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about jill

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Hi, I’m Jill and WELCOME to Fit Life Happy Life!! 

I am a fitness, nutrition and lifestyle coach and I am SUPER passionate about living a healthy and balanced life.  I earned my certification as a Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC and I also earned certifications in both kettlebell and bodyweight training via Dragon Door’s Hardstyle Kettlebell and Progressive Calisthenics Certification programs (HKC & PCC).

My own personal journey & life experiences, in addition to my training and education as a coach, allow me to help women learn to LOVE themselves, take charge of their life, reclaim their health & happiness and make lifelong, sustainable changes at any stage of life.  I love helping women see their potential in the world, get excited about change, overcome obstacles, break through barriers and figure out exactly what’s been keeping them stuck for so long.  My favorite part of the whole process is when they discover their “AHA” moment!

Overall well being is about creating a fit body, a fit mind and a fit spirit through small, gradual and actionable changes in physical, emotional and spiritual practices over time.  Nourishing the body, mind and spirit daily and getting “fit” in all areas of your life will ultimately lead to a more fulfilled, balanced, happier and healthier YOU. Creating an action plan to work towards your goals one choice, one day at a time can help you get “unstuck” and live the healthy and happy life that you always wanted but didn’t know how to achieve.  It doesn’t matter your past experiences or “failures”, your present situation or your current “stage in life”…as long as there is a tiny spark or desire to make a change combined with a positive attitude and a willingness to be consistent and work hard even when the going gets tough, anything is possible.  I truly believe that there are NO LIMITS on what you can accomplish and, no matter what, you can always find your way back to health, wellness, sanity & happiness and get “fit” in all areas of your life!

So many people let their self-limiting beliefs guide them through life and this is a big part of what holds them back…you know those voices that tell you that “you can’t” and continue to tell you that you are “too old or too young”, “too large or too small”, “too fat or too skinny”, “too dumb or too stupid” OR “too YOU FILL IN THE BLANK”! Once you let go of the negative self-talk, your whole attitude and outlook on life and the world around you will change, I promise! You can definitely break-free from all the chatter in your head…your past DOES NOT dictate your future and you can re-write the script and change your story at any time.  But you must remain open, willing and teachable to learn that your past can teach you how to improve, grow and get better.    

I hope that my story will inspire and motivate you to realize that there are no limits to what you can accomplish and that it’s never too late to make changes in your life.  You CAN live the life of your dreams, you CAN create sustainable, healthy habits, you CAN put yourself first without being selfish, you CAN learn to love yourself unconditionally and you CAN achieve your goals, no matter where you’ve been or where you are now.  As long as you have that one tiny spark or a burning desire to make a change, the rest will follow.  As long as you believe you can, you will.

 

what you think you become

 

About Me:

When I am not busy working at Fit Life Happy Life, being a wife to my husband, Paul, or a mom to my two amazing girls, Lauren and Casey, I can be found at home relaxing with my favorite magazine or TV show, surfing the social media outlets, experimenting in the kitchen, hanging out at my happy place (AKA, the beach, specifically, OCNJ!) or getting in a great workout in my basement, backyard or the local playground.  I LOVE my family, I LOVE to train, I LOVE to eat, I LOVE coffee, I LOVE animals {although I am pet-free at the moment } and I LOVE “playing around” in the kitchen, creating new recipes and cooking and baking healthy, delicious foods to share with family and friends!!

 

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with the family in our “happy place”, OCNJ

My Story:

Living a healthy and balanced life didn’t always come easy to me and, to be quite honest, still doesn’t come easy on some days.  There are definitely times when it’s difficult and I, like you, struggle from time to time with finding balance in my life, following a sane and sound nutrition plan and moving my body on a regular basis. There are days where I have trouble “getting my mind right”, staying positive, showing gratitude for all of my blessings and understanding that I am not perfect (Hello, my name is Jill and I am a recovering perfectionist!!).  For someone who spent most of her life having little to no self-esteem, no confidence & a poor body image, it’s sometimes hard for me to let go of the “not good enough” attitude, the negative self-talk, the self-doubt and perfectionism mindset, especially if I am going through a rough patch or not feeling 100% physically, emotionally or spiritually fit.  That’s why I’ve spent the last few years building a strong, solid foundation by nourishing all three of these areas – body, mind & spirit – so that when the going gets tough, I don’t crumble, even on the darkest of days.  I have learned and accepted the fact that life will ebb and flow….I will encounter good and bad & pain and joy on my path and that’s why it’s so important for me to build that strong, solid foundation that includes good health, a sound mind and a nurtured spirit to carry me through those dark days.  Over the last few years I have worked on “feeding” this foundation through strength training, proper nutrition, mindset shifts and personal development so that even my “worst” days today are much better than my “best” days in years past……those days when I used to treat my body like a garbage can & talk to myself like I was the enemy.  I am a true believer that the more we feed ourselves the “good stuff”, the better equipped we are to handle whatever comes our way.

