Tag Archives: #motivation

One Starfish at a time.

 

I have always loved starfish. I’m not sure what started my enjoyment of them….I think a lot of it had to do with the summers my family and I would spend in Chincoteague Island. There were a few local shops that we would visit each trip, one in particular named The Brandt. I loved going to that shop because it had all kinds of starfish trinkets that I remember just loving looking at. There’s just something about starfish that are a little magical to me.

As I grew older, I continued my love for starfish, but that was because of a story (found below) that I once read that resonated with me so much. I love it so much that I have a starfish in my office to remind me of the power of ONE.

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Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out ‘Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?’

The young man paused, looked up, and replied ‘Throwing starfish into the ocean.’

‘I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?’ asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, ‘The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.’

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, ‘But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!’

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, ‘It made a difference for that one.’

I think about this story every single day, and it has a lot to do with what I do for a living.

All too often so many people question what I do. I get it though….there was a time that I thought the concept of being an online wellness consultant was silly and probably made up, but here I am…..four and half years into my career as one, and I can tell you that isn’t the case.

That young man on the beach throwing the starfish back into the ocean…..I see what I do as the same thing.

There are millions of people on the planet who are struggling with their health….and obesity is at an all time high.  To many, there is no way I could possibly make a difference. But to me, I KNOW I am making a difference…..one person at a time.

This year I have pledged to help even more people than I have in my entire FOUR+ years as a wellness coach…I’m THAT focused on making a difference, and my team is doing the same…..one person at a time.

If you want to learn more and help us on our journey to make a difference in the health of the country, let me know HERE! I’d love for you to help us so we can get ALLLLLLLLLL of the starfish off the beach and into the ocean. Let’s be starfish throwers together!

Remember, you can ALWAYS make a difference to someone.

ALWAYS.

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Beast Up Cleveland!

This weekend you guys….what a wicked awesome time!!!!

If you follow me on Snapchat, Facebook, or Instagram, you knew this weekend wasn’t just any old Saturday and Sunday combo….it was the weekend we brought Sagi Kalev aka The Beast to Cleveland! I’ve been waiting for this weekend for months!

I was very lucky to have been asked earlier last year to join the Cleveland Market Council, a group of amazing women who head up all of the Beachbody community events for Northeastern Ohio, and I was excited when we decided to try to bring a Beachbody super trainer to the area. Since most of us are relatively new to the council, we really wanted to start the year with a bang and impact as many people as we possibly could. During our discussion it was a no brainer that we absolutely had to bring Sagi to town…..so we got to work!

After securing Sagi we locked down the most historical venue in all of Cleveland, The Agora, known for hosting the best of the best, including Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, and Peter Frampton, but also features many local acts. Those who haven’t been to The Agora before…it’s hard to describe. It has an industrial feel to it….a little grunge…a little rock and roll….a whole bunch of character. I’ve seen many shows there throughout the years and always thought it was a cool place, and we all agreed it would be a great way to show off the historic side of Cleveland.

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In every group of friends, there is a tall tree. Somehow it is always me. 

So what all went on during the weekend?

FRIDAY

The council and I had a private dinner with Sagi and Barbie, a Superstar Diamond Beachbody coach who just happens to be Sagi’s wife. We had a private dining room at Adega, an incredible restaurant located in the best hotel in Cleveland, Metropolitan on the 9. You may remember me mentioning this spot before…we had our wedding photos taken throughout it because we loved the vibe (our best’s man Aunt and Uncle own it, so they hooked us up), and both Kyle and I had our bachelor/bachelorette parties there. If you travel to Cleveland, that’s where you have to stay….it’s the best hotel in the city.

Dinner was great…we had the chance to really get to know this man who most only knew to be a tough meathead from the workout programs Body Beast and Master’s Hammer and Chisel. It was amazing to hear him talk about various nutritional things…he actually is a clinical nutritionist…and just to see how real and down to Earth he was. I had the Shrimp and Chorizo Flatbread…try it…it’s so good! (For those of you who wondered…Sagi had a steak.) As far as attire goes, I rocked a black lace back jumpsuit that I am obsessed with….it can be glammed up or down…and paired it with red suede heels, a red clutch, and red lips!


