Categorized as: Blog

Health, Success & Wealth

I have made it my life-long mission to help educate and inspire others to live the life of their dreams. Through sharing my stories of struggles and successes, I have been able to stay authentic and true to myself, while also helping others. While I have a business that is built on that foundation, I believe anyone can inspire at any stage in their life.

In America, we are conditioned to always be striving for the next “success,” This is usually a positive thing – it helps us stay disciplined in order to grow, keeps us focused, and ensures progress. There are times, however, that we can look at the wrong things and call them “successful.” While material possessions may symbolize someone’s status in terms of financial wealth, possessions can never symbolize one’s health.

Health is Wealth

One common definition of health is the absence of disease. I like to define health as a well-rounded balance of physical, emotional, mental and relational strength and endurance that is most often enjoyed. Why? In life, we will always have some kind of problems, troubles, things that just happen, and even medical issues.

I don’t believe in claiming or speaking disease or negativity into someone’s life, but we all know that sometimes disease is the manifestation of physical stress. We need to take time to slow down and balance ourselves. Health is a well-rounded balance.

Define Success

Sometimes striving for success becomes very esoteric and ill defined. What is success anyways?

How would you define it?

To me, success is continuously becoming better and helping others get better too. Success to me means nothing if I am all alone, and don’t have a healthy balance in my body, mind, spirit and relationships. I have made it my duty to share stories (even taboo ones) of my real-life-experiences, not as a crutch, but as a tool for healing myself and helping others heal.

Share Your Story. Share Your Struggle.

Whatever your story is, whether it be past abuse, homelessness, crime, drugs, jail, being in an unhealthy relationship, losing everything – your story is valuable. Your story is valuable to someone you may not even know. Maybe what you went through, someone else is currently going through and they need some hope that they`ll get beyond it. Maybe someone else went through it and let it destroy their life, but you’ve struggled to rise above. It’s your duty to share how you did it.

Everyone in this world needs hope.  You are valuable and authentic.

 

For Part of my Story, Listen here: http://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HV39Q95Q

Character Must Be Your Foundation

char·ac·ter

ˈkerəktər/: the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual 

synonyms: personality, nature, disposition, temperament, temper, mentality, makeup.

character

Character Needs to Grow

The right character (mentality) will take you places you never thought you could go. It will open your doors for success, and it will help you build relationships with unique and important people. The right character will keep you in a position of authority and success, even when others seem to come and go. Character growth cannot be neglected.
Some people say that your character is just who you are, what you do and who you are will always remain the same. I beg to differ – character (mentality) can be changed with time, education, and effort. Character is a part of your personality, but it is also your mentality. Ever heard the saying “Change your attitude, change your life?” It’s true! When we change the way we think, we are actually shaping our character. In turn, we are ensuring our own success.

Character Breeds Opportunity

People like people who are committed, responsible, motivated, willing to listen and learn, and those who seem to have a good head on their shoulders (even if they make mistakes). The truth is, you don’t have to know everything to be successful – those who think they know it all will eventually have a wake-up-call. When people like your personality, your mentality, your disposition, then they like you. People with ambitious and righteous qualities don’t always finish first, but they are willing to sacrifice to do things right – the first time!

What we Do Matters

This means that what we choose to indulge in physically, mentally and spiritually is actually a part of who we become. Our eyes are the windows to our soul, and whatever we allow in, will somehow, some way, someday expose itself outwardly. If a good character (mentality) is a critical part of our long-term success, we need to be more focused not just on our talents/skills, but also on who we are, and who we are becoming.

Good Character Wins Every Time

 

We’ve all witnessed this. We’ve seen the athletes or celebrities with millions of dollars who are constantly in trouble with the law, in domestic partnerships disputes, or dead-beats to their children. We’ve witnessed some of the “most successful people” in the spotlight for their personal failure. Professionalism and personal character are tied together! Whatever is done in the dark will eventually come to light. If you are highly talented, but suck as a person – you will eventually lose your career position, and be left with yourself. If you are highly talented and have a good character, you will continue your wins even when you lose the game, a deal, or make a mistake. Someone who has good character can be respected; while someone without it is hard to respect them.

 

Get out today, and do something to help you build a better personality, better mentality, and in turn your behaviors will change. You will be one step closer to your success!

 

Mahaylo!

Healthy Life: Beyond Fitness and Nutrition, Its Mental Too


What do you think of when someone says points out how “healthy” someone  else is?

 

Do you think about their fitness level? Dietary habits? Aesthetics? Knowledge? Overall lifestyle? Or do we just think about their ability to lift heavy weights?

 

In America, we tend to think about being “healthy” in an external way. The reality is, health is also mental.

 

mental health

 

 

Too often we look at the outside of someone and deem them “healthy” when they may be physically or emotionally decaying inside. Hand-in-hand with physical health, is mental, spiritual and emotional health (to name a couple others).  We have this unhealthy view of what health is. We tend to think people who are skinny are healthy. We also think those who carry an extra 20 pounds are unhealthy (not always), and we judge those who eat ice-cream, but glorify those who drink every weekend because their life is “care-free” and “fun.” We tell women who lift heavy weights that they’re “bulky” or “husky” instead of glorifying their strength. We crave social attention, and are addicted to our technology – phones, laptops, computers, etc. We even go as far as to call things “healthy addictions” (like working out ‘too much’). In America, we forget what our bodies really need, and over-stress ourselves into disease, anger, anxiety, and obesity.

Nearly 70% of Americans are overweight, and 40% are considered obese. There is new scientific research that claims that a calorie burned is a calorie burned, but a calorie consumed is NOT a calorie stored (Dr. Robert Lustig).

 

So how do we live a truly healthy life? Here are some of my tips!

