In which I rest and refresh…


I’ve been so pumped up about BeachBody in the last two weeks that I almost decided against attending the IFGathering at my church this weekend. I’d registered several weeks ago and promptly forgot about it until I got some reminder emails this week. Still I thought it would be just too much and throw off my stride. It was a two day affair with an ALL day Saturday session. When would I get my workout in? What would the kids do? Is it even worth going? What about doing all my business stuff or just relaxing this weekend?

Then I got an email asking me to be a table hostess at the IFGathering. And it wasn’t demanding or obligatory, but there was just something in the wording of the email that made me take a second look. I could have said no. I knew they had others who could fill the role. But I read it and realized that God was asking something of me.

You see, it’s a good thing to get pumped up and excited about the different roles or passions you pursue. At times, I am SO fired up about being a wife or a mommy or both and I put ALL my energy and time into those roles. Not a bad thing at all. Lately, it’s my business launch and I’ve been spending every available moment building and growing and learning and beginning. Again, not a bad thing.

Sometimes, however, there’s a nudge in my heart that God is asking me a question. Kind of like an, “Abraham, will you give up EVERYTHING, including your promised son, to follow me?” sort of question.

A lot of times–more times than I want to admit–I ignore that voice or I don’t hear it over the cacophony of other voices I’ve allowed to drown out the ONE voice I should listen for at all times of my life.

This time, thank God for His grace, my ears were open and listening. That little nudge turned into a gentle whisper and He asked me to give up my weekend to just spend it in His embrace.

I always know that those times when I give up everything else for time with Him that the rewards are AMAZING. I am refreshed, restored, and more eager than ever to accomplish the goals I’ve set for my other roles in life. But often, I just ignore it anyway. Why?

Foolishness. Pride. Fear. Guilt. Pig-headedness.

Legitimately human responses, right? We know what’s good for us, but we somehow decide that our “rights” are more important than His Will. We experience the goodness of communion with Him, but we forget far too quickly what that’s like in our quest for stubborn independence.

All that to say, the weekend didn’t have much at all to do with my business goals and my family didn’t see much of me for 24 hours. I didn’t get my Saturday workout in and I ate more carbs than is healthy for me.

But God had ALL of me and wow! That was MORE than enough for me.


In which I rebel and decide it’s a bad idea…

So I was really just NOT wanting to exercise today. I have a mild cold and while the symptoms aren’t bad, my body IS working hard to kill the germs, so I’m more easily tired. On top of that some of my hormones decided they were going to have a hey-day with my body.
I woke up this morning to Jake asking me to get up with him and I rebelled. I insisted that I needed rest more than exercise and fortunately, he knows when to push and when to step back. He stepped back.
Because after he left and I reluctantly started my day, bringing the middle child to preschool, working on school at home with the oldest, and enjoying cuddle time with the littlest, my little rebellion turned into regret.
I was tired and sagging by the time I had to pick up the middle one and my day just seemed to lose momentum from there. Sure I got some work done, fed the kids, and did some personal development time, but all the while I was trudging through molasses and my brain decided to rebel.
It dawned on me that I have begun to CRAVE the workouts. They are tough and my legs burn and my lungs burn and my arms burn and…you get the picture. The point is, that my body and brain are adjusting to this schedule and craving the natural high that comes along with an active lifestyle.
It’s not that I was sedentary or anything before. I worked out, but I did it so sporadically and half-heartedly. While I enjoyed the results when I DID work out, I hadn’t given my body time to form the habit and thus, it wasn’t something my brain and body called a need.
A book that I’ve requested from my library, but haven’t received yet, is called Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. Believe me, I’ll be doing a review as soon as I read the last word. In the meantime, just the title makes a whole lot of sense to me.
Our bodies are designed to grow and function at optimum levels and thrive. Obviously we live in a disease and death ridden world. The ideals cannot always be attained. But I’m not going to throw in the towel without giving it EVERYTHING I have and pushing my limits past the limit until I know beyond a doubt that I’ve reached the peak. Then I’m going to look at the view and enjoy the summit for as long as I can.
Jake got home late from work and asked me again if I’d be interested in working out. I was tired and dragging, but I gave in to the craving and we did it.
Boy do I feel satisfied.

