Failed Again!?!


It has been brought to my attention by someone other than myself that I am too fat to wear fitted clothes right now!  WOW!  That one hit me right between the eyes.  BUT, I needed to hear it!  I have let the stress of life take me over for far too long.  Then last week, I took a Stay-cation and did very little moving, while eating whatever the heck I wanted.  Well, the results of all of this negative activity is showing up in a broader booty and waistline. 😦

So, as I struggle to get back on the right path, I feel like it is time to once again share my WHY with the world.  My WHY’s for getting healthy and fit are mainly selfish.  First and foremost, I really want to be HOT!  I know, I know….  How shallow, right?  But have you ever been the “ugly duckling”?  If you have, then you know where I am coming from.  I also want to feel AMAZING in any clothes I want to wear.  Now, I know that I am never going to look like Kate Upton in a bikini, but I am NOT Kate Upton!  I am Brenda Turnbaugh!  And being MY very best is good enough for me!  That may be a size 8/10, that may be a size 4/6, but whatever it is, as long as I know in my heart that I am giving MY life, MY VERY VERY BEST EFFORT, I am going to be OK with it!

But recently I have felt like a 100% FAILURE!  As a fitness coach, as a fitness instructor, as a role model, and even as as a person.  I realize now that none of that is true!  We all have trying times in our lives that we have to work through and get past.  But you live it, deal with it, dig deep to find your strength to move on, and never give up

So I am a little “fluffy” right now!  You know what?  FAILURES HAPPEN!  LIFE HAPPENS!


Yes, I have some weight to lose.

Yes, I am back up to a number on the scale that I NEVER wanted to see again.

And, Yes, I feel pretty “blah” about how I look and feel right now.

But I am working on forgiving myself for letting it get out of hand, and putting the stress, guilt, self-destruction, and self-sabatoge behind me!  Honestly, what other choice do I have?



So, I know how to lose weight.  I know how to keep 100+ pounds off for 5 years.  Now I just need to figure out how to succeed at doing it longer.  I am not worried.  I’ve met me! 🙂  And I know of my determination and enthusiasm to succeed and help others succeed in this battle against obesity! 🙂

winston churchill


Next week, I start the next chapter of my story, by starting Shaun T’s Focus T25 and dedicating more time to my own fitness and nutrition program again.  I am very excited for the next 10 weeks, and would love for any of you to join in for support and accountability!

Go to my Home Page at and fill out the form.  Then send me an email at telling me you are done with it, and I will help you get you started TODAY!!! 🙂

Something to be Proud of

I have been challenged today to show someone something AMAZING about myself that I am proud of.  Well, if you know me, that is hard for me, because I don’t always think so highly of myself, or give myself much credit.

I have been working on my flexibility for quite some time, and PiYo is helping me quite a bit, and I am improving.  But I don’t have any newer pics showing those improvements.  So I was looking at this pic of me from 2 years ago(I can actually go farther down now).


OK, so that may not look overly impressive by too many standards.  BUT…what if I showed you pictures of what my 3rd back surgery entailed like these?

back fusionlumbar fusionMakes me realize how lucky I am, and what a fast downward spiral I was on.  Makes me remember every agonizing day at the beginning when I just wanted to touch my toes.  I remember how much I had to work just to get my atrophied hamstrings to start moving at all.

So, I guess I am saying that I am proud of the work I put in to make my disability a NON-issue.  I am now at 43 in better shape, healthier, and quite frankly, skinnier 😉 , than I was at 21 years old, BEFORE my injury and the first back surgery.

If I can do THAT, I think it is time to stop asking “Why Me?”, as in “Why did this happen to me?”, and stop letting it hold me back and be an excuse to fail.  And start asking, “Why NOT Me?” and allow more success into my life!  They say the road to success is lined with failure.  Well, that road may be straight up the side of a mountain, but I have already showed myself that I know how to fail, so I will keep climing.  Success must be just up this road!  SEE YOU AT THE TOP!



Yep, I am STILL here!  It has been a crazy busy last few months!  With a FT job, being a Zumba Instructor, Beachbody Coaching, selling our Dad’s house(and clearing it of 48 years worth of memories), and still trying to find time to relax occasionally with my friends and family so they remember what I look like, I have found little time to write.  Which really stinks, because some of my best days always follow me spilling my guts on this blog and sharing myself with the world.

I am listening to the most amazing book on my commute to work this week, and I am finding it VERY pertinent to many of us who struggle with believing in ourselves and finding our worthiness to be the AWESOME people we have the opportunity, the desire, and the RIGHT to be! We just need to have faith in ourselves and take that leap! I KNOW I can be a magnificent Beachbody Coach, motivator, accountability leader, and all around Inspirational Badass! But I hold myself back.


One reason I think of, is that I can’t do it as fast or in the exact same way that others that I have witnessed “make it”, so I figure my way “CAN’T” be right. It “CAN’T” work!



If everyone was EXACTLY the same, and only connected to that ONE type of person, the world would be a pretty boring place. On my personal page yesterday, I posted a pic of Kurt Cobain with the quote, “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are.”  I am failing because I am trying to be someone else.  I am trying to 100% duplicate what works for THEM, without adding any “Brenda” to it.  Obviously that is NOT going to work.

