I Reached My GOAL! NOW WHAT???

I get that A LOT!

And this week, I was asked to touch on the subject by Oscar Insurace, who provides health care¬†in New York and New Jersey! ¬†So, if you have worked hard and got to your goal and now have that “WHAT’S NEXT?” feeling, please take a minute to read on and learn from my mistakes, AND my victories!

My first answer to, “Now what?”, is ALWAYS, “Set a NEW Goal!”

Those of you who did not know me back in 1996, don’t know that I hit my goal weight one other time in my adult life. ¬†Yup! ¬†I did a “Doctor Approved” weight loss plan. ¬†I lost 84# in about 7 months. ¬†When I hit my goal,¬†you guessed it….I thought I was DONE, so I let all of my bad habits creep back in. ¬†I started eating the way I did before starting the “plan”. ¬†I started drinking alcohol and eating fatty foods again. ¬†At the same time, I was released from Physical Therapy(which was the ONLY exercise I was getting), so I stopped doing any exercise at all! ¬†Within 6 months, I had put back on 45#! ¬†Do you know what I did next?

I GAVE UP! ¬†Over the next 12 years, I dieted continuously, and gained more and more weight, before hitting my all time high, which was closer to 300# than I like to admit. ¬†I admit to 275#, so let’s just stick with that! ūüėõ

No one had told me that health and fitness really IS a lifestyle that you must practice every day.  There is no final destination.  You can always be better.  You can eat a little cleaner.  You can stretch a little more.  You can lift a little more.  You can get a little stronger.  I think of martial arts.  Or yoga.  People practice these for their entire lives!  They are always working to improve.  There is NO PERFECT!  There is not a place where you now know everything, so that is the end.  They just keep working on being THEIR VERY BEST.

Let’s fast forward to September 2008. ¬†I had at that point had 3 back surgeries including a lumbar spinal fusion. ¬†I was a drunk. ¬†I was a chain smoker. ¬†I was a couch potato. ¬†I HATED MYSELF!

I made a decision! ¬†I was tired of living like this, and I was refusing to go on diabetes and blood pressure medication. ¬†I was NOT going to live my mother’s life! ¬†She was always unhealthy and overweight. ¬† And she also died entirely too young!

So I reached out!  I joined an online support group.  They helped me realize that I did not have to be perfect, and making small changes in the beginning would amount to huge success in the end.  So I walked 1/2 a block from my house and back 5 days a week and I cut out fried foods.  The next week, I walked a full block and cut back to drinking alcohol 4 days a week.  The third week, I walked 2 blocks, did 2 minutes of a 10-Minute Trainer video, and cut back to drinking 3 nights a week.  See the pattern?  Nothing drastic at first.  SMALL CONSISTENT EFFORTS=BIG RESULTS.

One Step At A Time

I 100% believe that SUPPORT, no matter if it is one workout buddy, or a group of people online(who for me seemed less threatening, because they didn’t know me well enough to judge me, or at least I didn’t care if they did!), or a group of friends who team up to keep each other accountable as each works towards their individual goals.

And when that particular group broke up, I wasn’t sure exactly what to do. ¬†I knew I needed someone to be accountable to. ¬†So I went BIG! ¬†I went public! ¬†My accountability group became the WORLD! ¬†I started this blog. ¬†Then I started my Facebook Page. ¬†And when I found out that not only was I helping myself stay accountable, but that the people who were following me were using my posts and my page to stay accountable themselves, a passion to help them started growing inside me! ¬†I searched for the best way to do that, and that was when I was introduced to Beachbody!

Today, as a Beachbody Coach, I put people in groups to do the exact same thing!  And not only does it help them, but it helps me.  The more people in the group who participate and share and work to stay accountable, the easier it is for Me to also stay accountable.

In fact, those of you who follow me on Facebook, already know that I am starting a challenge this upcoming Saturday, November 1st, called “The $5, ‘Get Me Through The Holidays’ Challenge Group”.

GROUP!  THAT is the key word here!