SATURDAY

I was driving the struggle bus HARD Saturday morning, but there wasn’t a chance in hell that I was going to miss a moment of the day’s events. I left my house a little after 6am after only catching about 2 hours of sleep, hunted down the biggest coffee I could find, and started to search The Agora for a coffee IV drip I never found. The staff at The Agora was fantastic, which meant that the initial set up went very smoothly.

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A few of my amazing coaches! I love this team!

The day was jam packed! Here’s how the day broke down!

9am: Fifty people were able to be a part of a VIP experience with Sagi where he interacted with them all and discussed personal development. Personal Development is huge in our business, and Sagi is such a motivating person that I think everyone walked away feeling enlightened. At the end of the session everyone got a photo with Sagi.

10:30am: Barbie came out and addressed the audience. Those who don’t know about the ranks in Beachbody, a Superstar Diamond is the highest rank you can achieve, and this is what Barbie is. Her knowledge…her passion….I had no idea how strong of a coach she is. I feel so honored to have met her and to have learned from her.

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Barbie and I backstage

11-12:15pm: Sagi took the stage to address the crowd. He has such a great story and so much valuable content to share….he could’ve talked for hours and hours! I wrote down so many notes!

12:45pm-1:30pm: Sagi led a workout for all attendees. I personally didnt participate and spent the workout running around capturing pics and video, but I do know my team mentioned how brutal it was…their legs were on fire!

1:30-2:15pm: Prize giveaway! Sagi and Barbie were so generous and gave away so many great prizes! Attendees won hats, water bottles, watches, autographed posters…and a handful won his book.

Overall the event was a huge success. Our only glitch was that The Agora had some issues with the boilers, so it was a little chilly in the venue. That was eliminated once the workout began though!

Here’s a little recap of the event from my perspective:

Look like fun? The Market Council hosts events every quarter. This has been the biggest to date, but we have big plans to bring other celebrity trainers to the area as well as top coaches full of valuable info. These events aren’t just for coaches….anyone who loves fitness and health can benefit! I’d love for you to join us next time!

Make your mark on this world…..maybe it’s on a wall. Maybe it’s by inspiring someone. Maybe it’s doing a good deed. Regardless, make it.

Have a week full of sparkle, friends!

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The famous graffiti wall! My name is now on it not far from Elvis!

 

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Time to Fly.

Back in July our company announced the release of a brand new program, Core de Force, that would be launching the beginning of November. Of course, I was over the moon excited.

I always love the release of a new program because it is a new challenge for me, and since I want to educate my clients properly I always do them so I can offer advice and support. This one, being an MMA inspired program, was definitely something I had little experience with but loved the concept of. All I knew was that it would be 30 days in length with workouts ranging in length from 16 minutes to 47, and that it required no equipment.

I was even more excited about the release date, which fell at the very beginning of November. November, by far, is the hardest month for me, and I knew this year in particular would be extremely difficult. The middle of the month brought my grandmother’s birthday, and it would be the first time in my entire 35 years on this planet that we did not get to celebrate with her. A few short days later would mark the one year anniversary of the passing of my father.

I miss my dad and grandma every single day, but just knowing these particular dates were approaching meant that I had to find a way to attack this difficult time. The old me would’ve eaten my feelings…..like wheels of brie cheese and stuffed crust pizzas and ice cream out the ying yang….and I didn’t want that to happen. For some reason these past couple of months I have been a lot angrier at the fact that my dad was taken from our family so young, and to me, a program that allowed me to get out my aggression would be just the perfect solution.

Enter Core de Force.I was determined to make this workout my saving grace as emotionally I was falling apart.

