February 15, 2019

This Is Going To Be Dope!

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:03 am by Broken & Brave

Why Can’t I Get Motivated?

This may be a question you’re asking yourself right now?

You have dreams, things you want to do, experiences rich inside the heart and mind, but something comes up lacking when it’s actually time to take the required action steps to move upon your goals. Why?

You maybe be experiencing a vicious cycle of deleterious effects because of a “start-stop syndrome”. You’ve got the best intentions, you may even begin that daunting task, that exercise program or clean eating menu—but something inside just isn’t clicking and the motivation is mentally mustered up for a brief season, but then somehow fades away.

If what I am suggesting describes you, there may be a nutritional root to what you are facing. Instead of beating yourself up, let’s take a closer look inside.

Our bodies are amazing. I am forever fascinated by their beauty, capability and complexity. We are like a walking talking scientific experiment that knows what to do and how to do it every day. But sometimes little hiccups in the body cause things to bump out of alignment and our homeostasis is disrupted. One of the key roles of nutrition— providing energy, is to function to feed cells and maintain stasis. Stasis is merely balance.

Too extreme of anything isn’t good for us. So let’s take a small moment to talk about an important chemical used by the brain called dopamine.

“The brain includes several distinct dopamine pathways, one of which plays a major role in the motivational component of reward-motivated behavior. The anticipation of most types of rewards increases the level of dopamine in the brain”

So if we believe there will be a reward for our efforts or we are excited by the reward we will become motivated to do the work or take the actions required. We get energized–literally!

In Psychology we can study about the research done called “Classical Conditioning”. This study used dogs and salivation. A dog was stimulated and conditioned for a desired response using positive reinforcement. For the dog the reward was food.

https://www.simplypsychology.org/pavlov.html

We operate the same way. When something positive happens or the anticipation and expectation of something happening occurs we release dopamine in the brain and this neurotransmitter releases and stimulates the pleasure center of the mind. Certain foods are shown to stimulate our bodies ability to produce dopamine. So basically—when we are adequately motivated toward a goal and the belief deepens that we will be rewarded or blessed for our efforts—we excel. Dopamine can help us do that!

Your dreams and aspirations may only be one thought away. Set your mind right. Activate within your heart, mind and soul all the capacity Heaven loaded deep within. You’ve got what it takes to succeed and as you begin you just may find the momentum like wind in your sails taking you higher than you’ve ever been.

Sometimes to achieve we merely need to believe in ourself. We need others wrapped around us who deeply believe in us as well.

We need encouragement—but we also need excitement.

God gave a pleasure center in our mind for a purpose. Let’s put it to good use!

You’re only one breathe away from an exciting day! You may be only one dopamine infused thought away from break through!

Let’s get fit and go for it!

~Nicole

Nutrition Tips

I’ve found a great little article that includes suggestions for health rich foods that may naturally increase dopamine production in your mind.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-increase-dopamine

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February 11, 2019

Just Be

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:24 am by Broken & Brave

Never chase a goal so hard you forget to have fun with it.♥️

I’ve been going through some old photos—compiling them from all the various shows I’ve done over the years. I have a specific purpose for this complication for myself and my training. It’s interesting and useful to see how I’ve changed my physique over the years. Change happens small and over time. Pictures help with perspective.

As I go through them, I am reminded there’s been quite a few and I’ve now been doing this more than just a year or two.

Guess what? Looking back I think, “hey, I was more prepared than I thought I was.” But maybe I was placing too much priority on what the judges thought? I’ve been blessed with open doors for a quality education in the fields of human developmental and nutrition. I’ve planned, prepped and been focused and dedicated. I have the gift of discipline. And I found the nutritional edge my biochemistry needed to shred down lean.

I highly recommend AdvoCare if you are looking for a rock solid supplement that has safety and efficacy. I’m including a picture of me on the left, 6 weeks after birthing my fourth child. Contrast that to picture on the right, on stage in my second season. I believe my FIFTH child was two years old when the picture on the right was taken. I don’t have the exact dates of the photos so you have to take my word and visit the website:

NextLevelcoach.com

Aside from all of this—you never feel ready, at least I don’t. You can feel you put in the work and the time, but not ready. I feel this way with every show. So as I look at these pictures I am once again reminded of all the memories that have been made. All the friendship and community that has been built.

How about you?

Have you ever had something you worked hard at and sometimes you forget that you do your part and trust God to bless your efforts?

I think back to when I was in school. I never felt ready in college. Always did the work, but was it enough? Never felt prepared enough. But I graduated and I guarantee I remembered to have fun!

How about parenting?

