The Power of Accountability and Friendship

A few of us ladies, all on our own unique path of health and wellness, have decided to combine the power of accountability along with camaraderie.

We are friends who sweat together; yet separately on our own time. lol Like active introverts.

What started out as a way to motivate some of my clients to get their cardio in when they are not in the studio training; has trickled its way right into my heart (and kicked my butt in the process).

The deal was, they were going to text me a photo of their sweaty faces after their workout. With each beautiful sweaty faced text I received, I felt this urging in my spirit to run. I have been very focussed on strength training and less on running my 5K’s which are as important to my soul as it is to my heart. Heart healthy in all the ways.

Run…

Away the daily stresses.

To feel alive.

To feel the sunshine on my face and the wind in my hair.

To feel thankful that I have the ability to run, walk, sprint; when others do not have that luxury (love you Janice).

To remember the strength of the human body and spirit.

To feel that rush of endorphins; even through the uncomfortable.

To live outside my comfort zone. Nothing grows in comfort.

So I ran.

And then I ran again.

With each text I received, I made the time to run. Because I’m just so proud of them it makes my eyeballs leak.

I am so thankful for the genuine connections I have made because of fitness.

These relationships are forged on authenticity, vulnerability, positivity, laughter, and pride in one another’s tenacity to never give up.

To keep pushing through the hard days.

To challenge not only ourselves; but one another.

To fight the urge of complacency because there’s a better way to live. There’s no going back.

Live actively, wholeheartedly, and with determination.

Run on my soul sisters. ❤

From my heart to yours,

Christine

Offering to lift a giraffe at a gas station, backing up a trailer, and other random insights. Reclaiming Life

I’ve done my Miracle Morning routine for over a year now. I get up an hour earlier than usual to read/write/meditate/goal-dream etc. It’s starts my day off focussed on positive and travels right along side me through out the day. Like the trusted family dog. All loyal and happy.

I have this list of things I want to do. To learn. Ways in which I want to grow.

Little goals, and big goals. All in one big list. Some might seem ridiculous, like make a cardboard car (like the Flintstones) and go through a drive through with my girlfriends. I would have already done this, but I need to find a fridge box or something largish because we need a bit of real estate.

There’s also some actually progressive-to-my-future goals on there too, but there’s always time for ridiculous in life.

I add to it, and check off the things I’ve done as life’s adventures unfold. I’ve been able to tick off some pretty cool things which have come about in the most surprising of ways.

I’ve learned that’s how it works, this Law of Attraction stuff…

Simply.

In perfect timing.

Put out what you want to do. Who you want to be. Dream big.

Give it breath.

Be not only open to the idea of it; but believe with all your senses it will happen.

Put action towards it. (you can’t just sit on a couch and wish for bubbles, rainbows and lollipops)

And poof! It’s no longer a dream, but a reality.

You see, that’s where I went wrong before, I had these tiny seeds of doubt that would creep in, and I didn’t give my goals and dreams the action required.  Even if it’s just little forward steps (emphasis on forward momentum).

It’s within my control to water the seeds of doubt; or the seeds of self-efficacy.

On my list from April 22, 2017: Find a little tent trailer so I can camp with my children again, and then obviously learn how to back it up. Because you can’t always camp in a straight line.

I had this idea that backing things up was hard because when my kids were small, I had this bike trailer I would jackknife all the time. My kids would yell “Mom! You made us go sideways again”

Anywhoooo, I found this tent trailer on Kijiji and it turned out, they knew who I was because I’d taken pictures at their neighbour’s acreage. They were really kind and helpful. For the first time in my life, I didn’t consult anyone but myself. I gave them my monies and left with a trailer.

I’ve worked so much that I didn’t have time to figure out how to set it up, pull it, or back it up until the night before we left for our first camping trip. So at 10:30 p.m. my oldest son put on his patient hat and we pulled it to a school parking lot where he instructed in very soft tones how to think backwards so I could back it up. And I did it. 🙂  I pulled it all over that parking lot into random stalls which I pretended were lined with trees. lol

I realize for many, this whole process is ridiculously simple…the whole independent camping deal. But for me, this is a new chapter of independence and relying on myself in a way I used to depended on others. That’s on me. I set my life up that way in the past, but I don’t live there anymore. 😉

So this past week-end, I packed up that little trailer with a week-end’s worth of camping gear and treats and headed out with my kids to meet up with the rest of my big crazy family.

