Archive of ‘Inspiration’ category

Thought for the day- freedom from money

What would you be doing if money wasn’t an object?  I don’t mean like if you won the lottery.  That tends to elicit different, more fantastical and over the top responses.  This is slightly different.  What would you be doing, what would your day to day look like if you didn’t have to work for money or if you just didn’t need that much of it?


Meet our August 2013 GUTS Girlfriend of the Month!

mel w her ball

Name: Melissa Davis (Mel)

Age: 46

Occupation: Certified Fitness Personal Trainer

Why we think she is Girlfriend of the Month material:

There is hardly a thing about Mel that DOESN’T make her Girlfriend of the Month material.  Despite several very serious and debilitating illnesses in the past 5 years, she manages to be the absolute picture-perfect, positive attitude, can-do girl.  Mel is the perfect girlfriend.  She is supportive of all of her friends’ endeavors, always has a kind or inspiring word to say, always looks on the bright side and is, in general, one of my favorite people to be around because of all of her aforementioned attributes.


Q: How did you come to do what you are doing?

A: I’ve been an avid gym-goer for most of my adult life.  I’ve always dreamed of being a personal trainer and helping people with their fitness goals and healthy eating habits.  Although, I got caught up in the corporate America world working for an insurance company for the past 23 years, I still never lost hope of my dream.  I stuck with my same routine, even when I received my diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis in 2008.  It was then, after my recovery, that I decided to become a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist (Certified Dietary Manager).  I am still employed at the insurance company during the day, but now I find time to help other people with their fitness and nutrition goals as a Personal Fitness Trainer.  I look forward to the challenge and also challenging my “stronger” body each day.


Q: Have you always been driven?

A: No, not until I became older and “wiser.”


Q: Does money motivate you?

A: Sometimes it can motivate me.


Q: If money doesn’t motivate you, what does?

A: It’s more so the satisfaction of seeing clients AFTER I’ve trained them.  They are usually pumped up with energy and a feeling of accomplishment, for example “Wow!  That was great!  I’m so glad I made that a part of my day!”


Q: Do you consider yourself successful?  Why or why not?

A: I feel that I’m successful because of how my life is balanced and in alignment with where I should be.  I’m successful at living my life in PEACE and making time to help people achieve their fitness and health goals one inch or one pound at a time.  I am successful because I LOVE what I do.  I feel I’m a success because I make time for family, friends, my dogs, and myself and I try to be continually balanced with all of the crazy things that happen in life. 

I am a success at continuing to strive for personal achievements and raising the bar all of the time.  I never want to stop learning and I never want to stop growing.  I believe that having these qualities make me a success. 

I also feel successful because I have overcome obstacles in my life: failed relationships, foreclosures, bankruptcy, repossessions, job loss and illnesses requiring hospitalization.  But nothing can stop me from moving FORWARD.

I am a success because I inspire the uninspired, motivate the unmotivated and challenge the unchallenged.

Mostly, I am a success because I am ME.


Q: How do you chase away the bad though demons or those nasty gremlins of self-doubt?

A: I’m probably the same as everyone else in this category.  Doing anything the first time is always the most difficult; feeling insecure, not confident, very nervous, like going back to college the first time, training my first client or first day at a new job.  But, I’ve always had that thought in my head “if they can do it, then I can do it!”


Q: Who inspires you?

A: Women that can live life with calmness, little worry, have patience for anyone and have so much peace around them.  I know very few women like this, but my mother-in-law is one of them.  She seems to never have a lot on her mind and is always thinking of others.  She always reaches out to help others in need, but she’s never in a rush and just makes life look so simple.  I want to be like her. 


Q: Do you believe in luck?

A: No, I don’t believe in luck, but I do believe in opportunities.  If you feel one is right in front of you, you better grab it!


Q: What makes you happy?

A: BALANCE is key to having peace of mind for me.  Not only do I need order, routine and a little chaos and drama in my life, but also special, quality time with my husband, my girlfriends, my dogs and my clients.


Q: How important is having girlfriends to you?

A: Very!!  I need my girlfriends in my life.  That is part of what makes me so very happy.  It is part of my BALANCED life.  Sometimes when time goes by and I haven’t made time with my girlfriends, I can tell because my attitude changes.  I feel a “girl” always needs her “girlfriend fix”.


