How To

How to create your dream life in 5 easy-ish steps

This morning, I'm getting ready to jump on a plane to Florida for a few days of work and relaxation with my mom. A little spontaneous mini-vacation was something I used to fantasize about when I was at my corporate job. I wanted so badly to just be able to pick up and leave town when I wanted to. And now I can. Now, I'm not telling you this to say "Oh, look at me and all the great things I'm doing!". I'm telling you this because at one point this was just a fantasy, that I turned into a vision, and now into a reality. I'm telling you this because you have the ability to create YOUR OWN vision and actually LIVE a life of your dreams.

A 'dream life' doesn't have to be some big grand adventure with you galavanting around the world with your billionaire, CEO husband (unless that's what you REALLY want). Your 'dream life' can be whatever you want it to can be as simple as being able to work 3 days a week so you can spend the rest of your time with your family. It's whatever you desire.

 Have you created a vision for your BEST LIFE? 

Last week, in my Mindset Makeover class, we focused on claiming your desire by creating your vision and taking the steps to make it a reality. Some of the women in the class had never even thought about it...others could see their vision but felt like they could never get there. Honestly, that just breaks my heart.

One of the things that prevents women from living their best life and being the best version of themselves is the constant pursuit weight loss. Think about it, when you’re always thinking about how much weight you need to lose, what you should be eating, and how much you should be exercising, there’s little time or energy for getting to the heart of your own desires. 
 How would it feel to spend the next 10 or 20 years living in a body you don’t love, always fighting to lose weight (or scared you're going to gain weight), never feeling FREE to do what you want to do because you’re allowing your weight to hold you back?
Now, what if I told you that you can experience your life WITHOUT the constant thought of losing or gaining weight, WITHOUT the confusion of how, what and when to eat, WITHOUT the guilt of “falling off the wagon”, WITHOUT using food as entertainment, as a coping mechanism, as a way to numb pain and frustration? How would that feel?
Like freedom.
It’s time to stop being distracted by physical measures of happiness (weight, dress size, flat abs) and acknowledge what you truly desire for yourself and your life. It’s going to take some work and practice to get connected with the feeling of living your best life, but it will be worth it. I promise you.
One very important note about your vision: it’s not this thing that will happen for you ‘one day in the future’…it IS something you take action on TODAY and everyday. In fact, there are probably some elements of your vision that are in your life right now…and it’s important to acknowledge those things.
Ok, are you ready to create your vision? Take as long as you need to answer the following questions:
STEP 1: Paint a picture of your best life. (not literally 'paint' a picture; you can write it, draw it, or speak it into a voice recorder). What does it look and feel like?
STEP 2: What makes this vision important to you?
STEP 3: On a scale of 0-10 how large is the gap between where you are now and your vision (0= it's so far I can't even see it, 10= I'm living my best life now). BE HONEST!
STEP 4: On a scale of 0-10  how confident are you that you can close that gap? (0=no confidence, 10= very confident). Again, you need to be HONEST.
STEP 5: What can you do today to move closer to your vision? This is important because consistent action is required to make your vision a reality.

Once you dig deep into these questions, you'll see how powerful this exercise can be.

If I had never created my vision for my best life, I'd still be sitting at my desk at my corporate job, wishing I was on a beach with a cool refreshing drink, and doing the work I love. But instead, it's going to be a reality.

Getting the life you truly want (and deserve) is in your control. It's time for YOU to make it happen.

Here's to your best life!

Melissa signature


How to Get the MINDSET You Need for the BODY You Want

I'm about 6 weeks away from my next competition, so my meal plan changes slightly each week so that I can SLOWLY lose body fat and be super lean for the stage. Even though I'm training and eating to attain a completely unsustainable physique that is incompatible with REAL LIFE, I have a mindset that gets me through it without feeling miserable or deprived.  Do you want to know the Top 5 mindsets that are keeping you in a constant battle to lose weight? Well, check out my video and learn how you can start to SHIFT them.

It's taken me a couple of years of practice and paying attention to my thoughts to finally make a permanent shift so that I could have FREEDOM and PEACE around food and my body. But that's after being BRAINWASHED for decades to believe that losing weight had to be an endless struggle and that I wouldn't be truly happy until I dropped 20 pounds. 

If you can relate to what's in the video, I'd love to hear from you. Come on over to my blog and tell me:

What mindset do YOU need to shift to get the results you want?

Oh, I almost forgot. Stay tuned next week for a 2-part (or maybe 3) series I'm doing on how to be more "human" with your eating. Don't worry if that doesn't make sense right'll understand what I'm talking about when you read it!


