My Journey

The Sad Story

 

“We all have these dark times and I suppose it’s how we try and respond to them.”

Bear Grylls, Running Wild with Bear Grylls

This quote struck a chord with me. I had to keep rewinding it so I made sure I got the entire quote written down, I think I annoyed my husband until I finally told him what I was doing. See, I’m really good at just doing something and then when I complete it, I say “Oh, I was trying to write down a quote.”

Ok – so back to the actual quote at hand. It made me think of the dark times I went through and the long, dark road I was on. I’d like to think I’m not on a dark road anymore, but I’m fully aware it can come again.

My road started back in February 2010. Scratch that, my road started back in November of 2009 the day before Thanksgiving. I was pregnant for the first time and had severe cramping and eventual bleeding. The memory still feels fresh in my mind the minute I felt the cramping as I came into the house with groceries for Thanksgiving dinner. I called M and then called my OB. She told me to expect a m/c over the holiday weekend. Here’s the yay part, I didn’t miscarry. I went in that following Monday and they saw a heartbeat, as well as a giant clot. I was put on a modified bed rest until I had 2 weeks with no bleeding.

By Christmas, the bleeding had stopped and by New Years, it had been 2 weeks without any spotting at all. And it was almost as soon as I started to celebrate no bleeding when it started to happen again. Another ultrasound at 12 weeks showed a healthy baby, and a smaller but not gone clot. Ok, we can deal with this. The baby is healthy, I just need to take it easy and continue on modified bed rest. Around mid-January, I remember coming back from the grocery and by the time I got in the house I was gushing blood/fluid. Every time I went to the bathroom, it was the same thing. At a guitar lesson that night, another gush. I didn’t think much of it because I had been experiencing this for close to 2 months, so it didn’t seem much different. I was also praying this was sort of like that final push.

I went in for a quad screen about a week after and received my results within a day or two. There was an abnormality for spina bfida on one of the tests, so my OB sent me for a high risk ultrasound with another doctor.

The week of my high risk ultrasound appointment, I had decided for Valentine’s Day the baby and I would make him something, since I was currently unemployed. I went to Joann’s and made one of those no-sew blankets with Notre Dame material. Neatly wrapped it in a box and wrote a letter in crayon from our little “micro.”

February 5th we went in for the ultrasound. I’m 100% certain giving the news is just as hard as receiving the news. My amniotic fluid was gone, all the gushing I had in mid-January was because my water broke. I was 17 weeks along at this point. We were devastated. We called family as soon as we found out the news and then we had to make the hardest decision either of us has had to make — what to do next. Leaning on faith and each other, we chose to deliver the baby. I went in on February 13th and in the morning of February 14th (yea, Valentine’s Day) Joseph Daniel was stillborn. This was the beginning of my dark time.

I had always longed to have happy pregnancies, and I was happiest in pregnancy when I was pregnant with Joseph. Even with all the bad going on, it didn’t phase me. I loved it. I sometimes look back at all my pregnancies and think “Well, at least I had that one…”

I miscarried twice during the summer of 2010, and for the fourth time in a year, found out I was pregnant at Halloween 2010. I had my daughter in 2011, and then a son in 2013. Neither of these pregnancies felt care free. Every ache or pain was cause for worry and stress. If toilet paper had brown specks in it, I had to sit there and investigate to make sure it wasn’t blood.

The stress and anxiety I had in each pregnancy didn’t help me post-pregnancy. With both kids I had postpartum depression. After my son, the postpartum was worse. It wasn’t until one night, when I was sitting on the couch with him and he was crying while being fed and I couldn’t handle it anymore that I set him down on the couch and walked away. The thoughts running through my own mind scared the crap out of me. The next day I talked to my sister-in-law about it and she called my husband. That following Monday, my son was put on medicine for his acid reflux and I was put on depression medication and put myself back in therapy.

Medication doesn’t help – I don’t like the flat line of emotions effect. I was on it for two weeks and immediately took myself off when C-Dub went into the hospital for bronchialitus (sp). While in the hospital the first night I noticed my distance and odd lack of emotion to the situation. I was present, I loved him and I was concerned about him, but at the same time it felt like there was a distance. My husband brought my medicine, but I told him I was done with it. I cannot be there for C-Dub and be on this medication at the same time. He was 2.5 months old and my bond with him was minimal.

