Diet and weight loss can go straight to hell

Diet and weight loss can go straight to hell

My whole life I have battled weight gain.  I’ve been dieting since I was in junior high. In grade 12 I joined a gym and learned what it meant to workout 5 days a week, hard.  The lessons that I learned from personal trainers back in 1998 still linger with me today.  When I was 16, I remember I got down to 147 lbs, which I consider to be the lowest weight I ever achieved at my modest height of 5’6″.  And you know what?  I looked in the mirror and thought “I can’t believe I’m still fat.” Body dysmorphia.  I was a bloody size 6!

Since then I’ve tried every diet and exercise plan.  Weight Watchers. LA Weight Loss. Beachbody supplements.  Nutrition shakes.  Detoxes. Fad diets that work for a little while, but crush your soul and destroy your social life.  Restricting food groups.  Cut this, eliminate that.  Low-fat everything.  The struggles that I’ve endured for over 20 years in this have completely destroyed my metabolism for sure.

What I didn’t tell you about that 16 year old lifestyle is that I ate literally nothing to get down to that weight.  I remember I used to take a one cup of salad and maybe some Wasa rye crackers and cheese to school.  That’s what I ate for lunch with maybe a Quaker Chocolate Chip granola bar as a snack.  No dietician would ever stand for that sort of nonsense.  But at that time I never really knew to cook and I didn’t care much about nutrition because I was seeing results (unsustainable and unrealistic).

I’ve gained and lost weight maybe a dozen times in the last 20 years.  Why wasn’t anything working?  Why am I always in the 95% of people who fail even when we follow all the rules?

In the last few years, I started going to the Calgary Weight Management Clinic where health professionals focus on obesity research and providing tools to people to work towards sustainable weight loss.  I would meet with a doctor, psychologist, dietician and athletic therapist for 1.5 years to learn everything I could about how to be healthy.  They taught me that the fitness magazines were all trash and I should never read them again.  No fad diets were ever provided.  No new fitness trends were forced down my throat.  I was provided an opportunity to sit with a support group and understand the struggles women of all ages, income levels, and sizes underwent and for the first time I felt normal.  Each professional sought to teach me what they actually learned from their degree programs and cutting edge research in obesity medicine.  Wow!  As a follower of all instructions to a T, I was their star student.  They discussed my “success” at their team meetings and were all rooting for me!  But I still felt like a failure because I wasn’t dropping the weight fast enough and I was dissatisfied with my diet.  I felt hungry all the time.  I was eating low calorie high density foods, but it still meant I was starving.  This wasn’t a long-term solution for me.

So what the hell?  I knew weight loss was a journey but this was taking literally YEARS.  I was obsessed with nutrition and health.  Honestly I could have opened my own clinic with the amount of articles I read and the professionals I had spoken to.  But I was not looking like a fitness model.  Is it possible I never would?  Everything inside me fought off the advice to lower the calories and exercise harder.

I love food.  I love tasting new things and going out to eat.  Suddenly I decided to listen to myself.  While the experts are important and I should pay attention, I decided I wanted to hear from my body what it wanted while telling it what I wanted to see if we could come up with some sort of arrangement that worked for the two parts of me.  Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Eat whatever I want, as long as most of it is clean and whole food.
  2. Give up low-fat or no-fat food.  It sucks.  Full fat all the way!
  3. Work out as long as my body wants or walk most of the week. Dance. Ski. Yoga. Scuba dive.  Join a recreational sports team with work. I hate routines and I absolutely refuse to get into them as part of my exercise strategy.  Get this: I exercise more because I don’t allow myself to build a routine.  Fucked up?  Sure is!  But it works.
  4. Eat cookies, cake, and chocolate.  The more I allow myself to do this, the less I want to eat any of this.  What a concept!  And if I want to eat cheesecake 5 days a week, that’s my call.  I’ve done it and gotten it out of my system to never touch the stuff for months.
  5. Drink beer and wine and scotch.  Basically, this is a requirement so I don’t go postal!

