Psst… I’ll Tell You A Secret

Psst… I’ll Tell You A Secret

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When Deb and I sat down on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, to begin our most recent round of coaching, she immediately tasked me with re-creating my “bucket list.”  This was a list of 30 things that I wanted to do, be, or have in my life.  The list could consist of ANYTHING – from huge, Level 1 goals like solving the healthcare crisis in America to super-simple Level 3 goals like getting a new pair of sunglasses.  I had the entire world of options at my disposal.  I came back to session #2 with my list of 30 things and proudly read it to Deb. Like most of our clients, I quickly discovered, much to my dismay, that my list was, in fact, composed of a bunch of very rhetorical statements that I had absolutely no emotional attachment to. Damn!

So, I went back to the drawing board. I started asking myself the hard questions:

  • What do I really want?
  • How do I want to send my days?
  • What feeds my soul?
  • What things/people/events/opportunities will help me live a joyous and fulfilled life?
  • What is my PURPOSE?

So, at session #3 I present Bucket List 2.0, and although I didn’t know “HOW” a lot of that list would ever transpire, I just knew that I wanted them.

Last week, without any warning whatsoever, TWO of my Top 5 Bucket List items fell into my lap.

Anyone who has read more than 3 of my blog posts knows that I have a great affection and respect for my friend, one of the people who inspired me to start training for triathlon, Meredith Atwood.  One of my top 5 bucket list items was to collaborate with her on a program.  I didn’t know what kind of program or what the topic would be. We had kicked the tires on some concepts before, but she is always going Mach 5 with her hair on fire and the timing just wasn’t right; however, it continued to be a goal, albeit a longer-term goal.

Another of my Top 5 bucket list items was to spend my days “playing” on social media and actually get paid to do it!

So, imagine my surprise and delight when I received an email from Meredith last week that started off, “Hey lady! So. I have been marinating on a new program, and I wanted to see if you and Deb might want to be involved with.”



And guess what?  The platform of the program is Facebook-based, so I will indeed be spending my days “playing” on social media!

So, this brings me to the distinction between “allowing” and “forcing.” We have to ALLOW the things we want to come to us and know that if they are based in love and are in alignment with our values and our purpose, they WILL come – they might just not come on our timetable or exactly in the way we first envision them.  When we try to FORCE an outcome and exert our will, the outcome is generally not what we hoped it would be.

Now, what is this new program?  It’s called “Your Brave Mind” and you can read more about it here and here. And it’s going to be amazing!

In a nutshell, Your Brave Mind will be a series of online events (hosted on Facebook) that will each cover a different topic in the area of mental toughness.  The first event is on the bully in your brain! Cool huh?

The bully is that little voice that speaks to you whenever you try to step outside of ​the box​, tackle new challenges,​ ​or​ make a ​significant ​change in your life. Everyone has​ tha​t voice, it’s just that some bullies are much louder and meaner than others. In only 5 days you will gain the awareness​ (and tools)​ you need to tame the bully in your brain​. You will discover:

  • What​ (or who?)​ the bully is
  • Why listening to the bully is the absolute worst thing we can do if we want to change an area of our life
  • How the bully got its voice
  • Why the bully is so mean
  • Why making the decision to change will never be enough
  • How to actually change the conversation with the bully in your brain

If you have ever struggled with the mean girl/guy in your head who tells you that you are terrible or that you can’t do something, etc., then this program is for you! Come join us!

  • Cost:  $24.97
  • Forum: Online group coaching via a closed Facebook Group
  • Duration:  5 Days
  • Starts:  Monday, May 8th

Register Now!


I can’t wait to get started!  🙂

Happy Coach-iversary!!

COACHIVERSARYI’m back from a fantastic (and somewhat painful) vacation in Key West that I will post all about shortly, but today is a very special day!  It’s Deb and my 6 year “coach-iversary!”  And THAT is a day that I celebrate even more than my own birthday – it is truly the day that changed my entire life.

