Gratitude and Growth

Last weekend was Thanksgiving and although we didn’t have a big family gathering, I did take some time to recharge. The past couple of weeks have been unbelievably transformative for me and for that I am incredibly grateful.

I’ve questioned so much about myself lately. I’ve struggled with my body image and how I feel about it. Sexually, I have no issues. I have no issue with being seen naked. It’s when I’m out and about in public that’s when I have issues because I feel like I’m being judged. I’m not happy where I am and I feel like I had failed because I let the fat creep back on despite having had such great success 6 years ago. The emotional garbage I was hanging onto was causing me to eat crap that I knew was not good for me. My workouts were pretty regular but I did the minimum and that was it. It seems that my emotional issues are what’s been holding me back.

Then a male friend of mine reminded me that I’m sexy regardless of what my body looks like. It got me thinking. Another friend said she admired how sexually confident I am. She’s somewhat thinner than I am and a couple of years older but she said she’s not nearly as comfortable with the topic as I am.  It really is about attitude. I am grateful to these two friends who have been so supportive of me and who got me thinking.

I have so many other things to be grateful for. My health is much better than it used to be. Could it better? Yes. Am I working on it? Absolutely. My body is more luscious than I want it to be but everything works so I have nothing holding me back other than my brain. I have a wonderful husband who supports me and picks up the slack when I’m busy building our business and who loves me despite my challenges

I gotta tell you … the people I have met on this journey over the past year since I left my corporate job have helped transform my life. When you surround yourself with people who are positive, active, encouraging, uplifting, funny, full of life, driven, dedicated and joyful, it affects who you are and how you view the world.

Have you ever met someone and you just knew you had to get to know them better? It’s like you can feel their energy and you want to be surrounded by that. I’ve met so many people like that.

One of these amazing souls is Barb, who I met at a local networking group meeting and has inspired me to do 365 days of gratitude on my Facebook page. I’ve always been grateful for the life I have. I know I’m blessed. I know I live a very nice life. We don’t have a big, fancy house or two expensive cars but we have love and laughter and passion and I don’t know what more I could ask for. The “things” like a house, cars, travel, etc. … they will come in time but what’s more important are love, laughter, charity, kindness and spirituality of which I have a ton of in my life.

Another one of those people was Peter who I met at a toastmasters meeting. A couple of weeks ago, after the meeting, we were talking. I was still in the midst of a challenging time in my life. People were milling about after the meeting but for me they ceased to exist. We were standing very close to each other, face to face. He put his hands on my face and stared so intently into my eyes. I couldn’t look away. It’s an intense experience when you’re inches away from someone and your eyes lock and neither of you looks away. I didn’t hear everything he said because he was talking fairly quietly. I don’t remember most of what he said that I did hear. But one thing stood out. FOCUS. I have to tell you … it was one of THE most intense, intimate moments I’ve shared with anyone outside of a sexual experience. Two weeks later and it’s still almost as vivid in my mind as it was the night it happened. A lot has changed since that night but I keep hearing him say “focus”. My gratitude for that experience is overwhelming.

There is Sher who is our caterer extraordinaire who always has a smile on her face and love in her heart. She keeps us well fed, both physically and spiritually. She is one of the most precious people I’ve ever met. So if you’re in the GTA and need a caterer, look up Sher’s 5 Star Catering … you won’t be disappointed.

There are so many others … Tracy, Patrice, Marlon, Ed, Marlene, Claudine, Hadriana, Lynn, Melanie, Carol, Heidi …. the list is so long I couldn’t possibly name everyone. For each one of them my heart is so full of gratitude for they have each contributed to making me a better person. They have all shown me what it’s like to be the kind of person I want to be; kind, loving, empowering, thoughtful, charitable, encouraging.

I want to give a special shout out to my girl Celia … we connect every day and hold each other accountable. We vent when we need to. I can pick her brain on marketing and strategy when necessary. She supports me unconditionally in business and calls me out when I’m trying to feed her a line of b.s. in my personal life. She publishes an e-magazine called Resilientista … women supporting women … and I am privileged and grateful to be a regular contributor to this magazine. You can find her at by the way and sign up for the magazine. Did I mention it’s free and full of great info and keeps getting better and better with each publication.

I just want to leave you with this. Surround yourself with people who are shining examples of love and respect … people who lift you up, not tear you down.

In the words of the amazing Les Brown … “never let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality”. You are amazing. You deserve to thrive and shine. Never let anyone else try to tell you differently. And if you need some love … drop me a line.

Have an awesome week and don’t forget to smile. You never know who might need it.

Sandy O’Shea, CNP
Holistic Nutritionist

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