Overpriced Shorts, Cheap Espressos & Priceless Miracles

Image[Photo by: Giuseppe Chirico]

My life was limp. Soggy and scraggly with a fleeting scent of the last granule of success I had. I settled for food that was beneath me because it was all I could afford. My weights at home collected dust because the last thing I cared about was my body.

Being a victim is something everyone wags their fingers at. But every once in a while, sucking up attention and pity felt great. I finally knew what it was like to be immersed in a pool of my own shit. It’s like I learned a whole new language. Negativity, anxiety, fatalistic. I was becoming fluent. 

Besides experiencing a miracle, I only had two saving graces. The first one being yoga. And thankfully I paid for a full year of unlimited yoga when things were still good. The second one, espressos. Oh thank the Italian gods for espressos.

When I mustered up whatever will I had left for my own self care, I dragged my ass over to the studio. Faked my way through chance encounters with a cheap smile, small talk and some leftover charm. They had no idea but I did them all a favour by not consciously leeching their energy or bringing down their day with my sob stories. So, you’re welcome.

But once I got changed into my overpriced yoga shorts and stepped into that hot room… I left the weight of the world at the door. I’d close my eyes before class started. And for those ten minutes, I imagined I was in another country. A tropical island. Sun on my face. The sound of ocean waves. Fresh, salty air at my nostrils.

And when my teacher, Soni, invited us to deepen our breath, my problems were miles away and I arrived on my mat. The next 60 minutes there was nothing to worry about except for the present moment. Beads of sweat fell to the earth as we flowed gracefully from asana to freaking asana. It was glorious.

When savasana was over, and I hated when it was over, I washed up and put on fresh clothes. As soon as my ass hit the seat of my car, the bliss evaporated and was replaced with the horrors of my reality. My gas tank was empty. My phone could be disconnected soon. What the hell am I going to do? 

And in an instant, I’m back in my own personal hell.

Like a junkie craving the next hit, I looked forward to my next class. Tomorrow. The day after that. And so on. Until eventually I was practicing 5-6 times a week. 

Not long after, in that room, on my mat, through my clothes, was not just sweat pouring out of me. It was everything else. The victim. The ‘poor me’ attitude. The scarcity.

I wrung it out like a wet towel and twisted it all out until there was nothing left for me to squeeze. The physical, mental, and emotional healing I gained probably saved my life. Reaching the edge of my comfort zone and challenging myself on my mat translated to the same thing in my life.

I gathered up the balls to make significant changes. I reclaimed control over my life.

It was like coming home and speaking English again. Power, possibility and presence. It’s my native tongue. 

And BOOM! I was back. 

Well no, not really. It was probably more gradual than I remember. Like a steam engine on the tracks I slowly gained momentum.

It translated outward into better food choices, sleep habits, and so on. I was able to get back on my feet after a long time thinking I was down for the count. To me, at least, getting physically healthy first, was the big catalyst. 

One day at a time growing in confidence, clarity and courage. Slowly my energy was through the roof. Add a shot of espresso to that and nothing could stop me.

What happened next made me believe in miracles again. In fact, it was me. I was the miracle maker. 

No fairy dust, no unicorns, and not at the snap of a finger. Just me and my body, shattering countless barriers, mental, physical, and emotional. 

Every day. Leaving it all on the mat.


The Metabolic Weightloss Program is now open! Only limited spots are available. If you are READY to commit to yourself and your health, contact Samantha at samanthagladish@gmail.com and schedule a one-on-one call to discuss if the program is the right fit for you. This comprehensive weight loss program is guaranteed to get you to your goal weight, once and for all. No pills, shakes, or fancy concoctions. Just real whole foods. Simple, effective and strategic. 

 About the Author

Oliver coaches and guides people in their personal awareness, growth and transformation. He is the founder of Integrated Self, a workshop series for self-explorers, a singer-songwriter as well as a certified yoga instructor. In between writing, coaching sessions and making music, Oliver spends the rest of his time enjoying the good life with his love Janet, eating gorgeous food, sipping espressos and travelling.
For more, go to: www.olivermanalese.comliermanalese.comwww.olivermanalese.com

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How To Lose Fat Forever

Image[Photo by: eljoja]

Seeing pictures of my fat self would disgust me. Staring back at me was someone I no longer wanted to be. I couldn’t believe how bad I let myself go. 

Now every time I pick up a 40 pound dumbbell, I think to myself that in my hands was the extra weight I carried around so many years ago.

I was in a relationship that no longer inspired me. I was in a university program that was at odds with my values. I resented the decisions I made to please others. I was disappointed that my high paying factory job had allowed me to buy everything I wanted, but left a gaping hole of what I truly needed. 

I had stuffed myself with so many Krispy Kreme donuts and endless litres of dark cola’s before I finally hit a brick wall. I was constantly bloated. I’d roll down my car window to air out the repugnant gas I passed. I dragged my feet when I walked. 

When I saw videos of myself, I was astonished at how sluggish I was. I had the posture of someone with a whittled down personality. I hid my big belly and insecurity with baggy clothes. 

