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

Be An Arrow

We all struggle.  We all have things or times in our lives that make us feel like we are being pulled back, held back, or even beaten back to the wall.  But just think of the greatness that will follow once it has been drawn back all the way and then allowed to fly!


I no longer look at slip ups, failures, screw ups, or even down right meltdowns, as 100% bad anymore.  Because maybe that just wasn’t MY thing.  Maybe it just wasn’t MY time.  I do my best and think I am pretty good at what I do, but I am still not what most people would call successful, because I don’t make a lot of money.  But I think that part of my life could still be on the horizon.  For now, I have some great friends, and some AMAZING students and clients, and I will keep being my best for them while working hard to keep my head up and above water.

So as I keep getting pulled back, I will just keep thinking of how high I am going to go when this time of tension is over and I get to fly!

Rainbows and Unicorns???

I would love to tell you that my life is actually like all of the happy and positive posts that I share daily on Social Media.  But truth be told, they are as much to inspire and motivate myself as they are for those who follow me.  Life is very rarely Rainbows and Unicorns, but I try to make the best of it each day.

not rand u

Today is more of a Dark Clouds and Trolls kinda day.  Why?  Because I am battling some pain.  I deal with pain on a daily basis, so if I actually get to the point of admitting it outloud, then you best believe that I HURT!  But it is mostly arthritic pain, stronger than normal back pain, and muscle soreness from falling yesterday.  So what did I do when my alarm went off at 5:30AM today?  I started by rotating my wrists and ankles 10 times each way, stretched my hands, back, and legs, did some hamstring and quad exercises that I learned from a PT years ago, and finally got out of bed around 5:45.  Let the dogs out, fed them, and then went across the street to the studio to workout.  Did Wk2 D1 of LIIFT4 – Chest and Triceps, with weights going from 12#-25#, and then went back to the house to get ready for work.  You see, often, I find that I hurt worse when I don’t try to get my body moving.  When I first woke up, believe me, I thought about it.  Calling into work and calling off classes.  Everyone would understand, right?  But how would that have helped me MOVE?

I also feel like crud, because I ate my emotions all weekend.  YUP!  I had a really bad nutrition weekend.  It happens.  More often than I would like recently to be honest.  But I wake the next day ready to embrace the challenges again.  Every day isn’t a success, but every day can LEAD to the next successful day.

So when a bad day takes you over body, mind, and soul, do your very best to let it go and be open to the next day being better!



But no matter what each day brings, when you are looking in the mirror and hating everything you see, STOP!  And consciously give yourself a bit of LOVE.  Because you can’t soar at life if you don’t first learn to F.L.Y.!



My Insanity LIVE Training

Let’s start this a few months back, when my friend Beverly posted in a Coach Facebook Group about ShaunT HIMSELF coming to St Louis to do an Insanity LIVE training.  I was like….Well…..I haven’t actually even done Insanity, and not real sure it is something I could sell OR EVEN TEACH FOR THAT MATTER, in my small rural gym.  But I believe in going to live training events for my business, and anything that you just want to be better at, so I decided to sign up.  Not really sure if I would like it, or EVER teach it.

But come this past Saturday morning, I got in my car and drove to St Louis.  Excited, scared, nervous, having anxiety about my jacked up knee and how much I would have to modify, and very unsure of where my life was actually heading after this day.  But I chose to do my best to keep an open mind and a positive attitude.


WELL….Let me tell you……Saturday changed my out look on MANY things!



THE FIRST being, this man is AMAZING! 

Even MORE AMAZING than I thought before.  I have always adored him and loved his dance programs, and to hear him speak, has always been one of my favorite things about going to Coach Summit.  He just has a way of speaking that touches me to my core.  And Saturday was NO EXCEPTION!

By the end of the day, between him and the AWESOME Chip Hoffa, Master Trainer, I was EXHAUSTED!  But I was also a Certified Insanity LIVE Instructor!

AND even more importantly, I had a revived feeling of excitement about not only the future of my studio and fitness classes, but of my own health and fitness journey.  I CAN DO HARD THINGS!

