Fully Exposed: My Story

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This is the first post I’ve written that I will be incredibly nervous to hit the publish button on.  I wanted to start this post with a disclaimer for any of my family members who might be reading this post, but I’ve decided against it.  I don’t want to apologize for my memories and I won’t write a sweeter version of what I recall.  I promised my readers and more importantly myself that I would only blog from a place of complete authenticity and integrity.  So here I go- I’ll do my best to give you a look inside the series of events that shaped me and made me so passionate about helping others find nourishment in their lives.

I was born December 22nd, 1989 to young and in-love parents.  They had recently relocated from Toronto to St. Catherine’s, Ontario to start a new life together.  They were full of hope and had wonderful intentions to be the best parents they could be and that’s what they did.

My mother was amazing when she was pregnant with me.  She took every care to be healthy and to start my education from in the womb.  My mom really poured her heart into my most tender years.  She fed me healthy home made foods, she worked from home so she was able to put many loving hours into playing with me and teaching me and most of all she gave me lots and lots of love.  I’m incredibly grateful for these years even though I can’t remember them.  Thank goodness camcorders were around then because I have plenty of evidence of all of these great memories!

When I was three years old, almost to the day, our family grew when my brother was born on December 23rd, 1992.  I was very excited to become a big sister and things seemed awesome.  Unfortunately, after my brother was born my mom began to suffer from post-partum depression.

Depression runs in my family, as it does in many.  My maternal grandmother suffered from severe depression and consequently my mother did not get the same loving attention when she was young that she was able to give me.  My mother’s relationship with her mother was a very difficult one and never had the chance to heal because my grandmother passed away two weeks before my younger brother was born.

I’m absolutely sure that my grandmother’s death played a huge role in my mom’s post-partum depression.  I also believe this was the catalyst that eventually led to the shattering of the picture perfect persona that she had invested so much time in building.  She was the perfect mom, the perfect wife and a successful business owner.  It took me a long time to understand, but I now see that she thought that if she swept all her hurt and pain under the rug, she could balance on top of it well enough to have a happy and fulfilling life.

However, from personal experience, I know that this is impossible.  With the abuse she experienced, to the lack of love she received all on top of the emotional unavailability of her two alcoholic parents, it’s actually amazing that she kept it all together as long as she did.  I respect her for doing her best and I send love to that young woman trying as hard as she was and just hoping it would all work out.  So, when she left a note and first tried to end the suffering when she was in the darkness of post-partum depression feeling completely alone, I do my best understand.

This was the beginning of my childhood.  My mom wasn’t able to pull herself out of this hole. As much love and support as my dad and other family members tried to give her, she didn’t know how to receive it.  She never learned how to be loved as a child and this is a very difficult and deep wound to heal.  She turned to substances to numb the pain and spent the next several years on a roller coaster of trying to escape this world in any way she could.  I don’t need to go into the details but there was a lot of trauma during this time and a lot of visits from emergency services.

When I was eight my parents separated and we ended up moving around a lot.  My mom tried a few times to pull it back together and we did have a lot of happy memories; I cherish these.  The truth is my mom is a fighter, she provided as much as she could for us and she worked really, really hard.  But the fact is I am an adult child of an alcoholic. The incredibly painful cycle of depression and substance abuse did not end with my mother, but it will end with me.

I grew up quickly and I took on a parenting role when I was very young.  I barreled forward in life in almost the exact same way as my mom did.  I acted older than I was, I overachieved and I always acted okay.  In fact, I really truly believed that I was okay.  I knew I had a difficult childhood, but I’d die before I would ever admit that I was damaged.  I was above that, I was stronger than that and I would be damned if I ever let you tell me I was just like my mother.

