My story is about a two year period that began my transformation. In that time I lost 16 dress sizes and 55% of my body fat arriving at a healthy sustainable weight which I have maintained for over 8 years, all while parenting 3 active children. I have refused to give up with every barrier placed in my way. Despite losing my father, my marriage ending, job loss, medical leaves, children with special needs and starting from scratch my desire to succeed has never wavered.
My life journey is about sharing my personal faith and the reason I believe I was placed on this earth – to share the love I have for others, and the love Jesus Christ has for me. Although I am not a religious person, I have a very strong faith which keeps me grounded and rooted in hope, perseverance, strength, love and self control. I believe in the fruits of the spirit, of which the greatest is love. I try to exemplify this in all I do.
What has been YOUR biggest challenge or life obstacle that YOU feel has dimmed YOUR GLOW?
My greatest challenge and ongoing obstacle has been anxiety and issues with perfectionism. I have come along way over the years in particular after post partum depression and psychosis, as well bouts of self-harm and suicidal ideation. With a career in the Child Welfare field I have been challenged to process the extreme and intense nature of this work while balancing my own life, including being a single parent for several years. It was during this time I experienced the greatest periods of anxiety and took time off work, received counseling and appropriately began to take medication that still supports me to this day. Although my anxiety does not dim my GLOW, it is an area of my life that I must make a conscious effort to address and never let control my life again.
How have YOU grown as a woman in the last year? What lessons, insights or ah-ha moments have you had?
Following a fitness modeling competition in March, I was emotionally and physically drained. This time last year I was scouted by a fitness modeling agency but had no intention of competing in such a show, given that 4 months prior I had won the BC title of Strongest Women. Walking on stage in heels wearing a bikini was certainly not what I had in mind. Given my 100lb weight loss left skin and stretch marks I did not feel like that was what the world wanted to see. Mentally I believed that this was not “my thing.” I flipped tires. I did not wear heels! Emotionally I was overwhelmed but determined to be an example for others. So, with a full sponsorship to Toronto for the show I took on the challenge and invested 12 weeks to transform my body into the best shape it had ever been in.
The experience was unlike anything I can put into words here. The one thing I can say is that in the months following came a greater transformation mentally, emotionally and spiritually than the 12 weeks of physical transformation. As my body was so depleted from the weight loss, body fat and excessive working out, it was time for rest, recharging and emotional self care. The truth was that since I had started my weight loss journey over 8 years ago I never really had stopped to take care of my body and truly allow my muscles, mind and heart to heal all at once.
So for the first time in this 8 year journey I took 8 weeks off from physical training including the gym, lifting weights, running and weighing my food. In fact I even threw out my scale. I spent this time reading, journaling, praying and listening. I let go of always having to be better, be faster, and be more than what I am – just as I am. I took the time to stop and realized that I had been preaching and teaching self worth and value but giving very little to my self.
I am thankful to say that I have now returned to running, the gym and training on my own terms without putting myself at risk or leaving my children or my family behind. We have but one life and the gym can wait.
What else do YOU want to share with the YOU GLOW GIRL! ® Community?
My heart and passion is two fold.
- To break through the glass ceiling on societies perception and belief of real beauty
- To create a greater awareness that there is no such thing as perfection or flawlessness
My hope is that young girls and women who struggle at such a young age with feelings of despair, self loathing and self hatred for themselves and their bodies will learn to embrace their beauty from the inside out.
For women to stand up and be healthy role models, and examples to one another, rather than speak negatively of them or compete with one another, starting in the home. That we would fight back against industries that provide our young girls with dolls and toys representing women as sex objects without brains.
With a 20 year career working with children, youth and families at risk and so many young hurting teenage girls who have faced eating disorders, suicide, abuse, teen pregnancy, high school drop out and more, I desire to be an active and positive role model representing worth, value and hope for all.
I want every young girl and woman to know that she was created with and for a purpose!
Learn more about Gillian! Check out her website – http://www.gilliansfaith.com/
What challenges are you ready to break free from? Diane’s next Women’s Group Coaching Program begins on October 22nd. You do not want to miss this opportunity to create YOUR BEST YEAR YET! Women in this program turn their intentions into reality, transform their relationships with their partners and families and feel more confident and less overwhelmed with managing everything they have on the go. It’s time for you to feel that way too! Learn more here: https://glowleadership.com/glow-girl/ . Email Diane today to reserve your spot! email@example.com