Desperate for change I hunted for extreme solutions at the store. Many labels targeted my pain points so well that I would immediately jump on their bandwagon.

I dosed on pills and potions that stripped my intestines of all good and even bad bacteria (which I learned afterward). I survived on liquids for days straight as suggested. Still, I was so dehydrated and malnourished I would get massive headaches, stomach pains, and embarrassingly frequent trips to the bathroom. 

I yo-yoed up and down for a while and was unable to keep my weight down. Nothing lasted.

The cycle kept repeating until I unknowingly discovered what would create lasting weight loss results for me. It was not a product or something I could buy online. 

It was self worth. 

Self love. 

Self acceptance. 

And I had none. Nada.

It was reflected in the poor choices I made around food, exercise and the people I hung around. I was disconnected with who I was. The words passion, excitement and inspiration were simply not in my vocabulary.

Over a short period of time I began to fill that once gaping hole with wisdom instead of junk food. The biggest catalyst came in two major forms. The famous self help program Personal Power II by Anthony Robbins. And the legendary classic, Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. 

Picking up these books were like learning a different language. It was so hard to wrap my head around some of the ideas. But there was something about the stories they shared that made me feel like I could relate to so many of these people who had become influential and impactful to many. I started to believe I could transform myself. My health, my body, my mind. Everything.

It helped me tap into a long lost power that had always resided within me this whole time.

The power to decide. 

To cut off all other options, as Robbins famously puts it.

What put further fuel to the fire was coming across the Invictus poem by William Ernest Henley enclosed in Hill’s Think & Grow Rich where it stated: 

“I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul.”

This line became my new mantra. 

No longer would I allow myself to let others dictate the direction of my life. More and more I built a newfound relationship with myself. I walked, journaled, meditated, exercised, and studied nutrition. I couldn’t help but begin eating higher quality food. 

This time it was because I wanted to. Not because I had a desire to lose weight but because I finally felt that I truly deserved it. A feeling no diet could ever give me.

I deserved to feel energetic, strong, flexible, balanced and healthy. I deserved to discover my passion, find my truth, walk my own path and reach my highest potential. I deserved to put only good food into my body. I deserved to finally feel confident about my own body. 

I decided to never settle for mediocrity. 

And that was the real turning point from dieting to a lasting shift in my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being.

No system, strategy, pill, potion, or diet guide will work unless you cultivate your self love, find self worth and learn to accept yourself.

Let go of what everyone else wants for you. Their false mythologies of what a good body, good job, or good life does not serve you. 

Find new definitions within your self. Live from that place. 

The only opinion, judgments and thoughts that matter are the one’s you have for your self.

When you live with awareness, love, and compassion for your self and have purpose, passion and inspiration behind you, you can’t help but do good things for your mind, body and soul. 

You will have less and less desire for the crappy food, negative people and toxic environments that don’t nourish you. 

Now when I come across photos of myself, staring back at me is not someone with a perfect body or a finished product, but someone I’m finally proud to be. Yes, a work in progress. But gladly embarking on a lifelong journey towards health and well being. 

Happy for the choices I’ve made. And happy to just be me.

** Join me this evening in Mississauga for my Monthly Meetup group. Tonight’s Topic – The Transformational Power of Your Story. Plus, we have a special guest speaker! Click HERE for more info and Join us! Would love to see you there 🙂 

** If your ready to lose the weight and gain back your health, email Samantha Gladish at – samanthagladish@gmail.com and reserve your spot in her Metabolic Weight Loss Program. No pills, no shakes, just real whole foods and REAL results. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Oliver Manalese

Image 1Oliver coaches and guides people in their personal awareness, growth and transformation. He is the founder of Integrated Self, a workshop series for self-explorers, a singer-songwriter as well as a certified yoga instructor. In between writing, coaching sessions and making music, Oliver spends the rest of his time enjoying the good life with his love Janet, eating gorgeous food, sipping espressos and travelling. For more, go to: www.olivermanalese.com


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Look Who’s Talking. A Guest Post from Oliver Manalese

I am so pleased to share with you all the incredible wisdom from my dearest friend Oliver. Oliver and I met in University, and though at the time we were acquaintances, the Universe had us reconnect a few years later. He has undergone an incredible transformation and his energy is infectious! We reconnected over our love for health and wellness and soon our friendship grew through our mutual passion for spirituality, personal self growth, yoga, green juices and so much more! I can spend hours talking openly to him about personal struggles, business dilemmas and so on. He is wise beyond his years and inspires me to be a better person, to take charge of my life and fiercely commit to my emotional, spiritual, and mental growth. I am honoured to have Oliver guest post on my blog and share with you his advice and holistic approach to taking charge of your life and living your passion. Everyone….please welcome Oliver Manalese.


Look Who’s Talking.

I for one am truly grateful to have many ambitious and inspiring people I can call my friends. Whether they are entrepreneurs, artists, nutritionists, personal trainers, life coaches, they all inspire me. Most of all they challenge me, my old beliefs, old habits and old ways of being.

Whether it’s a client or passerby who has some ambitious goals we all have one thing in common though: One of our greatest fears is not realizing our own potential. It can be as simple as losing 10 LBS all the way to quitting our 9-5 job and replacing it with a crazy new business idea. But what truly holds us back?