You have to be creative when packing a tent trailer, because it basically unfolds like a clown car, once a sandwich and then a magic hut which holds many bodies. I channelled my inner MacGyver.

We sang on the top of our lungs for much of the trip, or at least I did while they put in earphones. I shoulder car danced.

We stopped at a gas station at the Alberta/Sask border and I saw this elongated stranger trying to reach fire works from the top of a tall shelf.

The store clerk came over and asked him if he needed a ladder and I blurted out “no I will just lift him”. She said “cool” and turned on her heels and marched away.

And he looked at me with a blank expression…because stranger danger…and asked: “Are you really going to lift me?”

I didn’t blink at all and said “Or course” like it’s no big deal to lift strangers in a gas station.  I do it all the time.

But he just stood on his tipey-toes and got it down just fine. I wondered in my head after if I actually thought I could lift him. He was tall like a giraffe, with super long legs. There was no reason why he needed a ladder.

Random stranger gas station story.

We kept on travelling and my son remarked how I was getting more confident hauling the trailer. When he said that I realized I forgot there was a trailer behind me. I really should have put a sign on it “Never hauled anything in the history of ever before”.  You know like those “new driver” signs.

We arrived with smiles, and together (minus one rogue child who ran off to have fun with the cousins) we parked and set up our new-to-us little tent trailer surrounded by family at the lake.

My divorced parents have adjoined lake lots because they are awesome that way and besties. And my sisters have their own trailers which we set up like the adult version of a pillow fort.

My sister’s husband parked their motor home and I looked at Brenda and said, “But our awnings don’t face each other. How are we going to wake up and poke our heads out the door in the morning and have coffee together if you are facing the opposite way.” And she told me I had creative freedom to tell him that, but she wasn’t (because that’s annoying, which I get but I have nothing to lose). I have to give him the patience award because he listened to my request and said “oh right, you two like to do that” and reparked.

My little sister gifted me matching onesies back when my life was at its trickiest, so I found a way to repay her with matching camo pants. Because we are so roughing it camping in trailers?! 😉

I had an amazing week-end with my family celebrating Canada day.

As I was laying on the beach, watching the fireworks while my niece played with my hair, I realized one of my big goals was to be happy. My benchmark for reaching this state is to be as happy as I was as a kid, when I had not a care in the world.

When I returned home, I went to my list and ticked off…

  • Buy a tent trailer and go camping again with my kids
  • Learn how to back up a trailer without jackknifing it.
  • Be happy.

check. check. check.

From my happy grateful heart to yours,

Christine

 

On Goal Setting

I received a message from a friend that made me think on the topic of Goal Setting.  She has read Miracle Morning and asked how I set up my goals, especially if my personal goals may not align with another within my circle of influence.

I’ve always operated under the idea “You do You, I do Me”. All that means to me, is the only person I can control within my life, is myself. I have zero control over anyone else’s actions and reactions.

My choices, actions, dreams, belief systems are mine alone. I find that knowledge empowering, rather than defeating. It allows me to let go of control within my environment and set up what works for me.

Would it be nice if everyone around me just naturally aligned with my value system and thought process? I have come to the conclusion, it’s quite the opposite.

I have learned more about what works for me from having opposing beliefs around me, than with like-minded people who share similar beliefs and goals.  While it’s important to create a circle of influence/support network with like-minded people, don’t underestimate the power of those who challenge your values/goals/and beliefs. Look at that as a way to further strengthen your self-efficacy and authenticity.

My goals have changed over the years, and I’m so grateful for that. I’ve had years of focus/hard work/diligence within my health and wellness followed by years of balance/gentleness/slow-it-down.

For every yin there’s a yang. And it’s important to not only foster that balance within myself, but to appreciate the opposing side within other’s who challenge my ideas. It takes me out of my comfort zone and then brings me back to centre.

This is a learning process, always. What has worked for me yesterday, may not hold true today. The body and mind adapt quickly and settles into a new normal.  Just like strength training, you can’t just do the same thing over and over and expect new results.

