3 simple steps to keep you off the therapist couch

Do you remember that 90’s TV show Married With Children? The one where Al Bundy is a miserable shoe salesman, the mom Peggy is a stay at home mom with riduclous hair and a bon bon addiction, the brother is this weird freak that lives in the basement and the sister is as stupid as they come and always comes home with the random bad boys? It was a middle-class family that was just crazy enough to help you relate with your own family drama. I sincerely believe families were created to make you have a sense of humor about life…well, that or to keep therapists employeed.

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The family I came from did both as I grew up with the hardest working man I have ever met to this day. My dad sacrificed so us kids didn’t have to, has a huge heart for animals, and also handles his alcoholism like a boss; a brother who follows suit with our hard working dad but also makes guns from scratch, knits, and occasionally goes to nudest colonies. He is the weirdest person I know and I wouldnt have him any other way. My sister is the baby of the family. She always got her way, and never got in trouble for running away on her tricycle or that time she blamed me for pouring flour all over our brother while he slept. (I was the one who got grounded and I’ve totally gotten over it obviously) Even though she went down a dark road of almost getting expelled for fighting followed by the school of hard knocks in drug addiction, she is still the strongest person I know and one of the smartest street smart people too. My mom is a care-taker, she brings in strays (animals and people) and does her best to care for them and help them on their feet. I grew up always having an open house with my siblings friends living with us whenever they needed a place to lay their head. She has the co-dependant disease coming from a family of alcoholics but it doesn’t stop her from doing her best to serve her family, raise my amazing nephew, and help the ones that need her most.

I had to give you a little background on my family to show you that I understand what a crazy family looks like, I live in it daily. In all honesty though, I don’t think there is a “normal” family out there. Truth is, they are all a little crazy and we are all a little crazy because of them. Your family is one of, if not the most, influencial part of your up-bringing and who you become before you go your own way and mold yourself through other experiences. There is always a little baggage that comes from it though and before you say “I’m just a product of my up-bringing” there are things you can do to change those old bad habits and create a new sense of self because in reality, your past gives you a reason for how you are, but no excuse to stay that way.

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1. Boundaries, boundaries…oh, and boundaries! In order to live a healthy life with your family and loved ones you must first know what it means for YOU to live a healthy life. You can only give so much of yourself before you start neglecting your own needs. I suggest writing down what things you need to do for YOU, then you can release the rest of the time for others. This includes quiet time, work life, social life, bathing and eating (seriously), and listening to your own inner voice. There will be times when everyone everywhere will want you to take them to the doctors, go grocery shopping with them, be at a certain dinner party when you already had something planned, or ask you for a weekly time to help them. Before you say yes to anything, review what you already have planned for you, then answer accordingly.

2. Acceptance. You need to realize the things you can change and the things you cannot change. What you will find with this one is there is a whole heck of a lot you CANNOT change. There is good and bad news with that realization. The bad news is there is nothing you can do, NOTHING. The good news is, there is nothing you can do! You’re free! Relax, breath, and don’t worry about it. The quicker you learn to let things go and be as they are the better off you will be. Accept people and circumstances for how they are and move on, brush it off your shoulder. The fun part is what you can change, which is everything about you: your finances, your mindset(the way you see situations), your body, your career choice, your friend choice, and how clean your car is.

3. Daily personal development. This last one follows suit with the second one. Once you realize you are powerless over your family, other people, and most situations that come your way the quicker you can begin working on the things you can change, your inner self. Daily personal development will help you change from where you are into where you want to be. In order to begin: find a place you can be alone for awhile, take all of life’s current circumstances out, and write down what you want for you and your life. From that list you will create a schedule that reflects your new way of life first, then use your free time to take your grandma to the grocery store.

This is a process, and it will take time. Look at your age and realize it took you that long to be who you are today. So accept and respect yourself and your boundaries, re-organize, and begin again. Trust me, I’m still a perfectionist people pleaser that sometimes creates chaos in my own life to feel “normal” and I at times bite off more than I can chew. My que for myself to back up and re-organize my life is when I feel the sudden urge to clean my car because dang it, THAT I can control. But hey…at least I don’t have a bon bon addiction.

Vivo La Dolce Vito,

Ambia Cherie


My Dark Secret

“Every sinner has a future, every saint has a past.”

When I was going through my big transformation in life I used to recite this quote over and over again. There was something about it that hit my heart. Probably because when I looked around at everyone around me it seemed like they all had their life together while mine was a complete mess. It helped remind me to never judge a book by it’s cover, especially my own. Comparing yourself to others will take you no where but down a dark spiral you never want to go down. I know, because I was there once.

