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Your Path Leads To A Better Path

6 Oct

Ever look at your day and say, “Well, that didn’t go as planned!” We have all been there, especially with the advent of social media, allowing instant comparisons of our lives and where we should be. It is easy to feel less-then like you drove into a ditch or, elitist and condescending if you dug your heels in early, riding smoothly on the “right path.”

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My life has been one of very exciting ups and terrible lows and it has truly made me who I am in all my glory (take that for what it is haha). But I am proud to say, my resilience is at its peak and it will not waver. However, I do sometimes compare my life at this point in my thirties and feel like I’m not alone in being affected by the “less than/more than” culture in which we live.

I grew up in a small, quiet town in Cleveland, Ohio with parents who are still married along with a younger brother and younger sister. We had good times and not so good times but overall, I know everyone does the best they can with what they have. I was inherently a perfectionist, wanting to have the best grades, appear the skinniest and be the best. Unfortunately, this came at a cost. I fell to the despair of eating disorders, anxiety and depression.

Pictured: A couple years before my issues arose.

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On the outside, I held it together, being “normal” with boyfriends, friends, getting straight A’s in middle school, high school and college, competing as a dancer and cheerleader, being involved in extracurricular sports, placing in writing competitions, and more. More so, I became a certified fitness instructor my freshman year of college. I wanted to be an entertainment reporter so I was accepted into a top two journalism school in the country. I also had fun. Lots of it. But I also would have horrible relapses with my eating disorders starting at 13 years old and with bouts of depression and anxiety. I just couldn’t have a seamless year without dealing with these problems. But my resolve to follow my dreams, pray for my health, and not let my much hidden, personal issues take hold became much stronger.

A few particular moments in my life solidified my ability to get back on track and it always came back to having a goal. I remember having “weigh-ins” at home and being faced with the constant threat of having to go to a psychologist. I prayed for my health every night and began to eat normally, albeit for a short time. I remember reading my mom’s Prevention and Shape magazines and was fascinated by all the exercises to build lean muscle and gain strength. I recall the day my mom said I could only join the basketball team if I was 100 lbs. I was 15 years old, fearing I could not gain that much weight. But I had a goal. It was all I needed. I started to eat and workout to build muscle and gain the weight I needed. I tried out and made the team.

Pictured: A beautiful sunrise driving in Southern California. A place I have wanted to live my whole life and a huge goal of mine.

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In college, I discovered yoga but it wasn’t until I few years out when I was living back in Cleveland, that the feeling clicked and the breath, movement and community of people around me helped me better accept what is but more importantly, envision what could be. Yoga became my go-to when I was in distress or felt weighed-down by the world.

Pictured: Photoshoot|Weston Carls.

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Another goal that helped shape my resolve to get healthier was deciding to move to California in 2012. That year, I faced “real-world” problems aside from my personal and family issues. I partially lived in my car at one point and also crashed on friend’s couches while I tried to secure extra work to afford the rent and my bills at the same time, I also had to learn how to date again after going through a painful break-up with a long-time ex who moved out to LA with me. On the flip-side, I achieved my goals: I secured commercials, infomercials, fitness videos, print work, and guest spots on tv shows while continuing to focus on my wellness and fitness ventures.

Pictured: An exciting booking – My casting for P90x videos with Tony Horton.

P90 candid pic!

A third goal I’ll share is competing in NPC Bikini. Ironically, the structure of eating a certain way and working out helped me feel more confident in myself and gain control over what I had in the past had no control over – my eating habits. I felt strong, powerful, beautiful and happy. I had a goal to compete on stage and look like fitness models that I had seen in magazines and although, the prep was very tough (especially for me with all my past insecurities), I had learned how to push them aside for this goal! I achieved 4th place.

