What’s your Achilles’ heel? Mine is Anxiety


Honesty time.

Anxiety is my Achilles’ heel. Meaning? There’s nothing that can trip me up, pull me ten steps back, and completely derail my health goals faster than a bout of anxiety. I’ve tried so many things over the years to manage my anxiety to make real progress, but some things in life are big, and no matter what self-care, breathing exercises, and positive thinking skills I employ, there is just real anxiety that is a lot to contend with.

For me, the stress and anxiety of pregnancy… and pregnancy loss have sent me like a yo-yo through good times and rough times when I can’t seem to pull myself forward. It’s been about 3 months since my last loss and for the most part, I’m doing okay. I’ve even had some really great bursts of anxiety free energy! I finished a full round of the 21 Day Fix Extreme and lost 9 lbs and 8.5 inches, more importantly I was feeling STRONG, HEALTHY, and POWERFUL in my body. It was amazing to feel such ownership of my body again after the alienating feeling of betrayal and confusion following another miscarriage. But, I’m human.

I may have AMAZING tools at my disposal for managing my anxiety and staying on track physically… but I’m still healing and I’m still figuring things out. In this second round of the 21DFX, I haven’t been doing very well. I’ll admit it. My mind isn’t in the game this round. We’ve made so many big changes in our lives since April, losing the baby, moving across the country back to my hometown, changing our work situations (I now work from home full-time), and all the costs and challenges that these things bring… I think it’s all starting to catch up to me all at once and it’s been rough.

I know that the stressful times are a great test for any lifestyle change. If it doesn’t work for you even through the worst of times, is it really a lifestyle change or is it just a diet? I’m finding that for me, right now, I’m so grateful to have found my Beachbody family. I may not be making perfect progress at the moment, but I’m still moving forward, and doing so is one thing that can help me with my anxiety. Every time I force myself to press play, or at least get up and go for a walk outside so that I can participate in my accountability group, it helps lighten my mood. It helps give me even just the slightest lift so that I can see out of my anxiety haze. Knowing I have challengers watching and relying on me to be an example and a motivator helps me manage the urge to eat my emotions. I may not be making perfect progress every month, but I’m living my real story and being honest as I go.

I’m grateful that with Beachbody I have a ton of options to choose from, and even though right now my anxiety is too much and I am not up for pressing play on a hardcore boot camp style workout everyday, I’m grateful for the light-hearted options that allow me to workout with less pressure and lower impact. Sometimes all you need is a good dance, a little laugh, and to just get moving.

So, my weight loss story may be a little up and down, my ‘after’ photo may still look like a ‘before’, but I’m so proud of how far I’ve come in managing my hard times. I’m proud that despite wanting nothing more than to curl up in a ball under the covers, this community has pushed me to be the kind of person who gets up and gets moving.

So, despite my Achilles’ Heel, I’m finding ways to keep moving forward.

This got me thinking, for many of us who struggle with our weight and our fitness, there is something that trips us up and keeps us from successfully making the lifestyle changes necessary to allow progress to happen. But, if we are able to identify our greatest weakness. If we are able to figure out what triggers our self-destructive behaviors, maybe we can prepare ourselves to confront them more effectively.

Knowing what sets you off course means you can plan ways to try to keep the negative cycle from continuing.

For me, when my anxiety runs high and I want to hide and eat everything, the number one thing I need to do on those days is to get up and get moving. If it’s not my workout video, than it needs to at least be a walk outside. By breaking the downward spiral, often, I can start to pull myself back up.

On that note, time to go press play.

Country Heat Challenge Packs!


It’s Here!!!! The Country Heat Challenge Packs are live and available EXCLUSIVELY to Team Beachbody. 

I’m so excited to try all 30 days of this program. After 21 Day Fix Extreme I’m ready for some fun, boot scootin’, low impact fitness. 

So, you might be wondering “What’s in a Challenge Pack?” 