Q: I know you read a lot because we are always swapping book recommendations with each other.  What is one of your favorite books to recommend?

A: I think it would have to be “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy.


Q: Do you have an anthem or song that you use to rally yourself?

A: Rallying myself to do my own workouts can sometimes be a challenge.  More ofthen than not, I love getting up and pumping iron, but there are times that I don’t feel like it just like everyone else.  This quote has pushed me through so many workouts that I didn’t feel like doing: “TRAINING IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A PUNISHMENT.”


Q: What are you thankful for?

A: In March 2008, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, causing me to be hospitalized for 2 weeks.  I then returned home, still very malnourished and anemic.  I took me a long while to get strong again and then in May I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer.  Learning to walk to the mailbox at the end of the driveway was a huge feat for me.  And this was after I used to do lunges down the driveway twice a day. 

Then, in May of 2013 I was hospitalized for another 2 weeks.  Unfortunately, the previous regimen of care wasn’t as successful and I now have to have infusion therapy every six weeks.  It is known to have some side effects and commonly attacks the immune system.  So, I have to be careful of catching any viruses or colds. 

I was discharged from the hospital and couldn’t wait to begin my life again but another setback seven days after discharge landed me back in the hospital with blood clots.  There were more scares, more medicine and more healing.  I needed to heal quickly because I had really been looking forward to my planned vacation with my family in Ocean City, Maryland.  There was no way I was going to miss it.  But, because of the medicine I was on, my blood levels weren’t great and I had to give myself injections in the stomach for the next several days while I was on vacation just so they would let me go.  It wasn’t fun, but I got through it with help from my family.  Mainly from my sister saying “Mel, if you can get through 3 tattoos, you can certainly poke that little thing in your stomach!”  I still laugh about it because she was right!

Each day is a healing process and I am still recovering.  I am at about 85% right now and I just started back to work at my corporate job.  My own fitness training is very limited but each day I am adding a bit more duration and intensity.  I am excited to say that in August, I should be back to training clients and I can’t wait!


Q: What time do you get up in the morning?

A: 6AM


Q: What is your one indulgence or splurge?

A: Bruester’s Birthday Cake Ice Cream.  I’ve cut it down to only once a week, but I’m working on once a month.



Finally! A Normal Sized Model Getting Recognition

This is awesome!!  Check out this article I found online.  
You can find the original article here:
Warning: do not read her blog if you are hungry!!

Vogue Model Robyn Lawley’s Plus-Size Lingerie Campaign. Total Game Changer


(Boux Avenue)Robyn Lawley is a size 16 and proud of it. Australian Vogue’s first ‘plus-size’ cover girl has just broken another boundary in the fashion industry as the new face of a U.K. lingerie line for women with curves.
“I am delighted to be chosen as the face and body of Boux Avenue lingerie,” Robyn said in a press statement.”The brand is striving to promote a healthy body image and their size range reflects this.”
Demand for more body types in fashion grows
Notice she didn’t use the term ‘plus size.’ “I’m a normal size. I wish we could all be known as models, rather than ‘plus-size,'” she told The Australian in a recent interview.At 6’2, the 23-year-old Sydney native spent the early part of her modeling career struggling to be the opposite of “normal” to suit fashion industry standards.
‘I stumbled across pro-anorexia websites and scoured them for tips,’ she admitted in a 2011 Fabulous Magazine interview. “I began starving myself and making myself sick after meals.”Watch: When did size 6 become plus-size?But by the time she turned 18, her mindset changed and so did her potential impact on the industry. She signed with a modeling agency for natural body types and in 2011 landed on the cover of French Elle. Robyn modeling polka dots in her new campaign. (Boux Avenue) Now part of the growing movement of fashion insiders challenging the industry’s unhealthy body expectations, she’s embraced her foodie instincts with the blog Robyn Lawley Eats, a collage of recipes, indulgences and firsts (“Trying oysters for the first time properly!”) It’s everything the pro-anorexia sites are not: the only models on her tumblr are from cooking store displays. In a recent post she wrote: “A simple pan $1000 at Willams-Sonoma…not gonna lie I want it.”

