The Trick to Maintaining Your Weight Loss

by: Danielle Ternyila

With the promise of so many fad diets and quick fix weight loss programs, my fear 75 lbs ago was that no matter what I lost, I would gain it back anyway and be at the same spot. It seemed impossible, so rather than throw in the towel, I sought out the answers for the best trick of all: keeping off the weight after you lose it.

Losing weight is a huge success that comes with so many challenges along the way, but the hardest part is the part that comes next, maintaining that win long-term instead of falling into old habits again. This was the most important part of my weight loss journey for me, and it’s something we all struggle with, yet don’t talk about enough. We do, now, talk about it plenty in my Facebook support group, and I’ll talk about it here again.

To maintain your weight loss achievements, you can’t stop now. You’ve worked hard to get here, you’ve made changes and done courageous things, like perhaps stepping foot in a new gym or entrusting a surgeon for assistance. No matter what, the next step is to stay healthy.

The trick to keeping it all off is to make changes to your lifestyle that support your health. Creating a healthier lifestyle that supports your weight loss is your hack, and it will feel easier said than done. Don’t let that stop you, especially when it is your health and wellness on the line.

I started making changes to my overall lifestyle to help improve my health and keep going at this goal. If I wanted to be healthy, I realized that I actually had to do exactly that. I cut out all the unhealthy snacks and processed foods in the cabinets; I started filling my fridge with more fruits and vegetables, and I started cooking much different meals than I was used to growing up in an Italian family addicted to pasta and bread.

Giving up my favorite snacks and even meals was a hard decision, but I learned it was not about cutting it out entirely. Moderation is key. Instead of enjoying these guilty pleasures regularly, they became a treat, which I sometimes think makes it that much more enjoyable than having it every week. I also limited my beverages and cut down on excess sugar in my diet too by switching to water and black coffee or teas.

Every day is a challenge, but I prioritize my health regardless. Though it has been years since I started this journey, I still crave all of my favorite unhealthy delights, but cravings pass.

3 Rules for Healthier, Supportive Weight Loss Talks

by: Danielle Ternyila

The way we talk about our weight has changed so much in my family over the years, and it has definitely been a change for the better. Weight seemed like such a private matter, and it could be considered rude to discuss or hurtful. That’s the way we all are used to thinking, but I think that’s only holding us back.

My mom and I, for example, have regular conversations about our health, and I don’t mean just updates on doctors appointments out of curiosity. We talk about recipes, we talk new healthy cooking hacks and swap ideas, brainstorm new workout routines when I get in a rut, celebrate our successes weekly or even daily… Health is not an “bad” topic in our family, even when we fall off the wagon and haven’t been making the healthiest choices; those times are most important to communicate so we can get help and motivation to keep going.

That said, there are a few important ways the conversations have changed that make these most beneficial to us. Use these 3 tips to have more positive discussions around weight and our health, whether in our families, friendship circles, or an online support group of like-minded friends. Here’s a few rules to keep it positive:

Judgement Is Not Invited

The discussions we have aren’t judgmental; they are supportive and encouraging. We do our best to compliment each other and celebrate wins, as well as help overcome the battles and struggles along the way too. It feels a lot more possible and real in your mind when you have a team of support behind you, starting with your family or those closest to you. When there is no judgement or feel of embarrassment, the conversations are better all around and more productive.

This is most important on the bad days especially. We need to be supportive of each other, and so whether we are having a bad day or our friend is having a bad week, those are the most important times to hold all judgement. Things happen, life can change, and it’s okay to not be perfect all the time. Just support one another all the same.

Honesty Supports Succcess

If the whole idea of positive health talk in your family is new, everyone has to start somewhere. It can be hard and feel personal to talk about your weight, and it can feel really hard to admit your inner thoughts, even to the most cherished loved one. However, you need to know you are in a supportive environment and can say anything without judgement. Be honest and don’t tell lies about your journey.

The only person you are doing a disservice to when you lie about your health is you. Think about that! Whether your doctor, your mom, or your significant other knows you’re still eating junk food, skipping the gym, or lying about your weight, you’re only hurting yourself at the end of the day. Use honesty and their support to help motivate you in your weight loss endeavors.

Share And Learn As You Go

Not only has this completely shaped the way our family talks about health, but I think the biggest impact has been sharing everything we’ve learned as we go. My sister will call me with a new healthy cooking hack, my mom will email me a new recipe, my dad will unwillingly sign me up for a 5k at random. Not only do we support each other, but we can provide more support for one another when we are involved. Even if I can’t go to the gym with my mom due to conflicting schedules and I can’t have dinner with my sister every day, we still share our successes and lessons so we can all benefit from it.

No matter what, taking any steps, big or small, toward achieving your weight loss goals is going to push you further along. Having support from home or around you changes your own mindset and helps you believe in yourself.

Not to mention, there are so many benefits to having a workout buddy too! It doesn’t have to be about sharing your own journey with someone on the same path. If there is anyone you can talk to about your weight and health goals, it should be your gym buddy, and if you don’t have one yet, there’s too many reasons why you should.

4 Healthy Habits to Impact Your Mindset

by: Danielle Ternyila

Changing your mindset can be a really hard thing to do, but it is far from impossible. It takes time; it won’t always be easy, but nothing worth it ever will be “easy”.

There are at least some things you can do throughout your day to help change your mindset slowly but surely. By doing things that bring more positivity, focus, and energy into your every day, you can gain the confidence to do anything! The first step towards anything is believing in yourself, and these mindset tricks can help get you there.

Make Your Bed Every Morning

As soon as you crawl out of bed, turn around and make it again. It’s your first task of the day, so it’s sure to give you a huge sense of self-accomplishment immediately. Who wouldn’t want to start their day like this?

Doing so is known to improve your mood, much like some of these other simple habits. Make your bed so you’ll sleep better later, to reduce your stress levels, and improve your productivity. It’s the little things in life, after all.

Say Thank You Instead of Sorry

This is a big flaw we all can struggle with easily. When we make a mistake and get called out on it, our instinct is to apologize, but we’re human and can make mistakes. We are always learning, always growing, so we should be saying “Thank you” to those who catch the mistakes, help us through them, or just point them out. Thank you for your attention on that, thank you for pointing that out, thanks for explaining this.

When we break the habit of diminishing our work by apologizing, we can appreciate all our efforts, achievements, and growth instead of feeling guilty. Saying thank you, or at least learning not to immediately blurt out “I’m sorry!” when something isn’t done right, changes the attitude of the whole conversation. We shouldn’t have to feel like we have to be perfect all the time; just your best is exactly enough, and never apologize for that.

