Thursday, December 3, 2009

Inner Strength

I originally posted this blog on Clark Bartram's website 2 days ago. After all of the wonderful feedback and comments I was given, I wanted to share this blog on here as well. I'm truly blessed to have Clark in my life as a mentor.

For the last several months, I've dealt with a lot of heartache and frustration. I've kept myself busy with working out and eating healthy and trying to surround myself with the people that keep me positive and optimistic about life.

I moved to Seattle 4 months ago and love it here, but the frustration of trying to find a full time job to pay the bills is starting to get the best of me. I've had a lot of negativity that has come into my life over the last four months and it's recently become a daily challenge and struggle to continue to be optimistic about everything.

From the day I was born, I was told I wasn't going to live, walk, and possibly have mental challenges to deal with in life. My disability with cerebral palsy has been a blessing in disguise. Having cerebral palsy has made me continually grateful. I'm able to do things that physicians and physical therapists questioned and thought I wasn't going to be able to do. Walking is something I NEVER take for granted. I will admit there are times when I forget I have a disability, but the ongoing every day challenges aren't as noticeable now as they were when I was younger. I try and remind myself just how lucky I am and that life is valuable. When I look back on my childhood and remember all of the challenges I had to face at a young age, it puts things in perspective for me. The tough times I'm dealing with now are just that. They are challenges I have to face, but they will eventually fade.

It's the tough times where I really appreciate my family and close friends the most. My inner strength comes from within the little girl in me that constantly fought my way into this world. The child that chose to prove everyone wrong. I knew what I was capable of and continued to have strength and determination to keep going and not give up. I didn't listen when someone told me no.

My inner strength is what makes me who I am today. It was today, where I took the time to evaluate myself and see how truly blessed I am. Inner strength is beautiful and always makes you strong. Being strong = confidence. Have you found your inner strength today?

"May the pain you have known and the conflict you have experienced give you the strength to walk through life facing each new situation with courage and optimism." - Unknown

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ohhh the Holidays

With the holidays vastly approaching in just a few days I'm feeling the temptations starting to set in. The smell of turkey, mash potatoes and gravy, the cranberries and don't forget that delicious pumpkin pie. Not to mention, there's always another holiday feast following a few weeks later.

I'll admit I'm a sucker for the pumpkin pie, and the cranberries and well...EVERYTHING. There's days where I feel I'd make a good food critic because I love food that much. I'm not one for cooking much, although I am learning after becoming more and more involved with being in the fitness industry and learning you have no choice but to cook when you're trying to be fit and healthy.

It's always difficult for me not to want to sneak a taste here and there while my mom cooks away in the kitchen. I have a hard time not going for third or fourth helpings during the holidays. I say third and fourth helpings because lets face it, you HAVE to go for seconds.

The ongoing question sets do I stay in shape with all of those goodies in my reach? Answer? All in moderation.

It's okay to splurge on the holidays, but make sure you take a regular proportion. If you want to go for that second piece of pie, no need to feel guilty. Just hit the gym for an extra ten minutes. You can keep the pounds off, just stick to your regular workout routine. Put in a few additional repetitions when you're working on your abs or an extra 5 minutes of cardio. Drink plenty of water and just add a few extra minutes to your workout if you feel you need to work off a few additional calories. We all know that pumpkin pie is calling your name repeatedly and we all know you'll be giving in a little later. :) I do.

Enjoy the holiday season and don't let the guilt set in. Stick to your regular workout routine and you'll be fine. Don't use the holidays as an excuse for the reason not to keep up with your workouts, but don't deprive yourself either. Just remember, it's all in MODERATION :)

Have a great start to the holidays everyone!

"An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day." Irv Kupcine

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's okay to be YOU

When I first wanted to start getting into shape and really toning up my body, I wasn't thinking of getting into shape for the right reasons. I wanted to look like a Victoria's Secret model and look good in a bikini. I posted up a picture of one of the glamorous VS models up on my bathroom mirror hoping when I managed to achieve the "ideal" look, I'd feel more confident and better about myself, that is the worst idea.

