I Just Wanted You to Know…

Dear: Young Alexandra Rinaldo,

There are just a few things that I wanted you to know. I’ve realized a lot of things this year, and one of the biggest things I’ve realized is that I forgot who I was. I let a lot of darkness into my life, and this darkness dimmed my light. I decided that since this year is almost over, I would write out a few of the lessons that I’ve learned. Let this serve as a reminder of all the things you know deep in your heart to be true so that you may never again forget who you are.

four year old Alexandra Rinaldo in a dress and curls at a wedding

I brought this young photo of you home with me to Toronto, you’re probably 4 or 5 years old here. I know, you look older, but you’ve always looked older than your age during your childhood. You always had this maturity about you. I took this photo because it reminds me of you Alexandra. This is you at your best. This is you at your highest version. To me, there is no other photo that is as authentically you as this one. This photo also reminds me of one of your most vivid memories where you were able to attend a wedding that not many kids were allowed to go to, including your sisters. For the first time since sisters was born, you were able to have both of your parents all to yourself. Not only that, you got a new dress, shoes, and your hair professionally done. Look at you! Shining with your hair done, nails done, everything did! Holding a fancy champagne glass with punch! Work it girl! Plus you just have this look of confidence in your face. Who are you at 4/5 years old?! A Queen that’s for sure! And you knew it. I remember the feeling of being this tiny human under the giant dryer dome with rollers in your hair feeling special as fuck. Not only were you the only child in the salon, you were there right when it opened, so you basically had the place to yourself. I just wanted you to know that you are special, you are beautiful, and you most definitely are a Queen. You don’t have a crown in this photo but its implicitly there. Never forget who you are Alexandra. For a child of 4 or 5 years old, you seem pretty damn sure of it!

There was a time where you let the opinions of others rule how you felt about yourself. You needed a ton of validation to have yourself feel a little bit like the princess in this photo. Girl, you don’t need it. I just wanted you to know that your worth has never changed no matter what other people may have felt about you. Whatever negativity that was pushed your way, especially as a child, had absolutely nothing to do with you! Those adults who told you, you were too fat, called you “chubbina,” “husky,” or whatever is bullshit and they are just projecting their own self-hate unto you. Sucks, but it’s true. I just thought you should know because it’s so easy to forget. And your body or your beauty isn’t the most important thing about you. There was a good part of your life where you believed this to be true. You’ve spent part of your life hating your body and the way you looked, then when you realized that only a few people thought you were ugly but the vast majority thought the opposite, you spent the rest of the time trying to look “perfect.” Obsessing over your makeup, hair, and clothes. You love dressing up, and I will never tell you to stop but I will tell you that you don’t need to worry so much about your appearance. You’re beautiful baby with or without makeup, and boys liked you when you felt fat, ugly, and insecure, so chill. You have so much more to offer the world than just the way you look and people won’t ever be able to see that if you can’t see that for yourself.

This brings me to my next lesson; don’t be afraid of your intelligence. Don’t hide your intelligence because you think that people might like you more for it. It is such a waste of time and energy. You will always be intelligent, God gave you this gift! Don’t let it go to waste because you think that being beautiful is more important. It’s not. Your body has absolutely no worth without the power of the mind, I just thought you should know. Your mind has the power to create anything. It has the power to build you up or break you down but only you decide that. You’ve spent too much time using your own mind against yourself. All of the prayers, and pep talks you’ve given yourself, keep that shit up! It is the biggest factor to your success. This is something you will have to re-learn later on in life. Meditation, yoga, and your spirituality have been some of the greatest gifts to your sanity and the health of your mind. When your mind is healthy, everything else follows.

“Mind over matter is magic, I do magic.” – Frank Ocean

Alexandra, you have always given such good advice to everyone else but yourself. This is not the first time that I’ve told you this, but I want to make sure that it’s clear. When you speak to others and give them love, remember that you need to hear it too. Each and every person that comes into your life is an opportunity for you to grow as a human being and become closer to God. When you share love, you are sharing the holy spirit that is inside of you. We are all in this together. We are all souls living a human experience, and the best thing you could ever do for yourself and for others is to share love. Alexandra, your love was never meant for everyone else but you. No! It’s meant for you so that you can share it with the world, I just wanted you to know.

