I CANNOT believe I am here AGAIN!!

I really mean it…I CANNOT believe I am here AGAIN! By here I mean feeling tired all the time, nightmares, headaches, tummy issues, and the blues. Let me explain, if you have been following me for some time then you know that I have suffered with depression for most of my life. Out of respect for my family I don’t divulge the details of what prompted this, but I do tell the details of what continued it in my adult life. A serious of abusive relationships, alcohol, and an unhealthy lifestyle made it hard for me to continue to fight. I have since gotten out of those relationships and found one that pushes me to be true to who I am and a better person, I only drink socially (but more often chose not to), and I have adopted a healthy and fit lifestyle. Thankfully, all of those things have turned my life around. I have never felt better and been happier.

BUT, for some reason lately I have been ridden with nightmares; reliving fears of being attacked. This causes me to not sleep, be tired all day, feel stressed and in turn giving me tension headaches, anxiety/blues, and my IBS tummy issues have returned. I specifically say the blues because I strongly believe that there is a HUGE difference in feeling blue and feeling depressed and it is incredibly insulting to those of us that have, at any point of our life, found life to be the hardest thing in the world to deal with that death feels like the most likely answer to be told that it is normal to feel blue. It is normal, but that is not what we feel. In any case, needless to say, I have been back on the fight lately. Fighting to overcome these obstacles and remain strong.

So, what is one to do when they get here again? I can tell you what I do. I take a moment, pause, breathe, and take an account of what is #1 bothering me-asking why this could be happening and #2 taking steps to get it out of my life. Those steps for me are meditation first and foremost-I use meditation to work all of that stuff out of my head. I have to re-teach myself to retrain my thoughts, to choose which ones serve me and which ones don’t. It is so hard and this is the part that takes the most time. The things that are the hardest are the things we typically need the most. I also dig deep into my yoga practice; this helps me to tune into my body and listen to what it is telling me. Yoga also helps me to prepare my body for sitting in meditation for the length of time that I need to work through all the junk in my head. Finally, I take account of my diet and fitness regimen. I consider if something that I am eating or not eating could be affecting my body physically. If I am not keeping myself fit it will also affect me physically. We all know that health and fitness of our bodies plays a considerable role in our mental wellbeing.

So, I cannot believe that I am here again, but you BETTER believe that I am getting up and doing something about it!!

strong people

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Why I will never go to SeaWorld

After watching a documentary called Blackfish (you can find it on Netflix), I am reminded how disappointing life can really be…people can really be. We often never know how we can be so deceived and at the misfortune of not only ourselves, but other people and, in the case of Blackfish, animals. The world today is filled with me, me, me. People want for themselves even at the stake of others. These same people are willing to pay good money to get the things that they want and there are plenty of other people willing to capitalize on this. People walk around one, not knowing or two, not caring…maybe even both…to what cost it is to others to get what they want.

In the case of Blackfish, people go to SeaWorld for a killer whale show. Unfortunately, many people have died at these shows. Equally as unfortunate, is that these whales are held in conditions that are not suitable for their lives and nature. This leaves these animals with feelings and frustrations that they cannot let out and they act out, killing the trainers. As far-fetched as this may seem to some, I can relate to these animals. Growing up I was held captive to my thoughts and feelings; my emotions. I was too young and confused to know how to deal with them. I was living a dark life, very alone-captive within my own self. I acted out and often hurt the people that I cared about the most because I had no outlet. It wasn’t until after years of professional help and deep love from my mother that I was able to find ways to let it out. I have written here in my blog many times about my depression growing up and I will continue to write about it because I believe that it is something that SO MANY can relate to.

I feel so fortunate that I had the chance to express and grow. I feel even more fortunate that I have a mother and other people in my life that accept me for who I am, at the deepest level, my very true self. There are some that find me hard to take. Being super passionate and at times having visions of a grander life than what we have, many think that I am fake or naive. I am full of love and truly believe that if we all practice some compassion for others and where they have come from that this world would be a better place. If we acknowledge that sometimes when people act out it is not that they are bad, but that they are being held captive, they are hurting, and they do not know how to express it.

