Monday, March 6, 2017

Why?

For the past few weeks I've been participating in a seminar called Beyond Fitness. For me, it's been the structure I needed to get myself back in the game and focused. I'm still participating in Biggest Winners at BDHQ and love that program, it holds me accountable. The seminar is broader than that though, we are looking at really creating the bigger why. Not the same old eat better and workout, heck most people aren't even in the seminar trying to lose weight, this is really about what are you creating for you life that is bigger than fitness and would have you take the actions to stay healthy. I've been grappling with this for awhile and have been going through the motions of going to the gym, eating better, trying harder, and seeing some results but the overall experience is still the same and the results minimal...this is hard work!

There I was yesterday, my alarm goes off at 7:30 after having a restless night with Abi who is teething and I decide to go back to sleep and not go to Biggest Winners. 8:15 rolls around and I can't sleep because I'm thinking about how I should have just gotten up and gone even though I was so tired. Have you ever had those moments of regret, or make wrong, and then the rest of your day follows suite? I could see this playing out for the whole day and after a little sulking and a push from John I got myself in my car heading for Esquimalt Rec. As I pull into the parking lot, which i've been in many times before, I see the under construction signs and how far the playground has come and I realize my WHY. I imagine the park being finished and Abi being her energetic self one year from now wanting to run around and play and realize if I don't do something NOW I won't be the Mom I promised her I would be. She is my why, being an example for our miracle is why I am doing this. Yes i want to feel better and fit in smaller clothes and have my fitness back, but what I really want is to be able to keep up with Abi and be an example of what's possible. In a recent group talk I was in on empowering mothers the presenter said, spend as much time on yourself as you do on other people, your kids are watching. I want Abi to group up loving herself first, taking care of herself, and being healthy, she wont have access to learning this if I'm not this for myself.


Now I am "under construction" building every day the pieces of a whole hearted, strong and loving mom. Right now I am the possibility of trust and love, I have everything I need to be the example for Abi every day. I'm grateful for my community who is rooting me on.

Friday, January 20, 2017

A new beginning

Well life has altered for me in the last year more than I could have dreamed. On August 31, 2016, John and I welcomed our beautiful daughter Abigail Grace Joan Westhaver into this world. After dealing with infertility, disappointment and frustration for years she is our miracle and worth waiting every minute for. I'm so grateful to have a year off of work to bond and raise her.



Personally I dealt with a lot of health challenges in the year and was unable to work out to the same degree I was used to, I also wasn't focused on tracking my food or prepping like I have in the past. Needless to say losing weight was not my focus, being healthy was. Now that we are settled and enjoying our time it is time for me to focus again on getting my body back. Abigail is getting bigger every day and it's important to me to be the kind of mom who can be active with her kids. At the beginning of this month I took the important step of signing up for Biggest Winners again and rejoining the program that I know makes a difference for me. It is for me a community and a group of people who are cheering each other on and i'm honored and thrilled to be back in the program. Unfortunately I got hit with that nasty cold a few days ago and have been home resting (as much as possible with a 4 month old), I hope to be back to the gym soon.

With rejoining Biggest Winners I really had to ask myself, what would have this be different for me? What would have me stay on track? I'm dealing with new circumstances, with not having the same freedom to just get up and go as I had before so how to have it work? I'm grateful to John for fully supporting me in this and taking Abigail as much as possible so I can prep our food and get to the gym. I know that weight loss is really 80% food for me, 20% working out, and to be honest i've never really found alot of inspiration in food or prepping my meals but I know it makes a difference. What I created for myself is the possibility of being loving, that is loving of myself (taking the time to be at class and prep food), loving of my daughter (that is putting food in my body that not only nourishes me but nourishes her) and loving what i'm up to (that is bringing joy and satisfaction to every workout, even when I don't want to wake up or leave my warm comfy bed). This possibility really inspired me into action these last two weeks. I fully took on all the meal planning and food prep in our house and i'm so proud of myself because I've thrown out 0 food, in the past it would look like food waste every week because I wasn't being responsible for planning or preparing the veggies. We also haven't gone out to eat at all which is saving us money (part of my other goal for 2017).

I'm really excited for the year to come, we are travelling lots (Hawaii, Mexico, Vegas, Caribbean) and creating our time at home as fulfilling. I'm also really clear that what has me win at the game is to have people behind me who support and encourage me so thank you to everyone that is on my team.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

No more hiding

Over the past couple of weeks I've been engaged in being compassionate and loving with myself and have noticed how much I'm thrown to seclude myself from the world and not live inside of that context. There are moments where it is present, especially when im with people, coaching people or empowering people in what maters to them. Then there are those moments where I am left to myself and what I realize is that really where there is to continue to look is right where I am - am I for myself whole and complete? Often no, often I indulge some conversation like I'm not good enough or don't belong and that gives me no power or freedom. To be totally honest I've not been on track food wise, I've ignored what my body really needs and though there is momentary pleasure and numbness in the food in the long term my experience of myself is that of being further removed.

