Monday, July 15, 2013

Rock Bottom

Hey everyone,

I just got back from Texas a few days ago and that trip really changed my life.  I had a lot of fun - we drove around Houston and the surrounding cities, I finished the last Sookie Stackhouse novel, I swam, and soaked up some sun.  You are probably thinking, "What is so life changing about that?!"... Well, this is how it started...

I don't particularly care for my body shape... I know I need to lose weight and I need to get myself back into a routine of eating well and exercising daily.  I know this, but I didn't think I looked that bad...

Scene A - The Airplane

Airplanes are not comfy for anyone, there is never enough legroom and there is always someone kicking your chair.  But you know what is worse than that?  Feeling uncomfortable in your chair because you don't fit.  It took all of my might not to break down and run out of the plane and down the hallway back to our car and drive home.  I played the scenario over and over in my mind.  I planned my escape.  The next thing I knew, we were landing in Texas.  I wouldn't even enjoy the flight, something I used to love!  Looking at the clouds and the land beneath me used to bring me joy, it was so beautiful.  Now I lost the whole experience because I was so caught up in my plan to get out of there.

Scene B - The Hotel

Of course we had to pick a hotel with the LONGEST walk from the lobby to the pool.  I kid you not, its a 5 minute walk.  I hadn't mapped it out before I went over there the first time, it was the longest walk of my life.  I felt like everyone could see me in a bathing suit, even though I was wearing a cover up dress.  (What do you think is going to happen at the pool, Kayla????)  I told myself, who cares, they will never see you again, and most importantly; you will never see them again.  (Really, that's how you want to live???  Embarrassed about your body and telling yourself that its okay because you will never have to face these people again???)  But it is what kept me going...

Scene C - The Pool

So I finally get to the pool.  I have my book and 5 towels.  One for behind my back, against the lounger.  The second for behind my neck, to use as a pillow, and the rest to cover myself up so nobody can see me in a bathing suit.  (SERIOUSLY???  What's the point?!)  I waited until most people had moved on to another pool, or nobody was around at that moment and I jumped in the pool.  Ahhh, this is my bliss... I LOVE swimming.  I feel so free!  I am swimming laps and then, I stop dead in my tracks and I think OH MY GOD it is Nicole Wilkins... What do I say, how do I even begin?!  I am so excited!  OH MY FREAKING GOD she is picking the lane next to me!  Someone I look up to is right beside me!!!! (Oh damn, its not her... but I swear it looked just like her!!!)  It turns out to be a girl named Lauren, she works in the gym as a trainer.  She and I start talking, we're laughing, having a great time in the pool swimming laps and chatting when we need a break.  Then, all of the sudden I need to pee... but I think to myself, you cant get out of the pool, she isn't going to want to talk to you once she sees what your body ACTUALLY looks like... so you better just hold it.  Well, Lauren was in the pool another hour.  I thought to myself this is ABSOLUTELY REDICULOUS!  You cant live your life like this anymore... you need to make a change and you need to make it quick. 

At that moment I said this is enough, Kayla. This is fucking enough...

I felt like the Ugly Duckling...  For the first time in my life, I felt like I was UGLY and BIG.  I don't know if I have just been in severe denile, I always knew I had weight to lose, it upset me a lot, but I still felt like a normal girl.  Perhaps I have just spent too much time being overweight that I have lost sight of the beautiful girl I once felt I was.  I don't remember the last time a guy really looked at me or told me I was beautiful.  Honestly, couldnt tell you.  (Not that you need anyone's approval, but it's just something that is nice to hear, you know?)

On this trip I decided that I don't want to feel this way anymore.  I want to be confident again and not just think I am pretty from the chin up.  I have hit all sorts of "Rock Bottom"... I have had eating disorders, severe depression, and yet it took a trip to Texas to shake me to my core.  I have never felt so awful and ashamed. 

Life is WAY too short to waste any more time like this.  I told my friend Sandra that in the past I had always lost weight for someone else - but this time it has to be for me.  This really made that clear to me.  If there was any doubt that I could do it, was I worth it, was I too far gone... the doubt is gone.  I am tired of feeling "second class" - I need to be healthy - Mind, Body, and Spirit - for ME.

If you are reading this and feeling any of the same things I talked about, please know that you can do it.  You are worth it.  You only get so many trips around the sun, so please start living now.  Don't let fear and shame rule your life; you deserve to be happy.  It might take you a different scenario to realize you need to make a change, but whatever it is, I hope you listen to your heart and I hope you work for the life you deserve.

One of my favourite quotes that kicks me in the ass when I feel lazy is:


You have to work for it.  You have to pour your heart and soul into it and you cannot give up.  You can fall, you can puke, you can faint, you can cry, you can scream... but you cannot give up!


