Empowerment nourishes your Soul
Do you struggle with weight loss? muscle gain? guilt loss, confidence gain?
Do you eat to live or live to eat? Do you workout and not lose a pound?
My journey to health & happiness is the seedling of Nourishment;
Mind, Body, Soul
I do not give up. I am determined, motivated, ambitious, passionate & inspired.
It seems hard to believe that it took me so long to find out that eating clean would make such a positive impact on my life. It seems so simple. It makes sense. The way is suits my life makes it seem like I should’ve known already. Now if I don’t eat on my scheduled time and if I don’t get my protein and slowly digested whole grain carbs, I feel really hungry and I start to feel sick. I now know this feeling whereas before it was just mixed with other unpleasant feelings that were difficult to identity when all happening at once.
I have been dealing with health issues for a lifetime and have been Celiac for a lifetime. I have followed a gluten free diet for 17 years and thought it was pretty darn healthy. I finally added clean eating to gluten free, along with a set of strategies that seem to work for me. Summer 2012 I took more action with nutrition. I had already leapt into a full-time health care mission for my life. I was desperate for an action plan that I could manage that would work for my body, my mind and my soul.
I attended CanFitPro Conference in Toronto August 2012 with a mission to improve the physical side of my fitness classes, to see and experience even more motivational classes, circuits, kettlebell training and any Zumba class I could fit in. The picture above is August 2012 and my guys are so amazing that they inspire me daily to ensure I am healthy.
So August 2012 I took home many motivational fitness ideas and some I didn’t expect to take with me. I attended a post-natal fitness & post-partum depression workshop and I met Tosca Reno, the queen of Eating Clean. I learned about how she changed her life in her 40s and thought, maybe I can too. I told her as much, that I thought it was time, that I was ready to take nutrition to that next level. She said she knew I was ready. Now that I am writing this, I will email her and tell her what happened. (I did try to connect but she is hard to reach)
Very few people knew that at that time, I was trying my third medication for the bouts of anxiety and depression that persisted in taking over my life. I was also working with a new doctor since my previous doctors didn’t believe me and thought I was just looking to get out of working! You all realize I love working, but not with so many kids who needed me in such a difficult health crisis. It was still tough to figure out what to do. I always kept exercise in my life because it was one of the few successful strategies I tried in my life. This medication was not good either, the first couple of days were ok, but then the side effects became scary. I was on my last day of the conference and had to make my way from the hotel to bus and train to visit my sister all the while experiencing an anxiety attack and loss of breath. Once again I was visiting my sister with weird things going on. I was so sick of it. Once I made it back home, I decided to stop all the medications. As a result instead of starting my eat clean research, I rebounded back into exercise, wine, caffeine and extreme sugar cravings to set myself up for another depressive episode. This would be the last time I would do this, I said again. I got into Tosca’s Eat Cleaning principles and starting planning and changing my pretty good gluten free diet to an even healthier gluten free cleaner diet. I also went to my doctor with Cam to explain our sides of what was going on with me and we agreed to try another medication. This was also scary since as you know, I have already tried many times, with doctors, medications, gluten free, left my comfortable income career. It seemed like I would never feel right.
The time frame is from August to November, not long really. December 2012 is when I launched my locally & seasonally designed Clean Eating Challenge for my group under a simplified version that I thought was more manageable and maintainable for people who were beginning a nutrition course without as much experience with food issues, labels and cooking as me. I had attempted 2 challenges myself before I settled on what I wanted to present. I also experienced major sugar withdrawal along with withdrawal of stopping the previous medication I tried for my mood disorder. I learned that 3 bad days of eating the wrong thing can turn into a month if you choose it to or you can stop it and start over right away to regain your control. I learned that wine does not help long-term when you need the power within yourself to get up and start again. I did it, I crashed, I learned, I got back up and I passed it on to a very successful first group who embarked on the Eat Clean Challenge with me. We felt awesome!
Then it was Christmas break.
I did it. I made it. I beat it! My ladies felt it too! I found the answer. (I thought)
So when you have set backs, I call that life. When you learn to make healthier decisions, I call it owning your life.
Why it takes so long to really change your lifestyle?
I am honestly telling you my story with ups and downs for you to see how long it really does take to put changes in place that you can stick with and how life pops up and hits you in the face sometimes to mess up your plans. Many struggle with weight, health and diet plans and it does impact other parts of your life, your self-confidence and your decisions.
Let’s be realistic about what we can do in 28 days that we will keep after the 28 days are over. Let’s be realistic about the obstacles we have before us, so we can properly prepare to empower ourselves and make positive changes on a steady, gradual basis.
I was deeply inspired and motivated to take care of my health, yet I crashed many times. Once Christmas break came and we had so much success, I thought I could take a break and eat treats, drink wine without too much trouble. I had always done it before right?
