You NEVER think it’s going to happen to you.

You may hear the statistics.

According to the American Cancer Society, 38% of people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. (Not me, though…I’m healthy!!)

This is the face of cancer, my friends.

In January, I received a FB message from a girl (that I wasn’t even FB friends with) that went something like this, “Hi Shelly. I know we don’t know each other, but we have a mutual friend. I am a nurse and I was watching one of your FB live videos and noticed a lump in your neck. I was wondering if you’ve ever had your thyroid checked.”

To make a long story short, over the course of the year, I ended up having an exam, ultrasound, then a biopsy. On May 25 (which coincidentally happens to be World Thyroid Day) I received the official diagnosis: papillary thyroid cancer.

Wow, right?
I had a nice little pity party for a good week and couldn’t even look at my babies without crying.
So many thoughts and emotions.
Why me? (I have my theories on that which I’ll talk about soon)
Why now?
Why thyroid and not breast or lung or colon?
What could I have done differently?
How does one get thyroid cancer?
Was I going to die and leave my kids to grow up without their mom?

I dove head first into everything I could get my hands on to learn all I could about it.
Turns out 50% of women will develop a thyroid nodule at some point in their life.
Only 5-10% of those will be cancerous.
Thyroid cancer is considered by many to be the ‘best’ cancer you can get. (Uh…don’t know how that is supposed to make anyone feel better).
There are 4 types of thyroid cancer, with papillary being the least aggressive and slowest growing.
So basically, I got the best of the best. 😍(Silver lining)

I went in for surgery last Friday and had a total thyroidectomy (thyroid completely removed).
I was pretty much in bed through Tuesday before I finally got up to venture downstairs. Yesterday I even showered! 👊🏼
My voice isn’t back to 100%. I can’t yell at the kids like I’d like. 😛 My energy is slowly returning. My neck and throat are sore.

Today was my post op appointment where pathology confirmed margins are clear (meaning it didn’t spread). 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
Next step is to meet with my endocrinologist to determine whether or not I’ll need a radioactive iodine treatment which will necessitate being quarantined for a week. 😬
I am now considered hypothyroid and will need to be on a daily synthetic thyroid pill for the rest of my life.
My scar will heal eventually.

I’ve never prayed harder or felt closer to God than I have in the past few months. I came to a place of calm, trusting in Him through all of this. Even to potentially accept a worse fate if that was His will.
Allowing my body to be the vessel for His message to come through.
This Bible verse came to me one day during my devotional very early in this journey:
‘Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.’ ~ 1 Chronicles 20
I can’t tell you the serenity and courage that comes from giving it all to Him.

The absolute hardest part of all of this has been telling my kids. How in the heck do you do that? Especially with all we’re going through in our lives right now. It’s all just too much and my goal has been to protect them from any pain or heartache as best I could.
I felt very strong in my prognosis and was able to sit down and talk with them from a place of confidence and strength.
Only today did I finally say the ‘C’ word to them; once I knew it was out of my body and could tell them they had nothing to worry about and that I was going to live forever. 😜

I will never be able to thank the angel, Karen who was sent to me in that Facebook message.
Tonight was the first night I finally had the courage to reach out to her to tell her the story.

My tribe, my sisters, my village Jessica McCurdy Zielsdorf for being all up in my bidness from the second I opened my eyes after surgery until the moment she had to go home. Feeding me ice chips, speaking to the docs for me when I literally couldn’t talk, she did it all.
Tamara Kunkle for organizing a meal train that has kept us well fed for the last week.
Alma Hernandez for driving me to my surgery andSheila Baeza for driving me home.
Delicious meals from Natalie Rose TanaseCarlie VenoAngela LorenzoLinda Osuna, Jessica, Tamara, Sheila, Alma and gifts from Michele McKinley Valdez.
My sisters, Nicole Leonard and Stephanie for just being there and loving me through it all.
My sweetLindsey Florczak Thompson and Maria Currie for constantly checking in on me.
My prayer warrior sisters, Alma, Sheila and Jessica who have been my sounding board through all of this.
My TEAM who is so incredibly amazing and supportive from all across the U.S. (And some in Canada)😄
I can’t imagine how differently this may have looked had I not had the strength and community I have today.

Cancer WILL NOT take me down.
Divorce WILL NOT take me down.

My story is not over. It is only just beginning.Screenshot 2017-09-18 10.27.06.png

Advertisements

Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

I get asked a lot of questions about my new #intermittentfasting lifestyle whenever I post about it, so I thought I’d share a few of the awesome benefits with you:

Intermittent fasting enhances hormone function to facilitate weight loss
Reduces insulin resistance
Studies show that intermittent fasting can reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in the body
Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve numerous risk factors for heart disease including blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers and blood sugar levels
Fasting triggers a metabolic pathway called autophagy, which removes waste material from cells

Basically, I eat between 12-7pm. It sounded completely crazy to me…AT FIRST. And now it’s just my lifestyle.