Alexandra, you will never know of your magnitude but know that it exists. Every time you think you don’t have an impact in this world, I want you to think about all the people in your life and the impact that they have had on you. I’m sure you can think of countless people who have affected you in some way. If you want to be successful, you have to share your magnitude with others. It is in your bigness or your light where people and things grow. This light will forever exist in your heart even when you have chosen to deny this for yourself. This denial of love for yourself comes from a deep sense of guilt and it will lead you to sorrow and pain, but know that you will find your way back. All roads lead to heaven. Even if you choose to go through the dark for a bit, there is always light and love and the end of the tunnel. Where does this guilt come from? It comes from all the pain, hurt, and fear that you’ve held in your heart. In an attempt to free yourself of this pain, you tried to project it onto others by blaming them for your hurt. However, the more you blame others, the bigger the victim you become and the more guilt you’ll feel. Guilt is a prison of the heart. It’s heavy, it weighs you down, and holds you in place. Nothing really grows in darkness except for darkness. Baby if you want to be happy, you need to understand that no one is guilty and no one is to blame for the things of the past. We are all just trying to do our best here on earth, and you don’t need accept darkness into your life. The only reason why those things of your past hurt you so much is because you believed them to be true. You chose darkness over light. You decided to make yourself small because you didn’t know of your magnitude. You are not small and no matter how many times others may try to make you small they never can, unless you allow them to.

Alexandra, life doesn’t happen in your past or in your future. Neither of them exist because neither of them are happening right now. Weird, I know. Life is happening right now, and if you keep holding on to the past, you will keep repeating it in your future, while you completely miss what’s happening right now. Presence is the single most important lesson of your entire life. It is in the present where peace and happiness lies, it is also where God lives. The more you focus on the present the better you’ll be able to see and experience God and all the joy that comes with it. Literally nothing else in this world matters, I just thought you should know. How do you become more present? Do shit you LOVE! Things that make you smile from the inside out. For us Alex, that’s food, eating food, cooking food, sharing food. It’s music!!! It’s dance, it’s books, it’s yoga, it’s your family and friends. It’s cats, or just animals in general. It’s nature, it’s sunlight. So many things! Take a moment to enjoy yourself, your talents, and the things that make you smile. That’s presence, and that’s love.

“Less morose and more present. Dwell on my gifts for a second.” – Frank Ocean

Alexandra, I don’t think that everything in life is supposed to be hard. As they say, everyone experiences pain, only you decide how long you suffer. Alex, you’ve always been very good at having fun, laughing, dancing, singing, all the fun things, keep that up! It eases the pain, and stops the suffering. However, there’s a difference between truly living life and having fun, and going through the motions in an attempt to avoid the pain. You can never avoid pain, it will always be there until you address it head on. How do you do that? You seek help from powers greater than yourself. You will never be able to get through your pain alone because life was never meant to be lived alone. Life, just like love is meant to be shared. Share your pain with God, with loved ones, with whoever you trust, and you will find the answers you need to rid yourself of pain. Hide your pain from God, from yourself, and the world, and the bigger it grows. Only light can rid yourself of darkness. Shine a light on the pain in your life, take a moment to really see it for what it is, and suddenly it’s not so scary anymore. Eventually, it all goes away. These are just some things I thought you should know.

All my love,

Alexandra Rinaldo


Never Assume, and ALWAYS listen

Today is the #Bellletstalk day, the campaign to help break down the stigmas of mental illness. I for one, greatly support this cause, and I would like to join the conversation. Quite a few people who are near and dear to me have suffered from some form of depression at some point in their life. I have learned a lot from trying to be a support to the people that I love the most who have suffered from depression. It was never easy, and it can definitely be heart breaking at times for sure, but if I could summarize what I’ve learned, I can break it down into two things:

1. Never assume that everyone is doing well, even when they say that they are doing well. Most people aren’t willing to tell you their troubles. Even if you are the closest of friends, or even family. A lot of times there is a lot of shame, and guilt that come with depression, and they may not be willing to burden you with their troubles. So, they carry this cross on their own, suffering in silence. If you suspect that something may be wrong, or that they aren’t as “good” as they say they are, then please ask again! Keep asking, and let them know that you care. Make them feel safe, this may mean that you have to reveal something about yourself in order for them to be able to feel as though they can reveal something about themselves. You need to keep the lines of communication open, let them know you’re always there for them.

