Blog

Uncategorized

Updates and Changes

Hey everyone,

I’ve been absent for a while now. Here’s the deal. I love this site but I’ve decided to take a big step. I bought a domain name and a new template so that I could have my online store for my fitness routines, my books and my blogs.

I will now be blogging and working through http://www.lesliehodginsonline.com. This site will be deactivated once I move all the blogs over. I appreciate everyone’s support and hope to see you all on my new site.

img_20160818_175451

Thanks all!

Advertisements
dreams and inspirations, healthy lifestyle

How Do You Know When You’re REALLY Passionate About What You Do?

Every entrepreneur faces challenges and sometimes we have days where those challenges almost get the better of us. It’s on these days where we struggle to bring things into being, where we push hard and feel like we’re getting no where, where all of our hustling feels like we’re just hitting dead ends.

Those days are the true test of finding out whether what we are doing is what we’re meant to do!

Making Building A Healthy Lifestyle a presence in the world is a my dream. I look at myself and my kids and I see how far I’ve come in recent years. I see that doing something I love, for me and for them, is better and more fulfilling than anything I’ve ever done. But on the other side of that, it’s been the hardest, most grueling, most testing thing I’ve done.

don't quit

I worked a lot of retail before going back to school to be an RMT and Fitness Trainer. And that sucked. There was always one problem or another, customers yelling at me for things I couldn’t control, head offices not giving a s#!t, co-workers walking out. And those days were hard, draining physically and emotionally. My time wasn’t my own and that weighed heavily on me. I knew it was something I never wanted to go back to.

Building A Healthy Lifestyle started out as a mobile massage therapy company and it’s expanded to include Fitness Training mobile and online as well as It Works recently. All of this stuff comes together to help create that healthy lifestyle so many of us want but may not know how to get.

And it’s grueling setting this up. I’m up all hours of the night thinking how to fine tune, add content, talk to people (my retail years have made it hard for me to approach people randomly. I’m always worried they’ll start screaming at me before I can get their attention because they’re so sick of always trying to be sold) but because this is something I believe it, it’s all worth it. Building A Healthy Lifestyle has tested me so much in the last several months, emotionally and mentally.

Right now, as I’m working on this, I’m really sick, my youngest seems to have inherited his father’s partial insomnia and has not slept longer than a few hours a night in weeks, and I’m still up at night thinking about my business.

This is how I know I’m passionate about it!

I haven’t GIVEN UP yet, despite setbacks (not getting clients I wanted, not having people show the interest I thought they would, not having the finances to put all the things I want together right away), I’m still pushing through.

Today I am sick, sicker than I’ve been a while. And I’m on little sleep. Yet, though a hot bath and sleep would be awesome, all I can focus on is making the most of today and getting my message out there.

And what is my message?

I’m glad you asked. My message is that anyone, ANYONE (yes even you) can achieve a healthy lifestyle without taking extra time out of your day, without having to commit to crazy, unrealistic goals, and you can have your lifestyle in any budget.

I’ve set up my business to work around my life, so that I can have time and flexibility with my kids and family. And even though I’m going around the clock, I actually have more time and energy than I ever did while doing 8 hour shifts for someone else.

This is what I was meant to do and I love my work. I’m NOT giving up on this.

My dream is that in a year people are going to be talking about me, taking the online fitness routines that I have available, talking to me about how their life has changed for the better and that they feel much more rejuvenated and relaxed. How they made some of their goals come to life in fitness or health or life in general. My dream is to have an impact on the world.

So everyday I’m hustling, even when I’m sick, even when I’m scared to talk to people, even before my morning coffee (I know, right?). Everyday, I’m moving closer to my dream. And when i feel I’ve lost the passion, I look at how far I’ve come, even just in my own fitness goals or my own energy, and I know, I’m not going to quit. I found my calling.

your fate

healthy lifestyle

What Does It Mean To Build A Healthy Lifestyle?

There are many different ways to look at building a healthy life, or lifestyle. It’s not always about what or how you eat, how many times a week you work out or go for a run, it’s not about how much sleep you get or whether you hit  your weight goal for the year.

Living Healthy is also about living in a way that makes you feel happy and fulfilled. And everyone’s life is going to look different.

