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This chapter of my life is called Happiness. This is my Soul Space…

I smile. I sweat. I motivate. I live. Realistically and Beautifully.

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body

Enjoy the good of the holidays. Let the good win…

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So it happened… Summer passed, Fall came blowing in like a freight train and before we know it, the Holiday season is here. Fully equipped with Christmas commercials and the bustle of Thanksgiving Day dinner plans.

It’s a beautiful season. THAT… we mustn’t forget. The idea of family and friends gathering together to enjoy food and laughter and love. I think the beauty of the season gets lost in the societal opinion of what is healthy and what isn’t. Who says eating a full meal on Thanksgiving Day isn’t healthy? Who says enjoying Egg Nog on Christmas Eve isn’t healthy? Not me. I believe in living a well enjoyed life of balance. A balance of sweat and sore muscles, food and libations and silence and presence. Combining them all to make this holiday season your best one yet. So here is a list. Just some things to remember while trying to find your balance….

•Eat! Enjoy! Live! First and foremost, live your life beautifully. If you are offered a homemade piece of pumpkin pie, for Gods sake… Don’t say no!!! If you have to run a few extra stairs tomorrow or decrease your calories tonight, DO IT. That piece of pie will make you happy and if you are aware of it, I promise it will not turn up on your hips.

•Remember to find your peace in the silence. Yoga or meditation to keep your body and mind in balance. A snow shoe trip up the trail to remove yourself from the hustle and bustle. A walk through the trees to breathe in the fresh air. YOU time is the only time you get to recharge. Don’t forget that in the midst of this crazy life.

•Exercise!!! The more the better during this time. Use your lunch hours to burn some calories knowing your evenings will be full of parties and temptations. If you go into a party knowing you rocked it in Spin Class that day, I can guarantee a guilt free glass of wine. Or two.

•Enjoy!!!! Be with your friends and family. Take it all in. Be the life of the party! Dress up in the pretty little sparkly number. Wear a smile. Appreciate your health. Don’t complain about the little things. The traffic jams will pass. The tangled lights will untangle. The never ending to-do list WILL end.

Don’t miss the smiles when the kids wake up Christmas morning.

Don’t miss the time with family you don’t get to see regularly.

Don’t miss the smell of cinnamon and baking apple pies.

Don’t miss the JOY of the season.

Find your balance. Know what you need to do for your body to keep on track and DO IT. Knowing you will get to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the season. It will all be worth it.

~Amy

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Share the love!

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There is nothing wrong with being a hugger! Do you know how many sweaty hugs I get everyday? A lot, and I love every one of them. Why not hug? Hugs are an important little gesture that say so much. Do you know how many people out there don’t ever get hugged or touched regularly? It’s more than you would guess… So if you have a friend. Hug them. If you just made a friend, hug them. When you say hi or bye… Hug them. It may change their day. Worth it don’t you think?

There is power in your intent.

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Do you sometimes push through your day without even stopping to check in with yourself? Wake up, eat, work, sleep, repeat. It’s amazing how many days we can let pass by us without living with true intent or awareness.

If you are feeling like your efforts toward personal and emotional improvement are lacking or simply not working…. It’s time to evaluate your level of intent. When you workout, do you think about the area of your body you are working? When doing intense cardio, visualize your lungs expanding to assist in accepting more oxygen. When thinking of your future plans and dreams, visualize what you want it to look like. Be specific. Be detailed. And visualize, visualize, visualize. Universally your picture will create an energetic path to what you want most. I do also believe that the more you visualize and focus on this path, the more you believe you deserve that path… and when you believe, anything can happen! So get your thoughts in order about what you want to happen in your life. Create your own intention for it all happening. Envision yourself waking up in the morning feeling the pure joy of your dreams coming true. Think about what it will really take to bring those dreams to reality and get out there and make them happen. I believe the universe always gives us what we need at that time. Not always what we want, so remember that. This too shall always pass and your true destiny always awaits… But, you need to know what it looks like.

So, visualize. Create intention. Stay on your path. It may be long and winding but the universe always knows the way. Trust.

Smile at yourself.

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In reading some blogs lately and watching what is happening on social media… I just wanted to send out some positive thoughts on this beautiful Friday morning. In my industry I see so many different forms of people. Men, women. Large, small. We all have our opinions of ourself. My question to you is this…. Does your opinion of yourself come from your mind or from what others say about you? This is an important question that I'd like you to really think about. We all need feedback and insight from someone who sees you from the outside, but I'd like you to take these next few days and evaluate how you truly see yourself. The thoughts you have throughout the day, are they thoughts a friend would have or an enemy? The way you look at yourself in the mirror do you have a crinkled up nose or are you smiling? When something really big goes really right in your life do you confirm that you deserve that or do you deny it's even happening? All things to pay attention to. After you've made some observation, sit down and write in a journal. Maybe one you will just start that day or one you have been writing in. Write down what you realized about yourself and how YOU TREAT YOURSELF. Then…. Make a change, or don't. It's your life and your choice. But I can tell you this. Life is hard. Days are hard. Getting through it all day to day, being a provider for kids or dogs or just yourself is hard. You deserve credit for all you do daily. You deserve love.

Love for yourself is better than any other love at all.

Things to remember when starting an exercise program.

• First… Give yourself some props! You’re here and your taking the time to better your health and your life.

•Results will not happen over night. They won’t even happen in a week, so lower your expectations from the start. Realize your body is moving and muscles are growing and blood is pumping and toxins are flushing. There’s a lot going on in there. Give the magnificent process some time.