In the book I am listening to, “You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero, Jen says, “You are the ONLY You there is, and you are the only You there ever will be!”  She goes on to say, “Do not deny the world the only chance it will ever have to bask in your brilliance.”

At first I giggled at that, and thought WHY would anyone ever want to “bask in my brilliance”?  Do I even have “brilliance”?  And is it REALLY worth basking in?  Then I got to thinking about something someone said to me just last night.  A person who I recently met for just a few minutes, told a friend, “…there is something special about her.”  I of course just laughed it off as I do all compliments.  But it really hit a spot in my heart that made me wonder….”Is he right?”  Do I truly have these gifts to offer the world and help others SEE IN THEMSELVES what they truly can be?  The old line, “If I can do it, anyone can”  UGH!  I heard it a thousand times when I was fat.  Shoot!  I have used it several times myself!  I hate the way it sounds.  So cliche, so insincere.  BUT, I do believe that each person has a “WHY” deep inside them.  And once they identify it, with that “WHY” in mind each day, they CAN accomplish what they long to achieve.  Be the person they truly WANT to be.

It isn’t magic.

But it IS “MAGICAL”!

When I FINALLY found MY WHY deep inside of me, and I decided once and for all to lose the weight, quit smoking, become a casual drinker instead of a daily drunk, quit smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day, fight to get past the depression and pain, and LIVE MY LIFE, it happened for me.  When I finally realized that what I was doing was keeping me in a state of “Chronic Unhappiness” even though I was married to my best friend, had a job, a roof over my head, a car, family who cared about me, and so many other blessings, THAT is the day I was truly BORN!  This IS the ME that I am meant to be!  This is who I am being lead to share with the world.

Maybe you don’t need my help.  Maybe you don’t need my kind of accountability coaching.  Maybe you don’t need my services, products, or friendship.  But that’s OK.  Find those who you connect with.  This is a BIG world!  And there are people out there who want to help YOU grow to YOUR full potential.

If you would like to connect with me more on a daily basis, come where I live.  And by that, I mean, please visit me on by FB page Body By Brenda, and follow me on IG and Twitter @bodybybrenda .

As Always, MAKE today GREAT!

And I will SEE YOU AT THE TOP!!!

My Life and Childhood Obesity

I want to put something out here that has been on my mind and heart lately.

Many of you know that I was a “fat kid”. I wasn’t sweet and cute, I was overweight, had thick glasses, and I was smart. NOT a great combo, ESPECIALLY when the subject is bullying. But even WORSE when the subject is self-respect, self-love, self-image, self-esteem, and self-WORTH!

Things as simple as doing my favorite thing in the world, which was going to our town’s public pool with my friends, was actually just another stressful situation in my life. Oh sure, I had some great friends who never cared, and stuck up for me when the bullies would bother me, and I even pretended to laugh a lot of it off. But the scars from that pain just went deeper and deeper. At the age of 9, I even had a nervous breakdown and was put into a hospital where I was supposed to get help. I got something, but it was NOT help! But that is another subject altogether. Point is, I had no idea what “being normal” even meant. I was always the “chubby girl”, “fat friend”, or my personal favorite “big-boned girl”! UGH! But what did I do about it? I turned to MORE food! It was my only solace. Sometimes, my only friend. ESPECIALLY when my friends started dating! At 12, I started sneaking Dexatrim diet pills, and abusing laxatives. I would eat ONLY jarred baby food for days until I would almost pass out from hunger, and then eat everything in sight.

In my twenties, the pain was so deep, that I was actually happy that there was a very high chance that I could not have children, because I feared that I would have a girl and she would be just like me! That was the last thing I EVER wanted for a kid. Especially MY kid! Then when we decided to really find out IF children were even a possibility, I decided that if we had one, I would just monitor the food. I would be sure they weren’t a video gamer and got outside to play and get into sports. The same things that I went through would NOT happen to my KID!

However, as most of you know, we were never blessed with children. BUT. Now as a fit adult with the understanding of a “less than fit” past, I can relate to many other people’s struggles. Including young girls. This is one reason I enjoy doing Zumba with the Girl Scouts, and why I love that there will be children EVERWHERE at the Relay For Life event I am doing Zumba at on June 13th in Quincy, IL. AND why I ALWAYS encourage people to bring their children along to my classes for FREE!!!

Unfortunately, I used to think, “I can’t be everywhere, and I can’t help inspire and motivate them all.”

But through this blog, through social media, through word of mouth. I have the power to reach a LOT more than I even dreamed possible. But you know what? If I can help even ONE girl feel better about herself. Make her realize that just because she is not the perfect girl that is portrayed in movies, tv shows, music videos, on the internet, and in magazines, does NOT mean that she has no worth!

Even if I have to do it by motivating and helping their moms, I MUST try to do whatever is in my power to keep children from feeling like they are less of a person because they are overweight. Helping the kids when I can and helping the Moms AND Dads be better role models to help give them a fighting chance. I didn’t have that, but the kids in my life, whether they are mine or not, will always know that being active and having fun WHILE being fit is an AMAZING way to live your life!

Just because I am not a Mom, does NOT mean that I can’t have a positive influence on the children of the world.

