STRONG RESPECT

“Heal yourself, find yourself, know yourself, correct yourself, see yourself, love yourself, be yourself, RESPECT yourself.”

You’ve heard it, “you have to respect yourself before others will respect you.” This is so difficult for many of us. One reason lies in the fact of we just don’t know how. Another reason is we find ourselves in a situation that by the time we realize someone has disrespected us, it’s too late.

We struggle with these insecurities because we compare our lives to those around us. Those that put their lives on social media and are perfect at face value. Just because it’s on Facebook, it must be true, Right? That makes me laugh out loud. Sadly, people do believe this. Let me be the first to say, you have no idea what goes on behind that computer screen.

Respect means not taking things for granted. We tend to do this with those that we are closest to. Your mind went straight to your spouse and kids – you skipped right over yourself. You live in your skin day to day and forget you the most.

Honestly, I didn’t learn to respect myself until I began to learn myself through proper nutrition and exercise. This, for me, was a turning point in my life. When I became important enough to take care of my health, I began to value who I was, how I was treated, and my outlook on life much better. I cared enough to love me. When you love and respect who you are, the rest of the world kind of falls in to place.

Respect is also earned, not given freely. This means within ourselves as well. I think it is so ironic when people that treat you like crap get offended when you finally begin treating them the same way. You become the bad person at this point. You can’t win, don’t try. Respect their opinion of you, set boundaries, and walk away.

Relationships should be about two things: first, appreciating the similarities, and second, respecting the differences.

Let me reflect on my favorite pastime, running. When I began calling myself a runner in 2001, I had no clue about this sport. I was a member at the Courtyard Health and Racquet Club. They decided to form a run group that would meet twice a week and everyone went various distances. I remember running that first mile without stopping and then 3 miles and then 4. What a great feeling and accomplishment. And then, I was talked into signing up for the Mardi Gras Marathon in NOLA. During training, I messed up my IT band. It was a bitch training with that injury. My philosophy was if I’ve come this far, I am not going to quit. I went to that race, and finished 26.2 miles limping and hurting. I beat Oprah’s marathon time that day. That was my goal. My IT problem didn’t go away with that feeling of excitement crossing the finish line. I was in physical therapy for 3 months with no running. This was the price I paid for not only not respecting my body but also not respecting the distance of that course. I learned a valuable lesson that day, the hard way! I run injury free today. I respect every step that I take.

It’s simple, no matter what it is in life, it can be ripped from you in a matter of seconds.

Find peace, love and respect in everything you have, everything you do, and everyone you care for. Life is too short.

Stick with the Golden Rule, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”

“I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” MAYA ANGELOU

STRONG SUPPORT

As strong as you think you are – as far as your pride will carry you – you can’t always do it alone. And you don’t have to! Someone that loves you, constructively criticizes you, respects you, and tells you the truth will help you push past the point of giving up.

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” Maya Angelou

You’ve tried it; changing your eating habits, buying healthier grocery items, or packing your lunch for work. Where do you end up?   It was exciting for a while but you got tired of meal planning and prepping. The rest of your family wouldn’t eat what you were cooking so it was easier for you to resort back to what they eat. That lunch you packed for work was good enough until your co-worker talked you in to getting out the office and head to the local hot spot instead. You are back to square one. The battle cannot be won if you are not surrounded by like-minded people. I’m not saying everyone must think like you but I am saying you need a “go to” person who respects your health goals.

Same thing with exercise. It was a great idea to get that gym membership, but you only used it for a week because you never felt comfortable. You signed up for a 30 day online fitness bootcamp, but you kept missing days and having to start over from day one. You ordered P90X and it was kickass at first but laundry, ringing phone, text messages, dinner, kids, etc. kept distracting you. Where is your accountability? Where is your support system?

To find a staunch support system, you must communicate your needs with others. It takes work.

First, explain your goals, health needs, and journey to get there with your spouse or significant other. They may have been on your same wave but afraid to approach you, but maybe not. If not, you can’t lose sight of your what and why. Just ask them to support you and inform them of the importance this decision is for you and please respect it. Give it time, they may conform as well.

Find an accountable friend to encourage and help you stay on track. There is nothing like the fear of letting someone down. If your friend expects you to meet them at the gym or the track, you will be there.

Find your cheerleader. I never dreamed I would say this, but if social media drives you… USE IT. Just please don’t value your worth with it. If you need people to say, “Good Job” or “Keep it up” or “You’re looking great” or “Your efforts motivate me”, then more power to you. GET IT!   If it keeps you working out tomorrow, then post that shit and look forward to tomorrows workout.

Connect with others who are focused on improving their health in the same way you are. If you want to lose weight and your friend wants to bulk up, you are probably not going to enjoy going to the gym with them or having dinner. It doesn’t have to be someone you knew previously. It could be someone you met in a fitness class and the gym is your common. That’s ok too. You don’t have to be besties with everyone. You just need that quick text from someone that says, “you coming to class today? I need a good ass kicking workout after my day of work. Need me to save you a spot?”   You’ll be less apt to skip the gym that day.

Common sense goals. It’s just that simple. Eat right and exercise with others. Make the most of your efforts and have fun.

