Tuesday, March 22, 2016

my why

If you’ve achieved any number of years, you will be, or already have been faced with constant transition, challenges, and change.
Born out of these challenges is an opportunity for greatness. Everyone wants to leave a mark on the world, and everyone has something of value. We’re all on a quest to find that one thing that we can finally say “Ah, that’s why! That was my purpose for living.”
~Sandy Peckinpah~
Almost 3 years ago, I was tired of living life on the same old roller coaster.  Unhealthy habits, riding through the days one sugar high then crash after another, and having no sustainable energy led me to simply whisper a prayer for help.
Help for what, you ask...help to find the answers to being healthy, feeling good, and making the outside match the inside of me.  Help to find what works for me to finally discover what I believed to be a "normal" lifestyle felt like.
Through the course of some months' time, and through some unique ways, my prayer became answered.  I covered some of this journey toward answers in previous posts which can be read here, here, and here.
Anyway...currently, I find myself almost two years into my personal lifestyle changes for a healthier version of myself, almost one year into coaching others to finding a healthier version of themselves, and it just occurred to me that I was living a "normal" lifestyle back in the day.  It is what people accept to be okay, know no better to seek to get out from its grasp, and down right refuse to change. What I have now is far from normal; it's considered crazy by more than a few; flatly rejected by others....and it's the BEST life I have ever lived.
Why would I intentionally set myself apart from the norm day after day after day?
Because I am worth it.
Because finding my life after all these years of struggling with weight and self-image is worth it.
Because you are worth it.
Because sharing my story, which has an entire message of hope, encouragement, confidence and strength embedded within it, is worth it.
Because empowering you with what I have learned, experienced, failed at, succeeded with, and (at times) cried through, is worth it.
My why that keeps me drinking Shakeology, surviving cardio with Shaun T, enduring surrenders with Autumn Calabrese, lifting heavy with Sagi Kalev, trying to find rhythm with Chalean Johnson, and laughing through ab work with Tony Horton is the simple fact that doing these things has given me a more abundant life oustide of doing them.
My why that keeps me sharing with you my results with these tools that I have found to work for me is because I believe that you can find and I want you to have the same sort of abundant life outside of them as well.
You can feel better.  You can become stronger.  You can find balance.  You can make a difference in your health.  You can have sustained energy throughout the day.  You can sleep better.  You can keep up with your kids/grandkids.  You can eat healthier.  You can lose weight.  You can feel confident in photos.  You can feel as beautiful as you look.  You can stop hiding behind baggy clothes.  You can be your own boss.  You can have self control over food.  And more.
My why is you.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

I am a Beachbody Coach.

It is a title I now hold.  It is something I worked up courage to take on as a personal endeavor.  It is a way for me to save money on some of my beloved and favorite tools I use daily to achieve fitness and nutrition goals.
Many do not understand my journey to this "job"...nor do they understand the "job" description that comes with it.
Most likely this is because there isn't one to be found.
I write the description for myself.
Every Beachbody Coach writes the description for themselves.
This is a good thing because every individual who takes on being a coach has personalized goals...whys...for which they work.  You choose your whys.  You choose your methods.  You choose your targets at which to shoot.
What being a Beachbody Coach for me is different than most.  Being a coach is a way in which I can promote the tools I have found to help me become most successful at my individual goals where my health is concerned.  The way in which I promote these tools is by being a product of these tools.
My words and pictures reveal which tools are in my arsenal.
My lifestyle reflects how I use these tools.
My transformation speaks of the effectiveness of the tools.
With this, I have written in my job description to share what I have experienced, tried and failed at, succeeded at, found useful, found harmful, enjoyed, endured, endeavored, thrived at, and cried through.
Things I share inspire some. They frustrate and bore others.
It is not in my job description to control how people react or respond to the things I share.
That is neither here nor there for me.  It doesn't have to be.
It is my job to offer to share and pay forward what has brought me thus far on my journey...what I have found to be useful and effective and beneficial for a healthier lifestyle.
Please know it is not personal if I have or have not invited you personally to join me in an accountability group or to do some crazy awesome push up challenge.  It is simply an offer to join in on something that I enjoy.  Just like when I make a good cheesecake, it is even better if and when I share it with others.
My invitation to find a healthier version of your already beautiful self is always open.  It is meant as an offer to find and use tools to personally tweak any part of your lifestyle in the way(s) of your own choosing.
No judgement.
No preconceived notions.
Nothing but an offer to try something new or find something to challenge you in a new way.
I am thankful that my coach shared her story with me (and a few thousand others) over 2.5 years ago.  Her boldness and willingness to share changed my life for the better.
I know I am doing my coaching job well when others find themselves experiencing a healthier version of themselves on this journey we call life because of my sharing and inviting.
Will you join me?  The invite it always open and you are always welcome.

