body positivity · Uncategorized

The highs and lows of my actual thoughts on Women’s Day and our beauty obsessed culture.

Yesterday was International Women’s Day and I found myself thinking about what it means to be a woman. Where we are, how far we’ve come and what we need to do to gain the equality that we still don’t have.

I heard a lot about how we all need to support one another. I also thought about the women in my life who have been role models and taught me about strength, resiliency and how to be a good friend. I was feeling all, I am Woman, Hear Me Roar!”

Then I went to the gym for a boot camp class with lots of other women. Great way to celebrate the strong woman I am right?! 👊🏻 💪🏻 Usually I workout at home where I’m not in front of a mirror or when I go to the gym I’m off to the side so I don’t see myself. But last night I had a few close encounters with the mirror in the circuit we were doing and I hated it! I saw the fat around my hips – aka saddle bags (who coined that term anyway?) Then I moved up to stomach and asked myself, why is it so big, I eat well and I workout regularly and then up to my arms which I quickly decided are so big and then over to the fat between my chest and armpits and wondered how do I make that go away?!

F#@K

And don’t even get me started on how I feel about my skin these days. It’s like I turned 38 and the world new it was time to start telling me how much younger I could look. I am still dealing with the effects of adult acne which now that it’s gotten better has left me with some small scars but add those to my large pores and my skin texture is (in my mind) horrible. Not to mention that I’m also starting to get jowls, mother f, I’m going to have to invest in that treatment that’s about $1500 in order to nip this all in the bud!

Jeez…. did I mention that all of this ran through my mind in less than a minute.

Thankfully I have some practices that I’ve learned for times when this kind of negative thinking starts running through my mind.

a. unfollow or put the phone down.

b. If I’m at the mirror, stop that thinking even though I really want to go down that road and collect all the evidence for why I’m not good enough and broken (or needing to be “fixed”) and instead I replace those thoughts with a few loving thoughts… thank you Louise Hay (the godmother of positive affirmations)… my skin in healthy, healing and glowing.

And when I was at the gym I replaced those thoughts with, you’re strong, you’re giving your body love, you are blessed to be able to exercise, you are good enough just the way you are. I sent that out to everyone in the room because I had a feeling a lot of them were probably beating themselves up too.

Even though I have been working on learning to love my body more a over the past few years, it can be a constant struggle, especially when we live in a world that always wants to fix us.

I woke up this morning and felt really good. I laid in bed, took a few deep breaths, thought about how great I felt and how grateful I was.

I got up and this good vibe feeling was flowing right up until I checked in on instagram.

It was a simple enough post that triggered my good vibes to stop dead in their tracks and set off all of my “you’re not good enough” alarms. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I need to get off Instagram, maybe it’s just my own anxieties but I’ve been realizing more and more lately just how obsessed our culture is with an unrealistic standard of beauty.

After seeing the post that made me feel like I needed to fix myself immediately or hide away from the world forever, I did a little research and found a book called “Beauty Sick, How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women” by Dr. Renee Engeln, a psychology professor and body image researcher at Northwestern University and I watcher her Ted talk.

This is the description of her talk on YouTube, “Girls grow up hearing both implicit and explicit messages suggesting that the most important attribute they can strive for is beauty. The chronic focus on beauty directs cognitive, financial, and emotional resources away from other more important goals. Dr. Engeln considers whether there is hope for treating the epidemic of beauty sickness and what it might be like to live in a world where women feel free to spend less time in front of the mirror and more time changing the world.”

Yessss!!!! As I listened to the talk, I started to feel better. Phew, I’m not alone. A few weeks ago, I actually decided not to look in the mirror as much. I spend most days working at home without makeup on and it’s too easy to go down the rabbit hole of self hate if I do, so I have started just looking down as I wash my hands and moving on. A, nothing to see here folks, approach. Get in and get out! It sounds sad, I realize that. But it’s better than the alternative in my opinion. And hey, if you are in a place right now where every time you look at your un-done up face and think, damn I’m perfect! Good for you!!! I hope to get to that place too. And no it won’t be because I buy your miracle anti age attacking face cream. But again, if that worked for you, great. But please don’t email me and tell me you can fix my skin. It reminds me of the time that I shared my engagement news at a women’s networking group. This group’s whole foundation was based on the power we as women had when we joined together. I loved it! Anyways, so I got back to my desk after that meeting and received a call from a fellow member of this group. After we exchanged niceties she went on to say, “so I thought with your upcoming wedding that you’d want to lose some weight and I have just the shake to help you do that.”