You get everything you need to get your best results:

  • Your first 30-day supply of Shakeology—the superfood supplement shake with dense nutrition to help support weight loss, healthy energy levels, and reduced cravings—delivered on Home Direct (monthly shipments)
  • The Country Heat program, featuring 6 workouts on 3 DVDs, a set of 7 portion-control containers, a Shakeology shaker cup, and the Country Heat Eating Plan to help you achieve your weight-loss goals.
  • A FREE 30-day trial membership to the Team Beachbody® Club, so you can start streaming Country Heat workouts on Beachbody On Demand, and hundreds of other proven Beachbody workouts, plus find all the support you need to succeed in your challenge. After your 30-Day Trial Membership is up, you will be billed quarterly for Club Membership, which you may cancel at any time. (OR- ask me about annual payment for HUGE SAVINGS).
  • ME AS YOUR COACH! The best part of Beachbody programs is that you can get them through Beachbody Coaches- your own personal cheerleader and support team. I’ll be there to push you, help you trouble shoot and guide you to your fitness goals. I want nothing more than to see you succeed and I’d be honored to help you do so! 


You have a few options to get started:

  • Country Heat Challenge Pack
  • Country Heat Kickstart Challenge Pack (comes with everything listed above PLUS- 3-Day Refresh Kit to kick-start your weight loss, break the cycle of unhealthy eating, and visibly lose 3–5 pounds in just 3 days!)
  • Sign up to be a Coach and SAVE MONEY EVERY MONTH on your Shakeology Home Direct order and get 25% off future product purchases. Just select Country Heat as your challenge pack purchase as you sign up! 

Pick your poison, and send me a friend request so that I can add you to my COUNTRY HEAT CHALLENGE GROUP kicking off soon!! 

Need help deciding? I’m available to chat! Send me a message or comment below with the best way to contact you and I’ll be in touch!! 

Yummy (healthy) 4th of July Snack

Happy 4th of July y’all! Well, almost… I tend to get in the patriotic mood a little early since Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. It’s always packed with sunshine, fun, and all the best that summer brings. … Continue reading

Big Changes Part 3: Getting Some Answers

Before we moved, before we miscarried, I had done my research and found a GREAT OB to provide my prenatal care once we were to arrive in California. I was super excited to work with my new doctor after receiving countless recommendations from women who had delivered with him. My 12 week appointment was scheduled for our first week in town and after I miscarried I decided to keep the appointment for follow-up and planning for future pregnancies. I’m so glad I did.

My new doctor listened to my pregnancy history– my first miscarriage, the challenges we faced with Ziva’s pregnancy, and this most recent miscarriage. Generally the medical establishment look at early miscarriages as bad luck until there are 3 or more in a row without live births in between. But this new doctor really listened, and he decided that despite my not having had 3 successive miscarriages without a live birth in between, he felt there was reason enough to do some blood tests to take a look at why I may be experiencing recurrent miscarriages. I’m so glad he did.

I went in and had my blood drawn right away and waited till after my next cycle to go back to meet with the doc for my results. I fully expected and was bracing myself to hear that there was no explanation, nothing unusual with my results, and no potential explanation for why my babies keep miscarrying. I’ve never been so relieve to find out there was a problem. I mean, usually a positive test for a medical test isn’t a good thing… but in this case it meant answers. It means I may be able to do something about my recurrent miscarriages and POSSIBLY avoid losing another baby when we decide we’re ready to try again. I can’t imagine a more hopeful result.

Of the handful of tests they ran on my blood I received 2 positive results.

I received an ANA result (Antinuclear-Antibodies) that was positive. I don’t know a ton about this test and I wonder if it could be caused by my Psoriasis, which is an inflammatory autoimmune condition. The doctor wants to retest me for this in a month because it has a high false-positive rate. He did not make any treatment recommendations based on this test. You can read more about ANA here- http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Antinuclear-Antibodies-ANA

The second thing that came back positive was MTHFR. I won’t even attempt at explaining it myself, I’ll let my doctor do that:

What Is MTHFR?