It’s pretty safe to say that anyone who comes into contact with me knows that I have a strong passion for all things “fitness” and leading a healthy lifestyle but, like I said, this wasn’t always the case.  It was a very gradual and “late in life” process for me to get where I am today.  I made a lot of changes in my exercise and nutrition habits but, more importantly, I made a lot of changes in how I look at the world around me, how I approach and react to situations and how I think.  These shifts in mindset have given me many “AHA” moments of my own and, honestly, have been the most fulfilling part of my journey.  YES, picking up the weights and starting to strength train and completely overhauling my nutrition a few years ago made me notice physical changes & improvements in my overall health BUT getting stronger physically is what led to me gaining more emotional and spiritual muscle as well.  

Growing up, I wasn’t athletic nor did I participate in any organized sports and, for the most part, I didn’t take very good care of myself physically, emotionally or spiritually.  I never exercised, I ate whatever I wanted without thinking about the consequences and really didn’t do anything to lift my spirits or create ANY kind of emotional or spiritual harmony.  I lived with a lot of fear and anxiety and, like I said, I had little self-confidence or self-esteem.  I rarely felt “good enough” or comfortable in my own skin and these feelings all contributed to unhealthy behaviors and treating myself (and others!) poorly which ultimately led to some very dark and depressing times in my life.

Although I have always been ‘petite’ and never struggled with weight issues, I carried around a lot of excess body fat, especially after my 2 pregnancies, and I was EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY!  I was your typical ‘skinny-fat’ girl and although I may have looked like the epitome of good health on the outside because of my small and ‘skinny’ stature, my insides were suffering, both physically and emotionally.

At age 23, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer and went through treatments that have put me in remission for what has now been 27 years, but even after that ordeal was over, I continued to treat my body like a garbage can, partying, eating whatever I wanted and not exercising.  I guess at age 23, I wasn’t looking at the big picture or the ‘later in life’ consequences of my lifestyle choices. Once I married my college sweetheart and had 2 beautiful baby girls, I continued to live carefree, not worrying about my physical or emotional health and still not worrying about the long-term consequences of my choices.  Our daily nutrition consisted of the fast food drive through (way too often!), tons of processed foods, home cooking that consisted of traditional, unhealthy comfort foods (with a lot of boxed/packaged items) and desserts….LOTS of desserts! I thought I was the best wife and mother, providing delicious meals to my family never realizing how unhealthy all of the food I was serving actually was. My only form of exercise consisted of carrying around the kids, housecleaning, walking the dog or going to the playground with my family, and even then, I usually just sat on the bench and watched the kids play.  My husband was always athletic and had been since his high school and college wrestling days.  He loved training and had to be in top physical shape for his profession so he went to the gym regularly…needless to say, without me!!

On some level, I probably knew that I wasn’t taking the best care of myself or living a healthy, balanced or happy life but honestly, I didn’t know any better at the time and, quite honestly, I don’t think I cared.  There were a lot of things holding me back from making changes.  Lack of motivation and knowledge, being comfortable where I was, fear of the unknown and everyone saying “Jill, you are so tiny, petite, skinny (insert adjective)” or “Jill you are so lucky you don’t have to exercise or worry about what you eat” all played a role BUT I think what held me back the most was my negative self-image and “dislike” of myself.  Because of this “hatred” towards myself, I didn’t care how I treated my body and I never addressed my physical, emotional or spiritual needs. I took care of everyone else but ME. I truly believe that when we don’t like ‘who we are’, we don’t care how we treat ourselves.  We knowingly or unconsciously sabotage our own well-being and punish ourselves because we feel we need to be punished for something.   For YEARS I punished myself because I felt I wasn’t good enough to be treated well, by myself or others.

My Moment of Clarity & The Tiny Spark….