I felt ALIVE!

And I even felt more ready to start the new program I started Monday, LIIFT4 with Joel Freeman on Beachbody On Demand.  And so far, I am SORE AF, but I am LOVING it!  Remember I am a Fitness Professional, and we are all a bit twisted! LOL!

So if you are local to me, watch my schedule for Insanity LIVE classes as early as the first week of August, which you can find on My Google Calendar!  And even if you are not, keep tabs on my fitness journey and what I am up to next on IG – @bodybybrendat or on Facebook, you can find me at Body By BrendaT or Phoenix Fitness With Body By BrendaT.




ON EDIT….I wanted to add this post from my Facebook Page to help share with you WHY this Saturday meant so much to me.

37121527_1831932000230731_6123491846371934208_nody By BrendaT is with Shaun T.

Published by Brenda Turnbaugh · July 15 at 10:48 AM · 

I got to meet this AMAZING man yesterday. And if you know me, you know that even with this once in a lifetime chance, I sat back away from him, and nearly didn’t talk up when I had something I wanted to talk to him about. But when he said,”One more question.” To my surprise, my hand shot up! 😨😱😰
Yes, I talked to him. Yes, I got emotional. Yes, he gave me some AWESOME advice. But when Shaun T is talking to you and during that conversation, he says TRUST, and puts his right arm out, and then BELIEVE and puts his left arm out displaying his tattoos of those words, it feels like a huge hug of faith and belief in a way I had never felt before.
I have been in the room several times for talks from him where he did that to the audience. But yesterday, he did it TO ME! He was directly addressing Me!
I am bawling as I type this, because it meant so very much to me ❤️
I battle believing in me often. But yesterday something changed.
I went to Summit this year hoping for a renewed energy. As fun and informative and uplifting as it was, that <5 minute conversation with ShaunT did more for me than anything has in the last few years. It gave me back the feeling that even though I have struggled, I can still BELIEVE IN ME!!!

And I am going to become a force to be reckoned with. So join me, follow me, or get the HELL out of my way! It is time for this Old Girl to Trust and Believe that the AMAZING LIFE that she deserves is out there waiting for her! Time to go get it!❤️💪❤️

Celebrate EVERY Accomplishment Along The Way! *Even when it feels like you are going backwards*

I wasn’t going to post this, because it is by far not the most flattering picture of me, but DANG IT, I am PROUD of my accomplishments!
I was brought up on stage during one of our workshops at the 2018 Beachbody Coach Summit that I attended last week, to celebrate my 100+ pound weight loss!
I didn’t want to go up, because I have gained some back, and instead of being down the 148# that I was at my lowest, I am only down right around 100#. So I wasn’t going to go up, but then with some encouragement from my team, I thought HECK WITH IT! I DESERVE THIS!!! I busted my ass, and still do to try to maintain and even lose some of the weight that I put back on.
Sometimes LIFE happens. That doesn’t mean I gave up, it simply means that things happen, like illness, injury, family issues, and menopause. But I have lived through 100% of my bad days so far, so I know that I can power through any storm to come! ❤
And today as I saw this picture for the first time, I realized that I felt GRATEFUL!
Grateful for my team. Grateful for anyone who has ever supported me on my journey.  Grateful for Beachbody.  Grateful for ALL of the opportunities and friendships that fitness has brought into my life.  Grateful that I didn’t listen to all of my doctors and got up off the couch, put down the booze and cigarettes, got off the pills, and MADE My Health Journey HAPPEN! I could have continued to accept that I was broken. That I was going to be disabled for the rest of my life. But that wasn’t good enough for the little voice in my head. At 296#, that voice told me to do something before I died! So I did! And OH BOY has my life been happier and more rich since making that choice. No one will ever take that away from me. Not haters. Not Mean Girls. Not anyone who looks at me at the weight I am now and tells me I should lose the weight BEFORE I teach another class or train another client. To them ALL, I say STICK IT IN YOUR EAR! I GOT THIS! 😉😘

I Don’t Have 60 Minutes A Day 6-7 Days a Week to Workout!

