I’m going to write this like you’re all newbies – ’cause I think many of you are and I want to share my story again.  My story and how my perspective has changed was brought to my attention last night.  3 years ago at this time we went for a little Canada Day celebration.  We were also approaching the third anniversary of our baby girl being diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.  Go ahead, Google it…. I’ll wait here.

Welcome back… So yeah, pretty terrifying to say the least.  My reaction to it all, I think, was pretty normal and one of the things I liked to do was create as much chaos as possible.  Not negative chaos – but I just made sure I was always busy, busy, busy.  If I wasn’t busy – I would cry.  Sitting idle made my poor heart face too many realities all at once and if I didn’t cry – I would eat, like A LOT!  So 3 years ago at this time we went on this little trip to the mountains and I can still remember the anxiety of having my child in these crowds around all these germs – she still sucked her thumb at the time too so that didn’t really help.  We had a wonderful trip but looking back I can still see – no, I can still FEEL how on-edge I was the whole time.  In the end, she ended up with a fever in the evening and I stayed back with her while my husband took our older child to enjoy the fireworks….. I can’t help but wonder if I manifested this fever because I couldn’t do the crowds anymore.

Bless the Universe and the beautiful ways it works…. it did NOT want me to live this way and in my efforts to heal my broken heart I always kept coming back to stillness.  Nothing can heal in chaos.  Not your heart, not your soul and certainly NOT your mind.  Yoga is nothing if not a celebration of stillness and giving your body and mind what it needs to work together.

balance 3In this stillness – I knew what I wanted – and it was to not live a life of anxiety based on things I simply could not control.  I did not want to live in chaos – you miss a whole lot of delicious moments in your life if you don’t stop to breathe it all in.  There are many, many things I can control about how Cystic Fibrosis; if I wanted to stay REALLY in control I would bubble-wrap my baby girl and we would never leave the house.  This is NOT a life anyone should be forced to live.   We are going to the same town to celebrate Canada Day this year and it’s liberating to see how far we have come …  how much more I am only focused on the beautiful family memories we will create and not the fear of the unknown. So we find the balance – we breathe a sigh of relief when she finally stops sucking her thumb – and we forge on ahead armed with the desire to not let fear and chaos rob of us the moment and buckets of hand sanitizer!!

#ReleaseRevolution(10)

 

Want to deal with the remnants of body image issues left behind as a result of decades of dieting really fast?

Decide to become a yoga teacher.

In the summer.

I am so aware of all the messages we are inundated with this time of year.  Magazine covers with headlines like “Get A Bikini Body for Summer” or pictures of dimply bums that say “Worst Celebrity Bodies” or just threads on Social Media that shame the crap out of someone because they have body fat.  Bodies with fat in real life are not the exception to the rule. We actually NEED fat on our bodies to survive.  However, everyday we see bodies with fat  endure ridicule and shame.  What’s the solution?  Stop feeling bad about your body and go out and enjoy your freaking life!

So, back to yoga teacher training.  I am hyper-aware of the last of my insecurities as I approach the 2 weeks until teacher training starts.  I realize that I am going to want to ask questions about how to deal with breasts and tummies in certain poses to help my clients adjust accordingly – without shame or judgment.  I am afraid that I will be the only curvy person in my training.  I tell people that I’m worried about the schedule and all I have to learn – only because I want to release some of the fear and vulnerability I am feeling – but the truth of the matter is; all I am REALLY worried about is my body and my perceptions of it’s flaws and limitations.

I rolled my ankle badly a few years ago and in preparing for my training it has flared up – I genuinely worry that backing off from being gentle with this injury will somehow be about the fat on my body… like someone might think “it’s that fat spilling over her yoga pants that’s making that ankle hurt”… I know… ridiculous.

I had a quite a tremendous “aha” moment a couple of weeks ago when I finished a class.  The yoga teacher complimented my king pigeon pose (ahhh, my dream pose) and while I said “thank you” – I went on to complain that I had to use a strap.  She exclaimed “me too!” and we both commiserated that we are coming to terms with the fact that we will never reach our foot in this pose – that our physiology will not allow for it.  Huh, somehow I had made my short limbs about my body fat.  This teeny little gal that was sharing this “me too” moment with me might have had short limbs too – but I assure you – no excess body fat.

