Let’s Workout!



I heard the audible groans come from all over as soon as you read that title.

But this is about just that!  NOT wanting to workout.

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Maybe you don’t like to sweat.


Maybe you feel you are TOO out of shape to even start.

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Maybe you are overweight, and the feeling of your excess jiggle jiggling just grosses you out(Been there and back again!).


Maybe you lack motivation.


Maybe you simply don’t see the point because your progress is always too slow because you can’t be PERFECT!


Maybe you hate cardio, but heard that lifting weights will make you bulky! (BIGGEST MYTH EVER!!! 😡 )

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Maybe you are afraid!  Afraid you won’t be able to keep up or maybe afraid that you will look stupid!  So you are going to do a bunch of research FIRST and then you will start.

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One of my all time favorites – SOMEONE ELSE TOLD YOU YOU COULDN’T!!!!

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OR MAYBE you simply don’t know where to start!


All of these are only EXCUSES that you put in your own mind to keep you from facing this fear.  And all they are doing is holding you back from being your healthiest and best you.  Often we think it is outside circumstances holding us back, but if you REALLY Dig Deep, we usually find out that our biggest saboteur is US!

And although I own Phoenix Fitness with Body By BrendaT in Fowler, IL and am a Beachbody Coach, and would LOVE to help you personally on your journey, but if having an accountability and support group and/or a trainer/coach/mentor isn’t your thing, and you prefer to do it on your own, the DO IT!!!!  DON’T let your excuses be the thing that stops you before you ever even start!  A health and fitness journey is hard enough without giving yourself false reasons to hold you back before you ever even start.

And message me if you are interested in what my studio has to offer, online help, or if you are simply looking for an online support group who could help you stay accountable.  You can find me on Facebook and IG, or go to www.bodybybrendat.net/contact


Working Through A Messy Life Season

We all go through seasons in our lives.  And sometimes, life gets you feeling like you are the losing monkey in the WORST EVER Monkey Poo Fight in the Zoo Monkey House!  Some of you know what I am talking about. 


But we need to do our best to keep moving forward.

And then you have those times when a season seems to take hold.  Take over even!  Make all of your hard work seem like it was for nothing.  THAT is kind of where I have been for awhile now.  And I have done my best to stay positive, but I do struggle with some depression, stress, sadness, and anxiety, so when I feel like I have failed, ALL the feelings come RUSHING in!  Am I a FAILURE?  NO!  Absolutely not!  But those demons in my head have been screaming pretty loud lately.


And I know you have heard me say it before, but I am REALLY not enjoying this whole early menopause thing! UGH!  My hormones seem to be all over the place.  I can be having the time of my life one minute, and one simple comment or action can make me feel like the most unloved, unworthy, unwanted person alive. 

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Being someone who has struggled with being suicidal for most of their life, those feelings piss me off!  I don’t like feeling like that.  I KNOW I am a good person.  I KNOW I have so much to offer people.  But when these feelings arise, and I feel worthless, what am I doing for anyone?

Some say that sharing my whole life shows my vulnerability and “human-ness”.  I am human, and I do have problems.  But some of my problems, struggles, and TRIUMPHS over them have made me the strong woman that I am today!

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I tried to leave this world multiple times when I was only 9 years old.  God wouldn’t take me.  So WHY did he leave me here?  I believe there was a REAL reason.  I am 47, closing in on 50, and still haven’t truly found it yet. 

But even though I still have days where I wonder if things would have been better had I succeeded 38 years ago, I then think of the people who tell me that I AM an inspiration to them.  That I show them even during a setback, that it is possible to KEEP WORKING!  That it is possible to still put a smile on my face and look for the positives in life!  Because they ARE out there.  There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.  Don’t believe me?  God WANTED you to wake up this morning, so you DID!  He has a plan for you!  You DO have a purpose!  And so do I! 

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Some days you may feel like you don’t have purpose, but please believe that every day, someone is thankful for you!  Someone is praying for you!  And if you are reading this, I can guarantee this that you are someone I am grateful for.

Fitness has been my catalyst into working on more of myself.  My deeper self.  I work very hard on the things I CAN control.  My fitness, and as of this week, the return of working on my nutrition.  If either of those things are of interest to you, whether you are a customer of mine or not, I encourage you to join my Virtual Gym Support Group.  You can find a link to the Facebook Group here.  Request to join, and if we are not Facebook friends, watch for a message from me shortly after, because I have VERY strict NO BULLY policies, and need everyone who comes in to realize that NO amount of ugliness will be tolerated, just like it is at my physical studio, Phoenix Fitness with Body By BrendaT.

Talk to you all soon


It’s Almost November! WHAT?!?!?

OK, so I KNOW what you are doing.  I could do it too to be honest.  I am ONLY 3# under where I was on January 13th as I am today.  I started the year AWESOME, and even lost a few lbs and had some progress.  Then, you know what happened?  LIFE!

Yup.  Stress of owning a business.  Anxiety of not feeling like I am good enough to do what I do.  Home stress. Job stress. Even struggled with overwhelming sadness and feeling like I couldn’t tell a soul about it, because I am supposed to always be the happy, positive one.  Well, since a perfect life probably doesn’t actually exist, I’ll be honest, I am NOT always happy.  I do NOT always feel like leading a workout, going to my day job, or even getting out of bed for that fact!  I do my best to pull myself up by my boot straps, put on a happy face and get on with it, but let’s be realistic, being “ON” up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, in and of itself, is hard sometimes.  Add other life things and raging menopause hormones that you aren’t always sure what to do with, and it can be a struggle sometimes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do it, because I KNOW once I start, I will feel better.  The endorphins that come from exercise always help cheer me up!

Besides, I LOVE what I do!

But sometimes when we stress, we stop doing some things that we KNOW we should be doing.  Like cutting alcohol down to a minimum, not eating sweets, and NOT medicating our emotions with FOOD!

Today is 

Do you know what that means?

NO, not that it is 5 days til Halloween.  Not that it is less than a month til Thanksgiving.  AND NO….Definitely NOT that it is 2 months til Christmas.

It means that you have 66 days to work on your 2018 goals.  OK, we will take off one day for Thanksgiving and 2 days for Christmas, and even 3 random days for Holiday parties.  That leaves 60 DAYS to work on your goals!



What Are YOU Going to Do About It???

Let me know if you need some help! ❤

Change Is Hard! But Stay Positive, Because It Could Just Possibly Be the Change to Lead You to Your Best Life!

OK, so by that title, you probably think this is going to be all rainbows and puppies.

NOT how I feel right this moment, but trying to see the all the positives that are possible from this change.  If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that as a childless woman, I met an AMAZING Mom a few years ago who became a VERY close friend.  So close, that she started referring to me as her beautiful daughter’s Bonus Mom.  And that little girl, in essence, became my Best Friend. ❤

This is She and I at a Kickpics Photo shoot 2 years ago.moments.jpg

Last night, our embrace was filled with less happy emotions.  LOTS of tears 😥


You see, I will not get to see her as often, because she and her Mom are moving away.  And it is going to be HARD!  I will miss them both HORRIBLY!

BUT…..I know this is good for them!  It is a chance at a new beginning for my dear friend who needs, and DESERVES, to close a toxic chapter in her life!  And I 100% understand and support her in that change.  Will it be a difficult transition?  Will it still hurt sometimes?  Will it take TIME?  YES!!!

But to be a good friend, I have to recognize that this is what is best.  It is not like I will never see or speak to them again, just a little less.

My message today, is that sometimes the very BEST change for someone else, may hurt those left behind.  But we have to make sure we are never holding someone back from living their happiest life.  We will adjust.  We can make it through.  And if we stay positive and try to see their change as something good, maybe we will realize that they are here to lead as an example to us.  Maybe their change could inspire a change in ourselves to work towards living our very best lives too.  Because I don’t know about you, but I could use “stepping it up” a bit 😉

So although I will miss my dear friends, I will ALWAYS wish them the Greatest Happiness in their lives.


So even if adventures like these are fewer and farther in between, we will always hold these memories in our hearts, right next to the loving friendship that will never die!

Amazing what kind of friendships can grow from a simple little Dance Fitness class ❤

Enjoy your next chapter, My Friend!   And I WILL see you soon ❤

You Are Not Where You Want To Be

THAT, My Friends, is the answer to the question, “What should I use for motivation?”


Are you healthy?

Then eat right and exercise!

Are you at your goal weight?

Then eat right and exercise!

Are you happy with YOU?

Then eat right, exercise, and add some wonderful Personal Development books! *I can recommend a few of my personal favorites if you don’t know what a good PD book even is.*


Yes, I do know that the above is a bit cliche’, but I don’t really care.  It is 100% the TRUTH!