In my life, I have two incredible workout partners. These girls are my heartbeat in the gym, on a bike, on the pavement, in the kitchen, and in my fitness life in general. I could not make some days without them. There is not a day that goes by that we do not share our goals, our workouts, our nutrition, what we ate or will eat, and what time we will meet on the weekends. The three of us have a respect for accountability.   Kathryn and Jennifer are straight up legit. There is no doubt if one of us says, “I think I’m going to train for a marathon”, the other two will say, “Cool, I’ll train with you.”   Don’t let our friendship fool you, we are ruthless as well. We will drop one another on a run. We toe the line at every race with a win in mind against the other two. We workout harder and push limits at all WODS in 3. 2. 1. At the end of the day, we are better today than we were yesterday and ready for tomorrow. Katty and Jenn, I love your passion, drive, constant motivation and STRONG SUPPORT.

My strongest support comes from home. My hubs has never stepped in the way of me and my eager, hard-headed, rampant, addictive, love for living a healthy lifestyle. He will be the first to tell you that I am hell to live with when I miss a day. Kuddos for his patience and love, I am appreciative. I can’t forget my kids. They watch! They learn! They mimic! That is so important to me. How else do you teach but by example?

You enjoy exercise more when it’s a partner or maybe even a personal trainer. You can disassociate boredom with fun. Not to mention, it makes the time go by faster.

Strength comes in numbers.

The Group Effort – I love my large groups. They complain. They curse. They work hard. They feed off each other. They constantly push one another. We are social animals. We seek company and positive reinforcement of others, especially when we do work. Fitness is work.

One on One – Having one on ones have advantages as well. I am an appointment. You will be pushed just as much and expectations are no less. I’m never afraid to sweat with a client. If it takes me doing your programming alongside you – LET’s DO IT!

The Dynamic Duos – The friends that want to work out together or the married couples who use it as together time. This is a buddy system. They respect one another’s time, goals, and they stay in touch. It’s a win win.

No matter where you fit in, find your support. Be that insurance policy for someone (and yourself). Your path can be a light for someone else.

“Whenever I feel weak, I’ll remember those who make me strong. And whenever I start to doubt myself, I’ll remember those who believe in me.”

BE THAT PERSON

STRONG – Mitzi

STRONG FAITH

Hope is the ability to hear the melody of the future. Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

You can’t do it. You’re not good enough. Why should you try? You’ll never make it.

This voice that taunts your every goal in life. Your voice! You constantly talk to that person daily; in the mirror, in the car, at your desk, in a group of people, standing in line, etc. That voice can slap you harder than any other and you allow it.

“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.” Honore de Balzac

Faith is not something instilled. You must work toward it. It’s not a feeling, it’s a choice. I say this to people all the time. You cannot live on faith alone. It is a work in progress. You can have faith in everything but until you put forth the effort will you find change. Learning how to recognize your self-doubt is crucial. When you say, “I can’t”, “I won’t”, or “I don’t know”, try replacing that phrase with “I’m going to try.”

I’m not saying self-doubt goes away but I am saying that you can learn to deal with it positively. Why doesn’t it ever go away? One reason is because you do not allow it. A second reason is because people will always try to bring you down. It’s like poison in your veins. Here’s the kicker, you let them. Stop allowing others to steal your thunder. Make your statement, not your memo.

Give yourself the path to try and triumph. I promise you can’t go wrong. You must have enough faith to risk whatever it is that you have your sights on.   If not, it is just one more day of a missed opportunity. There is not enough room in your mind for both worry and faith. You must decide which one will live there.

Personally, I didn’t have the faith that I would succeed as a personal trainer. Everyone else thought I did, not me! I worried about what people would think, if I was good enough, would people trust me, could I push people beyond their limits to change them, would they have faith in me? Until I stopped worrying how it was going to happen and started believing that it would happen, my feet were planted. It was the day, I had enough faith in myself to shut the door to a classroom that was my comfort zone for more than 14 years and JUMP.

“If you are human, you have struggled with belief.” Paul Carrick Brunson

To believe or have faith in yourself you must…

  • Guard your heart. Do not lose this part of yourself. Everyone does not need access to it.
  • Disassociate yourself with the crap on social media, gossip, or negativity and replace with inspiration.
  • Find your purpose and go after it.
  • Train yourself to boost your own self-worth.
  • Allow the word “NO” to positively influence you. It does not mean to give up but should drive your faith a little more.
  • Accept a compliment. Just say Thank You.
  • “Fake it till you make it”. One of my favorite quotes ever. Even if you don’t believe in yourself, own it, work the room, work a conversation, be assertive, and be confident. You can breathe later.
  • Never surrender. No one has ever fallen while leaping out on faith.

I am writing a blog. I had the encouragement and faith of others (yet again) that it would work, not in myself. That voice in my head is conniving, manipulative, and can be a real bitch. Pen to paper is all I had to do. Say it, tell the world, help others, give them your story, show them how intimate you are with your passion for fitness and life they said.

Where was my faith in myself? January 2017, my faith became STRONG.

 

STRONG FEAR

Fear – This is people’s do or don’t word in life. Fear is a safety net in your world, like a security blanket. As long as you live in fear of the unknown, you will not change but choose to stay the same.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt

But I’m scared! But it makes me nervous! But I can’t! How many times have you said this? The fear of failure is what stops us! That is our #1 fear… Failure.

We are horrified to fail as a spouse, a parent, an employee, a friend, or a volunteer. These are all things that directly affect other people. These things are the fears of letting others down. One person being pulled in all directions trying to please all circles of their being. This type of fear is what I like to call people pleasers.

