Portlandia.

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OH MY GOSH! Next month marks the eleventh month of the year and guess what that means!? It’s  my birthday month AND I will be turning THIRTY! When in the hell did this happen?? As the day approaches I not only can’t believe that I will be thirty years young but really feel as though I have never felt better. I think when you are younger (at least for me) you envision your future to be “something” and whatever that “something” is….you either meet your expectation or often times surpass what you ever could have imagined. For me, at this point, traveling is my number one priority. In a few weeks I will be Portlandia bound!  In all my travels this is one place I have been wanting to go for a while. For the last couple years have heard nothing but amazing things. I love food, I love organic everything, I love the outdoors…now if I can only beat the rain (that is one thing I don’t love 🙂 )! This is one place that I hear when it rains…..it literally pours! Regardless, I can’t wait to get my booty to the beautiful state of Oregon. If you have any suggestions please let me know. Let the planning begin!

Friday Love.

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It’s Friday my friends! This week seemed like it flew by faster than usual possibly because the sun was shining a bright 80 degrees?? Unreal.  I feel accomplished, healthy and grateful that the weekend is here. My workouts were on point (I’m feeling pretty sore) as I am trying to get back on track from taking some time off. You never realize how in shape you are until you don’t work out for a while. Never again am I letting this happen.  I took some time off for the month of December because I was in charge of opening a new restaurant in Los Gatos. Man, I am not sure how I survived the long days and not being able to workout. Being continuously busy from when you rise to when you go to sleep is not the business and I am glad to have a couple more hours out of my day that I can spend as “me time.” In a few weeks I will be jet setting to Phili + NYC for a best friends birthday. She will be turning 29…..crazy! Who said getting older can come so fast! It will be 4 of us reuniting and I couldn’t be more excited. Good friends, girl talk, catching up, lots of wine and making new adventures….does life get any better!? I am wishing all of you a happy weekend!

NYC Part 2.

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NYC Part 2. Here are some more snap shots of the big city. We stayed in Time Square which is always an adventure in itself. The people watching is to die for. Naked cowboy anyone? We ventured to Chelsea where there is an amazing Skyline Park. The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. It’s a nice break in between all the concrete buildings. There is lots of green throughout the tracks and it is a nice place to have a picnic or just take a walk to clear the mind. Mercer Kitchen was great- and the beet salad above was made to perfection. Goat cheese + Sprouts? I love. The more and more I visit this city the more I am reminded of the beauty behind the ability to live ANYWHERE you want in the United States. Every trip allows me to be more confident with who I am and know that the dreams you have in your head can become a reality if you really want it. I am so stoked for the future but most importantly happy with now. Cheers. xo

NYC On My Mind.

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Love me some NYC. In about a week I will be heading out to the big city. This is a very impromptu trip, but I have decided those are the best kind of trips. Not quite enough time to think about the logistics of it. My cousin will be out there for work and kindly invited me to tag along. I also have two best friends who live in and near NYC, and another good friend who just spent the last 4 months traveling across the United States chasing the dream that we all aspire to live. That dream consisting of actually doing the things we want to do NOW instead of waiting until that right time. Is it ever the right time? It seems like some of us ( I am guilty) will be waiting until forever when it is the “right” time. I had an epiphany last week about my life and the direction that it is headed. Don’t be alarmed- that last sentence sounds sort of serious! Ha. I am completely happy with who I am, who I am becoming and how I am leading a life that will hopefully inspire others to make better choices with prevention and their personal health overall. Many times we get stuck in the same routine and our thought process day in and day out becomes our habit. This might be great if we are on the right track- or just the opposite if we are constantly surrounded by Debbie Downers. Let’s be honest, we all have a few of those in our life. My friend who recently made it to NYC did this with not a single dollar in his pocket.I know, crazy right? That’s what most would say- and well, I said the same thing when I heard the news that he was going to do this. When I thought about it some more, it really came down to the fact that I wished I could stop my entire routine and pick up and go. In reality, why can’t I? For fear that I won’t be making the right choice…or fear that people are going to judge me for not doing the “normal” things we are supposed to be doing? By this I mean getting married, career, and well for some having children. THIS is crazy. I think people get so wrapped up in chasing these things that they forget to fulfill their own personal goals. The more I think about it the more I realize I am in control of my life and choices no matter what they are. From here on out- if I am confident in my decision I am going to do it without the objectives of others. Forget everyone else. It’s my life and only I have to live it. So, back to my epiphany. I have been wanting to move to New York City for some time now- probably over a year or so. I went a couple of years ago and instantly felt like I needed to do it. Do it as in move. Some places we visit and are satisfied, others we visit and we want more. My favorite part about the city is that it is composed of people from all over the United States! Eclectic. That’s what comes to mind. It’s change, and most importantly a challenge. The thought of change alone freaks me out but with that I know comes growth and ability to adjust to a new situation. I have some exciting plans for my blog in the next couple of months- both personal and for my followers. I promise to start posting on a regular basis once my classes are over. For now, biology and nutrition are taking over my life. In a week it’s NYC and then three weeks until summer. Can’t wait to share pictures upon my return.

