On January 28th, I spoke at SheTalks.
It was an experience to live for, and I am honoured to have spoken to such an amazing group of women. Here is an extended version of my story. A vulnerable state of myself, in which I hope you take, understand, and learn from it. If you want something bad enough, don’t stop until you have it.
My Raw, Vulnerable and Authentic Story
“In 2013, I was 28 years old, and I made a major life changing decision.
I was fired from the only job, the only career, I had ever known. I was fired for overstepping my boundaries, which little did I know, would help me become who I am today.
Away for my wedding as well, I sat around with friends and asked: “what next, where do I go.” My friends mentioned fitness and said, “you’re already into fitness, why not make it your job.”
Could my passion for fitness turn into my actual job? (#jopass)
The same day, I signed up for online courses, and then registered for classes. I completed the classes and online courses and dove into the fitness industry head first and hard.
Within 1 month I was teaching at a local spin studio, 360 Cycle. And within 3 months I was fully engaged and emerged in the fitness industry.
However, I kept hearing the words “abs are made in the kitchen” and “80% nutrition and 20% fitness.” So I did something that I thought would make my knowledge for the fitness industry greater. I signed up for a fitness competition.
I hired a male trainer, and he handed me a generic DIET plan. I say diet plan because what I help women with is their nutrition and we provide lifestyle plans. Because lifestyle plans are maintainable 365 days a year and a diet plan is maintainable for 1-3 months only.
I dove hard and gave up a lot at this time. 4 months down the road, I was one week out from competition, and I called my friend and said
“I am exhausted, and tired, and unhappy, I just calculated my calories, and I am sitting at 650 calories at 4:00 pm with 4 hours of classes left to teach.”
She encouraged me to keep going. I walked on stage and then walked off the stage, starved, fatigued, overworked harder than my corporate job.
I was negative, and no one wanted to be around me.
However, Monday morning rolled around, and inquiries came through, like most people who compete, to train or write nutrition plans. Not qualified, for educating or preaching nutrition, I dove into schooling harder than ever. I took every dollar from my wedding fund and put it towards schooling for nutrition. It was a shock to my husband because if you know me, I am a do-er and I didn’t really ask if this was okay.
I would set my alarm for 4:00 am and sleep at 12:00 am studying and taking tests during that time. I did this for a week straight, in order to have some education behind me. I didn’t care; I wanted to help others succeed more than I needed or wanted sleep.
I had NO idea what I was doing or where I would go with nutrition, but I knew, from my own experience that nutrition was the foundation for successful results. GOOD NUTRITION, nutrition where you ate whole foods and got creative with meals to not deprive yourself with just fish and veg, which I lived off of for almost 2 years.
I believed in what I was doing and started off with 1-2 women. I took ALL my energy, time and focused on those 2 women. From there, I gave them all the knowledge I had. I gave them all my energy, and before I knew it, those 2 women became 4 women, and 4 became 10 and 10 became 15 and you see where this is going.
Then I hit that entrepreneurial groundhog day, the one where you are doing what you love, but not generating monumental value. I remember it was so bad that I ate canned tuna, and fed my dog whatever was in my fridge to still keep my pride in my business. I was in the worst financial situation ever at the age of 30 and 1 year into business. I was at risk of losing my house and potential bankruptcy. I had to act fast, so I involved my parents, they acted faster than me, without handing over money, as I wanted to be SHOWN what I was doing wrong. They taught me how to budget, and I released my pride and started working at a local pub. The pub alone paid for bills, and then I was able to focus on helping women again, instant gratification and happiness re-entered my life after being ripped out by financial burdens.
I was finally back on track with running a practice of coaching beautiful women around me. I was getting referrals, and I was living, breathing and enjoying my life. But hold up, I was holding onto a massive secret.
I was preaching the importance of self-love, eating whole foods, living your life, and working out only 30-45 minutes a day. However, I was still trying to hold onto that aesthetically looking physique. I was stuck in a diet crazed rut. I was still working out 3-4 hours a day, and I was still restricting my calories and I still hated my body.
My practice came to a halt, and finally, I woke up and thought, THIS IS IT, SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE. I wasn’t being authentic to myself, my practice, and worst of all the women who took the time to invest their time with me. I was more lost than them. How was I going to get over this? I shook myself hard, went for a long run (my meditation) and started asking myself what it was I needed. FOOD, GOOD FOOD, FOOD I ENJOYED and moderate exercise.
Instantly, I stopped fasted cardio; I worked out because I WANTED TO WORKOUT, and I stopped giving a shit about that damn freaking scale. And then, I kid you not, and you won’t believe me when I say this, I instantly dropped 10 lbs. It was my tipping point of nutrition. Since that date, just over a year, I have maintained the same weight. I almost jump on the scale now as a joke, and when I do, and I see the same weight, I think “ah ha, I get it” because it reads the SAME number every single time. Whether I go out and drink tequila and enjoy food out with friends, or If I workout hard each week and eat healthy, the scale NEVER EVER changes. Best of all I am 200% okay with that. I was finally authentically in my practice with the women who work with me, and I finally was at peace with my body.
I had opened my eyes and saw what was being built in front of me, a community of like-minded women. Women who instead of going to the bars on Friday nights, would spend time online, exchanging motivations, their secrets, their passions, their desires and their recipes of healthy meals. They not only believed that nutrition was the foundation to their success, they enjoyed it, and then the coolest thing happened.
They started repeating my words. They started becoming this ARMY of FIERCE, and POWERFUL women who were on the SAME mission as me.
The mission to tell the entire universe that DIETING WAS SO 2015. That fad diets, don’t work, that cleanses suck, that it all wasn’t necessary. They believed that eating healthy, wholesome and exciting food, along with fitness was the key to their success, and they were attracting others to them like flies. They would get inquiries about what THEY were doing and HOW they saw results, and they would repeat
“whole foods, an 80/20 mentality with food, staying active and a support system of like-minded women helped them succeed.”
And this is where I am today; I am continuing to build that army, that support system, and that powerful team of women to help ME help OTHER women stop dieting. There is NO need for it, when you love yourself, when you are active, and when you eat according to your goals. The love you have for yourself, will transform from the inside out and results will happen when the need to diet and be skinny escapes your mind.
My goal for 2017 is to bring a force of people together, from all over the world, to help women understand this. I always say, 1 person cannot change the world, but a community, army, culture can.
Who’s with me?!
See the video on the Nacc Fitness Facebook page.