I moved out young, at 17, and never looked back.  It was somewhere around 19 that I realized that I was coming to a fork in the road. I had just gotten into a serious relationship, had an increasingly rocky relationship with my mother and I had been abusing marijuana for a couple of years.  I thought I was using it in a socially acceptable way because all my friends did it too, but they were probably escaping something just the same way I was.  I was standing in the exact same place my mother was at the same age and I had two choices. I could keep going forward the way I was, shoving it all under the rug and balancing on top or I could look my pain in the face and do the work to break the cycle.

This is incredibly difficult work to do. It’s been seven years since I made this realization and during this time I had truly thought I was doing all the right things to heal myself.

I was reading all sorts of self-help books, I was delving into spirituality and I was getting “healthy”.  However, at the same time as I was going through all the motions of getting better, I had also shifted from marijuana abuse (I quit that completely when I met the love of my life) to alcohol abuse.  And in the exact same rationalization as with pot, I thought I was using alcohol in a socially acceptable way. It took me a long time to see that I wasn’t and that I was slipping closer and closer towards the destiny I least wanted.

It took my now-husband telling me hundreds of times, and me scaring myself on many occasions for me to open my eyes to what I was doing. At one point it got so bad that I was sneaking alcohol nightly. Getting tipsy by myself and chain-smoking cigarettes alone in the garage until well after my husband went to sleep. Many nights I would sneak upstairs, throw up in the spare bathroom and then crawl into bed with the spins hoping my husband wouldn’t notice.

This is what being an alcoholic looks like.  I admit it- I am not good with alcohol and alcohol is not my friend.  Every time I drink I feel terrible the next day, even if its just two drinks.  And its not because I’m hung over, it’s because I feel guilty and I know that alcohol messes with my brain chemistry.  I can sometimes even feel it when I have one drink. I feel less clarity, I feel sad even if there is no reason and I don’t feel love for myself.  It’s just not good for me.

This is a tough thing to put down on paper.  Our culture is very heavily based upon the consumption of alcohol, not only for celebration but also for commiseration and dealing with stress. We drink when we’re happy; we drink when we’re sad and when everyone else is drinking it feels pretty weird when you‘re not.  Alcoholism is a huge stigma to carry and I am currently trying to navigate each situation I enter, with the help of my husband, the best that I can.  I haven’t cut alcohol completely out of my life, but I have drastically reduced my consumption. I have found substituting with kombucha to be a great help at gatherings where everyone else is drinking.

I haven’t spoken openly about this to many people, not even my friends.  I am incredibly good at hiding it when I’m not okay.  It’s been a frightening road and I’m learning how to be vulnerable so I can know that it’s okay to not always be okay. I’ve decided to share this with you now because it’s a part of my healing. I know that online appearances are very deceiving and I never want to create the impression that I’ve got it all together. I’m sharing this because if anyone else is experiencing anything similar I want them to know their story isn’t the only one like it.

I know there are tons of people who have said exactly what I just said and I always thought that was cheesy. The thing is, I never found a story that I thought was the same as mine because I didn’t see that I was self-sabotaging and I didn’t know that my behavior was truly and deeply harmful.

Just because you’re young and its “normal” to get drunk and have hangovers doesn’t mean its okay.  Some people can handle alcohol and some people just can’t handle it as well.  Maybe you don’t even realize your behavior is unhealthy, but that’s okay because maybe my story will make you want to examine your own habits.

You know how you see someone practicing a dance routine and they are going through the micro-motions of all of their steps?  That’s basically what I have been doing with my healing for many years.  Going through all of the motions but not really committing to the full routine.  I was doing just enough to make myself feel as though I was putting in the work but didn’t really understand how to go deeper.  I also definitely wasn’t acknowledging all of my actions that were basically making any and all of my healing efforts null and void.

I wasn’t asking myself the real questions I needed to ask myself.  I didn’t even know what those questions were.

It’s hard enough to admit that your actions are not serving you and it’s even harder to look at yourself in the mirror and realize that you have at some point stopped loving yourself.

“What? Me, no! I’m confident, I’m healthy! Of course I love myself! What could you possibly be talking about?”

