My Mindfulness Checklist

In an effort to manage my depression and anxiety, I’ve developed a morning routine that is focused solely on helping me clear my head and start my day with positive momentum.  Getting up early isn’t really my favorite thing to do, but the benefits I get from waking up earlier than the rest of the house, having some time to myself, and working through these steps makes it completely worth it!

Before I started implementing these steps, I was very skeptical about it.  I didn’t think that meditation or affirmations would make any difference, and honestly I felt really foolish doing it.  It took me a long time to even give it a try, but when I kept reading over and over about these successful people I look up to, time and time again they talked about doing affirmations and meditation (or least some version of it).  If all of these people that I respect were doing it, why not give it a try?  Once I did this for about a week, I noticed a big difference and I became a believer in the process.

Here is how I work through my checklist; hopefully this gives you some ideas on how you can incorporate these steps into your day.

  1. A peaceful space: Find a spot in your house that will allow you to spend a few minutes alone, a space where you can keep your materials for your morning routine, and a space that makes you feel calm and peaceful. For me, I use a spot in my basement; it’s away from the rest of the house, it is comfortable and relaxing, and there’s a table next to my couch where I keep my Bible and journal so it’s easy to access.  It really doesn’t matter where you decide to make your morning mindfulness space, as long as you feel relaxed and can be uninterrupted for at least a few minutes–your kitchen table, your living room couch, your bedroom, your porch or deck, etc.
  2. 10 minutes of quiet solitude: This has been huge for me!  I wake up with a lot of tension–lots of thoughts swirling through my head, physical tension in my back, and stress thinking about my to-do list for the day ahead.  Taking 10 minutes of quiet solitude to start my day has allowed me to get rid of that stress and start my day with a lot more peace.  I use the Headspace app for their free 10-min guided meditation sessions–it doesn’t have corny background music, it doesn’t ask you to focus on anything except your breathing, and it doesn’t feel too hippy-granola to me.  If meditation isn’t your thing and you want to spend the time praying alone, awesome.  If you want to spend 5 minutes focusing on your breathing, fantastic.  If you want to just sit at your kitchen table and sip your coffee for 10 minutes, great!  The key here is to try and CLEAR your mind, not just sit quietly for 10 minutes stressing about your day or what happened yesterday.  It might be helpful to try a guided meditation once or twice to give you the tools, and then you could do it on your own.  I also have a list of positive affirmations about myself that I say out loud–things that help me change the negative dialogue in my own head.  One of my affirmations is “I am disciplined” to help me focus on who I want to be, instead of spending my day talking down to myself.  The affirmations help me change my perception of myself–when you talk negatively to yourself, you are a negative person.  When you talk positively, you become more positive.  It’s pretty simple, but it makes a huge impact.
  3. Intentional focus on spiritual development: I love doing this section right after my meditation because I’ve cleared my head, gotten rid of some tension, and I feel much more equipped to focus on my reading and prayer instead of feeling distracted by my thoughts.  My spiritual development is really all about focusing on my personal relationship with God and growing in that; I read my Bible (following a specific plan), do some journaling about what I read, and spend some time praying.  If you aren’t sure where to start with this, I love the She Reads Truth app–it’s free, includes a Bible in the app, and has a lot of great studies to choose from (free up to $3).  There is also a He Reads Truth app for the guys, too.  Focusing on this helps me keep my priorities in check, helps me have a good mindset for my day, and helps me focus on what is really important in my day instead of focusing on insignificant stressors.
  4. Physical activity: This one might be my favorite.  I like to do a full workout in the morning with Beachbody On Demand–I usually forget that I even worked out by lunchtime and then it feels like a rest day!  But even just a short and sweet workout, like some pushups and crunches, or jumping jacks and planks, even for just 5 minutes, is shown to benefit your mindset in the morning.  All exercise releases endorphins and helps you get your day started with positivity.  When I start my day with a workout, it helps me stay motivated to make healthy choices throughout my day, too.  Whether you choose to do a full workout, a few jumping jacks, or a 5 minute yoga flow, doing some kind of physical activity will help you lower your stress levels and get in a good mood for your day.
  5. Personal Development: One of my favorite things about my coaching business is the focus on personal development.  Being intentional about reading positive books that help me become a better person, better wife, better mom, better coach has truly made all the difference in my life.  Personal development is what helped give me the confidence to leave teaching and be a stay-at-home mom, and helped me be able to identify my depression and anxiety enough to know I needed to get help.  In choosing a personal development book, I think about one of my goals and what I feel like is holding me back from accomplishing that goal.  For example, as I’ve been trying to lose weight, I’ve realized that I struggle with emotional eating, and I looked up some books dealing with that topic before choosing Made to Crave, which has been an amazing resource for me.  Some of my business goals weren’t becoming reality and I realized I needed some help being disciplined, so I read a book called Take the Stairs that was a huge help.  You can also choose a podcast to listen to–I love the God Centered Mom podcast for personal development, too.  We all have aspects of our lives that we want to improve–I use personal development as a tool to become the person I want to be.  Starting my day with this helps me stay focused on making better choices throughout the day instead of going on autopilot with bad habits.

