Creating a Healthy Body Episode 2: Mindset/Lifestyle Upcycle


lifestyle upcycleIf you haven’t ready my first blog post entitled Creating a Healthy Body please do because I think I’m about to turn the post into a series. (A hush falls over the crowd…). Writing about my lifestyle upcycle is going to become a series because having a healthy body is on my mind all the time.

No, I’m not obsessing, I promise.

I am actively working on changing my mindset and in turn changing my lifestyle.

I’m calling it a mindset/lifestyle upcycle. 

Upcycle: Like when you take something old and make it better.  (Side note: I just upcycled a terra cotta pot that was cracked and going to be thrown away by covering it in mosaic and bedazzle…upcycle!)

I chose this term “lifestyle upcycle” because new or changed lifestyle implies I’m completely ditching the old one or that the old one was bad. It wasn’t bad. It could just be better. I was healthy, but I want to be healthier

I want to be my best self inside and out.

I’m still me. I can’t erase the past. I can only grow and evolve in the direction I desire.

So in the first post I wrote about creating a healthy body and not judging and making changes when ready…maybe with a gentle nudge. I declared that I didn’t have a deadline, but changes were being made.

Well, I decided one day a couple months ago I was ready, and that included some big changes. I found a coach to help me with fitness training and my mindset. 

Here is why I decided now. 

I’m a working mom. My time with my family is about quality not quantity. I believe that the healthier I am, the more quality my time with my husband and kids will be. If you haven’t been following my posts here closely, my kids are 4 and 2. I believe if I change – oops, correction, upcycle – my mindset and my lifestyle my kids will not remember a life that wasn’t active and healthy.

Now is my time. 

I also was honest with myself about what I believed I needed to succeed; AKA, what would motivate me and what would make me hibernate. That is how I decided to work with Coach Ken of Uzima Fitness . His website may look like it’s all about the gym and fitness or weight loss, but when I met him I realized it was about much more. I learned that Uzima means, “one who is full of life” in Swahili. This concept resonated with me. His message was in line with mine and I trusted I would get the support and gentle nudging I’m looking for.  

I explained that even though I am a therapist, I am a mom and a human first, and my body image and trust in my strength or future strength was an area I had the most negative mindset about. 

I needed help.  

So I called a family meeting (spouse and grandparents). I told them my expectations and needs for improving my health. I was going to be putting more on my plate (the schedule kind, not the eating dinner kind) and I might have to make sacrifices of time with the family. I am lucky and can say they were all supportive and agreed to chip in when I needed it.  

As a busy working mom sometimes I have to fit in a walk/jog or gym time early in the morning or late at night while my husband gets the kids ready on his own.  

Along with my family, my team includes: Coach Ken, a couple of friends on similar journeys, and a therapist I can call on occasion when I need a tune up on my tools to reduce my negative thinking. I also read the book Intuitive Eating which has really convinced me that I am committed to never dieting again

This doesn’t mean I’m not aware of what I am eating and making changes. It just means I have kicked the “food police” in my head to the curb. 

It has been two months. 

I could care less what the scale says, but I am pleased that the numbers of pounds and inches are going the direction I want. 

I’m working hard to be patient with the process and not have expectations on how fast the body image changes are. Of course I would like a quick fix but that doesn’t exist in healthy living.

I am pleasantly surprised at how much stronger I feel. I can toss my kids up in the air like it is nothing.  

This process isn’t easy that is for sure, and I have committed to a year of pretty drastic change.

A year may sound like a long time but it takes 21 days to start to create a habit and even longer to break one. 

I have 39 years of life on this planet, most of which I didn’t make activity a priority so that’s a big habit to break. 

I told my coach just this week that I was having negative thoughts about not being able to sustain this long term and not balancing my schedule well. 

He said the progress is, you recognize it as a negative thought that isn’t necessarily true and usually on this kind of journey when we struggle with the mindset and push through we level up, like in a video game. 

lifestyle upcycle


This helped me let go of the negative thought and you know what happened when I got home that day?

My 4 year old spontaneously said to me,

“I like how strong you are getting Mommy.” 


Now that is worth missing one extra morning a week with them for sure. 

I’m doing this lifestyle upcycle for me, but becoming a healthier role model for my kids is icing on the cake, or the cherry on top, or some other food reference that makes for a great pun in a healthy lifestyle blog post! 

So now I have one more tool in my tool box for when a negative thought is trying to slow down the upcycle or my mindset and lifestyle. 

I’m just going to close my eyes and hear his little voice cheering me on.

To be continued….

lifesyle upcycle

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I grew up in Orange County then went to Los Angeles (with a short detour in Santa Barbara) for college and spent the next 12 years there thinking that was home until I met my amazing, now husband on and moved back here to start our life together. I have a young son and daughter that are two years apart. They are thick as thieves and keep us laughing. I worked in Hospice care for 15 years and now I take Working Mom to a whole new dimension with a private mental health practice I worked hard with many jobs hustling for many years to grow my own business. I'm proud to say I'm helping people in my own office full time. The decision to quit my full time job working for some one else and to work towards creating much needed grief, trauma and self esteem support in Orange County fills my soul. I may not spend 24/7 with my kids but I plan to be role model to them and the time we have is all about quality not quantity. I'm working on a life/work balance but I find this is much easier when I love all aspects of my life and work and self.


  1. I feel more motivated after reading this post! Ever since I got pregnant with my daughter, I have completely let myself go. People see me from the outside and say ‘oh you look great!’ But I feel like total crap. I agree that we need to be healthy role models for our kids. Good for you and thank you for the motivation this morning xoxo

    • Ashley, thanks for the positive feedback and I’m glad it helped! First step, identifying the crappy thoughts that are making you feel like crap and correct them!!! You are doing the best you can and tomorrow can be even better!

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