Growing up, I was always a princess. The biggest girly-girl you had ever met. I grew up in a hockey arena watching my brothers, and in between that I was doing my own activities. I remember being on the volleyball court with fake eyelashes and my dance makeup on. I would play a game in the tournament, then change in the car to be ready to perform my next dance at the competition.
I never struggled with my weight until I turned 18. I took a leap of faith and dove right into a working holiday visa in Australia. Within two months I had gained 25 pounds, which is pretty noticeable when you're 5'3. I got tonsillitis three times and had to miss out on diving the Great Barrier Reef.
I could feel my body struggling and my energy levels were always low. I filled my body with so much chicken schnitzel, pizza, and alcohol that I would ever want to admit to. I travelled for 7 and a half months in Oz, and finished my last two weeks island hopping in Fiji.
Something changed in me after Fiji. I wasn't sure what, until later on..
I really didn’t realize how big I had gotten until my friends and family told me when I got home. This was the hard part. 'I barely recognized you in that photo you sent home.’ Or ‘Jenny you’re lucky you’re tan because you gained a lot of weight.’
That stuff stays. Forever.
I knew I needed a change and to leave my small town of 700 people. So, I moved to a small city and went to hair school like the princess in me always dreamed of. Was I sure if I should still attend hair college after I got home? No. But the pressure of my parents was heavy and I felt like I needed to do something.
I became interested in nutrition and the gym and slowly began to lose the weight. I began using more natural based, cruelty free makeup and beauty products. I finished my course and was so relieved. Now for the apprenticeship. I started working at a salon and realized, that it just simply was not my passion. So, I quit. $20 000 of schooling and I didn’t finish.
Because I wasn’t happy.
I booked a one-way ticket to Bangkok by myself and said, "see ya later," to the cold. Traveling was the only thing that made me happy at that point. It was the only thing I thought I was good at.
What happened next was indescribable. My worldview expanded times 1000. I was hit with a huge reality check. That feeling I felt in Fiji was back, and this time, it was here to stay.
I saw people living off nothing, bathing out of buckets, sharing scraps of food, and doing anything they could for money. I began to learn more about the dishes and the diet that Southeast Asians ate. I became interested in spiritual practices, culture, and the collective belief.
I began to become more aware of my surroundings.
Some of these people were so happy, and they had so little. From that point on I made a promise to myself that I would find my passion to help others in some way.
After almost 5 month of backpacking and 5 countries later, I came home and started on a new path. I began eating a diet high in vegetable protein, completely cut out sugar filled and processed foods, exercised regularly, and moved on up to the big city. Before I knew it I was registered for college at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
I am now at a healthy weight, have less anxiety, more energy and I feel healthy. I have a new appreciation for my body and have implemented balance and flow into my lifestyle. I practice gratitude on the daily, meditate, and am 100% happy with who I am and where I came from.
I don’t believe in being perfect. There’s no such thing as perfect. I believe in accepting yourself and your flaws, and working hard toward goals.
I know that I can help people. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
We aren’t supposed to try to reach every goal by ourselves. Can you imagine moving out of your parent’s house and not being able to call your mom or dad to ask them ridiculous questions? Or, have you ever bought a gym or yoga membership and said, kay I’m going to go every day this week…. Come Wednesday, you’re lying in your bed with your pet and Netflix, mowing down on junk food, and hysterically laughing at an episode of Friends. Yeah, me neither ;)
I’ve been there. I want to help you. Support is what we all need; we all naturally want to help each other. I’ve been on that couch, wanting the change, but not having the actual tools to do so. The drive fades away and so you give up for a while, thinking okay, I’ll start next week. And that’s how it will keep going, in a circle, staying in the same place.
I am so thankful I had help on my path to a better lifestyle. I had a personal trainer who kicked my ass! I had a supportive mother that accepted my eating restrictions and always supported my craziness to jump on a plane.
I am also grateful to have met amazing friends in this city who are always keen to get together for coffee and bounce ideas off each other. I have a family that loves me, even though they think I’m a crazy hippy. I help people get back in tune with their mind, body and spirit. I LOVE what I do.