Right.

Self-deception plays a strong game. Look at your life. Are you nurturing yourself? Are your behaviours and your day-to-day actions reflective of someone who actually cares for themselves? And I don’t mean someone who brushes their teeth and goes to the gym. I mean are you empathetic with yourself? Are you tender with yourself the way you would be to a sister or a friend? Get real.

This life tells us that we better be our own worst critics because we are molded to believe that if we don’t do A, B or C we aren’t worthy of love. So what is the first source of love that we cut ourselves off from when we don’t think that we’re deserving?  Self-love.

We punish ourselves in all these little ways that add up to a life lived in shackles, ruled by beliefs about ourselves that are simply untrue. It took a lot of physical and mental suffering for me to realize how my past had really affected me and a hell of a lot of asking myself why and how.

In all of the self-help reading I did to find myself a solution to my problems what I mostly found was a lot of inaccessible language; a lot of airy feel-good strings of words. Sometimes I found action steps that gave me this go-getter attitude. Like, YEAH! I can do this, I’ll just follow these 5 steps and my life will be healed. LOL!

Here’s the truth: there is no cookie-cutter answer or method to healing.

There are tools that you can pick up a long the way that are useful, but they are not the solution.  The solution is you.  The solution is sitting with yourself and digging into why you might act or react the way you do to certain situations and then asking why again and again until you can’t anymore.

Most of the time you’ll end up back at some very similar answers like: I do this because I’m afraid of losing love.  But it’s the process of getting to that answer that is the most important part.  And then its the process of questioning these beliefs that run you from the core that starts to break apart this self-loathing way of thinking and operating.

I almost guarantee you’ll find yourself resisting this process and probably wanting to deny a lot things because you’ll think you’re better than that, or your situation is somehow more complex or you’re so unique that couldn’t possibly apply to you. But what I have found to be the most true in all of this is that most actions and thoughts stem from love or fear in all of us. They might present themselves in incredibly strange ways but if you keep on digging and digging you’ll often find love or fear at the root. Hate stems from fear and so it’s actually fear that is the opposite of love.

You know that old cliché the only thing to fear is fear itself? Well that’s pretty damn true. Fear makes us push others away, fear makes us hide, fear stops us from exposing ourselves, fear of losing out on love makes us actually lose out on love, its so backwards.

In order for anyone to face their fears, the ones that cause them so much pain, we must be vulnerable and that is so hard because that means letting go of all these defences that have kept us safe for so many years. You have to ask yourself what you are afraid of and admitting that is scary.  All openness, all love stems from vulnerability.  So that’s where I’m starting with you.  I’m setting the tone.  I am exposed.  My mission here is to be real with you about what it’s going to take.

My healing journey started with the physical and went inward; maybe yours will be the other way around or maybe it will be a bit of both at the same time.  I read recently that your relationship to food is a reflection of your relationship to life.  For me food was a huge tool to start nourishing myself and I will be writing another post about my physical health and that entire journey as a sister-post to this one sometime down the line.

Ultimately- I feel incredibly good about 2016 because I’ve made some really important changes this past year and I plan to continue on this path of exposing the sore spots and letting them get enough oxygen so they can heal.

I’ll share with you what I’ve been doing and what I have found to be helpful and effective in my journey.  But for now I want to turn it over to you; I want to know your story.  If you would like to share with me, please email me at millifox@live.com because I’d love to offer whatever support I can, even if its just me saying: I see you girl, and you’re gonna make it.

Much love and I hope you’ll continue to follow me and my evolution through eating and loving!

Xo

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Why is Choosing so Confusing Part 2: How Much of ______ Should I Eat?

How much of ___ do I eat?

Last week I posted the introductory article to the Food Selection Guideline Series. If you haven’t seen that yet, please check it out here.