For some, it is about going to the gym 5 or 6 days a week and spending a least an hour there. For others, it’s taking their kids on an afternoon walk in the River Valley or to the local Museum.

I started the whole Building A Healthy Lifestyle, (#buildingahealthylifestyle) because I was looking to take my life in a different direction. I had already gone to school to become and RMT and Fitness Trainer but something more called to me. Becoming an It Works Distributor was only a matter of time and money but it was decided. So then I was wondering how to fit all these together. They were all things that fit in a way, but how was I going to bring them together? Because this was what called to me, to make all these things happen in a way I put together in a business.

This is what my dreams were calling for!

And they still do. I’m up at night, formulating and perfecting what’s in place.

But it was so much more than the business building.

I wanted to put all this together so that I could give back to my family, to spend more time with them and watch my kids grow. Because my healthy lifestyle is spending time with those I love and watching my kids continue becoming the awesome boys they are!

So don’t forget, what’s your healthy lifestyle?

#buildingahealthylifestyle

Uncategorized

My Fitness Journey Part 2

So this post is about how small changes can lead to great things. More specifically, it’s about my changing how I eat and what.

I am NOT a dietitian so take this information as a recommendation or something to think about. I’m not here to talk about macros and micros and how many grams of protein and fat per meal you should have. I’m only talking about what worked for me and hopefully, it can help you.

So I guess the biggest thing that changed for me is what I ate. Last April I went through gall bladder removal surgery due to suddenly producing gall stones and passing one or two (big ouch btw). Before that, I had been doing what I could to eat better. I knew about portion sizing and eating many small meals in a day instead of 3 big ones worked better for me because I was hypoglycemic (I would get low blood sugar and suffer from a killer headache and low energy). In short, I was like a diabetic in how I needed to eat and balance my proteins and sugar but I didn’t need insulin. Anyways, smaller meals many times a day. Also a lot of fast foods were off the table because I can’t handle a lot of grease (possible foreshadowing to gall bladder issues) and MSG is a big no for me. Boom, healthy eating, should’ve been simple and the weight should have melted away.

Well, no. It didn’t. Sure I worked out and put on muscle but the fat never seemed to go away. I probably indulged in the sweets a bit too much and probably ate too much meat at one time because the sweets made me want protein and vise versa. So I retained the weight especially in certain areas, like my stomach and it was frustrating.

Fast forward to last April, I go in for the surgery and I’m told that the recovery process is going to be 4-6 weeks, no hard fitness, no yoga, no lifting anything over 15 lbs (my youngest son was 23 lbs). Basically, I had to sit and do some light walking.

AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it, were they serious?

Yep! The reason being that they didn’t want the stitches popping. Okay, fine that made sense. But it also meant that my fitness was out the window and I knew I’d be gaining weight.

Which I did. The pictures from that time last year are not easy for me to look at now but they do show me how far I’ve come.

So, on the bright side, I had to be even more careful about how much I ate and what I ate. No big meals, no bad fats. It was so easy to get bloated from eating too much. Even better, I would just know when something was too heavy and tended to stay away from that stuff. But I still wasn’t getting anywhere. So after 9 months of trying things and being successful in the past 3 months, here are the changes I made:

Coffee:

  • I used to use cane sugar or lately coconut palm. Technically healthier but wasn’t helping me. So I switched recently to honey when I ran out of sugar. I have tried honey on and off in the past but always went back to the sugar. I’ve used honey for a month now.
  • If honey isn’t something you want or can use, try maple syrup

Dinner

  • This is where I usually ate lots of meat, for the purpose of protein. Sausage, chicken, pork, bacon, salmon. I tried my best to go for the hormone and antibiotic free stuff.
  • Now, I still eat meat but in smaller amounts. Instead of it being half my dinner, it’s more of a quarter to a third supplemented by greens or a little bit of pasta.
  • Pasta is another culprit. Easy on that. Or if you’re going to make a meal of it (because, why not) do it once a week, not EVERY meal.

Smoothies

  • keep the good stuff. Smoothies are awesome. But don’t add stuff to sweeten or protein powders with junk added. Keep them as pure as you can. Good fruits, greens like spinach or kale.