I watched this video today:




And what became present for me is I really gave up on my dream of making a difference for people who are dealing with eating disorders and morbid obesity. I gave up on myself as being the one who could actually impact this. It's like I had this little glimpse of it, a glimpse of making that difference and then took myself out. Now, not all is lost, I'm not looking for your sympathy but rather just sharing what I see. So what is there to do? Really nothing new, keep taking myself on, keep being authentic about what i'm dealing with and STOP HIDING!!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sharing - I'm not alone!

I haven't written in this blog in a long time. I completed writing for myself but I really started to see it as a missing for me these last few weeks so am going to start again because this is all a journey.

As many of you know (from my Facebook) John and I are expecting a baby girl in August. This is something we have been trying for for almost 8 years and I haven't really talked about it much. I've watched friends and family have children and slowly closed myself off to the possibility that it would ever happen for us. It's a miracle and we are both over the moon excited, and partly terrified, but really excited :)

What I really want to share though is what I discovered this last week. Over the course of the last 2.5 years I have been leading programs for Landmark Worldwide and it is something that makes a profound difference for me, my relationships and my life. I absolutely love the community and the difference that the work of Landmark's programs provides. It is also something that gives me power when i'm dealing with difficult situations or circumstances and the ability to create life. This pregnancy has not been easy for me. In addition to the normal pregnancy symptoms of dizziness & nauseous, we had a time when the heartbeat could not be located, I ended up in hospital a couple weeks ago with gall stones and had some bleeding. I had to authentically look for myself what needed to happen to ensure this baby was healthy and I choose to stop (for the time being) being a program leader for Landmark. This was not an easy decision for me because I know it is something that fuels me, that lights me up and that is something I am very passionate about. But in this case I chose to put my well being and my unborn child's health ahead of anything else. I'm at peace with not being a program leader and I am grieving the loss of something.

Why I share all of that with you is because I want you to know what I actually discovered out of all of that. The body sensations and the feelings in ceasing my participation as a program leader brought me back to being in elementary school. I was put in a separate class from all my friends and was alone, it was sudden and unexpected and I can now see how after that point I set up my life to protect myself. I set up my life so that I will sabotage relationships or situations so that I am either removed, people leave or I leave and I've never been responsible for that. The 8 year old who made that decision about how life had to go decided that she would not let other people hurt her again and from that moment forward my life was designed around keeping people out. It is likely even the source of my weight gain in the first place, if I'm overweight then people don't want to really know me anyway and then I don't have the threat of being hurt. When I really look at this, the decision I made about how life would go at 8 years old has had a huge impact on me and the people around me. I know there are people in my life who are hungry to know me, they just want me to let them in, and their experience is that of being shut out. Not like i'm doing any of this intentionally, but there is still an impact. For me the experience of living my life is like I am always alone, yet surrounded by people who love me, often I feel very separate and out of place and I can see that is all based on the decision an 8 year old made, it's not true. All there is to do is continue to allow the experience to be there and acknowledge it as not true - don't resist it or try to change it - but be authentic with people about it which is partly why I chose to write my blog again.

So what am I creating then? Well presently I am living inside of the possibility of being compassionate and loving and that includes with myself. I'm taking on connecting with people I wouldn't normally connect with and sharing what i'm dealing with. I'm taking on my health and though I cannot work out right now (except walk/yoga) due to what i'm dealing with in the pregnancy I am being responsible for what foods I put in my body. I'm very present to that I cannot make a difference for other people when I am not taking care of myself and my well being, self sacrificing is not of service to anyone.

I promise to continue to share and put myself out there because deep down inside I really do love people and all I want is to have full connection in my relationships.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Final Session!!

Yesterday we started another Biggest Winner session and it is the last one for 2015. We are racing to the end of the year with all engines on. For me, it has been session after session with little movement in my health. This last session I definitely improved my fitness level but my weight didn`t move. What I have up at stake for the next 4 months is aliveness and vitality - that my workouts, my food, my time to myself is all sacred and vital and what is present where I am is true aliveness!! I`ve been pretty resigned about this for awhile, frustrated that my weight doesn`t move, trying to move a number on the scale does nothing. When I look back at when I started my weight loss journey I was never focused on the scale, I focused on the things I wanted to be able to do like walking without having an asthma attack. So what do I want to be able to do?

