… and it comes to an end!

Today marks my 1 year anniversary of starting my blog and I wanted to thank everyone for following my journey for the past year. 

There have been lots of highs and lows an many unexpected turns but when I look back on my year, I realize just how far I have come, how much I have learned and how strong I really am. 

What I have learned:

The flooding – As most of you know, I had to evacuate my home 1 year ago almost to the day. The Calgary flood occurred on June 20th last year and I had to evacuate my home for 5 weeks. Through this experience, I discovered who my true friends were and what people are willing to do for me to show me love and support. It gave me a huge sense of gratitude for the people in my life, my home, my beautiful back yard and all the things that I have worked hard to create in my life. Although I lost all of my belongings that was stored in my storage locker, I feel like I was one of the lucky ones. Some people lost everything. 

My breakup – Break ups and heartaches are never easy and although my relationship was difficult, it made me grow in ways that I don’t think I can even put into words. He was my teacher. We came into each others lives to teach each other things that no one else could teach us. We were so alike in so many ways and in others, we were polar opposites. If I am completely honest, these differences made me feel needy, insecure and desperate in our relationship. All things that I dislike but as strange as this may sound, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Now that all the hurt and pain is gone, I can see how it has made me into a much stronger woman and I can also appreciate and accept our differences. It helped me see my own true beauty and it made me realize that other people behaviors or beliefs can not steel my beauty or happiness from me unless I let them. I believe in love and I believe in monogamy. I also believe that there are men out there that believe in the same thing and when the next man comes into my life, I hope we build a beautiful life and a beautiful future together. Just him and I.

My surgery –  My recovery from my surgery has given me a new perceptive on health. I have so much empathy for people who wake up everyday who are not well. My heart goes out to them!!  Without health, it is so difficult to enjoy all the wonders that life has to offer, It is continuing to teach me patience. They say that post op infections are so dangerous and now I understand why. It has been over 6 months since my surgery and I am still fighting my infection. I have been on 8 different types of antibiotics and I have tried everything that I know of in my field of natural health to get rid of it. Just when I think it is gone, it comes back!! It has also taught me to accept other people’s help. This was a tough on for me because I am usually the one taking care of others. It is much easier for me to help others then accept it. I feel guilty that I am putting them out so I still need to work on this one!! 

My body – I have so much new found appreciation for my body!! It is still struggling to heal and yet everyday, I wake up and it wants to play!!! It is amazing to me!! 

Life is so interesting. The twists and turns and the leaps and bounds all get us to where we are today. I am so grateful for the wisdom and strength that I have gained over the last year. 

Thank you for following my journey. Although my blog has come to end, I feel like I am just getting started… 

All the best to all of you! xo

Sherry 

 

 

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Counting my Blessings!

I realize that this blog update is long overdue! My sincerest apologies to all of you who are following my journey. I have had some big changes in my life and I have needed to take time for them.

Without sharing too much personal information, I had to have major surgery just over a month ago and I am still in the healing process. It will take me at least another month to heal from it so it has put my journey on hold. I have had a few hiccups and complications but I am on the road to recovery and I know that this surgery was a blessing!!

Before my surgery, I had taken my measurements to see how much muscle size and definition I had gained over the 5 months prior to my surgery and these were my results:

Measurements:

Shoulders: added a ½”

Chest: added 1” (keep it coming!!)

Biceps: added 1”

Waist: added 2 ¼“

Hips (AKA bootie!!): added 1”

Upper Thighs: added ½”

Mid thighs: added ¼”

Calf: stayed the same

Height: Added 1” – just kidding! That would be nice though!!

Weight: I am up 7 pounds (YAY!)

All in all I had gained a total of 6 ½”!! That in itself is a miracle! I haven’t taken my measurements since my surgery but I can tell that I am quickly losing my size and I have already lost about 3 of those 7 pounds. I am trying my best to keep my calories high so I can keep as much weight as I can while I am healing.

I am hoping that my doctor will give me his approval to start my training back up by the middle of March but even then I will have to start quite slowly which is not something I am very good at!!

So what has changed?

I have hired a new personal trainer who is going to give me more direction with my nutritional needs. I have her fitness and nutritional plans in my hands and I am so excited to get started!! She is incredibly knowledgeable and I am looking very forward to her help.

