Tag Archives: #happiness

Healthier Coffee for all!

I love coffee.

I love coffee a lot.

In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s my blood type.

Over the years my coffee style has evolved. Back in the day I actually hated it….yes, you heard right. I hated it. If I needed a boost I opted for pop instead of coffee. The taste of coffee was just….ugh! I’m not sure when I actually decided I liked coffee, but I can’t believe I used to choose that carbonated nastiness over my now favorite beverage!

In the beginning I would load my coffee up with flavored creamer and sugar to disguise the taste, then slowly started to cut back on all of those “add ins” I put into my cup. When I became a health and fitness coach, I started to pay more attention to how I was fueling my body. The creamers I loved….I was sad to find out how bad they were for me, but I knew that I couldn’t drink my coffee black. What in the world could I substitute for the fabulosity I had been using?

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 3.34.17 PM

Here are some healthier alternatives to keep your coffee flavored and tasting great without loading it with unnecessary calories:

Coconut Oil and Extract: Coconut Oil has about a million uses, so I was excited when I added it to my coffee! Besides smelling like a beach,  coconut oil is great for boosting your immune system, increasing energy, and speeding up your metabolism! All you do is add one teaspoon of coconut oil, a splash of extract if you prefer (I love hazelnut), and blend in a blender or with an immersion blender. It makes it nice and frothy with a kick of extra flavor!

Coconut Oil and Unsalted Grassfed Butter: Also known as Bulletproof Coffee, I wasn’t sure how I felt about putting butter on anything besides toast, especially because I had read many articles sharing reasons NOT to drink bulletproof coffee.  However, I had read articles that shared how having your healthy fat early in the morning helped with focus and mental clarity, so I figured I would see for myself what the fuss was about. Blending the ingredients in with your coffee created a delicious latte , but I wasn’t a fan of cutting out other areas of my breakfast due to the nutritional content of the butter. Some people love this and drink it daily; my only recommendation is to do your research to see if it aligns with your current meal plan/diet.

Almond Milk/ Coconut Milk Creamer: I always have these on hand for my shakes so from a cost effective standpoint, I don’t need to purchase anything additional to flavor my coffee. Using a splash in your coffee with a bit of Stevia is a great way to add a little sweetness without the calorie overload (Sidenote: Stevia is all natural and a better alternative to sugar, but don’t use much…it is much sweeter than sugar).

Cinnamon: Replace your creamer with a teaspoon of cinnamon. This is my new favorite recipe, and it has a bunch of health benefits! Not only does it save you over 75 calories a cup, but adding cinnamon can help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar. Pay attention next time you are at Starbucks….you’ll see a cinnamon shaker at the coffee stand!

Make your own creamer: I used to follow the recipes for homemade creamer from Deliciously Organic, only I would use almond milk in place of the heavy cream. Making your own allows you to control everything that is in your creamer and the recipes make a ton!

Remember, everything is okay in moderation. Sometimes I indulge in regular coffee creamer (I love the Nestle Coffeemate Samoa flavor), but I don’t go overboard. Make smart choices…you don’t want to drink all of your calories!

All this coffee talk has me needing to brew another cup……or hit the coffee shop!

Happy Caffeinating!

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 3.34.36 PM

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rock Bottom is worth celebrating

Victories.

If you have ever been in one of my online accountability groups, you know that this is one topic I discuss every single group. It doesn’t matter if it is a small victory…..like choosing water over pop at dinner….or a big victory….like losing ten pounds. You need to embrace all of the little steps that help get you where you want to be. Change doesn’t happen overnight. It happens every day, little by little.

Today is the two year anniversary of a pretty large victory in my life.

Two years ago today I completed my final workout of T25 and stepped on the scale for my final weigh in. It was a moment that was not only a large victory in my life, but a moment that will always be one of the most defining moments of my life.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how I felt on the morning of November 1st, 2013. Somedays I am simply completing another Shaun T workout and think about how far I’ve come since the days I relied on the modifier. Somedays I am talking to a potential client who feels hopeless and like they can never reach the goals they have for themselves. Somedays I am celebrating with a current challenger about their results. As a coach, it is obvious I get to talk about the programs and the impact they can have on one’s life because helping people get results is what I do. My ability to do so and my belief in what I do is fueled by those feelings that took place two years ago today.