Let me know how I can help you be a good fitness role model for the little ones watching YOU!Fathers-Day-push-ups-972281_591998907497032_1479004053_n

What Inspires You?

Two years ago in October, my friend, Charlie, basically dragged me kicking and screaming to my first FIT class at Legacy Martial Arts!  I had lost 125# with the support of a few online friends and a lot of hard work all on my own.  I never had a trainer.  I never followed a specific “diet”, I just slowly stopped eating “junk” and started eating clean and healthy at least 80% of the time.   And I had NEVER been to a group fitness class.  In the beginning, I walked and did Tony Horton’s 10-Minute Trainer.  Then I added some Biggest Loser DVD’s and Jillian Michaels’ workout DVD’s, until I finally got up the guts to join a gym.  After that, I became a gym rat and did cardio and lifted weights 6 days a week.  

But Charlie knew how much I had come to love fitness, and was convinced that Mr Bentley’s FIT class at Legacy would be something I would enjoy.  The rest as they say is history! 🙂  Now, not only do I go to Legacy 3 times a week, I have taken MMA classes, BJJ classes, I am the Zumba instructor, teach a 20-minute Tabata-style class once a week, and have even filled in and taught FIT several times.  They Legacy Family has become my Fitness Family, and I have met some of the best friends I have ever had there.  Choosing to allow health and fitness into my life, has not only gotten me in the best shape I could ever be in, but I have grown so much as a person.

That brings me to why I am writing this post.  Last year was my second year doing the Biggest Loser Challenge with Legacy Martial Arts, in which Mr Bentley offers FREE FIT classes to anyone who wants to participate.   It started out STRONG, but by the end we had less than half of what we started with.  Which is unfortunately pretty typical.  The odds of finishing a fitness goal, especially without support, are NOT good.  And I am not saying that there is not support at Legacy, but you have to be willing to give and receive.  Sometimes even go the extra mile.  This year, I am the Zumba instructor and just like in years past, my classes are also FREE during this challenge.  I have tried to tell people about my website and Facebook pages, because even if they do not want a Beachbody program or Shakeology right now, One, that doesn’t mean they never will, and TWO, Maybe, just maybe I will someday post that one thing that makes “it” click for them!

This year’s Challenge Group, so far has been SO INSPIRING!  I am enjoying it SO much.  Every class has gotten BIGGER!  And each week there is more and more inspiration in the building!  THAT is what inspires me!  Watching people take steps to improving their health.


It is time to STOP HIDING!  Find YOUR light and get out there and SHINE!!!

stand out

I’m a BAD, BAD Blogger!

I was thinking last night, that I TOTALLY did the 30-Days To a More Confident You series that I am doing on my Facebook page backwards!  I should be posting it here first!  Still learning the best ways to reach the greatest number of people that I can.

So, I don’t know if this is the answer, but here is the first 18 Days and I will post the last 12 here and then share it on my FB page.  I hope it works out this way, if not, I will adjust again.

As Always, thanks for reading!


DAYS 1 – 18 of 30 – Days to A More Confident You!

Day 1 “Take A Risk!”

What that means to me?

Is there something you want, but to do it or get it, will mean getting out of your comfort zone? Do you feel in your heart that this thing will make you happier, healthier, or in some other way make your life more fulfilling? Then DO IT! Take the first step!

I have wanted to do some of the things I am doing right now for a LONG time, but I was too scared to take the risk, because it meant spending a little money. It meant putting myself out there. It meant working on my self-confidence, something I have always struggled with. But I HAVE to try! How will I know if I can be successful if I don’t REALLY try?

You have to TAKE A RISK! For me, taking the risk was one thing that I feel finally pushed me over the edge. Will success come quickly? Will everything fall into place for me now? Will I reach teh right audience and get my message to those who need my help and are willing to take their own risk? Who knows? But a plan without action is just a day dream. Time to stop planning and start ACTING!


MAKE today GREAT!!!

Day 2 – Understand that it is (USUALLY) NOT about You!

This one used to TOTALLY be Me!

Any time someone is in a bad mood, is angry, or even is just acting “off”, I worry that I am the reason. I would get all wound up thinking that they I had done something, and kill myself trying to figure it out.

Well….my bubble was usually bursted when I would find out that their world did NOT revolve around me, and that there was something else wrong. And some people are just simply NEGATIVE! Those are people you want to get away from, because they will NEVER help you boost your confidence. They will continue to try to drag you down into their dark little world and make you as miserable as they are.

So, if you have done something to someone, it MAY be you, but if that is not the case, you are probably NOT the problem.

Time to tackle this day!

Make Good Choices! Be Confident!

MAKE today GREAT!!!

Day 3 – Strike Out on Your Own!

Today’s topic is one thing that I think really helped me! I LOVE my husband, but he did NOT take this journey with me. He is a super fun guy, but until he gets to know people, he is actually pretty quiet and is a stay at home kind of personality. And after putting more importance on alcohol than friendships for so long, I really didn’t have many friends left by the time I made my decision to get healthy. I worked out at home in the beginning, but once I was ready to join a gym, go to a class, and even join the run club, I knew I was doing it ALONE! But I bit the bullet and did it!