2. Another major thing I’ve learned is this, if someone does finally come to you with their troubles, LISTEN!!!! Don’t start spewing advice, that’s not why they came to you in the first place. They don’t expect you to help them, because they know you can’t really help them in the way that you think you can. If they honestly believed you could make all their troubles go away like magic, they would have probably come to you sooner. In reality, all they’re looking for is for someone to really listen to them, and try to understand them on some level. They just need to be heard.

Too often, we are superficial in our conversations. Sometimes, I feel like we talk to each other for the sake of talking to one another, without really listening, or caring about what the other person has to say. This is not to say that we do this all the time, or that we do this on purpose. But sometimes when we say “Hi, how are you?” We don’t really mean it. We don’t really want to know the whole truth about how someone is actually doing. Maybe it’s because we don’t really know this person that well? Or, we don’t feel that close to them maybe? OR maybe we’re not prepared for the answer? Who knows. At the end of the day, when we ask it, we generally expect a generic answer like “I’m good,” or “I’m fine thank you.” We don’t really ask the question and hear a different answer, and if we do, it’s generally a surprise to us (unless that person is visibly upset). I hope today, that when you ask this question, you are genuine about it, and that you really probe the person to know more about their life, and how it’s actually going. Even if they are happy, or content, that’s fine, but stop and take the time to take an interest in someone else’s life for a change. You may learn something! It also shows that person that you really do care about them, and that’s how you can start to open up those lines of communication. That way if someone is truly suffering, they may now feel like they have someone to confide in, and that can make a world of difference!

mentalhealth

So spread the word and raise awareness today! Please join me in helping to break down the stigma of mental illness, by starting a conversation about it. Help me create a safe space for anyone who might be suffering to feel as though they can talk about it, and ask for help. One in five people suffer from some form of mental illness, that means that every one of us has been effected by mental illness in some way. There are many reasons why people suffer from depression, or any other form of mental illness, and since it’s so common there is really no point in judging someone for it. I know that this is a touchy subject, and it’s not easy to talk about, but the best thing we can do for one another is to pay attention to one another!! Take the time to LISTEN to one another and have meaningful conversations, that is how I think we can start to heal those who are suffering in silence.

mental-health-quote


New Year, New Blog: The Blame Game, a Reflection of the Past Year and the Year to come

Over the past year of 2016, I have not been so good with the frequency of my blog posts. I was even in the middle of writing my 12 Days of Fitmas this past December, and I didn’t finish it. There are several reasons for this, but there really isn’t a point in going through my various excuses. However, I did make a promise to myself last weekend during New Years Eve, that I would be more committed to my blog this year. Whether or not I follow through with this New Years resolution is completely up to me, and no matter what crazy stuff life throws at me, at the end of the day I have made a commitment to myself and to this blog. “Life” cannot be used as an excuse for anyone to not be able to achieve their goals, because bad things happen to everyone. Life is hard for everyone. Life harder for some more than others, but at the end of the day you can’t let yourself become a victim of circumstance. You can never give up on yourself, even if it seems utterly hopeless at first. Why? Because it doesn’t mean it has to stay that way!

The past year of 2016, for the most part has been deemed “a bad year,” by a lot of people on social media. I’ve seen so many memes, and songs made up about how 2016 took more things from us, than it gave us, and basically how they were so excited for 2016 to be over. This got me thinking… I wouldn’t say that 2016 was the worst year ever, at least not for me personally. There were a lot of good things that happened in 2016, some bad things for sure, but mostly 2016 was a year of a lot of change for me. If anything, 2016 was a very stressful year for me. I had to make a lot of hard decisions, and adjustments. I learned a lot, and I’m still learning. Change is good, and I’m happy so far with how things have been going. I feel as though I’m on the right path. But that doesn’t change that fact that change is also very hard. However, going through all of this change in my life and learning all these new things, has not changed some of my core values. This is why I am still so committed to this blog. Fitness, and health still matter so much to me, and so does helping other people. These things all make me so happy, and I cannot give those up no matter what is happening in my life. I’ve realized this past year even more so, how valuable working out and eating well is to me. This is because for a while during the summer I was living in this limbo between my Mississauga life, and the new life I’ve been trying to create in Toronto. I’m still in the process of forming my life in Toronto, but at least I’m fully situated in the city, and I am now better able to commit to my workouts and my regular diet.

