Firefly Fitness with Ken & Jennifer Cornine

Building a Legacy of Health and Happiness


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The Coach gets ready to be Coached

I joined a Challenge Group for the 21 Day Fix Extreme. Usually I am the person that facilitates a support group, but this time I am the Challenger. And it is way out of my comfort zone.

Doing this is great reminder for me about how it feels to put your hand up and say, “Ok, I’m in.” A little tentatively at first, then maybe you second guess it. “What if I can’t do it? What if I fail?” Those thoughts race through my mind. Then the justifications start. “I have this event happening on Tuesday… It is so cold in the mornings, I can coast until the weather is a little warmer. Then I’ll do a challenge, YES- that’s it, next month.”

I understand how it feels to stand half-naked in the bathroom to take those before pictures and wonder how I’m going to stick to it. But I will. You will too ONCE you have connected a big enough “why” to it. A why that makes you cry. So in the group that I joined I was asked about my why. After much thought, this was my reply:

“There are so many things in life that are out of our control, what people think of us, how they react to us, the economy, etc. Sometimes I feel like a small boat getting tossed about in rough seas. I believe that is a warning sign that it is time to take charge of the things that I can control in order to take my power back. When I succeed in a Challenge as intense as this one will surely be for me, I can only come out of it stronger, fiercer, more equipped to handle all that life can throw my way. It is really about self-preservation, self-confidence, at the end of the day it is about self-love for me.”

I am grateful for the opportunity to experience this from the other side. I know that it will make me a better coach. If you would like to join me and take back control of your life as well, please comment below, I would love to spend some time chatting with you.


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New Year, New You!?! Not so fast…

I am a Health Coach. As a Health Coach a lot of my attention is focused on Change. Physical change. Dietary change. Emotional change. This time of year makes coaches giddy with excitement over the possibility of change. Practically everywhere you look the slogan “New Year, New You!” is calling.

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Heck, I believe I even used it in an email recently. But today it struck me, do you or I really want a new you or me? When I asked myself this question, I was a little surprised by my response. Let me explain…

I worked really, really hard on ME last year. I found my way to a fitness routine that challenged me; 10513437_682187468528904_7120670680622183250_nI took on difficult things like Rugged Maniac and Rock Solid with my best friend and worked my way back into a backbend at 44 (and I have the picture to prove it- see!).

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I tackled my diet and adopted a Clean Eating Lifestyle that eliminated most processed junk from my diet. I found a meal replacement that I crave everyday because it helps me stay on track and healthy. I tackled some big Spiritual issues and developed an Attitude of Gratitude that believe it or not really makes ALL the Difference in how you view the world. I developed a mindset that gives me peace and serenity at every obstacle and believe me last year gave me my fair share. And I helped people, a lot of people, reclaim their health and personal power.

My point is today I realized that I am pretty darn proud of the “new old me” and grateful for all of the experience that life gave me to grow and develop.

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I don’t need a “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!” and you don’t either. What I (we?) need is to continue to grow and change and fine-tune and revisit and reflect our way into the next thing. We need to celebrate the person we showed up in the world as today and make plans for a better tomorrow. As for yesterday, bless it and release it. I mean really do it. Right now. Ok?

Let’s move on and get ready to set some goals! I will tell you mine if you tell me yours! 😉6afce0a3132e75edccde1c05dd1debbc


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SmileI was listening to a great podcast this morning driving in to work.  (Yes, I do personal development at 6:45am in traffic, LOL)  The subject was dealing with frustrating people and it resonated so much with me.  Brendon Burchard literally echoed the words that I tell my babies all of the time.

Brendon said that we should try to see the humanity in every situation.  We don’t know what kind of tragedies, trials or personal demons the person that was grumpy or absent-minded and irritated you faced today.  We cannot know the struggles of another person unless we have “walked a mile in their shoes”, so BE KIND!  I fail at this at some point or other every day, but I will keep trying.  I hope that you will too.  The world needs more kindness.  Thanks BB for the reminder.  😉

If you would like to listen too, click here!


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Of Gratitude & Thanksgiving

mother_TeresaToday was beautiful and sunny and cold.  I spent it at St. Aloysius in 2 starkly contrasting events, at least at first blush.  Early morning started with the annual Thanksgiving food drive drop-off in the church parking lot.  While we have donated and dropped off meals in years past, this was the first time that I volunteered to help out with the event.  I made it a goal this year to try to be more out-going and involved.  It seems that I have been craving connection on a deeper level with my community and friends old and new, so off I went.

