Tuesday, December 29, 2015

An Intent for 2016

Here it comes, a new year...2016...New Beginnings is the intention for most.  This will be the year I...
  • Lose Weight
  • Stick to my workout plan
  • Run a marathon
  • Make 6 figures
  • Fall in love
  • Quit my job
  • Start my business
  • Eat healthy/clean/paleo
  • Find Myself

It is all over the news, newspapers, magazines.  Here is the perfect recipe for a fabulous you in 2016...

I always find myself in a quandary about what it is I want this new year to bring.  It is a nice way to forget the past and move ahead.  Let go of any anger, resentment, jealousy or mistakes that may have tainted 2015. Move forward, step into the future with confidence.

The new year should also be a time of Celebration...celebrating the success of the past year.  No matter how small they may be.  Make a list of 5 things you are proud of from this past year.  YES, you can do it.  GO AHEAD, do it now!  Then put it in a box for opening later this year...

I have a few intentions for this year, 3 to be exact.  Not too many, not to few... 

1. To be more Mindful.  I have developed a 5 minute morning "mindfulness" routine to ground me and start my day.

2. To Trust my GUT feelings on hard decisions.  Over the years I have found that if I listen to and trust my gut (even when my head COMPLETELY DISAGREES) things usually work out.  I tend to rationalize everything, argue in my head, to the point of completely talking myself into or out of something.  Yet my Gut, always has the right answer, if I can quiet myself down enough to listen(thus number 1...mindfulness)

3.  What is in a WALK.  On January 1, I will embark on 90 days of walking.  Every day I will journal about my walk.  The walk might be 5 minutes, it might be 2 hours.  It is not about the time or the exercise.  It is about finding myself in the moments of the walk.  Feeling every footstep and noticing every thought.  

These intentions feel good in my GUT.  I am looking forward to leaping into the next year with less Have To's, and more Want To's.

Do you have any intentions for this next year in your life?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Perfectly Imperfect

I am lying in bed trying to sleep, I hear the faucet dripping...perfectly rhythmical.  I should get up and turn it off, I think. Then I let the thought pass over me, like a cloud.  The sound is soothing and calming...I drift back to sleep.

I have found myself letting my thoughts drift over me more and more.  Finally understanding that my thought is not me, I have detached.  I have the power to let it go, hurry it along if I need to. 

Stress has been pushing at me over the last few months, it is a season in my life where there is a lot to do, and a lot to be done.  When this season appears I find myself reverting back to my own 4 basic needs...not the ones we all think about: food, water, air and shelter, but my own personal ones: Exercise, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Wine and Diet Coke.

Here is a look at my first "thought"

Wow, that is really bad, I can't believe that you are eating cookies for breakfast.  How can you talk about health and eat like that...Your really bad...

I let the thought pass over me, this thought does not define me.

It is like when you really want a bag of chips.  You say to yourself(your thought) "You can't have chips, they are bad for you, they have too many calories, they will make you fat"  You listen...you go to the refrigerator and eat some carrot sticks, then some yogurt, then a piece of cheese, then an apple.   None of these things satisfy the initial craving....SO...You end up with the chips anyway.  Why not listen in the first place to our need?

I have come to realize that my 4 basic needs are far from perfect.  I do not live on only them, yet they have all been a comfort to me at some time in my life, I felt that needed them.  It was what calmed me.  My stress leads me back to these basic needs of mine.  I am not perfect.

NOW...I can realize and understand that I am ok.  I am perfectly imperfect.  Finding some calm and peace in times of stress can be like the dripping faucet.  Over the long term we would need to either have the faucet fixed, or be more aware of it and turn it off.

When I am stressed, I need to be more aware of what is happening to me, more aware of how I eat, how I move, how I act and how I rest.  I also need to reach out for help.  As the faucet needs a plumber, I may need a friend, a coach, a therapist, a family member or a doctor.  I may need a journal, my crayons, my music, a walk in nature or some silence.

And yes, sometimes I need an hour in the gym, a glass of wine a diet coke or a couple cookies and that can be just perfect.  

Letting go of my own judgements, finding peace and balance in being perfectly imperfect...

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Opportunity for Change

Remember when you were a kid, playing kickball, hopscotch, jumprope, or any other game and your first try wasn't quite what you were hoping for?  You asked for a Do-Over.

What if you were asked this question today...

I have.  The interesting fact is that life up to this point has provided me with the most valuable lessons, experiences, situations and people that I would have no way of replacing. No desire to replace.  Only thoughts of gratitude and appreciation.  There would be no way that I would be where I am today if it wasn't for the past. 

No matter how hard, painful, depressing, sad, unfortunate, ugly or frightening our past has been, we have grown stronger and learned much.  Our past has shaped and molded us.  

It is how we look back on our past that is what can determine our future.  Do we hold grudges, regrets, shame, hostility, worry or anger? 

Or do we see growth, opportunity, introspection, acceptance?

Whatever your answer, it is time for a do-over....right here, right now.  A do-over of our thoughts, it is our choice.  Being done with the anger, the shame, the regret can free us for our future. Embrace the growth and opportunity.

If I hadn't lived through the moments of my life, both good and bad, I would not be right here, right now, in this place.  There are paths in front of us.  We can take the one that keeps us safe, or we can take the one that is unknown.  

Trusting the direction that moves into our fear and relying on our experiences to make us stronger.  It is not really a Do-Over.  It is a Do-Above, a Do-Beyond a Do-Chance.  Yes please.  Bring it on.  Face the fear, move beyond the safety, forgive and release.  


The Taming of the Shrew (Mini-Me)

Isn't that the name of a Shakespeare Play?  As I thought of it, my first thoughts went to my Mini-Me.  I do realize there is a different connotation within the play, yet there is relevance in the words when I think about my own destructive Mini-Me. 

My Mini-Me has created and intricate series of roadways in my brain.  She is the BEST at telling me that I am not "good enough".  What I hear when she says that is this: You are not thin enough, you are not strong enough, you are not pretty enough, you are not smart enough, you could never do that.

I have listened to that voice for 40+years now.  This Mini-Me has direct High-Speed access to highways and roadways in my brain.  

I wonder- Can I train her and tame her to drive along a different route?  Create different paths, roads, and highways for her to follow? Ones that will be more helpful, supportive and caring?   The Answer is YES.

When she rolls back into town telling me how fat and out of shape I am, can I stand my ground firmly, roll my eyes, turn my head and refuse to travel with her?  YES!  This ONE ACTION will allow those roads not to get used anymore.  I have the ability to shut them down.  CLOSE THEM FOR GOOD!

DETOUR: ROADS NOT PASS-ABLE

Take time to Show my Mini-Me new roads?  A New Direction? A Better Route?