Having a consistent workout regime, and a balanced diet can really help you have a better handle of the stress that life throws at you. I’ve learned that in the past for sure, and sometimes I forget, we’re all human, but I always remember how I was better organized, and prepared for life when I had a schedule, and consistent workouts. I felt like the best version of myself when I had fully committed myself to my own happiness. When I was properly taking care of myself by sleeping properly, working out regularly, preparing my own meals, and holding myself accountable to my schedule/workload, I was able to do more things than I ever could imagine! That doesn’t mean that I forgot about my loved ones, heck no! I could never do that! If anything I felt like I was better able to be there for the people I loved because I was so positive in my own life.

What I’m trying to say to all of you is this, since it’s a new year, put 2016 to bed. Stop blaming everyone else for the terrible things that may have happened last year. Accept that not everything in life went the way you hoped it would, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change the future. The future is always bright, and change is always good! It may not always seem like that at first, but good things will always find their way out of a seemingly terrible situation. The key is to not fall victim to the situations that happen in life, but to learn from them. You must hold onto your values, and the things that make you the most happy and proud to be the person you are. Take these things, and use them to guide you through sticky situations, and to help you find the positives in what may seem like a desperate situation.

img_0243

My first awkward workout selfie of the New Year!! LOL 


Day 3 of the 12 Days of Fitmas: Five Cost Free Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

The winter solstice is coming up next Wednesday December 21st, 2016, this means it will be the shortest day of sunlight for the entire year, also making it the darkest day of the year. It comes as no surprise to me, that we celebrate Christmas, and other Holidays during this time of year, as an attempt to bring some light, and happiness to one another on these cold and dark winter days. However, despite the celebrations, the lack of sunlight can have a dramatic effect on your energy levels and mood. Below is a list of 5 ways to lift your spirits this winter that won’t put a strain on your pocket-book! Because I’m sure the holiday season is costing you a pretty penny already 😉

  1. Brighten up your environment. Open up your shades during the day, and let as much natural light into your space as possible. If your desk at work does not get any direct sunlight, or if you don’t have access to a window, then on your lunch break sit by the window, or find ways to get to window through out your day. For example, on your way to the bathroom, or to a meeting, take a route that passes by areas that are well-lit with natural light. OR if all else fails, leave the office for lunch, go out for coffee, and get outside! Even though it may be cold and a little uninviting, you will feel so much better after getting a brief amount of fresh air and sunlight, trust me!
  2. Watch your diet. During this time of year, and well, winter in general, we tend to gravitate towards “comfort foods.” These types of foods are high in fat, and high in sugar. The reason why these foods are considered “comfort foods” is because not only do they taste awesome, the high amounts of carbohydrates provide temporary feelings of euphoria, and the high fat content gives you a sense of satiety or a satisfying feeling of fullness. Or, if you’ve had too much, you may feel a little sick or “stuffed.” I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have some holiday food here and there, but do not go overboard! It is so hard to keep yourself from overeating at this time of year! And sure, these comfort foods taste great, and feel great going down, that feeling is only temporary! If you want to feel great for a longer period of time, feed your body with nutrient dense foods! Sure, pie tastes great, but it doesn’t look great, and it doesn’t feel great if you’ve had too much. Also, if you overeat these comfort foods, you basically put yourself in a food coma, which makes it very difficult for you to be motivated to do anything else but lie on the couch. Not only will you feel “fat,” and “gross,” you will lower your energy levels, and lower your overall mood. So, my advice is to eat as healthy as possible, and keep the Christmas treats to a minimum!
  3. Exercise! I’ve written an article in the past about the effects of exercise on your mental health called How Fitness Continues to be a Beacon of Hope for Me . It talks about how fitness has helped me overcome times when I’ve felt very unhappy with how my life was going, and it can most definitely help you! Exercise, especially doing cardiovascular exercises can help you naturally create “happy chemicals” in your brain called endorphins. Actually exercise can be as powerful as taking an anti-depressant! Also, doing interval style training can help alleviate stress and anxiety. So, if this time of year has you feeling really stressed out and anxious? Then take a spin class, or do some interval training on some of the cardio equipment in the gym. Either way, you should get your body moving this time of year, especially when all you want to do is hibernate. Hibernating, and hiding from the world will only isolate you more, and have you feeling the blues even more so.
  4. Turn up the volume of your favorite music! Ever notice how Christmas music is always happy, hopeful, and cheerful? I don’t know about you, but I love to play Christmas music at this time of year. Not only does it get me into the Christmas spirit, it really does lift my mood. I just can’t help but feel happy when I listen to it. Especially when I’m doing Christmas things, like baking, or decorating the tree. However. I know that many people find Christmas music to be a little annoying, especially because it literally plays in every store, and almost every coffee shop that you walk into. So, if Christmas music doesn’t make you happy, play the type of music that does. Music has a tremendous ability to really affect people in a positive way!
  5. Volunteer, and help others! There is no better time, then the holiday season to give back to your community! Volunteering your time and helping out others really does feel good, and it can help you get a sense of purpose. When things seem so dark and lonely, it’s a good idea to reach out and give a helping hand. It may help you to realize you are not alone, things are not as dark as they seem, and you can really make a difference in someone’s life. It is so positive to be able to give back in some way to your community. Not only is it positive for the people who directly benefit from the work you’ve done, but for you as well. Everyone wants to feel like their lives mean something, and that they are needed in some way.