I’ve included a printable version of this checklist for you to use as you create your own routine for mindfulness.  There is a lot of evidence for everything included here and the benefits of putting them into practice, but the only evidence you really need is trying it out for yourself.  Give it one week and see what kind of a difference it makes, and then come back and let me know how it went!

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Mindfulness Checklist


Healthy in Every Way–My Journey Through Depression and Anxiety

I have major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. (I tried to think of a nice introduction to transition into this declaration, but I couldn’t think of how to get there so I decided to just go for it.)  I’ve been fairly open about my struggle with depression on this blog before, and this past year has been a pretty dark place for me.  I’ve been pretty quiet about what’s been going on with me lately, but I want to share more about this aspect of my life because I’ve been realize just how much my mental health is connected to my physical health.  


I’ve struggled with depression for several years, but this past year has been the hardest yet.  The transition from working mom to stay-at-home mom is never an easy one, my husband has a new position in his work with some new responsibilities, and there have been lots of other transitions in other areas of my life, too.  I think that for a long time it was really easy for me to blame teaching for my depression, but once I left and the depression stayed, I was forced to really examine what was going on.


So, for the first time in my entire life, I started going to a therapist and taking an antidepressant.  This was honestly a really hard decision for me to make because even though I’ve recommended therapy to a lot of people close to me, I was embarrassed to admit that I needed that kind of help.  I’ve always had some kind of twisted pride in the fact that I was “managing” my depression without the help of therapy or medicine.  But honestly, I wasn’t managing anything.  I was barely holding on by a thread and constantly felt like everything was falling apart.  Every single part of my day was a struggle, from waking up to getting out of bed to taking care of my child.  I was miserable, so my pride in taking care of myself was pretty misguided.


Before I started therapy and learning different ways of coping with my depression and anxiety, I had pretty much one coping mechanism–food.  I’ve always known that I was an emotional eater, but I didn’t quite realize how deep my relationship with food really went.  I started to figure it out after I read “Made to Crave” and did Whole30, but once I finished Whole30 I basically fell into a giant pile of sugar.  I had certainly learned better food habits, but I hadn’t worked on the deeper issue: I was using food as a coping mechanism instead of actually dealing with my depression and anxiety.


As a result from this emotional eating+not working on my mental health combination, I gained some weight and started to feel bad about myself.  I lost energy, I lost motivation, I lost confidence.  I was embarrassed that I was losing control of my health–again–and I felt like a total failure.  Of course, that just made my depression even worse.  And then I continued to eat poorly to cope with all the negative feelings…which made me feel worse.  See the cycle there?  It took me months to figure out that connection.  Actually, it took me months to figure out that I was deeply depressed.  It was a rough year.


But, that is in my rearview mirror.  Once I figured out what was really happening, decided to get to a professional, and became open to medicine, things started to change.  Now, I have a mindfulness routine to start out my days.  I’m focused on my personal development to help keep my mindset positive.  I’m focused on being consistent with my fitness because a good workout does WONDERS for my depression and anxiety.  I’m learning different ways to cope with my issues instead of running to the drive thru for a sweet tea and cookie every day.  (True story).


I’m going to be posting a little more about some of the specifics of my routine and different coping strategies, but I set an alarm to get up early so I can have some quiet time to do a 10 minute meditation, read my Bible and have some prayer time, read personal development, write out affirmations, and say some affirmations out loud.  I feel like a total hippie when I’m doing it, but it’s seriously amazing to feel the difference in my mindset every single day.  Those are my new coping mechanisms instead of food, and even though it’s still a struggle and I’m still working on it, I finally feel like I’m out of the pit and I’m able to get back to myself again.


So, why am I sharing all of this?  Part of it is to help myself get out of feeling embarrassed that I have struggles.  I deal with depression and anxiety–that’s part of my story and I don’t want to be secretive about it anymore.  It’s not anything to be ashamed of; it’s just part of who I am.  But more importantly, I want YOU to know that you’re not alone.  It has been amazing to me to hear some of my friends and family say “me too!”.  Whether it’s a struggle with depression or anxiety, or going through junk that distracts you from your health, or just dealing with gaining some weight after working so hard to lose it, you are not alone.  And you need to focus on your mental health!  It’s not just about your physical health–you have to take care of your mind and your spirit to be truly healthy.  