My point? Don’t be afraid to do something on your own. If no one you know wants to try hang gliding, and you do….GO FOR IT!!! Find an instructor and GO! Don’t let fear of being alone hold you back.

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Day 4 – Make a Personal Brag List

So often, we focus so much on the bad that has happened or is happening in our lives, that we forget to celebrate all of the good that has not only happened to us, but that we have done! But think about it! In your life, what good things have you done in your life. 
For instance, I personally forget to celebrate the HUGE 180 that I did with my health by losing over 100#, when I have a little slip up and gain 10# back! But I STILL did that! I quit smoking, and have not had a cigarette in nearly 5 years! Heck, considering all that was going on in my life, like being pregnant at 17 and then losing Marian at 5.5 months, I graduated from high school! That in and of itself was a point of celebration in my life! But at the time, the only thing focused on was all that I had “messed up” in my life by getting pregnant. I forgot to celebrate the good!

So I challenge everyone reading this, to get out a pen and paper and make YOUR OWN PERSONAL BRAG LIST! Even if you just have time to scribble a couple things on a post it, do it! Focus on the good! Focus on the positive! And remember….YOU DID those great things, so you MUST be GREAT!

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Day 5 – Find a Mantra and Say it Out Loud!

One of my all time favorites is from William W. Purkey:

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”

I have spent most of my life caring too much about what others think. Worrying that I am not good enough. I am not a fan of debating or confrontation, but I also am not a fan of someone dogging me. I wrestled with anger issues for most of my life, and it took a lot of soul searching to get to where I am now. Because I never wanted to ruffle any feathers, I would stuff all of my emotions down for so long until it would come out in full on rage. Many times through hurting myself in various ways.

There are days I still wrestle with these issues, but I have learned MUCH better outlets for those emotions now. And learning to not put as much value in what everyone thinks, I am a much happier person. I think back just 3 or 4 years ago, and even though I always LOVED to dance, would have NEVER pictured myself TEACHING Zumba let alone fitness classes! Getting up in front of a group so they can all judge me? NO THANK YOU! Now? I just hope I do a good job and that my students enjoy the class.

I have this mantra written in my journals, on my computer, on a piece of paper in my purse, I even listen to The Newsboys, “Dance”, when I need to HEAR it. On days that I am feeling not “good enough” to get up in front of people, you can bet that this is the phrase going through my head. Find a mantra that helps you and repeat it OFTEN! Put it everywhere so that you see it many times throughout the day.

Time for me to get ready to go. We are spending the afternoon at a friends house, and I am sure they would prefer me showered after that sweaty FIT class! LOL!

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Day 6 – Wear What You Love!

Ok…WOW! I know I am the one who put this in here, and now I am questioning WHY?!?!? This one is very hard for me. I still catch myself wearing “safe” clothes most of the time. And I have a friend, a fellow Beachbody coach, who loves her body no matter what size she is. She is an EXTREMELY size 16W, and she has absolutely no problem wearing her bikini to the beach with her family. And she looks BEAUTIFUL in it, because she is fully confident in herself and very proud of all the hard work she has put a lot of hard work into her body! I have too! And even where I am right now, I am NOT confident enough in my body to wear my bikinis in public. To be 100% honest, I am not comfortable in a swimsuit that DOES cover my belly. Isn’t it amazing what a childhood full of people poking you in your belly like the Pilsbury Dough Boy(INCLUDING MY PEDIATRICIAN) can do to you psyche? I SO want to get past this past torment! I am NOT that fat little girl anymore! Am I a supermodel size 2? NO, but I am probably never going to be. So WHY? I can put the pics online for the whole world to see, but if I had to look you in the face at the same time, I would not be as confident.

So, my goal for the end of my 2013 Summer Body By Brenda Challenge, was to wear my bikini if we went anywhere for Labor Day that a swimsuit would be appropriate attire. And I am thinking that going through this 30 days with you is going to help me.

So whether it is avoiding fun summer events because you are too embarrassed to be in a swim suit, or wearing the cute dress because you think it won’t look quite right, the only rule, is FIT! Make sure you buy the proper size so that it FITS you correctly, and go out and WEAR it! Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for feeling great about yourself! I have heard a million times, that being comfortable and confident in her own skin is what makes a woman beautiful.

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!


Day 7 – Blow Your Reflection A Kiss!

I LOVE this one! :)~ How often do you look in the mirror after getting ready to go out and start criticizing everything that isn’t perfect instead of saying to yourself, “You look good, Girl! Go out and flaunt it and have some fun!”

I admittedly have struggled with this, but I’m getting better!

So, the next time you go past a mirror. Just blow yourself a little kiss! Say, “You are doing great! Keep up the good work!” Show yourself that LOVE! Sometimes outside support is all but non existent, and you have to be your OWN biggest cheerleader!

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Day 8 – Change Your Tone Of Voice!

By Change Your Tone of Voice, I am talking about the one that you speak to yourself in. I have noticed in that if I spoke to my friends and family the way I speak to myself, I would be one LONELY GIRL! Well if you wouldn’t expect someone else to sit and take it, WHY do you think you deserve to spoken to in that way? Change Your Tone! Instead of saying “Can’t”, say, “I am currently unable to…(fill in the blank), but I am working on it!” When you speak to yourself in a defeatist way, you are defeating yourself before you ever even TRY!