Deb Cheslow and I met through my son’s karate school where she was an instructor.  Of course, she was also a coach… Not an athletic coach (although she would be amazing at that too I am sure), but a “mind coach.”  I didn’t really know or understand what she did for a living when I invited her for coffee that day back in February, 2010, but I did know 3 things:

  1. Deb was my age and was in the best shape of anyone I knew – and I wanted to learn how she did it…
  2. Deb was one of the most “together” people I had ever met in my life – and I was falling apart and I wanted to learn how she did it…
  3. I really liked her and wanted to be her friend.

So, I invited her for coffee one Sunday afternoon – February 21, 2010.  We met at a Starbucks in Christiansburg, VA and we started talking.  And we talked, and we talked, and we talked.

She asked me about myself and I threw up all over her (figuratively).

7-changeI poured out my entire life on the table – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I took off the mask that I put on for the rest of the world and told her everything.

… the seemingly unrecoverable financial mess of my life

… the inevitable bankruptcy that was looming

… the dead-end job I was stuck in

… the failing marriage I was stuck in

… the abusive, dysfunctional relationship between my husband and me

… the near-daily bottle of wine consumed to escape it all

… the self-loathing I felt every minute of every day

… the unworthiness I felt every second

… how I would watch my son sleep at night and cry because i did not feel deserving of such a precious gift

… the desperation I felt to get my shit together for my son, if not for myself

She listened.  She listened for hours.  She asked a few questions here and there for clarification, but mostly she just listened.  And when I was finished, she smiled and she said she could help me.  And I believed her… I trusted her.

Then it was her turn.  She talked to me for a long time and explained how most people perpetuate the crap that occurs in their lives with their thoughts… how most people allow their feelings to control their thoughts, which sets up an never-ending downward spiral of more and more crap.  It’s more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it.

bobs stick figureShe drew “the stickman” on a napkin (how I wish I had saved that napkin) and explained it all to me.

I gotta be honest, when she drew the “hangman” dude and told me it would change my life, I almost got up and left.

By the end of our meeting, I was certain that the key to a better future lay in the things I would learn from Deb Cheslow.  I could not afford to hire her as my coach, but I couldn’t afford not to either.  So I did.  It was – without any hesitation or doubt – the best investment I have EVER made!

I met with her for an hour or so every week.  I diligently did my homework and applied the principles I was learning.  I got up early and stayed up late to work on myself.  I noticed a change almost immediately.  I felt better.  I started changing my behaviors, especially my eating, exercising, and drinking behaviors.

A month later my marriage came to an abrupt end.  Deb was there for Josh and me.  And she’s been there every day for the last 6 years.  During that time, I have accomplished things I never even dreamed were possible.

  • I became financially responsible
  • I paid off a mountain of debt (just one more to go – thanks for your patience, Mom)
  • I bought half of Deb’s consulting company
  • I’ve written and published 3 books
  • I earned my blackbelt in karate
  • I got in great shape and compete in triathlons now
  • I am HAPPY
  • I have the coolest kid on the planet for a son and he is as proud of me as I am of him
  • I haven’t had a glass of wine in almost 3 years (I enjoy a beer occasionally, but I avoid the trigger of drinking wine)
  • I get to go out and do what I love each and every day
  • I co-founded a non-profit corporation to help end domestic and family violence – WHAT???
  • And so much more

And when the going got tough (and it ALWAYS got tough), Deb was there as my partner and my friend, but more importantly, as my COACH.  She held my feet to the fire.  She never let me quit or give up on myself.  She pushes me right to the edge of the big, scary cliff and says “JUMP!” She believes I can do ANYTHING, and so, I hold onto her belief in me when I don’t believe in myself, and I jump and I learn how to fly on the way down.

So when I celebrate my Coach-iversary, it is a VERY serious matter.  It is a celebration of the day that someone listened to the trainwreck that was my life back in 2010 and held out a helping hand.  It is a celebration of the day I took back my life and started the creation of something very, very special!

Happy Coach-iversary, Deb!  I love you!


I’m Ready…

Wow, what a whirlwind the past week has been!