So look around your life, what areas do you feel out of control within? That’s where you know there’s work to be done.

Focus your mind everyday on intentions: thoughts which becomes things. Dreams manifest into action. And when those seeds of doubt creep into your mind, know you have the power to stop them before they grow and multiply. You have control there.

What are you going to do differently today to challenge yourself?

How can you live outside of your comfort zone today so you can grow?

If your environment is full of chaos, what can you do to centre yourself and bring a little zen joy into your heart?

For me, that’s what my gym time is for. It’s like uncomfortable meditation. 😉  But oh my, the joy and pride I feel after is unmatched.

I also spend an hour each morning reading, journalling, and focussing my thoughts on gratitude, positivity, and contribution; along with the knowledge that not only do I have enough and I am enough right in this moment; but that will also stand true in my future.

Shift your perspective and you will always feel wealthy and rich in spirit. By doing so, it puts me on a different frequency of abundance and grateful/whole-hearted living and amazing experiences/people/opportunities have come my way out of nowhere. It’s true!

Happy goal setting my friends.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

12 Years at Goal

Today is the 12 year anniversary of reaching my goal weight. Every year, I write a blog post of what I’ve learned through another year of maintaining. I don’t think there’s enough time to articulate all the lessons I’ve learned this year, but if I could sum it up, it would be the year of Law of Attraction.

You attract what you think about. Thoughts become things.

Further to just “thinking” about the elements you wish to attract into your life, you have to put in the work. The action. So I think it’s more accurate to say my thoughts turned into actions this year and I stopped simply dreaming and starting putting those dreams to work.

I have a better understanding of who I am as a Mom, sister, daughter, friend, trainer. I focussed less on what I knew well…my escape and comfort zone of photography, and more time on the act of being purposefully uncomfortable. Nothing grows within your comfort zone. I have spent every morning for over a year focussing my thoughts during my Miracle Morning. It has transcended into every facet of my life in a way I could have never imagined.

It has definitely not been easy to focus on my thoughts on the positive… every. single. day.  Nor has it been easy to turn my thoughts back to Love when negative emotions creep into my day. We are rooted within two emotions. Love and Fear. What am I choosing in my day? That has been my soul seeking quest for months, to not only find answers; but to always bring the answer back to Love.

Among the most important life lessons of this past year is Happiness is a Choice. When I take the time to get up early and set my mind up in a positive, goal-dreaming/action orientated way… my day (most often than not) has aligned itself magically right along with whatever I have focussed on. 😉

I still seek balance…

There’s always an hour in the week to MAKE time for a glass of red with a friend. The kind of friends who support and uplift you and want the best for you. They celebrate your successes, and support you through the hard times. Pick wisely the energy you are around. It’s contagious.

The 80/20 rule still works for me. I’m on point with my nutrition 80% of the time, and the other 20% I relax and just eat mindful (even if it’s a nice meal out).

If I have nothing to laugh about in my life, or if my life isn’t that “fun”…. I can create fun. Live a little and laugh at yourself. Seek out positive, uplifting people who share the same mind-set as you. Just be yourself, and like-minded people will be drawn to you. Authenticity attracts authenticity. Let your weird flag fly.

If you are over 30, start lifting weights. As we age we naturally lose muscle mass, and the only way to get it back is to build it. You will not get bulky, but rather think of it like you are building a home on a foundation of bricks. You walk taller with better posture, and you won’t hurt yourself doing mundane tasks….because of the bricks thingy. Don’t know how to lift with proper form? Go hire a personal trainer. 😉 Oh and your metabolism will thank you too.

I have definitely become more humble this year. I have been knocked down a peg or two, and I’m so grateful for that.I’m more outgoing in some ways, and more protective in others. I have laughed a lot, and worked through a lot too. I am more grateful, compassionate and empathetic. I love deeper and I’m more open; however, I learned the important lesson of putting up boundaries to honour what I need at this stage in my life. It’s an act of self-love. You can’t give so much to everyone and not take care of yourself. You will pay the consequences if you do, in your body/mind/spirit. And those who truly love you will understand and respect those boundaries.

