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.
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.
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.
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
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!
In America, we tend to think about being “healthy” in an external way. The reality is, health is also mental.
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).
[box] “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” -Henry Ford[/box]
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.
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.”
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!
- 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.
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
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|
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.
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.
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|
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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