In which I expound on my WHY…


Okay, so I went into a little bit of my why in my introductory post, but I didn’t really…

But what is a WHY you ask?

Well, it is sort of self-explanatory, but in this particular situation, there is a bit more to it. So explanation first.

A WHY is the reason for a major life change or decision. A WHY is what pushes you past the obstacles and the struggles and the pain to come out on the other side, a VICTOR. A WHY tells others the reason for your sometimes insanely enthusiastic, motivational posts on Facebook…

Got it? Good.  2

On to MY why…

I joined the BeachBody team as a customer because I was tired of being sick and tired all the time. I wanted results and I was willing to work hard to get them. And believe me, the workouts are no picnic. That might have to do with the fact that I’m doubling up to train for a marathon this summer. Or it might not. My  muscles burn whether I run or not.

So my why was wrapped up in the idea that I wanted to be healthy and whole for as long as I live on this earth. Obviously, I cannot control every aspect. I mean I might have to be DRAGGED across the finish line when I run my last marathon at 80 years old, but I CAN control my eating and workouts until then. I might get cancer, but I can do everything in my power to stay healthy and feed my body the good (non-carcinogenic) stuff to minimize that risk.

Because it all comes down to choice.

I choose, every day, to get out of my warm, comfortable bed and burn calories while trying to remember to suck in my (shrinking) gut. I choose to bench press a little heavier every time because I COULD stay with the eight pound weights, but they feel so light in my grip now I might end up accidentally throwing them through the TV screen on my upswing. I choose to NOT eat that piece of cake because my taste buds are FINALLY craving things like carrots and Shakeology and avocados.

Ever heard of Pavlov? Yeah, I know all about conditioning.

We choose junk food because we chose it once and then again until our bodies forgot what health was and adjusted its tastes. But we can also REcondition our bodies to enjoy the good stuff again.

So that was my why for joining BeachBody in the first place. I wanted health and wellness and to last long enough to have my great grand-kids drag me across the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

Becoming an Independent Coach with BeachBody? That’s a whole other WHY all together.

I got a degree in Nursing and by the time I was finished five years after I started, I lost my motivation for it. I forgot my WHY. I’ve volunteered as a nurse at free clinics and had a job a few years out of college, but I never really held onto my why. So I’ve bounced around searching for my why again, trying a few different avenues non-nursing related.

Nothing fit. I’m passionate about a lot of things. Even nursing, though a lot of THAT passion was wrapped up in the fact that I came from several generations of nurses. But my original why was lost in the shuffle and I felt aimless.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve found other passions in my life and other WHYs. I wanted to get married and walk this life with a man who chooses God first and builds his own faith while encouraging and challenging me in mine. I wanted to have children with this same God-honoring man in order to raise up a generation that loves God and represents Christ well. And I really LOVE children. I wanted them to teach me how to love unconditionally and give unreservedly. And they do, every single day. Some days better than others…

So I wasn’t unfulfilled, but I also still wanted to rediscover my WHY and find a way to channel it, whether it was through nursing or through some other avenue that God opened up for me.

But I floated around for a while and jumped into things without really recovering my WHY. Which meant money spent and wasted on hobbies that I didn’t even take out long enough to actually call it a real hobby. I wanted more. I wanted a why that would change the world, one person at a time.

BeachBody Coaching is NOT my WHY. It’s not even my passion. At least, it’s not the whole thing anyway. It’s a tool, a building block, an active pursuit toward my passion. Toward my WHY.

