takechancesCurious about an update on my week….lack of sleep and exhaustion but lots is going on…

I am a recovering perfectionist/control freak. I make no qualms about or try to hide that and…sometimes when a lot of change is being thrown at me, my normal way of operating has been to withdraw, hide, eat and shut out the world until things go back to the way they were…well that doesn’t work anymore, I also have no desire to do that, which is probably the biggest win of all….

All the great things that are happening, I want them. I am tired of being afraid of life, afraid of what might happen or could happen. I am tired of believing that my life won’t start until I lose the weight I want to lose. Yesterday a blog post I wrote earlier in the week was shared by someone on social media with an amazing write up that put me in the same sentence as Ellen DeGeneres and I nearly had a heart attack. I instantly wanted to send her a message that my name and Ellen’s name do not belong in the same sentence. More traffic was driven to my blog than ever before…we are talking thousands…. and I instantly started to panic. That annoying little voice of “my blog looks like crap” “I don’t have my Facebook page up” started and really started to gain speed.  I left work and spent the next few hours in utter frustration trying to make changes, but I am not computer/tech savvy in anyway shape or form and Google was only getting me so far. This was a really great thing to have happen and I found myself trying to find ways to make it go away or discount the greatness of it. I have had some great success in making huge improvements in my eating, saying goodbye to some inches and being able to walk away from foods that I would normally eat (doughnuts in the office, etc…). I need to celebrate this, not discount it and ignore it!

Life will always happen. I refuse to cave to it anymore. I will start to say yes to life and do what I have to do to make things happen. Simple as that. Anxiety has crept in a bit this week and instead of me not caving to my normal coping strategies I believe it is now showing up in the form of insomnia. On the flip side…my apartment is really clean and doing laundry in my building at 3am means I get all the machines to myself! Tonight I have a session with my trainer and I am determined to have that wear me out so that my body has no choice but to sleep 🙂

Naturopath vs. Alopecia – Round 2

Found something....

Found something….

I am writing this one in a bit of physical pain….

As most of you are aware I have been dealing with Alopecia and currently started seeking an alternate treatment plan. This came in the form of a Naturopath, was tested for food allergies and have recently taken on the daunting task of removing eggs, dairy, almonds, pineapple, ginger, flaxseed and a couple of others. Most of those have been easy to remove with the exception of eggs…..they have been my nemesis. It has been a challenge, but manageable. I am lucky to be living in Vancouver, where it is a mecca for the gluten-free, vegan population. In addition to not eating these items I have also been taking supplements supplied by my Naturopath to help heal and repair my stomach lining.

So I was dumb and decided to test the waters….

Eggs have snuck in a couple times in the form of mayonnaise or in a baked item like a muffin, but I didn’t link my upset tummy…I know not the sharpest tool in the shed at times. I hadn’t out right eaten an egg for almost a month, until one day last week I thought I would give it a “try.” All seemed well and fine, until about an hour later….the pain began and after another hour I was in intense physical pain in my tummy and the bloating was ridiculous…combined with the noise my tummy was making…I couldn’t eat anything for the rest of the day. I had no appetite and spent the day taking things like Tums and Pepto to relieve the pain.

So I was dumb again last night…yes, I know… I promise I have learnt now!

Last night I decided to test the waters with some cheese…..guess what happened…yup…same situation as the eggs. I didn’t sleep terribly well and am still feeling the effects this morning. Clearly my Naturopath was right and I no longer feel the need to prove her wrong, Sorry Dr. Akehurst! What I am reconciling for myself is that for years I had eaten those things and struggled, not really feeling the side effects because my tummy wasn’t in good shape. I also had the pleasure of visiting Dr. Ross (dermatologist) last week and my scalp and hair are improving. Although, she openly doesn’t agree with Naturopath’s and what they do, she simply said “Keep doing what you are doing, because you have some great regrowth” and we didn’t do as many injections…MORE GOOD NEWS!