Drink Water First Every Day

Instead of starting the morning with coffee or your favorite tea, drink down a glass of water first, and maybe even add a splash of lemon for extra flavor! After sleeping for 8+ hours (by following the next tip), your body needs to be replenished. It has basically been in fasting mode for those long hours overnight, so you want to nourish it with what’s good for it, like hydration!

Play Your Happy Playlist

If you haven’t already, prep a “happy playlist” on your music app of choice. This should be all of the songs that make you feel good, the ones that lift you up and make you feel like you’re on top of the world. Be it a childhood favorite, some upbeat vibes, the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack or bagpipes, music can be a great tool for our mental health, and it’s something we can do daily.

Music can provide more benefits to your mental state than you could think. It is actually linked to having positive effects on the brain and natural chemicals like dopamine, the “happy” hormone! Start playing that feel-good playlist, and find somewhere to fit it into your every day, maybe when you are feeling your most anxious during the day. I listen to my playlist in the car on the commute to work or anytime I need to clean but not feeling it; a quick dose of “Walking on Sunshine” or “Dancing Queen” to get myself excited!

What are you doing every day to improve your mindset? What songs put you in your best mood? Share with us in our private support group on Facebook!

January Check-In: Supporting Your 2022 Resolutions

by: Danielle Ternyila

The whole purpose of a New Years Resolution is to start new and fresh again focusing on your biggest goals. The most common resolutions surround self improvement, weightloss, career, and financial aspirations, but these resolutions don’t make it past January sometimes.

If you visit the gym throughout the year, you’ll notice a significantly less amount of people the more months go by since January. Once life starts getting back to normal after the holidays, it’s easy to just forget your New Years Resolution and continue doing what you’ve been doing, which just leaves you wishing you could have done it, regretting the past, or convincing yourself these things aren’t important to you anymore.

At the start of every month, I write down how I did in the last month, what my goals are for the next month, and the steps to achieve those goals in the upcoming 30 days. Instead of trying to plan a whole year and 52 weeks of good behaviors and crushing goals, focus on the next 4-5 weeks ahead of you at a time. It’s easier to plan, and gives you room for growth as you continue learning what works for you and what doesn’t.

Checking in monthly is important for adjusting and realign your goals. Are you on track or do you need to make a change? What went well this month and what didn’t? These questions can pinpoint particular challenges you have to overcome, plan around your constantly-changing schedule, and help you figure out how to do better the next month.

Some months will be easier than others, and some might be overtaken by vacations or holidays! This is the perfect time to plan ahead for those times. You can’t predict every event from the start of the new year, which is why monthly planning is better!

Ready to start preparing for your best month yet? With February here, take time to write down and reflect on the last 31 days. Answer the questions below to help you figure out what to do next, and feel free to print more planning pages to start this month strong!

  • What was my goal last month? Was this achieved or a work in progress?
  • What did I do well to achieve this goal?
  • What challenges came up during the month?
  • How can I improve next month? What changes should I make to overcome the challenges of last month?
  • Looking ahead, is there anything I predict will be a challenge this month? How can I still succeed?

I already can see with Valentine’s Day and a few birthdays in February that I will have some obstacles when it comes to staying true to my healthy diet. To be prepared, I’ll plan to bring my own healthy appetizer or dessert, and I’ll plan to stay on track the rest of the month to ensure I don’t feel guilty if I have a few bad days!

Share your January successes and challenges in our Facebook group to celebrate and connect with people with big goals just like you!

Comfort Zone or Settling?

by: Danielle Ternyila

We lean on comfort zones far too much. We excuse choosing fear over chasing dreams because it’s “out of our comfort zone.” Enough is enough! This is your safe space where you can feel in control, but the best things happen outside of your comfort zone.

Being in control of your life is so important, but when you choose comfort over adventure or your dreams, this space will not be enough. We were born to grow and change, so we need to do exactly that by doing the hard and scary things. Trying anything new and unknown is scary, but you should be more afraid of not knowing.

Just this time last year I was starting a new job in a new industry and field, and it felt so far out of my comfort zone after 3 solid years at my old company. During the time leading up to my first day, it felt like I was taking the most dangerous risk. What if I’m not good at this? What if this is too much for me? Are they sure they want to hire me? Would I fit in? What if no one likes me?

When you do try to get out of your comfort zone, your mind is going to fight that because it wants to stay in that safe place it knows so well. You’re going to think of all the reasons you shouldn’t leave what you know; even if it’s bad, it’s still familiar.

I had developed a routine and comfort in my old job, and as many bad days as there were, it was still “easy.” I knew what I was doing, my job was safe, and I had experienced enough of the bad to know I could get through it. The new job opportunity offered hope and excitement, and yet the biggest thing I saw was uncertainty.

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, start a new job too, or do something else that is a bit out of reach, you’re looking at an opportunity to get stronger. Getting out of of your comfort zone is actually a lot like learning a new skill; the more you practice, the easier it gets. You grow, you learn, and gain new confidence in yourself.

After a year in my new job, I don’t have any regrets, and all of those thoughts of self-doubt seem so insignificant today. I can’t believe I was so nervous and how much I had to fight that for what seems so easy today; I have a new and bigger comfort zone now, thanks to facing all these fears.

Next time you start feeling doubt that you can do something, just do it anyway. Accept that you can’t know everything, and the best things happen when you break out of your comfort zone. Take the risk and conquer your fears; you’ll be thankful when you do.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Let’s Not Compare To Them All

by: Danielle Ternyila

Why don’t I have her body? How does she stay so fit? Why do they get to travel so much? How do I get my home be that clean?

Social media can be the devil, especially when we start making comparisons as if we are looking in a mirror. From the outside looking in through an old friend’s social media, for example, it’s easy to assume things are just easier for them when things look good. They don’t post their bad days for you to see, which makes you start thinking worse about yourself.

Nothing looks good on me. I wish I could love the gym. I don’t get to go on vacations. I don’t have the time to clean and make my house look that nice. That’s just not me, I’ll never be like them.

There is no reason you should be doubting yourself by comparing yourself to your friends and influencers. The only real thing you can compare yourself to is the old version of yourself. Look at where you were before: that’s your competition.

Whether I am looking back at my teenage self, college self, or myself 1 year ago, that is where I am making my comparisons. How much have I achieved since then? Am I happier today than I was then? Have I surrounded myself with the right people? Do I take better care of myself? Have I learned from my mistakes and made myself better?

This is the most accurate and only way to measure your growth and the success of your life, through looking at yourself then and now, and of course staying motivated to make “future you” the best version of yourself, not backtracking or staying in place. We all get scared to try new things, which leads to us settling in our comfort zones, be it your job that’s easier to stay at than leave or how you spend your time.