And then something happened. The only way I can describe it is almost like how the Grinch’s heart grew in the cartoon version of the book. I remember sitting in the hospital room with him and it was just us. Then I looked at him, all attached to the oxygen and monitors and suddenly it was like the first time I had ever seen him. And like the Grinch’s heart, suddenly my heart just exploded with love for this little man in my arms. This is when the darkness began to lift a bit…

I was on the mend when I fell through
The sky around was anything but blue
I found as I regained my feet
A wound across my memory
That no amount of stitches would repair
But I awoke and you were standing there

Avett Brothers “February Seven”

When did the dark lift completely? I don’t know… my PPD lasted a long time. The earliest I can say is 14 months after C-Dub’s birth I started to feel a bit like me again. I had lost a little bit of weight and I was finally out of maternity pants after being in them for about 4 years straight.

It’s been 5 1/2 years since we lost Joseph, and not a day goes by that I don’t wonder about who he might have been. Not a day goes by I don’t think of him as a guardian angel over my two C’s. Without him and the situation, I wouldn’t have the two goofballs I do have. I thank him for them.

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Who are you doing this for?

Here’s my question for you — who are you on this journey for? Is it yourself? Your kids? Your spouse? Your family? Your dog? Who is the person behind the wheel driving you to your destination? And what is at the end of your destination?

Here are the things I’ve said in the past I’m on my journey for:

This guy —

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These goofs —

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When I originally got behind the wheel on this fitness, nutrition and coaching business, those 3 were my destination. I wanted to get fit and healthy so my kids could see it’s fun and people need to be active. I wanted to get fit and healthy to help inspire my husband so he would do the same, little did I know he’d surpass me with his own 65+lb weight loss journey. I’ve taken a lot of detours over the past few years, hit a few bumps in the road. I’ve played the blame game, I’ve thrown down excuses like it was my full-time job.

Want to know something? Those three will be at my destination whether I hit my goals or not. They’ll be in the car with me, but they’re not in charge of the direction I’m driving in. I’m in charge. It’s my journey, it’s my destination and in the end, I’m not doing this for the three of them.

I’m doing it for this girl —

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I’m doing it for me. It may seem selfish “Oh no, she’s focusing on her!” It’s not selfish. It’s an exciting thing happening within me. I get to help people. I get to help myself. I may not be the most fit person in the world (YET), but I get to do something that I love. I get to help others start their journey and cheer them on wherever they are on their journey. I get to be myself and set my own goals and objectives. I get to be my own boss. I get to see my own successes and learn from bumps in the road. It’s the one thing in my life that is about me.

I do this because…

It makes me happy.

It satisfies my soul.

I’m passionate about it.

 

 

80/20 Food Rule

A rule of thumb I always hear about when it comes to food is live by the 80/20 rule of healthy/fun foods. I never quite understood it. Like, I get it, I realize it’s eat 80% healthy all the time and you have 20% mess ups. I feel like I’m working my way there, I believe I’m at more of a 50/50 pace right now.

On the way into work, I was listening to Shaun T’s podcast from July. He talked about the 80/20 rule and he put it so simplistically, even I was able to understand it. And I thought, it would be great to just share it.

Write a list down of 5 healthy foods you like; and a list of 5 fun foods you love.

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Then take 4 of those healthy foods and 1 of the fun foods:

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  • If you multiply 4 x 365 days a year it equals 1460
  • If you take 1 x 52 weeks a year it equals 52.

So over the course of 1 year if you eat 1,460 healthy foods for your meals and only have that 1 special treat every week, you’re not going to gain weight. You’re going to be living a healthier lifestyle and chances are, if you’re not eating this way now, you’ll lose weight.

When it was broken down like this for me, it’s like a light bulb went off. It’s not an 80/20 rule per day. It’s an 80/20 rule per week. And it’s not for every 4 things good/healthy you eat you get 1 bad thing. Plus, keep in mind portion control! You can’t eat 3lbs of grilled chicken in one sitting, yea it’s healthy, but unless you’re Beast-ing up with Sagi Kalev, you’re probably going to go outside of your calorie goals.