This is why it takes so long! Yes, I had always done it before and I do recall most every Christmas being followed by a severe depressive episode. So the same thing happened again. After all the success, I chose to go off my balanced plan that worked and I was no longer balanced. I shouldn’t be surprised anymore really.
So I worked my way back up and I knew some of my peeps were gone down to that place too. I tried to convince them to pull themselves back and for many, it took all winter to get back up. It is really hard to convince people, so I hope my story is a better way to help you make changes for you health & happiness.
I worked my way back up all winter, coaching others to join in the Clean Eating Challenges because I know it works. I add mood journals to track how I feel with the nutrition, fitness and events in my life. It helps balance my life, it helps me fuel my body to do all my fun, play and my fitness business. We experienced both successes in the challenge and many who were not ready, who met obstacles that took control over their own power, just as it did to me. This part is devastating for me, not just because of what happens in my personal life, but because I understand and know what could be happening for some of my peeps. I’m leading and I keep getting back up. I search in the depths of my being for strategies to get my peeps back up. I do not hold their power, so it has to be them. They have to do the work, take back that power over and over and over to conquer each small step. Some people will find this easier which is awesome and we applaud everyone’s success. Some people will experience what I do and reading my experience may give them the extra hand when needed.
After a tough winter challenge with depression and nutrition, we all did experience successful nutritional habits by Easter. Things get easier for some of us as the days get lighter. Our eating habits and our heavy heads become lighter and better able to take on bigger goals. Once again I thought I had conquered the beast. I felt awesome, great on top of the world. I brought my energy levels and my clear head back to where they were in December after my great first success with Clean Eating. Here is the red flag everyone. This is not the time to stop what is working. It simply is a sign to keep doing it!! Please learn from me. I took liberties with my balance and celebrated all Easter weekend with yummy treats and wine. Here is what I learned; if I can have a small treat 2-3 times a week or a nice treat day on Saturday without corrupting my balance, why not stick with that? I suffered another bout of depression that lasted for about a month and lead me to taking another drug to calm acute anxiety in order to make it through each day. I also had to put my family through this again. My family, who I cherish beyond words, my sweet, sweet family. My honest, loving guy asks “If you know this happens, ‘cause it keeps happening, why would you do it?”. This is where you cry. What truer words could be spoken?
I thought I could beat depression, as in eat right, balance my life with honesty and activity, surround myself with love and positivity and I would just beat it. Now I know… NOW I know, that committing to my life balance plan each day is beating depression and is what allows me the happiness to love and hold my family. I started all of my recent life choices for an extremely important reason, to stay healthy every day and to be able to deal with the depression and anxiety that sometimes creeps in, many times beyond my control, many times within my control. It is life. Staying clean with real food helps me take on the beast every day! I bring myself up, I can lead the way. I want my body to feel the joy of every day. I do not want to go back to the fog, confusion, depression & displaced feelings of the past. It is not an option for me, not an option for my family. I finally learned my lesson. I choose to live in love and happiness with my family.
What happens during each session of goal planning?
Each time I set a goal, I get better at being more realistic about my goals. If I accomplish one small change that sticks, that is worth it. I worked on reducing sugar and to be honest it took from August of last year to successfully reduce the sugar in my cocoa from 2 heaping teaspoons to ½ a level teaspoon and keep it there without adding chocolate chips to sweeten it more. I did not know I liked sugar so much!
I would set out to reduce sugar, have success, have setbacks, have longer success, have more setbacks all year. The sugar is just one example. The same happened with wine, chocolate chips, nachos, cheese and peanut butter and more. I have an all or nothing system, so I have to teach it balance and slow progression to avoid major setbacks and crashes that intensify the setback into a depressive episode.
I’ve done this so many time that now that I know it is part of the gradual positive change and body adjustment. Let’s set up the actual treat and not let it go on for 3 days. Eat good, clean food with intention to create balance and be well in my body, mind and soul to the best of my ability. Eat regular meals to avoid a crash. If there’s a crash, be honest, tell Cam and Ethan that I don’t feel well. We do our checklist of items that impact me to see what is happening. It goes something like my Sexy Life Plan to respect myself and feel well. Crazy and true!
We say, ok did you….
· Eat enough within the last 2-3 hours
· Eat lean protein with meals
· Sleep last nite
· Drink water
· Experience a feeling that you didn’t say
· Get alone time today
· Need help with something and not ask
· Get outdoors for a walk with Rocky
· Have negative thought patterns from the past
· Set yourself up for unrealistic expectations from someone
Then we take a course of action that has proven to be successful and we discuss it with intention to bring it out in the open and find a solution to empower me, help the weird feeling go away, and feel the love.
If you are Celiac and struggle with moods, much discomfort and nutritional issues, check out the Signs of Celiac to raise awareness of how deeply nutrition does impact your life. Also keep in mind that gluten free processed products are not considered clean and can also create sugar and fast, simple carb crashes.
If this all sounds like you, check out
Motivational Coach -Love Living Healthy