How To Transition Healthfully Through Life Changes and Challenges

Reader Contribution by Alexander And Ashley Poptodorov
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Alex and I understand all too well how challenging life changes can be and this is why we’ve decided to post this insightful blog for you. I believe that there are life changes and challenges that can cause us to fall off track at times in our lives but it is how we pick up and move forward that matters most.

We want to encourage you with some practical and simple ways you can move forward in a positive and healthy direction. Before we begin however, I want to share a snippet of our story with you. I believe it will encourage you to continue to pursue health despite the challenges.

Alex and I have been in the Health & Wellness field combined for over 25 years and together for 10. It is amazing the growth we have both experienced and all that we have learned (primarily from our clients). We reached what we thought was the “pinnacle” of physical health and established ourselves as Experts in our little community. We were “all” about health.

In 2012 however, our entire world as we knew it changed. We faced challenges together as a couple that we had not yet faced and it left us emotionally “weak” and honestly, feeling pretty beat up. I found myself engaging in emotional eating as well. The stress of our situation left me tired and I slowly started gaining a little bit of weight. Nothing our clients really noticed, but I noticed! I knew I was not at my best and that our situation was getting the best of me.

After much reflection and running a very successful business in Florida for almost a decade, Alex and I made the decision to start fresh. We knew that doors were not opening and in fact, all doors seemed to be slamming shut in our faces. It was tiring, frustrating and I at times felt like I was losing that sense of “health” that I so boldly promoted for many years.

We packed up and moved our family to Atlanta, Ga. We literally made the decision to start all over again. We came to a new place, new community and started everything from the ground up (including our business). While this was a humbling experience that taught us both SO much, it was also challenging on every level. It forced us to reevaluate what mattered most and despite the tough times, to continue to press forward boldly (and positively!) as well as to pursue health.

Personally, it forced me to look at myself and realize that I needed to take my own words and example to get myself back on track. It wasn’t like we moved here and everything was great overnight. It was a process to rebuild, rebrand, refocus and it was alot of work but every bit of it was worth it.

For the first time in almost a decade, I had to look in the mirror and be brutally honest with myself. I knew that I was not practicing on every level what I was preaching so I diligently refocused myself to getting back to where I knew I could be! I gained close to 20 pounds over what I was used to and did not like this at all. While I knew it was the stress, I also knew I had to do something.

For me, it was a process of setting goals and staying diligent and focused in my Faith. We all have different things that can reignite our fire but these are just a few that worked for me. I am going to share our gained knowledge from this experience that Alex and I endured with ways to transition through life’s changes.

Feel free to modify and adjust accordingly to your life, just let the end result be a successful, happy and healthy you! You are worth it and your health is certainly worth it.

Ways to transition through life’s changes:

1. Be honest with yourself and your situation – I start with this because it is the foundation. If you are not honestly looking at where you are, you won’t be able to focus on where you want to be. For me, it was facing the fact that we needed to rebuild and move on. Knowing when to fight fires and when to walk away is a key component to life.

2. Faith – this looks different to everyone. For me, my faith is what got me through. It helped me keep my sanity and focus on the plan and path ahead. It gave me the strength I needed to press forward. This may look different to you and that is OK. The key is to hold onto faith and let go of the fears in your life.

3. Be Bold – it takes a certain boldness in your life to know that it is OK to move forward and transition through life changes. If you feel weak (I know I did!) just dig deep and find some alone time to reflect on where you are as well as the desires for your life. Make this your motivation!

4. Set goals – this is huge! No matter where your situation takes you, you can always set goals! Alex and I built a mini empire yet found ourselves starting all over. This was ok! Together, we started to set fresh new (reasonable) goals that motivated us through each stage of our journey. I also set a personal goal to compete again in a Figure competition. I ended up taking 9 short weeks of my life and dropped 22 pounds to step on stage in the best shape of my life. This got me back to where I knew I could be and it felt amazing to reach that goal. It brought back that spark and fire that I knew I had within me.

5. Be humble and know that your life and health is a journey. What I went through taught me that no matter how much I knew, how much experience I had or how much I had built in my life, that it all could go. There will always come a time where you have to sit and face the situation and take your own advice.

Above all, know this, if you do not take risks and if you aren’t willing to fight for your life and your health, than what else gives? You are valuable and worth it and sometimes life will knock you on your tush! Keep pressing forward anyhow. Good will eventually come of it.

Today, only 17 short months after moving to Atlanta, Alex and I are thriving again. I am once again in the best shape of my life. We have an amazing new flourishing business and amazing clients. We have a very strong church family and we are stronger in our marriage than ever before. We have a rich new Community and we have had local articles published, filmed several healthy eating segments here in Atlanta as well as we teach classes in our Community and Church. We are growing day by day and I believe that this growth would not have taken place without the storm.

Be bold, be you and do not be afraid of life changes. Good can always come from the struggles if you allow it. This includes with your health as well! Here is to a happy and healthy you. We look forward to posting again soon!

Until next time,


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