Today, I’m known as a health expert. I train over 20 classes a week to people all over my community, teach health, nutrition, and wellness at a private University, have a social media presence full of inspiration and motivation to get you the life you’ve always wanted, and have a successful personal life with the love of my life and close family and friends. You can say life is good..actually, better than good, it’s great! I’m growing daily and constantly working hard to progress and serve more people worldwide but at this moment, I consider myself successful. But, just like every other health expert, we never start out like this. It takes work, and from where I came from…it took a lot of work.

My life growing up seemed normal. In high school, I was a straight A student, page design editor for the yearbook, and played on the varsity team. But as psychologist Shawn Achor says,

“your happiness level only depends on 10 percent of your outside world.”

The truth was, I was depressed, overweight…really overweight, and struggling with drugs and partying. I’m an emotional eater, so I remember one weekend I went and bought a tub of ice cream, a bunch of chocolate bars, and a box of Pepperoni Hot Pockets..and ate them all in 2 days while I sat and watched movie after movie. That was only the beginning. When I went to college I still had good grades, but partied hard on the weekends. I Relied on alcohol, weed and cocaine to keep me up and happy during all the frat parties. I lost a lot of weight the unhealthy way, and struggled with my self confidence as I kept picking the wrong guys to be in a relationship with. This continued for about seven years until one day, life sent me a curve ball.

God works in mysterious ways and uses his children (us) to lend a helping hand. So he sent me a friend that picked me up from my inner storm and dusted me off. One of the best advice I ever got was: “you are the sum of the 5 people you are closest to.” SO, I stopped hanging out with my usual crowd, started doing my own thing, and things started to change. I made a decision to stop doing drugs and left my normal world of partying to engulf myself in studying and travel. “I took the risk and road less travelled” as they say…and it HAS made all the difference.

Now, don’t get me wrong: any kind of change is hard. It has taken me 8 years to get from there to here and not without some damage report. I have lost more than 12 friends to drugs, lost a few more to them feeling I’ve abandoned them. I caved a few more times to emotional eating and insecurities with guys along the way. But, I got back up, and worked harder the next time. You cannot change with loss, you cannot lose without a little pain. I will tell you however, that little pain I encountered then, was well worth the benefits I have gained in my life now.

Getting healthy, finding myself again, and working on my inner life as well as my outer has been the best experiences of my life. I have travelled, met new exciting people, HELPED so many people by my own experiences, and even found love by the choices I decided to make for my life and for the future of this world.

I’m writing this because I want you to know that whatever you are going through, you are not alone. If you are struggling with your health goals, don’t give up. If you are struggling with someone hurting you, fight for yourself. If you are lost and can’t find your way, keep searching. I promise you, the outcome will well outweigh your pain now. In your darkest moments hold onto the light of your dreams coming true. you WILL succeed, you will come out of this strong. Trust me…I’ve been there too.

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Lessons Learned From Rapunzel

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As I’m sitting here watching Disney’s Tangled something accrued to me. Even though she went through tremendous odds and strife, the main character (Rapunzel) went to see the floating lights for her birthday. Now, that doesn’t seem like a big deal. However, it was such a huge accomplishment to go see floating lanterns (as we find out later) because it had been a dream of hers for 18 years. She had yearned and wished for it her whole life. Even more so, she had to fight every fiber in her body to step out into the unknown with a guy she didn’t know (don’t try that at home kids) against her mothers wishes.

Now, I’m not proposing you head out with a thief and dis-obey your mothers wishes. (…or am I? hehe) What I want you to get out of this is to go find your floating lights. What is something that you have always wanted to do? If you can’t think of anything ask the little girl or boy you once were for the big dream they wanted. Get in touch with yourself, look deep, dig deep, and find out what part of life is screaming at you. I’ll give you an example.

In my personal life, I remember when I was in kindergarten there was a girl who came to class and talked about her living abroad in different countries. Ever since that day I dreamed of doing that. Not just as a tourist though. I wanted to live in the culture, experience foreign lands extensively and not just the shallow top part of it. In 2007 I got my chance as I studied abroad in Italy and again the following year when I bought a one way ticket to Ireland and spent the next few months living, working, getting evicted, and meeting people who are now more like family than anything else. and it’s only the beginning…

So what is your inner child dream? what is one thing you MUST do before you die? To help you accomplish it you can take it from Tangled. The only thing scarier for her than going was the idea of her never going. What are you scared more about NOT doing, then doing? Once you figure it out, you may want to go…because life is too short to wait for tomorrow.


Starting the year with a wedding: 7 beginner steps to get in wedding shape with me

At the end of every year I go into “hiding” in a sense. It’s the time I take to reflect, review, and plan for the following year. It’s also my time to unwind from everyday work life and just…chill, with family and friends. This year however, came with a surprise. My boyfriend of over 5 years asked me to marry him! So, along with my normal planning I am now figuring out how to have a wedding…in May…of this year (no, I’m not pregnant). I like to keep myself on my toes.  I’ve already experienced stress, excitement, disappointment, cloud 9 happiness, and we’re not even a week in!

