Tina Fraley is a Health and Wellness counselor who works with women and men who are working their way from a “life of survival to a life of thriving on purpose.” Her own experience of losing 162 pounds helps her empower people to live the FitMinded Life and embrace their own adventure. Her background in counseling and coaching puts her in a unique position of having a “behind the scenes” look to help people make the important mind/body connection to achieve a balanced and rewarding life. She gives the people she works with the ability to say YES in their life and to “Embrace The Day!”
Tina’s credentials include a Master’s of Community Mental Health, Bachelor’s of Psychology, certified Personal Trainer, Rational Emotive Therapy Certified and Cognitive Behavior Therapy Certified. She loves traveling, concerts, pizza and poetry. I was excited to catch up with Tina and learn more about her remarkable story.
Tell me a little about yourself and the journey you’re on.
I am 41 years young, married to the amazing man I actually fell head over heels for in high school (we just waited 10 years to start our life together). And now, we are raising 7 incredible kids, and learning to love life everyday on purpose, with joy, faith and fitness.
My journey is something I prefer to call an “adventure”. It feels better on the brain when I put it like that. It’s also another reason I call the studio I work out of my “playground”. That’s an example of a positive psychology trick I implement to shift the minds perspective. Today, I am a Personal Trainer with a Master’s Degree in Psychology. I use my education and my own personal experience with the adventure of embracing a FitMindedLife to successfully help bridge the gap between the physical and the emotional transformation that takes place when you choose to live a healthier life. I actively train virtually, connecting people of all fitness levels, from all over the world with the trainings and tools to use within their own homes on a daily basis.
What led you to make a change and start working out?
Seven years ago, I was still denying the daily abuse I sustained from an alcoholic ex-husband and refusing to see that I had completely lost myself in my grief and pain. I was no longer experiencing joy and was suffering from postpartum depression. For example, I didn’t feel excitement over my newborn baby girl. I didn’t recognize the woman staring back at me in the mirror anymore. I had reached my highest weight of 287 pounds. My blood pressure refused to come down, and my doctor was discussing pre-diabetic diets. I was waking up every morning to survive the day instead of serve in it. This was my wake up call.
With my 3 week old newborn in my arms, at about 3am one night, I made a choice to live more of my life. I sat in my office, breastfeeding her and sobbing because of how out of control I felt. I wanted to feel better. To have have a lap for my daughter to sit in. I wanted to be able to run and play with my older children instead of watching them from the porch because I was too tired and too heavy to move. I wanted to feel like the excited and vibrant woman who married my husband — not the shell of what was left. In that moment, I was absolutely done feeling trapped in my own body!
How are you using your story to inspire others?
I started my adventure of working out at home and learning how to make cleaner food choices. Over a year and half’s time, I gained an entirely new perspective on how important it is to love yourself just as much as you love your kids, your spouse, or your best friend. I learned that to live a healthy and fulfilling life I had to show up in my life with consistency and integrity. I had to gain the ability to follow through with commitments I made to myself in order to let go of the 150 pounds what was standing between me and the life I wanted to live.
The adventure opened my eyes and my heart to the opportunity, privilege, and responsibility I had to make a difference. By loving myself and filling my cup up everyday and sharing that adventure as it was unfolding, I could encourage, equip and empower others to do the very same.
What’s been the biggest motivator for you when things get hard?
The biggest motivator for me was one of my sons. Hart was 16 years old at the time and he struggled with all the food behaviors I had taught him. His weight, self esteem and depression was in overload and he shared how tired of being bullied he was about his weight. My child sat in front of me and explained with great articulation how out of control he felt and demanded that I help him the way I had helped myself.
He had watched his dad and I do nightly workouts and each drop 50 pounds in 90 days. He wanted the perceived control we were displaying through our actions and so I started a program with him. Together we worked out and learned more about healthy foods that were easy to cook and good for us. Hart lost 38 pounds and gained his own new perspective on how to show up more in his life and make choices each moment that served his life best.
Seeing the confidence in my son propelled me forward to share more of our journey, to help others see that healthy does start at home and we do have the ability to start from exactly where we are in this life, no matter the circumstances. It is never too late to begin again!
What three words best describe you right now?
Grateful, curious, and joyful!
If you had a megaphone and could speak to every woman out there, what would you say to them?
You are the most incredible and invincible power in your own life. You have survived every worst moment and are worth every ounce of love you shower those who mean the most to you with. Fall in love with the woman you are and watch how beautiful you become everyday.
Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I would like to be known as a woman who has effectively encouraged, equipped, and empowered others with the tools and skills to live a healthy, more fulfilling life. My hope is that my current coaching business and personal training has evolved into a life changing practice that is readily accessed by those ready to embrace their life and make long term change. I will continue to love the woman in the mirror, at the end of everyday, “I hope that you’re proud of the work I’m putting in now, and the choices I’m making”.
How do you take care of your health while raising 7 children?
There is no one answer to this question and anyone that has a child knows that! It is a day by day event that requires flexibility, compassion, and patience… for my children, my husband…. AND MYSELF. That last one was the lynch-pin to my entire evolution on this incredible adventure I’m still on today! I love myself with the same ferocity and dedication I love all of them! I’ve learned a few tricks along the way that I share with my clients and fellow moms in my community groups:
- Schedule your workout the same way you would schedule your child’s doctor’s appointment.
- Feed yourself the same foods you know your children need to grow healthy and strong.
- Take at least 30 minutes for yourself to step away from all of it. Even if it is 10 minutes at a time. Give yourself the same “time out” you would give your kid.
- Be honest about the changes you are going through. Explain what you are doing and why it is important to you (this is for you and them).
- Remember who controls the items in the grocery cart. You can’t eat (nor can they) what you don’t buy or bring home.
- Be empowered by your new healthy choices, not ashamed of them!
- Be compassionate with yourself and your new choices. Let yourself feel awkward and learn to laugh about it.