Screenshot 2017-09-18 10.12.06
I’ll be sharing more about this in my 21-Day Bikini Bootcamp that starts next Monday!
(Message me for details!) 💪🏼

Ladies!!

6 weeks ago, I dialed in my nutrition, fine tuned some things, questioned all I’d ever learned about nutrition and opened up my mind to trying something NEW!

The RESULTS have been amazing!

My belly has NO MORE bloat, no GI upset, I’m NOT hungry, I’ve lost a few lbs. (not my goal or intention, but it happens when you’re more cognizant of your food intake) and I know I’m improving my overall health based on the research I’ve done through this process.

I want to teach you about the tweaks I’ve made to my lifestyle and help you turn your body into a fat burning machine!

My 21 Day Bikini Bootcamp is EXCLUSIVELY for those ladies who:
– Aren’t afraid (and even LOVE) to break a good sweat
– Know how to work HARD
– Love clean eating (or even struggle with knowing what to eat!) but need a little support to get back on track
– Are DETERMINED to reach their goals and let nothing get in their way
– Will FULLY commit to 21 days of no excuses

This will be a no-nonsense, high intensity, FOCUSED month aimed at helping you ditch those last few stubborn pounds and feel absolutely AMAZING going into summer.

***We start Monday, June 12th.***
The ladies in my accountability challenges lose an average of 10 POUNDS in 21 days.😮

Feel GREAT in your skin!
Rock that swimsuit at the pool or beach!

8 SPOTS OPEN and they will go FAST!
>>Challenge runs June 12- July 2. <<
DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS TOMORROW AT 8PM PST!

We’ll finish just in time for you to look and feel amazing for your 4th of July festivities. 🎉☀️🌴

Message me for the details (OR COMMENT BELOW) and to claim your spot!
Tag a friend who you know would be interested! It’s always more fun with a friend. 😍
#bikinibootcamp#swimsuitready#accountabilitygroup

Screenshot 2017-09-18 10.16.16

Team Ignite the Fire Backstage Pass

Add subtitle textSo now here is the scoop!!!
Our team is EXPANDING and we are looking for other women who are MOTIVATED, DRIVEN and NATURAL GO GETTERS.  I want to help you reach your fullest potential!!
So I am going to be offering an EXCLUSIVE Informational Opportunity for you to hear what coaching is all about Monday, March 28- Wednesday, March 30th.
This opportunity will be in a private, online Facebook group where only the members of the group can see what is being posted.  I will be sharing in the group a series of 5-6 short videos on how to get started, how to find people to join you, how to launch your business, how you actually make money and then on Wednesday night we will go LIVE with an informational webinar where you can ask questions, get answers and get down and dirty with everything that you want to know about the business.  If you are going to join my team, I want to make sure you are comfortable and confident with the support and the guidance that I will offer you as your coach!!!
Then, if you are interested in moving forward I will walk you through the sign up process.
I will be launching my new coach training on Monday April 4th.  
I will be accepting a small number of new coaches that are really 100% committed to building a business and going ALL in to make it happen!

I WILL TEACH YOU HOW TO: 

-Launch your business
-How to share and not sell
-How to use social media to grow your area of influence
-How to start your first challenge group which we will start together so you don’t have to do it alone
-I will help you set realistic and achievable goals for your business
-We will have a weekly small group call and 1:1 mentoring and support as needed.
You will not have to re-invent the wheel.  You will have access to all of my trainings, guides, team calls, recording, scripts and more.
 
DOES THIS SOUND LIKE SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO?
If so, don’t delay!  Now is the time!!!
Complete the application below to be considered for a spot on Team Ignite the Fire and be mentored by me personally.

“One Who Has Health Has Hope, and One Who Has Hope Has Everything”

It has been nearly 6 weeks since I hurt my back.  Like, HURT my back to where every move I made was difficult, uncomfortable, painful.  I was taking painkillers and muscle relaxers to just function minimally to take care of my kids and house.  I saw a chiropractor multiple times and got a referral to see a back doctor who told me there was no indication of any major issue;  most likely a strain that would heal on its own within 4-8 wks..  This really pissed me off because I didn’t believe him.  I felt he was brushing it off.  I just KNEW it was something more.  There was no way I could be experiencing that amount of pain and limited mobility and NOT have really done some damage.