For 30 days I channeled my inner bad ass. I completed workouts that involved Muay Thai, Capoeira, and Jiu Jitsu, and I documented everything on The Sparkle Fitness Babe. Each day I shared with my followers a snippet of the workout I had just done as well as pow punch picture with the day. I NEEDED to document this program this way….I needed my followers to keep me accountable if it was getting late and my video wasn’t up yet. People often give us coaches crap for posting our selfies or our workouts or our meals on social media, but you know what? We use social media as our workout diary….this is what keeps US on track. It might not be your bag, but to me I need to know someone will call me out if they don’t see me post about a workout….and I like to track my progress this way. Don’t be afraid to share when you get your sweat on…or eat something fabulous…if people hate on you for holding yourself accountable then they have no business being in your life.

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30 Days of Accountability, one punch at a time.

When I started this program I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I hoped deep down I would. I love any workout with high intensity, which I knew this program had, but I worried some of the moves wouldn’t be up my alley.

I was wrong.

Every day I felt challenged by this program. Every day I felt stronger. Every day my technique got better. I looked forward to my workouts with this program every single day, which is a rarity for me. I found that I am actually pretty good at these moves and love MMA workouts. I am now considering joining an MMA gym to further explore my new love.

My favorite workout: MMA Plyo. My least favorite: Dynamic Strength. The one workout I still throw in every so often: 5 Minute Core of the Floor….Wowsers does that burn!

Who is this program good for? Any man or woman who likes a challenging, high intensity program. I do not recommend this for beginners, though if you really wanted to challenge yourself you could do it….I just personally think this is a program you should build up to. Some of the moves were incredibly difficult for me at first, and at times I got a little discouraged, even though I knew eventually I would get the move. I’d hate for someone to start with this, get down on themselves, and quit. I personally think this is a great program to toss in for some cross training if you are a runner or if you need to add cardio to your weight lifting routine but hate cardio like running.

How did I do with the program? Overall, I am very pleased!

I always take my Before and After photos first thing in the morning, so I always look like a hot mess, but that’s okay….I didn’t even care that I have the most ridiculous derp face in my after photo.

Overall I lost 5 pounds, which was fine…I’m not really interested in losing any weight…my focus is just to tone up and get stronger so I can kick American Ninja Warrior tryouts’ ass. I lost 2 and a half inches from my waist (it has CORE in the title for a reason), plus a half inch from each thigh and one inch from my hip.

Was I perfect during this program? Hell to the NO. I did kind of eat my feelings a little bit on the anniversary of my dad’s passing….i did indulge in lots of delicious things at Thanksgiving…I did celebrate a baby shower for a friend with a cupcake or two. I’m ok with that. This journey I’m on and this coaching thing I do….it is not about perfection. It’s about balance and has its ups and downs. I had loosened up on my nutrition the few months prior, so I was glad to get my abs back after this 30 days program.

And you know what? It proved to be the best outlet for my grief and emotions during the month of November. Ever hear that saying the exercise is the best form of therapy? It’s true.

I already can’t wait to do another round of this program, which I will be starting February 7th. After completing the first round of Core, I debated if I should do back to back rounds, but I opted to jump back to one of my other favorite programs, 22 Minute Hardcorps, which is a 60 day program for some variety. Once I finish it up I will be back for another 30 days of roundhouses!

If you are someone who has been wanting to make a healthier change, but don’t know how…just know I am here to help. You don’t have to round house or throw punches like I did in this program…I literally have a solution for everyone depending on your fitness level and interests. Not only can I hook you up with a great workout program and structured meal plan, but I can plug you into one of our online groups that help you stay on track and hold you accountable.

Register for my January Challenge Group HERE!

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Remember guys…. we all have the power to get healthier and stronger. You just have to be willing to get over the excuses and make the decision to start. Starting is the hardest part…I remember how scared I was when I got my challenge bundle in the mail….how afraid I was to fail.

What if you fail?

Oh, but what if you fly??????

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Woohoo!! Program graduate!

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Sea-duced in a major way.

WHO: About 6000 Beachbody coaches and their guests

WHAT: 2016 Success Club Trip

WHEN: March 12th-17th

WHERE: Aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas

WHY: To celebrate the lives we have impacted throughout the past year

I have been WAITING for this trip for what seems like forever. We had registered back in January of 2015, and at that time this trip seemed like a lifetime away…..that’s a long time to wait! Since Kyle and I canceled our honeymoon (thanks Hurricane Joaquin), we were more than ready for some tropical fun.

