Conversation with Christine Taylor

This week, Liv has a Kitchen Table Conversation with Christine Taylor, Director of Counselling, at Workit Health.  Christine is inspiring. She is a story of how to recover and live a life full of passion and purpose!

Kitchen Table Conversation

Liv: Let’s kick off with food: What have you had for breakfast today?

I am an avid eater of breakfast so I had a “Go Bar” they are made by a company in Michigan called “Bear Creek.” Peanut butter, oatmeal, cherries, protein powder and I swear a pinch of magic.  I could make them and save some money but I am pretty lazy in the kitchen.

Finding Recovery

Liv: Moving to your story, tell me what brought you into recovery—that defining moment?

In 2012, I got a DUI on New Year’s Eve, or maybe more like New Year’s Day.  I remember being in handcuffs and the holding cell and then thinking, “So now we have started doing this.” My mom came to get me and I told her I needed to go to rehab.  To be honest I said it mostly to make her not as mad at me but I followed through and it turned out to be the best thing I have ever done.  The thing I had been struggling with was finally in the light and the hidden me had to be the same as the during the day me.

Liv: How have you chosen to recover? What modality does that take?

I chose to do a 12 step program but unfortunately am not nearly as involved as I once was.  Life (kids) has gotten in the way.  I have learned through what I call, research, that recovery can take several forms and to not be so hard on myself if I am not making 5 meetings a week.  I am big fan of doing whatever works for you.  To me that is a close group of girlfriends that I tell everything to, a sponsor I don’t call nearly enough, and the willingness to know that I am not always right.

Self-Efficacy & Overcoming Disempowerment

Liv: You work for Workit Health and are described as is ‘a clinician with over a decade’s worth of experience working with various disempowered populations to promote self-efficacy and resource acquirement’. Tell me what disempowered looks like?

Disempowered people don’t know where to turn to get help whether that is in themselves or in something else.  People start to either feel like they are shouting in the dark, chasing their tail, or have resigned to the fact that nothing can help.  I like to turn to them and make it clear that as long as they are a breathing human being they have an advocate in me.  I have a very strong voice and am willing to be theirs until they find their own.  We all have those moments where we feel like we need a light, I like to help to be that.

Liv: Leading on from the last question, how does one promote self-efficacy?

Self-efficacy is the most important thing that  me, and Workit, stress.  Self-Efficacy means knowing that you can accomplish something.  When someone decides to take on a task because they want to and they know they can then half the battle is won.  It does not work for me to tell you, “this is your goal, you have to be 100% sober, you have to do X, Y, and Z three days per week.” Change has to come from the inside.  It is my job to be your cheerleader and to help you move barriers that stand in your way.

Physical Recovery

Liv: Moving on to your physical recovery, what has your relationship been with food in recovery?

Ugh, I like food.  I eat it regularly but controlling it was my first addiction.  As soon as I stop using substances the food control is waiting in the wings ready to take center stage.  When I was newly sober I decided it was a great idea to do a fitness show; that was, in fact, a bad idea and it has taken me a long time to get back to semi-normal.

I had a baby two years ago and that really changed how I looked at my body.  I remember looking down at my body immediately after the baby and knew that I was completely powerless over how it looked at that exact moment but how grateful I was for what it could create.

Liv: How do you look after your physical health today?

I love to work out. I don’t get to the gym very often anymore because of mommyhood but have made a little gym at home.  Oh, and I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned it yet but my PELOTON! It is an amazing spin bike that streams classes.  I love it.  

As far as food I try to eat healthy most of the time, lots of veggies and am always trying to make small changes to be healthier.  Right now I am trying to give up artificial sweeteners.

Other than that I try to do grown up things like take my multivitamin, go the doctor, floss my teeth, etc.

Liv: Penultimate question: what is your favourite meal/dish?

Pizza, I love pizza.  Or chocolate covered almonds.  Or pizza and chocolate covered almonds, not together but as one solid meal.  

Top Recovery Tools

Liv: Last, what are your top five recovery tools?

  1. Exercise: Energy has to go somewhere, I leave it in a pile of sweat.
  2. My girlfriends: I need people to tell everything to.
  3. Laughter: Life is intense, you need to have a good sense of humor about it.
  4. My family: I want to model for my family how to be loving and strong, and my own immediate family for always being there for me.
  5. My job: I sincerely love what I do.  It challenges me and makes me better everyday.

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