Recently I’ve been going through this thing where nothing in my life seems to be working for me anymore. It’s been so much fun! Sarcasm intended. Obviously this sucked at first but, after a few weeks I came to the realization that it needed to happen. I’ve had basically the same schedule and training routine for the last two and a half years. I rush here, rush there, rush rush everywhere trying to get it all done. I wear a lot of hats and juggle a lot of different jobs.

Anyone who says that “a stay at home mom has it easy” needs to be strung up by their toes and smacked with a wet noodle or worse but, for the purposes of this blog I will keep it PG. I dont have the luxury of set working hours where I can punch in and punch out. I’m basically on the clock ALL of the time and when I lay my head down to sleep at night, Im already running through the list of things that I didn’t get done that day and piling those items onto an already booked up tomorrow. Now if that’s not setting myself up for success, I don’t know what is.

This should have been my first clue. Being busy ALL OF THE TIME is not being productive, it’s actually the opposite and in my case it was avoidance not productivity. Ever feel like you are busy all the time and never get anything done?  Have you stopped to explore why that is and why you’re doing what you’re doing?

Have you ever taken a second to list all of the things that you do? All of them, even the things that seem unimportant or small?  It’s kind of crazy when you see it all laid out on paper. No wonder we are all running around feeling stretched, thin and overwhelmed. I recommend that you try it one day, you will be amazed! Especially if you’ve been hard on yourself for “not getting anything done” or not “getting to that goal” of yours fast enough. It will certainly put things into perspective and give you a new appreciation for your capabilities and strengths instead of your shortcomings. We always focus on our shortcomings don’t we?  If you try this exercise feel free to contact me and let me know how it went!

I’ve always known that if you don’t listen to your body and just keep pushing through stuff  eventually your body will go on strike and make you tap out. Your body will find way to slow you down and by then it’s not usually not a good thing or personal choice. It will manifest itself into some health issue. But, knowing this doesn’t mean that I used wisdom. It was actually quite the opposite. Like most people, I chose to ignore my early warning system and just kept trudging on. Because we all think we are superhuman and the rules don’t apply to us right?  If only I would take my own advice sometimes. Much facepalm.

In my case this crash and burn manifested itself in the form of a pretty major relapse. Depression/anxiety/ ptsd/ binge eating and emotional eating along with some major GI issues. Oh, and we can’t leave out the rapid weight gain from all that excessive mindless eating!  And of course that triggered my old body image/dysmorphia issues . I have always been an overachiever even when I crash and burn.

But, jokes aside, I got to the point a few weeks ago where I didn’t want to get out of bed anymore. I didn’t care about my powerlifting gains or setting foot in the gym or counting my macros. I didn’t care about coaching or taking care of my clients or maintaining my social media accounts. I didn’t even care about writing. Forget about being a wife and parent, Homeschooling my son or even basic needs like hygiene and keeping a house clean. I was done. I was burnt out. This was extremely frustrating, It’s not like you can just get off the life train and quit life.

I decided to try and figure out where I went wrong, I mean looking at it from the outside everything looks great right? To anyone else, I am inspirational and motivating. I have my shit together and seem to lead a pretty fantastic life. After several weeks of self reflection the answer I came up with was quite simple. I wasn’t willing to admit defeat. My shit had not been together and I had been overwhelmed for quite some time. I didn’t want to see it because I was too busy being all of the things and doing all of the things. My identity was in the things I was doing. I lost myself somehow and my direction and passion in the process. Talk about humbling…

I have this thing where quitting is never an option. It’s a survival mechanism from my past and it has served me well. Call it what you want. Stubbornness, tenacity or just plain grit and “spunkyness”. It comes from a lifetime of having to fight for every little thing. It comes from childhood abandonment, severe bullying, being a teenage runaway and a recovering drug addict. Surviving rapes, yes that’s plural and more loss than I can express. It comes from being morbidly obese and having to fight through serious illness. Illnesses that were almost successful in ending my life. It comes from always feeling like I had something to prove because I felt that I didn’t start out with the same advantages as others. I considered quitting as a weakness and it kept me alive. That stubbornness and tenacity made me into the woman you all know and love today. It had its purpose.

However, this mentality no longer serves me. I’m currently in a phase of my life where I no longer need to be in survival mode. I have a family and a home, I am not sick with an illness that is threatening my life  and there is no impending threat of doom lurking in the shadows. I’ve established a career as a personal trainer and I’ve also become a writer. Out of the wreckage of my past I was able to salvage compassion and forgiveness and from this came my purpose. I am not the same person. It was another lifetime ago.