Since this is now a part of my health journey, it’s going to be a part of the blog more and more.  Stay tuned for more posts about this aspect of my story, and feel free to share any wisdom from your own journey, too!

More Than Fruits and Veggies–What I’ve Learned (And Am Still Learning) About Healthy Living

Until about two years ago, what I knew about being “healthy” was basically just eat less. move more, count calories, eat more fruits and veggies, and go running.  There was a lot of fuzzy facts in my head–if you eat at a deficit (intake less than you’re expending) you’ll lose weight.  Running is great cardio and will help you drop weight.  It was all about counting calories, paying attention to macros, and following a running plan.

Now for a disclaimer–there is nothing inherently wrong with anything in the above paragraph.  I love running.  You do need to pay attention to how much you eat.  You do need to be active.  Some people find a lot of success with counting/tracking calories and macros.  But for me personally, most of this didn’t work.  It was too vague, too fuzzy and broad.  I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted with this kind of plan and mindset.

I’ve learned that it’s not just about being active.  It’s about being active with a plan, and a plan made by someone who knows what they’re doing so I work different muscle groups in a strategic way to get the best results possible.  It’s about pushing myself–which for me means I need to have someone else telling me how long to go and when to stop.  If it’s up to me, I’ll quit after 10 seconds!

It’s not just about the calories for me–it’s way more about where those calories come from.  I can eat 1200 calories a day and not see results because they are calories from sugar, carbs, and unhealthy fats in processed foods.  Eating more calories from whole, nutrient-dense foods gives me better results.  In the past I would “make room” in my calories one day because I wanted ice cream or a candy bar, and then be frustrated that I wasn’t seeing results because I was following the “rules”.  Now I know how those different foods affect my body and my results, and I can plan to indulge without unrealistic expectations for my progress.

I’ve also learned that different things work for different people.  Some people thrive off of a small indulgence every day (like a small piece of dark chocolate); some people do really well with one off-plan meal a week; some people do best with strict plan that doesn’t allow for many off-plan indulgences.  I am one of those people who needs a lot of structure, so a stricter plan works well for me.  If I allow too many off-plan meals or foods, it tends to open the floodgates, so to speak and it’s hard for me to get back on track.

I’ve learned that I need accountability, so I have learned to be honest and vulnerable on my social media as accountability, and to open up to the ladies in my accountability groups and use those groups the way they are designed–to help me through my celebrations and struggles.

I’ve learned that working out at home with a streaming workout system is best for me; being able to walk downstairs to my basement, have over 7,000 workouts to choose from (different equipment requirements, different world-class trainers, different time commitments), and be able to get my workouts done with little fuss is the best equation for me to be consistent and successful.

I’ve learned that having a nutrient-dense shake that I can make in 5 minutes for a fast and portable breakfast is the best way for me to start my day.  It sets me up for success and helps my mornings go more smoothly.  I used to go through a drive-thru or get donuts at a gas station in the mornings, which started my days off poorly and didn’t give me the momentum I needed to make good choices.  Now, I have a healthy choice in just a few minutes that propels my day toward healthy choices instead of making me feel lethargic and bloated.

I’ve learned that I have a very deep, very strong emotional connection to food.  That makes it tougher for me to be consistent at times (and is also why I do better with stricter plans).  This is something that I deal with every day, and am still learning how to deal with to keep my body fueled properly and have a healthy mental/emotional relationship with food.  I can’t recommend the book Made to Crave enough to help with this issue!

The biggest lesson I’ve learned with being healthy is that healthy living is a journey, not a destination.  It’s not a place you arrive to one day and then you suddenly don’t have to worry about making good choices anymore.  It’s not a set test you either pass or fail.  It’s not a checklist that you can easily click off each day.  It’s individual for all of us, and it requires patience, grace toward yourself, experimenting with what works for you, and a willingness to be flexible as you learn about yourself.

Sometimes you need help with this process and guidance to learn some of these things about yourself.  I am so thankful for the fit family I have found in my accountability groups, and I know that you’d find the same support!  If you need some extra help with this part of your life, let’s chat.  I’d love to take you under my wing!

Meeting A Coach Hero (Louisville Super Sunday Recap)

I love going to live events for my coaching business.  Whether it’s the annual Coach Summit in the summer or the quarterly local events, I love getting together with fellow coaches to learn more about this business and be inspired to do more with my team!