 

Years later looking back, I feel like all my goals saved me along with my amazing friends, family and my faith. I still work hard everyday to keep balance in my life. What is second nature to some people is something I need to consciously acknowledge. I don’t always feel great as I haven’t used medication nor seen a counselor in years (but I highly recommend for anyone who is currently dealing with these or any similar issues!). I do feel great most of the time and I’m always grateful. ***I’ll share in a future post my tips to help achieve balance!***

I think if I were living the “normal” life, I would be married, with children, living in a home in the suburbs. And I do want to get married, possibly have children (dog mom for now haha) and have a nice home. But even though that path is not in the cards for me right now, I have faith, goals, incredible people in my life, freedom to date, explore, take adventures… And the freedom that we all have: to change or accept where we are at and where we are going.

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I believe the fanciest roads are the ones you unapologetically take on your own, whether or not, they have been easy, tough or somewhere in between. Your path will always lead you to a better path. So lets get moving and enjoy it along the way 🙂

Christy

 

Move & Your Mind will Follow

17 Oct

Think about this: When are you most frazzled, stressed, anxious, depressed [insert sad emoji here]? I can assume you are not actively doing something productive and fulfilling, and I can also assume you are most likely sitting down or somewhere stuck in traffic.

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Thought leader Marie Forleo says, “Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.” When we are taking action, we can begin to push through the black cloud rather than laying down under it until it passes. We must get up and move our bodies so our minds can connect and refocus and we can find better decision-making opportunities.

Try these actions the next time you begin to feel the dark cloud of uncertainty toppling over you: take a group fitness class, go for a “traffic-less” drive with your favorite music blaring, step outside for a walk with your dog, or meet up for a relaxing coffee date with a friend. Then, return to your past anxieties, and I assume this time, your dark cloud has peeled back to some sunshine of certainty.

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CHRISTYFIT FRIDAYS STARTS…NOW!

11 Dec

After a long week, what better way to jump into the weekend than with healthy and practical motivation, tips and ideas? I’ve decided Fridays are perfect days to get yourself mentally and physically prepared to workout, eat healthy and ENJOY (yes, that means have some fun)! So today’s first ChristyFit Friday post is all about how to conquer a huge block to being our best selves… Fear of Change and Uncertainty.

I can attest for two things: Change WILL happen and uncertainty WILL happen. Our response to those two inevitables is what makes us better or stuck in a rut.

I used to have huge issues with change and uncertainty. “What if I don’t get that job?”  “What if that person doesn’t like me?” “What if I die early?”   – dramatic I know – and the most common, “What if I’m not good enough?” We immerse ourselves in “What if’s” instead of saying “So what.”

So what if you don’t get that job. It was probably meant to not happen so you will have time for the better one you will eventually be ready for. So what if that person doesn’t like you. You have so many more people that do and will, and so on… The point is that if you worry about what might happen you won’t stop to think about what great things COULD happen.

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Perfect example. I left LA in March to Austin, TX to have a more normal existence. During those last 6+ months of normalcy, I realized how much I enjoy entrepreneurship and making my own way doing what I’m passionate about. I love health and fitness and working with people and I knew in my heart that I would be stifled elsewhere. So I quit my job, albiet an honorable position, that I had moved to Austin for, at first wondering what the heck living in this town meant for me. I eventually jumped (ok, slowly crawled) at the chance to move back into the exciting but scary world of health and wellness and entrepreneurship, while very frightened at not having money and not being good enough – even though I had found success in my many years in the field.

My fears were tested. I had a couple panic attacks prior to starting my new job recently even though I had worked in this field for nearly 12 years. I wondered what had happened to me. I knew I had confidence issues at times but this was getting ridiculous. I needed to take ownership of the fact that my “fears” were controlling me and I just needed to suck it up and get back out there. I took a chance once again and realized that the fear of change and uncertainty wasn’t worse than my other fear… regret. Thankfully, I realized two important lessons: I AM good enough and I can always learn more.

Whatever you are fearing right now, just test yourself and go after it. The worst that can happen is you say “Oh well” instead of “What if…”

What is Stability Anyway?

