FabuLyss FitLife- It’s a Twisted Tale…PART TWO

WELL…if you saw the video I posted on Facebook earlier you’ve already heard the juicy news from this weekend…

Needless to say that there is never a dull moment in the life of FabuLyss FitLife.  No matter how much you plan, prep, schedule, prepare, arrange and consult with your voodoo witch doctor…you just can’t ever be ready for some of the curve balls that you get thrown.

IN A NUTSHELL- let’s do this bullet point style

  • Friday morning I thought I had gas pain
  • As the day went on it got worse
  • Fast forward to 8pm Friday night when I’ve spent all day in the fetal position on the floor in agony.
  • I tried moving, sitting, laying, going to the bathroom, getting in the bath, taking a hot shower, pepto, gas-x…when NOTHING I tried was helping with the pain…I knew something wasn’t right.
  • Side note- I had felt this agony before…three years ago when A Twisted Tale part ONE was created and I ended up in emergency surgery the first time for this… UH OH!  no bueno…
  • Mark took me to the ER on Friday night at 8pm and they finally got me into a room at 11pm.
  • CT scan showed swelling and fluid around my intestines and colon
  • Night of agony and frustration…no food, no water and no sleep to follow
  • Saturday morning, the Bariatric surgeon at the hospital I was admitted to here in the burbs wanted to talk to my bariatric surgeon in the city before moving forward with anything he said that with the amount of pain I was in and the CT scan results, it didn’t look good…
  • My surgeon in the city said to rush me to U of C ASAP so he can get in and operate on me (p.s. my surgeon was ON HIS WAY to Michigan for a 100 mile bike ride and had to turn around to come to the hospital to see me-this man is an incredible human).  He made it there by 2pm
  • Hospital I was at decided to drag their feet transporting me by ambulance and finally at 4pm my surgeon said, “EFF IT! get her into a helicopter and get here here” (not getting me there as soon as possible could have resulted in dead tissue inside my body so how rude of the suburban hospital)
  • Helicopter got me to the city in 8.5 minutes and within 5 minutes of arrival I was in the OR (side note- impending surgery considered…the helicopter ride was freakin AWESOME)
  • Three years ago this happened.  My doctor untwisted my intestines and stitched them back into place.  WELL, since I’ve lost even more weight since then, they came OUT of the stitches and twisted in on themselves AGAIN.  Something that he said is possible, that there was nothing I could have done differently or anything I did that caused it.
  • The result: Three incisions, hernia repair, totally unexpected surgery, feels like I got hit by a bus and totally swollen abdomen.

So here we are.  I have 4.5 weeks until my second bodybuilding competition.  I have ONE day until I go to California for an INCREDIBLE opportunity to do my first big motivational speech and teaching a group boot camp AND a fashion show where I am wearing a skin tight dress.


Life is so incredibly short.  Things happen ALL the time.  Things don’t go as planned, life has ups and downs and turn arounds and unexpected victories and unplanned hardships and what do we do?  All we can do…keep going.  That’s exactly what I’m going to do.  I’ve already had my ugly crying emotional break down (two actually but who’s keeping track?!)

The Bodybuilding Show

The show must go on right?  I’m still going to compete.  I was ALREADY behind and was stressing about that…and now…I’m even MORE behind, but, I’m not giving up!  I have worked SO hard and busted my ass up to this point and I’m not going to let this stop me from getting on that stage.  The Dr. told me that I have to take it easy this week on the lifting.  I have been taking some time to rest my body but have continued with my cardio.  Diet is going to change a lot sooner than originally planned.  Training is also going to have to change a bit in order to make up for this set-back.  Diet is going down to 1100 calories, 130 grams of protein, 60 grams of fat and 15 grams of carbs.  Diet is going to remain SUPER clean and basic.  Egg whites, chicken, fish, ground turkey, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, olive oil, coconut oil, almonds and avocado are going to be the extent of my diet for the remainder of this prep.  I’m still going to utilize intermittent fasting Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.  AM cardio is 50 minutes on the stairs.  I’m going to have to increase HIIT cardio to every day for 20 minutes.  Posing is going to have to be put on hold for a few days while my tummy is still tender and swollen.

(I keep trying to avoid looking at my tummy in the mirror because it is swollen and looks terrible.  Three days ago I had beautiful abs and now…just a swollen mound.  I know it will go away but the mini panic attack I have every time I see my body is not going to be going away until the swelling does).

Water intake is still two gallons.  Supplements are all still the same.  I have started taking Activated Charcoal to clear out my insides from so many pain meds and anesthesia from the hospital.

I won’t be able to lift until next week and even then, I’m going to have to be really careful.  I am going to have to really sit down and think about how to move forward with my training split.  Luckily, I have a long flight to California tomorrow (Thursday) to think about that


This weekend, I have an AMAZING opportunity to do my first BIG Motivational Speech at the Obesityhelp.com Conference in California.  Motivational speaking is something that I see myself doing and doing often as I move forward in this new career I’m building for myself.  The speech itself I’m not nervous about but the morning of my speech, I am teaching a Group Bootcamp workout and really want to be able to bring full throttle FabuLYSS to the group.  I have been practicing and while I know my energy and charisma will be there, I worry that my body will just not quite be right.  I keep telling myself that all I can do is my absolute best and that is going to have to be enough.

All of my meals are packed, my flight and hotel is taken care of by the beautiful Obesityhelp.com team, I have my speech ready to go (just need to practice a few more times) and bootcamp is ALMOST ready to rock and roll.

This whole thing has been a total inconvenience and wrench in my plans for the show, the conference and life in general.  HOWEVER, I try to look at it and handle it as I would guide one of my lifestyle coaching clients through a situation like this.  Life has to go on.  When things don’t go as planned you have to stop, regroup and find a way to keep moving forward with a different plan.  Every single struggle is an opportunity to see what you’re made of.  THESE are the moments that test your resilience and your ability to keep fighting for what you want because at the end of this, you can look back and say, “Even though everything could have fallen apart and gone to shit and I could have given up… I didn’t.  I FINISHED.  I did what I said I was going to do.”  That’s something to be really proud of.

Nothing will ever stop me.  It’s going to be REALLY tough for the next 4.5 weeks but now is when I really get to challenge myself and find out what I’m made of.



Last progress pictures...still pretty proud of how I"m looking even though I'm a touch behind

Last progress pictures…still pretty proud of how I”m looking even though I’m a touch behind

Abs looking so good last week

Abs looking so good last week

Just pouring salt into my open wounds looking at these!  Please come back my pretties!

Just pouring salt into my open wounds looking at these! Please come back my pretties!


FabuLyss Fitlife- Houston…we have 16 weeks…

Yeah….yeah…..I know…”Lyss you suck at keeping us updated about your Fabulyss Fitlife!”  Hop off my nuggets will ya?? I’m trying to save the world here!!  Oooooh but you would be right and for that…I deserve a spanking.  Go on…just be gentle…or not!