  • One that takes her to the Ocean where there is calm, relaxation and peace within myself.
  • One that takes her to the Mountains where there is strength, confidence and hope.
  • One that takes her to the Library where there is growth, learning, possibilities and opportunities.
  • One that takes her to the Playground where there is fun, joy, movement and happiness
  • One that takes her to a lake at sunrise where there is beauty, amazement, gratefulness and hope.
  • One that takes her to a mirror where there is acceptance, appreciation, healing, and love

Creation of a map that supports my journey and purpose. Tame the Shrew and make her my friend and ally.





Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Colliding Emotions

Excitement is brewing, the end is near.  I am looking forward to the stop sign that I see in the distance.  It signifies a pause, a required halt in forward progress.  I know that if I turn back, I will see a winding road, and I will smile.  A true New England back road full of twists and turns, ups and downs....pot holes, frost heaves, meandering rivers, glorious mountains and stunning lakes...sunrises and sunsets along the way.  

As this road I am on draws closer to the stop sign in front of me, I am humbled and grateful. I am in awe of this glorious road I have had the opportunity to follow.  Then...all of a sudden, as if a giant thunderstorm has come over the horizon I am frozen in horrification(NOTE: the definition of this word: The state of being completely horrified) 

I try to breathe..and contemplate the roads before me, ready to put my foot on the gas. I cannot do it I think.  What am I thinking??? Then, within a brief moment of that excitement in my heart,  I begin my acceleration, I realize I have a constant tail wind which provides momentum and confidence (love of my family and friends).  I have a full tank of gas (food, clothing and shelter)  I have a mode of transportation (knowledge, experience, education and support).

Why then do I want to jam on the brakes?  Why am I terrified?

HMMM...lets see?  I have to rely on myself?  What if I fail?  What if I can't make enough money?  what if I get hurt or sick?  What if I don't know what to do? which way to turn?

Lets just take a deep breath, and step on the gas and go, It is too late to turn around now.  "Trust in yourself Annie, trust in God, you can do this". I say to myself.  I Know that if I take the wrong road, I will just turn around.  I am going to follow and embrace the EXCITEMENT emotion, and let go of the Horrification one.

I realize then that these colliding emotions are not foreign to me.  They happen daily in my life...with food, exercise and body image...eat more/eat less, exercise more/exercise less, my thighs are fat, my thighs are strong.... and I have learned to navigate these emotions better as the years have gone by.  Finding the good in the bad, the happy in the sad, the excitement in the fear. 

Trusting in ourselves, knowing that we are capable.  We are strong.  Take the road, and follow it.  Knowing all along that you will gain experiences and knowledge along the way. Always knowing that there are many different roads to try.  All we have to do is have the courage to put the foot on the gas.


Pancakes...and the smell of bacon

As I sit here on a rock looking out onto Lake Winnipesaukee in NH, I realize that I am drawn to water, I always have been...as a kid, I would spend hours swimming at Hoods Pond in Topsfield in the summer.  

My favorite memories are of early Sunday Morning breakfasts.  We would arrive, the family and usually an extra kid or two, at about 7am.  No one was there,it was still, quiet, peaceful. I would break the silence almost immediately as I ran into the glass like water with a splash. Watching the ripples of my entry stream outward 360 degrees around me, smiling the whole time.

The freedom of the water, the dolphin dives down and up over and over again, holding my breath and swimming as far as I could from one dock to the other and back, cannon balls and head first dives off the raft, arms cutting through the smooth water surface in a rhythmical fashion.  

My father would call me in for breakfast, it would already be after 9.  Where did the time go?  I could smell the bacon as soon as I emerged from the water.  MMM...bacon, eggs and pancakes with syrup cooked on the old Colman Grill.  I would cover up in my Steelers (yes, at the time...) sweatshirt and towel, hungry and ready to eat.  The food tasted so good.  There was no thought to how many calories I was eating, how many carbs where in the pancakes, how much exercise I would have to do to burn it all off, what had I eaten the night before.

It was so simple then.  I moved, played, kicked and swam for the joy of it.  I ate when my stomach asked for food...and the food tasted so good.  There was no guilt attached...

By the age of 11 I was dieting, doing numerous sit-ups in my room.  I remember it distinctly the proud moment I left the dinner table in such control...I marched upstairs and did 20 sit-ups, then 20 more, then of course another 10 to round it out to 50....little did I know that by the end of that month I would be multiplying that 50 by 10...

I lost weight, I was always cold, I covered myself in layers, hid myself...Hoods Pond became a place dreaded, it was to cold, I would sit in my oversized sweatshirt and watch others swim, worried about my body, thinking about eating pancakes and bacon, repulsed by my own thoughts.

Decades of overthinking food choices, built a career around moving (that way I could always exercise) that gave me the freedomto eat.  Deep built in messages to eat, you have to eat, why don't you just eat, your so stubborn, its not hard, what are you stupid?  

To this day I get a physical reaction to pancakes(one path in my brain saying too many carbs, and another one saying WOOHOOO Pancakes...)

My eyes begin to tear up...wishing for the innocence of the past, when food tasted so good and had no underlying meaning, and swimming was joyful, not calorie burning exercise where I get too cold.



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Peace Train

Millions of thoughts, thousands of hours, miles of expended energy to stay the same.  Thirty years ago my weight hovered around 140, it hovers around there today.  Some would say I have maintained my weight....well, not really.

The past thirty years consisted of (drumroll please) ...hundreds of diets, cleanses and fasts.  Thousands of exercise classes, miles ran, and weights lifted.  ten pounds lost, ten pounds gained, over and over again.  Happiness never found...

Clothes thrown on the floor in fits of anger, negative, hurtful, self  bashing comments from the mini-me who lives in my head.  She was making sure I knew how fat I was, how much of a failure I was, how I would never look the way I was supposed to look.  She had me pegged.  I couldn't lose weight and keep it off, or stick to a diet.  She knew I had no will power.

How can this be? How can I still weigh the same?  Haven't I done what I was supposed to do?  I dieted, I exercised my butt off...hours at a time, day after day...yet, I stay the same.

I look back on pictures now, and wonder what I was so upset about?  Why was I so unhappy with my weight?  Why did I continue to hate myself, punish myself?

I will never be 30, 40, or 50 again.  It is finally time for a truce.  A cease fire.  An end.

Let's eat to enjoy the experience, the taste, the company we keep, the energy it gives us.  Let's move for the freedom, the enjoyment, and the comradere of friends.  Let's stop believing what we see in magazines and on TV.  Enough with the quick fixes, and the negative self talk.  Fire up and board the appreciation train.  Build up speed with our own acceptance, and race along by sharing our new found freedom with others.  A new meaning for the Peace Train....

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Soccer wins the game over the scale

The Woman's World Cup journey over the past months has brought up quite a few memories and feelings for me.  Not only that, but also a revolation....Soccer saved me.

I was dischcharged from the treatment center for anorexia because I had "made and sustained my weight".