Along the way I will be sharing my insights in planning a quick wedding, how to lose the holiday weight FAST, and stay sane in the process (well, try to stay sane anyway).

On the weight loss side, I started my nutritional guide I made by combining my plan from fitness modeling, knowledge learned from nutritional lectures, fitness conventions, and help from dietitian associates. I am also back on my workouts daily ( I took a break from lifting heavy and focused more on body weight and yoga for a bit). As a fitness professional, it’s pretty easy for me to get back into a healthy lifestyle rather quickly, though I know for some of you it’s quite difficult. Below are some tips to help you get into the grove of things and lose that holiday baggage (on the hips, family drama you may want a therapist for ;) )

  • Start small. Take baby steps to achieve big results. Don’t try to cut out all carbs (which you should never do ps) and go on some crazy detox where you don’t eat real food. Starting small means drinking more water for a week, then next week cut out white breads and pastries, then the next work on eating only whole foods.
  • Get a coach. Someone to help you along and show you how to do things is always a great idea. In order to build something you need instructions, your coach will give you the instructions you need to build a healthy, toned body.
  • Write it out. Put on paper your 5 biggest goals you have for 2015. whether thats losing a pant size, losing 15 pounds, or cutting the sugar addiction. It doesn’t have to be fitness related either. To have a truly fit life requires a lot more than a healthy body, it takes a lifestyle. Write them down and put a deadline on it (a realistic one.) Then from there work backwards.
  • Daily motivation. Place a picture or phrase that reminds you of what you want to accomplish where you can see it everyday to remind you daily of what you want to achieve this year.
  • Eat more vegetables. It doesn’t matter if you want to lose weight or lean out, anyone is going to tell you to eat more vegetables. Veggies are the Earth’s best resource it gives you for healthy fuel. It aids in digestion, metabolism, immunity, skin and hair care, and vitamins/minerals. I eat vegetables with every meal, even breakfast. If you learn nothing else from this post, eat your greens.
  • Get on a plan. Like I wrote about earlier with getting a coach, meal plans are designed to help those who don’t know how to eat well gain some control and endurance. It also helps you become more knowledgable about food. if you would like to do the plan I am doing CLICK HERE to get the Fierce Body Plan. Another plan I recommend would be weight watchers, they do a good job teaching you how to eat as well.
  • DON’T GIVE UP. A great analogy a client of mine gave me once was “just because you drop your phone on the ground doesn’t mean you’re going to stomp on it.” This is the same with your healthy lifestyle. You’re going to mess up, it’s in your DNA too….SO WHAT! don’t stop just because it’s hard and you have a bad day. Have the bad day, get up the next morning, and start again. It’s that simple, easy no, but simple, yes.

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I’ll be back on the blog later this week to give you some insights on how to make this year the best one yet and some simple ways to beat that silly little thing called fear. Until then, work on that healthy mindset!

Vivo La Dolce Vita,

Ambia Cherie


7 steps to a Holly, Jolly, Healthy Holiday

As I’m looking at all the pictures and stats out on social media about Christmas parties, baking nights, and wine extravaganzas one thought came to mind. “Man, it’s a good thing we don’t live in Australia so we don’t have to go through the holidays AND keep a summer body!” Is it weird that’s the first thing I think of? In all seriousness though, there are ways you can stay HEALTHY and Jolly during this time, and some of them might not be what you think!

1. Eat Spinach. The more greens you consume the healthier your body is going to stay and especially spinach. Spinach is a digestion vegetable that will help keep your body clean and flowing while you consume those holiday treats.

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2. Sleep well. During the hours of 1am-3am (the time Santa is usually bringing presents) your body is doing it’s routine detox. If you are not getting adequate sleep your body won’t have the time or energy to rid your body of toxins properly, so be sure not to try and stay up to catch Santa.

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3. Meditate. With a clear mind and calm spirit you can endure any shopping mall and family drama where the tree catches on fire. During Christmas time, we could all use a little extra meditation. Staying calm and collected through meditation will keep the cortisol hormone down which can drive you to eat more, so remember to breath deeply.

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4. Move. While exercise is always important throughout the year it is especially important now with all the extra food consumption. Don’t roll your eyes though when you see the word exercise. The main point in this is to move your body. Whether that is by going for a walk, parking further from the mall to get a few extra steps in, taking a dance class with friends, trying hot yoga, or using my all time favorite, TRX. Movement is the key to life, make sure you do it daily.

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5. Healthy breakfast. When you start your day with a healthy bowl of oats, or a few eggs and veggies you’re more likely to follow your own lead as the day goes on. However, if you begin with a donut or two, the mind will figure you already ruined yourself for the day so might as well keep going on that track. The way you start your day is the way your day goes. Be sure to start it right.

