Immunologist to Coach

Six years ago, today, was a REALLY bad day.  (ETA – This post was written on 9/11/15)

I know it doesn’t compare to 14 years ago today, but indulge me a little. This is the first time I’ve really talked about this publically.

On 9/11/2009 I was fired/let go/laid off/dismissed from my last professional science job. It was sudden but not entirely a surprise. My 2 friends in the lab had seen my job description up on Craigslist the day before so I had a bit of a heads up. I had just come back to work from getting married over the weekend. I had spent the summer leading up to my wedding working weekends, committing time card fraud at the request of my management, all the while being told I wasn’t doing enough. My work wasn’t good enough. If I worked harder, spent more time, did more, maybe the powers that be would be appeased.

They were not.

I had wanted to be a scientist – no joke – since I was 9 years old. I pursued it with single minded determination. Science fairs, after school activities, my choice in high school, taking EVERY SINGLE science class my HS offered – these were my preparation steps. I finished my BS in 4 years. I started working at the premier genetics institution in the country out of college. I loved that job. I killed myself for that job, having a miserable personal life, getting ill for that job. All to be… guess what? Fired.

So although I’m very good at what I do, I was fired from my first professional science position and my last professional science position. It wasn’t a difficult take away to think “I must suck!” (Despite excellent job experiences, and graduate school in between.) That pretty much colored the next 3 years on unsuccessfully trying to land another science job. My confidence was broken.

I started to think – what is it I love about science? Of course I find Biology fascinating. The body is AMAZING. Our systems are gorgeous and perfect in how they work. I get a thrill problem solving. The basic reason I had my passion for science was I wanted to help people and make the world a better place. Maybe it wasn’t that I’m a terrible scientist. Maybe it’s that a typical scientific atmosphere doesn’t not suit who I actually am.

I will always be a scientist. It’s a part of how I approach the day. But now I’m a coach. My lab is my body. The people around me are my professional interest.

I love human beings and I thrive connecting with people in real ways. I am an extrovert. I want to make their lives better. I want to make a difference. And I can’t do that by working myself into an early grave. I can only do that by taking care of myself and showing other people how to make their time better as well.

Fitness and health are now my passion. It’s still science! THIS is how I’m making the world a better place. It’s not just figuring out the gene behind something, it’s impacting individuals in whatever way I can. I’m not sure where this is going to take me, but being a Beachbody coach has been the catalyst for changing my life, making peace with my past failures, and realizing that they weren’t failures, they were just trips I had to take to get to where I’m meant to be.

 

Shakeologist

Shakeologist

Celebrating the Worst Because it Became the Best.

image

Tonight I’m celebrating the loss of my job 5 years ago. *Technically* the anniversary is tomorrow. The day before the axe came down I knew it was coming because my coworkers saw my job advertised on Craigslist.

The best part of that particular job was the friends I made. I enjoyed my work, but I looked forward to saying hello to the people, not the flasks of cells. (Cells don’t have much to say.) Solving problems was a thrill. Finding ways to bring forgotten cell lines back to life were my specialty and I was acknowledged for it. (This may have included singing to them.) Those parts of the job made me feel proud and needed.

Losing that job was devastating. It felt very personal. Even though I was told I was not doing enough, I ended up being replaced by 3 people. While it felt good to know that it took those 3 people to replace me, I entered into a very dark period. I realized some of it as it happened, but it was an insidious blanket thrown over my life and my dreams.

Science was how I identified myself, even when I had non-science jobs in between gigs. With this dismissal I literally lost who I thought I was; my identity. The subsequent job hunt was quite possibly more depressing. Constant striving, working, switching things up, and getting rejection back. Job hunting is a lot like dating.

I’m celebrating losing that job today because it was not the right gig for me. I knew it when I took it but I stayed and made the best of it.

A little less than a year ago I became a Fitness and Health Coach. I did it for myself and for the discount. Yes, sometimes it IS about the money. I was finally ready to make my health the #1 priority in my life. Throwing myself in to a fitness community is what I needed to do. The accountability and the community was the piece missing for me.

I didn’t expect to feel so fulfilled by helping others with their own health goals. When my friend from grad school messaged me that she lost her first 6lb, it was better than any of my own weigh ins. I definitely didn’t expect to find my team to be such a source of inspiration, yet every day I come in to my Facebook group to find more love and positivity that I imagined was out there. I am becoming the leader I have always wanted to be. Realizing that I was holding myself back by viewing my impact and my life as limited has been powerful. Now, I’m growing a team of people who, like me, are ready to show the world that they can make a difference.

I am definitely happier working toward my own goals. I want to help as many people as possible feel positive and find their best selves. Being unhappy with your physical self and listening to negative self-talk is no way to live a happy life. I’m on my way and I know there are so many people who need the same inspiration as I’ve received. The gratification outshines being a small cog in a project that could maybe lead to changing lives in the future, if our work is correct, and if a company finds it feasible to invest in. I invest in myself. I invest in the people around me. It feels great to become healthy in mind and body, to share my experience, and to help others reach their own dreams.

Throwing stuff on the wall

I’m a scientist by training and mindset. I like to do one thing at a time and evaluate the result. But I’m throwing out scientific methodology and I’m going to do everything like it was the last time I could.

My Whole30 was the first time I have had a significant weight loss since we lived it Atlanta. Sure it disrupted the hell out of my life for 30 days, but 14 lb is NOTHING to sneeze at.

In my time off Whole30 I’ve definitely struggled to find my groove. I have stepped up my workouts to include more slower pace, higher mileage days. I’m still circuit training, but my diet has been another story.

