Sunday, February 23, 2014

Beauty Meets Passion

This is a beautiful message. I am sharing it because I think it is very important that us women see that NO ONE is "perfect". We all have flaws, imperfections, and things we do not necessarily like about ourselves. This message spoke to me that I should love my self and my body. The good and not-so-good. There is no one else like me. That is what makes each of us unique. Each of us an individual.

I realize that society portrays this "ideal" self image of being super duper skinny, starving yourself or using diet pills to get there, and sending the message that this is raw beauty. I'll be the first to tell you, it's not! Beauty is inside each of us. We just have to be willing to see that.

A little bit ago, I had this realization about my life and things that I am passionate about. The tiny thought sort of snowballed over the morning, into something much deeper than I expected. It went a little something like this. Every one of us is passionate about something. Your career, children, education, family, friends, art, music, photography, using your skills and talents to style other people's hair, writing, helping people, health/fitness, and the list could go on. Then a thought popped into my head... something that I have never thought about before. We all share what we are passionate about with our families, friends, and people we meet along the way. We do this because we believe so highly about our passions that we want other people to believe in them and embrace them, too!

This brings me to my next thought. It is very obvious by now that I love health and fitness. Do I love to workout every day? NO! But I do it, because I know it will keep me healthy. Do I love to pass up that second piece of cake EVERY time?! Absolutely not. But I know that my body is fueled on nutritious foods more than processed, so I pick and choose my "happy" meals (aka. cheat meals). Am I saying you can't indulge ever? No way! Moderation is key. In fact... I had that second piece of cake at my niece's birthday party last night. It was delicious! Though, I will not be making a habit of it.

There are times when I feel people misconstrue my passion for living a healthy lifestyle, with pushing people to meet that unrealistic "ideal" image. As I have said many times before... no two people are the same. That's what is so beautiful about life. We each have our own individual personalities, attractions, favorite parts of ourselves, and flaws. That is why I promote HEALTH... not just weight loss. I promote FITNESS. Not a certain jean size. Most of all, I promote the opportunity for each and every one of you to live your best lives. Full of happiness and love for yourself and others. Never let anyone tell you you're not good enough, beautiful enough, or "skinny" enough. Love yourself, because you are worth it!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

On The Inside Looking Out

As I sit down to write this post, I hesitate. But, I think it will be helpful for people to understand exactly where I am coming from in working my Independent Beachbody Coaching Business. When I decided to sign up as a coach six months ago, I was skeptical and pretty sure I'd cancel it within the first 30 days. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. All I knew going in was that I wanted to help people. I had a clear vision of helping individuals from all different walks of life, to improve their health. I am not out to make people feel bad about their weight or their body image. I want to make that very clear. I think sometimes people are misreading my passion and enthusiasm of fitness and healthy eating, with judgement of others for not being ready to invest time and money into their health. This could not be farther from the truth. To use programs like P90X, Insanity, ChaLEAN Extreme or any of the at-home fitness programs, doesn't mean you are necessarily looking to lose weight. A lot of times, people do start these programs for that purpose because of how well they work. However, I use them for maintenance purposes, and because I love that they are short and scheduled out day-by-day for me.

I am a normal human being, just like the rest of you. I love sweets, skip workouts, and sometimes even enjoy overindulging in goodies around the holidays or at family parties. I am far from perfect, but I made a commitment to better myself each day. That is something I am continuously working to improve upon. Getting healthy seems like an impossible task to a lot of people. They worry they can't do it, that they won't be good enough, won't last the whole workout, won't be full from eating healthy foods more than the processed stuff. I get it. I was that girl who ate fast food at every meal in college, went out 3 nights in a row, on the weekends... and never worked out to compensate for even a tad bit of that!