I have found that at the core, self-love is the best sort of love to have. If you cannot love yourself then you cannot put love out into the world. Yoga has taught me that. Through yoga I have found that taking care of myself through personal development through reading, yoga, health, and fitness allows me to be the best person I can be in the world to help others. Bringing this back around to Blackfish; it is very disappointing to me that there are companies like SeaWorld that almost prey on unsuspecting people and it makes me happy knowing that my work here is the opposite. I am an Emergency Medical Technician doing what I can in assisting to save lives. I am in college to be a teacher to educate the children of the future-hopefully teaching them the aspects of self-love and loving others therefore creating a better future. I am a yoga instructor using the physical asanas and philosophy of yoga to help others find light, peace, and self-love. Lastly, I am a fitness coach helping people find a form and program of fitness that works for them in their lives, knowing that regular exercise and a healthy diet has such a positive effect on so many aspects of our lives and I want people to be able to live long, active lives. I am equally as happy to know that many of the places that I work also promote this. I love that Beachbody has one big thing that they push….personal development. They make it clear that if we do not take care of ourselves first then we cannot be of service to others. In yoga I have learned that to be a good teacher you must first be a good student. These things really stand out to me because there is no agenda behind it, there is no money attached to that! Beachbody does not make money off me finding books that I buy elsewhere that develop me as a person. My yoga mentor does not make more money off me developing myself as a student before I become an instructor. These things speak volumes! In the future I do not plan to go to a place like SeaWorld. I will do my best to be knowledgeable of places like this and not support such things.

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I am the most beautiful girl on the planet!

It is amazing to me the honeymoon period in relationships and the affect it has on a person. In 2006-2007 I started dating someone when I was the heaviest I have ever been. I believe I was 160+ at 5’2”…none of that was muscle weight either. But let me tell you I felt like the most beautiful woman on the planet. It was the honeymoon period affect. It didn’t last, TRUST ME! Neither did that relationship.

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Me on the right in 2006 at my heaviest

That relationship was followed by another with the same affect….still didn’t last. It is like I was a glutton for punishment…searching for happiness with myself in other people. The funny thing is, in these relationships I was faced lack of trust, verbal and emotional abuse, stalking, being coerced away from my family and to do things that I didn’t want to do. Once I got out of that last one in 2010 I vowed to myself that I will never let my beauty or value be determined by how SOMEONE ELSE makes me feel. I went on the search within myself to find the love that I knew that I deserved.

in progress

Again me on the right in 2010 still working on myself

 

I started yoga and working out at the gym. The yoga philosophy helped me learn all about loving yourself and accepting yourself. The working out helped my body get in shape, but more importantly it helped pull me out of the darkness of depression. It is so true that working out relieves stress and has amazing effects on all that crap that you have going on in your head.

kickboxing

 

This is about 2012 fighting for my happiness and health

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2013 I became a yoga instructor

 

I have had several years of healing and that has allowed me to start a relationship with someone where I loved myself first and don’t look for it in him (that is just a bonus). I am also aware that the honeymoon doesn’t last and looking for happiness in someone else is too much pressure on them. You have to find your own happiness; no one else can do that for you. It comes from your own thoughts, feelings, and choices. Just the same, they cannot take that happiness from you. I really thought that those other relationships took my happiness away and that was why I was depressed, but I know now it was because of how I chose to deal with that stuff that made me so unhappy.

happiness

 

I am in the middle and very happy!

Today, I take those relationships as learning experiences and stepping stones to my own happiness, health, fitness, and lifestyle. I am thankful for those dark times, for now I can clearly see the light.

Transformation February 2014Still a work in progress, but feeling so much better. Health and happiness looks good on me!

 

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Why do I still feel fat?

fit by summer

 

Who else has said, “Someday I will be fit by summer.”? I know that I have a thousand times. Who else has struggled for years to get weight off and keep it off? Me too! Who has worked out endlessly at the gym, studios, with personal trainers, running on treadmills over and over and still can’t lose the weight, feeling fat all the time….even if you technically aren’t, we ladies still feel it, right?

