Are you ready for your transformation too?

Progress in fitness and weight loss isn’t always guaranteed to last and definitely isn’t guaranteed to be easy! I have struggled for most of my life to find the balance in feeling healthy, strong, fit and happy. This is a recap of my last few years of ups and downs…and finally where I can sustain without overtraining, deprivation or binge eating.

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March 2012: I reached my lowest body fat percentage ever and was super lean (and always hungry!) lol It was all about extreme work and no balance. I worked out over 2 hours every day, did fasted cardio in the early morning hours and stuck to a strict diet plan. Restrictions and hard work were what fueled me to reach the goals of taking on the stage (my biggest challenge to date)..that was my motto. I took home 2 trophies; one for 2nd place in my division and the other for 3rd place in the overall division. I was proud but I was also suffering both mentally and physically.
October 2012: After my competition passed, I couldn’t help myself to choose the foods that I had been deprived of for the past six months. I was extremely exhausted and had no desire to continue on my journey to exercise and eating right. My weight started to skyrocket and I found myself unfamiliar with the stages that my body took on. I was not able to control my weight gains, I was tired all of the time, I felt myself slipping into depression and hopelessness. Not a good feeling for someone who has been in love with fitness and health for over 2o years. I found that I was suffering from adrenal fatigue and couldn’t find the motivation to move forward. There was absolutely no balance in my life at this point. We were moving and resettling in a new area and the lack of schedule made it that much more difficult. I wondered if I’d ever get back to where I wanted to be…or at least to the point I was before my competition. I pretty much worked out when I wanted to and ate what I wanted to. My body and mind were suffering from my previous competition training and extreme dieting. I gained over 25 lbs and felt completely hopeless. My body stopped responding and I was miserable.


June 2016: Being an obsessive personality has left me with little choices in finding balance but when I hit rock bottom, I realized there had to be a better way. I could not – and I would not – allow myself to continue feeling this way. This summer, I finally found balance, and stopped suffering for my results. The past few years have been a roller coaster of struggles, diet plans, competitions, and feeling like a fraud to my clients. I never stopped eating clean foods and I never stopped working out…but I damaged my body and my metabolism by taking on too much and punishing myself in many ways. Commitment is not easy and finding balance to live a healthier and happier life is key to long term results. Extreme results are not healthy and def not worth the pain and suffering I went through. I now workout anywhere from 30-60 minutes a day…TOPS! No more and no less. I take at least 1 full rest day every week. I eat to fuel my body, not my mind and not my emotions. This is the rest of my life…and not just a walk across the stage. I want to feel powerful, healthy, strong, capable, athletic, and above all else: HAPPY. I actually feel the best that I’ve felt in YEARS. I hit rock bottom and became tired of feeling tired and always pushing for more.


I am committed to helping women like me feel this way and learn what it takes to eat, workout and live a happy life that doesn’t feel like punishment. If this post encourages or touches you, let’s chat about getting you started on your own journey with my help. I am restarting my one-on-one online training and invite you to join me. You can fill out the form below or send me an email and I’ll forward you all the information to check out. It’s never too late and you’re capable of more than you know! Deprivation and overtraining is not the way. You can be healthy, happy and fit for life! 

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10 Commitments you MUST make to reach your goals

I am learning more in this decade of my life than in any other. It’s crazy how I could have lived over 40 years, been married over 20 of these years and have 3 grown children and actually have this epiphany that I’m finally freaking LEARNING things that matter.

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Like really deep, right?

Maybe it’s cuz I finally have the time to do so! 🙂 In any case, this year I looked at my life in it’s entirety and measured what I was doing in my day to day that was making me truly happy. When I say “happy”, I mean that feeling you get when you are just HIGH on life. When you can’t sit still because you are jumping out of your own skin. That kind of happy. Do you even feel that feeling any more?

