The root of my Mental Illness…

As I get older, I become more self aware. I notice what excites me, what scares me and what motivates me. Depression and anxiety were words that I would hear in passing on a commercial or in a TV show. But I never fully understood the meaning of either.

After my mother passed away in grade 7 (12 years old) I was offered therapy. As a scared 12-year-old girl who just wanted my mother, I wasn’t prepared to talk to someone I didn’t know about my mourning. Before she passed, I was actively into the performing arts. I would sing, dance and act in anything that I possibly could. Even if I personally felt like I wasn’t good enough for a certain part, my mom was always there to remind me that I was better than good enough. She truly was my motivator and my inspiration in anything that I did. If I wanted to take up hip/hop and was already in ballet, jazz and tap. She wouldn’t even bat an eye. “Let’s do it!”. The year before she passed, I went with a friend to a “bring a buddy” figure skating event. I came home and told her how much I loved it and she was instantly convincing my dad to put me into figure skating along with the rest of my extra curricular activities. You know, we lived in the same small town from grade 4 until grade 7 when she passed away. I danced in 4 surrounding towns during those years because she wanted me to be taught by the best of the best. She had her standards for me and her personal reasons why she never wanted me to settle. This always confused me, and I was constantly questioning it “Why can’t I just dance in _______?”. She would always have a different explanatio until finally one night she replied, “Because you can spin faster and kick higher than the dance teacher”. That was the moment I learned she had high hopes for me and extremely high expectations. I get my brutal honesty from my Ma 🤗

After my mom passed away, I was currently enrolled in Irish dance in a small town 45 minutes from where we lived. She would spend her evenings once/twice a week driving me to dance lessons. I don’t know how many times I made her listen to the same “Aqua” cassette tape there and back while I belted the words and tried to get her to sing along. Sometimes she would give in, but only to “Dr. Jones”. Rolling here eyes and singing “Dr. Jones, Jones. Calling Dr. Jones.” While I would erupt in laughter. After she passed, I lost all motivation to continue with my passions. I struggled with “girl stuff”. How to dress, make-up and how to do my hair. In grade 9 I told my dad I wanted to dye my hair because all the other girls were, and he said “Ok, but you can only have 6 streaks in your hair”. Imagine telling the hair dresser your dad said you can have 6 streaks. The community was small and understood what my family was going through. My hair dresser looked at me with sad eyes, then laughed said “I’ll see what I can do”.

The first time I took note to my anxiety, (from what I can remember) was in grade 12. I recall telling my dad that sometimes I couldn’t catch my breath. It was like I couldn’t get air to my lungs and I would have to stop whatever I was doing to focus on inhaling properly. I went to our Doctor and was prescribed a puffer. I think I used it twice and just decided that it wasn’t working. Later to learn that these were small panic attacks.

The year after high school there was a lot of change in my life. My dad, step mom and youngest brother were moving. I on the other hand planned to live with them while working to save money for college. Their house sold, and I spent the summer of 2006 working, partying and living with my older brother. I felt lost and forgotten about. I truly believe this was the year that my anxiety and depression reared its ugly head.

Studies show that a child who’s lost their parent before the age of 20 has a greater chance of developing mental health issues. Specifically, depression and anxiety. The feelings of abandonment and constantly needing approval are always there. I myself can speak as a motherless daughter who has spent most of my life jumping from pool to pool in hopes that I’ll catch my breath and be able to float. But each time I find a new pool, I soon realize that the currents from the winds are too strong and I’m starting to drown again. Friends and family throw me life jackets, but they aren’t the ones who I need to be saved by. The one person whose life jacket I need most, will never throw me one again. I’ll tread and tread rejecting offers until finally I realize I’m drowning. I’ll use all my strength left to resurface and find an edge. Ill catch my breath and once again realize, this isn’t the pool for me or the solution to my happiness.

I feel in my heart that my anxiety and depression come from the loss of my mother. It comes and goes, and I’ve become better at recognizing when depression is setting in. My anxiety comes and goes and is mostly situational. But my depression runs deep, and I need to constantly be doing self checks. People that I surround myself with can rarely tell that I suffer with either of these mental health conditions. Why? Because I laugh a lot. I make fun of myself, make fun of others and can turn an awkward or serious situation into a goofy one. I read an article a long time ago about how most comedians suffer from depression and I thought that was just ridiculous. How could that be possible? But now, I completely understand the meaning of comedic relief.

Bodybuilding/Fitness has been the saviour that I needed. Some turn to drugs or alcohol to cope, but I turn to structure. Having a routine and keeping on task with a goal in mind helps my anxiety. If I have a depressing day, I remind myself of how many things I’ve survived. How many things I’ve accomplished at 29 and how many things I will! Accomplish by the time I’m 30. I’m blessed with a lot, this is true. But it has all come with a price and the result of a big loss. I lost my mother and no amount of success or laughter can really heal that wound. I know she’s there and watching me from above, but unless you’ve experienced it yourself, you don’t understand the emptiness of the gaping hole inside. You can be surrounded my thousands of faces who love you and still only notice the one face that’s missing.

