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Two years to a new life...

I walked into the studio filled with hope and excitement. Paint, buckets, brushes, and drop cloths filled the multi colored space which I was desperately ready to make my own. Many friends and family members offered to come and help with the task ahead: We must paint and set up the studio in less than 48 hours.

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To move into this space, things were simple, easy even. I thought this moment of success would feel more momentous, but really, it felt like work. With all the work that needed to be done, I was elated, joyful, and stressed to no end….

This picture captures the joy and stress pretty well....don't you think?

This picture captures the joy and stress pretty well....don't you think?

March 12, 2016, as we furiously worked to make Infinitely Fit the space I imagined, I didn’t know how pivotal the decision to move into a commercial space was for me in all aspects of my life, not just for my business.

At the time, this decision seemed to be based on business facts, and some emotions tied strictly to the business growth. I had no idea how much it meant in every facet of my life.

When I moved Infinitely Fit into the studio where we now run our daily inspiration, motivation, and just plain fun, I found freedom from my past and found hope for a brand-new future. It opened what felt was a whole new way of seeing and being.

I began to look at everything as if I was balancing on my head or walking without my V-8.

I had already been fighting to stay in the life I had because that’s what I’m “supposed” to do. And my new perspective amplified those feelings. And I just couldn’t stay any longer.  

Over the course of the following two years, my whole life changed.

I was married to a Marine for nearly 14 years before we separated just after the studio opened.

I was a full time single mom 90% of the time due to deployments, and now I see my son occasionally throughout the weeks and every other weekend.

I was the leader of my small family, and now I am alone.

I had a middle schooler and now I have a high schooler.

I ran a small operation business out of my garage, and now I have trainers and overhead to worry about.

I had a home, that even though we rented, was my home, I now live with a friend.

I had a healthy fit body, now I have a healthy and less fit body.

I had many friends whom I could count on, now my friends are scattered or the relationship has run it’s course.

I had my “Framily” in the form of Bestie, her husband and my nieces, and now, they live across the country.

I had my bestie to go to happy hour, plan a girls day or just be there for each other on a whim, and now we have to work hard to even coordinate time to talk.

Before March 14, 2016, I thought I was the girl who could tackle anything and still have it all…

Before I was bold enough to take on the gym and leave my marriage, I was working towards everything I felt I “should” have and want. I can’t say that I don’t still look for what I think I “should” want in life, but I am much more aware, and listen to my internal desires more and more frequently.

So, you ask, what have I learned by flipping my life upside over the span of two years?

Probably more than I can ever articulate in this short post, but here is my best attempt:


The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
— Robert Burns

The quote is the start of the process, not the whole story. What it doesn’t explain is that when the plans go awry, that’s when real life happens, learning ensues, and character is built. It’s what we need.

Continuously flipping everything on its head for the last two years didn’t break me, it grew me, my relationships, my resiliency, my self-confidence, my coping skills, and so much more.

It makes me think of muscle breakdown. When we workout, we are actually tearing our muscle fibers. That is the purpose of loading the muscles. Then, our bodies repair the muscles and the fibers are stronger than before.

Our whole body works that way, so what if we embrace the breakdown process for all aspects of our well-being: mentally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally. Because It A-L-L breaks down.

It happens all at once or in waves, but some aspect of life will fall short of our expectations; then we start again. Rinse and repeat.

Let’s be honest, life keeps moving whether we intentionally start again or not. The choice to start again provides greater growth and faster healing. The choice to resist the change forces us to stay in the pain longer. And don’t kid yourself, it is a choice!

Change is inevitable, the choice to move with the change is optional. There are far greater benefits to making the choice to move with the change rather than resist.

Maybe you have a cascading affect of change like mine has been over the last two years, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be small changes that add up to make a big impact. Embracing change makes the ride a little more enjoyable and moves you through more change faster, so you see the results you want sooner.

I encourage you to evaluate your change resistance to the things going on in your life, so that you can make a conscious choice to change or stay the same. Being aware is the first step to moving forward, healing past wounds, and building character that provides resiliency.

Thank you for all who have been a part of this journey. I look forward to celebrating again with you next year and many more to come!

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I believe...

I’ve been working a lot on creating clear succinct marketing messages at Infinitely Fit as we get ready to roll into the new year.  My best thinking happens when I listen to music or podcasts and I am nowhere near my desk….Just like what happened this morning. I was sitting in a coffee shop with a paper and pen, no computer and my phone on “do not disturb”. My ADHD behaviors run strong, so I need to find a way to remain focused. 