 

  • Focus on your positive qualities, and set goals to learn and build in areas that need improvement.
  • Move everyday! Some call it exercise,  but really it’s all just about movement! A walk, bike ride, hike, swim, the gym. It all counts.
  • Smile 🙂 Smile every chance you get (plus you`ll get less wrinkles)
  • Listen to your body. When you need to rest, rest. When you need to move, move. When you need to sit still, sit still.
  • Meditate/Pray in silence at least 20 minutes per day.
  • Disconnect from technology.
  • Dance to music.
  • Find ways to laugh a lot! Watch a comedy, hang out with friends, or just be silly.
  • Embrace love. Too many people in today’s society reject potential love for fear of being hurt. Stop hurting and start healing.
  • Engage in relationships every single day. Make that overdue phone call, send a post-card, go on a coffee date, and just BE.
  • Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits & veggies, healthy fats, moderate alcohol, and eliminate chemically processed foods.
  • Do what you love!

 

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Building A Team

[box] “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” -Henry Ford[/box]

Entrepreneurs know that it takes a team effort to build greatness;hence the importance of “circles” and “networks.”But how can we selectively build theses groups of people?

bootcamp

There are 5 basic tactics I have used to intentionally build my personal, grass-roots, circle of people.

1. REMEMBER YOUR BRAND. My brand is Inspired By Purpose – it’s self explanatory really – I am inspired and aim to inspire others because I know I have a purpose, and I help others find theirs. This means that everyone I choose to associate myself with must be someone who is inspiring, and someone who has a clearly defined purpose; when you know your purpose – you become passionate. It’s essential to only associate with individuals and companies who truly stand for their brand, and that your company has some sort of overlap with.

 

2. INTENTIONALLY SEEK RELATIONSHIPS WITH PURPOSE-DRIVEN INDIVIDUALS. Both in life, and in business, it is important that we seek out, cultivate, and flourish in relationships with others. Who we associate with can either make us or break us, and relationships with purpose-driven individuals can also help us drive forward with our purpose. Not only do purpose-driven people help us remember our “WHY” but they also help us generate ideas – one good idea breeds another, and another. When you cultivate these relationships, you can easily reach out for help, an opinion, council or just someone to relate to.

 

3. ALWAYS BE 110% ENGAGED AND PREPARED FOR A COFFEE MEETING. Set the time. Be on time. Dress nice. Comb your hair. Wear some heels. Bring a notepad and pen to jot down ideas. Be willing to fully engage in conversation (put your phone away)!  It’s inevitable that when brilliant minds come together that there will be free-flowing ideas for your next blog post, collaboration, or big event – write it all down! Whether you’re the CEO of your company, or an intern hoping to learn, you must be fully engaged if you want to recruit talent, and find loyalty. Being 110% engaged shows the person sitting across from you that you’re willing to listen – not just talk, and that is a skill. Showcase your skills and be more productive  by showing up prepared.

 

4. SMILE AND ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS. When you smile, you are inviting someone into your space. You’re more likely to have a positive conversation, and you help the other person be more open with you. In addition, make eye contact, nod while you’re listening, and be genuine. If you are meeting with someone you idolize or you see as an expert in your field, don’t forget to ask lots of questions, and jot the answers down! Treat the person you’re meeting with with the respect, engagement that they deserve for giving you their time. Most of all, have a good time and help your new colleague do the same.

 

5. GET INVOLVED. Spend time actively pursuing a common business goal, hobby or travel together. Book a motivational convention together, or better yet – set one up yourselves. Relationship-building tasks will help you go to a deeper level of trust, loyalty, extended networks and circles, and prime you for future opportunity. Don’t neglect getting involved in your local and national communities. At the end of the day – we’re all in it together.

 

team alignment

Local Gyms offer Free Fitness Classes: Channel 2 News

City of Reno, Local Gyms Offer Free Fitness Classes

Posted: Jun 24, 2014 3:28 PM PDTUpdated: Jun 24, 2014 5:03 PM PDT

 CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO :KTVN Channel 2

The City of Reno is offering free fitness classes to help people get in shape this summer. “Shape up Reno” is a partnership with local gyms and instructors which started three years ago. Tuesday the program held a fitness boot camp at Wingfield Park, which is a perfect place for people who work downtown. “They’re sitting at their desk all day, they’re wanting to get active but maybe they can’t find the time, or they have to run their kids somewhere, so this is a great way to eliminate that excuse,” explained Channell Holmgren, who teaches a free one-hour exercise class on Tuesdays. “I thought it was a great way to give back to the community, so this is my third year doing that,” she added.Andy Bass, the Recreation Manager for the City of Reno, says it’s a community effort. “It’s not just the City of Reno it’s really these local businesses that are donating their instructors and their space to make it happen,” he said.The classes are meant for all ages, and all fitness levels. Rossy Cardenas was invited by a friend last week and showed up again for the boot camp class. “It’s hard but it’s also easy. It depends on how hard you want to go,” she said. “Anybody, even first-timers, they’re going to feel right at home,” she said.

Classes vary from Pilates to boot camp to yoga, at different locations during the summer. “The whole focus is to try to remove the barriers to fitness. So the first barrier is money, the second is trying to find a place that they feel comfortable,” said Bass.

Those who show up say they also meet new friends. “It’s really easy to get locked in a building during the day and so this is a nice way to have a relationship and have some fun,” said Holmgren.

Click here for a complete list of locations and classes.

Shape Up Reno: News 4 Today

Shape Up Reno 2014

 

City of Reno’s “Shape Up Reno” offers free fitness classes

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ShowImageShape Up Reno, a free fitness series organized by the City of Reno, has returned and is now being offered through various local businesses.Individuals or local gyms have agreed to offer one or two classes per week. In the past, Shape Up Reno has been offered during the spring through fall months. This year, the City of Reno would like to see it become a year-round program.

One of the many classes offered is every Tuesday during the lunch hour. Channéll Holmgren teaches a “boot camp” at Wingfield Park from noon to 1 p.m.

“Shape Up Reno offers something for everyone,” says Addie Vivas, Recreation Assistant for the City of Reno. “From yoga to intense cardio, people can get out and enjoy a nice workout that is right for them.”

For more information, call 775-334-2262.

‘Tis the Seaon to be Healthy!