YES, that includes ME!  That is why I am excited to bring to you a fellow NASM CPT’s new program!  Yes, LIIFT4 from Beachbody Super Trainer, and my virtual buddy 😉 , Joel Freeman!

OK, I know that I seem to be excited about ALL new Beachbody programs, but with my busy life, LIIFT4 is seriously my kind of workout!  30-40 minute workouts 4 days a week??? UHHHH…..YES PLEASE!!!

As a Beachbody Coach, I often feel guilty that I don’t have time to actually do many of our programs.  I teach about 10 hours of fitness classes each week, have PT clients, run Phoenix Fitness With Body By BrendaT fitness studio on my own, am a Beachbody Coach, have a family(yes, the kids all have fur!), and work full time.  That doesn’t leave too much time to do a 60 minute workout every day without sacrificing sleep.  Which you NEED to repair and recover from doing hard workouts!  In fact, I have learned over the past 18 months, that my being a sleep martyr does absolutely NO GOOD for anyone.  It causes illness, hormonal imbalance, and can actually BACKFIRE as far as fitness goal are concerned.  In the last 3 weeks, since I have been getting more sleep, I haven’t lost much fat yet, but my muscle tone is finally starting to take better shape again!

My point of this post…

I want EVERYONE who says they don’t have time for exercise to hit me up, because we ALL(even me with my schedule) have 2-2.5 hours a week that we can dedicate to our health and fitness without sacrificing sleep or even family time.  I know this, because I bet this blog isn’t the ONLY thing you have read on the internet today!  Am I right???

Here is a quick video from Mr Joel Freeman himself showing you a bit about the program.


So after watching that, if you are ready to build lean muscle and burn fat in just 4 days a week with Super Trainer, Joel Freeman, and his newest no-nonsense workout program. You will lift.  You will HIIT.  You will build lean muscle. AND You will burn fat!  THEN, you will rest on 3 scheduled recovery days.

LIIFT4 fully launches exclusively on Beachbody On Demand on October 1st.


BUT…..but LIIFT4 will be available for sale for VIP Early Access on June 11th, 2018 with a completion pack including the digital unlock, for Beachbody On Demand All Access Members, with the workouts for the VIP Early Access actually going live on July 16th. 

Message me TODAY to get on my VIP wait list & get first access on June 11 AND The special SURPRISE Sneak Peek on Monday, June 4th!!!

Email – bodybybrendat@outlook.com

Facebook Messenger  – Body By BrendaT or Phoenix Fitness with Body By BrendaT

Text your email and any questions to 217-316-0683


Real Talk on FOOD!

Yes, I did mean to SCREAM food!  I know I am not the only one who gets totally frustrated daily with food.

Do you struggle with nutrition?

Do you think that because you workout you can just eat whatever you want?

Was the above statement true 8-10 years ago, and all of a sudden, you are going through some hormonal changes and NOTHING seems the same?


Do you think that fitness professionals have it ALL FIGURED out for ourselves ALL THE TIME and are all a consistent size 0?

If you answered YES to any of the above, I would LOVE to get you in my June Nutrition Success and Accountability Group.  Because your mindset is NOT in the right place!  And you, like me, need some help fixing your relationship with food and fitness.

In this group, we will be using the 2B Mindset program, and you WILL be required to order the program through me!  No ifs, ands, or buts! It is the only way I can be your Team Beachbody Coach and that we can work together.  And  If you want a $20 discount, we need to get this done by 6/1/18.  And I would be happy to sign you up as a Coach on my team and you can either work the business, or simply enjoy the future discounts as well as joining an Exclusive Facebook Group for Team Beachbody Coaches ONLY, with the Creator of 2B Mindset, but also only if you purchase and become a coach BEFORE 6/1/18.