These are all my suggestions for helping you overcome those winter blues. Heck! You can apply all of these things to your life in general, and I can guarantee a higher quality of life! Go outside, get some more sunlight in your life! Eat well, and exercise! This will help you feel better both mentally and physically. You will have more energy throughout the day, and you will be a better version of yourself to conquer whatever life throws at you! Listen to music (that’s if you enjoy music) and dance, sing, do whatever makes you happy! I literally dance everyday and some point, music makes me so happy 🙂 And last but not least, give back! I know we all live busy lives, but it really does make you feel good from the inside out to be able to do something genuinely nice for someone for no reason other than it was a good thing to do. Merry Christmas guys! Don’t let the winter darkness get you down!

img_0129

Glade doesn’t necessarily make me feel joy but spending time with the people I love the most does ❤ Me and my bestie at the Toronto Christmas Market November 27th, 2016 


Day 1 of The Twelve Days of Fitmas: Focus more on what you have than what you lack

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! This is my favorite time of year! I love the Christmas season, and what a better time to help others then now? This is why, I decided to do the Twelve Days of Fitmas series again this year. It is my passion to help people better themselves through fitness and health, and so here I am addressing some of the questions that I’ve been getting a lot concerning fitness, and health, as well as general concerns that have been brought to my attention. I’ve decided to start the 12 Days of Fitmas with an article about focusing on the positives in your life rather than the negatives. For some reason, especially at Christmas time, even though it can be a very happy and generous time of year, it can sometimes be a time where people really take note of what is missing in their lives, rather than all the positive things that they have going on for them. This usually stems from some sort of comparison between you and the people you know. It’s a negative habit that I’m sure we have all been guilty of at some point or another, and sometimes, no matter how happy we may think we are, we cannot help but think about whether or not the grass is greener on the other side.

I cannot lie and say that I have never felt a little sorry for myself during Christmas because I didn’t have the things that I felt I deserved, or because I wasn’t where I thought I should be and so on, and so forth. I think a majority of us can maybe admit to this. It’s sad really, but I think there’s several reasons why this happens during this time of year. First of all, it’s the last month of the year, and a lot of us are reflecting upon the year past, and evaluating whether or not we had a “good year” or a “bad year,” and then making resolutions for the upcoming year. Self-reflection can be a very positive thing! However, it is only positive if you are only focusing on yourself. What you have accomplished? What you would like to do in the future? And where you should focus your energy in order to be the most happy? It becomes negative when you start to compare what you have done to the accomplishments of others. It is not productive to look to your peers as a way of measuring your own success! Believe me, I’ve been there, and honestly you don’t get anywhere with it. All you end up doing is overwhelming yourself with this feeling of being left behind. Once you get it in your head, that everyone seems to be doing better than you, or seems to be further along in life than you, all you can think about is what is missing, and not how to achieve the things you want. Sometimes external motivators can work, and seeing your peers work hard and do well, can motivate you to do the same. However, generally most of us don’t see the hard work that goes behind all of our peer’s success. Instead we see the edited Instagram, and Facebook posts of their success and it all just seems so easy. So, why don’t I have the same? And that is where the problem lies! It is so easy for us to forget how far our friend’s, or especially distant acquaintances, have come when we start to compare our lives to theirs. All we tend to see is the end result, and then we look at ourselves and wonder, why we don’t have the same?