This morning, I sat with my music playing in my ears and jotting down all thoughts that came to my head. I had some specifics I was trying to get out, but free writing is the best way to start making sense of the chaos in my brain. As my free writing continued, I got so excited! I literally jumped out of my seat, grabbed my stuff and quickly exited the coffee shop. There were a few funny looks as I did it, but who cares?! 

I am so excited to share with you what I came up with because it is the heart of Infinitely Fit, it is my heart. It is not succinct and it is not a nice neat little marketing slogan, tagline or USP, but it is the truth and the life blood of Infinitely Fit. 

I believe whole-heartedly in shifting the cultural norms surround health and wellness, and most importantly body image from the inside out of everyone in America. 

I believe we are all hiding ourselves under many layers of what we think we “should be” rather than walking in the glory of who we uniquely are. 

I believe in future generations filled with a sense of worth that isn’t tied to actions, aesthetics or talent, rather it’s tied to an intrinsic value that allows withstand the worst of bullying and hatred regardless of deed.

I believe our world will be a place of love and acceptance for everyone once we all practice self-acceptance. 

I believe the path to self-worth is paved by self-acceptance.

I believe we don’t just deserve to but we are obligated to treat ourselves better than we ever have so we can then treat others with the dignity and respect they deserve. 

I believe the only way for our world to begin thriving is by taking responsibility and ownership of who we are and our actions. 

I believe if we keep hiding under the layers of who we believe we should be, we will never unlock the power within us. And the world needs each of us to fulfill our unique purpose with power. 

This is what burns inside me every day! Helping people helps me grow, the more I grow, the more I want to help. I am not perfect and I don’t have all the answers, but I know this much, we have gone too long hiding under the layers. Shying back from whom we were created to be and fulfilling our purposes.

Infinitely Fit was created as a solution for a healthy lifestyle, and that has held true since 2012- how we go about a healthy lifestyle continues to evolve as we learn about life…not about science. The science is of course a part of what we do and we learn from it, but there are many abstracts science cannot capture that we feel and live every day at Infinitely Fit.  

If you believe in what we stand for, join us in any capacity that makes sense. Follow us and share our content on social media, email us or call us with your thoughts and ideas of how we can help, join us for special events, join our community by taking classes with us, volunteer with us when we are out in the San Diego community. 

It’s time for change, folks! Do you accept who you are? 

 

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'Tis the Season

seasonal depression

It’s always a season.

Every moment of our lives is part of one season or another. Some seasons are longer than others and some seem indefinite, but we can always count on the fact that whatever season we are in will eventually change. And every aspect of our lives has seasons: we have seasons with our kids depending on their ages and stages, we have seasons with our friends where people come and go, we have seasons where we are flourishing and most things fall into place, and we have seasons that bring us to our knees because everything seems hard.

It’s difficult to remember that all seasons are and always will be temporary; nothing lasts forever. We get stuck on the idea of the good seasons, wanting them to never end because we feel entitled to the good season- that’s where life should stay. We think when things are good, we’re good, we’re OK. Which in turn means, if things are bad then we’re bad; then why would we want to let go of the good seasons? As I am certain we all know the truth on some level:

All seasons come with good AND bad, and we perform well AND horribly in all those seasons.

We live in dichotomy but there is something about the human brain that wants to choose one or the other. The brain is unsettled dealing with both sides of life simultaneously.

The dichotomy we live means we’re always performing well and poorly in different aspects of our lives in a single season. Sometimes there’s more good than bad, and sometimes it’s the opposite. Regardless, both good moments and bad moments are present in every season of life regardless of how one sided it seems.

The question then is how to we learn to live in this dichotomy?

For what it’s worth, here’s my advice from my time contemplating this truth.

Acceptance: Accept that there is always good and bad in all seasons and situations. We live in dichotomy and that is OK!

Awareness: Be aware of the soundtrack of our own minds when things seem one sided. Pay attention to our tendency to overplay the stronger feeling so frequently that we seem to be holding on tight to the season. This does happen in both good and bad. During the good we don’t want to let go of good, during the bad, we don’t trust things to get better. The longer we’ve been in a season, the truer this rings.

Gratitude: Be grateful for the good things happening even if they seem few and far between. Also, spend time being thankful for the hard times because you will grow more from those bad moments and hard times than the good moments. Ironically it’s harder to be grateful for the bad things during good times than during the bad times. However, it will do more for a balanced perspective in the good times so we don’t get too married to those good times.

Be present: Be present and allow yourself to experience the good moments and the bad moments fully! And during some seasons that all happens within seconds. Laugh until you cry or scream until you smile, but experience every feeling, every emotion. The more of life that is experienced in the present moment, the more quickly you learn and move through the season.