My WHY is this. And I have BeachBody to thank for reminding me of it. My WHY is that I want to help heal the hurts of others. Not in the, “Give me your problems and I will fix EVERYTHING for you,” way. I don’t want to FIX other people’s problems as much of a fixer as I am.

What I want to do is, along with my husband who supports and loves me no matter what, build my business, pay off my debts, and owe no one anything but the continuing debt of love. I want to point others to Christ and do it by showing them how to run the race to win the prize.

My WHY has everything to do with bringing my own body under submission, so that I can prove to others it not only CAN be done, but it MUST be done. I want to share my freedom and passion with others so that they can see the character of God within me. I cannot live a full, exemplary life if I’m not willing to discipline myself in EVERY area of my life. And I use my BeachBody coaching as a jumping off point to encourage others to seek that holistic wholeness.

That, and I REALLY like to beat my body into submission. I highly recommend it.

So yeah. I love the idea of becoming a Diamond Coach and traveling the globe with and without my family along for the ride. I love the idea of making a full time salary on a part time schedule. I love the idea of finally getting out of debt and living like no one else and GIVING like no one else. The monetary aspect is appealing.

But even more so, I want to bring LIFE to others. I want my love and passion to infuse others with a new energy and a renewed sense of accomplishment. I want my presence to be healing and comforting, not bitter and destructive. I want to share my joy with others.

And being a BeachBody Independent Coach is the platform I’ve chosen to bring that life and joy and hope to the world. It’s the way I’ve chosen to share my WHY.


In which I push through pain…


My muscles were burning and the sweat dripped in my eyes. A few not very feminine grunts issued from my mouth as I pushed through rep number ??? I couldn’t remember at that point. The “Hammer” or Sagi Kalev in BeachBody world yelled at me to keep pushing past the pain as he hoisted up a 40 pound weight just to make me look puny with my minuscule 10 pounds. I yell back at him to shut up and let me concentrate, but inside I’m smiling as my Amazon side perks up at the challenge.

At the end of a workout like that, I absolutely LOVE the child’s pose. I close my eyes, drop my chin, and rest. Filling my lungs with air and releasing it over and over again until my heart has stopped racing and my mind is processing more than just the burn of newly shredded muscles.

Why would I put myself through that torture every day except Thursdays, which happens to be my active rest day?

For the same reason I keep working on a recipe that failed on me three times before or apologizing to my kids when I lose my temper or sitting down to have my quiet time with God after I’ve neglected Him for a little while.

It’s painful to grow and change and admit failure. But the results are worth it. SO worth it. When I finally perfect that meal that I worked so hard on and I see my husband’s face as he enjoys every last bite. When I check my temper and work through the kid conflict with patience and unconditional love. When His Word cuts through me, sharper than a two-edged sword but oh, so very gentle in His teachings.

When I add a few pounds to my weight reps and feel the strength flowing through my arms and legs. When I can run faster and farther. When my energy doesn’t flag mid-morning and I’m able to resist the temptation on that second slice of birthday cake. When rest day becomes a day I wish I could work out some more.

Because I see the permanent results and the pain is only temporary.

The change in me doesn’t happen over night. I’ve been pushing through these workouts for three weeks now. I’ve lost inches and pounds, but it takes work and dedication and a will of iron.

Today was a perfect example. We had a busy, active week and I just wanted to curl up and sleep. I can feel a mild cold coming on, but it’s already taking some of the stuffing out of me. I debated napping first and THEN doing my workout. The instant I thought that, I knew a nap would be the death of my willpower and I reluctantly got off the couch. All through the 50 minute exercise video, I grunted and breathed, pushing my exhausted body to the max.

I used ten pounds where I had used eight. I used fifteen where I’d lifted ten. And I felt like an Amazon woman when I yelled back at Sagi.

Inside, I just smiled. The pain is temporary. Child’s pose feels amazing. And the results are worth fighting for.12643005_759167082780_3061951456344007006_n


In which I discover what it takes to be an entrepreneur…


I’ve repeated it so often, I’ve completely convinced myself it’s the truth.

