13 Years at Goal

I missed my 13 year anniversary of reaching my goal weight as I went away to the lake to visit family.  Last year was the year of Law of Attraction (thankful that has continued) and this was the year of Course Correction.

Keeping with tradition, here’s a few lessons I learned in year 13. I’m going to write this just as I would in my morning journal. Like a little wisdom letter from present me to past me (and hope for future me).

Course Correction

Time is a gift. Use it wisely. If something within my life isn’t working, correct my course. Even if it’s a small correction…it has the power to eventually change my entire trajectory. Align my actions with my values. I already know what those are.

Develop and Trust My Instincts

Listen to that inner voice within that guides me. Make good choices. Choices that matter! In order to truly listen and tune into that inner voice, I have to build it. I have learned that meditation, prayer and quiet time can strengthen instinct. Ask questions, be still and listen. Tune out distractions. Observe and pay attention.

Carve Out “Me Time”

Stop being addicted to busy. Busy is the new buzz word. “I’m soooo busy”. Ok, so is everyone else. But there’s always time for what’s important. And it is also important to take time for myself. Even if that means getting up earlier. Learn to centre myself so that no matter where I am, I can bring back that sense of peace and calm. Create my own little zen zone. Within my home and within my mind.

Be Quiet

This is still tricky for me! I adore good conversation. The kind that makes me think and re-evaluate my position. Question my past thought patterns. I respect those who make me think (and if you make me laugh, that’s double adore). But sometimes, I get so caught up in formulating a response, I miss the point. I also enjoy those who check me when I’m not listening. Thank you. So Listen to understand. Be quiet. Someone once told me that because they were so shy and reserved, they found out so much information about others because most people are uncomfortable with silence. They will fill it with truth talk. Be. Quiet.

Love is Not Attachment

Oooh this one almost needs it’s own dedicated post. But it’s all about knowing my worth and loving others purely without conditions.  Giving others freedom to walk away if they wish, and because I value myself, my worth is not dependant on another. When others walk….is there sadness? Will I miss them?  Sure.  But that doesn’t mean I feel bad about myself in any way. Everyone deserves love without conditions or expectations placed, and if I’m truly authentic…I’ll attract my tribe. And I will KNOW what is right for me and what is not. I can create a cool little circle of trust and connection. But it’s not attachment. Love is freedom.

Give without Expectation

Give with a thankful heart. If it’s rooted in guilt or to appease another…it’s not pure giving. Giving is a wonderful thing! It’s a way to give back to another I care about. So if I’m going to do it, make sure it’s pure unconditional giving with no strings attached. It’s one of life’s happy little gifts that costs nothing, and the rewards are always great.

Do What You Love

I have a shirt I bought years ago that says “Do what you Love”

Farm girls make a wood pile. May Long 2018

That phrase didn’t mean a lot to me until I became very intentional with my time and energy. I shifted careers in search of balance with my children. I work, they school, and together we meet after the day is done. It’s been an amazing shift for my kids and I. I truly do love what I do. I literally get paid to visit and help people. No matter where I am, if it’s in service of others, I’m all about it.  I find fulfillment within giving.  I’ve learned a lot about serving others at my job. I still come home with energy and that’s a wonderful thing!

Find the Ways My Body Enjoys Movement

The best form of exercise is the one you enjoy. Run. Jog. Walk. Kayak. Go for a bike ride. Lift heavy  things. Play a sport. Just play. Enjoy the freedom of challenging the body. That feeling of being alive within movement….oh it’s so good! Because if you don’t use it, you will lose it. That’s the truth.

Sit in Grief and Then Build the Good Stuff

No more running from the tricky stuff. Do I have the courage to sit within loss? Grieve. Let go. Actually feel the feelings, no more numbing anything.  Become comfortable within discomfort. And then focus on creating positive memories. Intentionally bring conscious awareness to the good stuff by bringing all the senses into an amazing moment. You see, that’s where a memory is built. Drink it in. Mindful and with intention.

