It’s All About Your Mindset

Two races - One week, so much fun!

Two races – One week, so much fun!

Wow! What a week. I never imagined that I would take on my first half marathon and a mud run in the same week. Sounds crazy, I know, but things just fell into place that way. Last fall when my daughter decided that she wanted to run in the Tobacco Road half marathon this spring, it sounded like a great idea, another thing to check off the bucket list. Then the crew at my gym that runs the Spartan Race announced this year’s race was the following Saturday. I decided that if I was ready for one, I’d probably be ready for the other and signed up. Honestly, I wasn’t so sure on Tuesday. With a little encouragement from my trainer, my team and my family, not to mention the forecast of a beautiful, sunny day, I found myself headed out to play in the mud. 

On the way to the race, my trainer sent me a text that read “four years ago you would never think of doing what you are doing right now.” I couldn’t help but imagine a conversation with my old self. Four years ago, I could never have imagined that I would be here today. That I would be healthy and strong. That staying healthy and strong would be my highest priority in life. Four years ago, I wasn’t just overweight. I was tired and sad. I did not believe that there was any way out. I felt like it was my job to put everyone else first. I really felt like I was at my rock bottom. 

So how did I get here? By taking that first step. I decided that I wanted things to be different and then went looking for people who knew how to get it done. How did I take off the weight? By having the mindset that it was possible. How did I train for these races? By having the mindset that it was possible. We all know what we need to do to achieve our dreams. We know the action steps that we need to take whether that dream is to lose weight, or run a race, or write a book, or build a business (you fill in the blank). The first step is to believe that it is possible. The second step is to find the people who know what you need to do and listen to them and take action. Four years ago when my trainer told me that I could handle her boot camp, my belief was VERY weak, but I trusted her and I did what she told me to do. When she said I was ready to move from push ups on the wall to modified push ups on the floor, I did. Surprise, I was ready. Every step of the way, she pushed me to the next level. If you want to live your dreams, find the people you need to push you to the next level.

I write these posts and share these stories because I want you to know that it is possible. I want you to know that I remember what it felt like at rock bottom bottom. You might not be dreaming of half marathons and mud runs, I certainly wasn’t when all this began. But if you find yourself at rock bottom, I want you to know that there is a way up. Now that I am done with this extra training, it is time to get back to a more regular routine. I have openings in my coaching programs and I would love to work with you. Let me know if you would like to talk. 



God Makes Beautiful Things Out of Dust ~ An Ash Wednesday Reflection

God Makes Beautiful Things Out of DustToday is Ash Wednesday, my favorite sacred day of the year. There is something so powerful in the idea that we came from dust and we will return to dust. Last year, this sacred day fell on the one year anniversary of the 100 pound loss weigh in, which gave the day a whole new layer of meaning. I remember that day feeling like a new person. Like I had taken off the old me and set her aside. As I continue on this journey, always learning new things about this new self, I have spent a lot of time working on my mindset as I looked for ways to help others achieve this goal for themselves. One of the most important things I learned in my reflections is that the first step was deciding I was worth it. Realizing, I needed to prioritize me and doing that would be an OK thing to do.

Hind sight is such a wonderful tool for recognizing God at work in our lives. Looking back I realize that I was getting messages I needed to make some changes, but was not quite ready to hear them. A few years ago, before I had even contemplated this journey I had an experience on Ash Wednesday that I can now see as one of the first steps. As I rushed about in my usual frantic way taking care of everyone and everything else before myself, I arrived at the Ash Wednesday service ten minutes late. I completely missed the imposition of ashes. I remember sitting in that service beating myself up. I had failed myself and my relationship with God. I was truly devastated and could not get past the sense of hopelessness I felt. Later that afternoon, I returned to church to meet with my pastor. I cried in her office and explained what had happened. She performed that imposition of ashes ceremony with me and then looked me in the eyes and said “Heidi, you are a child of God, worthy of his love.” I can hear her voice in my head to this day. So often we forget this reality and get caught up in this demanding world trying to prove our worth with our achievements. What God wants is for us to love him, to be our best selves, to make our best effort. I was reminded of this when my success coach wrote my vision of success for me. She included the line “you are worthy of God’s love and worthy of self love.” Believing this has been critical to my success.