I am NOT an entrepreneur.

I couldn’t sell a product if my life depended on it, and having my OWN business? Forget it. Aside from my dreadful lack of organizational skills, the inner workings of day to day business planning and executing just overwhelms me.

I mean, it’s not for everyone, right? Most entrepreneurs I meet are go-getters and don’t have a lazy bone in their body. They live, breathe, eat, dream, walk their business and the passion just exudes from their pores in the first five seconds they start talking.

I am a stay-at-home mom, I get up and go when necessary, and I admit to a tendency toward laziness with great shame. Sometimes I mistake being over-opinionated and stubborn for passion.

So when my lovely sister asked me to do BeachBody coaching, I chuckled. I could give her a LONG, LONG list of all the attempts I made to be my own boss and how absolutely magnificent each failure was in the end.

Entrepreneur? Fitness coach? HA!

Then something she said, just hit me hard.

“You can’t “sell” something you don’t believe in 100%. You don’t sell, you inspire with your passion for something that works.”

I’m paraphrasing a bit, but that was the gist of it. I’ve always looked at entrepreneurship as this sales job where you push, push your brand and drag people along, kicking and screaming if necessary. I was so focused on the idea of “selling” something, I completely missed the point.

I found this quote today while looking for ideas and ways to share my passion as a BeachBody coach.

An Entrepreneur isn’t someone who owns a business. An Entrepreneur is someone who makes things happen.

And that’s exactly what I was missing. I’m not here to sell a product or push someone into something that doesn’t fit them at all. I’m here to tell my story and inspire others to seek their own path to health and wellness.

Maybe it’s becoming a BeachBody coach or just trying out a challenge group and losing those few pounds you’ve been wanting to get rid of since the holidays ended. Maybe my story will inspire you in other ways that have nothing to do with my own passion. And that’s okay! If one thing I say can give someone a new lease on life or set them on a path to success, then I’ve made something happen.

That is SO satisfying and freeing! I can give with no expectations because my purpose and passion is to see people succeed and thrive, no matter what that looks like.

Do I want to make my business work? Of course. To do that, I need to build a team and work hard to get others on board. But that comes secondary to my main passion and purpose. And THAT is what I want others to know about Entrepreneurs.

Get out there, make things happen, and give with no expectations.

In the meantime, here’s a little picture of what MY story looks like. :D


In which I discover freedom and time…


I am addicted to games. Google games, games on the iPad, games on my PC. The temptation of mindless hours of fun is a lot more appealing the more time I spend on such things.

In which I begin a new journey


Technically, my journey began in college. Or if I want to be completely accurate, my journey started sometime around my fourteenth birthday. Or maybe when I turned nine and realized I was a bit ahead of the development curve in my peer circle. However, since I lacked awareness of development and puberty and all the things that come with blossoming womanhood until later, we’ll start with my college years.

I had already been a woman for several years by that point and had grown accustomed to the way my body handled food. It felt like I could just LOOK at a piece of cake and gain five pounds on the spot. My cycles were all over the place and often a major hindrance to my activities of daily living. My health was so-so and my energy reserves almost non-existent.

By the time I finished my freshman year, I’d gained the “freshman fifteen” and beyond. Discouraged, I looked to exercise programs and diets to “fix” my body issues, still unsure just what issues I actually had. Oh I knew I ate more than I should and on the less healthy end of the food scale. I was a college kid. A broke college kid.

A broke college kid with weight issues and a crummy self-esteem. I couldn’t afford a gym membership and my “diet” consisted of rice, cheese, and whatever meals I could beg from my friends at church and in the community.

So I signed up for ROTC. I LOVED it. While I never got the opportunity to sign on as a full-time military member, the program called for early morning PT five days a week. I started losing weight and gaining muscle. I had a team around me who encouraged and supported my desperate attempts to get and stay healthy.

