Simple Wellness Coach

Cultivating Self-Love and Positive Body Image

Today, I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 3 of Clifton Meador’s Virtual Blog Tour.

Clifton’s book Fascinomas is celebrating its launch from February 17th to March 3rd, 2014.

Clifton K. Meador, MD has a gift for filtering through tales and ‘can you beat this one’ stories that are passed around doctors’ lounges and operating rooms and coming up with succinct but extremely entertaining stories.  A ‘fascinoma’, as Meador defines, is medical slang for an unusually interesting medical case. He has gleaned and collected and curated 35 such cases from his own experience and the experiences of colleagues who have given permission to re-tell their own blockbusters. Each case is reads like a short story – the presentation of a strange set of symptoms, the initial response of the examining doctor(s), gradual revelation of further symptoms (sometimes via revealed secrets from the presenting patient), and the final diagnosis. Clifton’s mantra is: “There is not a medical diagnosis or a defined disease behind every chronic symptom; but there is a demonstrable cause if you listen and search carefully.”

Yesterday Clifton visited Jean Adrienne’s ‘InnerSpeak Soul Adventures’ blog at

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Clifton when I got to ask him some questions about the two broad categories for stressors in the body and how stressful relationships can effect us physically. I hope you enjoy it.


ROBYN:  Can you please tell us more about the two broad categories of stressors to the body?

CLIFTON: I think the two broad stressors are:

  1. People and relationships

  2. Physical substances ingested, inhaled, or by skin contact.

I am assuming the patient has recurring symptoms and does not know the cause. I suggest a daily diary listing the symptom severity, time and place with a listing of who was present, who was in his/her thoughts, food taken in, air and environs. We are looking for correlations between the patient and the surroundings. I have had a patient have chronic diarrhea from working with a bad boss, relieved by changing job and a woman with many symptoms cured by a divorce. I have also seen people with symptoms from an insecticide spray, people with sensitivity to blue cheese salad, and others to inhaling a drying dust from their clothing. The causes are hidden from conscious memory; becoming aware and taking action is often curative. Awareness is essential.

ROBYN: What can we learn by learning to listen to our bodies? What is it we’re listening for?

CLIFTON: The body has a remarkable signaling system. We know it best from its pain signals. Those don’t take much listening since pain sends a strong signal. Tension and strain are more subtle. Daily deep meditation where the body is set at nearly zero tension is both preventative for stress and tension as well as a method to locate tension. Something in the daily life is producing tension, so paying attention (i.e. “listening”) brings it into awareness. My favorite questions to patients with chronic symptoms are; what are you doing in your life that you should stop doing? And what are you not doing in your life that you should start doing? These can produce deep searches and enable corrections.

ROBYN: What can having toxic and stressful relationships at home or at work do to our bodies?

CLIFTON:  All sorts of symptoms can appear. The old wives tales are so true: he gives me a headache; she is a pain in the butt; he makes me want to throw up. I saw a patient whose demanding boss was causing her to have high blood pressure, cured by confronting the boss about his excessive demands on her. I saw another who had multiple symptoms relieved by a divorce from an abusive husband. People can make us sick if we let them. Again, awareness is the key and the first step to taking corrective actions.


I hope you enjoyed this brief interview with Dr. Clifton Meador Fascinomas – fascinating medical mysteries is Clifton’s 13th book on medical matters. The response to True Medical Detective Stories led him to collect and write the 35 cases in Fascinomas. In Fascinomas, all of the clinical facts are completely true – the story of the illness, all lab work, all imaging studies, and the physical exam findings. If you are intrigued by the curative power of listening and engaging the patient and the family in searching for clues, especially when the symptoms are chronic and recurring – pick up Fascinomas. You can find the book on Amazon at:

Amazon US – Paperback:

Amazon US – Kindle:

Amazon UK – Paperback:

Amazon UK – Kindle:

Amazon Canada – Paperback:

Amazon Canada – Kindle:

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback

Be sure to follow him tomorrow when the next stop on his Virtual Blog Tour is Krystalya Marie’s ‘Empowered Spirit Insights’ blog at She will be interviewing Clifton on the how a person’s core beliefs relate to Placebo and Nocebo effects, and the facial expressions of the 7 basic emotions.

Today, I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 9 of Annemiek Douw’s Virtual Blog Tour.

Annemiek’s book 21 Layers of the Soul: Healing the Karmic Ties with Friends, Lovers, Family and Enemies is celebrating its launch from December 2nd to 16th, 2013 at 21 Layers of the Soul.