After attempting to work out and eat right I was never satisfied with my body, because I didn't look like the model in the photo. I wasn't being realistic or true to myself. I have never been someone who has felt entirely comfortable with being in my own skin. I've always wanted to be anyone, but me. I used to want to be blond, or be 5'9" or taller so I could do runway work. After coming to the realization I just didn't have the genes for being 5'9," I started to accept myself.

I started to see the girl looking back at me in the mirror was who I truly was. I started to look at all the positive things about myself. I wasn't trying to be me, I was trying to live up to an impossible expectation of what I hoped I could look like or become. I understood that the only thing I could do was improve myself physically and not look at something that was unachievable for myself.

I started to research and learn how to eat right, how to eat in moderation, what I needed to cut back in my diet and what I needed to do physically for myself. I started to see better results of what I wanted and started becoming more and more comfortable within my own skin.

What my point is to this little story, is you have to accept you for who you are. If you're 5'4" and you have curves, OWN IT! If you want to get into shape and get active, do it for yourself, not to look like a model or for your boyfriend/girlfriend or who ever you feel you need to impress. If being in shape makes you feel good about yourself, then you know you're doing getting into shape for the right reasons. You have to be happy with yourself and your body. Everyone has a different body type, different hair, different bone structure etc. No one is truly ever the same and that in my opinion is awesome!

Forget about what you read or see on magazines. It took me a long time to stop comparing myself to celebrities that graced the covers of well known magazines, which is hard to do especially in your teen years. When I got a little older I had to remember those people are airbrushed and have a glam squad and a wardrobe team to make them look flawless.

Don't get me wrong, there are still days where I pick at my imperfections. I still feel my legs are too skinny or I have too many moles on my face, but those "flaws" make me who I am. Everyone has things they don't like about themselves, but odds are the only person that really notices those "flaws" is you. Embrace your imperfections.

Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.” - Unknown

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fitness Model International

Hey everyone,

I admit I didn't write a blog last week before I took off to Redondo Beach, CA for Fitness Model International. Things were crazy and I can be a procrastinator when I want to be and procrastination seemed to get the best of me last week. BUT I'm officially back home and I don't even know where to begin.

When I left for California at 4:30 a.m. last Wednesday I had no idea what to expect with this conference. I knew that there was going to be a lot of well known fitness professionals within the industry who would be speaking, but I didn't know what I was going to walk away with afterwards.

For all of us that attended, I have to say I think we were all blown away with the amount of information and tools that we were given. We were taught not only how to market ourselves as a brand, but also how to work in front of the camera with posing as well as how to speak on camera correctly. I don't want to give away too much, mainly because I think the guys that put the event together Gary Warren and Clark Bartram could not only explain, but teach you the tools better than I could. I have to say, I definitley got my moneys worth with this conference.

After getting back, I already have a potential opportunity that would help put my face out there and I'm looking forward to progressing. If you'd like more information about this event please check out

The other thing I didn't expect walking away from this event is the "family" we created. I've been to events in the past where people aren't always that friendly and are very competitive. With FMI, the people were nothing like this. Everyone had simular goals and ambitions and it was amazing to see so many genuine people in one room. We all supported each other and encouraged one another. Now after the conference, we're all checking up on each other and are continuing the love and support. We've truly created an incredible family and I'm so proud and honored to be apart of this wonderful event.

On a quick side note, I'll be promoting and helping others that attended the event with their projects on here as well as my own so please stay tuned. We all have something different and unique to offer and I'm looking forward to sharing their projects with you.

One last thing I wanted to mention was I finally got to meet one of my two favorite role models in the fitness industry, Amber Elizabeth. She is with me in the photo above. She is truly an amazing person and really down to earth. I feel very lucky to have met her. I'm looking forward to continue watching her success and to hopefully follow in her footsteps.

Stay fit, happy, and healthy! :)

"The first wealth is health." ~ Emerson

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Becoming Fit, Active and Healthy

I used to not worry about what I ate. I grew up always having a fast metabolism and still do. (Yes mom I know that will end once I have kids or hit 30 :D). However college hit and I didn't pay as close attention because I was used to being able to burn off what I ate without a problem, but with the late night studying, cram sessions, essays and a million exams to take, the gym was the last thing on my mind. My roommate and I tried to start working out at our university gym late at night, but we were both exhausted after studying, we wanted to do nothing but sleep.