The four food selection principles that I’ll be covering in this series are as follows:

  1. Incorporate a proper balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in your diet.
  2. Think Variety. Think Seasonally. Think Locally.
  3. Research your water supply and select a good source and/or filtering system.
  4. Avoid refined and denatured foods including:
    • Refined and hydrogenated vegetable oils
    • Refined sugar and corn syrup products
    • White flour products
    • Canned foods
    • Pasteurized, homogenized, skim and low-fat dairy products
    • Artificial vitamins
    • Toxic additives and colorings
    • Refined table salt

The first food selection guideline refers to getting the right amount of the right type of food. That sounds pretty straightforward, but I know that it’s actually the most confusing and complex for the majority of people.

Fats, Proteins and Carbohydrates are called macronutrients. They are the 3 big boys in the nutrition world. All foods fit into one of these categories, and many foods fit into more than one category. You need foods from all three. Always.

Any diet that tells you to cut out a full macronutrient group is dead wrong and you should really never consider adopting a diet like this. Each macronutrient plays a vital role in your health and vitality. And although your body is an incredibly intelligent organism, it can only compensate for so long before it starts to malfunction if its not getting what it needs! (I’m referring to the low-carb and no-carb diets like the Ketogenic diet, which has its time and place)

Throughout history, humans across the globe have survived and thrived on vastly different macronutrient ratios. From the Inuit peoples who ate mostly whale blubber to African tribes who survived on mainly root vegetables, it’s clear to see that we truly are perfect omnivores. While humans can eat such a variety of foods, we all have our own unique ancestry that gives us a genetic predisposition to do our best on specific ratios of macronutrients.

What if you don’t know what that looks like for you? You can start with a standard macronutrient ratio and adjust it based on how you feel. A standard recommended ratio that I use with my clients is:

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If that were to be on a plate it would look something like this:

paleo-meal

Protein is pretty straightforward. One serving of protein is about the size of your palm. Trying to get one full serving of protein in each meal is very beneficial. Protein is the building block of your body and helps you build and maintain your muscles and connective tissues. If you want to stay strong and vital long into the afternoon of your life, then prioritize high quality sources of protein.

Whenever you can you should try to select organic meat. I know it’s expensive, but the truth is it’s really worth the extra money. Not only because the nutrient profile of humanely raised animals is much better for us (making it actually less expensive per kg), but also because you aren’t exposing yourself to antibiotics and extra hormones. On top of the fact that it will help you sleep better at night knowing you’re doing something to go against the nasty state of factory farming.

I believe the part of figuring out how much to eat that people have the most trouble with is in understanding and visualizing what 30% fat actually looks like in real life.

For a 2000-calorie diet, 30% will work out to around 65 grams of fat a day, an example of that looks roughly like this:

2 tbsp grass-fed butter

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 whole eggs

½ avocado

1 6oz serving of sirloin steak

I personally know that 30% fat is a bit low for me, I can eat this much fat at breakfast 😛

There is absolutely nothing wrong with thriving on a higher fat diet. Forty, fifty even sixty percent fat diets can be very good for some of us.  The great thing about fat is that it often reduces cravings for sweets and leaves you feeling full for longer. Fat is a slow burning fuel and our body does very well when it’s trained to run off of fat rather than relying solely on sugar (carbohydrates).

Speaking of carbohydrates, I know they are also a large source of confusion. Let me break it down for you- any carb that comes from the ground, or a bush, or a tree- is not a “bad carb”. Your diet should consist of 15% of complex, starchy carbs (think potatoes, plantains, sweet potatoes etc.) and the rest should be low-glycemic carbs like leafy greens, colourful veggies as well as 2-3 servings of fruits.

Carbohydrates that come from a factory or a processing plant are however always undesirable. Some processed foods are not as bad as others, but the reality is- foods come from nature in the form that they were meant to be consumed. The more things that are added and taken away from them, the harder time the body has in dealing with them.