ANNEMIEK DOUW, MSc is a management coach, light-worker, medium, energetic therapist, trainer and author. Her personal experience with long-term illness combined with her own work as a healer have led her to understand how the soul is an internal compass that continuously guides us. She has helped thousands of clients heal at many levels, teaching them how to read this compass for themselves. In 2011, she shared her unprecedented work in the Dutch language book De ziel in het licht van haar hogere auralagen, which is now available in English under the title 21 Layers of the Soul.
Yesterday, Annemiek visited Krystalya Marie at Empowered Spirit Insights where they discussed The 21 Layers of the Soul, discovering emotions, and tips to help us stop judging.

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Annemiek when I got to ask her some questions on, how we can approach listening to our bodies during our wellness journey. I hope you enjoy it.
ROBYN: What can we discover from the blueprint of our bodies? Can this help us with our wellness journey?

ANNEMIEK: First of all, our blueprint is perfect and therefore our bodies are perfect. Unlike our personal opinion about our bodies that may disagree (legs too short, nose too big, hair too curly) our bodies are exactly the way we need them to be for this life we planned on Earth. So it’s not about how it looks. Nor is it about how it feels, since sickness or disabilities are often designed into the blueprint for your body. It’s about how you choose to handle the cards you’re dealt.

If you really realize that you only have one body and that it can help you make the right choices, you will want to make friends with it – you will want to nurture and cherish it. The simplest way of doing this is to think about something you really like and that is positive for you – like your pet for example. When you think of him, notice how your body feels – this is a positive anchor. Then think of something negative and notice how the feeling in your body changes – this is a negative anchor.

You can now use this knowledge when you have to make a choice. Does aligning with one option make you feel at ease, stronger and/or happy? Or does it cause you discomfort, pain, or does it make you feel tired? With this information you can opt for the choices that make you feel positive whether that is food, people, jobs or relationships and your life will take a turn for the better.

ROBYN: Annemiek, can you share with our readers some of the steps involved in losing weight the Annemiek way?

ANNEMIEK: I’ve have been overweight all my adult life and now – at the age of 47 – I just lost 48 pounds the Annemiek way. So of course, although I’m not a nutritional expert or doctor, I can share my personal experiences and professional beliefs.

For me it’s all about what your body really needs and what we like doesn’t always match what we need. Therefore, I suggest you start by checking your food allergies. A good doctor or bio-resonance therapist can help you with that and can also prescribe some orthomolecular supplements if you need them. When you only eat foods your body can digest without an allergic reaction in your bowels you’ll see that losing weight is easier. My allergies are: sugar, lactose, ginger, aspartame and soya.

Then make a list of everything you can eat. This is a far more positive focus than obsessing about the cheesecake that you can never have again because you’re lactose intolerant. And do shop for alternative foods like rice milk.
When possible and affordable please eat organic food, especially meat. Hormones and substances like penicillin have become part of the non-organic food chain and can completely disturb your metabolism and cause all kinds of negative side effects e.g. to your thyroid.

Drink loads of water. Your body needs to be able to lose the toxins that are in your cells. Water is also the carrier when your body lets go of the emotions contained in the cells that are shrinking, so please drink a lot. It also helps if you rest. Sleep is crucial when your body is transforming to the new you.

I worked with Weight Watchers online because I needed a computerized way of counting the calories I eat. I also learned that I needed to make sure I used all the calories I had for the day – you don’t speed up the process by eating too little. I combined that with a personal rule – I found out that even when I stayed well below the allowed quantity of calories, I didn’t lose weight when I combined carbs and proteins during supper. Therefore, I now eat lots of vegetables combined with organic meat/fish or carbs like pasta and rice. I now make a mean pasta with veggie sauce – without any cheese of course. I only eat whole meal and I also don’t use ‘light’ or diet products because they contain additives that I believe are simply bad for my health. So I go for the original and use smaller quantities instead.

Still, that’s not the only thing that worked, because of course, I had tried all this before.

Timing was of the essence as well. Although it just takes the time it takes to lose the weight, somewhere in my blueprint and Life Plan I must have stated that it was time now – if safe – for me to let go of all the extra luggage I was carrying around, my shield. So I decided it was time to become the real me, and to look the part, and I did.

ROBYN: Can you share with us what Highly sensitive persons means. Are they like empaths and are these people more prone to weight issues?