Dear Friends,
Welcome to December (a few days late, I know). If you’re like most Americans, you’re feeling the chaos, pressure, full calendars of office parties, business parties, friends’ parties. Not to mention if you have children or family in town, you probably hear your child saying “I want that for Christmas!” at every commercial they see, or every time you go into the store. Did I mention that at every party, and mostly everyday this month your co-workers and friends will be tempting you with fresh-baked goodness?
So how do you stay healthy and fit this month? I have a few simple tips that will help ease the chaos, keep you feeling good about yourself, and even get a jump start on those 2014 New Years Resolutions! 
Baking Christmas Cookies

Channéll’s Tips to Live in Joy & Peace this Season

  • THINK BACK TO YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR 2013. Did you write them down or perhaps even make a poster board for them? When was the last time you looked at them? A good starting place to end this year strong, is to remember the energy and enthusiasm you began the year with!Don’t even be thinking about next year, if you haven’t completed this year! There is still time in 2013 to get as close to your goals as you can. Don’t quit. Even in the month of December.
  • SET YOUR GOALS FOR THIS MONTH. Although there are only 27 days left in the month, remember that it only takes 21 days to change a habit. That means that if you start now, you will have 22 days before Christmas to develop that habit! If you start tomororw, well, you have exactly 21 days. It’s always a good idea to set short-term goals to meet long-term goals. But, that is no new information to you. So, if you have the information, why not put it to use?
  • ELIMINATE NEGATIVES FROM YOUR DIET. So many people try to change everything all at one time. Be realistic with yourself. Yes, I said it. Realistic. Don’t say “I am not going to eat any candy at all! I am done!” If you know that you will eat that candy at some point. Don’t view your food as your enemy, view it as your fuel. If you know that you usually resort to the office baked goods for your lunch instead of the healthy meal you packed, maybe your goal will be to eat your healthy food from home first. Then, if you want to have a singe piece of a treat, have it. Eliminate as many negative factors as you can before you start to add positive ones.
  • DON’T NEGLECT YOUR EXERCISE. Now, I am not saying that you have to work out every single day, and never just get a day at home to enjoy with your family. In fact, during this season as the busyness sets in, and the travel takes up more time than you wish, you may actually have less time than usual to hit the gym. That’s okay. Work with the time you have whether from home or in the gym.
  • MAXIMIZE YOUR INTENSITY DURING WORKOUTS. If you don’t have the time you usually would have to devote to your workout, make sure that you’re increasing your intensity to acheive maximum results. If you only have 20-30 minutes, get a hard run in and some pushups/stretches. No workout is worthless if you’re working hard; regardless of the time.
  • GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER. Find someone from work, or even just a friend in another state to help you manage your stresses, and keep you focused with positive, and encouraging words. Set goals with each other and parameters for what your relationship will look like. Will you hit the gym at the same time after work together, and then call each other after to talk about how good you feel? Or will you simply text each other throughout the day for empowerment and encouragement? You determine who this person would best be for you. If you know you’re an emotional eater or stress too easily, do not choose someone you are emotionally sensitive with. If you know you’re prone to arguments with  your spouse or best friend, choose someone who is not as intimate with you. That way, you know for a fact that you won’t storm off on that person. Whomever you choose, be committed to them as well as your success.
  • JUST SAY NO TO SUGARY DRINKS! Did you know that the average American under-reports their caloric intake? On top of that, on average, Americans consume 20% of their daily calories in liquid form. This means sugary coffees, hot chocolates, whip creams, all of it. If you want to indulge that is ok, but don’t excuse yourself into believing that you can have that  Venti Peppermint Chocolate Mocha Quad Shot with  Extra Whipping Cream at no cost to your health. Limit yourself to gatherings, or vow to drink tea instead of coffee for the month. If not, you may do what I do – drink black coffee all but 1-2 days per week (on my weekend).
  • MATCH YOUR ACTIVITY TO YOUR INTAKE. This seems simple. Calories in vs. calories out. Now, I know what you’re thinking! Who in their right mind is going to track their calories during Christmas? Well, our health is just as important today as any other day of the year. For me personally, I no longer track my calories on a counter, but I do make sure that I run extra on days that I know I may indulge or have a feast to attend. It’s a good way to find balance while still caring about your body.
  • AVOID TEMPTATION. We all know those people who like to seemingly sabotage our goals. You know, the ones who you tell them that you’re not drinking, and they offer you a glass of wine? Or the ones who you tell them that you’re not eating bread this month, and you come in to find a whole home-baked pumpkin bread just for you on your desk? Do not allow yourself to be guilted. Yes, have manners and be polite, but don’t feel like you have to try and eat or drink everything that someone gives you. Listen to your body first and foremost. Avoid these people as much as possible.
  • LIMIT ALCOHOL. If you’re like many whom are part of dysfunctional families (all of us in some way), you may be emotionally driven to drink in order to just relax. Be very careful about how you conduct yourself, and the types of drinks you’re choosing. My drink of choice is wine or whiskey, but I know some people who choose all of the fruity, flavored alcoholic drinks at the holidays. Limit and control your intake. Be in control of your judgement, mind and your body.

 

Christmas Cheer

Most importantly, remember that the season is not about gifts, being careless, wreckless or just plain chaotic. The season is about the real reason. Be and stay blessed.

With Love,
Channéll

Finding a Balance to Conquer: An Entrepreneur with a Purpose

 I am here to share my testimony and give you an insight on my journey as a mother, step-mother, devoted wife, Christ follower and fitness entrepreneur. Finding a balance to conquer all of them is difficult. My name is Scarlett, and I am living proof that while it is difficult, it is possible.

