Bringing Your Body Into Balance

My 100+ pound weight loss is what grabs people's attention. However, my weight loss was merely a side effect of finally taking my health and happiness into my own hands and finding that perfect balance. Body, mind, spirit. It all matters.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

For a New Beginning by John O'Donohue

This poem can apply to most of our lives in some way or another. We get so comfortable with status quo. It's so easy not to change when what we're doing day in and day out is so comforting. But once we break free of this stagnant sameness we will be more alive, happier...we will arrive at the end of our lives with the satisfaction and comfort of a life well lived.

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.


Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.


Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.


Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

Monday, February 23, 2015

It Feels so SO Good

I've seriously felt like crap lately!!!



A few months ago it started with the flu and I've had two back to back colds that seem to drag out forever, some weird digestive issues and now...a beautiful fever blister! Haven't had one in over two years!


So I woke up this morning snotty (I swear it felt more like a hangover) and with a heart beat in my bottom lip. By all accounts, it would've been pretty safe to say that I was in store for a BAD DAY!!



Lately I've missed running. I know someone who doesn't work out (and probably lots who do) can't comprehend how a person could want to run on purpose. In fact, for a large portion of my life, I was one of those people who didn't understand runners.


However, with my body aching, my lip pounding, the air chilly and a light sprinkle of rain, I set out on the sidewalks around my studio early this morning.


Anyone who loves running knows why I did. Everyone else, let me explain....


After pushing through some serious misery, the air still cold, dark and wet, MY clouds parted. With my heart pounding, my breath heavy, I started to feel a lightness. It was a short run. Probably less than 20 minutes. But, by the time I walked back in the door, I felt so ready to face my day.


There's plenty of science out there to explain why exercise has this effect on us but I can't remember big words so I'll just say this....It feels so SO good!! When you've challenged yourself physically, especially on days when it's a mental challenge as well, it completely COMPLETELY changes your entire body and mind. You feel in control, happier, more energetic, the world isn't such a scary, overwhelming place anymore. YOU JUST FEEL GOOD!!!


I've really struggle with pushing myself lately. Partly because of how sick I've been and partly because I've been so unbelievably busy. However, I have become acutely aware of how not pushing my body hard enough and on a consistent basis, tends to make me feel like I'm walking through life if a foggy haze. As soon as I get a good sweat session in my body doesn't just feel good in general...the aches and pains go away!!! I know SO many people that will completely back me up on this! It seem counterintuitive but, more times than not, moving and pushing through a little pain will make the pain actually lessen or disappear all together. And, even if it doesn't, your elevated mood will make you much better equipped to deal with it.


So, stop exercising because you want to lose weight. Stop exercising because you want a shelf booty. Get out and move that most precious gift you have ever been bestowed, your body. I promise you, you will never ever regret it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Video: My Own Struggle

You don't have to be perfect to lose weight and feel better. Here I discuss my own struggles.

My New Video: Keys to Permanent Weight Loss




I recently held a weight loss workshop at my facility and have received a lot of positive feedback as well as requests by people who were not able to attend. So I decided to start a series of videos for these people as well as my clients and blog followers. I'll be delving deeper into each topic in the near future as well as lots of other things related to fitness.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Turns Out....I Really AM What I Eat!

I've been struggling with some health issues lately. Nothing serious, just enough to affect my quality of life a bit. But what it's done is forced me to take a long hard look at what I preach compared to what I live and it turns out I'm a total hypocrite.

During and since my weight loss, because I have such an active lifestyle, I've been able to "cheat" a lot when it comes to food...or so I thought. Turns out I wasn't getting away with it at all.

All of our bodies are affected by the food we eat. Some can get away with it for longer with no apparent ill effects (especially the younger they are). However, it all counts and it all catches up to us eventually. Some people who are more in touch with their bodies will recognize how food affects them. Other people may not make the connection for years, if ever. It amazes me, for instance, that very few people make the connection between the unbelievable outbreak of gastrointestinal diseases, type II diabetes, etc. and the standard American diet....whaaaa?

So that's where I'm at right now. I'm pretty tuned in so I'm aware of the horrible reactions my body is having to certain foods that's becoming progressively worse each year of my life. However, I am actually extremely grateful for this because it's helped to, once again, shift my focus away from the immediate pleasure of food back to what's actually important and it is this:

Each and every time I eat I ask myself, "Will this heal me or hurt me? Am I feeding life or am I feeding death?"

This question, combined with my health issues, has helped me to once again turn to living, life giving foods that will make me stronger and happier. And, while they may not set off those fireworks in my head while I'm eating them, and they're not always quite as convenient to just grab and eat, what they give me is so much more. They give me energy, long lasting energy. They make my skin glow. They don't send me running to the bathroom all day or, on the flip side, make me a stranger to the bathroom for days on end.

When I eat these foods I feel truly alive. I don't know how I keep forgetting that. And no amount of pecan pie or fried cheesy things or chips and hummus (even garlic lovers, mmmm) can take the place of that!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Drive and Learn

Anyone who is a friend, client or within earshot of me for more than five minutes knows that I love audiobooks and podcasts. I've already created a list of other educational material here such as audiobooks and movies.

However, the thing about podcasts that makes me love them above all other modes of education is that, in addition to being free, they are full of the latest, most relevant, information.