I wrote this for myself, for my family and friends but also for anyone struggling with anxiety or depression. For the motherless daughters or the motherless sons. For anyone who’s lost an important role model in their life and feels lost with out them. You’re not alone. It’s ok to miss them and it’s ok to admit that you’re sad. You can’t change the fact that they’re gone, but you can choose to remember them every day and honour their life. I personally am going to make more of an effort to talk about Janice Louise Boechler, because I miss her more than I ever have ❤️

 

 

 

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Can one Thanksgiving meal make you “fat”?

Image result for thanksgiving binge

Thanksgiving is coming up and you’re so looking forward to stuffing your face full of turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin cheesecake (not a fan of pumpkin pie). You’ve been working hard at losing weight and this is going to be one epic cheat day for you! You deserve this and what’s one day of over indulgences? One day won’t hurt. Actually, one day is all it can take to totally and completely derail you’re entire progress to date. I’m not referring to a re-feed, I’m talking about a full on binge which most of us take part in.

So you’ve been really good about going to the gym and eating healthy. You’ve lost weight and have been seeing results, so treat yo self! As they say. But this is a sure way to regain weight fast and have a hell of a time getting it back off. When people think of calories consumed, they think of a daily total, right? Well when you are tallying up your calories, you should really be thinking of the numbers as a 7 day total. Examples of numbers would be 1500 calories per day which is 10,500 calories per week! Let’s say you consumed your 1500 calories Mon-Fri and then Saturday comes and you have a “cheat day” for thanksgiving. You blow your 1500 and consume 3000 calories which believe me, is quite easy to do by having the common Thanksgiving feast. Creamy Mashed potatoes , stuffing, fresh baked buns with butter, salads with hidden calories in the dressings, cheese pladders, and let’s not forget the home baked goods and desserts. Oh! And you’re more than likely to have a glass of wine or two with dinner and maybe one more afterwards because you’ve now got a thanksgiving buzz happening (150 calories per glass of wine=450 calories). With all of these added calories, you’ve now upped your daily average of calories to 1928 Which is nearly 500 calories more per day than what you had planned. It may not seem like a lot, but it can easily shock your body and cause you to regain back all the weight that you’ve worked so hard to lose. 

After dinner, you head home feeling stuffed and lethargic. You may have had to unbutton your pants, lay down, and maybe even take a nap. The next day, you wake up to check the scale and shocker! you’re up 5lbs. Yes, some of this is water weight from the higher amount of calories than what you’re used to, but some of it is fat due to the binge you’ve just taken part in. So now you panic and reduce your calories to lower than you were consuming before the feast. You now have lost patience and want instant results. So, 1300 calories will do the trick! Thus starts the battle of continuing to decrease calories further damaging your metabolism and setting yourself up for a possible binge in the future.

Now, I’m not here to tell you to starve yourself at thanksgiving or to miss out on the turkey filled festivities. I’m merely here to give you some insight on how to avoid stepping on the scale after your holiday feast, and beating yourself up for over indulging and self sabotaging your goals. Here are a few ways that I stay on track during meals such as these to avoid the self loathing and the regression of my fitness goals.

  1. Plan ahead! If I think of foods that I’m looking forward to, I will save room in my daily calories/macros for  in my day.
  2. Don’t starve yourself for the meal! This will only cause you to over eat.
  3. Plan to have a meal when you get home- I always plan to have a protein smoothie when I get home to have something to look forward to! If I’m too full to have it, I know I’ve over done it.
  4. I don’t drink at occasions such as these because I would rather eat my calories than drink them
  5. Engage in conversations, not what’s available to eat. 
  6. TRACK! If you track what give eaten, it’s not a free for all and it will keep you sensible in your decisions. 

These are all ways that you can still enjoy yourself with your family, moderately indulge in the delicious foods and still keep yourself accountable. Most of all, be accountable and have self control. Enjoy the holidays! If that all goes to hell in a hand basket, I’m always here to help 🙂

You wanna be a FitSpo? Show some skin…

 

“OK, now spread your legs and play with your hair”

Now you’re wondering, what the hell have I begun to read? But this is a clean story and no one gets naked, I promise you that. When I began my journey in the fitness industry, I had never done any serious photo shoots. To me, those were meant for models and professionals. The pictures you are taking must end up in a magazine. Otherwise, why would you spend money to have them taken and what’s the purpose? I had a social media account for FB, But I wasn’t on Instagram. I posted photo’s of friends, and family events. During my first bikini prep in 2013, I took countless photos for my coach of my physique progressing, but it never occurred to me to share it with anyone via social media. If the topic came up and someone I was close with asked to see photo’s, I would show them. Progress photo’s to me are private and personal and I didn’t feel like anyone else would care about my progress. I also felt that was somewhat “showing my cards”.

My girlfriend and I were shopping one day in the grocery store for “zero calorie foods” (desperate times) and she wanted to snap a photo of us with “hashtags” of bikini and bodybuilding. I said “A what?” she said “A hashtag. For Instagram!” I was clueless. She then described to me what Instagram was and told me I should download it because there are a lot of bikini pro’s who have it and you can “Follow” them for motivation. I still didn’t understand, why isn’t Face Book enough? She explained to me that Instagram is all photos. Like a photo album of peoples lives. I thought that was a little creepy, but I would download it anyways.  Initially I  downloaded the app, but never bothered to search anyone or post many photos. I went through my entire 2013 prep with out posting a single progress photo or looking at any other competitors. I focused on myself and stayed in my lane. That year I had gotten engaged. Any photos that I posted were of me and my fiancé, or mostly of our corgi. Closer to our competition,  that same gf that I had previously mentioned, offered to take photos of me with her professional camera. Nothing fancy, just simple photos of my progress striking my bikini poses. She wanted to get more experience behind the camera, and I just wanted some memorabilia of my first and possibly only bikini prep.