This is what I LOVE about yoga!  It’s about your body – but it’s not.  It’s about embracing your body and what it is capable of right in that very moment.  You can’t think about how a pose was easier yesterday – that just makes it harder.  You have to accept.  Yoga is breathing acceptance into every corner of your body. You will never receive the true benefits of yoga until you learn to bring your body to the mat and celebrate the shit out of that!  Yoga is not about having or achieving a “yoga body” if you do Yoga – you have a yoga body.

How you feel about your body is YOUR CHOICE. I have chosen decades of insecurity and shame.  I can assure you that neither of these approaches resulted in no body fat.  So today I CHOOSE love and compassion for my body and ALL of the bodies around me.  It’s not about your body lovies – all of those things that you like to blame on your body…  that’s just a fail safe to stop you from owning your shit.  CHOOSE to love your body – without apology – so that you can make room to find your passion and purpose.  I see so clearly now that without this body my soul resides in – I would not be about to embark on the soul-shifting journey that IS yoga teacher training.  Gawd, did I mention how scared I am????

 

I feel like I want to clear the air about something … about what we do and why we do it. I know, on the surface, it might seem contradictory that we sell a weight release protocol but preach the following:

– love your body
-accept your body
-ditch the scale
-stop exercising to punish your body for overeating
-stop dieting
-stop feeling guilt and shame about food and your body

That’s just a small “starter list” – I have had many days lately wishing that our weight release protocol didn’t result in weight release… you had all of the same profound “aha” moments but without the gratification of weight release (the one that we are all brainwashed to believe is the holy grail of self-improvement)… I think we would all stay in those “aha” moments for much longer without it.

It’s okay to LOVE YOUR BODY and want to change it – want to improve it… we just want you to do it with LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!

I understand that we live in a world that drowns us in the message that less body fat/no body fat makes us better, makes us happier, makes us healthier… That’s just really effective marketing muffins… really effective marketing, someone that just wants us to buy their shit has us convinced that “skinny” is the pot of gold we are all going to get once we buy their shit.

The worst part is that they get to market their shit and wrap it all up in “health”… Again this message wrapped up in “health” is just about effective marketing and it’s using women’s lack of self-esteem to sell celery (yes, it’s true, I have seen “The Biggest Loser” celery).  We aren’t that far away from a time period where body fat was celebrated and was a sign of “health” and “wealth”.  Really effective marketing made us terrified of eating fat in the 1980’s, we quit eating butter and ate margarine, no one touched eggs or bacon for awhile and all it did was make us fatter!  Only 5% of dieters succeed so why, dear gawd why, are we still buying the diet???

My point? None of it’s true. None of it. If you want to be “Wholeheartedly Healthy” you have to let go of the notion that it has anything to do with releasing weight. Listen, is the reality that the amount of fat you have on your body going to result in a heart attack – then yes, we have some health based science behind that, obviously. However, and yet again, hating that amount of body fat is never going to make it go away. Overcoming the reasons why you subscribe to the diet culture will.

The key to feeling better about yourself is to remove yourself entirely from the world that makes you feel bad about yourself! It’s not easy. Take some baby steps though, stop Pinning the “Thinspiration” or “Fitspo” stuff, stop following Fan Pages that subscribed to the diet culture, stop buying magazines…   It wasn’t easy for me to let go of my gym membership (I continued to pay my monthly fee for 2 years before I finally cancelled)… but I stopped going because it made me feel bad. I’m not suggesting that you going to a gym will make you feel bad. This is my experience…. I’m just saying that if any of the culture you subscribe to IS making you feel bad then it’s not working! It’s harming you – heart, body, mind and soul!  Find ways to move your body that make you feel GOOD heart, body, mind and soul!

Okay… I think I’m done…. just please take a minute to chew on this – I always say that considering that this message might be true probably feels similar to how people felt the first time they were told the earth was round… and remember… they ALL thought the earth was flat!

