... for when you're starting a fitness / health journey!
Hello Crooked Followers!
My apologies for the lack of blogging lately. You'll find out about all the changes that have been keeping from my blog later this month!
So I was filming a live video on Facebook yesterday, all about my love hate relationship with fitness, and working out. I've tried everything on the planet- from bodybuilding style workouts, to restorative yoga. I've had lots of experiences with what has worked, and what hasn't and I wanted to share some of my tricks of the trade with all of you!
As I explained in my video, (which you can watch here), I've had a very rollercoaster relationship with the fitness industry for the last five years. But since I find comfort in 'letting it all hang out', I'm going to give you the uncensored, brutal honesty version. With pictures (god help me...)!
It all began with a young twenty year old Katie in love. The guy I was dating at the time, was very athletic, and so was his family. Sure enough, I had a hard time keeping up when we went skiing, boating, even just daily activities in Calgary. Being the odd one out, I often felt like I wasn't as liked as much as I could have been, or as accepted as I wanted to be. Whether it was intentional or not, I needed to change the opinions of the people around me. Wanting to fit in with this crowd, and be "accepted", I hit a huge reset button on my health and started my workout journey. I lost a lot of fat, gained a ton of muscle, and started eating really healthy. I was home from university that summer, and started kickboxing, working with a personal trainer, and cutting out all gluten and dairy. The funny thing is, I felt great physically. I looked good, I was on my way to a ripped 6-pack, but I was even unhappier than before.
The thing is, is when goals come from an external source, they are never quite satisfied. So having lost all this weight, having gained a ton of strength, I was finally able to keep up with surfing, running, climbing; I even started skiing with the family. But- two major things happened: 1. My body started to ache. I developed knee issues, back issues, shoulder pain, gastro-intestinal issues, you name it, I probably had it. (more on that later!) and 2. The opinions I was trying to change, never actually changed. Fitness had nothing to do with it, this boyfriend and I were just not the right fit. So there is my first piece of advice: Your goals have to come from within. Making changes to please others won't work long term! If you're trying to make someone else happy, they probably will just find something else to be unhappy with. (Trust me, I went through it).
So fast forward a little while, this guy and I broke up, and I went travelling across Europe for about a month. I had just graduated University, I was single, I was FREEEEE! I developed some pretty ridiculous habits travelling. I drank multiple beverages (cmon I'm in Paris! Dublin! Edinburgh! Wine, Beer, Scotch, you name it!) every day. There was one day in Ireland that I actually had a pint of Guinness for breakfast! When I got back, I felt like crap. Between the time change, the copious amount of alcohol that was consumed over the last month, it was insane. I met Sean when I got back, and I started getting back in to a (less intense) workout routine. Skipping out on a few details here and there, I ended up becoming a personal trainer. I loved educating people on health, and I loved the idea of being able to hold others accountable. This is also around the time I was introduced to BodyTalk. It was through BodyTalk that I actually learned the connection between your physical health and your mental health! For those of you who haven't attended my Chronic Pain information nights, we learn in BodyTalk that emotions are actually stored in the Connective Tissue of the body. So when we don't fully deal with our emotions, repress them, ignore them, etc, they end up getting stuck and manifesting in to physical disease and illness. So remember earlier when I said that initial workout journey I developed knee problems, hip problems, etc? Those are the areas that we usually hold on to issues with support, and fear. (So being in a relationship that wasn't a good fit, as well as working out for all the wrong reasons? Yeah. I didn't feel supported, and I was fearful). So rule number two? Your Mind, Body, and Spirit and all connected. All three work in harmony to keep you in good health, you cannot have one without the other.
