strong women

The Beauty of a Woman

A few years ago I met a man who was up from Charleston to do some business. After talking for quite some time we realized he knew a former client of mine. Such a small world it is. What I found most fascinating is how he described her. When they met she was this brave, strong woman, full of exuberance, and self-confidence, as she was dancing in a club with such passion, as if no one was watching her. He said she was a “wild one”.
I literally laughed out loud. What a great, independent woman she was. However, that was not the same woman who had originally come to me. When we first met, that “wild” woman was hiding. The woman who originally came to me couldn’t bear to even look at herself in the mirror and see her own insecurities, and was so self-conscious in how her body moved when trying to dance, she looked more appropriately suited to be dancing in church than in a night club. Throughout the several years I had her as a client, her “change” always reminded me of a butterfly spreading its wings and being set free.
For years I have seen it over and over. It’s more common than not. Women are hiding. We have been taught that we cannot be too sexy, (people will talk about us, “she must be a Ho”), cannot be too confident (then we are stuck up or conceited), cannot be beautiful (for then we must not be humble), cannot be strong (or else we are manly), cannot be independent (“she must not want a man”), cannot be opinionated (“she’s a bitch”), and the list goes on of all the things women shouldn’t be. So, we have been hiding. We hide under our clothes to hide our bodies, we learn to talk a certain way as to not offend, we look quickly to always be in a relationship, often because we are not truly comfortable with just ourselves.
Women care so much about what other people think. We care what our husbands will think, what our bosses will think, what our families will think, and what our friends will think….. but what about what WE think and feel?! Society has pushed us to be inside this tiny box. We feel the need to compete from the time we are little girls against one another instead of boosting each other up. Why? A strong, sexy, fierce, beautiful, independent, opinionated, EMPOWERED woman is the most feared thing on the planet.
At Wicked Fitness we strive to change society one woman at a time. Women are beautiful, sexy, fierce, strong, funny, quirky, silly, but most of them are lost. They’ve forgotten how to be these things and be ok with it. We give you permission!! You will actually really love that you you have been stifling. We have created a safe place where all women can be accepted and loved for exactly as they are. No boxes required. Actually, we quite prefer you out of your box. Can you handle it? Feeling sexier in your own skin? Remembering the beautiful being you truly are? Having self-confidence and opinions, and not being afraid to actually have conversations and voice them? Find your voice. Find your butterfly and set her free. Stand in your power.

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     I suppose everyone’s “Ah HA!” moment comes in a different form. I can tell you I ignored mine time and time again and let it eat away at me little by little until it literally smacked me across the face while saying, “Woman, WAKE UP”. Then, it was as if it was screaming at me, “Your time here is done! Your lessons are learned. Get to steppin!” From that moment on, I knew when a woman was done, she was just that… done. There was no working on it, or trying to fix it. So, after 7 years, I told my now current ex-husband that I was done. I was filing for divorce. I wasn’t going to fight him for anything. The house, the cars, the furniture, the tvs computers, dishes, he could keep it all. All I wanted was to have custody of my kids, at least 5 days a week so they could be in school with me.

I had very little money, but was so done I refused to fight over “stuff and things”, I just wanted to be free.  I decided I would walk down whatever road it took to be just that, no matter how hard that road was. I had no idea how I would make enough money on a bartenders salary (just tips) to pay rent ANY where, much less electricity, food, gas, and all the other bills that go along with living on your own and supporting two children. I prayed A LOT, and yes, asked for help from the universe knowing I would need some divine intervention. But above all, I had another thought… What if my mental vibrations could help manifest a new destiny?

We have all heard it before, the power of positive thinking.  Often we think of it as cliché and continue on our same destructive thought patterns. But…what if your thoughts really could change your reality? I had nothing to lose right? So, I focused… HARD. I wrote it down. Starting with a place to live. I needed a place for myself and my two kids and knew what I could afford, which wasn’t much. I wrote down everything I hoped for in a place.   I spent the next few months living out of my car like a gypsy, never sleeping on the same pillow two nights in a row. Every night I slept only a few hours between driving and work in a different place, still focusing hard on manifesting a new home that seemed impossibly out of reach. But I had to know with all my being that the universe would answer. It did!! Our place, at exactly the rent I could afford, with almost all my wishes I had written down materialized. Small things I had written, such as lots of windows, and natural sunlight, surrounded by trees and nature, a quiet place for helping bring peace to my soul, even having hardwood floors, all came in to being within 3 months.

So, I began to study more on the idea. Maybe it was fluke, although I found it hard to believe. But just what if I could manifest the life I wanted through the power of my thoughts? There was a study done by Dr. Masaru Emoto who went on to write a book called The Hidden Messages in Water, which explores this same concept. Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific concentrated thoughts are directed towards them. For example, Spring water put in a test tube where words like, Love and Beauty where written and then groups of people surrounded it and thought beautiful loving thoughts directly at the water, over time, that water when observed through a microscope formed the most beautiful crystals. Whereas water exposed to negative thoughts, formed incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with downright dull, brownish colors.