Everyone has a dream of their own: to lose weight or get in shape, make more money, raise a great family, have the best job, own a business, or live in the dream home, for a few examples. None of those can be achieved if you don’t start believing that you can achieve all of these things. The only thing stopping you is yourself when you don’t apply, you don’t show up, and just give up.

Start with a plan and understand what your goals are. Take time to consider how you can get there. I honestly hated the gym when I was up 60 lbs a few years ago, so I prioritized eating healthier and tried new ways to be active so that I could achieve my goal. Every day since, I continue to compare myself to my “past self” and how far I have come. It makes me feel a lot more proud than comparing myself to someone else who has led a completely different life than me.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to looking in the mirror and comparing yourself to the fairest of them all (that’s you!), I have a few questions below to get you thinking positive and living the life you have been lusting after. You deserve it, that’s what you need to believe! You can live your best life, as long as you do your best to achieve that!

You get what you work for, not what you wish for.

  • What is your dream for your future?
  • Why is this important to you? What would it mean to you to achieve this goal?
  • What is holding you back?
    • Time, funds, commitment, knowledge, motivation, support, etc
  • What steps can you take to overcome those challenges?
    • Time management, finance planning or finding free programs, build a support system, join a team, make an inspiration/vision board, educate yourself, ask for help, etc
  • How will you hold yourself accountable?
  • In what way can you measure your success?
    • Monthly or weekly check-in’s, weigh-in’s, goal tracker, etc.

A support system is an important part to any journey! Join our group on Facebook for more inspiration and a positive group of people all doing their best!

The Weightloss Trick the Health Industry Hides Well

by: Danielle Ternyila

There are so countless diets and weight-loss programs that promise you the best results, but they all have the same bottom-line: it only works if you do. Don’t you think it’s odd that there has yet to be a magic weight-loss fix that doesn’t have this clause?

The secret is out! Commitment, discipline, dedication… Mindset is the trick to losing weight, and you have more than enough tools to do it. If you want to see results, the biggest challenge you face is your mind. It doesn’t want to do new or hard things. Your brain likes routine, pattern, and all the addictive junk food chemicals you eat because that’s easy and what it knows, but that’s not what you want; you want results and change.

Losing weight is hard, and I know that because I did it. I lost 60 lbs in a year but that was not without 100% dedication to getting healthy in 2017. I was tired of the health issues I was already dealing with, and if I could at least be healthy and avoid as much additional illnesses as I could, I was finally willing to do that. By the time I powered through, I began seeing improvements in my health; I suffered plantar fasciitis that made it hard to stand and walk, but that has not been an issue in such a long time now!

The mindset was a constant struggle, but I knew that would be the biggest battle. I had to remind myself every day and change the way I thought about my health. Gym visits are as important as work meetings. Junk food cravings that last 20 minutes aren’t worth it. I learned how to detect the excuses I’d make for myself, like not having time, lacking healthy options, not sleeping well, feeling crampy, and so on… Some days I showed up at the gym for a 10 minute ride on the bike, but I was still committed and didn’t give up. On days when I was sick, I did squats at home because I won’t give up on myself. It was a decision I had to make for myself and must continue to decide on every day.

The funny part, if you have a twisted sense of humor, is the correlation between our physical and mental health. When we are doing better physically in good shape and good health, we also feel better mentally. Exercise alone is known to improve so many parts of our health and lessen the likelihood of disease, but the most astounding change I found in losing my weight and creating a healthier lifestyle was the instrumental impact on my anxiety and depression. Prioritizing my health was important to me because I wanted to manage my health as best I could; no longer experiencing chronic panic attacks and sleepless nights has been the greatest gift of all that came from my journey.

If I had known the secret was believing in myself a few years earlier, I could have avoided some serious injuries and rough times. If you have been failing different diets or new fitness routines over and over, start work on your mindset. Inspire and motivate yourself daily, keep your goals and dreams top of mind, and do not go easy on yourself when you wake up wanting to quit. Show up, even if it’s the most half-assed workout of your life. Consistency is key!

Just Your Best Facebook group is open to new friends who want to meet like-minded individuals ready to change their mindset and conquer their health goals. Feel free to pop in and be a fly on the wall or jump into the conversations and inspiration!

Treat Yourself Like You Treat Your Bestie

by: Danielle Ternyila

Do you talk to yourself the same way you talk to your best friend or even your kids? When your bestie is talking about how fat they feels or unsuccessful, you aren’t going to go, “Yeah, and you haven’t even been putting in any effort.” You would tell them how beautiful they really are, how much they inspire you, and you could even rattle off countless compliments…. Imagine how you would feel if you spoke like that to yourself!

We all have our own flaws, our weaknesses, and things we don’t like about ourselves, but you are your biggest critic. What you think may be a flaw, someone else may be truly jealous of or even adore you for it. If there is something you don’t like, talk about what you will do about it instead of what you didn’t. Next time you hear negative thoughts about yourself sinking in, take a moment to think of 3 things you do love.

The same goes for those awkward situations you will internally live over and over again, regretting every way you handled the situation or even just something you said once. If you want to be more confident, you have to exert that energy. Don’t get caught up in the past and focus on the “next time” instead. You learn from every thing you do, so turn it more positive by focusing on the things you did right or will do next time, then remind yourself how great you are, just like you would for your bestie when they’re feeling down!

Remember to talk positive with yourself. It’s all about mindset, and if you talk yourself up, even if it’s just in front of the mirror, in the shower, or in the car, you’re going to feel more positive. Stop judging yourself, critiquing your every decision, and making yourself feel bad. You are perfect, and there is no reason to think otherwise. After all, you’re the only YOU there is in this world; there’s nothing that can compare!

Positive self talk is a game-changer. Do you have any self mantras you share with yourself, or is it new to you? Give it a try, and you won’t regret it.

Once Upon a Time She Was A Strong and Independent Woman

by: Danielle Ternyila

Disney can sometimes get a bad rap for setting unrealistic expectations when it comes to relationships and happiness, but hear me out! Despite Cinderella’s traumatic childhood and home life, she woke up singing everyday with her animal friends, just like Snow White and Rapunzel too. As sad as it may have been, she made the most of it and did what she needed to make herself happy. She didn’t depend on anyone else to do that for her (although let’s be honest, her evil stepsisters and stepmother certainly didn’t care).

Your happiness should be your focus over anything else, just like Cinderella has shown us. She surely felt defeated after leaving the ball but seemingly accepted that she would not be with her true love. If you ask me, it was this confidence and self assurance that led her to her happily ever after that we all know today.

Now having seen this, we all still fall into these patterns trying to find “the one” as if that is going to complete our lives. What if, humor me, you loved yourself first? It is never bad to have a support system for yourself, much like friends and family, but this idea of needing to be married or locked down in a Facebook-official commitment for that support only sets unrealistic expectations for yourself and others.