I don’t believe in failure. It is a stepping stone to your fate. There are set backs in life but not trying is actually your failure.

My fear is gaining weight.

Yep, I said it.

The scales own me every day. Do I know it is wrong? Yes! Would I ever tell any of you to give a damn what a scale says? No. It scares the shit out of me. For so long, I was up and down with my weight. It is now under control but I’m a little obsessed with making sure it doesn’t creep back up. Being a personal trainer, you have to look the part. Who wants a trainer that doesn’t put in the work, walk the walk, or talk the talk? It is important to me. There is a pound range I allow myself for the scales, depending on time of month, too much sodium, that splurge weekend, or whatever. Stay between the beacon. I work my ass off to stay there. It is no easy task for me by any means. I love to sweat and I’m really good at it. Sweating with swagger is the name of the game. This is not a healthy fear but it is mine and it is real. The boxing gloves go on every time I turn that little square digital machine on.   It can make or break my mood, my wardrobe, my self-worth, and my confidence. I allow that. Boy, is that shameful?   It’s my fight. It will not defeat me.

I also fear waking up one day and not wanting to run or workout. Those days happen for me too, believe it or not. Those are the days I make sure it gets done. One day could turn in to two and so on, don’t ever let it be today!

What is your fear?

Will you face it?

How will you conquer it?

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow.” Lion, Wizard of Oz

You’re a coward. You let crap beat you down and you don’t fight to get up. You use this in employment, marriages, friendships, children, health and fitness, etc.

Employment – You hate your job. Change it! Don’t’ be afraid of doing something you love.

Marriage – You feel alone, co-existing under one roof. You constantly feel as though you don’t belong. You’ve been beaten, kicked, belittled enough that you don’t know how to stand up for yourself. Find you, and find some happy. Don’t be afraid to seek help, share with a friend, seek higher ground or learn to communicate with your significant other. Talk it out is the best advice I can give.

Friendships – Stop being rattled by the chains of others. Search your friend circle. I promise you half of them are so self-absorbed they don’t give two shits about you. Your life will go on and you’ll be better without them. Trust me on this one.

Parenting – You cannot parent from the couch. GET OFF YOUR ASS. You must be involved with your children, not afraid to piss them off. You children are not your friend. There may be a time in life when they can be, but now is the time to rear them not treat them as an equal. Exactly what are you fears with them? The fact that they get mad at you, throw a fit, slam the door, roll their eyes, disagree… The last time I checked I own this house. They are renting space. My rules, they learn a little word called respect.

Health and Fitness – Intimidation is the word not fear. To take that first step, getting out the door, or cleaning out that pantry is huge. We are in a world that is so innovative in the fitness world. There should be no excuses. Your options are limitless. Good nutrition is a click away. There are so many websites that not only let you choose your dietary option, and recipes but will also make your grocery list as well. Check out www.realplans.com.   People, these two words are like a life insurance policy. I tell my clients this. You are paying to prolong your life. It’s worth it. Another word I could possibly use is lazy. We want others to do it for us. I will be glad to do it for you, but I can only start you. Take a moment to look at your day. How often are you just sitting, playing on social media, or a game on your phone? Use that 10-15-20 minutes to move. You can walk the parking lot, climb the stairwell, do lunges down the hall with pushups and squats. Will people think your nuts? Yes, WHO CARES! They should join you and maybe one day they will… Congrats, you’ve just changed a life. I can get creative if you need me to, just ask! I will travel, for real. Get a group of friends together and I’ll be glad to come over. I drink Chardonnay and love a great wine glass. Cleaning out those pantries and refrigerators when you aren’t even sure about what is good or bad for you can be overwhelming. Grocery shopping for “healthy foods” is tricky if you don’t understand labels, ingredients, or basic shopping rule of thumb.

Stop fearing and start being curious. ASK! We don’t seem to fear what happens when we over eat or over drink. What people fear is giving up feeling empowered by the taste and the feeling that food gives them. It should be completely opposite. Learn to love you again. I promise it takes the place of all the above. Finding your best self is the key to joy.

“You gotta get it right, while you got the time, cause when you close your heart, then you close your mind.” Michael Jackson

Look, I wish I could tell you what to do but until you decide that you can, you won’t. It seems impossible until you just do it.

MAKE THAT CHANGE

STRONG… Mitzi

 

STRONG CHOICES

STRONG CHOICES

Your day belongs to another person’s dream.

Your choices inspire you to become more than what you were when you began.

Choices is your ability to turn inspiration into action.

What? Why? How?

This word is full of potential. It’s an action we teach our children at a very young age. Your choice is your consequence. Think about that for a second.

Your choices have brought you to this place in your life. If given the opportunity, would you do it all over again?

It was 1992. I was a student at Northwestern State, Natchitoches La. I was loving life and living the college dream. No worries in the world. I had it all, but wanted more. I’ve always been that girl. Mediocre is just not good enough for me. December, Christmas break, I moved back home for a 3 week holiday. Sunday afternoon mom and I loaded my car. The conversation I will never forget (neither will she). She says “be careful going back to Natchitoches”. My response, “I’m not going back to Natchitoches mom, I’m headed to Thibodaux, La. I transferred to Nicholls State.” The sadness in her face of my choice still leaves and impression on me today. Many of you may have crossed a path such as this in your lifetime. There was no turning back. This girl was about to make a new life for herself. My destiny was unknown. I drove off that day into a world that I was completely unaware of. Little did I know, it would be one of the best choices / decisions of my life.  An impromptu step that allowed me to get to know myself.

