Monday, April 13, 2015

Stop Dieting Start Living (part 2)

Well........the 12 weeks (of this program) have come to an end and that went really fast. I want to send out a huge thank you to Rachel Fox, the facilitator of this program. This was a very personal journey for her. We got to hear about her life long struggles with weight and body image and how she changed it all around to put the focus on being HEALTHY  and feeling great, and not to worry about what the scale says.

I have to admit, I'm still struggling with that one. In one of our sessions, Rachel asked us if we'd be willing to bring our scales in to get rid of them. I think I actually had heart palpitations. It really showed me how deeply ingrained that programming is for women to always be looking to the scale for validation. On our first night when we were introducing ourselves and telling a bit about our stories, I told the part of how for 2 years I have been tracking my food and hiking my butt off (unfortunately NOT literally!), and how disappointed I was that I had not lost an ounce. Yes, I was feeling stronger, Yes, my chronic pain that I deal with as a part of my illness has become less, but because those numbers on the scale had not moved, I felt like a failure.

Being a person that is obsessed with personal development, I have done SO much work on my self mentally and emotionally, but going through this process showed me that I still have a major mental roadblock when it comes to weight and body image. I have been avoiding it, while working on other areas that I felt were more important, but I definitely realized I need to kick this part of the work into high gear. As we went through the program and talked about food, moving our bodies, drinking water, I was like: check, check, what am I doing wrong? It confirmed to me that my issue is with mindset. I can pinpoint when my weight started to become and issue and why, now it is time for me to spend some time to meet it head on, and the thought of that is a bit scary, but it truly needs to be done if I am ever going to be free of this.

In my first blog post, I had mentioned some of my fave parts of the first half of the program, now I will mention my fave parts of the second half. On one of the night, Patricia Dominguez, a nutrition expert from Integrated Nutrition Canada, came and spoke with us and some points she made really stuck out for me. When it comes to the Canadian diet, we are dealing with 3 main problems: Our obsession with sugar, a hijacked mindset and the troubling toxin that are so prevalent in our foods today. Some of the demos that she showed us were enough to turn your stomach. We also talked about how to reset the body through removing toxins from your organs, replenishing the natural flora in the digestive system, restoring the gut where inflammation is concerned, nourishing our bodies with whole foods and changing our mindset to make better eating choices. On another night, Sharon Villars from Bootstrap Lifeskills came by to talk about the 50 Shades of Blues, in how stress and overwhelm can affect your health. We did some pretty great exercises that definitely got us thinking about the language we use and how it affects our lives and health.

So, when I first agreed to be a part of this program, I had no idea what I was in for. I have done several 'weight loss' programs before, so I will admit that I went in a tad cynical about me learning anything new. But the truth of the matter is, this is not like all those other programs. You don't have to show a food journal, you're not counting calories, there are no weight ins or measurements taken. This program is learning about strategies that you could implement in your life in different areas that affect your weight and overall health. And in the end, it's your choice if you want to implement them or not. You are the one that has to do the work, this is NOT a quick fix issue.  So if you're ready to be honest about where you are and how you've been treating your body and wanting to learn some new tools to add to your repertoire, then this is the program for you. I believe in going forward, Rachel is thinking about changing it to a 2 day event instead of holding it over 12 weeks, so keep an eye out for that being advertised

As for Rachel's other venture of the Body Exchange , which is the Bootcamp for plus sizes.......I cannot recommend this enough. While I was there, I was LOVING it.....and my body was actually handling it quite nicely........until I took a bad fall in February, and my back and hip just haven't been the same since, and add round #3 of a nasty cold on top of that, and I was completely knocked out from completing my time there. Definitely check it out if you are wanting to get serious about moving your body and feeling awesome! Stop by Rachel's Facebook page to connect with her there to get more info on the programs.

On a personal side note......this will be my last blog post under the Positivity Kitty name, I am transitioning over to my life as a Certified Relationship and Life Coach and will be blogging under my business name of Reignite Your Purpose. I'm hoping that the website will be somewhat up and operational soon, so I will post later with the links to that.