I realized that I wasn’t and it made me reconsider everything, for the first time in my life. Yes, I am blessed. I am so thankful for everything God has blessed me with and I have zero regrets because I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t gone through all that I have been through. I’ve lived the life that I was given and I very much love most, if not ALL of it. Ups and downs are inevitable but unless we embrace these too, we won’t truly understand the value and the lessons that the challenges brought us. I’ll save these stories for another time…

Maybe 😉

So as I sat and truly reflected on everything at the end of last year, I found myself at the crossroads that I’ve been before…at just wanting to freaking DUMP everything I was doing that didn’t make me want to jump out of bed every morning, and start over. You know…like pressing “CTRL + ALT + DELETE”? That’s the feeling that usually plagues me every few years and other than feeling overwhelmed (which is a word I’ve come to despise) I never understood that it was simply because I wasn’t getting enough pleasure and happiness from my daily tasks and work.

So here are the tips I have for you if you are needing to PURGE (or at least refocus) on the areas that are SUCKING life’s happiness and meaning from your bones and spirit. I wrote down every commitment that I was holding onto and how important each of these commitments were to  me and my happiness and future. The one thing that stood out to me was that I needed to cut back on trying to juggle too many roles in my world. I knew in my heart of heart that I needed to let go of my hours of teaching fitness classes, in order to create more time in growing myself and in growing my at home business. It was much like the day I decided I needed to quit my job as a personal trainer.

I knew how hard this would be for me. Here was a position that I held since I was just 18 years of age. That’s almost 30 years of teaching. That’s a part of me that I have known longer than before I was both a wife and a mother. This role always seemed to define me, for some reason. I felt valued, I felt needed and I knew I was helping others find their energy to do more.

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When I made the decision to give notice for my classes, I sat in my car in the gym’s parking lot and sobbed like a baby. This was a part of me. It may sound ridiculous but it was a LOSS. In order for me to grow into my next level of happiness and life’s roles that I knew would ultimately create more success and happiness for me and my family, I had no other choice. But it hurt so deeply.

Whether you’re deeply invested in your career or starting a business, I’ve learned that successful people commit to certain decisions that help shape them into becoming the elite. 

Choose to make every moment count. Every day is an opportunity and a gift to master new skills and further our goals. Success comes down to having the right attitude and making smart decisions. I know I made a smart decision because my heart is happier and I can’t explain it more simply and fully than that.

Here are 10 tips to help you find your own inner happiness again.

1. See the good in your life/job/work or find it again.
Find ways to love the life you’re in. If you aren’t getting the happiness you once had, do some research on where you are being drawn to instead.

2. Always risk failures
Commit to letting fear be your motivator but don’t let it become your master when you approach a new opportunity or change in your life. Fear only shrinks our success.

3. Work hard.

Measure your success by your work ethic. If all you are looking for is to simply make money, be careful as the need to make money can become a feeling of “needing to always create more of it”. It’s a feeling of LACK versus REWARD and this does not make for a happy life.

 

4. Be willing to grow
Be committed to thinking bigger than you have ever allowed yourself. Always be grateful for the accomplishments but never satisfied to stop. Continue creating bigger goals along the way.

We are always just beginning the next phase. I know that in my making these changes; I’m not “done” and I will always continue to ask “What’s next?”

 

5. Consistency is the key to success.
It will take commitment to working consistently without breaks and interruptions. It’s only through consistent and diligent work, along with having patience and understanding, that we can continue to climb higher towards more success.

6. Be in love with what you’re doing.
Decide to be passionate about what you do. Passion is the fire that ignites our desire to work harder. Just like a car can’t run without gas, our businesses cannot succeed if we aren’t passionate, focused, and hardworking.

7. Have self-respect.
Having self-respect gives us pride in ourselves; brings more confidence in every area of our lives and brings about the feeling of true happiness through and through. It’s also important to treat others with respect and having integrity in all that we do in order to keep that self-respect.

 

8. It’s a balancing game.
You cannot get where you want to go all by yourself. Learn to delegate activities and jobs. Knowing when to delegate means knowing your strengths and weaknesses.

9. Grow and nurture relationships.
Be choosy when adding others to your team or business. When you find the right team mates and members, nurture them along their goals of success in order to keep morale high and infusing them with your passion, vision and purpose.

