My heart was pounding and I couldn’t stop running. I felt the euphoria of the thing people call it the runners high. There is something extremely gratifying, sexual and rewarding taking your body to the next level. Gone are the days of endless hours looking at 17 magazine, wishing I looked like Denise Richards, believing if I used Clean and Clear, I would have skin like hers. No matter how many times I was told about marketing and ads to make people spend more money, on products we really don’t need.
It was the first time in my life content in my marriage, regardless how many men found me attractive check by men, and they found me attractive. What a turn on, for any woman who lacks self-confidence. Here I struggled with my own self identity and I found something that made me feel good, providing a healthy alternative lifestyle so different than the one I used to know.
The whispers at the workplace, gossiping about what new fad was going on in the world and trying to find out what I was doing to look so good. Hard work, it takes hard work. Half the time no one would be believe me anyway, it was their way of being a busybody, not understanding boundaries and respecting somebody’s choices in life. It didn’t matter continuing to work both jobs, in the childminding centre a good life fitness, north of the city and evening shift at a nursing home. It is expensive to have children, studies indicated an average of 11 article that appeared in the Canadian publication MoneySense placed the estimate at $12,824 a year, which adds up to $243,656 over 18 years. I think my parents got off pretty good, with giving little.
We are just trying to get the show on the road, as the it’s hard ins ever changing world. It’s hard in this day and age, jobs are scarce. And I having parents to help us do either watch the children, provide us with a few home-cooked meals or allow us to maybe go for a vacation once in a while even if it was. Those little things that some people take for granted. The little luxuries in life, you only see. To us, It was just about sacrificing, doing what you have to do to make ends meet. The kids were younger enough that they went to bed so early, which allowed me to go back to the gym on my days off and work on my muscles. It was a phase of my life, where the pages are a little tattered. It was a form of therapy, that turned into vanity obsession. Working out 3 hours a day, 6 days a week every week was therapy to me, requiring endless effort and sacrifice as well. Working at a local fitness club provided perks such as free tans, sauna and steam room. Workout classes and more. Getting healthy wasn’t costing me a dime, although my wage wasn’t competitive, enjoying the culture was worth every bit of hard work.
The ability to sleep better, a better sex drive, Which my husband didn’t complain about. A new self confidence blooming before me was awakening. Some said it was “obsessive” and yes I now can agree it’s truly was at times. It was something that took my mind of any pain, sorrow or a troubled mind.Though it didn’t become that way until something happened at the gym.
It wasn’t until a year later, Good life fitness would close their location due to a brand new Gold’s Gym being built up the road. It is where being part of team came quick, hired in the childminding room, learning being great at my job was personally rewarding in nature. Having the perks of bringing our children to work with me was a blessing at that point in our lives. Again allowing Brian to sleep during the day as he was on night shift and everybody benefitted including the kids having someone and other children to play with. It is the same gym where inspiring others unfolded, including a coworker to do something amazing. A weighloss journey similar to mine. Entering a contest canadwide and winning. She was rewarded, for I was proud to say I was part of her journey in better health and wellness. Yvonne and I still have contact with each other as we work in the same home. I could’ve been more elated for her that day, losing some weight and changing her life around. After being told by numerous gym goers, that they’ve found me inspiring, gifted to help someone out of a dark place, gave me the believe that I was right where I wanted to be. I couldn’t of been happier and everything was going perfectly, I could honestly say at that time there was no complaint of anything. The usual ups and downs. I was off work that day and I was in amongst the weights and of course since I love my music, listening to the vibes of Snoop Dogg, P!NK and old school 90’sI will focus on me and what I needed to do. There is a tap on my shoulder. A blond girl about 5’6 standing there looking at me. I never understood why people would wear make up or they work out? Her eyeliner smudged and eyelashes caked, her face flushed from her own set of weights. How are you she said, “I’ve been watching you for about an hour. Have you done any competitions? My name is Julie and I live in Sudbury.” Wow, This girls been watching me? OK I’m now kind of creeped out but OK. Go on… “ It looks as though you know what you’re doing.” I had told her that I invested in a model who is helping we with my diet and training for a contest where I’m trying to win $3000 for my tuition as I’m going back to school to get the recreation and leisure diploma soon. I said technically it is I guess a competition, but I’m not doing it for vanity I’m just here so I could go back to school as money is tight. “ You really should look into competing, you can win money at it too? I’m not 100% sure but it’s something to look into,” thank you I said to her, and told her I think about what she said. Of course I couldn’t get it out of my head, with the adrenaline of someone actually noticed my hard work and what is this competition stuff anyway? Just like anything I had investigate. There is a show coming up with the IDFA in Toronto, a month before the close of the ECD makeover challenge so I decided to enter as well. There was no money involved, but it was an opportunity to show his case my work and see where the chips may fall.
