Building Your Own Rome

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

As a personal trainer and lifestyle coach, I have to deal with a lot of set backs. We’re human. We fail. We get back up and try again. This post is about going for your ultimate goal and not letting anything stand in your way. You need to build your Rome, no matter what bridges you must cross or burn. Whatever your Rome may be: losing weight, winning a show, landing a big job, getting a raise, or publishing a novel; You can do it.

Now, of course not everything works out. Let’s not fill ourselves with false hope. Let’s fill ourselves with real commitment, dedication, and control. Challenge yourself to go beyond that tiny comfort zone and do something different. Try something new. If your blueprint for Rome isn’t working, draw up a new plan.

This is not as easy as it seems.  As I write this to you, I write this to myself as well. I’m working on my very own Rome, and it is one hell of a project.  Life isn’t easy, but when it comes down to making huge decisions, you have to remember the end goal. 

When you remember your finished project, you’ll be able to make the right choices to build it. Put things into perspective. It’s easy to lose perspective. It’s not simple to step outside of your current life and analyze it as if it were a picture in a frame. Pick out the “what’s wrong with this picture” parts. Remember that game? Two pictures side by side. One has 15 things wrong in it. Draw up your life in your mind. Pick out those upside down hats, backwards faces, and torn shirts. Get them out of there. Re-arrange your picture so that it’s pretty and organized.

It may hurt a bit. It may hurt a lot. Actually let’s be honest…Emotionally, physically, and mentally, it will hurt. No pain, no gain, right?

No matter what you are doing remember this:

  • Commit
    • Commit yourself to your Rome. Make a plan of action and follow through the steps. If you have a setback, realign and forge ahead.
  • Control
    • Have control of yourself. Use your will power. Control each situation so that it is the best to build your Rome.
  • Challenge
    • This is the difficult one. You must challenge your current life, thoughts, emotions, and physical being to be something better, different, and successful. To challenge yourself means tackling that thing you fear. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.

Credit to Dr. Sal Maddi for teaching me the laws of hardiness and the 3 C’s. 

How Did You Get Here?

Screen shot 2013-01-22 at 6.29.45 PM

As I was watching Biggest Loser last night, seeing the morbidly obese contestants step onto the scale, it makes me think. It makes me angry. It makes me sad. And wonder:

How could they do this to themselves? How could they not see what was happening to their bodies? Did they care? Do they want to live a long life? Are they happy? After gaining 10lbs, how come they didn’t stop? 20lbs? 50lbs? How come they didn’t see what it was doing to their bodies, lives, and esteem? What was going through their head as they chugged that soda, munched that cheeseburger, downed that milkshake, or ate all that food? How did they feel after sitting on their ass, day after day, after day? Did they own a scale? Did anyone tell them to change? Did anyone try to help them? Why? Why not?

As a fitness trainer, and self-obsessed body improving perfectionist, I notice every tiny change. I notice a dimple, a wrinkle, a jiggle, a heavy feeling, a light feeling, a sad feeling…I notice every tiny little thing, unless of course it’s positive. So when I improve, it takes me weeks to see. At least 8-12 weeks before I notice a tighter muscle. A smaller tummy. A cheekbone. A change for the better. Some may call it body-dysmorphic disorder. I just call it perfectionism. I always believe we can be better. Stronger. Faster. Tighter.

That doesn’t mean I skip sushi or pizza. That doesn’t mean I don’t accidentally eat 12 cookies in 10 minutes. That doesn’t mean I am perfect in diet and fitness. But I make attempts. Very strong, embedded mentally, attempts. I read labels. Every label. I count calories (mentally). I eat slowly. I don’t party. I eat/use organic products.  I lift heavy. I run hard. And I move often. I constantly believe in improvement. I want to learn something new every day. I want to be inspired. try.

What goes through your head? How did you get there? Did you notice the negatives or the positives? What makes you tick? What makes you stop? What makes you give up, lie down, and roll over? What makes you crawl into a hole? What makes you pop out of bed with enthusiasm? When you find these things out, you’ll be able to better yourself. You’ll be able to become that girl/guy you’ve always wanted.

Get Better.