Who else is sick of people telling you how beautiful you are, knowing that it is said truthfully and with the best of intentions, but you just don’t feel it? I have had this my whole life! I was athletic as a child involved in gymnastics, cheerleading, softball, etc and was thin in areas, but had the thick thighs, hips, and butt. I was constantly comparing myself to other girls, and never feeling this beauty that my family and friends spoke of.  Since graduating high school and getting out of athletics I have gained weight that I have just not been able to lose and I have spent so much money every month with various memberships to various places with little to no results, especially results that LAST! Then looking in the mirror after all the money spend and hard work put in to ask yourself, “Why do I still feel fat?” Trust me when I say that I understand!

I have found something that has really worked for me and I am here to share it with everyone that I can. You know that feeling you get after visiting an awesome restaurant having the best meal ever, you just have to post it to Facebook right away and tell everyone….or how about going to a salon and getting the best customer service AND the best hair cut ever…you just HAVE to share, right????!?!?!? Well this is what I am doing!

I have lost 15lbs and just as many inches since November 2013 and I am still going. I have lost inches in my butt, hips, and thighs….this has never happened for me before. I thought I was doomed to have thighs that always rub together! (How many of you know this feeling?) I want to share that gift with anyone who can understand what it is like to have that 15-30lbs that you just cannot get rid of. To try and not succeed over and over and feel that you are out of options. Feeling alone and defeated with no one who can relate.

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I am at a place now where I am no longer a slave to or bound to what the scale says. I am even to the point that my measurements aren’t what I am focusing on. I want to simply feel good in my clothes and my skin. I want to look in that mirror and say, “Damn, I look good!” This summer I am going to put on my bikini feeling and saying just those things!

I am looking for 5 people who are SERIOUS about getting those pounds off for good, to have a group of supportive people right there with you cheering you on the whole way, and have it done just in time to feel our best for summer.

If you would like more information, please email me at stepontomymat@gmail.com. You can also go to my CONTACT page and use that form to contact me.

I look forward to hearing from you and getting you started on your journey to being Fit by Summer!

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Get swimsuit ready!!

summer-bodyIt is the top of March and no better time to get that body in shape for summer. We have about 3 months till June hits and it will be beach and swimsuit time.

Since participating in my own support groups I have lost 15 lbs and over 10 inches, I feel GREAT in my skin and my clothes feel so much better on me. People are telling me that I look SKINNY! I NEVER in my life would have thought that I would hear those words. My weight and body image is something that I have always struggled with and I thought if I could just lose some weight I would be so happy and so many of my issues would be better. The weight loss feels good, but it is some of the other things that I have gotten out of this that feels much BETTER. I have made great friends that have truly supported me on my journey and totally get where I am coming from. These people care about me for who I am, not how I look. They have taken a mirror and shown me how beautiful I am on the inside and for that I couldn’t be more thankful! I realize now that I don’t want to be just skinny, but I want to be more kind, compassionate, healthy, FIT, and to give back what has been given to me!

That being said I am looking for 6 people to join me in my upcoming Fitness/Success/Support group. It is an online group, so near or far all are welcome. You can expect motivation, accountability, support, fun, and RESULTS! Contact me for more information!

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I am in love….

 

With P90X3!

For years I took kickboxing, but as my life got busier I was less and less able to make it to class. Sound familiar? As I began to find it harder to find the time to workout I wondered how I would ever break through the plateau that I was facing in my fitness journey. Then came P90X3, especially the MMX workout….P90X3 version of mixed martial arts.

Below is the video of me working out to it:

P90X3 is one of the many workouts offered from Beachbody that offer quick 30 minute workouts for us busy people always on the run. If you are interested in more information about P90X3 or other fun program you can email me at stepontomymat@gmail.com, use my contact tab to contact me, or fill out this form below and I will be in contact with you:

Fill out my online form.
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Winter Retreat

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Ok, I’m SO EXCITED!!!! Next month I’m headed to a GORGEOUS cabin/lodge outside of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania!! An amazing location and that cabin is going to be FULL of BOMBSHELLS! Going to spend time with some of my favorite BOMBSHELLS on a Weekend RETREAT that is 100% paid for. Seriously…I have THE BEST JOB…EVERRRRR!!!