Protein Powders

  • So I haven’t explored many of these because usually I don’t like the taste. I was using a decent one for a while in my smoothies. But now I’ve found It Works Protein Shake. Team Chocolate and hands down the best I’ve tasted. I can drink it straight and this stuff is AMAZING! It satisfies cravings (know those late night munchies? Yeah, another weight issue no matter how healthy you’ve been. So try this powder. Seriously.)

It Works Greens

  • Okay I can say so much about these and I have (see my blog on “Why I Became An It Works Distributor”). Basically, the Greens got me drinking more water, they made the water refreshing so I actually drank it, they curbed my hypoglycemia, I don’t seem to have blood sugar lows anymore, and they’ve made it so I don’t seem to suffer from S.A.D. as much.

Cacao Powder

  • I used to crave chocolate and I told myself that as long it was dark, it was fine because dark chocolate is good for you. Yeah well, it’s also easy to eat more than you need to. I started adding cacao powder, raw and unprocessed to my smoothies and coffee. In a few short weeks, I noticed that my chocolate cravings were gone.

All of these, with exercise of course once I was healthy enough, especially in the last 3 months have led to major changes. All of them small and taking time but it’s what worked for me.

It Works

Why I Became An It Works Distributor

It’s not for the obvious reason, which is to be your own boss. I’m already doing that. Here’s the real reason why.

I started using the products after a friend recommended them. She had just become a distributor herself and needed people to try the products. I’m a skeptic when it comes to stuff, especially if it seems too good to be true. It Works wasn’t. There’s no promises of instant weight loss. The stuff is meant to supplement your lifestyle and be used along side your life, not substitute.

And the products actually worked. I’ve been doing more and more fitness lately, especially since putting on weight after my surgeries and pregnancies. When I decided to make fitness a lifestyle choice and a career choice, I wanted to look like what I was selling. And it was hard.

It Works came into my life when I was recovering from gall bladder removal surgery, I had mommy tummy, loose skin and extra poundage. I tried the Wraps and the Defining Gel and they were great. Definitely noticed a few changes there. But it was when I started the Greens and the Thermofit and the protein shake that things really changed for me. The Fat Fighters helped too.

I was still doing the fitness stuff. Let me emphasize that. I did not replace my fitness routines with It Works products. I used them alongside my fitness.

So here’s what I noticed. The Greens were refreshing and definitely got me drinking more water more frequently.I also noticed that they seemed to help me in the winter. I suffer from S.A.D in the winter and winters here in Edmonton can be brutal, cold, grey, weeks of no sun. This winter wasn’t any different though maybe a little less cold, but usually, I’m popping vitamin D like no one’s business. This winter, after 4 months on Greens, I haven’t had to take any and I feel better than in previous years. The fat fighters stopped me feeling bloated. Having no gall bladder, it takes much longer for me to digest food and eating a little too much (which already isn’t very much) can leave me quite bloated. The Fat Fighters helped ease that. The Thermofit boosted my workouts. Gave me more energy, helped with recovery and let me push myself further every single time. Lastly, the protein shake did exactly what it said it would, aid in recovery after a workout and deal with those pesky nighttime cravings.

All in all, this was enough to convince me. This was the system for me. It worked with my every day lifestyle, it molded into the stuff I wanted to do for work and it wasn’t too good to be true. You still have to work for your goals, but It Works is helping me to achieve mine. Maybe it can help you too.

I do Wrap parties. If you’re curious definitely get a hold me and host one.

Massage therapy

When My Clients Ask Questions…

I am all about clients knowing what they are getting with their treatments, whether massage therapy or fitness.

In the last week, I’ve had 2 clients coming in for massage therapy (2 different clients, 2 different times, not at all connected) that have spent their time asking me questions. And you know what, I prefer it that way. I WANT my clients to know exactly what the treatment is going to do for them, how it’s going to benefit, how they can continue having the benefits and how to look after themselves in between sessions.

My clients are paying for a treatment, to me it makes sense that they would want to know EVERYTHING about it, especially if they are first timers. Some clients just flop on the table and are quiet, or they’ll talk to you about pressure and where it hurts and why, which is good, very good. Communication is VERY important in this industry. But it makes me so happy to help my clients get educated on the industry.

collage-2016-09-21-13_46_40

Both clients asking questions were first timers. And it wasn’t the questions they asked me that made me blink. Some questions were very good and some I had to think about, so it was a nice refresher for me. Some actually made me have to go look stuff up so I learned something new. But what made me blink, what surprised me, is that they both apologized for asking so many questions, as if talking was an inconvenience to me.