Today, July 12th 2016 as I sit here during my morning potty writing this, I am now 109 days away (16 weeks) From show #2.

Prep has molded itself into a different approach than I’ve ever done before.  I really needed to take a step back during this approach and think….”okay woman…what does your body NEED, what is totally UNNECESSARY and what is REALISTIC.”

You think just because I’ve done this once before that I know what I’m doing?! HELL TO THE NO! That’s what makes this process so much fun.  Sure, I did it once before but I want to do it BETTER!

After surgery on June 4th for my tush (yeah…again) I got really sick with mono.  I had unbelievable body aches, it hurt from my hair to my toe nails, I had fevers, chills, sweats, vomiting, the runs…seriously… some instances I wasn’t sure which end it was coming from.  It was bad.  After 7 days of these symptoms, I went to the hospital where they actually told me it was mono (I had no clue before this and just thought I had the flu or a virus from surgery).  When the hospital took my blood they indicated that my liver enzymes were REALLY high.  This was a huge moment in my brain.  After this whole saga with the surgeries and the hospital nonsense and the drama…II want to be able to heal my own body and make my body function optimally by using what I have available and what I know how to control instead of depending on medicine and another person’s level of expertise to heal me.  I want to be able to compete in an incredibly demanding and exhausting sport without having to depend on unknown products, fillers and high doses of caffeine.   I can take all the supplements in the world, I can eat as healthy as I want and I can even drink all of the water and all of the land…but I need my body to be healthy.  That is the WHOLE point of my journey and my transformation.  I mean…sure, the sexy guns and tight ass are a nice bonus but my body needs to be healthy and needs to function optimally in order for me to continue to get better at this amazing sport and this incredible life.  So what did I do?  I did a little summer cleaning…notice I said CLEANING…not DETOX.   I believe that the body cleans itself when you use the right tools.

Everything “EXTRA” had to go.  My body needs as much GOOD fuel to process as I can give it.  I need my body to run like a MACHINE.  A machine doesn’t run properly when you give it the wrong fuel, even the “little things” the “extras” make an impact:


Supplements/Vitamins that were not NECESSARY- HAD TO GO

Tylenol, Muscle Relaxers, Pain Meds, Allergy Meds, Cold/Flu- BYE BYE

Fiber powders, laxatives and fat burners- DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE ASS

Artificial Sweetners, Artificial Flavors and Condiments/Spices that are not home made- ADIOS

I did a LOT of research on foods that have a PURPOSE.  I want to eat for a REASON.  The reason isn’t just to get calories in to fuel my workout (this is a VERY important reason, however, my meal plan needs to fuel my workouts and my insides).  I wanted to build a food plan where everything I ate had a reason for being eaten.  Not only that, I only wanted to take vitamins and supplements that would help keep my body strong and healthy and give me the things that I wasn’t getting from FOOD.

I’ve included things like; Apples, Avocado, Oranges, Salmon, Sauerkraut,  Organic Eggs, Chicken of a MUCH higher quality than I was getting before.  Dark green veggies like kale, swiss chard, brussel sprouts, rampini, collards etc. I’m eating more coconut oil and olive oil for my fats.  I have started using Apple Cider Vinegar and things like garlic, ginger, dandelion root.  I am drinking green tea instead of coffee, I am drinking water with lemon and lime.

Training has changed quite a bit as well.  Most of my cardio has been short bursts of either bodyweight movements or rowing on the rowing machine.  I need to be able to be strong enough to move my body as it is as well as heavy objects around me.  I want to be able to be strong and fast and lean and agile.  I don’t want to just look healthy.  I want to BE healthy.  Physically, mentally, emotionally, ..you get the idea.

Wow… as I’m writing this, just had a thought.  Health is kind of like an addiction.  Once you get a taste you want another taste and you want to keep tasting until you can’t go through a day without thinking about it.  You can’t function without it, you focus your life around it and your thoughts around it and it never seems like its enough.  You spend time and money on it, people in your life know how much you participate and there are people in your life who enable it, others who don’t understand it and those you disagree with it.

……. I’ll just let that stew for a bit…….


16 weeks out!  Weight: 151

Feeling AMAZING.  Feeling strong, energetic, excited.  Most importantly…I’m feeling like myself again.  I missed me.



This is LIFE…

Look, I get it…THIS is life…

Sometimes, thing go really really great.  You get your dream job and you make great money.  Sometimes, things go so unbelievably great that you can’t imagine things ever getting better, but they do! You meet the person of your dreams and build a dream house and travel the world. Things are even better than you imagined and you are so grateful for everything you have and are and do.  Sometimes, things go really bad.  Things get so bad and so shitty that you can’t make ends meet.  Things are so bad that you have to make a choice of which bill not to pay.  You are exhausted, lonely, frustrated and angry.  Sometimes, things are really scary.  You have to worry about going to a festival or a gathering.  You have to keep a security alarm on your house or a fire arm under your bed.

I would tell them that life is unpredictable.  You get sick out of the blue when you never saw one warning sign or symptom.  You glance to your phone for just a second and end up in a life changing accident.  You aren’t paying attention and walk right into the person you were meant to be with.   Sometimes, things are so frustrating.  You have to wait for 20 minutes to speak to a human being just to ask one simple question, the person who just cut you off is going exactly the speed limit in the fast lane.  Sometimes, things are so beautiful.  You witness the birth of a new human being, you watch a family reunite after years of being apart, you see the selfless gestures that people give to each other every day.  There are times when life gets overwhelming.  You have people depending on you and a job that bores you and paperwork piling up and bills piling up and responsibilities and obligations and they all have to be taken care of right away.  You have goals and dreams and ambition and ideas that all swirl in your mind at once and you don’t know where to start or what to do first but if you could just figure it out you would be the next hit.

Sometimes, life is not fair.  Your loved ones get taken from you too soon, you miss the deluxe upgrade by one point, you fall to the ground two feet from the finish line.  There are days when you don’t know how you are ever going to make it to the next day.  There are moments when you feel yourself look to the skies and thank whatever is up there that this is your life.  Life is complicated and exciting and disappointing and terrifying. People put each other down and say ugly things to each other and themselves.  People give the shirt off their back to a stranger on the streets and they spend hours of their day giving free haircuts to those less fortunate.

Life is a lot of things and these things happen to every single one of us no matter who we are, what we look like or what we believe.  Life happens and it will always keep happening…so when will it finally be time to take care of yourself?  You need to survive and enjoy all that life is going to throw you.  You have to build a strong army inside of you of healthy organs and muscles and courage.  You have to understand what your body is capable of and what challenges you can meet to be fully prepared for the battles of life.  When life is good, bad, scary, wonderful, exciting and traumatizing, you deserve to feel strong enough and capable enough to handle it.

Live this life.  Don’t just survive it.


