Where Do I Belong?

Hello Blog Readers!
I am ready to drop some truth that has been holding me back for quite some time now.
I have been battling some pretty serious pain issues lately. I am still teaching all of my classes, but I am not sure that any workouts of my own are in my near future. Teaching takes everything I got, and I am icing, heating, massaging, medicating, you name it, daily to be the best I can be for my students and clients.
With this pain and change in my lifestyle, has also come a bit of depression. I am doing my best to come to terms with it, and take the rest time that I need, but I REALLY want to get back to my life! After the stress, lack of sleep, and menopause issues of the last 2-3 years, I am just ready to get back to normal. I allowed myself a LOT of grace during that time while my body seemed to have turned its back on me and took on inflammation and put on fat like crazy no matter how well I ate, or how much I worked out. But now, I am ready to get back to “My Life”, and my body is STILL not letting me!  I feel like I don’t belong in my own life right now, because my body and head can’t agree on a game plan.
Another truth to tell – Yes, we are actually having financial problems right now, but the REAL reason I didn’t even want to go to Beachbody Coach Summit this year, was because I don’t feel like I belong there right now. I can’t face those people who met me 5 years ago as a size 6 now wearing tight size 12’s. It’s embarrassing. I feel like an absolute failure!
And before you say it, YES, I know that the life change and stress and sleep deprivation can all cause weight gain, and this is NOT a sign of being LAZY or not trying, I am just being honest about how I FEEL right now. I also feel like people won’t commit to classes at Phoenix Fitness with Body By BrendaT, because they don’t feel I am a visual representation of what I “should” look like to be promoting health and fitness.
And I hate to say it, but even today with all of the research that proves that overweight people CAN be healthy, most people still only see fat, unhealthy, lazy, and gluttonous when they see people with weight problems. I have believed this for most of my life myself, because it is how most people have treated me in my life. The only time I ever felt “accepted”, was the 3 years that I was a size 4-6! WHY is that? The size of my ass has NOTHING to do with who I AM!  OR how good of a Fitness instructor and Personal Trainer I am!
Another truth – I have been working on self love and self acceptance a lot lately.  I am not there yet, but I am trying.  It is hard to be positive and and promote self love, when you look in the mirror and see someone that has a great deal of trouble loving herself!  So I have trouble feeling like I belong on my own Facebook Pages as I still do my best to post positivity and about staying body positive no matter where you are today, as I still struggle with it constantly!
Anymore, I am not sure what I want or where I want my life to go next.  I am not sure where I WANT to BELONG.  I have done a LOT of soul searching lately, and I have tried to be honest with myself about what it is that I want.  I thought I knew, and all I ended up with was MORE trust issues.  People are not always what they say they are.  I will continue to search for what I want and need out of life, but for now, I am a wife, a furmom, a fitness studio owner/instructor, a bookkeeper, and more.  And I will continue to try to be the best I can be!
My point of all these truths, it that I want you to please never feel alone when you feel like you just don’t fit.  I feel like that almost EVERY DAY!  The only advice I can give, is never give up on yourself.
You DO Belong!
I DO Belong!

Becoming Me-A New Chapter In A Frustrating Life Season

The last few weeks I have felt a shift in myself.  I have really been beating myself up for quite some time lately. And each time I think I am doing better, something else happens to pull me back down. I have had troubles accepting this season of my life.  I workout and, yes, I DO eat right most of the time.  Yet still I struggle with the greatest nemesis of my life, my weight.  I know now that I have not made time and taken enough time to rest, recover, relax, or even just breathe.  I am stressed most of the time. And up until my Sweet Emmy Lou died, I was averaging about 4 hours of sleep per night for the last 2-3 years.  I simply haven’t been doing very good on my self-care.  And in the meantime, have returned to some pretty toxic feelings of self-loathing and worse.  Add in some sneaky toxic people, and you have a pretty good recipe for a slippery slope back to depression and under rock dwelling 😦  But I REFUSE to reside there for too long EVER AGAIN!

Although it was a horrible and heart wrenching time for me, after I lost my sweet Emmy, I realized that it is time to start being nicer to ME in more ways than just starting to get a little more sleep.  I recently listened to a book about being healthy at any weight, and although I really agreed with so much of it, because I have had a horrible relationship with food all of my life, I am also not happy with where I am at now for ME!  Not to please anyone else.  Not to make myself feel worthy of love or friendship.  Not even for acceptance as a fitness professional.  You don’t HAVE to be a “Barbie” to be a FIT!  But I also know that with my knee problems, I feel a lot better about 40# lighter than I am right now.