OMG!!!

No thank you. Bye.

The sad part was I wasn’t really shocked that someone would say that to me. I was a size 11/12 at the time after all (insert sarcasm) and was used to being body shamed at that point in my life. Sad but true.

And I also know that In some industry’s that’s how they make their money. They are encouraged to prey on other people’s insecurities and pain points. And yes, if you know me, right now, you’re probably thinking, but wait, don’t you partner with a company that sells shakes? Yes, I do. But I can tell you that I didn’t start adding them to my life because the person who told me about them said I should lose weight for my upcoming wedding. And she didn’t tell me that she could fix me with them. I bought them because I wanted more nutrients in my life, that’s all. Her social media wasn’t filled with, lose weight, look better promos, before and afters, and other messages that made me feel not good enough. And I liked that. Some people may like the other way. I can only speak for myself.

Full disclosure: In a blog post from a few years ago, I did post a before and after and I have on my insta once too. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with before and afters. But I do believe in everything in moderation. And also asking, what is the motivation for posting.

And don’t get me wrong! I love facials, and treatments and getting dolled up. I enjoy the way I look with make up on and my hair done. I just don’t want to feel obsessed with it. And if my acne scars never go away and my teeth never get as white as the people I see on tv, then I want to feel ok with that. Because hopefully I will have a lot more aging in my future and I’d like to enjoy those years and all of the goodness that comes with them.

The comment about shedding the weight before my wedding was made in 2008 and the tedtalk I mentioned above was 2013. Have we evolved for the better since then?

I think we have and we haven’t.

There is a lot more body love, body positive messages out there today then when I was growing up.

For example, messages like the Dove Real beauty sketches video on YouTube. The one where women describe themselves to a sketch artist who can’t see them. It is a powerful reminder to be nicer to ourselves. But, as another person pointed out on their blog, it still narrows down a women’s value to being wrapped up in beauty only.

Still on my hunt for what the internet thought about this beauty obsessed culture we live in, I came across Carrie Hammers Ted Talk “The Business of Beauty is Very Ugly.”

She says that only 4% of women identify as beautiful. Ugh.

Ok so maybe we don’t need to feel beautiful to be whole? I’m down with that. But sadly when we aren’t feeling beautiful we are probably feeling a lot of other not cool things.

In her research she found that

“Women not feeling beautiful has huge, dangerous echoing effects on our society,” Hammer says. “Eight out of ten women opt out of important life events when they don’t feel [attractive] … Young girls self-select themselves out of sports, activities or even raising their hand in class because they don’t want to draw attention to how they look.” As an adolescent, Hammer never saw anyone who looked like her in magazine pages, and so she assumed she must not be beautiful and that beauty products would “fix” her. “[I did] what the magazines told me to,” she says. “I bowed down to the beauty bibles — started chemically straightening my hair … started hating my skin color, my thighs.”

You’ve probably been there too. I know I have been. And as I’ve already stated, I seem to still be there as my body and my skin evolves. #funtimes

But what I really liked about Carrie’s talk is what she had to say about how unrealistic these beauty standards are.

And I’m not just talking about an Instagram filter here and there either.

She talks about how 12 year old models are made to look like they’re 30 and then marketed targeted to adult women. I mean, wtf. No wonder we feel like we’ll never look young enough!

Hammer discusses “Frankenstein Photoshop,” in which photo editors use multiple models to make one image. “Recently, a famous 70-something celebrity was photographed for the cover of a big magazine,” Hammer says, “[for the shoot] but apparently they thought her legs looked too old so a younger leg model was called in, photographed and her legs were superimposed over the star’s for the cover.”

We are living in a world of delusion she says.

And with apps like FaceTune, which I just googled to get a brief description of, we really can’t trust anything we see online. Google it. Look at the video tutorials that show kids and marketers how to use it.

A before-and-after of a photo Hammer edited with Facetune (Photo: Carrie Hammer)

It’s no wonder people are logging off social media these days.

I’m not pointing fingers at anyone here. Because as I have learned that when I point my finger, there are always three pointing back at me. I can only look at myself and try to do better.

We’ve all been raised in this beauty sick culture. We are all trying to do our best I believe. And for me that means, keeping an open mind. What works for some doesn’t mean it will work for me. Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts, beliefs and opinions. I can only take care of my own and do my best to practice the golden rule. “Do onto others as I’ve had done onto me.”

