be THAT girl who inspires others women to connect

CONNECTION is why we’re here; it is what gives us purpose and meaning to our lives

~ brene brown ~
Carrie Doll ~ The Inner Circle Community on Facebook

Today has been one of those days where things are feeling extremely heavy on my heart. I can’t really explain why or even exactly what it is….but they just are. I know I am not alone in feeling this way. A friend of mine suggested that it could be “pandemic burnout” which really resonated with me. I do feel like it could be just that.

Is anyone else feeling this way?

If there is any one thing that I have learned about myself over the last 8 months, is that I need CONNECTION. It was amazing being quarantined with my family for 2 months. What a great time to reconnect and just get to enjoy each other but I needed more. I felt like I needed to connect with other like-minded women that I could draw inspiration from. We were, and still are, going through a lot. Most of us are carrying loads that we have never had to bear. Losing sleep, losing jobs, losing direction, losing loved ones, losing purpose and sadly…losing hope.

This morning I was fortunate enough to get to listen to a live interview between Carrie Doll & Ashley Mielke that was literally all about Hope. It was exactly what I needed today. I have been part of an amazing community that I want to share with all of you. Carrie Doll, who you will all recognize as being one of CTV’s former news anchors here in Edmonton, wanted to create a space for women to connect, network, share ideas, learn, educate and empower. And that is exactly what she did. She created “The Inner Circle Community” on Facebook. I have to tell you that this community has been a game changer for me. I have met so many amazing women that I can honestly say are my friends. We have laughed, we have cried, we have shared and we have healed. We hold space for one another to be courageous and vulnerable. But it is also a space where we can have a lot of fun! Our Friday Virtual Happy Hours were awesome during quarantine. We were introduced to a lot of great restaurants and chefs that taught us how to create some fun dishes, appetizers and of course some fun drinks! We have also met some kick-ass women who are killin it in business. Their interviews have been so inspiring! The stories they have shared with us are incredible. I have to say that my absolute favourite part of being part of this community has been learning that we all have a story to tell and when we share that story with others, it is not only inspiring for the receiver but it is healing for the person sharing it. Fortunately, I was able to be one of those people. With Carrie guiding me, I was able to share a life-changing part of my story. I’m not going to lie….I wanted to shit myself thinking about using my voice. I’ve never felt so nervous, anxious, and vulnerable in my life. But as we chatted, Carrie and the Inner Circle Community wrapped their virtual arms around me and I felt peace come over me….a peace that I had been searching for. I felt free. I felt brave and most importantly, I felt heard.

Friends, if you are looking for a place where you can feel connection with like-minded amazing women then this is the perfect place for you. I share this because I truly believe that being part of this community has helped me grow in so many ways and I want this for you as well. Right now, life is hard and it is heavy but together we can lift each other and help each other thrive. HUGS to all of you today.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/InnerCircleWithCarrieDoll

Carrie also has an amazing podcast with so many more stories. Do yourself a favour and go give it a listen. You will LOVE it. So many inspiring humans!!

https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-inner-circle-with-carrie-doll/id1438898194

be THAT girl who knows her weight is not her worth….

I am an absolute fucking babe and my weight does not define me

Real talk today….

Hands up if you have ever felt fat! {insert my hand going up}

How many of you have tried a “quick fix diet”? {insert my hand going up}

How many of you have tried throwing up? {insert my hand going up}

How many of you skip meals in hopes that you will lose the weight? {insert my hand going up}

How may of you feel this way right now?

I am going to get real with you all today. Most people don’t know that these are things that I have struggled with. I know you are thinking….as if, you are so skinny. My skin crawls when I hear those words. Just because a person look skinny to someone does not mean they automatically feel that way. The reality is, no matter how thin or curvy we are, we all have our insecurities and struggles. No one is immune to it friends! We are bombarded by it on the daily by media telling us that we need to look a certain way to be attractive.

I was probably in grade 9 when I really started to feel like I was not enough. My acne was horrible, to the point where kids would ask me what was on my face, I was getting my “mature” body in all the wrong places and I had heard from a friend that some boy was grossed out by my back acne. All the fun things! When I hit high school I quit my sports and started partying with my friends on weekends. I remember being told that people could tell I was gaining weight because I was partying so much. So, I decided to try throwing up so that I could still party with my friends on the weekend but not gain weight. Made perfect sense to me. I couldn’t actually make myself do it. I tried and it never worked. I ended up slowing down my partying and I maintained my weight. Still didn’t change the way I started to feel about myself. I felt ugly. I felt fat. I felt worthless.

Fast forward several years….I had babies and my weight fluctuated like a pin ball machine. Obviously to be expected when creating and growing tiny humans in your body. When I hit 30, I had a plan to get in shape and get control of my weight. That would happen every so often when I would feel guilty for eating crap that I knew wasn’t good for me. I wanted to try every fast weight loss pill there was! None worked. As soon as you stop taking them, weight comes back. I would start working out and then stop because I didn’t have enough time. I had 5 kids you know and they took up every waking minute of my day and even some of the sleeping hours. I was just too exhausted. That’s the lie I would tell myself anyways. I could basically talk myself out of anything. The reason I wasn’t invested in my health like I should’ve been was because I didn’t love myself enough to make time for the things that really mattered. I was more concerned that my kids got to do all the things. I put everyone elses’ needs before my own because that is what I was taught. Serve others and worry about yourself last…at least that was the message I was receiving.