comparison

You will never be successful, or happy if you constantly compare your life and accomplishments to others’. First of all you need to appreciate where you are in your life, and understand why things are the way they are. There will always be someone who may be taller, thinner, prettier, wealthier, and so on. And there will be people who are in far worse circumstances than you. At the end of the day, none of these things will help you become a better and happier person. The only way you can be the best and happiest person that you can be, is by focusing on the positive things that you have in your life, or what I like to call your strengths, and growing those things. As for the things that no longer make you happy? Well, you need to take responsibility for the things that are no longer making you happy, whether it be your job, your body image, your health, your relationships, whatever it may be, and then begin to take the steps to making positive changes in the areas that make you the most unhappy. A lot of the time, it means getting rid of those things that make you most unhappy, and using your strengths to help you build a new you, or a new career, or better relationships with people who add value to your life.

Going online, flipping through Facebook and Instagram posts, and wondering why you don’t compare will only bring you deeper into a negative space. It will unmotivate you, and have you feeling inadequate, and insignificant. Christmas is a time of year where the online posts are rampant, people tend to over share during this time of year. This is why I have decided to write this as my first piece during the 12 Days of Fitmas. Take this time to focus on the people, and things that make you happy. Life is too short to constantly worry about what you don’t have. Focus on what you do have, it is powerful. You are much more powerful than you think. It is so easy for us to build up our friends, but we are the first person to cut ourselves down. Take some of your own advice my friends! Know that you are capable of great things, and even though 2016 is coming to an end 2017 is a new beginning with so many possibilities! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays! I hope this helps you during this time of year to be positive and fair to yourself. Your life isn’t over, and it is never too late to make a change for the better 🙂

img_0130

My Parents, my best friend and I at the Toronto Christmas Market November 20th, 2016


Why are we always selling ourselves short?

This past weekend, my best friend Thansha and I drove out to Sarnia from Toronto to visit our really good friend Robyn! It was a much needed girls weekend for me, and I had the BEST time catching up, laughing, dancing, you name it, we did it! It was basically your ultimate sleepover and girls night out combined into one. However, the drive there and back is so long! Which gave Thansha and I plenty of time to talk, and it is through all the conversations I had over the weekend with my girlfriends, that inspired this next blog piece.

Now as many of you may know, or would assume, girls nights, or weekend getaways with the girls, always lead to lengthy conversations about men. It is through our discussions regarding the opposite sex, that really got me thinking about the standards that we set for ourselves and the people around us. This blog post can easily be turned into a “girl power” post about how we should never settle when it comes to dating etc but I will spare you all… Instead, my goal is to inspire you all to raise the bar for yourselves and those closest to you.

I think a lot of us are afraid to set high standards, or sometimes we second guess ourselves and worry, “maybe I set my standards too high? Maybe I’m being too hard on so and so?” But really, you need to keep your standards high! Why? Well, because it gives you, and the people around you something to look forward to. Every time you raise the bar, it forces you to work harder, and ultimately to be better. You, and the people that you surround yourself with should only expect the best from you. The people that you keep close to you, should only bring out the best in you. They should elevate you in some way. And one way to do that is to keep their standards high for you, because ultimately they want the best for you. It is because your loved ones want what’s best for you, they expect a lot from you (or at least they should), so that you will therefore rise to the occasion and get the things that you deserve!