How to prevent grumpy moods and cookie binges

The best thing about being an entrepreneur is that it's not a 9 to 5 job…it's also the worst thing. With NO set hours, it's easy to work 12-16 hour days (including weekends).  When you work from home, you can never clock out.  Time for yourself?? Remind me what that is again.  Well, it turns out, taking time for yourself (aka self-care) is ESSENTIAL to a successful business, a healthy body, and a kick-ass life.

Lately, I've been slacking in the self-care department and burning the candle at both ends,  constantly adding more and more STUFF to my life. I'm coaching clients, networking like crazy to build my business,  prepping for a competition in May (which I'm learning a dance routine for), attending a 6-week Intro to Culinary Arts class, and doing Bikram yoga twice a week…all of this on top of my responsibilities at home. 

Even though I preach "take care of yourself' to my friends, family, and clients, I have not been doing a good job of it myself. 

Like most women, I feel like I can take on anything I'm asked to do. I just kept filling up my schedule without taking time for self-care, and now I'm paying the price.  Yesterday, I didn't feel like doing anything…my work and my workout suffered. I felt terrible and I wanted to scratch everyone's eyes out. Not to mention, I wanted to jump head-first into a bag of chocolate chip cookies.

Self-care is NOT a is a NECESSITY.  Everything and everyone around you suffers when you try to do it all without taking break for yourself.

You don't need to schedule a weekly 2-hour hot stone massage on the beach (unless you're a baller)…just 30 to 60 minutes once a week to do anything that recharges and reinvigorates you is all you need. You can make time for that, right???

Oh, the other thing is that I have an amazing accountability partner, Kirstin, who reminded me that I needed to do this for myself and I committed to letting her know what I planned to do for my self-care this week. Also, my coach, Karen, is always telling me to put time on my calendar for myself and I need to start listening. I'm feeling much better today and the cookie crisis was averted.

We think we can do it alone, but it turns out that we can't.  

If you need a reminder or feel like someone has to give you permission to take time out for you, then here it is.  Do it…TODAY!

Ok, back to relaxing!

Melissa signature

Sweetness is NOT my weakness: How to recover from sugar addiction


After MANY years of struggling with sugar, I think I'm finally at a point where it no longer controls my life.  In fact, I've been able to walk by the two cupcake bakeries in my neighborhood without buying ANYTHING from them this year (that's a HUGE step for me).  Now, this isn't something that magically happened overnight.  In fact, this is something that's been in the making for a while now…and here are the things that I think helped me get here:
  • I learned my triggers: We all have something that makes us reach for the sweets.  For me, it's stress and anxiety, usually brought on by certain social situations, overscheduling myself, and sadness or disappointment.  Now that I know what causes me to dive head first into a bag of peanut M&Ms, I've come up with other, non-sugar ways of coping: an intense workout, sharing a laugh with my girlfriends, or just taking deep breaths and going for a walk are my coping mechanisms of choice.  I actually FEEL my feelings instead of FEEDING them.  I still love my M&Ms though.  
  • I know how sugar makes me feel:  Sugar is NOT my friend…too much of it makes me feel terrible.  I get sluggish and I just want to take a nap, which is not the thing to do when I have deadlines to meet.  I also get a massive headache when I have too much sugar.  I don't want that feeling, so I avoid coma-inducing sugar bombs.  If I really want something sweet, a very ripe banana (with or without almond butter) always does the trick for me…my cravings satisfied without the sugar crash.  
  • The way I eat makes me happy and keeps me satisfied: I rarely eat packaged, processed convenience foods, so my taste buds aren't bombarded with sweetness morning, noon, and night.   Have you noticed that the more sugar you eat, the more you want?  If almost everything you eat has sugar in it (check the labels!), it's going to keep you coming back for more and more.  Once I cut out the crap food and started eating nutrient-rich whole foods every day, I have so much more REAL energy, not the kind you get from a sugar high.  Also,  starvation and deprivation during the day lead to raging sugar cravings at night.  Back in my dieting days, sugar was always my nighttime companion, but not anymore.  Ditch the diets and eat REAL food all day, every day!
  • I'm living a "sweeter" life: Yes, I loved the taste of sugar, but I was also using it as a substitute for things that were missing in my life.  Dissatisfaction with my job, relationships, and a whole bunch of other things left me trying to find love and happiness in a deep dish apple pie.  Now, I'm more focused on doing things and spending time with people that make me truly happy. Inspiring others by sharing my story is something that brings me incredible joy, something that I was never able to find with sweets. Trust me,  I tried and tried to find happiness in pie, cake, and chocolate chip banana bread pudding…but, for some reason,  it never showed up in any of those places. 
I hope you can find what works to help you kick your sugar habit.  If a sugar queen like me can do it, so can you! 
I'd love to hear how sugar affects you, so leave a comment in the section below!