2 years ago in January 2017 I truly took a leap of faith…
After years of struggling with my weight, my mental and physical health I said YES to something that completely changed my life.
At the time, I didn’t take before pictures because I quite honestly did not have faith that it would “work”. I really didn’t put much thought into it other than printing off the calendar to check off to ensure I was taking what I needed to be and that helped me be mindful in doing so.
I didn’t think it really mattered because I didn’t think it was going to work…
So as I reminisce on my progress and how happy I am that I actually could and did do it… what worked? What do I give gratitude for in my life?
- Vitamins and Minerals – this is key, our bodies need vitamins and minerals to function properly and unfortunately in our food we just simply cannot get it all there so we need to have a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement that we are taking daily
- Digestive System – any woman with PCOS, Hypothyroidism, Endometriosis or IBS knows how much a slugglish digestive system sucks! I ensure my digestive system keeps moving with my supplements, eating healthy, my thyroid blend and WATER! This is key for ALL mammals not just women!
- Drink a LOT of water – no not kidding – drink a LOT of WATER! If you feel thirsty you are dehydrated! In the winter I know all too well the challenges of staying hydrated, however its SO key!
- Make healthy choices… for example I am a dip girl – I love it, I love to dip anything especially chips and dip… SO years ago I switched out our sour cream for greek yogurt and rather than potato chips I opt for organic or veggie chips. Bonus the organic chips Ive been buying for a while now my family all enjoy. Yes it took an adjustment however, the more you present to your family the more normal healthy tastes! Ive also found the more healthy we eat, the less we eat so although it may have felt at the time to be “more expensive”. Its not. When you buy real whole food and create your meals, its much more satisfying.
- Cleanse your system – this goes back to the vitamins and minerals – however its also its own point and a very important one. If you have been going about life as many of us “normally” do, you have been building up toxins in your body. Eating take out or processed foods, junk food, sugary drinks, booze, smoking, taking prescriptions… Prior to doing our cleanse and restore system I was still suffering from digestive issues that were not fun at all. Ones I had dealt with since my teen years with the feeling of no hope. 2 years later I cannot believe the change in my digestive system, its truly remarkable to feel that my digestive system has actually healed. Of course its an ongoing healing – you get what you put into it just like anything else. Did you know your gut heath affects your mental heath!? It does and it is SO key!!!
- Me time – as a mama and woman sometimes its very hard to “allow” yourself time or money for you. This was challenging for me for many years to be ok with spending money on myself or with young kids taking time away from the kids to do something for me – people can be so judgemental and you need to turn those voices off as they truly don’t matter. If YOU need help – ask. If you need new clothes go buy them. If you feel gross and need to change – do it – but only for you. Don’t do it for anyone else. You are the only person who can truly make you happy. But be honest. Be truthful. Don’t live a lie. Be ethical and be true to your morals. No one has a perfect life, we are all on this journey of life. One real worry of mine was, I have a closet full of clothes, if I loose weight (to be and feel healthier) I would have to go buy new clothes – this was a huge block of mine…
- Mindset – Whew this can be heavy, it can bring up a lot no matter who you are. For me this began before we had kids. This began even before my hubby and I met. I had a long time of mental and emotional repairs to do to get myself to the woman, mom and wife I am today. Don’t kid yourself that shit in your life doesn’t affect your life in the big whole picture, because it does. Verbal and mental abuse sticks around for a very long time. For a long while I hid behind it, people close to me (my family) knew what was happening however I denied for years. Even after meeting my husband I hid when I finally reached for help. Then compounded with the journey through life, we finally became husband and wife and were ready to begin our family. At 23 the last thing a woman wants to hear is “infertility”. That stung hard. Actually more than hard. I lost friendships. I felt very alone. I felt broken. This once again scarred my mental health. I was “broken” at only 23 years old. A time in my life that having babies shouldn’t have been a burden, yet it was. Those feelings are all too real even now and yet they were almost 15 years ago. I hear the word infertility and my heart swells and my eyes fill. Its a pain I would never wish upon my worst enemy and thats incredibly gracious of me. Mindset is one thing we have complete control over. These past two years Ive dedicated even more time to honoring this and being true to my heart – regardless of anyone else. Reset your mindset with meditation, journaling, reading personal development books, tapping, sleep…