Here is a bit of MY truth if you don’t know it.

10 years ago this week, I was 35# down from my highest weight of 296#, and no one had even noticed! I was practically starving myself, and knew I was on yet another road to failure! No one even knew I was trying to lose weight.  I had not declared that I was on a health journey, because I just knew I was going to fail.  On September 16, 2008, I watched the Season 6 Premier of Biggest Loser, like I ALWAYS did, but something felt different in me this time.  I had already seen the number on the scale go down some, so why not go for it.  I joined an online community, and went on to lose another 110# to see my lowest weight.  But I still didn’t look like what I was aiming for.  So I started lifting more weights and doing a little less cardio.  I gained back about 20# of solid muscle and dropped another 2 sizes!

This pic was taken around that time. Man my hair was short! LOL!

Now, over the past few years, some BIG stresses, some tragic distractions, some “not so smart on my part” experimenting with different diet theories, and simply getting older and entering menopause, has lead me to where I am now dealing with some metabolic/hormonal issues along with a significant weight gain.  Today, I weighed in at 205#. I am still mortified by that number, but it is also unfortunately NOT the highest I have seen over the past few months.  I know that this leg of my journey is going to be a rough one!  Y’All KNOW I work hard, so that number does NOT and WILL NOT, define Me!

But what I KNOW works, is not something I have stuck with as I experimented with the many trends that I tell people to stay away from, but had to prove it to myself.

And what is MY MOTIVATION to return to what I know works?





So, maybe those aren’t YOUR reasons.  Maybe you could care less about being a size 6.  To be honest, it was never my goal either!  A size 12 was.  And even right now, where I am currently, I am wearing mostly 10’s and have caught myself hating on me and beating myself up.  To that I now call BS!

And I had to look long and hard into the mirror and find MY MOTIVATION!  And it was staring back at me!  I see the barrel around my midsection.  CLASSIC Diabetes body.  I can feel my blood pressure rise sometimes and see my ankles and hands swell along with that heavy feeling after a hard move in a workout.  Classic heart disease signs.  These 2 diseases plague my family!  It is imperative that I take control again.


So, I ask you, do you need me screaming in your face and dropping some TOUGH LOVE down on you?

If so, I do both in person classes and training AND online coaching.


But I am here to tell you that all the coaching and knowledge in the world will not help if you are not ready to commit to Yourself!  If you can’t look in the mirror and ask yourself, “What am I waiting for?  WHY do I continue to do this to myself?”  and come to the conclusion that you are READY to LIVE your healthiest life by making more good choices than bad and showing up ready to do WORK!

So, I tell you all of this to let you know that just because I am not where I want to be, does not mean that I am not working for it.  I AM!  If you come to any of my classes, you KNOW that to be true!  And today, I challenge you to put in the work to make YOU feel better.  I would love to, but I can’t do the work for you.  Here is what I am doing because it is what has worked for me in the past, and I just need to be patient and put in the work.

I am eating right approximately 80% of the time.

I workout a minimum of 4 days a week.

I lean on MY support group when I need some accountability or need to vent or need someone to be there to either help or even just listen while I talk something out.

And, this just in, I am learning how to REST!  My recovery time, or lack thereof, has been a big part of my current issues.  So I am learning to make some time for it again.

So, now that you know Your Motivation comes from within and has been there all along, you just needed to look for it…..

What’s Your Plan?

Let me know if I can help! ❤

But Did I Really Fail?

I have been beating myself up again lately.  You see, I started LIIFT4 with Joel Freeman, and at that time had every intention of doing all 32 workouts.  And at first, the getting up early was going OK.  And I even started to feel stronger.  But around week 5, I noticed that a few things were “off”.  I was cranky.  I felt weak.  I was tired.  I was having trouble getting through not only MY workouts, but the classes I teach each night at Phoenix Fitness with Body By BrendaT.  Which in and of itself makes me feel like a failure, because I need to be 100% there to lead my students.  So that was really bothering me.

Week 6, I was on vacation from my day job, but I was actually physically busier than when I work, and I was NOT getting up early when I finally had time to get some decent sleep!  So, my only workouts were my classes that I still taught 4 out of 5 of the normally scheduled days. Which unfortunately means that I did not stay on track with LIIFT4, and then did not go back to it after I went back to work to finish the last 2 weeks.

