Tag Archives: failure

Fit Body Boot Camp- Week 13- Meet the Boss Lady, Sara Goossen

Fitness CAN be fun, with Sara Goossen!
Fitness CAN be fun, with Sara Goossen!

Are you familiar with the action of a wrecking ball?

That is Sara Goossen in a nutshell. The lady is powerful, energetic, and ready to knock excuses out of the way. She is a bright and compassionate person who sees the potential in people and then helps individuals harness their inner bad ass. This talent is an imperative staple in her personal business model.

October 1, 2012, Sara opened Fit Body Boot Camp- Cheyenne, with 14 clients. Her goal is to change the lives of 5000 of Cheyenne’s citizens by 2017. As of April 2015, she has trained and cultivated a community of 1200 residents who are interested in adopting a healthy life style. That is an average of 400 people a year, getting active and aware in the fair city of Cheyenne and it’s surrounding areas. No small feat for this 5’3″ wrecking ball.

Sara and I got together to discuss her fitness past and her optimistic fitness future; how she came to start FBBC and some of her own trials and tribulations in the fitness process.

Before I jump into the interview, I would like to state that when you are looking for a gym, and a support system to help you change your habits; having a leader like Sara is imperative because she has run the gamut of unhealthy eating and body weight issues. She has children, she knows struggles and excuses. She has taken initiative on her own, in her own life in order to transcend her past hang ups. In turn Sara has turned hardships into valuable insight for those at any point in their fitness journey.

It may be easier for certain people to take her ethic very seriously because she didn’t start out on this lifestyle right after high school or college before having children; when most women’s bodies are still in that youthful metabolism. She wasn’t always healthy. It was a choice that she had to dedicate herself to; which meant a long road of challenges that led to the changes that are evident in her today.

Let’s find out more, shall we?

March/April 2015; back in  the game after a 2 month break.
March/April 2015; back in the game after a 2 month break.

STATS

AGE: 28

HEIGHT: 5’3″

WEIGHT: 145.3 lbs

FAVORITE EXERCISE: RUNNING STAIRS, WORKING THE BACK, AND SQUATS

LEAST FAVORITE EXERCISE: BUILDING CLIMBERS

Breaks are temporary... This lady is out to GET IT DONE!
Breaks are temporary… This lady is out to GET IT DONE!

Let’s talk about your fitness past, eating disorders, all that stuff.

It goes so far back, it’s disturbing… so, okay, 10 years old; my mom told me I needed to stop eating granola bars because they were making me fat and at that point in time I had just finished some book, I can’t remember the title of, and it was talking abou this girl who would throw up, because she was so fat. So…I…followed suit.

Thank God for Children’s Literature, right?

Yeah, I was like, “Well, now I am well informed and I can solve this problem.

(Sara reminences with awkward laughter.)

So, at ten years old that started fourteen years of just roller coaster disordered eating; ranging the spectrum of binging and purging to just starving myself. When I got pregnant with my son, when I was sixteen, I kind of just said “Fuck it. It doesn’t matter if I am skinny; it doesn’t matter if I am fat…I am pregnant. I can eat whatever I want and have no guilt.” I gained 50 pounds when I was pregnant with him, and I lost ten. I lost some weight nursing, but after I stopped nursing him, I continued the disordered eating cycle.

Just picked it up where you left off?

Yep, just picked it up right where I left off. And I knew… I was an athlete in high school, I knew about nutrition but it’s not something that I ever listened to because disordered eating was so much easier than learning how to feed myself. At nineteen I married my now ex-husband, (my daughters’ father) and gained all that “happy weight” I maxed out the scale before we got married, at 197 lbs…. so, I looked like a cow in my wedding dress.

None of this happens over night... it takes time to get to either end of the spectrum.   Which one would you prefer to be closer to?
None of this happens over night… it takes time to get to either end of the spectrum. Which one would you prefer to be closer to?

Thank god for girdles….

After that we were trying to get pregnant with Emma, and couldn’t get pregnant… couldn’t get pregnant. We tried for two years, and I finally went to the doctor and asked “what is going on?” I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and the doctor told me that I had to make a lifestyle change, or else…. “you’re going to end up with diabetes; you are more apt to have certain types of cancer, you are just going to get fatter, your thyriod is going to peter out…” All the things that go along with PCOS… “This is your future. You either make a change now or enjoy your future where it is headed.”

At that point I sought help because I knew my disorder was no longer a sustainable way to live life. It wasn’t mentally or emotionally healthy.

So I lost about 20 lbs. and we got pregnant with Emma through a series of fertility treatments. When I was pregnant with Emma I only gained about 20 lbs and then I lost it all right away. At that point they (the doctors) said “Well you are probably not going to be able to have any more children, so don’t worry about it.” And I thought, okay, cool; I am just going to go back to doing the whole weight loss thing, because I still had fifty pounds to go.

So I lost another twenty pounds, and then I got pregnant with my daughter Ileena… BOOM! I remember going to my dads house and saying, “Well… I am pregnant again just when I was gettting my ‘sexy’ back.” My grandma looks at me and says “Well honey, maybe that’s the problem.”

Double edged sword on that one…

Yeah! So I got pregnant and did that whole thing and I only gained fifteen pounds with Ailena , and I lost that all right away. November 2009 I found Body For Life, Bill Phillips, transformation.com ; whom I heard about from my step-mom. So I thought, I am going to try this thing. (Everybody thought I was crazy for starting during the holidays.) It was pretty easy; three days of lifting, three days of cardio, all high intensity intervals. By doing that the next three months I was able to loose the rest of the weight. About half way through that three month process I was like “Ya, know, I want to help other people because I can do this as some one who has struggled their whole life with eating well and taking care of themselves … I can help some one else do this.”

I got my personal training certification.

How long did that take you?

It was about four months and about that time I was working for my dad as his administrative assistant amoung other things. I decided that I would try this training thing before and after work, and see what happens. I did that and it just blew up, so in June 2010, I quit my job working for my dad and I started training full time.

