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Warning: Heavy Shit Here, no fluff!!

Warning: This post is honest, raw and was hard to write.  I wrote it to help me process, organize my thoughts and possibly help someone going through a similar situation.

 

Last night, my cell phone rang at 11:46pm.   The minute I answered and heard the voice on the other end of the line, I got up, put on my flip flops and grabbed my keys. Lump in my throat,  I left my house and my family sleeping and drove away.   That's the thing...there are some phone calls you are so scared to  receive and some people you can't imagine anything bad happening to that, without uncompromising certain privacies, will leave you dead in a way.  But you can't be dead, because your heart is racing and mind is creating a million different scenarios that surely end in Hell!  Before I go on, nobody died, nobody was physically injured. This is just the tough stuff that life is made of everyday. 

What I will share with you is that when someone I love needs me, I show up!  I show up every time, no matter how late, how tired, how fucked up I think the situation  is, how stupid I think someone is being....I SHOW UP!  I am sure all of you can relate.  There are two things that I think are most important about showing up.

First, if I haven't taken the time to show up for myself and assess my own behaviors, patterns and choice making, I can never show up for someone else. I know my own shit and know all the stories I tell myself that keeps me from being the only version of myself I want to be.  I have wallowed in it, I have played victim, I have pitied myself, I have felt so lonely that nobody could possibly understand, I have run away, I have stayed in situations that didn't serve me for far too long, I have been embarrassed, shamed, made fun of, told I would never amount to anything,  allowed myself to feel like a doormat, abused, mistreated, and underestimated for most of my life. So What???  Who cares?? We have all experienced pain, loneliness and suffering in our lives, there is no question.  My degree of suffering can not be measured in comparison to others.  We all suffer the same.  What I can do...is to find the patterns, correct and try new patterns to not repeat  the old.  This is a game I have been playing for many years and will continue to play as I always seek to be better than I was the day before.  To think that I am special because of circumstances and deserve special treatment is plain old bullshit.  We all play our part in every decision that has happened upon our circumstance. We all have choices.  That is what is so beautiful, the choice is ours and ours alone to rise above "bad" circumstances.

All of that said, I can only show up for others if I continue to show up for myself.  I take responsibility for the situations I put myself in, I own misguided steps, I do not regret, I only learn and move on.  I do not let my past dictate my future.  My past does not make me who I am today, rather it makes me more experienced to be better today.  The past is opportunity, never baggage.  Opportunity.  Change the way you see your past. Opportunity for growth is in every obstacle you meet.    When someone dear to you is going through something traumatic, it's hard for them to see the opportunity.  In fact, only if you can detach yourself emotionally, can you see the opportunity.  And when feelings are involved and passionate values and beliefs are in question, we sort of loose our shit!!  That is when practicing opportunity is the hardest.   When you are smack dab in the middle of the shit filled swamp, it all stinks.  Tha'ts the work, and if you're not working on it yourself you will never be able to show up for anybody else. 

Secondly, showing up for someone is not telling them that everything is going to be okay and skirting around issues that are uncomfortable to talk about.   Honesty is the ONLY way to show up.  I had  to communicate with one of the greatest loves of my life, in a way that I never have before last night.  I hurt his feelings, not intentionally, I embarrassed him, not intentionally, and a little part of me died watching him unravel. I have known this person his whole life and see his true self.  I want him to see it too.  I, unfortunately, can not do that.  I can only continue to tell him the truth, to really listen and watch, to remind him of his gifts, his light, his presence and the love I have for him no matter what!  Why is it so hard to see our gifts?  Why is it so easy to be led away from who we really are?  Why do we seek constant approval from our peers? Why do we put on faces and never get to know people?  Why do we suffer and struggle in order to fit in?  Why does any of it even matter?

So much of last night is with me, not just as I write, but as I continue to ponder on some of the questions that have been raised.   Part of me is angry and part if me is sad.    Sad that we have created a society of instant gratification, where we need to feel good all of the time and when something makes us feel less than good we can't handle it and find things to dull our senses.  Sad that many of us have lost the ability to communicate what they need in order to feel loved.  Angry that we choose to text instead of talk face to face, eye to eye, heart to heart. Sad that we think confrontation is a bad thing.  Sad that it took me this long to be so honest with one of the people I love most in this world.   