I had scheduled an early Saturday morning flight so we could go right from the airport to the port in Fort Lauderdale, which meant we had to be at the airport around 3:30 Saturday morning. Most people who know me know that I am very much a nocturnal person….I usually go to bed around 4am and get up about 11am, so I wasn’t really worried about the early departure time. However, I failed to think about the lack of sleep I would have the day prior. We live very close to the Cleveland airport but had found much cheaper flights out of Pittsburgh, which is pretty close to my mother’s, so we had driven down to her house Friday so she and my aunt could drop us off. I tried to get a few hours of sleep by lying down at 9pm, but thanks to my weird schedule it was impossible, so no sleep for me!

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Wide awake for an early morning departure!

Day 1

We arrived in Fort Lauderdale and to the port with no issues…or so we thought. After checking in and getting our Sea Passes, we were escorted to a strange holding cell area on the second floor of the port. Being new to cruises, Kyle and I had no idea what was going on and thought this was just a temporary thing. After about an hour of waiting we found out that the hold up for boarding was actually a disgruntled crew member who was trying to commit suicide by jumping from the boat (you can read all about that here). Eventually police officials were able to get the man down safely and we were able to board…..when it was all said and done we had been waiting in the holding cell area for about three hours.

The boat Beachbody chartered for us was through Royal Caribbean and was called The Oasis of the Seas, one of the largest boats out there. I had no clue what to expect when I walked on board but quickly realized that everything I thought was wrong. There was a Michael Kors store right in front of me(yes, I did some damage there), a Starbucks in eyesight, a pizza parlor cranking out pizzas for all of the hungry people coming aboard, and a bar that actually moved up and down in the middle of the ship…..and that was only on the one floor!

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First stop….a Starbucks Cafe Americano!

Our room was a Superior Ocean View Stateroom with a balcony, and I have to admit….it was much more spacious than I had imagined. We had a comfortable Queen Size bed, sofa, vanity area (my makeup and I were happy), large closet, and a decent sized bathroom. My biggest concern about the room prior to arriving was that my 6’6″ husband would be very uncomfortable in it. Fortunately, he had plenty of space, especially in the shower, and had no complaints. Having a balcony was great, too….I loved being able to see the water…and I think a porthole room may have made me feel a bit claustrophobic.

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Our boat left the port about 5pm that Saturday, but we missed the Sail Away party….we had already met up with some of our friends and were busy exploring the ship! At this point I was pretty much driving the struggle bus….I still hadn’t slept at all, so I had been up since 11am Friday morning. Thank heavens for coffee…..as usual. We didn’t stay up too late that night….I had gotten really sick from some food at the one buffet and was feeling awful. Since we were arriving in the Bahamas early the next morning I wanted to make sure that I was feeling better and well rested.

Day 2

Waking up in the Bahamas was such a beautiful sight. We had ordered room service for breakfast and enjoyed a great meal on the balcony overlooking Nassau before getting ready to explore. We had the option for some excursions but had opted out of doing any because we weren’t sure a) what we wanted to do (so many options) and b) how the whole process worked. After breakfast we showered and decided to walk around the port and the city a bit.

After some shopping we hit up the pool to catch a little sun before formal night and the glow party. Our ship had 5 pools on it and so many hot tubs I lost count, and since most of the ship was out doing an excursion or two, it wasn’t crowded.

Formal night was so much fun! I love getting dressed up, and it was fun seeing everyone else all dolled up! I got lots of messages about the dress I wore….it was an adorable find from the clearance rack at David’s Bridal and very Kate-tastic!

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We spent most nights having dinner with my success squad and their husbands and trying different things. I love that we could order whatever and however much we wanted, so we found ourselves ordering way more than we typically would. For a big eater like Kyle, this worked out well for us…..he eats so much!

