Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

This month marks five years since I left my full-time engineering career to pursue my passion of health and wellness.  It sure would be nice to say that my path has been smooth and exactly as I anticipated.  That makes for a much prettier package.  However, my journey has had twists, turns, and unexpected bumps along the way.  But I made a commitment to myself to always follow my heart and trust my gut. 

Many years ago, I was given the book Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.  I cannot tell you how many times I have been able to relate to this book over the past few years.  Here’s a sample of what has encouraged me:

“You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
On and on you will hike, and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know.
You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.  Step with care and great tact.
And remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

And will you succeed?  Yes!  You will, indeed!

In the past five years I have learned so much about myself and other people.  I’ve come to understand the courage it takes to make a change, resolve it takes to stay the course, determination it takes to uphold your work ethic even if you can’t see immediate results, and the joy that is felt when a life is transformed. 

I always had big dreams
From the time I was a kid, I always had big dreams.  Mind you, I was always a realist, so I never dared to dream bigger than I could accomplish.  If I decided I could (or would) do something, I simply did it to the best of my ability.  Sports and math came easy to me.  So, it seemed my destiny that I would be an athlete and would become an engineer.  I achieved both – on an award-winning level, I might add.

In 2010, as I approached 30th birthday, I began to dream big once again.  At that young age, I had already experienced a marriage and divorce, loss of family members, and a career crisis during the economic recession.  I was concerned that if I
One of many engineering awards
took a risk, I might not be able to recover.  But I also knew that if I didn’t take that risk, I might not be able to shake the “what if?” 

So, I took a leap of faith and have not looked back.  I am a person who doesn’t live with regret.  Have I questioned my decisions in the past five years?  Absolutely.  Have I wished I had been more prepared?  For sure.  But have I regretted taking that leap and betting on myself?  Absolutely NOT. 

Every journey will have its bumps and curves and unexpected forks on the road.  However, the main thing to keep in mind is that a journey takes you places.  Whether it’s a new career path, a personal evolution, or a weight loss transformation, you will end up in a better place.  You just have to take that first step.  And once your journey starts, keep the faith, follow your heart, and trust your gut. 

When you’re ready to take a journey and go someplace great, I will be here for you.  I will educate, encourage, and motivate you to transform your life.  Together, we will go places and move mountains!  Go to http://www.coachdconsulting.com  to see all the ways I can help you and those you love.  Obesity is 100% preventable and it starts with the first step! 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Live Out Loud

I was recently inspired by a new friend.  He is motivated by – and lives by – the mantra “Live Out Loud”.  When I met him, it was one of the first topics of conversation because I saw it clearly tattooed on the inside of his wrist.  When I asked, he said it was the way he wanted to live.  To be honest and open, dream big and have a purpose.

I'm proud of how far I've come
In the days since our conversation, I have thought a lot about the idea of living out loud.  I would like to think that I live out loud, though that was not always the case.  There have been times – when I was a teenager and during a very difficult marriage – when I much preferred to be hidden.  I was unsure of myself and I did not want anyone to see my truth.  However, today I am proud of who I am and how far I’ve come. 

I am not perfect, but I own that.  When I look down, I see stretch marks.  But those stretch marks are a symbol of the 50 pounds I lost.  They make me proud because I used to be ashamed of my thighs.  Sure, the combination of my genetics and love for running mean I don’t have a lot of curves.  But, I like my legs and I have blood pressure that rivals a professional athlete.  So, I would never trade a Kardashian booty for my killer legs and life-saving blood pressure!  
My Pop-Pop lived & loved out loud

I have also learned to live out loud emotionally.  This is not something that comes easily for me.  If I am being honest, I usually expect people to let me down.  I have built up walls to prevent getting hurt.  But the thing about walls and fences – they don’t just keep people from getting in, they keep you from getting out.  Neither of these scenarios will lead to true happiness. 

One person who lived every minute of his life out loud is my maternal grandfather.  He earned a purple heart in WWII.  He earned my grandmother’s heart by singing “You are My Sunshine”.  He was known to flip a table if provoked, hug or curse you based on what you deserve, and love and laugh with abandon.  He’s been gone over 30 years, but he’s with me every day reminding me to fight for what I believe in.

My Granny lived out loud through food & flowers
Another person who lived out loud in a much different way is my paternal grandmother.  She was likely dyslexic, but was the secretary/bookkeeper for our family business and was able to keep track of names and numbers.  She cooked three hot meals a day from scratch, but never learned to drive so she relied on someone to take her to the grocery store.  She never rested or complained.  Instead, she would find peace by tending and talking to her flowers.  She truly shined through her food and her flowers.  She’s been gone over ten years, but she’s with me every day showing me that no matter what, I can always be vivid and life is worth savoring!