I have also realized how difficult it is for me to write this blog. I think if I wasn’t writing about myself I would thoroughly enjoy it!! Ha! The trouble with that is, I made a promise to myself as well as to all of you that I would write about my journey for the next year and that is what I am going to do!!

I will give you another update once I have been given the go ahead to train again. My strength has gone down dramatically so I am afraid I will be starting out with 5 pound weights!! We shall see 🙂

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine ’s Day and I hope you spend it with the people you love whether you are single or in love!!

Until my next post, enjoy your days!!

Sherry

Skinny Bitch!

Let’s talk about the word ‘skinny’. I believe it is one of the ugliest words a person can use. It’s just as offensive and insulting as calling someone fat or obese. It is horribly degrading and I could never imagine using words like this to describe someone. I long for the day when people stop describing me using this word and choose to use words like kind, thoughtful or even beautiful. Anything but skinny!! Even slender seems more polite.

Why do I feel this way? Well, I have NEVER heard the word skinny be used in a positive way. It is usually preceded by TOOOOO (like it has gone waaaaaay too far). She is TOOOO skinny or it’s followed by words like BITCH which is another word I never wish to be called. If a Hollywood star is called skinny in magazines, it usually has a follow up statement like “she is really stressed, she’s a mess, her life is falling apart, she is an emotional wreck and she is waaaay tooooo skinny! This can obviously be used to describe a man as well.  It is assumed that the person is unhealthy, weak and their life is in emotional chaos. I can’t count how many times people have asked me if I am anorexic or bulimic. It’s so hurtful because you are basically admitting you dislike how I look like! For those of you that personally know me, you know I love my food!

We always seem so judgemental about people’s bodies and their weight. If someone gains 5 pounds they are too ‘fat’. If the same person loses 5 pounds then they are too ‘skinny’. Why don’t we just accept people for who they are right now, with or without those 5 pounds?

I am happy to say that I am embracing the shape of my body now more than ever. I accept that this is who I am and I will never have a bootie like Beyoncé’s BUT that will not stop me from trying to build the best bootie I can have! I am slowly adding curves by the weight training I am doing. It helps add shape and definition and helps me feel more like a woman. I have been able to keep my 7 pounds on and I am so happy that ‘they’ have decided to stick around! Lol!

The moral to my story is… Please, think twice before you describe someone as skinny. It is not a compliment! Never has been and never will be. If you HAVE to describe a person by their body type then choose words that are more kind OR even better, why don’t you share all the great things you see in them! Share their greatest attributes! Lift people up as much as you can!! It’s what you would want in return!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post!

Sherry

Let’s talk about Nick…

I love the new gym I go to! It is so different than any other gym I have ever worked out in and trust me, there have been a lot of them! When you walk into The Athlete Factory, it is a huge warehouse with cement floors and high ceilings. It isn’t filled with tons of sports equipment, machines and sweaty grunters. It is very simple really. It has 4 treadmills, 4 squat racks, 4 Olympic platforms, a couple of benches, two or three machines and a mondo running track. Everyone that is there is working with a trainer so you can see the concentration in people’s eyes. The trainers focus all their efforts on teaching you proper form. I have spent the last 3 months perfecting my form in all the exercises that I do. It has only been recently that the amount of weight that I am lifting has been increasing. They take a very different approach to getting their clients in shape by focusing on strength, speed, endurance, accuracy and flexibility. I recently added agility to my workouts like jumping, hoping and skipping. It sounds cuter then it really is. When I first started doing these exercises I kept saying to my trainer that they were silly little things. That was until I was so sore that I couldn’t sit down without needing help getting back up. They instantly became a favorite of mine!! Those silly little moves really work!!!

The Athlete Factory trains professional, pro athletes from all over the world and they are using the same concepts and training style with me. So what is different about this? Well for starters, I have to take my heart rate every day and I can say without any hesitation that it is one of the coolest things I have ever done!! I had never heard of doing this before and I was very curious what information it provides. By taking my heart rate every day, I can see the impact of factors such as poor sleep, nutrition, hydration, recovery and many other factors and let me tell you it works!! The lower the number is, the healthy your body is. If I have a horrible sleep, my heart rate goes up. If I don’t eat or drink enough water my heart rate goes up. If I eat great, my heart rate goes down. If I sleep well, well you get the point. Once you do it long enough, you can target exactly what it is that is affecting it. It’s quite amazing how quickly your body can become out of balance. The great thing is that when I have this information, my trainer can adjust my workout accordingly so that I am not over training or stressing my body.