If you’re a parent for sure you’ve had times you got so caught up in the job of parenting that you forgot to just cut loose and have fun with them?

I’ve always found humor in the parent who was desperate to potty train their child by the age of two. I just smile, good for you (knowing that most likely they know when to run the kid to the bathroom. Most one year olds don’t have enough muscle and mind to muscle control for that—but some do).

But to the mom who feels less than prepared because her four year old still soils their pants I always share—“they’ll be fine. They aren’t going to graduate high school in a diaper.”

Puts it in perspective, right?

I love to laugh with my kids. They crack me up. But I’ve had a lot of them so each kid progressively benefited from the more laid back me. The oldest always gets to be the pioneer for younger siblings. Isn’t that true! I know my oldest agrees with this (I’m an oldest sibling, too)!

I’ve got some homework for you this week.

📌Spend some time enjoying yourself.

📌Indulge in some simple pleasure.

📌Smile often.

📌 Be friendly.

📌Show others kindness.

There’s so much more to life than work and purpose and direction and intention.

Just Be.

You plus God is greater still.

When you simply do what needs to be done, you can trust in a God who says, “it’s enough”. Forget the judges—you’ve got the win. And as for your kids, they’re going to turn out just fine. Keep loving and leading and every little voice that says it’s not enough, you’re not enough or things are pretty rough—ignore it!

These are just a few examples. You already know what it is that presses you, and maybe you need to just enjoy it a bit more because you’ve been thinking of it the entire time you’ve been reading this. So, you know what to do…

Enjoy♥️

<Nicole

February 8, 2019

The Grace to be Great

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , at 8:27 pm by Broken & Brave

We live in such a superficial society.

Appearance is everything and vanity is it’s chief council.

There are countless strategies available to make us look and feel great. Everything from head to toe–you’re covered if you’re willing to spend the time, money and energy to consume what society is selling.

Sustenance is an interesting thing.

I have noticed over many years of my recent life that the more affluent circles of our nations population base are overall more physically fit with healthy weight management. There are exceptions to this, of course, but overall this population of people looks pretty darn good. Most likely this is because they can afford it. Healthy foods cost more than packaged and processed foods. Gym memberships and personal trainers or high end, small, semi-private group training/classes are the trend. The higher end society is looking for something customized to the detail and complete and they are willing to pay money for it.

I think the more affluent community understands that–like it or not–your appearance is your business card.

It can take over eighty encounters with a person to change a negative first impression according to a recent study done at Harvard. So how you look, how you present yourself and how you treat/handle others plays a large roll in how successful you will be at pretty much everything.

As a trainer I’ve primarily worked with the more affluent community. I used to do personal training programs with a few “buddy packages” (you and a friend kind of thing), but now I’m almost exclusive small, private group training. I still carry a small stable of one on one clients, most of whom have their own private gyms located in their homes, but I have found myself more and more lately turning those opportunities down. Primarily because I just don’t have time. My family is a priority and my plate is full. So I now focus on small groups of committed individuals who are teachable, coachable and willing to work.

I am a health advocate.

An advocate is an ardent defender of people and purpose. It is the purpose God placed inside me to use health and fitness as my ministry.

I’m focused not only on improving strength, flexibility, overall health and vitality, but I’m all about equipping others for victorious living.

I’m all about disease prevention and holistic natural applications of sustenance, rest and movement all packaged in each individual unit.

•I’m about casting vision for the woman who wants to hang with her kids at Disney well in her elder years without needing to sit down a lot or rent a wheel chair just to enjoy the family fun.

•I’m about not being on a myriad of prescribed meds that has people so frightened to even take a multivitamin because it might interfere with their drugs.

• I’m definitely about empowering females to believe in themselves and create a deeper awareness of how wonderful their form is and what strength they possess (physically, spiritual, mentally) and how to harness it.

I recently had someone who I’d been helping along their health journey tell me they had decided to go in a different direction. I had functioned as an unsolicited unpaid source of council and help. They came to me asking for mentoring so I helped at my own sacrifice. It’s difficult for me to say no to someone who is ready to change.

They had sort of eluded to their shift in direction, but I actually found out about it another way and so I specifically asked them about it.

I tried to be as positive as I could be. I wanted to thoroughly communicate love, grace and humility wrapped up in a compassionate spirit. It was challenging for me to listen quietly because I knew as they were sharing the less than stellar decision they were making. I agreed to pray for them and encouraged them and left the situation positively so they knew I loved them and the door was wide open should they return again.

Relationships of a mentoring nature can be difficult. There is the temptation to personalize and take ownership of the results, successes or failures of other people. But it is not our personal responsibility to fix the world. I cannot fix my friends deleterious habits or choices. I can guide, love, protect and direct–but ultimately it’s their life and they are free to make whatever choices they desire.