Isn’t that the way we all want to live?  Out loud doesn’t mean noisy.  It means living with honesty.  Showing your truth and seeking the truth.  Having a passion and the dedication to pursue it.  Turning your dreams into reality.  Loving yourself and others like there is no tomorrow. 

When you’re ready to live out loud and dedicate yourself to living life on purpose, I will be here for you.  When you look in the mirror, be completely honest with yourself.  Make a decision to seek truth, happiness, and health.  I will educate, encourage, and motivate you to live out loud.  Go to http://www.coachdconsulting.com  to see all the ways I can help you and those you love.  Obesity is 100% preventable and it starts by living out loud! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Size Matters

Me & Ray at the Franklin Theater
where his play will run May 1-2, 2015
Size matters.  Let’s be honest, whether it’s your waist or your heart, it really matters.  Unfortunately, in today’s world, people put higher value on the size of a person’s waist than on the size of their heart.  I recently had the privilege to read the script for a new one-man play Size Matters by Raymond McAnally. 

I connected with Ray on Facebook last year.  He currently lives 2,000 miles away in Los Angeles, but we grew up with the same neighborhood kids in school in Franklin, Tennessee.  Upon graduating high school, Ray went on to accomplish great things on stage and screen.  He’s written and starred in numerous plays, shows, and movies.  However, his finest work so far is his first full-length play Size Matters

Size Matters is “an autobiographical one man show with fifteen characters.  The show addresses the topics of bullying, body issues, love, and family responsibility…We journey with this uncle and nephew over the course of a year filled with gains and losses and the need to be something important to somebody else.”

After reading the script, I had a chance to sit down with Ray and talk about our perspective on weight, body image, bullying, and love.  I told him that as I read the script, it really took me back to my childhood as an overweight kid.  There is a scene in the play that addresses clothes and how they can have such an impact on how we feel.  It’s incredible that pieces of fabric can make a child (or adult) feel so huge, and yet so minuscule.

We talked about the effect food and exercise has on our brains and our bodies.  Somehow we have allowed ourselves to become addicted to food, but in all the wrong portions and all the wrong quality.  Poor decisions create shame which leads to worse decisions.  It’s a sad cycle.  It’s something we both recognize, not only for ourselves, but as role models.  

I asked Ray about his relationship with his nephew Morgan and his wife Whitney, both central characters in his play.  Much of the play revolves around the admiration from Morgan and the love from Whitney.  Ray said writing and debuting Size Matters has opened an emotional dialogue.  I think it has also helped Ray deal with self-confidence and self-love.  Until this point, Ray never really admired or loved himself as much as Morgan and Whitney do.  People say love is blind, but I believe love provides us with special x-ray vision.  It allows us to see people’s beauty shine from within.  We love someone because of who they are, not for the package they come in. 

Size Matters gives me a new hope not only for the future, but for the present.  We can choose to put a value on our waist size.  Or we can choose to put a higher value on the size of our heart.  As we look at others - and ourselves - we can choose compassion over judgment.  We can choose kindness over bullying.  And we can choose to be happy in the moment. 

I cannot wait to see the show!  I hope you will join me May 1 and 2, 2015 as we welcome home Ray McAnally.  He will bring Size Matters home for us to experience.  I promise, no matter your age or stage in life, you will leave emotional, yet hopeful.  Get show details and your tickets for Size Matters at the historic Franklin Theater now http://secure.franklintheatre.com/websales/pages/info.aspx?evtinfo=94604~cfe40b7d-1c56-4c4b-b937-600bdd7c5904&

I encourage you to go see this show.  And when you love yourself enough to make a change, I will be here for you.  I will educate, encourage, and motivate you the entire time.  Go to http://www.coachdconsulting.com  to see all the ways I can help you and those you love.  Obesity is 100% preventable and it starts by loving yourself in this moment! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine Guest Blog

I am currently guest blogging for Nashville’s Music City Moms.  You can find my current blog “The Love of Your Life” which includes my take on finding true love and my delicious recipe for dark chocolate syrup at http://musiccitymoms.net/blog/53-health-a-fitness/289-the-love-of-your-life

Whether you are looking for cooking lessons, personal catering, or fitness training for your family or if you are interested in an office lunch-&-learn, I am here for you.  Go to http://www.coachdconsulting.com to see all the ways I will educate, encourage, and motivate you in 2015 and beyond.  Obesity is 100% preventable and starts by loving a healthier you!