So talk to yourself like you are your biggest cheerleader! Even on days you feel like you are at the bottom of a collapsed pyramid, think of yourself on the top being the one screaming “GO TEAM” the loudest!

Your life can’t change if you keep doing everything the same way! Change what isn’t working, starting with that “Mean Girl(or Guy)” living between your ears!

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Photo: Good Morning!Been a weird day so far.  So happy that even though I didn't hae a full 25 minutes this morning, that I took the 15 minutes I did have and Pushed Play on some Focus T25.  A little early morning exercise is helping with my stress this morning.  On to today's post in my 30-Days To a More Confident You!Day 8 - Change Your Tone Of Voice!By Change Your Tone of Voice, I am talking about the one that you speak to yourself in.  I have noticed in that if I spoke to my friends and family the way I speak to myself, I would be one LONELY GIRL!  Well if you wouldn't expect someone else to sit and take it, WHY do you think you deserve to spoken to in that way?  Change Your Tone!  Instead of saying "Can't", say, "I am currently unable to...(fill in the blank), but I am working on it!"  When you speak to yourself in a defeatist way, you are defeating yourself before you ever even TRY!So talk to yourself like you are your biggest cheerleader!  Even on days you feel like you are at the bottom of a collapsed pyramid, think of yourself on the top being the one screaming "GO TEAM" the loudest!  Your life can't change if you keep doing everything the same way!  Change what isn't working, starting with that "Mean Girl(or Guy)" living between your ears!Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Day 9 – Stand Tall!

Even as I feel more confident in myself, and even am getting out there teaching classes(AND LOVING IT!), I still don’t keep my head high and look people in the eye. I think my reasoning, is that if I don’t look at them, then they can’t really see ME. I have tried to blend in or hide behind everyone else for so long, that being out front and center is still a little tough for me. But I think I am getting better!

Show off your confidence. Stand tall and spread your gifts with the world. You DO matter, and living your life small hurts not just you, but everyone that you are keeping from experiencing the gifts you have to give to the world!

So as I have been telling you every day…..

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Day 10 – Wear the Sexy Underwear!

OK…I know some of you are going, HUH? And yes, this one is mostly for us girls. The subject of this one is dedicated to my friend, Mrs Erin Bentley. A little over a year ago, while in the middle of a workout, we started having the discussion about wearing sexy underwear. I told her that since I still saw myself as a “big girl”, I just could not bring myself to wear it. Her first point was that it was more comfortable during workouts, because it was already where my “granny panties”(as she called them) were ending up! LOL! Her second point, was that wearing sexy underwear could actually help me feel better about myself, because it is harder to feel bad about yourself when you wear HOT and SEXY clothes.

Well, I tried it. She was definitely right on her first point! MUCH BETTER! And on her second? I will say that my husband is thankful to her. LOL! I have always dressed to HIDE myself. It is still difficult for me to show anything off. I have a friend and fellow Beachbody Coach who is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. She is proud of her body and believes she is beautiful no matter what her size. She wears beautiful clothes, and even a bikini to the beach with her family. And she looks gorgeous, because she is confident and proud of all the hard work she puts in to get fit. Is she a size 2? No. But that doesn’t matter to her.

If we wait to be a size 2 and look perfect to wear the “Sexy Underwear” and look like the underwear models??? Well, it will never happen. In fact, it probably would not happen for them even. UNLESS they take their air brushers everywhere with them. Be proud and confident enough to wear the sexy underwear for yourself. No one else will even know, and you can make yourself feel more confident and beautiful without anyone knowing why!

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Day 11 – Be Outrageously Positive!

OUTRAGEOUSLY POSITIVE! What does that mean to me? That means even when I feel like garbage about myself, or when I am struggling and would really like to just hide under a rock, I MUST GO ON! I MUST keep inspiring because that is what makes me feel good about me! To help others on their journey is the the greatest and most Outrageously Positive feeling! And a time of struggle is NOT the time to get negative!

Take the last 6 months for me as an example. I wanted to be in the best shape I have ever been in by this time so that I could do a professional fitness photo shoot with the incredibly AWESOME Stace from KICKPICS – Professional Martial Arts Photography and while he is in Quincy next week. Am I? Sadly NO! All the injuries and frustrations of the past several months have made me feel like I am going backwards. But that does not mean it is time to get negative and throw in the towel. In fact, quite the opposite. I realized it was time to get Outrageously Positive about the things I have accomplished and start re-evaluating what is working now and what isn’t.

Stay positive, and the answers will come. Get negative and down on myself, and what happens? EMOTIONAL BINGE EATING!!! And where will that get me? Only to a deeper, darker place than I was already in. So no feeling negative just because you had a few bad days, weeks, or even months! Be positive and productive and find out what will help you change it all back around.

Is it something that was out of your control? Then control what you can.
Is it something that you changed that is not working for you? Go back to what DID work.
Is it that you have not changed anything in months or years? Maybe it is time to try something new.

No matter what the “issue” is that is holding you back, there IS an answer! You just have to be OUTRAGEOUSLY POSITIVE that you WILL find it. Don’t let your negativity be your wall and excuse! You have NOT done EVERYTHING there is to do yet! Keep looking!