It wasn't until the spring of '06 with my freshman year coming to a close that I chose to look back over all of the pictures we had taken over those LONG two semesters. I wasn't happy with how I looked. I didn't realize that I had gained the "freshman 15," as it's called. I started getting into modeling that summer and saw the end results after shoots. I was happy with my body and didn't think too much of it. I had worked out enough to gain back the figure I was used to and was comfortable with.

I competed in a swimwear competition in Mexico in the summer of 2007 and saw girls of all shapes and sizes competing. I admired the girls that had more full figured bodies and had extra meat on their bones. They were proud of their bodies and who they were and I thought it was awesome. Especially when they were competing against other girls that were extremely petite. I was amazed at their confidence levels, it was great to see.

In fall 2007 I started following the career of fitness model sensation Amber Elizabeth. I watched her have an amazing portfolio and receive the tools she needed, and sky rocket within a year. She's managed to snag the cover of Oxygen Magazine twice already! She gave me the inspiration I needed when I first started following her career to realize that I wanted to project that type of positive body image.

When I first started modeling, I started taking the "sexy" images most girls have. Pulling on their bikini's, showing more skin etc. I felt like my portfolio was blending in. So when I saw Amber Elizabeth and how wholesome and true to herself she was, I realized I could do the same.

Now I'm heading to Fitness Model International, the networking event of a lifetime in less than two weeks! I'm receiving the opportunity to network with the VERY same people that helped Amber Elizabeth make her career and I'm hoping to be able to come out of this conference with more knowledge and contacts than I know what to do with.

In the mean time I'm working out, trying to eat right, and staying healthy and happy. I'm looking at each day with as a new chance for success and looking forward to my upcoming opportunity!

"To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone." - Reba McEntire

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A New Beginning

I just started a new chapter in my life and I'm so excited to share my journey with everyone. From my family, to my friends and the public.

I just moved to Seattle and I'm loving city life. Although I miss home (I am and always will be a Montana girl), I'm glad that I chose to come here.

I've had some amazing opportunities presented to me. I just started working with Blue Shoes Media and LOVE IT! I've always found the entertainment industry to be interesting and have been intrigued by the glitz and glamour as well as the creative process.

I've personally been modeling since I was 19 and have worked to build a portfolio. Most of the photographers I have worked with are based in Seattle so it's great to already know some people. I decided last year that I wanted to focus more on creating a healthy body image and I became more involved in eating healthy and exercising more. I realized that fitness/sports modeling seemed to be a great fit for me. Coming from Montana, I'm used to being outdoors. From hiking, biking, horseback riding, skiing (although I don't have much coordination) are just some of the things that I love to do.

SO my first big challenge and big event that I have coming up at the end of this month is attending FMI (Fitness Model International). It's a fitness conference down in Los Angeles and I'm looking forward to networking and meeting new people. I'm so excited for this upcoming opportunity.

For the first time I feel like I'm in the right place at the right time. I'm enjoying watching my dreams unfold and sharing them with the people that are closest to me.

My dreams are to become nationally recognized as a spokesmodel for Cerebral Palsy, since I myself has a mild case of the disability. As well as being a recognizeable fitness/fashion model and actress. I'd like to be a positive role model for kids and adults alike and strive to inspire others to persue their dreams as well. I'd also like to give back to organizations and charities that are close to my heart in a few years.

In the mean time, I'm continuing the on going job search and doing my best to stay positive, happy, and healthy. I've had several ups and downs since I've moved, but I keep saying to myself "what doesn't kill us, makes up stronger."

My goal is to keep everyone updated with a weekly blog, so keep your eyes open and come back for updates! Comments are always welcome. I'm also going to try and always close with a positive, uplifting, and inspiring quote of some kind. So my first quote is....

"If it ain't fun, don't do it." Jack Canfield - Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul books