Tag Archives: #support

Bah Humbug.

Yes, that’s how I feel this time of year, and I don’t even feel bad saying it. As much as I try I just don’t see the holidays as the same joyous time as everyone else, and it is really challenging when you feel like you have a heart made of coal when everyone else is rocking a heart made of candy canes and sugar plums.

November marked the second anniversary since we lost my father, and since his death came right around Thanksgiving, the holidays that year and ever since have changed for us. That first year I refused to acknowledge the holiday, and I did not put up a tree or any decorations. The gifts I purchased were wrapped in paper that could pass for a birthday present. Last year, I kind of tried….I did the tree thing, baked a little bit, and still refused to send out Christmas cards or wrap in festive paper.

This year I am trying a little harder. I put up two gorgeous trees in my house; one a frosted pine that has all of the ornaments given to me by my parents over the years, and the other a glitter tree that is Kate-tastic with a capital K. Our mantle is decorated, and I will be baking like crazy in a few weeks. Wrapping…..well, let’s just say I found Christmas doughnut wrapping paper, so that’s the theme of this year. I ordered Christmas cards, and if I ever finish addressing them they will be in the mail. Im trying.

From the outside it seems as though I’m into the holiday this year, but don’t be deceived. I am actually struggling more this year than I did that first Christmas, and I’m not sure why I am stepping back in my grief journey.  I was talking to some people in my grief support group about it and don’t know if it is because since my dad’s death I have lost both my grandmothers, one just a few months ago, and this entire time of year is laced with dates tied to their passings, funerals, or memorials, or if it is something else.

As I sit here and try to deal with my own grief I often think about how insensitive I was before my family suffered these losses. I remember giving friends grief when they told me they hated the holidays. I remember trying to push certain friends into partaking into holidays traditions with me, even when they made it clear they didn’t want to. I just couldn’t get that people could hate such a beautiful time of year.

Now here I am, one of those people. Nothing is worse than someone saying “Are you excited for the holidays?” and answering with “No”, then given either a dirty look or a hard time because of your answer. It’s also the time of year where there are parties and events going on constantly, and I struggle being able to go to any of them. To me, I am that Grinch in the group that doesn’t want to participate, and I am always afraid if I attend I will be the Debbie Downer in the group that will ruin the fun for everyone. It’s not a good feeling. And, unfortunately, I have many friends who have recently suffered significant losses that are joining me in the “Eff the holidays” club.

For those of you struggling this time of year, here are some things that I have found are somewhat helpful, at least to me:

1. Incorporate your loved one into the holiday in some way. 

This is probably the hardest thing to do. For me, I struggle with family gatherings and the traditions we used to do because I sit there the entire time and can’t help but think about the empty chairs at the table and who is missing. And yes, I know that our loved ones are there with us in spirit, but that doesn’t make it easier. An important thing to do is decide what traditions you want to keep and what you want to change, then add a new tradition for your loved one(s).

Last year my mom and I learned about The White Envelope Project, and we decided to make that a new tradition in honor of my dad. I supported a pet rescue last year and will be doing the same this year, as my dad was a huge dog lover.

Every year my dad would request I make him a batch of anise pizzelles when I made the basic ones for the family. I continue to make him a batch now. I cried the entire time last year, and I guarantee I will this year, too, but making these cookies that he loved makes me feel a little comfort.

Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 8.57.59 AM

The White Envelope Project

2. Try to maintain your usual routine.

For me, that includes getting in my workout every day, completing the basic business tasks that I do daily, and acting like the holidays are just another day. I need that routine to keep myself from falling into a deeper black hole. Doing things that make you feel normal will help.

3. Be honest with your family and friends. 

It’s challenging for me sometimes to tell my friends the reasons why I don’t want to attend certain holiday functions. I know that just because I am dealing with grief doesn’t mean they are, but you need to open the lines of communication. Let others know you are needing support and a little extra love this time of year. There’s no shame in saying “I need help” or “I can’t do this” in relation to a certain event, and your loved ones will understand.

4. Connect with a grief support group online or in your area, or seek assistance from a counselor. 

DO NOT feel weird about talking to someone about your feelings and issues this time of year, or any time of year to be honest. I do it regularly, and I have found a lot of comfort from individuals in these groups. Sometimes just talking to someone who has gone through the exact same thing you have gone through helps.

5. Do not feel guilty if you do something that brings you joy.

I’ve struggled with this one a lot…..how can I have a good time when a huge part of my heart is missing?  Your loved ones want you to continue living life, so do things that may make a dark time a little lighter. Laughing and spending time with friends and family doesn’t mean you don’t miss them like crazy. I do my best to still talk about my dad if I am having a good time or hanging out with people who maybe didn’t know him because I feel like he is still a part of things if he is in the conversation here and there.

6. Always have an exit strategy. 

One thing that has happened to me since losing my dad is that I have moments that hit me where I go into a complete emotional meltdown without warning. Sometimes a song comes on…..sometimes I just see something that reminds me of him and it hurts my heart….I never know. But when it happens, I need to get the hell out of dodge, and I need to get out fast. Since this happens a lot, especially this time of year, I always drive separate so I can make sure I’m not stuck where I am and can get home or out of the crowded area I’m in fast. Have a plan in case this is something you are experiencing. For me, it helps me feel as if I have a little control over those moments.

7. Minimize gifts. 

I feel all too often people go overboard with the holidays. Do we really need ALL that stuff? I used to be one of those overboard people….I just loved buying and getting gifts.  Ever since my dad’s death my thoughts have changed. I don’t need things. I just want to be around those I care about and spend as much time with them as possible. Things are just things……but people and memories….those are what matters. Focus on the important things instead of trying to one up someone else with a bigger, shinier, more expensive gift. In the grand scheme of life it won’t matter.

8. TRY not to eat/drink your feelings. 

As someone who used to do this all the time, I know how tempting it can be. I’m not saying to not #treatyoself here and there, but don’t sit down in front of the cookie table and inhale dozens. It won’t help things, and you will end up feeling worse about it in the long run.

9. Volunteer and do good. 

I feel good donating for The White Envelope project, but I also try to get involved volunteering or helping others in need. There are soup kitchens needing help with holiday meals for the homeless, people who don’t have jackets to wear during the cold, animals who need shelter, children who won’t have any gifts to open on Chrismas day….do something that can help them but also make you feel good.

10. Give yourself grace.

Not everything has to be perfect, you don’t have to have it all together, and it’s okay if you cry. Focus on the things and people who make you happy and can’t help you get through these challenging times.

And for those of you reading this who may ask things likes “Are you excited for the holidays?” or “Why don’t you like Christmas?” etc, think before you ask….and if you do ask, don’t give someone a hard time if they don’t answer how you think you should. And DON’T call us Grinches, Scrooges, Assholes, whatever…..we are doing our best to get through the holidays and not ruin yours.

Thinking of all of you who are doing your best to get through the holidays and sending you peace and comfort.

Tagged , , , , , , ,



People make the difference.

I know you’ve heard that before, and it’s completely true…especially when it comes to fitness.


If you have been struggling with reaching your health goals, I recommend finding a fitness tribe to help you out. It doesn’t matter if you are rocking a Beachbody program or a Richard Simmons DVD or just enjoy jogging around the block. It’s easier to stick to goals when you have a tribe to back you up!

When I think back to my own fitness journey….the one I started nearly four years ago and the one I am still on today…..my fitness tribe is the #1 reason why I have been successful.