And we can all be role models by what we do and say in front of the next generation of girls and boys. I saw this first hand while hanging out with my seven year old niece last summer at the cottage. The magazine I was reading which was a health magazine had six very fit women on the cover all with their abs of steel showing. I noticed her looking at the cover deep in thought. And I wondered what she was thinking. Was her brain being washed with this delusion of perfection? It made my heart sad. But it reminded me to keep my own brain free of that nonsense and to not beat myself up in front of her and also to give her praise and acknowledgment for more than just how pretty she is.

It effects men and boys too. That same weekend at the cottage my nephew said, Auntie Cori, if you’re healthy, how come your belly sticks out. I actually laughed inside because he asked it so innocently and it wasn’t his fault I was walking around reading a health magazine with abs of steel women splashed across its cover. I mean he didn’t say that’s why he asked but I wonder if it was?

It was an honest question and a very good one. My response to him was that you don’t have to have abs of steel to be healthy. And that even skinny people can be unhealthy. That health is based on much more than what’s on the outside. And also that having abs is great for people too if that’s what works for them.

Ahhh…

I was reminded at that moment how tricky and hard being a parent is and why I love being an aunt. 🙂

So to take it back to Women’s Day.

I have no idea what we need as women. I can only focus on myself. Check in with myself. Try to focus on things that empower me. Take my focus off of society’s unrealistic standards. Keep reinforcing positive thoughts over negative ones so that I don’t get pissed off at a simple instagram post. Share positive uplifting things on social media. I’m not doing a no make up selfie though. I’m not there yet. Spend less time getting the perfect pose and more time experiencing the moments. Less time criticizing parts of my body and more time giving them the love they deserve. Praise other women of all ages for their non- beauty related accomplishments.

And like Carrie Hammer said, “share the message and make impossible beauty a thing of the past.”

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entrepreneur · self-employed · Uncategorized · uncertainty

Ignorance on Fire is better than Knowledge on Ice.

This is good to know. Because sometimes all I know for sure is that I won’t settle for less. That is the fire. The knowledge will come.

How long does it take evolve? The definition of evolve is, incremental changes over time.

Evolving can be a very uncertain journey at times. It takes times but it will happen.

Life is uncertain for me right now, or maybe just different. Two years ago I made the decision to leave my dream job that paid me very well to embark on an adventure with my husband.

We had always wanted to move to a new place (think California, Arizona, Vancouver, we even thought about Dubai at one point). Well, an opportunity presented itself where my hubby would have the exact role he was looking for, a step up in title, working at a luxury brand and I would also have a job with many of the things that I loved, sales marketing, social media, travelling for work, building my network in the meetings and events industry and learning a completely new side of the business in a city that although it rhymes with fun didn’t exactly have the year-round warm climate, ocean breeze or city vibe we were looking for. Instead we had a great opportunity in Regina, Saskatchewan, population 230,000, government city and cold AF in the winter.

The pros:

  • Both of us would have jobs
  • a stepping stone
  • a city where I already had a few friends through the job I left
  • And the best country music festival going #CountryThunder

I had visited Regina twice before in the Summer and thought it was a fantastic, highly underrated place. It had a chill vibe and a slower pace. I had heard people refer to it as a small city, big town.

So when we got this opportunity, we weighed out the pros and cons and decided that it was a new adventure. A big pro is that I would see more of my husband as we would both be on the same schedule and working very close to one another. And I wouldn’t be travelling as much! I decided that this time in my life would be like a spiritual wilderness retreat. I would finally have the time to slow down a little more and simplify life. And that it is exactly what I’ve done (begrudgingly at times).

First of all I haven’t lived away or too far away (less than an hour from my family) since my first year of college and I was so homesick when I did that. At least this time I would have my husband with me every step of the way.

So here we are, two years in and as I reflect, I see just how much has happened. First things first, my job was a big learning curve with lots of challenges but I did really well and met my targets. But something just wasn’t feeling right. I learned very quickly how much the freedom and autonomy of my previous jobs meant to me and my sanity.

The other thing that I found tough during this this transition was not having my support team, you know the people and things that take you away from work and remind you of who you really are and what’s important. And just the fun things that you do together, like having my mom nearby, going to the cottage or fun times in the city. Or my niece and nephew who instantly give me perspective and fill my heart up. And the TFC! I realize just how much the ritual of heading to the stadium, getting to our seats and losing ourselves in the match meant to me. It shuts your mind off, it allows you to escape and feel passion. And of course, my friends, the friendships that I’ve built over 38 years of my life.