When I made the decision to better my health in January 2013, I committed to 90 days. That was it. If I could make it through that, I'd be all set. Well, I made it through... and to my surprise, wanted to keep going. There was a couple months of time off in between there for personal reasons, but I jumped back in full swing to get my body to a healthy state after a lot of poor decisions when it came to my diet. I didn't have a lot of weight to lose. Maybe 10 pounds, but it was very noticeable to me in the way my clothes fit. So I committed to another 10 weeks of an at-home program. Once that was done, I realized that this is a LIFESTYLE. Fitness and a healthy diet are not just 30/60/90-days long. It takes commitment to yourself, from YOU!

Fast forward to today. I have been coaching for 6 months now. I am helping people achieve their weight loss goals, or to maintain their current weight and tone up, and to eat healthier foods in place of processed or fast foods. Whatever their journey, wherever they are on their path of healthy living. I am doing exactly what I set out to do. I am not selling an impossible dream, a magic pill, or false hope. I am educating people on what it means to invest in themselves. I am offering support, accountability, and motivation to those who might need that extra push or just want to know that someone is behind them in their decision. It isn't about a number or a size. Being healthy and confident in your own skin is what matters. I want everyone, whether I help you with your health and fitness goals or not, to realize that you are beautiful no matter what size, shape, or weight you are. Just remember that being active is vital to maintain your health. Even something as simple as taking your dog for a walk every night, or taking a bike ride through your neighborhood.

At home programs work, but I realize that is not the only way to be active and lose or maintain weight, tone up, or build up self confidence. So, when I stand behind a product I believe in, it isn't to make money or shove it in people's faces that they need to be a certain weight, a certain size, etc. I do it because I know there are people out there that will benefit from it. Some people do not like to go to the gym. I am one of those people. Some people need or want something that takes the guesswork out of it... a program that is already scheduled out what to do each day, with a meal plan to follow if they so choose. Losing weight is only one of the many reasons people begin a new fitness plan.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Leap of Faith

I am the Queen of trying to please everyone. I want to take into account everyone's happiness before giving way to my own, even if that means putting aside my own wants, opinions, or goals. I will [embarrassingly] admit that I care about what others think of me to such an extent, that it causes me great fear to go out of my comfort zone. I am shy. I keep to myself a lot. and I very rarely take chances on anything I am not 110% sure about. I can't tell you the last time I did something spontaneous, just for the experience. I've never been one to travel for any other purpose than need to do so, for fear of financial loss. Forget educational or spiritual gain. I've never thrown myself into something I am passionate about and shared it with others, because I was worried what people would think or say. I have always been hung-up on being the "perfect" friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend, cousin... that I hid some of myself.

But, what does that say about me? That I am scared to show people my true colors because I fear people will dislike me, or talk negatively behind my back. What if some of our greatest leaders decided not to speak about their passions and dreams because someone else didn't agree? Time for an overhaul on these feelings. I have booked a flight to Pittsburgh next month, to join a group of 15 other women who are helping to inspire and educate others on living a healthy lifestyle. I have also jumped full force into my position as an Independent Team Beachbody Coach... something I was always skeptical about before. Now that I am in it, I see things through a completely different mindset. I have also realized that not everyone is going to love or agree with every single thing I do, say, or write. But, that doesn't mean I shouldn't stand behind my own opinions, passions, feelings, or actions.

I am working hard to become a future NICU nurse. I put in countless hours in school, at work, and on a business to educate others in the areas of health and fitness, so that they may lead their best lives in terms of physical and mental health and well-being. I strive each and every day to be the best daughter, sister, girlfriend, family member, friend, and coworker that I am fully capable of. I have dreams... BIG dreams! and I am not going to stop reaching for them. I will continue to spread my light and embrace my passions, talents, and knowledge to those who need it most. I won't give up even when I've reached these monumental goals. I am making a lifelong commitment to myself to continuously live better, happier, and healthier than the day before. 

A wise women once said, "You have the opportunity to use your life... your BELIEFS, your TRIALS, your God given talents, and your heart to help INSPIRE others to live their best life. Don't dull your light so that others feel more comfortable! RADIATE your truth unapologetically, knowing that when you do... you are living God's purpose for your life."

I couldn't have said that better, myself.
Dream it. Believe it. Achieve it.

God Bless. xo