On “Those” Days; An Open Thank you to my Husband and Mother

Today has been one of those days one of those weeks months years.

Ok, but today it all boiled down to a nightmare of a day.

I truly want to be one of those moms who writes about nothing but the rainbows her child poops and all the glorious joys of motherhood. And I will. One day. I do know those joys, I have those joys, I live for those joys … but to be honest, if I talk to you and you speak of nothing but all the happy times and how amazing everything is 24/7, I don’t relate to you. And sometimes I hope you’re a liar, because if you’re not, what the heck am I doing wrong? Is my parenting bad? Are my sons endless tantrums and lack of sleep my fault, thus causing the misery we find ourselves drenched in from time to time and if I could just … teach him better, none of this would be happening?

Probably not true. But my thought process none the less.

In any case, if you’re like me and my husband, you’ve had … well let’s politely call them shitty days. Yes, I know. I’m a Christian, and I swore. No, it doesn’t make me cool. No, it doesn’t make me evil. I’m very sad, very vulnerable and very tired today. And sometimes, it’s the only word I can find. So shitty it shall be.

Today started out like any other day…6:00AM wake up on the nose, child in the fridge screaming for strawberries and the tantrum over food begins. No, you can’t eat 12 plums and 38 strawberries for breakfast. Here’s your eggs. Well you said you wanted eggs. No you can’t have oatmeal. Because you asked for eggs and I made eggs. I don’t live to make you food. Yes, you can have a plum when your eggs are finished. Because if I give you the plum all you’ll eat is the plum until your stomach thinks your full and you never eat sustainable food. Sustainable. Sus-tain-a-ble. It keeps you full. No, you can’t have more strawberries. When you’re done screaming and kicking on the floor, come find me. I’ll be eating your eggs.

Usually my patience is pretty far reaching. I am able to take deep breaths and relax, remind myself this is a stage and that one day he won’t throw himself on the floor every single morning the minute he wakes up, and he will have slept through the night.

Today was a different day.

I managed to get in a team call this morning while he screamed and ran around peeing on things because he’s kind of over being told he has to pee and is rebelling, and I managed to do quite a bit of tidying around his tantrums. We also sat together and drummed, and played hide and seek around his fort, and read books inside of it. He then napped for 1/5 hours and woke up foul, as usual. And today I couldn’t handle it.

I don’t know why my son doesn’t sleep well, and I don’t know why he wakes up angry. But it frustrates the hell out of me, because I want to fix it. I want to see him happy and thriving, and to see him so upset all the time honestly just breaks mommas heart. He cries intermittently and hard for a long time after waking up. We’re talking a couple of hours until he’s righted himself, and I’m at the point where I’m falling asleep while he’s screaming because I’m so bloody tired of it all. My body is exhausted and my mind is weary.

And then in walks my husband, and in walks my mother.

My mom came to help me clean today … and all I could do was sit there. And cry. And then leave to nap. And then wake up and stare into space. And watch her clean.

She cleaned my floors, my banisters, my kitchen and every inch she moved along, she scrubbed away a bit of the clutter frustrating my heart.

My husband was in there with her, helping, putting in an effort … while I sat here. Immobilized by exhaustion? Yes … depression? Maybe … in any case, I am not alone in these struggles and there he is. Doing things I cannot do. Cleaning dishes. Making dinner.

My family has surrounded me and it took me a good couple of hours to get up off the couch, and pitch in.

And to top it all off? I can’t show my gratitude…I can’t seem to be very warm and inviting and kind. I can however be critical, condescending and lack the ability to extend anyone else the grace to not be perfect.

So because I can’t seem to find my voice when anyone is present to say thank you, here I am. Saying thank you.