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6. Elixir of Life.  Some people say this is wine (which, let’s be honest, it’s a close second) but the true elixir of life and one of the best ways to stay healthy this holiday season is WATER. Not only does water keep your metabolism up, it also flushes out toxins in your body, moisturizes your skin and hair giving you a healthy glow, helps you feel full so you don’t over eat, AND helps burn calories. So…drink water, lots of it.

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7. let go. Being healthy is not just about having the six pack abs like you see on social media and eating nothing but raw foods and healthy greens. A truly FIT life involves feeding your mind positive affirmations and reading great books. It involves feeding your spirit by spending time with yourself as well as the ones you love most. To be healthy, you need to LET GO of everything you are not and love who you are. If you ate too much at the party last night, who cares. You enjoyed yourself right? Did you have fun? So you heard someone gossiping about you, great! That must mean your life is more exciting then their own.

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Ultimately, critics only truly matter if they are in the same arena you’re in working their tale off too, and this includes your inner critic. Don’t worry about the nah sayers and the voice inside of you telling you what you’re not. EMBRACE everything you are and everything you enjoy. Take this season and dive into it, revel in it, reflect on this past year and prepare for the next with a passion and drive to be better than YOU were this past year. Take care of yourself, not just physically but mentally and spiritually too. That’s how you live a fit life, by being true to yourself and by going after what you believe in…and sometimes, that means eating the damn chocolate chip cookie.

free-adorable-christmas-snowman-wallpaper_1800x1125_87980Merry Christmas!


5 Ways to Become Wealthier During the Holidays

I don’t need to introduce this too much, the title says it all. But wealth, like beauty, falls in the eye of the beholder.

1. Spend time with loved ones. There’s a quote that says “Some people are so poor, all they have is money.” If you get to spend the holidays with your family and friends, you’re one of the richest people on Earth.

2. Help and serve others. Whether it’s picking up a fallen item for an elderly, giving a dollar here and there to the homeless, or giving your time at a soup kitchen, the more you give, the more you get in return. Also, studies show you create more happiness within yourself if you give to a stranger rather than yourself or even a loved one. How’s that for giving and getting?

3. Help a cause. Go in to your cabinets and closets. Sort out what you haven’t worn in decades, kids toys they no longer use (you may need to do this when they are not around) or cans that are collecting dust and give them to a cause. During this time of year there are hundreds of causes that live on donations from you to help feed and cloth the less fortunate. The ultimate gift is the gift of service and helping one another.

4.  Go somewhere you’ve never gone before. Life is not just about getting things, some of the richest times are experiences. You don’t even have to go far, I’ve lived in California almost my whole life and haven’t seen loads of places right outside my current town. There are a lot of places I’m sure you haven’t gone that may even be right around the corner. Enrich your life with exploring.

5. Read a good book. Knowledge is one the best investments that you can guarantee a great return on. Knowledge alone however, is not power; execution is. The more you learn, the more you can implement into your life.

You want to know others ways of becoming wealthy? Just watch this guy, he shows it best:

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Some Me Time

The rain outside is splashing peacefully while my cozy blanket is keeping me warm from the outside chill. I sit here tonight sipping on my hot tea reflecting, thinking, meditating, and occasionally get distracted by my two kittens playing ball together. Tonight is one of those perfect soul searching nights. It’s on these nights  you sometimes get those moments of clarity about life and where you are in it. Where you are, where you want to go, what’s not working, and what needs to change. This could come not just from a night like mine, but also from a talk with a friend, a book you read, or as one movie I saw once put it, “a moment of impact.” A clashing of two thoughts or experiences that brought a new perspective to your eyes.

I’ve been getting a lot of these lately, as if God is trying to speak to me, ever get those times? You know the ones, it’s like a whisper in your ear. The whisper that tells you something needs to change, that something isn’t right OR theres somewhere you need to go or do. It’s best you listen to those whispers, because those whispers may become bricks smashing down on your head (figuratively hopefully).

Those bricks are called life, and if your’e heading down a wrong path sooner or later you’ll run into those bricks. I just spoke to a young student of mine about this today. He had a few run ins with drugs and he is seeing his way out now. His brick wasn’t as big thankfully, but they do get bigger if you keep going. Everyone gets them, and everyone’s starts off as a whisper.

Don’t take this the wrong way, the whispers are not always just for bad roads you follow. They can also come as a need for changing directions in life. A career change, a health goal, a commitment to a relationship are but a few to name. All these things share a scary facade on the outside, but are true life changing events that if acted upon, can increase your happiness levels tremendously.

Alright, so long story short (so you can stop reading my ramblings of a reflection night ;) ) is listen to the whispers in your life, they’ll point you in the right direction.

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#CarpeDiem


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