What is the result of this rambling… tummy is healing, I have been working with the ladies at Seva Fitness and listening to health practitioners orders…I did some measurements on Sunday, inches have been lost, pants and shirts that didn’t previously fit are now starting to fit or fit. Being healthy has always been and still remains my number one goal – the weight loss is an added benefit. With everything going on in the media regarding Tess Holliday(Munster), it needs to stop being about size and beauty and start being about health and living a healthy life no matter size or shape.


Tess Munster

Tess Munster

I am finding myself highly irritated and a bit more emotional than normal lately, so I thought what better place to talk it out…

Over the last week, some really great strides have been taken in the effort to combat the shame around being plus size. Tess Munster, a 5’5 size 22 was just signed by Milk Management, she is the first plus size model of her size to get a contract with an agency of that caliber. She is stunningly beautiful! In addition, My Big Fat Fabulous Life launched on TLC, which I met with mixed reviews and for most of the weekend I have been trying to figure out what is irritating me about it. I have an issue with the whole “body confidence revolution” that is taking place. Even just typing this I am getting really irritated…..

Perhaps it is a bit of jealously and this is where the disconnect with myself has been. I do believe that one should accept yourself. Reading and watching interviews with Tess Munster, that woman exudes confidence and sex appeal. There are countless channels on YouTube with woman talking about body confidence and embracing your curves and your body. Now, there is the TV show by TLC about it. I agree with every part of this….almost…..

I am struggling with this small fact….embracing it….yes, but I am not ok with not doing anything about it and none of these videos and YouTube channels seem to talk about doing something about it. There are fundamental physical downfalls to your health for overweight. Diabetes, sleep apnea, fertility issues, heart disease, gout, asthma, kidney disease….the list could go on.

Every human being is beautiful. Every human being has the right to live a happy and fulfilled life full of love, joy and happiness. No one should be bullied or made fun of for their size. Embrace your body for the joy and wonder that it is, but treat it with care and love because it is the only one you have. I have lived a life full of shame when it comes to my body and struggle with it on a daily basis, so I know that embracing my body is something that I am working on, but….I want things in life. I want to be able to potentially have a child and not worry about the implications if I am plus size. I already require a machine for my heart to function, I don’t want my heart to have to struggle any more than it does because I am carrying extra weight. I want to be healthy and love my body.

If I have missed something in the whole “body confidence revolution” then please send me links or let me know. Embrace and love your body yes! Tess Munster says it best “eff your beauty standards”! But, ensure that you are living in such a way that you are going to be around for a really long time and can accomplish the things in life you want to accomplish.


Fat Shame…

fat shameOk this post is leaving me feeling quite exposed, so gentle….

I had heard through the grapevine regarding a new TV show called My Big Fat Fabulous Life, I am not big on the TV watching lately, but after receiving some injections into my scalp yesterday afternoon I wasn’t moving far from the couch, so I watched the first 3 episodes. I have provided a link below to give you some background on the show.

I went through a rollercoaster of emotions when watching this show, everything she is talking about, being a person of size in society is 100% accurate, I have had those exact thoughts. Then she made one comment…

“It’s hard to know that someone sees you and they don’t see a human being. They just see something disgusting, someone that doesn’t have feelings or isn’t worth anything. They have no idea who you are, what you are good at, what you can offer them.”  ~Whitney Thore~

A lot of people refer to this now as fat shaming. The last socially acceptable form of hate. This was tear inducing for me. Not a month ago I was in the gym that is in the basement of my office building. I was minding my own business, on the treadmill, when two men took it upon themselves to begin making fun of me, despite having hardcore proof that I was doing something about it. They don’t know me, don’t know my story, don’t now that I am in the gym almost every day. I receive emails and comments on my blog and social media from people sitting behind a computer screen that thinks it is perfectly acceptable to type mean comments and emails. To them, it is totally acceptable to verbally spew that poison for all to hear and see.