So today I leave you with a song that always brings me back to my pastor’s office on that day. Remember, God made beautiful things out of dust. You are one of those beautiful things. Worthy of his love. Worthy of self love. Full of all the potential you can possibly imagine.
Have a beautiful day,

Beautiful Things

To Run or Not to Run

YOU DECIDE-I mentioned in my last post that it is important for me to challenge myself to help me stay on track. My current challenge is a half-marathon that is looming about two weeks away now. This means I am at the peak of my training runs. Planning around 11 miles today. Honestly, I’m not really looking forward to it. One of the things I have learned in this process is that running really is not my thing. I’ve been wrestling with that a little. On some level, I have always seen runners as the peak of the fitness world. Think about the images we see of fit people. How often are they images of runners? I guess it is one of those things I thought would just be part of my new fit lifestyle.

This week a blog post showed up on my Facebook page, titled Is Running Really Working for You? Now don’t get me wrong, running is great for those of you who love it and find that it works for you. But for me, this really hit home. Running isn’t really working for me (at least not this much of it) and that’s OK. There are so many other things I love to do. I can’t wait to get back to my kettle bells and kick boxing bag more often.  On the other hand, I’m glad I tried.

This has been a venture of discovery for me. Part of the process of finding what you love, what really works for you, is trying a few things that don’t. The important thing is to remember there is no judgement in the process. Someone else’s path is no better than yours. So I will finish this out and run that half. Who knows, maybe the thrill of the actual race and the accomplishment will change my perspective, you know like how we forget how miserable childbirth is and find ourselves willing to go back for another round. I doubt it, but we’ll see.

So what have you challenged yourself to lately? Have you tried something new? What did you learn in the process? Share your fitness adventures here and maybe you’ll inspire someone to try something new.



Still a Big Loser

before&after 2014

Summer of 2010 – February 2014

February is the month that I celebrate my new self. Although she was a work in progress, I feel like I first met her for real at a weigh in that happened in February of 2012. The day I realized that triple digit number for the first time, 100 pounds lost. This week,my cousin asked me how I managed to maintain this loss. I’ve been pondering the question. People have often asked how I lost it, but I believe it is the maintaining it that is my biggest success story.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, only about 20% of people who lose 30 pounds or more keep them off for more than a year. Findings from their weight loss registry suggest six key strategies for long-term success at weight loss: 1) engaging in high levels of physical activity; 2) eating a diet that is low in calories and fat; 3) eating breakfast; 4) self-monitoring weight on a regular basis; 5) maintaining a consistent eating pattern; and 6) catching “slips” before they turn into larger regains. All of those were true for me. I would add focusing and whole food nutrition, real natural foods, and protein intake to the list though.

On my journey,  community, challenge and commitment are the three key components. I have surrounded myself with a community that supports my success. I found a gym where my absence is noticed and people ask if I am not around. I have shared my goals and struggles with my faith community. That adds another layer of accountability. I share my goals and struggles with you in this public venue. All of that works to keep my on track.

Creating new physical challenges for myself give me specific targets to work towards. Running the Tough Mudder was the first goal. Next month, I will be running my first half marathon and shortly thereafter a Spartan Race. These challenges inspire me to stay on track with my fitness routine and to change it up. All of that adds to my continued success.

The #1 charm I wear to remind me of my promise. Excel members, the X charm is for our community.

The #1 charm I wear to remind me of my promise. Excel members, the X charm is for our community.

Finally, commitment. I have made several promises to myself. They help me recognize when I am off track. I promised myself that I would not see the #2 as the first digit in my weight ever again. If that looms close, it is a definite reminder that I need to re-focus. I promised myself that I would not buy new clothes in a larger size and got rid of everything that was too big. If things start to feel a little tight, time to re-focus. And I promised to be really honest with myself. I weigh myself daily and look for patterns in my eating and my moods. This is a lifelong journey for me. Like any other addiction, when I abuse food, there are consequences. Staying real with myself about those consequences and triggers is a critical part of the process.