But that is my comfort zone and I made the choice to grow over staying the same so fast forward to today. Something incredible happened with the job that I just wasn’t loving. It was like being in a cage for my free-spirited, creative, soul.

Ok so here’s what happened. You probably know or have heard of those people who weren’t happy in their job and they got laid off and it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to them. I got to the point where I wanted to be that person. Seriously. So that I could break free and go on a new adventure, maybe it would be actually becoming the entrepreneur I always talked about becoming or maybe I could just take some time to travel, to slow down and to take care of my health (by the way my type 1 diabetes management is currently the best it’s been in a long time) or network and apply for the jobs that I know I want.

The day after my birthday, I went to work and found out that we were all being laid off due to restructuring. This meant I could apply for any of the new jobs with the caveat “only apply for what you really want as you will only get one offer.” There was only one position that I was willing to accept. and if I didn’t get that very sought after position it was freedom time. Well I didn’t get it.

So here I am, six months into my entrepreneurial experience and loving it but also uncertain most of the time. I have a few things I’m working on, I’m freelancing as a business development consultant and I have three clients! When I told my husband, about the two additional clients I landed, he looked at me and said. “You have a little business babe!” I think I was still in a little bit of shock or denial until I heard someone else say it to me. And sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit. So I took a moment and to really appreciate that this was happening and more importantly that I could do this!

But I can’t stop there, I have to think about how I can sustain this and grow it. And evolve it all into some of the bigger dreams I have.

That said, I often have no idea if what I’m doing is the right thing and if this will lead to running a successful business. I am so used to measuring myself based on my sales numbers. But now that I have a much larger role, leadership (of myself), creative director, human resources, professional development manager, sales consultant, coordinator, etc. etc so I am learning to measure my success differently.

Health is my number 1 priority as my own boss. So many corporations say this is a core value in their business but sadly, the rubber rarely meets the road when it comes to actually implementing this value.

Professional development. Opening my mind up to new ideas. Constantly bringing in fresh new information from thought leaders and people that I respect. Reading, podcasts, courses, investing in new skills like web design, email marketing, communications and anything else that is needed to get my business off the ground. Investing in my business feels hard sometimes.. because I have no idea if there will be a return on investment… but as long as I actually put action behind the investment then the ROI will be there, because learning a new skill is never a waste of money.

I thought I should put my new ways of measuring my success into 5 core values.

Here they are:

  1. Health
  • Did I workout regularly this week?
  • How was my nutrition?
  • Did I meditate?
  • Did I take brain and movement breaks throughout the day?

2. Professional Development

  • Did I work on something PD related daily? Podcast/book/course?

3.Vision/Alignment

  • Did my work today align with my values?
  • Did I pursue an opportunity that will lead me toward my vision or the feeling I am looking to achieve. For example working with people, organizations and causes who share my core values (treat their people well/treat the world well)

4. Balance (could fall under health):

  • I did not leave the 9-5, 40hr work week to trade it in for an 80hr work week. Hey, if you believe that is what you need to do to grow your own business that’s great! It’s just not for me. And I’ve met people, worked with people and learned from other successful entrepreneurs who also did not work 80 hours a week to get that success.
  • Vacation, easy mornings (meditation, stretching, water and coffee, this might seem odd but honestly, the amount of stress I went through every morning could not have been good!)
  • Phone down in the evenings

5. Service

  • How am I giving back to the world personally and professionally? We’ve heard this over and over again, the key to an abundant life is serving others and giving back.

And that’s it.

Oh one more thing, do something every day that scares me! Maybe every week… ? We will see how that goes.

This is all I know right now. I can only trust in myself, accept my fears for what they are, or at least recognize the self limiting beliefs and move through them.

There are so many “reasons” why I may not be successful but I’ve also spent many years looking at others doing it, and saying, if they can do it, why can’t I?

I am a strong believer that our visions, desires and dreams are put in our hearts and minds for a reason and it’s our job (if we choose) to bring them to life! I know this because I have already brought so many of my dreams to life!

And even the not so perfect things that have manifested in my life have always brought me more internal growth than I could have ever thought up myself. Even the things I don’t necessarily like very much have been gifts because they’ve shown me what I don’t want, and I learn from that contrast. It has reinforced my values and it has shown me that I deserve to feel valued, respected and treated like a person, not a number.

It has pushed me to finally say, enough is enough and make a change, choose the road less travelled, the one without a clear path. Some might say that’s scary and yes, uncertainty is not always super fun but for me, I reached the point where the fear of staying the same (clocking in, clocking out, living out of alignment, hustling to make someone else rich and make their dreams come true while mine sit on the back burner) became greater than the fear of change!