Friday, December 18, 2015

being perfect vs. being perfected

With much trial and error, I am finding my way to a healthier version of myself more so than ever previously accomplished in this thing I call my life.  I have been pondering what makes this time around more effective.  The answer, while muli-leveled, is quite elementary.
I gave up on being perfect and became willing to be perfected.
My focus changed from arriving at a destination to enjoying the journey.
The first, the act of arriving, leaves little wiggle room for error.  There's an expectation to meet.  Nothing shy of that expectation is satisfying.
The second, enjoying the journey, means, as long as I am moving...stumbling...falling forward, I am making progress and, perhaps, even making time to enjoy the milestones along the way.
It may not be pretty all the time; it doesn't have to be.
This is the great thing about switching gears from being perfect to being willing to be perfected: what I do (or try to do) doesn't have to be perfect to be effectively bringing about changes.  The process of being perfected allows for hard, ugly moments to teach me lessons I am in need of learning.  It also allows me the freedom from having to keep up with a trainer...do as many reps or lift as heavy as someone else...or be a certain jean size...in order to be content.  Being willing to be perfected is simply me saying that I cannot do this alone and allowing someone to teach me how to become better.
When one is focused on being perfect, there is an urgency to see results.  Instantaneous gratification is sought. When results are not encountered in a designated amount of time, discouragement is waiting to step in, soon to be followed by its friend, giving up.  I'll let you in on a little secret...one does not become "out of shape" overnight or in a week's, or even a month's, time and one will not become "fit" in that time frame either.  It takes consistency in either case; consistently partaking in unhealthy habits or consistently doing something to improve your health over time brings the changes one experiences.
When one becomes willing to be perfected, there's a mindset that little steps in the right direction eventually lead to the final destination.  Trying and failing is countered with grace.  As the journey continues, one realizes results are in proportion to one's effort.  One's first taste of results gives way for wanting more, therefore, leading to more effort and more results.  Those results are like milestones on this fitness journey.  Focusing, now, on the next milestone, one does not lose sight of the final destination, but looks more toward celebrating the little successes along the way.  These milestone celebrations are closer together than the start/finish line ever will be to each other.  This gives way for a renewed sense of accomplishment and gratification for the work it took to get where you are over and over and over again, as opposed to just at the end.  Discouragement and giving up have less of a chance against a consistently encouraged mind, body, and spirit.
While both being perfect and being perfected are hard, requiring sweat and tears in my case, freedom is found in the process of being perfected.
...from past mistakes.
...to find a pace that works for your body and schedule.
...to try and fail without considering oneself a failure.
...in celebrating non scale victories.
...to enjoy the journey, including all its ups, downs, wrong turns, and detours.
If I could do anything for you, I would want to encourage you to set goals, dream big, but be realistic.  Find your way by being consistent over time.  Challenge yourself to making your next milestone be the one where you love yourself enough to keep on going no matter the pace you choose.  Find people who are on a similar journey and encourage one another through the rough times; high five each other during the good.
And, as one of my favorite quotes says...
Until further notice, celebrate everything.
~David Wolfe~