Fabulyss Fitlife- You Can Do ANYTHING

If you would have told me 6 years ago,

“Lyss…one day, you are going to love going to the gym.  You are going to crave healthy and wholesome foods, you are going to be excited to look in the mirror and you are going to participate in a sport that requires you to stand on stage in front of hundreds of people in a bikini…” I would have laughed in your face and asked you to pass the cheesy mashed potatoes.

If you could do ANYTHING…what would you do?

Would you skydive in Thailand?

Do you want to run a naked marathon?

Would ride a donkey up Machu Picchu?

Do you want to be able to breathe at night and be taken off a C-PAP machine?

Let me make this easier for you…


Don’t ever…I repeat EVER let society or the ignorance of on-line strangers tell you that you cannot do something, that something is impossible or that your dreams/goals are unattainable.  Who are they to tell you what you can or cannot do?

Don’t ever tell YOURSELF that you CAN’T do something.   How do you know?  You are the only one who can make it happen.

I believe that NOTHING is impossible.

There are people out in the world who have been told that they would never walk again…they are running marathons.

There are people out there who cannot hear… creating some of the most beautiful music out there.

There is a girl who could barely make it up a flight of stairs competing in bodybuilding with a dream of being Ms. Natural Olympia one day.  (that’s me by the way!)

These people had an idea, a spark of a dream and did ANYTHING they could to make it happen.

 You have to be willing to do anything it takes to get there.  Sitting and wishing won’t get you there.  Complaining and making excuses for yourself won’t get you there.  Money, time, energy, resources are all realities in all of our lives and when you stop letting those get in your way who knows what the possibilities are.  Just because something is HARD doesn’t mean its impossible.  When you put it in your mind that you are going to do something…make every single day one step closer to getting there.  Keep asking yourself what you can do today?  Is what you are doing  right now helping you get there?  Are you doing ONE thing every single day to get you there?  Are you doing everything you can think of?  Are you pushing your comfort zone? Are you making sacrifices?  Are you doing new things that you’ve never done before?  Are you doing what other won’t?  Are you opening your mind and your heart to new opportunities and uncharted waters?

If not, why not?  If not…start TODAY…start right NOW.  Why are you waiting? Start now before you can convince yourself otherwise.

If you want something bad enough you will do ANYTHING to get there. BUT…It’s up to you.

No dream is too big, no goal is too crazy when it’s what you really want.  It may take years and even a lifetime to get there, it will be hard and you will want to quit and you will stumble along the way, hell you may even crash and burn and decide to do something completely different along the way…but when you make it…you will be able to look in the mirror and say…”I CAN do anything.”

What are you doing still reading this?!  GO OUT THERE AND DO IT!




Fabulyss Fitlife- Day #25 I’M SMALL!

I originally typed “Happy Memorial Day” as a first line to this post…that seemed a bit morbid to call it “happy” so I would like to say “THANK YOU” to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  Thank you to those past, present and future who put their lives on the line to protect us and keep us safe.

Today marks the beginning of week TWO of the 28 day fast metabolism plan.  I KNOW you all have been refreshing your facebook feed everyday with hopes of my updated post to show up on your screen!!  So here’s the scoop!

Things I like about the plan-

*The plan does a great job of cutting out all “extras”.  She really wants you to focus on wholesome foods.  Good quality foods that are dense in nutrients make up the whole plan.  You are eating fruits (mostly dark berries, mangos and apples), a variety of veggies (veggies that are higher in sugars like corn, tomatoes, egg plant are not on the approved list.   Wholesome grains like oats, quinoa and brown rice.  Lean, grass-fed proteins like; fish, chicken, nitrate-free deli meats and sausages, grass-fed beef, turkey and eggs.  Healthy fats like nuts, oils, avocados and egg yolks are all on the list of fats that are a green light.

*You have such a HUGE variety of foods to choose from.

*The plan really TEACHES the follower about different foods and their nutrients.  She does not want to you count calories or macro-nutrients but to just eat from the list and let the healthy foods to the work.

*The plan changes every 2-3 days, you are not eating the same things every single day with the risk of the plan getting boring.

*You are totally detoxing your body of artificial sweetners, caffeine and alcohol during this plan.

*Water and decaf tea are your main liquids and it has been really interesting exploring different flavors of teas that are out there.

(Check out some of my high school buddies and their tea company Tiesta Tea for some amazing tea options! )

About Our Teas

*She encourages you to try different sources of activities based on the phases of the plan.  Days that are higher in carbs she suggests a HIIT based workout.  The Friday-Sunday days, she encourages lifting and one day of yoga, swimming or low impact activity

Things I’m still on the fence about

*We are only going into week TWO but my body did not like the first two days of the plan.

(due to the bariatric surgery, the good fats in my diet help with going to the bathroom and keeping things regular.)

The first four days of the plan do not have any fats.  This made bathroom issues arise and made me feel a little bloated and uncomfortable.

*The amount of carbs/sugar the first two days of the plan make me just a bit uncomfortable.  I am super sensitive to carbs and even though they are all good sources of carbs, the lack of protein those two days made me a little worried (this was ALL mental as the only physical feeling I had was the bloatey feeling from not going to the bathroom all the way).

*I am curious how a plan like this will be sustainable as a long-term lifestyle.  In the book she gives details on how to maintain this for long-term use as well as repeating the cycle multiple times for bigger results.


Weight has gone down 2 pounds!

I can’t lie, I still chew gum during the day BUT! I went from 1 pack of gum a day to 3 pieces a day!


FUN FACT!!!!!  I NOW FIT INTO A SIZE SMALL T-SHIRT!!!!  I HAVE NEVER EVER EVER EVERRRRRRRRRRR NEVERRRRRRRRRR fit into a size SMALL!  I was BORN in a size Medium-Husky T-Shirt!  CHECK IT OUT!!!!  The TRAIN shirt is my work shirt which is a small and the big shirt is an XXXL.  AH!!! SO EXCITING!







  • Contest prep starts June 6th!!!!  YAY!!! I’m competing with the UFE again on October 28th!
  • I’m going to be having surgery again on June 4th for the same issue as before…let’s hope THIS is the winner!  *FINGERS CROSSED*
  • My LyssRemaly.com website is under construction and will be coming to a webpage near you in July!
  • I’m up and running with Bariatric Lifestyle Coaching and am taking on new clients!  Phone, skype, in-home and on-line coaching is all available (email me if you have any questions at all).
  • Personal Training at Equinox in Highland Park is an absolute BLAST!  I’m learning SO much and meeting so many wonderful people!  I love that Equinox puts their trainers though an intense certification and training process that feels like being in college again (it has been so amazing learning and re-learning and practicing the practical aspect of training).