Welp, it’s been 5 and 1/2 weeks and I’m at about 80%.  Yesterday I met a friend at the park and when she asked me how my back was doing, I was almost taken aback to realize that I was actually doing OK.  I was able to sprint after Max when he decided he wanted to play in the forest instead of the playground.  I could lunge to knock the bottle cap out of his hand while it was on its way to his mouth.  I could take him in and out of the stroller with no pain.

On the way home, I RAN. Yep, about 1/2 mile. Not earth shattering, but it felt incredible. My heart was pumping, I was breathing heavily and breaking a sweat. You guys, this is a biggie because it’s the first time in nearly 6 weeks that I have moved my body like that. I didn’t want to push it, but it felt ok, so I kept going. It just made me think how blessed someone is to have an able body. We sooooo take it for granted until we lose it. My favorite inspirational health quote (it is even on my business cards!) is: “One who has health has hope and one who has hope has everything.” How true is that?!

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.19.29 PM

You just don’t realize until you’ve been knocked out by the flu or broken a bone or hurt yourself and been out of commission, how AWESOME it is to have your health back. Hurting myself like that was truly terrifying. I thought to myself, if I’m this fragile at 40, what the heck is my body going to be doing when I’m 50, 60, 70 years old? I really saw myself with a cane, a walker, a wheelchair. My perspective has changed dramatically as a result.

Our workouts should be about doing something great for our body that is going to enable us to run after our kids at the park, to unload groceries from the car, to play at a waterpark, to throw a frisbee on the beach. <<< THIS is quality of life. Exercise will keep us young, agile, able, and injury free so that we can CONTINUE to do these things as we age. The only images I have of my grandparents are elderly, sick, grandpa in a wheelchair with one leg amputated due to complications from diabetes, grandma smoking until her dying day. But, I also know 70 and 80 year olds who are vibrant and spry. THAT is who I want to be. My workouts are taking on a whole new meaning. It is no longer about ‘HOW MANY CALORIES DID I BURN?!?!?’ or “How many reps did I do?” It will be about moving and breathing and strengthening and stretching and nurturing my body for that 30 minutes. It will be about just DOING it, so that I can continue to do it daily.
I hope that you all have this perspective about your fitness journey. The weight loss and firm muscles will come as a result, but let’s shift our perspective to one of ‘lifelong health and vitality’, shall we?

Why Am I Not Losing Weight?!

It’s time to address ‘undereating’.

I am constantly hearing from people who need help because they are stuck at a weight loss plateau.  Here’s what I have learned in my 15+ years in this business: for the most part, we are confused, lost, misguided about how to lose weight. Eat this, don’t eat that, cut this, don’t eat this time of day, don’t mix this food group with that, etc…

The ‘diet’ industry is a multi-BILLION dollar/year industry that offers so many plans/programs/schemes to lose weight. How the heck are we supposed to know what to follow?  What I have witnessed over the years when someone is stuck at a plateau, is that they are not eating consistently and not eating enough food in a typical day. I wholeheartedly believe that NO ONE should be eating less than 1400 calories/day.

I know that some of you are eating under 1000 calories/day!

That is a starvation diet. I know, I know…we are busy moms. I am, too! I totally GET IT. I have those days, too! When you barely manage to get a cup of coffee in while fixing the kids’ breakfast. Lunch consists of the scraps of fruit and crusts of bread the kids didn’t eat because you don’t want it to go to waste. Which leads to a starving mama by dinnertime who is eating everything in sight while prepping dinner that once she finally sits down with her plate, she’s actually eating her second serving! I know this because I live it. It takes a conscious effort to plan my meals, then plan my grocery list around that. It takes washing, chopping, storing fruits/veggies so that they’re ready when you need them.

Here’s a quick picture of what happens when we under eat:

I like to think about it like a houseplant. When our plant is watered daily, it flourishes. It is healthy. It is a beautiful color and grows quickly. When we water it daily, it ‘drinks’ the water and then rest leaks out the bottom. It is satiated. What if we go on vacation and neglect that plant for a week? What happens when we come home? It’s wilted, brown, near death. We ‘feed’ it (water) and it takes what seems like, a full pitcher before it is ‘full’. It is STORING that food. It is soaking it all in and holding onto it because it was completely dried out. Think of your body in this way. When we are malnourished and then begin to eat regularly again, our bodies will hold on for dear life to what we give it, not knowing when it will get its next meal. In time, our metabolism regulates and understands that there will be a steady stream of sustenance coming in, giving permission, or allowing our body to ‘release’ the excess (in this case, being FAT). Without enough food, our body can’t even perform its basic functions. Now that you are adding exercise into the equation, how can we begin to expect our body to cooperate and release the weight when we are barely giving it enough calories to perform the basic daily activities (move, breath, blink, swallow???). I know this sounds crazy and counterintuitive…”Why can’t I just eat less and lose weight?”