MTHFR (5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase – what a mouthful…) is a specific gene found on a specific chromosome within every cell in every person The MTHFR gene produces an enzyme responsible for a multi-step process that converts the amino acid homocysteine to another amino acid, methionine. Specifically, MTHFR irreversibly reduces 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate.  5-methyltetrahydrofolate is ultimately converted to methionine to make proteins and other important compounds. When the MTHFR enzyme “malfunctions” the process gets backed up, so that homocysteine (considered to be somewhat of a toxic amino acid) levels increase.  Elevated homocysteine can cause inflammation in blood vessels and increases the risk of microscopic clot formation.”

(From http://www.stephenwellsmd.com/mthfr.htm)

This is the test that gives me hope. There are treatment options available that may reduce the likelihood of miscarrying due to this condition.

There’s something I can do.

There’s something I can do.

No words are sweeter to a mom who’s lost multiple babies (or even just one). No hope greater than learning there may be something you can do to keep it from happening again.

My doctor recommended that whenever we decide we’re open to becoming pregnant again, or if there is a possibility I will become pregnant, I should start taking a low-dose aspirin daily.

Just one little pill.

Hopefully this is the first step towards our next baby sticking around for the long haul. I cannot tell you what a relief it is to know that there is hope, if even just a small glimmer, there is a little bit of hope that maybe we won’t have to go through an early pregnancy loss again.

May it be so.

 

* This is not meant to be medical advice to anyone. I am just sharing my own experience and what I believe my doctor told me to do for my health. Please consult your own physician before taking anything.

Big Changes Part 2: California, Here We Come!

So, what did I do after miscarrying my third pregnancy (If you’re just tuning in, check out part 1 Here to get cought up)? I spent 2 weeks hold up in our Ann Arbor apartment frantically packing everything we own and … Continue reading

Big Changes Part 1: Cross country move, miscarriage and answers

Whew. We did it!

We successfully moved across the country with a 15 month old, dog, and household of stuff. It’s been an incredibly hard, exhausting, exciting, and challenging spring so far and I don’t even know where to begin. So, I’ll just jump on in. This could get long, so I’m going to break it up into a 3 part series. You can read Part 2 and 3 Here and Here.

Pregnancy and Miscarriage

Positive Test_ReadySetSarahBlog

We found out in early March that we were expecting baby #2! We were THRILLED! I always wanted my kids close together and I wanted to start working on #2 just in case we experienced any trouble (like the first pregnancy which ended in a miscarriage at 12 weeks). The timing was a bit insane, since we were prepping for a cross-country move May 7th, but we couldn’t wait to show up in California with a little stowaway! Well, things didn’t go as planned… do they ever?

First, at what we calculated to be our 8 week appointment (based on my last period), the baby was only measuring 5 weeks. Strange… but our dates could very well have been off since my cycle was nowhere near regular yet. Then, a week later we went back to find a 6 week baby with a little steady heartbeat! A bit slow, but the Doc figured it was just getting going.

Heartbeat_ReadySetSarahBlog

Baby’s heartbeat.

Whew, it felt like we were in the clear and everything from there on out would be the (relatively) uneventful, smooth, and healthy pregnancy I’d always dreamed of… then I saw the tiniest bit of blood the Friday before what would be our  8 week appointment (based on the new dates adjusted at the first appointment). Okay, I’ve spotted with both my previous pregnancies…. those went 50/50, miscarriage/live birth. I trusted my gut and got in that day to have the baby checked.

The baby’s heartbeat was gone. It had stopped developing sometime in the 6th week after we saw it last.

This couldn’t be happening.

I was in shock, disbelief, numb.

Another miscarriage.

Why?

All our plans for another little November baby (like the first we miscarried which was due Nov 2nd, this baby’s adjusted due date was November 15th) were crushed. It took 3 weeks of bleeding before I finally miscarried fully. I had worked from home for a week waiting to pass the baby, but ended up miscarrying in the office on my last day before leaving for our big move to California. April 23rd. Almost exactly 2 years after I miscarried my first baby.