I started this journey once before and got really close to a place where I was happy (er) with my body.  I had lost 50 lbs and I was so proud of myself.  But I let the stresses of life get in the way and BAM I was back at square one.  I know how hard I had to work to get there, and I know that I CAN do it.  I am so tired of starting over; so I am going to stop giving up.  I will not let stress get in the way of my life anymore.  I don't want to feel what I felt at that swimming pool in Texas ever again.  I want to feel beautiful and worthy and never fear that someone wouldn't want to talk to me after they saw my body.  How sad is that?  I made a decision in Texas and I started right then and there.  I got up every morning and had a healthy breakfast and then went to the gym and then swam laps in the beautiful pool outside.

Today I decided to share this with you because when I first started this blog I said I would take you along this journey with me.  The ups, the downs, and everything in between.  I told myself and my readers that if I could help just ONE person, it would be worth the brutal honesty.  I don't sit here typing these personal blogs with ease.  I cry and it hurts and I am terrified that someone is going to read my blog and laugh at me.  Those things are all true.  But my desire to help save another girl from feeling worthless or making unsafe/unhealthy choices like I did, is stronger than my fear.  I share because I want to help.

Thank you for reading,

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Power of Words

Hey everyone,

I have been holding onto this post for a while now, rewriting it over and over because it just didn’t sound right.  Today I decided I am not going to edit, I am just going to write… let it all flow!  I am listening to Kacey Musgraves – LOVE HER – so here goes!

Never, ever let one person change your opinion of yourself or your work.  Many of us have been in a situation where one person just knows what buttons to push and how to make you feel like shit.  Maybe it’s an ex – partner, friend, co-worker –one person that can make you feel as small as an ant.  You know that you shouldn’t let them affect you, but it is so hard to stay strong.  Believe me, I understand this, I struggle with this too.  But I try to remind myself that “What other people think of you is none of your business”…


In all honesty, who gives a damn if someone in your life doesn’t like your favourite lipstick, style of clothing, or thinks they would’ve done a better job of decorating the house or working on a project at the office.  It is none of your business because it does not matter.  If you love that lipstick and you worked your hardest on that project at work, that is enough.  If you can be honest with yourself and you truly feel you did your best – then who can say a damn thing to you.

Now, of course, you must take that advice with a grain of salt.  If you are hurting yourself or those around you with your life choices, then you should certainly listen to your loved ones.  The situations I am talking about here are much less “severe”.


I have had this same experience countless times in my life so far.  I feel so good about something and with one breath, I am knocked down and I start believing I hadn’t done as well as I thought.  I start “negative self-talk” and in no time at all my high is a very low, low.  You need to watch for signs in yourself, and stop yourself from going down that road.  It’s a challenge, but you can do it :)



Like my last post, you need to be your own cheerleader sometimes, so be careful how you talk about yourself – you ARE listening, ya know ;)


Now, let’s flip the script for a minute… So far we have been talking about the “Victim” the person who is on the receiving end of the shit stick… What about the person who makes the victim feel that way? 

I was watching Oprah recently and she had some pretty fantastic black actresses on the show and they talked about how hard it is to be a black female actress.  Gabrielle Union shared a story about being a “Mean Girl” and it really made me think about these kinds of people.

Why do they act this way?  Why are people so mean?  Cue Kacey’s song “Step Off” (you need to YouTube this…).  What is it that makes people mean?  Gabrielle admitted that it was her own insecurities.  She said that her personal trainer was at an event with her and overheard her gossiping about another woman, with a group of her “friends”.  Gabrielle said that her trainer came up to her when she was by herself and asked her “now that all of these people have walked away, what are you left with?  Are you any richer?  Cooler?  Feel proud of yourself?  Did talking about that other woman make you feel good?  Did breaking her apart behind her back make your “friends” like you more?”  Wow… deep questions.  Gabrielle’s trainer gave her a lot of food for thought – as women we need to empower each other, not tear each other down.  Help each other succeed.  We only have so much time on this Earth, why would you want to spend it surrounded with negativity?

Whether you are the “Mean Girl (or Boy)” or the one who is affected by this person, try to stop and think about what that person is going through and why they are acting the way they are.  Maybe someone is mean to them, and they are just lashing out.  It doesn’t make it right, but it can help us understand, to some degree, why some people act the way they do.  Don’t let their mean words hurt you, forgive them and walk away.


My favourite Pastor, Joel Osteen, often says that you need to surround yourself with positive people who will raise you up, not bring you down.  So in conclusion, remember the power of words.  The words you say to other people and the words you say to yourself.  Speak love, strength, and kindness to those around you and in turn, they will do the same to you.  Stay true to yourself and surround yourself with good people who you can count on and never let someone else take away your SHINE :)