The next thought I had was, if this was true, and our bodies are made up of 65% water, how can this positive thought process change our bodies? If instead of looking in the mirror and instantly thinking how we’ve gained weight, and projecting thoughts like, “I’m fat, I’m ugly, my nose is too big, my thighs have cellulite, and my hair is ugly….” Just what if you took a few moments a day to look at yourself in the mirror and think, “I AM BEAUTIFUL.” What if we challenged ourselves to think and know in the deepest part of our being that we are beautiful, loving bodies, perfect in our own skin? Write it on your mirror and read it to yourself everyday!

So, the challenge is up to you. If you could change your life, your love, your surroundings, your body…. What would your perfect existence look like? Do you think if you focus all your vibrational energy on that powerful thought… can you manifest it in to reality? I know I am a walking example of continually trying to manifest the new life I want. So, do you have anything to lose?

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Women: The Lost Tribe

When you hear the word, “Personal Trainer” most people instantly think fitness. They believe “this person has the tools I need to help me lose weight and get in shape”.  That is completely true, however, it goes so much further beyond that. Weight and body image are just cosmetic compared to what is really going on in someone’s life. Your body can tell me part of the story. For instance, whether you have had past injuries or if you were leading a pretty fit lifestyle and for one reason or another just got side tracked and need help finding your way back on the horse. It may be you have had major stress going on and have used food as a coping mechanism. For most people the issues are rooted much more deeply than just in weight gain/loss. As a trainer, I have found my clients need me to be just as much of a therapist as they do someone to kick their butt.  I feel blessed to lend a listening ear.

I have realized in my years in the fitness industry, specifically dealing with a mostly female clientele, that once women leave high school/college, they lose track of friends and their support system of women. Let’s face it, most have neighbors, or coworkers, or maybe a friend here or there, but actually getting un-judged, unbiased support from another woman or group of women is rarely heard of.  I’ve seen firsthand how women are increasingly more emotional creatures than men. So, you have women who need support, and someone to listen, and more times than not they have no one to do the listening, so they turn to other outlets, such as food, when all they really want is to be able to get some things off their chest, because let’s, face it, we all lead stressful lives.

This has led me to reflect on “women” as a culture. The word culture is rarely used when describing sexes. Quite literally, “Culture” is “a way of life of a group of people”.  Going back hundreds and hundreds of years, women were their own culture. There were tribal groups and the men would go out hunting for days, weeks, or even months at a time. This left a village of women and children. Women were at that time most certainly their own support system and culture. In Bedouin tribes in the Middle East, often still to this day, when a woman goes in to labor, it is a celebration for women of the tribe. Tents are erected and all the women of the tribe congregate inside and dance, and eat, and belly dance around the laboring mother in support of her for sometimes days on end until she delivers her baby. During this time, the men, the husbands, even including the laboring woman’s, are not allowed inside the tent. True beauty of sisterhood, women supporting women, being WOMEN. Imagine that.

However, in our modern day America we have lost that ideal completely. We, as little girls, start judging and competing against each other, at such a young age. We start backstabbing and talking each other down instead of lifting each other up.  Whereas several decades ago, families had the mommas, and grand mommas, and the aunties all aiding in the raising of daughters. This is a practice you just don’t see that much anymore. Often, there is even tension amongst the women within the family unit. What has happened to women as a culture? Boys and men have somehow managed to still bond together, even if not in family units. Gang members even create their own “family” often made up of young men whose fathers weren’t around as children.  How it is that women have lost their way?

Not only are young girls competing and judging each other at a younger and younger age, they are also comparing themselves against unrealistic expectations. Having both a son and daughter of my own, I’ve watched and taken notice that boys are not nearly as critical of themselves nor do they judge quite like girls.  Little girls are comparing themselves to other little girls, and even young girls they see in magazines and on TV. This only gets worse as they grow up. Suddenly those little girls have become grown young women with an unhealthy body image who don’t cut themselves an inch of slack. Internally, we all criticize and compare everything we do.

Can we reverse this trend? Why are we so judgmental of ourselves and each other? Everyone needs support, and often that woman next to you is drowning in some aspect of stress within her life, not to mention the loneliness of not having someone just to listen to her. Somewhere, deeply rooted within us is a memory of the sisterhood WOMEN once shared. Imagine if we could return to that. Imagine how our world could change. We not only would make stronger, more confident daughters, but as a whole culture, women would be stronger. How do we begin? Start within yourself. YOU are beautiful. YOU are strong. YOU are enough! YOU can do this…whatever this may be. Cut yourself some slack. Find the sister hiding deep within yourself and remember her the next time you look at yourself or another judgingly. One positive thought has a vibration frequency that can only bounce back. We can make a difference…one woman, one gesture, one compliment at a time.