Joy is important. You will fall apart without it. Learn where you find joy. When your feet hit the ground in the morning, take control of your day. I have preached and preached about how strong your mind can be. It’s your choice!

Decision making at its best. You should have a plan. What’s your method of achieving it? Do you need to reevaluate? Benchmark your actions. Change your game plan when necessary.   Most of all fall in love with the journey, not the end result. I say this because too many people are searching for an end and lose sight of how they are getting there. Take note of how you get to where you going.

How do you make the correct choices? Well, I don’t know. I’m still a work in progress. The positive is that our mistakes mold us. You wouldn’t be who you are without them. When you don’t thoroughly think things through you make avoidable mistakes.

Go back to the Steve Harvey video I posted on “Jump”. Talk about some choices!!! Do I or do I not jump? Sometimes you must think, what do I have to lose and what do I have to gain? Is it worth the risk? Is bettering yourself whether it be job, happiness, health, nutrition, friends, or opportunity important enough to change your commitment to yourself.

Your body is a reflection of your self-worth and your choices. My apologies for hurting anyone’s feelings but the truth hurts. The phone calls, text, emails, office visits, or random chats in the grocery about nutrition are countless. I do not sugar coat much about my thoughts on this subject. Many of you don’t like what I have to say and completely dismiss our conversation. That is your choice to listen or to avoid. I can help you or you can keep doing what you’re doing, and continue with your same results. I am so sorry there is no quick fix to our nutrition needs. If there was some magic pill or potion, I promise I would have found it. It is your choice to follow the path you’re on or switch directions at any time.

Scrolling through social media sights could be the most relevant sight of how delusional people truly are. There is a plethora of healthy recipes, people’s menu for the week, humble bragging of weight loss or inches lost, new cleanses, success stories, complaints of what works and what doesn’t, blah blah blah. This is what we often refer to as “keyboard courage”. It is so easy to stay in a judgment free zone behind the computer. “No one will know I’m eating this chocolate bar and drinking a coke as I pin healthy menu items to my Pinterest boards”.   The actions you take to feel worthy. But did you get a “like” or a comment for your post? That seems to be what matters most.   Here is your kick in the ass for today, YOU ARE NOT INVISABLE.   You think I am ignorant to those of you who drive through the fast food restaurant or bakery before heading home to shove that last bite of junk in to your system before going to make that healthy meal for your family. Your husband can brag on how well you’re doing with your new diet plan. That makes you feel good. I’ve done it, I know. Here is your second kick in the ass for the day, LIES LIES LIES! If you want it, own it. Make the best choice for that one body you have. You can lie about everything else except your health journey!  Fear is your excuse!  I get it!  Don’t be afraid to do something that frightens you, such as love, changing careers, cleaning out your pantry or signing up for a marathon.

Regret is a heavier weight to carry than hard work.

When someone asks for my advice on nutrition, I ask for a 2-3 day break down of every morsel that goes in their mouth. It is then and only then that you see the mindless eating that you do throughout the day. “I don’t know why I can’t lose weight. I eat eggs for breakfast, a salad for lunch and a smoothie for supper.” Well first, you’re starving yourself.   Second, you failed to mention the sugar and cream in your coffee, ranch dressing, amount of cheese on salad, hand full of M&M’s, tootsie rolls, bite of cookie, latte, and scraps from your kid’s plates that you finished along with those 3 meals. You are smarter than this people. YOU JUST DON’T WANT IT BAD ENOUGH. That’s your choice not mine.

Exercise regimens are the same way. I hear people say, “I go to the gym for 30 minutes to an hour 4 days a week. I am not getting results.” It’s because you’re not working hard enough. Stop playing with your music, texting, talking, sitting on a machine, walking around, or gazing in to space and work. Start super setting, burning some calories, breathing hard, and working out. The truth is I see so much wasted time in the gym from members. Utilize your time, or hire a personal trainer to give you a routine or to train you even if it’s just short term. You will learn how to make the most of your time in the gym and get results.

Struggles are real. Choices are real. Your path to success is your story.

You are only getting older and every day is a missed opportunity of change if you don’t decide your fate.

It takes STRONG emotion to overcome STRONG temptation.

You choose.

Mitzi

STRONG ATTITUDE

“Ability is what you’re capable of. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

First impressions are hard to take back. You can give off a vibe of self-worth and confidence or you can oppose that with insecurity and timidity. Where are you?

When your feet hit the ground every morning, you decide how to conquer your day. Your attitude!

We allow others to control our attitude. It’s a choice. Yes, it is.

How well do you have control over your emotions that you do not allow other people’s words and actions to affect you?

This is spouse, children, friends, co-workers, a car that cuts you off, a text, an email, etc.

I know there are many mornings my daughter makes me crazy. We have argued over hair, clothes, leggings, shoes, food, and the list goes on. It can make me lose my mind. Why did I allow her to aggravate me? I am the mother here let’s not forget. My choice. I did not handle the situation as I should have.

