Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Spiritual Journey

I haven't posted in awhile, and I thought I should update.  I have not fallen off my journey, and I am not taking a break from coaching, but I feel like I have been "quieter" than usual.  Something I have been trying really hard to to this year is to stay focused on myself.  I am learning to cut out all the noise, and find my own center of peace.  I am going to touch upon a topic that I never really discuss on social media because it is very personal.  But I feel it is an important part of my journey, and that I should share, so you can better understand my journey.

 I am not a religious person.  Although I grew up in a home and with a family that are Christian, I do not consider myself a follower.  It isn't that I haven't "found God", or that I am a lost soul.  Honestly, I disagree with many of the mixed messages that religion teaches.  Yes, I celebrate Christmas, but I view is at a focus on family, friends, and to celebrate and appreciate those that are important in your life.  It is a chance to be thankful for what you have, and an opportunity to give to others and be selfless.  To me is is a way to make the world better.  I won't get into Easter, but I have a really hard time celebrating that as a holiday because it does not have the same significance as Christmas does to me.  Anyway, I  and not sharing this to start controversy, or to discuss my reasons for my beliefs, but because often times when folks find themselves on the sort of journey I have been following over the past year, they tend to find their inner spirit.  Many of my fellow coaching friends have turned toward their religion to help them reignite their passion and beliefs.  It helps them find a sense of purpose and calmness within their lives. For me, my spiritual journey is more of an internal journey.  I find that focusing inward on myself and my family gives me a sense of purpose.  I find my peace through meditation, reflection, and education.  THAT is what helps me to find my inner spirit.  I feel most calm when I am at one with nature - when I can breathe in fresh air and nourish my body with naturally healthy foods, and when I exercise to make my body feel good, and when I modify those exercise moves that I feel stress my body in the wrong way.  I am learning to listen to my body and to recognize what works well FOR ME.  I am making extra effort to really make quality time with my family, and to make them my priority above all else.  I am embracing my journey to seek out a true balance in my life that leaves me completely fulfilled and happy.  It is funny, it wasn't until this year, when I started to REALLY focus on myself, that I have come so close to finding myself feeling truly at peace with my life.  I truly love this peacefulness. 

I am trying to take you along on my journey as I find the best, and most healthy lifestyle for myself.  However, I am also finding that social media really adds stress to my life.  It seems to be even more difficult this year because it is a presidential election year.  I know what principles I believe in, and what issues are important to me.  I know the candidate that best represents me, and I know who will be getting my vote.  I believe in your right to your opinion, and your right to express your opinion.  However, posting your political opinions all over Facebook, is NOT going to change my beliefs.  It is NOT going to make a point that will override my opinion.  It just makes a statement about who you are and what you believe...and your desire to share it with the world.  You are entitled to do that.  Isn't it great that we live in a country where you can do that?  I'll be honest, I utilize that little "hide" option on Facebook ALL THE TIME!!  Just because your view is different than mine, does not mean you are a bad person.  It just means that different things help us find our own inner peace.  Personally, I don't want to be angry with the world, with our country, with our government, or with people in general.  I don't want to look to blame others for what is wrong in my own life.  I am an adult.  All of the problems I face were cause by decisions that I made, and not because of something that "happened" to me.  Yes, others have made my decisions, or outcomes of my decisions more difficult or complicated, but I MADE THE DECISION to begin with.  On the same note, all of the good things in my life are also a result of a decision that I made.  Sometimes I get it right, and sometimes I get it wrong.  Either way, I am glad to be able to guide my own future.  

One of the biggest decisions that I have made this year is to try to spend less time on Facebook.  I don't like scrolling through my news feed and reading so many opinions of things that people have no control over.  You have every right to form an opinion.  I have every right to ignore your opinion.  However, it is hard to scroll past things you see on Facebook...and I can't "unread" things.  Even though I use that wonderful little "hide" option, I still get tired of all of the drama.  My journey is telling me that I need to avoid that drama in order to find my inner peace.  I am not leaving behind social media.  I am just making sure that it is not working against my goals.  I am committed to helping others to reach their fitness goals, and I do most of my work through Facebook.  However, you may find that connection with me through social media might be a little less frequent (except in my Facebook support groups).  

Thank you to everyone that takes the time to follow my journey.  I hope that in some small way, my journey is helping you to find your own path to health and happiness.  ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

It is what it is

If you are just starting to follow my journey, you may be wondering why I am going about my nutrition and exercise so meticulously.  I really don't want to be, but the truth is that I have been on quite a journey over the past 2 years, and I am finally starting to find progress again...and I just don't want to lose that.  Here's a little background.....

