Posts Tagged: BSM
It’s amazing how much can happen in a year. How thoughts and patterns and routines can change when an elevated level of self-care, self-love, momentum and drive takes front seat. How dreams can change. How people can change. This past weekend was a biggie. For my both my husband and I in little ways, but mostly for my husband in some big, defining, empowering ways. Trevor and I have spoken about me sharing some of his story with you all today as we’re both firm advocates in Mental Health and Wellness. This doesn’t just encompass nutrition, fitness and personal development. Or career goals. A large part of both our stories, both past present and in what lies ahead in our future, has and always will include a strong focus on mental health. I’ve always been more vocal (publicly) about the mental health part, concerning myself.
Many of you know pieces and layers of my story, and if you don’t, if you’re new (welcome), you can click the link embedded here. We’re here to focus more on Trevor, my husband today. Because he said I could. Not only that, he felt good about it, in letting me share about his long-term battle with clinical depression. He hasn’t always been so open about this part of his life. This year has been a turning point for him, his confidence and in how he excels in the day-to-day, in so many incredible ways. And in following with the generous, thoughtful, surprising way his colleagues and employer recognized him at his holiday work party this weekend, I too, shall follow suit.
We entered into the weekend feeling rather frisky. Perhaps overscheduled with events and parties, we’re also blessed with great friends who kept our kids overnight so that we might partake in the hotel room that was included with Trev’s company party soiree. For those of you who don’t know, Trev has been a long-time web developer. He’s the senior dude at the firm he works for and when I say we were feeling frisky, it began with aspects a little more shallow than what they evolved into over the course of the night. We felt damn good dressed in our sexiest and finest. Deservedly so. We’ve worked hard in shedding some pounds together. Usually, I would have a lot of anxiety leading up to such an event and agonized over what to wear. Silly to some, perhaps – but it’s the truth. I wasn’t comfortable in my body and I felt like crap. My panic attacks in social settings were debilitating and painful. I never knew when one was going to happen. This past weekend was the first time (in a very long time), where none of that happened. Does it all revolve around my weight-loss? Nope. But it sure hasn’t contributed to me feeling MORE crappy.
You see, we’ve BOTH been working hard on our nutrition and fitness over this past year, not just me. But I’m the coach, so I share in my journey. I don’t talk about Trev’s much. But the man deserves some kudos! He’s lost over 40 pounds and the REAL cause for celebration is that he’s been off of his meds for going on a year and a half now. The major contributing factors to this combined transformation has been the tone that I’ve set in what we eat at home sure, but the brunt of the work has been all him. He wakes every day before dawn rises, blends his vegan chocolate shakeology, and hops on his bike to the train station. Every dang day, he rides to and from that station. Every dang day he blends up his superfoods. Not only that, he’s really cut down on his meat intake with the diagnoses of gout that he received last December. And beer … as opposed the nightly event that it was, it is now something he only treats himself to a couple times a month. (Beer – alcohol in general – and meat are the biggest triggers to a painful gout attack.)
He is far from strict with his diet. He likes his snack foods at work, (which became glaringly apparent as he was presented with a ‘quilt’ made out of the snyder snack things he crushes while coding. Yea, his colleagues collected them in secret). When I first became a Beachbody coach he was skeptical. About all of it. About it being an MLM company, the cost of shakeology (he used to be a meat and potatoes dude who would scoff at the word ‘superfood’ or ‘supplement’.) As a few months passed and he watched how I was transforming in all of these intricate ways, (weight-loss, increased confidence, rocking time management, diving into personal development, building community and helping others, building income and mentoring other women), his interest became more than piqued. He, like no other – knew how I struggled. He knew that what was happening for me was LEGIT. Soon enough, he was crushing his own daily shake upon the approval of our Naturopath who had prescribed him to a generic protein powder shake anyways when he had to go completely vegetarian, (back in the beginning of 2015 for a few months).
***AGAIN: I do not tout that shakeology is a meal-replacement or a miracle product. It’s simply a quick way to get dense hit of nutrition for those we see and reap the benefits of having as such in their lives. Increased energy, more time to think about food and snacks (TRUTH), hauling one’s ass out of bed, etc. Trevor is a prime example. Much like me, the man loves his food. But what’s changed for us in the past year is that we are eating much more regularly and healthfully. As in 6-7 times a day. So no, we aren’t only eating 3 big meals a day and replacing one of those with shakeology. He’s not big in the kitchen as I am, and mornings are rushed. His morning shake gives him the natural boost of energy and nourishment his body needs to get out the door. Whole foods are embraced and consumed but a mere couple of hours later.