She can probably afford it now. After replacing the campaign’s former plus-size model, Ola Jordan, who was six sizes smaller, Robyn is making headlines with her viral photoshoot. Lets be honest, the pictures aren’t only popular with female supporters. Dressed in a pink satin and lace bra and skimpy underpants, lounging on a sheepskin rug, normal isn’t the first word that comes to mind. Neither is “plus size.”

Former Plus size model: Size 10 model Ola Jordan was the company’s brand ambassador before Robyn (Boux Avenue)And that’s just the point. The UK brand’s Hidden Allure and After Hours Glamour lines, with sizes ranging from 8 to 20, are far from girdles. These lacy bras, undergarments and animal print slips, aren’t about reigning in waistlines but vamping them up. For now the mid-priced line (think $20-$40 range) is only available in the UK, but according the Boux Avenue website they “do their best” to accommodate international requests over email.

From an industry standpoint, Robyn’s campaign is proof that Victoria’s Secret skinny Angels aren’t the only skimpily clad models with cross-over sex appeal. (Remember when those runway models were considered “normal” because they had muscles?) From a consumer’s perspective, it’s also a sign of what’s to come: lingerie designed for showing off your curves, not hiding them.And as for Robyn, it’s the next step in a game-changing career.



40 in T minus 30

By Jennifer

I will turn 40 in exactly 30 days.  Last year, just after my 39th birthday, I sat down and wrote out a bunch of goals that I had hoped to achieve by the time I turned 40.  I am sorry to say that I have achieved very, very few of those goals.  Somehow, I took my eye off the prize and now at the 11th hour I am trying to cram for my exams.

I know that it sort of defeats the purpose and it is unrealistic to expect that I can achieve all of my goals in the next 30 days, but I can at least pick 1 of those goals and start working on it now and hope that in 30 days, I will see some improvement.  Big shocker!  I am picking my fitness goal.

Last year, I wanted to be able to run 5 miles without stopping and be able to do 2 pull-ups (yes, I realize how very pathetic this sounds, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?).  I also wanted 6 pack abs, but let’s be realistic.  I know now that you can’t actually achieve 6 pack abs simply by drinking Michelob Ultra.

So, while I doubt that I will be able to run 5 miles without stopping at the end of this 30 days, and I’m not all that confident on the pull-ups either, I want to at least feel like I am making progress toward a goal and, frankly, I want to look and feel good so I can really enjoy myself when 40 comes careening around the corner.

Wanna hear my plan?  Good!  My plan is to work out EVERY SINGLE DAY for the next 30 days.  I am not committing myself to grueling workouts, but I am committing myself to at least 10 minutes of exercise each and every day for the next 30 days.

I will also make myself drink at least 32 ounces of water each day.  Again, seems pitiful, but I am pretty sure the liquid content of my body at this point is 90% tea and diet sun drop and 10% water.  I will work over the next 30 days to reverse those numbers.  But I will NOT commit to giving up my hot tea in the morning.  That’s a recipe for disaster.

Finally, I am going to watch my food intake.  Since I will be working out more, I will try to not ruin it like I usually do by eating crap (read: cake, cupcakes, French fries, potato chips).  I am going to fill up my fridge with as many fruits and veggies as I can reasonably eat at a time and concentrate on those.  Added bonus: I can torture my kids with this awful healthy food, too!

To help me keep myself accountable and to help anybody else who might want to go along on this little journey with me, I will post fitness plans and healthy recipes to try for the next month.  If anybody has any fitness tips or healthy recipes they want to share, please do!  I can use your help.

I will post my progress weekly and I ask that you please help me hold my feet to the fire.  I need to keep my eye on the prize, which, if I am successful, might be an awesome, perfectly fitting (better fitting) new outfit for me to sport on my 40th birthday!!



Happy Birthday to Me!


I had a very nice day today.  I was blessed to celebrate another birthday.  I dare not tell how old I am but I will say that the time has flown by soooo quickly.  It makes you think about living your life to the fullest and doing what makes you happy.  I really can’t say that I have gotten there in my life yet but I continue to pray that I will.  It’s all about taking that next step and one day I will!  I will have GUTS and dive right off just like the girl in our logo!

Floretha Worley

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