Last summer, I lost 14 lbs with Nadine Dumas’ coaching over 3 months.  She was very realistic and understanding.  She taught me discipline when it came to food and her no-nonsense approach was something I really needed.  Unfortunately, my social life was a bit compromised because I was tracking my macros and couldn’t just eat whatever I wanted.

Also, what is the deal with results?  You achieve your result of losing 20lbs.  Then what happens?  You quit exercising and dieting and you gain it all back because the maintenance phase sucks almost as much as the losing part did.  It’s a never-ending battle with yourself for success and failure.  When did this cycle of violence against our own bodies become OK?

However, following the above rules I came up with myself, I kept the weight off (and the same dress size) with almost no struggle at all.  I didn’t give up my social life.  I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything.

By no means is my strategy a recipe for success for others.  You kinda need to figure this stuff out on your own.  Go see an expert with a bunch of letters after their name when you are ready to make a solid commitment.  Not a GP because they aren’t trained on dealing with weight issues at all and they’ll look at you and check your BMI and tell you everything is wrong with you.  BS!  Go to a dietician, hit up a psychologist to get to the bottom of your emotional eating, or go to a specialist trained with obesity research in mind so they don’t send you down the accursed blind path of generic diet and exercise (which don’t work in my very lengthy experience with the matter).  Everyone and their dog apparently needs to lose weight in our culture.  Do it properly and do not rely on those useless fitness mags or an untrained GP to get your advice.

I follow other rules too that I learned from CWMC:

  1. No eating after 7pm.
  2. Big breakfast, healthy snacks, fibrous homemade lunch, lighter dinner.
  3. Exercising means doing anything physical.  Exercise is not meant for me to lose weight.  It’s meant for me to live long and keep diseases away as long as possible.  Basically, exercise is a prescription that I have written up for myself.  Just making any effort means I am successful and I have to stop beating myself up if I don’t hit the gym.
  4. There’s no such thing as cheating. If I want a pizza, I’ll eat a pizza.  Not the whole thing, just a couple slices to get my craving satisfied.
  5. Counting calories is a waste of time.  Calories are not built the same and calories in do not equal calories out.
  6. Looking like a fitness model is not for me.  I’m ok with that.
  7. I love my curves!  I don’t want to lose them.  Boys and girls think I’m hot!  RAWR!
  8. I don’t drink diet pop, juice, or coffee/tea with sugar.  If I’m going to eat sugar, it had better be in a cake or cookie format.  LOL

Another thing I learned literally in the last couple weeks that I’ve always overlooked about myself is that I put on muscle really fast!  It takes almost no effort to put on muscle.  I’ve always struggled with weight loss, but maybe my body wasn’t meant to lose weight.  It could possibly lose weight as a side effect of gaining more muscle.  Damn!  I’m exploring this idea now of building muscle tone to be able to participate in any physical activities my friends invite me to because my body finally got through to my thick skull when I finally started paying attention.

The idea of losing weight for vanity purposes can go straight to hell!  I just want to live my life as fully as I can but on my own terms.  I can’t believe how much time and energy I wasted on an idea that society told me should be part of my life.

And if you are interested in cutting edge bariatric and obesity research from legit experts in the field who are Canadian, check out Dr. Arya Sharma at the University of Alberta and founder of the Canadian Obesity Network, and Dr. Yoni Freedhoff  at the University of Ottawa. I follow the two of them regularly on social media because they are teaching me there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me and my decades of toying with my metabolism is a surefire recipe for a health disaster.

My takeaway from all this is that I will never diet again unless I have some sort of disease or allergy that doesn’t allow me to eat a certain food.

Let me know if you have found yourself struggling with this weight loss crap in your life.  Tell me your story.  Let me know your successes and “failures”.  I put the word failures in quotes because I don’t believe we fail at anything.  Failure is a state of mind and that’s a state of mind I choose not to accept.

 

 

The one time an aura scared the crap out of me

The one time an aura scared the crap out of me

Those of us who are blessed with the gift of clairvoyance have the ability to see things outside of the physical realm that others do not see.  One of those things include auras.

Auras are the energy a person or living creature gives off.  They surround the entire body, existing in the front and back, below and above a person.  This energy can be either colourless or give off multiple colours as the mood of the person shifts.

You can detect auras visually but they can also be felt physically if you are attuned to them.  In religious paintings, auras are depicted as halos around the heads of important figures.

In September 2015, I was attending the Afterlife Conference in Phoenix when I was watching a few speakers on stage.  I was attending the conference with some medium friends who I had somehow convinced to come with me to this thing that I thought would be super cool and give us some insights about death and the afterlife from a non-Arthur Findlay perspective.

Arthur Findlay College in the UK is the premiere institution of mediumship renowned for its educational curriculum and haunted halls.  I have attended workshops in Calgary given by revered tutors from AFC over the years.  I find myself disagreeing many times with AFC’s teachings, and that’s ok.  I do not deny that they do good work for the world by spreading mediumship to more people.

Getting back to the conference, I was listening to a lecture by a paranormal expert Rosemary Ellen Guilley. She was speaking about the Djinn who are supernatural creatures sourced from Islamic mythology. They can be good or evil and come in many forms to interact with humans.  As she was talking about them, I forced myself to watch her aura.  In previous lectures, I hadn’t been paying attention to auras of the guest speakers but my medium friends were.  WTF? I wasn’t about to be one-upped by them!  I have the sight too, dammit!  Anyway, as I watched and listened to this very interesting talk on the Djinn, I saw Guilley’s aura clear as day.  It was unmistakably grey, tall, two or three times her size and spiky like she was standing in front of the Iron Throne (from Game of Thrones).  I was stunned.  After the lecture, I asked all my friends what they saw.  Comments like “Her aura was big” were uttered.  No, but did you see anything else like spikes?  “What do you mean?”  Shit, did I just make this up?

I couldn’t sleep that night.  Not only had the topic of the Djinn scared the crap out of me, I hadn’t seen an aura like that before and I was doubting my ability as a clairvoyant.  Talk about self-criticism!

The next day, I went to the table where Guilley was signing her books and I really wanted to get her signature.  Mustering up the courage as I spoke to her about how amazing (and chilling) her topic was, I finally asked “Your aura looked strange.  I thought I saw these really huge spikes in there.  Can you tell me what that was about?”  She responded flatly, “Of course you saw the spikes.  I put them there because of the work I do.” Guilley deals a lot of with negative energies like malevolent entities and possessions so this is how she shields herself.  Brilliant!  I spoke with her about my own experiences with entities and we had a very cool conversation.

I was so relieved and so impressed with myself after Guilley confirmed what I saw was real! No one else saw her aura the way I did.  Man, I kick ass!  And man does that shit freak me out.  Hahaha!

She signed my book after I told her about the aura I saw!  I still get goosebumps when I read that inscription.

 

My house is full of vortexes

My house is full of vortexes

Actually it’s not really, but I swear to god spiritual people I meet are convinced that their place of work or home is chalked FULL of them.  Ugh!  I do have a friend who’s house is legit full of vortexes but that is a rarity! Go into any metaphysical shop and the kooky owner’s talking about the insane vortex in their basement/attic/front entrance.  Whatevs, dude…just sell me some fucking crystals so I can get out of here before you upsell me on that tarot deck.  Dammit!  Throw that in too.  The vortex at the till made me do it. ;-P

Vortexes or vortices are areas of our spectacular earth that are known to either suck energy in or blow energy out.  Usually found at the intersection of ley lines. There is always some sort of opposition force in play.  I’ve heard of mirrors attracting energy also.  Sometimes when I’m walking around the neighbourhood, I’m drawn to a spot that is full of nature that simply holds me.  I always ask myself if the fairies are playing tricks on me and pulling me into some sort of portal.  Who knows what it is, but such places do exist likely at the intersections of ley lines if you happen to stumble upon them.

