Nice to meet you!

It's really been on my mind to start a blog so that my clients, friends, family, neighbors or even just onlookers can be satisfied knowing that .. no, there is no such thing as being born fit, with a desire to always eat healthy or with a burning motivation to constantly workout. I mean.. look far right in this pic.. does that look like a kid with a fit, motivated gene? 





With that said, personally, I've always WANTED to be fit (I mean, who doesn't?) but starting out, I didn't quite know how to do it right. In Jr High & High School, I decided my number one goal and focus was to become fit & slender and I'd know this was achieved when I had a killer six-pack! Like the one I saw on my moms Denise Austin or Taebo workout videos ;) My game plan to achieve this as a 14 year old: just eat non-fat things, then for sure I wouldn't gain or have any fat! You can picture my confusion when my belly would bloat up from my breakfast, lunch, and dinner of dried fruit, low-fat bread, plain animal crackers, and cereal. They were all low or non fat (but also a huge carb load, but I had no idea!). Hmm... so then I tried to burn off as many calories as I ate each day, and then a bit more, until I knew I was in a deficit (burn 700 .. eat 500.. and yes I'd only eat 500) Made sense to my young mind.. but again, I was dumbfounded. Yes I was losing weight (that I did NOT need to lose), but how did I not have any muscle definition? I was working out every day, for hours, so where was my six-pack, and why was I still soft and squishy? Not to mention the lack of energy, weak performance in sports, mood changes, depression, LOWER self-esteem etc. 

When I got into college, I started to realize there was a science behind all this fitness/nutrition madness AND that I could have a career in it! I figured I already knew so much anyway (eyeroll) I might as well major in it.  As you can guess, I was pretty shocked when I started studying the correct methods to being fit, and the nutrition your body needs (even fats!!) to get and keep your body slender and toned, AND build muscle.. as in muscle for a 6-pack, my dream. The more I learned, the more fascinated I became and although it was hard to break out of bad habit, I tried new methods, ate more, took days off from working out, and was seeing some of the best results of my life. 

HOWEVER, I can honestly tell you that breaking out of these habits were some of the most mentally challenging times of my life. By this point, I was crippled by my body dysmorphia, over-exercising and eating disorder patterns. Even though I knew the scientific way to now reach the goal I had originally set for myself, this disease took over my mind. I was too ashamed to admit it to anyone, as most people would just tell me to eat a burger or would look at me like I had a problem, or so I thought. But I did have a problem. My family stepped in, I saw a nutritionist, but I still wasn't ready.. to eat more, or gain weight. I needed a transformation of my mind before I could take any extra calories in. 

So what finally helped me?? Church. God. Internal healing. Knowing my worth isn't based on outward appearance. I clung to this hope even when I didn't fully believe it. It took a lot of prayer, self-control, tears, turning away from the mirror when negativity crept in, self-talk, and even MORE prayer to turn those years of self-destruction into self-love. And it DID take years. There were many times I would pray (& sometimes still do) before I looked in the mirror, that I would only see myself how God sees me. Perfect. God doesn't make mistakes. God made me imperfectly perfect and wouldn't change a thing about me. In fact, I can't imagine how sad he was when I tried desperately to see how long I could go without eating, in tears because I was so hungry but would hate myself if I ate. I visualize Him kneeling down, wrapping His arms around me, and hugging me in tears on my high school bedroom floor, as I tried to find my purpose in my appearance. I still get emotional thinking about how broken I was.

I tell you all this, because now, especially as a mom, these experiences are what DRIVE me as a trainer. I have such a HUGE passion for specifically helping women, of all ages. I cannot imagine, as a mama to my sweet baby girl, the idea of watching her self-shame or hate the body she was given. It would break my heart. Just as I believe God is broken whenever His daughters compare themselves or are not comfortable in their own skin, as I hear often from clients I encounter. We should ALL be comfortable with the bodies we've been given, and now as a healed and educated fitness professional, I find GREAT motivation when I am healthy, in all facets. And if I'm continuing to be 100% honest with you, I didn't FULLY reach this point of balance until I became a mom. Something happens. Perspective changes. Well, actually, EVERYTHING changes. Your priorities, time management skills, sleep patterns, body composition, heart composition (I swear it at least DOUBLES in size!), AND perspective. Things that mattered a WHOLE lot, don't seem to matter as much. Things that were taken for granted are now on top of your "one-day" wish list..  vacations, spontaneous outings, sleeping more than 4 hours in a row, slow mornings, and quiet time.. OH what is THAT like?? I don't remember! ;) I wouldn't say that I never struggle with body-dysmorphia, but I now know how to manage the negative voices that like to creep in occasionally.







When I was finally cleared to start working out again, almost a full year post-partum.. (more on this later!) I was SO ready. I actually started the Kayla Itsines, Bikini Body Guide workouts online. I had done them before I had my baby and thought, piece of cake! NOPE. I QUICKLY learned that my body had shifted. I was mush. I couldn't do half the exercises, or at least correctly. I had to adjust almost everything to the point where I was completely changing the exercises in each workout. I didn't mind though, it was working. I was seeing changes. In fact, I saw such great results with the program I set-up for myself that I brought it to the gym I work at, AVAC in San Jose. And as you may have guessed from my posts, it's called the Bikini Bod Squad. Yes, I got my inspiration from the Bikini Body Guide (we all get inspiration from others if we are honest!), BUT I wanted my program to be able to reach those ladies that had NEVER worked out before, were starting over, postpartum, needed proper form instruction, a boost of motivation, with a community of women in their same position, all building muscle and confidence from the ground up. Fast forward to almost a year since the introduction of my very first Bikini Bod Squad Program, and now we have both a beginner AND advanced class (for my graduated ladies!) and I am working on my online program to be available this summer! I love it so much because I KNOW it works, have seen the ladies in my classes transformed and want every woman to experience this 8-week program, even just once!

 I would like to make a special note by clarifying and affirming that yes, all women have bikini bodies, we do. You don't have to be a certain weight or size. My goal with my program is not to "create" a bikini body, its to build the confidence in knowing that you already have one! It's to develop healthy habits, fitness practices, celebrate your accomplishments along the way, and end feeling STRONG and powerful both mentally and physically. Because as the great Beyonce proclaims.. 'Who runs the world? GIRLS!' ;)  

In closing this novel.. yes, I am a personal trainer, I wasn't born motivated, but I AM motivated. My clients motivate me. My ladies in my classes motivates me. Personal goals motivate me. Seeing someone's potential and helping them achieve it motivates me. Certain videos I see on Instagram motivate me. Showing people that there is a healthy way to become fit besides over-exercise, under-eating motivates me. My daughter motivates me. Motivating others motivates me. It's something you have to continually work at, and check-in with, but let me tell you.. once you are motivated, there is no stopping you! OH and I finally got that 6-pack.. POST PARTUM, and can help you too!

    

XOXO BIKINI BOD SQUAD
For more information you can find me on AVAC's website www.avac.us/bbs or on AVAC's blog www.avaclife.com

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