How to Stay Fit on the Road

 

Are you passionate about traveling and living a healthy lifestyle? Maybe you aren’t necessarily passionate about healthy living but you know you need it. That’s okay too. When traveling for work, play or anything in between- it tends be to struggle to get workouts in and eat healthy. Many friends of mine complain that they often gain lots of weight when they are traveling and come home feeling bloated, run down and exhausted. Alcohol is often a part of traveling to new places and indulging in the local cuisine so how can you enjoy your trip and still stick to the healthy habits you’ve been working so hard to create?

16935591_10208249480179460_563863298_o@ensusiasm, Where will I take my Nikes next?

First and foremost, like anything else in life-it  starts with the belief that you can in fact do it. If you write off every single weekend trip, vacation and work trip before you even start of course you aren’t going to follow through once you are on the road. If it is important to you, you need to believe that it’s possible(because I promise you it is), plan ahead and accept progress not perfection.

In 12 days my boyfriend and I are packing up our lives here in Australia(maybe we should have already started) and heading to Bali for a holiday. If you follow my blog or social media you know that we aren’t leaving by choice but due to visa complications. We have nicknamed Bali our “deported holiday”  and then we intend to move to New Zealand on a working holiday visa until we can sort out a new visa to come back to Australia.

My boyfriend and I are both very passionate about health and fitness and have spent the past year really making it a lifestyle and not a vicious cycle of backwards and forwards! Both of us have been working extremely hard on our nutrition and our training and it’s a bit intimidating to head out into the unknown.

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Luckily, I know what to do. I have the belief I can do it. I have the tools to stay on track. I have a loving relationship with my body, food and adventure. I will never miss out on life for the sake of 3% body fat or a few pounds. I actually have no idea how much I weigh and I don’t care. I don’t expect perfection but I know I want to feel strong, healthy and happy when our vacation is over.

I care about treating my body well, nourishing it with quality foods and treating it sometimes too because let’s be real, I love food. Going backwards or stopping all together on my fitness journey is something I did FOR YEARS. I backpacked through South East Asia and Australia in 2014 and I definitely got off track and ended my trips feeling really shitty. The crazy part is I was still implementing some of these and didn’t even give up completely. But not this time. I’m going to share my plan and my tips so that you can take on your next adventure with the right attitude and not feel like you missed out on a thing.

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How to not give up this time.. even if you already did

Do you feel frustrated with yourself? Maybe you already broke your “resolution” for the new year or you “gave in” to Netflix and wine instead of what you thought you should be doing. Maybe you didn’t write down any goals but you still feel “the same” and you can’t figure out why? Or did you go in full force and now you feel like you failed because you’ve already skipped the gym for a couple days? Did you succumb to the persuasive power of Ben and Jerry again? Now is the time most people are quitting when the shiny glow of the new year starts to fade. How do you make yourself part of the group that didn’t give up this time…even if you already did?

STOP RIGHT THERE! Take a deep breath.

The new year is an awesome time to start chasing after new goals but the amazing part is, we get a clean slate everyday. You have the power to rewrite your story, every single day. The question is will you let yourself? Are you hiding behind fear? Let’s get to the bottom of this so you can figure out how not to give up this time.

Celebrate progress– Progress comes in many forms- small and large. Saying no to cookies in the staff room or choosing to take a deep breath instead of lose it on your partner- that’s progress. Even if it’s one time! Find something that you feel like was a success everyday and start building on that.

Acknowledge your power- When we give up on our goals we try to place blame on everything around us. I’m too busy, I’m just not good at eating healthy, I have no willpower. How many times can you feed yourself excuses before you begin to acknowledge that that is exactly what they are. Lying is awful and when you lie to yourself, you’re wasting everyone’s time and energy especially your own. YOU HAVE THE POWER. You always have. Act like it.

