I think quarantine time can be compared to a roller coaster 🎢 for most of us (if I had to generalize). Days are fine and you have found a groove and then all of a sudden you have an off day that hits you like a ton of bricks.
It’s hard to explain, it doesn’t have ration. But grief of life as we knew it is what’s happening. And it’s OK to let yourself feel both sides of the spectrum. Grief has stages. I fought myself for feeling guilty about missing things because I know there are far worse things others are going through, but I truly believe in order to cope and deal you just have to let yourself have the swings and not feel guilty. This is affecting you and your life in your own way.
Yes we can feel grateful— and still miss certain things. ❤️
Yes we can appreciate the time with our family— but still get overwhelmed by their constant presence.❤️
Yes we can be hopeful— but also worry about the unknown. ❤️
Yes we can help others— but still need to find ways to fill our own cups too. ❤️
It’s confusing. It’s a lot. We’ve never done this before. ❤️
Today I was grateful for an Easter where my boys seemed happy, and we made the best of not seeing our extended family like previous Easters. We had a great weekend and spent all day outside yesterday. I talked to neighbors from our yards and took a run. It was nice.
But then it hit me tonight- what I wouldn’t do to have it be our typical Easter traditions with extended family. Or how I miss baseball season, and watch this guy in his element. I wouldn’t even complain about washing those darn white pants full of stains lol. I wouldn’t complain about a rainy tournament or dragging my wagon to the ball park. What I wouldn’t do to see my favorite people, make plans and hug them in person. These waves of emotions can hit hard. So when they do, I learn to lean in and do some self-care (yoga, meditation, walking outside to get fresh air and breathe), or talk to a friend.
This situation sure brings perspective. We will never take certain things for granted coming out of it. It will leave a mark on everyone. But we will be OK.
What’s one thing you’d give anything to be able to do?
I was raised by a Mom who was what I call a Goal Digger!
You see, my bad@ss Momma, was a nurse for over 25 years. She worked overnights at the hospital when I was a baby, then all through elementary school and into junior high she worked in a clinic as a pediatric nurse. She also took on overnights some weekends at the hospital to earn extra money for our family- which meant skipping sleep and sometimes working 6 days a week. She worked A LOT. She couldn’t come to sporting events, she wasn’t home when I got off the bus— but I never ever once doubted the Mom that she was or her love for me, nor felt like I didn’t get to see her! It’s funny how “mom-guilt” is such a term we use these days, but I was not raised in a house where that term existed. I believe we use it to let our fears get the best of it- it’s an easy out to say we CAN”T do certain things because our kids need us 24/7. What if we threw that aside and went after what we wanted and showed our kids we can be present AND work on our goals (income, fulfilling something we are passionate about, etc..)? I know we want to be at all of our kiddo things, and I can relate– but my boys don’t say a peep if I miss a game or practice to plug into my job
Back to the story— well after 25 years of being a nurse and working all the hours, my Mom decided to go for a job that paid her more. She knew she didn’t want to go back to school to be a Doctor, but wanted the opportunity to earn as much as one per se- to build her dreams and goals, and not feel stuck.
So she took a chance. She quit her nursing job to be a pharmaceutical device sales rep. It was scary, but she believed in herself. She had to go away for 6-weeks to pass a series of tests and IF she passed them she could then move into the job. But if she didn’t, they’d send her home and she’d be out of a job! Do you think she doubted that she would pass or not? Do you think she was scared of the risk but went for it anyways because she believed in herself? She knew the company could leave her high and dry if she didn’t pass, but she BELIEVED with every ounce in her bone. I am sure she felt bad leaving me at home for 6-weeks in 8th grade, but my Dad and I would figure it out (all of the other siblings were out of the house).
Fast forward, she passed those exams and got that job with flying colors. She quickly dove into that role, learning as she went and failing forward a lot. She juggled being on the road more, and working both at home and making hospital visits. She quickly went to the top of her company and began to earn a 6 figure income. Is that uncomfortable to share? No, because now I look back and am so proud! She wanted MORE. She wanted change. She believed. She didn’t give herself a plan B, a “what if” I don’t make it. She went ALL-IN. This is where I got it from. I learned and watched from the best.