Yesterday was one of those quarterly local events, and I was SO excited.  We had a special guest speaker coming that has a lot of personal significance for me.  Erin Young is a top coach that isn’t on my team at all, but as a fellow mom and high school English teacher, I relate a lot to her story.

Right after I finished crying. Lol.

When I was a brand new coach trying to decide what I really wanted out of my coaching hobby, I was also a working mom struggling with wanting to stay home with my son.  I had dropped him off at daycare and had seen a sign promoting their upcoming “Muffins with Mom” event, but I couldn’t go.  It was happening on the last day of school for me, and I would already be well into teaching by the time the event started.  I couldn’t take time off for it–it just wasn’t even an option for me.  I was so upset by that–I just wanted to eat a muffin with my kid.  He was asleep when I left for work every day, I didn’t get to drop him off most of the time because I’d have to take him in so early, and I didn’t get to see him until almost dinner every day.  I just wanted to be home with him, but was struggling with feeling like I was stuck in teaching.  That’s what I went to school for, that’s what we cash flowed my Master’s degree for–I couldn’t give up on that, could I?

My Dream Achiever Laci!

Right around this time, I saw a short video of this random coach, Erin Young.  She was talking about how she loved her teaching job, but wanted to be able to put her kids on the school bus and make them breakfast–with her teaching schedule, that wouldn’t be possible.  She talked about struggling with realizing that she wanted to do something different than teach and about how she had to give herself permission to dream a new dream with her coaching business.  This resonated so much with me and helped me in my decision with what I wanted to do–and ultimately I decided to make this business happen for me and stay home with my son!

Getting to hear her speak in person, learning some business strategies from her directly, and working out with her was so much fun!  I got a chance to talk with her for just a minute and ask for a picture, which was embarrassing because I totally lost it.  I was trying to explain how much her story impacted me and thank her for sharing her story and making a difference in my life, and I just cried.  So embarrassing!  But I also kind of don’t really care because this business means SO much to me and my family, and I love being able to share with the people who have impacted my life how much of a difference they are making.  She was really sweet about it and so inspiring for me.

Erin young during her presentation

My biggest takeaway from the event was that I am capable of accomplishing ANYTHING I want to accomplish in this business.  The only thing standing in my way is me and my own excuses!  It’s just like with my fitness journey–at first I thought that it was impossible to lose weight and reach my goal, but once I stopped making excuses and followed a solid plan, I not only got to my goal size, but actually got down one size smaller!  And this isn’t just true for me and my specific goals–it’s true for EVERYONE with ANY goal!  There is nothing standing in your way except for YOU.

I am so motivated by this event and it made me even more excited for my trip to New Orleans this summer for the annual Coach Summit.  Anything is possible!

Reverse Meal Planning

I love to cook.  I love looking up new recipes to try, experimenting with different ingredients, and trying to think like a chef as I throw things together.  But sometimes that causes us to spend more money than we wanted–at the grocery to get the needed ingredients, or eating out because my experiments didn’t go well.  Oops.

This month my husband and I are challenging ourselves to spend less money on food, both eating out and at the grocery.  So, I decided to try something new this week based on a tip I saw on a Facebook moms group I’m in.  Instead of making a meal plan and then going to the grocery, I went to the grocery first.

No list. No meal plan.  It felt SO backwards to me–how will I know how much food I need?  What if I don’t buy enough?  What if I buy a bunch of random things and then won’t know how to put it all together?  It was so foreign to me to go shopping without a list, but it ended up being really fun.

First of all, I needed to have a little more faith in myself–in my knowledge of the staples we use up every week and of my ability to throw foods together to make something yummy.  I’ve been cooking and following food blogs for years now, and I’ve got a good arsenal of information in my brain to help me.

So, I got the pantry staples and produce staples that we use up every week, and then I shopped for produce and meats that were on sale.  I had already looked through my grocery’s app to look at the weekly ad and their digital coupon options and downloaded the ones I thought I might use–which means I skipped the ones for highly processed, unhealthy foods.  I’m trying to save money, but also still eat healthy.  We’re not suddenly eating unhealthy foods because there are more coupons for those kinds of foods.

I ended up with the list you see below.  I was AMAZED at how much less I spent.  We got good, healthy foods (although you can see some of the unhealthy treats my husband picked up) and spent about $30 less than normal.  I saved almost $25 between sales and coupons!  I was shocked at how much I saved this way.


So with these ingredients, these are the meals we made this week:

Gluten-free spaghetti with ground turkey (with sauce from my freezer)

Clean-eating sloppy joes

Smoked whole chicken with green beans and roasted red potatoes (this made a ton of food that we ate off of for several meals!)

