Finding Strength and Happiness in Core de Force

Disclaimer of love and honesty: This post does contain affiliate links associated with my Beachbody Coaching business. If you see something you love, please be kind and use my link to help support my business, my blog, and a mom trying to get out of debt and keep her kiddo in horseback riding lessons.

I recently posted about my struggle with depression and I am so thankful for the outpouring of support I received especially by those who took the time to email. Seriously, thank you. I can't even begin to explain how it feels to know that 1) I am not alone and 2) that by sharing my story I am helping others. #2 matters the most to me.

So I want to share something I have found in the past week that is pretty amazing. I am still struggling with running and thank you God for my running streak as that keeps me doing at least a mile a day. I am also beyond thankful God called me to Beachbody and my goal to try 52 new workouts in 2017 which is amazingly simple with the Beachbody On Demand All Access Pass. (FYI: The All Access Pass is available for purchase until 2/28/17)

About a week ago I was in my I don't wanna mood and tuned into Beachbody to get something done and figured why not try a new workout. Why not try this Core de Force I have been hearing so many rave about. Oh my goodness! Was I slow to get onto this bandwagon or what?!

The first workout I tried was only 27 minutes. I can handle that. 27 minutes is nothing, right? Well, after a 10 minute mile feeling like 20 years I wasn't 100% convinced but gave it a whirl and let me tell you, those 27 minutes FLEW by. So did the 37 minute and 47 minute workouts I did. They were fun. They were challenging - physically and mentally - and as I hooked, jabbed, and kicked I imagined me hooking, jabbing, and kicking that ugly depression in its face and fighting to regain me, my peace, my balance, and my happiness in life.

In my first therapy session I was asked if I do any fighting such as street fighting, etc. Of course the answer was NO! I am a lover not a fighter, or so the saying goes. Now I think I will have to go back and say, hey, I found this amazing new workout that allows me to "fight" safely in my house to work out feelings of anger, depression, frustration, hopelessness, etc. I think this is a safe way to work through those types of emotions as no one, and nothing, is hurt. And I can't help but think back to those years long ago where I pondered taking self defense but never found the time, money, or place. Ladies, if you are looking for self-defense, this program will definitely fit the bill. You are learning offensive and defensive moves in a way to work your body but if you ever really needed to apply them in life to protect yourself, I feel you will have much more confidence after doing this program than before. However, I hope to NEVER be in the situation and pray the same for you.

Since this program seems to be touching a cord in me right now in my life, I am going to jump in and commit to the 30-day program and do it according to plan versus going willy nilly. I have the 30-day calendar printed out ready to mark those happy X's of success as I move through the challenge.

I have taken the before photos as I do like to do this before and after each new official challenge I do to monitor progress beyond the scale. Scales are so deceptive!

And I have darling daughter eager to support me and do the 5-minute before bed moves to help both of our tired muscles and get us both set up for success for the next day. She really is my saving grace and best cheerleader in town.

If you want to try it with me, ask me how as there are so many ways to try out this program at different price points. I am a mom on a budget but also realize being fit matters for so many reasons.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the opportunity to take our guinea pig to darling daughter's school today.

Daily Bible Verse: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-13


Why I didn't run - Fighting to be well

Today's post is going to be a very raw, hard to write post. But I believe in transparency and have felt called to share my story to help others. Many times I feel we keep quiet and don't mention the things that need to be mentioned the most. We talk fads, greatest looks, good reads, amazing restaurants, and family vacations and reunions but hide the things that can hurt - ourselves and others.


It is real and it is agonizing and unfortunately, it is still greatly misunderstood. It may not have any physical obvious symptoms and the "cheer up" doesn't work. Trust me, it doesn't. If it did I would not be where I am today. Hurting and struggling each day to make it through but I am confident, by God's grace, I will.

I love how life works and can see all the amazing blessings in my life so that in itself shows that depression is not logical. I can feel the joy of all my blessings but my heart can still ache and the hazy grey cloud can still linger and the emptiness can still persist...yes, even when I watch my daughter riding a horse and feel so joyful to have her in my life. Depression is crazy.

My daughter is my gift from God and another gift was me becoming a Beachbody Coach. Through this, I have met amazing people, some coaches, some not, some fighting the same battle I am, and some with the same faith foundation. We are united and that is beyond cool. I even started a training/challenge group with a focus on health and nutrtion to help combat depression, anxiety, and stress. If you want in, email me and I will get you hooked up and yes, it is free.

But back to my story.

I didn't race the Maui Oceanfront Marathon in January and almost didn't race the Maui Marathon in September. I had good reasons for not racing. My planning was off. I was called to do different things. I didn't want to. I loved what I was doing. Racing wasn't my thing right now. I didn't want to race because others thought I should. Blah, blah, blah.