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The Slow Death of the Independent Woman

I have noticed a growing trend as of lately, and for the life of me, I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it. Or, maybe it’s been going on forever and I’m just starting to notice it every single day, in my face, everywhere I turn. It’s as if women are slowly and willingly giving up their independence. Maybe at such a snails pace they don’t even realize it themselves. I listen to story after story, day in and day out of women in relationships were they have hands down settled for one reason or another. And they are daily giving away pieces of themselves, often without even realizing it, to relationships that are giving them little in return.

Then, on the flip side of the coin, women who are not tied down are down right frantically searching for a relationship and then jumping in head first, whether it’s right for them or not, just so they don’t have to be alone. Really? What am I missing? When did it become a bad thing to be ALONE? At what point did women start saying, “This guy is a mooch…he has no drive…and no ambition…and isn’t even that good to me… but I’d still rather be with him than alone”. Women that are young, beautiful, and confident…on the outside….on facebook and social media. That woman has everyone fooled. Yet in reality, she jumps from relationship to relationship with barely a few days in between. Next thing you know, she’s updating her relationship status on social media, posting a million selfies of new blissful love and in a less than a months time… MOVING IN?!!! If your future self told you, “In 5 years time you will be being treated terribly daily, be truly unhappy with your new found Prince Charming, and yet feel as though you are truly stuck with no other options but to stay” maybe you wouldn’t be rushing so fast to move in. What happened to women working, striving to be better for themselves, be healthier, for themselves, and successful for themselves? Instead, gyms are flooded with women trying to get in better shape not for themselves, but for a person they want to keep, or as “revenge” to a person they are no longer with.

And then there is the worst, the women who are being abused mentally and or physically, and who feel so stuck or trapped, they stay, no matter how bad it gets. Often, again, making so many excuses as to why they stay it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. Picture this, you are beautiful bird in cage. Part of you hates the cage, even if it’s so familiar that it feels like home. But here’s the thing, the cage door is open. It’s completely up to you, the bird, to fly out at any time. Unfortunately, I’m seeing most of the birds refuse to fly out for fear of what’s outside of the cage. For fear of having to be… Alone. For fear of having to be on their own.  What, along the way, made us so reliant upon everyone else for our happiness and stability? And these, the ones truly being abused…. are dying. Within the last six months two women, I, at one time were quite close with, lost this battle. One, a former coworker, was shot in the head four times while she slept after a custody disagreement, by her son’s father. The other, was beaten within an inch of her life by her estranged, recently separated husband. And unfortunately, these two just top the list of the many stories I hear daily from women who choose not to fly from the cage.

How are we seemingly going backwards? And more importantly, what are we teaching our daughters? Are we teaching them to be strong, independent women? Or are we saying it from our mouths, do as I say, not as I do? My own daughter will surely be mad at me for lots of things over the course of her lifetime, certainly including leaving her father. But she will never be able to say I didn’t teach her to stand on her own, and love herself enough to demand better. When I opened my eyes to my own failed marriage, on that day in which I woke up, there wasn’t much I felt I did know. I didn’t know how I was going to financially move, and pay bills all by myself. I didn’t know where I would go. I didn’t know how I could take my kids away from their father. I didn’t know how I would find the strength in my heart to actually get out, and keep moving forward without humbling and cowardly moving back because “it was too hard”. I didn’t know much of anything really.

But what I did know is I, as a mother, owed it to my children to teach them how to love and be loved appropriately. And if any man ever treated MY daughter the way I was being treated…that was MY fault because I taught her that was okay.  If my son ever treated any woman the way I was being treated, also, that fault would be mine because I taught him that’s how women should be treated.  At that realization, all the things, I didn’t know were lessened in my desire to be better for them. I left with nothing. I started with nothing, except a constant prayer. I slept for months on a different pillow every single night, living out of my car like a gypsy, always getting by on 3 or less hours of sleep every night. Then right back to work and mothering (a full time job all on its own).  I quite literally had to rebuild a life from what seemed like just a pile of ashes. Nothing has been easy. It’s been a fight every single day, just to be a single mother. But as an independent woman standing on my own, raising two small children, on my own, I can honestly say I am teaching my children how to live, stand, fight, and be BETTER on their own. As a woman who has been abused and neglected, I can tell you it is possible to demand more out of life. It’s a good life if you live it. But at the end of the day, if something in your life makes you unhappy (your body, your relationships, your job, your living conditions…anything), the only one that truly has the power to change it…is YOU. Stand in your power. For the sake of yourself because you deserve better, and for the sake of our children.

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