If you do happen to read this mess the whole way through, Know that you are never suffering alone.  Seek out honesty, even if it doesn't feel good.  Make mistakes and move on.  Show up for your friends and family when they need you.  Most importantly, show up for yourself everyday and put in the work it takes to be a better human.  That is our responsibility. All of ours.  Instead of sadness, today I will continue to work on being honest and forthright in all aspects of my life. I will not hurt others in the process and I will forge ahead even when I want to retreat.  I will also call my therapist, he is always honest with me, even when I don't want to hear it. Check yourself before you wreck yourself...courtesy of some rapper in the 90's I think!! 

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Keepin' it small..keepin' it real!!

We have had a recent influx of new clients seeking something different.  By something different, I mean, something that should be at the core of EVERY SERVICE Business out there.  Customer Service.  I have been in the service business since the age of 13 and thank my parents for teaching me the value of great customer service.  Not just the, put a smile on your face and get through it customer service,  the kind of Customer Service that acts and feels from the heart.  A business of assessment.  It is a real gift, that can be learned, to figure out what exactly your client needs.  What  are they seeking? Not, what are they saying, rather, what do they really need? 

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In order to understand your clients, or customers needs, you must gather heaps of information first.  Name, address, birthday and email only tell you so much.  As a human  vested in other human's development, success and happiness, I am looking for details about who they are, why they are that way, and how I can help them.  Quite honestly, I can't help anybody if I don't constantly assess my own "shit" daily.  That topic will be saved for another time. In the meantime, I want you, the client/customer, to know that without honest information and communication there can be no service. Here are a few ways my team and I, take on the challenge of multiple needs based on individuals in our customer service oriented business. 

1. We try to walk in the shoes of our clients first, before we spurt out information that may or may not be relevant to them.  From the minute a new client/customer steps in to our doors or sends us an email, we ask them some important questions first, like how did they find us?  What sent them to seek our services?  Do we have any mutual friends? Where were they before and what prior experience sent them to us? Understanding where your clients came from will tell you a lot who they are and what they are seeking.

2.  We never ignore feedback!  No matter the type of feedback, we discuss it as a team and determine our next steps.  The old saying is true, you can't please everyone, however, feedback from our clients is crucial to our growth as a company and more importantly, it is at the heart of any great customer service business.  If the majority of our clients are expressing the same feeling, then BAM!! Lets, figure out how to change it and make it better.  Even when it comes to the technology we use, if it is not user friendly, I consider it a barrier between good customer service and great service. 

3.  We look out for the "other" guy.  Meaning, if we are not equipped to offer the service our client is seeking, it is important that we can refer them to a place that we know can help them.  Now, some of you may call that bad business, but if we truly have our clients best interest at heart, this is a non-issue. I can't tell you how many times I have referred clients to other studios knowing that my studio may not be the best fit for them.  Knowing our clients needs can only help us serve them better, even if it comes in the way of referral to another business.  That is good business and exceptional Customer Service. 

4.  Time.  When I schedule a sit-down or chat with a new or existing client, I never put a time limit on it.  Sometimes it takes minutes to get to the heart of why they are sitting in that chair, and sometimes it takes many, many minutes.  Point is, the ultimate goal for our clients is have their needs met.  I will never forget why they came to my business in the first place.  It is one of the most rewarding parts about this business.  I love people, I love watching them transform their mind, body and spirit one day at a time.  Taking the time to get to know each individual is an honor that I will always feel grateful for! 

This is our business model, and this is why we love our intimate connection to each of you!!!  We want to get to know you, your habits, good and bad, your lifestyle, goals, careers, family life and more importantly, what lights you up everyday???   Can I get an AMEN?!!!   

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Written by Gina Tralongo

August 2018

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F.I.T. Retreat Summer 2017 July

Our Home for 4 majestic nights!  We enjoyed some much needed down time at this serene, secluded location.

Our Home for 4 majestic nights!  We enjoyed some much needed down time at this serene, secluded location.

The best part about retreat is the opportunity to unplug, re-connect with nature, connect with new friends and explore. We hosted our first 4 day excursion in july, in the Catskills, NY.  Below are a few photos of what our days and nights looked like.  