As the mentor we understand that at the end of the day we leave everyone and everything at the base of the Cross. We did our part and that is all we can do. Then you just pray that the time and energy and sacrifice you put into them will stick and something good will flourish from it.

It could be easy to rehash all the sacrifice and time you’ve invested. The temptation is to feel a sense of disloyalty or lack of gratitude. But that’s not necessarily true, so don’t swallow that bait.

These practical truths I’m sharing with you apply to all of life.

We are all leading someone, somewhere by our conduct, life and example. We are living breathing sustenance to someone else’s soul.

I am fortunate in all my career I’ve only ever encountered one person who I detected may have an eating disorder. In this case, it was anorexia/bolemia. I know the clues to look for, but that was years ago (totally different story from the one I just described). But when I look around society I see many, many in every age group, race and economic category who suffer from a sort of spiritual eating disorder. A Spiritual Anorexia. They are starving to death because they don’t eat the right things. I’m not talking about food, I’m talking about thought patterns, focuses and methods to comfort their own pain. Soul Sustenance. I see people also who see the Truth, whether it is about themselves, God or others, but they refuse to eat it.

Anorexia is ultimately a spirit. It goes after the mind and influences the decisions of the individual causing them to believe skipping meals is somehow the answer to their problems or the solution for controlling their world. Spiritual Anorexia functions the same way. Distorted truth and a reflection of self, others and the world around is skewed. I imagine there are many people who suffer from both, spiritual anorexia and the physical manifestation of the disease. After all, if it is a spirit, it’s going to do as much damage to the whole of a person as it can once its invited inside. Satan’s objective is to steal, kill and destroy.

We are all mentoring others each and every day. What you say and do carries tremendous value and when you know this and take it serious–understanding the big picture of your life’s objective, then you can make a positive impact that will last.

Consider yourself a seed carrier. You are scattering it everywhere. Some seeds will do nothing, find no home to imbed themselves in. Others will find fertile soil of heart with just the right conditions to flourish and grow, while others will only grow so much then stop. This is not up to us to decide who will do what. All we can do is love, avoid personal feelings of hurt, and carry on knowing you’ve done your part and others may enjoy a higher quality of life because of the mark you made upon their heart.

Leadership does not come without great personal sacrifice.

Feed your body the right stuff so it will last.

Feed your heart and mind the right stuff so you will surpass any form of greatness you’ve experienced in the past.

Feed your soul Truth, Love and the Inspired Word of God. It is Pure and Good Sustenance from Above.

And never forget…

Take Joy in the Journey…

You have been sustained by Grace to be Great.

~Nicole

Biceps and Tan Lines…

Posted in Inspirational tagged , , , , , , at 9:13 am by Broken & Brave

Through time trends come and then they go only to reappear again some time later.

Fitness is in style. Period. We live in a culture that has moved to the extreme in everything. Not only is fitness hip, but there are so many ways to express it.

When I was young I was always attracted to an athletic frame. Not just in men—women also. I had a deep regard for muscle tone and that “healthy” look. I found it appealing. Probably one of the reasons I became a sponge for all things health and fitness when I was very young. No one else in my family like that. I created my own culture and lifestyle with that.

Back then bodybuilding was bodybuilding and that was all. Now it’s got all kinds of divisions, classes and each require a different standard for physique and muscle mass. Choices to the extreme. I’ve been shopping for a new figure suit and the choices are beyond too many. Not only style and cut and fabric, But fasteners and gems and where or how do you want them?

If your not into muscle you’ve got so many other choices. We’ve got extreme sport called “CrossFit”, or you can yoga and pilates your day away. You may not swing an axe, but find a kettlebell is where it’s at. How about just going for a walk? You can stroll or power walk? Run, jog or sprint, you’ll get leaner than lean with all of it!

I always tell people I am consulting with to find something they enjoy doing. If you enjoy it—you’re more likely to stick with it.

Fitness hasn’t always been in style. Strong is the new skinny, but back in the 20’s skinnier than skinny was the rage with celebrities like “Twiggy” representing the rage. Back in the day being as fair as can be was representation of some sort of privilege or royalty. It symbolizes that you weren’t “working class” so you had no need to go in the sun because your servants or workers did all that for you. But now you can be tan all year round with lotions and bronzers, spray tans and beds.

So what’s the point of my pen this a.m.?

When you work hard at something it will show. If you work hard outdoors it will show. You will be tan and you will have the lines to prove it. When you work hard on your body you will have the lines on your frame to prove it.

When you work hard on your relationship with God it will show, your spirit will shine like the sun and penetrate those around you—a different sort of tan I guess.