Clean eating taco bowl with ground beef


It was actually a lot easier to come up with these meals than I thought it would be, and we had enough food to last us almost every meal all week.  We did eat out a couple of times, but that was in our budget, too.

I’m excited about trying this reverse meal planning more to see how much I can get and how much I can save!  Do you always shop with a list, or have you tried this way of shopping before?

Acid Reflux–My Experience and How I Manage It

When I was a senior in college, I woke up my first day as a freshman orientation leader feeling really gross.  My stomach was hurting, I didn’t feel like eating, and I honestly thought that I might throw up.  So I avoided breakfast, got a Sprite, and pushed through the day.  Little did I know that I was going to feel super gross for MONTHS.  It seemed to not matter if I ate or not, what I ate, what I drank–no matter what I did, I just didn’t feel good.  Sometimes I would have to run to the bathroom because I thought I was going to be sick; sometimes I woke up at night feeling awful.  I lost about 15 lbs in a couple of months just from not eating enough because I was trying to avoid feeling sick.  It was awful.

When I finally went to a doctor and got diagnosed with acid reflux, that was the beginning of me trying to figure out how to manage my symptoms.  I was put on prescriptions, told to eat Tums all day every day, told to eat more cake and brownies to “soak up the acid” (for real, a doctor told me to do that), to drink more milk, and lots of other things that, frankly, didn’t help.  The medicine I was put on helped make my symptoms less severe, but I was still suffering from it every day.   We even went so far as to have an endoscopy to check my esophagus to check for damage or any other signs of something deeper going on than just acid reflux–only to come up with no answers.

It took me a long time to figure out how to manage my own symptoms, but after paying attention to what I was eating and how it made me feel, I was able to identify my trigger foods so I can avoid them: peanut butter, red meat, dairy, carbs, and sugary foods–like  the cakes and brownies I was instructed to eat at first.  Hmmm.

Coincidentally, when I started my health and fitness journey, one of the biggest changes I noticed was that my acid reflux basically disappeared.  When I’m taking care of myself–eating clean, working out, and drinking my Shakeology–I have no issues with acid reflux.  When I eat too much junk and skip workouts, I can tell immediately in my acid reflux issues–I will start to feel sick and not be able to sleep well.  It’s one of the biggest signs my body gives me that I’m not taking care of myself.

One of the best revelations that my doctor helped me uncover is that for me, my acid reflux seems to be very linked to stress and anxiety.  I was told that the fact that my acid reflux literally just started one day, and during a stressful time of my life–planning a wedding, senior year of college–suggested that my symptoms were really caused by stress.  Working out regularly and properly fueling my body lessens the stress my body experiences, and thus reduces those symptoms.

For anyone else who is suffering from acid reflux, I would recommend a few things from my own experience:

  • Keep a food journal to keep track of what you’re eating and how it makes you feel.  Don’t just assume that your experience will fit the traditional trigger foods or relief foods that you’ll find online–it doesn’t fit my experience!  Keeping track yourself will empower you to make food choices that make you feel good instead of gross.
  • Work out!  If you’re like me and stress impacts your acid reflux, working out will reduce the stress by giving your body another outlet to release that stress without making you feel sick.
  • Drink Shakeology.  Part of what makes Shakeo awesome is that it has probiotics AND prebiotics to create a healthy environment in your gut, which could mean fewer issues with acid reflux (which means the pH levels in your gut are not what they should be).

Obviously, everyone is different, but these tips can help anyone.  Knowing what makes you feel awesome and healthy, versus what makes you feel gross, is an empowering thing.  Take some control of your health and make empowered, informed choices!

3 by 30

In just a few months, I’ll be turning 30 years old.  I thought that perhaps I would feel depressed or weirded out by this, like I did when I was turning 25, but honestly I’m really excited.  I am doing exactly what I want to be doing with my life and where I feel called to be–at home with my son, focusing on my family, and spending more time helping people change their lives.  I’m less stressed, I’m happier, and I’m content with this season of my life.

It’s been a trend on blogs and throughout the internet world to come up with a list of 30 things to accomplish before you turn 30 (or while you are 30), and I’m debating coming up with a list like that.  In the meantime, I have a few fairly major goals that I want to accomplish before my 20s are over.

My biggest goal that I want to focus on for the next 3 months is losing 20 or more pounds.  I have 15 weeks between now and my birthday, and if I can lose 1-2 lbs per week for those 15 weeks, I will have lost at least 20 lbs.  That is a huge goal for me, but it’s also realistic.  I’ve gained some weight over the past year, but most of it has been in the last 6 months or so since I have been preparing to leave teaching and adjusting to staying home.  I laid out my plan to get out of my rut last week, and this goal just gives me something concrete to work toward.

