Back Surgeries Recovery Re-Cap from 2016–2018

This post is not a traditional blog. This is a re-count I gathered from my Instagram posts during recovery after the 2 back surgeries I underwent in 2016. For all the photos you will have to scroll back through , but here are the words I put with the photos in chronological order.

These are not all of the posts of the last two years, just the ones I thought were relevant to this recovery journey (which by the way, oh my goodness was as much a mental/spiritual awakening as it was a physical one!) A lot of feelings and emotions came up from as I was putting this all together. Man, what a challenging time! I can read between the lines now, I was trying so hard to be positive, but truth? I was scared out of my mind.

One day I will recount what I went through BEFORE Surgery #1, the stories I avoided writing about back because I wanted to push them out of mind. For now, here is what I did put down in the books afterward, and I am thankful I stayed so strong and positive throughout, in order to get through it. 

A positive: if you look through my blogs dating back to 2014, my tone was so different. Comparing my treatment of the reader from then to post-surgery, it was like I became awashed in love. 2014–2015, very different point in my life, and I feel it was reflected in my more militaristic, drill sergeant–style. After experiencing a most excruciating amount of pain , for a prolonged period of time, and going night after night with no sleep, a huge shift occurred, and my compassion, and priority to love others and support in a gentler way, greatly increased. So that is pretty cool to me. Lastly, at the tail–end of 2017 I went to a 10-day Breatharian retreat, where I fasted for 9 days, and didn’t drink water for 4 1/2 days in the middle of that fast. Ergo another avalanche of love dumped on my head with a further drainage of interest in more egoic preoccupations.


NOTE: First Back Surgery was August 10th, 2016.

Second Back Surgery was December 14th, 2016.


November 22nd, 2016

Okay instagang, here I am 8 months in with no exercise. I have now lifted light weights 2 days in a row for about 40 minutes each. 

These last 8 months have been a true testing ground for me, and I value and appreciate that. What I mean is, showing that practicing what I preach really does work. I will say this- there are few trainers and/or nutrition coaches out there, myself included in the past, who do not hide behind constant exercise to keep their weight in tact. When the option of exercise was taken away from me, I was able to show that other lifestyle factors, i.e. Nutrition, hydration, sleep and low stress levels, were just as crucial, and that it was possible to stay lean maximizing those things without movement. And so, 8 months later, do I have the abs I used to? Nope. Do I have the amount of muscle all over my body that I did before back surgery? Certainly not.

But I am still lean, and at a healthy weight. I am so excited to be able to utilize everything I have learned to help people even more! And show that even through an injury, post-op, after a tough pregnancy or even just during a super-busy time period at work, one can still lose weight and tighten up their physique. 

Thank you for sticking with me through this crazy, painful but also clarifying and beautiful time in my life, I treasure you for hangin in there with me and offering all of your support and kind words Hashtag Love: #love #thankful #postop #backsurgery #spinalsurgery #gratefulformovement #abs #workgrindfly


November 22nd, 2016

Yesterday morning, doing some very simple, easy exercises that won't strain my back. It feels good to be back in the gym again after 8 months! I hope I can keep this up.

#grateful #thankful #thejourneyiseverything #ihavelearnedsomuch #excitedforthefuture #workgrindfly  #love 


 December 5th, 2016

Guys I know I've said this before, but it is not genetics that has kept me slim through 8 months of no exercise.

Genetics will determine the shape of your abs, just like they determine the shape of our cheekbones or the width of our hips, but genetics, (especially mine,) do not always determine whether we can SEE our abs.

Trust me, there have been times in my life when I exercised every day, but I wasn't eating healthy. You couldn't see my abs, and I had excess fat on my obliques, lower back, legs, arms and face. I am so grateful for this past year because it truly showed me first-hand HOW important the other lifestyle factors really are. Even if nobody else wants to focus on them.

Media does a great job of keeping us in a foggy blur as to what is truly correct nutrition- and keeps exercise at the top of the fitness priority pyramid, like some holy grail. Just check out The Biggest Loser. Sure we see them exercise 7 hours each day, but do we ever see what they eat? Nope, unless it's to advertise for their food chain sponsors.  I say F that.It is time to put the focus back on real nutrition. Customized, tailor-fit-for-each-and-every-person-nutrition, and do away with the fad diets, the awfully rampant cookie-cutterism,  and the chemical-laiden powders and shakes once and for all.

You don't need 'em.

I have gone through hell and back this year, and message I bring back with me to share with you is this:

Love your body. Don't put garbage in it. Don't take it for granted for one more second. Get enough rest. Stay hydrated. Keep a positive mindset. And you will get through anything. Period.

And on that note, I am heading to bed. Love for you all. Good night friends 

Monday December 5th, 2016

Trying out a little rollerblading on this beautiful Monday.

I am about 4 months post-spinal surgery now and over 8 months of really no exercise. I admit it's been tough at times, as it is very unnatural for me to be so sedentary. The back pain and #sciatica down my right leg has not completely subsided either.