Be Ever Mindful of My Energy

Energy is infectious. If it’s off, take time to get it right agin. And then spread the happy, uplifting, positive. You never know how that may impact another. I do know how uplifting energy has impacted my life. I am so grateful for the energy-givers in my world.

Find My Voice

I think I say this every year, but finding my voice has been a very long road. Sometimes the voice I use is not authentic; and I feel it in my soul when I don’t speak my truth. When I would rather appease than speak up. When I stay silent rather than standing up for what’s right for my heart. Check myself.  Words + Actions = Integrity.

Thank you to all who continue to uplift, support, and encourage me. I hope I do the same for you. I will keep on trying to do my best in that area.

I found a whole lot of happy and fulfillment this year, and I’m excited to keep on learning and growing. I don’t even fear the tricky stuff anymore. I do not fear loss or discomfort within the new. I’ve intentionally sought ways to be uncomfortable and challenge myself this year, and surrounded myself with others who do the same.

The challenge within transition builds a strength of character. You not only find out who you are in your spirit, but also who stands tall beside you.

And whatever you do…

Stand tall and proud.

One precious joy fill life.

Live it well my friends.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

 

 

How to Tweak your Program as Life Changes

I am figuring out a new schedule in the pursuit of balance. I am finding my way! I was honestly worried how I was going to balance it all, and keep on top of my health and wellness as I started a new job (which lacks movement).

It comes back to the tools…

I recognized early on in my losing phase, that I have these 3 core tools at my disposal. Ideally, they all work together for balance. But if I can’t focus as much on one side of the triangle, there are two others I can use and some weeks, just one (as I’ve come to understand).

When I had more time in my week (and at times my energy levels), I could eat well, get my cardio and strength training in and my healthy weight always stabilized.

Now…I have less time for the cardio/strength part, but I still make time for 3 workouts a week in. I schedule these as an important appointment I will not miss. It’s a choice. I now focus more on the nutrition/water side.

Which means weekly big cooks on Sundays so I always have healthy proteins/good carbohydrates/healthy fats on hand. Create a no fail environment as best I can.

My week-ends are my two big workouts, and I will not put them on hold for anyone. It’s a non-negotiable time because I know how important this element is to my mind/body/soul. I’m no good to anyone if I don’t take care of myself.

After Christmas I was up in weight, as I am every year. No biggie, but I also knew I was about to start a new job which was behind a desk. It’s been years since I did that type of work, so I was nervous.

I’m so happy to see what transpired by shifting focus and creating a new program. I was able to lose my holiday weight and stay on track. I’ve focussed on full body workouts and 4 main strength movements that are compound exercises (meaning more than one muscle group).  I’m working around a shoulder injury as well as healing an Achilles.

Squat

Deadlift

Rows/chinups

Presses/pushups

I start with cardio. 20-30 minutes and move into strength. I’ve added core work within the movements (engage core, add in a bosu, adjust lever length, put myself off-kilter like a single-leg deadlift, etc).

I’m sharing this today, because I had that urge to fall into my own excuses and self-imposed limitations. Ooooh, the urge can be so strong.

“I have no time”

“I have an injury”

There is always time if you make it.  There’s a gift in intentional time…I spend less time on elements that do not impact my life in a positive way.

I can work around my injuries and allow time to heal.  I do not focus on my weakness, but rather my strengths.

I alone am responsible for my health and wellness.

And I’m so thankful for the many tools at my disposal as life shifts and changes. Because it will….  There will always be changes and limitations.

I am the designer of my life (as are you). Quality life. Whole-hearted living. Balanced and joy-filled.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

Meal Prep: A Week of Meals in Under Two Hours

Now that I’m on a different time-table, I have decided to do one big cook on Sundays that will last the week (rather than a couple cooks in a week).

As I type this it’s 7:00 p.m., and I started this big cook at 5:00.

I usually make 2 proteins. Some sort of veggies (often added to all the dishes). Healthy grains. And a soup.  I add a variety of veggies: onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, celery, etc. within some of the dishes.