Don't take me bring quiet as me being aloof, uncaring, or anti-social. Sometimes I withdraw inside, honestly, to protect my core, to re-focus my energy, and to find the strength to be who God is calling me to be.
As I type those now I can see them for what they are. All signs of my depression rearing up. All excuses showing the same lack of interest in things you once loved. Yes, I was doing other things trying to cope and to take care of it all by myself but I was struggling.

I felt anxious, lonely, and not 100% but I covered that with my excuses of working 1+ jobs, my full-time job getting more intense, hormones, getting older, life. Again, all excuses that I got so talented at telling myself over the years. I am very good at sugar coating things to myself to try to cope and that brings me to where I am today.

I have also gotten much better at following my calling in life. I spoke at the 40 Days for Life on O'ahu in October and the March for Life just last month on Maui and in hindsight, those events and speeches tore at me and my old wounds in ways I wasn't prepared for. I have been telling myself I am fine and repeating that mantra and avoiding the fact that right now, this momma,  needs help.

And I am getting it.

I am proud of myself for reaching out for help and encourage all others struggling to do the same but I wil be honest. I feel embarassed and weak. I feel like a failure that I am back on anti-depressants after not taking any since 2010 for a few months after my Dad's death. I am mad at myself for getting to this point again and as the tears stream down my face I know it is because I feel like I will be judged and not good enough.

But even in this moment of desparate weakness I feel a inner joy and strength that I have the courage to write this post and tell you, and the whole world, that I am struggling. But I have faith that I can't even begin to explain that through this torturous struggle I will find a glorious and radiant light on the other side.  I have been warned it will get harder before it gets better as my depression is part of post traumatic stress disorder and I need to go back to that original trauma I have been ignoring, hidiing, sugar coating, and face it head on. It won't be going through 17 years of denial, suppressed feelings, self-hate, guilt, and just plain uckiness but I can do this and through it I will find the next step on my mission in life and I am ecstatic about that.

So, I will continue the meds I was strongly suggested to take, and thank you God for a doctor who listened to all my concerns and went super low dose for me, and I will go to therapy, and I will go back to an amazing healing retreat this coming May, and I will share my experience of healing because I know, I am not alone. More than 15 million Americans suffer from depression. That is about 6.7% of the population of those 18 or older. That is a lot. We are not alone and God is by our side to carry us through.

Each day may be a struggle to get out of bed, to get moving, to run, and to workout. I may be annoyed I am only running a mile a day but 7 years ago, I was running nothing. I count that a blessing that at least now my streak has me"motivated" enough to keep it alive as I do not want depression to be the reason my streak ends.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for clear, blue skies.

Daily Bible Verse: I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33


Saint of the Month: St. Francis de Sales

Welcome to my first edition of the saint of the month blog posts to be hosted on Erica Gorman Fitness. If you have been following me for awhile, you know there is more to me than running and cross training. I am a mom, wife, and devote Catholic who is very grateful for God's love and mercy in my life. Just look at darling daughter --- she is the best gift ever that God gave me and the beginning of my return to faith and finding a better image of who God wants me to be. Out of gratitude for that, and to truly be who I am, I want to highlight a saint each month.

Honestly, I LOVE the saint stories as so many have struggled through life challenges that can be so similar to our own. They could have started out rough and crazy but ended up being named a saint! How cool is that?! To me it is a reminder that none of us are perfect and that is okay. Our imperfections can lead to amazing greatness.

Picture source
This month, let's highlight St. Francis de Sales.

His feast day is January 24th. St. Francis de Sales was born on August 21, 1587 and died on December 28, 1622. He was beatified by Pope Alexander VII on January 8, 1661, and canonized (also by Pope Alexander VII) on April 19, 1665.

But who was he?

A son of a noble family from Switzerland whose Dad wanted him to pursue a career in law or politics. However, St. Francis de Sales had a different idea. An idea tugged at his heart from a young age that he kept secret from his family. St. Francis de Sales wanted to be a priest.

But St. Francis was a "good son" and attended law school and received his degree in 1580 but y'all, when God has a plan, he can make it happen. After falling from a horse not once, not twice, but three times, and each time his sword leaving a shape of a cross on the ground, St. Francis de Sales followed his dream, and God's calling, to become a priest and was ordained in 1593.

His mission wasn't an easy one as he was trying to spread the love for the Catholic Church in the time of Protestant reformation in an area near Calvinist territory. People wouldn't talk to him so he talked and played with the children and lo and behold, parents starting talking and listening.

St. Francis de Sales provided lots of spiritual direction through letters and it is believed he led 40,000 people to the Catholic Church. Perhaps this is why he is considered the patron saint of Catholic writers, the Catholic press, journalists, those in adult education, and the deaf.

You can learn more about St. Francis de Sales HERE.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the work of many saints before us who have led the way showing us persistence and following your calling pays off.

Saintly Quote: Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself. ~ St. Francis de Sales

Daily Bible Verse: Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. ~ Psalm 37:7-9


Create the Perfect Home Gym

Hey y'all! In case you haven't noticed, I love to workout. I love to stay active and fit and once upon a time it was more vanity focused. In my college years I wanted to shed those extra pounds and look good. But as I age and grow wiser (or so I try to tell myself), vanity is less of the focus as sanity becomes the prime focus.