I was doing a lot of one on one training and two boot camp sessions at a local gym. I was making money, doing something I love. I worked there for two years and I left because there were some issues that made it neccessary for me to get out of that environment. I decided, I am just going to start my own place; I left and they came after me with for violating my no-compete/ no-solicitation agreement.

Looking back, I was so mad at the time. I was furious, like how could they do this? How can this stand up? Well, it stood up because I had solicited the people who had signed up with me, but were also their clients. I had to take a year off of training and I went back to working for my dad for a year and within that year I knew I needed to do something. I was miserable.

When you are following a life of passion and suddenly it is taken away; it’s like the wind has been knocked out of your sails. You don’t even feel like a human being. I started looking down in Colorado for places I could move to and open up. I was doing all this during the same time I was being sued and working for my dad; I also had gotten a divorce from my kids father. It was everything that could go wrong, did.

I was at an impass; like shit, what do I do?

I looked down in Boulder and I spent about six months driving back and forth, just looking for a location I could open up. I encountered road block after road block.

By this point I had already talked to the CEO of Fit Body, who has been a long time friend. I told them, I want to do this but I have to wait until this year is up or I am screwed.

Was that part of your Non-compete agreement? Did you have a time limit to wait?

Yes, that was the year. One year to the day, October 1, 2012; we opened up with fourteen clients. I was just so excited to be open and be able to do what I love to do. That’s it… the rest is history. Here we are today; looking for another space, a bigger place… sitting down with the bank and talking about bigger loans.

The beginning bare bones of a fitness fortress in the making.
The beginning bare bones of a fitness fortress in the making.

That’s pretty quick, only three years.

Yeah, less than three years actually.

How do you know the CEO of Fit Body?

The fitness industry is so small, it really is. So if you don’t know every one you soon will if you stay in it long enough. I met him doing a master mind. I was in there with the two founders of Fit Body Boot Camp, Steve Hochman and Bedros Keuilian. I was in Steve’s Master Mind and through that I met Bedros. We had several conversations and talked on the phone several times, emailed back and forth; He called me up one day and said ” What’s it going to take to get you to open a Fit Body? And I told him, “You know what it will take, you know what I am up against right now. It’s going to have to take one hell of a deal and some patience and that is where it’s at.” So he said “Alright, let’s make it happen.”

At this point it was going from licensing to a franchise, so they were looking for people and I just happened to be one of those people.

Do you get together with other gym owners?

I do know a lot of the Fit Body owners simply because we get together quarterly; every three months, usually in San Diego or Chino Hills, California. There is a great community with in Fit Body, even from a corporate structure coming all the way down to the clients. It’s nice that we can just continue to pay it forward. It’s pretty cool, and a very unique situation.

Would you like to talk about your competition stuff?

OH YEAH! Sure! I don’t want to bore you to tears with business.

I first competed in August of 2011, I also ran the Denver half marathon in October 2010, and after that I gave myself permission to never run again. (laughter.) I find it really useless and painful. It turns out I am better suited for lifting heavy things than go fast.

2011 looks good on Sara Gosseen!
2011 looks good on Sara Gosseen!

Did you do this on your year of sabbatical?

No, it was right before everything blew up in my face. Then I competed in my second figure show August 2013.

2013 looked even better!
2013 looked even better!

Did you win anything?

I did. I placed 5th in the second show, I was pretty excited about that. Granted there were only six figure competitors, so I was 5th, but I was happy to have something to take home, regardless.

My first show I did there were 36 figure competitors, and I think I finished 34th. So I was like, “I think I have improved!”

'High Knees
‘High Knees” are different than heinies… make sure both are in good form!

Were these in Wyoming?

The one in 2011 was in Loveland, Colorado. The Warrior Classic, and the other one was in Wyoming, and that was the Jay Cutler Classic. And that Dude, is a Big Dude. I have a picture of him somewhere.

Not only is Jay Cutler bohemoth, but he makes Sara look like a tiny lil tea cup.  Jay Cutler Classic 2013.
Not only is Jay Cutler bohemoth, but he makes Sara look like a tiny lil tea cup. Jay Cutler Classic 2013.

 

He was there?

Yeah, he is huge! He is a moose of a man! My head is as big as his shoulder!

He could pick you up in the palm of his hand!

Honestly I am getting the bug again, to compete. I am trying to weigh out the time commitment that it takes, along with my other obligations to see what it will take… if it’s something I can feasibly do right now while keeping everything else balanced. I do love competing .

If you wait to have your own place, you could put on your own competition, in house competition. Then you won’t have to go too far.

That is one of the most fun things about competition; you get to meet so many interesting people from all over the country. People who are busting their asses just to get super lean for just a minute. It literally lasts a day. You deplete enough to have a six pack for a day, and then you gain 20 pounds the next day because you drink water. It’s crazy.

It would be interesting to time lapse a person going through the build up to competition, and then the 24 hours afterward. Once you get the tanner off, and start drinking water again, it’s like what the hell? You blossom like a flower.

You still eat, you carb load the day of to fill out your muscles because you have depleted to the point that you have taken all the glycogen and striped your body of literally everything. It’s not something you want to do often because it is kind of dangerous, BUT, it’s still fun to push your mental ability and physical barriers. That is big for me, because I love the challenge.

Are you a challenge junkie?

I totally am! I love the personal challenge. Competing against other people is fun, but figure prep is anywhere from 2-5 months.

It’s kind of interesting that you have struggled with disordered eating which is in and of itself sort of an addiction, and pushing your body to a limit and challenging it, but not in a very healthy way. And here you have turned your addiction around to a healthier way of expressing it. Yet, there are still these extremes that you go to.

It totally is. What I think helps me with competing and the lifestyle of body building is the structure that it provides. It’s like a security blanket. You take some one with an eating disorder who has struggled with that their entire life, and you say, “you don’t have to struggle, here is some structure. Have a nice day.” It’s like, “okay, this is safe.”

Then the biggest struggle, is will power to be able to keep on the regamine.

Yeah, it’s like any other fitness goals… as long as you have that dead line… the finish line at the end; it makes it that much easier. It’s not like you have to do this for a lifetime or else… It’s here is your dead line, and then you reset the goal. And that is something that is really, really exciting for me.