How long can I sit and wonder, what if? If not now, when?

To me getting to my senior years, retiring and still having this entrepreneurial fire smouldering within me, that is what scares me.

Queen B, sums this up perfectly!

Uncategorized

How an Energy Vampire can help you Reach your Goals!

We only have so much energy every day. So we need to spend it wisely.

A friend and I were discussing this topic the other night. As women were we taught to be caretakers of everyone but ourselves?

If we were or not, after a while we have to care for ourselves first. And we have to accept one hundred percent responsibility for the energy that comes in and out of our lives.

And every once in a while we might need to feel the sting or the consequence of absorbing other people’s energy. It will serve as a good reminder to get back on track in your own life. To stay focused on what is important to you and to the people who truly matter in your life, the ones who will always have your back. And to stop wasting time and energy on the ones who don’t.

You don’t have to cut these energy vamps out of your life completely but you can slowly back away.

And when you back away you can re-align with your needs.

It’s hard to know when you’re absorbing people’s energy. I mean relationships are all about energy flowing back and forth. So don’t beat yourself up if you suddenly realize that a person you were flowing with doesn’t have the same values as you or doesn’t respect your relationship the same way you would have. It’s going to happen. We were all brought up with different values and experiences. Take the good and leave the rest behind.

Instead of becoming upset that someone you have helped out or been there for has wronged you in some way, share your feelings honestly (and if to do so will not create more drama) and move on. Or don’t. Sometimes saying nothing is the best option. Either way, now you know where not to spend your time and energy. Win!

Ask yourself if you were giving your energy to seek some sort of approval or validation to help you feel better about yourself. If you were now you’ve learned a really valuable lesson, and that is, you do not need anyone else’s approval. You are enough and they are just another human who cannot make you feel anything. Your feeling like enough can only come from within.

If you were actually just being kind and giving your energy freely because that’s what friends do, then way to go! You’re a good person! That’s called integrity. You did the right thing for the right reason. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You may however just want to reevaluate if it’s in your best interest to continue to give to that relationship in that way.

Now, the hard part… try not to judge. We all make mistakes. We are all on our journey. Judging will only add more negative energy to your vibe. And that’s exactly what we are trying to have less of. Lovingly detach, look after yourself. It’s not selfish, it’s self care.

Take this experience and use it to help propel you forward. Losing time in other people’s stuff could just be a distraction that you’re creating so you don’t have to focus on your own life, goals and dreams. Ouch! I know, that’s a tough pill to swallow. But honestly, take that time and energy and put it toward something you’ve always wanted to do.

How do you deal with energy vampires? Have you ever discovered a relationships that did not have mutual values? Did you walk away from (or ghost) that relationship?

Type 1 diabetes

This Is Type One

Today is November 14th. World Diabetes Day.

The following post was inspired the #thisistypeome project! (Check it out on instagram)

Here we go!

Things that scare me:

Complications, obviously. Gawd, it was like all I seemed to hear about as a child… losing eye sight, losing a limb, heart attack, stroke…. and pretty much everything else starts earlier when you’ve had t1d this long too. Good news, less complications are happening these days due to the advancement in how we can care for ourselves. Phew. My eye doctor, a very good and busy Toronto eye doctor who assured me that he sees a lot of people, said that he rarely sees people losing their sight due to diabetes. He also told me that my eyes were in fantastic condition for someone living with type 1 for over 30 years!!! If you’re a t1d reading this, you’ll know how friggin awesome that felt!!! Excuse me, doctor? Are you actually complimenting me on something related to diabetes? And giving me good news?! I wanted to hug him!

Although doctors, nurse educators and me (all part of the diabetes education team) have come a long way, I think some are luckier than others with their team and you really have to find one that works for you. As a kid I was lucky (even though I didn’t think so then) to be under the care and guidance of the Hospital for Sick Children.

What annoys me about Type 1?

I love to travel but I didn’t for many years because I was afraid of something bad happening away from home. As a kid i had a few hospital visits in Florida that weren’t fun, a scary situation in Michigan at a mall where I got super sick and had to be picked up in an ambulance and one time I also got really sick in the bathroom of airport and we almost missed our flight. I bounced back though and ended up getting priority boarding, met the captain and had a tour of the cock pit.