My next goal is to get on a better schedule for myself.  I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping, which means I’ve been staying up too late, waking up in the middle of the night, turning my alarm off in my sleep, and sleeping until Liam wakes me up to start our day.  Even though I don’t have a set “start” time to clock in as a stay at home mom (well, I guess whenever Liam wakes up) that I HAVE to be up and ready to go, I have things to get done that are really hard to accomplish if I don’t get up earlier.  I am going to be following the “miracle morning” routine (and I’m doing a free group for it next week on Facebook!) to help me get my workout, Bible study, and personal development reading done before anyone else wakes up in my house.  I’m also joining an accountability group with other women who are doing this routine for the next 90 days to help my accountability and motivation with this.  It’s always easier to accomplish your goals when you have some like-minded people to help you!

My last goal is related to the first two–I want to continue to build my business!  I love helping people get healthy, running challenge groups, helping people figure out how to overcome struggles on their journey, and just talking with people!  I’ve taken a step back from those activities just a little bit over the past couple of weeks to focus on myself and really get a plan of action together for taking care of ME, and I’m really excited to get back into a routine with my business, too.  Because of my weight gain and my sleep issues, my business has suffered a little bit because I’ve been spending my days trying to fit in the things that I should be doing in the mornings.  I’m really excited to see how focusing on my first two goals will help with my third goal!

Life is all about seasons and balance.  There will always be ups and downs.  The key for me right now is giving myself some grace with where I am, making goals for where I want to be, and knowing that I can get where I want to be because I’ve done it before!

Do you have any goals for the end of 2016?  I’d love to hear them!

Getting Out of A Rut–Again!

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a post about being stuck in a rut and how to get out of it.  It is so funny to me that I’m feeling almost the same way now at the same time of year, but in a totally different life situation.

I thought that once I decided to stay home full time and leave a job that left me feeling really unhappy and anxious and depressed and stressed ALL THE TIME would mean that I would somehow magically transform into a super fit person.  Without the stress, without the time constraint of the job, without the unhappiness that came with the stress.  What has happened in reality, however, is totally different.

Last August when we moved into our new house, I was the most fit I have ever been.  I was at the lowest weight I’ve ever been since before getting pregnant (like, way before getting pregnant) and was feeling really awesome.  And then school started, and it was a really tough year for me.  I was really unhappy and posted about it a little on here.  Lots of stress, exhaustion, and anxiety. Over the course of the school year, I gained about 10 lbs and went up a couple of inches.  I was consistently working out and working on my nutrition, but not eating clean consistently enough to see the results I wanted.  I know that part of my weight gain was stress, too–it affects your body so much.

When the school year ended, I was really looking forward to focusing on my health more and being able to get back to where I want to be with my body and fitness level.  But to frank, that hasn’t happened.  The adjustment to being a stay-at-home mom was a lot tougher than I thought it would be, even though I expected some tough transition time.  We had a busy summer and it felt like we were constantly traveling, so I wasn’t able to get into a good routine for a couple of months.  My husband’s job has a semi-flexible schedule, too, so that means that sometimes he is home and wants to just hang out with me, which made it hard to get into a routine.  My toddler tornado decided that mommy staying home was the perfect time to give up naps, so that “me” time I thought I would get to workout or meal prep or work my business disappeared with no warning.

I haven’t been great at dealing with the constant changes.  I’ve always been an emotional eater, and this summer has been no different.  With all the changes and tantrums and interruptions and struggles, I’ve not dealt with it in the healthiest way, so instead of getting fitter and having my measurements go down, they’ve kept creeping up.

I know that this struggle is really common and a ton of moms go through it, but it’s been hard for me to face that I’ve let my health go so much.  I’ve not been sleeping well/enough, I haven’t been planning and preparing healthy food for my days, I haven’t been following my workout program, and I haven’t been eating clean.  It’s embarrassing, but that’s my reality right now.

Sometimes I feel like I have to be perfect all the time because I’m a coach.  But that’s not reality and that’s too much pressure on myself.  I’m a person with weaknesses and flaws, just like everyone else, and my health is a journey that I will have to constantly reassess and refocus and deal with the struggles.

The best part of being a coach in this situation, though, is being so EMPOWERED to know exactly what I need to do.  I don’t have to worry and wonder what in the world I should do to get myself out of this rut–I know exactly the steps to take.  And they’re simple!  I have a team of fellow coaches around me, and I have my challenge group and fellow challengers to help me along the way.  The support I get every single day despite my struggles energizes me to work toward my goals.  I’m flipping the switch in my mind and instead of focusing on the slip-ups, I am focusing on how far I’ve come–physically, mentally, and emotionally–than when I started my health journey almost 2 years ago.