So I started working with this amazing BodyTalk practitioner, who helped me overcome so many obstacles around emotional healing. Although we saw a ton of changes, I was still really unhappy with my environment. I wasn't happy with the philosophy of the work environment at the gym, and to put it bluntly, I felt like working out was serving as a punishment for all the things I disliked about myself, what I was eating, and how I was feeling. Rule number three, working out should be used as a celebration of what your body has accomplished, how far you've come, and how far you plan to go, NOT a punishment! The minute we start viewing working out as a punishment, we are tuning in to so much negativity, especially with the nutrition or dieting component of it!!! The fact that I would HATE myself after eating a cookie; it just isn't right. If I had a stressful day, and my workouts weren't where they could have been, I would beat myself up and start a vicious cycle of negative self talk.
So, I just couldn't take it anymore. I quit my job, and flew to Europe for a month with my parents (Is Europe like my go to place for epiphanies or something?). We toured around Germany, Poland, and Austria. All beautiful countries- but very limited on their vegetables. When I got home, I finally found my true calling: BodyTalk. But not as a patient, as a practitioner. For the last ten months I have been taking classes, courses and workshops, and I've been a huge advocate for emotional health and wellbeing. I became a Certified BodyTalk Practitioner in December of 2016, and have grown and changed as a person SO much since then. I had never felt so amazing, I felt like I was finally me. However, that being said, I ignored my own rule. I put so much emphasis on mental and spiritual health, that I kinda forgot about the physical aspect. My energy was low, and I found myself sleeping less, and drinking more coffee. Because I was feeling sluggish, my nutritional habits had become less ideal. It was becoming harder and harder to focus in my sessions, and despite all the BodyTalk, Reiki, and Meditation I was doing, I was feeling sad and anxious. Finally, one day, when I realized I was now at the heaviest weight I had ever been, with broken out skin, poor mobility, and a shitty mood, I joined the best gym that has ever existed on this planet. Rule number four: find something that lights your fire. I made a promise to myself that when I started working out again, it would be a facility that had similar philosophies to my own. I wanted to ensure that mental health, a sense of community and acceptance were all on their menu. I had been following a gym on social media that was suggested to me by a fellow BodyTalker (one of my instructors, actually!) and I finally signed up. The minute I drove up to the facility- I picked up on this amazing energy. I actually felt like I was home. Every single person introduced themselves, welcomed me, showed me around, high fived me for being there. The workout was intense, but SO much fun. When I called Sean on the way home, he told me that I hadn't sounded this happy in a long time. So I really did find something that lit my fire! Well that brings you up to speed on my journey, and my top tips for fitness. I am feeling oh so fantastic- and I can't wait to see what the next few weeks, months, even years (?) have in store!!!
So rule number five is to sum up my entire experience: balance is always key. If you listen to your soul, do what makes you happy, take breaks when you need it, and follow a healthy lifestyle (from salads, to wine), then you're going to be just fine. In the end, everything always happens for a reason! Going through tough times, or hard experiences always makes you a stronger person in the long run. I often get asked if I regret being in that first relationship. Or if I regret being a personal trainer. Absolutely not! If it weren't for those different experiences, I would not be where I am. I wouldn't have all this wonderful advice for you all. So. Happy healing, happy sweating, and if you ever wanted a little extra help or support on your journey, you guys always know where to find me!
Until next time,
Ever since I lived on Vancouver Island, there is just something so comforting about the rain. The sound it makes when it hits the window, the smell that it creates, and everything that it washes away. I look forward to wet, rainy days, more so than sunny, hot days. I'm not talking about sun showers, I'm talking the grey, overcast, gloomy days. Does that make me the weirdest human ever?
So this morning, my alarm was set nice and early, as I had to get up to teach a morning dog class. With the mass amounts of rain, the class was cancelled (it would have been unsafe to do this class in the rain, as it's our hiking class!), so I rolled over, and tried to go back to sleep. I listened to the whoosh of the cars driving by and thought, "man, it must really be pouring". I was tossing and turning, and I didn't want to wake Sean. So I came downstairs. I thought to myself, I'll just catch up on some emails while I have my coffee, then I'll start my day.
I deliberately didn't turn any lights on. Again, there is something so eery and comforting about the gloom of the sky, and the light it brought in to my kitchen. I poured myself a hot cup of coffee, grabbed a blanket and came to the couch. Instead of starting emails, or scrolling Facebook, I literally sat.