Try new things– If the same gym membership and Lean Cuisine diet isn’t doing it for you and it hasn’t for the past five years, why do you keep thinking this time will be different? If you want different results DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Don’t just say, “Yeah, that would be nice.” “Someday.” DO it now, for goodness sake. If you hate it, then at least you tried!

Non-food rewards– You are not a dog. You do a trick, you get a treat? Come on. Even if you LOVE food (trust me- so do I) try rewarding yourself with things other than food. Manicures, facials, massages, a bubble bath, new workout gear, or a Groupon for a fun and active date night.  Branch out. Stop saying okay, I ran 3 miles now I shall eat my body weight in pizza. You are not a pet, don’t treat yourself like one.

Allow yourself to quit– What? This sounds silly. No, it’s not. If you sign up for Crossfit and you end up HATING Crossfit, do yourself a favor and find something you do like. Human beings were born to MOVE, so I promise you there is something that will feel good for your body. Don’t see exercise as a punishment but as a gift and blessing.

Find your tribe– MAN. I don’t know how many times I can say this. Find people who motivate you. Find people who don’t sit around on the couch every night. Find people who want to plan the trip, take the class, run the race, start the business. Fire breeds fire. Find people who make you HOT!

Ask for help– You don’t have to do ANYTHING alone. If you are struggling with mental health issues, see a doctor. If you are struggling with your relationship- ask a friend or someone you trust for advice. If you can’t get your diet and exercise under control SEEK HELP! There are experts in every area of your life you want to improve and you’re probably already friends with them. It doesn’t have to be paid advice or programs, just seek out what you need and be open minded!
Be flexible– You should NEVER be so set in your ways that you hinder yourself from finding and creating the life of your dreams. This goes along with trying new things, allowing yourself to quit and asking for help. Be flexible. ALLOW yourself to grow. Don’t feel like you MUST do what you have always done. It’s so incredibly sexy and fulfilling to better yourself. HOP ON BOARD.

Continual Forgiveness– Alright, you messed up? Welcome to the club. Seriously, it will never be an uphill progression. It’s a roller coaster. Be kind to yourself. I don’t like to say be “easy” on yourself because that leaves  a lot of room for excuses. Be kind but firm. Alright, beauty you messed up- let’s do better tomorrow. YOU GOT THIS.

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2016- A Collection of Me

A Collection of Me 2016

(All excerpts from previous blogs pieced together)

My words are my weapon against the future, my cure for the past and my ticket into the present. Sure, I can think about the past when I write, I can still dream about the future, but the magic happens when I sink my teeth deeply into right now.

When something truly matters to us not only do we voice our opinion on it but we also live in a manner that manifests those core beliefs. Sometimes you just wanna set the cruise control button. But no one ever won a race on cruise control.

When you focus on changing yourself for the better, everything around you gets better too.

The pain isn’t worth keeping but the stories are.

Struggles give us a deeper connection to the world around us and to ourselves and successful people become unstoppable when they learn to mold that struggle into a message. The more I encourage others to take risks, take action and live the life of their dreams the more I continue to do it myself.

Many people don’t take the time to figure out what they actually want,

that’s why they never get it.

People are friendlier than you think, JUST GO FOR IT.

Only you understand your own mind and body and so often we listen to what society thinks, our boss thinks, or what our inner circles think that we stop thinking at all.

We live in a world where what matters MOST does not matter to most.

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But you’re always happy..

 

There is something that happens when you begin to share your journey on a large scale with an audience whether it be through a blog, social media, Youtube, or any other online platforms. When we open up and become vulnerable with our past hardships and struggles and how we overcame them, we have a chance to sugar coat the story with hindsight, distance and almost a narrator’s perspective. Even when we share the pain, it tends to sound beautiful and meaningful.  Part of being a powerful voice and sharing your life to inspire others is the fine line of how to be open with present struggles and difficult times in your life without encroaching on your own clarity, experience or privacy.