Yesterday, I sat down and made a list of what my body does for me:

  • allows me to breathe
  • allows me to create life
  • allows me to be a MOM
  • allows me to think thoughts
  • allows me to walk
  • allows me to speak
  • allows me to sing
  • allows me to dance
  • allows me to see
  • allows me to touch
  • allows me physical activity
  • allows me to feel

I know that this is not everything but seriously…LOOK at what our body can do for us! Now think of this…if your best friend in the whole wide world, gave you these gifts, what would you do for them? I want you to picture one of your very best friends and think about this.

Would you look at them and tell them that they are fat? Would you tell them they are ugly? Would you look at them and tell them they are disgusting? Would you tell them that they need to stop eating the things that make them happy because it makes them look gross?

NEVER EVER EVER!!!!!!

So, why do you tell yourself that? Why do you treat your body, your best friend, that way?

I was listening to an interview between Jen Hatmaker and Hillary McBride, where Hillary had the best suggestion. When we speak about our body as an it, we are objectifying it. When we speak about our body as a Her, we are turning Her into an actual subject. Now, think about that for a minute. If you name your body, it literally changes the way you start thinking about Her. We are wired for connection, give your body a name and connect with Her. Become Her friend! Speak to Her as if she is your bestie.

This past 9 months I have promised myself that I would get healthy. I have been loving my journey. It has not been easy and I have wanted to quit so many times but I know that if I want to be around to see my kids have kids and maybe even their kids have kids, than I need to take control of myself. Over the years I have taken many “before” pictures so I could see the change that I was going to make when I committed to my latest diet and exercise regime. Want to know where they are….I deleted each and every one of them. I never wanted anyone to see how “fat” I was. Ya. Sounds crazy but that’s how I was feeling at the time. Yes sometimes I wish I had them but it is a reminder that in all actuality, those pictures don’t matter. I know how far I’ve come and that’s what matters.

I have ONE life, ONE body, and ONE mind. It is up to ME to make sure I am fueling Her properly! Most days, I do something for my mental health, my physical health and for my nutritional health. What that looks like for me may be different for you but I can tell you that these have helped me become a much happier, stronger, and positive human. I no longer rely on the number on my scale to define who I am and how happy I get to be. I will continue my journey to become even stronger in all areas of my life. I believe my purpose is to help others to see that they are unique and beautiful regardless of size, shape, race, or sexual orientation. Take back your control. Let yourself decide who you are meant to be! Get comfortable in your skin. It is completely up to YOU!

On a side note…I have created an accountability group on Facebook for the ladies if you need a little direction on where to start! It is a great group to help encourage, empower and inspire you to get started and take control of your life. If you have any questions, you can shoot me a message through Messenger or Email, tj@aneca.ca. Always happy to help you!

be THAT girl that let’s go of shit that doesn’t matter

Stop getting upset over things that don’t matter with the people that do matter….

I don’t know about you but I know for myself, I am givin all the gratitudes I can to God to the Universe to whoever I need to, to show my appreciation for these people right here. The people in my life that matter. And in case no one has told you today….YOU ALL MATTER, to me, to your family and hopefully to yourself. I’ll tell ya what… I am holdin these people a little closer with the recent tragedy that has rocked our world. One minute they’re here, the next minute they’re gone. It happens that fast.

Trust me when I say….it is not easy to let shit go. These people right here are my why, they are the one’s that fulfill me the most yet these are the one’s that can hurt me the most because I have so much LOVE for each and every one of them. There are days when I’ve said or done things to them, either on purpose or by mistake, that I regret and wish I could take back and vice versa. But, at the end of the day, what really matters? I’ll tell you what matters…YOUR HUMANS, YOUR PEOPLE. You know, the one’s that you would give your life for…like jump in front of a train for. I’ve really been thinking a lot today about how fast my reality could change if something were to happen to any of my humans. Life can change in an instant friends.

So, keep this in mind when they leave your side in the morning….did you hug them? And not a quick little “routine” hug, I’m talking a big ass bear hug. What is the last thing you said to them before they left? Were you upset at each other? Or did you let them know just how much you love them? Or if you didn’t get to see them off, did you text them to tell them how much you appreciate and love them? If not….DO IT!! I always have the best intentions to do this but some days I definitely fall short because I think I have time. Well…I’m wrong. “We have time” is a lie we tell ourselves so we don’t feel the guilt. The only moment we know we have for sure is right now. Don’t waste it holding grudges and getting upset about shit that doesn’t really matter. Let it go and hold those precious moments close with your people. THAT, you will never regret.