So what are my thoughts when it comes to birthdays, vacations and holidays?

  • Birthdays = in my mind are 0-calorie days. Don’t go hog wild, but at the same time, you know you’re going to have some sort of treat, don’t feel guilty about it.
  • Vacations = I know on most vacations, I can get away with eating a decent breakfast (mostly the Shakeology I brought of a Quest bar), and I’ll try to pack healthier snacks. It’s not always possible. But it’s vacation. If I’ve been working hard with exercise and food prior to my trip(s), what I eat in 5 days isn’t going to totally derail me. Now, if I’ve been eating crappy and drinking too much alcohol, I’m not really going into the trip with the best health to begin with.
  • Holidays = Thanksgiving is 1 day. Christmas is 1 day. New Years Eve is 1 day. If you’re not celebrating the actual holiday on the holiday, pick one of the times you will overindulge. OR if you celebrate Christmas 3-4x, pick the meal. You know you’re eating dinner at your in-laws, make sure you stay on track with breakfast and lunch being healthy and lighter meals.
  • I’m adding another holiday — Mother’s Day. This is the best day of the year, even better than my birthday. It’s my 0-calorie, judgement free – I don’t make decisions – I don’t do baths – I don’t do laundry – I don’t do anything – day. As long as it’s spent with my kids and my husband, that’s the most important thing. And if I want to stick a straw in a pitcher of margarita’s (and not share) that’s my decision. A judgement free day.

I have some questions for you! Sound off in the comments section of this blog post!!

  1. Do you have trouble with following an 80/20 rule? Why?
  2. Are you good or bad at portion control?
  3. What stops you from achieving the results you want?

Let’s get some discussion going.

You are a Badass

jen sincero who you areJust finished “You are a Badass” by JenSincero. I should say I “finally” finished it… It was a great personal development book for me to read. Insightful and inspiring.

A year ago I probably would not have started reading personal development books if I hadn’t signed up as a Beachbody Coach. Personal development is one of the things highly promoted for coaches. I’ve always been one to check out this section in a Barnes & Noble (then google the cost of the book on Amazon because it’s usually cheaper) and I have always felt this “oh please don’t see me here… people will think I’m crazy for looking at self-help book!” On the other hand, I’ve always been intrigued by the human brain and body – and reading these type of books has helped me look inside myself to see what things I need to work on and where I need to tweak and how I can make my dreams come true.

I’m not an elite coach (yet), I’m not a diamond coach (yet) — diamond is my next goal as a coach. I’d like to be a 1-star diamond by Summit next July and be able to walk (and happily sweat/glow) on the field during the opening ceremonies. How cool would that be? Maybe even get to 2-star diamond and watch my business grow as I help more and more people and my team helps more and more people. I feel blessed to have my support system in Mark, he has been a constant positive in my life when it comes to career and education choices. His support with my decision to be a Beachbody Coach and his repetitive line of “Stop that, it’s all going to work out for you because you’ve got this!” has helped me to stay focused and keep plugging away.

I’m ready to start my next PD book — Simon Sinek’s “Leaders Eat Last”

What personal development are you reading? Are you putting into action the words from the book?

Cizing It Up

My August Challenge Group started this week and a handful of us are working our way through Shaun T’s newest program, CIZE. It’s fun, it’s hard and the more I do it, the better I get.

Now, I’m fully aware what is easy to me is not easy to someone else. When I first asked the group which calendar they planned to follow, most said the advanced for 4 weeks. There is a non-advanced calendar where you do the same workout 6 days in a row, then move to the next workout on week 2 for 6 days in a row. While I was busy hoofing it to “You’ve Got This” on Day 2 of the Advanced, I started thinking “Maybe this isn’t the calendar to follow for everyone.” I uploaded my video (the one in this post) to my group and told them to really follow their gut on if they need to repeat day 1 for an entire week so they can get the steps down. This was the 4th or 5th time I’ve done “You’ve Got This” and it was the first time I really had it. I might find next week, when I go into week 2, that I will need to default to the same workout every day, or I may find I can alternate the 2 workouts on the Advanced calendar.