Work has been a series of jumping from one event to the next and preparing for upcoming events, and taking steps toward the announcement of a HUGE initiative by our company (Shhhh, can’t talk about it yet, but rest assured I will spill it all very soon).

So sadly, personal blogging had to take a back seat to the work that actually pays the bills.

My training schedule last week as ALL OVER THE PLACE!!!  I was getting up at 4:30 a.m. to jump on the bike trainer just to get in any workout at all, and my training runs that Coach Pam scheduled were stacking up at the end of the week.

On Friday night, I got the text I was dreading from Coach Pam…


I immediately felt a huge amount of guilt for reworking her training plan.

I hadn’t even completed my long run of the week (10 miles) – UGH, I was a bad mentee!!!

Saturday morning I woke up at 3:30 a.m. so I could get a pile of work done before my run and then taking my son to his swim meet  The first thing I did was email Coach Pam:

Thanks for the text last night.  This week has been – hmmm, how to put it – challenging!!

We are in a period of incredible growth in our business, which is awesome and pretty amazing, but it comes at the price of time to do what I want when I want.  It has definitely been a “nose to the grindstone” kind of week that has had me up wicked early every day to even get a workout in at all.

Soooooo, I’ve needed to flex and flow a bit..

Monday:  Still sore from Saturday’s 14 miles, I opted to do 10 mi on the elliptical – it felt fine.
Tuesday:  Upper body strength and karate
Wednesday:  1 hour hard aerobic on bike trainer
Thursday:  Off (Deb’s Birthday)
Friday:  30 minute sprint on bike trainer
Saturday:  Running 10 miles (Wednesday’s scheduled workout – will let you know how it goes)
Sunday:  5 miles – hard intervals with easy jog during “walk” breaks (Friday’s workout)

I owe you a brick!!! 🙂

At 7am I headed out for my 10 mile, negative split run.  It was hard, but at the end I was pretty sure I could have managed 3.1 miles more.

10-mile-splitIt was a good run, but I was still dreading Coach Pam’s response to my “massive justification” email (yes, yes, I know, I’m on Day 4 :p )

I was not prepared for what I found on social media…

pam-fbSeriously?  How freaking awesome is she?  I am not even kidding!!

So, here I sit 12 days out from my first ever half marathon and I know that I am ready.  I can do the distance.  My run has quantum leaped in the past few weeks.  I have a long way to go to  reach my ultimate goals, but I am pretty darned tickled with how far I have come since November.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I received the following email:

Subject:  Ready to go!

Thank you for being so coachable…

I got your other message – challenging week, time pressed and you are doing great – slightly re-routing the schedule is fine… cause here is the deal – you are trained – everything from here out is to keep you focused and confident.  I know you understand that, but you will worry anyway if you don’t keep moving.

Keep me posted – you are an absolute champion.  Congratulations in advance for your enormous success.

Your imagineering assignment now is to race that race over and over and over… each mile enjoying the negative splits.  Being patient hearing the crowd, seeing the smiles, watching the great stories of courage and determination.. seeing the finish line clock with the number that you want to see – not the one you know you can do… the real one you want to see.  🙂

You have to believe it to see it.  Your thoughts determine your destiny.  Imagineer the results you dream of.


You just HAVE to love it when your coach throws your own words back at you.

I’m ready… I just want to go, go, GO!!!  12 days!

A New Chapter

got-coachI am so excited to announce that I am entering a new chapter in my health and fitness journey – I hired a coach!!

Now, Deb and I talk about needing a coach to get you past all your own mental junk all the time – you need a coach in lots of different areas of your life – a business coach, a personal coach, a financial coach, a fitness coach, and on and on.

Up to now, Deb has been my coach in all of those areas.  She has gotten me past so many blocks that I never thought I would be able to move beyond.

Physically, she has coached me to the absolute best physical condition of my life and when it comes to mindset, martial arts, strength training and weightlifting, there is no one I trust more to help me progress in a safe manner, so she will always be my coach in those areas.