So here are my meals for the week (and I can mix and match)…

Top left to right: Quinoa, Butternut Squash, Korean BBQ Chicken Breast with Mushrooms/Green Peppers

Bottom left to right: Ground Turkey/Veggies/Salsa, Spaghetti Squash, Mexican Taco Soup

I always do a ground turkey or chicken/veg fry which can be a topper for salads, omelettes, spaghetti, soup, or multi-grain wraps.

My sauce/seasonings to almost all proteins is olive oil, or Balsamic vinegar of Modena, or Salsa and whatever seasonings I enjoy: chilli powder, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, etc. Pick your flava-flave.

The Veggie base to all proteins is usually onions, garlic, peppers, cauliflower rice, celery…whatever I have in my fridge. I tell the kids the specks of colour is flavour. They gobble it right up.

So fry your veg/ground turkey or chicken up using whatever seasonings/veg you like…

You now have a base for a whole bunch of different meals. Yay you!

Then throw some chicken breasts in the oven.  I enjoy a little Korean BBQ sauce and seasonings/veggies on top. I bake that while I’m frying up the ground chicken.

Meanwhile on another burner…I cook up some Quinoa. This can be served on the bottom of your ground turkey fry, with your chicken breasts, or made into a salad. A healthy carb with added benefit of protein. 2:1 water/quinoa.

I baked my butternut squash and spaghetti squash in the same oven. Cut it in half, drizzle with olive oil/a bit of brown sugar/cinnamon/salt/pepper. Roast skin side up at 375/400 for around 45 min. Squash is a tasty carb and full of vitamins/minerals/nutrients (also fairly low GI). It’s great fuel for workouts.

In a big pot I made my soup.  There’s this lovely family at the farmer’s market who sells soup kits. This one is Mexican Taco.  I added water/stock, and fried up the same base as I did the ground turkey (onions, garlic, peppers, cauliflower rice, celery, tomatoes). Then I mixed in the soup mix, and let that all simmer and chill for about a half hour.

That ground turkey or chicken topper? …put it on top of the soup after (so that topper can be used for other meals as well)

All my burners/oven were used. And while everything was cooking, I cut up some veggies to throw into baggies for snacks. Washed up some fruit for snacks too.

Now when I come home after work, it’s all there and ready for warming up.  I have a bunch of variety to pack for lunches too. No excuses not to eat healthy. For two hours of work, I save myself so much time and energy. Preparation is key for me.

I hope this helps! I get asked about meal prep often, so I thought I would devote a post to it. 🙂

Happy cooking!

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

7 Reasons Why Being Over 40 is Ridiculously Awesome

Since I started my Miracle Morning routine, I have read a whole lot of books on a variety of subjects. As I started keying in topics that interested me into Amazon, I stumbled across a devoted topic interest group in the health over 40 and up category.  I decided to google the topic as well.  That’s what I do when I’m confused…I do the google.

Here I am gracefully (and not so gracefully some days) now in the 40’s demographic, and I had no idea that I was supposed to feel doom and gloom about my advancing decline to my health due to aging bones and decreased muscle mass. ha!

I wake up feeling more vibrant and alive than I did in my 20’s, so maybe I am missing something.

Once I started becoming more “informed” on the ways my body would increasingly defy me as the hands of time tick on by, I decided that perhaps knowledge is not power. It was in fact, disempowering.

Perhaps I should have awoken on my 40th birthday with a manual on how to live differently, like in Beetlejuice when they realize they might be dead.

The more I read, the more I wanted to devote a blog post in support of my fellow 40 somethings and up. Because this age is awesome! And it just keeps getting better.

What I’ve decided today is that I’m no longer going to google, but rather live the way I want to and can.

Can you be fit at 40?

Of course you can.

Are there more obstacles in your way?

Perhaps

But youth and vitality can live within the mind. Just ask my 21-year-old who many days is more adultier than I am.

So here are a few ways in which being 40 (actually I had to do math I’m 41 almost 42) is…in fact…ridiculously awesome.