When you work hard on your health and fitness, minding your nutrition, your medical file may slim as well as your waistline. Your muscles will firm and the jiggles disappears giving rise to your Joy and self confidence. When you focus on your friendship with Heaven your spirit will strengthen and grow just like your muscles. You will increase in endurance and stamina. You will withstand more…believe more…become more. You will be more.

So no matter how your bod is shaping up or your tan for that matter. Know that today could be the first day of many that causes your spiritual momentum to rise. You’ve got muscles of heart and sunshine inside. Go out today and tan the world around you for the good.

Shine bright—

You are heavens delight.

Never be ashamed of your muscle it shows you’ve got hustle!

~Nicole🌹

June 7, 2018

Fences with Flowers

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 7:07 am by Broken & Brave

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about my time. My schedule is full and I deliberately try to pack it to maximize it, yet know when to quit and say “I can’t do it.” Because a lot of people can pull at our time. I really want to help people, but God is releasing me to be incredibly selective about who gets my time. I already thought I was being pretty selective in this manner, but I guess He is refining the list again, preparing me to be most effective where I am called.

When someone wants to do something, nothing can stop them. When someone isn’t sure about something, nothing can make them.
Everything comes down to Desire.

The prayer, Beloved, is that one day you will see inside yourself all the character, integrity, strength, honor and Kingdom Glory that I see.

Time is a precious commodity. Be wise how you use it.
Spend it? Waste it? Or did you INVEST it?
And be careful who you give it to. Others will rarely value your time. It’s ok to say no to people and put stiff borders around your time, resources and abilities. It’s ok to protect your investments in your own health and happiness. But isn’t this counterintuitive to the Christian life? Aren’t we supposed to give? Supposed to share? Supposed to help? Of course we are. But we will never be all to all and if we try we are surely going to fall! Not everyone will like your no, but the yes’–just watch them flourish grow and the roots sink deep!

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“If you’re chasing the masses, you’re almost certainly heading the wrong direction. The masses are ignoring you. It’s the weird who are choosing to pay attention, to seek out what they care about.” Seth Godin

It doesn’t matter what other people think. It doesn’t matter what other people do. It’s all up to you. You know in your heart the path carved, the direction to take. God will work with your deficits, areas of limitations just as well as your pluses! And though we have fences, decorate them heavily with flowers. Though we have borders, people will feel the softness of your presence, smell the aroma of your garden and delight in your company.

With proper courage your Divine Destiny will make true a happy, edifying and satisfying life for you. Be strong! God’s got you covered. ~Nicole

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

April 14, 2018

Health Is Wealth

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 7:29 am by Broken & Brave

I have been fascinated with health, fitness and nutrition since middle school…at least, middle school is when I recall it all beginning. Looking back now I see the Divine Sculptors hand in everything. All the things I did and tried having no idea it was a gift of Vision and forward thinking being released from inside. I didn’t think about it, I just did it. There was no internet or fast facts available at the fingertips for me to learn to track and plan my nutrition. I learned at a young age to study labels, read about health, I’d buy and subscribe to health related magazines. I’m sure many of the articles I read weren’t true science as I reflect in it now–but it had the foundation and got me in the direction the Lord wanted me going.

I’ve learned so much about myself and life through training. Fitness has been good to me. My love for the weights was immediate and grew in my heart to become a lifestyle. No exercise I had ever done yielded the results weight training did. I learned at an early age that for my petite structure I was relatively strong. Some of it genetics, and some sheer physics. A shorter lever has greater leverage when moving an object from point A to point B. How ever it worked, I was hooked and my love for the sport has been life long.

When I was a teen I loved tuning in to the Olympia to see the women’s divisions. I had a large bulletin board in my bedroom and I had a stationary bicycle. On the board I had a photo I clipped from a magazine of a fit female. I have no idea who she was. I just knew I loved her physique. She was feminine and beautiful, but loaded with lean lines and quality muscle. Even this, God Providence because in the 80’s it wasn’t so popular as it is now for women to lift weights and have any muscle. Everyone was doing jazzercise and aerobics. But there I was, my own personal spin class (before spin classes were invented) with my Walkman jamming and my legs hammering the pedals as I dreamed of seeing just how fit I could be.

Imagine my surprise when five years ago, shortly after birthing my fifth child, I begin to have dreams of bodybuilding and competing. I dismissed it at first for all the usual reasons. But the dreams and call of God persisted.