You can be successful on your own, and you can be happy. It can feel so hard to turn off the dating apps, walk away from a bad relationship, or give up on the crush you’ve been chasing for so long. I promise, though, that no one will put you first if you don’t.

A big thing that can often stand in our way of happiness is stress, and you will only feel lighter when you let go of the pressure to have a date for the next wedding, a significant other for the holidays, or to just be married by a certain age.

Surround yourself with people that make you happy, do things you love, stress less, control what you can, and work hard. No one will argue that Ariel the Little Mermaid was happy as a clam in her search for freedom, not a man. She learned to walk with the people and dance on the street, and in the end, the prince was just an exciting bonus along her journey for happiness.

Practice Gratitude Year-Round

by: Danielle Ternyila

Time and time again this simple method of gratitude has gotten me through the hardest days. I try my best to practice gratitude every day, but especially on the worst days. You know, those days or sometimes weeks when you just dont want to get out of bed in the morning, the day lags on miserably, or perhaps you’re most stressed at night as you recap your awful day. Maybe it’s just winter in general and the cold!

Instead of giving into those negative vibes, remind yourself of all the good. Ask yourself, “Well if this isn’t particularly going well, what is doing me good?” If you can’t think of a single thing or person you’re thankful for, for any reason whatsoever, then you aren’t trying hard enough.

Reflection is so important for us and our growth, especially mentally. Gratitude grounds us and finds the light in the darkest places. Next time you’re stressed, start listing what you are thankful for that day, including the driver who moved over for you when you were rushing to work, the woman who held the door when your hands were full, or that you had a filling breakfast.

Be thankful that you woke up early on the weekend and could spend more time enjoying your coffee or get ahead on your day. Be grateful if you slept in and got rest you needed. It’s like looking at a half-filled glass of water. Is it half full or half empty? You decide.

Ways to Implement Gratitude in your Life:

Journal! Take a moment each night to list 3 to 5 things you’re thankful for. Doing this will reinforce gratitude and keep you thinking in the future about what you’re thankful for!

Redirect Negative Thoughts! When you’re feeling particularly negative, pause to think about what you are grateful for instead, like an opportunity you’ve been given, a lesson you may be learning from a challenge, or the person you can lean on through it.

Thank Others! Make it a point to thank someone every day. Not only will you feel good, but it will reinforce gratitude in others as well, making those around you feel appreciated too.

By practicing gratitude regularly, you will learn to appreciate the little things, which will help in balancing your mental health in the long run. The longer you practice this, the easier it will be to recognize the little wins throughout your day.

Achieve Your Health Goals Like a Pro

by: Danielle Ternyila

I wish I was the kind of person that meal prepped. I wish I liked salads and healthy foods. I wish I could afford organic ingredients. I wish I had time to cook better meals. I wish there was enough time to go to the gym.

No, you’re not the only one thinking these things and struggling to take back your health for reasons like these. These wishes sound so hopeless, but telling your self any of this is NOT going to make things happen for you. Your health should be your number one priority, above anything else you do, and there is no reason you can’t.

No one is born to meal prep or cook specialty meals. Those people who do, though, actively choose to live that life. They don’t wish for things to happen, they make them happen. And if you have been struggling to get past the wishing and daydreaming, start acting.

We’ve all heard it in so many ways: actions speak louder than words. This is true even in achieving your goals. Telling yourself you can’t do it with these petty wishes and “Debbie Downer” thoughts will never will it to life. You set yourself up for failure every time you talk down about yourself, whether it is in the privacy of your mind, your car, or in a rant to a friend.

The only thing standing in the way of achieving your goals is the excuses you allow yourself to believe. At the end of the day, it is all just that. You don’t like salad is an excuse to eat bad instead. You don’t have time is an excuse to get out of 30 minutes at the gym. You can’t meal prep “right” so you stick to your old unhealthy habits.

Make the decision to follow your dreams. Do what you need to do make them a reality. Go the extra mile, put in the time even when you think you can’t, and tell your mind to “shut up” every time it tells you another excuse.

You can’t just wish for it. You have to work for it. And it never gets easier, you just get stronger!

My Weight-Loss Journey: It’s All Mom’s Fault

by: Danielle Ternyila

From the moment I started my weightloss journey, my mom couldn’t have played a more vital role; she was my workout and accountability buddy. My biggest fan, cheerleader, constant therapist and the greatest role model a girl could ask for, Mama has been by my side through it all, including countless sweat sessions in the gym.

She herself had started her own journey around the same time I started mine, which was a real wake up call for myself. If mom could lose the weight, what was my excuse? She lost 90 pounds following a weightloss surgery, known as the sleeve, and major changes in her lifestyle. Getting myself to the gym every day was a daunting task, but she was there every step of the way, which was sometimes all the motivation I needed to keep myself on track.

She came to the gym with me every single time I asked. She tried new things with me and showed me new workouts or machines in the gym. Having her by my side, even if just to have someone to laugh with me when I fell off the treadmill or used a machine wrong, made it that much easier for me to go. With your workout buddy by your side, you feel like you can conquer anything, even the terrifying gym filled with fit athletes and big meatheads.

You may not even need an actual “workout” buddy more than you need an accountability buddy. Tell someone your plans, your goals, and your aspirations. Let them keep you in check, ask about your progress, and always be open and honest. The only person you’re hurting by lying is yourself.

They say it takes 21 days to create a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle. I started hitting the gym with Mama in late September of 2016, and I went every single day the rest of that year, all with Mom’s help. When she couldn’t go with me to the gym herself, she still kept me in check. She asked me if I worked out, she gave me suggestions when I was trying to figure out a busy day’s schedule, and I can’t ignore all of the awesome videos and motivational quotes she shared with me. Even on the days I had to bare the gym alone, she was still always there in some way, holding my accountable.

Just a year before we started our health journeys, the 2 of us made it to Disney World together, and we had a hard time sharing photos of those adventures. We were both in such unhealthy places, every picture seemed to highlight our double chins, and so many photographs from this incredible trip were shared only between us.

Now several years and a pandemic later, feeling free of the weight that once held us down, we got to enjoy a trip to Hawaii together. This time, I made sure to splurge on a photographer to capture these memories. I didn’t have to sit and take breaks throughout the day because I was out of breath, I didn’t have to call it early some days because my feet were in so much pain, and we didn’t feel as guilty eating donuts for breakfast this time around either. Being able to share this journey with someone, whether it’s a friend or you own parental unit, makes it that much more enjoyable in the end.

With your best friend by your side, you can conquer the tallest of mountains and all of your dreams. If you need to lose weight or get healthy, don’t try to do it alone. Tell your friends, tell your mom, ask for help, or at the very least tell them to check in with you! It holds you accountable, and having the support of your bestie as you go makes it all that much easier. If you’re as lucky as I am, there will be lots of laughs too. My mom is the best buddy I’ve got, and I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today, mentally and physically, without her support.