Set limits: When things get hard or bad, it can feel like the season is indefinite and may, in fact, never end. If you feel this way, it’s time to set a limit. Make a pact with yourself by saying “I am going to give myself a month to fumble through this season. After a month it’s over or I am reassessing.” In a month, if it is not over, reassess where you are compared to where you started and set another limit. Our brains handle finite periods of distress better than indefinite periods. And the limit can be an hour or a day if a month is too long. Just choose what you need to get through that time.

Remember: Like our four seasons (or a kidney stone), this too shall pass….

Relish is the good moments so you don’t lose sight of all you have to be grateful for, and accept the bad moments as life’s classroom.

Enjoy this crazy ride we call life, people. We just never know which season will be our last! 

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The #1 Reason You’re Unsuccessful & How to Change It

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The #1 Reason You’re Unsuccessful & How to Change It

Success comes in all forms. Only an individual can define success for him or herself, but somewhere along the way, our American culture decided to streamline what success is for all of us. What were we all told when we were young? “Get good grades so you can go to college, so you can get a good job, find a good spouse, buy a nice house and car, have 2.5 kids, own a dog, and be happy.”

Although we may have been the few blessed with good parents who saw the world a little more well rounded, the truth is that the rest of the world’s message held more weight. I never knew I had an option to do anything but go to college after high school until I was recruited by the Marine Corps for my music skills. Wait! What? I can be a US Marine AND play music! WHAT?! I’m sure my mom told me that I had other options of what I could do after high school, but they never felt like options because the information never even stuck in my brain…PEOPLE! The only reason I became a US Marine was my mother convincing me that I could do all the things she knew I wanted to do and didn’t have to go to school right away.

I had turmoil in my decision making process, but not for long. I am a “balls to wall” decision making person at my core, so I don’t sit on decisions too long. (Obviously, I was destined for the Corps.)

My point remains the same. How do we define success? Well “we” collectively cannot determine success for any one person. We have a unique journey to fulfill and there are no duplicates in the world.

So why have we bought into this one picture of how life is supposed to work? Of how success should be measured?

The reason you’re unsuccessful in life pursuits is most likely because you’re trying to pursue some fake life of success.

Who said you have to go to college to be successful? I don’t think anyone is doubting the success of people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, Sophia Amoruso, David Neeleman, Paul Allen, and Larry Ellison.

Who said you had to get married to be successful? There are many unsuccessful married and unmarried folk.

Who said the big house with the white picket fence is what makes you happy? I have an uncle who can buy a dream home in any city in the country and he chooses to rent a small 3-bedroom house because he wants to move when he’s ready to move, and he has no need for extra space to fill with extra stuff. He’s a guy who loves experiences, not things.

Who said….OK. I think you get my point, and if not….The #1 reason you are unsuccessful is because you are allowing society to define success. Only you can define your own success.

You will never be successful trying to live someone else’s version of success.

And to that point: How many people consciously want that life for you? If you ask most of your friends and family, they will probably say, I just want you to be happy. Well good news! It’s easy to please them! Just choose to be happy, and if you find that difficult, it’s probably because you’re attempting to live someone else’s life.

So today, instead of trying to choose happiness in a life that isn’t meant for you, choose you. Choose what you want out of life. Maybe that means you choose to go back to school so you can eventually leave a job only your parents wanted for you. Or maybe you choose to leave school to experience the world the way you always wanted to experience it.

If you don’t know who you are at your core, you’re not going to be able to choose wisely. And all of the personality assessments in the world won’t be able to decide for you. They couldn’t possibly supply enough questions to determine the infinite possibilities of who you could be.

The good news? You can work to know yourself better and define your own version of success. Success that only you can define. In order to get to know yourself, you have to be purposeful and intentional about understanding your ins and outs. And here are a couple of activities that can help you with that.

Question it. Even if you think you know how you define success, there may be more you haven’t figured out. So spend a little time asking yourself these questions:

  • Do you know what makes you happy?
  • And what makes you sad?
  • Do you have a fire that feels like an inferno every time you hear of or see a particular situation?
  •  When do you feel energized, like you’re on top of the world?
  • When do you feel completely drained?
  • Do you know any things at which you seem especially gifted? You’re a natural _________
  • Can you describe yourself in 4 words?

Another great way to know how you would define success is to write your own eulogy. I did this exercise once with my business coach, and L-O-V-E-D it! You know why? Because my life isn’t over yet! I can make all of those things real – until the day I die, I have that chance.

What is it you want people to say about you when you’re gone? If you can write that down, you’re on your way to redefining your own success and setting your path on the right trajectory. Don’t be hard on yourself, nothing is written in stone…yet. Until the day we're buried 6 feet under, we still have a chance to make our dreams a reality.