My biggest thing is as long as you are DOING the workouts and following the program you’ll see success. Whether success is weight loss, being able to complete the dance without mistakes, or staying at their pace, or even just going through 4-6 weeks of Cize, you’ve had success. You’re dancing around those sitting on the couch, therefore you’re moving and moving is better than doing nothing.

Summit and Lots of New Things!!!

Beachbody Coach Summit

I’ll start with my experience at Coach Summit and then roll into the new products coming out.

Summit was great – minus the heat and humidity. I was able to see quite a few great speakers, like Chalene Johnson, Top Coach 2013 Lindsay Matway and Top Coach 2014 Melanie Mitro, as well as other fantastic coaches and speakers.

I did a live workout with Shaun T for his new program Cize. This was pretty much my main event (in my mind). To be in the same room with the man, to hear him provide motivating and inspiring words was truly a blessing and a dream come true (well, a dream since I started with T25 back in January 2014).

Meeting my upline team was awesome too. I found a great friend in my roommate, and she is also my soul sister. I haven’t laughed that hard over the amount of days we spent together, in a long time. We clicked from the minute we met and it was nice hanging with someone who was ready to leave when I was ready to leave.

All in all, it was a great time and a great learning experience. It has given me the desire to want to grow my business and my team and to be a great leader. I’m going to set some goals and start working towards achieving them.

New products!!!!!! NEW PRODUCTS!!!!

First and foremost

CIZE!!!!

One of the most exciting workout programs to come out in a while is CIZE!! It’s FANTASTIC and so much fun!! Best yet, you don’t have to do burpees!!! If you like dancing, this is definitely for you. I still have 3 available spots for my August 3rd challenge group!! Order your copy today!!

*** Anyone purchasing the Cize Challenge Pack will recieve a $10 Amazon e-Card from me.

*** Anyone who purchases a challenge pack and signs up as a Coach will receive the Fixate Cookbook from me!

Next up….

Shakeology Boosts (Available today, July 21st)!!!

Focused Energy, Digestive Health, Power Greens!!!

Read more about them here: http://www.shakeology.com/blogs/2015/07/18/shakeology-boost-newest-member-family/

And last but not least (I put these in the order they’re available)

Beachbody Performance Line: Available July 22nd

I’m most excited about this line. I’m very intrigued by the Hydrate and Recharge. Once I finish my current batch for E&E I’ll order the Energize. I’ve heard great things about the Recover as well (a chocolate protein shake). Many have told me the chocolate flavor is amazing and delicious. I have a sample pack at home of each of the below items, minus creatine. I’ll post a blog about my experience with each of them and my thoughts.

The performance line can be purchased separately or there will be 3 bundles available:

1. Energize and Recover

2. Energize, Hydrate, Recover, Recharge

3. Energize, Hydrate, Recover, Recharge, Creatine

Next Challenge Group – August 3rd!!

Are you up to make a change and challenge yourself?

My next group starts August 3rd. This week sees the release of the new 21 Day Fix Fixate Cookbook and CIZE!!

The first 5 people to purchase challenge packs will receive a free a $10 e-card to Amazon.

Added Bonus, ALL who purchase a challenge pack from me will be put in a drawing to receive the Fixate cookbook!!!

Both offers good now through the end of July!!

Fill in the form below if you’re interested in more information!!! 

july cp push

 

 

Sting Pictures

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday this week. With only a week left until I’m in Nashville, TN for the Beachbody Coaches Summit, I’ve stayed on top of my diet this week. I got workouts in on Monday and Wednesday, and plan to get one in tonight and tomorrow. Tuesday night I took the time to go sit with a friend and sign her up as a discount coach since she’s loving Shakeology so much.

Now to the title of the blog post… There is always perception vs reality. You experience it every day. In situations where you think your tone is kind and compassionate but the receiving person thinks your being a total ass. There is also the perception you have of yourself when you look in the mirror and the reality of what it is you’re not seeing.

Last year I lost 25lbs doing T25 and Weight Watchers. I felt AMAZING! I went from 220 to 195 and thought I was the shit. I transferred to a new position at work, wasn’t walking as far to get around places in my building (it’s 30 steps round trip to the bathroom for me), and spent most of my days sitting bored…. leads to eating… leads to 10lbs back on. I’ve struggled since January to take the 10lbs (+ some) off. I do believe, when you lose a lot of weight and you see those changes in your face and body (I was able to get out of maternity pants 14 months after having my son! Yes, I was the shit!), you see a new “slimmer” version of yourself and it’s easy to get stuck in the newer you. 195 is far from my goal weight. I looked at myself and saw a “much better than before” version and clung to it. I was successful. I lost 15-25 lbs and I looked good.