Let’s talk about your attitude towards a better you! Excuses reflect your attitude. One of the most important steps you can take toward achieving your greatest potential in life is to learn to control your attitude and the way it impacts your well-being. It’s your mind. It’s your choice. Your self-critic is powerful.

Your health and nutrition reflects your attitude. When you encounter hard times, you self-sabotage these two things. Some of you grab junk food, others a bottle of wine, some just sit in self-pity. Why? Instead of doing something positive for yourself, like going to the gym, or for a walk, or somewhere to clear your head, you choose to have a negative attitude and waller in self-defeat. Why would anyone choose to do this? It is how you choose to respond that is key to changing how you view any circumstance.

“Our attitude towards life determines life’s attitude towards us.” John Mitchell

In my life…

The last few months have been rocky. Poor choices on my part have caused a strain in many relationships of mine, from spouse to friends to work environment.   With this comes ridicule, judgement, indifferences, gossip, and heartache. Someone even called me insecure. That is one word I laugh at. If there is one attribute that I do not possess, it is insecurity.   The world and community can be a cruel place.

I dove in to self-pity for about 24 hours. My thoughts everywhere. Nothing was clear. What was I doing? How was I spiraling? How was I coming out of this? The phone rang. It was one of my best girlfriends. That true friend that never holds words back. I pray you all have a Kathryn in your life. Her words to me were “Who are you right now? I have never seen you weak. You are not the person I know. Get up and do something about this. You are stronger than this.”

Did I need to hear that? This tiger woke up. My attitude immediately changed. It was time to hold my head high, tackle this situation head on, allow people to judge and talk without it causing stress in my life. My choice! The loudest and most influential voice is yours.

No one controls you. That’s all on you.

People’s perception of you comes from your affirmation of yourself.

I ask you two questions. What motivates you? What triggers you? When you find this, you find how to take action, proper action. A discovery that takes your attitude to a brighter, more optimistic place. I like to say, “your confidence hangs in your closet”. Men and women, get dressed, get out, hold those shoulders back, lift that chin and take on the world.

Humor. Laugh. It truly is the best medicine. It will change your attitude completely. Find the humor in all aspects of life, it is powerful.

Exercise. It just makes you feel good. Let’s be honest, throwing a little weight around is exhilarating. With this is nutrition, that tub of ice cream, sleeve of cookies, whole pizza, or alcohol is not fixing your attitude.

I say to you – greet people with a smile, with enthusiasm, and as my dear friend Lycia reminds me, always be GOOD, GRACIOUS, and KIND.

Go Get ‘em Tiger…

STRONG

 

STRONG VALUES

STRONG VALUES

What do you value?

Stop here and think about that. Write down 5, your top 5.

The definition of value is to regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

Look at your top 5 again. Do you see your name? Where do you fit in? Try to explain why your name is not top 5 without making tons of excuses.

A value is a judgement of what is important in your life.

If you, yourself, do not rank in your life, how do you honestly value everything else.

You are letting yourself drift and allowing life to control you. Life is too short and you are your own destiny.

Money! This makes me crazy. Many people think value is a price tag.   You are not worthy or valued because you have a bigger bank account than someone else. I promise you there is no amount of money that can make you love yourself. You know the saying “money can’t buy happiness”. It can’t but it sure can buy a beautiful portrait. I hope that picture is worth more than you paid for it.

Social Media! Since when did a “like” button become a value to people? If that is the true value of your life, you need to delete the app. Kids and adults alike are relying on a click of a heart, a like, or a response to feed their core. That is a scary thought. Ask yourself why do you care?

The truth…

I never thought about what I valued either. A year ago, I was accepted to go on an ACTS retreat. ACTS stand for Adoration, Community, Theology, and Service. I did not want to go, this was no secret. The first morning of this Catholic retreat, after mass, we spoke about values. The question was asked, what do you value? Everyone had that staple answer, God, family, kids, education, job, a roof over my head, food to eat, etc. I chose not to answer as the topic was discussed around the table. As the conversation died down and I thought I was free and clear of this subject, our table leader directly asked me that question again. Nothing prepared me for that. I did not have an answer to give her. I simply put my head in my hands and cried harder than I can remember crying in years. It was almost like everything I valued was equal to everyone else. That was not good enough for me. As the weekend progressed, that question weighed heavily on me. I continued to search for the “right” answer. Sunday morning I was getting dressed for mass and it hit me. It wasn’t what I did value, it was what I did not value that I needed to answer. I did not value ME.

During this ACTS weekend, I started out being me. Those of you who know me, know I don’t break easily and I don’t enjoy showing my feelings much. There are few people I trust.

As I sat amongst strangers, I peeled back like an onion. These people started seeing the real me. The girl I didn’t value. I went back to my room later that day and there was a note on my bed. It read, “when you sat down at the table, you looked so strong and intimidating to me, but you’re really very squishy inside.” She was right.

When you spread yourself too thin, you become hidden. This blog was everyone else’s dream for me. I didn’t believe enough in the value of my voice to do it. When I decided to jump, I decided what I had to say mattered to someone and that I had a story to tell.

I began valuing my gift of helping and motivating others at a new level. It was time to share with the world and I couldn’t be more proud.

Your question. How do I get there? How do I begin to value me again? My body, my health, my nutrition, my exercise program, my one on one time with me, my thoughts, my actions…

You must get a plan of action. Set guidelines in your everyday activities.