In 2014 I was in my second year of prep, getting ready for provincials and my goal was first place. I also had a wedding to plan. My Instagram or social media photos were of my wedding, my honeymoon or family events. I decided as a gift to my husband to hire a professional photographer to take boudoir photos. During our session, I brought up the idea of taking a few fitness like shots to mark the memory for me. I kept the majority of these photos and posted 2 out of the hundreds that were taken. One was of myself running and the other was of myself setting up in blocks to take off for a sprint. Very fitness/bikini competitor themed.

As time went on and I became more familiar with Instagram and “fitspo’s”. One of my friends suggested that I follow a very famous fitspo. I looked up her Instagram account and instead of seeing work out videos, or fitness photography. Her profile was photos of her half naked in lingerie striking extremely racy poses. My original thought was “How is THIS fitness?” I was confused and messaged my friend about the profile. “What does this have to do with fitness? she’s in her bra and panties bending over…” But this is something that is so common now in the fitness industry. If you want to be noticed in the industry on social media and get followers, you have to be willing to show some skin. Because sex sells in any industry. Most of the big names in the industry strike saucy poses and wear lingerie in their pictures and hashtag the photos with something fitness related like #bootygoals. I can appreciate a great physique and a beautiful woman as much as anyone else, but I appreciate the photo a lot more when the caption has a deeper meaning than the photo. I also believe there is a lot more to fitness than being in your underwear for photo shoots, and posting pictures of your ass in a thong on a daily basis.

I feel like because there are photos such as these on social media that are taken by popular fitpo’s, I as a fitness professional and bikini competitor am stereotyped into this category. If I’m sponsored, I must post half naked pictures all the time. If I am a competitor,  I must share my progress photos weekly and show off my ripped physique. But most of all, I must be willing to wear certain outfits in photo shoots and strike the “basic fit girl poses”. showing your side boob, covering just your nipple and bending over in a teeny tiny bikini.

During a photo shoot, I was getting my outfits ready while the photographer was expressing their visions. ‘I think we will start you here in a bikini and -” I cut them off and said “I didn’t bring a bikini..” The photographer looked at me in shock and said “You what?..” I replied and said “I don’t shoot in bikini’s. It’s not my thing”. The response was utter disappointment. “A bikini competitor who doesn’t shoot in bikini’s..” You can imagine how that set the tone for the first half of the shoot. At one point I was sitting on the ground and instructed to spread my legs and play with my hair while smiling at the camera. I’m not one not mince words, so my reply was “That’s not the type of image I’m trying to display. So I won’t be doing either of those things.” After saying this statement, the photographer seemed to have gotten the point I was trying to get across. I don’t blame the photographer, I blame the stereotype that’s been set for us as females in the fitness industry. If I choose to post any photo of myself from any shoots, I’m immediately wondering who is thinking I’m full of myself or categorizing me in with the rest of these women.

I’m not ashamed of any of the photo’s that I have posted, because to me they are beautiful and meaningful in some way. I do however believe that a photo in lingerie, perhaps laying down on a bed should be saved for something that’s not related to fitness photography. We are selling ourselves short by categorizing photos such as these into a fitness category. Break the mold!

Focusing on your misfortunes is ruining your life

 

I was recently looking for a new vehicle (seems like this is an annual thing) and I had the most interesting talk with the salesman. I was sitting in the dealership  while the “big guy” crunched numbers for us, to see what type of deal they could come up with for me. We will call this salesman Bob 🙂 just to be respectful of his privacy. Bob leaves to speak with one of the higher ups, and comes back with a peace of paper with a number written on to it, to indicate just how low of a price they could accept from me for the vehicle. I looked at the price, and there was no second guessing. My answer was no thank you. I said “Thank you guys so much for all you’ve done, but I’m not prepared to spend that type of money on a vehicle”. They both sort of looked at one another and Bob asked what I was looking to spend. I gave him a firm number to which he replied “You know, you could just finance the rest” I responded and said “I’m aware of that. However, I don’t finance vehicles. If I can’t afford something, I don’t buy it” again they exchanged glances and the higher up salesman smiled and said “That’s not a problem, I respect your answer” and left. A few minutes pass while Bob and I are finishing conversation and he returns  back to inform us that some wires had been crossed and the vehicle was already sold for the asking price. So the option of my even having the vehicle was out of the question anyways. 

Bob and I sat back and I again thanked him and repeated the fact that I don’t finance vehicles. “I’m sure it’s a good deal Bob, and I appreciate you attempting to  pull strings. But, I’ve never been one to spend beyond my means anyways, especially on materialistic things. And I’m not about to start now”. Bob said “You know what, what you just said really impressed me…You’re a very smart woman and I can tell just by speaking with you that you have really great ethics and morals.” Who the hell says that kind of thing to you? Like, ever let alone in a dealership. I thanked him and said that I work hard for my $ (she works hard for her money!..had to say that) and I choose carefully how I spend it. Bob asked out of curiosity what I spend my money on. I said a gym membership, gym shoes, supplements, food and sometimes wine ?? I also said that I recently moved here from SK and started a business so I’m in no position to fork over money that I don’t have. He laughed and asked if I was married? I said recently separated and now with my boyfriend. He seemed in disbelief. He asked how old I was followed by a guess of 23. I said I was going to be 30 in 6 months. His eyes widened and he said “30?!! You are a well preserved 30 and I must say, a very mature and wise young woman for your age. Obviously it’s because you take care of yourself and spend your money on the right things. Such a positive attitude and outlook on life.” I thanked him and he walked me to my jeep. On the way out, he shook my hand and said “I have to say it’s been a pleasure meeting you. Very nice conversation and you’re such a pleasant person to talk with. Keep that attitude always”.