Numero Uno..1

You give less of a F$ck what people think of you. You really do. You settle beautifully into authenticity as you’ve navigated some tricky times by now, and you are still here kicking and screaming. 😉 And I hear from others it gets even better and conversation less filtered and more real. I wish I had this confidence and self-assured nature in my 20’s and 30’s; but then again I probably wouldn’t have understood it without that younger naivety and the quest to live up to a standard that just isn’t sustainable. So I just do my best and forget the rest. The more authentic I’ve become, the more people learn the real Me. It’s always exciting when someone tags me in a ridiculously weird video and says “this is something you would do” because they are always correct. Let your weird flag fly.

Numero Duh…2

If you have laugh lines on your face, it means you are pretty stellar at laughing and smiling through your days. Yay you! It’s Ok to have too much fun and laugh at yourself. The other day in the gym, I had a new water bottle with a screw cap and as I bent over I poured the whole thing all over myself and then screamed. Meh. Clean up on aisle 3.

Numero twat…3

You know how to do a bunch of stuff now and you can teach other people some stuff too. People naturally think you know stuff because you have those laugh lines and know how to dress the part. I giggled as I was training within my new job this week as people thought I was the manager supervising because I looked adultier than the person training me. ha! You probably have a reliable car to get you places and a house you can host fancy dinner parties if you feel so inclined.

Numero Kitten…4

You realize those “perfect” people who look very put together and seemingly have it all are no differently disheveled as you are at times. In fact, nothing is ever as it seems. Everyone, including me, is a ‘lil screwed up and you can now identify with them and have some empathy and compassion. That perfect marriage you were envious of can end in divorce the next month. That family with the impeccably dressed kids and well-behaved demeanour have a raging house party ending with police intervention. That business professional fancy-pants who walks into the gym, they are a hot sweaty mess just like me after the hour. Sweat freely, but separately (headphones in, don’t approach lol) We are all imperfectly perfect. Rather than judging, let’s sing kumbaya and exchange war stories over a glass of wine and some laughter…you know, work on those laugh lines a bit more.

Numero one hand…5

You aren’t really afraid of failing, starting over again, or to learn new things. With the advancing of age, comes the knowledge that you have this one life. If it’s not fun, create your own fun. You probably failed at a few thingies by now, and why not just keep trying?  Redesigning your life on your terms becomes exciting. At least that’s where I’m at now. Starting over in a new career. Tweaking earlier career’s as I’ve learned. Course correction with excitement.

Numero half a dozen…6

You learn to let go and move on with a smile on your face (even if that smile takes some time to appear). At this stage, you are no longer interested in changing anyone. You accept others as they are (because you get that it’s impossible to change someone else). If it doesn’t align with your way of life, no worries. All the best to you. Metaphorical scooter away.

Numero my favourite #…7

You can in fact, be in the best shape of your life. Speaking from my experience: I’ve tried the fads. I’ve eaten the wrong foods (I still will cut a bitch for a plate of nachos so I refrain from ordering for safety of all involved) and learned how they made me feel. I’m not afraid of hard work. I want to be a better version of me. Stronger. It’s so freeing and beautiful!  I actually have the confidence to try a new program and hold my ground in the meat-head section…we pay the same membership people..please move over.

Here’s to growing, evolving, learning and continued confidence and laughter along the way. Growing older is nothing to fear, but rather to embrace with grace and wisdom.

Just do your best!

This is me by the way, for those new blog followers. Hi and thanks for reading/following 🙂

From my 41-yr-old heart to yours,

Christine

p.s. step away from the google

How to Lose Belly Fat

I used to think that you could target belly fat by doing specific exercises and focussing much time in the gym on Abs.

I look at it like this: there are 3 powerful components at my disposal to not only lose, but also maintain my healthy weight.

I can use these 3 tools in whatever capacity I need to as my lifestyle changes and life naturally follows the ebbs and flows of busy. Sometimes that means more focus on my nutrition and less on activity when my life gets hectic. And when I have more time, I focus on strength training, and less on the other elements (and vice versa with my cardio).