Cheers. xo

 

What I love about Me: Sarah Sotelo

{Tell us something you love about yourself}

I love that I have found my passion at an early age. I made a lifestyle change about 5 years ago and it has forever made me a better person. Little did I know that simply changing the way that I ate and lived life would make me feel better, lose weight, maintain a better attitude and allow myself to be an example for others. I love making a difference in other people’s lives as well as knowing that each person that enters mine is also teaching me some sort of greater lesson. I love that I can see beyond the platform in front of me and look toward the greater good. A happy and healthy lifestyle is a choice, and I am glad I have made the right one.

{What is your favorite physical feature?}

My favorite physical features are my eyes and smile. I think you can tell so much just by looking in someone’s eyes whether it’s truth, love, compassion, or even disappointment. Nothing spells out happiness better than the light in someone’s eyes and the joy in one’s smile.

{What is something you used to dislike about yourself that you have now come to appreciate?}

I used to hate my body. I never did anything to make it better- I worked out only sometimes, ate like crap, drank too much and didn’t really care. I never understood how I didn’t look like the girls in the magazines (which I don’t want to now) and why I was never satisfied.  After a huge transition from college to the “real world” I have noticed a dramatic difference in my body. Like I said before, I made a lifestyle change that has only made me realize we are in full control of the way that we look and view ourselves. I became vegetarian, stopped blaming other people for the way I looked, started making exercise a priority and started forgiving things that have happened in my life and were not going to change the way I viewed my future unless I did. It is an incredible feeling to know that you are in charge of your behavior, and how you react to situations. In 9 years, I have transformed by body to now be completely comfortable who I am – without having to compare myself to others! I am comfortable. I am secure. I am nobody else but Me.

{What is your proudest accomplishment?}

My proudest accomplishment is finishing my Nutrition Education Program. I loved being surrounded by educated people who get it- and won’t settle for anything other than healthy living. I am grateful that this has put me in the direction of my future career. I am also grateful that I work hard and can travel and see other parts of the world.

{Tell us about your style. What type of outfit do you feel the most like yourself in?}

I could live in Lululemon and my Nike Free shoes ALL day every day! (I pretty much do.) What’s wrong with that!? In real life I love to dress comfortable as well as classy. You won’t find me in heels too often because I am 5’8 and feel like I am tall enough! Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to be sexy- throw some heels on with a cute dress here and there, but on an average day, it’s flats, skinny’s, cute shirt with some jewels to finish off the outfit. I love getting ready, and feel that you should always try to look your best when you are in public! (This doesn’t count working out!! )

{List your top three favorite things to do?}

My favorite things to do in life are educate people on living a stronger, happier and motivated life without falling into the day to day norm of others, working out in the gym as well as any outdoor activity and I absolutely love to shop. Nordstrom and Whole foods are by far my favorite stores. I think I go to WF 5 days a week! I have a hard time laying low and doing nothing…If you know me, you know that I am always on the go.

{What makes you the happiest?}

My health, family, friends and puppy make me the happiest. My ideal day includes a great workout, Starbucks coffee or Whole Foods smoothie, a little blog searching and cooking of some kind. I love traveling and learning about new favorite places. So far, NYC  and Paris are my two favorites! I am trying to get better at relaxing and being able to stay still, but this is definitely a work in progress.

{How do you find your motivation to work out?}

My motivation to workout comes from the way that I feel after I do it, and knowing that I am in total control of the way that I look. Seeing the change in my body in the last couple of months has shown me that I am capable of doing things outside the box, such as knowing that I am strong enough and can finish. I am not competitive, but FNS has allowed me to do things I had no clue I could even do (Such as a pull up, tire exercises, and pushups!) Knowing that the workout never gets easier and we just get better motivates me to continue my journey to great physical health. When you are surrounded by positive, like minded people It only drives you to want to be better. I love working out with friends and being held accountable. SO thankful to have stumbled upon this gem.