Now, for some this may seem like a boring story. “Yeah, the sales guy was a shmoozer and he was trying to sell you something” But for me, these are the interactions with people that I love to have. Not because he told me that I looked young for my age, but because he was impressed with my character. I often say that I feel like I have the intentions, the energy, and the attitude of a 22 year old, but I have LIVED the life of someone in their late 40’s to mid 50’s. I’ve lost a parent, along with many family members. I’ve had a career in law enforcement before finding my passion for fitness and starting my own business. I’ve bought a home, sold a home. Fallen in love, fallen out of love. Been married, been separated. I’ve moved COUNTLESS times and have met so many people along the way. In these times yes, I’ve been sad and depressed and definitely had days where I truly felt like there was no bright days ahead. But something that I feel I’ve kept with me through out this life is my ability to laugh. Laugh at myself and definitely laugh at others because that’s what I do if you’re friends with me. People often meet me and think that I’m younger than I am, because I admit I a little stunned and possibly a little “immature”. I goof off, make silly faces and impersonate my dad in the same weird voice that sounds nothing like my dad. But most of all, I don’t take myself too seriously. My true age is 29.  I’ve had things happen to me, but I’ve also chosen my life’s path. Someone told me recently that they know someone else who is in similar circumstances as I am, but the person makes it obvious that they are. You can tell because they’ve allowed certain negativities and events in their life consume them. It consumes every single minute of every day. They wake up and that’s the first thought in their head. It consumes their thoughts, their conversations, their work and their sleep.  We’ve all done this at one point or another, but how is this healing? How does obsessing over a negative happening in your life, make it better. Accepting your reality is a must, yes. But calling yourself a victim of life is hardly a life at all. 

Choosing to be the victim is easy. Poor me, feel sorry for me. I consider myself to be an empathetic person, but I also will be the first to wipe my own tears and get on with the show. When my transmission went and I received a call at work about how much a new one would cost. My throat immediately closed up and I had to choke back tears. After I hung up I could feel my eyes burning.  My co-worker asked if I was ok (which for me are trigger words to open the flood gates) I smiled an awkward smile and sarcastically said “Oh. I’m unreal, thanks”. For a good portion of the day I would cry in private, and come back to the floor. A few times I was  crying and then had to answer the phone! ” (sniff) Lindsay speaking”. Not ideal, but you get through it. At the end of the day my coworker said “Good for you for handling that news the way you did. I can tell your not happy about it,  but you didn’t let it ruin your whole day”.  PAH! Oh it put a god damn rift into my entire savings.. but I choose not to let it affect me and the way that interact with others. Why? Because I can’t control it. But more importantly, the more you talk about negativity, the more you bring on for yourself. Let that shit go! Find some happy for yourself and focus on those instead. It is very easy to focus on things you hate, rather than the people and the places that you love. When something negative happens in your life, remember that there is always tomorrow to start all over again. Take comfort in knowing that a situation could always be worse, and that there is a reason that you are going through the situations that you are. And when that reason finally becomes clear to you, the feeling of realization is incredible. 

The REAL reason that I choose to have a Nutrition/Fitness Coach

Everyone has their “thing”. That something they prefer to splurge on each month out of their hard earned dollars. For some it’s getting their hair done ( I haven’t done that in a full year). Or,  maybe its a massage ( again, been about a year) and for others it could be anything from shopping (rare) to getting their nails done (never). It’s usually something we do to keep ourselves “up” and to feel like we’ve progressed or better ourselves in some way. For me, It’s having a fitness/nutritional coach. 

When I was in my depression “funk” in the winter of this year (2017), I couldn’t figure out what was missing. I thought it was competing in bodybuilding and I struggled so hard to find out that wasn’t necessarily the case. I was feeling so misguided and confused. I would enter the gym and wonder around aimlessly. Take trips in and out the kitchen snacking on food like a bottomless pit, waiting for a “we’re full” signal or for someone to stop me. This is what happens when you’re a bikini competitor who is used to this kind of guidance for four consecutive years, it’s difficult to not have that structure anymore. A person who loves and craves discipline, along with direction. I enjoy having guidelines to follow, but most of all I enjoy having accountability from someone to ensure that I’m keeping on task with my goals. I consider myself to be self motivated, but I also require a goal and sometimes a little outside “push” to get the job done.

Some wonder why as a personal trainer and fitness coach, I would need a trainer? I like to think of it as any other profession. Teachers were taught by someone else and they continue to learn in other ways. Your doctor has a doctor, your hair dresser has a hair dresser and your personal trainer usually has a personal trainer or someone that they look to for guidance. But my reasoning for having a coach, runs a little deeper than this. 