ANNEMIEK: Highly Sensitive People (HSP) experience the world with more intensity than other people do because their brains and nervous systems work differently. They aren’t able to filter all the stimuli as efficiently. Triggers such as sound, light, fragrance, temperature, energy, atmosphere and stress all enter their systems more vividly. Because the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) cannot filter, this results in an over-stressed brain and nervous system which often causes them to withdraw from the world.

In my practice I have met many HSPs who were overweight and carried an unnecessary burden. Often, I felt that the fat was an inconvenient shield that was meant to keep people and their emotions at a distance and shut all other stimuli out. It’s a shame that fat doesn’t actually work that way.

The minute these people started to handle their HSPship differently, they became at ease with themselves, didn’t have to defend themselves against the world anymore and could let go of the extra pounds.


I hope you enjoyed this interview with Annemiek Douw and that you’ll check out her beautiful new book 21 Layers of the Soul. Again, you can find it at 21 Layers of the Soul.

21 Layers of the Soul can help you tap into and master your inner guidance system, to help you navigate to your right path in life. In this book, Annemiek shares more than 100 case histories gathered over 15 years of healing work. During this time she discovered the 21 layers of the aura – something never before revealed in any other healing book.

Meticulously analyzed and defined, Annemiek shows us how exploring these layers can provide us with a clear blueprint of the intricate system that leads us to incarnate on the Earth.

If you’re ready to unravel mysteries that have perplexed you for decades – or perhaps even lifetimes – pick up 21 Layers of the Soul and start to navigate the wonderful journey back to your Self.


To show her appreciation for your support, when you buy 21 Layers of the Soul at 21 Layers of the Soul’s website, Annemiek would like to give you a free, downloadable poster of the 21 aura layers, which you can print out and hang on your wall, so you can get a deeper understanding and connection to your own Soul.

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.
AND… be sure to follow Annemiek tomorrow when the next stop on her Virtual Blog Tour is Suzanne O’Brien, who will be interviewing Annemiek on letting go of buried emotion & distance healing. To visit that “stop” on the tour, go to Reiki Chick Training

iStock_000021022342XLargePlease note that this blog post is for anyone that struggles with any type of difficult situation, thought, feeling, emotion… not just depression.

Once upon a time, in the month of March, it was a brisk weekend in New York City. I was already suffering from depression for years (and years). I tried all kinds of treatments, but I still was not well. In fact, I would say I was very sick. Until one day, when….

…okay, enough with the drama. This isn’t going to be one of those stories where I had a miraculous recovery and I’m going to tell you how you can also. This is about a conference I went to, that changed the way I see things and the way I hold onto thoughts, feelings and emotions.

At the conference, I learned how to conquer my thoughts, which allowed me to refocus that energy on the physical reactions my body was having that were keeping me ill.

If you could free your mind from the thoughts that are keeping you stuck, would you have more energy to focus on other areas of your life?

Good intentions?

How many times have you heard the expressions:

Live in the moment.

Be in the present.

You need to get over what happened in the past.

Stop worrying about the future. There is nothing you can do about it.

Well, for me, those are all very nice words, and in response, I like the phrase:

Well, that’s easier said than done.

Sometimes, I like to add “now *bug* off” in my head….

Let me start by saying that when discussing the on-goings of our mind, the phrase things are “easier said than done” is an absolute truth. But, as much as you are going to hate to ‘hear’ this, the fact of the matter is that, the expressions above are also true.

The ill feelings that arise when we hear those expressions are not because of the words themselves (unless it is said in one of those obnoxious, cavalier manners), but rather because deep down we know it is true and yet, after trying, we still can’t seem to attain it.

Good news…. it isn’t for lack of trying or for lack of willpower that we fall short. The reason is that we are never taught how to do it correctly! We are never taught how to … live in the moment … be in the present … get over the past… and not worry about the future.  Until now!

Believe me when I tell you that learning how to live well in the present while coping with…..

  • illness / disease
  • bad body image
  • troubled childhood
  • tumultuous relationship(s)
  • war
  • financial issues
  • death
  • work
  • guilt
  • kids
  • worry
  • jealousy
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • etc.

…..makes all the difference. It’s literally life-changing.

So, how do we do it?

We do The Work!

The Work

The conference I went to years ago on that cold March day featured Byron Katie.

She selected volunteers (a.k.a. courageous people) who opened themselves up in front of the large audience (a.k.a. strangers) to discuss their most vulnerable feelings, experiences and outlooks (a.k.a the things that were holding them back from living a happy, content, satisfied life). Byron Katie helped them through the process of what she calls The Work.