‪#‎YouCanChangeYourThoughts‬

out of business

worthiness

I was a little all over the place in May; I’m sure the plague that knocked me out for almost 3 weeks didn’t help but I also realized that the diet culture was such a tremendous part of my life for so long that I’m conditioned to think NOW is the time to start an intense workout regime and/or diet….  and my tricky little brain almost pulled a fast one on me!  I am studying and training for Yoga Teacher training and decided mid-May that I was going to go to a Yoga Class everyday.. you know, so I could post and tweet #YogaEveryDamnDay…  I really am in that hungry for more phase of my yoga path and I am enjoying it … but I pushed a little too hard and an old injury flared up.  I’m super proud to announce that I resisted the “no pain, no gain” mentality – barely.  I almost kept training #EveryDamnDay.

Yesterday morning – my foot/ankle situation was so bad I could barely put any weight on it.  I was kinda shocked when I still considered going to Yoga.  WTF right?  It was a great wake up call to see how easily we can still let that diet culture in.. even if it’s by accident.  And “no pain, no gain” is so contradictory to what Yoga is about it’s insulting – to Yoga. I managed to get a physiotherapy appointment yesterday, took the day off of Yoga… and again today… because THAT is what self-respect and self-care are about.  My body is worthy of this respect and care – and to give it anything less is such a disservice to all it does for me.  

Guess what?  YOU are worthy of all the respect and care you can give yourself.  RIGHT NOW.  “Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites.”  You don’t have to wait to lose weight, or drive a better car, or get married, or colour your hair… YOU ARE WORTHY right now.  However, you have to want it bad.  You have to want it bad enough to consider that all of the things that make you feel like you are trying to prove you are worthy are never going to make you feel worthy.  That magazine you bought yesterday that said “4 Weeks To A Bikini Body” on the cover?  Well, that’s just telling you that you have 4 weeks to get worthy… by getting a bikini body.

So… let’s say you get that bikini body in 4 weeks.  I’m gonna throw it out there that you still won’t feel worthy.

Worth is an inside job my pretties and as long as you look for external gratification – you’ll just keep looking.

It doesn’t just have to be body stuff either.  We all do it. We do it with our houses, how are kids behave, how many likes a social media post gets…  all of these external things trying to create a foundation of worthiness all based on what someone else thinks.

“Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites” consider a child.. your child perhaps.  Would you tell them “yeah, you’re alright but I don’t think you’ll be ‘worthy’ until you can do the monkey bars.”… I’m pretty sure the answer is “No”.

Give yourself the same grace – don’t put boundaries or conditions on what makes you the spectacular person that you are.

So do this today… when you start to beat yourself up if the jeans are a bit tight, or you didn’t get the promotion, or your 5 year old screams that “you’re the worst Mama ever!!!  … Stop. Close Your Eyes. And say this;

“I am worthy because…… I AM”

And I mean… really do it.  It’s probably something we have never thought about. It’s food for our souls we have been denied.  Stop starving your spirit and fill it up full enough that all of the conditions that the media and our culture of comparison are putting on us simply fall away and you are enough and I am enough and we can go out into the world and kick-ass the way the Universe intended for us to!

Below is a testimonial from our client, Jennifer Blair, of Red Deer.  Watching her go through the process that we have so lovingly created has been such a pleasure for us.  We don’t have before and after pictures just yet for Jen as she is currently in her second round of protocol.  However, I prefer using words to define someone’s “after” success….  We don’t focus on scales or body appearance.  We focus on how a client FEELS.  What they have gained from listening to their bodies and focusing on the things that are REALLY important to them -rather than their thighs!

Here is what Jen had to say after her first round of protocol:

I’ve done a lot of crazy things to lose weight over the years. There was that week in college when I did the cabbage soup diet, or that time a personal trainer told me that three hours every day in the gym was my life now, or that brief foray into caffeine pills and ephedrine (on the advice of another personal trainer.) Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Zone, gluten-free, sugar-free, low-carb, paleo, juice fasts — I’ve tried every diet out there, and every diet failed me.

