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Learning the hard way: lessons on fitness, nutrition, and life

This blog was originally sent to my exclusive insider’s a few months ago. It’s deeply personal and yet, universal in the struggles and resulting strategies and life changing shifts I experienced as a result of the events that happened (which I’ll fully outline below).

This is the first time I’ve shared a email to my insider’s to the public.

Why? 1) I want you to get a taste of the topics I only share with them. You, too, can receive these exclusive insights by signing up here. 

2) The response from this newsletter was tremendous. I had people emailing, texting, and messaging me on social media to tell me how the information I shared helped them view their health & fitness journey differently. How they instantly saw the big picture and shifted their mindset from achieving all the results NOW to the importance of the journey.

So… without further adue…

I want to share a very personal story with you this week. It’s from a time in my life nearly 2 years ago that rocked my world.

2 years ago I was living a life that could act as a picture of ideal health and fitness. 2-3 green smoothies a day, a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods, a consistent fat burning body achieved through a diligent practice of Intermittent fasting, consistent-intentional muscle building workouts, and an overall balanced and active lifestyle.

I was fit. I was happy. I was energized. I looked and felt great- and I loved it!

Then I got a phone call that crashed all of it: my mother had a massive heart attack and was dead.

What?! I was just texting her yesterday and sharing my adventures with her while she longed to see more; how could she be dead?

But this isn’t an email about her death, or her life, or her at all. In fact, this is an email that reinforces components of living a life of health and fitness and one that sustains and maintains us.

You know, the life I described in the first paragraph – this email is going to talk about how you can be having ‘that life” then fall to nothing (or so you think), and rise back up.

This email will also address the idea of undoing all the progress you made by eating this one thing /missing that ONE workout/ or worse, doing it every day for 6 months.

There are reasons why we strive for health, happiness and a fit lifestyle NOW. Be it physique or performance goals, or to feel a certain way about our bodies. Whatever it is for you, I’m sure I’ve done the same: trained for gains, trained for fat loss, trained for a 6-pack, trained for a tight ass. And in the moment and months we spend working on that goal, we feel and look great!

But we aren’t just improving our health or body short-term, we’re laying the framework for our bodies to be strong and healthy for all of our life.

Now, I can look back through the years of training and healthy eating and see and appreciate it for more than the outward results. It was the healthy lifestyle that saved me when my life (NUTRITION and TRAINING) turned upside down.

When my mum died I stopped eating and lost weight, then I started eating tons of SHIT, and I mean SHIT: candy, sweets, wine, processed food, fast foods and fried fats galore. I did this on and off for 6 months. I was in adrenal fatigue with insanely high levels of cortisol (hello to eating a bag of candy EVERY DAY).

I scheduled a physical to see if I was genetically predisposed to any conditions that had caused my mother to die. As soon as it was scheduled, I started FREAKING OUT. I was SURE I would test pre-diabetic, that my sugars were high, that my cholesterol was bad, etc. I mean, how could it not be when I’d been shoving some of the worst food in my mouth for months on end?!

When I got my test results back with a clean bill of health I didn’t believe it. I asked for a report so I could research the blood levels myself. Low and behold – a solid, super healthy bill of health.

This was a MAJOR learning moment for me. Up to this point in my life I had associated my diet and lifestyle choices to having IMMEDIATE physical effects and feedback. Meaning, Oh, I have been drinking wine for the past week and eating tons of carbs and my belly is puffed out and holding water. Or, hello sugar spike from eating that bag of skittles. Most of what I’d experienced with food and workouts showed up on my body pretty quickly.

Or so I though.

But this blood test showed me otherwise. Yes, the exterior of my body likely changed over the course of those 6 months, but the inside hadn’t taken as much of a blow as I’d anticipated.

How could I feed and care for my body so poorly and be handed an excellent bill of health?!

I think there are a few factors to this and they’re important to point out and focus on while we all journey this lifestyle of health and fitness.

I didn’t become healthy overnight and I didn’t lose my health overnight, or even 6 months. The years of healthy choices I’d made leading up to her death were like pavers- they laid the way for me to remain in good health when I wasn’t able to care for myself. Just like we didn’t get jacked overnight, you aren’t going to lose it by skipping a workout, or a week’s worth of workouts.

Now, this isn’t the case for everyone. There are many factors including age, hormone levels, the length of time you’ve spent resistance training, and overall eating habits.

OVERALL doesn’t mean RIGHT NOW, it means, how have you lived healthy for the past 1,3,5 or 7 years? Have you maintained an increasingly active life? Because it takes more than a few days, weeks or months of bad eating to undo years of healthy living.

And that’s one of my major takeaways from that experience.

My 3 takeaways

A life of health and fitness NOW sets us up to be healthy LATER. Hitting the gym and eating healthy is great for us and our bodies NOW, yes, but we’re also doing what we can to ensure we’re healthy for years to come. So one skipped workout or one missed meal MAY feel like a lot if you’re looking at the small picture, but in the grand scheme of life, those small things don’t have a large impact.

You don’t overhaul your life overnight. That goes for implementing new habits and removing old ones. 1 thing at a time. 1% at a time for long term sustainability. 100% out the gate likely leads to burnout because it isn’t maintainable! How many HAPPY, perfect people do you know? This perfectionist mentality can also lead to resentment and rebounding on habits and choices.

Our bodies are resilient. When given the proper environment for movement, recovery, rest, and nutrition, our bodies are capable of miraculous strength and resiliency.

On the eve of the 2 year anniversary of my mother’s sudden death, I look at not just her death, but her life and the life she taught me to live while she was alive as well as the life she has given me through her death. The perspective shifts I’ve experience in the past 2 years have undoubtedly changed my life or the better. Stay up to date with exclusive content like this by signing up for my emails. They’re juicy, personal, and full of strategies to maximize your healthy lifestyle.

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