Lucas, you have strength I cannot comprehend. No, you don’t have to be pregnant. No, you don’t know how tired or emotional I am. But what you do know is that you were once married to a vibrant, joyful woman who didn’t condescend, criticize and fall apart. I promise you, even though I keep losing that woman, she is here, and I will keep doing everything I can to find her, to be her. You have put up with just as much sleep loss and frustration and joy and pain as I have, and yet you come home and you take care of this family. I promise I will show you all the kindness I have, even if it’s not much I will muster it up and give it all to you. You have provided for me, for Asher in ways you’ll never understand. Food, finances, it all pales in comparison to the peace you’ve given me to know I am married to a warrior. A fighter. A man who is so capable of loving even when love is not being shown. Sometimes I get angry around you simply as a reaction to your love, because it’s too much for me to handle your gentleness that I react negatively…like being in the presence of God’s overwhelming love that if we don’t feel worthy we run from. I’m 5. No big deal. Just know that I see you, for every little amazing thing you do, even though I don’t seem capable of voicing it. I’m learning. Pray for me and work with me; I know God will use you to be the hand that pulls me up. Thank you for every day, for every hug, for every kiss, for every time we forget to make eye contact throughout the day and then you touch my shoulder to remind me that you’re there. Thank you to the ends of the earth, which I will crawl to to find a way to show you my love.

Mom, I don’t know how you’ve put up with me all these years. To no end do I wish I could actually be as kind as you deserve, when I am this down and out. And just like Lucas, what kills me the most is your endless ability to pour out love on me when I’m like this. To not ask for anything in return. To just be willing to do whatever you can to help me and my family, even if you never get a thank you. I wish I could open my heart when it’s this hard, but I haven’t been able to, and you deserve every ounce of gratitude I can muster. For loving my son to the ends of the earth, to taking him when I’m working, to always be there to help me, to always bend your plans to help mould them around mine and A’s sporadic naps…you’ve never asked for anything, and I’ve never been able to give much, but my love and respect and deeply rooted desire to be like you, you have. Thank you for choosing to love me even on the hard days.

I 100% believe this will pass. I know that this is 95% sleep loss and 35 weeks pregnant. But it’s hard to see past that, especially when I had such a good handle on it just a few short weeks ago.

But I’m here, putting the few things in front of me that I know how to do.

One of those being my complete and utter commitment to sharing my journey with you. Because while it is scary to some to be “so open” it’s actually very therapeutic for me. I’m a verbal processor but I also believe that God will use my struggles, and reach out and touch someone with them.

Maybe to help you feel like you’re not alone.

Mom’s, it’s a tough gig.

And sometimes, we aren’t the nicest to those who are nicest to us, and I know you’re like me and find it devastating to know we’ve hurt someone whom we love so dearly.

If you’re in the same boat, I’m praying for you. The trenches are deep, but the hands reaching in are strong and sturdy.

Grab hold of one and don’t let go.

Commit with me to taking the time every single day to doing something that utterly feeds your soul.

Spend time with God, knit, rest your face in the sun, walk alone outside, exercise, eat well and as you walk alone let the wind caress your skin and fall in love with life every single day.

It won’t be like this forever.

Just promise me you will take the steps to walk forward every single day.

More than a fitness coach, I walk hand in hand with women struggling with things I too struggle with.

A tribe of strong women is forming around me, and together we climb ahead.

I have an incredible support at home, and there are those of you who are single parents or struggling the same but have no family to help …

I can’t say I’ll come be the things for you that my family is for me, but I can walk with you. I can climb with you.

We are strongest when we hold each other up.

On Fitness and Depression

I didn’t realize how closely tied fitness is to my happiness, even after all I’ve been through, until I lost it again. 

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you probably know I have suffered through post partum depression, come out the other side through fitness and supplements and began creating a business around my passion to see people experience the freedom clean eating and exercise provides. 

I am currently 35 weeks pregnant

and in recent weeks, as my pregnancy has progressed and slowed me down, as my son lost his sleep dragging us with him we have all completely quit exercising. It started in Hawaii where I felt comfortable replacing my daily workouts with long walks up and downhill. But this is also where we lost our sleep again; walking became more and more difficult and I have started getting intense Braxton hicks and sore to touch belly. Essentially my body asked me to stop. 

So I stopped. 

I focused on everything else; water, vitamins, shakeology, clean eating and figured it’d be enough to carry me through the end of my pregnancy, but I realized today that it’s not. I’ve realized why I can’t seem to be positive, why I can’t seem to pull myself together. I thought it was just pregnancy and I recognize that some of it for sure is, but if success leaves clues I assume it’s the same of the opposite. And I started noticing the clues. 

Dreading work every day, being utterly consumed by my struggles, unable to do laundry, dishes etc…I have my basics I learned and am able to fall back on like setting a timer and 10-15 mins of something here and there, but all around my brain is a fog and my ability to get through a day is pretty minimal. 