Time for a healthier you. I tell me clients all the time, I am the last appointment you should cancel. You don’t cancel a doctor’s appointment because the cable man is coming. Your trainer or gym session is an appointment.   This is fact, exercise at any level is beneficial to you in the present and the future. But, but, but… I have, I can’t, I’m too old, my knees hurt… BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!! Just stop, please stop.

Here are a few reasons why I find you should value yourself and your health.

  • Lifestyle diseases:    High pressure, cholesterol, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune deficiencies, leaky gut, and more can be controlled by your diet and exercise.
  • Healthy Mind:    Blog #2 goes in detail how I feel about this
  • Stress Management:    A sane ritual of exercise regimen can reduce stress. Exercise produces endorphins that act as natural pain killers in the brain.
  • Sound Body:    Refer to blog #3.   I did not hide my feelings on this subject.
  • Shapes Personality:    You leave lazy alone. Meet the new you and feel different. Be consistent. People will like to be around you. You may make a new friend.
  • Model Behavior:    People will notice the new you and want to know your secret. What a great feeling that is! More importantly, your children and your family will notice and begin to mimic your lifestyle change.
  • Confidence and Self-esteem

Love yourself. Value yourself. Quit depending on someone or something else to make you happy.

You can’t just sit there and want things to happen. It doesn’t work that way. Where has that gotten you so far? You haven’t budged.   People say “I have faith that God will handle it.” I have faith too, lots of it. The football team can have faith that they will win the game, but if they don’t take the field, their chances are not in their favor. You must play the game of life to win your life. Be a savage, stop crying over it and work to fix it.

Morals and values are different. I say this because people tend to confuse the two. A moral is a standard of behavior that is either right or wrong. Morals are based on the belief and understanding of your values.

As you sit here reading this, struggling with what you value or what you don’t, I leave you with this…

I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions.   LADY GAGA

STRONG BODY

When you figure out your Strong Mind, your Strong Body will follow.

Judgement zone! People will judge you by your body in a split second. They will size you up. They will make up a story about you. They will eyeball you from top to bottom and then bottom to top.   They will whisper as you walk by.   Oh yeah! You know you are guilty. Why? Human nature is all I can come up with. There are times that people truly probably do not realize they are doing it.

Of course, many of you reading this looked at the words STRONG Body and immediately thought of muscles, athleticism, or body builders.

Stereotypical strong is where we are moving away from. Did it ever occur to you that it means YOUR body? How do you perceive your body as you continue to judge someone else’s?   We have got to start putting ourselves first and stop this comparative mental hell and anguish that we want to be someone else, because they may have better features on the outside.   EEEEKKKKKK! That hurt!

I train a multitude of body types. No one is like another. Results happen, but they vary tremendously with the individual.

News Flash! We do not lose or gain weight all the same.

C’mon surely we know this by now. I do not care how many abdominal exercises you do, or squats, or triceps dips or whatever, your body is your body. Accept it.   You can thank your parents for it. They created you. It is their gene pool. You were lucky enough to get a little of each of their features, good, bad, or ugly ones. Let’s work with what we were given.   This goes right back to strong mind. We can kick ourselves in the ass for overeating and our clothes not fitting, hating our body, but when do you decide to change.

When does ONE DAY BECOME DAY ONE?

Do I love myself? Go ahead ask me.

I hear people talking about me as well. Yes, I have nice legs and arms. I can admit that. But, I hate my knees. I have a 6-inch scar down my stomach where I had an appendectomy at age 2 and then a caesarean section with twins 9 years ago. That’s hard to face in a mirror when you work so hard for your body. I use to want plastic surgery to fix it. I have even had a consultation with a surgeon. At some point, I realized, it is who I am. It is part of what has made me who I am, a reminder of survival and motherhood. I do strive to work harder in my fitness opportunities because of it.

You have one body, what are you doing with it?

How many of you have said, “It’s just a cookie, I’m overweight anyway what’s it going to hurt?” I know you have because I have said it. How many have said, “It’s just a cookie, I’ll burn it off in the morning when I exercise”? I have said that many times too. Here is your reality… It matters! For so many of you, you think it is too late to get your body back. You have had kids, surgeries, injuries, stress, divorce, deaths, or life got in the way. Here is your next reality… It’s never too late! Your excuses get in your way.

It was 2004, I was ready to toe the line at the Cajun Country Half Marathon in Lafayette, La. It was a two-loop course flat but still challenging. Looking around, I started thinking, “I think I can beat her”, “I’ll catch her on loop 2”, “that girl looks super-fast”. My mind was racing. There was this one girl. She was buff, her legs like thoroughbreds, her build was huge. She was kind of scary, but super nice. To me, she was too big to be a runner. She wasn’t that runner type you see in the magazines or running marathons. There was no doubt in my mind that I was beating this chic. The gun went off and I never saw her again until the finish line. She was first female overall with the most impressive time I had ever seen. She smoked that course and me. Lesson learned on that day, never judge a book by its cover.

So many times, we do! How fair is that to anyone? Stop judging others and start judging yourself, your goals, and your expectations of you. Stop comparing yourself to others and start comparing yourself to the person in the mirror.

Find the good in your body and let’s start working from there. Write it down.

There is no possible way that you hate everything about your body. I don’t care if you love your eyebrows, make a list of things you love about your outer self and things you would like to change. If you love yourself, shout it, say it, own it. Confidence is a beautiful thing.