Thank you to our guests who made these 4 days as magical as the setting itself.  Friendships were forged and bonds were made with this intimate group of 10 people.  We could not have asked for a better group of humans to share space and "break Bread".  *There was actually not one piece of bread eaten in 4 days***  LOL  However, plenty of amazing food, created and made by Gina herself, and was the hit of the retreat. Her 25 years in the restaurant business has allowed her to re-invent classic cuisine to make them healthy, balanced and nutrient dense.   Her passion for taking care of people on every level does not go unnoticed.  Along with her FreeStyle Trainers, Shawn, Bree and Kelly, each one brought their own energy, playfulness and work ethic to make our first F.I.T. Retreat so epic!  

We are gearing up for our next group of Retreaters in August and we could not be more excited to set out on new adventures, share space, relax and renew in this secured, majestic setting.  Get ready August...here we come!! 

Keep checking back for more photos and fun from our August Retreat!  We have only one spot left in our Women Only F.I.T. Retreat in Tulum, Mexico coming this February.  Check out our retreat Tab for details!! 

A few of our guests walking down the trail to the beautiful Kaaterskill Falls.  We stopped along the way to take in the breathtaking views, snap a few photos and enjoy the chill vibes that nature provides. 

A few of our guests walking down the trail to the beautiful Kaaterskill Falls.  We stopped along the way to take in the breathtaking views, snap a few photos and enjoy the chill vibes that nature provides. 

A few of the group getting read to kayak and paddle board through the stunning Mohonk Mountain Lake. So serene we didn't want to leave. 

A few of the group getting read to kayak and paddle board through the stunning Mohonk Mountain Lake. So serene we didn't want to leave. 

Trainers only seeing opportunity for challenges and growth!! LOL  Selfies are a must while hiking these beautiful mountains! 

Trainers only seeing opportunity for challenges and growth!! LOL  Selfies are a must while hiking these beautiful mountains! 

Always seeking the notorious handstand photo.  Harder than she thought, but Gina loves a good challenge.  Playing is what keeps you young, free and open to new experiences.  We encourage all types of play while we adventure.

Always seeking the notorious handstand photo.  Harder than she thought, but Gina loves a good challenge.  Playing is what keeps you young, free and open to new experiences.  We encourage all types of play while we adventure.

A night out on the town...relaxing, sipping on cool refreshments and getting to know each other.  This was an incredibly fun night, dancing, laughing and making the youngsters look like amateurs in the fun arena!  

A night out on the town...relaxing, sipping on cool refreshments and getting to know each other.  This was an incredibly fun night, dancing, laughing and making the youngsters look like amateurs in the fun arena!  

Food was and is a big part of socializing.  We took extra care in preparing food that was unprocessed, filled with vitamin and minerals, local when available and handpicked and prepared by Gina.  Family style dinners allowed for a casual atmosphere and the ability to engage with everyone equally. 

Food was and is a big part of socializing.  We took extra care in preparing food that was unprocessed, filled with vitamin and minerals, local when available and handpicked and prepared by Gina.  Family style dinners allowed for a casual atmosphere and the ability to engage with everyone equally. 

Strawberry Chia Pudding Shortcake!

Strawberry Chia Pudding Shortcake!

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"Move Me" Intensive Series Part 1 Success

An organic vegetarian lunch to refuel and nourish our body after a vigorous practice. 

Our Warriors learning to feel through movement, this transition from our Budokon® Series mimics movements found in martial arts, yoga and various  fitness methods.

Our Warriors learning to feel through movement, this transition from our Budokon® Series mimics movements found in martial arts, yoga and various  fitness methods.

Quiet contemplation before we move as one cohesive unit, setting the tone for the rest on the practice.

Quiet contemplation before we move as one cohesive unit, setting the tone for the rest on the practice.

Goal setting using visualization and creative journaling to organize and focus our vision.

Goal setting using visualization and creative journaling to organize and focus our vision.