I returned home and immediately begged my parents to try out for the freshman field hockey team.  I had never played before, but all I cared about was the structure, the exercise, and that it would keep me away from home for a couple hours everyday after school.  As long as I maintained my weight, said my dad,,,I could play.  Continuing to be ruled by the number on the scale...

It was a long season, my weight slowly dipped, everyone was better than me, faster, stronger, thinner.  Again, I didn't fit.  The focus came back to the scale once again...

Until...

One day, at home after school looking for something to do, I found my brothers soccer ball.  I began to play., all by myself.....juggling, dribbling, shooting.  I loved it.  My brain and body became obsessed, absorbed, addicted. I was no longer focusing on the number on the scale, the number of calories I ate, the sit-ups I had done.   I set my sights on Varsity Soccer in the fall.  I had a goal.

The hammer was laid down yet again by my dad, if I could maintain my weight, I could try out.

My teammates from those early years became my family.  I finally belonged, fit in...you all know who you are...Moe, Paula, Michelle, Mary Tara, Sue, Lisa, Kathy, Eileen, Colleen...amazing memories.

Soccer, strength and speed won the battle over the scale, and as I watched the woman's team play the fond memories of those years came flooding back.

I am grateful for the sport and the teammates who saved me from myself.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Changes: Part 4...leaping into life

Unfortunate circumstances  in 2004 had me looking for a job that included medical insurance. The girls were luckily being covered by the states healthy kids program, thank goodness.  I was just beginning my search when a letter came in the mail from my dad.  Inside there was a help wanted add.  Wow...was he psychic or something? No one even knew I had started looking.  The add read...Fitness specialist, Colby-Sawyer College.  Hours were 6am-2pm.  The rest is history.  He now says, he just thought it sounded like me.

I have enjoyed the work I have done, the classes I have taught, the members I have met, the amazing co-workers I was blessed to hang with, the inspiring students, and the clients whom have helped me grow.  From all of these people(you!) I have learned valuable lessons: determination and drive, loss and love, heartbrake and hope, strength and support, compassion, kindness, faith....patience and integrity, the taking of chances, the following of instincts, the concept of letting go.

I have decided to turn the corner to the unknown, create a new path, begin a new season.

I will be ending my employment at CSC on June 30.... I am scared, I am excited, I am nervous, I am confident.

From all the lessons I have learned, I am realizing that life is to be lived from the heart.  Passions are to be pursued, happiness is to be had.  Impact is to be made, knowledge is to be shared.

I am venturing into the arena of self-employment.  Counting on myself, and sharing my story.

Everyone who knows me, has been part of this journey, and I thank you from the deepest part of my heart. I am amazed at how much love my heart can hold, and how much love is bursting out waiting to be shared.

Please know that this new adventure will continue to include training, drumming, playing, relaxing, accepting, understanding, sharing, assisting, coaching and supporting...for this is who I am.  

My Leap into Life will kick off with my very first retreat.  It will be held at Nurture through Nature in Maine...It will include the lessons I have learned, The tools I have used...the activities that help us grow.   If you are interested in joining me, feel free to contact me.  annepoirier11@gmail.com.

Here to change...embrace the fear and pursue your passion.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Change: Part 3...Embracing the Roll!

As I sit and share a glass of wine with an old friend, then the conversation rolls around to the changes that have occurred in our bodies.  MENOPAUSE...both of us trying to embrace this life and body changing time of life.

Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, insomnia, ....ummmm, what was I saying? Oh yeah, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and of course the infamous weight gain. 

" What is this roll on my back?" She askes.  " Where did it come from? How did it get there?"
Wow...I have one of those too...shit.  I admit this to her....and we are intrigued.  After our 20 minute  mini rant, we decide that we should embrace it! 

Embracing the Roll...admit to ourselves and others that it has good memories in it....it is a sign of experience, hard work, love and loss.

As we face our ageing head on, we decide we can appreciate all the work our bodies have done for us over the years.  There is over 60 years between us of group exercise instruction. There are children, grandchildren, marriages, divorces... There is crying, laughing, supporting, encouraging.  There is success and failure.

It is now time to let go of the little things that use to occupy way to much of our brains and thoughts.  It is time ...we will NOT let the number on the scale, or the roll on our back take us down.  We are so much stronger than that.  We are Embracing the roll, and our future.  


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Change: Part 2

Where will you be 5 years from now? If I were to newer this question 5 years ago, I would have missed the answer by over a time zone or two!

My life has changed.  I don't think I realized quite how much until I was thrown back into spaces and places of the past.  It felt like memories from another life.

I was driving from a work event at Rye Elementary School to visit a close friend in Hampstead. I passed some hot spots enroute.  These places triggered memories and emotions from what seems like a life time ago.

I passed the spot (a parking space) where my ex husband proposed to me...I had cried tears of joy, fear, and disbelief that day.  Past the road where Alyssa's first babysitter lived (20 years ago) her amazing Aunt Kelli.  Past my ex's brother in law's road...past "Uncle Tony's" (I like saying that because it reminds me of the Saprano's). past the hospital where I visited my ex while he completed his first 30 day detox, and where I attended my first alanon meeting.  All in the space of an hour.

Some of these memories where only 5 years ago...how my life has changed.

New Marriage, new in-laws, new brother and sister in-laws, new nieces and nephews. I am so blessed to have these wonderful people in my life...as was I to have encountered and known all the others as well.

I believe we move through life in a distinct order, at a precise time.  The people in our paths that help and guide us, and the people who we help and guide.  I can recognize the changes I have made, forgive the people, actions and memories of the past.  Feel love for my present while accepting and appreciating past and present moments and memories.

How has your life changed over the past 5 years? And an even more intriguing question...Where will you be 5 years from today?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Changes

Someone has thrown me a curve ball.  Things are not as they appear.  How do you handle Change?  Do you yell, swear, lash out, cry, eat, drink, exercise?  Or, do you accept, regroup and re-focus? 

I think I do a little of everything.  For my whole life my identity has been wrapped up in the physical.  Gym was my favorite and best class.  It was a place where I felt comfortable, I was successful there.  As I moved from elementary school to high school though I encountered others who where much more skilled than I. This was a change for me.  I was no longer successful or comfortable in PE class.  My tomboy identity was being threatened, taken away.  Who was I?  Where did this leave me? 

I was facing change....So I decided to take control of the one thing I knew how to...my body.  I would exercise, not eat.  I would be in control.  I found comfort in my rituals.  My rules...

As Change popped up again and again in my life,  I would continue to handle it with external vices...food, exercise, alcohol, withdrawal. 

Change is in the air again in my life. I am fighting the old habits.  Determined to accept the Change for what it is...time to re-group and re-focus.  To try to roll with it by understanding the emotions, the thoughts and the feelings that go along with it.