Fabulyss Fitlife- Day #18 and the Fast Metabolism

It’s a BEAUTIFUL DAY to be motivated, inspired and kick some serious ass!
Mondays are a great day for a fresh start.  It’s the beginning of the week, you have just hopefully had an amazing night of quality sleep and you are up and at em like a hungry beast!
Make sure you have a SOLID breakfast this morning.  Take a second to reflect on everything you HAVE and everything that you are grateful for.  THINK about your goals for the day.  What do you want to accomplish?  Write them down if you have to!  Do ONE thing today that will get you one step closer to your goal!  Not even just physically.  Do something that will emotionally, financially, technically, virtually, unstoppablly (did I just make up a new word?!) get you to your goals you have set for yourself.  It’s not going to happen overnight BUT, if you do ONE thing every single day that gets you one step closer… you’ll get there a HELL of a lot faster than someone who just sits and WAITS for it to come to them.
As a coach and a trainer I very much value “practicing what I preach” so to speak.  If I ask something of someone I am working with, I need to be able to do the exact same thing or have done the same thing in the past.  How can I support someone through anything if I have never seen it or done it myself and can encourage them on the journey?  Health, Wellness, Fitness is not a one size fits all selection.  Everyone is different, bodies are different and respond differently to different plans and lifestyles.  That is what I love most about the lifestyle…there are ENDLESS options, answers and possibilities.
There have been a few times where the 28 Day Fast Metabolism Diet has come up in conversation over the past few months and Mama Bear has been participating in this lifestyle for the past few weeks with great success!  I LOVE working with women who are around the same age as my mom and who are going through menopause or have just gone through menopause.  This is an amazing time in someones life when hormones are changing, your body is changing and you get to recreate a whole new lifestyle to support that!  Not just that, but in conversations with the general public, people seem to think that the MORE you deprive yourself of food, the most success you will have losing weight and “getting healthy”.  I can’t disagree with this MORE.  You NEED food, you NEED fuel and your body NEEDs the nutrients to function and survive.  I have decided for the next 30 days to give this lifestyle a try and see for myself how this plan works!  The reviews are all very positive and the creator; Haylie Pomroy is well respected in the wellness industry.  She comes from an agricultural background and the lifestyle is based off of how foods can heal what we do to our bodies when we diet for too hard and for too long.  This plan in intended to repair metabolic damage that can occur when we deprive our bodies for too long and the damage that happens to our thyroid, pancreas, adrenal glands and metabolism.
I have exactly FOUR weeks until my prep starts for the October 29th show date!  WHOOP WHOOP (oh yeah, I chose an October show!  WHEE!) This is a great time to get my body fully nourished, my metabolism racing and diet cleaned up to be fully prepared for that #preplife.
The diet is broken down into phases
Phase ONE
Consists of 5 small meals per day of; grains, fruits, veggies and proteins
Phase TWO
5 small meals per day of protein and veggies
5 small meals per day of; fruit, protein, healthy fats, grain and veggies
Caffeine, artificial sweetners, processed foods, processed condiments and sugars are removed from this plan and wholesome, nutrient dense foods are encouraged and listed for each category.
We are going to be eating things like; steel cut oats, quinoa, chicken, fish, avocado, almonds, spinach, kale, cucumbers, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, apple cider vinegar, stone ground mustard and BERRIES (I’m so excited I could piddle).  I have made just a FEW modifications for my own personal plan knowing that my body requires additional protein.  During phase one, I have added one serving of protein with each meal.  While meals are determined to have one serving of a grain and one serving of a fruit, I know that I need the protein so for these meals I will select EITHER a grain or a fruit and have that with my protein selection.  For snacks that are designated as fruit, I will keep these as-is and include an additional protein snack for pre and post workout.
My workouts are going to remain the same to the plan I created for myself and mentioned in a previous post.  Three day split, each body part worked twice per week, mixture between heavy lifts and high-volume lifts and different lifting techniques sprinkled on top.  I also am doing varied forms of cardio each day; HIIT, Tabata, Group Fitness Classes, Treadmill, Stationary Bike, Stairmill, Swimming…you name it… i’ll try it!  We do happily accept requests if there is a form of cardio you are scared of trying and would like for me to test run for you!
Here is where I am physically at the start of this plan.  We have 30 days…let’s see how fast we can get this metabolism going and see if we can race it all the way to the stage!

Fabulyss Fitlife- Day #10 and the cardio dance class

There is never a dull moment in a Fabulyss Fitlife!

I’ve been at Equinox doing the new employee orientation (since I can’t start working with clients until I go through the process and I can’t start making money until I take on clients… DAMN IT)

I am also in the process of working with the special man in my life to convert my home garage into a home gym so that I can also train clients out of my house as well.

Not only that but I am working on a NEW project that I am keeping top secret for now since it is still in the embryo phase of it’s life.  You know when it’s still too early to SAY you’re pregnant because it’s too early but you are SO excited that you want to tell the whole world and are going to BURST out of all of your holes if you don’t tell someone soon??? THAT feeling!  I can’t tell you… BUT… if it works… if we make it work… it could be seriously EPIC!  STAY TUNED!


Training has been going really well these weeks:

I had legs on Friday (this is the first time in my training that I can actually DO squats.  The fissures are still there but not AS numbingly horrible as they were before)

Leg day starts with a warm up 3-4 sets of 20 to get everything warm.  This workout was 3 sets of 20 reps for everything

Leg Press (2 plates on each side)  superset with Dumbbell walking lunges

Barbell Squats (at 135) Superset with curtsey lunges with plate

Cable pull throughs superset with leg extentensions

Laying Leg Curls (with iso hold) superset sumo squats

Glute Kick Backs superset adductors

Seated Calf Raise superset standing calf raise

Today (Sunday, May 15th) was BACK ATTACK (I really want to chisel definition into my back before the next show)

Warm Up 4 x 10 seated cable row at 80 lbs

This workout was moderate weight and high volume 4 x 20 for each superset

Wide Grip pull-down behind head superset heavy pull down in front

Assisted Pullup superset seated rows underhand grip

One sided lat pull down with squeeze superset pull overs

Kayak Rows superset cable pullovers

Deadlifts (@135) I did 5 x 8 on these

Good Mornings superset Bent over BB rows

Shrugs until failure

This week cardio was:

30 minutes of Steady state on the stairs (level 9 the whole time)

Sprints on the treadmill (30 seconds full-on balls to the wall sprinting and 1 minute walking) for 30 minutes

I took a cardio dance class called WERQ (this is specific to Equinox but WORTH IT if you can get to a class).  Below is the website!  What a BLAST!  It’s not quite Zumba where you follow the instructor and don’t quite get the move right until they change the move…you know what I am talking about!  You follow the instructor to popular food-tapping beats you hear on the radio that you end up dancing to in your car but can never quite get a beat down when you hear them at a bar.  This class gives you some great options that you can use in everyday “dance” opportunities.  I mean really, who doesn’t love the chance to dance like a fool in public… right??  RIGHT???

We were doing body rolls, jump steps, I have NO idea what these moves were called but I’ll tell you what…I felt SEXY doing them.  Not only that but EVERY single age, color, gender and body type was accounted for in this class.  EVERYONE was having a blast and everyone was able to follow the moves.


I’m a big fan of doing all different classes- Zumba, Step, Cardio Kick-Boxing.