Thursday, October 29, 2015

cancer did not win

Two years ago today, I received a call no one ever wants to answer.
I heard the results of my breast biopsy.
Stage 0 breast cancer.
Surgery and radiation therapy needed.
Thankfully, I had begun to listen to my fitness coach, Kristine, and had begun to change my eating habits and was working out pretty consistently at the Y and doing crazy things like push ups and squats for fun. It wasn't Shakeology and Tony Horton, yet; that would come later, but I had made a decision to make small, consistent changes and was seeing some positive results.
The fast ball that came straight over the plate. Cancer.
Strike one.
I dug in deeper with my workouts. I relied on sweat, more than tears, to clear out the fog trying to permanently set in. When I was at the Y, I was in a safe place. A place in which people did not know me as a cancer patient, but just as Janet, the regular workout girl.
Then, the curve ball that caught me off guard. Radiation Therapy.
Strike two.
You see, however, by now, my workouts were more therapeutic than radiation "therapy" ever could or would be. I made time to workout for my mental stability more than my physical. There were days all I could muster up energy for were a couple of reps and some light cardio, but I went anyway.
The days came eventually, when I was too exhausted to go workout.
Radiation had taken its toll on my body.
I rested my body, but my mind was in overdrive.
A crazy notion turned into an even crazier plan.
God had been putting all the pieces in place well before I even had an idea I needed them to complete this puzzle called life. Remembering conversations had in passing with friends, reading more and more about Shakeology, wanting to feel alive again...they all fell into place for the at bat of a lifetime.
One month after my final radiation treatment, I pushed play on P90X for the first time.
I did not know what the X stood for.
I did not have weights or bands.
I had borrowed dvds.
I pushed play anyway and made something happen that I had never tried before in my life.
Home Run.
Janet 1 - Cancer 0
Where I am going with this is here...you never know what tomorrow holds.
Good, bad, or indifferent, there are life events that are going to throw you a curveball.
It is going to see what you are made of and test how strong you are...mentally and physically.
Be prepared. Get your foundation set now BEFORE the news comes, whatever it may be. Even awesome news like a new job, moving, or a baby on the way can throw off your normal. (For the record...I am NOT getting a new job, moving, or pregnant.) Make your health a priority before the major stressors come. It is not a matter of if they come...they will come in some form or another.
Exercise and clean eating has become my new lifestyle. It helps me stay focused and determined.
Think of it this way...
You need your health for the rest of your life.
The rest of your life depends upon your daily decisions now.
Your daily decisions are composed of little choices made hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute.
My story did not end with cancer.
It simply began Volume 2 of this thing I call life.

Be awesome today!

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Let's talk about FAILURE. 
It's the elephant in the room, so to speak. It is high time to just get that elephant moving on out of here.
Did you know that failure is part of success.
Now that you are really paying attention, consider what Winston Churchill said about our elephant named Failure...
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. 
Sounds crazy, but I know it holds true in my life. I went yo-yoing my way through life always husky; a little less husky; then college added 75 pounds; kept gaining; lost almost 100; had kids and gained back.
Lots of failures in there. 
What worked in my 20's failed in my 30's, and what kinda worked in my 30's was not working as the 40's began.
Until now. 
What changed? My mind.
I whispered a prayer in April of 2013 and God heard it. He used some interesting characters to motivate me that summer to stop eating sweets, and, all of a sudden, I discovered I could say no to something full of stuff not good for me. 
God didn't leave me alone there. 
He gave me an amazingly awesome coach who offered a free group challenge to me. I discovered I was stronger than I ever thought possible. I could do crazy hard things like 100 push ups a day for 30 days...and squats. Let's not forget the squats.
Some of those 30 days most push ups were done on my knees. 
Others most were not.
But, I did them all
My definition of failure was changed. 
Not doing push ups is so worse than doing them on your knees. I was not failing at push ups because I did them on my knees, I was succeeding because I did them. Period.
Let me close with Tony Horton's view of failure from his book, The Big Picture...
There's nothing wrong with failing. In fact, failure needs a new name. "Failure" should be renamed "awesome." Everyone loves awesome...The problem with the word "failure" is that it connotes that you're a loser - and losers don't succeed or win or get the girl...As a result, many people would rather play it safe, not take chances, not explore, and never, ever stick their neck out and actually try...If you're afraid to fail, then you'll never expose yourself to opportunities for success.
We must try and fail until we see success happen. 
Transform your thinking and your body will follow. 
Be blessed.