{How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle between work, school, family and social life?}

To be honest, sometimes it can be hard to balance work, school, family, social life etc. I find that my social life has taken a turn in a different direction. Of course I still like to go out for a drink with friends, but I would much rather save the date for a morning hike and coffee, or farmers market or even an outdoor activity. I guess I can relate this to priorities. When I go out and drink, I hate the way I feel the next day and most weekends it’s just not worth it. I would rather be productive and challenge my body and enjoy the day than be stuck feeling like crap. This allows me to encourage people to want the same, and save the date with me for a healthy meal or hike. After all, you are the company you keep. Family and friends have never been hard to maintain. I enjoy spending time with both, and am a firm believer that we make time for the things that are important to us! We are all busy, but if we want it we will attain it.

{What is your main goal you are reaching towards in the next 6 months, and year?}

I am currently taking classes to complete my Registered Dietician Degree. This is my main priority above all. I started my blog in April with hopes that people can learn what I am about and know that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not about being too extreme but rather having balance and enjoying life. Most importantly,  I will show people that living this way is by no means a “have to” but purely a WANT! In the next 6 months I am going to give a small talk/ lecture to family and friends about the importance of taking control of your health. At this point, with our healthcare system and easy accessibility to prescription drugs and profit- I think people need to take responsibility for what they put in their body and how they feel as a result. I will be running my first half marathon in about a month and will continue with FNS. My theme for the year is “Bite the Bullet.” I sometimes think too much before I do something, so I am vowing to myself to just do it.

Thank you for taking the time to read these stories from people who encourage and inspire me on a daily basis. It is much harder to write about yourself than you think. While answering these questions I had to take a second and think of the things that I really value in my life and translate into words what is important to me! I hope this helps you better understand who I am, and what my mission is in life.  I encourage you to write these questions down and answer them yourself. We are all an inspiration to someone in our lives, so use it to the best of your ability.

-Sarah

What I love about Me: Brian Nunez.

{Tell us something you love about yourself.}

I love my compassion for others and my relentless pursuit on making a difference in
people’s lives. Little did I know at the age of 5 I was on to something that lead me to
where I am today. I vividly remember sitting my mom down in my room and telling
her that I wanted her to write down an idea I had. I wanted to start a “Helping Club”.
Not the type most would assume, I wasn’t interested with helping kids with homework
or sports, I honestly had a vision of me being someone grown ups called when they
needed help with something, they were sad, needed to be cheered up and could
make them laugh (that was the extent of helping as a 5 year old in my head). God
bless my mother for entertaining the idea and telling me it was great. It just took 20
years later for it to come to fruition.

{What is your favorite physical feature?}

I really like my smile and my teeth. I like the fact that I have never had braces and
there are some imperfections with two of my bottom front teeth. They are a little
crossed, not anything major but enough to make me have to put in more effort when I
floss them. I think that is one of the first things I notice with people is there smile and
their teeth. You don’t have to have perfect teeth to have a beautiful smile.

{What is something you used to dislike about yourself that you have now come to appreciate?}

One of the things I used to not like about myself was that I was always too worried
about trying something new. I was afraid of looking stupid because I wasn’t
good at it. After many years of playing it safe and doing what I was always good at
it, in 2011 this inspired me to theme my year, “The year of the Challenge”. I made
a promise that I would challenge myself to do all things I wasn’t good at
and go all in. This ranged from business, fitness, and personal life. I was a college Football
player and 100m sprinter who would run the Boston Marathon and Big Sur Marathon
two weeks apart and then signed up for an Ironman. I would start my own company which
is now FNS Training Center. I would do seminars and public speaking to fitness
professionals from around the country and share my ideas and philosophies. Having
been fed up with playing it safe on so many levels,  I appreciate that this has inspired
me to become who I am today. I had reached my threshold safety and knew that
wasn’t going to get me anywhere. What I appreciate most is that, this wasn’t and
isn’t always easy for me and I now can relate to so many people who are in that
same zone. Those who are so close to jumping but afraid of what they think is looking
stupid. I can connect and relate and that is what I appreciate.

{What is your proudest accomplishment?}

Creating a company, Fitness Never Sleeps, and taking the risk to create something
so different in the industry. From playing it safe to going all in, this has been a vision
and goal of mine for the last 5 years. There are many things that I am proud of from
living abroad, playing college football, doing an ironman and winning competitions,
but creating a philosophy and then a brick and mortar version of making that come to
life is something that takes the cake. What makes it that much greater are the people that I get to coach and the coaches I am surrounded by. I was very particular what type of coach and leaders I wanted to surround myself with and I am equally proud that I have the best group of coaches I have ever worked with.