Don’t forget to pop in our private Empowerment group on Facebook, where there is a whole group of us ready to cheer you on and support you as you try to take back your health or lose weight.

Coping With Our New “Normal”

by: Dianna Yphantides

“Should we get the vaccine or not get the vaccine? Should we wear a mask or is it okay not to wear a mask? Should I plan this trip? Should I see this friend? Should we social distance? Should we push off our birthday parties, weddings, dinner plans, and our lives?” 

Hi, my name is Dianna Yphantides. I am a licensed clinical therapist, and these are only a few of the many questions, fears and complications that I have been hearing from many of my clients over the past year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  COVID-19 is a virus which, like it or not, has changed the way every single person on this planet has lived the past year and a half.  This virus has caused the death of hundreds of thousands of people, caused strains on relationships due to different belief systems, and caused extreme deficits on the mental health and wellness of people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, and age.

There is not a single person who hasn’t been affected by the roars and decimation of this virus today.  There are countless memes, jokes and jabs at COVID-19 to help keep our world laughing instead of crying.  What I have witnessed in my line of work comes down to 2 things: the fear of the unknown and the difficulty people have been dealing with of not having control of what is happening in our lives.  People have lost the capability to socialize, hug, connect and simply be with people that they love due to fear of this virus.  People have lost the right to feel safe going to places like the grocery store, a restaurant, and the gym, which previously we had taken for granted. 

The isolation of quarantine alone for people has had insurmountable mental health consequences on people.  As human-beings, we are social creatures who crave affection, attention and unity, and the divide this virus has implicated on us all is not something that can be cured overnight.  I have patients who are fully vaccinated who come for in-person sessions with five masks on and I have patients who still have yet to leave their homes since March 2020.  This is not the quality of life that we are used to living.  Children are missing out on extremely imperative socialization and quality learning years and elders are missing opportunities to see their grandchildren grow up, and there is no timeline to tell us when we are going to feel “normal” again– or what normal will even look like after this.

As a therapist, my takeaway from this past year and a half is that it is okay not to be okay.  It is alright to feel lost, fearful, angry, confused and sad sometimes.  This virus is not something that any one of us could have predicted.  Give yourself the privilege and the right to feel your feelings–scream, yell, throw something– do whatever it takes to express yourself, and most important of all, be kind to yourself.  Take a long bath, read a good book, watch a comedy on Netflix, take a walk, meditate.  Do things for yourself which help fill up your cup since the overwhelming nature of this pandemic has most definitely left it depleted.  Remember that it is okay to feel overwhelmed right now.  Do things for yourself; big or small which help you to remember that you are human, you are fallible, and it is acceptable to not be okay in such an uncertain time.

Out of My Comfort Zone

by: Terry Ternyila

Two years ago my husband and I had joined The Max Challenge of Old Bridge for a 10-week program. Normally this is not something I am comfortable doing but because my husband was willing to do this with me, I agreed to go. I suffer from anxiety in group situations, so having a partner helped with that feeling. I was not sure how comfortable I would be working out with other people watching, considering I am no spring chicken and it had been a good year since I had a regular exercise routine.

THE MAX Challenge is a 10-week body transformation program that is designed to make fast and lasting changes to your overall well-being through group fitness classes, motivation, and nutritional counseling.

It was very intimating at first because you can see that most of the people there have been attending these classes for a while and have become a close knit family of support. They knew all the warm-up exercises and routines, and it seemed so intimidating at first. However, we quickly learned that they all were there to help us along; the staff and other members just made you feel welcome.

They all helped us with our technique and showed us what needed to be done.   It was like a community of people who would just take the newbies under their wing and show you the ropes. It wasn’t their job, but you can see they just wanted you to succeed. They all cheered everyone on, and there was no judgement.  There were people of all ages and all fitness levels.

The coaches always provided a modification to each routine and encouraged you to do it how you needed as long as you were moving and trying. Of course we were watching all these people work out and wanted to impress them so we had pushed ourselves a little too hard. Even though everyone kept saying it’s okay to modify or do less…. let’s just say, lesson learned.  I can tell you the first day when we left, we both were pretty beat up, and the next day we both were so sore that we missed the next day class to recover. 

Over the next few weeks we saw our progress. It actually was quite impressive how in such a short amount of time the things you remember struggling with in the beginning of the class you could now do so easily. You felt your confidence grow and how strong you got for sure.  They always end the class with a plank, and yeah, the first few weeks you would struggle to keep up. But with each passing week it became easier, and we could go longer. 

By the end of our time we there we would see the “newbies” come in, and we would take them in and try to help them along. I can say it was such a wonderful environment of respect and support.  It still is a bit out of my comfort zone, but I would go again.

It really taught me that you can change your body and mind in a short amount of time.  Years ago I would have never tried anything like that. I had belonged to a gym for years but never once took any of the classes. I would just go in and work the machines and go home. But I can say that experience made me open up to different possibilities of exercise outside of my normal independent routine. You pushed yourself more, you fed off the room of support and having someone else there guiding you along the way, you got the most out of your work outs.

Step out of your comfort zone, give something new a chance. The results are worth it.

9 Ways I Gain Control of My Anxiety

by: Terry Ternyila

One thing that most people don’t know about me is that I suffer from anxiety. For as far back as I can
remember, I struggled with it daily, and it is still something I must actively fight to control, even as an adult today and parent of adult children.

I struggle with anxiety with new situations, driving to places, going to the doctors or appointments,
meetings at work, and social anxiety for parties and events. When I was younger this would keep me
from attending certain events or parties. I would be riddled with stress for days before going for a
procedure or appointment for something. And I would just dread if I had something to do at work that needed to be presented in a group. Over the years I have learned practices that I have put in place to ease my stress and anxiety in situations.

One of the biggest things that helps me is being organized and planning. Below are some tips that I have developed for myself over the years.

1. Make a list.

I always start out each day with a list of things I have to do for the day or even for the week, reminders for any appointments, calls I need to make, or places I need to go. This helps me prepare for the week, looking at what I have coming so I have what I need to do. The more prepared I feel, the less stressed I am.

2. Tackle the things that stress me out the most first.

If I keep putting it off, the stress grows with each passing hour or day that I don’t do it. It becomes a dark cloud over my head, so I get it off my list first and feel so relieved. Usually its phone calls and scheduling appointments that I stress about most.

3. Save important info to your phone.

Keeping important information available on my phone has become such a life saver; I make lists of medication history, healthy history, or symptoms so they are easy to access at an appointment, and I can also remember what I need to discuss, even track symptoms to see when something started.

