Chinese New Year Intentions

Chinese New Year Intentions

Tomorrow marks the last day of 2014 in the Chinese lunisolar calendar. As 2014 comes to an end, again, there’s no time like the present to make that list of what worked last year: at home, 9 to 5, and personal business. It’s a time to reflect, without labeling good or bad, and set the intention for 2015 with gratitude for whatever comes your way.*

You may have noticed my old Facebook photos pounding your newsfeed today. That’s because my memory sucks! This afternoon I sat in silence (minus three barking dogs) reflecting on the past year — I could barely remember what happened last week! I thought about holidays… Did I work? Did we go away? I had to pull out my phone and scroll through Facebook to recall any highlights of the year.

21 Days + Shakeology® - Down 6.7lbs and 18.5"
21 Days + Shakeology® – Down 6.7lbs and 18.5″

I noticed a lot of progress in 2014 came for me and my Beachbody clients after going public with our intention and journey. Yes there were hiccups, but sharing our setbacks minimized their power (i.e. not drinking enough water during the day, missing two — three consecutive workouts etc.) Sharing our struggles created a platform for encouragement and thus support. Clients that were serious saw huge progress in a short amount of time (see insert above).

Bikram Yoga Boston – Ustrasana Camel Pose

There were also moments of great joy in 2014 that made my 9 to 5 tolerable. Moments that forced me out of my comfort zone and required personal financial sacrifice. Our ski trip with my fiancé’s friends last February, roughing it out in Georgia during a cold hunting season, and traveling solo to Boston mid-winter to meet, for the first time, other female entrepreneurs to name a few. Change of scenery especially alone always provides opportunity for growth and expansion.

This year I intend to do more of anything that creates expansion in my life. There is so much restriction already and way too much time wasted in that department. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t!

So seriously think about your desires for 2015 (that means putting it out on paper) and surround yourself with people who support you — even if that means me, myself, and I for a while. We’ve all been there more often than not. Practice gratitude for everyday miracles (or coincidences as most people call them) and get ready to witness more and more in your life. The last three months of doing just that have been a game changer for me!

~ Happy New Year ~

Love Thyself

Love Thyself

A coworker recently asked if my fiancé and I exchanged Valentine gifts (I laughed). “Maybe a card or candy, but I’m pretty sure we didn’t even celebrate birthdays last month.” The overall response was, ‘OMG if my boyfriend ever!’ or, ‘He knows he better get me blah blah blah and blah blah blah.’ The conversation sat with me several days. I realized my relationship with my fiancé is a constant expression of affection (i.e. filling my gas tank at 6 o’clock in the morning so I can make it to work) not spending money on what society says we should give each other one day out of the year. True love is constant and really begins with an innate self-love, enough to be our own Valentine.

Sound feminist? Our country will drop $17.3 billion this Valentine’s Day with an average of half spending $133.91 on candy, cards, dinner and gifts while our divorce rate is about 50% the first time around 60–67% the second and almost 75% the third*. So what’s the real problem with relationships?

Most of us never really learn how to develop the single most important relationship we have, relationship with self. Growing up in a religious home, I was always taught JOY stands for Jesus, Others, You — last. Putting me first felt conceited and selfish, until quit recently.


See the last three months I invested in myself. I listened to much advice from successful business men and women I follow and found a life coach (stay with me, I was skeptical too!) In order to grow, really excel in whatever it is that sparks a fire in you, you must invest time, energy, and yes sometimes even money to get where you want to be.

After an extremely bad reaction to an allergy shot this weekend, piercing ear drums and a throat that felt like a cat was climbing up and down, I took a week off my normal exercise routine and vegged out! In years prior I would have obsessed compulsively over not doing something physical — combined feelings of bloat, setback, and depression taking over. This time was different. I took a warm bath, made myself some tea, ate whatever I wanted, and just breathed. One of the biggest lessons learned from Asha, my mentor, was the extreme importance of self-care.

So many women put themselves at the bottom of their to-do list. This Valentine’s Day, and every day from now on, I encourage you to have compassion for yourself. Love yourself first. Buy flowers. Enjoy a glass of wine (or tea). Take the night off! It’s no coincidence flight attendants instruct us to secure our own oxygen mask prior to anyone else. If you want a lot out of your body, you have to give your body a lot. A lot. So stop shortchanging yourself and in turn everyone else around you. Start investing in your most important relationship, yourself. And hey, go easy on you!

*Retrieved from and

My Five Year Fatal Lie

My Five Year Fatal Lie

We had a relationship. We still do, only I’m the one trying to end it.


It was such an innocent greeting that sunny afternoon. My brother stopped by my work to say hello and by chance introduced us, well I asked him to. Up until last year we’ve been inseparable.

I knew it wasn’t right from the beginning, but what relationship is? Unless something drastic comes along, that feeling something just isn’t right unfortunately isn’t enough to call it quits. And like those relationships, ours lasted far too long. That was over seven years ago.

I still have a hard time letting go. It took me three months to stop thinking about cigarettes every day. Every day. Everything from driving, a song on the radio, social settings etc. still induce real and strong cravings. Yet I choose to say no, despite wanting one, because I know what a downward slippery slope that is.IMG_1008

The decision to quit came after realizing our little one wasn’t so little anymore. She was growing up with parents that were smokers. Even as I type that word, it’s hard to admit we were ‘smokers.’ I was one of those, ‘I’m not a smoker I just do it on occasion’ types. That’s a lie. Try quitting, like really quitting, and you’ll see how addicted  you really are.

Finally I set a date, December 2 2013. I decided I would put down the smokes and pick up a new workout regimen, Shaun T’s FOCUS T-25. The ten-week workout program with online support and an accountability partner helped me stay committed to myself and the group. Holidays were hard, really hard. Christmas almost set me back, but being a non-smoker was something I wanted bad enough to sit with uncomfortable for. So I continued to say ‘no thanks.’ Weeks turned into months and by then I had come too far to give in. My new goal was to make it one year cigarette free. So that’s what I did. December 2 2014 I celebrated one year no cigarettes!

I can’t say I haven’t have any substitutes. I started with e-cigarettes until those became too harsh to bear and on rare occasion have had a Black & Mild or cloves. I actually ‘relapsed’ while on vacation in NYC the weekend following my one year anniversary but in retrospect I believe it was for good reason. The utter curiosity and desire for a cigarette after so long without one was weighing on me (and it didn’t help that everyone and their mother smoked in the city!) I gave in. It was gross. Lesson learned.

If you’re like I was, casually lighting up two or three a day, telling yourself ‘I’m not a smoker’ listen closely. Nicotine is a very powerful drug. It appears innocent at first even pleasurable on occasion but it will come back and bite, always. A fellow coworker/ smoker just passed after losing her battle with lung cancer, at fifty-four years of age. I won’t bore you with facts, but I will tell you this. YOU CAN QUIT. If you want it bad enough, go out and fight for it! It’s not easy. I still walk a fine line of caving in, but I am finally free! Decide now before the ‘I don’t care if it’s bad for me we’re all gonna die somehow’ sets in. Breaking myself from the constant need to have a smoke to ‘enjoy’ life gave me so much more enjoyment out of life! Being a smoker is no way to live.