The Work is comprised of three steps:

1 – Filling out a worksheet called “Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet”
2 – Asking the Four Questions
3 – Finding the Turnarounds

Sounds easy enough, right? Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.

To get a full understanding of The Work, I suggest you watch videos of Byron Katie working through various issues with people.  Hopefully, one of the videos on this site has an issue that resonates with you.

You can also click on this link where you can download the worksheet and be guided through the three steps.

(I found it helpful to see others go through the process before beginning my Work.)

As with pretty much everything you do, it can be difficult in the beginning. The thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. that are suffocating us are usually long-standing and deeply ingrained. Practice The Work. Start with some of your ‘simpler’ issues (i.e., My sister is annoying.) Watch Byron Katie’s videos. Follow Byron Katie on Facebook. Watch her webcasts.

Byron Katie also has numerous books; although, for me, (as silly as this sounds) the books are too wordy. Watching and listening to the videos is much more instructive for me, but I know others who have worn their books out by taking notes, dog-earring pages and putting post-it notes in it. Find what works for you!

If you are really lost and really want or need help, you can work with someone who is a Certified Facilitator of The Work:

If you decide to do The Work, please let me know if it made as big a difference in your life as it did in mine. Email me at

Just as a side note, Byron Katie’s life is very interesting. The more I learned about her, the more appreciation I had for The Work that she created.

Katie Wagner is a Certified Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  To learn more about Katie you can visit her website at where you’ll find plenty of free gifts and great information and resources on fighting depression.

In this weeks post I will share with you three simple and yet very effective ways I manage to introduce exercise in my daily life.  Since I work sitting at my desk I have to find ways to get the blood flowing and keep my limbs happy by moving my body around.

1. Dance like nobody is watching

I have a confession here, I love to dance, which in itself is not a big deal it’s just that I love to dance while at home listening to galaxy music on the tv or playing a few songs on my smartphone .  I try to dance for 10 to 15 minutes and when I do, I dance like nobody is watching (because nobody is).  I do this because heck I’ve always done it, since I was a teen I’d just dance while I played records and when I was a young adult I moved in with my best friend and again we’d play records (Leif Garrett anyone) and just dance.  I feel so good when I’m dancing and almost feel like I’m one of the best Solid Gold Dancers out there (I’m aging myself).  Dancing is not only good for my body but it sure does my self-esteem good too.  Now if I look like Elaine from Seinfeld so shall be it, I’m happy and helped my body.

2. Walk this way

Now I know a few weeks back I covered the benefits of walking but I thought this would be a great reminder at how it does the body and soul good.   Just grab your smartphone and play your favorite music or books while on your trek or maybe even silence and just listen to your thoughts or try not to think at all.  I love walking because it’s a wonderful form of escape for me and helps me feel good inside and out.  Sometimes I like to take my mini-doxie out for walks with me, he loves the exercise.  I love to walk outside during the spring, summer or fall, even in the winter if it’s not too cold or bitter outside.  I get on my walking shoes and comfortable clothes and I go out and walk. I like to have a goal, a place to walk up to and turn back but that’s just me, you do what feels right for you, just move that body.

3. Walk at Home

Ok when it’s bitter cold, I don’t go out for that walk, but I walk at home.  I fell madly in love with this workout about 10 years ago, I’ve already mentioned this before it’s Leslie Sansone’s Walk away the Pounds Series.  What I love about Leslie’s workouts is that you can do a one mile walk in 15 minutes (or a 2 mile walk in 30) and they are easy, she has four basic steps that you follow that are easy for almost anyone.  You can level up, I believe Leslie has up to 5 miles, I’ve done the 4 miles and I always get great results when I work out with her.  Please don’t let the easy steps fool you, it’s a workout, you get your blood pumping and your body moving and you feel good and accomplished at the end of the workout.

Another great bonus is that Leslie offers free workouts on her website so you can check them out.  Personally I have many of her videos and DVDs and now that the cold weather is starting I am more often doing a Leslie workout than going outside.

I like to workout a minimum of 3-4 week, it depends on my schedule, I’m not too hard on myself but if I’m too busy one day I think what’s 30 minutes and I pick a two mile workout and just do it.

That’s it for this weeks post!  Have yourself a great week, I know I will!

To your health with Love


14 years clean and sober

Today’s post is an extra special one for me.  On Monday, November 11, 2013 I will be by the Grace of God 14 years clean and sober.  That’s 14 wonderful years free of drug and alcohol abuse, free from emotional abuse, free from bondage of self.