Let me clear that up a little more. In nature, foods come with the ratios of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients that work best together. The body gets a complimentary package of nutrients that makes digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals  much easier.

When foods have nutrients taken away through different forms of processing, the body has a more difficult time absorbing what’s left because often times vitamins and minerals work as cofactors for one another (i.e. they help each other get into our cells). Additionally, when foods are fortified with extra vitamins, think milk and vitamin D, the body has a hard time using those as well because they aren’t being served in the proper packaging. On top of the fact that the body can’t use the majority of synthetic vitamins anyway!

This is why I can’t stress to you enough that when it comes down to it, you should JUST EAT REAL FOOD. JERF BABY!

Don’t worry about which protein bar is best, just eat a real source of protein. Don’t worry about which cracker is healthiest, or which sprouted organic bread or pasta is the best, just don’t buy it!

I know our lives are heavily based upon what’s most convenient, but the truth is that all the other stuff really won’t matter if you don’t have your health.

I am all about taking it one step at a time with getting healthier- and I know it’s a long road. I’ve been trying to make changes gradually for more than six years and I still have a long way to go. But health is not a destination; it’s a way of travelling.

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed and think you could use help getting started, email me at millifox@live.com  with the subject line HELP! and we can set up a time for a free consultation.

PS. Stay tuned for Parts 3-5 coming soon!

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Why is Choosing so Confusing- A Guide to Food Selection (Part 1)

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As a Nutritional Therapist, I strongly believe that a properly prepared, nutrient dense, whole foods diet is the ultimate foundation that leads to optimal health.

Although there are a variety of other pillars that rest upon this foundation, if we don’t start here we will never be truly healthy. The problem is that many of us get stuck and never figure out what a healthy diet actually means for us as individuals.

Unfortunately, this has a lot to do with the fact that we are fed a lot of misleading information about food. Which ones are bad, which ones are good and which ones are “superfoods”. Ultimately, the truth is- THERE IS NO ONE DIET THAT IS OPTIMAL FOR ALL OF US.

Let me repeat that and rephrase it in as many ways as I possibly can.

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet.

We all need different ratios of macronutrients, different amounts of food in each meal, and different meal timings to feel our best. We all come from different lines of heritage that survived and adapted to specific environmental influences and developed unique tolerances and intolerances for different types and ratios of foods.

IMMEDIATELY put down any magazine and exit out of any blog article that tries to feed you “the perfect diet”. Even and ESPECIALLY for weight-loss.

I know its tough to digest (haw haw) , but you’re going to have to use the good old, tried and tested method of trial and error to figure out what your body is asking for and what your body thrives upon.

The reality is that people of the world can thrive on drastically different diets and not face the debilitating illnesses that we are now facing in the western world.

Some of the most interesting work I’ve ever read was by a dentist named Dr. Weston A. Price who travelled the world studying the diets of indigenous people of a variety of climates. What he found was absolutely amazing.

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Dr. Price found that the diets of these people varied incredible amounts, however, the groups of people who were the healthiest all met a certain set of criteria when it came to what and how they ate. These commonalities were:

  1. Their diet contained no refined or heavily processed foods.
  2. They used some types of animal products, with some raw.
  3. Their diets were four times as high in calcium and other minerals and encompassed 10 times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins as the modern diet.
  4. They included foods with high enzyme contents.
  5. Seeds, nuts and grains were soaked, sprouted, fermented or naturally leavened.
  6. Fat content varied from 30-80% of total calories, but only 4% from poly-unsaturated fatty acids.
  7. Contained nearly equal amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
  8. Contained some salt (real salt).
  9. Made use of bones, usually as broth.

Another astonishing thing that Dr. Price found was that when any of these groups strayed from their traditional diets for one closer to a western diet, their health rapidly declined and these changes were immediately visible in the development of any offspring born during that time.