You can open any newspaper or TV news program and see the levels of hate filling the world. There are countless stories about people being bullied, mocked or made fun of for religion, size, clothing, sexuality, hair color or make-up. The difference is that when someone is being bullied for a majority of those, other people step in and say that it is not ok, or come to the aid of that person. Police get involved, charges are laid. When someone makes fun of you for size, people turn away or join in, police don’t get involved.

I am getting a lot better at letting these comments roll off my back, but there are times where, when I get home, tears are cried because words can hurt. I should add in that although I am focusing on fat shaming, making vocal snap comments/judgments about anyone for no reason is not ok. You don’t know that persons story, what they have been through. What does this still need to exist? Spewing poison regarding my size tells me one thing….you have been hurt and you want to make me feel bad so you feel better. I do not need to fight for the right to exist.

What do I hope people take from this? Everyone makes judgments, it is human nature. Keep them to yourself, period. You have no idea what that person has been through or what they are doing. If everyone approached with an open mind, you mind be surprised, so the next time you look at a person and you find yourself saying mean things either inside voice or outside voice, check yourself and ask why.

Namaste The F*!k…

Love me some Maya Angelou

Love me some Maya Angelou

I was going through some old writings I did last night and stumbled upon a post that was one of the first I wrote, it was a good one and really hit a chord with me again. After yesterday’s post, fear almost got the better of me and my plans to go running for the first time in months almost lost out until I remembered that willing or simply wanting something to happen doesn’t make it so, you have to TAKE ACTION!

As someone that takes on my personal growth, like a hyena takes on hunting baby lions, there is one thing I have become frustrated with. This ideal seems to have developed, that to get what you want in life all you need to do is focus on it, or “manifest” it. Think positive about it, repeat positive affirmations, create a vision board, stare at it every day, be thankful, or as I like to call it…Namaste the f*@k out of that sucker!

Here’s the pitfall that I and so many have fallen victim to. “Well I Namaste’d the f*@k out of that sucker and it didn’t work. “Manifesting” is garbage, doesn’t work.”

People have used that as an excuse, YOU STILL HAVE TO TAKE ACTION. I can Namaste the f*@k out of wanting to lose weight and get healthy, but unless I am actually eating right and exercising and taking actions to move me towards that goal, praying won’t make a lick of difference. You want to win/make millions of dollars. You write a big fat cheque to yourself, you great a vision board about wealth, but did you buy a lottery ticket? Did you talk to your boss about a raise?  Did you apply for a higher paying job? You want to meet the man of your dreams. You write out a list of qualities and attributes, perhaps pull a few photos from magazines and post them. However, if you sit at home every night, don’t go out to different places and make an effort to put yourself in situations where said man may be…do you honestly think the take out delivery man is going to be the one?  Have I made my point?

The other key to this, aside from action, is your heart, mind and eyes need to be open. You need to give up all expectation of what it is going to look like. Last time I checked Brad Pitt was with Angelina Jolie, so trying to “manifest” Brad isn’t going to happen.  Kim Kardashian is still alive and well and requires her body, so if you are wishing for her body….ain’t going to happen. This simply boils down to procrastination and laziness in my eyes. I can see the scene in my head with Will Smith and his son in the Pursuit of Happyness…”If you want something, you have to go out and get it. Period.”

Taking action requires moving forward, moving in life is essential to expanding and it is when you begin to expand with your heart and mind open that, I believe, the universe aligns itself with your desires. Give up your expectations and enjoy the amazing things that come into your life.

I went running last night and after the first sprint I remembered how much I love running and have amazing it feels. So, today…all I ask is that you look at what you want in life and take one action to move you closer to that!

Apologies if that came off a bit ranty….wasn’t my intention 🙂

Goals & Fear…

imagesYB2WJAAWRecently I have been asked as to what my goals and intentions are around my health and fitness. I promptly responded with my “a healthier, happier version of me.” That has been my standard response for about the last year until I was called out over the weekend. I could be a happier version of me at this size, hmmmm truth, so I did some thinking….