It’s an ever shifting balance but thankfully, the scales of balance have always levelled out for me. I enjoy eating (this girl can throw down at a dinner table), so I love that I have cardio/strength training to supplement that.

Pyramid of Tools:

Nutrition and Water

Resistance Training: Strength 

Aerobic Activity: Cardio

I quickly learned that weight loss is not localized and the most important tool within my control is my diet (that’s why it’s on the top of the pyramid).

Back to that pesky belly fat we all want to shed. Belly fat is visceral fat. You can strengthen the abdominal through exercise, but until you get rid of the visceral fat, you will not be able to see the fruits of your labour.

There is a saying “abs are built in the kitchen”.  Boy have I have learned this truth through the years. You simply can not out run a bad diet. There are certain types of foods you can eat that can help you lose weight, and when paired with exercise (both cardio and strength training), the belly fat decreases. Yay! That’s great news right?!

Another fun fact I learned, fat cells don’t disappear, they just shrink. WTF?! So there is no finish line for me, I have found a lifestyle I’m completely in love with which allows me to maintain my healthy weight, and practice gratitude for this healthy body. It’s an act of love to take care of myself.

So here’s some tips on the nutrition side of the pyramid:

Choose foods high in soluble fibre.

Soluble fibre absorbs water and helps slow down food as it passes through your digestive system. Studies show this type of fibre promotes weight loss by helping you feel satiated so you naturally eat less.

Foods high in fibre:  pears, strawberries, avocado, broccoli, apples, raspberries, bananas, carrots, beets, brussels sprouts, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, split peas, quinoa, oats, popcorn, almonds, chia seeds and sweet potatoes.

Choose lean protein sources.

Protein raises your metabolic rate and helps you retain muscle mass during weight loss. A diet with a focus on lean protein, complex carbohydrates (think veggies/whole grains), and healthy fats will also help you to feel full and regulate your insulin.

Lean protein sources: fish, wild game, chicken, turkey, bison, beans/lentils, eggs, soy, cottage cheese, nuts/nut butters, protein powders (whey, soy, veg).

Cut out refined sugars.

There are countless studies linking belly fat with a diet high in refined sugars. Sugar is like a drug. It can feel impossible to control cravings when you ingest large amounts; personally, I try not to eat sugar “in moderation”. It’s a trigger food for me, so cutting it out as much as possible worked best for me. There’s no more roller coaster of energy…which wasn’t even true energy but rather spikes in my blood sugar. When you go up you must come down.

I choose foods that keep me coasting straight and steady. Like top rolled down on a converatable, hair in a scarf, sunshine on my smiley face. lol  I feel in control and have a steady source of energy from my food choices.

Food is fuel. Choose wisely. I can’t even begin to explain the amazingly positive difference in my moods, energy, and all around happiness when I gained control over my sugar addiction. My family is thankful for that change too. 😉

Avoid drinking your calories.

Most fruit juices, pops, cocktails are not only high in sugar, but the body does not process these types of calories the same as food counterparts. There really is no nutritional value to drinking orange juice, versus eating an actual orange and choosing water with lemon instead.  Fruit juices may contain some vitamins, but they also contain as much sugar as a soda pop.

Avoid foods that contain “Trans Fats”.

Trans fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance and abdominal fat gain in studies. I know…yadda, yadda, yadddda. But seriously friends, read your labels. These are often listed as “partially hydrogenated” fats. Not all fats are created equal. Some fats are heart healthy like Omega-3 fats found in Salmon. Omega-3’s are termed essential fatty acids because the body can not produce them on its own and they are essential for health.

Drink Water

This is quite possibly the most important and simple tool at your disposal. I aim for 100 oz a day or 4 of those Costco contego bottles.

Track your nutrition with a free online app.

This not only helps me stay accountable, but it also gives me a valuable snapshot of my day and a look at my macro breakdown (Protein/Carbohydrates/Fats). I can clearly see how much sugar, fibre, sodium, protein, carbohydrates, and fats I am consuming every day. I do not focus on calories, but rather quality of my calories along with the activity I fit into my day. Knowledge is power. We all know to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body needs. I try not to make it overcomplicated.