***If you’d like to read more about Dr. Weston A. Price and his work I’ve included a link to the Weston A. Price Foundation website and a summary article of his work at the end of this post. Even if you’re not much for reading, I would suggest clicking over there to check out the photos of the generations who followed a traditional diet vs. the photos of the generations who switched to a western diet. The photos and the body of work are absolutely eye opening!

However, the good news is, that when diets improved, so did the health and development of future offspring. The damage can be undone! And a great deal of change can be affected within only one generation. We are not doomed to continue getting sicker and sicker if we put a stop to the ludicrous food philosophies we’ve been choking down for the past 20 plus years.

————–

“If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as the souls who live under tyranny.”  Thomas Jefferson (1778)

————–

I’m sure you’re at the point now where you’re asking yourself how I’m going to help you with all of this. And so I shall.

This series of posts are going to cover a basic set of food selection principles based upon the research and findings of a group of nutritional pioneers. These guidelines don’t ban any food-groups and they don’t promote and one-specific diet philosophy.

So with out further adieu, the guidelines are as follows:

  1. Incorporate a proper balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in your diet.
  2. Think Variety. Think Seasonally. Think Locally.
  3. Research your water supply and select a good source and/or filtering system.
  4. Avoid refined and denatured foods including:
    • Refined and hydrogenated vegetable oils
    • Refined sugar and corn syrup products
    • White flour products
    • Canned foods
    • Pasturized, homogenized, skim and low-fat dairy products
    • Artificial vitamins
    • Toxic additives and colorings
    • Refined table salt

Don’t get too worked up just yet. Over the following four blog posts I will explain the significance of each of these principles and how they will help you build a strong foundation for lifelong vitality and health.

Health is a journey, it’s not a destination you reach. It’s tuning in to the constant ebb and flow of your body and its homeostatic mechanisms. Health is being in touch with what your body wants and needs and knowing that that may change at different times in your life.

As that lovely cheesy saying goes, give a man a fish, and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.

By learning these simple guidelines you’ll be armed with the knowledge and skill to make the healthiest choice you can in any situation, while still enjoying your life. I am all about balance and prioritizing enjoyment- so I guarantee you, if you follow along with this series, you will be MUCH happier as a result! No more guilt every time you go out to eat!!!

Link to Weston A. Price article: 

Ancient Dietary Wisdom for Tomorrow’s Children

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What I Learned About My Body From Being a Personal Trainer (And I’m not talking about anatomy and physiology)

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As a personal trainer I always felt I had to set an example for my clients and that I had to constantly strive for physical self-improvement. I subscribed to every fitspo (fitness inspiration) Instagram account and my feed was virtually filled with ripped bodied girls filling my head with the idea that a strong body was a superior body. That on top of the fact that I was basically spending my entire day in front a mirror at the gym made for a pretty acute awareness of my body and it’s every move.

Previously, I had never considered myself to be an athletic person. Growing up I was naturally skinny, and the majority of my physical activity came from playing outside, cops and robbers style, climbing trees and the obligatory swimming lessons (hello childhood!).

Basically, I never thought too much about my body beyond how it served me in my day-to-day goings about.

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I can tell I didn’t think too much about my fashion choices either 😛

My family also had a pretty healthy outlook on body image. My mom didn’t mind being naked around me as a child and I have no real recollection of her talking negatively about her body. I remember her doing aerobics in front of the TV in the mornings and me joining in with her, trying to keep up. I know she was always trying to eat healthy, whatever that meant at the time, I think it was Fit For Life or something. But ultimately, I don’t think I absorbed any body issues from her.

All-in-all I feel incredibly privileged to have grown up this way and I acknowledge that a lot of people aren’t as fortunate to make it to their teen years without a serious hate-on for their bodies.

When I began personal training I was not a girl, not yet a woman. I was in my early twenties and my hips hadn’t fully come in and my butt was pretty pancaked. Lets just say I wasn’t “curvy-soft” in anyway. However, as you may have noticed the world is pretty ass-obsessed at the moment. So of course- I had to get me some glutes!