You’re overweight because of something in your head, not your body. Your body can work. It can lift. It can lose weight. Even if you have an injury, you can work through it. You can work past it. Eat less if you move less. Eat more if you move more. Make your body work for you. But this means getting your head in the right place. It has to be dedicated. It has to be determined. It has to be for you because of you. You can’t depend on anyone else, or anything else to give you the body you want. Your workout buddy can’t make it? So what. Workout at home. Stop making excuses. And figure out what you really want. You already know. So just be honest with yourself. Tell the truth. Stop living in an illusion. And wake up. It’s going to be scary. It’s going to be saddening. But you know what? It’s going to change you for the better, forever.

You Are Beautiful

Through our mental, physical, and life journeys, we get down on ourselves. No matter what you are doing, just know in the back of your mind:

You are enough.

You are worth it.

You are beautiful.

You are strong.

You can do it.

You need to take time to rest on your journey, find peace with your inner self, and get your mind straight. Put aside all that food noise, those body image issues, the voice that says you can’t do it, and the childhood that is holding you back. Put everything down and FOCUS on yourself. Take the 4 minutes of this song. Close your eyes. And know that you are enough. You can do anything you put your mind to. So give it some peace and quiet, settle down everything else, and find your center. Find your equilibrium. Tell all those voices to shut up, and just FOCUS.

Truth is, the best time I focus is when I’m running hard, cycling fast, pushing that heavy weight up, or pulling my body past that bar. I focus, tell myself I am strong enough, fast enough, and good enough to do this. And it carries over to every part of life.

No matter what journey(s) you are on, whether it be losing weight, learning how to eat clean, trying to have a baby, trying to start a new career, planning a big move, or just making it through the work week – Find your focus. Give yourself a break. And center your mind.

You are loved. You are worth it. You are enough.


To Do More

It takes the smallest word, picture, film, or person to inspire someone to do something great. I dream of being that inspiration for you. It makes me ecstatic to know that I inspired someone to do one thing healthier, pick up a new health food, or even eat a vegetarian meal. Something that has inspired me lately is the Thrive Forward program, which I wrote about here.

I look at plenty of other health, fitness, and wellness sites and find that the personal weight loss stories get the most views. The front page is usually a set of before, during, and after photos of the girl and the website is full of how she lost the weight. People want to know exactly how the person did it: What did they eat? How did they exercise? What supplement did they take? Did they use a weight loss pill, green coffee bean, or ketones? Did they lift weights or do cardio?

That reminds me. People always think that weight lifting and cardio have to be different. They can’t be in the same move or exercise…yet they can! For example, Kettle Bell workouts are weight lifting/strength training and great cardio. You build muscle and get your heart rate to skyrocket. Don’t get stuck wondering if you should be lifting weights or running. Combine moves, use multiple muscle groups, and stay at a medium-fast pace. For example, hold weights and do a squat+ shoulder press. Do them quickly for your high heart rate, and use a heavy weight for the strength. Hint: The higher your heart rate, the more calories you burn, the more weight you lose.


It’s great that people visit these sites and want to know these stories. But I must tell you some truth: What worked for that girl, may not work for you. Any new lower-calorie diet and exercise is going to make you lose weight, but sustainability is what you should be focusing on. What is going to work for you for the rest of your life? What is a type of exercise you love that feels like play?

Kick Ass

Personally, I love working out…except most of the time I hate running! I know, I know, a trainer who hates running?! But that doesn’t mean I don’t love dancing, kickboxing, cycling, or any other type of heart-racing activity. I don’t enjoy pounding the pavement or treadmill unless I’m racing someone, doing it for a good cause (Fundraising), or if I’m super stressed (Fight or Flight, right?). If I’m stressed out, angry, or sad- I’ll be glad to sprint on a treadmill for an hour. But most of the time I’m happy, humble, and carefree, and I enjoy doing other sorts of exercises…

Dance Like No One Is Watching

It’s okay if you hate something, you don’t have to be obligated to doing that thing. As a Personal Trainer I find out what you love to do, and cater your exercise around that. If you want a personalized workout, contact me. 🙂 I’d be happy to help you! First timers are always free.

Find Peace

My goal is to inspire you, so let me know what you want to see. Do you want to see personal stories? My workouts? My daily food? (I post a lot of that on Twitter!)  Tell me if you’d like some help. Don’t be shy. I won’t judge you.