Another pro tip: Keep shopping lists on the Alexa app so you don’t have to worry about forgetting it when you stop at the store. Just let her know what needs to go on the list in the moment, then look back while you’re doing your grocery shopping.

4. Be Prepared.

This goes for most everything I do; I think of the situation, whether it’s a work meeting or vacation, then I prepare and organize myself so I can feel confident from the start that I have everything I need – items, information, research…whatever I could possibly need.

5. Arrive early.

This is huge for me. I always give myself plenty of time and leave earlier than I need to. I have found that if I am rushed or nervous about being late, it will fuel that anxiety and it will snowball into something worse. I have plenty of time to find where I have to go and allow for a few wrong turns, and I have time to walk around looking for the office or room, even the bathroom if that’s a concern! Sometimes it gives me a few minutes to collect myself before walking in.

6. Talk it through.

I tend to give things more stress than they deserve, so I have found that I like to think it thru and ask myself “what is the worst thing that can happen?” This usually puts it in perspective in my head. Once you realize that the worst case is really not a big deal and can be easily addressed, you tend to calm down a bit.

7. Admitting your issues to others.

Growing up there was a lot less talking about feeling than today. Now there are so many more discussions and Facebook groups with people going through the same thing. I think we have all realized that what we are feeling is a lot more common than you think. So saying to someone, “Sorry I just have so much anxiety at these things” or “I am just very nervous doing this” helps bond with others that may be feeling the same way or understand what you are feeling at that moment.

8. Don’t borrow stress.

This one sounds a little weird, but I have learned that I would be so worried about getting something right in a situation where it is not my place to make sure it’s right. If I am going somewhere or doing something, and it’s not my job or my place to take care of events, don’t stress about it. If it’s not my job to take care of it, then I don’t need to stress about it for someone else, such as when my husband is planning something and I take on the stress for him.

9. Communicate your needs to your partner.

This may seem like a no brainer, but you don’t realize that we do things and never explain why we do them, so the more my husband or children know about my stress, the more they can assist in making sure I can do what I need to enjoy ourselves.

My husband is not built like me and doesn’t need these things in place, but he respects that I do. He knows both of us will have a much better time if I just have a few things in place to keep me feeling calm. Instead of just telling him I hate to be late, I explain that when I am running late it give me more anxiety, and I can’t calm down or shake the feeling for the rest of the night. Instead of him blowing it off, he understands and makes every effort to make sure I am comfortable.

Everyone is different and these may not help everyone. You need to learn what techniques you can
bring to your every-day that would help you minimize the anxiety in your life. You will enjoy
more and sleep better for sure.

Jill of All Trades, Mastering Your Path

by: Joanna Eaton

Remember that saying our parents would go on about, “you’ll never work a day in your life if you do what you love”? It always felt somewhat unreachable, especially when the people saying so tended to come home from work every day looking more and more drained each year. Also, as a creative person, I grew up hearing the phrase “starving artist” and how I should be “realistic” in choosing a career path, and although my parents have always been supportive when it came to following my interests, looking at making money in unconventional and atypical ways was uncharted territory; even so, I was eager to explore.

As early as the third grade, I was quietly purchasing “inventory,” consisting mainly of cute erasers and pencils from the school store and selling them at a marked up price during free time in my class. My classmate, Patrick, helped me by telling our other classmates they could buy off of me. It turned out that selling in class isn’t allowed, our teacher put a stop to it within a couple days. That thrill of how easy it was to get inventory and flip it so fast remained. This is the first time I really fanned my entrepreneurial flame.

Navigating Through the Working World

My real journey into the working world began in the backroom of Target while I was in college. This provided plenty of lessons in time management as well as patience. Once college was over I took on a night crew stocker position down the road at Costco while doing mornings at Target. After a while I dropped Target when I was able to secure the coveted morning stocking shift at Costco. After doing really well with that for a while I had the opportunity to move into the deli, which was a pay raise but came with a fairly irregular schedule and a lot more responsibility. There were a lot of hard, stinky nights that I pushed through, wondering when I might figure something else out. I wasn’t meant to be cleaning hot chicken ovens and being scolded by managers for running out of stock in the hot case for 2 minutes while my back screams for a break and my mouth for a sip of water.

After 3 years of hard work at Costco, it was time to leave. During my last year there I had increasing back problems, my arms had burn scars and my face had been burned by oven steam. It was time to get a job that respected my mind & body. Costco is definitely a good opportunity on paper as I was able to save & invest a lot of money as well as have access to really great insurance coverage, but they really make you put a lot of yourself into work to get it!

Armed with my savings and determination to find a better way, I gave over two weeks’ notice and l left Costco without anything lined up, despite what I told everyone there. Even though making that decision felt risky to me, I knew I had been really good about saving that money and would be okay if I didn’t find anything for a while. I used my savings to live on and continue paying bills while looking for anything but retail. I landed interviews for everything from Delta airlines flight attendant to a marketing associate for a direct marketing/ pyramid scheme selling Xfinity. I took the marketing role without knowing what kind of business they really were. I bought the nice businesswear required and worked long hours in a cult-like brainwashing environment. I was made to feel like I had the power to do well in this job, but that I was never working hard enough; if you didn’t have sleepless nights, came in early and stayed late, you didn’t really ‘want’ to be successful there.

Once I figured out what was going on I arranged a meeting to tell them I was quitting and another person working there was quitting the same day as me. He showed me the “Devil Corp” documentary on YouTube with the word “Juice” (a common thing said there) as the thumbnail. It outlined the inner workings of the shady business we were in and I was so glad that I didn’t waste any more time there. I tried out a couple positions in different fields including being a LifeTouch photographer, but nothing could get me to shake the feeling that “this job isn’t going to take me anywhere”.

Taking a Chance and Trusting Yourself

After some time with no work again I saw my boyfriend’s workplace was hiring in the embroidery department. I didn’t know anything about embroidery, I don’t really even use sewing machines, but I know I am a fast learner! Other than that, I had helped them out here and there when they needed an extra set of hands, so I already had a good rapport with them.

When I was looking at the job posting, I’ll admit I was in the local bar with my man. With a bit of liquid courage and his permission to potentially be his co-worker, I literally said “fuck it” and submitted my Indeed application to them. One follow-up email later, I landed an interview and they were willing to take a chance on me.

I started soon after and they had me learning embroidery under the 2 other girls there. Other than that, they had me also doing merch order fulfillment for a popular crime podcast. Not only did I catch them up on orders, I reorganized and did stock inventory, which they had never done before.