10. Always ask for feedback.
Take it from me, don’t be a “know it all”. Professionals actively seek out feedback in order to grow. Every piece of feedback is a seed of knowledge, which is capable of furthering to expand both you and your business. Feedback forces you to keep an open mind and being available to new opportunities that may never have even been an option before.

In order to be happier and more successful in business and in life, commit to making wise and self-aware choices. Our success is a direct reflection of our decisions, our attitudes and our thinking. It’s important to ask ourselves when our business isn’t where we want it to be, we must start making new decisions. In order to grow our work, our happiness; we must first grow ourselves.

I believe this is exactly the next natural step for me too.

 

Let’s Move Mountains Today

Today I write about the ability to move mountains.

We tend to fall into society’s mold of what we should do and how we should behave. We start to lose focus of the open-ended dreams we had as children. The wonder of what is truly possible if we just decided to go for it. But something happens along the way. We start to doubt our awesomeness because we have stumbled. In those stumbles, instead of gaining confidence and finding another way, we lose focus and start to buy into the chatter going on around us.

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You can’t do that. It’s time to grow up. That’s not the way life works. Follow the guidelines of ‘normal’…

and so on. But it’s actually about breaking the mould that is “normal” to everyone else in finding our own greatness. What inspired you when you were young? What did your dreams consist of? Do you ever find yourself daydreaming about a “better life” or some deep-down desire that is weighing on you?

What’s to stop us from going after it? Aside from everyone else’s opinions and “realities”; the only real thing standing in our ways is US. 

Now, life isn’t ever going to go as planned, right? We can follow the blueprints and do what everyone else is doing and somewhere along the way; things will fall apart. It’s not within our control and most times and it’s the way it’s supposed to happen for us (whether you believe in God, destiny or mother nature; this is true) but we can tend to self-blame ourselves and fall into a deeper hole of being “safe” versus acceptance and restructure.

Safety is a good habit, if practiced correctly. Safety is about, well, being safe from harm. What it isn’t is, being safe from a challenge. Challenges and risks are part of life. If we didn’t risk anything, we would never change. But playing it “safe” can be downright boring and sooner or later, we will look at those who jumped in with both feet and are now enjoying some rather amazing results and wonder why not me? 

I had my own life mapped out, just like you did. I knew I’d be married and have a family. I knew we’d be church-attending, God-fearing people. I knew that we’d work to do our best and provide for our family and raise the kids to do pretty much the same thing we did.  What I realize now, is that my “dreams” were kind of vanilla. They were downright BORING. 

What I missed out on were the “details”.

Details are never included in our daydreams. I missed out on the fact that our family would have adventures. What I missed out on was the fact that we would attempt to cross the great big blue ocean and reside in another country; not once, but twice. I missed out on the fact that my children had their own wants and needs and desires and that we would unite as a family and make decisions that I could never have dreamed up. I missed out on the fact that the economy would tank – and in doing so – wipe us out financially and emotionally and make us re-think our “normal” lives.

What I’ve learned from our challenges and learning curves weren’t that life was cruel (although at many times I was guilty of thinking this); or that we made some “wrong turns” (which is what most people might think) or that we had to throw up our hands and concede to life’s challenges. What I learned, instead, was that this was our LIFE. 

This was how it was supposed to be written. It was glorious, it was gut-wrenching at times, it was amazing, it was humbling. But all in all, it taught me lessons I could never have daydreamed about. My family has never understood each other better. Each of my children have learned lessons that my husband and I could never have “taught” them in our perfect daydreams. We have become closer and more understand of each other than I could ever hope to be. Our hard work in digging in and finding a way to get out of our hardships and through the challenges we faced, have forced us to be better and more capable people than we could ever have thought.

I am a control freak. I love a challenge. But it has always needed to be in “my” control. If things didn’t go my way, I’d seriously freak out. I suffered from ridiculous panic attacks, that simply put, were brought on by my need to have things to “my way”. I never allowed detours or changes in what needed to be. Through the past few years, I’ve learned to have faith and do what needed to be done…but also in seeing that changes will happen and I could either fight them and have a tantrum about it; or I could re-assess the situation and make another plan.  I needed to learn patience and acceptance. And these lessons were soooo hard for me to learn. It was in just letting go of my “control” and trusting in the fact that my life was on the right track with God’s lead, that I was able to find my own peace.