And then I found triathlon…

It’s an entirely different animal – 3 different sports, thrown together back to back.  The training is hard and constant, but I love it!

I followed online training programs to get me ready for my first sprint distance triathlon and then to start training for my first olympic distance tri…

…And then I got hurt.

Deb and I had a long talk about my goals.  I told her that I wanted to pursue triathlon.  I told her why.  She told ME that I needed to find a coach – someone who knew what they were doing and could assess ME and MY needs and customize a program to help me achieve my goals.

Deb has never competed in triathlon.  It’s not her goal.

And so, I ventured into an unknown and scary place for the first time since I began this journey 4 years ago – trust someone with my goals and my physical health who was not Deb.

The serendipity of the universe never ceases to amaze me.

Ironman Triathlete Pam Giese

Ironman Triathlete Pam Giese

The morning after Deb and I had this conversation, I was invited to a nutrition seminar.  The person leading the seminar is an accomplished triathlete and just happens to live here in Port Orange.  I looked at her website.  I read the testimonials from the people she has trained.  I understand her approach to fitness and nutrition – it makes sense to me.

I contacted her, we met and talked and I hired her.

You gotta have a coach!!  Someone who sees past all your own mental bullcrap and pushes you beyond what you could ever do on your own.  I am so fortunate to have TWO awesome coaches in my life now!

Random Thoughts

random-thoughts-1A friend of mine messaged me this weekend asking for some encouragement with her nutrition and exercise plan.

She wanted my thoughts on getting through the tough spots when life gets in the way.

I mulled her question over and jotted down some random thoughts, which I thought I would also share here:

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail:  I never leave my food intake to chance.  I plan a weekly menu for  six meals per day, I shop one time per week and that’s it.  The only time I play it free and loose is on a Free Day, because it just doesn’t matter.  But even then, I generally know what (if not when) I’m going to eat.

Put Your Menu on Auto-Pilot 5/6 of the Day:  You may not like this one, but it works great for me.  I am extremely busy and if I had to cook six from scratch meals every day I would lose my mind!  Each week I plan a breakfast, a mid-morning snack, a lunch, an afternoon snack and an evening snack – and I eat the same thing every day.  The only meal that varies is dinner – and even then I cook every other day in quantities that will feed us all dinner for 2 evenings.  My breakfast and evening snack are always the same – I have a meal replacement shake for breakfast and a protein shake before bed.  Mid-morning snacks are usually scrambled eggs and oatmeal or 2 hard-boiled eggs and some fruit – it’s fast and it tastes good!  Lunch is usually a salad with chicken or egg or tuna on top.  Mid-afternoon snack is normally an ounce of nuts and some more fruit.  It works for me and I like the food so I rarely get bored.  When I do, I change it up.

Track Your Food Intake and Exercise:  When I first started all this I found that I vastly underestimated my calories in and greatly overestimated my calories burned through exercise.  That, my friend, is a recipe for a bigger pair of jeans!  There are so many great free apps or online programs that will track both.  I use  I have also used’s My Plate feature and as well – all are great!!  Track your food and exercise, you may be surprised.

No Excuses:  Either you are going to do it or you’re not.  You have to own your results.  If you decide to sleep in instead of going for a run or hitting the gym – you have to take full responsibility for that decision.  And that doesn’t mean that sometimes sleeping in isn’t the BEST decision.  When you stop making excuses for your failings (and face it, we all fall down from time to time), it is suddenly not so easy to justify slack behavior.

Set Goals:  If you want to see improvement, there is nothing better than registering for an event that will stretch you outside your comfort zone.  I’ve done that over and over again and each time I get better.  Run a 5K or a half marathon, register for a triathlon or a cycling event, find a Meetup group that does what you like to do – the accountability that is built into following a training program is amazing!!

Hire a Coach:  If you’re doing all the above, seek out a coach – a nutritionist or a personal trainer that you really click with – and get their help designing your program.  I have a great wellness coach and she is amazing!  She sees beyond my logic and can spot holes in my plan that I never even thought of!

I hope this helps even if just a little bit!