Thank you for spending your time with me as the Positivity Kitty, and I hope you come on over to Reignite Your Purpose soon.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Are you a SLAVE to TIME? Here are some tips to make time work for YOU!

Do you ever feel like you are a slave to time? Like there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done, or at the end of the day you feel like you've been SO busy, but yet you feel like you've accomplished nothing?

Today I listened to a guided meditation from Deepak Chopra. The focus in this meditation was Timing For Success and it resonated deeply with me. Deepak states that 'even though our true self is timeless, we live and experience sequential time'. I, for one, find it hard sometimes to think of our selves as 'timeless', as we have been so programmed to watch the clock or calendar. For the most part, in my opinion,  we let time control us. Lord knows I have fallen victim to that more times than I can count! Left feeling like I am running out of time, or i'm short on time, or there just isn't enough time.

The truth of the matter is, everyone has the same 24 hours in the day, and yet some can accomplish SO much in it, while others flounder. It all comes down to how you manage it. Deepak states that 'we must respect and manage our time each day skillfully so that we synchronize our biorhythms with Nature'.  Dr. Daniel J. Siegal from UCLA, came up with a great model for mastering time that helps support our well being, have a healthy brain and nurtures every aspect of our personal inner growth. He says that it's best to proportion our time into 7 different categories each day.  At the beginning of each day, have a look as to how you are going to make sure that you hit all of those categories during the course of the day.

The categories are:

1. Sleep time : Did you get enough restful sleep? 
2. Physical time: Did you allow your body time to move and to be active? 
3. Focus time: Did you spend some time alone to concentrate on what matters most to you? 
4. Time In: Did you set aside some time for prayer, meditation or inner reflection? 
5. Time Out: Did you set aside some time to just BE and rest in existence? 
6. Play time: Did you have time to just have some carefree fun? 
7. Connecting time: Did you spend some private time with your loved ones? 

By incorporating those 7 categories of time into your day, you are making time work for YOU! As those categories optimize different areas of the brain, which lead to expanded awareness and a sense of fulfillment.

I am definitely going to make an attempt to incorporate this into my life. How about you? Do you think it is do-able? Do you already do this? I know for me, there are some categories that I do better at, and I sacrifice others thinking that they're not as important. But now I see that they are all equally important and it's about time I treated them as such!

I will leave you with today's centering thought:

I allow the flow of time to carry me forward


Monday, March 16, 2015

The Lessons I Learned on Friday the 13th! it is, Friday the 13th (well it was when I was writing this) and while I see people posting about superstitions, bad luck and quips about 'stay safe out there', here I am basking in glorious Nature, watching the world go by, without a care in the world. I honestly didn't even make the 'Friday the 13th' connection for today until I looked at my social media feeds. Why do people make such a big deal out of this day? If you're on the lookout for something bad to happen on this day, I can guarantee that The Law of Attraction will answer that call! So seriously......let's move on!

You see.......I had this day planned on my calendar for a while now. It just happened to fall on this 'fateful' day because it was the ONLY day this week where I didn't have an appointment to be at. I would love to say that I bask in the glories of Nature that surround me often, but the truth of the matter is as much as we love each other, we haven't been spending much time together lately. I've just allowed myself to get too busy with other things.

And isn't that just how it goes with a lot of relationships, mostly with the MOST important relationship, the one with ourselves. We get too busy with the daily grind of life; work, kids, business, obligations, family, housework, you name it. We have an endless amount of avenues that take our energy.....and by the end of the day we have absolutely NOTHING to give back to ourselves!

My logo for Re-branding my business

Right now, i'm in the middle of transitioning my Positivity Kitty blog into a full fledged coaching business (yes, that means there is a name change that you will already see on my social media), and WOW, there is SO much to do! Re-branding, graphics, domains, hosting, website design and optimization and not to mention the training that I want to do to beef up my skills! Then there are the programs that I will be offering. I need to get complete clarity on those and write the programs! Some days....(OK seriously, most days) feels VERY overwhelming. This is a HUGE step for me to truly step out on my own, embrace the whole 'stepping into my greatness' mindset. It can leave you feeling very naked and vulnerable. And then the doubts creep in.......can I actually do this? What makes me think that I can do this? Who would want to listen to what I have to say? I have no real business blueprint to work off of, I'm a Scientist and an Educator, I'm not an MBA!

