The Sidehustle That Brought Me Back to Life

I can look back at the day I turned 30 and remember thinking, this can’t be as good as it gets.

 

And let me tell you, it is REALLY hard to look at yourself, living a happy life that turned out EXACTLY how you’d hoped and dreamed, and feel like something just wasn’t quite right. But that was the reality I was facing just a few short years ago.

We lived in our dream house, in our dream neighbourhood, I had built a well established real estate career, and we had two adorable little boys. There was no reason to feel unsatisfied, or lost, if you looked at things from the outside. But from the INSIDE, there was plenty of other stuff going on.

The real estate career I had worked hard to build had spiked my anxiety to levels I’d never lived with long term before, one of our sons became chronically ill and a non-stop parade of doctors’ appointments and stress ensued.

I was eating my feelings thanks to a lack of routine and being on the road for showings and appointments. When I WAS home, I couldn’t focus for all of the dings of notifications of texts and emails with clients wanting and needing my attention right then and there for the latest property that had come on the market.

I couldn’t get through bedtime, or bath time without an interruption, I scrambled for child care constantly, and I felt an immense sense of guilt when I got called away, especially when the boys were sick.

On a rare day that I had no showings or appointments scheduled I still felt anxious as I waited to be called away last minute and have the cycle of panic to find a sitter, get to where I needed to be, coordinate times between agents and my clients and be prepared to draw up paperwork again.

I couldn’t really focus no matter where I was, and I had zero energy to even play with my boys thanks to the extra 50lbs I had packed on from stress. Sadly, I had gotten used to just feeling like garbage. I felt like I wasn’t my best self in ANY aspect of my life. And it pained me.

Somewhere along the way I decided enough was enough in the weight gain department. I knew it wasn’t ok to feel terrible all of the time, and want to nap every day, and to constantly be hitting the drive through, but I had no clue where to start. Or how to correct the habits that had been years in the making!

And then one day I saw another busy mom, who also worked full time, post online about working out from home.

The idea of exercise alone terrified me. I didn’t want to beat my body up, or restrict myself like crazy to lose weight. I was in terrible shape and I couldn’t imagine how long it would take me to actually see progress.  A small part of me also couldn’t help thinking: is this just another gimmick?!

Desperate for change though, and just plain ready to create a better, healthier, happier me, I reached out to that mom who had posted and she told me about a 3 week home workout program I could try that I could still have chocolate and wine on, but that would reset a lot of the unhealthy habits  I had built over the previous 5 or so years.

I made the decision to invest in my health for the first time in my life. And I got to work.

I ended up finding the program much simpler than I had ever imagined. And I found myself much more capable than I had ever thought! In just 3 weeks I built a foundation for the new version of me.

(right) my real estate head shots before I started my fitness journey

 

I noticed changes in my patience, and my confidence. My gut health felt better thanks to the chocolate smoothies I was drinking, my energy went through the roof, I made new friendships with coaches and my fellow challengers, and I felt so. much. better.

I wanted to shout it to the rooftops…and at the same time I couldn’t believe EVERYONE didn’t know about this. How simple it was. How well it worked with a busy lifestyle. How quickly things started to shift. How EMPOWERING this tribe of women supporting women truly was!

Now that I was out of the fog of every day life, I looked around and saw dozens of other moms who also seemed tired, overwhelmed, lacking confidence, and I knew at that moment it had become my responsibility to share this incredible experience with them.

I decided to take on the #sidehustle of being a fitness coach: with no fitness or nutrition background, still needing to lose quite a bit of weight, and in the busiest season of my life thanks to my career, my husband’s shift work and our small kids.

I was mortified to share my before photos and even talk about my life on social media ( I was such a private person, a huge introvert), the idea of promoting myself or sharing my story went against every fiber in my being, and yet SOMETHING pulled me to do it anyways. To step outside of that comfort zone. To share the gift of better health, support and accountability and this tribe mentality that went along with it. I wanted EVERYONE to feel AMAZING again !! We deserved it!!

I had no lofty goals when I started fitness coaching. I told myself if I could help even one burnt out, over stressed woman make a change in her life the way I had, then I’d consider it a success. If I made a little extra money on the side, that was a bonus, but the truth was, I loved it so much I would’ve done it for free!

My coaching business started out small, but I built my own little community of incredible women, growing larger, month by month, motivating me to continue on my own journey long after I would’ve probably stuck to it on my own!

Friendships grew, starting online, and then evolving in person in some cases thanks to events and conferences! Suddenly this disconnect and isolation I had thought was just part of being a career woman, and a mom was bridged by new friendships, daily support and love from women all around the world who were a part of my ‘ fit family’!

Transformations from some of the women I’ve coached

Some of the hardest years of my marriage and parenting have happened while I’ve been a coach, but it feels like the opposite. It feels like it didn’t matter, because I could get through it with this strong tribe of women I had met, all because of online fitness and putting my story out there!