Childhood Dreams of Fitness Competing 

   This specific blog is my testimony into my journey and struggle with fitness. My journey with fitness started well, really when I was a kid. I loved to be active and loved doing all kinds of sports. When I reached high school I would talk to my dad about nutrition. I would watch him eat all these different types of foods I did not like and that did not taste good to me. I don’t think he even liked what he ate some of the time. I asked him why he would eat something that didn’t taste good if he didn’t really like it?  His response was that it wasn’t about the taste that it was simply about having the proper fuel for his body and the health benefits the “nasty” type of foods gave him.  He would lift weights and took many vitamins. I thought it was crazy at the time. It wasn’t until I started asking him questions about fitness competitions that it clicked. By my junior year in high school I had made up my mind that one day I would compete in a fitness show. He told me it would be hard work and that it could be strenuous on the body.

     As I entered college I started to workout more and more on my own in the gym. I decided I would get a trainer to help me get closer to my goal of one day doing one of these competitions., and being comfortable enough with myself to get on stage. I trained day in and day out. I even earned the nickname “Beast”. No matter what my trainer threw at me I would do it, and I would do it hard. I would go to an early morning spin class and by early morning I don’t mean 9 am-  it was a 4:30am spin class to get my cardio in. At that time I wasn’t big on running so spinning to me was great. Sometimes I would do back to back classes.

 

My Sister April and I – Childhood Best Friends

Personal Training: Little to No Personal Results

   My eating was on point. When this girl is determined I am DETERMINED!!!! I was very regimented. I ONLY ate what my trainer would tell me to. I eliminated dairy, sugar, all the “fun” foods. BUT… I wasn’t seeing the reults I expected to. My trainer did not understand it either. I was strong… boy was I strong. Despite that, you could not look at me and have a response like : “Yeah that girl works out.” I was doing things in the gym that some of the trainers didn’t do. Despite that, I didn’t look the part like I thought I should. My results didn’t show themselves; even with the countless hours of hard work. I continued with my workouts, changed my meals up and still didn’t see the results. Because nothing was working, I became discouraged. As I was in one of my classes I started to fall asleep (sounds normal for a college student right? NOT in my case). This continued even when I was behind the wheel of my car. I knew there was something really wrong with my body. So to the doctor I went.

 

Cortisol Resistence: A Genetic Disorder

     My regular doctor could not find anything wrong with me. It just so happened I had my gyno check up a couple weeks later. They always do tests and I told him what was going on and how I was feeling. He decided to do a hormone panel to see if everything looked okay. The results came back and my hormones were off the charts. He then sent me to an endocrinologist. There I was expecting to find out what was wrong with me but it didn’t happen. Not right away anyway. After running many tests and by process of elimination my doctor was finally able to give me an answer. I had a rare disorder called “Cortisol Resistance” Uhhhhh what??? I had heard of thyroid issues etc, but Cortisol Resistance? What was it and what did it mean for my life ahead of me?

     I soon found out that it is a rare genetic disorder where my body did not respond to the hormone itself. My brain was telling my body that I was not producing this particular hormone so to compensate it would produce even more.  I over produced double the amount of cortisol a normal person produces. When a person works out, they produce cortisol. So as you can see I was producing 3 to 5 times the amount that I should have been producing because I was working out multiple times per day, thinking I would have a better fat loss result. Cortisol is also known as the “stress hormone” so stress can bring it on as well. Doctors say to do the thing that brings you stress relief, well that would be working out but obviously that didn’t help my personal issue. By over producing the cortisol no matter what I did I would have this layer of fat all over my body. I was so discouraged about the news I had just received.

 

 

Crushed Dreams 

     My fitness dreams were crushed at that very moment. I knew with this I would never achieve my fitness goals, they would never become a reality for me. This being a rare disorder and less than 200,000 people being diagnosed with it in the world there was obviously no cure nor a particular type of medicine to reduce the cortisol. Instead I was prescribed a diabetic medicine – Metforamin. I seriously had no idea if this medicine was even working. If you knew my mom you would know she is a researcher. I think she read everything that was published at that time about “Cortisol Resistance” which wasn’t much. She then took me to our local health supplement store where we chatted with a lady about what was going on with me. The lady then directed us to a supplement called Phosphatidylserine. The body naturally produces this but it gets most of what it needs from food. It can improve many things in the brain. Alzheimer’s disease, age decline in mental function, it can even improve the thought process in younger people, depression, ADHD, and exercise induced stress (WebMD). I decided I would give it a shot. It had to be better than taking diabetic medicine; especially when I wasn’t a diabetic. I still didn’t see the results I expected. I guess I thought it would make it all go away.

Self Destruction: Eating Disorder & The Importance of Accountability


      I had to face reality that it wasn’t going to just go away. I became depressed and then became a victim of thoughts like “You aren’t beautiful”, “You are fat” , “No one could ever like or love you”, “Skinny is beautiful and you will never be skinny”, “Failure”. This then resulted in an eating disorder. Something I was so against when I had started my fitness journey. I became addicted to throwing up. Even if it was healthy food for my body I would throw it up. I felt like I was in control. It almost made me feel like I was in control of the disorder I had. In my mind this eating disorder didn’t rule over me but in all reality it ran my whole life. When someone would plan a dinner I would time from the time I swallowed the food to the time I had to throw it up so I did not ingest it. If I was at a restaurant with friends I would quietly excuse myself and go to the bathroom. I thought I was discreet about what was going on with me, but little did I know one of my best friends was on to me.

     My friend Kira also my workout partner realized what was going on and called me out on it with some women that cared about me. These women were a part of my bible study. They pleaded for me to go to counseling but I told them I could beat this on my own. Kira would check on me daily and pray for me constantly. She would sometimes cook for me while I was at her house and sit there and eat with me. Making sure I did not go to the bathroom after. I realized as she continued to check on me I found myself not wanting to lie about it. So I told her when I threw up and how many times that day I did . I went from 10 or more times a day down to 8 and so forth until I was down to one. I started to except this genetic disorder and except that I would have to find a different goal/dream to chase.