At my best time health-wise, I was 117 pounds and running four miles a day.

But my diet was still unbalanced and my energy still flagged. I suffered migraine headaches and my hormonal cycles were seriously inhibiting my ability to function in school.

Then I got married. Last semesters of college and I gave up ROTC to finish my degree in Nursing and spend time with my new husband. While I NEVER regret that choice, I do regret not continuing to improve my health goals and manage my weight. By the time I was pregnant with our first child, I was 220 pounds and gaining. I felt like I would ever control the downward spiral.

After she was born, I tried to get started with exercise and healthy eating again. I cut out most sugars and processed foods and walked regularly. I lost a few pounds, but would gain it back faster. I moderated my portion sizes and tried to limit my eating out.

But I still suffered depression and severe fatigue. I went to specialists and OB/GYN doctors to try to explain why I gained more weight even while dieting and exercising regularly. They ran blood tests, urine tests, and a dozen other procedures, all turning up nothing. One doctor told me I was too young to feel this way. I burst into tears and told her I knew that, but I still did feel that way and would she just tell me why.

I made progress, but it was slow and discouraging. Even though I wasn’t 220 pounds anymore, I still felt like I would never feel healthy and energetic again. My husband tried to support me, but he suffered with his own effects from a serious car accident in his late teens and he wouldn’t join me when I tried home exercise programs. So I pressed on alone without answers and with very little active accountability from those around me.

Shortly before my second was born, I finally found a doctor who discovered what was going on in my body. She diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and told me I could either be on hormone treatments for the rest of my life, or I could find the correct diet and exercise program to manage my weight and the symptoms. Fatigue, depression, rapid weight gain, trouble losing weight, irregular and heavy cycles, insulin resistance…the list of symptoms went on and I had them all.

Instead of getting discouraged though, I felt instant relief. I FINALLY knew WHY my body struggled to stay healthy. And I could finally get more intentional about finding the right plan and the right food to get the results I wanted. Mainly, to lose weight and keep it off.

The next three years, I researched and educated myself on what PCOS was and how to combat it. I came up with meal plans and threw away the processed grains, making my own bread and using alternative sweeteners like honey and agave nectar instead of the white sugar and all-purpose flour. Though it still sneaks in at times (particularly around holidays) I have steadily decreased all the unhealthy foods in my diet and started using better supplements.

I started running. That first 5K was devastating and exhilarating all at once. I was so sore and exhausted, but I felt like an Amazon Woman afterward. Now, every time I cross a finish line I bawl my eyes out, because a few years ago all I wanted to do was give up and not care anymore.

Then my sister invited me to join her BeachBody challenge group. Actually, she asked me several times because I was oddly reticent. I had excuses. I can’t do it alone. (We don’t live close together, so it still feels a little isolated). My husband won’t join me so I won’t do it. I have kids. I don’t have the money for it.

Finally, this last November and December, I got stupid and binged on all the foods that are the worst for my body and my health. And I realized that all my excuses were just that. I couldn’t afford NOT to commit to change the rest of my life. And neither could my husband.

So I told her I would join her challenge group in January as long as my husband joined with me. He refused to join without HER husband. I lost SEVEN pounds in the first two weeks. That’s the fastest I’ve EVER lost weight and I’m still losing it. I’ve got a partner in crime to workout with me now and the motivation is incredible. Even on my REST days, I want to get up and move. My energy levels are rising and I’m kicking the cravings for unhealthy foods.

The rest as they say is history…or is it?

Because I decided to take one more leap of faith and change the rest of my life for good. I decided that I wanted to share my story and my transformation with others. So I signed up to be a BeachBody Independent Coach. And I decided that I needed to share my story with the world.

I’m chronicling my journey here so that others can see the honest struggle and the reality of fighting and overcoming the odds. I am SO excited to partner with and encourage others. No matter where you are on your journey, it’s NEVER too late.