- Routine – This is big for me. One thing I can honestly admit Ive struggled with. Life… Kids, Husband, Work, Kids Sports, House Stuff – Chores, Laundry, Cleaning, Etc, Pets oh and then ME. I began small with my supplements. The more pressure I put on me the more overwhelmed I can easily feel – Im big enough to admit that. So for a while I made sure I took my suppements and yes that meant many days the kids didn’t – BUT they at least got their oils on morning and night. Since the middle of December I am happy to say myself and the kids have been in a beautiful routine of daily taking our supplements with maybe missing 1 day on the weekend… Sundays are my work in progress apparently 😉 Thats ok though! Personally I strongly believe every child should have at least 1 activity out of school that is truly for them – yes this can cause ruffles in our “routine” at times, however for their mental health we never make them feel guilty for us, as their parents having to shift. I am however ok with expressing if I am FEELING rushed, frustrated, etc and will ask the kids for their opinion… what if we did this do you think that might help the flow of things? Or could you help me do this so we can make it to… It’s so important for kids to know these are real feelings (on their age level understanding). Since January 1st Ive been doing a daily morning and evening routine with my daily greatness journal. Updating my planner and calendar of whats happening, planning for our days and also writing what I am grateful for, what I am looking forward to, what I am thankful for in my life. I start the day with my daily greatness journal and then A Course In Miracles lesson. This has been a huge mind shift for me. Ending the day I pull out my daily greatness journal and record what was so amazing of the day.
- Oils… a true life changer and something I am so beautifully grateful for in a way that words cannot describe. They are all over our house and they get used multiple times a day. Not just for our physical health, but also our emotional health and our sleep! Sleep is so key in living a healthy life. Changing from an over the counter, prescription based life to a holistic health lifestyle was so key. Even when it feels like you are going against norm of what everyone else is doing – follow your heart – follow what feels right. If you have a true desire to change your life be open to something new. This was something I did when I introduced oils to our family 4.5 years ago. Yup I still get comments about using oils and you know what, I could careless because this is what works for our family and best of all for my health! Our bodies recognize plant medicine way better than synthetics.
- Declutter and Cleanse Your Life – Physically and mentally. People and things. Only allow good vibes into your life. If being around someone makes you feel absolutely drained, don’t do it. Follow your body’s vibes – you know, you truly do. We all have our shit to deal with, and really and truthfully its very similar for all of us. Life can be tough – but you know what when we choose to surround in good vibes, good people, loving vibes clear spaces with minimal or even better no clutter, being organized – a place for everything, everything in its place – wow talk about refreshing! Even for me, someone who absolutely treasures her own personal space, when summer time comes and we have a weekend or week at the cottage filled with family and friends – my heart lights up! Because its filled with loved ones, with fun, laughter, good food, water, clear fresh air… I love being surrounded by loved ones just as much as I love my personal space. We are slowly but productively working through our “stuff” in our house. The flood in June 2017 also helped with this. I literally had NO choice but to let it go… whew letting go feels good, but yup its tough. Especially when you have NO control at all. Perhaps that was the biggest learning lesson for me. Letting go of control. Because really in the big picture… there isn’t much we CAN control in our lives other than choosing to live happy or not. Thats tough at times but hey its all ok. Its life. If someone tells you they are happy all.the.time – quite simply they are lying. Our lives aren’t perfect and they aren’t made to be, which is ok. Its about working through the ebb and flow of this journey and figuring out what works best for our mindset. What doesn’t – time to cleanse it out!
- Bye Bye Toxins – Even before I began the cleanse, we had already drastically reduced toxins in our home – cleaners, soaps, detergents, fabric softeners, store bought deodorant, foods etc… making a drastic lifestyle change, again against the “norm” of what unfortunately is life with so many convenience foods, “busy” on the go etc. For me with my health endocrine disruptions are huge and very key for how I mentally and physically feel. Toxins are in too many things and knowing how much it affects my own health I knew, having a daughter and a son, it was my responsibility to make a positive change for not just us but for all of our future. Toxins are also people. You know the ones who are always negative, believe they are always right and do no wrong, gossip, lie, verbally/emotionally abuse others, physically abuse others, guilt trip, controlling etc. If you surround yourself with these people it will be hard to rise above to where your body, mind and soul truly want to be!