If you live in an area known for its energy (Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and BC, Sedona, etc.) there are places where vortices have been felt by hundreds and possibly thousands of people.  If that energy is fake, why would so many people be mesmerized by the area?  Could it be that it’s beautiful?  Natural vistas that take your breath away aren’t all vortices.  And not everything is positive either, there is also a negative attraction.

Let me introduce you to the vortexes in my home because I’m spiritual and obviously I’m surrounded by them.  Prepare to be enthralled and amazed!

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I feel at one with the Universe when I poop.  TMI?

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Dear God, what died in there?

Everyone is getting stoned except me

Everyone is getting stoned except me
Mackey
Disclaimer

As a deeply spiritual person, I feel like I have no street cred unless I partake in some substance in some way.  Some mediums regularly get drunk AF because of the heavy crap we gotta deal with: consoling the living after someone passes on and counselling clients about all sorts of life issues.  While others stay away from substances altogether.

Weed is a good option to just relax and allow the messages to flow.  I don’t have a lot of experience with this as I was a super good kid growing up.  My parents think I was the devil’s spawn because I talked back and came home long after my curfew, but no one is asking them.  As a goody goody growing up in the deep south of Calgary, I never did anything bad. I never drank alcohol till I was 18 (legal age in Alberta), and I definitely didn’t smoke cigarettes, or do party drugs. I didn’t even go to parties. My parents had it easy as far as I’m concerned!

I’m now making up for missed opportunities.

A girlfriend of mine came over some time ago with her baggie of green promises. I couldn’t wait to get fucked up.  As I eagerly awaited her arrival, I heard her voice as she was chatting up my neighbours.  She was laughing and confessing what a racist she was.  Oh god, do I need to intervene?  When I opened the door, I was met with bloodshot eyes and a slack jaw mouth signalling the bitch was already high as a kite!  I got genuinely pissed she started without me. Anyway, I couldn’t be mad at her for very long because she had the goods and is cute as a button.  I was super excited to try her stuff.  It smelled herbal, aromatic, and non-skunky. We pulverized the buds and rolled them up into cigarette papers.  Soon after, we went for a walk down the block cuz I ain’t doing that shit in my house.

First try: nothing. I was unaffected.  Hmmm, maybe it just takes a while. Went back home to roll another.

2nd attempt: more nothing…friend is a bit surprised it’s not working for me

3rd and 4th go around: I’m still not feeling tingly, buzzed, stoned or anything

My husband comes home after running some errands and my friend is making fun of me for being stone cold sober. What is the meaning of this?  I’ve smoked 2 buds practically. That would last her a week if she was smoking every day. I’ve smoked pot using a bong before and it took me a while then too.  But this is ridiculous. My friend is promising to get me high even if she ends up being late for her date in an hour or so.

Husband (non-chalantly): Oh, it was like this last time too.

Friend: WHAT?!  Last time?

5th attempt: We desperately phone the dealer and ask for advice. This is super embarrassing and awkward. There were a lot of expletives exchanged over the phone about what a couple of dumbasses we were but what we got from this shit-talking was: 50/50 oxygen and cannabis. I wasn’t inhaling and mixing.  I was holding it in, but no extra inhale.

OOOOHHHHHHH!  Rookie mistake.

6th one’s a charm!  I successfully ended up a baked brownie.  My girlfriend is relieved!  She proceeds to eat all my chips and leave crumbs everywhere. She also borrows some clothes for a date and leaves her hobo chiq fashions at my place.

The high itself was great.  I mellowed out and relaxed.  There was no looking for messages this time around, I just wanted to float in bliss.  Next time though, I’ll be giving readings to my friends with a sense of humour.  I’m sure there is going to be some epic stuff revealed.  Who wants to join that party?  Haha!

(BTW, I’m brown so it’s not racist when I say “baked brownie”.  If you’re not brown and you use this term, you are a racist. Political correctness all the way!  Except for me. I have double standards like that.)