***I hold a challenge group on facebook almost every month. I wrote this on day one and posted it in our group. Needless to say, I was surprised at the response to it. Most likely we all have struggled with feeling like a failure or fearing that we will fail when beginning something new.
I am currently struggling with the fear of failing on a different part of my journey. No matter the topic, the fear of failing at anything can become debilitating...an end before a beginning ever has a chance.  
I share this because I needed to be reminded of my own words.***

Monday, August 24, 2015

Game Day

For those who may not know, Game Day is one of the workouts in Shaun T's Insanity Asylum.
Appropriately named, if you ask me.
It is insane and you have to be committed to finishing it in order to finish it.
Every day of this now 16 month journey that I've been on, prior to July 6th, Shaun T and I had an understanding...it's rather one sided, of course, since he has no clue as to who I am, but an understanding, nonetheless.
This was the gist of it: I don't try his workouts; he doesn't yell at me nor do I fail.
Pretty cut and dry.
I was happy. Shaun T was happy. Why wouldn't he be? Everyone else loves him and his Insanity this, that, and the other.
I feared the man and his workouts.
So, what happened that I am now blogging about Game Day?
I began Insanity Asylum. And completed it. Will get the T-shirt one day soon.
Before I get on with Game Day follies, let me just say I extremely disliked hated day one. I do not use this particular word lightly or often. It is reserved for such things as ants and being embarrassed. Asylum moved into the top 3 with these otherwise despised things in life.
Day two was okay since it involved dumbbells. Days 3, 4, and 5 rated up there with Day one.
Odd duck that I am, I committed to finishing, so I kept going back day after day and pushing play according to the schedule.
Strength, was my saving grace. If it had not been for my looking forward to getting back to Strength day, it would have been a very long 30 days.
Toward the end of week two, Game Day was on tap. Had no clue what to expect. Never looked into any of the workouts prior to beginning, so I just went with it.
Come to find out, it was 60 minutes spent doing a variety of moves from the most popular of sports, Shaun T style.
Beginning with a mile run.
I don't like running. Ask anyone who knows me somewhat well. I don't run for fun. It is not relaxing. It actually stresses me out. But, lest I digress....
Somewhere after the mile run, which I surprised myself by completing rather well...meaning, I didn't die or quit in the middle of it...and before baseball which is the final sport of the workout, I broke down in tears no less than three times. When I say broke down, it wasn't just tears, it was sobbing, people. Sob-bing. Out of the blue it would hit me. And, I went with it. Took me longer than 60 minutes to get through Game Day that first time.
Why? You may ask.
I think my post to my challenge group from that day, July 16th, explains it best...
Game Day.
So much I could say...I had some successes, had some not too bad moments, and then there was Mounted Mat Maneuver.
All I can say is that I tried that one.
And cried.
More than once.
I am tearing up again now, in fact.
All the memories of the younger me trying to play sports, competitively or leisurely, came flooding back.
I felt that fear of failure overwhelm me again. It was real. It was hard to keep going.
Because that is not who I am NOW.
Still far from perfect, anything but athletic, and not the least bit graceful, but I made it through all 60 minutes.Hats off to you, Shaun T...you have made your way into my heart with this one. You have pushed and I have grown. I needed this.
After this day, I had a higher respect for Asylum, Shaun T, and myself.
Funny thing is that I thought that first Game Day was therapeutic and awesome and was {almost} ready for it the next time it showed up on the schedule.
I was wrong.
Out of nowhere again, in the middle of the workout, #thereweretears.