If you don’t feel you have to do it alone…

If you KNOW someone is watching…

If you know the other members of the group are counting on you for the same support that they are showing you…

You WILL show up!  Many of us will do EVERYTHING we can to help someone else, but NEVER for OURSELVES!  Mommies especially, I KNOW you are hearing me!

So I invite you to HELP SOMEONE ELSE!

Make it about THEM!  You will be surprised at how much YOU will achieve if you start out trying to help someone else.

Decide. Commit. Succeed!

It is your choice. ¬†It is MY choice. ¬†I could easily decide tomorrow, that this public accountability life is too hard. ¬†That it would be SO much easier to live a quiet life where the world is not inspecting every bite I put in my mouth, every workout I do(or DON’T do), and every time I LIVE MY LIFE and have a beer(or several) with friends. ¬†Yes, I do LIVE! ¬†I try my best to stick to an 80/20 plan, but sometimes life happens. ¬†It gets messy.

But I get up every day and make a choice. ¬†I choose to do MY best each and every day! ¬†Some days are better than others. ¬†PERIOD! ¬†But you have to learn to let the bad ones go. ¬†Leave them in the past. ¬†You know the old saying, “Get back up, dust yourself off, and get back on the horse!” ¬†There is a lot of truth in that statement.

Aristotle said, “Excellence is a habit.”

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The more you practice picking yourself up, the more it will become a habit.  Excellence will become your normal.  Your ordinary will become EXTRAORDINARY!   So every day, when you wake up, while you are getting ready for your day, MAKE THE CHOICE!  CHOOSE happiness!

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So my 4 biggest “What To Do”‘s in “keeping it off”?

1) Realize that this is a LIFELONG journey!  There is no final destination.  There is always another goal that you want to reach.

2) SUPPORT!!!  Find a group you relate to and hold on to them!

3) Help OTHERS work towards THEIR success!

4) CHOOSE to BE whatever you want!  It really is as simple as that.  Will it be EASY?  Heck no!  Will you have times when you need more help than others to get back up on that horse?  YES!  But can you do it?  Of course!  And Why?  Because the choice is yours!

If you want to join one of my groups, contact me.

LOVE to you ALL!!!

Remember, the choice is YOURS!  MAKE today GREAT!!!

Facebook page – Body By Brenda

bodybybrenda@hotmail.com

Brenda’s Beachbody Site

 

Weight Loss Transformation?

Here is a little hard truth for you.  Tough Love, if you will.

This is me close to my heaviest, and at my leanest about two years ago.

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Yup, that’s right, I far from¬†my leanest¬†right now. ¬†THAT ‚ÜϬ†takes a LOT of work, and I have been giving up a lot of my “ME” time to help others the last couple years. ¬†Not that I am saying that is an altogether a bad thing. ¬†I am still healthy, and I still LOVE ME! ¬†And I really don’t look TOO shabby, right? ūüėČ

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But I am writing this blog, because I truly believe God put me on this Earth to help other people find their way to health and fitness.  To REALLY make the changes in their lives that are necessary to help them life happy, healthy, more fulfilling lives, and not the sad, sick, mediocrity that I and many of you have lived for years.  I will do ALL I can to help every person who WANTS my help to get fit and healthy.

But it does NOT come without a lot of hard work.  And tears.  And sometimes even pain.

It does NOT come for free.

It does NOT come without sacrifice.

You WILL have to buy healthy food.

You WILL have to give up some of your favorite comfort foods MOST OF THE TIME!

You WILL need to MAKE the time to move your body.

AND…
You WILL want to give up.

You WILL call me horrible names under your breath. Maybe even to my face.

You WILL have days that you don’t even think you are worth it all.

But IF you come to me. If you stay invested in yourself, and stay accountable even when you are at your very very worst, as your coach, I WILL BE HERE FOR YOU!

BUT¬†you can’t¬†hide from me.¬† You have to¬†help ME,¬†help YOU, or the “quit” is not on me. Don’t make excuses. Especially BEFORE you even respond to my outreached hand. ¬†Do you know why?

Because excuses are PLANNED LIES!