In addition, if you loved yourself, you would do the same for yourself that your friends and family do for you. You would keep your standards high in all aspects of your life. You should ALWAYS EXPECT MORE, DO MORE, BE MORE, IN ORDER TO GET MORE! Every time you lower your standards, or you accept the status quo, you will always be left with disappointment and unhappiness. I’m sure many of us can relate to this, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. We set the bar low because we’re afraid that we won’t be able to meet anyone to meet our highest expectations. However, when we do that, we are always left hurt and disappointed because we don’t get what we deserve. Sometimes we get jealous and upset when we see someone who has a relationship that is truly fulfilling, but really you can have that too! You just need to always have that expectation that you deserve to be with someone who always gives you what you need. If they don’t, that doesn’t mean that you should lower your standards, but ask for that person to meet them. If they still decide to not give you the things you need to be happy, then you must leave and find someone who will.

I know I have mentioned this before, you create your own happiness. That being said, in order to remain happy, you need to always be aspiring for more. No one is really happy when they feel as if their lives are stagnant, like they’re going no where fast. It is when we feel as though our lives are constantly improving that we feel the most happy. So in order to stay happy, you must remain hungry. You need to keep reaching higher, raising your standards, and aspiring for more. I know that this is something that I need to constantly remind myself. I have high standards for myself in my professional life, and my fitness, but sometimes I need to remind myself of the things that I deserve in my personal life as well. Don’t be afraid to keep your expectations high, the people who want to be in your life will rise to the occasion to meet them.

A photo collage of this past weekend in Sarnia ❤


Never a Preacher, always a Helper

There is a fine line between being a preacher, and being a helper. The difference between a helper and a preacher is this: you’re a helper when assistance is warranted and a preacher when your assistance is not warranted. Now sometimes you may genuinely feel like this person may need your help, and then come to realize that you are sadly mistaken (or not really) but either way, your help was not wanted. Personally, I love people and I love helping people, but I also know that sometimes I need to get off my own soap box. I’m a very passionate person and sometimes I get carried away trying to help someone, that instead I end up preaching and advising them when they didn’t even ask for it. For the most part your friends and family will be able to brush it off because they know you mean well, and that you’re just trying to help. However, if they really want to help you, they need to let you know what you’re doing to them! Because I have been on the receiving end of the preaching/unwanted advising LOL and it can be so stressful, upsetting, and overwhelming, and your intention is to help this person right? So I know you don’t mean to upset anyone, but you need to know when to give advice and when you to just LISTEN!

This is a work in progress for me! I am a TERRIBLE listener sometimes… I literally don’t pay attention to a lot of things going on around me a lot of the time LOL if you know me well at all, you’ll know that sometimes I literally act as if I’m in my own little world doing my own thing and absolutely nothing else matters. This is a blessing and a curse haha Don’t get me wrong! It’s not that I am not capable of being a good friend or listener, it’s just that sometimes I’m hearing what the person is saying instead of listening to what they are saying… This is because I’m already getting ready with my response while they’re talking. I assumed that I know the answer, so I stop listening and I start advising. This is obviously very annoying! Honestly, I think my whole family does this to one another to some degree, some of us more than others but we all want to help and we all care so much that we think we know how to do it best instead of listening to what the person actually needs.

I guess what I’m saying is, is that I am the worst listener with the people I am most comfortable with. However, these are also the people who I want to help the most! If you’re passionate about someone you will try to do anything possible for them, but sometimes the best possible thing you can do for someone is to let them make their own mistakes and be there to support them and/or pick them up after. Also, if you’re passionate about something like I am about fitness and nutrition, you want the whole world to know how important it is. But really, not everyone cares to know this… This is something that I have come to learn myself, and I still remind myself of, because sometimes I do forget LOL

In short, this message goes out to all the passionate people out there who want to help the world, you can only help those who want to be helped, and are willing to help themselves. Before you try to “help” ALWAYS make sure you are asking the person first what it is they’re doing? What are they trying to accomplish? If you don’t know what they’re doing? and why they are doing it? Then how the hell are you supposed to help them?!?! Don’t judge and assume that you know what they need if you never asked first LOL It’s rude, annoying, and it can come off very condescending… and if they needed help, well they definitely don’t want it from you LOL So make sure you check yourself before giving someone advice and LISTEN to the person. They may actually not need your help, and now you understand them a little bit better. Or, if they do need help, you actually know how you can help them, instead of giving someone tips and advice about something they never asked you for…