Good thing for me, then, that Goodbye My Muffintop’s Release Protocol isn’t a diet.
Sure, the Release Protocol looks like a diet on the outside. That’s certainly what I thought I was getting myself into last month when I decided, at long last, to try it. Desperate times call for desperate measures, after all, and after years and years of struggling – and failing – to lose weight, I was the very definition of desperate. One more crazy diet couldn’t hurt, right?
But when I met with Kelly, her journey and her passion sparked something in me that I had lost a long time ago: hope. Hope that I could live the kind of life I’ve always envisioned for myself — regardless of the number on the scale.
And now, at the end of my first round of protocol, I’ve seen first-hand the power of the Release Protocol – not just in the pounds or the inches I’ve lost, but in the things I’ve gained along the way: a better understanding of my eating habits; an ability to listen to my body and its hunger cues; a vital support system of like-minded men and women; a new toolbox of ways to manage my feelings; and a new-found realization that I am enough just as I am.
Yes, I’ve lost 25 lbs so far with help from Goodbye My Muffintop – but I’ve regained my purpose, my drive, and my faith in myself, and to me, that’s more valuable than any number on the scale.
Crazy, right?
When I asked Jen to give me more words to express where she’s at right now – this is what she suggested….  gawd I love my job!!
time to blossom

Below is a quote from one of our “Muffins” as we lovingly call our clients, lol.  I am so damn proud of this work that we do in liberating women from the diet culture.  When you alter the way you measure success in a weight release protocol, you alter the way people view their bodies, hearts and minds.

Jodi has become such an integral part of our happy little muffin family and I cried tears of joy as I read her review of her experience with our products and her results.

Here’s a little about who I am. I have been on a life-altering journey of self-love for just over 2 years now. I do not have an “eating disorder”. I do not eat emotionally. My weight, however, has always been so much at the fore-front of who I perceived myself to be. We all want to look a certain way, and we all think that our lives will change as a result of achieving that look. I was no different. I was introduced to GBMM by a dear friend and it prompted me to research it religiously for months before I even agreed to give it a try. You see, my game is self-sabotage. I can talk myself into – and out of – damn near anything. Add to that my amazing ability to procrastinate, you come out with someone who makes lazy, “convenience” choices that result in an unhealthy body. What protocol did for me was it made me prepare – literally – for everything. I kept telling myself “It’s only 28 days. I can do anything for 28 days.” So, I prepared – my food, my drops, my SELF – every week, every day, every meal. Something that I just had never done for myself before. What do you know? It paid off. By me actually believing in myself enough to do this for ME, I saw a pay-off. I felt a pay-off. I saw a side of Jodi that I hadn’t seen before – like, ever. My goal is not weightloss entirely, but it is to be off of my blood pressure medication. I am very proud and happy to say that I am almost there. My meds have been reduced by half. Protocol taught me to trust myself. It taught me to invest the time into myself that I deserve, dammit! My journey will be one that I plan and hope to continue for the rest of my days….it will branch off, pause, restart, and gallop ahead. Now that I know that I can do this for myself, and that I know myself better, I will be sexy-walking in a healthy body down that road. I love all of my fellow Muffins and am beyond grateful that they are walking their own paths alongside me.”

jodi

Last fall I was scrolling my newsfeed on Facebook and serendipity had a little fun with my life – you see, I was drunk.  I actually rarely drink and even more rarely get drunk so drunk scrolling on Facebook was very unusual.  Even more unusual was the message I sent to a friend telling her how happy and relaxed she looked in all of the recent photos she had posted.  This is a friend that gets real squirmy when you fire her a compliment – not in a “gawd, stop trying to be so humble when you’re so arrogant” kind of way… she REALLY is that humble and I REALLY check myself before I deliver her a compliment because I don’t want to make her uncomfortable.

So… I told her this and she said “Dude, we have to go for dinner because you won’t believe why I’m so happy and relaxed”.. so we did.  And she told me that she had an Energy Healer come and clear her house and then also had a treatment on her body and that I just HAD to contact her!!  I have lots of friends that are just as hippy dippy as me and this friend is NOT one of them – so it made me take note!

Fast forward a couple of months and I finally reached out to Lisa from Nine of Water….

lisa

Life.

Changing.

She has helped me Release so much garbage from my body and my soul…. months, years, probably lifetimes of guilt and shame.  All of the things that I knew deep down I was capable of becoming –  I am becoming.  She has helped me remove fear and doubt.  She has helped me learn to trust my intuition and guard my heart without having to lose my “heart on my sleeve” sincerity.  I am stronger, smarter, more confident…. all of this was in my soul to become and she helped and encouraged and it’s all happening people!  It’s not all sunshine and rainbows and unicorn poop…. she gets real and helps you with the little piles of shit you covered up in the corners of your soul… if we want to be free we gotta clean that stuff up lovies!