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Monotonous Food + Crazy Workouts = Success

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Monotonous Food + Crazy Workouts = Success

I have been hearing from multiple people over and over again that they are getting so bored with their food. All they do is they eat the same thing over and over again. They follow it up saying they know they need to switch it up in order to achieve  better results. Reality is, it is usually your choice of foods, not the repetition, that makes the difference in whether you will attain your body goals. The foods you put into your body have a direct effect on the how your body will utilize it's nutrients for fuel or for storage.  

 Our body's metabolism is just one big burning fire! Think about it in order to keep a fire going and make it burn hotter you add a piece of wood. Has to be a good healthy piece of wood I can't be a piece of crap soggy wet board. You throw it in a fire and the fire keeps burning  bigger and brighter. This is the same way your metabolism works. The more healthy meals you add to your body on a regular basis the hotter and faster your metabolism will burn.  However, it can be that same piece of wood that has been working for you over and over again. Granted it might get boring, but if you know it works and has been doing your body good then keep at it. Find the meals you like the most and your metabolism will react. 

Now sometimes to get a fire burning hotter we cheat and we had some gas, oil or lighter fluid and next you know the fire explodes. Your body will react the same way when it gets used to burning away the same thing over and over again. When you introduce a cheat meal of something that you really want, every once in awhile not all thr time, your metabolism will explode...your next workout will feel great and then it will go right back to the way it was working before burning away. So don't always think you need a switch up. If the food you're eating is working stick with it until your results are not changing, then switch it up just a little bit.


Now, that is the way your body likes to work, with diet and food.  When it comes to your workout your body will react  best to constant change and shocks to your system. The muscles in your body will hit a plateau after about four to five weeks of doing the same motions over and over again. They will begin to recognize the pattern and can anticipate the muscles will be stressed and stretched the same way.  They will stop responding and you will not feel the same as the first time you completed the workout.  We all experience this whenever we try a new exercise. It's a freaking pain in the ass at first, right?  The soreness you feel in your body, usually 24-48 hours after a workout, is because your muscles are not used to being stressed in that manner.  Small tears occur, in the muscle tissue, and the soreness goes away after the tissue heals with rest and proper nutrition.  Keep your system rattled, change it up, the more you can keep the body guessing with the workouts the quicker results you're going to see.

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So, You joined the Gym...5 Reasons Why You Will Quit before March!

We all experience some degree of new hope every time we celebrate the New Year!  Many of us were eager to see 2016 go and were looking forward to new opportunities in the New Year.  According to Statistic Brain,  over 40% of New Year's Resolutions have something to do with loosing weight, eating healthier, and working out more. It's no secret we see an influx of people at the gyms in January...fast forward to February, and the crowd is thinner and by  March the gym is back to "normal" status.  Only 8% of us will actually attain our goals. What is holding us back in pursuing our newly established goals? 

Now, I am not one to make resolutions.  I definitely made my share in my earlier years with some success and some failure.  I soon realized that my resolutions were more like wishes.  I thought about the habits I wanted to break, definitely talked about them, but never really had a specific plan of action and any sort of accountability set up to keep me on my desired path.  Below are 5 common mistakes all of us have made while trying to become a healthier, more active version of our current selves. 

1.  You were not mentally prepared for the task at hand.  Wanting something and doing the work to attain that something are entirely different things.  We often start out strong, but at the first sign of trouble, or inconvenience, we give in and cave on our goals.  For instance, I say I want to workout more, but I do nothing to clear my schedule, don't seek out the right environment, and continue to make excuses as to why I can't workout, my goal becomes just a wish. If we don't prepare for obstacles, distractions, work events, or anything that could become a setback, we will probably fail. Get your mind right first and the plan will be easy to execute.

2. Your expectations are Ridiculous!  I read the other the other day, on social media of course, that someone was trying a new gym to workout.  Three days into it, that someone was wondering why she hasn't seen a result yet.  I am not kidding...wish I was!  Your goals can be as big as you dream them, however, you must be intelligent about the process, length of time, commitment, hard work and sacrifice.  The bigger the goal, the more work you MUST put out.  That is not up for question.  Letting circumstances that change in the blink of an eye must not deter the determined.  The determined find a way.  They can't get to the gym?  They workout at home.  They have a work function and forgot their packed lunch? They figure out the best option to keep them focused and make it work.  They do what THE "FUCK' EVER to make it work. So, know what your expectations require and be willing to adjust accordingly.