Then something miraculous happened. At the same time as I was lifting heavy weights to gain muscle, I gained fat around my hips and thighs! Can you believe it!? Me, a thin young thing gaining fat!? No way.

Yes way! Duh…

But it was still incredibly shocking and came with a load of mind-fuckery. None of my jeans fit anymore, people were noticing my “changing body” and it was WEIRD!

As I was trying to gain a more feminine curvy shape, one was just dumped right on me. But unfortunately, I wasn’t sure if I felt it was the “right” body. We are all so obsessed with right and wrong in this culture and I definitely soaked this attitude right up. I would look in the mirror examining every aspect of my newness, finding each and every imperfection that I had to work on. This included fair amounts of stretch marks and the oh-so-dreaded cellulite.

So I doubled up on my self-improvement regime. But the improvements I was making were small and didn’t even compare to the mental energy I was spending thinking about my body SO DAMN MUCH.

Obligatory gym progress-selfie.

Obligatory gym progress-selfie.

Not only was I thinking about my own body so much, I was thinking about everyone else’s bodies.   I was a walking body analyst: “This person could improve here and here. I like this person’s body here, but not here. I want to have those glutes, those arms, those abs and then I’ll be where I want.”

It didn’t help that I was surrounded by other trainers and my clients constantly talking about their bodies and their goals. Essentially, I spent most of my waking life thinking about the physical form, and not actually BEING in my body.

Sure working out feels good and makes you feel parts of your body that you normally wouldn’t; however, it creates a HUGE divide between mind and body when you are objectifying yourself so much.

So what happened? I crashed. I couldn’t handle the intensity of it all. It was ultimately too much negativity, and too much self-loathing fueling the so-called self-improvement. It started to exhaust me and I didn’t feel the energy to be creative in my workouts or with my clients. I felt so one-dimensional.

Then I stopped working out and stopped training.

I can’t say exactly how long I went without working out because I was still sporadically active. I’d go for a bike ride, a lane swim, and hit a gym workout once a week or every two. Whatever I was feeling inspired to do at the time and only out of the true desire to move and not to meet a goal.

A lot of this was fueled by my desire to be softer all around: softer in my love for other people, and softer in my approach to myself. It just sort of made sense to allow myself to experience softness in my body as well.

Around the same time I also started exploring what femininity meant to me. This is a whole other blog post on its own but it’s a HUGE subject that a lot of us spend absolutely no time thinking about.

For me, femininity has a lot to do with being IN your body. Listening to your body and your intuition. I believe the body can tell us so much if we just learn to listen to it and it’s hard to do that if you’re only focused on changing it and not loving it in the process. It’s not about being hard or soft or big or small.

Those posts about “real-women” always infuriate me because there is NO SUCH THING. We are all as real as we let ourselves be and it’s not for anyone else to decide.

What I’m trying to hammer home is that there is no “right-way” to have a body, or be a body. I think we spend way too much energy thinking about it.

There are fat-shamers and something called the fat-acceptance movement, there are the skinny-shamers and the muscled elite. There are people who balk at a female with muscles saying she isn’t worthy of being called a woman anymore and there are people saying strong women are sexy.

All you really have to ask is, is it any of your business to judge someone else’s body? Is it really any of your business what anyone else thinks of your body?

I know that last part isn’t very easy, but your only job is to work on loving yourself more. And that’s what being a personal trainer taught me about my body-it needs more love.

Me playing dress up and loving myself after getting over the super-self-depricating body-improvement regime.

Me playing dress up and loving myself after getting over the super-self-depricating body-improvement regime.

It needs more sensual self-connection, more breast-massages (see amazing instructional video by my awesome friend Liz DiAlto), more intimacy.

Stand in front of the mirror naked. Touch your body (I’m not being sexy here), look yourself in the eye. Maybe it will be uncomfortable at first but if you do it often enough, things will change.