Just as I was almost comfortable with the embroidery machine, COVID-19 struck. With us being a 5 minute walk away and most other employees working from home or not coming in, my boyfriend and I decided to keep going to work. We knew the business was likely not to survive if we didn’t keep showing up and we needed to keep earning regular income. I was pretty nervous though; with only a couple months under my belt, I was the only person in the building that could run the embroidery machine. Without being prompted, I repeatedly used my own free time to learn and understand the inner workings of embroidery and how I could improve. If you’re familiar, the original Pokemon theme song was 100 percent the mood during this time!

With fairly limited resources concerning commercial machines like ours, I had to do a substantial amount of experimenting and research. After lots of practice, I had a great handle on the machine, and I began to turn my attention to digitizing. This is the process of getting an art file ready for production in a way that the embroidery machine understands. Being able to learn this side of embroidery helps to give us better control of the process and a more precise outcome for each job. After a surprisingly large learning curve in the program, I started having a lot of success with it. My boss armed me with a work computer and was open to ordering new types of supplies in order to evolve the end-quality of our work. Many happy customers later, I officially became the embroidery manager. Once things calmed down a bit with covid, one of the girls came back to our section being reorganized(which she had admittedly expected would happen) and a massive workload that has only grown in size since.

Now we have an additional embroidery machine, on track to hire more people for embroidery and get another machine. Our boss is even going to be adding onto our building to expand, so there’s lots of excitement coming within the next couple months. To think, just over a year ago, we were uncertain if the business would survive! 

Mastering my Destiny

We ended up moving out of our small apartment that was a 5-minute walk to work, to now having a house with a 40-minute commute. This puts a bit of a strain on our personal time as we yearn to find a way to have passive income from our property somehow. Even a side business of my own with extra cash flow would be really incredible, something I could run at home and see where it goes! 

Other than day dreaming about setting up my own business, I’ve always been interested in creating identities for other businesses! I have a friend who makes her own all-natural salve/ moisturizer; I told her years ago if she decided to start selling it (because this shit is amazing) I would make her logo and help her with content, etc for free. Recently she finally took me up on it and it was a really fun process! Working together to create her logo for (@bee_._natural) and producing content made me realize it was something I wanted to do more of, and maybe while this might not be a sole business model for me, I could give back to brands I am inspired by and want to support. Ideally I would like to do this a couple times a year to design a logo that becomes a symbol of their own hard work & progress. To be part of that startup’s origin story as they hone in on their branding and connect with their market is so exciting!

As I grow older and expose myself to different environments, podcasts and people from different walks of life, I find myself intuitively leaning into the activities and opportunities that feel right. When I say “feel right”, I’m talking about that good-ole gut feeling. Despite the popular phrase “go with your gut,” I feel like I never “really” got it until recently. I always let logic and ideals lead me and trusted in what people said, only to be left disappointed or drained from activities and opportunities. For instance, I have always LOVED taking photographs. I started with film as a little girl that we’d take to the store to develop and moved to digital once I could sometime in middle school. Friends and family definitely identified me as a photographer and always asked for me to take photos for them and I would–of literally anything they asked.

Being a natural-born people pleaser, I always said yes, even if I didn’t feel like it. Eventually I raised my prices to make sure I was being properly compensated and noticed a drop in people coming to me for my high-value, yet affordable services. Even so, there would be people coming to me to do portraits, which is arguably one of the things I like to capture the least. Once I realized the anxiety they brought me and that it wasn’t even about the money, I slowly began saying no to them. This helped me preserve my joy for photography and freed up my time to practice with product photography, which it turns out I enjoy a lot more.

Don’t Quit Your Daydreams

Being an artist, continuing to explore new mediums is essential for me to feel challenged and find inspiration for other projects! Just like how I excitedly dove into the embroidery and garment decoration industry at my current job, I am ready for another challenge! This time, a few months from now, I will be receiving a shipment with a laser cutting machine! With this tech, my goal is to learn the machine and art file program  in time to make Christmas presents for my family. That’s a small window of about 1-2 months time to learn the basics. To accelerate myself toward that goal, I am currently taking initiative to look up everything I can, as well as gathering/ preparing product materials to hit the ground running come September! I haven’t quite settled on a name, but I simmered down my list to 5 cool possibilities, so there will be an update soon once I settle on the best one! It should be something that sets the tone for what kind of business I want it to evolve into without boxing me into just one area of customization, as I will be a one-stop shop for businesses in the future!

To bring it back to the reason for writing this article in the first place, you CAN do what you love, but it will require work. Whether or not the work is worth it for you is for you to decide! I cannot tell you how many people I witnessed say they don’t want a 9-5 and they want to work for themselves, but never take the steps toward that goal. It’s like they are just pacing at the line between being taken care of with regular schedules and guaranteed paychecks and the other side where they have to be the Jack (or Jill) of all trades, having a schedule that ebbs and flows with your actions within the business.

The truth is, if you’re REALLY going for it and want to be productive, you might not even need to do everything yourself! Websites like Fiverr and UpWork are great places to hire talented people with different backgrounds to do one-off or repetitive tasks for you and open up your time for the things you need to do yourself. So when it comes to mastering your path, you can remember you still aren’t alone; there is an incredible amount of resources available to those trying to find and improve your niche! They will come in the form of books, blogs like this one, podcasts, free webinars, online classes; there are so many!

I hope these experiences can help spur motivation and summon some creative thinking as you explore the potential to monetize on the things that come naturally to you. I am eager to write additional articles that will help prepare you and propel you forward, mind, body and spirit!

Free Cardio, It’s a Mindset

Somewhere along my fitness journey, I coined the term “free cardio,” and it really stuck. It probably doesn’t make much sense, but to me it does, and it has become something I live by. It is a mindset that gives me more energy during the day and makes me feel happier, even when I’m doing stuff I really don’t want to do (like bending over to dig all the dog toys out from under the couch – again!)

Did you know by simply standing that you could burn at least 100 calories per hour? That’s so easy, so imagine how much you can do when you start moving too! Free cardio is about celebrating and enjoying anything that gets you moving, because no matter if it’s something small that takes 20 seconds or something you dread that might take an hour, your body is moving more than you were expecting.

I’ll try my best to write a definition, but it all comes down to mindset.. Hopefully when you find yourself active during the day, you think more positively and feel happy in whatever you’re doing because you are burning calories, no matter how it may be!

Free Cardio (n.) – Unexpected activity requiring the body to move to complete a minor or undesirable task, yet remains physical activity nonetheless

Hey mom, I’ll take the trash out for you while I am here, you know I love free cardio!

Examples:

Did the kids bring home some extra dirty clothes today?

Laundry = free cardio!

Standing up, switching the wash, folding clothes all gets your body moving, so instead of thinking about how aggravating it is to wash all the clothes, maybe when you’d certainly rather be watching the latest episode of the Bachelor or something, remember your body is moving more, and that’s a good thing!

Forget to order eggs in your grocery pick-up?