Here’s a look at my meal for formal night:

Appetizers: Cheesy garlic scallops and Banana Rum Soup
Entrees: Manhatten Filet and Spinach Shrimp Ravioli
Dessert: Banana Angel Food Cake

Something I fell in love with over the trip: cold soup. This banana soup was Ah-Mazzzzzz-ing! I felt like I could eat it, drink it, pour it over ice cream, mix it with Shakeo, etc. I am determined to remake it here at home. In addition to the banana soup I had mango soup, peach soup, and pineapple lychee soup over the course of the trip.

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We clean up well 🙂

After a very filling meal we all changed to head to the Glow party where we were encouraged to come wearing white. Apparently there would be glowsticks and who knows what else. After changing we found out that the party was changed to later in the trip and instead there would be a dance party at the front of the boat. Five minutes at the party, and I tapped out. It reminded me 100% of a sweaty rave that I would’ve loved during my drinking days. No thanks.

Day 3

Our next stop was Falmouth, Jamaica, so we spent Day 3 at sea. We opted for breakfast in our room once again before heading to the pool with our pals. I was stoked to get a non alcoholic pina colada in a pineapple….it was so good! We spent most of the day on the top deck catching rays before catching a nap and a run. The ship had a running track wrapped around the entire 5th floor deck which hooked me up with beautiful views and a peaceful breeze as I ran. I’m proud to say that I ran a 5k in the middle of the ocean!

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Later in the evening all of the Dynasty United coaches on the ship met in our leader Brittany’s suite to chat. After all, our business was the reason every one of us was on this cruise. For those of you who don’t know much about coaching, it’s all about helping people. Helping them make smarter nutrition choices, helping them find the right fitness programs to reach their goals, helping them find confidence and purpose…..it is a business that has changed my entire life, and I am so proud every day to be a part of it. Being on a cruise that Beachbody completely paid for because I did my job was great and all, but getting to spend quality time with others who believe in the same vision and goals as me: priceless.

Our team is made up of the most amazing men and women, so getting to hang with a few of them was so much fun. We laughed, we cried, and we just talked, mostly about how much this business has changed our lives and our family’s lives. It has allowed so many of us to retire from boring soul-sucking corporate jobs, it has allowed us to pay off debts, it’s given us confidence and the ability to overcome things like depression, post partum issues, and body issues, replacing those things with hope, purpose, and happiness.

We all come from different backgrounds. Some of us are in college, others are grandparents. Some have Doctorate degrees while others have GEDs. We have lots of parents who dreamed of being at home with their children and being present for all of the big moments in their lives, and we have people who just wanted a career that allowed them to work when they want and how they want. We have extreme introverts and extreme extroverts. Some of us went through major health transformations while others have always been physically fit. It doesn’t matter the background; the one thing we all have in common is simple. We just want to help as many people as possible and work to end the trend of obesity. I love that there isn’t a coaching stereotype, and I love surrounding myself with people who build each other up and share in the success instead of competing or tearing each other down. Iron sharpens Iron.

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After our Dynasty United hangout we hit up the Disco party. Some people really took advantage of the opportunity to dress up, and part of me wished we had a little more. Truth is, I knew I would be super close to the weight limit on my luggage and felt that eliminating a wig and a huge 70’s costume was probably smart. Kyle and I went as early 70’s hippies, so we were comfortable and rocking the tie dye.

 

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This hippie chugs water #likeaboss.

Day 4

I fell head over heels in love on Day 4…..and I’m angry it took me a few days to discover the objection of my affection. Look at this french toast! I don’t know what it was made of….angel wings, cherubs, rainbows…..and I didn’t care. It was incredible. I continued this relationship the rest of the trip and am sad it came to an end.

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It reminded me of Disney World’s Tonga Toast! So good!

After I had my date with the French, it was time for Jamaica, Mon! I absolutely could not wait to get to Jamaica, but as excited as I was, I had trepidation as well. I knew that tourists were the livelihood of Jamaica and that locals were known to approach them, sometimes getting really aggressive. Since I was with Kyle and two other couples, I felt safe enough to venture out. We hit the market and then had one of the local (who I called a Stage Five Clinger because he truthfully was) walk us to a little place in an alley right next to Usain Bolt’s church. He claimed it had the best Jamaican Jerk Chicken in the country, and he did not disappoint. It was so delicious! I was happy we trusted his recommendation.

