Making a Systemic Change-{Guest Post}

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Betsy MacKinnon from TheLiquidBetsy. Don’t you just love the name Betsy?  Betsy can usually be found herding her three kiddies through life, mainlining all kinds of media (especially questionable TV,) or reading the Financial Times. She’s so set on surfing back in her hometown of Newport Beach, CA, it scares her husband.

Photo courtesy of

Making a systemic change.

Face it , it sucks.

Ask Greece. Ask me.

Whether you’re speaking macro-economically or just asking a person overhauling their life, systemic changes usually* absolutely suck.

A systemic change is one that affects on every spectrum: top to bottom, inside and out. For example, let’s talk the current economics events in Greece.

With too many government workers, retired pensioners, or citizens collecting benefits, and not enough workers who pay taxes (and some say a lax tax-collecting system.) Greece is having to come to gripes with their socialistic fiscal policies – either revise or ruin. Recently there were cuts in government positions, worker’s salaries, and pensions. The turmoil currently going on speaks for itself. Major, painful broad-spectrum socio-economic changes have to happen in Greece for it to survive, because, obviously, they can’t “keep on keepin’on” the path they’re on.

Not that I consider myself on par with Greece. But individuals go through the process of systemic change as well. Often kicking and screaming.

Today, I was in my 74th minute (and I was counting comrades) of my hot power yoga class. Attempting to do a standing spit pose (see below,) I huffed and puffed, muscles quivering in deep stretchy ache. I kept thinking “How did I get myself here?”

Photo courtesy of

It’s because of a systemic change.

I reminded myself that only a year ago I was an 8 cup o’joe a day, mommy by day, marketer at a start-up by night, stress ball of a hot mess. Tired, exhausted, fried and wheezing- my father’s cancer diagnose and grueling treatment was my very own Greek wake-up call.

I had start taking care of myself or something nasty might take care of me.

I made a systemic change in my life. No coffee. Committing to a detox cleanse. Eating clean. Limited alcohol. More exercise. Meditate, yoga.

And, in the beginning, it totally sucked.

Headaches, caffeine withdrawal, wicked-sugar cravings, chills, aches and pains as I cut out dairy, wheat, sugar, soy, processed foods to name a few. Not to mention re-orienting my priorities, scheduling in yoga instead of pancakes with the kids on the weekend.

But it got better. And slowly, it got a whole lot better. My skin cleared up, the rashes that started to appear months earlier were gone, I slept better than I had in years, more energy, clearer thinking. After 30+ days of my change, I was, in fact, a changed woman.

Not that I’m cured. My health is a work in progress, as seen by my recent “let them eat cake” moment. But the benefits force me to keep at it daily.

You probably have going through this on some level. I tried to come up with a few scenarios (some may sound familar): quitting smoking, losing weight, losing a job, quitting drinking, learning to read, learning to walk, your first real job (“whose FICA and why the HELL do they get my money?”,) learning to drive stick, pregnancy, college, the first year of marriage, the first year of post-divorce, the first year with a child, your parents getting older, your child getting older, you getting older, major illness….

So wether you’re Greece or just you, we all go through systemic change. It’s going to happen. It’s going to suck. You endure and you often find yourself… better.

Worked for me, let’s hope the same for Greece.

*I say usually because you could win the LOTTO and that’s frankly that’s freakin’ great.

You can also find Betsy on Twitter @theBetsy.  In fact, why not send her a tweet now?


  1. 7


    Great post. And I have got to jujmp on the guest blogging band wagon, especailly while on vacation. So, I’ve decided it all has to do with aging, that is these systemic changes we must make. I hate it, but it is imperative.
    .-= alicia´s last blog ..Guest Blogger, Awards, and a Clue =-.

  2. 8

    Kirsten says

    I love this Betsy and couldn’t agree more!!! Thanks for the kick in the pants to make some additional changes that I need. Five years ago I decided to go sugar free and whole grains. Today I started a raw/vegan cleanse and this is just what I needed to hear to keep me on track!

  3. 12


    Thanks you all! Really grateful for Angie for giving me the opportunity to share. For those interested I did do a 30+ day “Clean” detox and documented the good, the bad and the awesome of the experience on my blog. Lots of links to more info if you’re curious.

    Pleasure to “meet” you all. Thanks Angie for the introduction!

    Cheers. Betsy
    (P.S. I do like the name Betsy. Not a lot of us out there in the wild…)
    .-= TheBetsy´s last blog ..90 Day Fitness Challenge Update #2: Feel the Pain. =-.

  4. 13

    Angie says

    I love how you summed up your post with these lines:

    “So wether you’re Greece or just you, we all go through systemic change. It’s going to happen. It’s going to suck. You endure and you often find yourself… better.”

    I wholeheartedly agree.

  5. 14


    I loved this too. I am feeling very Greek at the moment. I need a major European boost:)

    I’m hoping my move and new life as stay at home (over working mom) will start some new changes, and ones that don’t begin with Hot Tamale overdoses.

  6. 19


    I really enjoyed this…until I read that it got easier only after THIRTY days! Oh dear. I don’t know. I DO know I NEED to make a change and be healthier, but man alive, I struggle with sticking with stuff – namely EXERCISE!
    .-= Lindsay´s last blog ..Ella ~ F.I.V.E. =-.

    • 20


      30 days? No, I think I started feeling better (well, looking better) after something like 7 days. The Cleanse I was on, though tough, was fairly practical – try for 7 then see if you can go 14… Get to 14? Try 21.

      I was personally challenged by the Dr who authored it (after an incredibly unfortunate cupcake batter incident- I had like 2 freakin’ spoonfuls!) I never back down from a challenge so I did it for 32 days. I blogged about it from Day 1 to 32 on my blog, TheLiquidBetsy.

      Making a change is really not that hard. Start small. In gearing up for this cleanse I stopped drinking coffee. It took about 3 weeks of weaning but I started sleeping better which was wonderful. Then I tried something else, having “green smoothies” for just breakfast, I dropped a few pounds and felt even better. It snow-balled after that.

      Just try one thing. Take up yoga or cut out caffeine. You’d be amazed how that one step begins a whole journey.
      .-= TheBetsy´s last blog ..The Pitfalls of Eating Out… or the 1,687 Calorie Turkey Burger From Hell. =-.

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