Most importantly, I go into another year uplifted, hopeful, and thankful. Being at my healthy weight still feels new to me, even 12 years later. There’s no going back, only forward living with pride and a gratitude.

From my thankful heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

On being Selfish

I was raised to give, give, give. Give of your best always. If there’s one piece of anything left, give it to your friend. While I am so thankful for this lesson, it has come at a cost as I misinterpreted it; of which I am only now realizing.

I understand it now, because I have kids and I spend much time dreaming about their future.

As I was reading/writing this morning, I realized that what I want most for my kids is to Yes, be giving; but not at the cost of their own needs and dreams.

In order to truly give authentically, you have to give to yourself. Which means you treat YOU just as you would those you love most.  Because giving all you have to others, leaves you feeling depleted emotionally and your spirit will suffer.

What does giving to yourself look like? Tangibly…

Take a walk in the sun and take in the beauty around you.

Say no to elements which robs you of your happiness.

Surround yourself with positive like-minded people who truly care about your happiness and goals. And who stand by you even at your lowest.

Eat to nourish your body.

Move to feel alive.

Share, connect, be courageous enough to be vulnerable, listen, be honest and impeccable with your word.

Take time in silence every day. Turn off the TV. Put down your phone.

Read a book in the most comfiest corner of your home and sip your coffee/tea slowly. Remember we are on a lifelong quest to grow in grace, strength, character and knowledge. THAT is what will aid you in giving more to others. The investment in yourself.

Take a day trip to somewhere that makes your soul happy and your eyes thirsty for more.

Smile freely, laugh often, love deeply.

Be selfish with your time as you honour what YOU need in order to move forward in life. And to be clear, it’s not selfish at all, it’s called “self-care”. I often have to sit back and think “Am I doing this because it’s what THEY need, or is it what I need?” And sometimes you need to recharge yourself and take time to think things through. And that’s OK! I know after taking time for me, I’ll come out of it with kick-ass positivity that will transcend into every element of my life. Friendships, parenting, careers, new experiences…all toward the greater good of living my best life, which I am designing by my thoughts and actions.

As important as it is to GIVE, please remember to give to yourself too. Hold yourself in as high-esteem as you do those you love most. And just watch what amazing experiences/people/opportunities unfold in your life as a result.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

For Every Person Who has Ever Stood in Tears in a Change Room

Last week my daughter and I had a shopping date for a swimsuit. As we were going through styles, I could see she was already getting anxious. I tried my best to lighten the mood and make it a fun experience.

We found one I knew would look beautiful on her, and I waited outside the change room. It became evident after a while, she was having a hard time. She finally said I could see and opened the change room doors.

My brilliant, kind-hearted, creative girl looked stunning in her new swimsuit and then I realized she had tears in her eyes. My heart dropped, but this was the time for strength & uplifting. 

When we got to the car after, I asked her why she was sad. She told me she didn’t like how she looked in a swimsuit. I said a prayer in my head to find the right words. We sat together in the parking lot and we talked about body image and to be proud of our bodies for all it can do. It does not define us. It is a miraculous vehicle to enjoy life.

To jump on the trampoline with friends through laughter.

Legs that can run with reckless abandon.

Strong arms to hug those she loves.

But most importantly, I needed my sweet brave girl to know what I appreciate most about her is her kind heart, willful witty spirit, and the most creative brain I’ve ever met.

She is perfect just as she is.

We talked about how health is about loving yourself, not about shame over not fitting into a mould. We sat tall and proud in the car, shoulders back, chin up, proud of who we are as little/big ladies.

Now that I’m sitting here thinking, I need to be responsible for my role in her self-esteem; especially being that I work in the fitness industry. And this is WHY I chose this career. This is a journey of self-love.

Yes, I wish I loved myself more back when I was at my heaviest. I was worthy then, I’m worthy now. It has nothing to do with what a facking scale says.

This is for every person who stood in a change room in tears (I’ve been there), and can collect themselves after and regroup their thoughts away from aesthetics and onto who we are as people.

Choose your words wisely around your kids, but also to yourself.

This has been a call to me to be more loving and intentional with my words.

