by chantellwaterson | Oct 6, 2020 | HEALING, SELF-LOVE, WELLBEING
As an online coach for others some people like to think that I have it all together. I had to go through some extreme adversity in order to become the person that I am today.
I’m going to tell you about one of the hardest experiences I’ve ever had to go through.
I started exploring weight training at the age of 16 which started with Body Pump/Power Pump classes I used to go to with my mom. It didn’t take me long to realise that this is the direction my life would take. I loved training and I loved the idea of having more muscle. I bought every fitness magazine I could find and idolised the fitness models. But my new found passion came with eating disorders.
After having my children in 2010 and 2012, I started competing in fitness competitions in 2013. I then set out to achieve my Pro Status which I received in 2015 and was privileged enough to compete on a World Stage in Las Vegas.
Even though I loved the prep and how my body adapted and changed looking better with each and every competition, I hated being on stage and the idea that my body would be judged. Yet, that was what competing was all about. You work your butt off to look a certain way and to fit into your chosen category. Every single competition you give your all and go to the extreme and reap the rewards. It felt like an accomplishment every time no matter what the placing was. A win was obviously the aim and a bonus! But when that win didn’t happen, there was definitely disappointment! It’s human.
Exercise and dieting soon became my drug for coping with life and demons that I didn’t want to face. Demons that I didn’t even realise that I had at the time. My eating disorders were replaced by strict dieting and training. Even though I thought I had it all together – I was lost!
Competing is a lonely road. You train alone. You eat alone. You compete alone. You spend your life alone to be accepted and judged. My eating disorders and my competing was purely the need to feel in control of something. If I could control the way I look I was in control right??? WRONG!!!
It wasn’t until my divorce in 2016 when I had to give up everything and start from scratch, moving away from everything that I called home and leaving my beautiful babies behind, with my car and my clothes, all by myself, that I soon realised that the things I used as my coping mechanism still helped me cope BUT it wasn’t going to save me this time. I was forced to spend a lot of time by myself and deal with a ton of emotions…. and life. I was in desperate need to find myself.
And honestly, that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through.
During this time it made me feel even more lost!! I felt angry! Angry and disappointed – at myself and the people in my life. I had this heaviness and sadness that made me feel like I was in this deep, black hole where I will never be able to get out of. I felt unloved, unwanted, misunderstood and completely out of place. My place of comfort/of coping I started to hate but I still kept on training and dieting because that’s who I was. That’s the only me I knew. That was the only way I knew how to cope.
And then there was the moment that it all changed. I decided to turn my life around when…
In October 2018 I was in a motorcycle accident that changed a lot of things for me. I was forced to STOP! I had 7 broken ribs, a broken hand, broken nose and a shattered collarbone. The one plus side of my years of training and having muscle, is that the doctor said I was lucky and if it wasn’t for that, I would’ve broken my back. So my hard work in the gym did pay off in the end.
But the accident had a lot of positive that went along with it! It brought me and my family closer together and made me realise that I need to let go of old ways to allow myself to become the person I am today. It also made me realise why I have such a passion for what I do. My career goes far beyond Personal Training. Health and wellbeing is not only about body goals, it’s about the mental, physical and spiritual balance that leads to overall health and wellbeing.
When I decided to make that change, these were some of the things that I did.
- I let go of the need to CONTROL! I need to trust the process and believe what is meant for me will find me.
- I had to allow my body and myself to heal. I was punishing myself for so long that I didn’t take care of myself. Mentally and physically I needed to heal.
- I started listening to my body.
- I had to forgive myself and others and I had to let go.
- Every day I reminded myself how lucky and blessed I am.
- Every morning I thought of 1 thing that I am grateful for. That 1 thing soon became 2…. And 3 things…..
As a result of making these changes, I started to feel EMPOWERED…
I started paying more attention to smaller details and I also started listening to my gut and following my heart. I have become more intuitive and that has made me cope with things and handle things better. I have become true to myself and I live my life authentically. I have finally found myself and I know what I stand for and what my calling in life is.
Here I am 2 years later and that’s WHY I decided to become a coach for others. I want you to know that if you’re struggling, going through a hard time, going through adversity, that you’re not alone.
I’ve been there, and I have your back. <3
by chantellwaterson | Sep 21, 2020 | HEALING, MINDFULNESS, SELF-LOVE, WELLBEING
For your body to function optimally, there needs to be a balance of muscle length and strength between opposing muscles that are attached to the joints.
As children we have a fairly neutral posture where our muscles and cognitive tissue are nicely balanced and we can move well. I often look at kids and think to myself “I wish I were that flexible” and the truth is…. I was that flexible and fit when I was that age, then it became time to adult. Forward many years later and here we are! Chronic aches and pains, stiffness, tiredness…….. the list goes on. Life happened.
As we grow older and our activities become more repetitive, we start to experience postural adaptations that leave us unbalanced. Daily activities such as picking up your child, sitting at a computer all day, carrying and picking up groceries…. All these daily activities and chores can lead to muscle imbalances.