 

For the first time EVER I will get to personally meet my coach, Beth. She has inspired me to make some of the best changes in my life and has become one of my best friends. She lives on the west coast and we have only ever video chatted, so I am super excited. Not only that, but I get to meet her coach, Kati. Kati is so smart, genuine, and has taught me so very much about helping others on their health/fitness journeys.

me kati beth

 

Kati, Beth, and me

We have a whole weekend together. It will be link an old fashioned girlfriend sleep over and I just cannot wait. It cannot get here soon enough!

Seriously…this is my JOB!! And what other job do you get recognized constantly, and you get sent on ALL INCLUSIVE retreats, like this Pittsburgh trip! June its Vegas baby!! Eeee!! Can you tell I am excited?!

I’m building a team of BOLD passionate leaders that are creating a fitness REVOLUTION all over the country. Ending the trend of obesity!!

If YOU are interested in joining our fitness family, want to travel, change lives, and live an AWESOME life…apply to a spot to be in the next online 30 day coach training starting on February 24th!!!

Apply here: Coaching application/questionnaire

Bombshells in Vegas!

bombshelltrip

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My transformation

As you can read on my About tab, my journey really  in 2009 after coming out of an abusive relationship, however, if I were to be truthful…looking back for as long as I can remember I have always been working on some kind of sports/fitness activity and some sort of fad diet. Never seeing the results that I want. I yo-yo’d up and down a lot and was never satisfied.

Over the years I have really learned that the only real way to get results is to change how I see health, fitness, and eating. Really it is a mindset change. The first thing that changed for me was the love that I had for myself. Through yoga I really learned how to tune into my body and my mind. I learned to listen to the things that I was saying to myself, my self-talk. I learned to change the negative self-talk into positive. That made all the difference. With a history of depression, lifting that dark cloud of self- loathing, self-pitty, and sadness and learning to find love within myself, not looking for it outside made it easier to stop eating food for comfort.

I now see food as it should be, fuel for my body. When my tank is low I fuel myself with high quality, nutrient dense food. I keep my body running optimally by keeping a regular workout schedule. Food is not intended to be for comfort, it is supposed to be a way to fuel your body.

Since October I have been practicing this new mindset and healthy habits, making it my lifestyle and I am finally seeing the results that I have been looking for.

Transformation February 2014

 

Before and After Measurements:

October 2013-February 2014

Weight 155 – 145 —> Down 10 lbs

Waist 33.5 – 29.5 —>Down 4 inches

Chest 37.5 – 36 —>Down 1.5 inches

Right Arm 12.5 – 12.25 –>Down 0.25 inch

Left Arm 12.5 – 12.25—> Down 0.25 inch

Right Thigh 25.5 – 24.2–>Down 1.3 inches

Left Thigh 25.5 – 24.2–> Down 1.3 inches

 

So total is 8.3 inches lost and 10 pounds! I am still a work in progress and always will be because being fit and healthy is a LIFESTYLE!

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An answer to many prayers

Who else struggles with portion control and finding the time to workout? It is not just that we lack the self control to manage our portions, it is also that we go to restaurants that serve us huge amounts of food, we pay good money for it, and we don’t want to waste it. Not only that, but it is hard to learn what the correct portion of something is. Today we eat on huge plates with growth hormone injected meats producing larger portion sizes, and we just don’t know how much to eat. No one likes to have to waste time measuring every single thing that they eat. Add to that trying to make sure that you eat super healthy, count your calories, and all the other junk we go through just to stay fit and healthy.

The next struggle is trying to find the time to fit fitness :) into your daily life. Boy, do I get it! I have a full time job, two part time jobs, full time college, and a family to help take care of. It is tough!

Beachbody has heard our cries and have made their newest program just for us. It is the 21 Day Fix. It’s a unique portion-control system combined with easy-to-follow workouts that fit into anyone’s busy schedule.

Find out more in this video

I am super excited about this program and would love to have you join me while we test it out. If you are interested in my one on one coaching while you give this program a whirl I would love to be your girl.

Click here for my contact information and let’s get our 21 Day Fix.

Also, remember to find me on Facebook, you can message me there for more information as well.

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Food Faddism

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What is food faddism? According to Wikipedia, “The phrases food faddism and fad diet originally referred to idiosyncratic diets and eating patterns that promote short-term weight loss, usually with no concern for long-term weight maintenance, and enjoy temporary popularity.”