We see these women (and men) on the beach, at the gym, in the club, or at a restaurant, in barely anything or clothes too tight or too low or bikini’s that we would die to be able to wear. They sport these outfit like a champ as we sit with our mouths wide open saying, “what was she/he thinking”? “Did she/he look in the mirror before they left the house?” “Where are their true friends that tell them they shouldn’t wear that?” You know you are guilty. I’ve done it.   There comes a point when you must say, “I wish I had their confidence.” What am I lacking that they are not? Don’t we all wish we could feel that good about ourselves?

Your body is your temple. If you love it, you will feel freedom of the mind. You will begin walking differently, smiling differently, seeing people differently, and loving to have your picture taken. Seriously. If you accept that you are not perfect nor ever will be, you will find success. If you continue to strive for perfection, you will be disappointed. I am sorry, but it’s the truth. You must find balance in your life.   Find your body, your peace of mind, your self-worth, and not what someone else thinks you should be.

Magazine covers, infomercials, Facebook ads, television, Hollywood, etc. paints the picture of a perfect body. We are supposed to believe a machine or supplement can help us achieve the look of a super model. People believe this! It amazes me. Too often, I get a picture of some hot chic in little to no clothes with perfect boobs, booty for days, legs carved, back ripped, air brushed abs and she is extremely proportioned brought in from a client. The question, “can I look like this?” My answer, “NO”.   Clients have said, “I put this picture on my refrigerator or bathroom mirror for motivation.” How exactly does that motivate you?   Why don’t you put that outfit on, take a picture of yourself and put that on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror? There is your motivation. Take a picture every month and put a new one up. Have you changed? I hate to hurt your feelings but your gene pool is not hers.

You cannot make an apple a pear. You cannot make an hourglass a rectangle. You are made to be you.

The greatest part of being you is that you and only you can find the strength to change.

“IF THE BODY IS FEEBLE, THE MIND WILL NOT BE STRONG”   Thomas Jefferson

Strong Mind

How do you begin to wrap your head around those two words? That mind of ours is a powerful thing. It can keep us from every dream we have ever had or it can excel us beyond our wildest imaginations.

You hear about “hitting a wall” in a race, a workout or in life.

It is truly a wall or is it you?

Your mind gave up. The four words that are said to my children, my husband, or myself before any soccer game, dance class, swim meet, crossfit comp, or race is

STRONG MIND, STRONG BODY.

I hear people say, “I talked myself out of going to the gym today?” My response is always, “why didn’t you talk yourself into going to the gym today?” It seems so secure to take the easy road. Life is not easy, not if you want more out of it. Why are we stagnant? Excuse after excuse. Are you even mindful that you are making excuses, even sometimes lying about your answer of why you’re not going. Is that ok with you? You are in control of making you better, not someone else.

It’s a game! You play it with yourself constantly. Everyday probably, I do! For me, things are about numbers. I break it down. A workout, I play mind games with the clock. A run, one mile at a time, I usually find a subject matter to focus on the entire run. I do not use headphones while running outside. It is my time to reflect, pray, over think, and decompress. I talk to myself all the time. Don’t eat that! You don’t need that! You’ll regret that later! Walk Away! Yes, many times out loud so I look like a complete idiot to others. I don’t care, it works for me.

When we discuss how our mind works in health and fitness, it all comes down to one word, choices! You make them whether they are good, bad or ugly. You must own them. No one is forcing you to make mindless eating habits. No one is forcing you to make the right choice of going to the gym or for a walk or finding time for yourself.   YOU do this!

That person in the mirror is your enemy or your friend. It’s a choice.

I love to talk about how mindless we have become about food. My Whole30 group gets this speech a lot. The french fries you eat out of the bag before you hand to your child in the backseat is mindless. That ice cream you finish off because your child is about to throw his/her last few bites in the garbage is mindless. The candy jar that sits in your house as you grab a piece here and there is mindless. Eating the leftover crust from your child’s pizza or bread is mindless eating. You know you do it. It’s sad but true. I did it too.

How about in the gym? Your workout says 100 jump ropes and you stop at 93. Why? You swore you were going to do an hour of cardio and you get off the treadmill at 56 minutes. Why? You were so close, and you just stopped. Mindless! Because you thought it wouldn’t matter.

When your mind is right, your world will change.

I say be good, gracious and kind all the time. We have become so unmindful about others negativity or possibly our own. Most of the time, too many times. Negative words are so hurtful and there are “Negative Nelly’s” all over the place. If you chime in a positive comment in their negative ones, they will stop in their tracks. You will shock them. Take notice of conversations. As much as we think we know about a situation, you may truly have no idea what is going on in that person’s life. Be mindful of your positive influence on others. You will change a life.

“You cannot just exist in this life, you have got to try to live.” Steve Harvey

“You have got to identify your gift. Your gift will make room for you.” Steve Harvey

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kILVFRlUtT8

A friend of mine challenged me to listen to this once a month. It has been a factor of goodness through my journey.   The first time it was a little hard to understand. The second time, I knew it was time to JUMP. Now, I just listen because I learn and grasp a little bit more of what he says.