And let’s be honest. I’m sitting here writing this as a 36-year-old woman, a mother of a 13-year-old, running a business, and on the verge of some big changes in my life – I expect my eulogy and my definition of success to change and grow as I change and grow. Don’t be so married to this picture of success that you aren’t allowed to change your mind. You always have that right, so be kind and forgiving to yourself.

If this is something you're interested in discovering more about, but you're not sure how to proceed, you may consider signing up for a complimentary 30 minute health and wellness coaching consultation. Our coach will help you pin point some of the areas that you may be holding yourself back from being your authentic self. We'd love to walk with you on your journey, so don't be afraid to ask for help. Visit our homepage, fill out the form, and our health coach will contact you to set an appointment time. 

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Stress & Exercise

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Stress & Exercise

In our fast paced, 21st century world stress is ubiquitous; everyone experiences it.

3,000 years ago, our ancestors dealt with stress, but the sources of their stress were very different than they are today. While being chased by a lion or having to run after your own dinner sounds pretty stressful, these were immediate stressors that were quickly resolved.

Once they were safe and their dinner was caught, our ancestors didn’t worry about impending deadlines, rush-hour traffic, mortgage payments or getting the kids to school on time. These stressors that you deal with every day are more chronic in nature – and they’re slowly causing your physical and mental health to deteriorate.

Physiological Response to Stress

Your body has a pretty incredible stress response. When you step out in front of a car your brain immediately receives a distress signal. It increases your heart rate, blood pressure and respiration. It tells your liver to dump glucose into your blood stream, causing blood sugar to skyrocket. It releases cortisol, the “gas” that keeps your stress response revving.

In the event of a lion chasing you, this response is incredibly adaptive. It allows you to mobilize your energy stores and react as efficiently as possible.

In the face of chronic stressors, this response becomes maladaptive and downright harmful. Chronically high rates of cortisol can have disastrous effects on your physical and mental health. 

Consequences of Long-Term Stress

Chronic stress is akin to your body believing that a lion is chasing after you all the time. Prolonged stress can wreak havoc on all of your body’s systems. Some of the effects include:

  • Cardiovascular complications

  • Psychological disorders including anxiety and depression

  • Digestive issues and headaches

  • Muscle tension and tightness

  • Weight gain

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Concentration and memory problems

When you’re feeling overburdened the last thing you want to do is add another activity to your to-do list. But exercise should be the one activity you make time to pencil in.

While exercise will take some time out of your day, it has clear stress-reduction benefits make it a no-brainer when battling chronic stress.

How Exercise Helps

There are a variety of ways exercise can be helpful in reducing stress levels. Specifically exercise:

Exercise can be a powerful, natural aid in the reduction of stress. However, a principle I’ve been working to better understand and practice is “your body cannot differentiate stressors.”

What does that mean?

Whether you’re cramming for a midterm, giving a presentation at work, running sprints at your local track or being chased by a lion, your body doesn’t know the difference and frankly, it doesn’t care.

This means that as much as exercise can help with stress, it can also hurt. In fact, long-term over exercise has symptoms very similar to chronic stress.

How to use Exercise to your Advantage

If exercise can improve and worsen stress, how do you ensure that you are exercising in a beneficial way? When you’re feeling burnt out, focus on these exercise tips to ensure your getting the most stress busting bang for your buck.

  • Low-moderate intensity. When stressed, you don’t want to exercise in a way that puts a ton of additional strain on your body. Include gentler forms of exercise like walking, jogging, yoga, and light cycling or strength training. Not sure what light to moderate means? Use the talk test. If you can still manage to hold a conversation you’re doing it right

  • Frequency>intensity or duration. The effects of an exercise session on stress are immediate. The more often you can incorporate exercise the more likely it is to have an accumulative effect on your overall stress levels

  • Include Deep breathing – Take deep, steady breaths at the beginning, end and periodically throughout your exercise sessions, focusing on the sensation of feeling your lungs expand and contract with air.

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation This technique is best done at the end of a session (and can be done when not exercising) and includes contracting then releasing each major muscle, working from your head down.

  • Finish Strong. I’m not talking about eking out one more set of push-ups or stair sprints, here. I’m referring to finishing strong with your mind. End your session with a few deep breaths and a quick stretch. This is a great way to ensure you leave your exercise session feeling refreshed and relaxed, instead of more wound up.

While stress is an inevitable part of modern life, exercise can help reduce the havoc it wreaks on your body and mind. If you’ve been avoiding exercise because you feel you’re simply too busy, commit to including some of these practices 2-3 days a week. Incorporating physical activity will help you de-stress and improve your health, happiness and peace of mind.

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