As human beings, it is obvious there are moments (both good and bad) that shape us as people. Moments that help us overcome and triumph, and moments that help ground us when needed. Since today is the anniversary of one of those defining moments, I wanted to take  a minute to share with you the two moments that have completely changed my life and that will forever be the catalyst for what I do.

Defining Moment #1: August 25, 2013

This was the day that Sh*t Got Real in the world of Katie. This was the day that I drove to my parents’ house, asked my mother to take my “before” photos for this silly little online group thing I had decided to do in a last ditch effort to regain control over my health and my life, and put on a bikini that I hadn’t worn in almost two years.

I was humiliated by the process. I was embarrassed and angry at myself that I had dug myself into such a deep, dark hole that putting on a bathing suit made me feel so awful. I missed the days where I could wear all of my beautiful clothes. I missed the days where I liked what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I hated feeling the way I felt.

My mother took the pictures, and I made myself smile even though I was crying on the inside. Then I drove myself home, crying the entire way, and proceeded to get drunk so I wouldn’t be as sad about how the whole picture taking process made me feel. I felt like I would never feel like myself again and could never get back to how I used to be.

How did this miserable moment end up being a moment I classify as one of my defining moments in life?

Easy.

I will never ever ever forget how I felt that day. From the moment I stepped on the scale to do my weigh in to the moment my mother took these pictures….I will ALWAYS remember how I felt.

I remember the sadness.
The embarrassment.
The anger.
The feeling of defeat.
The questioning of self worth.
The loneliness.
The shame.

I think back to that day and know that I never want to feel that way again. It is a reminder to me of my Rock Bottom.

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 8.12.15 PM

Defining Moment #2: November 1, 2013

This was the day that, once again, Sh*t got real in the world of Katie. I had completed the sixty day online challenge group, not missing a single workout in the T25 program. I had modified my meal plan and had incorporated a superfood packed shake into my routine to help with my nutrition. Somehow I had stuck to a promise I made to a complete stranger in the group named Theresa that I would not step on the scale a single day during the challenge. I had completely given up alcohol. And as a result of all of that, on November 1st, 2013 I stepped on a scale to realize I had lost 47. 5 pounds.

I cried like a baby. I instantly took my “after” photos and could not believe the difference.

I will never ever ever forget how I felt that day. From the moment I stepped on the scale to do my final weigh in to the moment my roommate at the time took these pictures….I will ALWAYS remember how I felt.

I remember the happiness.
The feeling of accomplishment.
The confidence I had gained.
The strength I felt.
The pride.
The rebirth of a mindset and a person.
The thought that this was only the beginning for me.

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 8.11.51 PM

Why is this a defining moment for me?

I think back to that day and see it as a constant reminder that I can do absolutely anything I put my mind to. I think back to that day and want EVERY SINGLE PERSON I WORK WITH TO KNOW THAT FEELING. I want every single person to someday look back at their after photos and feel the sense of the accomplishment like I do when I look at mine.

The photos I took on November 1st, 2013 serve as a badge of honor to me. They were the end of an awful time frame in my life and the beginning of the most incredible.

Side by Side Results!

Side by Side Results!

Awhile back a stumbled across a quote by J.K. Rowling that I 100% could relate to, which I have shared below.

I hit rock bottom. It absolutely sucked.

However, that rock bottom became the foundation for my life. I could never be where I am now….personally, professionally, mentally, financially…..had it not been for me hitting rock bottom.

Because of that, I will continue to think of these two defining moments every single day of my life and be thankful they both happened as and when they did.

I’m proud of my failures, and I love them just as much as my triumphs. Both have made me who I am. Both have impacted the way I live my life and the way I hope to help others. And both should serve as a reminder to you that regardless of how bad you think things are or how unhappy you may be with yourself, you ALWAYS have the ability to change.