What a journey it had been. I’ve learned even more about myself as I’ve been stretched beyond stretched outside myself to grow to fit the new extended capacity of “me”. God right there beside me, encouraging me. This is a very mentally challenging sport. I have learned deeper levels of confidence in who I am and how God made me. I’ve learned how to be relaxed and comfortable in uncomfortable situations. I’ve learned even more about my body and what it can do. What an incredible machine these bodies are!

Bodybuilding is a dream I had inside my soul long ago. I didn’t know I’d ever compete as competitions as they are now didn’t exist at the time. But God had planted something inside of me for a later date, but He knew my growing and gleaning had to begin long before I ever graced a stage. Even now, I am aware God’s Purpose for competition is only a gateway to something else He has for me. So I continue to follow His lead obediently. I’m having a little bit of fun along the way…

Trust God with every dream or desire of your heart. He will carry you though every ounce of distrust or unbelief. He is grooming you for greater things. But we must remain still and quiet when He speaks. We must yield our soul to the heart cry of our Lord. He and only He can the future. He gives us glimpses and He polishes and nourishes our ambitions and sculpts them to fit His desirable key.

Maybe it’s time to pull out some shelves dreams, dust them off and once again begin to believe. If the desire has not left you, perhaps it’s because the reality of the vision has yet to kiss you. Your life an open book…write the pages and fill it to overflow with amazing adventures that will make your heart glow.

Just a snapshot of my heart this morning. Was thinking on these things and felt the need to flow the ink and let my heart bleed God’s beauty as only He could deposit it within me.

Your life…sculpted and shaped by Heavens Divine Grace. Wear it well. ~Nicole

“No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:20-21
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November 14, 2016

Food For Thought

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 9:29 am by Broken & Brave

Food for Thought…

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A big factor in health and weight management is nutrition, but in addition to good nutrition you need portion control. Too much of anything will make you gain excess weight. One way to monitor your intake is by measuring your portions. So, stay off the scale, measure yourself with a tape measure and use a food scale to weigh your food instead. I love my food scale! You can get less expensive or more expensive scales, shop by your budget and need. It’s a great tool. ~Nicole

“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

1 Cor. 9:27

September 21, 2016

Divine Design

Posted in Devotional, true story tagged , , , , at 4:08 am by Broken & Brave

Most mornings I drop the family at school and then my youngest stays with me and we go to the track and run some sprints before my morning clients. The same was true yesterday. Later in the day, around noon, we returned to my husband’s office which is adjacent to the track I’ve been using. My son looks toward the sky then replies, “The sun doesn’t look like that when we run sprints.” I smiled inwardly at the complexity of his observation in relation to his age. I proceeded to talk to him of our solar system, the earth, it’s rotation and how we get the calendar year, the seasons and the days and why the sun doesn’t appear to sit in the exact same place. He listens as I explained the excellence and Constance of God’s Provision of Nature.

The same ingenuity God used to sculpt and hang the sun and how the earth is spun is the same ingenuity He used when He sculpt and design you. He IS constant and is there for you…constantly. You never need worry for it for it is there with you always. Just as extraordinary as the knowledge of knowing the sun will again rise after each night it says goodnight- you can trust His faithfulness to complete every good work he has begun in you and it is sure to sparkle, shine and dazzle bright.

Be extraordinary because you are hand crafted from the extraordinary to live an Abundant life in Christ.

~Nicole

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25

August 26, 2016

UnQuenchable

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , at 6:12 am by Broken & Brave

“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14

The body is comprised almost entirely of water. We cannot live without it. It is a foundation sustenance that maintains and sustains life. Drinking water hydrates your skin, your organs function best when well hydrated and our cells maintain their shape and replicate best in the presence of adequate moisture. Without enough water fatigue sets in, the body begins to compromise its integrity and ability to function properly. Sustained dehydration leads to disease.
Just as it is for the body, it is also true for the heart and soul.

Jesus is the only Rock you can drink from.

Take the time to properly nourish your soul. It will refresh you, bless you, correct you and keep you. Your Peace and Joy will begin to exude everywhere you go! So make time everyday. Be willing to say no to the wants or requests of others for a bit of time so you can unwind at the precious feet of Jesus. Drink from His Cup and never thirst again. ~Nicole

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June 16, 2016

F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S.

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 6:08 am by Broken & Brave

F-Fit
A-Agile
B-Bold
U-Undaunted Belief
L-Longevity
O-Originality
U-Unique
S-Set Apart

The fit female is fabulous in so many ways. She is fabulous for more than just what her body can do, (bearing children, Hello!). She has mental fitness, emotional wholeness, spiritual soundness, as well. She is balanced in every arena and she is locked inside of you.
Unleash her today!

~Nicole

“She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness] for her God-given task and makes her arms strong and firm.”
Proverbs 31:17

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