Through competing I learned to accept my body, where ever it is; whether I am 120 pounds or 145. I am still strong, I am still beautiful and I am still worthy of love and acceptance and success. That is one of those things that I have accidentally learned through the process. It is a by product.

I know a lot of people who compete who struggle with that mindset. Like if they don’t have a six pack they are done for. They are like “Oh My God, My Life Is OVER!”

It basically boils down to bulemia or dysmorphia. It’s all activated on the same brain wave length, same neurological pathway. It’s been nice to find freedom from that as I have gotten older. To not be stressed out about the numbers, to see yourself and be like “You look good!”

IT’s a good example to your kids, too.

I hope so. Sometimes I wonder, “am I ruining these little people?”

Mommy, Wife, Business Owner and Encourager of the Masses... what can't this lady do?         Photo courtesy of  Lacey Dippold Photography
Mommy, Wife, Business Owner and Encourager of the Masses… what can’t this lady do? Photo courtesy of Lacey Dippold Photography

Instead of “You’re the reason mommy has a drinking problem,” it’s more like “You are the reason mommy has an exercise problem.”

That’s funny beacause when I took two months off earlier this year, my kids were like “what is wrong with her?” I did not feel like myself. I felt like I was insane most days; like absolutely bat shit crazy.

You needed to be exerting yourself.

Yeah, I needed that rush of endorphins and I think it was something that I had always taken for granted because I have been doing it for so long, it’s just been part of my life for so long. When I completely took it out, I had no idea the impact it would have on me. Not just physically but spiritually, emotionally and mentally. I got to tell you, the week we started working out again, my husband and I; He was like “Gosh you are so much easier to be around.” And I knew he meant that in the sweetest way possible, instead of being a jerk, and I was like “I know, trust me, it’s easier to be in my head.” I went to the doctor and I asked am I schitzophrenic, what is going on here? And she said “I think you are depressed.” And I just needed exercise.

So tell me about your favorite success story to come out of here.

My favorite one, honestly, is from when I very, very first started. He followed me when I opened Fit Body. His name is Austin, he was 16 when he came to me he was 386 lbs. and he was tall and huge. He knew he had a problem. He was home schooled so he didn’t have a lot of interaction with other kids. The reason he was home schooled was because when he was in school, the other kids were just horrible to him because he was so big and kind of awkward and quiet.

He would come, every single day to Boot Camp. At that point in time, they were 1 1/2 hour sessions, he would show up at 6:00 AM, every day. And even if he couldn’t do it, he would struggle through it.

He asked me, “what do I eat? how do I do it?”

His mom was onboard, but I didn’t see her much. Sometimes she would come and walk while he did Boot Camp. Every now and then she would come talk to me, well when I took the year off, Austin started power lifting and he took his focus off the weight loss. Then he came over to Fit Body when I opened, and he brought his mother with him, and they did it together.

It was just so, so, so cool. He ended up losing 110 lbs by the time he was 19. Then they moved to Oregon. He was such a great, great kid. It was just so cool to see how he was able to influence his mom because it’s usually the parents who influence the kids. He was able to influence his mom after two years of going at it by himself.

Was she also over-weight?

Yes, she was, but such a nice, nice gal. I look back on those two, especially Austin and I think “That kid could have made every excuse in the world because teenagers do, adults do. Teenagers learn from what the adults model.” He just was like “I am tired of this. I am tired of being the ‘fat kid’. I don’t mind being a ‘big kid’, I am 6’3″. But I am tired of being the ‘fat kid'”

The last Halloween he was here, he dressed up as The Hulk; and that involved taking off his shirt, and painting himself green, and walking around with out a shirt on. Two years prior to that you would have never seen him do that. It was so cool to see him blossom from this awkward quiet, video gamer (indoor) kid to this little ball of life and energy, and sass.

It was fun to not only see his journey of weight loss but also to see how he grew as a person. To see him evolve into an adult from a kid that just didn’t want to be fat and made fun of.

Do you stay in contact with him?

I do. I stay more into contact with his mom because he is a young adult now and all over the place.

It would be interesting to see if he takes a career in Fitness from this influence. It seems like people who a great at teaching come from a past of being ostersized.

So, we have touched on this, but obviously Fitness has a positive effect on your homelife.

Oh God, yeah! The kids are like “Mom, go work out, you are driving us crazy.” It is also nice though, because my husband and I can share it together. Every morning Monday through Saturday we go work out together, and then go to work and do our thing. It’s been a good bonding experience for us too. Although it did take us three years for him to come and work out with me. The first time we exercised together, he was having a bad day and we were just friends at the time. I was like “he’s having a bad day, just go lift, and he will be fine.” Well a half hour in, he is dry heaving on himself, and I was like ” I thought you were in shape?” Well, after that he didn’t come back to work out with me for three years. And he comes to boot camp, and he makes it through the whole thing, and after that he said “I am going to have to wait until you are ‘deconditioned’ a little before we can work out together.”

He took the oppertunity while I took two months off to “even the playing field.”

Since then it has been nice, in the last couple of months to have that morning time with my husband because we have five kids… we need that time together. It’s nice to have that time and cheer each other on.

What are some of your future goals?

Really my mission is just to help people and it always has been. I am in the business of changing lives and if I am not changing lives, then I am doing something wrong.

Watch out folks....
Watch out folks….

YOU RUINED MY LIFE THROUGH EXERCISE!

Ha, ha! Oh man, if some one said that to me, I would have to reevalute everything. I really do just want to leave an impact on this world. And, Cheyenne… God Bless it, and all of it’s citizens; (but Cheyenne) is a FAT city. Overweight, unhealthy; spiritually, mentally and physically. People are over worked and under paid, or over worked and over paid. They have little or no time for their families , no time for themselves; no time to do anything. So we have people spinning their wheels, but for what? At the end of the day if you don’t have your health, you have nothing left. I don’t want to out live my children. I see obese kids around and I want to slap their parents. I don’t want to beat the kids, but I want to slap the parents. It makes me so mad. But then I look at it, and you have to change the lives of the parents before you can change the lives of the children. At the end of the day, it is our job as adults to make those responsible decisions. It isn’t easy, but it is our responsiblity.