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After we got back on the boat the guys decided they wanted to do the zipline on the 15th floor. I really really really wanted to try it, but my fear of heights got the best of me. Everyone else did it but me, and that’s okay. Instead I gave the rock wall a try. It was super high and overlooking the Boardwalk, so again, the heights terrified me, but I tried. My goal was to get higher than three stones, which I did…..and I actually liked it!

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The face of a scaredy cat.

That evening was all you can eat lobster night, and our table took full advantage. Seventeen lobsters were owned by us……on top of prime rib and a whole gaggle of other foods……which led to our gang going to switch into comfier elastic waist clothing. Kyle was very happy about it….it was his second night with lobster. The night before he had gotten one and was very satisfied…I think he loved that it matched his lobster shirt. After dinner we went to a show on the boat that was great, eventually ending up with coffee on the top deck. It was a fantastic night.

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Day 5

Our final day on the water. About 99.9% of people on the boat hit the pool, but not I. Kyle got caught up on some sleep while I enjoyed the company of friends (and coffee) and got caught up on some reading. I very much believe in the power of personal development, so being able to read on our balcony listening to the ocean ways was good for my soul. We also made the decision to book our next cruise….next year we will visit Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta, and the Cayman Islands. I guess you can say we were sea-duced?!?!?!

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After yet another delicious dinner with friends, I met up with a new friend who I had been waiting to see all week. My man Tony Horton. I’m starting his new program, 22 Minute Hardcorps Monday, so this was the boost of excitement I needed. It as a great way to end the trip.

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Day 6

Our plane left early from Fort Lauderdale, so we took advantage of the early departure to get off the boat and through customs quickly. I was impressed how easy and well organized the process was. After a few hours and a short flight we were back at my mom’s for the night, and we both were exhausted. Early to bed for us!

 


I can’t begin to express what this trip meant to me and did for me.

Did I have an absolute blast with my husband and my friends? Absolutely. I am so glad I got to spend time with them and combine business with pleasure.

Did it refuel my passion for the business? Absolutely. I want every single person I know to be able to have this lifestyle, these friendships, and this feeling of complete purpose.

But this trip did so much more for me than what I’ve mentioned. It really helped me get my mind in a better place. Prior to going on the trip I had reservations, mostly because I felt guilty. One thing I have struggled with so much since I lost my dad is finding joy in things or looking forward to things….I think it is common. It’s just hard to find happiness when you feel like you have a little rain cloud following you around reminding you that something is missing from your life.

This trip allowed me to laugh,it allowed me to feel alive again, and it helped me to surround myself my lots of people who love and support me. I had so many good talks with my friends about the situation, and it was nice to talk about how I was doing openly with them. I hadn’t seen many of them since everything happened….their hugs and kind words were very comforting. Lisa, Julie, Payton, Jess….you all especially….thank you for taking time to remind me that this business is more like a sisterhood and that you always have my back.

I’m already looking forward to our next trip to Nashville in July and Punta Cana next year. Who wouldn’t want to go on all of these fun trips with their families and closest pals???!!!! I just need to figure out a way to bring Murphy with me….

If you want to know more about this business or these trips, or if you are someone who is reading this and just needs some support and encouragement to get healthier, lose weight, or build confidence, let’s talk. I have a three day sneak peek going on next week on Facebook, and I’d love to have you be a part of it. I also have upcoming support groups for my challengers and can create a one on one support system for you if that’s more your thing. Just cruise over to The Sparkle Fitness Babe, like the page, and shoot me a message! You can also contact me through this blog!

Going to bed tonight with a very grateful heart.

Grateful for finding a career that combines my passion with my purpose.
Grateful for the opportunity to travel the world.
Grateful for my husband, family, and friends for being the rocks in my life.
Grateful for the guardian angel who I know is with me every second every day.
Grateful for the experiences that have helped me grow.
Grateful to be living a life that I know makes my dad proud.

I hope you are going to bed grateful, too.

sparkleon

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