Social media, for even the most vulnerable and open people, is meant to be a highlight reel. We get to choose what we share and what we don’t. “But you’re always happy.” False. I show you my optimistic positive self because that is who I aim to be but that does not mean I’m happy 24/7. It is extremely unattractive for people to complain and vent negatively on their social media. It is sad to see people’s private lives and matters thrown all over media outlets or Facebook and Instagram. Luckily, with the gift of creativity and inspiration, we slowly learn what pulls on our heart to share and what we know is too fragile or too personal.

I try to be an open book. It’s how I am in person and basically the only way I know how to be. I can’t lie- I feel as if I have been cheating on my writing. Ever since I have started using Facebook Live consistently to speak about topics weighing on my mind and answering questions from clients, friends or my social media circle- I’ve found it hard to write my weekly headspace. No matter who you are, how inspired you feel, how many podcasts and self-help books you are reading- we all run out of material. I read a great blog post from a friend of mine reminding me of this right when I needed to hear it. So, I feel compelled to write this.

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How to say goodbye to the scale

I need to get some weight off my shoulders. I feel adamantly about  this topic and I verbalize it all the time to friends, family, clients, and even unwilling strangers. It’s time to get this message out to the world in writing. It may be one you have heard before but I feel it is my duty as a health, fitness and overall WELLNESS enthusiast to preach this until I’m blue in the face. I share this not in a critical or condescending manner but from a place of genuine concern and confusion.

Let’s talk about the scale. The scale is like this crazy dictator who is ruling millions of people and doesn’t even know how he got into power. For some people the scale is their worst enemy, yet they continue to hang out with him time and time again. Let’s start with a few questions to get you thinking and being honest with yourself about your relationship with the scale. I want you to answer these in your head or if you’re up for it write the answers down. Dig deeper to find these answers.

How often do you weigh yourself? Why do you choose to weigh yourself? How often does the number you see make you feel good about yourself? How often does your dog, children or loved ones ask you how much you weigh? How many times have you stepped on the scale and felt let down? Embarrassed? Angry? Depressed? Defeated? Upset? Why does it matter the number of pounds you weigh? Who does it matter TO? How do you feel when you don’t know how much you weigh? What does your weight have to do with your overall happiness or satisfaction with your body?

My guess is that your relationship with the scale is not a positive one. What do you know about negative, time-consuming relationships where you give more than they do? You are taught to leave those relationships. You leave people that make you feel unworthy, unloved and inadequate. So, why do you hold onto your negative relationship with the scale?

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Go deeper

When I started this blog I had no idea what it would turn into or if I would even stick to it. I started it a month before I moved to Thailand as a way to keep up with friends and family and share my journey on the other side of the world. Today, my blog is a safe haven for me a place I go to unwind, reflect and make sense of the rapid paced world we live in. Since then I have gone from teaching in Thailand, backpacking South East Asia, teaching in New York and starting my own coaching business to teaching in Australia and growing and developing my coaching business and my writing career. Originally my blog served only as a spot of reflection but the further I advance and evolve as a coach the more I want to integrate my blog to be not only stories from my life but also a source of motivation for making a change in your own life and resources for living the life of your dreams. Before I dive into integrating coaching into my blog I want to explain my journey as a coach to my readers and followers who might see snippets on social media but don’t really understand what I am doing or why I am doing it.

I wholeheartedly understand that the fitness lifestyle whether it is Beachbody, Crossfit, yoga, spinning, BBG, Barre, etc. is taking over the internet and at time it seems overwhelming and maybe even “cult like.” I want to explain to you from my experience WHY I am sharing and what this community and these programs have done for my life. Like most things in life, we observe them at face value. But my words have always given me the ability and the calling to go deeper. The internal strength I have gleaned from committing myself to a healthy lifestyle is part of the reason I have been able to reconnect with my inner voice and I believe one of the tickets to making my writing what it is today. My goal is to use my passion for health and wellness and my passion for writing , connecting and expressing to better people’s understanding and ability to work on their health in all areas: mind, body and soul. Since I am a storyteller by nature, here is a glimpse of my journey into a healthy lifestyle and why it has become such a defining part of who I am.