With that said, I didn’t realize that admitting defeat over my current life struggle is not the same as quitting. Its not.  Admitting defeat happened to be one of the most liberating things I’ve done for myself. It took away my need for constant control over every tiny little detail. It took away my need to prove myself and keep performing. It opened up my mind to the fact that while my current situation was no longer working for me it didn’t mean that I was weak but, only that I needed to approach things differently.  It gave me the freedom to breathe and let go. It seems so simple but it was completely transformational. Quitting doesn’t leave room for hope. Admitting defeat creates freedom and room for possibilities.

The action of admitting defeat created more room for growth. I was not growing anymore. That is the root of what happened to me. That’s why I felt lost. I had OUTGROWN something that I was still trying to hang onto and had become stuck. There is safety in clutching onto what is familiar. Change rarely happens in the absence of fear. I had to let go of the rigidity of my schedule and my own expectations because they were now limiting me. I’m not the same person that I was when I started my weight loss/powerlifting/body acceptance journey years ago but, I was still living my life like I was and not allowing any room for personal growth.  I had become stagnant and there was no joy my “grind” anymore.

As women regardless of the reason, we all struggle with being busy these days. Your past and your current situation may not be like mine but, I’m pretty sure that many of you can relate to something that I’ve shared here today.  Don’t be too proud to admit defeat, it just may save you a lot of useless energy and help you re focus on why you started in the first place. What’s the point of living if you are just going through the motions but you aren’t truly alive. I don’t know about you but I want to live a passionate joy filled life and I’m going to do my best to help you live yours too.

Much love from your #mentalgrrrl

Kelly aka Spunky

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“Dear Jenn,
You were in some of the darkest days of your life here. You were so good at putting your head down and putting on that fake smile. So much so that now you refuse to smile unless it’s really from your heart. You binge on food to the point of purging when you feel guilt and shame realizing you couldn’t really control those feelings or fill that hollow spot. Your past sexual abuse from your chilhood affected all your relationships. You made poor choices in partners because You wanted all the control. You wanted to die period end of story. No One Would Notice Right? WRONG! You were so wrong on so many levels. Your depression felt suffocating to the point that you sought help and your village came forward because you are loved. You were 21….a baby really….You had so much to live for. Those were your darkest days. You still struggle with all of the above but you cope you are so STRONG! You fall down but you get back up. Remember to give yourself the kindness you have always so readily given to others. You deserve love…..do you hear that young one! You are Beautiful Outside and Inside…your body is a fucking powerhouse. You have built it to carry yourself and fight through this life. You still struggle with eating and how you feel and think about food but you work through it every day. You have a little boy watching you….thats right you gave life to an amazing kind hearted child that loves you even when your not at your best. You found a partner in every sense of the word that lifts you up and tells you that you deserve the world and more…..sometimes you even believe him…. Forgive yourself. Love yourself. Stop treading water young one….start fighting. You Are Worth It. You have made it…..and still you have so much more to learn and that is ok. You are OK. Keep your eyes up you got this.”

Sincerely 36 year old
Jenn

 

“Oh my darling girl,
If you could see the way the stars will shine you would never doubt your reason for being here. You’re family loves you. You are worth more than you could ever believe. You will be a Mama one day, to an amazing little man who sees you with no faults. “You’re my Mama,” he will say, “you are beautiful every day and I love you.” You will survive the emotional and physical abuse of your peers. You will survive the rape. You will survive the death of your Father, your first love and you will grow beyond measure. You will be someone people look to for comfort and counseling, sometimes even for inspiration. 
You will NEVER be defined by society because you make your own music and march to the beat of your own drummer. 
You will find love, when you least expect it. Someone who treasures your heart and weird mind. 
You cannot allow your past to ever dictate who you are.
Be brave. Be kind. Be responsible. Never take any shit. Know your limits. Be open to possibilities. Take a chance on the guy. Go to school. Ride rollercoasters. 
Love hard. 💜 M”

 

 

“Dear Younger Kristen,
Your body is starting to change. Some things you will like, some things you won’t. Embrace both. Love both, because the body is powerful and beautiful. I know it’s difficult to love your body when you see all the beautiful women in movies, magazines, and social media. But they don’t actually look like that in real life. They have been digitally altered and photoshopped into creating a fake image. They too have stretch marks, cellulite, and body fat just like everyone else. Seeing these images will make you think that your body isn’t perfect. Making you feel like you’re fat. But don’t compare yourself to anyone. Other women are not your competition. It will only make you think you’re not skinny enough or pretty enough but you are enough. You are beautiful and just the right size. Remember you are smart, funny, caring, brave, stronger than you will ever know, special, loved, and worthy of everything. So instead of focusing on being “fat” or “skinny”, focus on being healthy. Focus on being happy. Real beauty comes from within.  It comes from talking positively about yourself and others. It comes from standing up for yourself and others. From being kind and caring but not lettings others push you around. So stop talking to yourself with hate and disgust but talk with love and compassion.