Let me know what kind of cardio classes you want me to try and I’ll give you the feedback!


This week’s meal preps consist of the following:

Hard Boiled Eggs

Rotisserie Chicken, Shredded Adobe Chicken in the Crock Pot.  I also baked chicken with garlic puree (I’ve been making garlic puree a LOT lately and putting it into mason jars for when I cook).

I pulverize garlic cloves in the blender by pulsing, then add a 2 TBSP of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.  Once it is bitzed, I put it into a mason jar and in the fridge.


Green Beans and Shredded Cabbage/Kale Mixture

Baked Cod with Lime and Cayenne Pepper

I started eating Nitrate free deli turkey with cucumber slices for snacks in between meals and I am LOVING that snack!

At night, If I’m having a sweet tooth, I have been making egg bread.  This bread has been AMAZING for my sweet tooth.

Separate 7 eggs (whites in a bowl and yokes in a cup)

Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks and add one scoop of protein powder (I’ve been using cinnamon bun protein powder)

In the yolks add 1 TBSP of honey and 1-2 packets of stevia.  I also add a splash of vanilla.  Fold yolks into the whites and protein powder and blend until JUST combined.  Put into a greased bread pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


I haven’t been as ON TOP of my protein shakes as I should since needing to up my protein intake, so this week that will be my focus.  I am also starting a liver detox this week.  (With the fissures comes horrible, mind boggling pain, with that pain comes the use of narcotic pain killers…with those comes the unneeded toxic chemicals that make up those painkillers into my body.  I HATE taking medication if my body doesn’t need it.  The painkillers make me feel tired and drowsy and of course, being my spunky, goofy, energetic self.. I HATE feeling less than overly, annoyingly excited and energetic.  This week I am going to detox my body of those pain killers and go back to the natural way of pain management.  I’m going to keep doing my sitz baths during the day, marijuana as needed at nights before bed when the pain is the worst and INTENSE distraction by staying as busy as possible so I don’t think about it.  *FINGERS CROSSED* this will be the answer!


Stay tuned… it’s a Fabulyss Fitlife and I want to share it with you!


P.S. Tomorrow is my dad’s birthday!  HAPPY 70TH BIRTHDAY PAPA BEAR!!! I love you SO much and miss you more than you know.  (some of you may know but my father suffers from the last stages of Alzheimer’s.)





Have you ever had one of those days where the ENTIRE day feels like a dream?? You have to keep reminding yourself to REMEMBER every single moment happening that day.  You can’t seen to take enough pictures, you want to soak in everything and as the day goes by you desperately try to figure out how you can invent something to freeze time in the next hour!

Let’s rewind shall we?

In August, I sent an email to Bodybuilding.com to their Transformation division telling them about my story and asking if there was anyone I could talk to about sharing my story on the website.  I have been an active bodybuilding.comer since 2012 and figured I couldn’t lose anything by at least asking right?  The worst they could say is “NO”.  Well actually, the worst they could say is, “How dare you email us asking such a ridiculous request!  You’re BANNED FROM THE SITE AND ANY BODYBUILDING SHOWS IN THE FUTURE.”  Luckily, they didn’t say that so yay! In September, I got an email from one of their writers saying that she found my page and wanted to do an interview with me for a “Transformation of the Month” feature!  AH!  I was SO beyond excited!!

She called me later that week and we had a phone interview where I told her about my journey and experience losing weight and competing.  She asked some great questions and then that was it!  I sent a bunch of photos and asked when the article would run.  She told me it would take about a month or so to write it, edit it, have it approved and then appear on the site.

After a month, I didn’t see anything on the site and decided to reach back out to her and see if she had an idea on timing for the article.  She told me it was being edited and should be another few weeks.  (I’m not very good at waiting).  A few weeks later, I reached out again and got a similar response.  By the time January rolled around there was still no article and no follow up from bodybuilding.com.  I figured maybe they found someone else’s transformation story to run and decided I would just keep badgering them until they run my story!  (subtle right?!)

In February I missed a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize (okay I didn’t miss the call so much as screen the call).  The message beeper beeped and I listed to the voicemail:

Bodybuilding.com was calling ME to let me know that they wanted to do a VIDEO feature about my transformation story and asked if I would be available to come to Boise where their corporate office is for a few days to film?  They would also like to fly out someone very important in my life who has been with me through the process that they can incorporate into the video.

UHM…. WHAT?!??! I had been in my office at the hotel when I listed to the voicemail so I RAN outside and screamed and jumped up and down like a little kid!  *HAPPY DANCE* *HAPPY DANCE*  (followed by a little bit more screaming and a few tears).

I called back and the production manager asked if I would be available towards the end of March.

WOULD I BE AVAILABLE?!  I would run naked across the country if I needed to to MAKE myself available! (I’m not sure how it would come to that but hey, I’ll do whatever it takes people!)

Of course I brought my beautiful mommy with me!  Timing also worked out perfectly that I had quit my job already and would be job-free during that time!

The end of March, mom and I flew out to Boise where we met Jordan Grahm and his girlfriend.  They were also doing a story on Jordan who lost a TON of weight as well and now competes in powerlifting.

This was waiting for us when we walked into the lobby of the building


I piddled a little when I saw my photo on the wall of Bodybuilding.com

The office is AMAZING!  The staff is so incredibly nice and welcoming and EVERYONE hugged us and said how great it was to meet me and they kept saying how excited THEY were to meet ME!  I was in SHOCK!!  ME???? are you kidding?? I’M EXCITED TO MEET YOU ALL!!!!

They met us with a custom made bag filled with tons of swag and goodies.  They drove us around in the bodybuilding.com hummer which was totally badass and made me feel KIND of like a bodybuilding superhero! Jordan had a full day of filming first and then I had my filming day after him.  The day that he was filming, the Director of Marketing invited me to his office and when I walked in who is sitting there?!?!




This woman is seriously the FIRST fit chick I started following when I decided to compete!  Not only is she absolutely stunning but she is a total SHE-BEAST in the gym!  I was SHOCKED when she jumped up to surprise me!  We got to work out with her and we all went to dinner together!  She was so unbelievably sweet and SO FUN!  She answered all of my silly questions and was so open and honest about her own journey.

When we were getting ready to lift she goes, “you have a big responsibility now to share your journey and experience with others.  People look up to you and it’s up to you to help inspire others.”

That right there was just another confirmation that I’m doing EXACTLY what I was born to do!

The day of filming was an absolute dream!  Obviously, being in theater for so many years I’m RIGHT at home when I am performing and loved the filming process.  We got our makeup did, we took some B-Roll shots, I got to change costumes, we hung out with the camera crew (who were all freaking hilarious).

The filming part for mom and I was very emotional.  We talked about my history,  my emotional ups and downs and the impact this experience has had on her as my mom and my family.






After filming was time to head home.  The whole experience went by WAY too fast!  I loved every second of it!







I’m not 100% sure when the feature will be coming out on the site but I JUST sent the team some more videos and photos of me as a chunky monkey kid.