Now, it doesn’t matter what self-help book you pick up and motivational speaker you talk to, they will all tell you the same thing. Goals need to be “SMART” Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. When I look at my health and fitness in this manner I have lost my way a little bit. When I first began working with Taren and Emelia we laid out some pretty specific benchmarks, climb the Grouse Grind and complete a 5K. Both of which I did and since then I haven’t been working towards anything, I have been floundering and the scale and workouts reflect that. So last night I put pen to paper and did some brain storming and some writing.

Long Term Goals

  1. To weigh between 150-160lbs in 2 years – doing this with the Dr. prescribed 2lbs a week. According the math, I should reach this a head of the 2 year mark, but I am buffering in bad weeks (that is the smart part of it!)
  2. To be able to look in the mirror and love the reflection that is looking back at me along the way, not just when I reach the goal, but every day, regardless of the number that is on the scale

When I look at those two goals, they both scare me to bits and inspire me, but I still didn’t find my motivation for the gym….so, made a cup of tea and did a bit more thinking….

Along the Way Goals (for at least the next year)…

  1. To complete a 5k…again…running 95% of it and beat my last time (Summer 2015)
  2. To complete a 8K (Fall 2015)
  3. To complete a 10K (Spring 2016)
  4. To complete a half marathon (Summer 2016)
  5. Take up boxing/kickboxing (register by March 1, 2015)
  6. Climb the Grouse Grind (till I get my time down to less than an hour)
  7. Climb The Chief (Fall 2015)

Now, some of these I need to review with the trainers and see if they are logical, doable and all that good stuff…..part of me really wants to climb into a whole and hide because some of those I haven’t shared with anyone before. Really only Emelia knows how much I enjoy the boxing/kickboxing sessions, probably more than the running, so that is something that I want to explore, not because I have any interest in stepping into an actual ring, but because I LOVE how I feel after I take those gloves off.

So…..there….that’s it…..excuse me while I go….do my best not to hide.

Down With Sickness…

Thank you Google Images :)

Thank you Google Images 🙂

Holy jeebus batman, a frustrating week is being had. This may be a rant that only my female followers can understand (no offence boys).

I have been down with a serious cold this week. This virus started to make an appearance early last week, causing me to sound like Selma Simpson (Homer’s sister from The Simpsons), so I immediately began Cold FX and high doses of Vitamin C. I made sure to get lots of rest, eat healthy, and still managed to get in 5 workouts. I discovered that it is perfect safe and healthy to workout while having the common cold, just listen to your body and be respectful when it comes to your germs and those around you. I felt great, just sounded horrible. I was determined to serve an eviction notice this virus could not ignore! Then, like a ton of bricks raining down from the sky I woke up Saturday with the full wrath of this virus.

I have been resting, taking care of myself and am starting to get better, but find myself having one of those days. I am fighting this cold, experiencing some wicked ladytime symptoms, nothing is going right at work this morning, I haven’t been eating the best this week, haven’t been able to work out, the one time I attempted my body was having no part….just a general Eeyore like attitude towards life today.

Having a mini venting session with my dear friend Tiffany this morning, she reminded me that life does not suck, life is amazing and that my body is just preparing to move full steam ahead, just gotta clear out some residual gunk. Being a woman, we have emotions and it is ok to feel them, experience them, but try not to give them too much power as they can lead you down the crazy path. We all know what an emotional crazed woman looks like and I want no part of that 🙂

Life hands you lemons, add it to your non-drowsy NeoCitrin and lets get on with this week!

The Journey…

30 Day Fitness Challenge…I was asked this weekend why am I doing this. What is the purpose of this blog and I was taken aback because I didn’t fully know how to answer it. I have had so many visions and dreams about what I want to create for the world, for my life but at the bottom of all of those dreams is one sentence – to stop viewing myself as the underdog, as a failure.