There was no need for them to apologize. They were among the curious who wanted to know all about their treatment and I was more than happy to educate them. That’s how we make this industry better, away from the shady past it has, away from the creepy people looking for “happy endings”, and it’s also how we help convince people that massage therapy can help them.

Massage therapy is no longer looked upon as a luxury. It is a health thing now and one that our world desperately needs. With our society losing more and more sleep and getting more and more stressed with work and money and family and just earning a decent living that takes you past day to day, it’s not hard to see why we are slowly becoming a zombiefied species. Do yourself a favour, educate yourself on how massage can help, and if you want to try it, talk to your massage therapist. They are there to help.

writer

Finished The Book, Now Begins The Rest Of The Adventure

A story I’ve been working on for the last 5 years now came to a close last week. I finished it. I wrote it all down, got all the characters straight, got the story I wanted written done. And it was emotional.

For 5 years this story has been changing, evolving, becoming more and more something I needed to finish and get out there. I’ve always had the dream of becoming a published author, the write the next great book. And even if it didn’t become the next Harry Potter I’d be okay because I got it out there anyways. But for 5 years this lived with me, always in the back of my mind, characters developing, changing, taking over in some cases (that’s another blog post). And now it was done, a manuscript ready to submit to a publisher. All four hundred or so pages. No longer processing through my mind. When something with you for that long, it leaves a weird feeling.

But here’s why it was more emotional. The changes that that story had gone through from the point of its inception to now are amazing. A lot of things never made it to full ideas but I still have the notes. There’s pages and pages of notes showing how much things had changed. The entire ending of the one character took a totally different turn, one character became more than he was supposed to, and another one ended up having three chapter completely rewritten. And though those changes all work better, it’s totally different than I had first come up with. Those pages of idea lie like fallen leaves, there but not useful anymore.

I don’t regret the changes I made, even if it was hard to do. To rewrite entire chapters is not easy.

Now I’m onto the next step and though I don’t want to belittle the writing end because there’s nothing small and insignificant about what writers do, the next step is an even bigger adventure, for me at least. Maybe it’s because it’s a step I’ve never taken before. Writing is something I’ve always done and though this story is bigger and more complex than anything I’ve ever written and probably better because it’s matured as I have, writing doesn’t scare me. Getting others to read it, judge it, and seeing it on a shelf with my name on it, that’s scary. But that’s what I want. This story is something I’m proud of and want to see it with my name attached.

So here’s the thing. Despite the fact that it took 5 years, that something for months it sat, nothing happening, that changes got made every step of the way and will continue to get made, it was something I never gave up on. And despite the fact that it’s now done and it’s not the story I started with, I’m still happy with it.

For all of you out there, struggling to write something, don’t give up. Make it happen. Take that next step. Sometimes the next step is letting it sit and that’s okay. Let things change, you can decide later if you like it or not. Just write what makes sense to you and if it’s a dream, let that dream come true. Take the scary step.

dreams and inspirations, Fitness Training

What Have I Done?!

So I just did something terrifying. To me. Mostly because it’s new and it involves a lot of people (if all goes right), and because it’s a dream I’ve had for a long time but only recently did it start to take shape. And now I’ve announced that dream to the world which has made it all the more real now. Now I have to make it happen. It’s not just thoughts anymore. It’s taken shape and it’s something people are waiting for.

I’m terrified, but in an exciting way.

This is life changing for me. I’m stepping outside my bubble! I’m getting the world involved!

So here’s the dream. I’m am taking my fitness knowledge and training and experience and becoming an online fitness coach. I want to reach out to everyone all over the world that wants to get fit and show them how they can do it no matter where they are, house or apartment, gym goer or not, night owl or early riser.

I am going to be helping people I’ve never met. And I’m going to help change their lives.

There’s so much in front of me right now and I’m a little overwhelmed. See, normally, I’d make sure I had lots of stuff ready, maybe even years in advanced before announcing it. But I don’t want to wait years. I have the knowledge. I can make it happen. I just can’t believe that I’m actually doing it!