Working out keeps me sane.

In the crazy, hectic life of a working mom with a full-time job, a coaching business, and a blog I need some recharge time and I find that in my workouts. P.S. They have also helped me stay off of anti-depressants as depression and anxiety are ugly things I have to battle. But that is another post for another day.

I have always loved the gym. All the equipment at my fingertips, the workout programs, and the machines PLUS the motivation of others around me doing amazing things for themselves. The thing is, when I could go to the gym there were no scheduled group classes and if I had darling daughter with me, I had to time it with childcare hours on site, hope that there was space available, hope that the staff actually showed up, and get my workout done in x-minutes...no exceptions. And I am talking one hour.

I know, I know, an hour is a good workout...most days....but when you are training for a marathon and want to get a good run in plus maybe some stretch or foam rolling time, that hour can speed by especially if....GASP....you need to wait for a treadmill!!!!

It all became a bit too much and this momma started building her home gym beginning with a treadmill.

Ladies, you can do it. If I can in a teeny house on Maui, you can. Nope, I do not have a separate room. Just a corner in the living room/play room for my treadmill and some creative storage spots for other home gym essentials.

What are those essentials?

Well, here are my faves (and you already know the treadmill).

Foam Roller - Yes, you should have one for routine loving care for your body and mine is actually stored in the corner by my treadmill (and kinda on it) but I can use my treadmill and keep it there.

Exercise/Stability Ball - I have had one since darling daughter was a babe and use it less now but she loves it. I also love it for stretching out my back and it makes a good chair. I keep it on my treadmill and it is easy to move it back and forth. In fact, this ball even has gone to work with me for a work chair until I started working standing up.

Hand-held weights...yep, dumbbells. - Get them! It took me way too long to truly invest in these. Yes, I got some 1 pound soft weights when darling daughter was a baby and I was trying to get my pre-pregnancy shape back but I didn't truly seen the benefits of them until I increased the weight selection and started using them right. We can talk more about another day. Currently, my selection is 1 pound, 3 pound, 5 pound, 8 pound, and 10 pound with two of each and they are stored under the lounger. Seriously, this rocks as they are out of the way (so to speak) but easy to grab and get to when I want to use them.

Resistance Bands - I use these less but have some workouts that require them and learn from me, invest in them, don't buy the cheaper versions. You truly get what you pay for. I also like having these on hand as darling daughter likes to use them when she does some workouts with me and there are some amazing leg exercises you can use them for. I store mine in a wicker basket by my treadmill. This basket also contains other fitness related stuff like pressure point balls, BodyGlide, hats, and a tote bag for taking my fitness on the go.

Weighted Exercise Ball - I love my 8 pound ball and have used it for fun fitness games with darling daughter and have added it into workouts they don't require it but I want to up my game and push myself a wee bit further. It stores nicely between my treadmill and wicker basket (that is under an end table by the way).

Yoga Mat/Jump Mat - I have been through tons of these from less expensive thinner versions to thick and bulky hard to store versions but recently have stumbled upon a new fave. I got a Jump Mat for bringing my workouts outside where I needed a bit more plush than the thin mat. I recently used it for yoga in the house and it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.! It stayed in place (Hello! That never happens!) and didn't smell too funny even when brand spanking new. Yep, I don't like odd smelling mats when doing downward dog, etc. Having a stinky guinea pig cage from time to time is enough. Don't give me a stinky mat. (FYI - Darling daughter says they should invent peppermint smelling mats. She may be onto something!) The mat has grips on it so I know it will stay put when I am doing insane jumping workouts and is thick enough to be a benefit to outside on the deck, on the driveway, workouts.

Circulating Fan - You gotta keep things cool when you are working out and I have a standing up fan situated right by my treadmill, where I need the most cooling.

Now for the good stuff that you may not realize you can get in your home gym.

Workouts! - Yes, you can purchase or stream amazing workouts into your own home so you can challenge yourself under the guidance of instructors when the kiddos nap, play, or do homework. Y'all, this is really cool and I would love to help you pick out programs that are best for you in terms of your goals and finances. I understand budgets! Email me to learn more and yes, this is a shameless plug as I am a coach striving to help others and perhaps earn a few pennies on the side. And did you know -- right now you can sign up for an annual All Access Pass and get all the programs PLUS any new ones coming out this year. This is HUGE, y'all!

Accountability! - Remember me saying I liked seeing others at the gym? I have found that online originally in groups I joined but now in groups I lead. Many of which I do through an easy to use app so we (or maybe it is just me?) don't get sucked into facebook scrolling when we are trying to get our fit on.

Now tell me, did I miss something you feel is essential in your home gym? Tell me about it!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my growing home gym.

Daily Bible Verse: My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ~ Psalm 73:26