Whenever my sober anniversary comes around I always think back at what my life was like before that fateful november day when I decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  There was no more relief in the drinking, I couldn’t escape any longer.  I had just gotten out of an unhealthy relationship (ok I was thrown out of the relationship) and went on a drinking binge of all binges.  I put my safety and  life in danger many times during those months and I simply just didn’t want to go on any longer.

I started drinking at a young age, I even remember my first taste, I was 6 it was a beer and I thought it was disgusting.  I drank during my teen years like most of my peers, nothing out of the ordinary, though I did drink till I got drunk but I could go without a drink for weeks, months or even years.  Once I turned 17 things changed.  I fell into drugs and drinking and drinking turned into my first love.  I won’t lie, I had some great times for sure especially in the early years and yes there were some ups and downs but I still loved the bottle.  Drugs took a back seat, they weren’t my passion, alcohol was.  As the years and my drinking progressed, I was getting worse and worse and so was my health.  I had esophagus problems, liver problems, living problems.  I quit my job to drink full time, work was getting in the way or so I told myself.  Meanwhile I was living with someone who drank like I did and we all know how that ended.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Many of you who follow my blog know that I went into treatment for 6 months in an in-house treatment facility.  At first I thought I would go for 30 days and get some rest, I had pneumonia, I was exhausted, I was sick and I needed a break… I mostly needed a break from me.  I went through a really dark period before going to treatment and maybe one day I’ll be able to share that with you but not today.

I lived in this treatment facility with 9 to 12 women throughout the six months.  I was the first graduate, those that came before me had fallen before their treatment was over.  There were others who graduated after me but fell.  I feel blessed and lucky that I have stayed clean and sober.  I had made friends, friends I still have today.  It’s funny how I wanted to run from myself, get some rest and try not to drink for awhile.  Instead I found myself, got some rest and have remained sober these last 14 years.

Was there temptation along the way?  Yes, 2 years into my sobriety I was living with a man who to this day has struggled with drug and alcohol abuse.  He was a few weeks sober when we met, though I was told he had long term sobriety.  Almost 2 years into our relationship he relapsed hard and I considered for a brief 15 minutes to join him.  He was asleep on our couch as his drugs and alcohol laid out on our kitchen table and I thought how easy it would be to join him but I had just celebrated 2 years of sobriety and a little voice inside of me simply did not want to risk that I may not be able to stop again.  So I called AA and went to a meeting and stayed sober.  What happened to the guy?  He’s still out there drinking, drugging and struggling… I say a prayer for him every single night.

There but for the grace of God, go I…

Now is the time to celebrate, I celebrate the fact that I was once broken and today I am whole.  I am no longer obsessed with the thought of drinking, I am no longer thirsty, I no longer want to hide from myself and others.

In these last 14 years I’ve had ups and downs but I can handle them and even if something is off or too much, I don’t feel the need to drink.  Life today is lots of fun, I feel great about myself and all that I’ve accomplished and I still continue to grow.  I am very different from that young woman who I used to be who suffered for years and just wanted to destroy herself.  You can’t imagine how much I’ve changed.  Those that knew me then would never have bet on Robyn getting sober, much less staying sober.   I did have to cut some people out of my life, I did it in order to survive.  I chose me.

I choose me every day, I choose to pick my battles, I try to do what’s right, I live an honest life, I rely on a higher power who I call God.  I’m quite happy actually and on the days I’m not, I work on it, I use the tools and get right minded.

Thank you for reading this post today, it means a lot to me and if there is something you’d like to share, you can either hit the reply button on the email I sent to you, you can post a comment below or click on the “Let’s talk” Box on the bottom right.  I’m pretty much an open book and would love to know if I can be of service to you and remember…

To thine own self be true…



swc healthy snackAs I write this post both my husband and I have what we refer to as “the munchies”.  We each ate three healthy meals today and yet both of us sit here thinking “I’m hungry”.

Now to give you a bit of a background on both of us and I don’t know if I mentioned this already and it’s a bit off topic but Hubby has lost over 80 pounds since April 2012.  He followed the same healthy eating plan as I did and just dropped the weight like it was nobody’s business.  He weighed 265 pounds when we started and now weighs less than 180 pounds.  He’s tall, 6 foot 1 and he says that he’s as slim as he’s ever been since his 20′s.

