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I served in the Canadian Forces as a communications researcher. Although I loved the job, it required inconsistent shift work, frequent travel and being away from my family. After 11 years service, I left to work in the public service. A more stable job which allowed me to be more present in the lives of my sons.

Like many mothers, we try to juggle family and career: hockey games, violin lessons, acting classes in addition to playing taxi drivers, nurses, referees and having a "mom" consultation office in the bathroom.... the days fly by and the nights are short. So, unconsciously or simply by habit I put my needs and my health aside. I have no regrets, my sons are my pride and they have become respectable men. I am not looking for excuses, I was negligent towards myself for sure.

Because of this personal neglect over the years and the attitude of saying "I'll start eating better tomorrow" well I've put on a lot of weight which has caused me health issues like digestive problems and inflammation. Just bending over to tie my shoes was difficult. How could I have let myself go so much? I who loved sports, I was an ace at badminton and loved to play hockey !!! With weight gain comes a drop in self-esteem which often led to episodes of depression. I didn't know where to start and if I could even get there if I started.

Then one Friday in April 2018, I went to a friend's retirement party. Of course, pictures are taken. So here I am, 49 years old alongside my colleagues, some older than me, healthy, radiant and beautiful. When I saw the photo, there was a sort of awakening, a slap in the face, I realized how much I had let myself go completely. Suddenly there was no more questions of putting anything off until tomorrow!! I decided that I absolutely had to take control of my body, my health and my life. No more excuses, no more maybe.

The same evening I contacted a weight loss business and that's how my path crossed Emilie's. She reassured me right away and told me it was never too late to be healthier. She taught me that food is not an enemy, that counting calories and restricting certain foods can help early on, but it is not a long term solution. Because of her nutritional knowledge, support and dedication, I lost 50 pounds and have never felt better.

Qualifications and membership: Signals Intelligence Specialist, Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics, Member of Canadian Institute of Access and Privacy Professionals (CIAPP)

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