Mission Accomplished!

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On July 18th, 2015 I stepped back onto the stage as a figure competitor…it was a goal that I set so long ago that when I set it there was no way that it seemed realistic from where I was sitting. I hadn’t trained in a couple of years. I was dealing with a major back issue. I had not been on stage for 9 years! I was seriously out of shape with several pounds to lose, taking a hand full of prescription pain meds a couple times a day, had some serious bad habits to break and I was so weak that I had to hold someone’s hand to do squats or lunges (that’s with NO weight people!).
What got me here? To my goal? I never gave up! I always did what I could…even if it wasn’t perfect or if it wasn’t the whole workout. I never stayed home because I knew I was too exhausted to do it all. I went and did what I could until I could honestly say “ok, I’m done…I am no longer helping the situation and I can go home.”
My next goal was to be completely off pain meds by August 1st…and I’m excited to say that I took my last prescription pain med Monday morning! There was an adjustment period which is somewhat uncomfortable but nothing that I can’t handle. It will feel really great to not be tied to something like that anymore! It will require me to be more aware of my fatigue and pain and manage it in other ways. But I have many useful tools that have been working well.

For a while I had lost my way…I’m so grateful to have people in my life that care so much that they came and found me and led me back along a path that I could follow. Believed in me more than I could believe in myself sometimes. And pushed me when I was ready…even if I didn’t think that I was. Together we brought this body back to life and with it my spirit rose from the ashes…I am the Phoenix! I am forever grateful…Thank you James.

Enjoy your day!
Xoxo Lynda

2wks and no where to go

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I’ve got 2 weeks left before I step back on that stage and to be honest I haven’t had too much time to think about it. Heading straight to the gym after flying to get everything done that needs doing…or Training twice a day when I’m not flying!  Not much time for pain either…just get there and get moving. It will work itself out. Today I was ordered by my trainer to take the day off…and I almost went into panic mode! So little time left and I feel like I have so much left to do… And I am supposed to take a day off! Holy shit Batman! That’s scary!

In the past I had to work so hard to get any results at all. This prep has been a breeze in comparison. I can actually eat carbs! My cardio has been reasonable and training has been great! My coach is a smart man. My body has never looked better…at 42! I’m not starving and I’m not over training. I’ve got 2wks left to go and I am looking forward to them.

But today I lay… On the sofa like a zombie watching reruns of Game of Thrones. Every once in a while my mind starts telling me how little time I have and I simply remind myself that I need to trust the process and do as I’m told for once! Tomorrow I will have the opportunity to kick some ass in the gym once again… But today I have nowhere to go…

Happy 4th of July!
Xoxo Lynda

Beating the pain

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6 weeks out from CBBF National Fitness & Figure Championships! July 18 in Halifax, Nova Scotia! So excited! When I first started this crazy journey I was just running on pure faith. My body had been through so much pain and suffering and I hadn’t been training for 2 years so it was almost impossible to see what the end result could even be. I Knew what I have been able to achieve before but I also knew that I had lost a ton of muscle and I was working with a new body with new challenges.
I am excited to get on stage in 6 weeks! Of course I want to win, but that’s not the point… I’ve already beat something that I thought for a moment was going to take away some pieces of my life! If that makes any sense. I didn’t think I would be lifting like this again. I used to look at the stepmill and think about how much extra energy it took over the treadmill…then choose the easiest one because I just didn’t have anything extra in me!
For those of you who are suffering with chronic pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia or anything similar… It’s not easy. This is not an easy thing I am doing. But it feels so much better after it’s done…I know I have done something that will move me forward not keep me stuck by sitting on my ass because it’s easier and it hurts a little less for that moment. Pain plays with your mind…it can make you believe that you can’t do the things you used to be able to do or that you are weaker than you are! I can work through it and past it and my body becomes stronger and pain becomes less because I do. It’s kind of crazy how it has been working for my body. It’s like physiotherapy I guess. It hurts like heck when you’re doing it… But it strengthens your weak parts and the pain becomes less as the strength  increases. I never would have believed it if I wasn’t seeing it happen with my own eyes!

Make your day amazing!
Xoxo! Lynda

It’s Chronic…

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Chronic pain is a real bitch! There’s really no other way to put it. Always there, nagging, aggravating, and just plain irritating! Won’t go away without sacrificing your mental clarity with pain medication…now the big thing is medical Mary Jane. I can’t function in my daily life without a clear mind. So that leaves dealing with chronic pain up to different methods for me. Heating pad, ice packs, meditation tracks, stretching techniques, positive self talk… These are all tools that I use to help keep the irritating chronic pain at bay. But from time to time there are just bad days. No amount of heat, cold, meditation or self talking my way out of it…It just hurts. The biggest thing right now when preparing for this big show (Canadian National Figure Championships in 8wks) is that I can’t afford a bad day! So I just have to work through the pain. Maybe that means my cardio is a little slower or I might do something like the treadmill instead of the stepmill… But I get my ass there and I do it!