You guys, in all of the (many) years that Trev and I have been together, never have I seen him with such drive and determination. Not just in how he manages his career, but in his own health. The common thread that ties all of this together is that which we’ve weaved in partnership. US. We’re doing it, we’re making these changes, we’re creating new habits and routines TOGETHER. We lift up and support one another and even I myself am surprised with where these changes have been taking us. Our relationship is stronger, of course. This is just a natural side-effect, yet perhaps the most important one.
Listen, we’re far from perfect, we still have our struggles. Depression still rears its ugly head for Trevor now and then, but nothing like it used to. We firmly believe that it’a combination of all of the changes and attention to personal self-care he/we have implemented into our lives that contribute to more joy trickling into our lives on the regular; rather than struggle, stress, and strife. I don’t have to go into great detail explaining that exercise is commonly used to combat depression, as are natural supplements, attention to nutrition and eating specific combinations of food to keep serotonin levels in check.
Oh, and not to make it a side-note or anything, but Trev received more than a ‘Snyder-Snack-Quilt’ on Saturday. He was presented with a generous bonus to compliment being chosen as, ‘Rockstar Employee of the Year.’ A first for the company, something inspired right from the very depth of creativity and unique badassery that is Trevor. Once upon a time ago, he was musician who toured extensively as the bassist for an amazing band, and held down his own web development business. A couple of years ago he decided to take the great offer he received from ITS Dispatch, (the company he currently works for), for financial reasons and because it was just too much juggling. And he missed his family. He was away a lot. Anyways, the company knew this, and thus, the ‘rockstar’ addition to the company’s employee of the year award. This is SUCH a huge change. When he was touring, he did contract work for a company that constantly devalued the importance of family and pushed him way too far over holidays, and had the nerve to consistently drop subtle (and not so), subtle hints about him cutting his hair and shaving his beard, such things that they considered ‘unprofessional looking.’ Uhm, he worked FROM HOME then. I digress. But I just thought it was important to put that out there, because yet again, there goes Mister Trevor Mills, squashing stereotypes about what a person with clinical depression can and can’t be successful at, and how a man should look in order to be considered professional and successful. BOOYAKA.
My whole point with that little tangent is that this company is so damn cool for recognizing Trev’s unique way of functioning, that they granted him permission him to bring in his bass to jam out on when wading through difficult code, and a PIANO to tinker on as well. I mean, C’MON. Something tells me I’m not the only one who thinks he’s incredibly inspiring. I thought you all might too.
What’s on the horizon for this crazy couple come 2016? We’re going to begin doing Beachbody’s newest program together, The Masters Hammer and Chisel (beginning in January!) to see how far we really can take this whole bonding through elevated self-care and personal development thang! You can totally join us if you want, but I can’t promise we’ll behave. (And if Hammer and Chisel isn’t quite your jam, I have a bunch of other workouts I can offer you or we can build you a custom hybrid schedule!) Click down there to get plugged in for January immediately, or email us: wellnesswarriorsteam@gmail
All photos courtesy Laura Rossi Photography!
End of the summer. That time where you do one last special thing. One last big adventure, BBQ, beach or camping trip.
For us it was our 2nd annual neighbourhood block party. When we moved to this suburban neighbourhood a couple of years ago, we had no idea how lucky we’d be. In fact this city mouse (me), was rather snobbish about it all in thinking that I probably wouldn’t make many friends or have all that much in common with my new neighbours. To be clear, it’s not that I thought (or think), that I was/am too cool for the suburbs. What I speak of is this idea that I have in my brain; that I’m too weird for most people. The damaged one. I’m usually pretty straight up about where I come from and my experiences in my life that have made me who I am today. I have opinions and express myself differently than a lot of the women I meet.
I don’t usually identify or bond with people unless they’ve been through similar experiences to my own. I suppose that much is true for most. There’s just more oddballs in big cities. We gravitate toward the erratic pulse, the ebb and flow of a big city that can swallow us whole; a nomad with no ties – if we so desire it to. I became a city girl myself on the run many years ago and I always considered it home, always found my way back to where no one knew me, only those who I chose to let in gained admittance. We all know living in a small suburb in Northern Canada is the exact opposite of all of that. Sure you can hide a lot behind closed doors, but I’m not much for that. I let my ‘freak flag’ fly as is.
I was right for the most part. If it weren’t my beautiful friends who already lived here, (one of the main reasons we chose this small city), I’d be like so many other lonely mothers who live out in the boonies with partners/husbands who travel a lot for work. Which, as it turns out – isn’t going to be an issue for us anymore.