“YOU HAVE TO JUMP” Steve Harvey

It took a long time for me to jump. My mind was weak. I never believed I could follow my passion, or leave the classroom. I never believed in myself like everyone else believed in me. It has not been easy but it has been worth it.   Excuse after excuse is all I had. I wear my cuts, scrapes, and bruises with pride. That parachute may or may not open but not knowing will not cause me not to jump.

Your mind can stop you. There is every excuse out there. I’ve used them, I know. Until that day that you decide to change your mind will you begin to see a change in your mirror.

From one classroom to another, I still teach. STRONG

 

Strong Relationships

As I sit down with a few notes and a blank page, I reflect on the word relationships. How do they work in my life? Whom do I have relationships with? Are they positive or negative? Who’s in my corner? Are they true? Do I trust them? Are they encouraging or do they sabotage? Who are the motivators in my achievements? When you search for those answers, the revelation could shock you. I am not afraid to say that I have few friends but the greatest friends I could ask for. I seek positivity within my environment. Sharing myself with others and being good, gracious, and kind are the monumental actions to divide with friends, family, and strangers.

Here is your question:

What do I do with those people that bring me down, belittle me, make me feel like I’m not worthy, destroy my dreams, constantly speak negative about others, weigh on my thoughts, etc.?

We all have those people. I have one word for you. Boundaries! It’s time to set them for yourself. For me, it was with a very close family member.   I found myself at a crossroad of being tired of trying to appease someone that is clearly struggling with something within herself. The hardest realization for me was I can’t help her. The straw that broke the camels back was the attack against my children and my husband. At that moment, I made a vow to never allow her to hurt me again. A quick deletion from all social media was my first move. She could only reach me by a phone call. At that point, I reserved the right to always say good-bye. We are at a better place, but it was boundaries that had to be established in order to get there. Never have I regretted this decision.

In the health and fitness industry, becoming a better you is the greatest place to be ridiculed. Life does not differ between skinny, fat, short, tall, athletic or the I don’t care personalities. Some people just don’t want you to succeed no matter if it’s weight loss, strength training, getting faster, eating right, living healthier, having more energy, or regaining control of your life.

WHY? WHY? WHY?

Here’s a story for you. The story of my life. I am at a birthday party with moms sitting around a table chatting. The mother of the birthday child walks up and asks “would anyone like cake?” She abruptly turns to me and says “I know you don’t want any!” GULP! How embarrassed was I? It is a very uncomfortable feeling to constantly be picked on for food choices. I get it everywhere I go. Here is the greatest thing. I love cake and I eat cake when I want it. I just didn’t want any cake that day. It is a great thing called food freedom. The book is fantastic. Melissa Hartwig writes Food Freedom Forever. I deal with these types of comments in every social situation. I handle it with a smile when I really want to be a crouching tiger and pounce on someone. That day may come, I’m just hopeful not.

Here’s one more while I’m at it. I went with a friend to a local school fundraising event. There was a fantastic buffet of green beans, brisket, mashed potatoes, salad, and bread pudding. I had a little of all of it. I sat down and I know at least 6 people asked “well what are you eating?” I was proud to say I tasted a little of everything. They were astonished. There were even those that put mashed potatoes in my face and asked if I’d like a bite. It made me happy to say “I had some but thank you.” That tiger stayed contained yet again.

These constant relationships could cause a major back slide on your climb to the top of your triangle. Think about how often people comment on those around that do not make healthy lifestyle choices as opposed to those that do. Can’t you hear them? Why isn’t she eating that? She is too thin, she can eat 2 cheeseburgers and not gain weight. She is missing out. Why doesn’t she just cheat or treat herself? She brings her own food everywhere she goes? This is my favorite… She doesn’t even have to work at it? WWWHHHHHAAAATTTTTT????? YES, I DO! That comes a little later in my blogs.

Do you ever hear someone say, “you should not eat that much?” I don’t hear anyone at Christmas dinner say, “you shouldn’t have that!”. I’ve never been a restaurant and someone order and I say “are you really going to eat that cheesy pasta or that bacon cheeseburger or dessert?” NO, but hell, what a shock to the person if someone did. Why? Because it’s not socially acceptable. Someone will get sued on that note. Someone will think you are better than them if the tables are turned. Why is it ok to pick on the little people?

I promise there is no size in life that makes one person better than another. We are all on equal ground. It is your relationship within yourself that puts the strain on how you view others. Love yourself first.

It is time to take a stand for what you want. Stop being scared to admit that you want more for your health, your family, and your love of life. Stop allowing people to run over you and cloud your path. I don’t care who it is, your mom, your sister, your husband, your kids, your coworkers, your best friend, or your significant other. It is time to put this in check.

I received this text message from a friend of mine not too long ago. It read.

Loved your Facebook post about size attacks. I couldn’t post there because I don’t want to publicly talk about my dear mother. I am far from a zero but I have been feeling the pressure from friends and family about food choices. My mother was always encouraging me to lose weight but now that I am working on it, they always make snide comments about me eating cauliflower in place of everything! So frustrating, they act like cauliflower is so odd, it is a vegetable, I don’t understand the big deal. Anyway, Thank you for the article.

That article was found on Facebook and called, You Attack My Size 0 But I Can’t Attack Your Size 16.

Commit to those who strengthen you. Surround yourself with positive people. Love and acknowledge those that pick you up at your low moments and high five you at your best. Be done with negative comments, with being mocked, and be STRONG with the person that should fulfill you, YOU!