I could easily let negative thoughts get me down and discourage me…but I have done that enough in the past. Replacing negative thoughts with a thought that is even slightly better is a move in the right direction. Of course if you can replace that negative thought with the complete opposite and mean it…that is perfect!! But telling yourself positive affirmations without any belief behind them unfortunately won’t do much to get you to your desired dreams. There must be belief in your words for affirmations to work. Otherwise they are just words.

Be kind to yourself with your self talk… Unfortunately we seem to really believe the negative things that we say about ourselves. Our body hears us and believes us… And responds accordingly.

Enjoy your day!!
Xoxo Lynda

Power of the mind…

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Time is flying by and it is definitely overdue for an update here on my progress…
Things are going really well. I have successfully cut one pain medication dosage in half. And I’m completely off the other one! It has been a huge challenge but I’m in line with my goal of being off the pain meds by August 1st. I am so grateful for the amazing support that I have in my life!! It was a scary thing to decrease pain meds while I’m still feeling pain…but with mind focus techniques, a real clean diet and hard training, my body is responding well and I’m getting stronger every week! I am already beyond where I thought I would be at this point! I just went to the Dr. and got another lower dosage which I started today. I just need to remember that it took me a while to get my dosage up to where it was so it’s ok if it takes a little while to bring it back down. The Dr. is impressed with my progress which makes me quite happy. I will be really happy when the pain meds are gone completely! It’s crazy to think that just last year I was increasing my meds…

My my how things can change if we just set our minds to it!

Xoxo Lynda

Where does the time go…

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Christmas Eve in Las Vegas.

It was 22 months that I was on the ground… Meaning not working as a flight attendant for WestJet. That is how long it has taken for me to get to a place where I could actually do my job. This whole business of chronic pain and Fibromyalgia has been a slow road and for someone who likes to get to her goals as quickly and directly as possible… Well as you can imagine it hasn’t been pretty at times. There have been times when I have convinced myself that I just don’t need goals anymore…to avoid the frustration of the new way in which my body demands that I reach those goals…in a gentle and peaceful manner.
In the past there wasn’t much that was gentle and peaceful about me. I was aggressive, abrasive and didn’t care much about much. But somehow and somewhere that all changed for me…to the opposite end of the scale almost where I started to care more for others feelings than for my own wellbeing. I started stuffing how I really felt deep down inside so that I wouldn’t offend or hurt anyone’s feelings. Then I started to feel a little hurt when people didn’t just do the right thing when I provided them with the right opportunity. Instead often they would take advantage of my kindness. My own fault completely…I can’t expect people to know that I want or hope for anything different than what I ask for…even if it seems like the obvious right thing to do.
Here is where I give Thanks…I am good just the way that I am. I can’t keep torturing myself for not being the same person that I was before. I am happy that I am not that person…that I have finally learned to say no and to put myself first in my own life. To taking care of myself the way that my body demands that I do. That might just mean sleeping when I need to or eating what I need to. And I’m finally ready to set big goals again. The two major ones that I am set on for the next 6 months are…
1. Compete at CBBF Canadian Nationals in Figure on July 18 in Halifax, NS and present a winning physique to earn an IFBB Pro Card.
2. Be free of pain medication by August 1st. This includes finding a solution for the pain I feel instead of just managing it.
I have my work cut out for me…but I’m ready!
Life is good…Really good!
Xoxo Lynda

What are your goals for 2015? I would love to hear about them…

All of me… Loves all of you!

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It seems like every time I turn around these days I hear the song “All of Me” by John Legend.  My favorite line is …”I love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections.”  That is exactly right!  Perfect imperfections!  Ladies…I’m talking to you here…mostly because men just don’t grow up with the same messages that we do.  Our imperfections, all the little things that make us different and unique, that set us apart from the rest of the group.  These things that we usually grow up disliking about ourselves (most likely because we got teased about them as children at some point).  These wondrous, memorable and sometimes quirky things about us we often dislike and just wish to blend in and be like everyone else.  A crooked smile, or a snort when you laugh really hard, freckles or a space between your front teeth. These are the things that our friends and lovers enjoy the most about us! The things that make us US!
It has taken me far too long to become ok with my own unique version of quirky …in fact sometimes I still struggle with some of the things that I see myself doing on film. These are the joys of being in a business where there are constantly cameras and video cameras going.  It has gotten a lot better over the years…BUT I cannot tell you the number of times that fans of Monica would bring in a photo to have her sign that they had taken of her at an expo where I was doing something utterly ridiculous in the background!!  It makes me break into a sweat thinking about how many walls of fame are secretly my walls of shame!! Lol!

Make your day Amazing!
Xoxo Lynda

Love the Skin You’re In!

