Inspiring Women Everywhere: what keeps holding you back?

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1/2 Ironman 70.3  relay race, 21.1K completed at Mont Tremblant, QC.

 

I’m 62 years young and figured this might be my last long distance race: are you kidding me!!  I loved this race, even though it is one of the toughest I have ever run because of all the hills (it’s ski country!).  You are never too old to start something new, and I have proven that.  I have only been seriously running for just 10 years now.

What holds you back in one thing, holds you back in everything.  Set a NEW GOAL for yourself for your health and fitness.  Just because it is summer, doesn’t mean you should slack off.  Take baby steps to get you where you want to go, even if that means enjoying your summer and modifying your goals.  If your goals are too big you might just be setting yourself up for disappointment.

This year my goals were to run the 1/2 marathon and another event in September that is even longer.  I could hardly train this past winter so I decided I could run/walk and still qualify for finishing (and I did!).  For some reason this year I was just so full of energy, power and determination and I did better than I expected. I know feeding my body proper nutrition is key to feeling youthful, and I added some new nutritional products that just might have put me over the top!  I can’t wait for my next event end of September, the 26.1K Commander Run (5K+21.1K) Army Run. I get to run beside real heroes in life who just want to be thanked for their service and not put on a podium.

If you are looking to improve in any area of your health, weight loss, endurance and performance or healthy aging, I’d like to help you get there. I like to educate people one at a time and give them real ideas they can incorporate into their busy lives.  Not everyone gets what I do, so I don’t mind if we just chat.  Isn’t it time you put yourself first? I have coached over 1100 people individually, free of charge!  If you like my recommendations then it is a win/win situation.  It’s your health ~ and it matters!

Palm Springs

Widow Back On Track in 3 Months

Five years ago while visiting my sister one month after just being widowed, I made a decision: I decided I was going to stop the pity party and get back on track with my life.

Losing a spouse so young was difficult and I knew I had to shake off the fog of sorrow I was buried in.  Everyone experiences grief differently, however a loss is a loss and a broken heart hurts no matter how strong you are.

Having family and friends to support you is important when going through a loss.  My sister had lost her marriage of 30 years, but re-married again and understood to some degree my pain.  Losing a loved one who dies is much different than a divorce, but a loss is a loss.  I asked my sister for advice and she was amazing: both my sisters have been.

I know many reading my blog may be going through different stages of loss and grief right now and struggling.  I chose to live in the present, rather than in the past, however I didn’t arrive in the present right away.  It may take time to figure out what you need to do also.

I am much wiser, stronger and much more confident as a woman because I was prepared for that horrible day when I learned my husband was going to die soon.  I believe a few key things I was doing at the time prepared me for my huge loss.  My finances were in place, (both of us shared family budgeting), we had Wills and I had family that loved me unconditionally.  I was a “together girl” from my youth and I knew I would adjust eventually: I just never thought I would be in a another loving relationship six months later!

I needed to grieve and I did for awhile then found myself thinking about love again.  I wanted a friend, a male friend because I was lonely and alone. I wasn’t actively looking for a mate, rather I was projecting a feeling of confidence that I was getting my life back, and as a result I attracted another widower into my life.  Some say that is way to soon, while others say “good on you!” Peter became my friend first because he understood my pain and that friendship grew into love.  He wasn’t expecting what happened next to him also, but we have accepted our fate.

It is so difficult to be all alone after you are widowed. Your friends stop inviting you to dinner parties because they are just not sure how to act or react to you at that time.  You are not part of a couple anymore and it hurts and is hard to adjust to.  Finding love again came unexpected, especially because I was so in love for 34 years with my late husband, I still am.

There is so much loss that people don’t realize, not just the loss of your loved one.  The loss of lifestyle, friendships and in my case also my home.  I’ve moved 12 times since  2012: another story for another day.  I do have a wonderful, happy ending which I’ve shared in my book called “Love Found Me Twice.”  You can read the first 50 pages for free if you go to www.changinglives.solutions

“Love Never Dies”, a phrase coined by Blair Robertson, psychic, medium I met several years ago.  When you experience the loss of a loved one, do what ever you have to find peace with that loss, do not judge yourself or let others judge you for you are not really aware that some of the decisions that you are making may not be at the right time.  I was once given the advice not to buy a new home within the first year of being widowed, or change your lifestyle right away.  I would agree, that is good advice.  Did I follow it?  No, and I have no regrets because of where I am today.  If someone hasn’t walked in your shoes, then how could they possibly know how you feel or think.  Just do your best and that is all that you can ask of yourself going through a difficult time.