I didn’t bother with a nice reintroduction period after Day 31. I just jumped back in to what I would have eaten before. (I did wait until AFTER my 5K race to break my paleofast.) While the things I eat normally aren’t terrible, I do over indulge. My efforts to get back on track haven’t really taken hold.

So I’m throwing things at the wall, so to speak, to see what sticks.

1. I’m getting B vitamin shots. I’ve started seeing a naturopathic doctor here in SoCal. How very SoCal of me, right? I’m getting Skinny Shots at Bloom health, which include B-6, B-12, methionine, choline, and inisitol. The idea is improved liver function supported by these vitamins will help fat metabolism, etc. I’m trying this because I know I’m really vitamin deficient and I more than suspect it is because my digestive tract isn’t working properly. So supplements do not help me much and the diet changes are slow going.

2. I’m also working with my new doctor to fix my digestive system. Right now I’m doing a bunch of testing and eventually I’m going to do a detox with her. It will be 30 days of eating like Whole30, with additional restrictions and a mandatory shake/supplement schedule. I’m really ready to try whatever I have to do get this under control.

3. My circuit training class has been completely changed. Instead of basically going to a class with my trainer where I am the only student, I have been promoted to another circuit training class with about 10 other women run by a kick ass lady trainer. Today was my first workout with them. Holy stairs, Batman! 24 flights! Lots of other hellish exercises, but I really hate stairs. Outside, in the sun, after the marine layer burned off. I’m hoping that the change up helps kick me in to gear.

**I’m totally going to miss my trainer and when I found out my class was suspended, I was super sad. I’ve been working with him for over a year and half. He knows me, how I work, what I’m good at, what I can do, what I don’t think I can do, but I can. He can look at me and tell I need a juice box.

4. I’m doing a 6 week Beachbody challenge. I’m using the Turbo Fire cardio system and Shakeology. I have a great coach and a Facebook support group. I think I need the structure and the accountability. I also need to be immersed in “my tribe” to see this through. Turbo Fire is freaking hard! I’m really not the most coordinated person so the choreography is a challenge, even when it’s just basic.

5. I’m sure I’ll think of something crazy to throw in to the mix!

This is how I looked after my circuit training.

This is how I looked after my circuit training.

Friend Makin’ Mondays: School Days

I missed last week! It was a good one, too. Oh well, I’ll just have to be more on the ball with these. Things have been okay here in my side of the world. I got some good workouts in, made some good plans. I’m getting B vitamin shots and I’ve been having some serious tiredness the next day – so I’m investigating that. This week I have an appointment to see a Naturopath doctor. I’m just not happy with where I’m at with the conclusions my doctors have come to with some of my issues. There’s nothing SERIOUSLY wrong, but I just want to make sure I know all my options.

FMM

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: http://www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

School Days

1. What was your favorite subject in school? Science, followed closely, and sometimes eclipsed by, English. Odd pairing, but those have always been where my strengths and interest were. I was the first student in my HS to take EVERY single science subject offered. Senior year, that was 3 course, one being AP.

2. Did you attend elementary school and high school in the same town? No. I’m from a ridiculously small town. We aren’t even properly listed on Google maps. There is no street light in my town! We have a school for K-8, and that’s where I went. We obviously are too small for a high school so my town paid for the students to go to any area high school, but bused to 4. I ended up going to the large public high school nearby because of their science program. Unfortunately, most of my friends went to different high schools.

3. Are you still friends with anyone that you met during school? Yeah, Facebook certainly helps us keep in touch and I try and see people when I go home. I met my friend Michele sophomore year and we’ve been friends ever since. She moved out here to San Diego last year and it is really nice having a friend I’ve known for that long around. We still drive around listening to 90’s music like we did when we were teenagers.

4. What activities were you involved in as a student? In junior high I played basketball, but switched to tennis when I got to high school. I also was involved in Science Olympiad and Environthon. Hold on to your hats, because this crazy liberal was also a charter member of my HS Teenage Republicans club. I also wrote for the school newspaper.

5. Did you bring your lunch, or did you get it at school? For the most part, I brought my lunch. Once in awhile I’d get “hot lunch” at school, but it was never very good.

6. Did you enjoy shopping for clothing and school supplies? School supplies. In 6th grade I had a really crazy binder and all my notebook paper was blue and pink. Clothing shopping with my mom was traumatic. Nothing like having your mom yell across the store “Look, they have this in size EDIT!” Plus, we had such different styles.

7. Name a song or a band that reminds you of high school. Nirvana always takes me back. Kurt Cobain died my senior year.

8. Did you like school? Sometimes. I liked learning, I didn’t like the socialization until I got to college. I’ve always been good at school, but I had trouble relating to other kids. That’s a blog post in and of itself. I’m an only child, from a small town where everyone knew each other, then I went to a huge high school and was the new kid who broke the grade curve. It was rough.

9. How long have you been out of school? I think it’s been 9 years since I dropped out of graduate school. I was all-but-thesis in my MS for Applied Immunology and Molecular Biology degree. I took a year off to work in industry and figure out how I was going to write my thesis with my research work that I had been doing at a previous job. It was a mess, and then I moved to Atlanta with my boyfriend (who became my husband) when he got a new job opportunity. Never went back. Sometimes I wish I had, but it was a difficult situation, even if I had stayed.

10. What did you like most about school? What did you dislike most about school? I liked the routine. I liked my teachers. I liked feeling that I was good at things. I disliked gym class and mean kids. I also disliked riding the bus. I walked to school for 9 years, for high school we had to ride a bus. Ick.

This is me, the 6th grade un-power forward.  I loved those shoes, too.

This is me, the 6th grade un-power forward. I loved those shoes, too.