       Here are five reasons why I love my fitness tribe and why you need to find one:

1. Accountability.

Regardless of where you are in your fitness journey, there are going to be days you just aren’t going to want to workout….there are days where you want to eat a dozen donuts in one sitting and wash it down with a gallon of Sweet Tea from Chick Fil A. When you are paired up with others with similar goals and doing things like sending sweaty selfies via snapchat or sharing your weekly meal plans, you have more motivation to stick to those healthy activities. There are days where I will log into my challenge group and see that all 30 of my challengers have posted their workout for the day but I still haven’t….do I want to be the only one who didn’t log their workout for the day? Hell No! The accountability pushes me to get past my excuses. 

2. Breaks you out of your comfort zone.

I had so many reservations about joining a fitness support group online in the beginning…..when you are getting started it can be a little scary! I was so embarrassed I had gotten to such a low point with my health and didn’t want to be the loser in the group, plus I didn’t know ANYONE in the group…..not one person! I used that as an excuse for a little bit, and then I realized that good comes at the end of comfort zones…..so I jumped in. Fitness tribes make you get past the uncomfortable excuses so you get results. Sometimes we need that….I needed that….and I still do.

3. Resources.

None of us have all of the answers with what will help, and in the beginning it can be challenging when words like “meal plans” and “measurements” and “portions” are being thrown around. I love being connected with people who share their recipes, meal plans, and tips because it helps me come up with new ideas that I can apply to my own routine. So many of the recipes I love and use on a weekly basis have come to me through my fellow fitness tribe members….they are way better than Pinterest!

4. A Celebration Committee.

I love love love love LOVE when someone hits a goal and EVERYONE celebrates your success with you. I hate when I look around and see others cut down people who are achieving goals (trust me, it happens all the time) or when I see people giving up on their goals because they feel like a failure. In a fitness community, small victories are celebrated, as well as those monumental victories, too. Small victories add up to those big ones…..and it is nice to have people who are genuinely happy for your success! Plus, celebration and positive energy is contagious!

5. Hope.

There have been so many days when I wanted to give up. Last year as I struggled with the loss of my dad, I felt like there was no hope for me and that I was going to revert back to old ways. My fitness tribe didn’t give up on me then….they encouraged me and supported me and gave me the hope I needed to know I would be okay. Little things like that make such a difference. Sometimes we just need someone to tell us we CAN do something.

Your fitness tribe can be made up of whomever you want….family members, coworkers, neighbors……the important thing is you want people who have similar goals and will hold you accountable….and who aren’t afraid to dish out tough love if you need it.

If you don’t know who to turn to to help you on your journey, let me know. There’s always room in my tribe for you 🙂


Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Core de Whattttttttt? Here’s the Info you need to know!


We are getting closer and closer to the highly anticipated release of the new home workout program Core de Force, and my excitement is off the charts!

Those who follow me on Facebook know that I have been looking forward to this since I learned of it back in July at our annual Coach Summit, and I think it is safe to say many others are as well! This program brings a fresh new perspective to home workouts by combining boxing with kickboxing and Muay Thai…who wouldn’t love that?

As a fitness and wellness coach, I am always anxious to try out a new program to see how it works and who it can best assist when it comes to my clients. For those of you who are looking to get a jump start on the holidays or are wanting a new program to shake up your workout routine, here’s a little more info on this program, set to be released on October 31st.

What is Core de Force?

As I mentioned, a mix of Muay Thai, kickboxing, and boxing inspired this workout, which requires ZERO equipment….just your body. Core de Force is a month long program, and the daily workouts feature three minute rounds that include cardio spikes, bodyweight training, boxing moves, combo moves, and Muay Thai. Workouts vary in time between 30 minutes and 45 minutes, and there are multiple workouts you rotate between during the course of the program. These workouts include: MMA Shred, MMA Speed, MMA Power, MMA Plyo, Dynamic Strength, Power Sculpt, MMA Mashup, and Core on the Floor. You also have an Active Recovery workout to help your body recover and a Core de Relief 5 minute stretch session before bed. There are three additional advanced workouts once you complete the program that can you choose to include: MMA Kick Butt, Agility Power, and Agility Strength,

What is Muay Thai?