I personally have maintained a 100 pound weight loss for the last 6 months, before this weight loss I had spent many years binging on sugar and grains.  Since I have lost the 100 pounds I have tried hard not to make eating a bad experience in any shape or form.  If I want to eat something I will, if I don’t, I won’t.  After living way too many years with feelings of shame towards food and my own hunger, I refuse to live that way now.  So if I want a snack I will have one.

We don’t often have the munchies, usually dinner is our last meal of the day and that’s it.  We are pretty good about eating a healthy balanced dinner with lots of vegetables, proteins and healthy fats.  We don’t even have dessert unless you consider the cup of coffee we have on Friday nights as dessert.  But every once in a while the munchies strike and we don’t over analyze it, we don’t hem and haw about it, we don’t feel guilt or shame about it.  We simply have a little snack.

When the munchies strike me it’s simple how I handle it, I’ll take a fruit (bananas, grapes or strawberries preferably) or maybe a handful of raw almonds or a piece of old cheddar cheese.  That’s it.  I don’t need anything else to keep the munchies at bay.  These foods (not at the same time) fill my belly up and shut that munchie monster right down and all is well.

As for Hubby, when the munchies strike him he handles it a bit differently; for instance he’s been known to grab a bunch of fruits and vegetables and put them thru the juicer and chug that glass down.  I’m not a fan of juicing myself but he is and he loves the energy that it gives him afterwards.  He’s also a lover of yogurt and not the low-fat type either (it’s getting harder and harder these days to find yogurt that isn’t low/no fat).  He too is a lover of bananas and I’m willing to bet they are his favorite snack.  I also buy him granola bars, he loves them, I only buy them for him because he likes them and they seem to shut his munchy monster up.  I don’t eat the bars myself  and as he has told me; he has not sworn to a life of eating whole foods only (I try to eat only whole foods I would say at least 90% of the time ).  He tries to eat healthy and just as I won’t feel guilty for eating a healthy snack he won’t feel guilty for eating a packaged granola bar.

I love that we have managed to learn to not only eat in a healthy way that we both love but we have also learned how to snack moderately without any guilt or shame.  How does it get any better than this?

What do you do when the munchies strike?  What are your go-to snacks that you love to eat?  Please share by posting a comment below.

To your health




“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
~Neale Donald Walsch

 I have noticed a theme lately in my life, I keep hearing these words through other coaches, bloggers or friends.  It’s always about stepping out of my comfort zone which is where the magic begins.

I actually believe this, I’ve seen it happen with myself and with friends, yet it’s still a struggle to get out of the comfort zone. You see as long as I’m in the comfort zone I know what to expect, nothing changes much which in itself can be very comforting.  We even get used to bad situations in the comfort zone.

This was my experience right before I got sober, I lived with a man who drank, we were both heavy drinkers and our relationship was volatile to say the least.  I stayed because in spite of  our rocky relationship I knew what to expect.   By the grace of God he ended up leaving me after 5 years for another woman he had met one night in a bar.  I was heartbroken, I was quickly thrown out of my home and out of my comfort zone (as negative as that was).

I continued to drink hard but the drinking just didn’t seem to fix the heartbreak, misery and fear that enveloped me.  I decided it was time to get sober even if it was just for a short time as I had developed pneumonia and I was exhausted from all the drinking and partying I had done after the breakup.  I went into a 6-month in-house treatment facility and about 6 weeks into it I lay in bed one night and I started to cry, I cried hard tears of joy because I realized I was finally free of that life with him and all that it entailed.  I was finally free and on my way to a new journey.  I was so grateful that he left me because I would have stayed till who knows when and maybe I would not have gotten sober or lived the life I live today.  Who knows what the outcome would have been had I stayed but I am relieved that it turned out the way it did.

Our First Date

Our First Date

I also stepped out of my comfort zone when I met my husband online 7 years ago and I decided to meet him in New York City 4 months later for our first date.  Please note that it took 4 months of daily calls, skype and emails to feel like I knew him enough to take the chance and I felt safe to go meet him in person.  Yes it was a risk but he was so worth it.  Had I not taken that step out of my comfort zone where would I be? I’d never have the blessing of stepchildren and grandchildren whom I love all my heart and they all love me back.  Nor would I have the wonderful relationship I have with this man who makes me laugh, feel loved and treasured every single day.