“Fad diet” is a term of popular media, not science. Some so-called fad diets may make pseudo-scientific claims. According to one definition, fad diets claim to be scientific but do not follow the scientific method in establishing their validity. Among the scientific shortcomings of the claims made in support of fad diets:

  • not being open to revisions, whereas real science is
  • observations that prompt explanations are used as evidence of the validity of the explanation

The term “fad diet” has been pulled into the debate in the scientific community over the physiology of weight gain and loss. It has been used by proponents of established views to refute claims of non-traditional methods of weight loss such as low-carbohydrate diets. Researchers hold to the established belief that weight loss is strictly a function of a reduction in caloric intake, and that no other strategy can help dieters achieve long term weight loss.” Referenced: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_faddism Please read their listings of popular “fad diets to include; Nutrisystem, The Zone, Slim-Fast, and Hydroxycut…to name only a few.

The truth of it is there is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to loosing weight. No quick diet, no pill, nothing like that. Friends, it took a long time to put the weight on and it will probably take longer to get rid of it.

Just as a car needs the proper gasoline to make it run, a body needs a healthy diet to develop properly. That means the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat — as well as a host of other nutrients. I know that the idea of carbs and fat to some is so taboo, but your body does need these. The are all key in the functioning of the body. You cannot get these from diets that deprive you such as low carb diets, liquid diets, non-fat diets, etc. When you go on a fad diet and exclude necessary nutrients, you’re putting yourself at risk for becoming ill. Getting too little of  any nutrient may not cause an immediate problem. But if it’s lacking for a long time, you may find you have health problems. Not to mention that these diets are not sustainable. You should be looking for a diet that is a lifestyle change, something that you can sustain for your LIFETIME.

So, why do we need these to survive? According to McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Carbohydrates are the macronutrient that we need in the largest amounts. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA, 45% – 65% of calories should come from carbohydrate. We need this amount of carbohydrate because:

  • Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel.
  • Carbohydrates are easily used by the body for energy.
  • All of the tissues and cells in our body can use glucose for energy.
  • Carbohydrates are needed for the central nervous system, the kidneys, the brain, the muscles (including the heart) to function properly.
  • Carbohydrates can be stored in the muscles and liver and later used for energy.
  • Carbohydrates are important in intestinal health and waste elimination.
  • Carbohydrates are mainly found in starchy foods (like grain and potatoes), fruits, milk, and yogurt. Other foods like vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and cottage cheese contain carbohydrates, but in lesser amounts.

Additionally, fiber refers to certain types of carbohydrates that our body cannot digest. These carbohydrates pass through the intestinal tract intact and help to move waste out of the body. Diets that are low in fiber have been shown to cause problems such as constipation and hemorrhoids and to increase the risk for certain types of cancers such as colon cancer. Diets high in fiber; however, have been shown to decrease risks for heart disease, obesity, and they help lower cholesterol. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products. It is important to note here that you cannot get the required fiber from these fruits and veggies unless they are WHOLE, you lose fiber in the juicing process.

According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA 10% – 35% of calories should come from protein. Most Americans get plenty of protein, and easily meet this need by consuming a balanced diet. We need protein for:

  • Growth (especially important for children, teens, and pregnant women)
  • Tissue repair
  • Immune function
  • Making essential hormones and enzymes
  • Energy when carbohydrate is not available
  • Preserving lean muscle mass

Protein is found in meats, poultry, fish, meat substitutes, cheese, milk, nuts, legumes, and in smaller quantities in starchy foods and vegetables.

When we eat these types of foods, our body breaks down the protein that they contain into amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). Some amino acids are essential which means that we need to get them from our diet, and others are nonessential which means that our body can make them. Protein that comes from animal sources contains all of the essential amino acids that we need. Plant sources of protein, on the other hand, do not contain all of the essential amino acids.