Get back in the car and drive over to the corner store to grab them! Who cares if you are going out of your way? You weren’t expecting to walk around the store today, but now you get to burn a few unexpected calories!

Need to check the mail box?

It seems so silly, but especially during a pandemic when we are all so used to staying in, it could feel like a chore to walk out and grab the mail. Instead of another item on your honey-do list, think of it as free cardio!

Whatever it is you find yourself doing, be proud of yourself for moving! It can be so easy to get stuck in your seat and not get active, so be grateful for every excuse you have to get up! It’s a Mindset. When you find the good, even in something as boring as vacuuming the house, cleaning under the kids’ beds, or scooping dog 💩, you will feel good too!

Mind over matter – you can choose to be tired, agitated, or just simply “over it”, or you can choose to accept what needs to be done and find the plus side! There is something good in every thing, even if it just knowing you got your body moving a little extra!

Looking to enjoy your free cardio? Check out some unique ways below to have fun with friends and family, while also getting a workout in simultaneously!

Shopping: peruse the mall or outlets with your loved ones for a fun day out, and there’s no rule that you HAVE to shop when you walk around the stores 😉 it’s okay to be in it just for the free cardio!

Dog Walks: Spoil your pup and get some exercise next time the weather is nice

Flea Markets & Yard Sales: don’t just drive by – Park the car and add a few steps to your fitbit exploring some old goodies along the way

Visit a park or playground: the family will all have fun, and you’ll probably spend most of the trip on your feet!

Charades: who remembers this game? Next game night, have everyone on their toes while they guess what you’re doing while you’re getting that free cardio in too

What activities do you enjoy doing, or have found joy in doing? Honestly, a good dance party while cleaning the bathrooms really changes the tone!

To Better Days: Achieving Dreams Ahead of Schedule

by: Danielle Ternyila

The proven trick to achieving your dreams all comes down to mindset. When you believe in yourself, the possibilities are endless, and 21-year-old Selena Delapaz is showing us all how it’s done by following her lifelong dreams of helping people. This was always her dream, and while maybe it was not clear how she would, her determination to succeed has paid off.

Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.

During her sophomore year in high school, Selena’s parents started heading out of the house regularly, like they had some sort of secret. She overheard them talking every day, making their plans to go, and getting the kids out the door so they could go to this secret destination. When asked about it, they’d just say, ‘We’re going for shakes.” Finally, Selena, the youngest of 5, asked to go. They hyped it up so much, she had to know what it was about. Little did she know, this was only her first step down the path of achieving her dreams.

“I went, and everybody was there: my parents, my parents’ friends, and so many other people that I started talking to. Everybody would be enjoying their shakes and talking about their morning, so I started going with them every morning,” Selena said. It was this relaxing and fun space with friendly faces all around, and it was Herbalife shakes that were bringing them together and bettering their days.

Herbalife, for those who don’t know, is a global nutrition company on a mission to improve nutritional habits with great-tasting, science-backed nutrition products that help people get the right balance of healthy nutrition. Their meal replacement protein shake in dozens of flavors, or their teas, aloes, proteins, and outer nutritional products have helped millions of people around the world achieve their health goals, whether it is losing weight, maintaining it, or even gaining.

From her very first shake, Selena was hooked, and maybe even a little inspired. Since she was young, she had always wanted to help people, but when her dad started asking on their shake runs why she didn’t open her own herbalife shop yet, she simply said, “I don’t know.”

After graduating high school, she started at the local community college in a business information systems course, which she intended to do for 2 years before transferring somewhere else. One semester, however, showed her that wasn’t the place for her, so she started her career in a podiatrist office, where she worked as a medical assistant for 1 year.

Another opportunity arose around 2020, and she started a position at the place her sisters worked too. It was in September that she grabbed a notebook, and wrote down her goal: Herbalife shop in 2-3 years.

“That was the goal, the plan,” Selena said, but she wasn’t expecting that within the next few months, the universe would throw her a major curveball. Her own Herbalife sponsor let her know he had decided to move to Ecuador.

“Out of no where, I got his phone call, [and he said,] Hey, I want to sell you the shop if you’re interested, but you only have 2 months to plan.”

Her dreams quickly unfolded before her eyes, and all she had to do was say YES. After a long conversation with her family and looking over the opportunity with her dad, she made her decision. The shop was already in use, ready for her to enter and make it her own. The answer was clear.

In February 2021, To Better Days Nutrition opened its doors in Plainfield, New Jersey, and Selena’s dream to help people became a reality.

The menu at To Better Days Nutrition is filled with a variety of delicious and unique shakes, smoothies, crepes, waffles, and a fan-favorite: teas! The real kicker, though, is that all of these items are actually healthy. With the Herbalife ingredients and the personal touch Selena gives each recipe, it’s hard to believe it’s all good for you!

New customers come in and snag their favorite shake, like the Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and are pleasantly surprised to learn that these shakes are actually good for you! The entire menu, from the shakes and teas to the waffles and crepes, is made using the balanced Herbalife products to help you reach your personal diet goals. She adds her own unique touch to every dish and has mastered the ideal consistency for her shakes and smoothies. There’s no milk or added sugars and flavored syrups, either!

Visit To Better Days Nutrition: 12 Washington Avenue, Plainfield, NJ, 07060

Since the doors opened in February, To Better Days Nutrition has bloomed and developed a supportive fan base on Instagram @ToBetterDaysNutrition.

Customers continue coming in, some even more than once a day, to grab their shake before work or after a workout. Around the shop, you’ll find motivational quotes to inspire customers as they pop in throughout the day, colorful lights to optimize your mood, and comfortable seating and couches to feel welcomed and relaxed. When you take care of your body, you will feel good not only physically, but mentally too!

“I wanted to be more inspiring and motivational to people. I wanted people to come in the shop after a long day and have a tea or shake and just have happy vibes after a long day,” Selena said. “That’s the idea I had for the shop: to be motivational, inspiring, colorful, and comfortable.”

With Selena’s optimistic and outgoing personality behind the counter all day, To Better Days Nutrition inspires a healthy and happy lifestyle.

“My goal is to help people, and I want to make people feel better about themselves. I don’t say I hope to help people because we can’t use words like hope. Don’t hope to be successful, say you’re going to be successful. The more you say it, the more you will believe in yourself,” Selena shared.

It’s all about mindset; if you believe in yourself, you can do anything you set your mind too, and Selena is living proof of that. Next time you decide to treat yourself, consider a trip To Better Days and visit Selena yourself to feel inspired and enjoy the shakes everyone can’t stop talking about!

Don’t forget to follow @ToBetterDays on Instagram or just visit the shop yourself to meet Selena and taste these delicious shakes and snacks yourself!

Follow To Better Days on Instagram to learn more