But I will NOT be body shaming myself anymore!  And I will not tolerate anyone who thinks they have a right to talk about me or ANY ONE else in that way.  Either to our faces, OR behind our backs!  To them, I simply say F!U! Because they may think that beauty is about weight, but in my opinion, their ugly hearts are WAY uglier than my Big Butt, Thick Thighs, or Bulging Belly!

This is pretty much a TOTAL overhaul of the way I have thought and talked about myself for most of my life, so please be patient with me.  So if you see me struggling, saying a kind word would be appreciated.  Further criticism, or even unsolicited diet, nutrition, or fitness advice is NOT!  Following crappy advice and fad diets for research has also contributed to where I am now with a 100% jacked up metabolism!  It will NOT happen overnight, and I do not expect it to.  Neither should you!  So don’t assume that I have given up just because of what I LOOK like!  Sometimes the people that you think aren’t doing anything, are working harder than anyone else.  Or they have simply decided to believe in THEMSELVES more than what media and society tell them they should believe in.

I have been told SO MANY times in the last 2 years, that it is my age, or menopause, or stress.  And even though I do believe that all of those things have played a role in why I have “fallen” as some have said, you know what?  I have fallen before.  I have also gotten back up EVERY TIME!  If you think you know my whole story, I would like to know how, since it isn’t even close to being over yet! 😉



Grieving Is Personal

Hello Friends!

It’s been a rough few days.  Mother’s Day is always hard for me.  Did a little crying, a little remembering, and a lot of reflecting.  When you have lost the two most important females in your life, my Mom and the daughter that made me a Mom, it makes for a crappy holiday for me.

I know some of you understand, and I empathize with you.  And each year, I try to do my best to keep my sadness out of the actual day of celebrating, but I feel it all the same.

The following pictures speak to me and partially represent how I feel, not only on Mother’s Day, but most days as I think of them.


Yesterday was also my Dad’s 83rd birthday.  This is our last picture together before he passed.  It is me introducing one of his Great-Granddaughters to him ❤

But as sad as I am that he is gone, because I got to see his life play out in full and he was ready to go Home to be reunited with Mom, I think for me, I grieve him differently than I do Mom and Marian.  Because in my mind, they were taken too soon.  My heart was NOT ready to let them go!  30 years ago for Marian, and 16 years ago for Mom, and there are still nights that I can cry myself to sleep missing them to the core of my being.

It’s OK to be sad over a lost life.  And it is important to remember that those of us left behind still have a life to live.  And even more importantly, that you let everyone grieve those losses in their own way.  Grief is personal.  But personal does NOT mean that you have to go through it alone.  Whether you keep more to yourself about it, share memories daily on social media, go to a support group, or go see a therapist.  Unless you are not hurting yourself or others, however you get through each day after a loss is OK!  Don’t let people tell you that you should be FINE now, because it has been such and such a time.  Or my PERSONAL favorite in my situation – “You never even got to hold her, how can you still miss her so much?”

Grieving is personal.  So please, don’t tell ANYONE that they are doing it wrong.  That is hurtful and disrespectful to their core being.  And NO, it doesn’t matter if you agree with them!  As long as they are still living their life and not hurting themselves or others, please just show them love and support. ❤



Yep, I have been an MIA blogger 😛

And the reasons are kind of deep yet vague(even to me) at the same time.  So I will do my best to be as real and transparent and vulnerable as possible with my explanation in this post.

I have kind of been having a rough time lately, and have had a hard time finding the motivation as to WHAT to even blog about!

Right now, I don’t feel very “Health & Fitness-y” 😦

I am STILL struggling with my weight!

My chronic pain has been worse in the last 3 weeks than it has been in the past 10 years.

My business is very close to a full on nose dive.

And BOTH of my elderly basset hounds are not doing well.

And those are just a few of the major issues murking up the waters of my life right now.




I AM doing my best to continue to stay positive and work towards success in all the areas that I am struggling with. Is every day a GRAND Success?  Well….NO!  BUT every day is ALSO not a DISMAL FAILURE!  So I try to focus on the good, and when I don’t(Yes, it happens a lot, even to me, the eternal optimist!) I try to let the feelings come, and get back on track as soon as possible.

I know that this sea

son too will some day come to an end and I hope that there is brighter skies ahead.


Today, I will concentrate on one thing that is bringing me joy right now, and that is my beloved St Louis Blues being in the 2nd Round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs!