Here’s to all of our rock bottoms and the amazing things that come from them……..

Photo Courtesy of fearlesslifequotes.com.

Photo Courtesy of fearlesslifequotes.com.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

My New Normal

I remember a couple of years ago when my mother was all hot to trot about a show called “The New Normal.” It was a show I somehow never got into, which is surprising because my girl Nene Leakes was in it, but I got to thinking the other day about the concept behind it. The show was based on the family dynamic of a wealthy gay couple who want to have a child, so they move the surrogate mother and her daughter into the home. Thus, a new “normal” regarding a family lifestyle is born.

Last week was the first week of what I like to refer to as my new normal. No, I didn’t do anything like the characters on the show did, but I did make a lifestyle change that once seemed impossible. I left the career that I dedicated fifteen years of my life to. It still is crazy to think that I was able to make it happen.

Let’s talk about my “old” normal. I started working in the higher education field when I was eighteen years old, starting at the bottom of the totem pool in my college’s admissions office. After graduation I fell into an opportunity that made me a department director at the age of twenty-one. I was young, clueless, but eager to learn and make a positive impact. After about a year I made the decision to take a great opportunity in an Admissions department at a college in Pittsburgh, which led to me an even better opportunity, and then another, including providing me with the opportunity to open a brand new campus and obtain various management roles. To say I loved my job was an understatement; I greatly enjoyed meeting with individuals who needed a change in their life and had goals of doing more.

However, as much as I loved the ability I had to help people gain a new career, there were things that I absolutely had grown to hate. I hated that over the years people were seen as dollar signs instead of people. I hated that I worked alongside people and under managers who threw integrity in the trash and lied to pad their bottom dollar. Most importantly, I had grown to hate the hours and expectations. I have always been a hard worker, but working 50+ hours a week was not something I liked. Being forced to work on holidays instead of spending those moments with my family was not something I liked. Getting the third degree if I was sick and had to take some time off was not something I liked. So I made the decision to take a huge pay cut and return to the department where it all started: Career Services.

I remember a conversation with the Campus President soon after I started my new role in Career Services where we discussed my career goals with the company.  During the conversation I had told her that this would be the final school I would work for. I would either choose to remain working for the college and move up within it, or I would leave it and pursue something else. She laughed and said, “that’s what everyone says. This is a great company. You won’t leave.”

Two years after that conversation I came to a crossroads in my life. Not only had my personal life fallen apart, but I had met a new level of frustration with my career. I hated driving to work every single day to feel under appreciated. I hated that my performance was based on things that were beyond my control. I hated that I felt I was one of only a select handful of individuals who cared about the students and their success. And I hated that the combination of a miserable job and a hot mess personal life had led to me gaining 60 pounds. Sunday nights I had such extreme anxiety about driving to a place that I felt was literally sucking the life out of me that I often could not sleep or had anxiety attacks.

So my “old” normal life went a little something like this:

Get up. Go to work. Grab some kind of fast food on the way. Put on a brave face and take on the day. Grab fast food for lunch. Leave work. Grab fast food for dinner. Stop and grab liquor. Go home. Eat fast food. Make White Russian after White Russian. Watch reality tv. Eventually pass out. Get up and start the cycle again.

It was awful.

Around this time was when I made the decision to get started with Beachbody. I’ve talked about it numerous times before, I truly believe that buying that little challenge pack and joining an online challenge group saved my life. I started the end of August and completed the challenge November 1st, losing 47.5 pounds during that 10 week program, while modifying my eating and giving up drinking completely. More importantly, I learned about this little thing called “coaching”, and I fell in love with it.

Shortly after I completed my challenge group, I attended my first online team call led by some chick named Brittany who I had never heard of in my life. I remember her talking about how she had retired from nursing thanks to her income from coaching and the freedom it had brought to her life. Something about that call lit a fire inside me that made me want the same thing. I heard Brittany talk about the same things that I was struggling with……working long hours, being away from family, feeling under appreciated…..I knew deep down I could make this work for me, too. After all, the one thing I knew was that I was incredibly passionate about coaching the products and opportunities through Beachbody. I had seen first hand how they could transform someone’s life because MY LIFE had been transformed, and I wanted to help as many people as possible feel the satisfaction and triumph like I had felt when I realized I had taken control of not only my health, but my life.