I could go on and on with examples on how I stepped out of my comfort zone and the rewards I reaped from it.  Not only in love but in my career as well, heck even how I lost weight was stepping out of my comfort zone and going against conventional wisdom.  If I were to take the time to actually write down every time I stepped out of my comfort zone and the success it’s brought me I’m sure I’d do it more often… How about you? Do you have a story about stepping out of your comfort zone and how it brought you success? Please feel free to share it by either hitting reply in the email or posting a comment below.

I would love to read your stories!

To your health with love


Drop the D word

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” – Mark Twain

This quote from Mark Twain is something I couldn’t disagree with more, however, this does make me wonder if this kind of thinking is why some have such a hard time getting started on eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle.  Sometimes it’s just plain hard to get on track, to commit to starting on a healthy weight loss journey.  But you don’t need to suffer in order to achieve your weight loss or health goals.  So I am sharing some of my favorite tips with you so that you can get on track and start on this wonderful healthful journey.

First let’s dump the “D” word.  Diet in itself is not a bad word, one can eat a diet of healthy foods it’s just that when used in the context of “I’m dieting to lose weight” that conjures up all sorts of emotional things.  It’s not just a word, it’s how it triggers your thought patterns, you put diet in your head you start approaching your weight loss plan differently.  Dieting for most means we will be doing something for a short period of time in order to achieve our weight loss goal and then history tells us that we will most likely return to our old eating habits, risking weight gain.

Plan what you will eat for the day: Personally I like to plan out my three meals and any snacks that I might need throughout the day.  Usually we make poor decisions when we are not prepared when hunger strikes i.e. if you don’t know what you’re having for dinner and you’re home and feeling hungry you might think why not order a pizza instead, whereas when you already know what you’re eating it’s easier to stay committed and stick with your plan.  It’s also smart to plan your snacks for the day.  More often than not I have at least one snack a day and for me it’s natural almonds, I love their flavor and I always feel satisfied after I’ve eaten them, therefore I’m less likely to go overboard and eat something that I shouldn’t.  Even when I’m on the go I’ll take a handful with me in a container and I will usually munch on them if I feel a pang of hunger in the afternoon.  Choose what works for you just make sure it’s a real food.

Move that body : There are so many different benefits to moving our bodies through exercise that they are hard to ignore. You end up not only doing your heart, lungs and body good but you also end up feeling really good about yourself too.   Now depending on where you are on your healthy lifestyle journey you might consider starting small, but no matter how small you start remember to be consistent by doing it daily or 3 times a week.  You might consider going for a walk, I really love walking, I think it’s great and a wonderful escape and it really helps me recharge mentally and emotionally and add all the physical benefits and it’s a win-win for me.  However, choose what works for you, what you feel you can stick to on a regular basis.  Just be consistent and move that body and you will reap many healthy rewards.

Eat whole foods and avoid low-fat/no-fat products: The first thing I noticed when I started eating whole foods as compared to low calorie or low fat/no fat foods was that I was a lot less hungry.  Yep, true story.  I noticed almost immediately which meant I was actually eating less and the bonus was that the food tasted great and I was still losing weight.

Be aware : I think part of my own success has been a result of being open-minded and aware.  Throughout my own journey I would notice what foods triggered cravings in me, what situations caused emotional eating.  At first it didn’t always stop me from emotionally eating but the awareness of the triggers helped me arm myself with tools and as the situations occurred I would start using the tools and stop the negative behaviors.  This is why I call this a journey, I couldn’t change overnight even though I stopped eating my trigger foods, even though I was losing weight because I had to change behaviors which I could only do by being aware of them.

Don’t look for quick results, instead look for lasting results.  This is really important, because sometimes people want to lose the weight right now and as I mentioned in the “Diet” paragraph when you rush into this with that kind of attitude  you risk gaining the weight back.  When you start incorporating small healthy choices in your life on a continuous basis you cannot help but get results.  In some it happens quicker than others but the results will come as long as you remain consistent in your commitment towards changing yourself and your habits.

I hope these tips will help you get started on your own healthy journey, please remember not to be too hard on yourself, since change can be hard, but remember it’s possible.  I don’t expect you to take all these changes on right away, even if you just start with the first one and start incorporating the rest as you progress.

Please feel free to comment or share any tips or ideas that you may have.

Have a great week!

To your health!


happy-thanksgiving-canadaIt’s Thanksgiving Day here in Canada today!