In graduate school, a friend gave me a thumb drive with all of the Insanity workouts on it. Yes, I am a Beachbody coach who is fully admitting to obtaining my first program illegally. I was in the middle of student teaching(for non-teacher friends, that is full time unpaid teaching) and going to graduate school full time. I was waking up at 5 am every morning after drinking myself into a 4 glass wine coma almost every night. I physically could barely keep my eyes open until I chugged at least two cups of coffee. My stress levels and anxiety were at an all time high but I had tunnel vision for completing my MA in Secondary Education. I had so much built up stress that my temper was out of control and I could snap/ have a mental anxiety attack at the drop of a hat. Due to my schedule, I had basically cut out my exercise routine besides on the weekends but I usually spent those WVU weekends hungover and unable to exercise. This was the first time in my life I explicitly saw how intense the effect of exercise was on my mental health.
I was a former gym rat for most of college but I literally did not have the time to drive to the gym across town, workout for an hour and drive home. I needed something else. After trying Insanity once, I committed to the 60 day calendar and set off on a journey on my own in my kitchen every afternoon. I absolutely loved and hated Shaun T all at the same time. My roommates thought I was actually insane but I could not replace the endorphins and stress relief that program gave me. I could squeeze it in between the end of my school day and my night classes even if that meant going to class with slightly( okay, really) sweaty hair. Since I had the calendar hanging on my wall it was a mental game for me and I literally couldn’t miss a day. Everyone is different but for me, that was motivation enough to stick to it for 60 days. It was the hardest thing I had ever done physically but I was determined to make it work. My friend Amy was posting on social media about Insanity and this “coaching thing” and one post even said she quit her job to do her coaching business full time from home! I was intrigued so I messaged her and then realized that Insanity was part of one of the biggest fitness companies in America that also had so many other workout programs, a superfood shake and a whole WORLD to offer. Not to mention, this was also an opportunity to start my own coaching business helping other people commit to their health and fitness and transform their lives. Long story short, I started coaching just so I could get the new Insanity Max 30 program and Shakeology and wanted to help enough people per month to pay for my own Shakeology. I also had hopes that the second income could help with my student loan debt and measly teacher salary. I had no IDEA what I was in for.

Now, I’ve been a coach for a year and a half and my life has been greatly impacted by the community, the programs and the job itself. I have never been so motivated and dedicated to my health for so long. Sure, we can all go through stages of motivation, a vacation, wedding, reunion or special event that we “diet” for and crush it at the gym but how many of you actually sustain the type of healthy lifestyle you want year round? I didn’t before Beachbody and now I actually achieve that 80/20 lifestyle I desired and I feel happier and healthier than I ever have in my life. I don’t believe my challenges or our programs are the only way to see results or achieve a healthy lifestyle but I know how well they have worked for me. THAT IS THE WHOLE BASIS OF THIS BUSINESS. I have never “sold” anything  because I simply share my experience what I use and have used & believe in myself. I represent these programs BECAUSE I believe in them and I have seen them transform my life and the lives of thousands of coach friends, clients & strangers.

Why I am fascinated by our programs and our community is because the whole AIM of the challenge and my aim as your coach is to introduce a lifestyle that fits INTO your lifestyle. You do not have to be “into” fitness to join a challenge. You don’t have to own seven pairs of Nikes and know everything about macros and clean eating. The whole point of the challenge is to introduce a nutritional guide and simple portion controlled eating system and short but effective exercise into the lives of anyone who is not happy with their current fitness or nutrition level. Believe me, I knew how to exercise before challenge groups but nutrition, forget it. I knew what healthy food was but I had no clue how much I should be eating and of what. I was definitely under eating for a large portion of college and would turn into a junk food monster on the weekends once I had a night out at the bar. Not only does the eating guide give you an easy way to know what to eat and HOW MUCH to eat but the secret sauce of the whole operation, Shakeology, gives you all of the nutrients and vitamins you could possibly need. It isn’t a protein shake, it’s a superfood shake with over 70+ superfoods that gives you natural energy, curbs your sweet tooth and junk cravings and keeps you full. I never drank shakes before Shakeology and I was honestly very hesitant. But now I’m willing to pay 50 extra dollars a month to have it shipped to Australia because I simply can’t go without it. It takes 60 seconds in the blender and sets me up for a nutritionally sound day.