Our Release Retreats are always about our own personal journeys.. we share our own stories and the tools we have used to achieve self-love and surrender to the beauty of our lives.  So, it was kind of a no brainer when we asked Lisa to be a part of our day!  We did a quick little question and answer and here is what Lisa had to say:

Why did you agree to be a special guest at our Retreat?

“Because I LOVE love!!! I am ignited when women come together to encourage, support and acknowledge each other. I know that this will be nothing short of that.”
Initially, what “drew” you to us and the Retreat?
“The timing of the event. 2015 is all about self care!”
What part of our Retreat is the most exciting to you?
“Coming together to shed and dissolve the layers of resentment, pain or guilt. Super excited to infuse and integrate forgiveness, safety and support. My mouth salivates thinking about the tasty delicious exercises that we will all take part in!!”
My mouth salivates too when I think of the delicious day we are about to serve some women of Central Alberta!  I am so excited and so honoured that our little tribe of women is going to empower another group to create more love and more good in the world!
If you would like to schedule an appointment with Lisa before the Retreat (which I actually strongly encourage you to do) – you can check out her website and give her a call.  I think there would be some real value in identifying some issues before the Retreat so we can really dig deep and RELEASE once and for all!
Spaces are filling quickly and our earlybird rate expires at the end of the month so CLICK HERE TO REGISTER RIGHT MEOW!  Namaste my loves… Namaste.

A gazillion years ago, like, when I was in the first grade,  I met and fell in love with this sweet little blonde with the sweetest blue eyes – and I have never stopped.  We have shared love and loss and love and loss.  We have cried together, bitched together and lord knows we have laughed ALOT.  Through it all our love for each other has remained without conditions.  She is my sista from another mista for sure!  I have said many times over the last 10 years that I could feel it in my bones that she and I were destined to do something amazing together and the Release Retreat is only the beginning!

Marriann and I are super excited to have Allison McKee facilitate a brief Desire Map workshop at the Retreat on May 2nd  ….  This is what Alli had to say about her journey and about our Retreat:

Alli's pic

“I am Allison McKee. Wife and mother of three.  A previous non-athlete who rejoiced when Grade 10 Physical-Education was over, could graduate with all requirements and never had to wear a gym strip or smell a locker room again.

Today, I am Allison McKee. Wife and mother of three. AND Owner/Operator of six year old Body Integral Fitness, Health and Wellness in Claresholm, AB. A gym and studio where I also work as Personal Trainer, Nutrition Consultant, Group Exercise Instructor, Lifestyle and Wellness Coach, Speaker, Presenter and Desire Map Facilitator. I wear a gym strip as my daily wardrobe and the smell of locker room means the smell of challenge and success. I ran the Boston Marathon and many other marathons, half marathons and shorter distance races. I have competed in triathlon and duathlon. I have led teams of Spartan athletes to finishes in multiple Spartan Obstacle Races.

I don’t subscribe to methods that will have my clients’ bikini ready in 30 days. Or to get rock hard abs in 15 days. Or even to lose weight by removing these 5 foods. My goal is to empower and inspire and motivate my clients to lead healthy lifestyles that will inevitably spill over into all other areas of their lives. I believe that when you FEEL fantastic about your physical vehicle, there is positively no stopping what you can do in other life areas.

Getting really clear on how you want to FEEL in ALL areas of your life is one of the most effective strategies for goal setting that you can employ. When you have clarity on how you want to FEEL, it will affect all the decisions and choices that you make. From the groceries you buy to the art on your walls. From the relationships you entertain to the business decisions you make. Knowing how you want to FEEL will enable you to set goals with soul. It is a fact that you are never truly chasing the goal that you have set but in are in fact chasing the feeling that comes as a result of having accomplished that goal. Getting crystal clear on how you want to FEEL is the most potent form of clarity you can have.

I am so excited to come and speak and work with you at the Release Retreat. There is nothing more empowering and moving than a group of woman in a metamorphosis. I will bring to you The Desire Map. The theory behind the Desire Map is to discover how you want to FEEL in all areas of your life. We often tell ourselves that we will FEEL happy, excited, successful, beautiful and all kinds of other feelings when we achieve our goals. However, the key is to discover how you want to FEEL first and then to set your goals from that space. Knowing how you want to FEEL is the most potent form of clarity you can have in your life. Knowing how you want to FEEL will help you release all of the things you thought you needed to be, do and have that don’t line up with YOUR Core Desired Feelings. Let’s Release old feelings, patterns and beliefs and learn how to set some goals with soul!”

