Making Space


I recently sat down to create what some deem as a golden ticket to getting through their day, week, and life. I wrote out a “list”. People swear by it. Live by it. Excel by it……….so it has to work, right?

I did the perfunctory columns and listed out most pressing, least pressing, need tos, have tos, want tos, get tos, hammer over the head tos……this included work, chores, bills, training, family, friends, retirement, debt, wealth building, decluttering, home repairs, obligations, phones calls, meal planning, projects, vacation, loss, pet care, e-mails replies…(deep, gasping inhale)….because that is what happens when a pearl personality or INFP makes lists……everything internal floods out in a tsunami of thoughts and it overwhelms them even more! INFP folks CAN write lists, but it needs to be for things that can get them through the next hour or two…..we have to keep the rest of the portals closed! To find out more about your temperament check out Myers-Briggs, G.E.M.S, or a plethora of other personality websites out there!

So, what came out of that little exercise? Not this miraculous “Oh, yes! Now I get it! I have everything under control and will be happy in no time flat as long as I work through this list”. Nope. I learned that I have too many “have-tos” in my life. I even make the majority of my decisions on the have-tos AND on how the decision will affect other people’s have tos. And then it hit me………..

Too many have-tos in life can be debilitating. Forward motion ceases to exist.

“In order to be whole, I need to make space“. That means releasing some of the have-tos. The have tos that provide constant anxiety and zap us of strength and much needed joy……..must go.

So how do we make this space? I chuckle because this may likely require us to make another type of list (or for the more “internal types” like me, simply sit in the shade with a tall glass of lemonade and reflect) . Decide what your most life sucking have tos are and then feel what it would be like to not HAVE them anymore. Seriously, for a brief moment, I want you to think about how you would “feel” if they were GONE. DON’T think about how letting go will affect anyone else in your life…..think about how it will affect YOUR life.

Deciding to release the have tos is your first big step! Whether they are legit “these things have to be done” or self-induced have tos…doesn’t matter……..if they are causing you constant pain and anxiety then they must be removed. Formulate a plan that reduces them. That plan can mean total removal, outsourcing, living more minimalistic…….or how bout’ this…..simply placing a personal priority or two OVER other folks/the worlds priorities. Sometimes the mental mindshift of selfcare is all we need to create space again.

How awesome would it feel to do the things we want to do instead of thinking about doing the things we want “when all the have tos have been taken care of”?

For me, I think about how I would feel to be present in the NOW and not focusing on “the other things that HAVE to be done”. To hold my friend’s hand during scary times, to enjoy dancing in the bowling alley with my nephew (okay, so he wouldn’t dance and was silently pleading that I not do anything embarrassing), to sit on the beach with my parents, to bike through a new locale with the Wonder Twin, for the brother and I to participate in our awesome cousin cookouts, to sit in my backyard with The Pip and just stare at nothing in particular and just be…..

Making decisions that enhances YOUR quality of life is not selfish. It is downright mandatory and will enhance the lives of those around you (because we are more enjoyable to be around ūüôā Namaste, Baby!

I will Overcome!

Let’s make some goals, shall we?equipped2

You guys know how I value Non Scale Victories over weighing myself.¬† I don’t even weigh myself unless I go to the doctor! That number on the scale has NOTHING to do with¬†our badassery, just sayin’.

I have decided to choose a goal that I want to achieve that goes WAY back.¬† WAAAAY¬† back.¬† Elementary school.¬† I never got the President’s Fitness Challenge Seal for physical ed.¬† NEVER.¬† Why?¬† Because I could do everything on that list except…….a pull up.¬† That bothered me so much.¬† Two years of not getting that seal because of that….even though I could¬†do everything else.

I was thinking of this when I visited a local gym a few years ago. The trainer asked me my goals and I said I want to be able to do a pull up.¬† His BRILLIANT response to his client…..chuckling while viewing his reflection in the window (to fix the well coiffed spikes in his hair)…”Oh, you can forget that.¬† That is an extremely difficult move.¬†¬†Most men can’t even do those; women aren’t physically equipped to do it”.¬†¬†¬†¬†I tried to ask him a few more questions about technique and training and I would have to repeat the questions because he would be staring off into space (actually at the young hotties across the room doing aerobics) and he would simply go “huh?”.¬† I ended up telling him….”You know, I’ve got this.¬† Why don’t you go do something else”.¬† Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!¬† I ended up training myself and two other women that were trying to get help from the floor trainers that evening.