We live with an identity that we think is who we are, yet it is only a small part.  This physical being that went from PE class, to the soccer field, to the aerobics room, and ended up back at the gym...this time  the physical place....is changing.  I am understanding that I am more than that.  I can create, play, write, read, cook...I can almost feel my spiritual center waking up.   It is asking me, where the heck have you been?  I have been waiting a long time to come out and play! 

Wait no longer, I no longer care about the outcome, I care about discovering, about new beginnings, about learning, even if I fail.  I am excited to try.



Friday, April 10, 2015

A Circle of Friends

Who is in your circle of friends?  Who really "gets you"...knows what is in your heart?  Who takes you seriously and encourages you to move forward, and warns you when you are treading toward trouble?

Some of us are lucky enough to have a few of these special friends, and others not so much.

When I was young, all I wanted was to become an Olympic Athlete...yet, I was not very good at anything that "girls" did in the Olympics.  

I also didn't feel like I could share these hopes and dreams with anyone.  I did not have the confidence in myself.  I figured other kids would just think I am stupid...make fun of me...laugh at me...

I now realize that my lack of confidence not only myself, but others as well was the reason I missed out on some wonderful deep and meaningful friendships in my younger years.  It is the sharing of the hard stuff...the heart felt fears, dreams and experiences that draws people closer.

I am blessed to have developed the trust in myself, as well as the trust in others to put myself out there...to share, to listen, to cry, to laugh...to know that no matter what I say I will still be loved.  I have some special friends,  ones who know my heart.  They will be there for me, standing up and cheering, hugging me while I cry, and telling me "that might not be a good idea" when I am heading down the wrong path.  They can  share their own hopes, dreams, sorrows and fears with me and I will be there for them.  No matter what.

Thank you my friends...you know who you are...

Who is in your circle of friends?  Who can you be yourself with...without fear? 


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A dangerous slide

She sat across from me at the table, made a piggy snort from her nose, and called me piggy.  OUCH...into my head the words start to circle..."your fat, I can't believe you let yourself get so fat, I can't believe you ate so much, she is right, your a pig...I have to lose some weight, I will start right now"

I have to slam on the brakes.  It is similar to the other day, when I was pulling out of our driveway to go down the hill.  I start to slide I put my foot on the brake, nothing, I push harder, still nothing...I start to lose control.  I slide faster and faster.  Nothing stops me until I slam into a guard rail, and I watch pieces of the car roll down the hill.  

I try to slam the brakes on in my brain, but the mental hurricane will not stop...faster and faster the thoughts come flying into my head.  My Mini Me is in full control, I surrender to her power.  Until...I slam into my own guard rail.  Maxine.  She steps up with a loud voice.  She has learned unconventional and rebellious ways to fight back.  "Screw You fat talkin' Mini Me"  I am in control here, well almost...

I took a couple deep breaths, trying to fight, yet Mini Me does not back down, she continues.  I had to really dig in now and dust off more allies.  Maxine needed more support.  Geneen Roth enters my brain, as does Marianne Williamson, knowledge from their books and experiences.  I call on the wisdom of friends and others who get it, have struggled in their own fight and won.

I realize I have to find my own way of slamming on the brakes without sliding out of control. I have to carve out my own path, my own way of handling these types of assaults...this type of self bashing...

Here is my thought for times like this:

There has never been anyone like me, and there never will be.  Thus...

 We have to search for our own way to accept ourselves, treat ourselves, our own way to love ourselves, and be willing to work at taking the time to find it...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Time to Fight

I look down at my legs...and my mini me begins her assault.  She has been programmed over and over for the past 40 years.  She has lots of ammunition and experience...I cant believe you are so fat, why did you eat that, why didn't you exercise more today...ect...

If I had a penny for every negative body image thought I have had in my head, I would never need to work again....I would be eternally wealthy.  For years, almost entire days have been taken up with comments and  criticism from my mini me.  From counting calories in foods, calculating exercise hours, blaming...shaming...guilting, decisions of what to eat, how much, not caring...bingeing...UGG...

The fight slowly began not too long ago.  I became sick of listening, sick of wasting time.   I was noticing not only the way I was talking to myself, but also the way I was treating myself.  I was my own worst enemy...There are more things to be spending my time on...and better things to be listening too.  There is strength on the inside, happiness to be had.  It was time to engage in this battle. 

Step right up Maxine(my strong, confident alter ego) It is time to go to work.  It is time to come into the neighborhood, and put Mini me in her place.  I know I needed her.  Unfortunately, she had some things to learn... I had to supply her with some ammunition.  Maxine has been given little snip-its of ammo from time to time, only to be blasted by a much more powerful army of thoughts from Mini Me (She is so strong)

I attended a seminar, and a switch turned inside of me.  Hearing the stories of others, to realize we are not alone in our struggles...with our demons, with our voices, or our battles.  The stories we have lived, the stories we have told ourselves.  True or not, they are what we believe.  I have been learning that we have the power to CHANGE THEM!  We have a choice what to think, what to believe and what we say to ourselves.

Enter..Self-Talk...My husband comes home from a training...he brings home these downloads, and asks me to try them.  All you have to do is play them in the background when you are getting ready for work, cooking, eating...whenever.  Hmmm, sounds easy I think, and I would of course love to support him, right?  I don't have an agenda, I just do it.

Within a couple weeks, I notice things changing.  My Maxine gets information, ammunition, new words, new thoughts.  It was like I was taking her to the gym every day and she was getting stronger and stronger.  Mini has gotten tired fighting this new, strong, and educated Maxine.  Maxine has won a few rounds, and is getting energized.  The tired and defeated Mini me is hanging out on the couch, sleeping... 

This self talk has given me hope, power, and independence from my badgering mini me. I am thankful for my husband for helping me with the journey...that I will continue.  If you would like to find out more about this great ammunition watch for the Self-Talk Seminar we are holding at Center Point Church in Concord on April 11 at 1:45pm, or message me.

Give your Maxine a fighting chance.  She is capable of acceptance, joy, happiness, confidence and self-esteem.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cyndi's Pizza Dilema

An Introduction to Cyndi...LYB Project Creator...

I met Cyndi over 20 years ago.  We worked together in the "Aerobics" world.  The days of leg warmers,thongs and movies like Perfect, with Jamie Lee Curtis and John Travolta.  We have traveled in the same circles, doing the same but different things.  Reconnecting again and again over the years. Cyndi's Passion and energy always radiates all around her.  I have learned more about her story over the last year or so through her Facebook Community Page: Love Your Body Project: Peace, Love and Food. I am continually impressed by her strength and resilience.  To learn a little more about her...check out this blog:


"About three years ago, my husband and I started having Tuesday nights out. I used to work late at my old job and didn't get out until 8 pm. I also had a 37 mile commute, which meant I wouldn't get home until almost 8:45. One week, he texted me, asking if I would meet him at the pizza place down the street from our house. We would sit in the bar, place an order for takeout and have a drink while we waited for our food. It was so much easier than trying to throw something quick together at home.