At a Scholarship Fundraiser “Inspire Me Mommy!” September 2013

 

Admitted I Needed Help: Power in Self Analyzation

     I realized I did need more help and that I could not beat my eating disorder on my own. Though I had accomplished not throwing up as often during the day anytime I felt stressed thats what I turned to. I still felt like that I was in control even though I was far from it. So I sought council at my church. First step was admitting to one of the pastors in my church my secret. Then he started to get down to the root of the issue. This eating disorder stemmed deeper than I thought. I had to face many dark places in my life that I had stored away thinking I would never have to visit them again if I pretended they did not exist. I realized that when I looked in the mirror I didn’t see what others saw. I saw something that was ugly, broken, and useless. A woman who put a smile on her face to pretend that everything was always okay. A woman who would take on everyone else’s issues and problems, but not deal with my own. Something this particular pastor told me has stuck with me. He said I was like an old wooden chair. That wooden chair had been painted many many times. Then someone (Jesus) comes a long and decides to strip the chair of the hundreds of layers of paint to get to the original look of the chair. Realizing the chair was more beautiful in its’ original condition than with all of the layers of paint. I thought to myself “wow I have been hiding for so long I don’t really know who I am.”

 

Eating for Healthy, Not to be Skinny

     Fast forwarding a little bit I changed my life completely. I ate healthy to be healthy. I worked out to be healthy. I did not let working out rule my life anymore. I still struggled everyday not to throw up, but I would tell myself that I am bigger than it. I won’t pretend or lie to all of you that it is not an everyday battle not to throw up. I also won’t lie to you and tell you I haven’t done so since this realization 4 years ago. But what I will tell you is that if I do relapse I tell someone immediately that day or the next. It has been a while now since I have had a relapse, and now I have a bigger reason than myself to be strong for. I am now married to my wonderful husband Aaron of two years who supports me in all that I do. I have a beautiful 11 year old step-daughter that I would never want her to struggle the way I did. I also now have a baby boy whom I have been blessed with even though I wasn’t supposed to be able to get pregnant. He is 16 months old now. 

Hormone Regulation: Pregnancy, Hormones and a Newly Realized Identity

     Getting pregnant was a blessing and my pregnancy went smoothly. After having my son I noticed my body felt different. I was losing weight and quickly got down to my pre-pregnancy weight. The weight continued to almost melt away. It seemed like pregnancy had done something to my body to make it “normal.” I started working out again to gain my strength back. I don’t live at the gym but I try to be active daily. I am not addicted to the gym like I was before and I don’t let bulimia run my life. My dreams and goals of being on stage in a bikini competition are back on my list. It will not be a life style but something I would like to accomplish. I don’t know how being pregnant reversed everything nor do I know if it will last. What I  do know is that I am living a healthier life all the way around.

 

Affirmations: Discovering your Truth and True Beauty

     What I want to say is that even if you don’t look fit that doesn’t mean you are not healthy or fit. It DOES NOT mean you are not beautiful. A person who is skinny does not mean they are fit or healthy. Also if you struggle with an eating disorder I plead you to get help. I know it is hard especially when it has become a routine or your safety net. Large, medium, or small. Pear shaped, box shaped, or apple shaped, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Scars or no scars, small breasts or big breasts YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. No butt or big butt…YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. I challenge each reader that reads this to look in the mirror on a daily basis for a week and tell yourself 5 things that is great about you and after that tell yourself YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL or handsome if you are a guy 🙂 I know men struggle just as much as woman do with their image. That’s it for this blog. More to come soon. Thanks for reading and remember 

 

 YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. 

There is power in affirmations.

EVENT SUCCESS: Inspire Me Mommy! Scholarship Fundraiser Zumbathon

Inspire Me Mommy! Scholarship Fundraiser ZUMBATHON was a HUGE SUCCESS!

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Attendees: 78
Donors: So far 90
Amount Raised to Date: $850
Goal: $1200
Donations are accepted through October 1st via mail or phone. Credit cards are accepted.
What began as a mere vision to help our local community in Reno, became a reality in less then 3 weeks! Within 3 weeks, this event was organized, donated to, and marketed successfully.
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE WHEN YOU HAVE A TEAM!

Inspiration for Scholarship:

While teaching my Inspire Me Mommy! 6 Week Challenge (fitness classes), I realized the need for assistance to parents within the community, who are currently working and in school.  As I interacted with mothers and their children, I realized how fortunate their children were to have their parents actively involed in their lives, and have a positive influence. Our motto for the program is “Building stronger women to build stronger children and communities.” Afterall, children mimic their parents’ behaviors, and learn healthy habits at a young age.

I do not yet have children myself, but grew up estranged from my parents, as a run away, a high school dropout, and did this because I was raised in an abusive environment. I want to be able to give back to the community and help build stronger women, children and communities. I believe if we can reach parents, and have a positive influence in their lives, then we can empower their children through action. We aim to empower one family at a time! Education is a good place to state, regardless of ones’ past.

How the Scholarship Fundraiser Manifested:

One weekend I was floating the Truckee River and enjoying time with my dearest friends. My friend Vicky came, and I told her my vision for my business Inspired By Purpose, and that I wanted to be able to give out a scholarship. I told her the time wasn’t right because I didn’t have the money to give it out, but I would like to be able to host an event maybe at the beginning of 2014 to raise money.

She excitedly said “Let’s do it when your program ends on September 6th!” I said “Really? There isn’t enough time!” She said “The time is always NOW! Let’s get to work!” So, we did. We hustled hard and the result was a phenominally successful event! In less then 3 weeks, the vision manifested into reality through SACRIFICE, DONATIONS, DISCIPLINE, AND HARD WORK.

The only means of media and marketing that we had was Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, ticket sales, and word of mouth. Through this, we were able to have 85 people SHOW UP to our event. This doesn’t include how many people were reached, and could not come that day. The community of Reno joined this movement in order to support change!

Sponsors and Donors:

Everyone who committed to volunteer their time, energy and resources is appreciated more then words can express! Every single person who instructed, gave to this cause, and helped with setup, clean up, catering, food pick up, providing food, water, and even making signs, and managing different tables did a magificent job. No one asked for ANYTHING in return, and they were just happy to be an integral part of it.