My website Blue Lotus Massage is going to be going through a massive overhaul in the next few weeks. So your patience on that is appreciated.

The upside to all this new and terrifying stuff is that it’s keeping me accountable in my goals of staying fit and being my best self. If I’m teaching this stuff to the world I want to look like it works, which, of course it does.

I am changing everything. I’m not going to be just an RMT and fitness trainer anymore. I am making the whole thing about “Healthy Lifestyle.” I am also becoming an It Works distributor which meshes so nicely with the fitness side of things.

I am out there, determined to make being healthy and fit and relaxed a lifestyle, not a fad, not a gimmick, a way of life, something you do daily not because you have to but because you want to and it makes you feel better.

So what have I done? I’ve terrified myself, I’ve excited myself, I’ve made all these life changing decisions and I can’t wait to get started!! What have I done? I’ve started making my dreams, my life, happen the way I want it to.

dreams and inspirations, Fitness Training

Fitness Journey Part 1

I became a certified Fitness Trainer two and a half years ago. It was a last minute decision but it worked hand in hand with my other profession, am RMT.

One of the things that pushed me to become a Fitness Trainer was to get back in shape myself. I had gone through a difficult pregnancy and c-section delivery less than 3 years before and was still recovering, my posture had only just been corrected less than a year before and my body was still adjusting, and I was so out of shape from all of that. I figured becoming a trainer would be the motivation I needed to get back in shape. And for a long time, it was.

Little did I know that my life was about to change again. The night before my practical final (there was a written part two months previous) I found out I was pregnant again. And though this was amazing, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. The doctor even warned me that it could be another c-section delivery. Apparently it was a hormonal issue.

So I went through the morning/all day sickness, the aches and pains, the changes and lo and behold, 9 months later I was in the hospital waiting to find out if it was going to be a c-section. It did end up having to be one and once again I was recovering for a while. All this put my fitness goals on hold.

Once I was back up on my feet, I started doing light exercises and figuring out what worked for me. I quickly learned, at the time, I wasn’t a morning exerciser. Probably due to the fact I was up 6 or 7 times a night feeding the littlest one. He was an eater! Nothing would keep this kid full.

I tried the jogging thing. Sort of got into a habit. I’m not a jogger or a runner though, I’m a sprinter so that got hard.

I was just getting into a routine when one day, out of nowhere, I passed a gallstone (which was more painful than my c-sections btw). This resulted in a few days of pain before needing surgery to remove the gall bladder. Again, recovery time. My fitness goals seemed to get further each time.

After I recovered, I wasn’t sure how to go about trying to get in shape again. I tried a few of the same things I had been doing before, and now I was eating even less and way less junk food due to taking longer to digest but I wasn’t noticing a difference in size change or strength. It was frustrating.

I had one question in my mind: how was I supposed to help others reach their strength and fitness goals if I couldn’t get mine happening?

To be Continued in Fitness Journey Part 2

dreams and inspirations

I Bought A Phone Case With The Eiffel Tower On It…

A while back I purchased a phone case with the Eiffel Tower on it. It kept calling to me even though it was very pink (I do not like pink) and though I’ve been to Paris and found the Eiffel Tower quite remarkable, it’s not my favourite landmark, nor somewhere I’ve necessarily dreamed of going to again.

So why did I buy it?

It was the symbol of what the Eiffel Tower means that drove me to buying it. And no, not dreams of love and romance, I have that already.

Every person in life and in film who’s ever had a dream, talks about Paris. It doesn’t matter what the dream is; it could be travel, romance, fame. The Eiffel Tower comes up when people talk about inspiration and dreams. Why? Something about it invokes the dream becoming real.

I have a dream, and I’m working hard everyday to make it a reality. But, sometimes I need a little grounding, and a little reminder as to what I’m doing and why. Sure I know inside why it’s important and what I’m going to do. I feel it with everything in my soul. But transferring that feeling from dream to reality, something you can see and touch, something that becomes real, is a little more difficult and it’s easy to get lost in the process.

Having the phone case, something to look at, puts me back in focus. Brings back the inspiration, the origin of the dream.

Do you have a dream? I’d love to hear about it and what drives you. And I’d love to hear about what symbols you have to help you make that dream a reality. Feel free to comment 🙂