Did I fail?

To complete that particular program, yes.

But did I really fail?

I don’t think so.  Why? Because I did learn some valuable training tips from Joel, and I learned the MAIN GOAL of LIIFT4!  That you CAN do this AMAZING program even with a busy lifestyle, because it is sustainable!

But for ME personally, I was WAY overdoing it!  For the 6 weeks that I was doing LIIFT4, I was working out a minimum of 10 hours a week!  And with choreography and Insanity LIVE and Country Heat LIVE practice, it was more like 12-15!  And if you have ever been to one of my classes, you know that I teach best by doing and giving it 110% of MY Best!

Does that sound like a lot?  Maybe not to some of you, but remember, I also work a full time job, have a husband and 5 furkids to take care of, plus all the financials for both my business AND my home, AND I am a Beachbody Coach!  I have been spreading myself too thin.  And I have known this is the reason/cause of my adrenal fatigue for awhile, but I just keep pushing! And I am now recognizing that it is time to stop.

A word that I have to return to is SUSTAINABLE!  What I was doing was NOT sustainable for me.  It is going to take awhile to heal, and I know that, but learning to chill a bit, has been a struggle for me.  I feel like I am letting someone down if I don’t try to do it all.  But doing it in exchange of my health, can’t happen any more.

So, first up to go was my extra morning workout.  Yup!  They had to go.  At this time I am down to approximately 7.5 hours of working out, plus learning how to mark things better for choreography instead of doing everything FULL OUT!

Next, will be lowering my weights in my resistance classes.  It is tough for me to watch my students lift more than me, but that is my stupid EGO getting in the way!  Time to also LET THAT GO!


So, that makes this an opportunity for me to do some learning about ME!

So, as one failure passes, a new opportunity to do it right has begun again! 🙂

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Low Points and Clawing Your Way Back!

We all have times when we start questioning choices we have made in our lives.  And right now, I am not going to lie, is one of those times in my life.  Which unfortunately, also makes me think of my past and wonder if those who said I would never be enough and would continue to fail at everything, were right. Have I internalized their words so much, that even after all these years, they will win?

I would like to believe the answer is NO.  But some parts of my life are signalling differently.  And as Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman, “The bad stuff is easier to believe.”  When I feel like things are going great, I am skeptical.  When I feel like things are going bad, my brain says, “SEE!  That’s what they told you would happen.  You will never be enough to get it right.”


WHY am I feeling like this right now? I look back to where I was 5-6 years ago, and things were MUCH different with my finances, my health and even the way I looked!  Does the way I look thing make me egotistical, maybe, but that isn’t even why I refer to it. When asked by a friend of his, if my Dad was proud of me when I lost 148# and ran a marathon, he said, and I quote, “I’ll be proud of her if she actually keeps it off!  Otherwise, it is actually just another failed attempt.”  Weeeelllllll…..guess what?  I didn’t keep it all off.  I am still down over 90#, but I feel like a failure.  And I can feel his disappointment deep inside.



It is often hard to believe in yourself when this is the demon living in your head.

But then…..I think about all that I HAVE Accomplished, despite being made to think that I would never be good enough.

I AM a Childless Mother who still gets out of bed each day.

I AM a Survivor!


I DID lose 148#!

I DID work my butt off to put on 22# of solid muscle and take my BF% down to <20%.

I DID run a marathon at 40 years old after 3 back surgeries and a spinal fusion.

I DID keep over 100# of that weight off for nearly 9 years.

I DID open a rural fitness studio and keep the doors open for nearly 2 years now despite only ONE person from my small town ever stepping foot in the door!

SO I am NOT a Failure!

Have I failed at things?  ABSOLUTELY!

But I am NOT a Failure!  And although sometimes I need to think about it long enough to get good and mad enough to prove people wrong to get back on track, I NEVER give up completely!  Otherwise I would be as unhealthy as I was in May 2008, worrying about pre-diabetes and colon cancer, and weighing in around 296#!  And if you follow me at all, you know that I still workout, I still eat well most of the time, and I hurt myself the most by not resting enough! THAT is a big one that I am working on now!  Sleep and downtime!

So, in summary, this blog post was simply my way of talking to myself back into caring about and believing in myself enough to keep going. Sometimes, life gets you down.  You just have to make sure you are strong enough to get back up no matter what!

believe in you