As a perfectionist and someone who struggles with anxiety and is an emotional eater, it can be easy for me to over/under eat and over train. I’m an all or nothing kind of person who has struggled with these tendencies  for years. I personally started to struggle with my relationship with food after high school, and it continued on until I started bodybuilding. Having a coach (not specific to bikini prep) was such an amazing way for me to be sure that I was eating ENOUGH on a regular basis and to also keep me accountable with emotional binges (restrict and binge cycle). A coach forced me to learn new exercises, and to build muscle instead of focusing on cardio only.  Most of all, a coach taught me that eating ENOUGH was very important to progress. Carbs? AND protein 6x per day.. what?! I had never eaten so much in my life! But considering my first attempt with a coach was for an extreme weight loss, this structured way of living caused food anxiety.  After measuring everything out to the gram perfectly for so many years (4 years off and on) you start to become one track minded. I do however feel like there it is possible to find balance while being accountable, as opposed to being ridiculously rigid all the time and measuring protein powder on a god damn scale. 

I personally believe that if you have ever struggled with any sort of disordered eating habits or an eating disorder, it’s very difficult not to fall Back into that old mind set. We as women often feel pressured to be small, tiny and petite. If you’ve ever restricted calories, then convincing yourself that “eating more is a good thing” is not an easy task. Whether you struggle with not eating enough, or eating too much I feel like having someone to check in with, is one of the many benefits to having a fitness/nutrition coach. “Hey, here I am and here was my week. How am I doing?” Each week when I perform my check-ins and review my previous week, I feel accomplished and well.. happy! I’m not someone who tosses out compliments left and right and I’m most certainly not the person who pats myself on the back as often As I should. “Great job Linds!” Isn’t something I mumble to myself very often and that’s a problem. But! I enjoy having feedback from someone else and most of all the constructive criticism, critiques, and advice a coach can give me. I enjoy the guidance along my fitness journey, but most of all it keeps my mental health in check. It’s easy for me to over do things and take them to an unnecessary extreme.

Now, how often do you find a great groove and then fall all off because you “don’t have time” or because you “have so much going on” ? I have experienced this myself, as well as have had many clients and friends experience it. The last time I thought I needed a break from having a coach it was merely because I had so much going on in my life that I felt I couldn’t be accountable (sound familiar?) The thing about being accountable is, it’s exactly that. Even If you had a less than desirable week, you make note of it. Put it in a “check-in” and tell someone! “Hey look, I fucked up. But I’m trying! This week will be better and thank you for guiding me.” That way you’re able to acknowledge what’s happening and save yourself from obliviously digging yourself deeper into a hole of possible extreme weight gain. I took a “break” from coaching in 2016 during the most emotional winter of my life, and it resulted in a weight gain of 25lbs. What did I learn? That given my emotional eating tendencies, and my past eating habits, I need a coach and that its ok! To ask for help. I thought I needed a break from someone else’s critiques and someone else’s judgment, but what I needed was a break from my own high, unrealistic expectations. Your coach is there to help guide you through the shit and make it a little less shittier. They’re not there to make you feel worse about the week that you were too sick or busy to hit the gym, or that time you had a blizzard for Breakfast. They’re there for support and to remind you that even on the worst weeks, you can still progress from here! 

For anyone who is struggling to find balance in their relationship with food or fitness, I’ve been the one restricting AND over doing cardio. I’ve been the one restricting, and then binging and feeling the guilt afterwards. I’ve also been the one feeling as if I can’t ever leave home with out a packed meal, or a food scale because I’m so worried about the portion sizes of food. There is a balance and for everyone the solution to balance can look a little different. For me, that means having someone help keep me accountable. In no way am I saying that I’m an expert on the field, but I do believe that for me, having a rough estimate of what I’m putting in my body is a way of releasing some anxiety and stresses that I may carry with food. If you’re someone who makes lists, you can understand how much stress and anxiety can instantly be lifted off of your shoulders from simply writing things down on a piece of paper. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help on your journey because there is always someone out there willing to lend a helping hand.

Emotionally eating ice cream for breakfast

Let’s talk about the most recent time I felt so stressed, that food seemed like my only comfort. I consider myself an emotional eater, because less often do I “crave” sweets when I’m actually hungry. I normally gravitate towards certain foods when I’m stressed and I want/need a release of energy.

Most recently, I had been going through a lot of change. Our condo had been sold and the move out date was Aug. 15th and we were unable to move in to our new place until September 1 (two weeks from move out date). This would put us back staying at my parent’s place, commuting 30-45 mins to and from work and trying to accommodate my love/need for the gym amongst all of it. I had also planned a 10.5-hour trip to Alberta for a family function on the weekend of the move in date (before I knew of this whole charade I might add). Times were… busy! To top it all off, I released my Fall Program which would be starting on September 4th, the Monday after all this madness.

The time was coming closer to the weekend of the move and the family function. Our plan was to drive 10.5 hours to AB on the Friday, attend the function Saturday, drive back to Kelowna Sunday and move all our things from storage into our new place Monday (overachiever much?) this is what the mind of an over achiever looks like. I think I can do it all! So, I plan to do it all and when my expectations don’t measure up with reality, I’m disappointed. Mostly in myself. On the Wednesday morning before the weekend, we were discussing our plans. As I was saying the plan out loud, I soon realized how ridiculous this all sounded. How the hell… are we going to do this all? After talking with Mike and one of my amazing friends, I decided that another family function would have to be missed. I had to weigh the pros and cons of the decision to go and not go and the realization was that I was only one woman and there were only two of us doing all the moving.