As some of you may know, the close friends whom I speak of are in fact like family to us. They also happen to be the co-leaders (a husband and wife team), of the band Digging Roots that Trevor plays in. Make that past tense.
A big shock for many of you who know us or who are regulars here. It still feels a little surreal. Trev played bass with them for nearly six years and that working relationship is a big part of what bonded our families so tightly together. There were many reasons for Trevor’s decision, some personal and not a part of my story to share here and some based on hard realities.
Ones that we couldn’t have for-seen coming. You know, the usual stuff that causes stress for new(ish) parents; finances, job security, wanting benefits, etc. So there’s all that grown-up stuff. There’s also the reality of how much time we were spending apart as a family during these fleeting early years of parenting. It hasn’t been easy and we thought and dreamt of all sorts of ways we could make it work before we were actually doing it. Touring together, combining creative forces on big projects together, sharing a nanny, all sorts of things.
Some of that stuff, as wonderful as it sounds, doesn’t work with babies and toddlers in tow. Or with other careers and deadlines and bills and juggling to keep it all going. How many people with young children do you know with two full-on careers on the go? Music isn’t the only thing Trev has going for him. He’s had his own web development company for years and has worked full time, or more than full-time ever since I’ve known him doing that alone. Imagine touring with a band and trying to record an album and band practices and being a part of the creative/business aspect of being in a career band on top of that? Triple that with the responsibilities (and natural desire to be a present, patient and loving dad), of fatherhood and home? And those are just the reasons I feel comfortable is sharing here. There was/is more to it.
No matter how much he wanted to do both, something just had to change. So hard decisions have been made because two of the biggest reasons are the two little kids who were missing their dad an awful lot, much of the time.
Will this affect our friendship? No. Although making the decision and knowing how much work would be involved for our dear friends in getting a bass player – that was hard. They’ve been so patient, kind and inspiring to Trev’s journey as a bassist. A big commitment from them too. So there is heartbreak on both sides. We’ll have to find new ways to be together and nurture one another as we move forward into this new stage of our relationships. We still live down the street from each-other after all. Rave and Sho are still sponsors to our children and I love theirs like they were my own nephews. Our kids are tight, theirs being quite a bit older than ours. They are role models to Wyndham and Abby. Sho’s son Skye is one of Abby’s sponsors. She calls him, ‘my Kye.’ They and we know each-other deep down; all the grand and dark bits like not many friends or even family do. (Or can.) ShoShona and I have built a sister-hood. <<< If you watch that video and happen to be a softie in a badass shell like me then you might tear up a bit. I myself just watched it and am ugly crying, so. Our extended families have become close, I’m now a sponsor to ShoShona’s niece and developing awesome friendships with her sisters. Sho’s mom is a guiding light in my life; as an elder, a survivor, and an honest, kick-my-ass-when-I-need-it-mentor.
Trev not being in the band isn’t going to wash all of that away. We plan on laughing about all of the beautiful and crazy times we’ve had when we’re grey and curmudgeonly. What does this all really mean? It means that Trev has decided to begin the search to take a senior position with a big firm in the big city. In mourning his departure from music for a while he cut off all of his beautiful hair and shaved his beard. (Almost. I had a few ways to convince him from going completely straight. Sheesh.) It means that if he can’t work from home and has to commute everyday, we may (MAY) decide to avoid that by downsizing and moving back to the city. Of course, we really want to avoid that because look at all we’ve built here! Our own little community. We’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, we wrapped up the summer together with some other friends, family and our neighbours. All pictures courtesy the exquisitely talented Ratul Debnath of Image Pros (Photography).
Look! It’s that bearded bass player dude from the band Digging Roots! This is how I remember him from how we met…when he was strumming his guitar, a stranger sitting across from me singing songs with lyrics to make you melt or laugh in earnest at their dark and ballsy ways. (Which, as you will note, dark and ballsy this song is not). Many thanks to our friend David Sheffield for shooting the video!
The mister left for Norway (yes, with the band – Digging Roots – he plays bass in) on Tuesday. It was a crazy haul, (36 hours of travel just to get there, yikes!). Of which resulted in his luggage arriving but not his 6 string bass. Lost in Europe somewhere. Why do airlines suck so bad, semeingly specializing in loosing/damaging musician’s instruments? Please, lovely readers – send our fella all the good vibes and prayers you’ve got; in having his electric baby blue safely returned to him. Preferably in time for the gig.