The experience was so surreal.  I STILL can’t believe that this was an opportunity for me.  Five years ago, if you would have told me that I was going to be filmed for Bodybuilding.com, I would have laughed in your face and gone back to eating my mashed potatoes.

You NEVER know where life is going to take you but I’ll tell you something, just because you never imagined it could happen doesn’t mean it’s impossible.  I can’t WAIT to share the feature with everyone once it comes out!




That’s right!  You read that right!  It IS a fabulyss fitlife!

This Fabulyss FItlife has been a bit of a shit-show the last few weeks (not the bad kind of shit-show that you try to delete all of the text messages and destroy any spec of photo or video evidence that may come back to bite you on the ass later- hey we have ALL been there) but the kind of shit-show where you look back and think… where did those weeks go?  THAT went by fast!  It started  with quitting my job, going into an INCREDIBLE opportunity to do a photoshoot with Bodybuilding.com, next a cross-country move back to the burbs of Chicago, followed by a new amazing job opportunity with Equinox and now here we meet again.  Did you miss me?? I missed you!

(Side note- stay tuned on Thursday for a #throwbackthursday post about my amazing experience in Boise with Bodybuilding.com)

It dawned on me during my road-trip from Arizona to Chicago that I want to share more about my day-to-day lifestyle here on the blog…I mean that’s what it’s here for right?! I get a lot of messages on Facebook and Instagram (if I could ever figure out how to use that effing Snapchat thing I may get some on there too) about my diet, training and lifestyle.  We all know that LIFESTYLE is what makes the fitlife and I work REALLY hard and have worked hard in the past to build a lifestyle that I’m really proud of…I want to share that with you dear reader.

Life has taken a really great turn the last few weeks.  I am finally home with my amazing family, I was hired by Equinox in Highland Park as a Personal Trainer and can FINALLY say that I actually look FORWARD to going to work (oh yeah, go ahead and read that again…. and again….one more time just to make sure you got it).  When I was working in the hotel, I was doing hotel business all day everyday and would have to spend what little personal time I had outside of the hotel to learn about fitness, diet and wellness.  NOW, my DAY IS REVOLVED AROUND THOSE THINGS!  THIS IS FREAKING GREAT!!

While I do have a job at the gym, I am building my own business Fabulyss Fitlife which is the Lifestyle Coaching and Personal Training services I offer both on-line and in person.  A lot of the on-line coaching I do is for those who are going to be having or have had bariatric surgery.  When I went through the bariatric surgery process, looking back, I wish I had had a bit more guidance from either the doctors office, a support group or even a mentor type person who was there if I had questions, who had been through the process before and was successful.  I want to offer that support to others.  As a personal trainer, having BEEN obese before, I understand where my clients are coming from.  I know how intimidating it is walking into a gym the first few times, I know how scary it is being asked to do physical movements you aren’t sure you can do and I know what it feels like to be terrified of being judged because you can’t do those movements.  Bottom line…I want to support others on THEIR journey.  EVERYONE deserves to feel good.  Good about their lifestyle, good about themselves, good about their health and well being, good about their abilities…you get the idea!  That is what I want to do, support people on their journey to feel good.

On another note- After the crash and burn from the last contest disaster I have taken some much needed time to rest.  I have still been hitting the gym and hitting it hard but I didn’t realize how burnt out my body was once I finally slowed down.  I figured one weekend of rest, relaxation and relaxed dieting would be plenty to recover and hit the ground running again with training…WRONG.  Maybe I was emotionally drained, physically drained and just all together exhausted from what I had put myself through the last few months.  After Boise, my body just crashed.  NOW….I’m fully recovered, rested and ready to be FABULYSS!

I have decided to compete again.  I know, I know I said I was going to wait until after my next plastic surgery BUT I LOVE competing SO much.  I miss it and I’m itching to get back onto that stage ASAP!  I have picked an October show with UFE (this was the federation I did my first show with).  I have a few more weeks until I start my prep and I have put a plan together in order to stay as lean as possible, while working on the details of my muscles.  I also want to incorporate NEW types of training into my routines and those I will be sharing here in this blog.  For now, below is the basic outline of the plan I put together as well as diet breakdown, training and pictures of where I am now.  I have ONE goal… GET AS SHREDDED AS POSSIBLE.  (don’t judge).

Fabulyss Fitlife Food

(I hadn’t been to the doctor in over 6 months- not having a day off ever will make it very difficult to make an appointment, so that was priority #1 when I got home.  I was semi-terrified to go to the doctor and see what was going on up and inside me especially after the beating I gave myself the months prior.  It definitely was NOT as brutal as I was expecting it to be!  My doc told me that I do need to increase iron consumption both through diet as well as supplements and I also have to increase protein intake.  Don’t have to ask me twice haha)

Protein 200 grams

Fat 58 grams

Carbs 18 grams

Most of my protein sources are coming from the same as I have been doing forever; chicken, eggs, fish, nitrate free turkey breast and I have also had to add-in a protein shake in order to get to the 200 gram mark.  I have to find a protein powder that tastes good, doesn’t have a ton of fillers in it and isn’t a million dollars…I feel like I’m searching for the great pumpkin but stay tuned… I’ll keep you posted on what I DO find and a review on each.


My split looks like this

Monday- Legs (calves and abs included)

Tuesday- Back/Bis

Wednesday- Shoulders / Chest / Triceps

Thursday- Off from lifting (active rest- yoga, swim, long walk etc)

Friday- Legs (calves and abs included)

Saturday- Back / Bis

Sunday – Shoulders / Triceps

Cardio is something I will be playing with and trying different methods.  It is really important to me to keep challenging myself and my body to see what I am truly capable of- who knows, maybe there is a tough mudder in my future.   ANYTHING is possible.

Sets/Reps/Weights- all of these are going to be something that I try different methods of and keep track here to let you know how they go.


BASIC!  My body needed a break from the fat burners I was taking while prepping.  I am sticking to the basics and will stick with them for a while.

Multi Vitamin, Omega 3s, Calcium, Iron (mucho iron), VItamin D, BCAAs, Creatine, B-Complex, Potassium, Magnesium and Biotin

It’s a Fabulyss Fitlife…Day 1…. Let’s do this!


30 minutes on the stairmill at level 10

at the 10 minute mark and the 20 minute mark I did 5 minutes of glute kick-backs at level 4

20 minutes on the treadmill of intervals

1 minute at 6 MPH and 1 minute at 3 MPH for 20 minutes followed by a 5 minute cool-down


Barbell Squats- 3 x 15 @ 100# (2 second pause at the bottom)

3 x 8 @ 135# (ATG)

Romanian Deadlift 5 x 10 @ 100#

Superset Curtsey Lunge 5 x 10 w/ 25# plate

Leg Press 4 x 10 (2 plates each side) 3 second lower, 3 second power push

superset walking bodyweight lunges 25 each side

Leg Extensions (I call these sandwiches) 1 set moderate weight at 15 reps

1 set heavy at 8 reps

1 set moderate weight until failure  (I did this for 20 rounds)

Seated Calf Raises 90# 5 quick reps, 5 second hold, 5 slow reps (20 rounds)

Laying Leg Curl sandwiches (20 rounds)

Glute Bridges on leg extension machine 10 x 10 with iso hold at the top

Foam roll at the end!