Use Cardio as a tool.

Cardio is not only vital to heart health, but it’s an essential tool to burn calories. When you combine cardio with strength training to gain muscle, you can change your entire metabolic rate. Read that last sentence again and let it soak in, because it’s so freaking amazing. You can change your entire body composition!

For me, intensity is key. The human body is brilliant; it adapts quickly to whatever you throw at it. To avoid plateaus, I mix things up…always keep my body guessing. Add cardio into my strength circuits, go for different intensity runs through out the week, combine walking/jogging/sprints…just mix it up (plus I won’t get bored). Try new cardio activities: bike, swim, hike, get out with the kids and get active.  If you have the ability to run/move/jump/walk, you are so blessed. Many are not afforded that luxury. Look at it as a gift.

Build Muscle

Muscle is an active tissue, which means you are burning calories while you are chillin’ like a villain long after your workout. We naturally lose muscle as we age, so the only way to get muscle is to build it. If you build it, health will come.

Not sure where to start? Hire a personal trainer so you learn proper form and avoid injury. If you are in my area, send me a message. 🙂 And oh my my, it’s addicting, I just love my one hour of lifting time. I zone out and feel so powerful and full of pride. Results come quickly when it comes to strength training.

  • Use cardio to burn
  • Strength to build a strong foundation (like a house made of bricks)
  • Food to fuel your amazingly beautiful life

It’s as simple as that for me; and my happy weight was a byproduct of that equation (along with a healthy dose of self-love).  Treat YOU just as you treat those you love most in your life.

Reduce stress and get your sleep.

Studies have linked the stress hormone “cortisol” to increased belly fat storage as well as increased appetite.  Do whatever feeds your spirit in a positive way: go for a walk/run, try yoga, go kayaking, go for a hike surrounded by beauty.

I mean come on my friends!!!! Look at this amazing planet we live on….move as the body is designed to and soak up the beauty around you.

Practice gratitude for all the blessings in your life, and start your day off that way (listen to Peter). We may not be able to control the stressors in our daily life, but we can control our perceptions and outlook. It’s in HOW we handle that stress that’s most important.

Move more, eat quality, feed your body/mind/spirit in love, rest, be ever grateful…repeat.

The body is a miraculous machine, it’s always in a state of healing. When I think about the years I abused by body with no activity and highly processed foods, I’m amazed it just kept on urging to move.  Yes, it can feel like it takes a long time getting that weight off, but when you compare it to the years spent abusing it….it’s not even comparable.

What took me almost two decades to put on, my body responded in love within 18 months (and I had my beautiful girl in the middle of it all). How amazing is that?! So very grateful.

From my thankful heart to yours,

Christine

Your Daily Uplifter!

Good morning!  I know many of you found your way here from the Global News Interview I did last week. If you haven’t seen it, click HERE.

So welcome to my blog! I have journaled here for over 8 years as I’ve lived in the maintaining world.  There’s been many ups and downs, and writing has always been a very grounding and clarifying medium for me.

Right after the interview aired, I left for a week’s vacation. It turned out to be perfectly timed as it gave me time to sort through the feelings that sharing my story brought forward. I didn’t expect to feel all that I did. You see, as much as I’m quite open in talking about all that I’ve learned through shedding the weight, there’s also a thin veil of shame I feel within that too. I’m not exactly sure why as I’m so grateful for the connections made when two strangers find they have something in common which is deeply personal. So much of that is lost in this digital era; and it’s also not lost to me that I’m sharing this on a digital platform 😉

When Global contacted me to do the television interview, after sharing an online interview version the week before…

…My first feeling was “No! I can’t talk on camera. I can’t share something so personal to me with strangers.” I actually felt panicked at the thought.

And then I was hit with this one truth that I have strived to incorporate into my life for a decade. If you fear something deeply that you know will bring about positive change for another; you have to do it.

My dear friend Darina once told me you can actually convince yourself that fear is a form of excitement. So I decided I was excited to share, and of course I would share openly without walls.