The programs and the products I believe in 100% but the key to any successful fitness lifestyle is the community. The challenges I run every month keep me motivated, accountable and genuinely excited to stay on track and do my best with my health and fitness. This does not mean you need to be or I as your coach am perfect. I have cheat meals and days. I have alcohol. I still have dessert and I admit it to my group. We admit our successes and our failures. The goal is not to all of a sudden cut everything out that you enjoy, it’s to learn how to stick to a healthy meal plan that is sustainable for much longer than 21 days or the duration of the challenge. A little change goes a long way and people rooting for you, giving you awesome recipes and commiserating when your legs are so sore you can barely sit down on the toilet really is a game changer. Not only do you get a “fitness community” you get people who are positive, motivated, encouraging and want you to succeed in whatever you set out to do. Unfortunately, sometimes that is really hard to find. I love giving the opportunity to my friends, family, and new friends I connect to.

Before I was a coach I always thought fitness fanatics were a little vain or superficial and I remember thinking to myself I didn’t care enough to spend all that time to try to “perfect” my body. The more I have learned about health and nutrition the more I know that exercise and eating right isn’t some silly fad. It’s not superficial unless YOU make it superficial. My goals are not based on what I want to look like. They are based on my strength and quite honestly my willpower, self control and mental clarity.

Before I became a coach I didn’t understand the constant selfies that gym goers posted even though I was exercising regularly myself. Now I see that most of the time the selfie is not for the person posting it. It is for all of the people they hope to inspire. Sharing my fitness journey has become such a powerful part of my journey because it allows me to be transparent and vulnerable. When I receive countless messages thanking me for the inspiration or the motivation to get off the coach or cook something healthy or start to believe in themselves, I know sharing is beyond worth it. I am proud to share because I share to bring value to others in any way that I can. So next time you see a fitness coach on Instagram or Facebook, applaud them for lifting people up instead of rolling your eyes. Read the caption. I guarantee it goes deeper than you would expect. Fitness and nutrition is the actual key to LIVING a long and fulfilling life. Your diet affects EVERY part of your life including your physical health (on the inside), sleep patterns, physical appearance, stress levels, mental health and overall quality of life. Exercising shouldn’t be about what you want to look like but instead what you want to feel like. That phrase has become cliche, I know. But seriously, post workout highs and endorphins, you simply can’t replace that.

So please, ask yourself: How long do you want to live? Do you want to run around with your grandchildren? Do you want to go on hikes when you are retired? Do you want to be able to help your children move into their new homes? Do you want to bound up the stairs without breathing heavy? Do you want to look in the mirror without looking away? Do you want to step on the scale and not give a damn what the number says? Do you want to wake up feeling good and go to bed feeling satisfied? I do. I also want to feel purposeful, centered, positive, confident in myself not just in the way I look but the person I am. Committing myself to my health and fitness has been a catalyst for change in every area of my life. I feel like I would be doing a huge disservice NOT to share everything I have learned and experienced. Once I saw how sharing my journey, not just with health and fitness but with navigating life as a 20 something in our society, impacted others and inspired others I made a vow to myself to never stop sharing. I made a vow to myself to never be afraid to “annoy” people. If I annoy you at any time, I sincerely hope that you realize that my message is straight from the heart and maybe you don’t need to hear it all of the time but someone does. Someone needed that reminder on that specific day, that they are enough, they can start fresh today, they are worthy of happiness and of self love. You are enough. You can start fresh. You are worthy.