Best Health,



Thrive Forward Program

Thrive Forward

I want to help you in every way possible. Something great has come along that is assisting me and I want to spread the joy.

Brendan Brazier has launched a fully FREE, educational, video series to teach you everything you need to know on leading a healthy plant-based whole-foods diet. It reminds me of taking an online course in college, yet everything is free and well organized! The forum is Twitter and Facebook

A little about the creator:

“Brendan Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete and two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion. He is now a successful performance nutrition consultant, the bestselling author of the Thrive book series and formulator of the award-winning Vega line of plant-based nutritional products

Recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on plant-based nutrition, Brendan has dedicated his life to spreading the word about an ethical, environmentally-friendly, and healthy lifestyle through plant-based foods. Brendan currently works with elite athletes all over North America, including athletes in the NFL, MLB, NHL, UFC, PGA and several Olympic athletes. He has appeared on CTV and CBC in Canada, and NBC, ABC, and FOX in the United States.

Thrive Forward, Brendan’s latest endeavour, is the next generation of Thrive in 30— his original free online program that helped over 70,000 people harness the power of clean, plant-based nutrition to feel their best.”

 This program is not about counting calories, worrying about your weight, or fretting over a latte. It shows you a complete step-by-step overhaul to your health, from how to shop to how to sleep.  The subjects are as follows:

I highly encourage anyone and everyone to watch these videos, read the references, and make the recipes. Share this with your family and friends. Share it with the world. We need better nutrition, facts, and myths busted out there. These videos will do that. I’ll be posting my personal experiences on Twitter, so keep an eye out for my photos of shakes, trail mixes, kale chips, and more. If you look now, you can see plenty of links already!

Have fun!

Best Health,


rainbow salad
Rainbow Salad – Click for Recipe

 How are you thriving forward this year? Are you trying to eat cleaner, increase your energy, or buy locally?

Inspirational Quotes to Make You think

bethenny-frankel-a-place-of-yesHere are some quotes that made me think about weightloss. They can be generalized for any situation in life, but they sparked my thoughts about you. They’re from A Place of Yes by Bethenny Frankel. (I haven’t finished the book yet, but was inspired to share this with you.) More posts to come!

Did you have a recent set-back? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. We must always keep in mind and have a plan of what to do, if things don’t go our way, and what to do when that happens. We’re human. We have to be real with ourselves. Don’t lie to yourself. Be honest. If you know yourself well enough, and can examine your history, make sure you make a plan for what you usually fail at. This doesn’t guarantee you will do the same mistakes you always do, but you will have a back-up plan, just in case. Now…so many days later… you fail. Read below to figure it out.

Figure out why you did what you did, you’ll be less likely to make the same mistake again.

Why did you do it? Why did you eat that cookie, ice cream, pizza, and cheeseburger? Why did you pig out before bed, during that movie, or at that work party? Was someone pushing you? Were you not disciplined enough with yourself? Did you feel out of control? Answer these questions so you won’t make the same mistake again.

Every crisis is an opportunity for self-examination.

Examine yourself. Re-examine. Don’t just make statements. Truly take a moment to examine your actions and why you got the result you did.

Instead of beating yourself up about it, figure out why it happened.

Beating yourself up will do nothing to take you to success. It will actually take you even further back into that mess. You will feel less secure, think you can’t do it, and continue on that path of mistakes. Instead, figure it out logically, like a math problem, and find a solution.

Often, you will discover what’s true after making a mistake.

What is true about your situation? What is false?

The people around you will always want you to do what they want. That’s human nature. Unless you know what you want, you’ll be making decisions and living your life on somebody else’s terms.

Just because your best friend, spouse, parents, or boyfriend is eating pizza and watching Netflix when you get home does not mean you have to join him! Get your workout in, make a healthy meal, and put yourself first. They will slowly start to understand and may even decide to join you.

It can take a few swings of the axe before you actually sever the links.

You may not succeed the first time, but try, try again. You will get the hang of it. And for each fail, you will learn something more. You will take that lesson and knowledge into your journey, and do better the next round. Something punch you down? Now you know how to block that punch.

To have a future, you have to let the past be past.