I finally got over that fear in my later 20s and started to travel more. The annoying part is all the stuff I have to pack. Even for a weekend getaway, my diabetes supplies take up a pretty big portion of a carry on. I’ve got my pumps supplies (and back ups), syringes, in case my pump breaks, extra meters in case one of those breaks and all the emergency snacks. So once I add my shoe options in, that’s it for carry on space! 😉

I also dislike the way some TSA people can treat me for having 4 juice boxes with me. More often then not I get a raised eyebrow and I’ve also had one person actually say, you don’t need this many. My response was, well I really would love to not have to carry these around all the time too but what if we get stranded on the tarmac for 14 hours?? She didn’t have much of a response for me.

Seriously though, that has happened and I’ve heard the stories. I wish it wasn’t something I had to think about it, but it is!

The other annoying thing is when people try to tell you about your diabetes. Here is a list of some of the unsolicited advice and comments I’ve heard over the years:

⁃ diabetes is a sugar problem. (Airport security line, was actually yelled to by tsa as hey you the girl with the sugar problem)

⁃ I don’t need to worry about having children with type 1 because it skips a generation. Interesting because my niece also has diabetes so not sure how that works. I thought it was twins that skipped a generation??

⁃ You should or shouldn’t have kids because you’re a type 1 diabetic (like just don’t give advice to anyone about having kids unless they ask. Especially someone with a very complicated disease). #liferule

⁃ Melon cures diabetes (also in an airport security line)

⁃ Oh you are on the insulin pump so you must have the bad kind.

⁃ The chiropractor can cure diabetes.

⁃ You can’t/shouldn’t be eating that should you? (More on this below)

⁃ You’re too strict with your diet. Loosen up a little.

⁃ People still in this day age think diabetes is caused by poor diet and weight problems. It can be the cause for type 2 yes, but I have met and heard from many in the diabetes online community who have type 2 and are not overweight and who eat really healthy and still can’t reverse it. And type 1 is an autoimmune disease where my body attacked itself. (In my case it attacked and destroyed the insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas).

You might be wondering why I focus so much on diet and exercise if it doesn’t have to do with diabetes. Good question.

Taking care of my body through diet and exercise is just as important for me as it is for anyone else. The only difference is when I don’t, I feel the effect faster.

Type 1 diabetes management is about finding the perfect balance between insulin, diet (carbs) and exercise. I won’t make this more complicated by adding the other variables in like stress, illness, hormones etc.

I can eat sugar. The reason why they told type 1’s this years ago was because, we used to be on one injection a day, so our whole day was planned and calculated out based on that. Therefore adding any form of carbs (or sugar), even an apple could throw blood sugars skyrocketing. Unless you were about to do some exercise then it was fair game to grab a chocolate bar! (I remember working in the canteen at the arena as a kid (probably age 5) and seeing a guy that I knew was T1 grabbing a chocolate bar before the game and looking at my mom like “What? How come he’s allowed?” And she explained that because it would help him not go low on the ice.

With today’s advancements and knowledge and by either being on an insulin pump or multiple injections a day, it allows for more flexibility. Now people can set their insulin basal amount (the amount that drops in constantly) lower an hour of so before a big workout to help them not have a low blood sugar.

And even though I can eat chocolate cake and ice cream or anything else high in carbs, the less I do that, the less swings in my blood sugar levels I have.

The best part in today’s world though is that I get to make that call. If it’s my birthday or a special occasion or I just have a craving and I want a piece of cake, I can have it. I tell my pump how many carbs (or make my best guesstimate) is in that piece of cake and it will then give me the amount of insulin, (that my team and I have programmed it to give based on my specific insulin to carb ratio) needed to cover it.

So the only difference between you and me is that my fake pancreas (my pump) is kicking that insulin out and your real pancreas is pushing out insulin to cover the food/carbs. And all the other effects of that food on us are the same. So before you judge me, take a look at your own health and food choices.

And now you can also see why it’s easier for me to pass on office cookies or treats. It’s just not worth me guessing wrong and having a super high blood sugar that could throw the next few days off on a roller coaster of highs and lows.

As I’ve always said, this disease is not the worst disease but it’s also still a very scary disease that comes with me everywhere and shows up whenever it wants. I do my best to be “normal” and have learned to practice gratitude and acceptance. But it sucks and I want a cure. If not for me then at least for my niece and all the other little ones and their parents. Type 1 parents are my heroes. They lose so much sleep just checking on their kids throughout the night to make sure their blood sugar hasn’t dropped. I send you all a big hug and thank you from the bottom of my heart. I had no idea until my niece was diagnosed at 15 months old what it felt like to have a loved one with diabetes. It’s heartbreaking. So thank you for staying strong for us.