If you haven’t participated in an event like this before and have an opportunity to do so this holiday season, I highly recommend it.  There is nothing more heartwarming than to see dozens upon dozens of people gathered together, young and old, wealthy and struggling, with a common goal of feeding the hungry.  My heart swelled at the feeling of happiness in the crisp Fall air.  It was my community at its best and I was thankful.

After the hustle and bustle was done the cars were loaded with Thanksgiving dinners and off they went to the distribution centers.  The cheer in the air at St. Al’s turned to grief.  A wonderful Father, Husband, Boy Scout Leader, Musician and Friend was being sent off to his eternal resting place.  Jeffrey was taken too young and my heart broke for his 3 children and wife as that same parking lot filled with people to pay their last respects.  Father Fernando did a beautiful job celebrating Jeff’s life and comforting the grieving.  I can’t imagine the pain that my friend must endure.  My heart breaks for their family.

As we left the church my thoughts turned once again to Thanksgiving and Gratitude.  No matter what life may throw my way, I woke up this morning and took a deep breath.  God willing I will do the same tomorrow.  This year at my table on Turkey Day, I will remember the faces in the parking lot- the happy and the healthy, the stricken and the sorrowful.  I will count my blessings, hold my family close and say a prayer of Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for a way to help feed the hungry this year, check out http://www.feedingamerica.org/.

Matthew 25:35-40

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’


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Grocery Shopping and Designing a Life

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I hate shopping on Sundays.  Ok maybe hate and Sunday don’t belong in the same sentence.  Suffice it to say that I really, really dislike shopping on Sundays; specifically grocery shopping.  It seems that the whole town is in ShopRite, cranky, crashing carts and cussing or dazed and meandering down the aisles as if seeing it all for the first time.  I m a perimeter shopper mostly- fresh fruit and veggies, meat/fish/poultry, some dairy…you get the idea.  I don’t like to venture too much into the interior, there is something about the smell of Coca-Cola and cheesy poofs that bring out the worst in people.  But there are some things that are necessary in there.  So I take a deep breath, rush in and rush out and finally make my way back to the front of the store and the dreaded checkout line.
That’s when I saw her.  Rosalynn.  She was the cashier and having such a hard time today.  The line was impatient, truth be told I was impatient and Rosalynn couldn’t move fast enough for any of us.  The light above her station switches on indicating a problem that begs the attention of a pimply faced looks-to-be-about 18 years old assistant manager.  He is impatient with Rosalynn as well.  As they work it all out and her faces falls a little bit more when the pimply faced manager in training points out that she has made yet another error, my heart grows heavy.
Rosalynn looks to be in her 70’s and clearly not doing this for the fun of it.  She doesn’t have the Walmart commercial “older happy person working as a greeter to get out and bout” air about her.  She looks as if this is what she has to do to make ends meet, probably not what she thought retirement would like. As I’m waiting in line I think about what those days will be like for me.  What does retirement look like for my generation?  Will it even exist?
I am thankful that I have the opportunity to change my circumstance by owning my own business.  I have the opportunity to create a legacy and to build something that will take care of my future.  I won’t have to burden Emma and Lukas to provide for me, I won’t have to worry about affording quality healthcare or food or whether I will be able to take my grandkids to Disney.  I have designed my life in such a way that the whims of a pubescent assistant manager, cranky customers or aches and pains won’t determine my mood for my day.  If I work with excellence and diligence and continue to add value to other people’s lives, I can create something wonderful.  You can too.
Next it is my turn to check out.  I make sure that I take my time, make eye contact and thank Rosalynn for her help.  She smiles back at me and as she turns to greet the next person in line it slowly fades away.


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All Saints Day: Welcome to November

Thankful-PrintableLast night was another wonderful night of Trick or Treating.  I am so thankful that my “babies” love to dress up.  This year was all about Broadway for them.  Luke was The Phantom of the Opera and Emma Grace was Eponine from Les Miserables.  It drizzled so she was thrilled to walk the streets singing “A Little Fall of Rain” to herself.  halloween2014

After all the candy Bacchanalia, today, All Saints Day calls for a much more sensible diet.  It is cold and raining here in NJ, so I will be preparing a stay-in-your-jammies-all-day kind of dinner.  Clean Beef Stroganoff in the crock pot should do the trick!

Planning ahead for the week, I will be making these scrumptious bars for snacking on.  It will be wonderful to have the house filled with the aroma of baking banana bread today.  TIP:  Check out the grocery store’s clearance produce for bananas.  You will pay pennies on the dollars for a tote of just slightly overripe bananas which are perfect for this recipe.