Developed in Thailand over a thousand years ago, Muay Thai focuses on uses the entire body as a weapon utilizing close-combat techniques. Rooted in ancient boxing, its purpose was to assist soldiers when they became disarmed using an eight point system: feet, knees, fists, and elbows. In time it developed into a popular sport.

Who is the trainer?

Trainers….you get two! Joel Freeman and Jericho McMatthews! Recognize these guys? If you ever gave Les Mills a shot you do!


Photo Courtesy of Beachbody.

Who should do Core de Force?

Everyone!!!! As with the rest of Beachbody’s programs, there is a modifier for the program if you are a beginner, so don’t be afraid of trying it. As you get stronger, you can increase the intensity  and speed of your workouts. This is a great program for anyone who likes boxing, wants to tone up (especially in the core), or loves intensity…….I’m raising my hand because we all know I love intense workouts.

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 2.21.52 AM.png

You can do this! You just have to be willing to start!

What kind of meal plan comes with Core de Force?

Core de Force follows the portion fix, so my 21 Day Fix, 22 Minute Hardcorps, and Cize graduates will have no issues adjusting to this plan. You won’t get a set of portion containers with the program, but I can help you order them if you need the set or want more! The food plan is very easy to follow, but don’t worry…if you get confused I am here to help you with all of it.

Is there any way to try it?

YES! There was a sneak peek earlier in the month, but there’s some good news….you can try it out again on October 24th! How? If you are a Beachbody On Demand subscriber, you already have access! If you haven’t tried it, it’s super easy…..Click Here to get your free 30 day trial. On Demand is my best friend….since I am on the go a lot I love having access to all of my workout programs on my iPad, cell phone, or laptop. It’s also the best bang for your buck if you are shoppertunistic like me!

Check out my sneak peek at Core de Force here!

Where can I buy this program?

From a Team Beachbody Coach! If you don’t have one already, I would love to help you! As your coach, I am able to link arms with you virtually and help you from start to finish as you begin this program regardless of where you are located. We can craft meal plans together, establish an accountability plan to keep you on track, even grocery shop and meal prep together if you are close. My support goes far beyond the Core de Force program; as your coach you gain exclusive access to all of my online groups for as long as you need them and me. I can also help you save money on the products you love that can help you on your journey!

How much does this program cost?

There are several options when purchasing the Core de Force program, but the best option for you when it comes to value and results is the bundled package, which is available to you on October 31st. With the bundled package you get:

-The entire Core de Force workout program
-Nutrition Guide
-A month of Shakeology in the flavor(s) of your choice
-Core de Force program guide
-30 Days of Beachbody on Demand
-Access to unlimited one on one coach support


Interested in this awesome new workout?

I would like to invite you to be a part of my exclusive Core de Force test group that will kick off on November 7th! I love test groups because they are a way for me to be right beside my challengers experiencing a program for the first time. I haven’t led one since Master’s Hammer and Chisel released last year….so to say I am ready for this is an understatement.

What are the requirements for the test group?

-All participants will commit to both the Core de Force program and Shakeology to be in the group.

-Each participant will have ME as their coach. If you are working with another coach already, I encourage you to reach out to them so they can plug you into one of their groups. Sorry, no coaches, please.

-You will participate in my private online Facebook group and be willing to log your workouts and daily food activity so I can best assist you in achieving the results you want.

***All test group participants will get a special gift from me: Beachbody Energize…my favorite pre workout and one that you most definitely will want while doing Core de Force!


I cannot wait to help you get started using this program and look forward to helping you reach your goals. Stop giving into your excuses, stop feeling like you can’t…..this is your chance to make positive changes that can help you in so many ways. BELIEVE YOU CAN BE HEALTHIER AND HAPPIER. I’m here to help you get there.

If you are interested in being one of the selected participants in my Core de Force test group, please complete the following form. All participants will be notified by October 30th so you can order all of your tools the minute they go on sale October 31st.