Here’s what I’ve seen over the years:

Most people don’t eat breakfast. They get to work and give in to donuts/muffins/vending machine junk, thinking they’ve ‘earned’ it by saving calories on skipping breakfast. Lunch is either skipped or consists of fast food. Nothing else is eaten all day until dinnertime (6, 7, 8pm), at which point, you are famished and eat double portions of everything.

People then wonder why, when this doesn’t seem like a lot of food, they are gaining/not losing weight.

The biggest lesson I’ve found that my challengers benefit from is learning ‘HOW’ to eat. By this, I mean balancing carbs/fat/protein, regulating portion sizes, training yourself to eat at regular intervals, recognizing hunger cues. So much of this is NOT about ‘what’ to eat. Don’t get me wrong; that is a huge factor as well.

Here’s what I recommend:

Tip #1) Keep a food log. Write down every B.L.T. (Bite, Lick and Taste) that passes your lips, including liquids. Write down the time of day you are eating each meal/snack and your hunger level on a scale of 1-10. I would also encourage you to note your mood (mad, depressed, bored, etc…)

#2) Have healthy food in your fridge/pantry. Washed and chopped fruits and veggies, hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken, tuna packets, nuts, dried fruit.

#3) Make sure each meal includes complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean protein.

#4) Set a timer on your phone, if you have to, to eat every 2-4 hours.

#5) Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily.

#6) Exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days/week

#7) Get 7-8 QUALITY hours of restorative sleep each night.

 

If you are needing more help, please reach out to me. My 21-Day Fix groups offer incredible weight-loss results (average of 8-10 lbs. in 3 weeks). The color-coded, portion control containers show you exactly what to eat and how much to eat each day. It completely takes the guesswork out of it. Here’s a quick video to show you what it’s about. http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/ShellyGonzales?bctid=3124709772001

Please let me know how I can help.

 

OPERATION: Sexy Back

On September 25th, I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy.

1377616_10201501588434154_161451672_n

Max is my 4th baby in 18 years and I gained more weight with this pregnancy than I had with any of my others;  45 lbs. to be exact.  My pregnancy was very healthy and I feel very blessed for that.  4 weeks later, I have lost approximately 25 lbs. through the natural, gradual loss of fluids and breastfeeding, but I’ve got 25 more to go.  My goal is to reach 145lbs.,- which is 5 lbs. less than where I started.  This is my ‘set point’; the weight at which my body naturally hovers with little fluctuation either way.  It is where I feel most healthy, strong, and confident.

308098_2470291669202_928977124_n

10 year anniversary in Maui
(Nov. 2011)
145 lbs.

39 weeks pregnant (Sept. 2013) 194 lbs.

39 weeks pregnant
(Sept. 2013)
194 lbs.

Now that I am a Beachbody coach, I am excited to put one of their fitness programs to the test.  I have seen the results that are possible with my own coaching clients and others around the world who are using the programs.  I used Shakeology prior to and during my pregnancy, so continuing this is a no-brainer.  I truly credit drinking it daily with helping ward off many of the typical pregnancy ailments (constipation, indigestion, heartburn, and insomnia, to name a few).

OPERATION:  Sexy Back

November 4th marks my 6 weeks post-partum and I am so pumped to start my transformation.  I am creating a women’s only group of challengers to join me on my journey.  If you fit the description below, please send me a message and we can see if this would be a good fit for you:

–       20-40 lbs. to lose (or more, but ready for a jump start)

–       TIRED of being lethargic, unhappy, constipated, grumpy, not sleeping well, etc…

–       MOTIVATED!

–       FED UP with the way you feel

        COMMITTED to change

–       DEDICATED to becoming a better YOU by FOLLOWING THROUGH with the 10-week program

–       NEED the accountability and support of a coach and the power of a group to help keep you on track

The fitness program I am choosing to use for my program is called Focus T25 http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/BCPT25205?referringRepId=188309  It’s the hottest new workout program by Shaun T., creator of Insanity and Hip Hop Abs.  The workouts are all just 25 minutes long and intense!  It’s a 5 day/week (10 week) program with 10 different workouts and lots of cool bonuses included.  We will also follow a clean meal plan (heavy on veggies and fruits) and replace one meal a day with Shakeology.

I am very excited to begin my transformation and am looking forward to taking this journey alongside some equally motivated and driven women.  This next few months will be focused and intense and I am only interested in working with women who will be there from beginning to end;  those who have BIG goals and will stop at nothing to achieve them.  If this sounds like you, send me a message and let’s get to work!

In health and wellness,

Shelly