In the spirit of #DareTO, we spoke with Sarah Nicole of The Birds Papaya and her partner Shane Landry, CTO of Canada’s fastest growing publishing company, Concourse Media, about Sarah’s globally recognized 100lb weight-loss journey and what it means to face to your fears, put yourself out there and live your best, unapologetic life.
The first-ever BMW X2 is BMW’s most daring vehicle yet. To celebrate, BMW Canada and Notable Life are partnering to see if you can #DareTO do what it takes for a chance to win a one-year lease of a BMW X2. Think you have what it takes? Click here to enter.
Tell us about the journey you took to transform your mindset and how that transformed your life.
Sarah: Five years ago I was faced with some very mind-altering realities about my weight, my health, and my lifestyle. I was 225lbs, perpetually sick, and found myself watching life on the sidelines, never truly engaging in it. As a Mom of three, I knew this needed to change – not just for me, but for them. We all deserved more.
Shane: At a particularly challenging point in my life where my job was toxic and unfulfilling and my first marriage was ending, I had a moment of clarity. I had reached a turning point in my life, a critical junction with multiple paths forward that would be determined by multiple factors. Some of those factors were within my control and most of them were not. I decided to take control of those things that I had control over and do them better. I decided to be positive, see the positivity in what had previously seemed only negative and to always be more thankful for what I’ve been so lucky to have and not dwell on those things that I don’t. I decided to try to surround myself with the most positive people which ultimately led me to find Sarah.
- What advice would you share with people about how to stay motivated and live their best life?
Sarah: Motivation truly comes and goes. There will always be peaks and valleys and the key to staying motivated is seeking outside sources of motivation when your own is at a low. Surround yourself and your newsfeeds with people, places and things that help you form inspiring thoughts and decisions. While it’s ultimately your choices that will define your journey to living your best life, the support of others near and far can really make a lasting impact.
Shane: You have more control than you think. Those things that can can directly influence are easy to spot, but to stop worrying and dwelling on the things out of your control gives you back some of the control they have on you. The challenges you’re afraid to face are where success can be found. Positivity, self reflection and the embracing failure as moments or revelation have helped me succeed.
- When it comes to fear and self-doubt, what helps you stay ambitious in reaching your personal and professional goals?
Sarah: Fear can do one of two things, it can cripple you or it can fuel you. When you allow fear to be a roadblock in your life, you will find yourself stuck in a box you’ve built. When you face your fears, even if there’s some failure involved, you have moved forward. Sometimes the scariest things can be the most rewarding.
- If you could go back in time and give encouragement to yourself before your transformation, what would you say?Sarah: I would tell myself to not root my transformation in self-hate. It’s a hard lesson learned, and one worth avoiding. It’s better to choose a path of self-love which promotes the desire to improve yourself and your life in ways that you’re proud of!
How do you want to inspire others?
Sarah: I want to inspire others by continuing to share the importance embracing who YOU are, facing fears and getting out of the boxes we all too often place ourselves in.
Shane: Truth, kindness and positivity are traits that I admire most and try to exemplify. I try to inspire Sarah’s kids to believe in those virtues more than anyone.
- What drives you, and how would you encourage people to just go for it?
Sarah: What drives me is the desire to always improve upon myself. You see, a drive is very different from motivation. Where motivation is what fuels the car, the drive is actually moving it. You’re in the driver’s seat and you have full control. The choice is yours, to move forward or to just stay still.
Shane: I’ve always been driven by the nay-sayers. When someone tells me I can’t do something, I want to do it better than anyone else ever has.
- What’s your favorite memory about a time you just went for it and explored a new direction?
Sarah: Just a few years ago, I was a 10-year stay at home mom of 3. I had no real experience, education or career. When I found myself faced with the realities of then being a single mother, my whole life changed direction. It was an amazing time in life and an opportunity to land on my own two feet, and prove that to myself and others (especially my kids) that it could be done. While working two jobs, and managing a growing social media, I found myself in a career that has supported my family ever since.
Shane: I think meeting Sarah was a story I would never have believed for myself. We were really pushed together by a series of unbelievable, self-fulfilling events which led me to fall more deeply in love than I’ve ever experienced. Looking back, I don’t know if it was my own actions or the Universe that conspired to bring us together.
- #DareTO is about doing whatever it takes. What does #DareTO mean to you?
Sarah: To me, #DareTO is all about facing fears and challenges head-on, embracing the process of it all. Life is to be experienced, not just to be admired from the sidelines!
Shane: Fear isn’t weakness, it’s a road map to growth and success.
Do you consider yourself brave? On Saturday, June 16, 2018, BMW Canada is giving you the chance to #DareTO see Toronto from its greatest heights, challenge your taste buds, and leave your mark on more than just the city for the chance to win this iconic new vehicle for a year.
Be advised that these challenges are not for the faint of heart, so ask yourself: do you have what it takes to #DareTO? If you think you’re ready to show that you are one of Toronto’s most daring individuals, register HERE for your chance to participate in the BMW Canada #DareTO Challenge and win a BMW X2 for a year.