It’s in my heart to change the health of this community, if not the entire community of Wyoming, but that’s a long way off down the road. I want to continue to make a difference in peoples health and in their lives.

Thirty minutes of exercise might not seem like much, but it can change how a wife treats her husband. She is in a better mood, she feels better about herself, she feels more attractive… she actually wants to be with her husband instead of saying ” I don’t see what you see, at all.”

It changes how a mother treats her children because she has more energy, she will want to take them to the park, or go hiking and do stuff. Or maybe she is just in a better mood and doesn’t want to paddle their butts just for being little people.

It is just fitness, it is just a work out… but it can change EVERYTHING. I have seen it with myself. I saw it when I started my journey years ago and I still see it today. If I don’t work out, I need to work out because I start feeling ‘cagey’ inside. Anxious.

What has your biggest triumph been in your personal fitness journey?

I think just staying the course. Every day is a new day. I can’t say one event has been a real defining moment in my health and fitness journey. I think it just staying course with the lifestyle. I mean sometimes I fall off, just like anyone. I go on a little cookie diet, when I feel stressed, and then I gain eight pounds and then I have to lose it again. At the end of the day just knowing that I am doing what I need to be doing is just great. But when I am not doing that I can tell a difference. So for me, it’s just committing to the lifestyle.

Is there anything you would want to change?

No. Not really because I believe even the hard stuff is lessons. And I think I am far more grateful now toward some of the hardships that I went through. When you look back at it, it just gives you an oppertunity to learn about yourself; to learn about others and the way the world works. Hardships are often self inflicted. So if anything it’s just learning about who I am and who I want to be and who I do not want to be. It’s just about growing up.

Would you like to give any tips or inspiration?

It’s just about consistency. You have to pick and plan and be consistent. It doesn’t matter what your plan is, as long as it has some good foundation of physical health, mental health and spiritual health. Even if it’s CrossFit or lifting or body building or boot camp; whatever it is, I think it’s just about picking something that works for you and stick with it. I know Boot Camp isn’t for everyone. I wish it was. At the end of the day finding something that works and sticking with it long enough to get results. So many people just go about their life by starting a new program every two weeks, saying “But I am just not getting results.” and I am like “Dude, it’s only been two weeks. Do you know how long it took me to lose 70 pounds?”

How long did it take you?

Beginning to end it took three years. Granted I got pregnant twice in between, but it took me three years to lose that 70 pounds. It’s not going to happen over night.

After spending all this time taking other peoples measurements; when do people, on average see a difference for themselves and accept that change is occurring?

Typically eight weeks, especially for women. I call it an 8 Week Miracle. Literally nothing on the scale can change and inches may not change, but may be your clothes fit differently. For whatever reason the inches may not change, your body fat may not change, and then one day you wake up and somewhere between the bedroom and the bathroom, you realize you lost your ass. It’s like it’s just fallen off somwhere and you hop on the scale and you are down ten pounds from the night before. And you will be like “what the hell? My scale must be broken.”

So you call in a spouse or a loved one and you have them hop on the scale and it says what it always says to them, and you hop back on there and it says the same thing, “you are down 10 lbs.”

You have to trust the process, long enough. Not just “half commit.”

“Oh I am just gonna work out for eight weeks and hope that everything is going to happen. You have to have a plan. Have a plan of attack and exicute it flawlessly. Even if you have one bad day, okay, perfect; get back on the band wagon, but don’t let that one bad day or one bad meal derail you for the next six months.

So I think that is the key. Consistency. You have to be consistent, no matter what. And that goes with anything; if it’s fitness related, or business related, or if you want better relationships. What ever it is, BE CONSISTENT! STICK WITH YOUR PLAN! Things WILL change.

In summery; Knowledge, is the awareness that all action has a reaction, and Wisdom, is using that awareness to your advantage whilst utilizing all available resources.

Fit Body Boot Camp works because of the significant insight that the program lends through collaborative Wisdom and Experience.

Fit Body Boot Camp is calling out more of Cheyenne to get involved in their fitness; and during the month of May we are taking extra efforts to expose residents to the opportunity.  If you have been following this blog and you are tempted to try it; COME ON DOWN!  Let them know you read this blog and that it has helped you to take the first step in health and wellness; or if you are new to town and looking for a fitness community and this seems up your alley, come take a test drive.

You can find out more by going to fitbodybootcamp.com/cheyennefitnessbootcamp, or on Facebook Fit Body Boot Camp Cheyenne.

If this article interests you and you would like to read more, check out these related blogs.  And as always I appreciate “likes”, comments, suggestions and subscribers; so  please feel free to interact.  And remember kids, Fitness is great, but Burpees SUCK!

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Fit Body Boot Camp~ Week 9- Meet the Administration, Tristin

One of the best byproducts of attending Boot Camp, is the people you will meet, and the stories that you will hear in regard to individual fitness journeys. It takes courage to step out of an unhealthy comfort zone and into a whole new arena of health and wellness. It can be an intimidating thought, of jumping around in a class, sweating and jiggling all over the place in front of strangers.

Knowing that each member and leader started somewhere, brings a common bond and a common mission.

The great thing about boot camp is that it is the great equalizer amoungst it’s members. No matter what journey transpired that brought each member through the door, and no matter how long they have attended, it is a challenge to every level of fitness.

There is a good chance that if you contact Fit Body Boot Camp-Cheyenne, that you will talk to the friendly and effervescent Tristin Williams. You will recognize her at the gym by her lusterious red mane, her love of tye dye and her beast mode passion for lifing extraordinarily heavy weights. Tristin isn’t your average admin, and her fitness journey is a testament to her determination.