July 31st's post captures my thoughts from my second attempt at Game Day...
Game Day this morning before friends came over to swim.
I was excited and dreading it both.
And, yes, ‪#‎thereweretears‬ again. Only one round of full out sobbing this time, however.
I watched the wrestling move demo better this time and improved a little. It was certainly less frustrating, but I still have a flaring elbow giving me fits.
My endurance is up.
My heart has softened even more toward Shaun T.
My finish line is in sight.
I am crazy enough to be thinking of doing a hybrid P90X/Asylum workout next.
There are things Shaun T says in the heat of the moment that get to my heart.  My head is then fighting to deny my heart the pleasure of believing his words.  And, I cry it out.
Look at August 6th's post...3rd undertaking and final Game Day of round one:
Game Day did it to me again. ‪#‎thereweretears‬
Why? You may ask.
Because I hear Shaun T say I am an athlete and I am fighting hard to believe it.
Today I pushed play and hit it hard for all those times in life I came in last or fell short.
Not today.
I might not be first yet, but I'm no longer last.
Funny thing is that I don't hear him yelling at me any longer.  I hear him coaching me.  There is a difference.  He is still rather bossy, however...always a Tony Horton fan will I be.  But, after 30 days, I did decide to jump right into a P90X/Asylum hybrid schedule.  Crazy as it sounds, I couldn't leave the Asylum yet, so a hybrid gave me the best of two worlds. 
One would have thought that I would have made it through the 4th Game Day without tears.
August 23rd's (today's) challenge group post...
Game Day.
Knocked this one out for all the times I have ever felt like the weakest link.
Yes, ‪#‎thereweretears‬ again.
Today what got me was when he kept saying the team is only as strong as the weakest link.  The time before it was when Shaun T talked about being last and being an athlete.  The fear of failure and the continuous questions he asks during the workout, "Can you stick with it?" "Can you last?" got me the times before then.
It's mental, y'all.
Shaun T gets inside your head and messes with you until you get it straight for yourself.
Until you begin to believe the truth about yourself because you are here doing the work, progressing each day you push play, putting in your time, sweat, and tears to improve.
Until, one day, you realize you have improved.
Insanity Asylum.
It's therapy, in a curious way, really.
I feared Shaun T and his workouts, remember?
I now respectfully admire him for his coaching/training and trust the process of his design, but I no longer fear him or the workouts.
Both are effective, even if I still think he's a little bossy. {smile} 

my birthday

May 31st, 2015
Awoke to the sound of waves crashing on the shore and my family wishing me a happy birthday.
This was an awesome way to begin my 43rd year of living, let me assure you.
547The day began with a workout for me while Scott and the boys enjoyed a pancake breakfast. I enjoyed a blueberry yogurt they surprised me with and Shakeology when I finished my workout.
The morning was relaxing then we loaded up the car and moved on to the best birthday activity of the the day...a bucket list item for me...driving on the beach.  I was so excited! I have dreamed of this for years...and it came true, totally unexpectedly.  A perfect ending to our time on Pacific Beach on my birthday!
After that exhilarating drive on the beach, we headed out for another coastal city in Washington state. On our way, we spent some time exploring along the coastline of Olympic National Park.  So many cool places to see even on a chilly and, at times, rainy day.
{Side note: Did you know we had rainforests in the Lower 48?  No clue here.  I should have paid more attention in Geography class in 8th grade. #smh}
 Rain forest hikes, record holding spruce tree, beautiful beaches...all a part of a happy birthday.

z4 z3
It has been an amazing month...an amazing birthday season!
Thank you to all who have read along for it all.
Until next season...I wish you a great and blessed year!