Taking her advice was the worst mistake I made. I had already invested in a number of her ECD recipe books, and as an avid oxygen Magazine reader as well as drove all the way to Hamilton to meet her with my first book I purchased, and we cooked a clean meal, we talked exercise and everything in between at one of her seminars. Driving home I spent hours reading to my husband about how I felt about her message her was leading. For the first time in my life I was extremely inspired by somebody.As I don’t really look up to people, or really had a role model or a leader in my life. Maybe that’s something I’ve been looking for, where I belong or maybe just wear maybe I fit in. After taking Tosca’s advice, and sending in my weight-loss story, I received an email to join the kitchen table. It was an online blog where her followers can engage in similar conversation and same interests. I will following someone to the principles of the eat clean diet. That is where I learned, about the contest that will give you $3000 if you transformed your life for a body, inspiring people along the way. Well it was already up my alley, I’ve already lost 50 pounds and changed my whole life for the best. It’s hard to believe what will happen in the next year. If I had a magicBall and knew what would happen? I would’ve change directions instantly, but life doesn’t work like that does it. Since I was going back to school for my recreation and leisure diploma $3000 at the time sounded perfect because I couldn’t even afford to go back to school. The PSW work was playing a toll already on my back, as well as no time to make a difference. Knowing God have me more to do than basic needs. It was time, to make a drastic amazing change. No matter the cost, god knows my Dad was selfish, spending his inheritance from our grandfather in expensive presents and lavish sporting goods on himself. Offering to help with my education wouldn’t even cross his mind. Nevertheless, I unrolled regardless of the debt it may cause. Letting yourself grow and prosper in a career can’t be a bad thing? Can it?
I spent hours chatting with fellow followers, before enrolling in a couple of the contests. The rules are pretty simple, submit your before photo in a bikini and submit your after photo in the same bikini, no shorts were allowed. No T-shirts are allowed as the judges need to see the transformation of your body and the work you actually put it in.
I successfully done that, and as the months progressed in those photos were being taken and I was the contest finally approached. I had achieved, what most can’t, or don’t have the discipline for. I rocked a bikini, and placed higher than most women. I was invited to inside fitness magazine to talk about my story, as well as numerous publishing’s from numerous outlets giving my story coverage to those looking for inspiration and they got it. Jamie Eason shared my video, And my weight loss journey. Resulting in my Facebook page growing over 1000 people in less than an hour. What happened within the following weeks leave me devastated, angry and frustrated with the human race.
As we waited in anticipation as the contest was closed, going onstage in getting a metal was scratched off the bucket list, life went on working at the gym, and the nursing home. Whispers, and followers of the page started to become almost vindictive in their comments during this time I was on this blog of her‘s. As everybody wanted to win everybody wanted to get recognition, to have a spot in a magazine to tell your story. The letters of inspiration were coming in quicker than I can even read them, leaving my confidence high but at least I would be part of the top three.Even months prior documenting my journey running on the beach with rocks in a bag to strengthen my legs I did everything I could, I left no stone unturned.
It was the day the results were being posted, and it almost seemed as if the world of fitness and nutrition we’re on pins and needles waiting for the results of the winners. I hadn’t heard anything yet but my following in the hundreds were cheering quite loudly. I was sitting at the kitchen island that day and I can still feel my heart beating as loud as it is right now. As I continue to refresh the computer screen during the countdown in anticipation… I closed my eyes.
My husband sitting beside me, we both looked. My face wasn’t there, nor was any mention of me, my story as a honourable mention? We were shocked, Those tears, those same tears that fill up your eyes so quickly they felt like a storm. I was sick to my stomach not understanding what had happened. My phone started to ting and bing… as if the Christmas chimes for ringing. How could this be? What the hell happened? The online community went nuts, I cannot describe to you how women can be so rude to others. Words can hurt. things can be said. As I studied the three winners and their stories, the third-place winner was dressed in a T-shirt and a pair of shorts which was against the rules of the eat clean diet makeover competition. I couldn’t believe looking at my photos and knowing the following I had, as well as proof of such a phenomenal achievement.
