Tuesday, April 26, 2011


That was AWESOME! Allergies were really bad by the time I got done with work tonight and I just wanted to sleep. I didn't, because I knew I'd be up all night if I closed my eyes as early as 7:00pm. It was of course, temping to "blow off" my workout, but as per usual, a very sweet Beachbody friend had sent me an invitation to work out in WOWY (the Beachbody virtual gym). As a result, and because I feel relatively bonded with these people at this point, I couldn't even consider skipping my workout. Now, you may think, "Geez Vawny! Why not just rest if you're feeling so tired? Isn't it unhealthy to push like that when your body's clearly tired?" My response to those of you pondering that question is a resounding "NO!" Not in this case. I've been doing this a long time now and I know when I'm truly sick and in need of rest, and when I'm struggling with my challenged immune system because it's spring, everything's in bloom, and it was hot and humid (already) today. Yes, I could succumb to the weather induced fatigue, but it becomes a never ending cycle of feeling worse and worse because I'm getting no exercise on top of everything else. My circulation slows, the allergic reaction doesn't move through me quickly, I become more bloated from lying around, as well as gain weight. All that to say that I actually get far sicker from letting the allergies run the show, so I do what I can do in terms of a workout as long as I MOVE and keep my metabolism moving the allergens through, and out of my body. I sleep better, I feel better in general and of course I'm not freaking out about my weight continuing to climb because I'm 51 years old and not doing any exercise. Am I happy that it's so challenging for me sometimes? Not particularly, no. I've had to guard against feeling sorry for myself right along with making sure I exercise almost daily--they go hand in hand. Is it worth it? You betcha! When I see others my age that aren't taking care of themselves through diet and exercise, they certainly aren't happier than I am--or happy period, for that matter. On the contrary, they tend to be downright miserable and in and out of the hospital with far more undiagnosable/fixable problems than I have.

Let’s face it--I'm 51. I'm a healthy 51 compared to most, but I'm not 25...or even 35 anymore, and that's ok! I don't have to try to be that age--only to work with what I have, what God gave me, and do the best I can. As a result, I feel good about me, good about my life, and hopeful for improvement--which by the way happens on a regular basis believe it or not! So hang in there, reach out for support. You're NOT unique--not where these issues are concerned, and there are plenty of others right here that wanna be there for you as well as NEED you to be there for them. Who wants to be alone in the end? Not me...

Thank you again for reading, supporting, caring; I'm eternally grateful to you all! : )

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


It never ceases to amaze me how much this kind of thing helps/works to keep me going--a bit like magic.. The funniest part is that I tend to fight it tooth and nail--ya know, the reaching out thing. Yes, even I struggle with that. But once I finally commit to it, get honest, and allow my humanity to show, it's like a thousand pounds is lifted—and that's because it is! Other people seem to take the weight for me with their encouragement--and support. Let me elaborate on the support aspect because for me, that's really the key. See, I really don't like being human to be honest. I'd actually prefer to be perfect, above it all, not "need" anyone. Sad, ‘ey? It’s very sad because that's the loneliest life possible. Once I let my guard down and say "HELP! I have chronic fatigue, food allergies, a crazy schedule, etc..," people come out of the woodwork to support me! AND they share their own struggles and humanity. I love how our struggles become our greatest bridge to friendship, intimacy and a feeling of belonging--a very cool and well thought out design, I might add.. ; )

I have such warm feelings for all of you who open your hearts and share with me, let alone support me. You're good good people and deserve to be acknowledged. As far as I'm concerned, I'm the richest woman in the world because my cup runneth over with outstanding people and their beautiful hearts. xo

Saturday, April 16, 2011




Just worked out in WOWY and I'm so grateful that I've been far more committed to recording my workouts here! Last week was AWESOME in terms of energy and I totally took advantage of it by pushing my workouts to the MAX! This week's not so good as far as my energy level goes, but that's ok and to be expected. I suffer from some chronic fatigue issues and have a very restrictive diet that helps a great deal. So I've managed my workouts this week, but not with the energy of last week, and I'm working hard to be ok with that. As a fitness lifer, it can be hard not to beat myself up for not doing more. I've learned, however, how important it is to listen to my body and allow it more recovery time than others may need. I'm careful not to compare myself to those who are achieving difficult goals at a much faster pace and I find that I actually do better with that attitude and make more progress in the long run. If I force myself to push when my body's telling me it's too much, I wind up with some illness that requires bed rest and frequently, antibiotics. My food is paramount to my health and fitness and my most difficult challenge. To this day I struggle with the restrictions that I need in order to keep things like migraines at bay--especially with the seasonal changes like spring and fall. Life is good overall though, I've learned how to cope and even manage many if not most of my symptoms. I'm generally a happy camper with two fantastically wonderful teenaged children and the greatest love I've ever had. Lucky me lucky me--a great career and lots of love! At 51 years old, I feel like life is just beginning!

Friday, March 11, 2011


I've been trying to sign into this account so that I could post my food and workouts--like I promised--and haven't been able to access it!! Good God that's frustrating.. Anyway, I'M IN!! So let me at least say that today, and most days since my last post, my food's been good.

Physically, life's been a challenge--but that's nothing new then is it? The last doc I went to decided I must have some obscure illness like Fibromyalgia, and proceeded to tell me he has no idea what to do with that. Yeeaahh.. back to square one--on my own with this stuff again. Oh well, it's not like I'm not used to it. If there's one thing I do know through all of this it's that there are some things that I CAN control and that it's pretty much up to me to do just that. Number one on that small list is my diet. Don't get me wrong--it's NOT easy. It's simple, but it's not easy to be pretty rigid with my food, especially in the good old US of A where eating and drinking alcohol are a favorite pastime. However, due to my lovely friends who happen to care and want some of the same things that I do, health in particular, helping them through posts of my progress AND struggles, I do pretty well. That is truly my secret, guys--by helping others, I help myself. So yeah, I guess it's a bit selfish technically, but it works and why fix what works, ey?