If you follow me on social media, you KNOW I am a HUGE Blues fan, so this has helped a bit the last few weeks. 🙂


But believe me, I do know that my happiness comes from within, and that if I am not happy with me, nothing and no one else can ever make me happy.

I will keep working on Me!

Tell me in the comments, What is something YOU do to help your mood and outlook when you are feeling low?

Let’s Talk About the Four Letter F Word!


What did you think I was talking about?

Let’s add another BAD 4 Letter Word.


Depending on how long you have known me, you have seen me at not only many sizes, but many different levels of fitness and weights too.  Back in 2008 when my consciousness came alive to the fact that I was killing myself “not so” slowly with food, alcohol, cigarettes, and a sedentary lifestyle, I started making changes.  First, I cut back on ONE thing.  Then I added/subtracted things to improve my health SLOWLY over the next several months.  And over the next 2 years or so, I lost 148 POUNDS!  I was quite literally HALF my heaviest weight!  At that point, I was running a lot, and had not fully found my love of lifting.  When I did, I put back on 15-20# of lean muscle over the next 2 years while dropping another pant size!  And I felt GOOD!


I maintained that within about 10# for the next 2 years.  And to be honest, I never in those 6 years really felt like I was on a diet.  Then we get to 2014.  Life got tough!  And in 2015, we lost Dad and it got tougher!  I seemed to be on a downward spiral emotionally and my weight seemed to be on an upward climb.  Then came the wonderful season every woman looks forward to hating…..menopause!  And with it came MORE weight.  And even MORE frustration!

2018, I thought I was once again getting a handle on it.  I started the year losing 19.6# with a great program, and then. POOF!  Pain. Stress. Life. It was all back!  And it brought friends!

That brings us up to today.  Although I have kept up my fitness as best I could through all of this, my nutrition has suffered.  I am an emotional eater.  Always have been.  And I feed ALL of my emotions!  But I have been doing a LOT of reflecting about this the last 2 weeks, because while I was SICK AS A DOG and not fit to be around other humans, I was also going through the DEEPER work of a Master Coach Certification for a new Nutrition Program, and I realized something.

What I realized, was back when I was doing GREAT, I was following a balanced diet.  I never took out my “beer and pizza” date nights with my hubby, or the occasional party with friends.  I just ate in a balanced, nutritious way and kept track of my calories so they didn’t get out of hand.  And I never felt deprived.  It didn’t come off fast, it took me about 2 years to lose 148#, but it came off and stayed off until I ALLOWED some self-detrimental JUNK to inch its way back in and take over.  AND THEN, when a few pounds crept back on because I had slacked, instead of reeling it back in, I started going on DIETS!

Yup!  And that is where my Downward Spiral really took off!  And the more I tried to stick to this diet or that diet, or try to figure out what I was doing wrong by changing up this and that and eating weird food combinations and even taking some new “fat blasting” supplements, and eliminating whole food groups!  Everything that I KNEW was wrong, but allowed the media and questions from clients about different diets sway me to give them a shot!

So, WHY do I need a “NEW” nutrition program, if I already know what works?

Here’s a secret……

It ISN’T a NEW concept!

BUT…….I do need something to help me while I reestablish those habits and ways that I had learned that DID work for me!  Which sounds easy to do, RIGHT?  Just do what you did before.  Well…I am 10 years older and with all the keto this, paleo that, Intermittent fasting, juicing, macro counting, calorie counting NEVER EAT ANOTHER PIECE OF PIZZA AGAIN, and on and on out there, it is hard for a “Shiny Squirrel” kinda girl, like myself, to NOT get caught up in it.

So, basically I am returning to MY BASICS!  It will just be structured a bit differently while I use these new TOOLS to relearn the GOOD habits that I have lost and remove the BAD habits that I have picked up.  I really like how this program has really made me do the DIG DEEP work that it takes to get me to SEE what I have been doing to myself, and that ONLY I can fix it!

So, now that I have DIETED myself up about 50# from where I wish I want to be.  Yep!  50 POUNDS! I am happy to say that I feel like this new program is going to help me with the confidence I need to take back the reigns from my out of control nutrition habits!

Do I expect those 50# gone by summer?  YUP!  Summer 2020! 😉

But seriously, of course I hope it comes off a LITTLE faster than that, but if not……I will just keep consistently doing what I KNOW works, and it will come off eventually.  If you want to follow my journey back to better health, or better yet, JOIN ME, come find me on Facebook and Instagram.


And you can always find out what I am up to on MY WEBSITE .

Maybe you could even join me for a workout at Phoenix Fitness with Body By BrendaT in Fowler, IL!

#MakeTodayGreat ❤

Hey! Remember Me!