So, my question to you is:

Are you planning your healthy future, or are you planning your excuses to NOT have that future?

If you are ready for a plan, I would LOVE to be the one to help you start the journey to meeting your future healthier self!

Contact me today at bodybybrenda@hotmail.com

MAKE today GREAT!

worth it

I am ME! And THAT is GOOD ENOUGH!

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.

WHY?

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!

AM I RIGHT?

NNNNOOOOOOO!!!!!

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 “WHY” once again being Revisited!

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Sitting in a hospital.  The woman I am looking at in the bed in front of me was so full of life not long ago.  She now looks so frail.  Barely resembles the woman that I have had so much fun with, laughed with, cried with, called my friend.  She is quiet.  The only noise is that of the machines that are hooked up to her.  I am scared and feel like my life is on the brink of a major change.  What will life be like if she is no longer here?  What will I do?  Parts of me are breaking inside?  The tears come without warning.

That paragraph was me remembering what it was like that day 20 years ago sitting in St Francis Hospital in Peoria, IL watching my Mom after she had 5 bypasses done on her heart. ¬†Her diabetes was starting to take over. ¬†Her body was wearing out a piece at a time. ¬†She was 55. ¬†We didn’t lose her that time, but as of Sunday, it will have been 11 years since we did lose her to the diabetes. ¬†After 8 months of dialysis, she fell asleep in her chair and God took her home. ¬†They said it was another heart attack. ¬† My heart broke that day. ¬†It was 6 weeks until my wedding, and I did not know how to move on to the next day even. ¬†But my family, especially my big sisters, helped me through.

Let’s now fast forward to yesterday.

Wow!  Here I go crying again.  I may never get this written.

Yesterday, my oldest sister(53 now), had to have a triple bypass surgery.  I walked into her room after her surgery, ready to praise God that my sister was OK.  Instead I was stopped dead in my tracks.  I was looking at my Mom!  All those feelings came rushing back again.  I was SCARED!  I did give that well deserved Praise later, but in that moment, I was in shock!  I am so sick of this horrible disease!  I wish I could say that she is now out of the woods.  But within a day or two, she also has to have two more toes amputated.  The diabetes is taking them too.

Our Dad is suffering from a total personality change and an altered mental state after his kidneys started shutting down a few months ago due to his diabetes, and his potassium skyrocketed. ¬†We didn’t physically lose him that day, but MY DAD is not really there anymore. ¬†It took “him” away. ūüė¶

Six years ago, in spring of 2008, I was told that I was borderline diabetic, my blood pressure was too high, and my cholesterol was…well…my blood was gravy! ¬†And I was pushing 300#! ¬†I was still seeing the same doctor who had been my Mom’s doctor. ¬†He actually asked me if I planned to follow in her footsteps. ¬†By September of that year after a health scare of my own that turned out OK, I started thinking more seriously about doing something about my health. ¬†I woke up the day after watching the season premier of Biggest Loser that got me thinking maybe I could do it, and lo and behold, there was my Mom was looking back at me in my mirror. ¬†I was built just like her. ¬†I had some of the same early health issues that she had. ¬†And I was topping it all off with a 12 pack of been and 2 packs of cigarettes a day! ¬†I decided right then and there that I was NOT going down that road. ¬†And I choose to do something about it. ¬†Here it is 5 1/2 years later, and some days are good, and some days are not so good, but I continue to make the same choices to be MY Healthiest Me, EVERY day!

Can it all be fixed by taking better care of your health? ¬†I don’t know, but research does show that it greatly improves your chances. ¬†Why sit and wait? ¬†Take action! ¬†Isn’t living a more happy, more productive, more healthy life worth it? ¬†In my opinion, from my experience, YES!

PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES!

Don’t know how? ¬†Don’t know where to start?

I would LOVE to help you.  Most of you reading this blog already know how to find me.  Come visit me on Facebook or follow the links on my home page to my Beachbody site for more information.  Or, you can e-mail me any time at bodybybrenda@hotmail.com

MAKE today GREAT!!!

progress pics 3314

Maintenance Confessional Time!