I’m very thankful for the messages and connections made as a result. Simply hearing from one person who benefited from my truth as I lived within my self-inflicted prison makes it all worth it. This is about You, not me.

In the spirit of understanding that this maybe the very first post you read on this blog, Here’s what I want you to know this morning.

You are worthy of creating your perfect dream life; and that has nothing to do with the amount of money in your bank account. It’s within your power! Just think about that for a second…feel the freedom that comes as a result of understanding YOU are in control.  So who do you want to be? Who do you want to surround yourself within in this one precious life you’ve been gifted? Go and be it! Seek out connections; those people who uplift, support, inspire and motivate you.  Be that for them too.

You are stronger than you even realize! We can live an entire lifetime and never understand the true power and strength of the human body and spirit if we choose that. How sad would that be to never understand our true potential.  A waste really.  Would you want that for your children, or those you love most?  Treat yourself just as you treat those you love. And just watch how your life unfolds beautifully when you pour positivity and love into your heart.

Positive OUT, comes before Positive IN. It’s that law of attraction thingy…whatever you present and focus on, is exactly what will come back to you.  Find yourself surrounded by negativity? Be positive. Be the person you wish to see in others. Yup, you can control that too!  Energy is infectious.  You have the ability to change a person’s day just by uplifting them (which in turn uplifts you too). How ridiculously amazing is that?!

Don’t know where to start? Start small. Get up and go for a walk. Even if it’s around the block. Your body is designed to move. One tiny step in a positive direction will incite more tiny steps. Add one more positive change to your life every week…or every month even! Changing everything at once is not only overwhelming; but a prescription for failure because we need to give ourselves the respect of time to blend these changes which will translate into lifelong habits. Remember this is a lifestyle: an amazing style in which you will live for all of your fabulous life. Be gentle with yourself.

Never give up

Order this book…

IMG_6677

Order it HERE from Amazon, it will change your life (It’s not available in book stores). No other book has made more of a positive impact on my life. I have a Miracle Morning every day and I couldn’t imagine starting my day any other way now.

Reach out to others for support, create your supportive loving village.  I will support you! Add a comment, or send me a message.

I hope you have a ridiculously amazing day! I promise to blog more frequently.  I would love nothing more than to uplift your spirits in this small way.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

 

11 Years at Goal ~ Finding Purpose within Pain

Today is the 11 year anniversary of the day I reached my goal weight.  Going into year 11, I’ve moved away from placing importance on what the scale says. In fact 3 years ago, I made a conscious decision to put my scale away and take it out once a month. I record the weight in a log, and in looking back at it, I can see my life is pretty predictable when it comes to weight.

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It follows the ebbs and flows of my life. Up at Christmas and summer holidays and down in the spring and fall as I run in the sun. By seeing that pattern and knowing that I will always live an active lifestyle fuelled by nutrient rich foods, it has allowed me not to worry so much about that 10 pound fluctuation.

This year, more than any other year, has brought with it a whole lot of change in my life. I have fulfilled a decade old promise to myself that I would one day be a personal trainer/life coach. I started my Personal Trainer job in February of this year and I absolutely love it. I wake up excited to go to work everyday and that’s ridiculously amazing.  Through my experiences losing the weight and maintaining, I believed I could make a significant impact in the lives of others with similar struggles. I want to motivate others to be the best version of themselves and support them to actualize their full potential. To dig deep to their core drivers (motivators) so they can truly love themselves as they make positive life changes.

Little did I know when I started my job, that as I was driven to aid others in healing…they actually healed me and continue to do so every single day. I am so inspired by their drive, hard-work, and dedication. My heart is so full witnessing their passion to just be better in every aspect of their lives…physically, emotionally, spiritually. Great stuff!

I’m about to get very real in this post, because as much as I highly enjoy the uplifting…sometimes life just doesn’t always go the way you want it to. So pour a glass of vino or click the little X thingy to close the tab if you aren’t into reading a very real book-post. 😉

This year also happens to be the most painful year of my life as I navigate through the murky waters of divorce. I read once the stress level of a divorce is comparable to a death. I have never lived a more painful truth. Like most things in life, you can’t possibly understand the ramifications of major life events unless you go through it. You can empathize and be compassionate, but unless you walk in those shoes, well….you can’t possibly know what it feels like.