This became a tradition known as "pizza night" (uber creative name, I know). Every week, I SO looked forward to this. I could not wait to get my hands on pizza. We tried a different kind each week and I ate the s**t out of it. I couldn't get enough.
Until I did.

One day, I arrived at our place and decided I didn't want pizza. I was almost a bit...sad. You see, in all the years I restricted, there were two food items that had achieved legend status in my mind: ice cream and pizza. I thought about these two things constantly and when I had the chance to eat them, I fully took advantage. But, then I began healing my relationship with food. I was coming to terms with the fact that dieting wasn't the answer, the scale wasn't really my friend and exercising 2-3 hours a day wasn't practical for me anymore. I made the choice to allow everything and deprive myself of nothing. After a few months of this, I began to find my balance. I ate more from genuine hunger and intuited what my body wanted. Hint: it wasn't always pizza. All of a sudden, the legend status was gone. It was no big deal anymore because I could have it anytime I wanted, which resulted in me not wanting it all the time.

Now, we still frequent our neighborhood place once a week. We have become very close friends with the bartender who was always there to take care of us. It's fun to have a place to go where "everyone knows your name" (insert theme music from "Cheers" here). But, it's no longer "pizza night" every week. Sometimes, it's fish. Sometimes, it's salad. Sometimes, it's pasta. It changes all the time and I think that's the way it should be.
Allow all foods in your diet. Then, let your body decide what it needs and wants. It's smarter than you think."   Cyndi@ LYB Project


Go to the Love Your Body Project page to find out more about her, and our work together...There are many pearls of wisdom to be cherished...

Monday, March 23, 2015

MEET IZZY

It was Christmas , 2011...I was sitting on the floor with my daughters Ashley and Alyssa. It had been over a year and a half since the divorce.  I was filled with love and gratitude having them both with me.

I ripped open the red Rudolph wrapping paper and my mouth dropped open wide, my heart , which I thought was already full, now overflowed.  There on my lap was a Pink "not so scary" stuffed monster.

It was 4 years earlier at Christmas time, when we were visiting New York.  I was about 5months pregnant with the twins.  What an amazing place the city is that time of year.  The hustle and bustle...

We saw John goodman play Tracy Turnblads mother (in drag) in Hairspray...climbed to the top of the Empire State building, skated in Bryant park, and shopped!  The Apple Store, American Girl, and FAO Schwartz were the favorites.  It was the enormous toy story that I first set my eyes on that adorable pink stuffed monster.

I remember picking her up, hugging her, and yelling across the store (as only an embarrassing mother of teens can) to my girls..."LOOK HOW CUTE!!"  They both rolled their eyes( as only teenagers can do) and continued on their way.

So now, as I sat on the floor with that adorable pink monster in my arms...the memories of that trip came rushing back...inside I was full of happiness and pride.  These amazing young women remembered how I acted when I saw this little special monster.  All I could do on the outside was cry.  My heart full...immediately I named her Isabelle...Izzy for short.

Most people get dogs or cats for companionship, friendship and unconditional love.  For me? I have Izzy...this adorable pink "not so scary" monster.

She has travelled to Florida, New York, and all over New England.  She has sat on the dashboard of the car, holding toll money, and cheered me on at marathons( being carried around by my now husband Tim, not at all embarrassed by this little mascot). She has heard all of my secrets, , listened and offered comfort. She is a special friend.

A special thank you to Alyssa and Ashley...their care, love and thoughtfulness, and for the many special memories I have with them that I will always treasure...along with Izzy.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Climbing in and out of the Hole


What is it that causes you the most pain?  Is it a past mistake the continues to haunt you?  Is it a physical ailment that is chronic, and wears you down?  Is it the loss of a loved one that leaves a hole in your heart that cannot be filled... a broken relationship, where your heart has been broken and you cannot seem to find anything that can mend it?  Or, Is it yourself?  The constant beating up of yourself for not doing, being or achieving what you think you should...

Our pain comes from different places....different experiences.  It sits at all kinds of levels that can change minute to minute, day to day.  Some of our pain can be so big...

Imagine a large hole that has been dug into the ground.  It is a place that you go to when you feel pain, hurt, alone, abandoned, sad, frustrated, angry, disappointed, distant, desperate...It can provide extreme relief and comfort.

Everyone’s hole is unique.  Some may be empty...a punishment hole with no way out, it is dark, cold and scary, and at the same time extremely comfortable and welcome. Others may have a hole where they go to get away.  They feel comfortable there, they cannot be hurt by anyone, they cannot make any mistakes here, they can’t say the wrong thing, no one can judge them here. Here they do not have to be someone they are not. They can just sit with themselves...with their sadness, their pain and their brokenness...

I have realized over the past few years that no matter what my pain level is, or has been, there are ALWAYS many examples of greater pain brought to my attention.  It could come in the form of a conversation, a physical interaction, a friend of a friend, the TV, or even a face-book story.

It is in these moments where I step away from myself and step into their pain, their sadness, their loss, their hole.  Within hours of this interaction, I have come out of my own hole willingly, for my pain has been lifted.  To feel the pain of another is a blessing.  It enables us to understand our own pain better... Climb out of our own hole.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Paving the Path to your Story



 To know your purpose and then find the path that leads you there is my hope.  The questions I ask myself are:  Why am I here?  Why was I born?  What am I supposed to be doing with this life I have been given? 

Our purpose is more than any of us think.  It is an understanding that we might need to stop trying so hard, stop asking the questions, being ok not knowing what it is.  Our place on this earth is to Trust...To trust that our path is out there waiting for us to get out of our own way.

I believe that if we can share our bliss...our enthusiasm, our love, our light; of which comes from our talents. It doesn’t  matter how insignificant, or irrelevant we may think these talents are-     we own them and they are OURS.  They are ours to share with others.  It could be the way you tell a joke, the way your laughter is contagious, the way you tell(or write) a story, the way you draw an elephant or flower, the way you do a jumping jack, navigate your computer, thread a needle....

Living our lives with joy, happiness, and laughter...that is the path we are to follow...

Not the path our parents wanted us to pursue, not the path your husband or wife wants you to follow, not the one our teachers, our bosses, or society want us to go after...

We have lived our lives believing that we should be successful, make a lot of money, raise a happy family, hold down a “good” job, be a wonderful friend, be fit, healthy, attractive, thin and of course happy...

All these are thoughts and beliefs that have been made into stories...stories that we have told ourselves for years, and stories that we have been bombarded with through society, and the people that surround us.

It is time to release all these stories, for they are not yours.  It is time to write your own story, pave your own path.  What does this fresh new story of your life look like?

My story includes helping others find their way out of pain, out of struggle, out of the story they live in where they don’t belong, are not enough,  or don’t believe in themselves...