I like to pause throughout each day to thank the Universe for special moments that pop up throughout the day, like tears running down my face from hard laughter with my husband, my dog’s wagging tail whenever he see’s me, the sound of my eldest cat’s purring (he purrs so loud), my youngest girl kitty’s need to sleep on my feet at night (it gets cold here in Canada eh), having conversations with Mom about everything and nothing, clients who have let me in their lives as we grow together and the list goes on and on and on…

I clearly enjoy those special moments in my life and I try really hard to show an attitude of gratitude.  There are times when I’ll create a list of the things I’m grateful for about myself and what I’ve accomplished; it’s sometimes about physical accomplishments like walking 2 miles to Leslie Sansone’s Walk away the Pounds DVD, or doing perfect form squats or being grateful for my body and it’s ability to perform those physical actions and keeping with the physical theme I will write about my long curly hair or pretty eyes.  Sometimes it’s about the emotional accomplishments like being proud of myself for completing a task or appreciating that I do have a determination to succeed.  It can sometimes be about being grateful for the roof over my head and that my family can count on me.  It has no rhyme or reason, it’s just about self-love and being grateful for me.

I have noticed that once I start I almost cannot stop and it gives me a huge boost of self-esteem and self-love.  Now of course this didn’t come overnight, I had to work on it, and that’s where that list came in handy.  You see by me concentrating on what I was grateful for in myself it reminded me of all the good things I have accomplished, all the good things that I am and it helped me create more positive feelings towards myself which made me kinder and more loving towards myself as well.  This in turn made me a better wife, daughter and friend.  It’s a healthy step towards a healthy relationship with yourself.

Have you tried a self-love gratitude list?  Just take a piece of paper and a pen and start.  Remember there’s no right or wrong, it’s about you and what you love/like about yourself.  It can be your hair, your eyes, your smile, your sense of humor, your educated mind, just write what you like/love about you.

Would you mind sharing what you are grateful for about yourself?  If you want you can comment below or send me a message!

Have a glorious week, I know I will!

To your health with Love


swc fitness walking shoesToday I want to talk about my favorite form of exercise, it’s been my favorite for as long as I can remember.  From a teenager to this very day I’ve loved to walk.  Now there are days where I don’t feel like putting on my walking shoes, I just want to sit on my pretty butt and do nothing.  I can even talk myself into believing that me taking a day off from my regular walking routine might be good for me, no need to be so rigid with myself after all.  But then I think of the obvious reasons why I love to walk.

1. Walking does my body good

2. Walking does my mind good

3. Walking nourishes my soul

I’ve always had a lot of internal energy and walking has helped me burn some of that energy.  Not all my walks are the same, depending on my different needs my walk differs.

Music Escapism

Sometimes I go out with my mp3 player/smartphone and listen to music, I load up my player with my favorite songs and when I do that I can walk for what seems like forever because I get lost in the music.  There is nothing like your favorite songs to help you keep up the beat and move forward.

Book Escapism

I love stories, I love to read a great book, I think I would be lost if I couldn’t escape by reading or listening to a great book.  I am now in the process of re-reading a book from Diana Gabaldon (Outlander) one of my favorite stories ever.

Positive Affirmations

I love listening to positive affirmations during my walk and what a wonderful form of escape it is for me as I nourish my soul with positive thoughts as opposed to some of the heartbreak songs I  like to listen to.

Self Connection

Sometimes I don’t listen to anything at all, the walk is a time for me to reflect on my life, sometimes it’s about decisions that need to be made or I play a gratitude list game with myself and start thinking of all the things I am grateful for.

Body Awareness

Sometimes I don’t think of anything at all but I choose to concentrate and feel every muscle in my body as I move while I walk.  It’s a really great feeling to tell you the truth, the whole body awareness, that body connection, I can feel my body thanking me for every movement.

Then there’s the obvious fitness, I walk for good health, but I add one of the above points and the walk ends up being a huge benefit to my body and soul.

If you want to share what your favorite thing about walking (or any form of exercise) is please share in the comments, I love to read how people implement different ways to do things that benefit their health.

Please remember it’s not too late to join our fitness challenge, all you need to do is join our Facebook group and we do our best to keep ourselves accountable.  You don’t need anything to join, you can either walk in the fresh air or do one of Leslie’s videos which she has online for free for people to do.

Last week I offered a free strategy session and  so many of you took me up on the offer and it went really great!  So if you missed out I am offering the free 15 minute strategy session again, we can work on tweaking some of the things that are holding you back from feeling good about yourself click here to schedule:

That’s it for me for today!  Have a great week and don’t forget to comment below or send me a message if you have any questions or if there’s something you’d like me to talk about in a future post.

To your health with love