Did you see the movie? The one about the little girl and all her thoughts and emotions inside her head? This movie hit home for me, made me realize that even the movie producers see what’s going on with us, how our minds are absolutely connected to not just our bodies, but our lives. So quickly our thoughts and emotions take over and the next thing you know, you have gone from a feeling of joy to a feeling of deep sadness. How does this happen?
For most of my life I have been working from the outside in. What I mean is that I used to do all this “stuff” for the outside of myself and hope to find that satisfaction or fulfillment somehow. I would go for massages and get my nails done with the hope that I would find relaxation and contentment. I would work out at the gym thinking that if I can just get my outer body to a specific place than I will be happy! If you are female then I am sure you at one time or another have thought “if I just lose 10 pounds” or “I just get my butt toned”, then I will be content. What I have learned now is that is definitely not how it works. Here’s my story of how I have switched from the outside in to the inside out.
I have always been interested in fitness, ever since I was a child. I played sports in high school. Well, that’s the understatement, I played every sport I could in high school. If there was a team to join, I joined it. After having my three kids, I was always super conscious about weight gain and so I would be back at the gym 6-8 weeks post baby to get back on track. No one ever told me that I wouldn’t fit back into my jeans after having the baby! So after the shock settled in, I got myself back to the gym. That would come along with getting my eating habits in place to attempt to get back “in shape”. I would dump the sugary carbs like the white buns and the pastries and the donuts that I had told myself were okay to consume during pregnancy. Yes, note to self….while pregnant and consuming those donuts, the calories have to deposit somewhere…they are just unnoticed until the baby comes out!
I reached a point with my workout routine like many others where I wasn’t going consistently. I would get sick or the babies would get sick or I would feel too tired. I valued the workout time so much that I knew I had to change something. I also was going through a period in my life where I had left my job and career to stay home with the kids and was missing something. I just didn’t know what that something was. I was happy with my life, my family life, my house, my friends and neighbours, but something was missing. After meeting a friend who was starting a life coaching career for coffee, I realized I was longing for more fulfillment. I had been thinking about becoming a fitness instructor but felt a bit silly about the whole thing. It had been something I had always wanted to do, ever since I was in university. So with my friends help, I thought “why not”. And that way I would have no excuse to get to the gym because I would have to go teach!
Fast forward a few years and I was running a Zumba business in my community. Zumba brought me something I never expected. I started noticing the joy I would feel while teaching to these groups of women. I noticed the energy in the room and the energy inside my body. I would also notice that these amazing women would show up to exercise, but would end up showing me their true authentic selves. Their guards would come down. I would do some fun moves and they would smile and laugh! It’s like we would all just let go for an hour, shaking off all the stress from our week. As the years went on I craved this feeling….the one I would get in my classes. This deep joy, I would feel it deep in my gut.
So I started paying more attention to what gave me that feeling. What showed up along the way was an extra 10 pounds. I was teaching 6 classes a week, eating pretty well (besides the extra pizza crusts from the kids’ plates) yet my pants were getting tighter. I had began indulging in things I hadn’t been eating before. More cakes, more cookies, which little by little were depositing fat onto my body. So as always I was researching and trying new homemade foods, new meal plans and workouts to share with clients, yet I wasn’t doing them all consistently myself. I would start something and not continue. Sound familiar? No wonder I didn’t see results, as consistency truly is key.
I believe in accountability and I was helping all my clients be accountable to the exercise yet I had no one to make me accountable for the next phase of my life. I was entering my 40s and noticing my body changing wasn’t working for me. So like all great coaches out there, I hired my own coach. A fitness coach who had helped many women of all ages transform their bodies seemed like the perfect person to work with me.
To truly be consistent with the new program I had embarked on, I needed to reach within. I would sit and read the material I was given and think, “ok, what do I need to do to succeed”. I had one small voice that said “what if you spend all this money and you don’t follow through?”. Well that voice quickly got shut down…I gave myself no option to not succeed. Slowly and surely my mind started shifting. I told myself I could do this. The intense workout routine and planning of whole foods led to a shift in my mind and my thoughts and emotions.
This program I followed made me stronger and leaner and fitter on the outside. I was forced to make a mind body connection in my workouts and in the kitchen. I was focused on proper form and execution of the workouts for optimal results. I would take a few seconds here and there in my routine to focus on what I was about to do; whether it be a barbell squat or a full body pushup. I would focus on aligning my body to keep injuries away. I had to slow down at times in order to do all I needed to do in a day – especially the food prep. The workouts, the eating plan, caring for my kids and family, walking the dog, laundry, my writing and reading, all needed to be balanced out. I craved the quiet moments in my day to just be present and connect with what truly mattered to me. Did I truly want to work on these physical goals? What slowly showed up for me was greater outer confidence. The body fat melted away, muscles I had never seen on my body started showing up and my gut health improved tremendously. This outer confidence quickly led to inner confidence, inner strength and mostly importantly the clearer gut brought upon inner peace. I connected to my gut in a way I had never really been aware of. You know that feeling you get deep inside – an exciting, aha type of feeling? I never knew what to do with that feeling in the past. I now know to pay attention. I realized the true nurturing myself was not from the workouts or food but from the reaching within and realizing what was important to me, knowing what lit me up, knowing what my deeper values were. Exercise and whole foods made me feel stronger and have more energy. I want to live a long life and these aspects in my life were becoming ever more important. I took those steps that sometimes seemed scary and impossible and just plugged ahead! This is now what I bring to my business and my clients. My experience in the programs I have completed allow me to help others and this now truly excites me. I now have created my own program to help those people trying to get started on overall health and wellness. It’s not all about the workouts and food. It goes deeper, to a place of being mindful of all that we desire and all that we do.
The increased strength and cleaner foods brought something more to my life. I found this clarity in my body. I finally honoured myself. I feel that I finally “get” the statement Mind-Body-Soul. I never really understood it. In the training program where I became a certified trainer they talk briefly about this mind body soul connection but they don’t really tell you how to get there. But I get it now. My experiences over the last few years have brought me here. I am at a place where I now can tap into my gut, my soul, my intuition. This then connects me to my mind and my body and I honestly feel I can do anything I desire. This of course comes with a balancing act at home. Sometimes there are bumps in the road and that’s okay. The bumps I feel are little tests, to see if I truly want to do something. Sometimes we get bigger bumps and again I feel they are tests…to see if we REALLY want to do something.
Going after what I want and still being present with my loved ones and giving them all I want to give is truly in my mind where the magic happens. It’s not always perfect. I love the saying “Imperfect Action is better than Perfect Inaction”. You can take that for any aspect of your life.
Doors are now opening up, relationships are improving, and amazing people are showing up in my life. I have more energy, a clearer head and a deeper feeling of joy and happiness. I have one body and it’s my job to take care of it. I know when my body is in alignment or when it’s not. Life is truly a journey and sometimes things are running smooth and sometimes there are curveballs. All our bodies are different and we know our own body best. We know when things are out of alignment, when something truly isn’t working for us. I quickly get the inner nudge when I am not following my desires, or miss workouts or I indulge on foods that don’t work for me. That inner nudge is what brings me back to the gym, eating wholesome nutritious foods and taking time in my day to sit and be still to really tap into what is important to me.
This clarity of my body has allowed me to tap into my deeper intuition, the deep place inside me where I know what lights me up. I feel like I am worth nurturing myself to be a better mom, wife, friend and person. Taking care of my body inside and out allows me to be able to do all that I want to do in life and I can’t wait for what life has to offer going forward.
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