Losing a large amount of weight naturally and in a healthy manner is not easy. It takes time, dedication, commitment, sheer will and determination. The fight to get back up, when, for what feels like the millionth time you have fallen down and are once again on your knees. It irritates me to no end the way some TV shows edit the journey of the contestants on shows like The Biggest Loser. I battle on a daily basis the demons that lead me to the weight I am today. I have times where it is easy and you push forward each day, then you have a setback that lasts days, weeks or months. You deal with nasty comments, friends and family passing judgement, asking you “why don’t you just not eat?”  or “why are you wasting your money on a personal trainer when it isn’t working?” Those have become easier to ignore, the biggest battle comes from inside my mind. Letting go is the biggest challenge of all. Letting go of my thought patterns, my preconceived notions, letting go of what the journey looks like. I tell myself all the time, just let go. I am a control freak, what do you mean let go!?!?!

I have been lucky enough to start dating a pretty remarkable man who looked at me on our first date and asked me about all the things I didn’t want to talk about, my dreams, my insecurities and my fears. He simply smiled and said “Well, you are beautiful now and you’ll be equally as beautiful then.” My brain had a thousand and one rebuttals to that comment, but in the effort of letting go I grit my teeth, smiled and said “Thank you.”  Every day he asks me “how is the eating going?” and “what are you doing for exercise?” The first few days to say I was mildly irritated would be an understatement; going on the defense is my default mechanism when anyone asked me those questions. Dang it! I said I was going to let go, OK…fine….talking to him, coming from a place of support and allowing someone to support me, he has provided me with inspiration. My mother provides me with inspiration as she has recently lost a ridiculous amount of weight. My trainers that never give up on me and my friends who refuse to accept my bullshit. Lastly, my Grandmother, who despite no longer having all of her faculties, pressed her forehead to mine in a hospital room 9 years ago, after sitting with me for an entire day, not eating because I wasn’t allowed too due to surgery and said “You are special and you were put on this earth to do amazing things, you give people strength. Don’t screw it up.” Every time I see her and I see her smile and she presses her forehead to mine and looks at me I remember that sentence.  If I can be half the woman she is I will not fail.

The journey is part of the process. The journey is life and you have to remember what your goal is, what are you working towards? What do you want? When it is dark and you have fallen that is what you remember and you allow the people around you to help you get back up and remind you that you have not failed. As long as you are trying… have not and will not fail. I stood in front of a mirror today and for 10 minutes I allowed myself to envision what my life will look like in the future and I couldn’t help but smile and be inspired to do all the things that would set me up for a successful week.

New Years….

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

With it being a new year, you can’t help but be a little introspective. Over the weekend I was with the bff and we were talking about where I was at with this coming year, what were my “resolutions”? There was only one word that kept popping into my mind. LIVE.

I went through some massive amounts of change in the beginning of 2014. Change is not something that any human deals well with, but when I look back this change didn’t kill me, it made me stronger brought me to some really great places.

I left a comfortable well-paying job with nothing lined up and I am now working in one of the most fun and rewarding offices in Vancouver with an amazing team that support and train each other. I have a boss that I learn from every day and takes time to care about her team members and their lives. I faced some health concerns that raised my stress levels beyond normal levels, but refused to stop till I found answers, and I have. I made it through the first year without my father. This has helped me grow as an individual and each day I gain faith and trust that no matter what the universe throws at me, I will survive, but that was the difference.

I no longer want to just survive, I want to live! Through our conversation here is what I discovered for myself. Surviving is waking up each morning, going to work, paying your bills, go on vacation, finding a person to marry and then passing on. That is a perfect life for some, but not for me. I have a good life, family, job, friends….but I want more. I want to live. I want to take risks, not know how something is going to play out. I no longer want to worry about being safe and secure. I am safe and secure in my knowledge that my friends and family will always be there to support me, no matter what happens, so this year I want to live. I want to face fears and tell them to “eff” off. I want to do things that I would never think of doing especially when that little voice says “nope, run, turn, hide, danger.” It is in these moments, that life happens and some of the greatest rewards present themselves. You get the career that you are excited about, you meet a person that alters the course of your life and you go to sleep at night with the thought of “Let’s do that again tomorrow.”