Through sharing my story day to day on social media I also fell back in love with writing and photography and my creative side! I started to document my life instead of dreading it. I found gratitude and peace in the smallest, simplest parts of my day and I began reading and listening to powerful, inspiring men and women speak about things that made me want to be an even better person on the inside.

My relationship with my husband improved, I became more active and involved with my kids, I was better able to manage my anxiety and work stress, and I could be strong for my son and our family as we navigated through his health issues.

All of THIS, just because I fell in love with home fitness and had to share that newfound passion with the world!

As I stayed dedicated to my own health journey and leaned on my beautiful tribe of amazing women, I began to grow a team of other leaders who wanted to share this passion and my business grew even more.  It became very clear that helping people this way made my heart so happy.

Some of the beautiful souls in my extended fit family

After one particularly stressful trip away to Disney World (our favourite place on earth and what should’ve been the most MAGICAL experience ever with two young kids) I came to a crossroads.

I was getting phone calls from other realtors and clients while we were trying to enjoy the Magic Kingdom with our kids, I spent the last day of our trip typing up offers to send back home and 1/2 of my vacation was spent with me on the phone and on email dealing with little real estate crises. And I was doing this in between pain and fever episodes our son was having.

This was once again, not the life I had imagined for our family.

So as we made the road trip home that year I said tentatively to my husband, ” what do you think about me leaving real estate and focusing on our family and coaching?”

His response: “it’s about time !”

Right that moment I made a goal to give myself one year to close up shop on real estate, get my current clients settled and shift my focus to my little family and the coaching business I loved so much.

And that’s what I did.

I worked my butt off that year. Earning more than I had ever earned with real estate, putting extra hours into coaching, working around my husband’s 12 hour shifts, juggling sports and specialist appointments and when I got to the end of 2017 I knew I HAD TO MAKE THE JUMP.

It was terrifying, but I had learned that anything that made me THAT nervous, was EXACTLY what I needed to do to grow and improve. And I haven’t looked back.

I’ve helped hundreds of women get their lives back. Reclaim their health. Feel sexy and confident again. Find joy in their daily lives, and even start a little side hustle of their own. And even though many of them tell me I saved them and helped them find themselves again, it was truly me who benefited.

I got to rediscover that girl inside me who had dreamed and hoped and had so much passion many, many years before, and now that I’ve found her again, I’m never letting her go.

 

Maybe my story spoke to you…maybe you’re looking to build a little side hustle of your own!

If you’re looking to turn your passion into purpose, we need to chat! Email me at lindsay.fortney@gmail.com with the subject line ‘passion and purpose’ so you can check out our free coaching webinar to get all the details! The worst that can happen : you’ll get in amazing shape and inspire others to do the same 😉

Can’t wait to chat

xo Lindsay

Published by Lindsay Fortney

Hi and thanks for stopping by!! I'm Lindsay ... boy mom of 2 💙💙, wife for 12 years, lover of animals, sports and a hot mess girl boss just trying to enjoy life one day at a time 💜🇨🇦 I aspire to be organized -- I have grand plans on this that are mainly stuck on my Pinterest boards😂 I'm a retired realtor, certified fitness and nutrition expert and on my own journey to a happier, healthier, simplified life 💕 A couple of years ago I was 5 years into the hustle and bustle of a demanding real estate career. I was tired, carrying around an extra 50lbs (mostly in my midsection) and didn't even have the energy to play with my little boys -- when I started cropping myself out of vacation photos I knew enough was enough 🚫 Bad food choices were my thing : I celebrated with it. I comforted myself with it. I was in and out of drive thrus and missing dinners with my family because I was on the road and suddenly each season I was going up a clothing size 😔 Enter home fitness ✅ My husband works shift, I worked crazy hours and had small kids and I couldn't (and didn't want to) go to a gym or group classes -- home workouts gave me the exercise I needed without sacrificing extra time away from my husband and boys. I learned to eat real foods in proper portions 💚 I started to see what my body and my energy levels were SUPPOSED to feel like !! A journey to changing my body completely had begun. Inches lost, dress sizes down, clearer skin, control over my cravings ... food has become fuel, exercise has become something my body now craves. My anxiety levels dropped massively. My moods levelled out. My patience and energy levels with my family picked up! I've been blessed to help SO MANY women in the past 3.5 years achieve this for themselves as well - confidence, empowerment, a fire inside them is reignited as I've helped them take back the power of their own health 🙌🏻💖 Thank you for reading this far -- sharing this journey, this new found passion... it makes my eyes light up when I talk about it (and sometimes I can't stop 😂) My time, my accountability groups, and guidance are always 100% free -- so reach out and let's get you back on a path to self confidence, positivity, passion and energy-- you deserve to feel like the best version of YOU

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