Summer 2013
Summer 2013
Tristin Currently
February 2015

STATS

NAME: Tristin Williams

AGE: 34

HEIGHT: 5’0″

WEIGHT: 182lbs (starting weight 227lbs)

STARTING & CURRENT MEASUREMENTS:

ARMS– 15.5″ / 12.5″

CHEST– 50″ / 42″

WAIST-47.5″ / 36.5″

HIPS-52.25″/ 45

THIGH- 27″ / 25.25″

BODY FAT– 47% / 36.5%

FAVORITE EXERCISES– SQUATS (max 250)

DEADLIFTS (max 265)

BENCH PRESS (max 200)

Tristin Deadlift

Tristin has a unique story, on how she came to Fit Body Boot Camp, and if you were to superficially judge her, you may think that she is unhealthy. Tristin isn’t tall, standing at only 5 foot; and her body is apple shaped. Often times she can be seen wearing a hoodie, so it is sort of hard to imagine what she is packing under there. She may not have the mainstream media’s ideal body shape, but she has had two beautiful children and can probably dead lift the crap out of your average fitness buff.

I wanted to talk to Tristin and find out her fitness background, and her goals going forward…

May I have the pleasure to introduce you to Tristin Williams, Administrative Assistant at Fit Body Boot camp- Wearer of The TyeDye and Dominator of Heavy Lifting-

Me: So Tristin, tell me about your fitness past.

Tristin: Well my Mom, was a power lifter and a body builder, she held two State Records for years and my Dad was her trainer. So I grew up in the gym, in the daycare (which I despies to this day.) My mom would have power lifting meets, so she was always on the (restrictive) diets, and so they felt bad, and let me eat other things… Because they knew, “what kid wants to eat chicken and broccoli, every night?” So, they would let me eat unhealthy things, like Spaggeti-Ohs. Plus, I am an only child, and I am kind of spoiled. (laughter) Just, putting that out there… So they would ask me, “What do you want?” and I would say “Spaghetti-Ohs.” I LOVED Spaghetti-Ohs.

Tristin went on to explain that the summer between her 4th and 5th grades, she stayed with a cousin. Their collective summer mission was to beat Super Mario 3, which led to a stagnant summer of sitting on the couch, indoors, playing the beloved video game.

Tristin: So we just sat inside, obsessed with the Nintendo and eating chips. All Summer, doing nothing but playing video games.

I have always been “stocky”, I guess you would call it, but that is when I really gained weight. And then it just, kind of got worse.

Me: Oh, that has got to be one of the worst times to gain weight, just as your body is sort of kicking into hormones.

Tristin: So I gained weight, and between 7th and 8th grade, I worked out with my mom and we would go over to what is now Gold’s Gym, and I lost quite a bit of weight, and I maintained that for years. I was a size 9 for years, until I had (my first born) Isaac.

Tristin was able to maintain her weight from 9th grade , despite dropping her work outs; however as she became more social, one thing led to another, and she found herself gaining 60 lbs of pregnancy weight.

Tristin: Chocolate milk, was THE THING during that pregnancy. I was drinking a gallon of it a day. I was in a terribly abusive relationship , so I didn’t have the desire to self love, or to go do anything about the weight that I had gained. I was just misrable for a while; and then I got out of that relationship and just still felt I needed to lose this weight so somebody will find me attractive, ya know?

So for may be a year I lost some weight, I am not sure how much, maybe 15 or 20 lbs. And then (May 2006) I met my husband, and (laughter) we met each other and got married after about three months. And our plan was, to have a year or so to ourselves and then have a baby… well… that didn’t happen. We were married on September 12, 2006, and found out a week later that I was pregnant. (lots of laughter) My family and such thinks we just got married because of that, but it wasn’t.

So then I had Jaylenne, and I only gained 30 lbs with her, but I found out I have Gestational Diabetes, so I really watched what I ate, and cut out all the sugar and all of that. And so I lost most of all that weight, but I was still around 200 lbs at that time. I am only five foot, so 200 lbs is still, uh, not lookin’ pretty good on a five foot person.

The first six years of Jaylennes’ life, I was comfortable in my relationship; Rod loved me the way I was, and I am like “I’m fine.” I was drinking 44oz of Mountain Dew a day.

Me: Complacent comfort?

Tristin: Hmm mmm, yeah, I was eating fried food constantly, you know, fast food and all of that. Which I think my highest was around 230. The day I came and weighed I was at 227 and I couldn’t breathe. That is one of my goals on my sheet, is to be able to breathe. You could hear me breathing, just sitting here.

Me: Did you smoke cigarettes at the time?

Tristin: I did at the time, yeah. I smoked for 17 years. I was a misrable walking piece of human being, is pretty much what I was. I was happy with my marriage but I hated myself.

Tristin was then introduced to Fit Body Boot Camp, Cheyenne, by her friend Kate. Kate proceeded to share pictures of herself over the months that she had been training at FBBC. Tristin couldn’t help but ask what she was doing to get these results. Kate gave the low down on FBBC, and Tristin sat on the information for about a month, hesitant to call the number.

Tristin: I called and talked to (owner/opperator) Sara (Goossen) and asked things like “Are people going to make fun of me?” I thought of all the questions that a person who is over weight will want to know, like “Is it hard?” Then I came in, 11/9/13 and met up with Sara, and I got my measurements and something just clicked. I came in the next Monday, and I quit drinking soda, and probably haven’t been to a McDonalds since.

Me: Tell me about that first day?

Tristin: I came in kind of cocky because I had worked out before with my parents, and because they were body builders and power lifters, I thought I knew what I was doing. It was a leg day, we had some squats and push ups… the next day I was SO SORE for about a week. When Sara tells people in consultation, that some days going to the bathroom will be difficult, brushing your hair will be difficult, she isn’t kidding. It’s not a lie. I have never been so sore before in my entire life; but I pushed through, and I kept coming and I didn’t miss a day for months. My uncle died, and that day I still came to work out. Some people may use those as excuses not to come in, but I didn’t . I thought, that might be okay for you, but for me, I was like, anthing to not come in is an excuse, and I don’t want to make excuses. I just pushed through the hard times. I had three deaths in my family last year, and I pushed through all of them.

January- August 2014
January- August 2014

Tristin really started to evaluate her path forward after participating in the 12 Week Transformational Challenge, and was deeply inspired by Trainer Ashley Richards.

Tristin: I really wanted to pay it forward, and become a trainer. I am not a trainer, yet, but when the Admin job became open, it was perfect because I had worked as an Administrative Assistant for years. It was scary, I went from a full time job to part time. I took the risk, but I knew I was going to be helping people, and pay it forward, and eventually I will get my training certificate.

I am content where I am at right now.

My passion is powerlifting. I love to lift heavy shit! My mom is my hero, and inspiration for that. She is tiny, she is about five foot, and when she set her record she was 118 lbs.; her dead lifting record is 300. I do want to compete at least once. I love to max out, I love to see where I am at and how I am performing.

Me: Has this been benefical to your relationship?

Tristin: Oh yeah, my husband has been doing it with me since May or June 2014 and he has lost 35 lbs. I feel better about myself, he has always been great about telling me I am beautiful and that he loves me, but I love myself now, and when he says something like that, I can, more than half way believe it. Now I could see how he could say it, where as before… Yeah, it has been really good for our relationship.

Tristin takes a moment to attest to the words on one of the gym’s T-shirts which says “Fit Sex is Better than Fat Sex.” “It’s true!” She says pointing at where the shirts hang. “I can attest first hand to this.”

I ask what her biggest struggle is, and like most people who have made huge dietary changes in tandem with reaching their physical goals, she says “food.”

Tristin: I love me some chocolate! I thought it was going to be the soda, because I was drinking at least one huge 44oz of soda a day. At LEAST, one… I don’t miss soda. I don’t eat fast food anymore, except Subway, because I can control what goes on it. No burger joints, no fried foods. I gave away my fryer; I was frying chicken at least once a week; deep fried shrimp and fries. I kept the fryer for a while because my family was not on board with the healthy eating and one day I just decided to throw out the oil and give it away.

Me: What do you think your greatest advancements have been?

Tristin: Mentally, I would say it’s that I love myself now. Am I totally where I want to be? No, but I am over halfway to the goal of where I want to be. I don’t really focus on the scale because it really hasn’t moved much since September, but my pants sizes have gone down. I was in a 22 to 24 (size) pant and I am wearing an 11 now.

Me: Are you still smoking?

Tristin: My last cigarrette was June 8th last year, and then I started vaping. My thought process is that at a year, which will be this June 8th,  I can slowly start giving up the vape. I am proud of myself because every other time I have tried to give up cigarettes, I couldn’t. I know it’s terrible. And I know that the vaping may not be much better, but I smoked for 17 years, and now I feel better. It’s definitely not 100 times better, but it is better than a cigarette. And I have these girls here to keep on me, and tell me to get off of it and I love them for it. I have had people on me (in my family) about it (smoking) for years. And one day I just decided I was sick of it. I hated the smell. But I am a firm believer that I had to decide that for myself. No one could make me do it.

November 2014
November 2014

Great advice, from a woman who has had some pretty deep lows and heavy burdens in her life.

You see, Fit Body Boot Camp is such a great enviroment because it works not only as a support system, but also like a family. Every one realizes that by coming to the table, they each bring their short comings; but they also bring their strengths. And those strengths are used to build each other up, not tear each other down.

Tristin, came to FBBC scared that she would be rediculed and shunned for her short comings and the past of mistreating herself and her body; instead she was welcomed with open arms, and she wouldn’t be the woman she is today, with out it.

Fit Body Boot Camp is so inspiring to it’s members, that it isn’t strange that they would be catalyzed to pay it forward and to assist others in feeling better; because feeling better has a holistic impact on a human. Imagine the state of paralysis an individual feels when they hate their body, and feel shameful about being in public. All of that mental/ emotional energy being consumed by fear.

However, erase that fear?

Allieviate the problem and the body, mind and soul get their energy back to focus on the bigger picture; the example we set for our children and their future impact on the world.

If you would like to make a change, a shift, or a transformation in your life, and you are ready to take a risk for the sake of your health, give Tristin Williams a call at (307)421-7387 or check out their FaceBook Page Here, or their website at http://www.fitbodybootcamp.com/cheyennefitnessbootcamp/. Help yourself by helping us reach our goal of impacting the lives of (at least) 5000 Cheyenne Residents with health and physical fitness.

Twisted Sisters: Transparency; Accountability, Consequence, Jealousy and Ambivilance

It is coming, can you feel it?  The world is taking on a certain sense of transparency; where once there were lies buried too deep to see, unearth a disturbing truth.  We all have things we have been hiding from ourselves and others for years.  I am going to guess there is a very small percentage of people out there who experience telling the truth and being fully authentic in every moment.

I mean, to be totally authentic is not an easy task when you have been brought up to buy into both the program of “being honest,” and “keeping a smile on your face.”  These things to me, seem in direct conflict of one another.

Websites like Facebook have opened the flood gates for potential pity parties catalyzed by vague statements made in a status update.  Facebook is one of the first places people go to vent out their angst.  They realize they can get some acknowledgment for their struggles.  Commiserate over children, whine about traffic, or confess a crush.  In  a wifi connected world, the lonely still have a soap box.

On the internet we can see it all.  And by All I mean, almost anything and everything the mind can concoct; in every spectrum of perception that we broadly summarize as “good” or “bad”;  “wonderful” or “evil.”  Most of it is labeled as “entertainment.”  Some of it is staged.  Some of it is real.

There is one thing I have never seen on the internet.

Tell me, have you ever see any one say, “I beat the shit out of my kids today.  I hate what I did.  I am having a hard time right now, I could use some help.  Can any one offer me therapy, or some assistance.  I am having a very tough time coping with this alone. And the kids don’t deserve it.  I need the help of my community.”

And if you did, would you ignore it, respond, or just call DHS?

Or how about,  “I  have fallen back into destructive behavior and substance abuse.  I could really use the support of close friends right now.”

Would you just type a message and hope for the best with a suicide hotline number or; go get them and bring them to your home, or ignore it.

Or, off a deeper end;  ” I sexually took advantage of a child today.  I realize that my moral compass is off.”

“I stole money from my family.”

“I was in a hit and run, but neglected to report it.”

I bet you thought the last three are really tricky because unless you are a total idiot, you don’t broadcast that stuff.  And if you did, don’t be surprised if some one calls the cops.  Effectively relieving any guilt by assuming the powers that be will address the issue with adequate justice, right?  The “Hands-off-don’t-involve-yourself-in-other peoples-affairs-but-DO-get-involved-just-enough-to-feel-self-justified” approach.  Very few take a “This-is-my-community-and-I-want-to-be-involved-in-it” attitude, and many that do end up killing people and give that whole wrap a bad name.

We assign cops as our go to guys because we know they are trained for conflict.  And we hate conflict.  Stranger still, we assign the section of the community which the populace is most in fear of to assert control, sending everything to the battle ground of a “just “court system to deal with the stigmatic issues involving people who have no idea what legal language is.  And at the end of the day, either someone has a jail sentence; is released, or if you live in a state that has the death penalty, well, you know the rest.

Now maybe, somewhere, in some anonymous forum confessional, these admissions are happening.  But where is it safe to admit failure and willing to accept both help and consequence?

The court parades as such a savior, and yet has very little success with their long-term goals of more than incarceration and whatever capitalistic goals that  achieves.  Self aware Rehabilitation, isn’t really a modern style of function, quite yet.  Self Awareness is still in it’s baby stages it seems.

We talk about the diseases, but we rarely discuss the cause root of how we got there.  Then (all of a sudden) when sociopolitical moral issues arise, it’s like they came out of the blue.  But the closer we look, the more we realize, even Discontent has a birthday; and quite frankly we are a society that has a hard time with confrontation.   We prefer methods of distraction because we don’t know how to handle the brutal honest truth of potential existence.  Unless of course it is filtered through the news or major broadcasting network.

Take the current Cosby case.  There are over 12 women who accuse this man of indecent activity, being drugged and rape.  These allegations go back years, and were ignored.  Why?  Because we have been fed illusions of one thing, and the news conflicts with what we want to believe.  It stresses the brain out to the point it chooses to ignore it all together.

To add insult to injury, it isn’t just the entertainment industry which finds itself unintentionally in the middle of a barrage of transparency.

Take the biggest, wealthiest, and most influential religious institution in the world; The Catholic Church, and it’s mounting allegations of molestation, abuse, and even death that go back… CENTURIES.

Pull your big kid pants on, because this shit is real.  How do we actually DEAL with any of it?  Thus far the solution has been to pass the buck to someone else.  A third party vendor.  We assert blame.

If you have any sign causing an intuitive reaction that someone  is mistreating another person, especially a child; IT IS YOUR MORAL OBLIGATION to get involved.  (Unless of course you have no moral standing, and that is called a sociopath.)  You speak on behalf of community (which few people have a concept of in this day and age,) For those who live in fear and oppression do not know what it means to have a voice, much less how to use it.    You act because empathy tells you, that if the tables were turned, you would want an advocate that believes that you have some worth or purpose.

We shield ourselves behind the most smiley pictures and phrases we have.  We keep up the illusion of 24/7 joy.  We want Joy so badly.  We want her to fill our hearts in every moment…  We don’t enjoy the bombardment of sadness in reality.  It causes a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness.  In our hearts we feel if we just focus on the good stuff this would be an ideal reality.

Instead though, Jealousy and Ambivalence rule.  It is hard to see everything we see, everyday though social media and not be on their side.  And maybe you tell yourself, you only “like” or “comment” on that which is  “good,” “right,” or “just.”  And you believe the “New Age” that if you “just focus on the good, the bad will go away.”  You may ignore knowing that  social media has algorithms and filters.  Nonetheless Jealousy wins sometimes, because she is the driving force that causes you to “like” that photo. Because you wish it was you in that picture. Jealousy is sometimes passive aggressive, and likes what she hates because she doesn’t want the retaliation of a snarky comment  Other times Ambivalence wins because, if you don’t agree, it is easier to “ignore” or “block” than it is to add some substance to the greater conversation, or maybe, just because you don’t want others to know sometimes you are not agreeable.  You may be afraid of being blocked, or ignored.  Worse yet, you are probably afraid that  you let a piece of yourself out there that is raw and real, you will be rejected and unloved due to it.   Ignoring the fact that no one is perfect and there is variety in the world for a reason. Further buying into, and selling the illusion.

So as the interconnected reality we attempt to live in meshes further into the cyber world, we construct a design that allows us to do just that.  Create and perpetuate an illusion.  A place where every picture is funny, beautiful, or adorable ( at whatever end of the spectrum of perception you may be).  And we continue to hide behind status updates that are smart, provocative and sometimes depressingly honest.  Honest but somehow, not real and almost empty.

People think they know everything about whomever because they watch every tid-bit that is posted… but have those same voyeurs read every note in the notebook of the mind they are observing?  Or do they just read whatever  they are tagged in online?  Narcissism is the blindness that keeps us from seeing the truth between the lines and pictures.

Despite your worries or cares, blessings or achievements, YOUR world revolves around YOU… and likewise; even if you have children, your self-absorbed question costumed in humbleness and care is “how will I feed MY children.”

We envelop the world in our concerns, and unless you have been following the thread, you may just look like a complainer.

For instance, I have left a hearty online trail of my angst, but I don’t think too many people read it.  It is “depressing” and it has nothing to do with you….No tags.  Does it make my struggle less real to me?  Does it just come across as complaining to you?  Did you offer to help?  Did I deny you or shoot you down?  Did you just think, “typical musing from her.”  ?  Did you pray for me , or send word of consolation?  Does it even matter?

SURPRISE!  All of this does have something to do with you.

Do you ever feel pain or discontent? Do you fail?  Do you make mistakes you hope to never repeat? If you can see it for  yourself and feel something, you have Self  Awareness, and you should be honored for it. If you get these things then you may know what I am talking about.   You may realized you never admitted certain things to yourself, your own struggle with it.  Which means you probably haven’t admitted it to anyone else, and you may really be struggling with some internal moral battles, and feeling despondent and completely alone.  Your self-awareness has been nagging that something is off, and you have chosen to not face the issue full on, and maybe even have fallen victim to yourself.

I don’t think one can truly harness that illusive Joy,  without first confronting and tackling the dark part that continues to pull their view from the light that is purposeful absolution.  And that means to face the struggle and tackle it head on; not to just complain or ignore.

Personally, I only remember moments where I was happier than others.  Few of them were consecutive.  I have never had a phenomenal month of Joy.  Nor do I think a life with out dark dips is a potential reality in this world.  We learn through our mistakes and misgivings.  We evolve through experiences of both success and defeat.  We pay the price of consequence in all our actions.

My whole life has been a struggle with the dark side.   Trace my writing back to its beginnings of child like journals and thoughts too big for the child writing in the journal.  It isn’t easy.  Especially to be transparent, confrontational and advocating righteousness; however, it is what we all deeply want and need.

I face my own mistakes daily, and yet something I think about often is a time when I was 16. Walking down the side passages of the mall to go to the restroom, and on  my way out a man, his wife and three-year old  daughter were walking toward me.  The small girl was dragging her coat on the floor; the mother had a black eye, the father towered above them.  He started yelling at the small girl to pick her coat up off the floor, and before she could respond the father picked the girl up by the front of her shirt and slammed her into the brick wall.  Screaming in her face, shaking her against the unforgiving hardness that stood behind her tiny body. Scared shitless…Mother backing away, looking away; doing nothing.

I continued to walk by and act appropriately like I was taught.

“Do not stare. And most importantly DO NOT involve yourself in other Peoples affairs.”

At the core of my soul, I feel more guilty and wrong for doing nothing  in that moment than I feel about any misguided intentional misdeed I myself accomplished in the 16 years previous and the 18 years after that one moment.  My only excuse was fear because God knows I was born confrontational, and I have no guilt about that.   Fear can no longer be used as an excuse to those  who know fear is an illusion.  I wish I knew then, what I know now, and I hope that Momma and girl are safe and alive.  I have never admitted to having a regret, and that would be it.

That said, the only solution I have is this; Transparency and Accountability. Be honest with yourself and all you deal with. Call each other out.  Use your intuition.  Get into other Peoples business.  Be raw.

Ask for help when you need it, accept it if it is offered.  Participate in your community and do not be offended when they involve themselves with you.  Be social in real life, not just in the cyber world.

Honor pain and struggle, give it a voice and find it a solution.  Band together as people who have all experienced the most basic of human emotions, and use them to strengthen the good in the world; use them to balance the scales of injustice and harm that goes on senselessly everyday.

Love each other the way you want to be loved; finally set an example of human behavior that can not be ignored.  No one is perfect, and if we can agree on that it should be easy helping one another through the struggle that it is to be human.

Simply put,educated and empower one another to be accountable and transparent.  Deal with each other  in state of love, in equity and consequence.

Your Honor/ My Honor

60172Few of you may know, that I went to jail in early 2005.  The charges were “domestic dispute  with a misdemeanor of assault   I went to jail that night for about 16 hours.  It was by far one of the strangest things I have ever encountered.  I don’t talk about it as a respect to the other party, who really loves his privacy on such matters.  Regardless, I really do try and keep a good mindset about all things.  And though the jail thing was hairy, I endured it.  Upon seeing a court evaluator, I asked “what is the most the court will ask me to do?”  He said community service and classes on domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse.  I got the info and got in right away.  I found a community art gallery and donated my time to the cause. I wrote this piece two days out of jail… but I had to wait 7 months for a hearing with a judge.  In the mean time, I did everything the was going to ask me to… ONLY I DID IT BEFORE THEY ASKED.

At the end of the trial ( there were people on the jury, who had totally bought a pizza from me a Papa Murphy’s)  where I was found guilty, the judge talked to me off the record, wherein I shared this piece of writing.

She was impressed with what I had done, and said I could have my record expunged after 4 years, if no other incidence.

There has been no other incidence.  I have been single for 7 years.  That was my last serious relationship.  It ended weird  and now I have a mark on my record… why? Why haven’t I had it expunged?  Because I would rather put petrol in my car, and buy a six pack then pay yet another $85 dollars into the system I found myself indebted to.

How did I win?  Well I guess I cut a lot of drama out of my life after all of that, and yet, at moments knowing what I know; I find myself still fearing the law.  Fuck me.

Your Honor,

I come before you a humble and humiliated part of society

my brain screams

“girls like me, don’t belong in jail”

but I compromised what allows me to be free

My reality, assault in the fourth degree

a fight

domestically

Luckily not another tragedy

just a young woman

with too much to drink

a tendency to over think

and a bottle of rage packed inside

These things I over looked

came back to bite

and now I know what a night in jail is like

I can’t remember the succession in which it all happened

Only I know

I don’t want it to happen again

I don’t want a record

or a label like criminal

Since that day

I pay for my actions

Two hundred and fifty

of my cash

goes to bail I owe

Not to mention the

broken double pane window

My brain gets lost when it thinks

of these court costs

My humiliation is evident at my job

with this broken nose

and black eye

No way to disguise.

Humbled as a daughter

who had to call home from a holding cell

didn’t go over so well 2000 miles away.

I’ve been waiting to talk to Your Honor

for weeks, just trying to think what I could do

for Deschutes County to drop these charges against me.

I confess I am willing to do anything

I can to lessen the charge

counseling or deferment

I don’t know yet

I ask your Honor for help

so that I can contain the stress

that made me burst outward

with violence

It makes no sense to me,

how I could act  irrationally

but then again

it was that dark part

that comes out with that depressing friend called liquor

it gets that range pumping quicker

until your mind goes black

and you are ready to attack your lover

The marks on my face

disgrace me

Public Humility

evidence of the darkness that exists inside all of us

once let loose

I am only here in Bend temporarily until March 10th

Then I send myself back to middle America

I swear it’s my word and your judgement

Your Honor, I trust what you decide, will fit the crime.

I appreciate you, for allowing me, this time with you.

I am ready to do what you ask me to.