When she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 4, her world got rocked. She still worked and still met her sales quota. She made her job work around her chemo and her sick days. She had ups and downs just like any disease but she kept fighting. She even won an award for her ability to come into the company so quickly and rise to the top with tenacity and heart. Her battle with cancer lasted about 4 years. On her last few days, she told me she “thought” she got fired from her job because she couldn’t get into her voicemail. She figured since she was missing work and in the hospital that they let her go without telling her. Well low and behold, after she passed away— I learned that her voicemail was TOO FULL with messages of love and support and that’s why she couldn’t get into her voicemail. Heartbreaking at the time, but it now makes me smile. They made an award with her name to honor other more rookie sales reps who come in strong, are amazing at what they do and touch people along the way. She sure left a legacy in her days as pediatric nurse, people would stop me and tell me how much they loved my Mom. She left a legacy in her company, she left a legacy in the heart of her children and everyone she came into contact with.
So people ask me, “Why are you a coach or what made you choose it vs. something else?” Yes I have a college degree. Yes I have 12 years in corporate america, yes I have fitness and personal training certifications. But you know what I wanted to do? I wanted MORE. I wanted to be there for my kids BUT also build an income I was in control over. I may not make 6 figures YET, but it’s on my dream board. I started with small goals- earn more than my fitness classes, then earn to pay the Target bill– I made little goals and worked to DO THEM. know I WILL get to those big goals now with consistency, time and tenacity. Right now I can pay our Target bill monthly, my kids’ activities, our vacations and have some extra money for me without feeling bad. How cool will it be when I can say I built this from 0 to 6-figures WITH my boys SEEING me do it? They get to come on some of my trips I earn, they see the work I do on my computer or phone- checking in with my team or my virtual clients. They understand why I workout in the basement every morning, and miss baseball for my yearly conference. I am not afraid of success as a woman. I’d like to be the to be the breadwinner someday (not that I NEED that), but how cool would it be to give our family more options to ALL be together someday? I won’t let Mom-guilt stop me from plugging into my work. I am not ashamed to say I want to build a legacy TOO! I am still there for my kids plenty! I will lean into the community of support that I get through coaching because it’s positive, uplifting and I am surrounded with other dreamers and doers too- they say you are like the 5 people you surround yourself with.
Here’s to being a Mom, and going after dreams and goals. No fears, no guilt, just hard-work and loving both my family and what I do!
When you start a health journey, or business– there will be days where you don’t feel like showing up. Maybe your bed is more cozy than getting up to change into workout clothes. Maybe sipping coffee slowly and watching a replay of The Real Housewives after the kids go off to school sounds better than plugging into your online business.
Well in either cases, you need a WHY to help you do the hard things, to help you show up day after day even when you may not feel like it.
My reason for living a healthy lifestyle is twofold. My first reason is I lost my Mom early in life. She was 53 and I was 21. It rocked my world. I gained 40 pounds and a bunch of anxiety. When I finally started to work on me with exercise and eating better, I had re-gained that spark of who I was before I had lost her. I found confidence and happiness within again. I felt so good that I wanted to pay that forward to help others. So now health and fitness is my career. But everyday the reason why I get up out of bed to workout, and why I choose to eat whole foods in my day is because I know what it felt like to NOT feel good. There’s NO way I am going back. There’s also a lot of disease that runs in my family, so I need to combat anything that I am dispositioned to if I can have a say in it!
My reason for showing up for my online business each day is twofold too. Gosh, I can’t just have an EASY one-line answer huh? My first reason is my Mom. She was a successful business woman who taught me to go after my dreams, goals, not be afraid of change and make big leaps when she left her nursing job after 25+ years to go into medical sales. I know she would be proud of me today for starting my own business and following my dreams and heart. My other reason is of course my family of three- my boys. I have two young boys and an older boy (my husband LOL). He’s four years younger than me, so he’s not old– I AM! But I want to spend time with them and not be in a corporate job 8-5 with a commute. I want to be able to take them on trips and create new memories and experiences with them. I want them to see how hard work pays off by creating a life that has more freedoms than an office job or a job at the gym. I am currently creating that right now and they have seen some doses of it and keep asking me when I get to this point, can we go do x, y, and z. For me, being able to work from home and be flexible to get my kids to school, to volunteer on their fieldtrips, to be at home when they return for the day and to shuffle them off to sports is a HUGE reason to do the hard things during the day. Nothing worth having comes easy, so that’s why my business is important to me and I take it seriously.
So dig deep, find that WHY. Put a picture up to remind you of it every.single.day! And once it becomes a routine you won’t question showing up or not, it will become WHO you are and you will keep crushing those goals and dreams because we all know consistency pays off!