Because you grrrl, are perfect. Love, future Kristen “

 

 

“Dear Jenn, where do I begin baby grrrl. 20Years ago this month you were getting ready to walk across the stage for one of the most proud days of your life and start your own journey. It was your turn to shine and walk away from all the heartache , bullying, trauma, violence,insecurities you had encountered by this age. But I wish I could of told you then it wasn’t gonna be that easy. I wish I could have told you to be prepared for even harder times and that you were gonna abuse yourself with drugs, attempt suicide multiple times that you where gonna have experience more trauma of your pops being shot and killed, you where gonna lose yourself looking for love in all the wrong places, you where be diagnosed with depression and ptsd. Oh baby grrrl there’s so much more, but I will tell you this. It never got easier but got so much better. Eventually you start to find yourself and started giving yourself the love you needed that you longed for. That you started to love what you thought where flaws. That you started given zero fucks about what society thought you. That you let god lead your way. That you become a powerlifter and eventually will become a barber when schools over and be your own boss. That your learned that you still make bad decisions but learning from the and keep going and growing. That your learning to be proud of yourself. That you’ve been off drugs now for 8Years and have become the healthiest and strongest you’ve been this far and are getting even stronger. No you haven’t met prince Charming yet but the love you long for from him your giving your self. That you turned your Ls into lessons. Baby grrrl you’ve always been a fighter and your winning. It took a while but that’s OK. You got this. And one more important thing your part of a world wide #Grrrlarmy who’s goal is to be the inspiration you long for and making a difference in others lives. Your absolutely amazing,beautiful, loved and doing the damn thing baby grrrl. You still have faults but that OK..just continue to grow from them and love yourself and you’ll get there”

Welcome to our #deargrrrl project inspired by Dr Carolyn Becker. We’re asking you to write a letter to a younger you. It’s a process to promote self love, self esteem and forgiveness. To share your knowledge, help heal the scars of childhood, and help others that need encouragement right now. PLEASE join us & #deargrrrl 


Dear Kort
Wow. I’m not even sure where to start. I hate to tell you, but you’re about to experience the most challenging years of your life. You grew up with family who were sick from alcoholism. You need to know that they aren’t bad people who need to get good, but sick people who need to get well. Be mindful that you’ll walk straight into their shoes if you don’t watch your behaviours.

Everything that you are about to experience is an opportunity to grow stronger. You’re exactly where you’re meant to be in your journey, of every second that you are experiencing life.

You simply cannot fail – you are merely learning. Know that you are fully responsible for your life. You are not a victim.

You’ll make bad decisions from time to time, but as long as you take responsibility for your part, make amends, and do the next right thing, you can never truly do any wrong. Also, if you have to lie about something, you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

You have spent your life hating your body, but I want to tell you that you are a masterpiece. I commend you for continuing to get up every time you felt like dying. While you fumble through these awkward years of your life trying to “figure it all out”, just know that you don’t have to know what your purpose is, ever. It may be big, it may be small. But trust the process.

Know that there is a God, and you aren’t it my dear. Ask for guidance from The Universe, our ego-centric minds will never be able to navigate this world on our own.

Know there are 1000 ways to do something, and the only one that is factually ‘right’ is the one that works for you. Trust your intuition.

Slow down.
Forgive yourself.
Remember that the present moment is all we truly have.
Finally, we operate from either 1 of 2 places: Fear or Love.

Below you’ll find the letter I’ve just wrote to someone I’ve never met or spoken to in my life.  But this is how we stay clean and sober.  Some of you may not know that I’m a recovered drug addict and alcoholic.  I often like to post about the dis-ease of addiction and alcoholism because there is still a lot of stigma around the topic.  A lot of miseducation.  But the reality is, we do recover.  We aren’t bad people who need to get good, we are sick people who need to get well.  Doing service work like this reminds me of why I must wake up grateful every day for what I do have, and not what I don’t have.  And today, what I do have, is freedom from addiction, as well as a life beyond my wildest dreams.  Might not be financially free and jetsetting like Cardi B or Kim Kardashian, but that’s OK!  Money doesn’t satisfy the soul.  Being of service, in my experience, does…… 

 

Hey Jay!!!

My name is Kortney, and I’m …… well I’m a lot of things. I’m the “woman with the world’s deadliest thighs”, australia’s first female arm wrestling champion, and according to the Australian media, I’m an ex fetish porn star. LOL #winning
But at the end of the day, no matter what my ego thinks it wants you to know, the only thing you need to know, is that I’m a recovered drug addict and alcoholic.