If you’re ready to work with Allison at the “Release Retreat” you can find out more juicy details and register here….

All of the seeds you have been planting, all of the hard work you have been doing for your personal growth… it’s working, it’s helping, keep pushing…  and come let us help with the final push on May 2nd.  Namaste.

thoughts

An important aspect of our Protocol and how we coach our Clients is the power of their thoughts.  It’s so easy to get carried away with negative thought process;

“I hate my body…”

“I’m so disorganized…”

“I’m so tired…”

You CAN change your thoughts – with little baby steps.  What some people don’t realize is that happiness does not exist at the end of your diet.  Your problems with money, marriage, work, do not go away because your jeans are smaller.  Sometimes I think some of us have become so used to blaming all of our unhappiness on our bodies and our weight that we don’t see that so many problems need not wait to be solved until we are satisfied with our bodies.  In fact, releasing ourselves from negative thought patterns is likely what you need to do to achieve your health goals.

Taking my cues from Danielle LaPorte and her Desire Mapping (I have not read this book, I have only discussed with friends and have kind of made up my own version, lol) I do the following:

1. Whenever I have a negative thought – I first take a moment to acknowledge it, validate it, and try my best to let it go;

2.  I thing about how I would rather FEEL.  “I hate my body” turns into “I want to FEEL confident in my body”; “I want to FEEL strong” “I want to FEEL healthy”  ” I want to FEEL true love for my body”

3.  Bring these issues to your mat (yoga) or to your meditation process and set intentions with these thoughts.  Be specific with these intentions and say them out loud.

I know this is really oversimplified but it kind of is that simple.  Try it today with whatever you’re struggling with the most.  Louise Hay is a wonderful resource to reframing ideas and negative thinking.  Good luck – I would love to hear your results!

There is this book called “The Four Agreements”.  I read it years ago and whenever I kind of lose my center I always re-visit these guidelines.

I have been thinking a lot about one of the Agreements, which is, “Always Do Your Best”…. I suck at this.  I don’t suck when my best is my best… I suck when I feel like my best isn’t good enough.  To be frank, I still grapple with the idea that I can’t be the best version of myself until I think my body is “doing it’s best” and by “doing it’s best”, I mean looking the way I think it needs to look.

 

always do your best

When it came to 2014 I struggled to do my best in every arena of my life.  And, by my standards, constantly came up short.  It was, to say the least, a year of tests… hard ones.  As far as body image goes I feel like I literally spent 365 days worried about my weight, my appearance, my body and if I wasn’t worried about it I was worried about not worrying about it!  There were days when I was literally consumed by food/exercise and how it all affected my body.

July brought me to me knees – I felt out of control so I went back to the safety of protocol.  Just a little FYI – our protocol doesn’t work when it’s about CONTROL and RESULTS and thus is was a half-hearted attempt.  But it wasn’t a waste.  Finally in a strangely exquisite way.

THIS.

WAS.

ROCK.

BOTTOM.

I came into August with a level of Apathy that actually left me concerned.  I have suffered situational depression in my life.. .but this was different… this was not sadness – I just didn’t care. About anything.  Everyday was a struggle to muster up the energy to do anything.  It was the strangest feeling – this not caring.

I see now that I needed to get there to learn that not caring anymore was not going to kill me. That spending precious energy on making my body perfect was not going to absolve me from feeling imperfect.

I’m learning to love all of the lessons that 30 years of dieting has taught me…. in my heart it feels so liberating!  However, my brain is taking awhile to catch up… all this hard wiring of immersing myself in that culture is difficult to un-do.  Every day it’s gets a little closer to my heart and my soul. And my heart and my soul is where the real work needs to be done.

I am currently doing our Protocol. Along with several of our clients.  I feel very zen about it and whenever I am having a rough day I am finding ways to PERMANENTLY overcome all of these issues.

2014 was not the best example of myself and who I want to be and who I am capable of being… but I was “doing my best”. And that is enough.  ❤