I knew going full time with Beachbody would not happen overnight. I knew it would take hard work, consistency, and patience. I knew that there would be ups and downs, but I knew that it would be worth it.

For almost two years I worked my higher ed job in misery, anxious every day to come home to work on my business and growth. My doctor had me take anxiety medication so I could handle my job and the ridiculous management there. After 8 or 9 hours at the daytime job, I would come home and get to cracking at my to do list. Some nights I wouldn’t have much time to dedicate to my business, other nights I would put in some long hours. I never complained. I never felt like I was doing “work”. I had fallen in love with this opportunity and wanted to spend more time doing it.

There were times when I sacrificed activities or events because I knew I needed to get work done for my challenge groups. There were days I did not want to workout but did it because I needed to hold myself accountable and be an example to my challengers. There were days people I “thought” were my friends badmouthed me and made fun of this “stupid Beachbody thing” on Facebook posts and in messages. There were days I got defriended. No one ever said being an entrepreneur would be easy, especially not when so many people have misconceptions about multi level marketing companies. I knew that eventually it would be worth it, and all of the hard work would pay off.

On September 18th, I packed the last of my cubicle up and officially said goodbye to higher education.

Goodbye, Cube life!

I had done it.

I had fired my boss and officially become my own one. That thought I had two years prior….the one that Brittany, now a dear friend and mentor, had gotten me to think about…..it had left the dream category and had become a reality.

Last Monday was Day 1 of my “New Normal.” Look at how different my daily routine is from that “Old Normal.”

Sleep In. Wake Up Rested and Refreshed. Make a healthy breakfast. Work for a few hours (depending on what else I have going on). Workout. Make breakfast for Kyle. Walk the dogs. Take some selfies. Clean. Spend time with Kyle. Work a few more hours. Chat with my team. Give away prizes. Brainstorm fun and creative groups and concepts.Go to bed when I want. Wake up and repeat.

Just another day at the office with my assistant.

With the wedding only a few days away, my days have had a lot more packed into them like running errands, making phone calls, and organizing events. It’s been so nice to not have to worry about whether or not I can get everything done on a lunch break. Yesterday I woke up with a nasty headache; I didn’t have to think twice about whether or not I should call off work…..I just slept a little later, woke up and felt better.

My driving force this entire time has been my family, not just Kyle, but my parents and immediate family, too. I didn’t want to have to structure my visits around one day on a weekend here and there. I wanted to be more present in their lives and be able to be there when they need me. With Kyle working a nontraditional schedule, I wanted to be home when he was home so we could have meals together and do the things we love. Life is so short….I wanted to spend my time with those I love while also doing something I love….and I wanted to truly live life.

I never in a million years thought this is where I would be at the age of 34. The possibilities that lay in front of me are endless. It is amazing how you see life when a passion and career come together. I still get to help people, just in a different capacity, only now I get to say whether or not I want to wear pants to work, if I want to wear makeup, and what time I want to work.

The greatest lesson I have learned through all of this: Life is too short to spend 40 hours of your week doing something that is harming you more than hurting you. Unhappy with where you are? Do some soul searching. Find something that will make you happy. Then come up with a plan to get you there. Be realistic: Most times this change is not something that can happen overnight. Actually, if something can transform your life overnight you might want to be a little skeptical about it. Good things take time, energy, and an investment in your self and belief in yourself. For me, it took almost two years. I kept my eye on the goal and was determined to make it happen. You can, too.

Maybe you want to do what I do. Maybe you want to own a pet rescue. Maybe you just want to write. MAKE IT HAPPEN!  Trust the dots will connect. Follow your heart. Do Great Work. And never, ever give up on your dream.

Now go watch this and get some goosebumps…..

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements