“The One Thing Turning 40 Brought Me”, by Amanda Magee

amanda“I don’t think that getting older is hard; I think that what’s hard is that as each year passes the inevitability of pain gets closer. Incremental change happens in life no matter what I do to prevent it — wrinkles, thrown-out backs, an inability to listen to 18-year-olds sing about heartbreak and life without rolling my eyes. All of these things add up and I realize that I know people with terminal illnesses, friends who’ve buried children, and romantics who no longer wear a ring on their left hand. These are the things that begin to weigh on my face, not the wrinkles.

It’s an intimacy with heartache and the idea that unfair is really just a moment, an excruciating, unwelcome, out-of-your-control moment. Unfair is a beginning and a choice.

Can you muster up a smile and say, “Forget it, unfair. I’m moving on without you”?

Last year I had to close a business. I lost a client. I lost people I thought were friends. I got angrier and angrier, and then I got tired. I let my world fall disappear in a haze of hopelessness. I cried until at last my tears refused to come.

My 40th birthday came and went. I realized that without any fanfare, I’d emerged from darkness.

Things aren’t perfect; I’m not perfect. I still have to bite my tongue. I get jealous and angry. I have new little aches and pains all the time, but I have my foot back on the pedal.

I want to go toward happy. I think that a lot of us do, but for whatever reason we get tripped up in what we’re supposed to do. How we’re supposed to look. What people think.

The thing I learned in a year of feeling like I’d forgotten how to be happy:

It’s not up to them.

I am not up to them.

It’s up to me, all of it.

Call me grouchy or pushy, but I think we need to take it a little easier on our selves.

Snap a selfie if you want.

Overweight? Snap it.

Not 22? Snap that.

Playing hookie from work? Grab a picture.

Like one side of your face better than the other? Capture it.

Love your shoulders? Frame’em up.

Don’t like it? Move on.

Unfriend, unfollow, disentangle.

Find the thing(s) that brings yourself happy.

The only thing turning 40 did for me was mark the moment when I decided to allow myself to seek out my happiest self.”

What does healthy look like?

What and how healthy is and looks to girls/women is such an important but complicated topic.  As long as we continue to encourage a certain look through media and every day interactions/comments rather than focus on effort, progress and healthy food and exercise options, thinner will continue to be a desired choice and goal.

My mentor and the owner and head coach of the facility where I train, http://www.fns360.com, recently shared his view on the controversy surrounding the winner of the Biggest Loser.  His post is well-written, fair, honest and on point and so I wanted to share the link and actual post here:


Rachel Frederickson-Biggest Loser Winner

Rachel Fredrickson Biggest loser from 260 to 105!

This past week there has been a lot of backlash and controversy over contestant Rachel Fredrickson’s transformation on the Biggest Loser going from 260lbs to 105lbs during her time with the show. Many people have had some very harsh things to say about her weight loss, figure and health.


Maybe it is because I have been coaching people of ages, weight, and demographics over the past 10 years and have seen what emotional vulnerability will make people do. Or that I am now a father to a beautiful little girl and want her to be educated about the reality of health and happiness, or the fact that our media does nothing but perpetuate this type of “Skinny is Fit” look with photo shopped celebrities and fitness models. Maybe it is a combination of all three that I really empathize with Rachel Fredrickson for her transformation and really feel for her given all of the factors that she was faced with and the backlash she has gotten over this past week.

In a show that is all about weight loss and a competition to see who can lose the most weight from a starting percentage standpoint, how can anyone argue that what this person did was wrong? I am not saying it was healthy or not, I am just stating the rules of the competition. Some people will do anything to win that much money even if it means risking their health. Is that good thing? Of course not, but those are the rules of the game that weren’t set by Rachel Frederickson.

What is really concerning is the guidance that Rachel Fredrickson might have been under during the last stage of her competition. Having had experience with former Biggest Loser Contestant and runner up Ada Wong, I had one major rule before we worked together; we will not use any detoxes or cleansing of any sort to lose weight. Ada finished strong and although she did not win, she took care of her body and metabolism by not succumbing to any detoxes or cleanses.

With so many critics out there, it’s hard for people to really know what they would do if they were faced with the same opportunity to win so much money, lose a lot a weight after being big their whole life, and go on live national television for the world to see you.

In a world where everyone is a critic, to put yourself out in front of everyone takes a lot of guts. To put it all on the line is a scary thing to do, and if you don’t have the right support system, guidance and coaching you might do some unhealthy things.
What really gets me the most is reading all of these tweets and posts about how she is “too skinny”, “doesn’t look fit, strong and lean”. This poor girl can’t win. Three months ago she was too big and now she is too skinny. The way I see it she looks no different than most people I see posting selfies on Facebook or seeing pictures of models in magazines. You are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t and I see it on a daily basis the mental and emotional pressures that women and young girls are faced with regarding their weight. If you start lifting weight people say “You are getting too bulky”, if you lose weight people call you “too skinny”, there is no wonder there is such an emotional roller coaster with most women. I truly feel for her and for so many young girls and women out there.

I hope to educate my daughter that the true key to health and happiness is not measured by the number on the scale. It’s not measured by the models in the magazines or the number of ribs you can visually see. It is simply being happy in your own skin, no matter what size you are. Being confident with the person you are and having enough self respect and self esteem to stand for something in a world that is trying it’s hardest to make you something else.

I wish Rachel all the best during her life long journey in her quest for creating balance in wealth, health and happiness.

 ~ Coach Brian Nunez, FNS Training Center (www.fns360.com)

The Power of words…

holidayusThere will always be those who will disagree, judge and toss-out negativity but, as a friend wisely advised, “don’t allow others to choose your future”.

As a Mom of a teenage daughter, I am not only aware but sensitive to the power of words. To an adult but especially a teen who is navigating their way through life and establishing an identity, a negative comment can have the power to be not only unsettling but somewhat debilitating.  Our children model our behavior and words and so, it is our responsibility to live with compassion, care and kindness.

After reading the book entitled, “Odd Girl Speaks Out” by Rachel Simmons, and seeing the movies “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Lone Survivor”, I believe the message is the same and, that is, when our lives are at stake, it’s basic emotions of love and kindness that matter and override any pre-existing prejudices, judgements and negative feelings towards others. We are kind and loving by nature and negativity stems from pain, anger and hurt.

“We can’t control the actions of others but we can control how we respond”.