- Balance and Forgiveness – its truly about balance. There will always be highs, lows, ups and downs. Its learning to re-navigate through this journey and finding true balance. Forgiving yourself if you make a “wrong” choice and readjusting back on course. Did I eat completely healthy while away, no. Many options were white flour. So I was patient with myself, drank lots of water to flush and just be! Especially with the pizza haha I love pizza so I made a slight sacrifice to just enjoy. It totally worked!
Whatever works for you, what lights you up or fuels your passion follow it. I am SO thankful for this journey. I am SO much stronger everyday, however let’s be real it’s a daily process – and there is nothing wrong with that! I honestly began this post over a month ago, before we went on vacation. I came home… feeling even more empowered!
Today I am PROUD.
Proud of what I’ve been through, proud of who I’ve become, proud of the kids I am so lucky to be their mom and proud of the life we are creating together.
Knowing that I am living MY truth is empowering and freeing. A real confidence that I’ve never had before. A point in my life that I can say, all that shit… was worth it because it got me to where I am today and I can be a positive role model to my kids! To be an example of making changes in my life to benefit my health in a positive way and for them to truly understand it’s not because “I told you so”…
When you know better, you do better. To know better is to be educated in life, in school and in yourself!
As someone who has personally struggled, it is SO important to allow our children the freedom to TALK and FEEL their feelings. It’s also more then ok to ask for help for them if they need it. No judgment, no shame.
As a photographer I did not enjoy putting myself in front of the camera – however I did for my kids. I look back and although I was smiling, I wasn’t smiling inside. I was in pain physically, emotionally and uncomfortable. This photo is from 2012.
In 2015 I began the Lifelong Vitality Supplements. We came home from Cuba and I had it ready to begin!
January 2017 I began the cleanse. As I mentioned above, I didn’t take “Before” Photos because I didn’t think this was going to work… this photo was taken in April after already a significant weight and inches loss!!! This photo is the same shorts I was wearing above in the 2012 photo!
This vacation, 2 years later… this mama wore her Bikini! Something Ive had to certainly work up to, to truly be comfortable in MY body, with my body and showing my beautiful curves. I am. I am SO proud of me, I am so proud of my family for supporting me. It wasn’t easy at times. My hormones were SO messed up for so many years. Losing 40lbs (still OFF!) Ive been able to reset my body, learn a completely NEW lifestyle and be truly happy!
Am I done? Nope its a life long journey that continues every single day. Now that I know what I am capable of doing, its time to work on toning this body up! What thrills me even more is that we were away on vacation for a week, eating different food, water etc I was OK! Seriously with a wacky digestive system that I have, I didn’t have one issue 🙂 Which made me SO happy! Goes along with healing my gut and making healthy choices! I completely avoided all potatoes while in Miami and while on the ship. Why take the chance, when I know my guts are very sensitive to any starches it was simpler to just avoid and be completely ok with that! Years ago I wouldn’t have, I would have felt so restricted and that it was unfair. But its not, its my body showing me what my healthy lifestyle needs to be to be my absolute best!
One thing I had not been good at was celebrating my successes. I was the type who didn’t want to draw attention to herself or want to be centre of attention. Now, I realize how crucial it is to celebrate your success along with the loved ones in your life. Be truly happy and if you aren’t or feel stuck, ask for help. Its completely ok to do that! Today I celebrate the woman, mom and wife I am. I am so proud and will continue to be proud – even when I hit a bump in the road – because lets be real we all do – forgive yourself and move on! Life is too short to not live and be happy. ❤ Today I celebrate the past 2 years and how much I have shifted simply because I did the work and visualized what I wanted to see!
See yourself being the strong, strong beautiful person you are and love every part of her! It feels damn good. There isn’t another soul in this world who can make you love yourself more than you. So just be YOU! See the real you. The real you beyond all the shit thats ever happened, see who you truly are and want to be. Visualize that person – and believe it! ❤
And parents… please teach this to your kids! When both my hubby and I grew up (not knowing each other obviously) we lived very similar lives, our parents all hardworking, many home cooked meals and hand made clothing. Life changes though, its become a very convenience based life. But we don’t have to encourage that. Take the time to get your kids in the kitchen, its a memory of mine I am so grateful of, even just remembering seeing my parents cooking in the kitchen – they still do together today. Teach them the value of healthy holistic living and the impact of taking a step back from “convenience” and step into “being mindful and present”. Time is a gift, much like money in our lives. Both truly valuable to create the life we want to live!