Get On The Plane: NOLA Trip Recap

July 21, 2017

I know, it's been a while, but things have been pretty crazy! While I have been busy, I've also been decompressing from a big weekend and dealing with dog-sitting. I'm with one dog this week, Monday through Friday, then on Friday, I switch to two dogs for SIXTEEN nights! You read that right! But let's move on because that's not what this post is about!

Today, I want to talk about my trip to New Orleans for the 2017 Beachbody Summit, which is essentially our big conference for Beachbody coaches. There were about 20,000 coaches there! This was the third year I've attended but the first time that I've been genuinely nervous.

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Why was I so nervous? Because this year I felt like an outsider. Do you ever feel that way? Like you're showing up for something and everyone else is on one page and you are totally somewhere else? Well, I was afraid that because I'm not really coaching right now that I'd either feel really separate from everyone else who is super fired up about coaching, or they'd all try to convince me to dive back in.

To be honest, I almost didn't get on the plane.

The whole morning that I was heading to the airport and getting ready to leave I had to keep fighting the urge to turn around and go back home. I was ready to leave my luggage and book it! Luckily, I have a few experiences and tools under my belt.

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I asked myself, what's the biggest reason you don't want to go? I realized that the ONLY reason I didn't want to go was that I was afraid. And you know what?

I refuse to let fear drive my life.

I know from many, many experiences that when I get out of my comfort zone and do something that I was nervous about doing, 99% of the time I am so glad that I pushed myself. I almost always end up thanking myself and God for that last push to get me to go because I always gain so much or at least have a fun time.

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And we sure had fun!

Within a minute of seeing my teammates, I knew I'd made the right choice. It was so good to see them and hug them and they all told me they were so glad that I came. You know what? I'm so glad too.

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Yes, there were workshops around coaching and I zoned out more than I would have in previous years (although, to be honest, I'd heard of lot of it before!). But there were also some amazing speakers that I took pages of notes from, there were fun celebrations that I enjoyed watching with my teammates, but most of all, there were those moments when we were just hanging out together.

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Whether it included adventures on Bourbon Street and Frenchman Street or sitting on the floor of a conference center, I loved every minute with these women. Some of them are friends I'd met at previous conferences and talked with over the year, others were women I knew of but I'd never really talked to or seen in person.

Every single one of them felt like family. It sounds cliche but it's so true:

Your vibe attracts your tribe.

My coach, Anna, has done an amazing job of attracting a group of women who all seem to just "get" each other. Some of the girls I'd never spoken to and suddenly we're realizing just how similar we are and could have talked for hours. I wish we'd been able to, but the time just flew by!

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So, as I expected when I pushed myself onto that plane, I had a great trip. I made memories that will last me a lifetime, I made new friends, I reconnected with old ones, and I got to see New Orleans through a 29 year-old's eyes rather than a 20 year-old's. 

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Next time you find yourself presented with an opportunity and it makes you freak out a bit with fear and anxiety, ask yourself: "Am I being led by fear or led by love?" Push yourself out of your comfort zone and you'll either be rewarded with a great experience or at least you'll learn something about yourself.

Where I’m At With Life, Health and Fitness {Part Two}

July 25, 2017

Alright, alright, it's here!

If you missed Part One, go back and check that one out first. But now, it's time for Part 2, which is all about what I've been doing recently with health and fitness (i.e. eating and exercise).

In part one, I talked about how I've backed away from coaching because I've been going through a lot personally and I not only wanted to keep to myself more but coaching started to feel disingenuous since I wasn't really sharing my story. Well, because of my history of disordered eating, it's no surprise that those kinds of negative thoughts have been coming back up as life got more stressful and my anxiety increased. While I have been working with people to help me get to the root of my negative thinking and learn to reframe false beliefs, it's not an overnight fix.

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I've been reading blogs like Robyn's for years, knowing what it looks like to have a good relationship with food but putting it in the back of my mind. Only recently did it really click. I read a couple posts thinking, "That's me! She's describing me" and it made me realize that I don't have it all together and it was time for a change.

I love following fitness programs, whether Beachbody or anything else, but I've learned that for right now, doing any program 100% isn't in my best interest. I need to focus my energy on reframing my thoughts and developing a healthier relationship with food and keep fitness something I do for fun and because I want to - not because I feel like I have to so I can achieve any kind of goal. For so long now, I thought I'd gotten past all of these struggles but life throws us curveballs and when things are hard it's easy to revert back to old patterns. Patterns are familiar and comforting, even if they're destructive.