I learned two things that night….never trust a man that wears more hair gel than you and I am responsible for my own health and wellness; my passion for fitness was reawakened.¬† It still took a couple of more years before I truly realized that the fitness path was where I was headed.¬† I had to quell the noises in my head telling me “You will be laughed at, you weigh over 200 lbs.¬† No one will take you seriously.¬† You are too old to follow your passion now.¬† You aren’t equipped for this”.¬†¬†¬† Not only did I quell those voices, but I punched them in the throat…, when they try and return it is with a weak, raspy voice and I am immediately reminded that I silenced them before and I can do it again!

I embarked on a journey that I am still on and will carry as many people with me that want to follow on this intertwining path!¬†¬† First, I became a Beachbody Coach and surrounded myself with likeminded and uplifting people that gave me the confidence to go back to school and become an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach.¬† My main objective is to encourage folks that you can¬†be #fitatanysize.¬† I want you¬†to move more and get stronger not¬†take a shortcut to a temporary and sometimes dangerous weight loss.¬† I don’t sell pills, potions, or gimmicks.¬† I sell you on the premise that you are worth taking responsibility for your health and wellness and I simply guide and cheer you on your permanent lifestyle change.¬† It is a journey I am proud and honored to be a part of.¬† Just because you can’t do an exercise exactly like the person next to you at the gym, doesn’t mean you can’t get a similar benefit with modification.¬† Shoot, I am the modifier¬†of the modifier sometimes!¬† Just MOVE people!!¬†Do what you can, how you can!

NEVER listen to those negative voices in your head.  YOU have so much to offer this world.  Make sure you use your gifts!

Sooooo, what is my NSV goal that I want to achieve by end of 2016?¬† I want to do a pull up.¬† I am not just¬†SAYING I want to do a pull up…..I have a plan.¬† I will start by doing ¬†pull ups from a supine position, then I will segue into using my assisted bands on my pull up bar and gradually remove bands until I no longer have to depend on them.¬† I will get there.¬† Why? Because I believe I can do it.¬† I AM equipped; and by the end of 2016 I will be stronger because I overcame something I thought I could never do!
Let me hear your goals for the rest of the year!  Be specific, put it out to the universe, make a plan, and crush it!

Do you have your head in the sand?


Do you have your head in the sand when it comes to your health, finances, career, marriage, future, or even a family conflict?  Why is it so easy to hide instead of facing our fears?  We think if we hide and ignore the problem it will go away, but in the long run it only makes things worse.  That fear of one thing tends to spill over into other facets of our lives and sucks the joy right out of us.

Recently, I decided to run to the roar rather than away from it.  Warning, soul-baring ahead.

As part of my phenomenal SmartSuccess training with Chalene Johnson (and my hold me to the fire accountability group and friends) I was challenged to come up with a clarity statement based on my current priorities.¬† This brought to light what fears or challenges keep me from my priorities.¬†¬†After a few days of¬†soul-searching I realized (or admitted) that the way I viewed and managed my finances kept me from enjoying the rest of my life.¬†¬†¬† By avoiding my debt and finances it was easy to pretend it wasn’t there….except it ruled over EVERY part of my life.

I started looking around my environment; the half finished home repairs, the unorganized stacks of bills/bank statements/401K summaries/important documents, the relationships I pushed to the side because I didn’t feel that I was valuable enough to be a part of them, the fear of a ringing telephone, or the hoards of stuff because I was always worried I may not be able to afford new things so I kept EVERYTHING.¬†I realized that¬†I based my self-worth and identity on my finances.¬† If I was late with¬†payments I would feel like a failure….in everything.¬† If I couldn’t afford a newer vehicle or the constant¬†repairs to my current one I was somehow less of a person and not valuable to anyone.¬† My debt was running my life. ¬†I became a servant to debt and it became my master!

It took a few days, but I wrote my clarity statement.¬† It is long and private, but basically it states that I will make decisions that honor my priority to get out of debt and release myself from that false master, build wealth so that I am comfortable and able to “relax”¬†so I can¬†continue to follow the calling God has placed in my heart, focus on¬†the blessings that God has given me every single day,¬†and to¬†be PRESENT in the lives of family and friends.¬†¬†It is a¬†slow process, but I am learning to¬†NOT equate my financial situation with my value to this world.

This morning I pulled my head out of the sand and faced my scary monster.  I requested a copy of my credit reports to check for errors and start a plan to get in control and properly manage my finances.  No one is going to plan my future for me!

So, what can you do to start on the road to financial peace?  First, get a copy of your credit report.  You can get a free copy from all three credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) once a year.  Go to  and fill a few quick forms to get started.  Be sure to print out your report before you go to the next agency because once you close it out you lose your free access to that particular report (for a year).  After you print them out compare and check for inconsistencies or incorrect information.  Some things can be disputed right there online. FYI-When going through mine I found one fraudulent address, one incorrect place of employment, and a mortgage application that I never did.