I Love You Forever_ReadySetSarahBlog

I packed away our Sister Bear and Baby bear shirts along with my hopes and dreams for these little siblings who would grow up so close in age. I pushed down the excitement for seeing Ziva as a big sister. I forced myself to see the silver linings this time around. At least I wouldn’t be having morning sickness and fatigue as I packed for the big move, at least I’d be able to lift things, at least, at least, at least…

I promise you, there was and is no silver lining that makes pregnancy loss of a wanted baby feel okay. There’s no silver lining good enough to replace the weight of a newborn in your arms, the kicks of a little growing baby, the joy of their first smiles, the love, the person they become. There just isn’t.

At least this time I had Ziva. At least this time I could hold her and find joy in her as she grows and changes… at least this time I know that I can survive, and life will go on, and eventually the sharpness of the pain dulls.

At least I was preparing to move back home where I could be close with my family and have a wide network of support for whatever the future holds. Our little family of 3 (4 with doggy Brinkley) would continue and move forward and move on, missing one more little angel.

5 Reason why I LOVE being a coach


Why do I love being a coach?

1) Motivation. Knowing I have a team and clients to be accountable to keeps me on my game. I have to lead by example!

2) Friendship. The say your vibe attracts your tribe and it’s so true. The women on our team and the clients we help are such driven, giving people. They are people who are taking charge in their own lives and genuinely want to help others improve their health and overall well-being. Which leads to…

3) Helping people. That is the core of what a being a Beachbody coach is all about. We help people find a way to take charge of their health physically, which usually spreads into wellness in other areas of their lives. And the company itself is always giving back to the community in one way or another. Just in the month of January we helped raise TONS of money for Upward Bound House in Santa Monica to help get homeless families into housing for the year.

4) It’s not sales. When you’re offering a product and system you believe in, it becomes more than just sales. When someone does buy a Challenge pack or program, that isn’t the end of the deal. What you buy when you buy from a coach is a support system, cheerleader, troubleshooter, and motivator. We are here to help make sure you stay on your path to wellness and to ensure that you have the most success possible When I offer the Beachbody opportunity to my friends and family, I’m offering them a solution that I truly believe in. I’m offering products that have made my own life better. I don’t want to keep this to myself!

5) Extra Income. Long before I started with Beachbody I followed coaches on social media who inspired me. I found their lifestyles appealing and was inspired by their dedication to a healthy lifestyle and the freedom that coaching provided them. For some the financial freedom allows them to be full-time Work-at-home moms, for others it allows them the freedom to travel the world and explore the great outdoors. For me, it’s a little extra spending money. Whatever your goals are when you start a Beachbody business, it’s an awesome opportunity that can (with hard work, consistency and talent) give you the freedom to build a life of your own design.

If you’re curious what Beachbody coaching is all about I invite you to join my team this week in a private Sneak Peak into Coaching Facebook group. We have an amazing team and if you are interested in working from home and love health and fitness this just might be the gig for you too. If you’re curious about this whole coaching gig, send me a message here and I’ll get in touch! 

Sign me up for the 5 Day Sneak Peak!

5 weeks until…

Ziva Turns 1! 

10 months and 3 weeks done. Just like that, she’s almost 1. How did it go this fast?! While I’ve been busy working on my squats and side lunges, this little peach has been working on her walking skills. Any day now and she’ll be walking up and asking for what she wants LIKE A REAL BIG KID! Mind. Blown.

So, with that said I’ll share that the birthday planning has commenced! I always loved picking a theme for my birthdays as a child and I’ll admit this is something I’ve looked forward to doing with my own child for a long time. Of course, she doesn’t have much to say about things just yet… But that hasn’t stopped me!

I’d been debating between a rainbow  theme and a strawberry theme. I love what the rainbow represents (she is after all, our rainbow baby), and she brings us so much joy that the bright colors felt appropriate. But when it comes to Ziva’s sometimes blonde, sometimes strawberry-reddish hair and her berry-sweet cuteness (don’t let the saccharine sentiment gag you), I ultimately decided a “Berry 1st Birthday” is the one for her. 
So, after scouring Etsy, Pinterest, Amazon, and Oriental Trading Company, we have a theme!