I've been on this trajectory of backing away from too much nutrition and fitness structure for about three months now and I know I've made the right choice. I'm still doing workouts, I'm still loving my Beachbody team and I'm even in our big team challenge group this month just for the positive energy. But I've also been taking steps to heal the source of the issue, and even though it's hard to back away a little from something I actually enjoy, I know it's worth it in the grand scheme of my life.

To be honest, I was (am) very hesitant to share all of this on here. I mean really, who shares all of these personal details on the internet? But I pushed publish because I know it's important to share our struggles and let other people know they aren't alone.

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There may be many other women out there who are pushing themselves forward pretending that nothing is wrong or hoping it will all just go away once they lose those last 10 lbs, finish school, get a job, meet the perfect guy, or whatever it is that they're wishing for. All those surface level things won't fix the way you think about yourself, so take a step back and look at the bigger picture. If what's best for you is backing away, know that gaining a little weight and losing some of your fitness now to fix your mental and physical health is worth it in the long run.

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Where I'm At With Life, Health and Fitness {Part One}

July 10, 2017

I feel like the topic of this post is the pink elephant in the room - something I've been avoiding talking about for several months now. I think it's also part of the reason I haven't blogged much because if I'm feeling protective of my personal life then I'm not in much of a sharing mood in general. But today, I thought I'd try to explain where I am a little bit more.

This year has been a rollercoaster.

A year ago, I left my community and my life in Chicago and moved to Colorado. I needed a change, I needed an adventure, but I had no idea how difficult the transition would be. I moved specifically to Colorado Springs to stay with family while I job searched and while I was there I started out by enjoying the summer and assuming I'd find a job soon so I could move up to Denver and start my "new life." Well, I was wrong.

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I ended up staying in Colorado Springs from May through December of 2016. My mom visited for some time, I went up to see my friend in Denver, and I saw my new niece on occasion but for the most part, I was alone and starting to feel more confused and less valuable as my job search continued on.

I applied to over 100 jobs. I got a couple of interviews, but nothing worked out. Why? Well, to be honest, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was just applying to jobs because I thought "this could be okay?" It's pretty hard to job-hunt when you don't know what you're looking for.

This overall feeling of confusion of what I want to do with my life, coupled with being alone and feeling a little unworthy due to no response to so many applications, sent me down a bit of a spiral.

I was depressed. My anxiety was flaring.

Even trips with friends that I loved couldn't pull me out of my funk. And to be honest, I wasn't working incredibly hard at creating a positive life for myself. I kept thinking that I'd build a community once I moved up to Denver - what's the point of doing it in Colorado Springs when I'd just move away? I never imagined that I'd be living there for so long.

During all of this turmoil, I started to feel less and less enthusiastic about coaching. How could I support and give advice to others when I was falling apart? I felt disingenuous, so I started backing away. How was I supposed to live as an example to others if I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water? Yes, we all have struggles and how we get through those struggles can be an inspiration, but I was in the midst of them with no end in sight and not overcoming anything.

Even now that I'm settling in with my new job, finding a church and making friends, I'm still dealing with some things behind the scenes. While I would love to share everything I've been through and am going through with clients and readers to help them feel less alone and to bring a little inspiration, I've learned from many women that I look up to that it's best to talk about difficult times afterward. That's when you have a sense of perspective as well as can give hope to other women dealing with the same thing.

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So I haven't been coaching, other than one life-coaching client. I love my Beachbody products and recommend them and the programs 100%, but I'm just not feeling like pushing anything on anyone else. If someone reaches out and wants to try something, great, but I'm not promoting because right now I just need to do my own thing.

I'm focusing on filling my cup back up. It took me a year to go downhill, so it will take some time to build myself back up.

So that's where I am with coaching - open and available but not reaching out purposefully. I still love my team (and will be spending the weekend in New Orleans with them!) but I'm not "working the business."

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Maybe one day I'll go back to running challenge groups, or maybe I'll focus more on life coaching - who knows! All I know is that I'm going to stick to my gut instincts, follow my heart and do what's best for me in this season of life.


Check back in next week for Part Two  - focusing on my personal health and fitness journey over the past few months and what I'm working on now.