Next, sign up for a free credit counseling service or enroll in a class such as Financial Peace University at  Your church may even offer the Dave Ramsey course!  Make a plan and take ACTION!  Make a budget EVERY month to track incoming/outgoing and decide what non-necessities you can cut out so that you can pay down your debt.

Are you hiding your head in the sand from something else?¬† Face it!¬† If you feel you aren’t strong enough to face it alone grab a friend or family member to give you extra support or accountability.¬† God provided me with a fabulous support group with BIG flashlights to shine light on my fears so I can conquer them and live the abundant life that He wants me to live!

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

IMG_7373[1]“What do you mean you do not have time to work out?”

Yeah, I constantly lied to myself with this one ALL the time.  When I finally realized it was my feeble attempt to make myself feel better about not taking care of myself I was already very overweight, pre-diabetic and I was sore most of my waking hours.

I get it.¬† You are busy.¬† The family needs to be fed, the house needs cleaning, the yard needs mowing, Little Susie has softball practice and Little Johnny has drama club,¬†the in-laws need help with their 1,000th crisis of the week, you still have to get to the grocery store, and don’t forget the five deadlines at work you are trying to meet.

But, if you are not taking care of¬†YOUR health and wellness how do you plan on taking care of all those other things in your life?¬† Did you know that we lose 3lbs of muscle¬†every 6 years due to lack of resistance training?¬† I was wondering why I started feeling “weak”.¬† Even a simple task like opening a jar was becoming difficult.¬† When I started to really think about¬†how my weakness would only get worse as I grew older and that I¬†may have to depend on others for assistance I became worried about my future quality of life!

The good news is that you can¬†ADD 3lbs of muscle in 3 months doing basic strength building exercises!¬† I can do something about the loss! I started incorporating small movements into my day such as¬†pli√© squats while doing dishes, calf raises and¬†single leg “booty kicks” while brushing my teeth, and trying to take two steps at a time when using the stairs.¬† Working large muscle groups meant I was burning more calories!

I found that taking small steps to improve my fitness health led me to wanting to increase the amount of resistance training I did.  I started a weight training program which made me feel stronger and more confident and I segued into more cardio programs.  Energy begets energy!  A body in motion wants to stay in motion.

Stop lying to yourself and get moving.



Trust the journey!

IMG_6773 If you would have asked me two years ago if I ever thought I would have¬†run a 5K I would have doubled over with laughter (right after I took a bite of my fourth slice of pizza).¬† Fast forward two years later and not only have a completed five 5Ks, but I also train others to go from the couch to a 5K in 10-12 weeks.¬† In a year and a half I managed to lose 50 lbs and become a certified fitness instructor and personal trainer.¬†My mantra….slow and steady wins MY race.

How did I get here? It was NOT an overnight process.

A few years ago I took a Spiritual Gifts (S.H.A.P.E) class at my church.¬† I was a bit taken aback by the results.¬† Apparently, teaching, administrative, and encouragement were my top three gifts.¬† This class also takes into account our heart, passion, and experiences in order to determine where we can Serve our community with our gifts.¬† After the class I met with the¬†instructor and told her 1) my house and office are a cluttered mess and I have no organizational skills, 2) I love to look at health/fitness/nutrition magazines and dance, but I weigh¬†close to¬†200lbs and I don’t see where I can help people or how that plays into my spiritual gifts,¬†and 3) I don’t teach so something must be wrong with my results.¬† Her response was, “Maybe you are just fighting your gifts and that is why you struggle”.¬† I thanked her and went home shaking my head and filed the class notebook away on the top of a bookshelf…..and forgot about it.

Over the next year I struggled!¬† I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t happy.¬† I gained MORE weight, struggled with finances, alienated myself from family, burned out at work, and just felt defeated.¬† On top of that, I was being called to help others with fitness/nutrition.¬† I asked God how in the world did He expect me to not look like an idiot trying to help others achieve their fitness and nutrition goals when I now weighed over 200lbs?¬† He helped me realize it was about Trusting The Journey!

So, at 235 lbs I joined an online accountability group (which I now call my family) and took off down the path.¬† I have wonderful family and friends that have supported me along the way and are my biggest cheerleaders!¬†¬† I had to get over what I thought others may think because this is MY journey, no one else’s.¬† The journey was about¬†learning how to make me a priority so that I can be stronger in Mind Body, and Spirit while helping others. ¬† I still want to lose another 60 lbs and I will get there! ¬†I am stronger than I was yesterday. ¬†Recently, I went back to that notebook on the shelf and was stunned to see my notes. ¬†I wrote a statement in the margin of my results sheet on my confusion over God placing in my heart a need to help others get healthier and more fit through exercise, nutrition, and a balanced life.¬† Huh!¬†¬†That is exactly what I have been doing this last year!¬†¬†¬†¬†Trust the journey.