Now, let’s talk about Nick. Nick Gies is my personal trainer at The Athlete Factory.  Before my 43rd birthday, I put an ad on Kijiji to see if I can find a personal trainer that would work with me over this next year and help me with my transformation. I interviewed several trainers that answered my ad and I felt that Nick was the best fit for me. I am very happy that I chose him!! He has convinced me to try new things to help me achieve my fitness goals. First, he convinced me to eat more complex carbohydrates. I fought him on this one but it turned out to be fantastic advice and it has a huge difference in how I feel and how I perform during my workouts. He also convinced me of drinking more water. Not a little more water… A LOT more water! He has been so patient with me, he answers all of my questions and calms my concerns. He monitors my daily heart rate and changes my workouts accordingly. He makes sure to push me enough that I am seeing results but makes sure that I am not over training. I also started a group training session with him on Thursday mornings with two other ladies, Rebekah and Liza. They are fantastic ladies and Thursdays are now my favorite day to train. I remember Nick saying to me that I will need to trust him. That is exactly what I am doing! He has made quite a difference for me in the last 3 months!! I have officially gained 7 pounds which is such a victory for me!! I will continue to celebrate every pound I gain!! Hopefully, it will all go to my boodie! I know that I am in good hands. Nick is driven, focused and very motivating. If you are looking for a personal trainer, I would highly recommend him!

That’s it for today 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to read my post!

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

Sherry

Well, I’ve got 3 questions for you…

Sorry about the delay!

Well, I have finally moved into my new home, unpacked and I am starting to feel more settled. I am glad that the last 3 months are behind me so I can move forward to a much happier and healthy place as I unfold a new chapter in my life.

A friend of mine, Drew Taddia, who is a fitness expert (and so much more!) asked me three questions:

1)      Where is your focus?

2)      Are you widening your scope of success?

3)      What is your environment like? Who and what do you surround yourself with?

So I thought I would share my answers with all of you.

Let’s start with: Where is your focus?

To be completely honest, the last few months my focus has almost entirely been on getting through my days. So now that I am ready to move forward, I have one goal that I would definitely like to set my intentions on achieving which is eating more nutritious food. I mentioned in a previous post that nutrition is an area that I find most challenging. I have clear understanding on what healthy choices are, so that has never been a problem for me. Where I stumble is eating enough food to allow my body to perform in a way that I will achieve my desired goals. This will be my main focus over the next while along with drinking more water. As for my workouts, they are right on par.

Next…  Are you widening your scope of success?

I wasn’t exactly sure of what he meant by this question. I had to ask Drew to explain it to me. He has a health and fitness radio show that he airs every Sunday evening called True Form – Exploring Mind and Body and he did one of his shows on this topic so he sent it to me to listen to. For those of you who are interested in listening to it as well, I will add his link to the bottom of this page. After listening, I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. He talks about creating a path to success.

First is commitment. So what does that looks like on my journey? The biggest commitment I made was with my personal trainer. I pre-paid for my sessions in advance. This will encourage me to stay on track.

Second is accountability. In the past if I had set a goal for myself, I would tell a couple of my closest friends what it was. I certain didn’t want to tell too many people just in case I didn’t achieve it. Who wants to look like a failure, right? This time I decided to do things a little different. I decided to tell the world. Ha! Well, at least those who are interested in reading about it. I decided to do this blog and it has definitely held me accountable. As you know, I wanted to make this a weekly blog but with everything that has happened over the past 3 months, that has not happened.  I have been overwhelmed by the thought of writing it, to be honest. I feel like it is one more thing I need to do and because I want to do my best, I end up not doing it at all. The great thing is that I have people asking me all the time when I am going to post the next one. I am happy that I have decided to make this public because like it or not I made a commitment to myself and in the end, all of this is for my benefit. So if I haven’t written in a while, please send me a encouraging message!!

My trainer has also kept me accountable. We agreed that I would see him twice a week and twice a week it is!! He also has asked me to take my pulse and weigh myself daily. More about this in a later blog. He gets me to write a food diary and a workout journal. All of which keeps me held accountable for my actions.