Namely:
My co-host and Zumba Instructor: Virginia Janet (Vicky)
Zumba Instructors:
Kathy Kennedy
Leslie Brown
Nolfa Aida Inostroza-Arias
Andrea Tibaduiza
Victoria Monroe (Amy)
Karen Lima
Nettie “Coco” White
Patricia Franklin-Gallimore (Pat)

I especially have to thank all Zumba Instructors for coming to rehearsal, selling tickets to their classes, and helping set up the facility. Did I mention everyone donated their own products to this event?

Our sponsors gave unselfishly. Sierra Strength and Speed allowed us to use their facility without charge just to support the cause.

The catering company gave, even during their busiest season, and met up with me at 11pm because he was so swamped during Burning Man and the Balloon Races. He did not ask a single dollar for hundreds of dollars worth of food and raffle prizes.

The mommies in my Inspire Me Mommy! 6 Week Challenge all made signage for the event, and also hand wrote out gratitude rock cards explaining the significance of the donations, and the Law of Attraction. They also picked up food, offered to donate additional money, and lent tables and fans for the event. They even got up in front of everyone, and spoke to the crowd.

My amazing boyfriend “B” and our amazing best friend Brandon “OneShot” Cook, ran errands with me until midnight, vacumed and cleaned the facility, managed the gratitude rock station, set out all the hot and cold foods during the event, and helped me with raffle prizes. They also went to the Truckee River with me and hand selected gratitude rocks in which we boiled personally.

Special thanks to “Gatorz” family here in Reno. Shorty-T and his brother, Terrel came out to show support after their Homeless Drive last week! Diversity at it’s finest.We are making a difference together in this communnity.

ALL volunteers There were SO MANY of you it’s hard to name you all. From managing the cash and ticket entries (Pat), to making sure everyone signed the Liability Waiver and Roster for the event (Krista), to the videographer, photographer, and everyone else who made this event possible!

We ALL prayed for each individual attending the event, and did not fail to realize the significance of helping people change their lives!

Local business sponors for this event:

Sierra Strength & Speed
Facility where the event was held. Where I train my clientele and am mentored.

State Farm
Came to the event, participated, gave free Starbucks gift cards with each quote, and donated food and water!

We SWET Clothing
Donated 8 women’s tank tops just for this program! They generously send them from Las Vegas, and wouldn’t allow me to to pay for shipping!

Gourmet to Go
Not only met with me at 11 pm, but donated: A 5 gourmet cheese board, a special fruit platter, crackers, a Holiday Dinner for a needy family of up to 10 ($500 value), and a Romantic Dinner for Two with an in-home Personal Chef ($150 value).

Papa Murphys
Paul from the NW Papa Murphys is always extremely helpful and sweet. He donated 5 large pizzas as swag prizes.

Wing Stop
At the last minute, our hot food from our caterer could no longer be donated due to logistics and event setbacks from other events. Wing Stop stepped up and donated 100 wings so we would have hot food!

Port of Subs
Likewise, Port of Subs also stepped up to offer a healthier option, and provided us with enough sandwiches to feed everyone!

Massage Essence
Generously donated a 1 hour massage for swag prizes!

Artistry Salon, Hair By Tabitha
Donated a $75 hair salon service as a swag prize!

That Hair Salon
Donated a deep conditioning and blow dry as a swag prize!

Zumba
Not only did instructors generously donate their time (all 8 of them!), but they also donated bracelets, and tee shirts as swag prizes. They also allowed us to sell apparel for additional donations!

Nail Trix By Scott
My personal nail man for over 4 years now, is a strong business man, and generously donated 4 gift certificates for salon services to all of the momnies in my Inspire Me Mommy! program. He did this because we have a working referral system, and out of the kindness of his heart.

Apply for Inspire Me Mommy! Scholarship 2013

Application form can be found on the Inspired By Purpose website. Please keep in mind that all information provided will be verified through the applicant’s employer, school, and during the interview process.

I am taking extra precautions to ensure that the candidate in fact meets the criteria. If dishonesty is discovered, the candidate will immediately be disqualified and banned from receiving a scholarship from Inspired By Purpose at any time in the future. Dishonesty will NOT be tolerated.

For specific qualifiers, and steps to take please click the link below!

Click Here: Scholarship Application Form

The Future of Inspired By Purpose Events:

Stay tuned for a collaboration of local businesses, and single dads to bring a scholarship for single dads!

Inspire Me Mommy! Program will continue in blocks throughout the year, focusing on progressional fitness. We will be hosting this event annually.

Stay tuned for speaking events and locations.

Watch Us on YouTube:

Video Clip: Inspire Me Mommy! Scholarship Fundraiser Zumbathon!

In order to effect great change, we need to look at how we can help those in our own communities as well as globally.
-Christina Aguilera

Endocrinology: Self Healing

Endocrinology: MSG and Your Endocrine System.

 From Thyroid Disease, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and Other Disease States.

As a woman who has struggled with hypothyroidism, I have taken particular interest in finding solutions for myself and others to overcome thyroid disease. While doctors say that anyone with hyper (over active) or hypo- (under active) thyroids will be on thyroid replacement hormone therapies the remainder of their lives; I am not entirely convinced. In fact, I am convinved that many endocrine disorders, including thyroid disease may be regulated and perhaps even cured through nutrition; specifically cutting out MSG and MSG derivitives.

Now, I do not intend to get too technical in this blog, but simply communicate to the general population; which is: overweight, obese and with many disease states. There is no need at a general leevl to get too wordy or confusing. I want to state my personal testimony and journey so that others who may have lost hope, or those who are currently claiming their disease state may be empowered to challenge their diagnoses and prognosis.

A Personal Trainer & Nutritionist Struggles with Hypothyroidism and Obesity 

In 2007 I began realizing major changes in my body. I was an athletic, and slender 5’7″  135 pounds in November, by March I was a not-so-slender 5’7″ 200 pound woman. Yes, in 4 months I gained 65 pounds! How is this possible? I was not pregnant, in fact I had just received a degree in Dietetics and was working full-time for a hospital in clinical nutrition. I was also a personal trainer, and exercising daily. What changed? The answer- Hormones.

