One year ago, I started this blog and began a very public journey to turn my life around and get back into the driver’s seat of my own life. I’m here to say that I’m back and living Large and In-Charge (at least on the inside) and wanted take a moment for myself to celebrate and acknowledge how far I’ve come but more importantly, give hope to anyone who is where I was, not so long ago, feeling small, disconnected, overweight, out of control, guilty, frustrated, lost, separate, stuck, scared and overwhelmed with my situation.

I’m both happy and humbled because in just twelve short months, I :

  • Got myself out of the well I was in and started a journey to get my life back with help from my life coach, now friend and mentor, Peter;
  • Opened up to Lisa Carpenter at my Starting Point and took her incredible E.A.T Program where I got real with myself and my relationship with food;
  • Started moving my body (battling grumpy old men) run/walking and working out at least once a week (twice if possible – so lots of room to improve on this);
  • Headed back to school, attending weekend long coach training courses when my infant son was 3 months old with breast pump in tow;
  • Left my safe, secure and well-paying profession in corporate marketing communications to explore my passion of serving others;
  • Took snowboarding lessons and decided breaking my ass was NOT on my bucket list after all;
  • Declared 2013 as my year of “Daring to Suck” to propel me into living a bigger, more meaningful life in the face of fear;
  • Jumped in with both feet at Hugh Culver’s Advanced Speaker’s Academy Training
  • Strutted my 39 year old “stuff” in a local fashion show;
  • Took an unexpected child-free vacay to Las Vegas to reconnect with much appreciated hubby;
  • Danced and sang “Love Shack” in a ‘blind’ Karaoke contest with DJ Tony from the Ellen Degeneres Show (in front of hundreds of people with a baby strapped to my chest);
  • Started my coaching business, Daring To Suck Coaching and built a full list of inspiring (and PAYING) clients;
  • Celebrated becoming a Certified Professional Co-Active Life & Business Coach
  • Did a freaking CHIN-UP and can now do more than one;
  • Said GOODBYE to 40lbs and 30+ inches off my body, going from a size 16+ to a size 8;
  • Had the long-overdue breast reduction surgery I’ve wanted for years (sorry, no before and after pics);
  • Entered a contest and WON the chance to be restyled by the Amazing Lori Harris of Style Smarts who took me on a shopping spree (blog post here );
  • Recently celebrated crossing the finish line at the Surrey Half-Marathon Relay where I completed my first 10K run… ever! (see video below); and
  • Did all of the above while maintaining AND improving my marriage and also kept my two boys (1.5 & 4 yrs) safe, fed, loved, and (fairly) clean along the way.

If you had told me I was going to have done all this a year ago I would have either LAUGHED in your face or PUNCHED you in it!

There is a quote that says once we make a decision, the Universe will conspire to make it so. And I believe this wholeheartedly because as soon as I started saying “Yes” to exploring what my true inner voice wanted – the people, opportunities and experiences were literally thrown in front of me – as if my intended life was PULLING ME into it. And I think that’s how it goes when you get back on track living the life you were meant to live.

So now, I am more fulfilled than ever but it’s not all tweeting birds and butterflies. I am simply living my life as an active participant feeling more present to fully enjoy the good and self aware enough to speak up when my gut is saying WTF! In this new place, I am committed to filling my own cup up first so that it spills over the edges for my kids, husband, clients, friends, family and community get the overflow. No apologies or guilt about it.

All I dared to do was be authentic (truthful, open, vulnerable, raw) about where I was along the way and opened myself up to others and new experiences in the process. I said YES to possibilities and NO to self-suffering. What I didn’t expect was that my willingness to be vulnerable and “real” would inspire others to do daring things, create new connections and deepen relationships at every turn. Who knew cracking me open in front of others had such gifts?! I know better now and cannot go back to hiding or ‘faking it till I make it’. Daring, for sure, but it’s worth it – I am, and so are you.

My year in pictures…

Sept 2012: Not so happy camper

Nov 2012: Happier 20lbs lighter!

Sept 2013: Happiest ever, even in silly socks.

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And of course it wouldn’t be a complete post if I didn’t include my latest passion which is to make videos on my iPhone. Here is one documenting the 10K my friend Michelle and I completed last weekend (note: won’t play on iPhone…grrr):

I’m going to finish by adding my own spin to one of my favourite quotes, which is:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do (and be) it! Because what the world needs is people who have come alive!”

Because it’s not so much about WHAT we do in our life, but HOW we do it.

So take my story and pay attention to what’s begging to be discovered, said or done for you. Take one step in that direction and keep going, knowing you are more powerful and capable than you could ever imagine. I’m living proof.

With much love and gratitude for this crazy ride,

Keri-Anne L.