I  know it’s been a long time since I have done a blog post, but I have been working hard just to keep myself and my business going lately.  Some internal, and some external, stresses have taken over a lot of space in my brain.  Including some Sadness caused partially by this HORRIBLE winter we seem to be having this year.  As I type this, it is 15°, feels like 1° with snow in the forecast again for this weekend.  But today, I have something to say, so I thought I would get it all off my chest.

Time for a bit of Friday Reflection.
This morning during my VERY HARD workout, as I cried halfway through it because I REALLY wanted to QUIT, I thought of some of the things that not only Shaun T was saying, but things that I have said to hundreds of students and clients. Do what works for YOU! Do something that you ENJOY and makes YOU happy! Don’t worry about anyone else! And I began to think about the first photo shoot I ever did with KICKPICS, and how Strong, Confident, and Proud I felt when we first took those pictures. So I decided to pull up those pics and try to figure out what(besides 7 years) is different in me then and now.

I miss her confidence. I miss her fearlessness. I miss her independence and not caring what others thought of her! I miss her feeling of success. I look at the things in my life that have changed since this picture. Some bad, some good, and some that I THOUGHT were good. But over the last few years, I admit that some of them seem to be bringing me more stress and internal negativity than anything. I feel like I am living my life to try to please others, and it just makes me feel like crap ALL THE TIME. Because of the constant fear that I will NEVER measure up!
And while I looked at this picture in particular, I realized that I was feeling some other stuff when I think about where I am now. And at first, all I felt was shame!
But then a rush of gratitude came over me. I DID THAT! And I CAN DO IT AGAIN! I just have to reevaluate my mindset. And the first thing I need to change, is to take care of ME!

That isn’t selfish, it is just what has to be! Me, my home life, and my studio are where my focus will be over the next few months. Because I am going to be REAL honest….Even if I don’t 100% get her body back, there is a LOT that I am missing about the girl in this picture! And it is HER and her alone who I can say, “Because of YOU, I didn’t give up!”



Here We Go 2019!!!

Yup!  Here we are.  At the beginning of yet another year.  Time to start fresh and new and find that energy and motivation that comes from something brand new.

I will be starting a new program with this guy, ShaunT, in a Test Group, so I am kind of excited about that.  But worried and nervous at the same time.  I keep saying 2019 is MY YEAR!  That I am going to DO IT again and not let my head and heart garbage hold me  back.  But I have said that before. 37175696_1830501447040453_2553900928453312512_nI think it is FATE!  Back in July 2018 when I met ShaunT, we talked about the Phoenix and what it represents to us.  And his motto through this workout, Transform:20, seems to be transforming by choosing to RISE UP from where you are and getting the job done.  Sounds like exactly the kind of influence I need in my life right now 🙂 

And THEN, this morning as I got ready for work, I listened to Darren Daily as I always do, and he was taking about OWNING your life.  I have heard this from him before, but for some reason, as I pulled on my pants this morning over my seemingly ever growing belly and butt, I HEARD him

.own it.png

This weight problem of mine has NOTHING to do with menopause.  It has NOTHING to do with stress.  It has NOTHING to do with the crap that I have gone through over the past 5 years.  It came ONLY from my actions and reactions and lack of actions to all those situations over the past 5 years.  Which means it is ALL ON ME!


Yet it is also GREAT!  Because if I can F-up my weight/health this bad, I can also fix it up pretty good too.  In fact, I’ve done it before, so I KNOW I can!

So…today I take a step forward.  Tomorrow I will take another.  And Wednesday another.  And so on and so on.  I can’t change the fact that I dealt with some of my problems in recent years by drinking too much and binge eating.  I wish I could, but I can’t.  I wish I could tell you that although I eat healthy most of the time, workout religiously, and do my best to get at least 6 hours of sleep a night, that I could always handle the stress in my life in a healthier way.  But I can’t.


Starting today, with the help of an AWESOME group of women in my current support and accountability group, AND the Transform:20 Coach Test Group including ShaunT himself, I am going to grant myself grace to DO my very best and not beat myself up on days I fall short.  But making a concerted effort EVERY day to handling my stress better and not allowing my environment outside my body, rule the environment INSIDE!  Basically, negativity and other people’s bullshit is getting kicked to the curb for 2019!

Also, I am planning to deal with things like my finances and addiction to social media scrolling in a different way.  I’ll still be there(not going cold turkey) just working on not spending as much time watching other people live their lives, so that I can focus on other parts of my life 🙂

I do fully intend to make 2019 my B!#@H!!!