I mean it’s not socially acceptable to stare at any one else for that long and in that much detail other than yourself- so why not take advantage!

You are a miraculous human-being. You are one of the most wondrous creatures ever created and an absolutely mind-blowing machine. You deserve to be revered; you deserve to hold a sense of awe about yourself. Most of all, you deserve respect. From yourself.

So stop reading the diet books and all the other quick-tip crapola and start approaching your body from a place of gentle, loving, nurturing care and I GUARANTEE things will change for you. And hell – maybe if you let go, your body will respond.

XO

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I Like to Leave the Door Open.

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There was a time in my social media presence that I wanted to keep it professional. I wanted to appeal to as many people as possible and offend no one. Mostly, I wanted to be like all of the other self-help gurus that I followed because I wanted to reach their level of success.

Now I know there is nothing I want less. 

My life is one of constant growth. I’m one of those people addicted to learning and improvement. Sometimes this really hinders me because I’m way too hard on myself “gotta improve faster!” and other times it leads to magnificent moments of self-discovery. 

One of the most important discoveries that I’ve made is exposing my deep desire to feel authentic. I need to live and work from a very real and unfiltered place. And I’m going to be un-apologetic in my realness and transparent in what I have to share.

I want to reveal to you little by little why this blog is called EAT. LOVE. EVOLVE. and not some generic food-blog-type-name. 

This blog is about nourishment and growth and that’s what I’m here to offer. I know that because this is an authentic work of love from my realest place that it will nourish me as well as I hope it can nourish you.

Nourishment comes from food on a very fundamental level but it also comes from the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual levels of our experience as well. It comes from love in our relationships with those close to us and also the love we feel or don’t feel for ourselves. It comes from evolution – the way we change over our lifetimes that leaves us with feelings of self-worth and accomplishment. 

Obviously, what this looks like for each of us is incredibly different, but I’m here to offer you my hard won insights. And in order for me to offer you a well-rounded source of nourishment that I feel is authentic I need you to be able to really see me

I’m offering a piece of myself in hopes that some of you will relate. I don’t need all of you to relate to me all the time but I need to open the opportunity for those who have felt anything remotely similar to the things I’ve felt to know they aren’t the only ones. 

My journey has involved stripping away the many layers that cocooned my sense of self and becoming incredibly vulnerable. I spent years of not knowing who I was but desperately wanting to be that person.

I’m still on the path to embodying a true, full, bold self in as many moments as I possibly can but what fun would it be if I were already there? 

Along the way I’ve been embarrassed, desperate, lost, confused, and felt trapped. All of these situations have given me the unique perspective I have on food, health, psychology, spirituality, sexuality and love. If I can give you even a glimmer of the experiences that my hard earned lessons have come from I will be satisfied

A teacher very dear to me named Teal Swan wrote an amazing blog you can find here about leaving the ‘delivery room door open’ during your re-birthing process.

This portion of the blog really resonated with me and I wanted to share it as my promise to you in my work:

 “…the very comfort that is needed is the knowledge that you are not alone.  You are not the odd one out.  It’s just that every one else has kept the door to their delivery room closed.  But I refuse to be one of them…  I’m keeping it open…” 

You might be wondering how any of this relates to food. Well, our relationship to everything around us greatly has to do with our relationships to ourselves. Often when we set out on a course of self-improvement and we only focus on the physical realm we fall short and don’t make the changes that we really want to see. 

Don’t get me wrong, our relationships with food can be incredibly complex. Its just that you might start out with just the urge to get “healthier” and end up falling down the rabbit hole. I’m here to discuss food, and all the other weird stuff that might come up along the way. 

 So… this is just the beginning, and hopefully I’ve set the tone for a lovely, delicious growth filled journey, for the both of us 🙂

 If you have any topics you’d like me to cover or questions I can answer please email me at:

millifox@live.com 

 Xo

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