Third is progress. Before I began this journey, I took before pictures and measurements. All of which I have hidden away where no one will ever find them!! I am so glad I did it because it is the last time that I will ever see myself that way again. It’s pretty exciting knowing that I am moving to a new, happier place in my life. Besides looking for increases on the scale and increases in my measurements, I have already noticed that I sleep so much better. Since I have moved into my new home, I have actually been waking up without an alarm clock (which has never happened!!) and I have watched the sun rise almost every day! What an incredible and beautiful way to wake up and be reminded how truly blessed I am!! I haven’t woken up feeling refreshed in a very very long time! To me, that is great progress! These are small but great changes that are leading me in the right direction.

So onto his last questions: What is my environment like? Who and what do you surround yourself with? These are great questions and the answers have changed quite a bit over the past 3 months. I am now living in a beautiful home that I love so much!! It was everything I wanted and more! I am so grateful that I found this place. I wake up every day feeling happy. What a wonderful change! Who I surround myself has also changed quite a bit. They say it’s though hard times that you see who your true friends are and the people that really love and care for you.  I am so grateful for the friends and family who have stood by my side, called out of the blue to see how I was doing, took care of my baby girl for me (my kitty), given me a place to stay while I was evacuated, offered me clothes and makeup when I couldn’t get back into my home, brought me goody bags, gave me their favorite CD’s to lift my spirits and those people that helped me move. The list goes on and on of how generous people have been towards me. I appreciate every little gesture people have done for me. Even as small as wishing me a great move and asking how my new place is. They are small but meaningful and these are the friendships I want to put my time and energy into.

For those of you that want to listen to Drew’s show on Widening Your Scope of Success, here is the link:

Thank you again for you time… I’m sure that not all my posts will be this long but I had a lot to share.

Have a wonderful week!

Sherry

I showered today! Does that count?

I have had many goals in my life. Many that I have accomplished, some that have come and gone and a small handful that consumes my every thought. The ones that have consumed me day in and day out, year after year are the ones that I am working to accomplish this year. So what is so different this time if these thoughts have consumed me for such a huge part of my life? Simply put, I decided. I made a decision. I am choosing every day to take steps that will lead me in the directions of my goals. I have had days that I have felt so successful and others that I celebrate the smallest thing like having enough energy to get up and shower. It may sound ridiculous but I am sure some of you can relate to what I am saying. With everything that has happened in the last two months; the evacuation, my break up, having to find a place to live, moving etc. I have to admit that showering is actually a victory on some days!! All of this and trying to stay focused on maintaining my efforts at work and keeping my focus on my personal goals.

So what does the next year hold for me? My two main focuses are to get healthy and get in the best shape of my life.

I have had many health challenges in my life and quite frankly, I am done with all the labels. I’m done identifying myself with these illnesses and health challenges. I want to be someone who wakes up in the morning and thinks “I feel great!” with no buts at the end of that thought. Just “I feel great!”

I also want to be in the best shape of my life. Now when I say that, what I really mean to say is that I want to be in shape, plain and simple, because I don’t think that I have ever really been in shape before. Not even as a young girl. My dream when I was a little wee one was to be a gymnast and a dancer. As I got a older and reached my teenage years I wanted to be a fitness model and a dancer. (I think there is a theme here!!) Dance lessons are clearly in my future!! Lol!

I would love to be described as athletic, fit and strong. To be muscular would be a dream come true for me. I think women with muscle are stunning!! As I mentioned in a past post, I feel like a women stuck in a child’s body. Being so slender, I can’t help but to feel that I have no curves.  I know that having muscle definition will give me more shape and some lovely curves. Up until now, I always wanted to just LOOK the part but I have really changed my desires with this. In the next year, I want to truly BE fit in every way. I am going to be working on my form, my strength, my endurance, my body composition and my flexibility. I have hired the perfect personal trainer to help guide me with this. I will be writing about Nick in a future post and I will explain how differently he trains than any other trainer I have had in the past. I couldn’t be happy with who I found!!  I feel like he is a gem and he has my best interest at heart.

I would also love to gain at least 12-15 pounds. In the past month and a half I have been able to gain 3 pounds (I got up to 4 but it didn’t stick!!). It may sound silly but I am going to celebrate every pound I gain!! It is such a victory for me!! The more weight I gain, the more muscle and bootie I have the potential of having! Lol!