Having a strong mindset is SO powerful in everything you do– especially your health journey. Fifteen years ago, when I first began my health journey it all started with a choice– choosing that I wanted CHANGE more than I wanted to stay the same. I was forty pounds up. I was anxious. I was stressed. I also had insomnia. The world felt lonely and at times heavy, post losing my Mom to cancer. I wasn’t taking care of ME but I was letting the things that were out of my control take over me. So I started my journey- one day at a time. I began to exercise and use it as a stress-relief and a way to practice self-love. I had to love myself FIRST to become happy on the inside, and the rest would happen. I learned to be more mindful of my food choices, and to slow down on the extra desserts, servings and drinks that added up. Forty pounds later I found my passion for life again, my stress and anxiety decreased. My insomnia went away. I found ME again, and that self-love that I knew was inside.
It all started with my mind– that had to be FIRST. Now, as a Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Online Fitness Influencer I work with women all over the world on practicing self- love. But I teach them to start with their MIND. Our minds can play games on us– tell us are are not worth, we are not strong enough to do a 20-minute hard workout, that we can’t do a push-up on our toes ever, that we can’t lose weight, be strong, run a mile or be better. But our mind is LYING to us. We can’t listen to those negative voices. We have to say “I CAN” and “I WILL”. There is NO perfect in my book- it’s progress. We fail as we go- if we try one push-up on our toes and we fall on our face, we tried. Then we modify and do it on our knees until we can do ONE on our toes. We keep trying. Then it becomes two and three with consistency and practice. We get stronger and we say “I CAN” do it.
So do NOT doubt yourself for one minute on a goal you want to accomplish. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to work on you with all you have to give others you probably pour into them. You can pour into others BETTER and MORE if you are happy inside and out– taking care of YOU!
So Mind over matter– you’ve got this. Every goal, every journey begins with just getting that mind in the right place and believing in yourself! Then start and don’t look back, learning and failing forward as you go to a stronger and better YOU. The sky is the limit, nothing holds you back but yourself!
It can truly make the difference— build us to be #ToughAsNails or stressed and resentful.
I look back to my days where my mindset was different- I loathed my corporate america days and dreaded going, resented being stuck in a living paycheck-to-paycheck (with accruing debt) place, being stressed with all the things I had on my plate- the pressure of deadlines or living up to certain expectations of people in the 8-5 grind. After my Mom passed away, I spent years being angry. I was jealous at other Moms/daughters. As a Mom myself later with babies, I often started out days stressed with a toddler and a colicky newborn who cried all day and didn’t sleep at night. I didn’t know how to see life as not-stressful until I changed my MINDSET.
In my 40s, I have learned to change my MIND and take my power back!
Now my life is actually ten-times busier as a Mom, business lady, landlord, Personal Trainer, volunteer at school and CEO of the house. But I wake up each morning with GRATITUDE. The weather doesn’t bother me (can’t change that). Yes when my kids and I have a bad day together, I am able to shake it off and give myself grace and be thankful that I have kiddos and love in my life. Those things used to set the tone for my day and bring me down. I no longer hold onto any negative comments from others, and can tunnel my energy away from the things that don’t serve me and appreciate the good…even on days where life feels heavy.
So choose thankful over resentful. Choose happy over stress. It truly is about mindset. I wake up and choose exercise six days a week as the first thing I do when I get out of bed because I CAN. Not everyone can actually move their body. I chose to love the house that’s filled with little boy giggles (and sometimes fights). The house that keeps me warm and safe- and not pick on the things I don’t enjoy (yep the walls need painting and things need updating but oh well maybe someday). The mess means there’s people in it, my house isn’t lonely (like it was in the past as a single gal in the 20s). I am able to see the good in each day. Yep it was snowy and cold today– but that makes me appreciate a warm coat, a fireplace and hot coffee. It’s up to ME to make the best of my life, and if there’s things I don’t like I can work to change them.
This took me time, I haven’t always been able to do this– butI am here to remind you that you can protect yourself by working on a strong mind each day. That will help you be strong as a rock, will get you to see the good and will truly make all the difference in perspective.
Life can be hard, but let’s not make it HARDER. Let’s work on protecting our own minds and hearts– because the things that we cannot control (b.s that happens, the weather, the life events that are tough to get through) will happen regardless. But we can control our minds and if we are #toughasnails we will be able to get through them so much better.
This is a story about a girl who lost her Mom when she was 21. This girl is me.
My Mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer when I was 18.
I didn’t really know what stage 4 meant- it didn’t sound good, but she also downplayed it as something they would just remove and then take care of with chemo. So I listened. I was applying for colleges and picking out what school I would go to, I tried to stay occupied.
Over four years, I watched her beat cancer three times. In the end, it came back fast and furious.