Today I've had my usual Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oats for breakfast. Didn't get extra protein in that meal, but had ground turkey and a sweet potato for an early lunch and a sweet pepper for in between lunch and dinner. I need to say here though, that that's not enough food, but I was running behind and didn't have enough prepared--oops! I know better. Dinner consisted of butternut squash with more ground turkey, and cabbage. I've had three 500 ml bottles of water (which puts me behind this late in the day..) and a diet coke (ahhh--my one sin). I'll eat a little more of the same between now and bedtime and I'll be doing about an hour long workout to include cardio and light weight training. Tomorrow, I'll work at increasing my protein in particular to support my muscles.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


It's been far too long since I've posted, but my personal training business is booming--and that's a good thing! Never the less, I continue to struggle with Chronic Fatigue due to allergies, Candidiasis, etc.., and I wanted to keep you posted-and me, accountable.

My diet is absolutely key in controlling my symptoms and when I'm not careful, I can suddenly find myself back to "hitting the wall" so to speak. It doesn't take much either, so I feel your pain regarding diet issues, whether it's due to food sensitivities, or simply trying to lose weight/fat. It's not easy to live in country where food and alcohol are major forms of recreation! Talk about not fitting in.. So, it's a bit lonely on the leading edge some days, but what I've found is that the longer I hold my ground and share my story, the more people come on board. Within ten minutes of discussing these issues, most people are fascinated...and relating to me. I can't tell you how many times A DAY, people say that they know exactly what I'm talking about in terms of the struggle to keep going, or to begin any kind of fitness program, let alone stick to it.

I'm choosing to be accountable to you here by letting you know what my diet is like. I'll do my best to report in daily--however, many days start with my first client at 6:30a.m. and my last one finishing at 8:00p.m. On days that I'm too tired to do anything but prepare my food and hit the sack, I may not report in until the next day.

Today I started with my usual--oatmeal with pure stevia, 500 ml of water, and believe it or not, 5 ounces of sirloin steak. When my energy is particularly low, I often eat red meat, which helps kick it up a little. I've learned that I sometimes need that. I had a cup of black coffee and plan to eat again soon (every 3 hours). I'll have another bottle of spring water, 5 oz. of protein, and 1 1/2 cups of raw or steamed veggies. Later I'll allow myself a sweet potato with the same quantities of protein and vegetables and water. I'll do this five to six times a day, depending on how long my day is.

Thanks for reading! Pursue health—spiritual, emotional, and physical, and the pursuit of happiness will no longer be a pursuit, but a reality!

Your pioneer in the pursuit of quality,


Saturday, February 5, 2011


Posted last March:
I just spent the last 45 minutes with my seventeen year old daughter talking about her body, or what she perceives as her "lack thereof" and I found myself wondering if we've gotten anywhere in the last few decades regarding this issue.

My absolutely beautiful teenaged daughter came into my room to show me how "hot" she looks in her new leather jacket. It was a sweet moment--she was feeling good about herself, as she should. She looked so good that I told her to put on her black boots so we could see how they looked together. She happily complied and came back looking like a super model--I'm not kidding. Other than the fact that she's not tall enough to be one, (I'm not even tall enough at 5' 71/2") she truly looked the part. We were both having fun enjoying the fact that she looked so good in her outfit when suddenly she began picking herself apart (something I did regularly at her age). Out of nowhere, she started telling me that she thought that there might be something wrong with her! My jaw dropped--where was this coming from?? Confession time…

She then proceeded to tell me that in sixth grade something happened that scared her so much that she never shared it with anyone. Something changed her--made her see herself as freakishly different--set her apart from all the other girls. Well, with mouth still agape, I awaited her recollection of the dread fateful incident, and what she told me was more than a little intriguing.

One day she had to visit the nurse's office at her middle school and on the wall of that office was a poster--of the stages of development for a female adolescent. “What could be so wrong with that?” you may wonder, as did I. Well, apparently, the poster depicted rather graphically specific and narrow parameters for said stages. And apparently, she didn’t identify herself on that poster--at all! Now, I know my daughter, and I know for a fact that there’s nothing wrong with the way she looks--on the contrary! All I could think was “My God! Have we made NO progress with regards to body image in this country? Why would such a poster be on the wall of a middle school nurse's office, considering the vast array of body shapes and sizes, especially in developing teens?

She was devastated by the poster--so much so, that she’s only now able to bring it up--at seventeen years of age and about to enter her senior year of high school.

We spent the rest of our time talking about how many other girls might have felt the same way when they looked at that poster that said they “should now be a 'B' cup" (among other things). What? And then we wondered how many of them were also too afraid to tell anyone that they “weren’t normal” because they weren’t on that poster. We talked about the fact that it’s damaging to have a poster like that up because it doesn’t take into account that the world is filled with diversity and that’s what makes it beautiful. And we talked about the fact that maybe she could go back there to see if it’s still up--and speak out about how adversely it's shaped her self image.

Look, getting fit helps you to be the most beautiful, vibrantly healthy you, you can be! If you’re struggling with hating the way you look because you don’t fit some image in a magazine, it’s time to fight back. Too much damage has been done over the years with such narrow minded, shallow garbage. This is about YOU loving YOU enough to take care of yourself! It’s about you loving your body because it’s yours--and it’s the only one you’ve got. Instead of buying into to that all or nothing craziness, join me in the revolution of loving yourself enough to be fit and healthy--because being healthy and loving yourself, is ALWAYS enough.