Nancy Minus 25: “Surround yourself with ONLY people who are going to lift you higher” – Oprah Winfrey

By Guest Blogger Nancy Ayapan, DCF

What a difference a good speaker, someone who has the ability to inspire us and lift us higher, will make.  That was very true for me this week when our weight loss group was very fortunate to hear from our special guest of the week, Maureen Saba. Maureen, who is not only my very good friend and my daughter’s godmother, but is also an Independent Business Owner, Global Expansion Leader/Recruiter at ACN, Owner/Founder at Maternal Health & Fitness, and Founder/Executive Project Manager at Shameless Chefs, came and spoke to us about her journey in being healthy and having the right mindset to accomplish our goals. You see, my friend Maureen inspires me and lifts me higher, especially during the times when I am ready to give up. Maureen has been featured on many national and international television programs (including Good Morning America), in magazines, and in newspapers; she is also a Personal Fitness Trainer, FRA, Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Instructor, and Yoga Instructor. I am sure I am missing a few other things, but the point is that when I thought of inviting her to come in and speak to us and she said, “Yes,” I knew we had hit gold.

During her talk, we learned about really being conscious about what we put in our mouths. Maureen talked about struggling with issues that most of us deal with:  feeling bloated, not feeling right, and basically experiencing many different health ailments. However, Maureen took control of her health by saying, “That is enough,” and that is when her journey toward a gluten-free way of eating began.  Besides eating a gluten-free diet, she also incorporates having her coconut water with lemon and tea every morning, drinking a healthy smoothie during the day, eating fish regularly, and really focusing on getting rid of every toxin in her body. Twenty pounds slimmer, Maureen described feeling “amazing,” full of energy, and most importantly, able to have gotten rid of those unhealthy ailments. It was very inspiring to hear her story, and I became more aware of the choices I made when putting food in my mouth. As a result, on Sunday, my sister and I went shopping for veggies and tons of fruits and made juice for the week; we also baked tons of chicken and grilled all kinds of vegetables; and we planned a week’s worth of meals. Speaking of my sister, she recently received the recommendation to follow a gluten-free diet, so guess what? – I think I am also going to embark on the journey of going gluten-free.  I feel that so many signs point to “gluten-free here” and “gluten free-there” that it has my attention now, and it’s time for me to take action.

Maureen’s talk exceeded our expectations, and then some! Not only did we feel inspired and motivated, but most importantly, we felt great about ourselves in the moment, no matter where we were. Maureen also brought us some motivational gifts (a Joel Osteen book, drinking cups with motivational quotes, a hand bag with motivational words on it, and aromatic hand creams) – now do you see why she is my friend? And why I surround myself with her guidance every chance I get? My bottom line is that we all have the choice to be healthy; it’s in our hands, in combination with feeding ourselves with positive thoughts and surrounding ourselves with people who are going to encourage us, and LIFT US HIGHER!

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