No child should have to go through being a caretaker, helping her change a colostomy bag, seeing her on an IV (we called it lurch) because she couldn’t keep food down, seeing her doubled over in pain daily, having an ambulance come because a lung collapsed.
Every day I was WORRIED SICK about her. In her final month, she went to the hospital and never made it home. I had a hard time going that last month because I couldn’t face reality. So I carried a lot of guilt for not seeing her as much as I should have. On her last day, I had the morning shift with at the hospital, and a few hours after I left she passed away. I knew she couldn’t go with me there, there is no way I could handle that. In her last month, she could barely look at me because she was worried about me. Being the baby of the family by 7 years, the one who still lived at home (in the summer), the one who didn’t have a job, or have a house— would I be ok with a year of college left and an unknown future? But that day, I told her she was the Best Mom, that I would figure life out, and that she could go if she needed to. A few hours later she did.
There is NO DOUBT in my mind, that I had to take YEARS to heal from this. I struggled with anxiety, I had suicidal thoughts (after another personal loss the following year). I lost a ton of weight and then gained 40. I emotionally ate. I drank. I spent money I didn’t have. I had insomnia. I self medicated with sleep aids, sometimes alcohol and for sure food. A few years later, I then realized it wasn’t me- I didn’t feel good, she wouldn’t want this for me and either did I! I caught the downward spiral before it got worse. But I had a good job, good friends, a home. Life wasn’t bad, I was just lost and struggling a bit.
So I stopped bad habits. I formed new ones. I fell in love with running as a stress reliever. I joined a gym. I didn’t go out as much. I lost weight, I found my passion in fitness and then started to help people. My anxiety got better, I know how to deal with it now. I sleep better. I eat whole foods, I workout 6 days a week now at home. I have one or two glasses of wine a week. I surround myself with people who are positive, I read personal development and do the things that serve me,
Say no to the things I don’t.
I am not perfect. I am just someone who really values health and feeling good. I know what it’s like to not feel good so it’s motivation for me to keep making ME a priority, even as a busy Mom and entrepreneur. If you wonder why the heck does that girl post about her workouts, or talk about health– it’s because it has saved me, it helps me be stronger version of me inside and out and I want to help spread that to others. Me feeling strong on the outside helps me to feel very strong on the inside too!
And for all you cancer warriors out there, everyday I think about you and fight for you. With all the advancements in medicine now and earlier detection, there are so many warriors that beat it and you will too!
So my message for you today is: Push past the past you, your mess becomes your message, you can overcome the hurdles and the pain. You can come out stronger, better. It takes strength, courage and the desire to change. You’ve got this. If I can do it, so can you!
Today I attended the wake of a friend.
She has two boys and I met her at the YMCA where I worked for years.
She always told me that I was her (just ten years behind). My boy raising stories were just like hers. Besides raising boys, we both shared a love for fitness. I was drawn to her laugh, smile, energy, positivity, and the way she raved about her family. I also loved that she was passionate as I am a firm believe in living out your passions in life. Nancy sure lived live to the fullest, and one of my greatest memories was meeting up with her at a Green Bay Packers game and doing a toast to her favorite team. Man did she love her Packers (so my hubby and her obviously connected too).
So as my boys and I attended the wake tonight, which I am still in shock about…..I realized that life’s twists and turns do not have to have a reason or make sense. There is NO reason these boys lost their Mom so soon, that I did at their same ages, or that all of us go through heart-wrenching pain in life at times. But I do know it makes us have perspective. It makes us stronger in time.
So as I took my boys to dinner tonight afterwards, I vowed to continue to love them unconditionally, be their biggest cheerleader and fan, be at all of their events, to help them live their passions, to have energy to be with them everyday fully, to make memories and have fun with them— just like Nancy.
And I hope my guys continue to adore me just as her boys do.
Life is unfair. 💔
So no making sense or finding a reason for the things that simply do not or cannot have one. Things don’t always happen for a reason.
They just give you perspective and make you stronger.
This past weekend I was in Indianapolis for a convention. Yes, we took over the city!
It was my first time there, not sure what to expect. I was surprised at the charm, the restaurants, how close everything was to our conference venue and how easy it was to find my way around.
I got to eat at three restaurants that were highly recommended by locals. When I am in a new place, I love to do research and eat where the locals recommend. I had steak, halibut and I tried a Paleo-Influenced hot spot for their amazing lunch.
I even had an hour photoshoot at the Veteran’s Memorial Park in the center of the city. The waterfalls and great architecture were stunning backdrops for photos. I chatted with my shuttle driver about the city. I met a friend for a run down the Canal and ran past the NCAA Hall of Fame. I went to a local and eclectic coffee shop. It rained a little, but I enjoyed the weather as it wasn’t too hot or too stormy.