I was worried that I would fall into old destructive patterns as I coped daily with stressful changes, but I’ve found solace and drive within purpose, direction, and focus. The key has been to remind myself daily of my goals, dreams, and aspirations and then attaching tangible action with a timeline which aligns with those goals. I have poured every ounce of the pain within adversity into helping others move forward within their own struggles in a positive way. And I’ve learned to be kind to myself as I struggle with my identity.

I believe there is power through genuine sharing within vulnerability so that another going through similar struggles does not feel alone. It brings about authentic community which we have sadly lost in this digital age. I have learned there can be uplifting positive patches even through the darkest days. There are many facets of my life I can’t change right now, but I can certainly change how I perceive it.

I’ve struggled with my identity this year because for 23 years I lived as a half of an entity.  I can choose to look at it now as a single with a missing piece, an alone…but I choose to see it as a new whole. I focus on the present and future and while I respect the life I can see in my rear view mirror; it is not healthy to focus my identity there.

So, going into year 11…here’s some things I learned this year.

You see we attach our identity to our habits. Some positive, but a whole lot of negative which then places self-induced road blocks to our success.

For example; you may want to run a marathon one day, but you can’t possibly achieve that dream if you place your identity on the belief you are not a runner. You become a runner by habitually running. It’s as simple as that. If you want to change your identity, change your habits. It’s hard at first, because of that identity thingy…but stick with it. They say it takes 21 days to create a habit; give yourself the respect you deserve, because you truly can do anything for 21 days if you believe you can.

I don’t know what my future holds, but I do know I’m moving forward with purpose. I have never felt such strength in who I am as a person than I do right now.  I let go of caring what others think of me.  I may not be your cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean I’m not awesome tea…just not your cup Oh tea. 😉 Letting go of other’s expectations and judgements has truly fuelled me to be very authentic, open, honest, and has allowed me to find strength within vulnerability.

We have one life my friends, we can choose to wallow in our past hurt, or we can focus on the right now and take action everyday to create our best future. We have the power to do that.

Take time every day to be a little kinder. Give without expectation of anything in return. A grateful heart is rooted in generosity of spirit.

Soak up the knowledge freely given by others around you.

Read.

Rest.

Run.

Let go of fear of the unknown and see it as an adventure.

Challenge yourself to be better.

Laugh until your stomach hurts.

Invest time with those who love you.

Every time you make a choice, ask yourself…does this align with my dreams and goals? If not, let it go.

Dream big.

And most importantly, take action.

Dreams are just dreams without action.

Every anniversary year, I usually step from behind my camera and get a photo taken to signify the year. This year I’m using a photo that brings about a whole lot of significant emotions.

My first Christmas as a new me. Christmas 2015: I was on my way to see my family Christmas Day when my car broke down an hour from home. I had never spent a Christmas evening without my kids, and as I sat in my broken-down car waiting for AMA I started laughing rather than crying. I truly couldn’t believe this was my life at that moment, like I was living a bad dream. I needed to deal with this situation on my own…and by my own I mean AMA. But still…totally did it myself. 😉 I texted my sister updates as I sat beside a very tired and hungover tow-truck driver as he sped down the highway mock-chicken with my car on his deck. His speedometer was tapped out all the way to the fast side. lol A trip that ordinarily would have taken over an hour, took 40 minutes.  I was literally shaking when I got to my sisters and she hugged me, gave me a glass of wine, and presented me with a matching onesie. I excused myself to the guest room and cried like a baby, not out of sadness but out of relief that I was going to be OK moving forward on my own because I sure have a great loving support system.

Christine 11 years

Thank you to my friends and family (and once-upon-a-time strangers who are now new friends) for supporting and encouraging me. I am so thankful for you and because of your kindness and compassion, I will remember to always pay it forward.

From my heart to yours,

Christine