19 Jan

When I first moved out to LA from Cleveland, I was tired of stability. The stable job (although I can’t complain about stable income 🙂 ), the stable relationships, the stable city, and overall, the stable… Life. THAT was not what I really wanted. I knew I had dreams to accomplish. But inside, I was anything but stable, which reflected what I saw on the outside.

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I looked up the definition of stability. Merriam-Webster says it means “to have strength and to endure.” Now think about this. What is our traditional interpretation of stability? The white picket fence, the overflowing money and dynamic career, the best bodies, the perfect family? Well, the true definition If stability is to have strength and to be able to endure what arises.

Yes, I am now at the point in my life where I have accomplished quite a bit out here in LA  and also sacrificed a lot so I am looking for more stability in my career, income and relationships and I also appreciate cities like Cleveland so much more! But no matter what we have sacrificed or lost or what we have gained and savored, stability can only be found in our ability to have strength and to endure. These qualities are influenced positively or negatively from our circumstances but they can only be maintained from within. No matter what is going on in your life right now, good and bad, you can only find stability from what you tell yourself every day, who you surround yourself with and how you can make your life the best it can be with the circumstances at hand.

I have made a lot of money and I have lost a lot of money. I have been in great relationships and I have also been in terrible ones. I have been healthy and I have been sick. And, according to the definition, I have been stable and I have not. But my stability, I have realized, can be found and maintained regardless if I was any of the above or none of the above.

We must first be stable within us to find and appreciate our stability in everything and everyone else.

Food Prep Travel Tips

4 Dec

Prepping your food prior to a trip can help you save money and calories so you can enjoy your times out guilt-free! Check out my video below!

ChristyFit in 10: Meal Prep Ideas Part 1

14 Nov

Lets envision this scenario: You wake up, missing you alarm. Flustered, you scramble to get ready, grab your keys and suddenly realize you didn’t plan your meals for the day. Per usual, you admit to yourself you’ll get up earlier tomorrow and now plan on that high-fat latte at Starbucks or that mayo-laden chicken sandwich at the nearest fast-food restaurant.

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Now let’s mark today as a new scenario. You take a deep breath, set your keys down, and give yourself 10 minutes to make 2 quick meals, which will save your bank account and your waistline. You can enjoy that fast food on another day.

ChristyFit Meal Ideas Part 1:

Spinach Egg Omelette with a side of Cinnamon Raisin Ezekial Bread topped with Neufchâtel cheese.

-2 eggs cooked over-easy mixed with 1 cup cooked spinach leaves topped with dashes of pepper.

-1 slice of Cinnamon Raisin Ezekial Bread topped with 1/2 TBSP Neufchâtel cheese.

Why Choose This:

The eggs provide protein while the egg yolks provide additional protein, vitamins and healthy fat. The spinach provides fiber and vitamins and its water-base will fill you up and add extra water to your day. The Ezekial bread is hearty, flavorful and provides protein and fiber. The Neufchâtel cheese is decadent and has less fat and calories than regular or low-fat traditional cream cheese.

Grilled Open-Face Veggie Burger on Ezekial Muffin topped with Bean Sprouts, Cherry Tomatoes, Turmeric, Pepper and Dijon Mustard.

-1 Boca Grilled Veggie Patty topped with dashes of turmeric, pepper and mustard

-1/2 Ekekial English Muffin (you may add 1 tsp of organic butter to taste)

-1 cup Bean Sprouts

-4 cherry tomatoes

Why Choose This:

The veggie burger provides a great source of protein. The Ezekial muffin balances out the protein with healthy carbohydrates and energy. The turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and also provides a spicy kick along with the pepper and mustard. The bean sprouts provides a crunchy taste to balance out the soft taste of burger and also provides nourishing vitamins and fiber to keep you satiated along with the juicy tomatoes with healthy lycopene.

Fitness Motto

22 Aug

Fitness is consistency and moderation (not perfection) over a long period of time… A lifetime. Waking up each day with resiliency to try your best will always excel over all-or-nothing diet and exercise regimes. Stay in it for the long haul, good and bad, and you will have and maintain the shape, energy and inner and outer strength you are working for. 

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