As you can imagine this took a devestating emotional and physical toll on my body! My knees hurt for the first time in my life, I felt like a hipocrite at my place of employment, I put my developing personal training career on pause, and sought medical attention. The problem however, when a 20 year old woman goes into a doctor about weight gain, is that everyone is reluctant to help. They think “Ok Channéll, put down the Twinkies, increase your cardio, and run! Run! Run!” To this I am not exaggerating. I sought a second opinion from a doctor who genuinely believed something what not right from my history, education, and my symptoms. It sure helped that he was a doctor for the same hospital that I worked. He trusted that I was handling my fitness and nutrition properly.  After that visit, I got referred out to specialists. After 4 specialists, possible diagnosess of everything from depression to Lupus, I was devestated. This went on for a year and a half. Me 200 pounds, unable to loose any weight.

 

What it means to be your own advocate.

Then, finally, after my own research, I learned that I had all the symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), as well as hypothyroidism. In fact, I had folders and folders of all of the following information and documentation from every doctor visit, and self  journaling:

Blood pressure, oxygen, weight, dates, symptoms, severity, nutrition log, exercise log, sleep patterns, and menstrual cycle irregularities, and water consumption.

Once I had all of this organized and in order, I took the liberty of: Speaking to willing RDs (Registered Dieticians) within my department to analyze my food intake, doctors that I did rounds with in the hospital to look at my labs & general chemistry for other opinions, other personal trainers to workout with me and help me adjust my fitness program, as well as my former Medical Nutrition Therapy professors to look at my symptoms related to their understanding beyond textbooks definitions. After ALL of this, I took it back to my doctors with demands and requests. I became my own patient advocate.

 

Doctors usually only test TSH levels to determine Thyroid Disorders.

TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is the hormone that is most often tested by doctors in determining thyroid disorders. While this is established for specific medical determinations, it is not all inclusive and/or indicative for all patients. There are two other thyroid hormones secreted from the thyroid gland; which is a butterfly shaped gland located in the neck region. The other hormones are: T3 and T4. These are directly regulated by the thyroid gland, and also the anterior pituitary gland.

It is important to note that the endocrine system works together as a whole, so if one gland is off within the system, it can also affect hormones within the other glands.  You can understand how this could potential affect everything from: metabolism, other metabolic systems, waste excretion, inflammatory responses, hydration levels, thirst mechanisms, hunger regulation (controlled mainly by leptin & ghrelin hormones), and general energy; among other things.

When I looked at my labs, I realized that the only thyroid hormone ever tested was TSH, never my T3 or T4.

Once my T3 and T4 levels were tested, it was determined that I did in fact have hypoythroidism and would need to start on medication immediately.

 To read more about these hormones visit Thyroid System Basics .

Finding a Medical Professional You Can Trust, Who also Listens

 
In 2009, I returned to my primary care physician after an ER visit and hospitalization for cycts bursting from my ovaries. At this time, I was nearly at the last rope as far as energy was concerned. Although by this time, I had been on levothyroxine for almost 9 months (thyoid replacement therapy), and  I had lost about 20 pounds, I was still sick. After hearing my experience, my primary care physican referred me to a gynecologist that had a great reputation.
 
I was very pleased with her, and her ability to listen to my concerns. She, like my primary care physican, had no problem testing any lab I asked for. It took me 4 primary care physicians, 4 specialists including : Endocrinologists and  Neurologists to really get someone to not tell me to “Go on a low sodium diet”, “Do high intensity interval training” and “Cut my calories”, but who would actually listen to me, and look through my journals, and documentation. Aside from my primary care, and gynecologist, not even my endocrinologist took me seriously; that is until my primary care ran the T3 and T4 tests that my Endocrinolgist found “unnecessary”.
 
So, in 2009 it was determined through lab work from my Gynecologist that I DID IN FACT have PCOS. Mind you, this is 2 years later. After all the specialists, it was still my primary care physican who was the one to listen and not call it a “nutrition and exercise issue” , but rather a “hormonal imbalance”.
 

PCOS and Obesity in Women

One major symptom of PCOS in women in obesity. Research is not conclusive if PCOS is caused by obesity, or if PCOS causes obesity in women; however, it is certain that the two are correlated with each other. In my case, I do not know if I already had PCOS, or if PCOS developed after gaining 65 pounds.
 
Doctors will tell you with PCOS to exercises regularly (3x per week, 30 minutes per day minimum), and to eat a lower calorie diet. Some research also suggests that women with PCOS should eat low-carb or ketogenic diets due to insulin irregularities. For those of you who are not familiar with the hormone insulin – it is essential for normal metabolic function. People with diabetes do not have proper insulin regulation, therefore, they get high and low blood sugars because insulin is necessary to bind onto sugar (glucose) within the bloodstream to carry the sugar to the cells for energy. With PCOS, some women may develop Type II Diabetes, or other metabolic issues that can cause obesity.
 
Why is this? Your FSH and LH (folical stimulating, leutenizing hormones) have certain ratios that are considered “normal”. In PCOS these levels are often off, and ratios reversed. Again, more hormones!
 

Treatment for PCOS: Birth Control, Metformin (an oral diabetes medication)

It is recommended for women with PCOS to go on hormone therapies such as birth control, and metformin. Now, most research indicates that they “don’t know why Metformin works, but it does”. How safe should you feel taking a diabetes medication if you don’t have diabetes? Exactly!
 
 
My personal treatment began with a low-dose birth control – YAZ. You know, the birth control all over TV now because of the strokes, blood clots, and death in young women under 30? Yes, that was my treatment for a year. Then, it was coupled with Metformin. Yes, I was on a diabetes medication without having diabetes. I experienced, low blood sugars, and for that reason, had to eat even more carbs to keep my energy up. But wait, isn’t a low-carb diet recommended?
 