If you keep doing what you’ve always done…life will be the same. Leave your bad habits, eating connections, and emotional boundaries in the past. Let. It. Go. And you will be able to grow. 

Make your pain your identity, then that’s what you become.

You become what you think. Your thoughts are who you are. If you think you are a sad, fat, depressed, troubled person -then that is what you will become and stay. Start thinking of what you want to be. A strong-willed, disciplined, fit and healthy, woman. A fun person. An active person. A person who loves hiking, skiing, running, dancing, socializing, -whatever floats your boat. Imagine the person you want to be and keep that image in your head. That is what you will become.

Make Sustainable Resolutions

mbsWhen making your resolutions this year, don’t focus on 30 day weight loss programs, limited-time only classes, or restricting yourself 100% from one thing or another. Don’t just focus on January; focus on the entire year. 

Make short term goals of 30 days, medium goals of 90 days, and long term goals for year’s end. (I’m personally making a 12-slide slideshow and making a goal for each month. Each slide contains photos, details, quotes, and other inspirations. I don’t have them all filled in yet, and that’s important. Goals change depending on what you accomplish as you go.)

If you want your health resolution to last, make it something you can follow for the rest of your life. Don’t do some stupid challenge that only lasts 30 days; what will you do after? Find what entertains you, exercises you, and stimulates your mind. Stick to that, and watch it work its magic.

Don’t completely cut out a food group like carbs or fat, because those are essential for life! Just focus on the healthy versions, like whole or sprouted grains, and plant-based fats from nuts and avocados.  Here is a great pdf by Brendan Brazier on clean eating: Thrive Forward 101

You see all over the net… “These 3 Moves Will Sculpt Your Arms” … “30 days to a Ripped Body” … “Get a Rockin’ Booty in 10 Easy moves.”

These things are falsely-marketed fitness plans. You won’t do them every day for the rest of your life. You may attempt the first two weeks, and then you’ll be too sore, crawling on the ground, crying from pain, and not try again until next year. This is why you need to find what works for you.

Being healthy and fit is a lifestyle, not some 30 day program to lose 10lbs. When people finish diets and lose their weight, they go back to their old habits and ways. They think that since they lost all that weight, they can go back to their favorite fatty, fried foods.

If you keep eating that way, your body is going to stay that way.

Chances are, if you keep telling yourself, “I’m so unhappy, fat, and stressed.” Then you will stay that way. What you think; You become. Mind over Matter. You must make up your mind before trying to change your body.

You have to CHANGE what you are doing forever to get sustainable, lasting results.

All of these pins, articles, and tweets you see are just blowing smoke up your ass! You’re not going to get a six pack in a month if you are 200 pounds. You’re not going to be shredded after a 30 day diet and workout program if you’re more than 20lbs over weight. Those “7 supplements” are not going to burn fat if you’re sitting all day, munching on pretzels and vending machine crap. That commercial about the new “Lose Weight Fast” pill isn’t going to help you just because they show a skinny actress. Research weight loss pills scientific articles. The fine print always says, “Results show with proper diet and exercise.” Guess what? A healthy diet and exercise is helping you, not some caffeine pill (that gives you jitters and makes you pee every 30 minutes!).

It takes hard work, dedication, a plant-based, low-calorie diet to seriously change your body. Scarfing down pounds of chicken and white rice is not going to get you where you want to be. Take it from someone who personally reads and tests these bizarre diets, workouts, and claims! It’s all false.

How did I get to the best shape of my life? Five – six days of weight lifting and cardio, burning 500+ calories a day, eating salads as meals, organic proteins, and forgetting about sugar and desserts. It’s not so hard to lose weight, but to be truly fit, you need to stay consistent. If I go one week, only 7 days, without a hard-hitting routine that makes me sweat and burn, I’ll become weaker, slower, and fatigued.

Health and wellness is a commitment. A Lifestyle. A dedication. A daily task. Like brushing your teeth, you must think and “do health” everyday. Sure, I have dessert, lattes, and pizza. But I always fit them into my health plan. I don’t get extra cheese. I always opt for the “sugar-free skinny soy” latte, and make sure my dessert fits into my overall calorie goals. Even my cocktails are “skinny.”

