When I was living in Calgary, I went through a lot of changes.
I was finally living somewhere that no one knew me or my family. I no longer felt invisible – and I was able to be myself and have friends of my own that no one else knew. It was life changing for me.
I was working at a big law firm in downtown Calgary, and one of the things I noticed was how healthy everyone was, and I was not. So I decided to form a group at the office to do a “Biggest Loser” competition, and whoever lost the most weight won the pot. The first competition, I did well but didn’t win. The second one I did win. I lost over 30 pounds in 5 months – I was so proud of myself and I was able to do a 5k run, and I felt great. My IBS was no longer such a hindrance to me – it still flared up but not nearly as often as it had before. My stress level was lower, and I felt great. I started dating again at this point.
I think one of the most inspiring moments of my time in Calgary, though, was when two of my friends and I got tickets to go and see Jillian Michaels at SAIT. Jillian Michaels was one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser and she was very inspirational on the show, so I was very excited to see her.
Her talk changed my life. Her talk inspired me to get healthy for me. Her talk inspired me to be more active and eat right. But the biggest thing she inspired me to do – was to get out of my comfort zone and do something that would the way I see myself in the world. It was late that year (2013) that I started thinking of going in another direction in my life – and then in early 2014, I applied for the TEFL course in Prague.
Calgary did so much for my future – and changed so much about me. Calgary, and Jillian Michaels, are what made me the way I am today, mentally. I need to find that inner strength I had back then to get myself healthy again.