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Something NEW for FML…we are starting to roll out monthly features of our amazing fam.

This month, our Client Spotlight is: Susan … we love her energy….hope you can benefit from the positivity she brings in this mini-interview:

CLIENT SPOTLIGHT – EMBRACING NEW CHALLENGES – SUSAN M.

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**You seem to always radiate positivity & an electric smile, was that always the way you were?

YES! I was lucky enough to have 2 parents who were always this way and raised me to be the same way. I always look for the silver lining, no matter how hard it is to find sometimes. And I honestly enjoy smiling….I have a smiley face tattoo, for goodness sake! 🙂 Smiling makes my heart and soul feel good and that type of feel good creates a feeling of positivity for me and the ability to look at a negative situation and respond rather than react to it! It has saved my butt more times than I can remember!

**You seem to thrive when faced with a challenge, why do you think that is?

I’m a very competitive person, by nature, but not in a ‘me against you’ way. I’m always in competition with myself, to make my heart better, make myself healthier physically, emotionally and mentally, and to do better for myself and others. When faced with a challenge, it’s like a huge shot of adrenaline for me and I love it! I’m like, “come on Sue, show me whatcha got!”

**When you feel like things are “all wrong” do you have a little mantra that helps you get through the tough times?

“….just breathe……” because….I mean, if I’m still breathing, it can’t be all that bad and could certainly be worse, right?!?! Also, taking a few deep breaths allows for responses over reactions and pulls me back into myself and out of my head to just be still. I’ve always said, “if I can’t fix it by taking a few deep breaths, I can’t fix it or it doesn’t need or what to be fixed, so go around it or work with it…..just move on!”

**As someone who moved from carnism over to plant based eating, how did you navigate the challenges you faced ie: friend/family comments, cravings etc…?

My change over from carnism (the English major in me LOVES that word, just not what it stands for) to plant based eating was a very slow, very researched, very “do the best you can right now” and sometimes very “do better next time.” I didn’t get too many challenges from family/friends because if they really know me, they know I’ve never been a fan of food (but thanks to my parents, again, I’ve always loved veggies) and always had better things to do than eat! They also know of my very deep love and compassion for animals and nature, so my moving to plant-based eating wasn’t much of a surprise for them. It does make it interesting sometimes when I’m not in “control” of cooking my own meals. That said, I have loved the challenge of making it work by being creative with what I see on a menu. There have been many times where cravings got the best of me, but instead of beating myself up for it, I told myself, “do better next time” and I find a substitute for whatever it was and I put that in my food arsenal.

**What is it about fitness at this point in your life that you enjoy, what is it’s biggest benefit to you?

I just thrive on feeling good! I’ve been an athlete since I was 5 years old and fitness is my happy place, so to speak. It allows me to be ME, to challenge myself and to grow myself and it’s just plain FUN! I want to be strong, mentally and physically, and fitness is my path to aging well and STAYING strong as I get older. I don’t want to lift cars but I do want to lift myself and others up every chance I can! Supporting others, for me, is sexy. Strong is sexy. Healthy is sexy.

**What is your favourite body part to exercise ie: legs/back/arms…and why?

Ohhh, that’s a good question…..I have always loved shoulder days because delts are seriously responsive to lifting and I love seeing the caps and the progress I make! When my shoulders feel strong, I feel like I could conquer the world! I also am a fan of leg days for the simple fact that leg days allow me to lift heavier and just make me feel like a beast! Some leg days are humbling, but I love them anyway! I live for sore days because I know I did something great even if I have to flop onto the toilet for a day or 2. 🙂

**Do you have any tips for folks who might struggle with being new to weight training / strength training?

I always tell folks who ask me about this, “be kind to yourself during the process.” I say do your best and if you have to stop a workout or a set early or go to a lighter weight, that is OK….be proud of yourself for taking the action to take care of yourself and be healthy! I also tell them to find what works for them and NOT what is trending (I can’t even stand the word, much less whatever is trending) or what is the “workout fad du jour.” What works for them is what they enjoy doing and what lights up their soul, it’s what is a sustainable lifestyle for them. And I remind them to adjust accordingly! This is the quickest path to stick with anything – sustainability and flexibility!

**You simplify your workouts and usually do them from home with your own gym…do you find it hard to get the job done at home or easier? Did you ever workout at a traditional gym? If so, what is the difference to you?

Until the past few years, I was always a gym-goer. I was one of those that would get up when it was still dark out, take care of the pups, then get to the gym, workout, shower, head to work and I loved that and I was very consistent with it. Even on my day’s off, I’d go with my husband at the crack of dawn before he would go to work and I’d head back home to start my day. Now, I greatly prefer working out at home. I work from home now and walk on a treadmill all day. Then I work out after work, so that was a big change, too, from my a.m. workout lifestyle. I do fasted cardio before work some days, but my main workouts are after work. It’s so easy to just take the pups, go to the garage and listen to my music, workout with my equipment and never have to clean anyone else’s sweat from anything! I look forward to working out much more than if I thought I had to drive somewhere and deal with crowds. 🙂 Yes, I have to clean my own gym and maintain my own equipment. Yes, I have to be creative with my small amount of equipment, but I’m good with that, too, and love the challenge. I know my weights are always racked where they belong and plates are on the tree! Also, I painted 1 wall with chalkboard paint, so I keep up with my workouts there as well as inspire myself with quotes, atta girls, etc. I love my “Curly Sue’s gym” and wouldn’t trade it for anything. The other bonus – no gym fees!

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**If there are 3 key pieces of advice you could share with our group to keep the smiles on their faces when they feel like quitting their new programs/nutrition plans etc…what would they be?

1 – just breathe!!! As bad as you feel now, you will feel so much better if you don’t give up! There are always days when you just don’t want to and some of those days, you shouldn’t and that’s OK!!! Don’t beat yourself up if you have to skip a day – take a rest! You’ll come back stronger and smilier, trust me!

2 – Always remember why you started in the first place and keep reminding yourself that you are doing amazing things for your life, your body, your mind, your heart and your soul. A healthier you is a happier you!

3 – Sometimes, even when you don’t want to, smile anyway!!! You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel and how easier that next set will be with a smile on your face!

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