And to end this, when we got home, she put on her swimsuit and walked across the house with confidence. Her head was up and she walked with sass. ha! love it.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

Weight Loss is a Byproduct of Self-Love

I had an epiphany this morning as I was journalling.

Taking good care of myself, and in turn others, is the highest form of self-love.  Long-term weight loss has been possible for me, not because I have attempted to fit into a certain size clothing nor because I was striving to achieve societal standards of what a woman “should” look like. It truly is a byproduct of Love…simplifying the way I am intended to live.

~Within Love~

This is how we are designed right from the moment we were but one single cell.

To ignite the fire of change within your lifestyle, all it takes is a shift of your perspective away from the pressure of aesthetics and instead onto love. 

I’m going to attempt to explain my thought pattern here; however, it’s tricky to articulate a feeling.

I show respect for my body by eating foods high in nutritional value (vitamins, minerals, nutrients) so I have the most energy for my life and my kids as possible. I understand there are certain foods that trigger emotional eating for me, so I create a no-fail environment. If I’m tempted to eat my trigger food, I actually put myself in the emotional state that I feel after I eat them. Sluggish, self-deprecation, loss of control.  Those are not the thoughts I want to live within, so no thank you 🙂

I have the ability to pick my fuel, and so why would I pick low-quality fuel such as simple carbohydrates which quickly convert into sugar and have me on a roller coaster of temporary energy only to crash moments later? My goal is to feel my best physically, emotionally, and spiritually. So I will choose foods that come from the earth and have an expiration date. 🙂

I am thankful for my health and the ability to move freely.  Think about the times when you are sick with the flu and bed-ridden, how grateful are you when you feel better? You have this new lease on life, and you breathe deeply with gratitude. Those feelings can fade quickly however, and we fall back into complacency and forget that our health is a gift.

I will always be reminded of this as my sister is confined to a wheel chair because of MS. She would give ANYTHING to get up and run again.  To take that for granted would not only be selfish of me; but a huge disrespect and disservice to my sister. I know exactly how she would be living today if MS had not robbed her physical health. She would run circles around me with her characteristic Janice laugh. So I will run because I’m able. And I’m so very grateful for the ability to run, jump, move, and grow in strength.

The human body is a miraculous machine, the more you challenge it with new movements within your abilities, the stronger and more agile you become. How amazing is that?!

I will drink lots of water as we are made of water. Common sense tells me it’s essential for optimal health. And truly, what an easy way to maintain health. Just march right up to your tap and pour yourself a glass. Further to that, I am blessed that I have running water and a fridge stocked with food. Many are not afforded that luxury.  I remind myself of that often when the most ridiculous excuses creep into my mind and out of my mouth “I don’t have time to eat right and I don’t like the taste of water.”  I can’t imagine saying that to someone who does not have access to clean water nor a grocery store down the street (and money to buy a weeks worth of groceries).

And finally, I will strive everyday to live a life of purpose, gratitude, pride and love. Invest in my spirit so that I can love others wholeheartedly. Give of my time and abilities to those who need it most; just as I have needed it so many times in my life when I was unsure about my future and overwhelmed with sadness.

Listen more, talk less. Connection with others lies within meaningful communication which is a two-way street. How many conversations have I had that are ego based, formulating my response without listening to the words of another? Be aware.

This is a my journey to love myself because I need my kids to love themselves too.

This is a call to be the best version of myself because I have this one precious life, and time is valuable. Use it wisely.

What kind of life do I want to live? Even during times when I’m not exactly where I would hope to be at certain stages, I still had the luxury of time and the ability to turn another’s day around with a little uplifting and kindness. Giving is so good for the heart and soul.  It connects us to one another.

Spread a little positivity.

Laugh freely.

Smile for no other reason than the fact I have my health today when another maybe living in a hospital bed. My happiness does not come from others; but rather from within and a higher power.

Run or go for a walk today because you are able.

Eat healthy foods today because you have the ability to make a choice in the fuel you put into your body.

Living in gratitude and love is a choice. Today (and everyday) I choose a life of wholehearted living. How ridiculously amazing is that my friends?!!? ha!

I hope this post made sense, I had quite the morning of thinking. I wish for you a life full of pride, joy, and purpose.

From my grateful heart to yours,

Christine