This was a difficult post to write…not because of the content itself but because putting it into words makes it real.  To be honest…that’s a bit terrifying.

It might help if I start at the beginning and catch you up on what lead up to that incredibly dramatic opening line.

There are a few things that I can list that are so unbelievably important to me.  Things that I would die inside if I lost and things that all of my life decisions revolve around.

My family and close friends

My health and able body which now also includes weight lifting and fitness

My most favorite personality traits about myself:  My ability to see the positive in any situation, my oddly energetic and upbeat nature, my sense of humor, my ability to get along with almost anyone

My determination

The opportunities to be better

(and I can’t lie…I do love my ability to retain useless tidbits of trivia and facts)

Any decision I make is because, for or the make any of the above; stronger, better or most wonderful.


I originally took this job in Phoenix for the second to last item on the list (The opportunity to be better).  Better means anything that I can do that will make me better.  Better person, daughter, employee, human being… I strive to do one thing per day that will just make me better.  This one was one I couldn’t turn down.  I had been in the hospitality industry for the better part of a decade and had done a pretty decent job of moving up the corporate hospitality ladder relatively quickly.  I originally fell in love with the hospitality industry even before college because every day seemed like it would be different.  You would always meet and interact with people from all over the world.  You could learn about different cultures, share new experiences with people, witness people see something for the very first time…it was an incredible and exciting industry to be in.  Corporate America didn’t seem so bad either.  You put in your time, you make a decent pay check, you are covered with medical insurance, dental maybe vision if you’re lucky and maybe even put some money into a 401k,  (then give up half your money to the BIG boss…but that’s a different post for a WAY different blogger).   Then, when you’ve done this for 50+ years you retire.  Easy Peasy right?  Taking this job meant another step up the ladder, a new adventure in whole new city, all new people, brand new experience and a whole new chapter of life.

Since day one in the hotel biz, I busted my ass.  You HAVE to in this industry if you want to keep up.  Plus, I’ve always had a killer work ethic from my parents who always worked their asses of so that we could live comfortably.  Hard work was never something I had a problem with.  I put in the hours needed, I sacrificed what I needed to and made sure the job was done  Moving away from home was going to be difficult but I had done it before going to Las Vegas and found a way to build a second family there during college.  I knew that I was going to have a hard time leaving my family, but I was excited for the new family I would  meet in this new place.  Anyone in the hotel industry will tell you that it’s tough.  The new mentality of travelers where they are shocked that they have to pay for anything, demand VIP treatment on an EBT budget and this weird phase where people’s first reaction is to yell and be horrible and nasty and mean when they don’t like what they hear…BUT…it’s entertaining as hell and overall it’s a fun industry.

The honeymoon phase of ANYTHING is always cupcakes and unicorns.  Dating, a new toy, updated remodel…it’s NEW, it’s EXCITING!  The blaze of sunshine in the beginning is often blinding.  I moved to Phoenix for THIS job.  THIS is the reason I left everything and everyone I know.  I knew I was going to have to work HARD.  This wasn’t just an event management job.  It was an event SALES AND MANAGEMENT job.  The beginning was great!  Everyone was super nice, the resort is beautiful, the Phoenix weather is incredible and all new people is like adult Disneyland for a super social Chatty-Kathy like yours truly.

With everything going so well I picked another bodybuilding show to prepare for, re-started my book since I lost it in the move, I decided to get involved with Meet-Up to try to meet new people, I had a big exam for my Behavior Change Specialization with NASM coming up and yeah, I even looked into the Tinder to see what the male population was working with in this part of the country.  I was starting to build a new life here, my own life.

Work started getting a little busy so I was having to put in the occasional Saturday to meet with a few brides to talk wedding details.  I started having to stay late 1-2 days a week to make sure everything was done before leaving.  I was asked to remove all of my family photos from my desk because it was not professional for client’s to see when they came into the office.  I had to do extensive training to learn the new systems that the company uses to create events.  I have my own way of learning things and my own way of retaining information but was told by my boss that “I wasn’t learning fast enough and she was shocked that I didn’t know more of the information that I should know at this point in my career.”  So I worked harder.  I stayed later to complete more training, came in after meeting with brides on weekends to research past events and clients.  The extended time took away from time in the gym a few days a week and I adjusted as needed, my meet-up experiences dwindled down to once a week MAYBE but I hadn’t even had a chance to meet anyone yet anyway.  I started coming to work earlier and having to stay later.  8-9pm nights became regular and Saturdays were normal.  I was getting cardio done first thing in the morning at 5am to get to work my 7am and the lifting after I left work.   My plans for exploring Phoenix, Sedona, Jerome and going to L.A. or Vegas had to take a back seat because I needed to do well at this job.  Eventually, I was able to squeeze a one week vacation to see my family since the busy season was coming up at the hotel and I wouldn’t be able to see them again until after the summer.  So we went to Mexico in January, of course I had to hit the ground running after vacation and things just seemed to fall apart after that.

My boss sat me down and told me that I was not making my numbers in Sales.  She said that I had 7 weeks to make my numbers or I was going to be up for termination.  I couldn’t be fired!  I had never been fired in my life for anything.  So I needed to do better.  I needed to work even HARDER!  I focused on trying the best I could to sell during the day and evenings were left for event details and work catch-up.

Despite what most people may think, sales is NOT one of my strengths.  I hate the feeling of “soliciting” to people and the slimy feeling I get for talking to to people knowing that there is an ulterior motive.  Sure, I can talk to anyone…but it’s because I just want to talk to them…not because I need to try to sell them something or need to butter them up before dropping the proverbial bomb on them.  Despite this weakness, I did everything I thought I could to sell.  I stayed at work late into the night, started missing workouts, decided to postpone my show to March to give me some more time, and kept grinding.  My book would have to wait.

I was told that I could no longer bring my food into my office because the smell was offensive so I would miss meals due to not wanting to be away from my desk for too long.  I would stay at my desk through the night, leave at 3 or 4am to do some cardio and get a lift in, take a nap in my car or change quickly after a quick shower in the gym and go right back to work.  I would spend weekends working on details, meeting with brides who could never meet during the week and being available for people who just walked-in off the street wanting to see meeting space for an event (it happens ALL the time).  Meal preps started happening late Sunday nights into Monday mornings just to get them done.  I started making little mistakes at work that would impact my events, my co-workers were getting annoyed with what they assumed were my careless errors.  My boss decided to have me sell corporate meetings as well as social events as well as do the event management for all of them.  I was having trouble juggling social clients as it was.  I was getting angry phone calls from brides I forgot to email back right away about their wedding over a year away, I was getting angry emails from people who I didn’t get a discounted rate for or wanted to argue about a contract…I was becoming overwhelmed, negative and bitter.  I could feel myself being sucked into this whirlwind of stink and stress.