Up until now, whatever my  trainers have asked me to do in the gym, I have done. No questions asked. Where I fall short is my nutrition. I know it is the missing link for me and one of the reasons why I have never succeeded at gaining weight and muscle. It’s my stumbling block! Now don’t get me wrong, I have eaten clean and healthy for more than a decade now but when it comes to what I need to eat and how much to eat  to fuel my body for the extra work I am doing in the gym, my eyes just glaze over. My past trainers have always told me to just eat more food but I have no idea what that means! Does that mean eat another egg? A steak? 3 more potatoes? I have no idea but I do know that my nutrition has never changed no matter how hard my workouts have been. Nick is helping me reprogram my nutritional habits and is teaching me what I need to eat to accomplish the goals I have set for myself. This will be his greatest gift to me! They say that nutrition is 80% of why people are successful when it comes to getting in shape so I am excited for his guidance and lectures if need be! This one is going to take some work.

These are just a few things I will be working on… I will have more to add in future posts.

I hope everyone has a great weekend coming up! Thank you for reading my thoughts!

Sherry

The Great Trickster!!

This thing called life… It has taken me on quite a roller coaster ride! When I started this new path, my intention was that I would write a blog every week but the last couple of weeks, life has gotten in the way of this. Rather than being frustrated and upset with myself, I have decided that I would be kind with myself instead. Treating myself a little differently was a pleasant surprise and it was easier than I thought.

On top of all the craziness that has been around me the last while, I also had a good friend, out of the goodness of her heart, try to convince me that it wasn’t a good idea to share my thoughts with perfect strangers. She tried to discourage me from writing my blog and she was genuinely concerned for my safety but after looking at it from all kinds of angles, I know that it has already been so beneficial to me. I have only written a small handful of them and if I am already feeling this way,  I can only imagine how wonderful and inspired I will feel after writing them for the next year!  It has already helped me clear my mind of my endless thoughts. I’m getting to know myself on a much more intimate level and it keeps me focused on my goals. On top of this, I have received several emails, texts and messages letting me know how my blogs are inspiring others to get real with their own truth, encouraging them to dust off their own diaries and start writing down their thoughts and for others, it has inspired them to begin a new path for themselves.  I know this has already been a blessing for me so what a wonderful surprise to find out that it is helping some of you too!!

So let’s continue this journey together then!

I love that I get to travel with my job. It gives me the opportunity to listen to books on CD’s and gain great insight and knowledge while I am sitting behind the wheel. I have listened to 100’s of books over the years. These past few weeks, I have been listening to some of my favorite books on CD’s by Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield and Rhonda Byrne. I find these writers so inspirational and motivating. I tend to listen to them over and over again so that I can really absorb the information they are sharing. By doing so, I have started to notice that they all have similar messages.

The one message that stands out to me the most is the power of the mind and how our thoughts ultimately control our lives and our happiness. Our thoughts and beliefs are so powerful, that it creates and molds our life accordingly. How many of you know people who have negative false beliefs about themselves that are so far from the truth and yet they believe them with every part of themselves and their life responds to them in ways that continue to feed their false belief. Just because we believe them doesn’t make them true. It is just our perspective and our perspectives can be changed.

The mind is a great trickster and our thoughts can either hold is back or move us forward. Weaken us or strengthen us. The most amazing part is that WHATEVER we tell ourselves, we believe, whether it is true or not! The truth is that we lie to ourselves all the time and IT WORKS!!! The subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between the truth and a lie. Our bodies will actually have physical reactions to our thoughts even when it is only in our imagination. A perfect example of this is when you are asked to imagine that you are standing on the edge of a steep cliff that drops straight down 200 feet. When you imagine it, you can feel dizzy, sick to your stomach, your heart can start pounding faster but in reality, you may be at home sitting safely on your couch.

We lie to ourselves all the time by saying things like; I am not good enough, I could never be good at that, good things never happen to me. If we are going to lie to ourselves, why don’t we start saying things that will be nurturing and supportive to ourselves like; I am good enough, great things happen to me all the time, I am so lucky and see what happens??? I know that it is time for me to change the way I talk to myself and use language that is positive and supportive. Who knows, maybe I will even start to believe them!!

“Life isn’t happening to you, it is responding to you!” ~ Rhonda Byrne

All the best to you this week!

Sherry