Physically, I had high cholesterol, I was sick all the time with colds and sinus infections, I had headaches, gas and bloating every day, I was always tired and there was always pain somewhere in my body. In addition, I still suffered from all of the same emotional issues….daily stress, TONS of fear & anxiety, lack of self-confidence, lack of self-esteem, poor body image and never feeling good enough.  So my physical, emotional and spiritual health were ALL in the dumps.  Then one day, at the ripe old age of 44, something happened….I wish I could put my finger on exactly what that something was but I’m just going to call it my “moment of clarity” for which I am eternally grateful. I was done feeling sick, tired and miserable and I decided that I needed to make a change…THIS was the beginning for me.  One tiny spark and a burning desire to do something different and the realization that I could live a better life….one that included improved health, stronger relationships with others, less stress and more balance and overall happiness.

I decided that I was going to “get in shape”, whatever that meant, and started working out at home.  I immediately noticed some physical changes and became intrigued with the whole “weightlifting” world.  I started to follow some female fitness professionals online and soon discovered the term “clean eating”.  I made gradual changes in the food I purchased, what I cooked and our eating habits and, in my opinion, physically, this is where the magic truly happened….I started to see drastic changes in my physique with the improved nutrition but, more importantly, I also noticed a huge improvement in how I felt.  IN HOW I FELT!  Who would have thought that food could change how you feel?

As a result of paying more attention to my exercise and nutrition, I became much more in tune with my emotional and spiritual health and, as a result, everything started to change.  As my lifestyle gradually evolved and I began to live a more “fit life”, my health skyrocketed: less illness & digestive issues, more energy, clarity & focus, improved body composition and more muscle. And, I had less stress and my mood swings improved as well.  That one tiny spark that I decided to take action on, even at age 44, led to improved overall well-being and a healthier and “happier” life in general.  I started to get stronger physically, which in turn led to me getting stronger emotionally and spiritually.  I started to do things that I was once afraid of.  I started to gain confidence, self-esteem and began to LIKE MYSELF. I started to use my improved physical strength in my every day life to do things that I used to need “help with”.  I started to stand up for myself and do things that I wanted to do as opposed to things that everyone else wanted me to do.  I started to have more balance in my life.  I started to understand that self-care was NOT selfish and it was important to take time for ME.  My physique, health and general well being started to change and people noticed.  I was fielding all kinds of questions about my diet, exercise and lifestyle choices….people wanted to know what changes I made and how I did it all while being a busy wife and mom.  I quickly realized that my newfound passion for health & wellness could be used to help others and this is how the concept of “Fit Life Happy Life” was born (even though at the time, I didn’t’ have a name for it!). It took some time, but my dream actually became a reality in 2013 when all of the pieces all started to fall into place.

Leap Of Faith….

In the summer of 2013, I decided to take that proverbial “leap of faith” and pursue my passion to help others achieve their fitness, nutrition and lifestyle goals.  I attended the inaugural Radiance Retreat in Asheville, NC hosted by 3 women in the fitness industry who inspired me during my transformation.  I could not pass on the opportunity to meet them in person and learn about all things “fitness, nutrition, business and mindset”!  Who knew that this one decision to FLY ALONE for the first time ever (FEAR!) and hang out with a bunch of strangers (FEAR!) would be the impetus to so much more? It was just what I needed to get started. Since that retreat, I went back to school to become a Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHHC), I created Fit Life Happy Life, LLC, I pursued and obtained a few specialized training certifications (HKC, PCC, TFW-1), I hired a business coach and joined her amazing Best of You (BOY) coaching group, I had a professional photo shoot, I attended numerous personal development seminars, workshops & retreats (ALL alone mind you….FEAR!) AND, as a bonus along the way, I have forged lifelong friendships with some of the most amazing, like-minded, strong, empowered and passionate women in the world….win-win! NONE of this would have been possible if I didn’t follow my passion, let go of my fear & limiting beliefs and TAKE ACTION without hesitation or doubt.  Very scary stuff for me to do BUT no matter how much fear I had back then, what scares me even more is to think about where I would be or what my life would be like today if I hadn’t taken that first step and made a decision to “get in shape”.  This one decision, that I didn’t even understand at the time, changed my life forever and led to SO MUCH MORE….the same thing CAN happen for you if you acknowledge your desire to change and make a choice to take that leap.  Change is hard and can be very scary BUT all it requires is that one tiny spark or burning desire….once you have that, you can either run away from it OR face the fear head on, take action and move forward.  Once you start, it’s like a snowball rolling down a hill gaining momentum and getting bigger and better and stronger as it moves forward.  Once you start to “roll”, things will get easier & you will gain the confidence and motivation to do more……taking action always leads to more action and as you gain momentum, just like the snowball, there will be no stopping you!