{Tell us about your style. What type of outfit do you feel the most like yourself in?}

Many might think it is hard to dress down from wearing lululemon to work everyday
but my favorite thing to wear is just board shorts and sandals. When I have to go out
outside of work and wear what I call “normal people clothes” jeans are like wearing a
suit to me and usually with some Chuck Taylor’s and a t-shirt. I am waiting for the day
Under Armour makes a tuxedo then my wardrobe will be complete.

{List your top three favorite things to do?}
1. Working out (FNS, hikes, and going on runs).
2.Coaching both physically and mentally.
3. Traveling around the world or to new cities.

{What makes you the happiest?}

There are many many things that make me happy, but what makes me happiest
where I feel in my total state of bliss would have to be waking up early Sunday
morning taking my dog, Buddy, out for a walk and coming back to have a cup
of coffee and breakfast with my wife watching a movie. With a great crazy work
schedule between the both of us, I cherish the moments where I can sit next to my
wife with my dog on my lap and relax.

{How do you find your motivation to workout?}

My motivation comes from a few different forms of inspiration everyday. First, is that
I am self motivated to never settle or be mediocre. That doesn’t mean I can lift the
most weight, run the fastest, or jump the highest. I pride myself on being consistent.
Getting in some type of workout everyday, whether it be 20 minutes or 2 hours. I
constantly remind myself, “this is what you do”, “You can’t slack off and coach without
leading by example”, it’s the accountability of what I do that helps me stay motivated.
Each year I set a new theme for myself, and every year when it comes to my fitness
goals I want to be in better shape than I was the previous year. Continuing to set
the bar high for myself and do things that are a challenge for me as well. Lastly,
inspiration from my fellow athletes at FNS when I am working in the trenches with
them seeing the unbelievable amount of work ethic they have in every class. From
Julie Grosso being told she would never walk again to watching her box jump and
Monica Ishak with a long history of back problems to overcoming them setting PR’s
in class. That inspires me and constantly reminds me that there are no excuses, no
complaining, others have had far worse days and have overcome them.

{How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle between work, family, and social life?}

Balance, like most people is I what I am striving for the most. What this really comes
down to for me is priorities. There are three main priorities in my life right now. First my family, second is my work and working with others and third is me time. I couldn’t do much of what I do on a daily basis without the support and encouragement of my wife Parisa.  We make sure that that we spend quality time together. Finding a work/life balance is part of that, which includes not getting on the computer when I get home from work and putting my phone away so that I can give my attention to our marriage and life outside of our careers. This is always a work in progress and with her help she reminds me of our pact. With a baby on the way and having a company in its infancy stage it will be like raising two kids. Much like I have done with my business, surrounding myself with supportive, hard working, and a caring staff is important to me.  I found that over the years the more I stay true to what I want and need and stand for that the more I can authentically give to others. For me, Compromising giving to myself comprises giving to others. It’s  important to me that I find alone time which allows me to clear my head and focus on what I need to continue to be successful.

{What are your main goals you are reaching towards in the next month, 6 months and year ?}

In the next 6 months I want be holding a beautiful healthy baby girl as I am
explaining to her what we are doing at FNS expanding the facility to double our size. I
want her to be raised by a village and have the love of everyone around her as we do
everyday. Raising a baby will not just be a 6 month goal but for the rest of my life, but I
want to be able to balance all these things while still continuing to grow FNS. For FNS
the main goal we are shooting for is to grow our culture and share our message with
the world, but it starts with our immediate community first. We set our GOal Big for 400
athletes by the end of our first year. We are currently at 280 athletes and plan to reach
400 by years end with the help of our athletes now. Since completing the Ironman this
year, most of my focus and attention will be on growing this community. I will continue
to do races and be involved with community races, but I will get ready for my next big
event next year hopefully in our expanded facility.

Mission Peak Hike….Check!

As part of the September checklist challenge for FNS, I officially completed the Mission Peak Hike in Fremont. I had no idea how high this hike was, nor how steep. All I knew was that I needed sunscreen because it wasn’t shaded. My sudo brother in law was kind enough to tag along (without knowing anything about the hike.) We made it to the first peak- and he was like what the heck did I get myself into? Needless to say, I just kept saying, “We can do it!” I think once you get half way, it’s all mental.  My calves were so sore from the stairs I ran Friday, but I pushed through and climbed to the top. If you have a chance….check this one off your bucket list. SO worth it!

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

– Lou Holtz