YOU teach exercise?!?!?

“YOU teach exercise?!?!” she said.

I was fat… again.

This time I was in Texas volunteering as a summer counselor for foster children. Between the boxed, frozen and fried meals in the cafeteria and the cookie-filled snack room, I re-bloated to my former January self like inflating a bike tire after the winter off…

… In a week.

Kids are honest.

July 2007 – Skydiving after the camp with my Dippin’ Dots T.

“What do you do back home,” one of my 12-year olds asked.

“I’m in college,” I said, “and I teach spin class.”

“YOU teach exercise???” she said.


And there it was, out in the open. The truth.

Slowly blinking several times to reign in all the anger, hurt, and frustration screaming from every roll and crease, back fat and panty line, from the bottom of my swollen feet through the round pudgy face that was apparently mine, I slowly said, “Yes.”

Followed by all the valid reasons I. Looked. Like. This.

– I’m bigger boned. I have big hips.

– I haven’t been able to exercise in a week. And,

– We don’t have any healthy food here.

The truth was that the honesty of a child opened a door of shame, guilt, and hurt that I didn’t understand and didn’t know how to handle.

What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I ever be skinny like…?

I loved being active, outdoors, and eating my vegetables. I also loved ice cream, dessert, and cereal… boxes and boxes of cereal. Low fat of course.

As a sophomore in college I had tried every diet and imaginable weight loss method in an effort to lose the extra 30 pounds I’d swollen to after getting off drugs, getting back in school, and attempting to make something of myself.

Phentermine, laxative teas and caffeine pills, Atkins, The Food Pyramid, low calorie, low fat, running, The Abs Diet, The 8 Hour Diet, spin class, aerobics, kickboxing, if it could be done, I tried it.

I’d lose 5 or 10 pounds quickly that plateaued without budging. Or I felt so miserable on the diet that I couldn’t focus on my schoolwork or maintain any friendships. One time I almost fainted because of the stress I was placing on my body with a low calorie diet plus back-to-back spin classes.

To lose more weight, I’d add more exercise.

The problem was this seldom worked. I spent 15-20 hours per week trying to lose weight, but never seeing significant results.

Back in Texas I decided enough was enough. There must be a healthy way to lose weight and keep it off and I was determined to find it and experience it for myself.

So began my quest for the healthiest way to live.

Eight years later, I only look at the scale if I’m cutting weight for a strongwoman competition, I love my body and what it can do, and would rather be naked than clothed.

Too bad we live in a city.

It feels AMAZING when my husband says, “You keep getting better and better with age…”

And most importantly, I feel accomplished knowing that my quest has paid and continues to pay dividends in my life.

The three most important things that determine success or failure in any pursuit, whether you’re losing weight, improving relationships with friends, family or your spouse, or upgrading your career are:

  1. Environment: Environment determines behavior more than any other factor. The quickest way to change your behavior is to change or modify your environment for success. This includes hiring a coach, getting an accountability partner, or cleaning out your cabinets. I would rather a client prepare their environment than commit to a diet or exercise program any day of the week.
  2. Habits: You are what you continually do. An hour of exercise 2-3 times a week is great, but is only 2-3 of 144 hours of your week. What you do in the remaining 141 hours determines your success or failure in pursuit of your goals. Creating habits that serve you instead of detract from your progress is essential.
  3. Mindset: Your attitude about your circumstances and your ability to change those circumstances, as well as the words you use, affect your beliefs, your behavior, and the outcome of any effort you put forth to lose weight.

Each one of the above three are powerful alone, but combined create an indomitable force in which failure is not an option.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll detail exactly what I’ve tried, what works, what doesn’t, and how you can simplify your efforts to lose weight while still having a life and seeing continual progress. If I can lose 30# and keep it off for six years, transform my inner voice from, “I can’t believe this is my body…” to “I can’t believe this is my body!!!” then you can too.

But now, I’m curious about a turning point in your life when you said, “enough is enough,” and decided from that point on that things would be different, and they were. Comment below to describe what happened to you. I read every single one.

Life tastes better with butter,


1 Comment

  • Chad Phillips

    Reply Reply March 4, 2017

    You’re inspiring me today. I’m listening to Rise Up by Andra Day and remembering your awesomeness. I soared through the air that day and finished with a giant grass stain on my bottom. Miss you. Keep doing great things.

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