However, I know there are waaaaay worse problems in the , and through this process I have learned, more than ever before, to focus on and be #grateful for all the good that surrounds me.


I have learned to drink in every moment a bit more, to relax, and to just enjoy being in my own skin. I am so beyond blessed, it's insane. If I could give one gift, it would be to help others feel the way I now do, wholly complete, and happy in their own skin.


I am so beyond thankful for healthy food, an abundance of clean water, and quality sleep ️, as those are the lifestyle cornerstones that have enabled me to stay tight and slim without exercise. I am more at home and happy in my own body now than I ever was when I exercised every day. It feels so good. I am so at peace. 


Comment below if you have had a similar experience, or if you want me to keep sharing more of how to attain this level of peace with your body.


Thank you and have a happy, fulfilling Monday, doing whatever it is that you do LOVE.


December 8th, 2016

Only a few more days till I won't be able to do this for a while. Going in for surgery #2 this coming Wednesday, so I am getting all the gym time in I can get, while still being super conservative. To know why I am getting a second surgery,  check out the link in my bio - the "Being Vulnerable" blog. Hope everyone is having an amazing Thursday!


December 13th, 2016

Last day of exercise for a while… so lovely (picture of me and my rollerblades at Mission Bay)


December 18th, 2016

4 days out from back surgery... I get to shower tomorrow!  I'm so excited lol.  Swelling has gone down, and I will show you a picture of my back soon. Staying lean through this recovery has been a result of TONS of rest, lots and lots of water, keeping stress levels low and of course, a really, really healthy diet, that is customized for me and for this current time. After this surgery it will be another 3-4 months before I am able to exercise again. When all is said and done it will be a year of barely any exercise. I still can't believe it. So I will keep utilizing these other lifestyle tools to stay fit during the upcoming months, and will continue to keep you in the loop with what happens to my physique. I am thinking about jumping on a live IG chat here soon to answer questions and help anyone else out who is going through a similiar process. Anyway, I hope everyone is having an amazing #SundayFunday ! Talk soon 

December 22nd, 2016

As I walked home this morning from the store (which was super exciting to me, yayy walking! ) I kept getting this strong feeling that I should smudge my apartment when I got back. It didn't make sense, no one with bad energy has been in my home recently. Also, it was pouring rain, so it didn't even make sense to #smudge my front porch, the sage would get wet and it's smoke would cease.

But the feeling just got stronger, so as soon I got home I found my smudge stick and lit it.

Wowww. I am so glad I paid attention to that angelic tap on my shoulder! It was as if all the heavy energy of healing from the surgery was cleared, and in conjunction with the rain, everything feels washed anew. As if now there can be a fresh start and a path has truly been paved for fully recovery. It feels like the creative possibilities for the future are limitless. My apartment feels so light and airy, and I feel so free.

I am so grateful for my home, my little sanctuary, the roof over my head, as well as my little companion Jeter, the neighborhood I live in, the city of San Diego I feel so lucky to live in,  and the great state of California where we get to roam.  Today and everyday, think about the things you love most about your life, and give thanks for them. Starting this way inevitably leads to a better day. Love you and talk soon.


January 12th, 2017

Starting back at SQUARE ONE is rough, even humbling. -

Got clearance from my surgeon on Tuesday for light upper body isometric and bodyweight work. After 10 months of almost no exercise, I cannot believe how much strength I have lost. I can push about half the weight I used to.

But it's okay. Listen, we can NEVER give up on our bodies, because we only get one per lifetime. If you are in a position like I am in right now, I encourage you to have appreciation how far you've come, instead of only looking at how far you still have to go. Yes I could focus on how much strength I still have yet to re-gain, or I could focus on how grateful I am for not being on crutches, to be able to walk upright with no pain, and for not having to crawl on the floor, literally, to get from point A to point B anymore.

I am not saying it's easy, and it is certainly not a boost to the ego by any stretch, to re-lay the foundation. But it IS worth it. It IS the greatest teacher of all, and it is the right thing to do. Coupling humility with self-discipline create THE MOST responsible frame of mind one can have during trying times, because when you are fighting for your health, your strength and your vitality, you are not just doing so for your own sake.

It is for all those who surround you, watching you, whether you know it or not, needing to glean inspiration and hope from you. And particularly in the case of family, depending on you to stay strong and healthy, so that you can provide support to them for years and years to come. -

#thisiswhyitrain #thisiswhyifight #thisiswhatkeepsmeupnight #staystrong #iloveyou


February 3rd, 2017

"The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible." -Winston Churchill  Peace of mind is a choice. #choosepeace


February 23rd, 2017

Mmmmmmm.... There are no words to match my level of gratitude. I get to climb again!!! Whaaattt??!! Wasn't sure if I would ever be able to again. The human body is so incredible and we should never ever take ours for granted. #sothankful#healing#givethanks#gratitude#loveyourbody#honor#heal#love#support#backsurgery#2months#postop#incredible#climb#boulder#pebblewrestle#fitfam#health#fitness#gratefulforthejourney


March 20th, 2017

14 weeks out from the second spinal surgery. You can see in the middle picture that the incision site is still raised and bulbous. Loving it, supporting it, and loving my whole back and body for being such a miraculous support system during my time of healing. Beyond gratitude, beyond awe, beyond bliss. There is this space I inhabit now, I stay as long as may be. It is a state of flow, presence, and a constant interchange between giving and receiving beautiful, natural gifts with myself and others.