I am here!  I have not disappeared into the night!  LOL!

I know I should talk about it more, because it may help some of you to know that even though I have been successful in weight loss, I do still have times of struggle. ¬†And 2013 so far has been one HUGE struggle after another for me. ¬†Started it with an infected tooth, then got sick. ¬†Finally started to feel better and was trying to get back training for my half marathon in April, but I was dealing with a bit of depression. ¬†I just wasn’t sure WHAT exactly I wanted to do with my life right now. ¬†I had BIG dreams of making “Body By BrendaT” into an online coaching business, but I had started to doubt myself and gave it up.

Then, when I did run that Half Marathon in April, I ended up injured, and ever since has been one disaster after another. ¬†In the mean time though, I had joined Beachbody as a coach, and although I struggle finding my “niche” there, I have been introduced to some AWESOME people, and have found more personal development support through my team of coaches than I ever thought possible. ¬†My personal coach is Jeremy Krakowski, who is Sandi Krakowski’s son. ¬†And if you are a woman in business(a man too for that matter) and don’t know about the Krakowski’s and their business A Real Change (www.arealchange.com), PLEASE do yourself a favor and check them out and follow Sandi¬†on Facebook! ¬†She is AMAZING!

Anyway, back to Jeremy. ¬†He is a very inspiring young man who has really turned his life around in the last year or so, and is just absolutely flourishing. ¬†In both business AND his personal life! ¬†Yet even as I have watched him doing all of this, I could not get myself back in MY “groove”.

The injuries were stacking up and getting me down!  And even though I tried to work around my injuries and get in my workouts, I was turning to my old friend for comfort.  FOOD!  3 weeks ago, I weighed in at the heaviest I have weighed in about 3.5 years.  I knew it was getting bad, because my clothes were getting really tight, but the scale actually read 176#!  I was MORTIFIED!!!  I had gained 15# since the beginning of the year.  I knew I had to do something, so I decided to go back and start working on MY dream.  I decided to start a 12-week challenge on Facebook for summer, to test my workouts and my coaching style on others and see if it helped them as much as it helped me.   We are only on day 5, but so far it is going pretty well.  Lots of engaged people and I am loving their feedback and watching them support each other on the Private Facebook Group.

So, I have buckled down, and decided it is time to take my life back and NOT let the old me take over completely!  I am back to eating about 90% clean, and working out WITH my Challenge participants, plus taking FIT classes at Legacy Martial Arts, and teaching Zumba there 2 nights a week.  And this morning, I was back down to 167#(which is the top of the range where I have hovered for the last 3 years), and starting to feel better about myself.

BUT…I also got some AWESOME yet SCARY news this week. ¬†Those of you who follow me on Facebook, know how much I adore my buddy Stace Sanchez, who is the owner/photographer for KickPics Professional Martial Arts Photography whom I met last year through my instructor My Robert Bentley at Legacy Martial Arts…well….I found out he is coming to town a full month earlier than I thought he was this summer and will be here July 29th! ¬†I am SO excited to see him and have him take pics again, but I want to be “ready” for him! ¬†So I have a LOT of work to do over the next 6 weeks.

So, I plan to take some selfies again this weekend, and then I will show you what I plan to be an AWESOME transformation in just 6 weeks! ¬†They say muscle has memory, and I am counting on it! ūüôā ¬†LOL! ¬†I know I can’t get to where I had wanted to be in that amount of time, but with some hard work, I know I can be better in six weeks than I am today! ¬†And by the end of the B3T 12-week Summer Challenge, I will be even closer! ¬† I am back to enjoying the journey, not just racing to the destination!

I am so blessed to have so many people believe in me even when I struggle to believe in myself.  And I am more than happy to be that for anyone else who needs a cheerleader in their life who KNOWS it is possible and will help in any way I can.  I post daily on Facebook at Body By Brenda.  Please come join me for some inspiration, motivation, and encouragement.

Don’t wait for the timing to be perfect, because it will never happen.

MAKE today GREAT!

This is one of my favorites of the pics Stace of me last year.

ME AT LEGACY