Those are pretty clear cut clues and there are for sure more, but what frustrated me the most this time was the ability to see my way out and not be able to do it. 

The body needs to move. I would love to exercise daily again, truly, but am genuinely unable to right now as I’ve been sick for 10 days and can’t imagine pushing my body that hard. Or can I? Does it need to be that hard? Part of me wonders if just a few minutes of weights would pump my blood enough to lift this fog, and yet not be so strenuous as to put too much strain on my body. 

We seem all so easily fall into an all or nothing mindset and maybe it just doesn’t have to be that way. 

All I know is that as much as I crave my non pregnant body and getting ripped and ready to compete in a physique competition, I crave my healthy mind even more. 

Literally everyone feels better when they’re eating well and exercising. The body was created to move. 

So this week I commit to dedicate at least 10 minutes of low impact, slow paced exercise regardless of my circumstances. Because it feels like my life falls completely apart without it. 

And I am worth it, and so are you. 

Move forward, no matter how small, no matter how insignificant it may seem. 

Let’s move forward together. 

On Faith, Fitness and Finances

For ten seconds I want you to look around you and search for only things that are red, and commit them to memory, then look back here and keep reading.

Now list off all the things you saw that were green.


Why did I ask you for green things? The point is, you will only see what you are looking for. If you are focusing on the negative things in life, you will only see the negative things. But if you focus on the positive things, guess what happens? That’s right. A brick load of positivity pouring over you.

That’s what I’m trying to do right now. Only look at the positive things. But the negative things are gaining traction and I’ve had enough.

Here’s what’s been going on:

  • A week before we left for Hawaii, my husband got laid off.
  • The day we left for Hawaii started the perfect storm of misery for my son (molars, undiagnosed ear pain, time change etc) and left him sleepless, miserable and downright awful to be around most of our trip. He made everything harder and we still haven’t recovered. It’s been almost 2 weeks since we’ve been back.
  • The day we got BACK from Hawaii, our one and only vehicle decided it was time to start breaking down. For good. And we had to make the decision, with zero income for 2 weeks from either of us and who knew when the next check would come for my husband, to buy a new vehicle.
  • We all got incredibly sick from lack of sleep and it is why I am currently awake at 1:30AM because I cannot sleep due to the jaw pain, headache, neck pain, sinus pain, etc.

Sounds pretty awful right? What could I do during this time? Wallow in self pity. Quit building my business to save money. Quit eating well. Quit exercising. Ok I did quit exercising because my 34 week pregnant body said absolutely no more right now. But you get the point.

Life absolutely has kicked us in the face. And we could 100% give up on everything and just “lay low” while the storm passes, but for what exactly? So I can go back to the way I was before all of this? So I can say, “actually God, I’m not so sure you called me to this anymore. Because it’s really hard, and your burden is light, right? So I think I’ll quit…”

This was the old me. The one who gave up. The one who self sabotaged. Who stopped doing everything good for herself simply because life got hard.

Well God doesn’t promise an easy life, but He put me in a business that forced me to dig into myself and dig deep into my why for life, and that why has kept me going.

In fact, all this so called crap that keeps happening is actually fuelling my passion to keep going. I’ve for sure slowed down and only done in my business what I am actually capable of right now; I have to admit to myself that I physically cannot ask more of myself and that this is the season I am in. It’s frustrating to say the least, but I am not hoping for anything. I am doing the smallest, seemingly insignificant steps to push myself forward.

I’m done giving up.

And looking back, here is all the absolutely jaw dropping miracles God provided us during this time:

  • An overwhelming sense of peace when Luc lost his job, because we knew it was no longer a place that brought him joy, and it was becoming hard on our family. We knew God would take care of us.
  • EI from his employer who made sure his ROE stated reasons for being let go to allow him to receive income while he looked for work.
  • A beautifully paid trip to Hawaii; perfect weather for me to enjoy the scorching sun and clouds for Luc and A to hide from the heat in on other days.
  • A new job lined up that he didn’t even have to search for upon returning home. This guy called him and offered him a job within 24 hours of talking, INCLUDING 3 weeks off just two months into work so that he can be with his family when our new baby comes. This job comes with his 4th year raise, benefits, a company vehicle as well as a work phone.
  • And lastly, our miracle vehicle. The day we decided to go look for a new one, this beauty popped up online and it was the perfect price point, the absolute pinnacle of what we were looking for and then some. We actually felt a little guilty buying it due to how loaded and nice this thing is. Yes, we are in the van clan.

