MAN, I LOVE THIS LIFE! Lessons from Summer Break

I love summer. I love wearing swimsuits and flip flops, hanging by the pool, hiking in the mountains, basking in the heat—all of it. Like a lizard, I would lay on a rock and soak up the heat all day if I could.

Back in July, I had the opportunity to take a vacation, most of which I spent wearing only a bathing suit. As I sat by the pool watching people of all shapes and sizes enjoying themselves, I realized that I am so grateful for this life and this body. I have been through so much in the last eight years. I was hit by a car, which left me injured and then frustrated with the healing process. My fitness modeling career ended, I gained over 25 pounds, my adrenals crashed, and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. This was a huge blow for someone who is supposed to be a wellness expert. I felt like I was doing everything right, but the stress broke down my mind and body.

It has taken me more than four years of hard work, dedication, and patience to come back from that. Back in January, I vowed that 2017 would be MY YEAR. MY TIME. I am happy to say that I am on the other side of all the pain and frustration. I lost 18 of the 25 pounds I gained, and I can finally look at my body and be proud of what I have accomplished.

Here’s how I got to where I am today:   

  • I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Cuba with Ballet West in November 2016. Two days before departure, I was in the worst pain I had felt in 8 years. I tried my regular routine of restorative yoga, breathing, and massage. I boarded the plane in hopes I would make it through the 10-day trip.
  • The holidays were hard, but I was finding a better balance between good and bad days.  
  • In January, I vowed to continue to search for a solution. I also committed more time to myself.
  • I started attending two restore yoga classes a week, utilizing the steam room and meditation twice a week, and focusing on one quality cardio session. I followed my MEALS THAT TRANSFORM menu 7 days a week and stayed strong when I was tempted to deviate from my plan.
  • As I got stronger and felt better, I committed to two cardio sessions, one CorePower sculpt class, one day of steam room and meditation, and one flow yoga class per week. I modified when I needed to and was never afraid to be the only one in the room doing my own thing.
  • I am still the one in class doing my own thing at my own pace. As a result, I feel stronger and beautiful in my skin.
  • I also continued my commitment to self-care with regular visits to my naturopath Dr. Todd Cameron for blood work and vitamin drips, my NUCCA chiropractor Dr. Jack Stockwell, and my massage therapist Julie.
  • As spring and summer approached, my workouts and meal plan changed again to avoid plateaus in progress. I went to sculpt classes, did cardio three days a week, and added one meditation yoga flow. I increased my weights, sometimes did two workouts in a single day, and continued to move at my own pace. I listened to my body and dropped the negative self-talk. I created my I AM mantras and stuck to my schedule.  

So what’s the result of all this hard work?

I have more energy, my skin looks better, my body composition has changed, my butt is higher, and my stomach is flat. I can see the tone in my muscles, and my balance is stable.

I am so grateful for all my incredible doctors, including my naturopath and chiropractors; my massage therapist, my family and friends, my staff, and my amazing husband for all the support and knowledge. I could not have done it without all of you.

We all need support and love. Love is what pushed me to get better and to keep going through the pain and the headaches. Love pushed me to look differently at myself and my body. Self-love, positive self-talk, grit, and gratitude are things I had to harness during this process. Love brought me to that day by the pool and allowed me to see my body with new eyes.

I know how hard it can be to truly cultivate self-love and gratitude, but I am a testament to how important it is in the healing process and in achieving our goals.

As we move into fall, what do you want to achieve, create, and commit to in your life? What have you accomplished, big or small, in the last eight months?

--Angela