In 2012 was going through a very stressful time in my life, and in my marriage.  My husband, Jeff,  had jumped into his own business venture, and he was busy ALL THE TIME.  It put a real strain on our marriage and our family.  I started focusing on my health and fitness.  For 2 years, I worked hard to get fit.  In May of 2014 I was in the best shape of my adult life.  I lost 60+ pounds.  I slimmed and toned my body.  For the first time since I was in high school, I felt confident in who I was, and was not self conscious about my weight and my appearance.  I was also coaching others on their journey.  Fast forward to the fall of 2014....I started gaining weight, despite the fact that I was still eating right and exercising.  It didn't seem to matter what I did, I could not lose the weight again.  My efforts seemed to pause the weight gain, but would not reverse it.  I was also VERY tired, and never seemed to have enough energy.  I became more frustrated and self conscious.  In spring of 2015, I finally made my way to the doctor.  I was certain I was having thyroid issues.  Hypothyroidism runs in my family, and I thought for sure it was finally hitting me.  After a handful of blood tests, it turns out I have Epstein-Barr Virus...and my numbers were HIGH.  I decided to slow down and try not to stress my body anymore that necessary.  I did for awhile, but when you are into regular exercise, it can be REALLY HARD to stop.  I was continuing to exercise, and still not seeing progress...nothing on the scale, no inches lost, no change in progress pics.  This created more stress.  I was doing the things I needed to do for my EBV, and trying to keep my numbers down.  The energy was increasing, but I was jumping full speed into intense workouts, and spending all of that energy as quickly as I could create it.  The fall of 2015 was tough.  I kept exercising, and not seeing much progress.  I was still holding steady.  However, whenever I took a break, I gained weight...weight that I could not lose back.  Finally by January of 2016, I found myself 30 pounds heavier...even though I was trying to eat right, and I was exercising regularly.  Jeff and I started into the Master's Hammer and Chisel program (which I love).  We completed the full 2 months of the program.  I did not expect to lose weight with the program because it is about building muscle and toning the body.  However, I did not lose many inches wither.  My arms and shoulders looked amazing, but my midsection just was not changing at all.  I was ready to jump into the 22 Minute Hard Corps program, in March.  Unfortunately, we had a spell of really warm weather, and my allergies (asthma) hit me hard.  I had to stop working out.  It was a total wake up call for me.   I started to research and focus on my nutrition.  I have been learning a lot about organic food, and GMO's and how they affect the body.  I stopped stepping on the scale, and instead trying to focus on my health and how I was feeling.  My energy was low again, and I was having some issues with my Mirena birth control.  After I had it removed, my hormones were WAY out of whack.  I spent all of March and April, NOT exercising, and just focusing on my nutrition in order to reset my hormones.  I was feeling a little better, but I couldn't seem to shake the fatigue.  I called up my doctor again and made another appointment.  THIS TIME, I insisted on the full panel of thyroid tests.  Well, those all came out perfectly normal.  I can officially rule out my thyroid.  It turns out my vitamin D was low, and my EVB was flaring up a bit.  A week before my doctor's appointment, I made the decision to purchase the Ultimate Reset program (it was on sale).  I had done the reset before and had excellent results.  However, it was a tough program, and I was intimidated about doing it again.   However, the timing was perfect.  I KNEW it was a sign that I needed this program RIGHT NOW, to help reset my body.  So I took the leap.  You can scroll back my last few posts to see my reset journey.  What is important from that program is that I FEEL BETTER.  My energy is up, and I feel like I can move back into working out again.  Also, for the first time in 2 years, the scale is working in my favor.  Slowly but surely, I am seeing progress.

I have learned a lot through my journey. My biggest lesson is that you have to REALLY learn to listen to your body.  Working harder and being more strict with your eating is NOT ALWAYS THE WAY TO SEE PROGRESS.  Sometimes, doing those things can make things worse!!  If you are working hard and not seeing results, then try taking a step back.  Allow your body to HEAL.  Don't end up in my situation where I was working so hard to see progress that I was over stressing my body, and hindering my ability to have results.    

If you are struggling, and need some help, please reach out to me.  I have BEEN THERE!  I know how frustrating and stressful it is, and how that stress can really work against your progress.  If you can trust the process, I can help you reverse it.  It won't happen over night, but it WILL happen.