Literally so many incredible God stories these past three weeks.

We have definitely accrued some debt; we haven’t had any income for 3 weeks, and yet… our billing account remains miraculously full.

So while I may be freaking a bit on the inside that my business is costing us money we don’t have, that I can’t work out, that I am incredibly sick and incredibly pregnant

I have so much faith in the God who provides.

I am so grateful, not just for this stuff, but for the fact that I was encouraged into a company that believes in digging deeper into yourself. It pushed me to know my desires like never before. To be so in touch with my passions that not even the hardest of times will shake me, and to give me a place to focus my energy into in a way that truly blesses my heart.

If you’re going through a rough time, I’m not going to tell you “this too shall pass…”

I’m going to tell you to stop looking at the red, and start looking for the green, and never give up.

Our new van! 2011 Chrysler Town and Country; Limited Edition and fully loaded!

Find your why and hold onto it as tight as you can, because all this has done is furthered my resolve to stick with it and push harder than ever.

On the Cheat Meal and Balance

Ok ladies and gents, welcome to the fitness portion of my blog, where I will share thoughts, tips  and encouragements on all things fitness. 

Today the message that’s heavy on my heart is about finding balance. 

Do you know what I hear all the time? “I fell off the wagon…” “I cheated last night …” “I screwed up again…” and it’s not a healthy mindset

The pendulum has swung and people go from eating unhealthy and having NO fitness in their lives, to expecting themselves to eat healthy and on point 100% of the time and workout every day without fail for the rest of their lives. I’m of the belief that this is not attainable. It’s also not sustainable. 

We cannot expect perfection of ourselves from now on for the rest of forever, that is why people fail. That is why people have one chocolate bar and don’t try and workout or eat healthy again for a year. Because you failed and what’s the point because you just keep failing, right?

Well, let me just clear the air. A chocolate bar isn’t failing. 

Let me ask you this … if you drop your phone and the screen cracks, do you figure since it’s cracked you might as well stomp on it until it’s completely destroyed? No. You pick it up, maybe you fix it, maybe you put a case on it … you get the point. One treat doesn’t mean you destroy your body from here on out. 

It doesn’t make sense. 

I am here for my mental health. The body results etc is all fun, but it’s all a natural by-product of the work I put in for a healthy mind. To be the best version of myself starts with my mind. And in all truthfulness, a healthy version of myself doesn’t look like me sitting alone in the corner eating plain chicken and steamed broccoli for the rest of my life while my friends laugh and play while indulging in greasy food. 

This journey is supposed to be one of freedom. Yes, we want to eat clean most of the time, fuelling our bodies and getting our blood pumping to keep our hearts strong, but I also want to go for a meal or desert with my family and never feel guilty. 

Because enjoying or refraining from food doesn’t define my idea of a full OR a deprived life. 

It’s not about food. 

Right now, I am sitting on the beautiful island of Kauai in Hawaii for 10 days with my family and so far I’ve had chips and salsa for lunch, a bottle of Pepsi and some (ok half a box of) gluten free Oreo cookies in the last 4 days. And I don’t feel bad. I don’t feel like a hypocrite either. Because I’m not trying to tell people to live in a box for the rest of their lives.  

I will take you on a 30 day challenge to clean up your eating and to get you to a place where you are making MORE healthy choices than unhealthy. Where you are exercising 3-6 days a week depending on your goals. Where you can lift your spirits from a workout and fuel your body for a long healthy life through clean eating, and then go out for a beer and nachos with your friends because you know you have the discipline and practices in place that that one night isn’t going to ruin your end goal, whatever that may be. 

We live for these memories. 

What I want people to learn is HOW to eat, how MUCH to eat, and then how to go on and live life on their own terms in their own definition of balance, and live healthy long lives fulfilling their goals and dreams because their weight and internal health isn’t holding them back. 