I can’t wait for this….and I can’t wait to help you!



Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rant of the Week: Negative Nancys.

It’s 5am, and I need to rant.

Honestly, before 10am a lot of things could push me into rant mode….we all know I rely on coffee every morning and that I don’t truly wake up until about 10am. This particular rant has been on my mind for awhile, and while I have ranted briefly about it on social media before, I feel it needs addressed again.

Negative Nancys.


I think often about a quote I read awhile back about how strong women build others up as opposed to tearing them down. It is absolutely true. In my industry I have been very lucky to meet so many women (and men) that are uplifting, kind, and supportive. If I ever need a self esteem boost or pep talk, I know I could go to any one of them and feel rejuvenated within seconds. It is a really great feeling to have a solid support system of people who truly want you to succeed.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 5.13.00 AM


Why are there not more people doing that? Encouraging, supporting, cheering on others? The constant cutting down, especially on social media, is like a silent hate crime, and it makes me incredibly sad.

This morning I had to get up early to take Kyle to the bus station for a fun guys’ weekend away, so I was able to knock out my workout and some office tasks early. The first thing I saw when I signed onto Facebook was someone posting about a particular product that she was very excited to try and several people jumping all over her for trying it. It made me feel so bad for her because you could see in her response the negativity deflated the excitement.

I think back to when I was beginning my health journey all the time…I can’t believe that the end of this month marks 2 years since I was at the awful, sad, scared, uncomfortable, embarrassed stage of my life! While I was uncertain about so many things back then, the two things I did know were 1) I needed to find something that worked for me and my life and 2) That I needed a supportive community to help me. I was lucky enough to find both, which ultimately led me to losing 60 pounds and starting a career that really means the world to me. I hate to think what would’ve happened if some negative nancy started riding me about my decisions back then.

Please laser focus in on one point I just made. needed to find something that worked for me and my life. 

There are a lot of products out there that can help you. A whole freaking lot. Sometimes it can be confusing or overwhelming because you have no clue what to try or what to do. I chose my vehicle for a healthier life carefully. Things I knew before I got started: I wasn’t interested in any of those wrap things or “magic” pills to help me lose weight or become healthier. I knew I needed something to help with being on the go (insert Shakeology here), and a workout program that wasn’t too long and that I could do at home at weird times of the day based on my work schedule (hello, T25). I also knew I didn’t want a quick fix, rather something that was a lifestyle change. Before purchasing those two I had failed miserably at many other products, had tried products that I hadn’t done research on, I tried diets that had me mass eliminating food groups, and overall, I felt like a lost puppy. Finding the right workout program sometimes is like dating…..you have to give some things a shot before you find “the one.”

Clearly I am over the moon about the products and programs I have used with Beachbody because they have completely changed my life. THAT IS ME. I know some things may not appeal to everyone, but that doesn’t mean I am going to stop supporting you if you do think that a wrap or weight loss supplement is the way to go. Yes, I would love to be able to help absolutely everyone on the planet feel better about themselves, but part of doing that means you are supportive.

I could keep going on and on and on, but I am going to close with this…..this is not Mean Girls. No one should sit around behind their computer and try to cut people down for trying to find a way to get their life going in a healthier direction. Let people try things and figure out what works for them. Everyone is wearing their own pair of shoes, and unless you can find a way to magically walk a day in their lives, stop telling people that what they are doing is stupid or a waste of time. You may believe in yourself and your abilities, but not everyone is so lucky. Some individuals really need the encouragement and support to know they can do it…..be the person who builds them up instead of cutting them down. It can make all the difference in someone’s life.

If you are reading this and you are one of those people who have been negative nancied, ignore the comments and nastiness and know that you can do absolutely anything as long as you want to succeed. If you need me to pep talk you every morning, it can be arranged.  And sometimes you just have to know when to say #byefelicia to negative nancys in your life.

Be the good.

Tagged , , , ,