This fall we have an awesome line up of programs and opportunities because Beachbody as a company is continually striving to end the trend of obesity in America and unfortunately the rate of obesity is INCREASING. 70% of Americans are obese. 70 percent. That is absolutely heartbreaking and terrifying to me. I am doing everything I can to spread not only the message of my company but my own PERSONAL message. Coaching has taught me how important it is to share your journey and story, not just the triumphs but also the struggles. Not only has my business given me the platform to reach out and connect and talk to people every day but it has reminded me how badly I need to share what is within. And luckily for me, expressing myself in words is a talent of mine and one that I desire to pursue for my entire lifetime. I am just a girl who is trying to remind people that being healthy is so much more than having muscles or a flat stomach. Being healthy is a commitment to yourself from the INSIDE… OUT. You need your mind, body and spirit to feel healthy and each area deserves time, attention, relevance and respect. The journey takes so much self awareness, acceptance, actualization and confidence so no wonder we have trouble doing it alone. I am here to remind you that you don’t have to.


Now that you have a deeper look at why I got involved in coaching, I want to extend to you an invitation to be a part of my community. If you stumbled upon my blog or you have been following for a while and you don’t follow me on other social media sites, you probably don’t know how much time and effort I put into helping people achieve their goals but I would be honored and excited to share that with you. If you do follow me on social media and you’ve been tempted to get involved in one of my challenges before but never bit the bullet I have exciting news that you are going to want to get involved in next month’s health bet! Beachbody is so passionate about the mission of ending the trend of obesity in America and introducing this life changing community & program to as many people as possible, they are making a bet for anyone who joins a challenge group in September! The pot is climbing to 2 million dollars and will max out at 3 million!
Here’s how you play:
1. Commit to an at home workout program and join my challenge on our challenge tracker app
2. Workout 3 times a week & track in the app
3. Drink Shakeology 5 times a week & track in the app
THAT’S IT! Whoever completes this will split the pot! I am super competitive and love things like this so I am excited to share it with you. If you have already completed a challenge with me or are one of my coaches you can still participate!! I would love to discuss this opportunity further with anyone who wants more details. You can send me an email at susannahaobell@gmail.com, contact me via Facebook (my name on FB is Susannah Aimee) or any of my social media accounts (my details are in the contact tab).
Even if you are not interested, I genuinely hope that I can inspire you to make small steps and positive changes to improve your health. Without our health we quite literally do not have our life and I don’t know about you, but I would like to stick around for as long as possible. If you have any questions about how I can help you or just about your own journey in general please do not hesitate to ask! Many coaches on my team and I do exciting fitness & recipes groups absolutely free and the more people who join the merrier! Knowledge is power and there is so much out there to help get you on the right track. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope this gives you some insight into my life as a coach and why I am so dedicated to spreading this community to as many people as possible. Remember, like Mahatma Gandhi said, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” I’m trying to shake the world to go deeper and lead lives full of positivity, self love and the reminder that we all deserve to feel beautiful from the inside out.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, my ear and heart is always open.

Chasing Summer

I will spend my life chasing summer. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve checked in due to my crazy schedule for my holiday in America.  I escaped the Australian winter and took off to the US for a month of fun in the sun. It has been nonstop since I landed in NYC and reunited with so many sorority sisters and friends from college and apparently, believed that I could still party like my former sorority girl self. I spent many of my first days in America hungover until the afternoon when I could finally recoup, exercise and then get back at it again. This lasted for my first weekend and then my body rebelled. It was so amazing to see my friends and my family and even though I haven’t seen any of them in person for a while we just carry on the conversation like it never stopped. It’s pretty amazing how that works. It’s also crazy to genuinely realize that you are past the age where partying is worth it. I enjoy a few glasses of wine. I always will, but I wholeheartedly would rather stay in with friends and family, or even alone, than suffer through the misery and anxiety hangovers bring. Is this growing up?