Falling into my husband’s arms, he held me as I sobbed. He also didn’t understand what went wrong, but there were no words he can say to make it better. “Leave it be” he said. Deciding to send an email to the Headquarters myself. A smelt a rat; and something seemed completely wrong. Eagerly wanting to know if they even received my submissions as I wanted to clarify that they got them. As well as bring to their notification, the rules that I followed and the third-place lady didn’t. The reply I got wasn’t very nice, as they told me I was disqualified for sending in a picture of me in a different bikini. Resulting in an instant disqualification of the contest. Again I was alarmed and frustrated as I knew my submissions were in the same blue and white bikini. They pretty much told me the contest was over and there’s nothing they can do about it but to move on. For the first time I felt so almost betrayed knowing my submission was right and as if it was either deliberately botched, or wrongfully submitted by who was in charge. It was like someone didn’t want me to even be noticed, but Why? It didn’t matter anyway, for me it wasn’t even about the winning. It was about the fairness of the contest, her followers on the kitchen table went nuts that year. The online jabs from different followers of other winners was just like girls fighting over the attention of a boy. How immature and I actually wanted to get off Facebook. Deciding to even remove myself from her online community called “ the kitchen table” as well as go under cover for a little while as the harassment and the bullying increased.
As I sent emails to some of my friends abroad, explaining what was happening behind the scenes. As they were conveyed for my wellbeing, from the result of everything. The next day my husband sent flowers to the gym and I sat in my office feeling empty and alone as I felt, again betrayed. I needed to find a way to take it off my mind, a coworker was going out for a cigarette so I followed. We went behind the mall, feeling so sad, deciding to smoke a cig; maybe I’ll feel better.
Years of all the work just put in we’re up in smoke. I am wondering what was all that for? feeling such a failure, As well as confused. Going home that night after work, I corked open a bottle of wine, drinking the whole thing. Getting drunk, I sat out the chicken coop in the backyard, the one my husband made for my birthday that year prior. We were going away for Labour Day weekend and it was my opportunity to reconnect with my family, and get prepared to go back to college for a diploma in Recreation and Leisure.
That week bringing my laptop with us, so I can write my next diet plans and goals for the next phase of my journey. Settling into our campsite we had made one trip into town, where I was able to check my messages and my emails. There is a message from Tosca Reno’s daughter, saying her mom wanted to reach out to me by telephone and if it was OK if I can give her my phone number. As my heart started to beat, Gladly giving my number, and they told me Tosca would be in touch with me soon.
Of course my mind is going to go in 1 million directions wondering that was all about. She’s actually going to call me at home? This has to be important. Not able to sleep all weekend, giddy with anticipation from a call from my favourite author. No one I bet got a call from her, what was she wanting?
The kids are gone back to school, and my phone was about to ring. remembering the day as it was yesterday. “Hello?” My voice shakes with glee. I was so nervous and her voice almost seems unreal. I was talking to her, She went on to talk about why I was disqualified and I believe she was calling for but the damage control. I told her how it made me feel and I told her that unfortunately I ended up with the shit end of the stick because of someone’s mistake. What happen next would forever change the dynamics of how I feel about trust yet again. As I talk to Robert, her husband he thanked me for the unconditional support, to his wife into his brand. I told him I just want to inspire people, and I did. Although I didn’t dwell on it as l I walked away with a head high, but unwilling to participate in high school drama online had no place in my life. I was too busy being a wife, mom, worker that’s all. That is when she offered me an ambassador position with the ECD. I was stunned. And that she was going to coach me and have my story told in oxygen magazine in the back pages in the success story portion. I couldn’t believe it I danced around my living room as a tip to myself talking to her so I had proof of what was happening for those who didn’t believe me. It wasn’t something I posted, but I wanted to share with my husband when he got home from work. We talked About this and that, and she wanted me to come up and see her at the book signing at the YorkDale mall. My husband and another friend join me for the book signing, as I walked into the room I seen her daughter whisper into her mothers ear as she made eye contact with me. I sat and enjoyed her talk to the crowd of onlookers. I was the last one to go up to her, and she knew who I was. I gave her a pair of earrings. Finding the perfect gift to give her. A set of angel wings and a card saying Thank You for giving me the wings to fly and for the first time in my life I was inspired. She came around and gave me a big hug, later posing for photos. She told me that the ECD package was coming in the mail and was excited for me. Grabbing one more photo with her husband as I showed him my workout book, filled with inspiring photos from his magazines.