3. You are too vague.  You want to have a better body.  You want to eat healthy. You want to travel more.  The more specific you are, the better shot you have.  I want to build a round booty.  I want to eat more green vegetables.  I want to see Italy.  These, at least, are more specific and can be planned, executed and put to a time line. 

4. You suck at managing your time.  Learning to prioritize took me the most time to learn.  I said "yes" to everything and found myself so over extended and overwhelmed that I gave up on all of it.  Make your goal your  PRIORITY.  If you have a significant other, discuss in detail what you are seeking and ask for support.  In most cases, if your partner can help you they will.  That may come in the form of taking the kids for an hour so you can grocery shop, workout, whatever.  Maybe they will adopt your new lifestyle and help you navigate your way when it gets hard.  You don't know unless you ask. Don't stack up extra work and expect to continue to honor the commitment to yourself.

5. You are wasting your time!  We live in a social media frenzied world, addicted to the dopamine rush that we receive when we get a text message or when somebody likes your FB post.  It has replaced the natural high that you actually have to work for once you crushed your workout or training session.  Distraction is everywhere and we have become zombies, unaware of the world around us, never taking any alone time, making plans, being busy.  Redirecting your energy and focusing on one task is necessary for your brain, body and spirit to reboot.  Put down your device and get the FUCK to work! 

Listen, we all get caught up in our lifestyle choices of convenience and plenty.  I am asking you to take a step back, to re-discover what really lights your fire and pursue that.  Think hard about why you want to attain your goals, the why will lead you down the path to longevity and will keep you focused when met with distraction.   The next blog will be on how to stay focused to find success. 

Written by: Gina T.  

  

 

 

Gotcha!!

Gotcha!!

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I know there a lot of questions when it comes to sneakers.  Which ones for what class? Should I run in them?  How long should I keep them?  We(Shawn and I) go through a lot of sneakers.  It is so important to keep your feet healthy and supported during various movements.  Here is a short list of my favorites for women.  Shawn will post about his fav's later. 

The only sneakers I do not really like are Nike, due to their grip and they are too narrow for my foot.  That does not mean they are a bad sneaker for you.  If you've been wearing Nike's forever, than do it!! LOL. What I see, as a trainer, is a lot of people in the wrong shoes for their chosen activity.  For instance, when I see a client wearing running shoes, that are meant for long distance with a high cushioned heel, attempting to understand driving through the heels in a back squat, I tend to cringe.  Most people just don't know and have never been told any different and think they can do anything in their workout shoe.

So here are a few tips:

First, replace sneakers every 3 months if you use them on a regular basis to train.

Second, Ask your self some questions analyzing what a good shoe should provide. 

1. Is it breathable?  A little mesh goes a long way!  When working up a good sweat, you want shoes that won't hold the dampness in.  You want to prevent overheating and need enough mesh to make sure the whole foot can breathe, not just a portion.

2. Will it protect your feet?  You want to look fro a shoe that has a great grip for performing on various terrains without worrying about instability.  Also, a little shock absorption to prevent stress on joints in high intensity situations.

3. Is the sole too lifted off the ground?  You want to be sure that you have enough support while having it thin enough to be able to feel the ground under you. 

4. Are your toes restricted?  You do not want to restrict your toes as they expand to grip the ground under you as you run, jump, squat, whatever.  Too much room is no good either.  You may have to try several in order to find the right fit for you. 

Below are a few of my fav's:  Don't get crazy here...these are options only.  There are literally thousands and these are the ones that work in our studio for our activity level that I have first hand knowledge of.  My suggestion is to go to our local Fleet Feet on Wolf Rd. and try various sneakers on.  They will help you choose which sneaker is right for you, your anatomy and your chosen sport.