Disclaimer: while I am joking about this one experience with the ganja, I do not use illegal substances 99% of the time.  I don’t even have any tattoos.  I go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 5:30am to go to work.  I barely take any sick days.  I donate money to charity and pay my credit cards and taxes on time.  And I’m not about to lose my job over a failed drug test either. I’m still a proud goody goody…

 

 

 

How not to be a douchebag: a simple guide

 

Welcome to humanity, ladies and gentlemen!  Can we try not to be complete assholes to each other while we are on this planet for a short amount of time?

I’m no saint, and I have uttered a lot of awful things in the midst of road rage, and dished out the one-finger salute to those deserving pricks weaving in and out of traffic.  We have all been there and done that.  I’m not here to judge you, but I’m here to tell you there are better ways of handling confrontations that are seriously not worth having.  Before you burst into anger at someone, ask yourself if you really want to take on the karmic debt of holding in this anger to eat you up alive?  But also, do you want to pass on your anger to someone else who may already be having a bad day and you have contributed nothing to ease their burden?  Remember, whatever emotion and mental state you are holding onto will manifest itself back on to you because you will attract whatever energy you are sending off into the Universe.  It’s the Law of Attraction. Being a non-jerk begins and ends with you.  Take the responsibility and read below for some simple tips.

5 ways to back away from tough confrontations:

  1. Assume people are having a bad day. Be nice no matter how shitty they make you feel. You don’t know their situation. Let it go.
  2. Accept that getting angry will not help anyone. You may release your stress for a brief moment, but it’ll come back later anyway. Release it.
  3. Understand that people don’t have the same experience as you. What may come to you naturally is not second-nature for someone else. Have patience.
  4. Take the time to communicate emotions with kindness and gentleness. People don’t know where you are coming from. No, it’s not obvious. Especially if you’re dealing with a dude.  Sorry dudes, this is just a fact…nothing personal.
  5. Change the subject and invite your friend to drinks.

The truth is that if you want to offer your unsolicited criticism at someone, it may be considered offensive and you may get a defensive reaction.  Don’t be surprised or offended by it.  Find a better way. Empathy.

Now go out and have a super awesome day, non-douchy reader!

 

The Romance of Rain

The Romance of Rain

Everytime it’s raining cats and dogs, I’m constantly reminded of this iconic scene from The Notebook where Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling are passionately making out.  And it makes me melt! *sigh*

I’m sure that was a very difficult scene to film.  Anyone who has tried to have sex standing up knows adding a ton of water to the mix is probably not going to help with grip for either partner.  Also, anyone who has attempted the deed in the shower knows you are going to be constantly blinded by the spray of water bouncing off your companion’s head/body.  Great in theory, super shitty in practice!  Amirite??

Super unrealistic expectations, Hollywood.  And yet when it rains, all I think about is that tense, romantic scene from the Notebook and it stirs something inside me.  Looking out the window of my 20th floor office, betwixt the concrete towers surrounding me, I see the fat droplets of moisture plummeting to the earth and drenching it with much needed water.  Oh look, it’s now switched to snow!  The joys of living in Calgary where this sort of thing (mixing precipitation) happens all the time.

I don’t live in a climate where it rains a lot. So when it does, it’s something very special.  Currently, a lot of my province is burning (the Fort McMurray fire is raging outside of town and they are desperate for respite).

Rain is beautiful and it is much needed right now.  So before you start complaining about getting your socks wet, just remember the romance of rain.  Or Ryan Gosling.  Or Rachel McAdams. Soaking wet. *swoon*

 

Meeting my spirit guide…or how I suck at clairaudience

Meeting my spirit guide…or how I suck at clairaudience

One of the first things you learn when you are developing your mediumship and psychic abilities is how to meet your spirit guide.  You are usually led through a relaxing, guided meditation in a darkened room where you are asked to calm your mind so that spirit has an easier time communicating with you.  As long as you can easily go into a meditative or trance-like state, the quicker it’ll be to sense the presence of spirit.