I believe that being negative is like closing a door. Can’t. Won’t. No. And even Try. These are all negative words that bring out negative emotions. Get rid of them. Can. Will. Yes. DO! These words are the words of an Outrageously Positive person. Doors will open! Make the choice to go through them with an open mind and make the necessary changes and invest in YOU!!!

ONLY YOU CAN MAKE A POSITIVE CHANGE YOU!!! No one is, or CAN, do it for you!

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Day 12 – Copy A Good Role Model!

Choose your role models for the right reasons! I have always wanted to be/look like a certain way. But even when I got pretty close, it did not make me happy. Then I decided that the only way I would be happy with myself and the HUGE transformation that I have made, is to help others also fight the battle against obesity and all the diseases that go with it. So I started this page and my blog, but I was lost. I was not sure exactly where to go next. So I joined a Beachbody Coaching Team. Best thing I could have done for myself! No only am I learning what to do next, but I have more tools to offer my clients, a whole team of coaches to help me when I don’t have an answer, and they have introduced me to some great personal development resources, along with finding some wonderful friends! I have found some great role models. Much better than the famous people that I looked up to, who do what I
want to do, but seem to make it all about the fame and fortune, NOT about actually helping people.

Anyway….that is my experience. I want to help people fight the battle I did, because I have been on both sides, and I KNOW which is better. My point is, don’t find role models in people who simply look the way you wan tot look or have what you wish you had. Find role models who got to those places through good, honest ways and CONTINUED to be good and honest people AFTER they got there. Like sports figures. They are so hard to look up to anymore, because so many have taken a BAD path.

OK…I must get ready to go to class! I will talk to you all later:)

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

****A comment that I added to DAY 12 –   I just re-read this, and realized that I should not try to rush these posts. I didn’t even mention the person who first made me think that I even COULD do this, not just as a hobby, but as my LIFE! Thank you for EVERYTHING, especially for believing in me, Mr Robert Bentley!!!****

Day 13 – Remember What you Are Good At!

There will always be things you are good at, and there will be things that you are not so good at. I am OK at many things, but I try to focus on what I am best at. If you spread yourself too thin, you may be able to do many things OK, but never really get anywhere. But, if you concentrate on a few things you are really good at and focus on becoming GREAT at them, then you will excell and not feel like you are just spinning your wheels.

For instance, and I may be paraphrasing because I cannot remember if this is the exact quote from Bruce Lee,

“I am not afraid of the man who practices 10,000 kicks, I am afraid of the man who practices one kick 10,000 times!”

Well, since I lost most of yesterday to a raging headache, and then UFC fights and uninvited tiny guests, I have a TON to do today.

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!

Day 14 – Finish A DIY Project!

This one hit home for anyone BESIDES ME??? LOL! I have so many projects started! But I am going to tell you the two that I am going to choose to finish over the next week. One is my bedroom blind. YUP! Just one of the 3! It has been missing for about 16 months now, and it looks ridiculous! My cat, Kali, ripped it off the window! It has to be cut to size, so I have to actually remember to take the measurement with me when I go, and I keep forgetting. But I WILL get that done this week!

The second, is to finish my filing on my desk so that I can actually USE my desk instead of the kitchen table!

How will doing that help my confidence? Because organization is something that keeps many people from being efficient, which holds you back. I know I need to work on my organization skills to make me more efficient. And the blind thing? It just drives me CRAZY, because when you look at it, it looks sloppy for one, but it leads right back to being unorganized. In the 16 months that it has been down, I have not ONCE bothered to just take the piece that I saved and put it in my car so the next time I am near Home Depot(which is on my way home from work!), I can run in and get one! Now that I admitted this one out loud, I can guarantee it will be done by Saturday!

So FINISH something! Trust me, the sense of accomplishment from finishing even something small, can send your confidence to a new level!

What are YOU going to finish?

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Day 15 – Record a Compliment on your Smart Phone!

I need this today! I am not feeling particularly well this morning. Which would stink on any day, but tonight, I am supposed to get my picture taken by Stace from KICKPICS – Professional Martial Arts Photography and But my sinuses are a mess, and my face feels like someone used it as a punching bag. UGH!

But back to the topic. You may be asking, WHY would I record a compliment on my smart phone to myself. Does it seem vain? Or maybe you can’t think of anything to compliment yourself on??? THAT is where I am coming from. Remember that you were supposed to work on changing the tone of voice in which you talk to yourself?

Well, this goes along with that! I don’t care if the compliment is on your great taste in shoes, COMPLIMENT YOURSELF! If you prefer to not use your phone, and are a “pen to paper” girl, such as myself, that is fine. You don’t NEED to put it on your phone. Right now, get a post it, and write your compliment. Maybe make more than one copy. Put it on your computer, your fridge, your mirror, you dashboard, wherever you will see it/them often.

Mine today is, “If you choose to look back, do it only to celebrate how far you have come! You are Strong! You exude a Positive Outlook! You motivate, inspire, and encourage others to be their best! In summary….YOU ROCK!!!”

What will yours say?

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Day 16 – Cut Yourself Some SERIOUS Slack!

YES! I know if you know me personally, you are thinking to yourself, “Time for Brenda to PRACTICE what she preaches!” LOL! And I am, I promise. I have always struggled with the “All or Nothing” way of thinking. I got it in my head at a young age, that having a “belly” and/or being overweight makes you ugly and of very little worth. So by gaining a little weight(18# total, of which I have lose 6 so far) over the last 8 months and the majority of it going straight to my mid-section, and then you top that with not being able to workout the way I WANT to workout due to the slew of injuries I have been dealing with, I have been pretty nasty to myself.

This is one of the main reasons I wanted to do this confidence booster! Yesterday, a dear friend told me to stop criticizing myself, or at our next FIT class, she was going to punch me! Well….I have SEEN her punch, and want no part of being on the receiving end of it! LOL! Then as I got to Legacy Martial Arts to get my pics taken last night, I realized just what an awful picture I have been painting of myself recently, when Stace from KICKPICS – Professional Martial Arts Photography and told me that I was crazy, that I still looked amazing! Well, he made my night, and I had a wonderful time at the photo shoot. He helped me let all of my fears and hesitations go and just have FUN with it! I was doing a Zumba shoot, so you can only imagine! teehee

So, I am going to STOP beating myself up and cutting myself the slack that I preach to others. As I say all the time, it is not about being THE best, it is about being YOUR best! So I am going to be the best Brenda I can be, and stop trying to be someone I am not.

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Day 17 – Take Time To Exercise!

Kinda self explanatory on this one, but I am going to go a bit deeper on this one for you. Many of my closest friends and family members had no idea that my weight, my back injury, and my struggle with infertility had me so down in my early 30’s that I had started using a lot of Rx pain killers and drinking heavily every night. When I decided to get healthy, it was not JUST about losing weight for me. I had other demons to conquer.

That is why I workout at night. Some people have the theory that if you don’t workout in the morning, that you won’t get good results. Simply not true. Workout WHENEVER it fits you and your schedule! For me, I was trying to replace a bad habit with a good one, so after work was prime for me. I treated it just like any other healthy lifestyle change. Gradual and in moderation. I still enjoy a drink or two with my hubby on date night, at a party, or when I go out with the girls. It just isn’t the most important thing in my life anymore. Being fit and healthy, and now helping others be fit and healthy is.

So EXERCISE! Make YOU and your health a priority! You will be surprised at how doing one thing to make you feel good can help you reach all of your goals, because if you can conquer the lack of motivation to exercise, you can do ANYTHING!

And, since I couldn’t breath to exercise with a cigarette in my mouth, I also quit smoking! YUP! I am almost 5 years SMOKE FREE!!!! WHOOO HOOO!!!

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Day 18 – Post Sticky Notes!

So….this is NOT just because my brother works for 3M! LOL! But I LOVE sticky notes! And they are small enough that you can put them EVERYWHERE! I use them for “To-Do” Lists to help me stay organized. I write quotes to encourage, motivate, or just lift my spirits on them, and put them EVERYWHERE!

And they do help! Write something nice on a sticky note, and put it on your bathroom mirror before you go to bed. Waking up to a compliment can set your mood for the whole day. You will be happier, and more likely to stick to your goals throughout the day. Positivity FEEDS off of Positivity! Same with being negative

So if you start your day off that way, YOU will be positive, you can spread the positive and possibly brighten the day of someone else around you, which will have a ripple effect and keep you in a more positive environment. Which we all know is best for keeping us on track with our goals, no matter what they are. Sometimes we can let one thing going wrong or throwing off our schedule ruin our whole day!

Let’s all MAKE this a GREAT DAY!!!!

Head UP! Shoulders BACK! Smile ON! Now get out there and take on the world!!!

Well….if you had not been following this on Facebook, and you have read this far, THANK YOU!  This catches us up to today.  I will post the remainder in both places, but hope that if you are on FB, that you will follow me at Body By Brenda, and on Twitter @bodybybrenda and IG at @bodybybrenda .

MAKE it a GREAT day!

Schedules and a little Self Discovery!

SCHEDULE?  WHAT’S THAT???  Yeah, that is unfortunately how my year has started:P  Then as soon as I am good to go….something else seems to throw my schedule off again!  Going to start by saying that I feel like I have hit a WALL! 😦  I am pretty sure I am not getting near enough rest lately.  Between being sick, having a broken tooth that ended up with an infection and all the dental pain and dentist appointments that go with that….and then trying to “catch up” on workouts….WOW!  I am physically AND mentally EXHAUSTED!

But, with that said, you know me…I will NEVER quit!  I want to achieve my dreams! I just need to find a bit more balance and get a little more rest!  So today, I am taking my breaks and lunch hour to work on this blog and finish my training schedule, to include the last 8 weeks of my challenge, and all the way up to the IL Half-Marathon on April 27th in Champaign, IL.

I also found out that since I am happier with my life, it has made so many aspects of my life better, including the way I deal with hurt and anger.  I had a problem the last few weeks dealing with the sadness of being “un-included” in an event that I felt I had worked VERY hard for the last few years, and for some reason was not asked to return this year.  I will admit that I was, and frankly still am, a bit hurt.  But I could feel that hurt turning to anger, which leads to GREAT negativity for me.  I am happy now, but have lived too much of my life miserably negative to let the actions of others take me back to that dark place.