No I am not crazy, high or on any sorts of drugs, I just wanted to use up every ounce of life I am given. Tired of worrying about what people think of me and letting my fear of failing control what I do or don’t do. Let me be clear, I am not going to be irresponsible, cause harm to myself or others, but I took risks last year and survived and grew as a result. As afraid as I was I didn’t die! So more of that!

I want to travel, take kickboxing, run races, inspire others and as the quote says above arrive at the pearly gates with windblown hair going “Sweet ride.” I want to do one thing each day that scares me, the pushes me forward, pushes me to grow and live.

P.S – the only fear I am not willing to currently face is spiders…seriously let’s not push it 😉fa1e8be5ef4f5a98b35a6ec10dcce1a1_resized

Naturopath vs. Alopecia…

Found something....

Found something….

It has been a while since I have posted, hiding a wee bit, not really hiding as just full on enjoying the holiday season. Christmas is my favorite time of year and for the first time in 7 years I got to spend it with my Mom and I honestly could not have asked for a better holiday season. In that time frame I was also processing a lot of information health wise. I apologize for the longness of this post and will do my best to explain!

As most of you know over the last 2 years I have been dealing with Alopecia. I was receiving injections into my scalp, had a biopsy done and looking for answers. I wasn’t getting any concrete answers from my medical doctors so I went a different route. For the first time I visited a Naturopath, Dr. Akehurst (who, for the record, is amazing).

Visiting a Naturopath has been a bit of an expensive route, but one that has provided more answers and results in the last 60 days than 2 years of visiting traditional medical doctors. After a series of appointments and several attempts to draw blood and tests run on that blood, the big one being food allergy/sensitivity test here are the results. Years of unhealthy eating finally caught up with the permeability of my stomach and I have “leaky gut.” This happen when over a period of time you eat unhealthy foods and foods you are sensitive too. They begin to breakdown the stomach lining and everything seeps into your blood stream. Normally your stomach lining only allows the small “good” molecules which you want absorbed into your system. When you have “leaky gut” everything gets dumped into your system good and bad and your body can only compensate for so long before it gets overloaded. All of these “bad” molecules floating through my system attached to my autoimmune system presenting as Alopecia. It was so bad that my body was barely absorbing water. The allergy test revealed that I am sensitive to eggs, dairy, almonds, pineapple, flaxseed, ginger, oysters, and mustard. Dairy was not new for me, but I had switched to all things almond milk and eggs were my favorite protein source and I tested off the charts for both. What does this all mean?

I have begun taking a series of supplements from my Naturopath to heal my stomach. I have removed everything that I tested sensitive too from my eating habits. This has been one of the hardest things I have ever under taken. Eggs is proving challenging because they are in EVERYTHING, all the alternatives to almond milk that aren’t dairy are taking some getting used too. Over the last 60 days my stomach has begun to heal because when I have any of those things I am sensitive to now, a few hours later I am doubled over in pain. It has called for a complete re-evaluation of what I thought was healthy eating. I have had to pretty much go Vegan, but with chicken and fish. I have also noticed a reduction in the amount of hair loss which has started to give me piece of mind and taking a series of stress off of my plate. I am sleeping better, have more energy and have noticed a shift in my moods, less mood swings.

For the next 12 weeks I will be following a specific eating plan and will then re-introduce the items I tested sensitive for and any hint of a reaction will mean that item is removed from my life altogether. I can’t begin to describe the piece of mind having some answers and proven results has given me. I was a bit skeptical going into the Naturopath, but the results speak for themselves. For the first time, in a long time I am looking forward to the road ahead. Information is power.

If you have an ailment that traditional medicine has not been able to cure, I invite you to consider a non-traditional route, whatever that looks like for you J