I now suffer less anxiety. I feel more love and compassion for everyone in my life. I want to do more and be more and accept more of what is. Life didn’t go as planned; but what fun would that be? And what type of person would I be if that was the case?

Be you. Be willing to go through challenges and learn from them. Be willing to accept that there will always be challenges. Learn to adapt and to grow and to thrive in those challenges.

That’s the way our lives are meant to be lived.

Needing LESS and Feeling MORE

I want to talk about the topic of being “perfect” and thinking that “getting more” and “doing more” is going to make us “more”.

That’s a ridiculous word but so many of us are stuck thinking that “if only” we did this or “if only” we could do that…our lives would finally be a success.

We know it’s ridiculous and yet we still worry incessantly about minor details which have nothing to do with our true selves.

Who are you?

I have been doing some deep reflection over the past few years. I am a firm believer in self growth; just as much as I believe in exercise for my body…this is exercise for my mind, spirit, development, belief and more. This is everything I had been missing for years.

Through my learnings recently, I had an epiphany that all of the past few years were actually a blessing in disguise.

Now if you had dared to utter that sentence to me earlier, I would have bitten your head off.

A blessing???

Moving across the world, not once, but TWICE  in less than two years time. From being financially secure to struggling to pay off credit card debts and working to get ahead after the recession hit; not to mention how expensive it is to move overseas.  The stress on our family, the unknown of what was going to happen and where we were going to settle in. The emotions, the guilt, the arguments, the fact that now we are living with a small amount of our “belongings” as most of our stuff is still sitting in a storage box overseas. Why? Because it costs another small fortune to bring it back, plus the fact of getting the grunt work set up to pack it all up and move it when we aren’t physically there.

I know we will have the rest of our “stuff” back. I know we are happy to be where we are, finally free of the unknown and imbalance within ourselves of what we truly agreed upon within ourselves. Life is a struggle all it’s own. So adding this ginormous topic was a heavy burden to carry.

But it was a blessing.

I can now say that with confidence and clarity. First of all, because I see within my children, the joy and understanding they have within their hearts and souls that I could never have taught them on my own. I see my husband, put all outside issues away to focus in on his immediate circle and grow himself in many ways. I see how I’ve also grown and learned to understand areas that I was incapable of accepting before.

So, we don’t have our “stuff”? This was a topic I had been complaining about for the past year or so…until I recently heard a woman’s story that sounded oddly similar to ours. She also moved to another country with her husband and children, and in doing so, SOLD all of their belongings, except for what would fit into a suitcase to move.

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We didn’t SELL all of our stuff.

But instead of complaining about this fact, she now writes about minimalism and how it’s changed her life. Here, I’m complaining that I need my “stuff” and she is proud that she doesn’t have a lot of “stuff”. Their family has also moved back again and now keeps their stuff to a minimum.

But what about my photos, my wedding album, my china, my everything else??

This is what I had been complaining and stressing about. What was this woman saying? She said that they had sold everything except of course, what they could pack into their suitcases and she also saved her china and wedding albums. These items, they put into storage before they moved. Now that they have moved back, she has yet to open the storage and use these “saved” items. She shared that she now asks if that had been a wise choice to save these “things”.

Wow.

I was blown away because this was the complete opposite of what I was saying. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still would love to bring back my wedding items and photos and “stuff”; but the reality is it’s not what is truly important.

The important things are not “things” at all, but are my husband and children, and they are with me now and have been with me the entire time. I had been looking at it wrong because of the outside stresses and elements and unknowns.

The important lessons have been learned and we continue to grow and thrive in these blessings that occur. I now understand that stuff is just stuff. I haven’t seen the stuff in over two years and I’ve been getting along just fine without them. Seems that we tend to put a lot of undue importance in things that don’t really have much to do with our daily lives.

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Amen. I see it now and it has calmed my need to be “perfect” and have all of my “things”.