WHAT IS MUSCLE IMBALANCE?
Muscle imbalance means that one side of your body may be short and tight and stronger while the other side is long and weak. If the imbalance is left untreated it can lead to discomfort and chronic pain.
SYMPTOMS OF MUSCLE IMBALANCE
There are many ways muscle imbalances can present themselves. Muscle imbalance symptoms include:
- Slipped disc
- Lower back pain
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Shoulder impingement
- Neck pain
- Sports injuries
- Knee pain
- Hamstring tears
Here are 4 ways to correct muscle imbalances
HOW DO YOU TREAT MUSCLE IMBALANCES?
The best way to treat muscle imbalance is to exercise to strengthen the weaker muscle and this will help correct the alignment of your body. Seek the help of a professional to help you identify what factors are contributing to your issue and solve the underlying problem instead of just treating the symptoms.
Some muscle imbalances are caused by tight muscles and soft tissues. For example: If you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk each day, you may have short and tight hip flexor muscles which can lead to back pain. In this case you would require a stretching routine to relax and lengthen the muscles and tendons which can help restore balance.
PREVENTING MUSCLE IMBALANCE
To prevent muscle imbalance from occurring, make sure you have a balanced training routine.
- Resistance training (especially unilateral movements), is a great way to keep your muscles balanced. When doing unilateral movements, start with your weaker side.
- Make sure you train all muscle groups evenly.
- Add stretching!! This can be done after your workout or better yet, add some yoga in the mix! Try a yoga routine 2 or 3 times a week. It doesn’t have to be long (15 – 20 minutes will help your reap the benefits).
Your body will thank you!
Not sure where to start when it comes to yoga and stretching? One of my favourite yoga instructors whom I follow on YouTube: Sarah Beth – 15 minute Full Body Yoga Stretch
At some point in life we all suffer from chronic pain. Some of these chronic pains are due to physical imbalances rather than illness. Most of the time we treat the symptoms rather than treating the underlying problem. If you have chronic pain and you’re not active and exercising, I suggest that you start. If you are exercising and active and have chronic pain, I suggest you rethink or change your routine to bring your body back into alignment.
Before diagnosing yourself, it is always best to seek the help and guidance of a professional.
Do you think your chronic pain could be caused by a muscle imbalance? Leave a comment below
by chantellwaterson | Sep 13, 2020 | ALOE VERA, HEALING, HEALTHY LIVING, MINDFULNESS, WELLBEING
Ever heard of the term “Leaky Gut”? It has been receiving a lot of attention lately but what actually is it and what’s the hype?
Leaky Gut plays a significant role in not only gastrointestinal related conditions such as Coeliac disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease, but it has also been linked to a range of other conditions including arthritis, allergies, autism, asthma, diabetes, mental illness as well as a host of autoimmune diseases.
Leaky gut syndrome happens when your intestinal lining has become damaged as a result of inflammation or irritation. Drugs, alcohol, gluten and processed foods can damage the lining of the gut wall. Leaky gut can also result from internal toxicity due to an imbalance of bacteria and yeast, which we call “dysbiosis.”
When this happens, the lining of the gut becomes full of tiny holes, like swiss cheese, or a leaky bucket. In many places, the lining of the gut is just one cell thick, so leaky gut or “intestinal permeability” can easily happen.
This is a problem because food particles and toxins from the gut are released into the bloodstream, triggering an immune response. A huge toxic burden is imposed on the liver. The liver is overwhelmed by digestive by-products, toxins and inflammatory irritants, and other organs are affected as well.
If you have been dealing with a ton of food sensitivities, and seem to be getting more sensitive to more foods all the time, it could be leaky gut. Instead of doing extensive allergy testing, we would recommend healing the gut, and sealing up those leaks. The food is not the main problem: the problem is that the food you eat is escaping into the bloodstream and triggering an immune response.
SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE A LEAKY GUT
You have digestive issues like constipation, bloating, diarrhea, gas or IBS
You have sensitivities to many foods
You have skin rashes, hives, eczema, psoriasis, or breakouts
You have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chrohn’s disease, or celiac disease
You have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or fibromyalgia
You have allergies or asthma
You have aches, pains or arthritis
HOW TO TREAT LEAKY GUT
Glutamine is key for helping to heal the lining of the gut. Aloe Vera is a good choice, as it contains this to help to heal the gut. Other source are beef, pork, chicken, fish, dairy, all beans & legumes and leafy green vegetables. The glutamine will help to heal the lining of the gut.
The Cleanse is a good protocol if you have leaky gut for a few reasons:
The Cleanse will help you take out the foods that are most irritating to the gut such as gluten, sugar, alcohol and processed foods
The Aloe Vera on the Cleanse will help to get rid of bad bacteria
The digestive enzyme in the Aloe Vera will help you to break down the food you are eating
The liver support in the shakes and herbal tea will help to support the liver from the burden of excess toxins
A strong probiotic is also essential for supporting your immunity and restoring the balance of good bacteria in the gut.