Now, before you even ask, I will tell you honestly, that NO, I have not had a huge weight loss on it myself yet.  BUT, I have only been using the program myself for 2 weeks and lost 3# while having two really tough weekends in a row 😛  And since this is not a program with a set amount of days, but a nutrition course to learn how to fix your relationship with food and therefore, your mindset about it forever.  I have done my best to follow most of the principles and track my food – the good, the bad, and the down right ugly- but the last 2 weekends, I let old habits take over my brain.  Am I proud of that?  NOPE!  It is just a fact of life!  I, like you, am also a struggling human trying to figure out how to get my own mindset in a healthier place.  But I will also tell you that I LOVE her principles, and they are very close to how I lost my initial weight.  I HATED measuring, and I eyeballed most things, so portion control has always been tough and my “calorie counting” was always a bit off.  Maybe too high some days and too low others.  But with 2B Mindset, you measure by your plate.  No, not a special plate, just knowing what to give the biggest priority to during each meal and snack.  So it is NOT difficult, and you don’t have a doctorate in mathematics to do it!

10 years ago when I started this journey, I was freaked out because I was 37, disabled, smoked like a chimney, drank like a fish, weighed- at the very heaviest I ever saw on a scale- 296#, and was scared to death that I was going to die before I hit 40!  So I logged all of my food.  I started exercising VERY SLOWLY!  And I reached out and found a support group with some awesome leaders!  And I lost 147#!  Then I started lifting and gaining muscle- and some weight which freaked me out- but at 165# I was fit, healthy, and wearing the same size I probably wore in 1st grade!  A size I never knew was even possible for me!  A size 4!

Today, I am 47, still technically disabled, but whatever, haven’t smoked in 9+ years, cut way back on drinking, but I do still enjoy my beer and an occasional Fireball and Root Beer or moscato, and although I am once again overweight, only by about 35#, NOT 146#, and I wear a size 8-10.  As most of you know, I have been fighting the inevitable battle of becoming a middle aged woman and ALL the glorious hormonal changes that come with that.  AND all the fantastic things that those hormones can do to our bodies.  And yes, that was meant to be dripping with sarcasm! 😉 LOL!

So, even though I am not now where I want to be, I am FAR from where I started! 


This is a journey.  This is life.  The point is not the END destination, but how you live while you are here!  And I want to live healthy and happy!  Spending my hours in the gym or doing healthy meal prep, or hours in dialysis and recovering from major cardiac events?  I have seen both HARDS!  The latter scares me so bad, that I am having anxiety right now thinking about the possibility of it being my fate.  And I plan to do everything I can to keep that from happening to me.  And the more I learn, the more I want to help others do the same.  So if you are looking for support and guidance through your journey, I would love to have you join me.

Find me on Facebook or email me at bodybybrendat@outlook.com

How 2 Bunnies Are Helping Me Improve My Relationship With Food!

I know what you are thinking!

Brenda, have you lost your mind?

What in the heck could 2 Bunnies possibly have to do with your relationship with food?

WELL…Not only are they going to help me restore a HEALTHY relationship with food, but they have already helped me shed more than 4# in the first week!

OK, so it’s not THESE Bunnies!

2 Bunnies has to do with the 4 Main Principles of the new program I am doing from Beachbody.  And get this…..NO EXERCISE IS REQUIRED!  Of course, exercise is ALWAYS recommended for overall health, but it is not required for this nutrition program.  It is EXTRA CREDIT!

So, now I am guessing your questions are…

What IS this wonderful Program?


How can I get it?

Meet Ilana Muhlstein, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and her new program 2B Mindset~


So, have I peaked your interest?

I hope so!

There are a few different ways to get 2B Mindset, and with one, you get to be added to an Exclusive Facebook Group with Ilana herself, so hit me up ASAP, and I would love to have you join me on this journey, or even become a team member and help me help others AND get access to an Exclusive Facebook Group WITH Ilana, while we fight to win this war we have with our mindset when it comes to food!

Feel free to comment below, email me at bodybybrendat@outlook.com, message me on Facebook, or you can even text my business line at 217-316-0683.