I hope that if you’ve read this you have learned a little more about Diabetes and will help spread the message and stop the stereotypes if and when you see or hear them.

fitness · meditation · self-care · Type 1 diabetes · Wellness

Who you become on your way to success, is the internal gold that is worth more than all other measures…

It has been a few years since my last post. I am back and have re-designed my blog to align with my life today. I am still a type 1 diabetic (unfortunately the cure hasn’t quite been perfected yet. But it’s coming!) In the past few years I have continued to grow and evolve and I am ready to get back here and start sharing my journey again!

My life has had many ups and downs and for a long time it was mainly just a lot of downs. Growing up I struggled with my body image and confidence. I was always the heavier girl in my group of friends and felt pretty insecure most of the time.

I also felt so different most of my life because of the fact that I am a type 1 diabetic and was told from a young age that I couldn’t do the things that other kids did. Like eat candy on Halloween or have chocolate bunnies at Easter, and couldn’t eat cake at birthday parties! Not to mention I had to poke myself with needles all the time! Ugh! And my family lived in a constant state of fear that something bad might be happen to me at any time. Thank god research and technology has changed the way type 1 is treated these days so that I and all those kids who have this dumb disease can eat carbs and in moderation just like everyone else (as long as I count those carbs correctly and give the right amount of insulin to break the sugar down, yes we should have math and science degrees!)

I shied always from exercise the older I got because I would experience low blood sugars that weren’t fun. This was a pretty big obstacle for me to overcome and it’s always a work in progress, because until there is a cure, I will always have to balance and live with the ups and downs of Type 1 diabetes.

 Being different…

being told I couldn’t do things, feeling insecure about my body, lead to me becoming pretty rebellious in high school until my mid 20’s. I used to drink a lot to numb my feelings and fit in. I masked who I was because I didn’t feel good enough just being me. And the worse I treated myself, the worse it became. The guilt was so heavy and the shame I carried all the time was just crazy!

It has been a long journey getting where I am today. 12 years ago I reached bottom in my life and knew that I didn’t want to live that way anymore. I wasn’t sure what I wanted exactly but I knew it wasn’t that life anymore! The real me was not going to let that darkness have control over my future so I stopped drinking and everything else and started a journey to be the best version of me I could be. Over those years I’ve learned to dream again, set goals achieve them and take risks! The journey is evolving all the time and I still have ups and downs but those downs are few and far between!
But I have a confession to make! It’s something that was really irritating me for a while!

I DON’T LOSE WEIGHT EASILY!!! Seriously!

Honestly I used to get so mad when I stepped on the scale because it wouldn’t budge! I would be so upset, even in tears with feelings of defeat and failure. But if I am being honest with myself, had I ever really been consistent with anything? Probably not, but it’s still frustrating because I know other people who can lose weight and not be 100% committed and consistent.

It doesn’t matter to me any more though! Sometime after I found Anna Renderer’s Popsugar workouts a light bulb went off for me. I was like wait, I feel great after I work out!! And why would I let the scale change that? I made the decision then that I wasn’t going to work out to lose weight. I was going to work out to disconnect after work and to be healthier! And I honestly feel that is the number one reason why I’ve finally found something that I could stick with! Because I’m doing it for the right reasons now and my body is like, geez thanks lady, it took you long enough to love me for who we are and get ok with it and lose all that drama that you were attaching to it!

Maybe it has to do with just doing something good for someone and not expecting anything in return (and that someone is YOU!!).

Once I had that mental shift – the doors started opening up. It really is true what they say, “The teacher will appear when the student is ready!”

So here I am. Loving myself enough to invest in the nutrients my body needs to get those regular workouts in. I’m not only joining accountability groups and actually participating in them, I am also running them so that I can share this simple method with people I care about!

When I kicked drinking and got out of the depression I was in I learned that I would get out of this new way of living what I put into it. Over the last year I’ve finally started to see results in this area of my life as well.

I’m sharing this story today because I know we all struggle and we are all on our own path. Do I wish I had the ‘I don’t care about the scale” epiphany a long time ago? Yes I do but I can’t change the past. Do I still step on the scale once a week to see if I lost weight? NOPE! My scale broke sometime over the holidays and I haven’t replaced it yet! It was hard, very much like an addiction. I wanted to know! But now to measure my success I look in the mirror and focus on how strong I’m becoming. Instead of judging my worth by what I see on the scale now I feel my arms and can feel baby triceps starting to form. I squeeze my butt and feel it getting harder! I take sweaty selfies. I focus on what I am starting to love about myself. Recently I took a sweaty selfie and I was like OMG Jason what are those??? And he told me they were my abs?!?! What??? Maybe they are just baby abs for now, but I’m so friggin’ motivated by that! I will get those abs!!