“What’s the big deal?” You might be thinking. “So, you missed a thing, who cares?!” The trouble is, I do. Family is very important to me and if at any time I feel as though I’ve let someone down, I feel very guilty. Especially if someone points out the fact that my decision to not attend could be miss perceived as a gesture of my “Not caring” enough to attend. People attend my functions and I want to return the favour by supporting them and attending theirs, but at what cost?

After the decision had been made, I told family members and was feeling down about my decision. I had felt like a failure and mostly a shitty family member. Why can’t I do both? Why can’t I go, drive back and move us in one day? “Why am I not immortal?!” Is what it all comes down to. That evening I had a disagreement with a family member on the topic, as I was already in an emotional and guilt-ridden state of mind. If you’re me, you can’t sleep when you’re angry, upset, or anxious. I tried to sleep, but I got very little of it that night. The entire time, I was thinking about ice cream… (yes ice cream). “I think if I have some, I’ll feel better. I think that’s what I need to get some sleep!” This is how your mind works when your emotional and love food. You use it as a coping mechanism. I Lay there tossing and turning waiting for Mike to come home and explain to him what happened and to save me from the ice cream! As soon as he got home, I could sit with him and explain to him how I was feeling while I snacked on a salad (hey it’s progress). After getting everything out to Mike and releasing my “snacky energy”, I lay back to sleep. But I was still only able to get a few hours of snooze time.

The next morning, I woke up dissatisfied and even more in funk. What did I have for breakfast you ask? Why ice cream and yogurt of course! At 6am this is what I had. Now, we could look at this from two ways. One-there was no sense in continuing to push passed this obsession with ice cream and just allow myself to have SOME and track what I had. I’ve spent many years avoiding the foods that I love out of sheer terror that they will instantly make me fat. Or two-I’m a failure who submitted to my cravings and had some ice cream for breakfast on a bad day. I’ve spent too long being number two-so I’m choosing to go with option one 🙂

Emotional eating is exactly as it sounds. It’s emotional! You are constantly trying to decipher between actual hunger and just feeling like you need to be comforted in some way. I love sugary foods because they give you the sense of a release and you feel AMAZING while you’re enjoying/indulging. I also love the gym and the endorphins that are released while I’m exerting energy and training hard in the gym. Does loving both make me a bad person? I think I will always fight with wanting to comfort myself with food because to me, it’s an easy way to find comfort with out seeming weak or vulnerable. I’m not asking anyone for help, or to listen to me. I’m simply comforting myself with treats and feel good foods which in my opinion, is an independent way of finding comfort. I CAN DO IT MYSELF! BUT! This is not the way to find comfort in difficult situations in life. Talking things out and finding a solution to the pain and struggle is the more difficult, but healthier approach to a problem or a feeling. I used to wonder why the girl in the movies would be eating something as delicious as ice cream when she was sad. Sitting in her room, alone, crying  and eating ice cream. When you’re little, you don’t understand this. But when you grow up, you most certainly do. I feel as though its a way for us independent ladies to comfort ourselves with out actually having to seek out comfort. We are too proud to ask someone to help make us feel better emotionally, so we eat our feelings instead.

I scream, you scream? We all scream for… 😉 FEELINGS!

 

 

 

Confessions of a Perfectionist

Let’s talk a little about my perfectionist tendencies, shall we? I’ve always been somewhat of a go getter. If you give me a goal that I accept and am passionate about, I will dig deep to reach that goal. I will strap my tunnel vision goggles on and go! This can be both a blessing as well as a curse. I’m always seemingly climbing a mountain to reach the top. But once I reach it, I don’t actually allow myself to enjoy the view. I don’t take a moment, breath in the crisp air and enjoy the scenery. I reach it, maybe do a little 🙌🏻 and then I’m looking for the next mountain to climb.

 

The other day, I was feeling the feels of a perfectionist until I had somewhat of an outer body experience. I said out loud “Stop it”. I got out my journal and wrote “2017 goals” and afterwards, I listed what I wanted to accomplish.

  1. Move to Kelowna
  2. Start Fitness Consulting business
  3. Start a website
  4. Work at a golf course
  5. Work with a modelling agency and do a shoot

 

Out of these 5 things, I can say that I’ve accomplished 4 of them while number 5 is taking place on August 12th. Doing something as simple as writing something down and putting it out into the universe to acknowledge it, makes such a big difference. I was then able to relax a little and see, that progress has been made. I was also able to leave a little room for maybe some extra projects for 2017 as it’s a little over halfway over (crazy I know). But 7 months in to 2017 I’ve reached my goals and I should be patting myself on the back and saying, “Good job”. Meanwhile I’m looking for something better, bigger, and more challenging that I can accomplish. I’m sure that some of you can relate.

 

While I’m looking for more challenges, life is throwing them to me in ways that I wasn’t necessarily looking for. Our place in Kelowna has been sold and it took us a lot of effort to find it in January. So, after settling in and accepting that is my home, I need to detach myself once again and accept another new home. They say change is good, that change helps us grow. I do believe in self growth and rolling with the punches, but I will also say that it isn’t easy to accept things that are beyond your control when you are someone like me. I enjoy routine, structure and of course control. But I wanted a challenge, and so I will accept it. The place we are moving to has a larger backyard for Gatsby and we will make it home. Challenge accepted.