Luckily, I also managed to have a few “touristy” experiences in NYC because even though it’s my favorite city in the world I’ve been to countless times, I still want to be a tourist because I’m rarely there anymore!  I walked the Brooklyn Bridge, went on a food crawl, did an amazing hot yoga class, took my first Soul Cycle class and spent time with so many people near and dear to me. New York is one of the few cities that I believe has a pulse. You can actually feel how alive it is. Before I knew it I was on a plane and off again to Nashville to attend my annual coaching convention. I experienced this event last year for the first time and this year did not disappoint. There is something so tangible about gathering together that many positive and motivated people for a fitness convention to celebrate our successes, attend seminars and trainings, attend live workouts with our celebrity trainers and just bond with our teammates that we work with predominately online. This time it wasn’t the city that felt alive, but the energy from the people in it. I lost my voice the first day from having so many heart to hearts and possibly from belting out country songs at the crazy bars on Broadway. Just because it’s a bunch of fitness coaches together for a work convention doesn’t mean we don’t have our fair share of fun! It’s an awesome balance and one I attempt to emulate in all of my personal travels… until someone introduces the idea of a tequila shot.

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MOST

Disclaimer: I think A LOT. That’s why I love to write. I want to make an effort to make one blog post a week that is just my THOUGHTS! Call it a rant if you want, but hey, it’s my blog I can do as I please. I’m trying to think of a clever name for my weekly thought post, On my Mind.. (so boring) but I just want to have an outlet and less formal way to post on my blog instead of writing the post in my head for days/weeks sometimes! So, if you have any ideas drop it in the comments below.

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Here is what is on my mind today. Honestly, before I was a coach I thought it was quite strange how people who are into fitness always posted photos of themselves at the gym or their muscles so frequently. I remember thinking “we get it you like to work out” and apparently you love yourself a lot too. Fast forward to now my perspective and perception has shifted. We live in a world that is driven by images. We are attracted to things we look at. As a health and wellness coach, I can talk about my programs all day. I can show how they have changed my life and my perspective. I can talk about how coaching has impacted my ability to dream big and seize opportunities . But people are people and they are the most attracted by that before and after photo. It’s just the way it is.

As a writer, I try to paint a picture with my words but many people are too lazy to read them. No hard feelings, to each their own. When I post a photo of my results and my hard work it is to promote physical fitness and exercise but the purpose is really the message behind it. When you simultaneously work on your mind, body, and spirit at the same time your physical results also represent your mental expansion and your spiritual elevation. I wish I could show you a picture of my brain and the “transformation Tuesday” that is currently happening inside but instead I rely on my words to depict this growth and the work I physically put into my body consistently.

We live in a world where what matters MOST does not matter to most.

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Earn the Donuts

February is known as the month of love. My month was filled with tons of love, new beginnings, a new apartment, and a lot of hard work teetering on the tightrope of finding a happy medium in life. January was just about as strict and regimented as I can get with my exercise and nutrition. This was an amazing way to kick off the year and promote good habits. Once February rolled around I felt a tad bit of relief since the second half of my 60 day fitness challenge I was allowing myself to be more lenient with my cheat meals and my alcohol. I am an all or nothing type of girl so “cheat days” are awesome for me. They usually include donuts or some type of naughty dessert, wine and probably pizza. Making fitness a part of your routine and lifestyle requires a lot of sacrifice but once you get in the habit I PROMISE it becomes much easier. But old habits die hard so make sure you are weary when you turn back to old ways… even if it is just for a day. Donuts taste so much better when you earn them. Both figuratively and literally. 

February was a month full of adventure and new friends. Due to my more flexible schedule this semester I have had more time to work on my coaching business which is amazing because working on my coaching business consists a lot of working on MYSELF.  I read professional development every day, connect to positive hardworking people, workout, eat healthy and share this journey with others through social media. It sounds really simple, but there are a lot of little daily tasks you must complete to grow a successful business. I am the type of person who can give my ALL to one thing but the nature of my personality, my ADHD, my current schedule and life has me spread a little thin. I’m not sure if I know any different. I ask myself why I do this but I know I get bored so easily I need A LOT to keep me busy and entertained. As usual,  I refuse to use that as an excuse… people always say to “enjoy the journey” but I find so many people really don’t. I can tell you I really do.