The thoughts running through my head, they were weird. How warm did this cup of coffee feel on hands, on my legs. How weird a soft blanket felt against the goosebumps on my legs. Again, the sound of the cars whooshing by. I thought about how nice it would be to just sit on the couch, all day, and do nothing. I thought about how the silence was oddly comforting, and how for the first time in a week or so, I felt uncomfortable. Then I thought, man, I'm moody today.
That's when it hit me. Why do I love this weather so much? Time seems to move slower, my movements, more deliberate, my thoughts, almost more precise. We learn in BodyTalk that every emotion has a purpose in our body, for without emotions we can't achieve certain movements. Sadness, in particular, allows us to feel empathy. Think of it like a comparison: how do we know what happiness feels like, if we've never experienced sadness? There are issues with both extremes, chronic sadness can look like depression, and chronic happiness can be manic.
The last few weeks I'll admit it, I've had lots on my mind, worries that have been consuming my brain, and instead of sitting and mulling through them, to see how to move forward, I've ignored them and just kept myself (extremely) busy. I've worked with clients, written blogs, attended expos, met up with friends, I even binge watched an entire series on Netflix in about two days. (Okay nobody panic it was a mini series...). For the first time in weeks, I woke up, and with a little help from the rain, I was able to listen to my thoughts. With time moving slower, I thought things through. Any little worry that entered my mind, I invited it in, listened to it. Let it say what it needed to, and thought for a moment on why it was there. What was the outcome I needed to achieve?
Instead of repressing any worries or fears I've been experiencing the last few weeks, this morning, I felt them. Why is family health weighing on my mind? What is an outcome that is in my control, or more likely, what am I trying to control that I can't? How can I rectify any credit card debt that worries me? What will this person think if I truly do speak my mind? How can I let go of any control issues I'm having over it?
At the end of all the mulling, stewing, and listening, I focused in on my surroundings, and smiled when I heard the whoosh of the rain outside.
...brain fog? insomnia? this could be the answer!
I hear it so often in my sessions... brain fog, trouble focusing.. doesn't it seem like sometimes we are all "foggy"? I was so surprised when I read about the correlation between brain fog, GI issues, trouble focusing and this little joint in our skull!
The Sphenobasilar Joint (or SB Joint) is a joint between the sphenoid bone and the basilar portion of the occipital bone in the skull. Did you know that the skull isn't one solid bone? It's a number of different flat bones that are held together by connective tissue. Have you ever felt a newborn baby's head? Their skull bones haven't fused yet, making it really easy to feel the soft spots in their skull. The sphenoid bone is a butterfly shaped bone that has contact with all other bones of the skull. This makes it pretty darn important, I'd say. In harmony, the skull bones move with the breathing cycle of the body, as well as something called the cranial pulse (the focus of craniosacral therapy). Even the slightest shift in our cranial bones can have detrimental effects on our health. You can read more about that here.
Have you ever knocked your head, played contact sports, been scared or startled, or had a complicated birth (being born or given birth)? You could have locked up, or knocked your SB Joint out of place!
Some of the symptoms of a locked up SB joint are: headaches, migraines, fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, depression, GI disorders, hormonal imbalance, and a lack of mental clarity. I've experienced first hand, a locked up SB Joint that was effecting my pituitary gland. Not only do I not remember why it started, but I do remember the relief I felt when we "unlocked" it. The pituitary gland is responsible for the majority of our hormone release for critical function of the body. It's also a big part of our intuition!
The funny thing too, is that SB Joint often comes up for our fur babies. Think of how often our animals unintentionally bonk their heads, can you imagine how messed up our little doggie skulls must be!? I know it comes up for Scout quite a bit!
The SB Joint is something that can be addressed in BodyTalk in a non-invasive way, by focusing on the breath and "unlocking" this joint.
If you feel like this joint could be affecting you, or if you have more questions, please send me a message! Such a profound joint, that can really be a game changer!
Until next time!