So…though I will miss some of the group, I will chalk it up to their loss.  I REFUSE to make ANYONE a priority after they have made ME an option!  Sometimes you have to distance yourself people if they bring more negativity than positive influence to your life.  Some people you can do without….someone that doesn’t support your dreams, someone who criticizes you for your short comings instead of helping to find a solution, or someone who simply makes you question your self worth!  People worth having in your life will NEVER make you feel like you are not “good enough” just because you aren’t THE BEST!!!  Focus on being YOUR best!  Getting fit and living a healthy lifestyle is NOT just about losing weight!  I have lost the weight, but sometimes the mental struggles with yourself is way more difficult than just “not eating the candy bar!”  Find people who you can celebrate the high moments with, AND who will stick around to help you find your way back out of the dark spots.

That is all I have to say about that! 🙂

Time to get after the rest of my day!

Train like you are saving your life.  And SMILE the whole time because you ARE!  Love Ya, Peeps!

MAKE today GREAT!!!!


Wrapping up 2012 and getting ready for 2013

This has been a very busy season for me this year.  Every year, I bake SO MANY cookies, because people “expect” it of me.  Well, this may have been the last year of that tradition.  Don’t get me wrong, I will still do the basics, but NO ONE needs that much sugar, and I am having difficulty staying out of the leftovers.  I will be sending them somewhere VERY SOON!

I also realized as I put together the trays, that I don’t have as many to make anymore:(  I always called my Father-In-Law my “Cookie Monster”.  He loved my Christmas baking for the last 20 years, but sadly we lost him this year, and when it dawned on me that his being gone is one reason I have so much left over, I had to slip into the bathroom away from my husband for a soul cleansing cry.  I also miss my Mom terribly this time every year, because it was her favorite time and we did so much of the decorating and baking and shopping together.  Can’t believe it has been 10 Christmases that she has been gone now.

Tony and I did have a Christmas Party this year, that I hope becomes a new tradition, because I enjoyed it thoroughly, and now know that I CAN invite more people:)  LOL!  My house is small, and I was afraid to invite everyone for fear of room, but I had a blast!  And to me, the more the merrier!  I come from a big family, and slept in a twin bed with my sister for years!  And I enjoyed having kids in my house for Christmas.  We were not blessed with children, but many of my decorations would indicate otherwise, and they are meant to be enjoyed!

OK….so that covers just the Christmas part of my business over the last few weeks.  I had something VERY special done for me on Thursday Dec 13th.  And I wanted to shout it out and share it with everyone…but then the Newtown, Ct tragedy happened, and I almost didn’t feel right being happy about anything.  So although my family and friends knew about it, and I had already posted it on Facebook, I did not feel it was right for me to celebrate while others were suffering.  I know the parents and the community have a long road ahead of them, but sometimes a smile or a happy moment can also help heal a wound.    So here is my proud and happy moment:

You all hear me speak so highly of my wonderful instructor, Mr Bentley, at Legacy Martial Arts in Quincy all the time.  Well, he always tells me that the feeling is mutual, that I inspire and motivate him as much as he inspires and motivates me.  In August when Kickpics Martial Arts Photographers, Stace and Mark, were here and took many of the pics I have shared on this blog and my Facebook page, they took the following pic, and Mr Bentley had it made into a poster to put on the gym wall.  That was SO VERY special to me that he thought this much of me to do this.  So here is a picture of it.  Taken with my goofy phone, so a little cloudy.

posterAnd then….last week, I won a Popeye Bicep Pose down on Team Gym Bulls Facebook page with ANOTHER Kickpics photo…

BRENDA TURNBAUGH 028Team Gym Bulls is a bunch of fitness people who promote anti-bullying.  Many of them who turned to fitness after being bullied themselves.  I myself was bullied as a child because I was “fat”, and I have been asked to write a piece for their page that I will share with all of you when I am done with it.  Probably will have it done over the next week or so.

And….for the future….

2013…I have decided that I AM going to train and run 2 half marathons this spring. Now, much of it may be done on a treadmill, as I HATE?  DESPISE??  LOOOAAATTTHHHEEE the cold!  To be honest with you, it is the only thing that I still use my back as an excuse for.  The cold goes straight to my titanium bolts in my back and I get so chilled that I can think of nothing other than the pain.

I AM going to continue to work on my website and hope that I will have it up BY Spring!    Just taking a lot longer as a novice to put it together than I thought it would.   BUT I have decided NOT to put any pressure on myself to even attempt a physique competition in 2013.  The plan is to train like I AM getting ready for one, but any extra $$$ and time needs to go to my website first.  And if I feel it is right for me in the future, I will look into a little closer.

As of RIGHT NOW….I have TOTALLY fallen to the temptation of “Christmas Carbs”!  LOL!  I have had cookies, bread, I even ate NOODLES!!!  So as you can imagine, my skin is horrible, and I am holding fluid like CRAZY!  But I am not living in the past.  It is over now, and today is a new day.  And in my mind’s eye…my future looks brighter than ever!  I hope you all are ready to take this journey with me and 2013 will be a FABULOUS year!

****On Edit****

Here is a pic of the Legare Wear tank that I won in the Popeye bicep pose contest!

LEGARE weare picture