The past few months have been a whirlwind of absolute craziness! Between attending physio appointments 3hrs per day four days per week, training in the gym 5 days per week and traveling every weekend all while trying to manage major fatigue issues and a pretty good amount of pain… Whew!  My first few weeks of intense therapy looked like this…I would have a physio appointment. The pain and exhaustion would be so intense that I would be in bed for the next two days. I would have another physio appointment and then I would go to the gym…I would be in bed for two more days! It went on like this for several weeks…But I am determined to get to the other side of this! I get my naps in where I can…and sometimes I have no choice because my body refuses to do anything else! I am feeling stronger every day. Healthier every day. Happier every day. Now I only have 1 or 2 bad days in a week! I have had to make some choices…make some cuts so to speak. This is my priority right now… Me… My health… My body… My physical, emotional and spiritual being… ME! 
Saying no when I’m asked to do things for others. Saying no to myself when I want to take on another new project. Resting even when it’s not convenient. Getting up and going to the gym or physio when that’s the very last thing in the universe that I want to do at that moment. Being consistent with work outs and physio exercises. Feeding my body quality fuel and water. Keeping up with massage and other therapies. Keeping stress very low and dealing with unavoidable stress immediately and in a healthy way. These are all things that I MUST do all the time to stay where I am and even move farther into the “fantastic zone”.

Not everyone in my life agrees with my choices. Assumptions are made and it’s hard not to take it personally. They don’t have to live my life… They don’t have to live in this body or feel this pain every damn day! For the first time in my life I am truly putting me first…But it took my body breaking down and getting sick and weak for me to do this!

Be kind to your bodies… Treat them with love and respect. We only get one. This temple that we live in provides us with so much…pleasure, emotion, invention, connection, artistry, music and song, dance, eroticism, sensation, birth, sport, vision, creativity… The list is endless. We get to experience life here on earth but one time…love the skin you’re in. Be grateful for the amazing body that you live in!

Have an amazing day!
Xoxo Lynda

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Like mother like daughter?

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This weekend has been really fun for me. My mom is in town to check out the Canadian Masters Track and Field Championships. She had decided to take up running!
It all started last October when I traveled to Brazil with Monica Brant and her Mom, Patti Renfro, for the World Masters Track and Field Championships. I came home with great stories and photos to share and apparently that was enough to inspire my little quilt lady mom from Saskatchewan to take up track!
Her goal is to compete in the next World Masters event which is being held in Lyon, France in 2015. Here’s the kicker… Wait for it… She wants me to do it with her! Of course I agreed… so I guess I’m taking up sprinting! Lol What have I gotten myself into!! Truth be told I’m excited to train for something different and I’ve never been to Europe (well except for Iceland).
I’m very excited for my mom! She was so cute asking all kinds of questions trying to decide what events she might like to try. I had the opportunity to introduce her to some of the people that I met when I was in Brazil. They all loved her and were so excited to hear her story. She is starting her track experience at the age of 72! She is determined and she says that she just doesn’t want to finish last in her races! I just love her so much! She is currently undergoing some treatment on her knee and after that is complete has signed up for a running clinic starting in September. Did I mention that she has never run a day in her life!?!
It will be an amazing experience next year in France and I can’t wait to see how my mom transforms between now and then. If you want to support her on her journey she can be found on Facebook Shirley Cromarty

Have an amazing day!
Xoxo Lynda

Sit still!

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When I started working as a flight attendant in 2008 I was super excited about the new journey I was about to start. Little did I realize the ways that it would impact my life.

My first year of flying was such a miserable time… Or let’s call it a challenging transition… Lol.
Humans don’t embrace change that easily and I was desperately trying to hang on to my old way of life… with terrible results.

I was such a control freak back then that the flying lifestyle was almost enough to make me pull the emergency slide and take the mini bar with me some days! You know what it’s like when you fly somewhere…flights are delayed or canceled , something breaks down, the hotel doesn’t have your room reservation, the toilet doesn’t work on your flight, your bags don’t make it to your destination, you get stranded in Newfoundland for three days… You get the picture! If you have a difficult time going with the flow you will be a stress case in no time! And at the end of my first year of flying that’s exactly what I was… Stressed the f*@# out!! Sooooo I had a choice to make… Give up this amazing job or figure my shit out!
I’m sure you can guess what happened…I learned to let go!

Worrying and stressing have never solved a problem and they have never brought me to think of a solution! They are a waste of time and energy focusing on the problem. If your mind is full of worry and anxiety there is no room for a solution to enter.
It’s interesting when you learn how to stop worrying and to let go that people in your life who are really good at worrying and obsessing about the problems feel as though you are abandoning them or that you don’t care.
Here’s a little something I have learned to do in stressful situations. Stop stressing about whatever it is that you are freaking out about and find something to be thankful for. Count your blessings. Say thank you to God for all that you have already been blessed with! Then go back to the situation at hand with a clearer mind and an attitude of gratitude. Have faith that there is a reason that you are experiencing said situation and that you have all the strength, skills, tools or resources to navigate the situation at hand and you are not alone.
This will be really hard to do at first because it kind of feels like you are turning your back on the problem…Like if one of your children was drowning and you turned around to say Thank-you and I love you to all of your other children (and gave them each a hug) before running into the water to save the drowning one! That’s kind of a morbid example but you get my point!

You get what you focus on… So if that is true and I focus on what is going wrong I will get more of that… But if I focus on what I am grateful for I will get more of that! Hmmmmmm

I haven’t been practicing this very well over the past few months…time to change that right now!

I am truly blessed…
Xoxo Lynda