So here I am….Tammy…38 years old….married for a second time…no biological children (2 step daughters who are super awesome)….me, living in Toronto.
Never would have seen this coming in my early twenties! That is actually the part of my story I think I love the most….I FEEL SO ALIVE NOW!
It really didn’t look like it does now many years ago, basically starting as a teen (but we will get to that later…let’s start with the 20 somethings…)
I got married for the first time when I just turned 20…thought I knew better, that I met Mr. Right…I realized after many years of blaming him for everything that we really were too young to really know what we wanted out of life. Being divorced at any time is never a fun label to carry and I found being a divorcee by the time I was 25 living in a small “city” (pop. 34,000) quite a devastating experience at the time. I couldn’t walk into any place without seeing a few people lean over to whisper and either giggle with their friends at me or just the sadness and sympathy they felt for me in what I was going through….but nobody wanted to speak up and talk to me about it….frankly, I do not know what I would have said. It was not a good time for me. I went through a period where I was so distraught I wouldn’t eat. My mom ended up taking me to emergency where they put me on antidepressants. I quickly learned that for me, this was not a good option and I had to get off of them quickly. (For some it really does make a difference so for sure stay under your doctors care)
Along with a relationship you don’t wish upon your worst enemy, was the weight gain and unhealthy eating habits. In high school I was always very petite, 5’9″, 110 lbs….by 25 I was topping 175lbs and boy could I feel it. Being tall, you couldn’t notice it as much BUT I could feel it!
I smoked about a half a pack to a pack a day, depending on how “stressed out” I felt I was. Woke up every morning feeling like I had been licking dirt! Yep! That is about as good as a half a pack or more of cigarettes taste like by morning!
I had gotten myself trapped in a routine of bad food (anything deep-fried or made with bread…YUM), smoking, and an all around negative attitude and feeling sorry for myself all the time. Frankly, I was sick of being around me too!
I can’t tell you the exact day it all happened. Sometime after I moved back home with my parents, having to start all over again (I moved out after I just turned 18 so for me, although my parents are super awesome…this was a kick to my pride BIG TIME!), sometime between the counselling sessions I was going to and the Tony Robbins tape someone gave me to listen to, I decided enough was enough.
I do remember being in my car on a hot day and feeling the rolls of my belly producing sweat while I puffed on my cigarette and hearing Tony Robbins say “you don’t smoke to get cancer, you smoke to TRY and feel good and in the end you might get cancer…” or something to that effect…and it was in that moment, the pack of cigarettes I had bought got thrown out of the car (sorry Mother Nature…I should have put them in the garbage I know…it was an impulsive moment that had I waited to find a garbage can…I may have kept smoking!), I grabbed a towel and wiped away my belly sweat and thought…this is it.
I had been driving home from some small town. My parents greeted me and asked how I was. I remember telling them that I was now a non-smoker and they were excited to find out for how long. I told them 1 hour. You can understand why they may not have believed me in that moment but they said “Good for you!” If there is one thing that I have always had that is loving parents and brothers…not sure how they have loved me after some of the stuff I have done but they still do to this day!
Knowing that I was already over weight and now with quitting smoking I was bound to balloon even bigger, I got a hold of a friend of mine who was a trainer and asked him if he would help me get in shape. He agreed. I was so embarrassed physically, mentally and emotionally by what I had allowed to have happen to me in my marriage and what I had allowed my health to get to that I begged him to find a way that I wouldn’t have to face the “fitness” people at the gym.
I will never forget it.
My trainer obtained a key to the gym for us to go in after hours. He would set up a movie on the TV and we would run on the treadmills and watch movies and then weight train. I can honestly say, it was one of the most fun times I had….no one whispering, no one cared. Certainly not myself or my trainer.
Over the course of 8-10 months with a fitness plan in place and seeing a Naturopath to sort out what supplements to take and how to eat, I dropped just over 50 lbs. I began to feel like ME again. The fitness program, reading positive books, learning to cook and eat healthy, I regained my confidence to take on my life.
Shortly after I got back to being ME, I had an opportunity to come to Toronto for a conference. When the plane began to descend over Toronto I had a sense of being “at home” for the first time in my life. I knew I was going to live in Toronto the moment that plane touched down….it was all a matter of when…..and how crazy was I?
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