A wise friend told me recently that miracles are natural. If miracles are not happening, it means something has gone wrong. Something is not in universal flow. This was from @jeremy28  #miraclesarenatural #beherenow #beflow #bebliss #belove #supportyourbody #heal #love #grateful #bliss #joy #inawe #ourbodiesareincredible #bethechange #postop #flow @lululemon #spinalsurgery #curlyhair #inlove #theonlywayoutisin #gratitude #everyday #instafit #fitfam #instagood


April 2nd, 2017

Laying back in the driver's seat, waiting patiently for my turn to pitch. #sharktank #audition #love #nervousenergy #grateful #sunny #socal #workgrindfly #prepitchselfie

Thank you to @mzcasting15 and the entire ST staff for listening to all of our ideas that day, and for being so kind and hospitable. They made everything run so smoothly, I was so impressed with the professionalism and efficiency by which everyone operated. What an amazing day!  #happy #fitness


May 4th, 2017

First time since spinal surgery doing my posing routine! Posing is so hard on the low back! I don't know if I'll ever do another competition (I've done 8 shows) but it is still nice to be able to pull out the old routine once in a while to see where my physique stacks up in comparison to the old days! I have never been more comfortable or felt more free in my body than I do now. I eat so intuitively at this point, and I exercise in a way that only honors my body, not beats it up. I am SO grateful for my health, mobility and healing back every single day, and I want the same for all of you!! If you have questions or are confused about YOUR exercise or nutrition habits, head to my private, free FB group (link in my bio) ask to join and I will personally answer your questions and concerns. I am dedicating the rest of my career to helping people in any way I can to be healthy and fit and to love and accept themselves completely, because that is bliss, and YOU deserve to experience it as well. Love you, have a beautiful Thursday! 


May 18th, 2017

This  does not need your self-imposed limits. It does not need your self-doubt.

We need the full breadth of your talents. We NEED your confidence, the fullness of your bright, bright light.

I love you guys. - me 




July 5th, 2017

Took this picture getting into bed last night. What an amazing July 4th.

I am SO grateful, because at this time last year I was on crutches and percosets, unable to walk or sit or stand upright.

I remember being propped up on my couch, hearing the fireworks go off on my favorite holiday and saying to myself, "Some way, somehow, next year will be different."

Today I stand and walk and run with no pain. I am so happy I could cry. I cherish my health so much, it is more important than money or materials. It is everything. A day does not go by now where I take walking for granted.

Last night before pulling the covers over my head, I couldn't help thinking that I am luckiest woman in the world. Thank you thank you thank you, universe. 


October 11th, 2017

 Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart.

― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club


November 22nd, 2017

I fell in love with the flow of my life.

Grateful. Breath. Chi. Love. Wrapping my body around these elements and squeezing tight.

I am finding out they’re all that matter.


November 28th, 2017

Yesterday I was asked:

In your free time, where are you to be found?

I answered:

Outside. Out of my mind. Or both. 


December 5th, 2017

Love your tribe fiercely, with all you’ve got. Stand tall with them through the hardest of times, roll around in the dirt laughing with them during the best of times. So thankful for my tribe #tribe #lovefiercely


May 5th, 2018

I have at last, forged a friendship with the unknown. I allow the future to be an untold story, a big empty canvas.

I will embrace what comes my way, letting go of the illusory control I never had in the first place.

The feeling is liberating and calming at the same time.




June 12th, 2018

How did I get so lucky? (Photo with friends in Joshua Tree)


July 4th, 2018

4th of July is my favorite holiday  2 years ago I was on crutches hobbling up a hill with my dog to catch a glimpse of some fireworks. I thought to myself- “It will get better. I will walk again, and I will enjoy my favorite holiday surrounded by friends and loved ones.” I pinch myself because it came true. I can’t believe how lucky/blessed/fortunate I am, every single day. I hope everyone had an amazing, fun and safe 4th, and wishing you many, many more to come!


August 29th, 2018

Last night’s birthday dinner. I am one lucky soul! I have the most incredible friends I could ever ask for  #oneluckyduck #7poundsoflavendar #birthdaychatter


November 20th, 2018

You Want What You Want Because You KNOW It’s Possible. If It Wasn’t, You Wouldn’t.

This Is Powerful.

Embrace It.

For Whatever Else You Believe Or Don’t Believe, This Belief Alone Can Take You The Distance.

And What You Want Wants You, The Universe.

My lovely soul sister @pinkninjayogi sent me this card with this statement on it the other day. (Sweat crop is from her comfy cozy @myhugwear #huglife line too)

This rings so true for me! Does it ring true for anyone else?

Ahh, so grateful for the opportunity to wake up every day and pursue goals. How lucky are we all for this gift?

#reflection #grateful