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Kicking off 2016: Dry January

My last post was Christmas Eve, so hello again friends. I hate to sound like a broken record because every time I realize how overdue I am for a blog post I start writing and apologize for my inconsistent nature. I have a personal goal to write SOMETHING every single day but that doesn’t always translate to blog material. Sometimes it is simply thoughts & musings in my planner, rants in the notepad on my iPhone or scribbles on my lesson plans. As I’ve said before I am someone who is very self-aware, both of my strengths and of my weaknesses. Suffering from ADHD gives me an incredible energy and ability to take on loads of projects but it also leads me to bite off more than I can chew. I want to do it all which makes it very hard to do it all well, consistently. This is something I cut myself slack for but when it comes down to it, I know that my behavior and my habits are in my control. My creative mind seeks space to grow, breathe, wonder and wander but my Type A side needs routine, control, and stability. I am an open book when it comes to my shortcomings and I refuse to “accept” things that are within my control as the “way it is”.

This is where the fitness aspect of my life is crucial. After a month of my 60 day exercise challenge and 5am wake up calls for workouts I am feeling motivated, determined, focused, dedicated, empowered, committed, and excited (clearly we have been working on forming adjectives in my ESL classroom this week). Having physical fitness goals and a program to follow gives me the discipline I need in my life. I am very skilled at doing whatever the hell I please. But, I am wise enough to want more. I know I can push myself to be more than average, ordinary, or satisfactory. Fitness reminds me you have to work HARD for what you want. You have to put in the effort on days you feel like it and especially on days you don’t. You have to commit and stay consistent in that commitment to see results. When you are wishy washy in your commitment your results are wishy washy and ordinary. With the start of 2016 I naturally reflected upon my journey through 2015 and how many ups and downs I had. When I bite off more than I can chew I manage to swallow anyway but it is a personal goal of mine to channel my energy into fewer projects this year with MORE mindful focus and intentionality placed on the chosen ones. 2015 has been a year of monumental growth from the inside out. The funny thing about figuring yourself out is you continue to change while doing so and hence, have more to figure out! You must believe you CAN do anything but accept you can’t successfully do everything(I know, I know…but you still wanna try). I know that my anything begins with using my words & sharing my constant journey to a balanced, healthy lifestyle full of adventure & genuine happiness.

I had two incredibly different teaching jobs in 2015, one that was so stressful, emotionally draining and exhausting and one that is currently uplifting, flexible, and my classroom once again feels like a place where I feel my creativity is celebrated. I feel like I am positively influencing my student’s lives every day.  I am happy to go to work every morning. I have also slowly but surely dove into building my own business as a health and fitness coach. This is something I never in a million years imagined I would do but as I progress as an individual I realize that most people don’t turn out to be or do what thought they were going to be. That’s the fun part about life. We don’t know what the future holds but we are surely in control of building ourselves up into the best possible versions of ourselves. Jim Rohn said, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” As I mature, I realize that when I make myself better I in-turn become better at whatever job or life obstacle is in front of me. The more I encourage others to take risks, take action and live the life of their dreams the more I continue to do it myself.

Accepting that my path is incredibly different than an average American 20-something has given me the power to listen closely my heart and actually TRY different things to find what makes me genuinely happy. The hard part is this process is never ending and at times can feel daunting but I have some truly hysterical people in my life who remind me not to take anything too seriously. It is amazing to me what different people teach you and as a traveler, teacher and coach I am constantly influenced by so many interesting and dynamic individuals.  It is a fascinating world and my favorite way to experience it is through the stories of strangers and new memories with friends.

Between all these goals, plans and dreams for the future I refuse to forget the invaluable moments that are happening right now.

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