On my weekly session with my coach, Andrea, we talked about the doubts, the overwhelm, and we put a few more pieces into place, and she focused me on what my steps for the week will be. Then she asked me what my passions are? At first I was confused, as I thought haven't we been talking about the passion I feel for building this business and helping people create transformation in their lives and relationships? Then I realized that she meant my 'personal' passions. What things do I like to do that 'fill me up'? I have 3 main passions in my life; travel, nature and photography and the ultimate is when I can combine all 3.

Me sitting at my fave log on the Beach
So, Andrea gave me my homework for the week. I had to plan a little excursion for the day, to get out of the house, away from the laptop, away from all the things that I felt that I needed to be doing, and go spend the day re-charging. When she asked me where I would go, the first place I thought of was my fave  beach of Spanish Banks here in Vancouver. I told her how I had a favourite log that I sit at because it is set at the perfect angle that the whole city is directly in front of me. So the date with myself was set!

Friday morning as I got things ready to go, I struggled with the idea of my ever growing to-do list being left behind, but I jumped in the car and headed to the beach. I am SO grateful that I live in the one part of Canada that rarely gets snow, and even though it is only March, we've been in full Spring mode for a few weeks now. I knew that the moment I got there, any guilt I had about the work that I had left behind would soon melt away. This was MY time, time to reconnect with nature, time to reconnect and be present with me, time for me to be quiet with my thoughts and just soak up the natural beauty around me. It was quite a realization for me, that the approximately 6 hours that I was there, that I did not speak a was SO peaceful!

digging my bare toes into the sand! 

It's an incredibly grounding experience to get up close and personal with nature. By this I mean in the flesh, bare skin touching Mother Earth. We live in a very insulated world and with the great shoes that we wear all the time, we actually cut our selves off from the flow of energy from the Earth to us and from us back to the Earth. If you think this sounds like hocus pocus, Google 'Earthing' and see that it is an actual practice and has HUGE health benefits!

I believe that a lot of the stress that we feel in our every day lives is due to thei flow of energy being cut off and we living such insulated lives. As cliche as it sounds, we are all connected energetically and in turn connected to the Earth and when we cut off that flow of energy, it is like we are cutting off our life force.

So, I ask you.....what are your passions? What activities or places can you go to that re-charge you and fill you up? No matter how busy you are or what is going on in your life, make some precious time for you, put it on the calendar and KEEP that appointment!

Take care of you and you will have more to give back to those that you love!

S the near future, the new website and blog section will be set up, so things will look a bit different. At that time, I will set up a proper form where you can subscribe to ensure you don't miss any posts....because you wouldn't want to do that!!! LOL

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Have You Ever Wondered If You Have a Sacred Gift?

Last fall I heard about this 2 day workshop from some friends on Facebook, where I could discover my Sacred Gifts. Now being that I like to think that I know myself pretty well, the thought of this intrigued me to see if I indeed knew myself as well as I thought I did, and maybe I would learn something I signed up! 

Many people have different names for these gifts; sacred gifts, spiritual gifts, soul gifts, callings.......but they all refer to the same thing. These are gifts that are NOT genetically handed down to us from our parents, these are gifts that are bestowed upon us when we enter this physical realm. Now I know I may have lost a few of you on that one, depending on where your beliefs are, but just stick with me on this one. You are just born with them, they are NOT a result of your upbringing. They seem to have a mysterious origin, like our soul picks them before we are born to fulfill a certain purpose. 

You know how you hear about kids that have amazing musical abilities, for example, but both of their parents don't have a musical bone in their bodies. It's like 'could' share the same gifts as your parents, but not necessarily so. 

It is stated that 80% of the people on this planet will never discover or live on purpose with their sacred gifts, and to me, that just seems sad. These gifts are meant to be a benefit to others. They are not meant for ourselves. The byproduct for you is how you feel when you are using them and seeing how the people around you are benefiting from them. How awesome is that?