It is your turn to begin to pave a path where beauty surrounds you, where your mini me is in awe of your strength, where your mind is quiet, and your body is at peace with itself.  Breath the fresh air, trust in yourself, trust in your story, trust in your life...trust the amazing and overwhelming beauty that is within you...Follow the paved path and trust...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sliding Into Joy...An Unexpected Memory

I felt like Kate Winslet in the Titanic as she reached desperately for Leonardo DiCaprio's out-stretched hand....

"Grab my hand" I hear Tim yell...as I see only his hand sticking out of the car window.  I am slowly sliding further away from the car on the ice covered hill in my dressy black boots that I have worn about twice a year for the last 10 years...

The snow bank on the side of the hill stops my slide, and I take a step back to climb back up towards the car in the snow.  I grab onto Rosie's fender(Rosie is the affectionate name of our 10 year old Hyundai).  I slowly scale and slide across the side of the car to grab a hold of Tim's outstretched hand.

He pulls me safely into the car, and asks me to put on my seat belt.  All I can squeak out is "NO...Don't Start the Car!  DON'T EVEN TRY to go down this hill!!!"

"Its OK" he says, "Just relax and put your seat belt on, everything will be OK"

It was only moments earlier I was in full on panic mode, with all of my strength and body weight pressing down on the brake of the car, and still sliding down the hill.  "Slow Down" Tim says in a calm and relaxed voice...
"I CAN"T" I hear myself say as I begin to hyperventilate.

We were on our way to share a night of fun and friendship at a comedy show...


Now, we are stuck with our back end in the snow bank...Emergency brake on.  Tim calmly says, lets change positions...as we do, we look like a Laurel and Hardy comedy skit...

Now...Tim decides to TRY...as he turns the wheel, and we slide and spin...thud, we land facing downhill in the snow bank this time.  We cant possibly walk up this hill on this ice, and our dashboard is lit up like a Christmas Tree...We Contemplate our actions...

7:10pm; We call the Plow/Sand guys...3 different phone numbers, 3 different answering machines

7:20pm; With no call back yet, we call AAA

8:00pm; AAA calls back, be there in about 30 minutes

8:05pm; Plow Guys call back, be there in about 20 minutes

We Place Our Bets...
9:00pm; New London Fire Department(thank you!) Shows "UP", and instantly slides down the hill backward, ever so slightly clipping Rosie's nose, and ends up in the middle of the road mid way down the hill.
9:10pm; Plow Guys(Thank you!) show up, unable to pass the Fire Department Vehicle...9:11 New London PD shows up(thank you!) he addresses the situation...

9:25pm; The hill in front of us gets sanded, by a talented plow driver moving up the hill backwards...

9:30pm; as we slowly creep down the hill, we meet the AAA truck on his way to rescue us.  We thank him...

9:45pm; We stop at Jakes, we need recovery food and wine...

9:50pm; We check in at the Lamplighter Motor Inn (Thank You!) to complete our Date Night...ahhh...joy...

Comedy show? Check...not quite the one we planned
Friends? Check...new ones made, not quite the ones we were expecting!
Date Night? Check...along with a great unexpected memory to tell our grandchildren

What is your most unexpected memory?





Friday, March 13, 2015

Judge Foody (Not to be confused with Judge Judy)

"I cant believe I ate all that!"
"That was such a bad thing to eat!"
"I am going to have to stay at the gym all day because of that lunch!"

These are words I have said to myself and hear daily at work.  Our inner Judge scolding us, and letting us know how unworthy we are.  All because of our own perception and beliefs about what is Right or Wrong with the food we eat.

Good Foods/Bad Foods=Good Girl/Bad Girl

Exercise becomes punishment for a dessert shared with a friend, which should have been enjoyed and treasured moments in time...Not punishment.

Step on the scale, step off, move it to another spot, try again.  Today's mood dependent on what this hunk of metal says...

Food is not "Good" or "Bad"...as a matter of fact, I think the M&M people are very cute and entertaining...how could they be bad?

Life is too short to have the food Judge in my face any longer.  She has criticized my choices, dictated my actions, scolded and shamed me into depression, addiction and abuse.

Food is Fuel...It is needed to keep us going.  For us to keep our energy up and keep our brains and bodies working.  It is needed for us to make a difference with our work, enjoy a walk in nature, connect with friends, carry the groceries, rearrange furniture( a fun trait I get from my mom, that drives everyone else crazy!), write, read, stretch...

This life is full of so many wonderful things.  Why do we continue to let the Judge in our head ruin an otherwise perfectly good day by telling us we have made the wrong choice, or bullies you because the scale says something it doesn't like.

Throw away the scale, let the M&M people be your friends.  FIRE the JUDGE!  She has made enough money to retire very nicely...in an upscale retirement community in Florida.  I have paid her well throughout the years.  It is time for me to hire myself to be my own Judge.  One that treats me with respect and admiration.  One that does not criticize my choices for dinner, or guilt me into going to the gym...again...

My new Judge says "Eat for Energy, Exercise for Enjoyment"  

Saturday, March 7, 2015

I am off to see the Wizard!

It felt like I was punched in the stomach.  I immediately felt a wave of nausea travel through me and land in my stomach.  My heart begins to beat hard and fast.  RUN, just RUN.  As far and as fast as your legs will take you. 

 I am a coward, I do not speak up.  Even at the cost of losing my soul, my spirit, my voice and my sense of self.  My self esteem being kicked...and plummeting lower day by day.  The sound of anger sends me deeper into myself, cowering in the corner of my heart.  Why don't I stand up?  Why cant I speak my mind? Why do I  have this overwhelming allergic, repulsive reaction to the sound of a raised voice?

I feel like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of OZ.  The outward appearance of strength, yet inward there is weakness, timid-ness and shame.  It is time to see the Wizard, my Wizard who is strong, confident and bold.  Take my trip down the Yellow Brick Road.  This road  that I know has places I need to pass and leave behind with my footsteps as distant memories that need to be forgiven and released.

I imagine a child releasing a balloon into the air, sad to watch it go and at the same time thrilled to see it travel higher and higher into the sky to a place wonderful and unknown.

This meandering yellow brick road I have to travel makes its way around a pond of pain, and moves through the forest of failures and over the mountains of mistakes.  I continue my journey through the many planted gardens of guilt and past the expansive sea of shame.

Finally  to make it to the home of the Wizard.  Who lives in the center of my heart, hidden behind a closed door.  It has been a long journey, and I will not turn back now.  I open the door to find  my own Maxine (My Maxi Me) standing strong and holding a bouquet of balloons.  She is my Wizard-ress patiently waiting to grant me my Courage.

 The courage to let go of all my balloons...It is with some anxiety and sadness that I let them go one by one, watching them drift slowly up and away.  Then, there is a sudden gust of wind and they all shoot off on different paths.  I smile at the sight, it looks like fireworks; bolts of colors traveling through the sky with destination unknown.