The first time I spoke to my deceased paternal grandfather I was 12.  I was dabbling in Ouija boards as a curious child.  I always had an affinity towards the occult.

Ok, let me just state for the record how stupid it is for a child to come near a Ouija board.  Have you seen the horror movies about spirit possession and demons somehow getting through the board?  While all this might sound like superstitious gobbledy-gook, I will assert Ouija boards are not child’s play nor are they for adults either. You may or may not believe in any of this stuff.  Please exercise caution and good judgement before messing with things you may not understand.

Returning to my story, I spoke to my paternal grandfather through the Ouija board.  In short time, I realized that I didn’t even need the board to talk to him.  I could do it anytime.  We’d have conversations.  Soon, an uncle passed away and I started chatting with my uncle.  It was a lovely reunion and since both these people lived in India and my family lived in Canada, I didn’t know them in life.  The connection was crisp after they passed on though!  Unfortunately, I never really thought to speak to anyone else’s loved ones in spirit; I kept my gifts to myself until my early-30’s.

I had been going to psychic fairs and attended the Calgary First Spiritualist Church services in the 2000’s and was feeling a great pull towards developing my mediumship.  I knew nothing about mediumship really, I just figured I should try it and see if I could open up my gifts more.  In 2012, I began my journey and never looked back.

So, getting back to meeting my spirit guide, I did meet her in one of these meditations.  I was a cocky first-timer because I was kicking ass at this meditation thing and this woman just popped up in my head and told me she was my spirit guide.  A beautiful young woman, I assumed she died in her 30’s and came to me to offer her support and guidance. Her energy was pure love and understanding.  She knew everything about me.  “What is your name?” I asked.  She responded, “Fiona.”  I proceeded to call her Fiona for many months.

In another meditation, Fiona changed form.  She became more like a fairy princess.  This time I heard the name “Inonna”.  Oh, that sounds a lot like Fiona.  I just misheard it.  Her energy was extremely powerful, goddess-like even.  As a confident woman myself, I preferred this version of my spirit guide.  She was extraordinarily wise and patient. Not only that, but I could tell she had some control over other spiritual beings as well because they would come to her for instructions and followed her orders.  Forget princess, this woman was a queen!

Fast-forward several months, and I decided to Google Inonna.  Who is this person?  I was taking a long-shot into thinking I might figure out something about my spirit guide’s life. Well, Google came back with this suggestion: “Did you mean: Inanna?”

Inanna is the Sumerian goddess of love, sex, fertility, and warfare.  Holy shit, I get a legit goddess as a spirit guide?  I had heard of other mediums talking to ascended masters, but this was damn cool.  You may have also heard of Ishtar, these names are interchangeable.

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Goddess Inanna: fucking up assholes since 4000 BCE 

And I realized pretty quickly how much I suck at clairaudience.

There are the 5 “clairs” we deal with in mediumship:

  1. Clairvoyance = clear sight
  2. Clairaudience = clear hearing
  3. Clairsentience = clear feeling
  4. Clairgustance = clear taste
  5. Clairallience = clear smell

Then there are the additional clairs that mediums also experience:

  1. Claircognisance = clear knowing
  2. Clairempathy = clear emotion
  3. Clairangency = the ability to touch objects and perceive spirit through their possessions (also called psychometry)

Anyone who is considering developing their mediumship should be aware that not everyone is strong with every clair.  My gifts are very biased towards clairvoyance and clairsentience, which is extremely common. I’ve had claircognisance show up from time to time, and I am very strong with psychometry.  In any case, it doesn’t matter what clair works great for you, accept your gift as being your own and don’t pass judgement onto yourself if the rest don’t come soon or at all.

In conclusion, meeting your spirit guide is probably one of the coolest things you’ll ever do.  Never mind the first name you hear, you may not have even heard it right.  The point is that one should realize that they are always watched over by someone in the spirit realm and they are like our guardian angels who we can call on in times of need or advice.  Let them help you and you will become a better person for it.  And try Google for confirmation and research: you never know who you’ll meet on the otherside!