Are you in the same boat as me?  Struggling with your health and needing some extra motivation and encouragement?  I’d love to talk with you and have you join me on this journey together!  Contact me through the links at the top of the page or email me at

Summit 2016

This summer I was able to go to the Beachbody Coach Summit in Nashville.  I had really high hopes for this annual event–everyone last year talked a lot about how life-changing and business-changing it was for them, so I was expecting something really powerful and was really kind of worried that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations.

This weekend was everything I heard it would be and more.  It was seriously amazing, and so much fun, and a game-changer for me and my business.  I’ve had big dreams for my business for a while now, but those thoughts of doubt creep in way too much for my liking.  Being with 30,000 coaches this weekend and seeing how many of them are successful, and how many different types of coaches are successful, was amazing.  There is NOTHING standing in the way of my success except for me.  I don’t have to be anything special or be a certain way to live a life by design–I just need to work really, really, REALLY hard.  It’s that simple!

First of all, my ticket to this event was FREE.  Free!!!!  I earned a free ticket by helping 3 or more people get started on a healthy lifestyle my first three months of coaching.  How awesome is that???  And that is an opportunity every single new coach can take advantage of.  One of my new coaches is one month and 3 people away from earning her own free ticket to next year’s Summit!

When we arrived on Wednesday, I got to go to The Core, the humongous gift store, during a VIP opening because I am a Success Club 5 All-Star, meaning I helped 3 people or more per month for 12 consecutive months.  Yay me!  Such a cool perk for just helping others.

Thursday afternoon my friend Bethany and I worked out with Autumn Calabrese (and 3,000 other people!) doing her Chisel Agility workout.  I was so emotional the whole time.  Autumn is the trainer that I started this whole journey with, and it was really special to be in the same room with her for real, not just in my basement or living room and her on the TV.  If it weren’t for her and her program, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  It was really awesome and a special experience!

Thursday night was the opening ceremony, where a lot of cool announcements were made and a TON of people were recognized for their success.  This is where I really started to notice not just how MANY people were having success with this business, but how many different levels of success and all the different types of people that were successful.  It was so cool to see thousands of people recognized for hitting big goals, and some even earning a million dollars or more.  Some of these coaches have only been coaches for a couple of years!  They aren’t riding anyone’s coattails–they are just working super hard, which means I can do it, too.

The Super Workout on Saturday morning was amazing!  We got up at 3:30 to be on Broadway in downtown Nashville by 4:15 and got to be in the front section near the stage.  At 6, we started our workout with 25,000 coaches spanning 7 blocks of downtown Nashville and workout LIVE with all the super trainers–Chalene Johnson, Sagi Kalev, Joel and Jericho, Shaun T, Tony Horton, and Autumn.  We worked out for about 90 minutes!  It was so much fun!  Seeing my team around me, pushing me to not give up and to keep going, was so powerful.  And Shaun T came down off the stage and was 2 feet in front of me!!!!  It was awesome.

Friday and Saturday were both spent in business training sessions.  I got to hear from many top coaches and their best practices.  It was really overwhelming and I have pages and pages of notes.  I had to go through all of my notes to find the action items I needed to do, make a list, and write it out on a calendar to make sure I got it done!  The most impactful session for me was one where they asked us to think about how our lives would be different if we had never gotten involved with Beachbody.  What a powerful question!  I was so overcome with emotion, and I still am a week later when I think about this.  I would be overweight, self-conscious, exhausted, depressed, anxious, super stressed out, unhappy with myself, still laying on the couch for an hour every day when I got home from work, and just generally a much more miserable person.

Not only that, but my ENTIRE life would be different, not just physically.  It wasn’t until I started coaching–helping other women get healthy and change their lives–that I actually understood what people meant when they talked about “find something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”  I used to really enjoy teaching, but the past few years have been truly awful.  The past year especially, I wanted to quit literally every single day I was there.  I was sick with dread and anxiety every Sunday night thinking about going to work on Monday–and not just Sunday nights, but all day Saturday, and Friday nights, too.  What a terrible way to live–stressed, unhappy, and feeling completely stuck in a job that feels like is sucking your soul away.  That might sound dramatic if you’ve never been in a job that made you so unhappy, but that is the reality of how I felt.

When I started thinking about how my life would be different without Beachbody, I realized that I would be going back to work next week.  I would have gone back THIS week to set up my classroom.  I would be sick with dread at starting another year all over again in a negative environment.  When it really became real to me that I get to stay home, not because I’m making a ton of money or matching my teaching salary, but because I’m making ENOUGH to stay home, I was completely overcome with gratitude. I am so THANKFUL at the opportunity to be able to stay home with my child, not dread every Monday, not spend my days wishing I was somewhere else–and I get to help people get healthy and feel better about themselves?  It’s such a blessing.