Podcasts are a great way to stay informed on the subjects that interest you most. They are also a great way to get a daily dose of motivation to help keep you on track toward you goals.

Here is the list of podcasts that I always stay completely up to date on:

Less Doing Raido with Arie Meisel.

LessDoing.com started in early 2011 as a blog of productivity and wellness hacks. It quickly developed into a framework for optimizing, automating, and outsourcing everything in people’s personal and professional lives. The blog covers email management, never running errands again, better sleep, cognitive performance, organization, and even stress management with the goal of making everything in your life easier.

It's no accident that I listed this podcast first. Arie's podcast is my favorite so far. He covers everything from how to be healthy and fit to how to streamline your to-do list and stop wasting time.

Underground Wellness Radio with Sean Croxton

Underground Wellness is a resource for TRUTH in fitness, nutrition, and health. Get informed and improve your health by joining Sean for a weekly expert interview.

I love Sean's podcast so I want to establish this before you listen to his podcasts. His intro is horrible. It's all grainy and he kinda yells "Whazzup! Whazzup!" It makes him sound like a basement weirdo but this dude knows his stuff and gets some amazing guests on his show so give him a chance.

Fat-Burning Man with Abel James

Abel James is a pretty man with a catchy title. Which probably lures many in but I would guess also turns many away. Don't be put off by the shirtless pics and the singular sounding title. Yes, Abel James cares about being fit and keeping body fat low but his bio-hacking knowledge and diverse collection of guests offer cutting edge knowledge on all things food and fitness.

Get-It Done Guy with Stever Robbins

I actually found Robbins from a the Less Doing podcast. He was a guest on the show. While I don't enjoy his podcast quite as much as Meisel's, I still automatically download and listen to all new episodes because it's definitely worth the listen.

Cut the Fat Podcast

One of my most favorite podcasts (and one I always recommended that my weight loss clients listen to the first five episodes of) has decided to yank some of their most valuable material to make a buck. They've also stopped producing new material. Their podcasts starting #34 are still available on their website for free so take a look if you'd like as this is still very valuable information but I'm not going to provide a link from my page because I'm very disappointed on how they decided to start trying to capitalize on the loyal following they had obtained.


Super Nutrition Academy Health Class with Yuri Elkman

Okay, now we're are getting into podcasts that I don't religiously listen to. One of my issues with Yuri is that he often has very specific interviews that don't pertain to the whole population (like the more obscure diseases) and his and his guests' views can be a little too extreme. Not to say that their views are wrong but I reach a point where I start to get depressed and discouraged to learn things like my shower could be killing me and the things in the air I can't do anything about. That being said, he has some really good content that you can pick through and listen to when all your other favorite podcasters haven't came out with any new shows in the last few days.


So these are my top picks (all available on iTunes by the way) but this barely scratches the surface. And while the genre of podcasts I listen to is pretty narrow (although I do listen to parenting podcasts as well), there are as many subjects covered in podcasts as there are crowds to enjoy them, so get to listening!




Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Ugly Duckling Syndrome


Yesterday my (almost 6-year old) son and I went exploring our local area on foot. We were walking to a park we had never been to before. On the way we saw two rather ferocious looking dogs ahead that were running around barking aggressively at us. I stopped us and told him that I wasn't sure that the dogs were on leashes and that maybe we should turn back. Just then I looked up again and could see a chain jerk tight on one of the dogs as it jumped up. Then I noticed a rather rough looking woman sitting in the yard looking at me like I was an idiot for being afraid of her obviously chained up dogs. Before I could say that they were on chains, my son took my hand firmly and tugged. He looked up at me with the bravest look on his little face and said, "Come on Mommy, I'll protect you." I kept my knowledge of the leashes to myself and allowed him to bravely lead us into danger.

To that woman, I was a fool. To my son, as he would tell me later, I was a lady who needed to be protected by a gentlemen. That experience could mean two things to me. I could have a chip on my shoulder about the judgmental look from the woman or I could embrace the fact that my son had a chance to be a hero and protect his mommy, who he obviously must love and value a lot. I choose the latter.

A few years ago I was in a bar. One of my favorite non-mommy, non-healthy things to do is to find some good live music in an unassuming bar, sink into a dark corner and nurse a beer while I people watch. I love to see them laughing and dancing and just study the dynamics of different types of people in one festive place together. Well, the person I was with that particular night tried to shame me for not getting up and dancing and socializing. He said I was a knot on a log. I argued that I love to do those things (which I do!) but I liked to people watch too. In retrospect, I wish I could go back, being the person I am now and simple shrug my shoulders and say, "This is what I like." 

So how do these two stories relate? They are all about perspective. I have spent most of my life being the ugly duckling. Too freely sharing my feelings, being weird, being too enthusiastic, too dramatic, too this and that. Only recently have I come to learn that I am not "too" any of those things, except to a select few who are rude enough to point it out. 

When I worked in an office setting, my loud dramatic expressions were frowned upon by somber business men. Now, in the fitness industry, I am hugged and thanked for my explosion of personality on a fairly regular basis. Am I everyone's cup of tea? Most definitely not! But neither are you. And neither is anyone. 

In this life we will always be ugly to someone in some capacity. We can choose to define ourselves by the opinions of the few or we can choose to define ourselves as the ugly duckling, simply misunderstood and absolutely beautiful in our own space. Once again, I choose the latter.