Then around May-ish I started seeing myself differently again. I saw the reality of the 10lbs added back on (back to 205), I felt the sluggishness settling in. It’s not that I wasn’t working out, I was… but I my eating was not. No one knows I drove through Dunkin Donuts and bought 1-2 donuts alongside my blueberry coffee. If no one but me (and the DD workers) see the bag, then NO ONE knows I ate 2 donuts… as a snack… and then bought pudding as a dessert with my lunch. All the while telling myself, “I’ll eat better tomorrow. I was dying for a sweet treat and needed this.” Yet, tomorrow came and someone brought in bagels and cream cheese to work — and put them in the kitchen across from my office. Ah, the smelly goodness of fresh bagels. Just one, and then tomorrow I’ll jump right back on.

And then there are the Sting Pictures — I don’t mean sting like a bee or the musician… You know, the ones where you see yourself and go “Oh my god… What? Who is that?” and not in a good way. My inner “gremlin” wants to kick my mentality down, but I’m working to rise past the gremlin and not shove bagels and candy bars down my throat and wonder what’s going on.

It’s on me to change the image I see reflecting back at me. I’m the one who puts my hand to my mouth, no one else. If I look closely, I often find I’m a pretty good enabler of “let’s get ice cream!” and “I deserve a treat for working out 2-3 days this week!”

Focus is key.

It’s time to focus.

 

Non perfect workout photos

After 2 weeks of zero workouts, I jumped back in the game tonight. Wanted a lighter workout, something with a modifier, and would ease me back in since I’ve been sick last couple days. Oh yea, 21 Day Fix Extreme Plyo Extreme was not any of the things except the fact it has a modifier (who never seems to be doing too much modification). 

I set up my burst mode app for pictures. 10 seconds apart won’t get all the moves. Hell, it looks like I stood more than I worked out. 

Everyone normally posts this selfie:

 
And many leave out the ones in between. Since the purpose of this blog is to show more of the unsexy side… Here are some snaps I got from tonight’s workout. The last is probably my favorite. 

Of 187 pictures, there were 10 of me yawning.    
At least you can tell I’m moving here…

 

I’m in motion but look utterly bored   
And my favorite gem:

 
 
Do I feel better having finally worked out after 2 weeks off? Yes!

Did I end up modifying like I planned in the beginning? NO! I busted my butt on this. 

Am I ready for tomorrow? Well, let’s get through today first. But yes, I’m ready for my workout tomorrow, whatever it’ll be

What’s on tap for your next workout? Leave a comment!! 

Welcome!!!

I’m so excited to finally have this blog up and running. I’ve known for awhile I needed to start a blog. It’ll help me share my thoughts, struggles and goal achievements with you, as well as hopefully give you some inspiration of your own to work towards your goals.

How did I come up with the title? You’re probably asking yourself this… I’ve had it in my head for a little while now. I was listening to a podcast, Your Kick-Ass Life with Andrea Owen, and in one of the episodes she mentioned how no one really talks about the unsexy side of weight loss. It’s always a “Here’s where I was, and here I am now! Boom! Sexy!!!” Well, we don’t go from overweight to sexy in a day. We have to work towards the goal, we have to get unsexy to get sexy, essentially.

After I finished the podcast, I’ve toyed with the idea of how to create a blog, that might one day appeal to the masses, and show the unsexy side of weight loss. Is there already one out there? I don’t know… if there is, that’s their story, this will be mine. Maybe I’ll have some guest writers who want to contribute their own unsexy weight loss journey; maybe it’ll only ever be me. Who knows, a lot can happen. Sometimes I may just link to a podcast I listened to and LOVED – whether it’s badass mentality related, weight loss, motivational, food intake, etc – it’ll depend on what the podcast is and how it affected me.

My goal is to post 1-2x per week, maybe more, maybe less depending on what’s going on – but minimum once per week.