•That brings me to my third bullet. The process of a body transforming is never the same between two bodies. When your friend tells you she’s lost 5 pounds and you started working out the same day she did and you’ve gained 5, don’t worry!! If you are being honest with yourself about your nutrition and giving your workout your 100% effort…. I PROMISE you will start seeing results. They may not come on the scale but they will come in how much better your clothes fit and how easy it is to bob up those stairs.

•Staying on the “No two bodies are the same” topic, I’d also like to touch on that fact. Everyone will respond differently to different programs. Try everything presented to you! See what feels the best for your body and where you are seeing the most results.

•Regarding nutrition, my best advice would be this… Don’t change everything at once and don’t deprive yourself of healthy fats. Give yourself a cheat meal and be realistic with your plan. Changing a little bit at a time will prove to be the most successful in the long run. Another thing to remember… I would say to fill yourself up with healthy fats but if you do this you can’t also indulge on the simple processed carbs and sugar. Healthy fats and protein until you are full will do the trick! Listen to your body… When you’re satisfied, stop eating.

•Always give yourself props for the process… It’s difficult to change habits and you need to remember to be patient with yourself and your body. Day by day… Step by step… You are closer than you were yesterday. You got this!!!

-Amy

Consistency is key… Just a few tips to keep you motivated. Every. Day.

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Set your workout clothes out the night before.

Make a new playlist to get you pepped! Music is a huge motivator.

Ask a friend to join you if you’re trying something new. Comfort is key!

Find a healthy, realistic goal photo and place it somewhere you will see it regularly.

Revisit your goals on Sunday. Check and recheck.

Make sure you try on those jeans weekly! Even if you don’t wear them, use them to evaluate your progress.

Eat an apple before your biggest meal of the day. It will fill you up faster!

Take a SELFIE and appreciate your beauty!! Send it, post it or keep it for yourself.

It’s really all about getting on a program that makes YOU feel GOOD about what you are doing. You should never feel uncomfortable or pressured. I assure you, you will quit if your fitness program is not manageable. So establish your goals. Find exercise that makes you feel good and stick with it! If you fall off that wagon, dust off and get right back on! You are surrounded by support. I’m always here if you need a nudge in the right direction. Happy Summer friends!!! Let’s do this!

My soap box. Artificial Sweeteners and counting calories… All in one!

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This sings to me. Like SCREAMS in my ear… If I have a soapbox, this is it. I see so many people counting calories and disregarding ingredients. It drives me batty!!! Please… Friends. Listen to what I am saying!!! Listen to your body. Eat whole, real foods. Food that have artificial anything in them will not satisfy your body for what it is really craving. You are just appeasing your hunger temporarily with chemicals your loving body doesn’t even know what to do with! It negates the fact that you are even counting calories. So just eat real food. Don’t count anything. Be present when you eat. Pay attention to how you feel and when you feel satisfied… STOP!! If you are hungry an hour later, eat again. Think of your beautiful body as the temple it is. It will take care of you and it will tell you what it needs. Listen. Pay attention. Respect the beauty of health and natural ingredients. Always.

If you want to be a Action Hero… Apply here…

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We are done with the skinny look. It’s time to build a Action Hero body! Let’s do this ladies and gents! Load up those weights. Load up that protein. Drink your water. Enjoy your day. Smile more often. Believe that you are making a change in the world. Wear a cape. Every. Day.

Change takes time and change is a bitch.

I’d like to talk about the number one most important thing you will need to remember when making LIFE CHANGING choices. TIME. You did not gain the 20 pounds or get the high LDL cholesterol overnight. I promise you. It has been occurring for many, many years. Maybe you have never known a healthful way of eating so it has been happening your whole life, or maybe you fell off the health wagon a few years ago. Either way, your body will not understand your “new way” immediately. So when you start replacing pancakes with protein shakes filled with berries and spinach you may get a gassy stomach. When you start replacing fried chicken and pizza with grilled chicken and veggies you may feel like you’re starving. Well here’s the deal, you are retraining your body. That includes your stomach AND your mind!! You are used to that stuffed feeling after eating high carb meals, that doesn’t mean your body needs to feel stuffed. So pay attention!! When you start replacing your snacks with a hard boiled egg and carrot sticks it won’t feel like the chips you were snacking on because its not filled with carbs and the high fat. But it’s the best thing for you… So listen to your stomach and your mind. They may tell you conflicting things, but in the end YOU know what is best.

Along the thought process of change I’d like to talk about consistency. You will start your journey to health and you may be working out more and changing your food all at the same time. Here’s the most important piece for true fat loss… your body must be in a healthy deficit of calories burned and calories eaten for a long period of time, consistently. If you need to count calories to achieve this, that’s fine, but I would really encourage you to just listen to your body. If you are working out too much, you will feel starving even if you are eating enough. So in the beginning of your new health life, maybe cut down on your crazy workouts and just walk a few days a week while your body is getting used to the new food plan. Then when you can truly identify what hunger feels like, you can start your workouts and meld it all together. So this deficit I referred to must be constantly maintained for 4-6 weeks before you will see true fat loss. Until then, you may actually feel bigger or not see any change at all… But after that 4-6 week period your body has gained some muscle so your metabolism is revved and your caloric deficit has created fat loss. Please believe me. Once you hit this place of homeostasis in your system you will be on the road to true fat loss and internal body change. Then, once you are in that place consistently your regimen can afford to have the occasional piece of pizza or a few bites of cake. Your body is now truly working as a well oiled machine and you will feel when you need to eat and you will feel when you are full. You will no longer be addicted to sugar, so when you eat that sugar you will feel sick. Trust me.

It’s a journey my friends. It’s not meant to happen overnight. But I promise you when you get to this place I am talking about you will feel so clean and healthy on the inside… It will all be worth it. So start today!!! Thanksgiving is 2 months away! The best way to approach a table full of food is with a clean system. Promise.

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