Get strict for 30 days. 60 days. 90 days. Whatever it takes to make that total life change. Get to the point where if you start eating junk, after a day or two you don’t feel good and know it’s time to reign it in and eat clean again. Get to the point where skipping a workout is the worst feeling. That’s where you want to be. It’s a mindset

I can’t tell you what your balance looks like. But I can tell you that eating a chocolate bar doesn’t mean you’ve screwed up again and are off the wagon. 

There is no wagon. 

This is life. 

And if you keep telling yourself that you’re cheating, you’re going to feel guilt and shame and you’re going to want to hide it. 

There is no room for shame on my team. 

Set your goals. Learn how to achieve them, and reward yourself with living.  

Don’t sit at home alone eating a pint of ice cream; how uninspired! Go to a ball game with your friends; laugh, cheer and have awful dome beer with nachos and cheese so fake you could probably make a plastic bottle with it. But the food is not the focus. The point is, you go out and enjoy your life, with no guilt and no shame. If you want to eat clean while you’re out, eat clean. But if you want a beer and you know that your life is on track and you have the self control to enjoy one day without making it a habit, have a damn beer and relax in the knowledge that you have put in the work. 

Life is not made or broken on the back of enjoying junk food or not. A healthy life is not a deprived life, it is a free life. And only when you get into that funnel of freedom do you really get it. 

If your happiness is based on the foods you eat, that is the root of the problem. 

And it has nothing to do with balance, and everything to do with cheating. 

When being a mom isn’t so great …

There is nothing more soothing to my soul than the sweet sound of my little boy calling out, “Mommy!” and you can just hear the joy in his voice as he says my name. The name that only he calls me; it’s my favourite name.

But there was a time when motherhood wasn’t so great. I would hear people talking about motherhood and it was rainbows and sunshine. Joy unspeakable, and I could not relate. I even pulled away from these women. I felt like a bad mother. Why didn’t I enjoy it that much? I mean, I didn’t hate it, but it was most certainly just ok.

It wasn’t the life changing, joyful experience I had been told to expect and I was so lost and confused as to why that was.

I have so many photos of the first 12-15 months and it’s all smiles and laughter, but who photographs the moments you’re sitting on the floor crying because you are wishing you could wake up tomorrow and not be a mother? No one photographs those moments. But those moments and I have held hands. We’ve danced. I’d know that song anywhere. And it hurts me. I look at my son, thriving, full of joy and I feel my heart bursting with love and happiness that this little human has been gifted to me. But I also feel it breaking a tiny bit over the lost year. That moment in time where nothing was as it should be.

I mourn that time. I mourn that first year that I was to become a mother. To learn and to grow and to figure out our rythmn and settle into things…to really grow into the mother I was to be. To absorb those baby giggles, that fat little face and the nuances that only a baby can bring. I have had to move past anger for being robbed, and I still feel at times that I am grieving it. Maybe I will grieve more when my second is born and I see how much I truly lost. I hope not; to be honest it scares me.

But I can truly say that exercise and eating right have given me that year again. This year with my son is magical, he’s unreal. I get it now. I understand that uncontainable joy that says “I can’t believe he’s mine…” and it’s all because I reached out to someone and said “I need a change.”

If you’re missing something … if being a mom is just ok most days, but you feel generally lost and wandering through life, know that you are not alone. And know that I am here.

I DO think exercise and eating well are for absolutely everyone. I do NOT think everyone needs to have major weightloss or muscle gains goals. But I believe that this routine saves lives every single day, because exercise is the most under utilized anti-depressent in the Western World.

Motherhood is a gift, and it’s the most amazing part of being a woman to me. When I wake up in the morning to a cute little man snuggling in my arms, who looks to me for advice, boundaries, how to react, how to live … I want to show him that life isn’t just survival. I want to show him how to live, and live abundantly and live life by design.

I love coaching women into this journey. So many messages I hear include people saying things to the effect of, I want to be strong for my kids … either ones they have or ones they want to one day have.

Motherhood is embedded in many of our souls, and it’s absolutely my passion to help as many people as I can enter into a healthy lifestyle that enables us to be surrounded by other strong women who can encourage us on the most beautiful, and most difficult journey we will ever be on.

I honor that lost year by living in this one to the absolute fullest.

I honor that lost year by reaching out to you and saying, it’s your time.

If this speaks to you, reach out this Mother’s Day, and ask for help

You’re not alone, and there’s strength in numbers.