Here are my picks from New Balance:  The Fresh Foam trainer.  Great for cross-training and offers support for forefoot for lateral movements!  Think speed skaters people!! 

http://www.newbalance.com/pd/fresh-foam-822v3-trainer/WX822-V3L.html?dwvar_WX822-V3L_color=Angora_with_Black#color=Angora_with_Black 

The Vazee is another great option that I fell in love with over the summer and is great for cross-training and light running.  No ultra marathons on this shoe...hahaha.  Perfect for our classes!  http://www.newbalance.com/pd/vazee-transform-mesh-trainer/WX77-M.html?dwvar_WX77-M_color=Grey_with_Bleached%20Sunrise_and_Black%20Plum#color=Grey_with_Bleached%20Sunrise_and_Black%20Plum

The Vazee is another great option that I fell in love with over the summer and is great for cross-training and light running.  No ultra marathons on this shoe...hahaha.  Perfect for our classes! 

http://www.newbalance.com/pd/vazee-transform-mesh-trainer/WX77-M.html?dwvar_WX77-M_color=Grey_with_Bleached%20Sunrise_and_Black%20Plum#color=Grey_with_Bleached%20Sunrise_and_Black%20Plum

The Inov-8 training f-lite 250.  Great for all we do at the studio and some light running. Great grip for Off The Wall. https://www.inov-8.com/women/shoes/training/f-lite-235-v2-womens-training-shoes-grey

The Inov-8 training f-lite 250.  Great for all we do at the studio and some light running. Great grip for Off The Wall.

https://www.inov-8.com/women/shoes/training/f-lite-235-v2-womens-training-shoes-grey

The All Train sneaker from Inov-8 Is great for our Total Body Blast and Obstacle Course classes.  Think high intensity, agility drills, box jumps etc.  

The All Train sneaker from Inov-8 Is great for our Total Body Blast and Obstacle Course classes.  Think high intensity, agility drills, box jumps etc.  

The REEBOK CROSS FIT NANO 6.0  A great cross-training shoe and when you want to climb that rope, it has a kevlar shell to help your traction.  Pretty fuckin awesome if that;s your thing. 

The REEBOK CROSS FIT NANO 6.0  A great cross-training shoe and when you want to climb that rope, it has a kevlar shell to help your traction.  Pretty fuckin awesome if that;s your thing. 

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5 Essential tips for making your 2017 fit and fun AF!!

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1.  Stop wondering what everybody else is doing.  We see our peers, colleagues, friends and family posting everything from what they ate, where they worked out, what exercises they "died" on, what they drank pre and post workout, what outfit they decided on, which club bathroom they selfied in to everything in between.  The truth is, what we see on FB, IG and Twitter only gives us a moment taken out of somebody else's day.  We don't know what their intentions are, how they see themselves, how they interact with others, and who they are while nobody is looking.   It is up to you to decide how you want to live, love and thrive in this world today and everyday thereafter.  Who gives a f**k about what everybody else is doing.  The world is YOUR playground. 

2.  Create a list of things that inspire you.  Include areas regarding your career, relationships, health and body.  What lights the fire inside you?  How do you see yourself now and how can your current self develop into the self you want to become?  This requires time to yourself and reflection.  Taking the time to write it down and make a plan that you can stick to will keep you on track and moving forward. 

3.  Be specific and Be BOLD in your vision for the future.  You must complete number 2 in order to dive into this one.  No dream is too big, no goal is too unattainable.  It only matters that you believe you will achieve the reality you envision.  This is no time to cut yourself short.  Life is too uncertain...learn to live each breath running towards your dreams.  Once you have a clear picture and you can visualize your dreams, you are better apt to make the right decisions that bring you closer to them everyday.  Vision boards are great tools to remind yourself daily of the path you choose to take.

4.  Let go of all past trauma, pains and old stories that are no longer serving you.  You are the author of your story and rewriting it with a different perspective, that is equally true, will be more productive for healing and moving on. Commit to looking forward with a new pen to put to your paper. 

5.  Stop Procrastinating!  Are you afraid to put yourself out there? Ignore that little voice that tells you, '"they're all gonna laugh at you". That is the poison that will keep you from attaining your deepest desires and accomplishing your loftiest goals.  Stop putting off the trip you've always wanted to take and make a plan and do it!  Save for it, book it and go! You want to be in the best shape of your life?  Stop talking about next Monday and make every choice throughout the day dedicated to just that.  Pack your lunch, prep healthy meals, plan your workout schedule, go to the doctor for regular check ups, stop talking and start doing!

Written by: Gina T. 

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