There is an 'On Purpose' formula that these gifts have the GIFT, that you are applying in some MEANINGFUL way, where you can see others around you receiving a BENEFIT from your gift and that you have a certain VEHICLE through which your gift is being bestowed to them.

Some people may be using their gifts, but still don't feel on purpose. That could be that one of the 4 areas in the formula have gone 'off the rails' and you need to figure out how to fix it. That was how it was for me with Teaching. I spent 10 years teaching in the Education system, and started to feel like I had lost my passion for it, but after going through this process and finding out that Teaching was indeed one of my Sacred Gifts, it confirmed something that I had been thinking about for a while now, that the vehicle that I was using to teach, as in the how and where, needed to be changed for me to feel 'on purpose' again. 

So by now you are probably asking, what is the process? How do we find out what our gifts are? Well, the simple answer is to sign up for the next workshop which is happening June 13 and 14. The early bird pricing of $97 is available for the 2 day workshop just until the end of February, after that, it goes to the regular price of $197 and then if you procrastinate until the last minute, it's $297 at the door.  You can go to the Sacred Gifts Website for more info. 

But I will give you a little bit of an idea of what the process is. The facilitator and developer of the workshop, Monique MacDonald has a set of assessment questions that you fill out, and then score. When you add up your scores, you will see which gifts you have. There are 24 gifts in total, and you won't have all of them. The average person has 4-6 of them that will score in the high range. When I did mine, I had 6 where I scored very high on them, I then had some that I would call my 'second tier' gifts. They are still strong, but not as high as the others, and then there were some that barely got on the board, and a couple not at all. 

To me, mine are all inter-related. My top scoring gifts were Encouragement, Wise Counsel, Writing, Knowledge, Teaching and Craftsmanship, with my 'second tier' gifts being that of Simplicity, Facilitation and Challenge. I look at the 3 second tier ones and can see that they are ones that are becoming stronger as they have only recently been showing up in my life, where my top scoring ones have been present my whole life.  And that is kind of the point with these gifts, when you see the pattern of them showing up over and over again in your life. That is kind of a message to show you that is the purpose of you being here, and if you're not doing something with those gifts, you are probably feeling rather unfulfilled, frustrated and bored with life, and left to wonder 'Why am I here?'

Thank you Monique for taking me through the process, for confirming some things for me that I was feeling and opening my eyes to others. I now know that the direction that I have been thinking about heading IS the right direction for me to fully feel ON PURPOSE with my life!!! 

So if you are curious to see what your gifts are, and you are in the Lower Mainland of BC, I highly suggest signing up for this 2 day workshop to find out. It's a weekend that you won't soon forget! 

Me and Monique at Sacred Gifts

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lose The Diet, Find Yourself

What's your history with the word DIET?

From my earliest memory, it seems like I've been on one of some sort or another.  My mother was obsessed with dieting when I was growing up. She was constantly doing whatever new fad diet that she would see in the grocery store tabloids. I remember the grapefruit diet, the soup diet, I have a vague memory of some sort of diet where we could only eat 'white' foods......It was crazy! If there was a diet pill being shown on TV or in the magazines, she was buying it, and a lot of times, she would give them to me to use. I remember her going on fasts that would last for weeks! We were never allowed any of the 'bad' foods in the house.

Needless to say, I ended up growing up with a very unhealthy relationship with food. I used to sneak food and hide it under my bed. I would get into mom's baking supplies, as that would be the only time I would get any sort of chocolate, coconut or nuts. I would steal the powdered Jell-O or Tang Orange drink crystals out of the cupboard just so I could have something that was sweet. Every Halloween I would get in trouble for eating all the candy that I had collected so quickly. I didn't know how to handle being around the so called 'bad' foods. I rarely saw them, so when I did, it was the thought pattern of get in as much as you can, while you can, as you don't know when you're ever going to see it again.

During most of my childhood, it was just me and my mom at home. My brothers were quite a bit older than me and had moved out (except 1) by the time I was school aged. My dad worked in Logging Camps, so we would only see him on the weekends. Friday was always my favourite day, as not only would Dad be coming home, but before he left camp, he would fill up his lunch box with baked goods that the Cook would make. In those days, the camp cooks were amazing and fed their guys VERY well! It was literally like, 'hey dad........what's in the lunch box?'. Most of it never lasted the evening.