I left Toronto that day, feeling as if I accomplished what I set out for, which was to feel a part of something, so amazing where I finally thought apart of a cool thing. Almost a month went by not having heard any word from her, nor a package came in the mail, weeks late. As if it was all a big dream and nothing was happening. Almost knowing the inevitable, it isn’t meant for me. Still not understanding why not me? I have the whole package and loyalty most never can handle.
Opening up my laptop I decided to send her an email, after sleepless nights, endless merlot shed tears . It was hard enough trying to study, in school, work two jobs and raise a family and be a wife. Never mind anything to do with a magazine appearance. Or travelling to fitness Expos, events and conferences. I finally was getting where they worked hard for, when I felt I deserved. Entrusting in her word, how could I not believe what was happening.
The only way I could know was by being honest to her, my heart started to pound as I started to type.
”This has been on my mind lately and after days of contemplation I have decided to ask you and tell you where my mind is, I have nothing to lose.
The Reason for writing this is, in your latest column in Oxygen about your daughters “letting you down” and you wrote to them telling them your thoughts and feeling…so this made me realize I needed to do this for me. You said the importance of addressing your feelings.
When the results of the contest happened, I spent the day sad, yes but, I woke up and moved on….. Dealt with the disappointment. Then I received a phone call from you and giving me news of a possible photo-shoot, and the amazing chance to represent the community of the ECD…that was 2 months ago. On a 2nd occasion you told me you we’re mailing out the information at the book signing again many weeks ago.
I am not sitting by the mailbox but, I am discouraged with the thoughts of again “being excited about something that doesn’t happen” and as my personality I do everything I can to stick to what I say, what I believe in. I am not sure if you have read my posts, seen my stories and photos on the KT. I am proud of who I am, who I inspire on a daily basis, and what my goals are. I don’t need to be an ambassador to complete my life but, it was a shock and honour to have you ask me because there really is no better and honest person for this than myself. I have worked hard, it hasn’t been easy with what’s on my plate but, I did it. But, I feel I am being put on the sidelines and on hold and that isn’t an enjoyable feeling.
If your call to me was just “damage control” and maybe your proposal wasn’t really intended and heart felt, I need you to tell me. Please be Honest with me. If your worry was someone “bad mouthing or slandering you or the system the decisions we’re made” you have no worries but, I can’t be put on hold without some sort of answer to what is happening.
I haven’t received anything in the mail as of today, and I do understand you’re busy but, I believe if you really valued my presence and had something to contribute for the ambassador something would have been sent already.
So All I am asking is for you to be honest and upfront with me…and I am truly ok with the truth because, whatever the outcome I am still Mitzi.”
Thanks for Listening,
If you feel you need to call, do so…it may be easier to talk then to type.
There’s a feeling of exhaustion, when you surcome to the honesty of what you need to say to someone. The hardest thing to do, today is to be honest. Having nothing to lose as if I was tired of being towed along again, with fake promises and unmet expectations.
Once I wasn’t receiving any response, the reply came in days before my birthday. It wasn’t the answer I wanted,
Hi Mitzi,My apologies for not being in touch with you regarding the ambassador program sooner. I initially thought we had it all sorted out, but in fact it is a program which is in its infancy. At this time I don’t have anything for you. This has nothing to do with you personally. It has everything to do with my team and our development of the program. Even the ambassadors we initially selected for the Arnold last spring are being held in waiting. We are a small team doing a lot of work! I will certainly be in touch with you should anything more concrete develop in the future. This could be many months from now though so I am asking for your patience. In the meantime, keep being Mitzi. Your presence on Kitchen Table is appreciated.Also, please don’t forget to send in your photos after your shoot for Future of Fitness in Oxygen. I have been doing my best to coach you on this, and I hope you understand the value of this. Many women get recognition from appearing in this piece and a lot of our readers actually flip to that section first.
I am definitely doing my best here. I am sure I am not everyone’s favorite person in the world, but I certainly wouldn’t offer “a proposal that wasn’t really intended or heart felt.” Doing my best, Tosca
Welcome To My Story
Cannabis Enthusiast : Craft Edible Creator : Recreation and Leisure Professional : Blogger
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