I stopped answering my phone when my friends called.  I had nothing good or positive to tell them because all I was doing was working.  My family couldn’t get a hold of me, I stopped posting on social media and stopped trying to inspire and motivate others because I was barely keeping my own head above water.  My body wasn’t making progress into this show and I was becoming so disappointed with myself for not just sucking it up and staying up all night just to get done what I needed to get done.  After a few weeks of this, I had to meet with my boss again to “follow-up” on what I was doing.  I still wasn’t making my numbers and she gave me a tongue lashing on why she didn’t understand why I has having such a hard time with this job, why wasn’t I able to just make sales and that I would have to figure it out because she was getting tired of defending me to upper management.

That night I had my first panic attack.  I was driving home from the gym at 1am and I couldn’t take a deep breath.  My chest started to feel tight, my body started to sweat and my hands were shaking against the steering wheel.  My chest started getting tighter and tighter, I couldn’t breathe and even shallow breaths were more like gasps.  I had to pull-over and just calm-down.  I didn’t have time for this.  I have a show to prep for, I have a job I need to do and I have a family that i need to make proud of me, people who look up to me…I NEED to keep pushing it and I NEED to do this job and this show.

The deadline on my exam was drawing near and although I wasn’t taking a lunch break, I would have to take 10-20 minutes to read during “lunch” since I was having to eat in my car, I just brought my book with me to study…I can’t lie to you…the only other time I could read was in the bathroom.  Hey, I gotta do what I gotta do.  I made more changes in my prep plan because I wasn’t making progress.  I was posing as much as I could, I didn’t even have a chance to get a suit or even time to make a routine.  I kept telling myself, “on my next day off.” But that day off never came so I just put it to the side.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was a meeting with our top managers.  We go over our employee satisfaction survey responses.  No one really wants to say anything in those meetings but at the end I wanted to chime in.  “I know we all have our days and our quirks, but I just wanted you to know that I enjoy it here, I like being here and I think this is a great resort.”  To that the manager responded, “That’s great and we appreciate that but we really need you to focus on booking some business.”

It hit me…what the HELL was I doing?  Why was I doing this to myself?  I’m not good at this job…I’m not good at following the rules or fitting into a mold, an expectation to behave a certain way and be a certain way and speak a certain way.  I have given EVERYTHING to this job and what did I have to show for it?  A bad attitude,  a negative and cynical outlook that has replaced all of the amazing qualities that I had spent so many years building, an exhausted body, and a count down to a show I didn’t even think I would be ready for (which I eventually had to take down because it wasn’t ‘professional’).

Maybe there are some people who are meant for this job.  I’m SURE there are people out there who LIVE for this kind of job…but it’s not me.  The negativity of people, the physical, emotional and soul draining nature of the business just isn’t for me. If I’m going to bust my ass like this and lose sleep, sacrifice EVERYTHING I have, give up time with my family, my friends and time away from the things I love and am most passionate about…it’s going to be for something I am EXCITED to do.  Something I am MEANT to do.  I didn’t go through this HUGE life change to be someone’s punching bag, I didn’t spend years changing my life and learning everything I have learned through studying, trial and error and asking questions like a pecking bird just to be another number behind another computer booking another meeting in another hotel.  I’m meant to do something INCREDIBLE, I’m meant to change peoples lives and change the WORLD.  I’m meant to be more than just a number on a spreadsheet.  How am I supposed to do incredible things when all I do is bitch and moan about this job?   Nothing will EVER change if I don’t change it.

So you know what?  I QUIT!

I have NO back up plan, I have NO back-up job and no prospects in the very near future…and you know what?  It’s far less stressful than knowing you are going to work your ass off and still not work hard enough for the suits at Corporate.  I’ve known what I was born to do for a few years.  Maybe that’s why my tolerance for doing something that wasn’t what I know I want to do was so much lower than it has been over the years.  I am MEANT to be a lifestyle coach.  I am meant to be a motivator and voice of inspiration and courage and determination.  I went through this experience and this journey with bariatric surgery and fitness and lifestyle change and health so that I can help OTHERS make the same journey and support them along the way.  I was born with this unique, outgoing and crazy personality so I can be the voice of joy, encouragement and humor in fitness and health. No one should EVER have to go through the process of making a lifestyle change alone and it’s my goal to make sure they never have to.  It may take me YEARS to build my business…it may take years of sleepless nights, of never leaving my desk of working my ass off and not making my numbers…but it’s for MY DREAM.  MY PURPOSE. To me…THAT will always be worth it.

Things happen for a reason.  Maybe this WHOLE experience was what I needed to realize that I just wasn’t meant to be in corporate america.  I needed to lose EVERYTHING and smash my face into rock bottom to finally realize that I need to build my OWN business, my OWN venture and change lives… not just make numbers for someone else’s dream.

There is some bad news and there is some good news that comes with the most recent decision to quit.

Bad News #1- I will be leaving Phoenix.

Good News #2- I am lucky enough to have an incredible family that I can go back home to in Chicago, to live and spend time with while I build my new life and new venture.

Bad News #B- My body just wasn’t ready for this show, one week out from the show I had to make the painful decision that this just wasn’t my show.  Everything was working against me during this prep and was was just stubborn to keep going this far.  Add to that that the show had to get rid of my category…it just wasn’t meant to be.  I learned a LOT from this prep.  I know what I’m made of and I learned what I need to do for the next prep in terms of balance, commitment and focus.  I originally was disappointed in myself for being a quitter…I saw myself a quitting something that I had worked SO hard for and literally given everything I had left into.  But again…things happen for a reason.  I couldn’t get on that stage knowing that I don’t look my best.  I didn’t feel like I deserved to be on that stage knowing that I was going to get a free trophy for being the only one in my category.  I want to COMPETE.  I want to know that I’m the best physique on that stage and I want to EARN that trophy.  I’m comfortable with the decision not to compete this year.  There will always be shows in the future and I am GOING to compete.  I’m going to the Natural Olympia one day… just watch.


AMAZING NEWS #2.5- I have an INCREDIBLE opportunity at the end of March to film a video for Bodybuilding.com.  They are flying me out to Boise for filming and doing a feature on my transformation and will also be flying out my mom for the shoot!  HOW AMAZING IS THAT!? So prep isn’t over my friends…. I’m still busting my ass so I look FIERCE for this shoot!

AMAZING NEWS #3- I can FINALLY breathe.  I haven’t felt this feeling in a long time…just…happy.  I feel like I can be myself again, I feel like I had been held under water for the last 6 months and struggling to just take a breath and get my head above water.  The moment I walked out of that door…I took a deep breath and couldn’t stop smiling because now…NOW starts the adventure…NOW begins the new chapter of my life.  I’ve never been more excited and terrified in my life.