1. In 2016 do a triathlon
2. Run a 5K comfortably with no pain
3. Fit in all my clothes again
4. Start fertility treatments in a healthy body

These will be my focus, not the # on the scale. I know exactly what it takes to be successful, i've done it over and over, now it's time to buckle down and just do it. I am walking to work again which is about 3KM each way, wearing my fit bit and using a food tracker. I said no to foods sitting out at work that I knew were not going to further my goal and I ate my salad instead. I also will be compassionate with myself, if I mess up then I need to use my accountability partners and be in communication with them. Part of me thinks "sure Bri, you've promised this before and not done it - what makes this different?" and I could give up and be resigned but i'm not becuase this is a journey - up down, in out, whatever it is it is all a journey. Getting to my lowest weight of 170 lbs was something that was NEVER going to happen for me, then I got comfortable, now this is a whole new journey - this is the journey of discovering balance, discovering having the results be lasting and also having my story and journey inspire others at the same time.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Playful & Committed

Wow 2015 has sure flown by, I got present this morning to how much hiding out I've been doing in this program. Yes I've been going to the workouts, but I haven't been honest with my food. Yes i've been talking alot about how being fit and active is what I want, but my actions are inconsistent with that. Even promising this morning in class to write a blog post brought up that I will look bad and be ashamed because I haven't been doing it and know that really I should. Now taking actions because I "should" can sometimes get me somewhere, but often it just leaves me resentful. What I created for myself last week in our check in was being playful and committed. Inside of being playful and committed I have a different access than just working hard which is what committed normally brings. So when I sat down to write this blog post I went back to my last entry and realized it is almost exactly what I want to say right now. It is a line of demarcation that life isn't going this way anymore. Now I did that for awhile and then I let life "lifed" me and took over. I wasn't responsible, it's all on me and no one is coming to save the day. I don't say that to make myself feel bad or put myself down but really because being 100% responsible is my access to having my life go the way I say it's going to go. So in January I drew that line of demarcation in the sand then swiftly covered it up with some stuff - conversations that i'm not good enough, conversations that my time isn't valuable and excuses. I've really taken the time this last week since starting a new Biggest Winner session to put the integrity back into my health. I've been honoring my workout schedule, I've been eating on plan and I've been drinking my water. Now all there is to do is to continue to honor who I am is my word, that is BEING PLAYFUL AND COMMITTED in all aspects of my life, even if at 5:30AM I don't "feel" like waking up to work out, being playful and committed is what is present.

Today in our check in I promised to take on my water in the 21 day challenge. That means 3 litres every single day of water. The small steps are what really make the difference, no overwhelming, no going for broke, but one foot in front of the other, one action at a time. And again, I am re promising to write and create in this blog again - I know it makes a difference not only for myself but for the hundreds of people who read it. I'm sorry for disappearing and I'm back!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Line of Demarcation

Hello Long Lost Blog Readers

I have been MIA, absent, hiding and burying my head in life. You know when you know there is something for you to do and you put it off and put if off? Well I knew that I was long overdue to write a blog post and then I realized today the last time I wrote was August 11, 2014. Life has been coming at me fast and ferocious since then and something that I have realized is that when it comes to my health it has been a whole world of not wanting to do it, frustrated, what's the point and whatever I do doesn't matter anyway. Every day I do the same thing, I try really hard to eat "right" and workout, I even did 100 days in a row of working out, yet my experience doesn't shift. How life has gone for me is like it's not possible for me anyway - why try.

What's not possible? I know anything is possible, I am powerful and I can create miracles in my life yet I haven't been applying it and this week I've really been at the impact of that. In the last year I have gained weight, most of my clothes don't fit me anymore, my fitness level has decreased and the shame and the guilt start to creep up on me. I am back full time with Biggest Winners which is fabulous and at the same time comes with me wanting to make sure I fulfill on the program as an example to others. What I realized this week was that I have been doing alot for everyone else, for a purpose. Even when I lost all this weight it was for the purpose of having a family, of being a mom, it wasn't really for me. And you know what happened? I accomplished all of this and then it still wasn't possible for me, didn't matter how hard I worked or how many workouts I did it just wasn't possible for me to have what I really want. Now, I have all the tools in the world and amazing coaches to alter my experience of how life goes for me in any moment yet I have been hiding out, avoiding this and trying really really hard to cover up how sad, alone and devastated I feel. At the end of the day I'm completely resigned and not living life from what's possible, but living from I will make the difference for everyone else but me.

Dear Life....it's not going this way anymore!! Today is a demarcation, a point in time where I create my life for me - not for trying to do something for someone else, or for trying to get a result or get myself somewhere, but because who I am is worth it, who I am is valuable and who I am is loving and impactful. Now out of that I can see that I will still be a contribution and make a difference for people, but the source of it will be me putting ME as number 1. So here is what I am promising:

1. Write at least 2 blog posts per month, share my heart out, be vulnerable and authentic
2. Follow the Biggest Winners Nutritional guidelines every single day, even when I don't feel like it or when there is cake in the office
3. Make time (minimum of 15 minutes) every single day to do something that will take care of me. Today that is taking an hour off of work, going home and relaxing before I go to class tonight.

And if you are sitting there relating to this post at all my invitation is to make a promise to yourself today that will move you towards what you want, you deserve to have it all.