girl “trying” to work out.  I worked out in my basement at the beginning and chose to jog on country roads by our acreage as it was private.  I don’t think I went into a gym until I was under 200 pounds.  Looking back, it’s too bad that I didn’t feel I had a right to be in the gym with everyone else.  When I go to the gym now and see a person struggling through a workout I have so much respect for them.  It takes real courage to put yourself out there for others to see in an area that is difficult and unfamiliar.

One of the most important steps was to find a support system. To actually declare out loud that I was going to lose the weight by changing my lifestyle.  I didn’t want to say it out loud because I thought there was a good possibility that would fail.  I forced myself out of that comfort zone, and started sharing publicly my intentions.  It was the first time I admitted to others that I wasn’t OK with being the big girl, that I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin, that I was sick of being scared to try new things.

But the truth was, I wanted to go swimming with my kids, to go to a gym and feel comfortable, to ride a bike, to walk up stairs without being winded, to walk into a clothing store and buy clothes off the rack, to feel confident when I walked into a room full of people, to wear shorts!!!!  I didn’t wear shorts for decades!

So every time I feel like I want to go back to the old way of life, I have to remind myself of where I came from, and of the sadness I carried inside that I rarely showed to others.

I exercise today not only for my body, but more for my mind.  I have NEVER felt such joy and pride within myself until I began exercising.  It just clears the mind of negativity.

So as much as I want to say that losing the weight was difficult, I also have to tell you that it was easy at the same time. It was easy because my zest and love for life was awoken and for the first time I challenged myself to never give up, to quiet the negative self-doubt, and to believe in myself.  The loss of the weight was just a tangible visual result of finding out who I was.

It doesn’t make life easier or less confusing at times but it’s a journey that continues on today. There is more life to be lived and I am lucky that I have my health and the knowledge that I am the one in control of how I chose to live it through good times and bad times.

I have this song on my iPod, and often listen to it when I run.  I’m not sure what it is about the song that is so meaningful for me, but it gives me shivers every time I hear it.  Maybe it’s because for much of my life I felt like I needed someone to “fix” me.  But I have  learned that although it’s important to lean on others for support and motivation, the responsibility to “fix” the areas of my life that require change ultimately comes from within.

From my heart to yours,


Why Out comes before In

I can’t remember if I shared this story with you yet!  If I have, pretend I haven’t and politely nod your head while I babble on.  At the end of it all, you can inform me that you have already heard this before and I will blame my bad memory and worry what I’m going to be like when I get really old.

Since moving to Leduc from my home town Vermilion (which I lived in for most of my life prior to the move), I’ve been told a few times that I have found great friends that are just as weird and crazy as I am.  I am an odd duck…this I know. I had (still have) great friends in Vermilion.  They are amazing and I love them, so I had my doubts when I moved to Leduc that I would be able to make great supportive friends in a new town because I’m not that outgoing.  Well, I’ve forced myself to be outgoing since I’ve moved.  It just doesn’t come naturally to me.

When I first moved to Leduc, my husband and I stopped into a Piano bar.  At the piano bar, there was a table of crazy, fun chicks sitting together with balloons at their table laughing, singing, dancing around.  It made me smile, but mostly it made me envious.  However, the reason I remember that moment at the piano bar so well is because I had the WEIRDEST vision of one day sitting there myself with a bunch of fun-loving friends.  Still even though I saw that in my future, I felt a challenge of how that was going to be a reality since I have never been one to put myself out there much, especially when it comes to meeting new people.

It was around that time when we first moved here that I started realizing that it was up to me to bring into my life all those things that I wanted…non of which were material possessions.  In the past, there was a lot of drama that surrounded my life. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I was the reason for a lot of it.  The changes and realities that I was craving in my life were right in front of me.

I also had a hard time putting out there exactly the person I am.  Which is a reason I started this blog months and months ago. I know now that I missed out on a lot of great friendships back in my home town because I didn’t put myself out there.

It’s easy to be envious of the things I want to bring into my life, but what good does that do?  If I want it bad enough, I should go get it.

To me, that’s why “positive OUT” comes before “positive IN“.  You have to put it out there.  Do you wish you were more outgoing?  Than be more outgoing!  It may not come easy to you, but the only way you can change patterns is to make changes.  I guess part of the reason that it’s hard to be outgoing is there is a fear that people may not like who I am.  But do I like every person I come in contact with? No! So why should everyone like me?  If you are truly yourself, you will bring into your life like-minded people.  That’s the best part about it!

I just returned home from holidays with a mission to get back into my exercise routine. It’s a big part of who I am today, because of what it brings into my life…clarity, a sense of control, and a feeling of power and pride.  It just enables me to see things in a more positive light.  It enables me to put Positive Out.

And guess what happens when you put the positive out my friends…the positive comes in 10 fold.  That’s great news!

Oh and by the way, I had that night out with friends at that same Piano Bar a year later.  When I walked in, the table that was reserved (complete with balloons) was the very same table I saw before. We celebrated the birthday of a friend who has become one of my very best friends in Leduc.  Our crazy table of friends laughed, danced, and sang. It was a blast. I am grateful.

Below: pictures from that night at the Piano Bar two years ago.

And just for fun…Pictures from last night:

From my heart to yours,