Chatting with a fellow life coach friend of mine we both explored this ‘thing’ that stands in our way from what we know is possible for our life. Inside our own head and imagination we are pretty much invincible. Every piece fits into the puzzle and it all makes so much sense. When faced with the reality of the present moment, these visions and aspirations seem daunting and we often procrastinate in making these dreams into a reality.

Part of my job with my clients is breaking things down to it’s simplest form. For this I can sum it up in two words: “not enough.” It’s those two words we unconsciously say ourselves. Yes, you’re not the only one. We all talk to ourselves.

We could be achieving small and even large goals but the result is always the same. That little voice whines and complains, “I could have been/done/had more” and we miss out on the value we just created, delivered or received. Sound familiar?

So why am I talking about this? Well, all the self-doubt stems from the value we put on our selves. I like calling it self-love. How does one achieve their potential when that voice is constantly reminding us of how unsatisfied we are?

I saw this one quote by Bertrand Russel recently that read: “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.”

Oh, how true. So how do we eliminate self-doubt? Simple answer: you can’t. That little voice in our head that talks us out of our own greatness is the same one that was developed and designed by our environment, society, upbringing and education. It may very well be there forever since it’s been so ingrained over thousands of hours of indoctrination.

Fear not! There is still hope!

The real work here is learning how to distinguish who’s talking. Is it the true you or is it the voice of mediocrity? There is no goal rather it is a lifestyle choice. It is about a daily choice of developing a strong habit of managing that voice to the point where it has little to no impact on how you deal with your current reality.

It might still be there but will have to face off against the true you. That authentic voice inside that you’ve built and designed (or rediscovered) by choice, mindfulness and purpose.

Here are a few building blocks for you to begin rediscovering or redesigning your authentic inner voice utilizing two of my core life principles, self knowledge and self love:

1. Ask: Who’s talking? Whenever you are in a foul mood or simply feeling small, start to notice the voice in your hand. Ask yourself who’s talking? By becoming more aware and mindful of this, you move the unseen, unconscious, habitual negative self talk into the bright spotlight of your conscious awareness.

2. Realize you have a choice. When you finally are aware of this voice in your head that’s keeping you small and limiting your potential it changes everything. What I mean is that once you start becoming mindful of your own self-talk your life will never be the same. Your choice will either be to listen to that voice and continue being small or to manage it every time it comes up and building an immunity to it. It’s your responsibility now that you’re aware of it… so own it.

3. Redesign and re-program. Our brains are like computers and like computers they run on software. The problem with this is we’re running on BASIC instead of Mountain Lion (for you techie-geeks). In other words, the negative self-talk is old software we need to replace with some better and more empowering self-talk or software.

Ah yes, this is where you might think I’m a little cheesy but not trying this is simply regressing to your old ways and this time by choice! So come on, give it a try! Also, I like the idea of adding rather than taking away. Introducing something good and useful eventually replaces all the old crappy stuff taking up too much room. Here are a few respectful suggestions:

  • Find positive media and consume it. Make a positivity music playlist full of great songs that uplift you and listen to it in the mornings. Find books on how to manage your self-talk or are filled with stories that motivate you. Watch documentaries and movies with inspiring stories. Eventually the noise of the news, negative lyrics and super depressing movies will find themselves collecting dust.
  • Surround your self with people that you can model. You know that one or two acquaintances or friends that seem to be pretty fun, easy going, relaxed and are generally optimistic about life? Yeah. Hang out with them more. You’ll find that the more amazing, like-minded people you add to your circle of friends is like pepper running away from soapy water, it sends the energy vampires running!
  • Start a journal. No this tool is not reserved for pre-teen young girls. Some of the most successful people have made it a habit to document their thoughts, ideas and important life moments. Personally, I have accumulated over 4 years worth of journalling that has given me more self-knowledge than my however many years in institutionalized education. I treasure these leather bounded pages more than my gadgets! (That’s saying a lot!) As you write you release pent up energy onto the page. A powerful experience will be looking back weeks, months, years from now and seeing how you have changed. What was top of your mind, the language you used, the stuff you were up to, etc. When you journal it will reveal so much of who you really are and that greater level of self-knowledge is so valuable.
So there you have it. A few easy things to sit and ponder about for the next little bit. But believe me, just by reading this it has already started something inside of you. It way take days, weeks, months or years but these simple ideas will change your life for the better.

Image Oliver Manalese is an Executive Consultant & Coach focusing on the exploration of self-knowledge, self-love and self-expression. The bulk of our reality which includes the quality, integrity and well-being of our health, finances, relationships and work is a by-product of our depth of understanding and continual growth in each of these three areas. This holistic approach to personal transformation provides the tools and insights for individuals to find alignment with their true self and will have a long-term, positive impact beyond the duration Oliver’s coaching programs. Oliver is also an entrepreneur, a licensed real estate professional, singer-songwriter, whole foods lover and a soon-to-be certified Yoga Instructor.
Follow him on Twitter @OliverManalese and www.facebook.com/OliverManalese
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