I would also like to extend an invitation to join me on Facebook in a 30 Day Gratitude Challenge for the month of November.  There is always something to be thankful for!


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My Journey to Health Coach

HealthyLifeNextExit_3My health coach story actually began some time ago. Like many of our top coaches I was not a first time winner with the programs or coach opportunity. I did not plug-in to the culture right away. If I had “gotten it” back then, it would have saved a lot of people a lot of pain, but then again, I am certain I wouldn’t be sitting here today with the intention of offering my story as a beacon of hope for some and an invitation to a new way of life for others.

It all began about 5 or 6 years ago. I had two children; I was seriously overweight and firmly ensconced in “Mommy Defensiveness”. I was sleep deprived and while I was diligent about the food that I fed my family and committed to their health, I was making all of the wrong choices for my own. I embraced the term “Mom-shaped” and resigned myself to the fact that after 2 Cesarean births, I would never again get my body back. Truth be told, I had been overweight leading up to my first child 6 years prior. One of my older brothers gave Ken & me his copy of P90X. He had a friend that had amazing, life-changing results with it and thought it would help me. I was defensive and angry at any mention of my weight back then and quickly decided that the program was too extreme for me. I thought it was for athletes and that just wasn’t who I was anymore. I was Mom now (can you hear the whisper of an identity dissolving there?).

Fast-forward a few years. I was exhausted and sad all of the time. My husband bought me a copy of Insanity (the irony was lost on us at the time). He knew on some deep level that if I could just muster enough focus and energy to move my body on a daily basis that I could begin to feel better. Yet there it sat, untouched. Months passed and now I was held in the death grip of a major chemical imbalance and life was growing so bleak. I had crippling anxiety and bottomless fatigue. I was self-medicating and defeated and was quickly losing hope. I knew in my mind that exercise and nutrition could help me feel better but I had lost faith in myself and my judgment was so off the mark. We were searching desperately for a doctor that could tell us what was wrong and I suffered a series of misdiagnosis. The doctor prescribed antidepressants for my sadness and fatigue and another medication for my anxiety and even as I got worse, we were told to stay the course with these medications. But, my illness was spiraling out of control. I became desperate and my tentative grip on reality was loosening by the day. After several hospitalization and unimaginable turmoil in my family, we found a doctor who knew how to help me. Finally I had an accurate diagnosis of Bipolar 2 and my whole world changed.

My doctor believed 100% in a mind/body connection and encouraged me to do the things that I knew would help me feel better. That meant going back to basics which included proper nutrition and daily exercise. As I got better, I dusted off my copy of Insanity and fell in love. The endorphins and dopamine were vital to my recovery and I got my life back.

In August of 2013 I stumbled on the coach opportunity and Shakeology. I signed as a coach to get the discount for the Challenge Group I was joining. I was hooked! My body had suffered YEARS of abuse. At the height of my illness I had dangerously high blood pressure, a sick liver and kidneys and I was prediabetic. It is not an exaggeration to say that Shakeology and Insanity restored my body to health. I desperately needed every single adaptogen, pre and probiotic, digestive enzyme and superfood. The dense nutrition coupled with daily exercise and sunlight healed me.

My husband and I decided to tackle T25 in September of 2013. The program was challenging, yet so simple to follow, the nutrition program was nearly perfect and my daily Shakeology was working miracles in my body. I am proud to say that I completed T25 and lost 20 pounds in the process. My husband, who tackled T25 to support me, won the daily challenge for his transformation. I had learned that I could follow through with a goal. For the first time in a long time I did what I said I was going to do. My confidence soared. We were hooked and I found my calling to coach.

A requirement for being a successful coach is continually working on personal development and your own health and fitness. In my community we have the most amazing resources available to become better people; we have a culture that is supportive and uplifting. We don’t just talk about it; we walk the walk too- every day.

Beachbody helped save my life and now I feel that it is my obligation to share it with other people. It is scary to put yourself out there. You wonder what people will say about you, what they will think. We carefully construct a façade for the world to see, our highlights reel, to be honest. Unfortunately when all we see is someone else’s highlight reel, we never get to hear their back story or see their humanity, how they struggled or what it cost. We don’t see the sweat and the tears; we don’t always get to see the test that came before the testimony. So if there is just one person out there that has lost hope and can benefit from hearing my story, I honestly feel it is my duty to share it. This is it for me. This is “The why that made me cry.”

My life has changed in ways that I never thought possible and I am so thankful today. My mission is to help as many people as I can find their way back to health. I will meet you wherever you are on your road back to health and I will hold out my hand. But it is up to you to take it. I truly hope you do.

xoxo