Aloe Vera is an excellent Probiotic for the gut.
Here is some good reading on the signs and symptoms of leaky gut, what causes it and how you can repair it:
9 Signs You Have a Leaky Gut
by chantellwaterson | Sep 1, 2020 | HEALING, MINDFULNESS, SELF-LOVE, WELLBEING, WELLNESS
“When you hurt under the surface, like troubled water running cold. Time can heal but this won’t……. “
“Was there something I could’ve said to make your heart beat better? If only I had known you had a storm to weather…”
“Was there something I could’ve said to make it all stop hurting? It kills me how your mind can make you feel so worthless….”
My ultimate trigger.
The first time I heard ‘Before You Go’ by Lewis Capaldi I was driving in the car on my way home. It felt like the sadness in those lyrics cut straight through me. I could feel the hurt, the anger, the confusion and the utter hopelessness and longing in those words. I couldn’t control my emotions as I felt the tears just streaming down my cheeks. It gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME!
Why?? How can one song make me drown in my own emotions?? Where does this come from? This got me thinking.
I grew up in a loving, strong family who supported and loved me. I did well in sports and in school. Always walked the straight and narrow. I was looked after and I like to think I made my mom and dad proud. I wasn’t the most confident person growing up but if I put my heart and mind to something I achieved it and I was pretty darn good at it…… but somehow I always wanted to improve and be better. I never felt quite good enough.
Not feeling good enough made me look for approval. Approval meant love. Love meant happiness. So in a nutshell that’s how my life went. Constantly looking to achieve something to get the approval….. to be loved.
Bodybuilding was something I did for ME. It is a sport that I enjoyed and how successful you are is all on you. I always felt that I had so much more to offer, that I was not just a Personal Trainer or just a WBFF Pro. Sadly……. Approval was still needed. I needed to prove myself to get my Pro Status. My friends and family will approve of my lifestyle because I finally achieved what I set out to achieve.
With my second divorce my psychologist asked me why I think I had eating disorders for such a long time and all I could think of was ‘what does that have to do with a divorce?’. He then went on to say that by controlling what I ate (or didn’t eat or purged) was the only thing that I could control. My decisions were always based on approval and that was one thing that I didn’t need approval of. (see the resemblance with my eating disorders and bodybuilding? Something I could control)
WAIT WHAT?? DIVORCED TWICE??
I got married when I was 23. I got married to get out of the house and not be dependent on my parents anymore. I wanted to be independent. What was I thinking??? Never the less, he was a lovely guy, a bit controlling, but we were both young and needless to say, 2 years later we got divorced.
Divorce is never easy especially when there are kids involved as with my second divorce. It’s something that I would rather not go into detail with because it’s in the past and we have all come a long way since then. I still speak to my kids dad and we both have our babies best interest at heart. We still get along very well which is amazing. A lot of healing has been done and I am sure it will be a continuous process for everyone.
The past five years of my life has been a rollercoaster and challenging to say the least.
2016: Divorce #2 and moving away from my kids and my family and I not speaking for 2 years.
2017: 15 year old friendship turns out to be the love of my life.
2018: I had a motorbike accident that almost killed me and left me with 10 broken bones and a smashed face.
I married the keeper of my heart. (in hospital)
2019: Immigrated to Australia.
2020: Pandemic hit the world which meant no visits from our kids and my family.
Would I change any of it? No. Would I have done things differently? Yes.
I still carry a lot of hurt in me which I deal with every single day. Some days more than others.
I miss my kids terribly and being so far away in a different country doesn’t make it any easier and believe me a video call just isn’t enough.
In the end all my feelings and emotions build up and I keep them suppressed because my friends who got me, who I confided in, whether it was just silly banter or matters of the heart, those who knew every detail to my story….. they’re far away. Those catch up coffees are a thing of the past.
Life gets VERY lonely.
Which brings me back to those lyrics of Lewis Capaldi……
So why do those lyrics cut so deep??
Under a what sometimes seems to be a hard exterior, I am a total softy and things affect me very deeply. Whether it’s my own feelings or others. There’s a lot of hurt under the surface. I sometimes wish someone will say something to make my heart beat better and to make it all stop hurting.
Everyone who knows me knows that I deal with stuff and I’m always strong, but there are times where I don’t want to be strong. Times when I just want to fall apart and I don’t want to pick up the pieces on my own.
Well, it’s my pieces and I pick them up every time in the hope to one day help someone else pick up their pieces when they don’t want to pick it up alone.
WHAT TO TAKE FROM THIS
You are enough!!! You are absolutely, totally enough!! You do not need anyone’s approval and you definitely don’t need approval to be loved. You deserve to be love.
Say what’s on your heart and mind. Don’t let it build up because that will destroy you. It’s ok not to have it together all the time. It’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to fall apart. You’re human!
Things always end up the way they should. It might not make sense now, it might not make sense a year from now but there is always a reason as to why things happened the way they did. Never blame yourself for other people’s choices or opinions.
YOU ARE AMAZING!
YOU ARE LOVED!