I would like to share a small part of my story making exercise a lifestyle. As a teenager, I truly loved being active. For my 15th birthday, my wish was to join a local gym. My parents blessed me with a membership. At the time it was the 80’s, guess what was in style? If I mentioned leg warmers, who comes to mind? Yes, Jane Fonda the leg warmer queen! My local gym discovered I was eager to stay fit and my energy was contagious. Immediately, I began teaching an aerobics class. My love for fitness continued through my late twenties. Keep in mind; even though I was addicted to staying fit, my knowledge on food choices was not equally matched. I spent many, many years not eating correctly yet killing myself at the gym. I was on every yo-yo diet and would on occasion eat only one meal a day. Although young, by body slowly began responding to the abuse. I found myself at 29 with a hip injury from overuse. I was on crutches for approx eight months, injections in the hip for pain and terribly saddened. My fitness regimen came to a screeching halt!

After recuperating from my injury, I found myself slowing being more active. I wasn’t at my normal level of exercise but recovering and excited to return to my activity level. To my wonderful surprise, my husband and I found out we would be expecting our first child. We had been married for 5 years and were eager to start a family. For me, being a mother was beyond words. Although I loved my new role, I like so many others, lived and breathed motherhood. I realize this is a blessing but I could only identify with this one hat. My new job absorbed me in living for my children. I had difficulty seeing myself deserving of anything except being a mother. I continued this pattern for 10 years. As I lost my identity I found my needs would normally end up on the bottom of the list and most of the time not even make the list. Who fault was this? It was MY own fault.

Finally, I got a wake up call. My poor health had taken its toll. You could call it my “light bulb” moment. My life and wellness journey was a learning experience beyond belief. I very courageously took on seeking health and happiness. Although God was definitely with me at all times, I often wondered why someone didn’t come into my life to show me the way. I now look back over the many years of regaining my identity and now understand why my own journey was so intense. I was in training to coach people to reach their life and wellness dreams. I reflect back and smile as I have embraced lapses, frustration, sadness, laughter, successes, failures, moments of deep reflection, and finally maintenance stage!

As a Professional Life and Wellness Coach, my motto is, “The journey is priceless, and the weight loss is the icing on the cake.” My personal journey was a about discovering who I was inwardly, which led to discovering my Inner Thinner Peace. What follows when we reach this point of loving ourselves is permanent weight loss. I often see new people come into fitness that normally have never trained before and so excited to start their journey. The normal behavior is overtraining and not eating properly. I can usually count on seeing these people for about six months in the gym or committed to exercise in their own home. After that, it’s back to their old ways. Some may argue with my statement. There are few that will follow through with their commitment. So what’s the problem? How do you fix this long-standing issue? First and foremost, learn to fuel your body properly!

Food is 80 percent of how we look, feel and act. Most people enter into fitness overtraining. I have witnessed over the last 20 years people overtraining, which creates injury, frustration, anger, and turning from fitness all together. Another area of concern is witnessing so many over train and feel as if they can walk away and eat whatever they desire. The majority say, “I’m exercising and not losing weight!”

Until we understand our food intake, it won’t be a lifestyle. Eating healthy is a lifestyle. Exercising is all about keeping our body healthy. Exercise allows our bodies to stay tone, happy, energized, and clear in mind, heart healthy, flexible and mobile. Our food is the key to weight loss!

I would like to encourage you to make this a balanced lifestyle. Trust you deserve to be healthy and happy!