Although fats have received a bad reputation for causing weight gain, some fat is essential for survival. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA 20% – 35% of calories should come from fat. We need this amount of fat for:

  • Normal growth and development
  • Energy (fat is the most concentrated source of energy)
  • Absorbing certain vitamins ( like vitamins A, D, E, K, and carotenoids)
  • Providing cushioning for the organs
  • Maintaining cell membranes
  • Providing taste, consistency, and stability to foods

Fat is found in meat, poultry, nuts, milk products, butters and margarines, oils, lard, fish, grain products and salad dressings. There are three main types of fat, saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and trans fat. Saturated fat (found in foods like meat, butter, lard, and cream) and trans fat (found in baked goods, snack foods, fried foods, and margarines) have been shown to increase your risk for heart disease. Replacing saturated and trans fat in your diet with unsaturated fat (found in foods like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and canola oil) has been shown decrease the risk of developing heart disease.

Referenced: http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/macronutrients.htm

According to WebMD, “America’s obesity epidemic may not come solely from the type of foods people eat but also from the portion sizes. Food servings have grown larger and larger over the years. And fast food restaurants aren’t the only places you’ll find super-sized meals. Researchers have noted that from 1970 through the 1990s, portion sizes of foods such as hamburgers, burritos, tacos, French fries, sodas, ice cream, pie, cookies, and salty snacks increased — whether the foods were eaten at home or at restaurants.

Just what does a healthy serving size look like? Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • A cup of fruit should be no larger than your fist.
  • One ounce of meat or cheese is about the same as the size of your thumb from base to tip.
  • Three ounces of meat, fish, or poultry (a normal serving) is about the size of your palm.”

More importantly friends, you really need to consider why you want to change your diet. If you just want to lose weight really quick then gain it all back, then maybe a fad diet is for you. However, if you want LASTING weight loss, you MUST change your MINDSET first and foremost, then change your lifestyle. You have to make yourself understand that there is NO quick fix and it is a long, hard journey. It is eating right and exercising. And you don’t just exercise to lose weight either. Here are 25 other reasons to exercise:

  1. Strengthens heart muscle.
  2. Decreases the incidence of heart attack.
  3. Reduces risks for heart disease, e.g., reduces bad LDL cholesterol and increases good HDL cholesterol.
  4. Improves circulation and oxygen/nutrient transport throughout the body.
  5. Helps lose weight and keep it off.
  6. Improves breathing efficiency.
  7. Strengthens & tones muscles and improves appearance.
  8. Helps prevent back problems and back pain.
  9. Improves posture.
  10. Strengthens bones and helps reduce risk of osteoporosis.
  11. Strengthens the tissues around the joints and reduces joint discomfort and arthritis if appropriate exercise is selected and properly performed.
  12. Decreases risk for several types of cancer.
  13. Improves immune function which decreases risk for infectious diseases.
  14. Maintains physical and mental functions throughout the second half of life.
  15. Increases self-confidence and self-esteem.
  16. Boosts energy and increases productivity.
  17. Improves sleep.
  18. Helps create a positive attitude about life.
  19. Reduces anxiety and depression.
  20. Increases resistance to fatigue.
  21. May lengthen lifespan.
  22. Reduces blood pressure.
  23. Decreases the incidence of Type 2 diabetes.
  24. Reduces stress.
  25. Improves cognitive function.

This post is written with all the love and passion I have. If you feel that you need help, please contact me and I would love to coach you and stand beside you on your journey to better health, a more active lifestyle, and happiness. Please click on the contact tab and find the most convenient way to contact me.

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about.me

Stephie Wharam

Stephie Wharam

I am a strong, independent woman that has always taken care of myself. I am proud of the woman that I am. I have a ton of love in my heart and share it as often as I can. I often get burned, but that will never change the love I give to others. I'm gonna shine :) My name is Stephanie, but I like to be called Stephie because I feel like it better represents the cute, lovey nature of who I am. I am from and located in beautiful Richmond, Virginia. I am a very busy, active 32 year old. I work full time and go to college 3/4 time. I also teach three yoga classes a week, have a family, and find time for my own health and fitness. If I can find 4% or less a day to work out so can you! I love yoga and kickboxing. I am a registered yoga teacher and fitness coach with Beachbody. I love to inspire and help people. Fitness and nutrition are very important to me. I am loving and bubbly and talk A LOT :). I have a dog and two cats. That is me and my life :)

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