 

 

 

How Fitness helped my 2017 Depression

I’ve started a fat loss phase in the midst of the 2017 chaos. I say chaos because that’s just how my life has felt for the past 6-8 months. For the first few months of 2017, I felt as though I’ve been living someone else’s life. living in their home, in their city, going to their job and most of all.. living in their body. I would wake up unsure of what to do with the day because my job was now to promote my business (because that’s a very descriptive and detailed job?). Thinking of things to do would consume and overwhelm me. My duty now instead of focusing on a bikini prep, was to focus on my business. I would make lists of things to do and while doing them, become so overwhelmed with stress that I would eat. I’m an emotional eater, so when I’m anxious I eat or drink in excess. It’s a hard habit to break which is why bodybuilding is a great mix of dedication and a reason not to let yourself binge eat while stressed! Months went by and while I was in fact building a new life, and a business.. I was losing myself along the way. Losing my passion for fitness, discipline and purpose. Working from home was not at all what I thought it would be. I missed seeing faces and seeing the smile. Having candid conversations, being present and in the moment.

I soon became depressed over my lifestyle and how each day seemed to just run in with the next. Working on my computer for hours just was not at all my idea of a productive life. While I enjoy making programs for people and helping them with their fitness goals,  I needed more than that. One day Mike came home and asked how my day was and I responded with tears. He asked what was the matter and I responded with “I don’t think I like this..” Meaning my current routine. Enter Kelowna golf and country club ❤️

After my mom passed my family became very involved in golf. It was something my dad thought we could do as a family. As an active/athletic family, golf seemed like a great way to do that. My brothers and I got into golf early on in life. I was 12, Brett was 7 and Derek was 16 at the time.  We came to Kelowna to visit a relative and golfed at a few of the local courses. While Kelowna has some amazing courses, the round that stuck out most in my memory was this gorgeous, amazing, prestigious course that had a massive cliff on the 6th hole. I’ll never forget how I felt that day golfing with my brothers, my dad and my uncle. It was a perfect summer evening and we were all enjoying each other’s company and laughing about how many marmots were on the 6th hole sunbathing. My uncle who has since passed was so excited to be able to take us there and it definitely lived up to his hype.

When I was feeling low here in March of 2017, I researched golf courses and the one that came up closest to home was a 5 min drive. I applied for an interview and when I showed up, there was that damn cliff. I thought, could this be the course with my fond memories of my family? It was. I was so excited to land the job there in the back shop to get out of the house, be around people and of course get some golf games in! One of my goals was to take my mind off bikini prep (or lack there of) and focus on other activities, golf being one of them. A month at the course went by and I was into May now. Even with my new gig, I was still feeling extra down in the dumps. I couldn’t stand roaming the gym with little purpose. My diet was very inconsistent and I was gaining weight steadily. The more I tried to focus on other things, the more I missed bikini prep and structure. One day I had just had enough and decided that I was going to start a fat loss phase and light a fire again! The fact of the matter is, hard work and vigorous activity brings me joy. It releases stress, boosts endorphins and makes me happy.  I crave structure and guidance from others.

This time around with my fat loss journey, I’m no longer rushing the end result because I don’t have a stage to step onto in 16 weeks time. I’m merely tracking what I eat, keeping cardio moderate and just making adjustments where necessary with the help of a coach. Patience hasn’t always been my friend. With self growth, life challenges, work, family or relationships. But being kind and patient with myself can only bring positivity ❤️

 

I see the light!

Finally, I feel like I’ve begun to find a place of peace and happiness again in my fitness journey. Hell, even my life! I reached out to someone in the fitness Industry who is quite well known. I told them about my current struggles and just how unmotivated and stuck I was. Where was it you ask? Well, to say that I’ve totally quit competing all together, would be jumping the gun. The more that I try to convince myself that I never want to compete again or that I don’t miss it, the more I hear a voice in the back of my head whisper “Liar”. The truth is, I do miss it. I dream about it at least once a week and in my dreams, I’m happy on stage and filled with joy. Crazy, I know. I watch videos of bikini preps and show days and I get butterflies and instantly motivated. So, if I miss it so much, why not do it again?

Competing is a lot more dedication than some may think. It takes constant, overwhelming focus. Your life revolves around what you do and honestly? I love it. Some people find prep to be difficult because they’re often hungry, tired and sleep deprived. They feel like they’re missing out on life events and wish they could drink wine and eat cake and just relax. I personally suffer from more of a guilty feeling because I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I more so feel like others think I’ve missed out on certain things due to my past lifestyle and that I should feel like I’ve missed out. I feel like I should want to spend my time as most others do, surrounded by food and drink and staying up late.  I feel guilty for not feeling guilty if that makes any sense at all. Would you believe me when I say that even when I’m not in prep, I still don’t really drink alcohol often (maybe once a month) and I rarely stay up past 9:30pm. I’m always up before 6:00am even on the weekends and I am anxious and excited to get to the gym 6 days a week to get this energy and passion that lives inside of me out! To give it shape and give it sound. To give it purpose and watch it take form through movement and through sound.