 
I made the personal decision to “self heal” through nutrition and exercise. In 2010, I went off of all birth control and medications aside from levothyroxin (thyroid). Don’t worry ladies, my birth control became a copper IUD. NOT Mirena! That is still hormones in our bodies. Now, doctors do not want to put IUDs into women that don’t have children because of the cervix dialiation, but I refused to take no for an answer. I decided NO MORE HORMONES in my body!
 
 
To read more on PCOS treatment, diagnoses, obesity, fertility and more click here: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Basics
 

By 2011 my PCOS was completely gone!

By 2011 I had lost 35 pounds (down to 165) and was completely free from PCOS. Ironic considering my healing with done through: exercise, nutrition, prayer, meditation, and mental practices and training.
 
NEVER LET ANYONE TELL YOU IT’S NOT POSSIBLE.YOU HAVE THE POWER TO HEAL.
 
 
 

MSG and MSG Derivitives

You have the ability to change your disease state. I know I am determined to get OFF of thyroid medication for good. I am well on my way. Currently at 155 pounds, my goal weight is 145. I will be sharing exactly how I have come this far by cutting out MSG and MSG derivitives.
 
 
In 2013, I was introduced to the book “Faith and Fat Loss” by Ron Williams by a woman in her 50s at the gym that I respect. Her name is Peggy, and she has competed in bodybuilding her entire life. She approached me one day while I was working, and she was between sets. She told me about this book and that I should order it. She knew that I am a Christian, and she knew I would be open to this.
 
Her and I had spoken briefly in the past about thyroid problems, and she told me that reading this book has changed her life. The thing is, she didn’t just tell me, I saw the change in her! For the first time in 5 years she was ready to compete again, and claimed to look better then she did in her 30s. She informed me about how the book talked about MSG and endocrine disorders.
 
How’d she find the book? Well, she had competed at least 15 years ago in the same competition as Ron, and found his business card. She decided to google him and found the book. She trusted his opinion and tried step by step his recommendations.
 

Ron Williams

 
One of the most highly decorated Natural Bodybuilders of all time with over 250 medals, a professor of Exercise Pysiology and Nutrition, and now a Pastor whose full time ministry is obesity.
 
 

21 Day Detox – MSG & MSG Derivitive Free

I ordered the book, read it and tried the 21 day detox. You will have to order the book, or follow my posts to fully understand the depth of the detox.
 
However, I will share the following:
 
Almost everything has MSG or MSG derivitives. From protein supplements, powders, bars, to packaged and processed foods of almost any kind. You MUST cut all of these out in order to see if it helps your endocrine system.
 

Personal Results

 
For 21 days I cut out MSG, MSG derivitives, stimulants, and switched to hormone free meats, cage free eggs, and everything organic. I paired my carbs, essential fatty acids and proteins just as recommended in the book. I switched from training for fitness to training for fat loss (the principles are very different!!). This means, I actually cut down on my cardio, and time spent working out.
 
Within 21 days, I lost 14 1/2 pounds, and have kept it off for 5 months! Why? Is it a matter of eating less calories? Working out more? Training harder? Sleeping more? Nope! It’s a matter of going to the heart and source of the issue. This detox is physical, mental and spiritual. It is lasting and effective.
 
21 days creates a new discipline and habit. Let me also add that I had the best summer of my life. I went to barbeques, out of town, I had some alcohol (more then I ever have), and allowed myself to splurge for the first time in 6 years. I STILL kept the 15 pounds plus more off! Did I mention that I’m more tone and fit with my normal exercise routine?
 
It works. Even if you are not a Christian, if you are open to the principles and suggestions that Ron gives in his book, you will experience lasting results. In fact, I am doing the detox again to find out my next results! Stay tuned.
 

An Endocrinologist Confirms MSG can be Damaging to Your Metabolism

 
Last week, I visited my endocrinologist. I go every 6 months to have my labs tested, as I am now on TSH, T3 and T4 replacement compounds due to my previous issues. For the first time, I had no complaints. Energy, weight loss, and normal labs! My endocrinologist said that if these labs come back ok, then I will only need to come every year. Quite a huge difference from blood samples weekly, specialty visits every 3-6 months!
 
I asked him a couple of questions, and will share them plus his responses.
 
 
Q: Does MSG and MSG derivitives really affect the endorcrine system?
A: Yes, it can. In some cases, it can be completely damaging depending on the person. MSG could potentially completely affect your metabolic functions at a hormone regulation level.
 
Q: Do you believe that mental training can cure disease states? And, do you find that attitude contributes to the disease of most people you see? I was in the waiting room, and found the sickest looking people have the worst attitudes.
 
A: I definitely see a directly relationship. I have also seen people who mentally train, pray and meditate be cured of diseases, or at least disease management. I would say that attitude mostly affects stress levels, which can release too much cortisol, increase fat stores, and exacerbate, or even in some cases, create disease states.


 

NEVER Claim a Disease

Though it was a relief to get treated, and be able to slowly work on  reducing my symptoms, I refused to believe that there was no cure for these diseases! From being told I may be infertile, may never be able to have children, and that I may never be able to reset my metabolic set point (the weight your body usually holds with minimal fluctuation), I refused to believe that I couldn’t and wouldn’t overcome these obstacles!
 
I am not saying not to address the disease, and treat yourself, but I am saying that you cannot continuously claim your disease state if you wish to be healthy. Your thoughts become things, and have the power to create and destroy disease states.
 
There is POWER in the TONGUE. Do not speak your disease (no matter what it is), into existence. Live as if it doesn’t exist. Train yourself, your mind, and your body to be healthy.

 

The time is NOW

 
If you or someone you know is struggling with thyroid disease, PCOS, or any other disease, know that your time is NOW! Do not live in your past, what your lifestyle used to be, or the decisions you made that may have contributed to your disease state such as: a sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition, taking too many or not enough medications, or simply being lazy and not empowered to be your own advocate.
 
It is YOUR job to understand your body, do your own research, and experiment with different potential solutions. Everyone’s chemistry is different.
 
 
 
 
Comments and Questions are welcome.
 
 
Your energy that you expend from the gym, to your thoughts will directly affect your health.