B_A

More importantly, how much will I grow on the way to that goal? What will I learn about myself? What fears will I uncover and squash? I know I can do this!! And my friends who have supported me along the journey are a big reason I am here today! So thank you ladies!! But it really is an inside job… so tell me what motivates you?? Why are investing in yourself? Why are you worth it?!

I have a 21 Day Wellness Group starting April 10th, called
Confidence is Beauty, the “Spring Awakening”
and am looking for ladies who are ready to take some small steps to wellness and have FUN on the way!

This is my all time favourite comment from a challenger

testimonial1

Uncategorized

My D Blog Week Favourite Things :: Day 7

Today’s Task: share a few of our favorite thingsc from the week. This can be anything from a #DBlogWeek post you loved, a fantastic new-to-you blog you found, a picture someone included in a post that spoke to you, or comment left on your blog that made you smile. Anything you liked is worth sharing!

When I started to think about writing today’s post… This came to mind… “You get a car, you get a car, you get a car… “We’re going to AUUUUSSSSTTTTRRRRRAAAAIIILLLLIAAAA!!!!” (If
In case you’ve lived under a rock for the last decade, like my husband apparently has, that was my Oprah during her Favourite Things show impression) 😉

All kidding aside though, this week has been wonderful!
Here are my favourite things:

1. This comment made me ball my eyes out! https://coriannh.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/what-brings-me-down-day-3-dblogweek/comment-page-1/#comment-25

2. Connecting with so many people all in one week! Some of them I’ve been admiring from the sidelines for a few years now! Like Mike at http://www.thediabeticscornerbooth.com, Karen at http://bittersweetdiabetes.com/, Kelly at http://diabetesaliciousness.blogspot.com/

3. A shout out from Amy T at http://www.diabetesmine.com

4. Discovered lots of new blogs. Two that stood out for me were, Sarah Grace at http://www.coffeeandinsulin.com and Kelley at http://www.coffeeandinsulin.com

Thank you everyone! I really hope that I get to know you all better and maybe even meet you IRL!!

Type 1 diabetes · Uncategorized

Saturday snapshots :: D Blog Week :: Day 6

I almost forget this one. Living in the city where Insulin was discovered! Is it a coindidence that our citiy's icon looks like a giant syringe?
I almost forget this one. Living in the city where Insulin was discovered! Is it a coindidence that our citiy’s icon looks like a giant syringe?
image

I take a lot of photos on my phone as I travel through life. So for today’s post I scrolled through my camera roll and chose some pics that show what diabetes looks like in my life. I’ve always been trying to do a #100happydaysdiabetes challenge on twitter (before dblog week started and took over my life lol)so I had lots to choose from.

Working out regularly to stay healthy
Working out regularly to stay healthy
Checked my bg mid boot camp and dropped my bag! I thought the test strip confetti was hilarious.. My fellow boot campers probably thought I was having some sort of diabetic "episode" lol. Cue the next image.
Checked my bg mid boot camp and dropped my bag! I thought the test strip confetti was hilarious.. My fellow boot campers probably thought I was having some sort of diabetic “episode” lol. Cue the next image.
Well it's not really awesome but our community is
Well it’s not really awesome but our community is
Making really awesome friends who also have Footie fanatic syndrome.
Making really awesome friends who also have Footie fanatic syndrome.
Eating healthy most of the time... Usually when my wonderful husband whips something up.I said most of the time... Yes I am eating bbq in above photo including corn bread  and it was damn good!
Eating healthy most of the time… Usually when my wonderful husband whips something up.I said most of the time… Yes I am eating bbq in above photo including corn bread and it was damn good!
Our wedding day... Another dream come true <3
Our wedding day… Another dream come true ❤

Having a blast with my niece and nephew. D can't stop us!
Having a blast with my niece and nephew. D can’t stop us!
Just like we've always done! This is me and my bro in Florida with mom and our Pa. D was always with us but I remember more of the good times than the bad times when I look back now.
Just like we’ve always done! This is me and my bro in Florida with mom and our Pa. D was always with us but I remember more of the good times than the bad times when I look back now.
Celebrating these times
Celebrating these times
Remembering this. Always.
Remembering this. Always.