It was no wonder with that kind of early abuse on my metabolism, that I ended up being heavy my whole life. Even though food was heavily monitored, exercise was never encouraged. My brothers all played organized sports of some sort, but when I came along, my parents had the view that sports was not for girls. Yes, I would go for walks or bike rides, but even that wasn't encouraged. I was a shy kid and spent a lot of time playing quietly, either sitting in my closet playing with my Barbies and Little Ponies, or making Blanket Forts and living in my imagination.

As time wore on, the pounds kept mounting up. As an adult, I've tried Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Herbal Magic, with little to no results. I had some success with the Atkins Diet (lost 60 pounds), but I REALLY missed fruit, so that didn't last and gained 35 of that back. It didn't help at that time of gaining back that I was going through my divorce, stressful eating at it's finest! In 2009, I had my biggest weight loss success with the Sure Slim program, where I lost 80 pounds in about 6 months with no exercise. At that point, I felt like I could start exercising and learned to run for the first time in my life. Even though I was getting smaller as my muscles became leaner, I started gaining again. I was SO programmed by the numbers on that scale, that I spent most days in frustration not knowing what I was doing wrong. Then at the end of 2010, my world fell a part and I went through a string of very stressful events that led me to be diagnosed with a Chronic Illness that was stress based. In the first 2 months after the events, I gained about 30 pounds, which I couldn't figure out, as I was barely eating. Since my diagnosis, my weight has been a constant struggle. I have completely revamped my diet and I am eating the best that I ever have and have started doing a lot of walking and hiking, but I can never get a movement of more than 15-20 pounds. I think I have gained and lost the same 15 pounds at least 10 times if not more.

Then at the beginning of this year, a friend of mine had told me about Rachel Fox and how she was starting a 12 week program called Stop Dieting, Start Living. She would share with us her journey of weight gain, loss, and how she developed a good relationship with food. At this point, we are 3 weeks into the 12. Each week we have a certain topic that we talk about and discuss ways to deal with the issues. This past week we were talking about sugars, fats and processed foods. We did an exercise where we were given lists of food items and had to put them into categories of red, amber and green. We weren't given criteria of what the red, amber and green meant, we just had to go with what we thought was best. It was rather interesting seeing how our individual programmings all came out on how we chose which categories the food went in to. I know for me, I was thinking by glycemic index, what was processed and what would be considered GMO. We all had some surprises, and it was interesting to see what foods we would get confused on whether they were considered good or not.

As a compliment, Rachel also runs the Body Exchange Tricities, which is a Bootcamp for plus sized women. I have always like the idea of a Bootcamp, but I went to a regular one once, and thought I was going to die while I tried to keep up with the 'stick insects' offense to all you skinny, athletic people, but you can be a tad intimidating to us 'fluffier' folks trying to exercise among you! So when Rachel first mentioned about me coming out to try the Bootcamp, my initial reaction was, HELL NO! I've walked or hiked over 500 kms over the past 2 years, I will stick to that, thanks! But I knew that I was missing one key element, strength training, so I knew I had to give it a shot. At this point, I have gone to 4 sessions over the last 2 weeks, as it's recommended that you go 2-3 times per week (once a week is not enough). Since doing it, yes I have seen some movement on the scale, but I am trying not to focus on that as my only goal. I feel like I am standing taller (which is a scary thought with my almost 6 foot frame!), I feel the muscles in my arms and shoulders tightening up and feeling stronger. I've even done a little bit of running again. But the best part is that I am surrounded with women, JUST. LIKE. ME. Rachel gets what our struggles are, as she's been there, she can relate. The women in the sessions encourage and help each other through. There is no judgement, just positivity. We are all stepping outside our boxes, we are all in the same boat. We all 'get' each other.

I am looking forward to seeing what the next 9 weeks of the program will teach us, and what more time in the Bootcamp will do for my body.

To get more info on both the Stop Dieting, Start Living Program and Body Exchange Tricities, contact Rachel through her website, her page on Facebook, or by calling 604-492-4549

Me and fellow blogger Trish Mandewo 'duking' it out!