I’ve had 4 consecutive years of competing with 2 shows per year. During those times, I’ve lost a lot of friendships and I’ve also created new ones. I’ve had people say things to me when they greet me like “I hope you’re not competing so we can have fun!” Or comment about how skinny I was for competition and how they prefer me at another weight. Where is old Linds and when is she coming back? After years of these comments, you learn to shrug it off because at the end of the day not everyone will understand what the hell you’re doing and why. But it does hinder me from wanting to compete again. Maybe these same issues will happen again and I will lose people, friendships and become isolated and alone. Maybe I will place terribly and it will all be for nothing. There are so many variables, but the main reason I’m holding back is. am I mentally ready again? Am I ready for the drastic change, the grind, the pressure that it puts on all aspects of my life. Also, is my metabolism ready? This would be the longest time that I’ve taken off between preps, but is it long enough? The thing about your metabolism is, you never know where it is until you try to cut again. Sometimes you’ve made zero progress and you’re right back to where you were last prep. crushing hours of cardio and tapping out on your calories. It’s a very mixed bag.

To begin to figure out some direction and get some goals in place, I’ve hired some help. I wanted to start fresh so I’ve started working with someone I’ve never worked with before who came highly recommended. We’ve decided at this current time to just get some consistency going. Get back to a structured training schedule and to hit macros on a regular basis. To see where my metabolism sits and honestly, to feel better about fitness all around. My goal right now is to just FEEL better right now and stop worrying so much about the future. I’m always worrying about possibly getting in the way of a cut in the future, but that’s getting in the way of being comfortable right now. After reaching out to someone and getting some accountability, feedback and direction I feel 100% better. Not everyone needs a coach, and I used to feel bad for needing that direction. I am a coach and a trainer, but I am not God and I love direction and accountability too. I’m anxious to see what’s to come for me and to share it all with you guys. Motivation is back! and it’s looking for a specific goal again. Thanks so much for reading these little memoirs! They are truly my ❤ and Soul.

Current Struggles…

Current Struggles

These past few weeks I’ve really been struggling to find a balance with fitness and my diet. It’s very difficult as an athlete to have this grey area where there is no set goal. It’s interesting when people remind you to enjoy this time of “freedom” and to just have fun with it. The thing is, for some of us…having a goal in the gym IS fun. We love to push ourselves and watch ourselves grow in the mean time.

I’ve been in my off season for 9 month now and I’m beginning to feel that need for some direction. Not necessarily to compete, but to have someone teach me and direct me. I’ve always enjoyed structure, rules and being disciplined physically. I love having accountability and being able to ask questions or voice concerns. Growing up, I always enjoyed organized sports and being challenged. Lately, I don’t feel challenged at all. I feel lost and confused. Normally when I feel this way, I try and find the source. This time, its my own fitness journey. I don’t feel like I’m growing, learning, changing or being challenged.

I always preach about having direction in the gym or the kitchen if you’re feeling lost and confused. Well, this is where I currently am. I’ve tried making programs for myself, changing up my routine, counting macros and taking progress pics. But then I just stop because I promised myself I would take this time to chill. What if I don’t want to chill? What if I’m meant to be this person who loves the challenge and the accountability.

That’s the struggle I often deal with. If I set a goal for myself, I will not stop until I reach it. My goal was to take a break from extreme fitness and to catch up on life. Well after 9 months, I’m ready for a personal challenge. I’m always afraid to change my mind or make a mistake. But if you know you miss something and you’re not happy. Why continue with the goal? Why not follow your heart and do what you know will make you happy in the end?

Talking to a friend the other day, they totally called me out on my shit. They asked me what would be so wrong if I started getting some help again (fitness coach). I said because I told myself I would take 12 months off. Their reply was “Because that would mean you changed your mind and you failed your goal. You wanted to be able to reach 12 and you only reached 9.” Which is so true. I wanted to be “cool” and relax and be one of those girls who goes for drinks and appies and is like “One more margarita please!” or not go to the gym for a week and be ok with it. But the harder I try to be this person, the more I miss structure and discipline. Also, knowing one more margarita would mean 40 grams of sugar! Ignorance is sometimes bliss 😉

In the past 9 months, have I mindlessly indulged in the food department as much as I’ve wanted to? Absolutely. I’ve had days where I’ve just sat around eating chocolates and feeling sick (Christmas). I’ve also had days where I’ve drank too much wine and was sick the next day (don’t ask). I’ve also had weeks where I haven’t wanted to hit the gym at all when I’m used to loving the gym 5-6 times a week. Balance can mean so many different things. It can mean not tracking at all and eating intuitively, hitting the gym or being active a few times a week and spending time with friends. But it can also mean all of these things and having someone guide you along the way to remind you of what your goals are and to push you when you don’t feel like pushing yourself.

Once I decide who I will be training with, I will be posting a little more on my goals. Right now, goals in general need to be set. I’m excited to get some things in order again and have been feeling guilty about feeling this way. But why feel guilty over something you know in your heart will make you happy? My decision on a coach will be carefully made and I want to train with someone who has a wide variety of knowledge and can teach me things that I can take with me to help others. The search is on! If you have recommendations, please don’t hesitate to comment or shoot them my way.

 

When you’re feeling low and down in the dumps, ask yourself what really is that root cause and how can it be fixed. What will make you happy in the end.