You can enjoy life. No doubt about it. I love food and drinks. But if you truly want to be healthy, happy, and fit this year, you need to change your attitude, toughen up, and grow some courage. Stop believing myths like “Carbs are bad” and “Weights make you bulky” and that it only takes 30 days to be a skinny mini. Everything depends on where you start, your level of dedication, your daily diet, and your ending goal.

Contact me if you need some help. It’s always free.  

New Year, New You

HappyNewYear2013It is officially that time of year we all make promises to ourselves, express our goals, and then slowly but surely, forget about them. Then come next year, and we make the same ones all over again. Why don’t we keep our goals? Why don’t we reach them? Or why do we reach them, fall back on them, and have to start all over again? Here are some simple answers:

Keeping Goals, Reaching Goals

You don’t reach your goal because you are truly not committed to it. You are not ready for change, although you wish you were. You’re in the “pre-contemplation” stage where you are thinking about being/doing (Enter Goal Here) ie: healthier, but you’re not planning for it. Every one else is doing it, you know you need to, but you’re just not quite ready yet.

Want to reach your goals? Get ready.

Falling Back on Goals, Set Backs

So you made the goal to lose weight. You joined a gym in January, you started going every day, and even ate salads for dinner. You were losing weight fast and you felt great. Then, you ran out of time. You got lazy. You made excuses. And you gained it all back. Darn, just in time for bikini season! Looks like it’s t-shirt time and sarong. 

Don’t fall back on your goals. Make a real commitment and stick to it. Reward yourself with a movie or fancy new tech toy for each milestone. Reward yourself with a new bikini that you always wished you could wear with confidence. Keep setting goals after you reach one. Lost the first 10lbs? Now try and lose 5 more. Next, sculpt your muscles. Then, attempt 5 pull-ups. Keep going on your journey (whatever it may be) and don’t make health or weight loss, or happiness, a destination. Make it a lifestyle.

If you’d like FREE virtual help losing weight, getting healthier, eating cleaner, or sculpting your body, contact me today.

That Hole You’re In? It Ain’t All That Mighty!

Hell Holes. Sept. 040

Dear Reader,

Don’t let your current struggle define who you are. Don’t let it define your entire life. Are you overweight? Depressed? Jobless? Or just can’t find your place yet in this world? Don’t worry, it’s not so hard to climb out of that hole.

You are a wonderful person. You work hard. You mean well. And you speak your mind. You’re not afraid to be you. So whatever has got you down, know that it’s only for a limited time.

It’s not permanent.

We can always change our circumstances.

All it takes is a little dedication and work to get out of this hole. Learn what it takes, whether it be a lifestyle change, a new way of eating, a new way of connecting to others, a novel approach to your dream career, or even starting a new hobby. Create something with your hands. Go for a walk. Gaze at the stars. Write a poem.

Don’t simply sit around and let this hole be a sinking sand. You are better than this hole. You are the shovel. You are the ladder that drops down into it. You are the rungs that support your weight. You are the ground in which the hole is dug. I am the hand reaching down to help you out. Grab hold. Now show that hole who’s boss and get out of it, fill it with cement, and never go back.



Day Dreams Made Into Reality


What makes you happy? What is your life goal? When you’re sitting there working super hard and daydreaming, what is that dream?

My dream is to be able to spend as much time with my family and friends, without worrying about bills to pay, laundry to do, and shelves to dust. I want to live a worry-free life, where I can help others who truly need it, rescue all the animals I see fit, and eat locally-sourced organic food.

What is yours?

To reach this goal, I will have to make a commitment, be in control, and have courage to go beyond the limits of normal. 

I want to find my bliss and you should too. It’s not unrealistic. You can’t fail if you keep trying. So start today.

Start by being mindful of every moment you have. Are you wasting it? We all waste time, but why aren’t we using that time? Why aren’t we spending that time; after all, time is money. A lot of us know what we dream of, but don’t quite know how to get there. I fall privy to this very evil almost daily. I want so much, attempt to do the very thing I think will bring me to my bliss and don’t quite reach it. But I try, try again. Because at least if I’m trying, I’m not failing.

We must connect our mind, our will power, our inner strength to push our bodies to the place we want them to be. What will it take? Find that out, write it down, and start working on it.