I don’t know much about you. Other than you’re inside due to drugs. But your Sister follows me on IG. I often post about recovery so people can better understand our dis-ease. (Dis= opposite . Ease = easy living……….. so what we have, is the opposite of easy living.. not like some crusty penis type disease lol). We hear the world mental illness and think something is wrong with us. When in reality, we all have a level of mental health. So when we say we’re ‘mentally ill”, it just means we’re not really healthy in the mind when we’re sick.
Remember this, us addicts/alcoholics (all the same shit at the end of the day) are NOT bad people who need to get good…. we are SICK people who need to get good.

Today, with 8.5 years without a drink, nearly 8 without a drug, I’ve launched a global clothing line that is changing the world. But without having had worked the 12 steps, and doing what was suggested there’s no way I would be where I am today. In fact I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be alive.

I started using meth when I was 17 (despite being a perfect poster child) because I lost weight. From there I experienced (I no longer use the word ‘suffered’) a rape by my boxing instructor/mentor, and went down a dark spiral and started drinking professionally around 19. Took me a Long time of going in and out of the rooms to FINALLY quit trying to escape my feelings and repair my damaged soul. Even after being clean and sober for a year, I found norco, which turned into oxy in the end. But you see, that wasn’t my problem, because my name was on the bottle, and was prescribed by a doctor.

You see- us addicts are very clever people. We can manipulate every one around us, get what we want, then burn it to the ground, and end up blaming everyone else around us. Hahahahaha! It’s amazing! When I think back about all the time and effort that went into trying to stay drunk, or get a bag, or refill my RX, I have A LOT of time wasted. However, today- I look back at my past, and am incredibly proud. Not with false pride, but a pride that comes from literally walking through the gates of hell. Addiction/alcoholism is fatal, and kills someone just on pills alone every 19 seconds here in the USA.

So, that being said, I want you to know that we do recover. I don’t know how Long you’re locked up for, or what you’re looking at, but I can send you some literature and help guide you to finding the steps and addressing the beast. You don’t ever have to use again. It’s a peculiar feeling getting clean and sober. For me, the first two years were awful. But that’s purely because I didn’t do what was suggested by the program. I only went to meetings because I knew I had to. But I didn’t put any effort into the steps, never did service work, hated fellowshipping, and just got addicted to body building instead. Which kept me clean and sober in the beginning, but I kept looking for approval from others on the outside. And as we know, compliments are like lines of coke- they work for only a short period of time. Hence why I hated that drug. Hahahahaha!

Anyway, I want you to know that we do recover. All of the answers that you need are in the literature. I’m positive you’d be able to find a sober/clean member within the confines of that box there as well to help guide you. Prison is really kind of pointless in a lot of respects. We take meetings into jails and institutions, but you need daily meetings.

What we’re dealing with (if you are far progressed as I was with my addiction (my dis-ease) is the equivalent of stage 4 bone cancer. People who have stage 4 bone cancer are literally on deaths doorstep. They have to take their medicine daily, most often hourly. The same can be said for us. If I don’t do something daily to manage my dis-ease (because our illness is centred in the mind), I will surely pick back up again. And I will no doubt, die- or worse, kill someone else and wind up in prison myself. I’m a very violent person whenever I put drugs or alcohol into my system. Like you, I have an allergic reaction, and the craving phenomenon kicks off. Normal people don’t have those issues. Isn’t it great to be so far from normal! 🙂

I’ll be doing a road show tour and in the USA for some time. Maybe there’s a way I can come see you and facilitate a meeting. But please stay strong. Ask for help. You are not weak in will power, you have a disease that is not curable, but is capable of going into remission. And you can have a life beyond your wildest dreams.

I used to steal your wallet then help you look for it. That’s not who I am when I’m clean and sober. Today I’m looking to give away as much as I can to those who need it more than I. Building a legacy. Leaving my mark. And so can you-

I believe in you. And from one addict to another, I know exactly what you’re feeling and experiencing. There is hope. We do recover. One day at a time.

And last thing: one day at a time, simply means that all we have is the now. There is no such thing as the past or the future. Time is a man-made creation to run a society/civilisation. The past and future purely live in our minds, where we play them over and over, or play them out, and get caught up in depression or anxiety. So stay within just today- the only thing that exists. Tomorrow if you want your misery and pain back, you can have it. But just for today, you’ve got this. Pray to a higher power (I don’t know who or what that is, but I believe there is a God, and I am NOT it!!!) for guidance, and watch what happens. Could be Mother Nature, aliens, Jesus, Satan- doesn’t matter. We just recommend you realise that on your own, you can’t mange your own life. Kind of easy to see when your behind bars 😉

But- know that there are millions of us out here praying for you to ‘get it’, and then you too can pass on the good word that we do recover.

We love you!

In fellowship
Kortney O