Quit or Fail Forward?

I have been battling some internal struggles lately.

Are my dreams stupid?

Is it time to give them up?

Has my WHY changed?

Do I have it in me to succeed?

Am I reaching out to the wrong people?

Why did I lose so much of the support I had even a year ago?

Did I change?

Did My goals change

Did THEIR goals change?

What should I do next?

Is an 8-5 employee all I will ever be?

Do I deserve more?

Do I deserve happiness?

Am I even worthy of my hopes and dreams?


That last one STOPPED my thinking right in its tracks!

WHY on Earth am I questioning my WORTH?

I KNOW I am worthy of great things!

I BELIEVE that God put me here for MORE!

I BELIEVE that I do my best EVERY DAY and deserve the best to come back to me!


Things I have to remember:

I do not control other people’s actions!

I can not help those who don’t FEEL my message, or are simply in too negative of a mindset themselves at this moment to accept my positive mindset into their lives.

If I present a solution to someone, no matter how much I want to see them succeed, they can’t without putting in the work, and that is on them!

I know there are more people who want my help are out there!  I just need to search for a new way to find them.  Which probably means it is time for me to get UNCOMFORTABLE!

After coming this far, WHY would I Ever QUIT NOW???

If you have read this far, THANK YOU!  Thank You for listening!  Sometimes when things aren’t going as planned, I start to doubt myself.  Doubt my abilities and what I stand for.  I know that I am good at what I do!  And I know that I LOVE the fitness studio that I have built, Phoenix Fitness with Body By BrendaT, and being a Beachbody Coach, more than anything else I have ever done!  I know that if I figure out a way to reach out to the people who relate to me, that I could do great things with who I have become.  I CAN and I WILL!

Because the OLD ME tried to surface and tear me down just because something wasn’t clicking into place.  Well, the OLD ME was WEAK!  The OLD ME would let something like someone else not believing in me, break me down.

The NEW ME?  Quite Frankly, doesn’t Give a F#@K what they think!

I’m STRONGER than the beat down girl that I used to be!


Happy Birthday, Marian!

April 10th.  The day I dread all year long.  It is the day that a quite literal piece of me went to heaven.   You see, my daughter, Marian, was born and died April 10, 1989.  The day after my 18th birthday.  Little did I know at the time, that the 5 1/2 months I spent with her would be the closest I would ever get to being a mother.  She will always be with me, but there will also always be a part of me that will grieve the loss of my child.


As I was getting ready for work this morning, I thought WOW!  Marian would be 29 today.  I always think of her as a baby, but if she were alive today, she could quite possibly have babies of her own.  I would be a Grandma!  What a beautiful thought ❤ 

But that was not in the hand I was dealt.  I was never blessed with children.  I often wonder how different my life may have been, but I am happy now, so why dwell, right?  But I still can’t help but wonder sometimes.

Today as I am trying to get into my work, I just had to dump some thoughts and feelings so I could go on about my day.  I do still get down sometimes about not being a Mom.  I do still love babies.  I am blessed with more nieces, nephews, and great- nieces and nephews than I can count anymore that I love to pieces!  I do still have days that I don’t want to be around babies, although they are much fewer and far between these days.  Today, however, being one of them, but only because I have a TERRIBLE COLD! 😛

So, I write this blog mainly to say Happy Birthday Marian!  Mommy LOVES You!  And I will speak for the rest of the family and say, that we all wish we could have met you.  Here, once again, is Daddy’s Poem for you.


In Memory Of Marian

I hear the cry of a child

From far, far away

And I wonder if the crying

Is my Marian trying to say:

It’s OK, so please don’t frown,

It was not your fault at all.

Now I am sitting here in Heaven

And GOD said that I could call.

So I called to say I love you,

And I hope that you’re alright.

I hope my call won’t sadden you,

And keep you up all night.

Well, I have to go now.

Please be happy and don’t fret.

‘Cause I am sitting here on GOD’s lap

Getting the best care I can get.


‘Till we meet again ❤