The Wizard has been here all along.  That sneaky Maxine!  I am thankful to have finally taken the trip to find her and help her find her voice, her spirit, her soul...HER SELF**


** Are you ready to find your Maxine?  If so please consider joining me at my Leap of Life Retreat...A Women's Wellness Weekend.  Located at Nurture Through Nature in Denmark Maine.  For details email me at annepoirier11@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Searching for Significance

I lie in bed listening to my brother, 2 years older, dry heave in the next room.  My dad standing at his side.  I only hear some bits and pieces of the lecture, words like: irresponsible, lack of respect, disappointment, thoughtlessness...There is judgement and anger in his voice.

It was then I vowed not to cause any more trouble than I already had. They had suffered enough through my anorexia.  It caused fights and heartache between my parents.  More than I could ever imagine.  My guilt ran deep.   I would be a good girl, do what I was told, do my best at school, at sports, stay out of trouble.  I would be the perfect daughter, act the way I thought I was supposed to act.  I had caused them enough pain.

The search for significance and acceptance began...

The Wants:  To Fit In; To be Noticed; To be Liked; To be Accepted; To be GOOD   

All this work to be this person became overwhelming.  The want to be good became exhausting.  It turned itself upside-down.  The path I decided to take became a detour.  I was paralyzed with the fear of doing or saying the wrong thing.  I began to cover up my flaws, hide my true thoughts and opinions in order to keep the peace.  Avoid all conflict.

The years went by, these thoughts became beliefs, these beliefs became actions...the only thing I knew.  I had lost myself in my own story.  

It is time to change my story...Today I vow to embrace my flaws, realize they do not make me a bad person.  I have a voice...my authentic voice.  It may disappoint, it may cause conflict, it may not fit in.  

My work now comes in understanding that this is OK.  It is to live my own story, embracing my fear of "not being liked" and know that by doing this, I begin to be true to myself.  It will be hard, yet I know I am strong enough to overcome my own resistance to live a more authentic life for me. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Stepping Through the Open Door

How absolutely wonderful it is when you can sit with a friend and open your heart.  It is like seeing an open door, knowing that no matter what, you will be loved and accepted on the other side.  Laughing until you pee your pants...crying until it hurts, and know it is ok.  Pour out your soul, to know that it will be caught in a mug of comfort, compassion and care.

Share the stories of an elderly gentleman who has lived a great long life and appreciates every waking moment.  He unknowingly shares his love, hope and gratitude upon anyone blessed to walk through the open door of his store.

To watch a cross country skier, dressed in a beautiful blue wind suit, that perfectly matches the backdrop of ocean waves and pops out of the winter white snow as he glides smoothly down the coast.

As February turns to March, I sit  alone with a notebook and a pen....realizing that there is a open door in front of me.  On the other side is the knowledge to follow my heart, trust of my instincts, forgive my mistakes, and finally face my fears.

Tomorrow I will awaken, the dawn of a new day.  The pinks and blues of the sunrise over the ocean.  There will be a new trust within myself, a renewal of spirit and purpose of life all within me.  There are open possibilities, and open doors.

Oh...look, there is another one.  Let's walk through it together with confidence and courage. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Truest Strength

The new girl stepped up to the plate, none of us had any idea what to expect.  The pitcher rolls the big red rubber ball towards the plate.  She suddenly looks horrified, not knowing what to do.  She tries to kick it, figuring in a game called "Kickball", that is what you do. The ball hits the edge of her foot, and spins behind her.  We all giggle and move in a bit.  Second pitch, the horror and fear compound....same thing...I can actually see the panic in her eyes, holding back the tears, my teammates continuing to giggle.  I stop suddenly, with an overwhelming feeling of shame and guilt at giggling at all.

My immediate reaction...What can I do?  How can I help her?  I feel helpless.  The other kids in the class whisper, giggle and talk behind her back.  I am witnessing first hand how bullying begins.  It is not right...I know it right away.

She tentatively approaches home plate again for her next time up.  Everyone moves in before she even gets there.  I see her heart start to crumble right before my eyes.  Day after day, she dreads  my favorite class of the day...GYM ( that is what it was called in the 1970's)

====================================================================

UGH...english...I hate this class.  I cant spell and I suck at it, yet out of the corner of my eye, I see this girl, who hates gym.  She is smiling...bouncing into class as if it is the best thing ever.  Hmmm, we are different.  Mr. Menesale pairs us up.  Oh boy, I think to myself. 

YET, to my suprise, an amazing friendship develops.  We click instantly and end up dancing in her basement, having sleepovers, climbing trees, running around the block and going to the mall every weekend.

Then, there is GYM. 

One day I innocently ask..."Do you want to see if I can teach you how to kick a ball?"  The smile that spreads over her face warms my heart...as if she thought I would never ask.  I pitch, she kicks, over and over...we kick and kick and kick until we finally fall down in laughter and exhaustion.

She steps up to the plate...everyone has already moved in...The Pitch...and then THE KICK!  Over everyones head...she runs around first moving to second (did I mention she could run?) around second! around Third...her smile getting bigger and bigger. The best home run ever...No more fear, shame, embarrasement, or dread.

There is triuph, confidence...I learn an important lesson. Let go of the judgement of others.  Help, assist, care and teach.  Find your truest strength and share it with others.  The support and belief of an other is the most rewarding of all.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Its My DEAL

Oh good!  At least I like to shuffle the cards, the way they make that fluttering sound and watch the bridge I have formed between my two hands collapse upon itself.  I think this might be the only part of playing cards I truly like.  The rest of the time I am feeling sick to my stomach, my shoulders are tight, my brain is in overdrive...repeating the words...Think, Anne, Think...Dont make the wrong move...

I have decided now to DEAL myself another hand.  This one is quite different.  It is calming...and feels more like the sunrise with the pinks and oranges in the sky...a warm summer breeze, and the sound of the ocean.  I am embarking on an adventure to my inside, my truest self.  To Discover, Embrace, Accept and Love me...My own D.E.A.L.

The first card in my hand?  Deep Discovery.  To actually take some time with myself.  The searching and unfolding of what is on the inside.  I have recently posted a picture on facebook of me at about 5.  I am standing on the front steps of my grandparents house in Greenfield MA. I am ready to take on the world, my hands are on my hips and I have a confident grin on my face.  There is true happiness, self assurance, pride and even a little mischievesness too. This is the Annie I am in search of.

Discovery may take some time...it takes time to deal out the cards, make sure everyone has the right amount, square off the piles, fan out the cards in your hand.  Realizing that there are some cards in your hand that you dont really want.  The cards like...my mini me, my fear of failure, my fear of success, the judgement of myself, the comparison to others.  Thank goodness there are some cards in my hand that I love...my family and friends!