Begin and end your day with an attitude of gratitude and better days will be ahead ~ I know they will.

Ultimate, Inspiring Survivor

 

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My Mom – 1 year before her 95th birthday.

Today would have been my mother’s 95th birthday.  She passed away 6 weeks ago.  I like to think of her as the ultimate survivor, because she endured so much loss in her life, yet was able to pull things together, bore 6 children and married 72 years.

Reading this I am sure you can relate to a similar loss in your life.  Perhaps you lost your parent, sibling, spouse, child, other relative or friend.  A loss is a loss and we all grieve differently.  My condolences to you if you are dealing with a loss right now.

My hope for you reading this is to know that better days are ahead.  These days are going to be tough, there is no doubt about it.  We miss our loved ones and not seeing or talking to them is hard.  Yes, we can talk to them in our dreams, in our thoughts and watch for signs that they are listening, but it doesn’t replace having them alive with us.

Keep this in mind: yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future and today is what we must focus on.  You might sail through your grief quickly as I did with my late husband over 5 years ago, but you will never stop loving or missing them.  I decided soon after I was widowed, that I must be strong; stand up on my own two feet and move forward.  That might look different for you, and that is okay; we all grieve differently.

My mother lost her own mother at age 12.  Then soon after her father remarried and then enlisted in the army leaving her and her younger brother alone to deal with getting used to her new step-mother.  She lost most of her childhood, her sense of real family and fun.  The fond memories she shared with the mother she adored were replaced with tears, loneliness, anger and frustration.  Who could blame a young girl for any of these emotions; she was just learning how to deal with her own loss, her own grief at the time.

My mother is gone now, but the lessons in life she taught me live on.  She was tough on me, tough on people and was a tough woman to love unconditionally. She lived through the Depression and those tough times taught her how to be tough, frugal and to put herself first, because if you don’t put yourself first, then who will?  She never lost her regrets from the past and carried them forward into her future, living day by day in fear of being abandoned again or punished for something. Today we have a health care system that helps people deal with their loss and grief much better I feel.  My Mom just learned how to cope and deal with her losses on her own, and for that I think she is the ultimate inspiring survivor.

I admired my mother for enduring so much in her life while at the same time I resented her for being the tough matriarch of our family.  But that is the past. I just wanted to be liked and have friends pounding on my door to play with me.  I think people are often misjudged for their character or loss of character. If we only walked in their shoes for a day, I truly believe we would save more people from a lifetime of depression and illness that can be prevented.  It is much more socially acceptable to talk about stress and depression.  I myself contemplated suicide after a traumatic situation in my 40’s.  Fortunately I sought help and that is in my past now.

I am living for today and remembering the sweet smile you see in this photo above of my mother.  She wasn’t one that would shine to silliness.  Rather, she was the strict one of my two parents.  Somehow I managed to convince her that day to put this silly hat on with the red braids.  Maybe it was because she had flaming red hair, like Anne of Green Gables growing up (auburn as we call it) and we were joking at how white her hair was now compared to the old days.  I really don’t remember exactly, but I love her for letting me have fun with her that day.  It is one of my favourite photos of my mother in her last year because she was smiling; something I didn’t often see from her, because she was hiding her pain from her past and internally always dealing with it.

She suffered a great deal physically in her last year with back and leg pain and was hardly able to get around without her wheelchair or assistance.  She always wanted to live to a ripe old age and wasn’t really ready to give up the fight when faced with the inevitable.  She was remarkable in her final days facing her demise with courage. She taught me a lot about courage as a little girl growing up and as a grown woman, while I sat bedside with her in her final hours.

When we lose someone close to us, we must let them go, but on your own terms. Just let them go and not drag them with you into the future, because today is for the living.  They will always be in your heart and when you close your eyes at night in your dreams.  To help you understand the process of grieving better, I highly recommend reading “Understanding Your Grief” by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. This book helped me tremendously understand some of my delayed grief, that I experienced three years later.

Please find strength in knowing that love never dies.