A day of dread is now a day of celebration.
This, an open letter, for all that is wonderful in my small life and so very different from that of parts of my childhood. I used to think that patient, gentle, happy, good fathers were a rarity. Ones that are ever present, right down to dirty diaper changing and late night rocking? Unheard of.
Perhaps that’s the way it is in some other peoples worlds. More-so the dirty, sleepless duties parts.
Not mine. I’m a lucky gal all over the place.
It would seem that no matter how much I used to think I didn’t deserve much more in relationships than what I had been witness to during my childhood; weird, challenging and awesome love? It found me. I didn’t go on ardent search for it – but surely, I did a lot of work within myself before it happened. And I’m still not there. The work is constant, the road is weathered and blossoming and I find myself rolling off into ditch somewhere at times, but still.
When it all comes right down to it – within this great unknown, my own imagination could not have dreamt up a better father for my children. Or partner. For all of our struggles, there is a connection, an acceptance and a passion (however dormant it may lie at times in the wake of newborn after newborn); that makes us solid. Even when we quiver.
It is said that the baby and toddler years are incredibly hard on a relationship. Sure.
They are also part of the glue that keeps us all together. Not all of it – because that would be sad really. No one should ever work to be and stay in a relationship for the sole, ‘sake of the kids’. But the honey of a toddler’s mind and a baby’s adoration is a predominant part of our little hive, my friends. The rest is up to us, to ensure that our sacred commitment; of grandeur and love, never fizzles out. And if it does? To know there will always be embers glowing, just waiting for me/us to get a little dirty at striking them back up again.
Okay, so enough with the metaphors. What I really want to share on the internets, with Father’s Day coming up and all – is a pictorial list of 31 things I love about him, as a father.
I’m not gonna lie. The mister has been gone for going on 6 days now and I am in over my head. #SendHelpNow. He’s on a tour withNathan Rogers, playing all the songs he grew up with in his dad’s studio – from Nathan’s dad, the late great Stan Rogers.
Some of you may not know who that is, so Ima going to school you. Because Stan is a Canadian folk icon and you’ll be the better for knowing. He was a legend really, a voice of and for the people. He sang of ships and hard-working people, the Great Lakes and Ontario.
I’ve noticed quite a few, “Top Posts of 2011″ and the like from writers in the blogging community.
I however have decided to choose from the much smaller collection from whence this blog began.
Why? Because I started out as an irregular, complete novice. Who still does not post everyday. However, come this year a whole lot of things are changing. The face of this site for one. Come February it’s going to be shiny and new, a hub for all that I do. More on that later.
This collection here? Is for me to share with those whom want to get to know me better, or those whom I really, really, like and want them to know me better. The awesome part about that is that it’s often a combo of the two.
It’s also a source of inspiration, for me – to come back to and meander over how I’ve evolved as a writer, found my voice and developed my mad blogging skillz. Because. Like I said. I plan on doing much more of this. In many ways. As an advocate, as a story-teller, as an ambassador and paid writer. But most importantly, for me and other women like me out there. Because the writing stuff? It heals. It empowers. It unites.
So. This curated list will be the first step into my second coming. A more frequent, constantly learning, embracing the everyday that is me. As a writer. Gone the name acronyms will be, it’s about to get straight-up – the edgy that is me, REAL in here.
Without further ado…to serve as reminder to me. Kicks in the pants to me and FYI’s for you. So pull up a chair. Pour yourself a glass of vino. (I’m publishing this in the eveing people, as I pour myself a glass). Dig in.
Yea, I know I’m well past good timing on this post. No matter. I had all these grand plans for Hallowe’en. Given that I am a huge fan of the occasion. Back in the day, y’know – when I had more time for side-line crafty affairs, I would make my own costume. Of more recent years, I would craft up mine and Last Haloween I even managed to make mine and the BSM’s as well as the WSL’s .
Not so much this year. Although I desperately wanted to. And felt guilt about not doing it. Why is that? Why do we moms feel the need, (well not all moms I suppose, but many) – feel like we have to live up to some glorified Martha-Stewart-dom? Perhaps it was more a feeling like I’ve been slighted. Slighted by myself and the crazy schedule/calendar that I make for myself. Slighted because such things as making Hallowe’en costumes, are things that I truly want to do. Things that bring me great pleasure.
With such a small age gap, ( between Abigail and her bro, I had my worries.) Uneasy about the changes to be thrust at our young lad, really still a baby himself (21 months). Anticipating jealousy, vowing to make sure I made the time for him that he deserves. Newborn or no.