There it is, my hand is full of all of it.  All of its beauty.  Time to discard.  The first to go is the judgement of myself and comparison to others.  I place the cards down, let them go watching them slowly get buried deeper into the deck.  My hand picks up 2 cards: Laughter and Love,  this game may work out well after all...

Feeling a little more confident, I discard Fear...Fear of Failure, as well as Fear of Success.  The guilt, the shame, the feeling of not being enough, not being deserving...It will be a hard fight to let them go.  They have been such a part of me for so long.  I am letting them go in hopes to pick up some better cards...I close my eyes, give powerful thought and attention to the deck as I pick up my next cards

Acceptance, Belief and Compassion....Looks like we have a straight!   ABC.  I have a loaded hand...ready to Embrace  the real me.  The one I see in that picture that shows determination and pride. The one that fights sociey telling me I can or I can't, I should or I shouldn't.  Accepting my true self without letting all my old stories and beliefs beat me down and take me out of the game.

I am playing until the end...win or lose, it does not matter.  All I need to do is continue to deal the cards, because I know I am strong enough to win no matter what.  I will discard the cards that no longer serve me, and pick up the ones that do, the ones of self-growth, self-discovery, self-acceptance and self-Love.

We are all born with a full deck(well, mostly!)  They are part of us, these cards make us who we are, yet that does not mean we have to keep all the cards we are dealt with.  We have choices to stack the deck in our favor.  Who's deal is it now?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Fitness Family...Forever Friends

What forces are in action when you meet someone who becomes instrumental in your development?  Kickball teams in grade school, high school & college sports teams, Sunday morning Low Impact class (hey there Robin!), Stepping, Kickboxing, Running and Spinning.

The sharing of sweat, fatigue, euphoria, strength and heart break.  The hard work that happens with each other,  brings us together in a bond that is unbreakable.  The shared experiences... the failing and succeeding,  the neverending "One More Time"!

I have formed some of the most unique, long lasting, and fundemental friendships I have ever known. From the days playing kickball in 4th grade, through todays 6am Pilates or Bootcamp class...these dedicated, strong, fun loving  girls and woman continue to share, care, support and encourage each other all while working, striving and achieving thier best efforts.  We squat, we pull, we push, we lunge, we punch, we kick...we laugh and we cry.

You all know who you are...too many names to name after 40+ years...
This blog is for you.

I am grateful for you all...you are strong, dedicated, loving moms, wives, grandmothers, daughters and friends...

You are business owners, teachers, coaches, co-workers and life long learners.

It is from all of you that I have learned to trust, respect, encourage, listen, teach, cry and feel. 

Thank you for helping me build and strengthen my character....giving me hope to become a better person every day.

This world is a better place because of all of you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Finding Balance

Why does it take so long to gain an ounce of self-esteem, and such a short time to destroy it?  One word, one phrase, one criticism is all it takes sometimes to destroy a dream, shatter a passion, obliviate the success.

There has to be a better way.  It is similar to our weight.  It takes hard work, and time to lose weight safely, yet, it seems to take no time at all to gain it..

Balance...Finding balance in body and mind.  I have this bag of others comments, opinions, judgements that I carry with me every day.  The bag gets heavier and heavier, weighing me down.  I am getting tired of carrying it with me all the time.

I also have a beautiful box that I keep in a very special place at home.  It is hidden, for safe keeping.  It contains my successes...my accomplishments...the things I am proud of.  It also holds the compliments that I get here and there...sometimes daily.

You know the ones...the ones you get at work, out with friends, or even at the store.  We roll our eyes(I have that one down) we brush it off, ignore it.  Somehow we have trained ourselves so that we dont even hear it.  If we do happen to hear it, we push it away as if it doesnt exist, feeling as if they must have been talking to someone else.  That couldnt be me, I dont deserve that.

Why dont we decide to carry around our special boxes?  The one that contains pride, happiness, fullfillment, success....vs. the heavy bag that contains disturbing, disappointing and disruptive thoughts.  I do not know if I want to carry that anymore.  It is unwelcome, unwanted, unpleasant and unnessecary.

I am realizing that we have the control of what we decide to carry with us, and what we can decide to leave at home or throw away.

Lets all take a vacation!...a permanent one, and only bring that special box of good thoughts, supportive memories, confidence building successes.  Lets also bring our favorite clothes.  The ones that make you feel good about yourself.  They are comfortable on your body, and fit the way you like.

Lets let go of the heavy box. Unpack those unwanted criticisms, the judgements, the comparisons. Lightening our load, both physically and emotionally. Trying not to get caught up collecting that heavy stuff.  Simplify, release and let go.  Get the balance in your life back. Life is too short to always be so unsure, unsteady and off balance.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Digging In

Are you kidding me?  She is going to weigh us in front of the whole team?  Shit...My heart races, my palms start to sweat, I feel lightheaded.  I think I am going to be sick...This can't be happening.  I should have worked out more over the summer, I shouldn't have eaten so much...why did I do that...shit

"Wow Anne, What did you do all summer? EAT??"  My coach announces...in front of everyone.  In an instant I am transported back in time...shame, dread and guilt come rushing through me like a charging freight train.  Every inch of me is in discomfort.  Everyone is looking at me, whispering how fat I am, I just know it.  Where can I run, how can I hide...please, just let me disappear....

I step off the scale, hold back the tears and exit the room.  How could I have done this to myself...How could I have let this happen...again...I wont eat, I will show her.  I can be thin, just watch me.  How fast can I lose 10 pounds?

Salads, Diet Cokes and Double Sessions in August.  A recipe for disaster.  I played hard, fought harder, felt miserable.  Soccer wasn't even fun anymore.  This had to stop

Stress, Anxiety, and obsession with food and exercise would continue to slam into me over and over again...30 years later, I have finally decided to plant my feet on the ground and say NO MORE!

My feet firmly planted, and I am beginning to finally grow roots...branches are beginning to reach out to others in need.  I see women of all ages...from tweens to seniors struggle with food, with exercise and with body image.  Why?  Who is it that we have to impress with what is in our grocery cart?  or how our butt looks in jeans? or  How far we can run?  How much we weigh?  I don't want to care anymore.

When we die, do we want our obituary to read?
     * She never ate anything bad for her
     * She was a perfect size 2
     * She was the fittest person I knew

And if that is the case, what is it that we want others to take away from our presence here?

Don't we all have more to offer than what is on the outside?  What about things like honesty, integrity, determination, dedication, drive, teamwork, love, compassion, laughter...

I am growing my tree in a different direction.  I don't care what it looks like, as long as it has lots of touch, durable branches, that spread out in different directions.  It is healthy and strong.  My tree appreciates the ground that supports it, the air that surrounds it, the rain and the sun that take turns nourishing it...It has learned the importance of a good foundation and has accepted that it may not look like any other tree in the forest.  Actually, I think my tree rather likes that fact.