I’ll be back again next year.
My recommendations for visiting new cities- soak up the sights, chat with the locals, eat where the locals would (stay away from the chains) and enjoy the culture and feeling of a new city!
Indy you treated me well and I was pleasantly surprised by your beauty, hospitality, charm and all that you had to offer!
So I am on week eight of really limiting my carbs and sugar to ward off Candida for good! I found out I had it after months of strange symptoms, one being weight gain/belly fat coming on! Everything I read told me to cut out sugar and carbs completely– but insert a girls weekend and Thanksgiving and I couldn’t do it 100% on my own as I would cave.
Insert a test group, a chance to learn how to eat higher-fat with lower-carbs and moderate protein. I knew it would be exactly what I needed to stay the course and get myself better. I said yes, but was a bit scared of the lifestyle to come.
I am happy to report that I feel SO much better. I have lost 8″– and seeing it in my tummy which is my trouble area is HUGE. I am no longer bloated. My sugar cravings are kicked. I feel strong, and lean muscle is appearing all over. I don’t feel deprived, and am really enjoying my foods of eggs, veggies, nuts, homemade salad dressings, seeds, spaghetti squash casserole, bacon, zucchini noodles, grass-fed meatballs, cauliflower rice, lots of different proteins and the list goes on. It has forced me to get rid of some bad habits like grabbing kettle chips, an RX bar in my daily life. Things add up when you don’t pay attention to them. I am limiting my carbs to under 100 a day- but no, this is not Ketosis which would be under 50g a day. For me, personally, I don’t want to limit certain veggies and nutrients that are essential to my health so 100g is a lifestyle to me, not under 50 and having to be deprived of what I need for good health.
The scale hasn’t dropped a significant amount, and I am accepting that. I have released about 4 pounds– but the inches and how I feel are what is teaching me to be patient and keep trusting the process. Some bodies drop weight, some change into muscle and drop inches. I am happy that I feel strong, and leaner— and that was my goal and I’ll keep seeing what I can do!
I am excited to see what happens in the last handful of weeks and I do plan to move forward with this way of eating. It has been fairly easy to follow, and when something fits into your lifestyle AND makes you feel good– it gives you the motivation to keep going forward!
I used to go on vacation and come back so bloated, and not happy with the jump in the scale. But in the last three years, I have learned how to really enjoy vacation but not go too crazy and come home the exact same! I work hard, and I really don’t want a vacation to blow my health goals, and I also want to enjoy and not be too strict on vacation either. Here are my top TIPS:
) Bring a water bottle. I fill it up every chance I get- at the airport, at the hotel. If I am in a third world country I find water bottles and fill it up. You have to stay hydrated and it helps keep your digestion going while traveling too which can get really messed up.
) Bring healthy snacks. My favorite snacks to pack with me are: almonds, almond butter packets (Justin’s brand sells them in singles), Shakeology (never miss a day), and Rx bars. This will help fill the gaps in the day if you only eat breakfast/dinner when traveling or keep you from starving and then grabbing something bad!
) Exercise. I always, always exercise. I stream 30-min workouts on my laptop or phone (reach out to me if you want to know how to do this). I bring running shoes as I love to explore new places with a run. I can try out their gym, or see if the resort offers classes. Heck, I even teach my own classes. You can always find exercise options while traveling! It’s important to move your body each day.
) Fill up on proteins and veggies. At each meal, I fill up on protein and veggies. I stay away from the breads, donuts, carbs and extra sugar….BUT I do save it for a few of my favorite things like wine with dinner and maybe a shared dessert. I don’t go crazy at buffets– keeping my protein and veggie rule. I just don’t feel good when I go crazy, so I am super mindful and then choose my splurges and limit them.
) I don’t eat or drink late at night. I don’t eat after dinner. I don’t have drinks past 9pm, that’s just me. I can’t sleep at night when I drink late, and then I am super tired the next day. So happy hour and dinner are my wine-o-clock time and after that it’s water.
) Sleep. I always aim for 7-8 hours of sleep on vacation. I am not the best sleeper in hotels or away, especially the first night but I try my best to get enough rest. It usually means that on vacation I go to bed at 10:30/11 and I am up at 6:30 or 7. I am not a sleep-in late kinda gal so I can’t pull a past midnight bedtime or again, I’ll be super tired and crabby the next day. So know your body and get your allotted sleep!
Hope this helps keep YOU on track when you travel!