The flip side of this question is that there are a lot of people in my life that are living like I used to live before Beachbody.  People that I love and care about, and some that I haven’t even met yet–all living with stress, depression, dread, feeling stuck, living an unhealthy life and hating themselves.  I am so passionate about finding and helping the ones who are ready to change their lives!  I am so thankful for this business and the opportunities it is giving not just me and my family, but everyone who chooses to take that leap of faith with me.

This year, one of my coaches came with me to my first Summit.  I am so blessed to have  a team that is so passionate and shares my vision of helping people and changing lives as we change our own lives, too.  Next year, I can’t wait to see how many of my coaches come with me to New Orleans!  If you are interested in learning more about this crazy and amazing experience, check out my link at the top of the page.  I’d love to help you get started and earn your own free ticket to NOLA!


Decide You Can

This past year has been all about changes for me.  On the outside, it may seem like a lot is the same, between my job and my family, but I have been growing and evolving so much.  One of the biggest changes has been my perspective–toward my job, my roles in life, and my dreams for my future.

I’ve been seeing more and more through my experiences, Bible study, and other reading that life goes in stages.  What is the best decision one day may not stay the best decision forever, and what is right for you and your family right now may not be the right thing four years from now, or even four days from now.  One of my pastors told me once that God’s will isn’t always about making a specific choice, say between this job and that job, but more about who you are–if you’re seeking God and seeking to become more and more like Him, God can use you wherever you are.

This has become more and more evident to me in terms of my job.  If you know me well, you probably know that I’ve wanted to be a teacher for a long time.  All through high school and college I knew that was the career I was working toward.  I didn’t need to take general classes to see what fit me in school–I knew what I wanted and I went after it. I got a job straight out of college and got my Master’s, and then started working toward becoming Nationally Board certified.

But in the 7 years that I’ve been teaching, something has been working in my heart and in my head.  I just didn’t really LOVE what I was doing.  Of course there have been amazing aspects of teaching, and I know that I have been right where I belong for these 7 years, but something was off.  I taught at a private school first, and thought that unsettled feeling was because I was being led to public school instead, so I applied for the public district and got a job there.  I know that was exactly what I needed to do at the time, and I was at peace about moving to a rougher school from what was really a cushy job.  But as I’ve been teaching at my current position, I’ve still felt that unsettled feeling that I just don’t love what I do.  And this year I’ve decided (along with the support of my husband) to take a break from teaching after this year ends and stay home with my son.

This decision has been a really tough one for me to make.  I’ve always either been a teacher or been working towards being a teacher for more than half of my life–it is part of my identity, who I am.  What am I if not a teacher?  What about all the time and money and effort I’ve put into my degrees and the beginning stages of National Boards?  What about the students I’ve taught and built relationships with?  What about the income I’m bringing in?  These are questions other people have been asking me, too, when they discover my plans to leave teaching, at least for a while.

It all boiled down to one question for me, when I really thought about it: Who am I to decide that I want something more for my life?  What makes me different from anyone else who is unhappy in their job?  Why should I get to make a choice to live my life differently?  I’m not the only person in the world who would rather stay home with their child.  I’m not the only one who dreads their job every day.  I’m not the only person who has anxiety every night before work, thinking about the job.  I’m not the only one who is unhappy, so why should I get to do it differently?

I’ve been doing a lot of praying and reading and soul searching, and I’ve come to one conclusion: of course I’m not different than anyone else who feels stuck in their job and dreams of something different.  But I’ve done one thing: I’ve given myself permission to have a different dream.  I’ve decided that I can.  If I feel called to something more, something better, than what I’m living right now, and it doesn’t go against what I know to be true, why CAN’T I make a change?

And so I’ve decided that I can.  I’m taking a leap of faith into what I feel called to do.  I’m scared to death about it, if I’m being honest.  I have so many insecurities as a wife and a mom, and sometimes I take solace in the fact that I work as an excuse for falling short in those roles (falling short in my mind, anyway).  It’s scary to take that shield away, but I know I’ll be a better wife and a better mom when I’m not stuck in a dark cloud all the time.  It’s scary to jump into my coaching business full force and have people that love and care about me think I’m completely insane, but I know that I’m making the right choice for me.

I have spent too much of my adult life feeling stuck, and I’ve decided that I can.  I can get unstuck. I can live a different life and dream a different dream.  And I’m excited to see where that choice takes me!