I am in a really good place today…..physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I feel better at age 50 (!!!) than I did in my twenties, thirties & early forties, which is totally crazy!  Is every day great? NOPE!! Do I struggle at times? YUP!! But I accept life on life’s terms and I deal with whatever comes my way as best I can, one day at a time.  Go with the flow, as I always like to say!

go with the flow

 

The Journey Continues….

I will continue on this journey – #jillsinfinitejourney – and follow my passions, learn, grow, improve, take leaps & step outside my comfort zone and surround myself with amazing people – #mytribe.  I will also try to do my best to stay positive and grateful through it all and I won’t give up when things don’t go according to plan, the going gets rough or if I fail or make mistakes.  I’ve seen how much consistency pays off in the end and how rewarding it is to stick it out and get through the rough stuff.  The lessons are priceless and once you get to the other side, you realize there are no limits to what you can accomplish.  As long as you have a positive attitude and a wholehearted BELIEF that you CAN do something, then you WILL.  There will always be struggles, obstacles, “uncomfortability” and pain along the way, BUT there will also be victories, successes, fulfillment and satisfaction!  I have learned to accept the good with the bad AND I have learned to let go of the fear that always tries to rear its ugly, little head with each new challenge I present myself with.  My mantra for the last 1-2 years has been “I’M SCARED BUT I’M GONNA DO IT ANYWAY” and saying this to myself or even out loud has helped me tremendously when that fear tries to take over!!

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One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that I cannot allow society, my self-imposed limitations, my age or my ‘petite’ stature stop me from doing the things that I love and want to pursue, no matter how crazy they sound to others or how many ‘eye rolls’ I get….LOL!! Heck, I just did my first ever full back-bridge and tripod headstand this past summer at the age of 49 so, as far as I’m concerned, age has no boundaries!!

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I wake up every day with hope, no matter what’s going on, and I look forward to all of the endless possibilities and opportunities that life has to offer me as opposed to dreading what’s ahead.  I can’t wait to see what professional and personal challenges and growth are in store for me…I don’t want to run away any more.  I want to face it all head on and keep moving forward.  I’ve always been a fighter but, in the past, I was also afraid of my own shadow.  Nowadays, I’m still a fighter but because I’ve built that foundation of strength and fitness in all areas of my life – physical, emotional & spiritual – I am better equipped to face the fear.

Thank you so much for stopping by & for reading my story through to the end! I hope you can relate in some way and that you are inspired to acknowledge your spark, follow your passion, step outside your comfort zone and take that leap, no matter what kind of change it is you want to make in your life. It doesn’t matter if you want to lose weight, lead a healthier lifestyle, pursue a new career, go back to school or improve your relationships with others…it all starts with a decision to leap and a shift in mindset….once you get the mind right, the body will follow.  Remember that it’s NEVER TOO LATE to make changes and there are no limits to what you can accomplish…don’t let anyone (even yourself!) tell you otherwise!!

If you are looking for someone to help you “ignite” the spark and take the leap into action, contact me to see if we are the right fit for each other.  I want you to be the healthiest, fittest, happiest and most extraordinary version of you possible!  You are amazing.  You are worthy.  You are beautiful.  You are strong.  You are powerful.  AND you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to.  Let’s connect and see if we can work together today!!

As always, wishing you a FIT and HAPPY day! :)

Jill xo

P.S. – Be sure to sign up for my email newsletter so that you can receive exclusive content right to your inbox on fitness, nutrition, lifestyle & mindset, tips & tricks on how to live a “Fit and Happy Life” and some of my favorite workouts and recipes.  AND, as a VIP subscriber, you will always have early bird access and discounts to any programs or products that I will be offering!

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               with the hubby!  :)

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      me and my girls being silly! :) 

 

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Education/Certifications/Professional Affiliations:

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration and Marketing, Trenton State College, Trenton, NJ

Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHHC), Institute for Integrative Nutrition, NYC

Board Certified as a Holistic Health Practitioner via the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP)

Member of International Association of Health Coaches (IAHC)

Hardstyle Kettlebell Certified (HKC) Instructor

Progressive Calisthenics Certified (PCC) Instructor

Training For Warriors (TFW) Level One Certified Coach

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International Association for Health Coaches Member!