Cindy Engelstad B.A. ICF
Meet the Staff – Cindy Evernden
In this edition of "Meet The Westwind Staff", we get to know Cindy Evernden. Cindy is one of our newest team members, she is our Senior Support Staff located at the Brandon, MB location.
"When you argue with reality, you lose — but only 100% of the time." ~ Byron Katie
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town just south of Brandon, Manitoba and about a ten minute drive north of the US border. It has a population of 1500 people and I graduated high school with 33 people…probably about 25 of which I went to kindergarten with! After graduation I moved to Alberta for college and ended up spending twelve years there (and having two beautiful baby boys!) before coming back home to Southern Manitoba.
When have you felt the most in your power?
I would say that returning to post-secondary in my 30s was one of the most challenging and yet rewarding things that I have done in my life. I was working, teaching fitness classes, running a household, raising two boys and completing full-time university. I look back on that time and feel like superwoman — and although I would not want to relive that period of my life, it makes me believe that I truly can accomplish anything.
What led you to Westwind?
During my last year of university I saw a Support Staff job posting for Westwind. Knowing very little about Westwind at the time, I did some online research and really clicked with what I was reading. In the years prior, I had begun to dismantle my own relationship with diet/wellness-culture. Westwind helped to solidify everything I was exploring on my own and working with each unique client that has come through the doors has opened my eyes to the incredible harms the diet and wellness industries do to women. My work at Westwind has made me even more passionate about supporting others on their journey to full recovery.
What do you do at Westwind?
I think the title 'Support Staff' really says it all. I am here as an all encompassing support for whatever a client may be going through on the road to recovery. I assist during meal times, I am an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on and everything in between. I have such respect and admiration for every single woman that walks though the Westwind doors and begins or continues her road to ED recovery. I love our clients and am happy to fill whatever unique role they need on their recovery journey.
What is one thing you practice to maintain positive mental health?
My biggest tip to other busy women is to not be scared to be "selfish". When my children were younger I definitely fell into the role of martyrdom mommy — I was tired, burnt-out, resentful and easily triggered. As my boys got older I have learned the importance of carving out time for myself and reminding myself that I matter. I no longer pour from an empty cup, but it takes effort to make sure that I am always my top priority. I have learned that when I am happy, rested, calm and cared for everyone else in my household is to. Also sleep, sleep is everything.
What are your favourite hobbies?
This is an interesting question to unpack, even though it may seem like a simple one. During my ten year career in the fitness industry, I would have said my hobby was working out. As I have distanced myself from the fitness-diet narrative, I have been able to expand my horizons in a way I never was able to during that time. Now I throughly enjoy moving my body in intentional ways such as walking, biking and paddle boarding. Listening to podcasts, reading, laying on the beach and travelling are also favourite hobbies — and I'm trying to branch out and add more crafty things to that list!
Top 3 Favourite Podcast:
1) Over It & On with It — As a certified Life Coach I learn so much from listening to Life Coach and host Christine Hassler coach people live on the podcast.
2) Almost 30 – Even though I'm "almost 40", this is a fun podcast that touches on spirituality and personal growth with plenty of woo-woo thrown in.
3) Food Psych – I have learned a ton about the toxicity of diet culture from host Christy Harrison. Her episodes are informative and truly eye-opening