The most important things that I learned in this second year of maintaining the loss, was to give up the perfect image. Keeping the weight off is as much a struggle as taking it off was. There is no “l’ve arrived” at the ideal moment. Someone once asked me if I was going to keep losing. My answer was that this is my new lifestyle. If more weight comes off, great, but if not, I’m OK with that too. This year, I learned to actually believe that. I have learned to focus on feeling healthy and strong and worry a little less about the number on the scale. I’ve learned to use other measures like body fat and how my clothes fit to back up what the scale has to say. I’ve learned that I can take pride in what I have accomplished for what it is. I don’t have to achieve perfection to do feel successful.

So keep up the good fight. Surround yourself with a community that supports you. Challenge yourself to reach new levels. Make commitments that help you measure your success in realistic ways.



Do You Need a Push?

It is pretty rare for us to have the opportunity to enjoy winter weather here in North Carolina, so this week we are experiencing a treat.  As I watch the kids head out to enjoy some sledding, I love watching the teamwork. Sledding just isn’t the same without someone to give you a push.

Lately, I have been reminded of the amazing value that comes from people who are willing to give a push in many areas of my life. I have been blessed by friends and coaches who were willing to say the hard things and give that push. The push that sets you on the path to making great things happen. The push that allows you to reach a God given potential that you did not even realize you had in you.

I spent last weekend with the most amazing group of women at the Catch on Fire Leadership Conference for Women, sponsored by the National Association for Christian Women Entrepreneurs, in Dallas, TX.  These women inspired me in so many ways.

Selfie with Diane Cunningham at the Catch on Fire Leadership Conference

Selfie with Diane Cunningham at the Catch on Fire Leadership Conference

They are accomplishing amazing things  in their businesses because they are each willing to step out in integrity and transparency and live their calling. As I listened to their stories, I could not help but be reminded of that saying that you are the sum of the people that you are surrounded by, the ones that receive your time and attention. If you are a Christian woman with a business, whether that is a MLM, online, service or bricks and mortar, I encourage you to check them out. They will inspire you while they push you. You just can’t beat that if you want to be successful.


At the Conference, we were blessed to hear from Elisha and Elyssa from Wholly Art. They spoke to us about how to get your book written in 60 days or less, because they can speak from experience. They are published authors at their young ages. wholy artTip #5 on their list of ten was “Get coaches and mentors that support you”. Brilliant advice. They encouraged us to seek coaches that share our values, have a positive attitude, are active listeners, and openly discuss areas that need improvement. I would add that coaches require an investment. We don’t value things unless we make an investment in them. Whether it is a success coach, a business coach, or a trainer, making an investment will yield the highest dividends.

The girls shared this video to remind us what difference a coach can make in helping you overcome your limiting beliefs. Death Crawl from Facing GiantsIt reminded me of the day that my trainer pushed me to complete a spiderman crawl. It was around the time that I had lost 35 of the 100 pounds I would ultimately lose.

I can always count on Carolee for an extra push.

I can always count on Carolee for an extra push.

While I was very determined in my workouts, I modified a lot. When my trainer would present a challenge, I would decide what percentage I would challenge myself to do. On this morning, we were challenged to spiderman crawl (basically crawling in a push up position touching your knees to your elbows, I know, crazy right?!) across the gym and back. I looked at the line dividing the space and decided that I would proudly make it to that point and be satisfied with that. My trainer had a different plan. As I approached that line, she showed up right beside me and said “You can do this, we are going all the way and back.” And we did. One step at a time, with most of the room done long before me. We crawled across the room and back. It was a critical point for me. The point that I realized how strong I really was. From that point on, my life was changed. That strength translated into everything that I did. I will be eternally grateful to Carolee and Excel Body Fitness for believing in me that day so that I could begin to learn to believe in myself.

So where in your life do you need a push? What investment do you need to make to take yourself to the next level? I encourage you to check out the links in this post or send me a note to connect. I would love to help you find the strength to take your life to the next level.