Welcome to the new debanddavestrauss.com. As many of you know, Deb and I are Healthy Lifestyle coaches. You may also know that I recently left the corporate world, and we are so excited to be building our website and to share it with you! Our mission is to help as many people as we can, find freedom in their health and wealth. But first, let me tell you a bit about my journey.
I am a native Hoosier, having grown up in Michigan City, Indiana. I spent time living in Indianapolis, Baltimore, MD and have been in Charlotte, NC since the fall of 1997. I have degrees in Organizational Leadership & Supervision, and Elementary Education. I taught 2nd and 3rd grades, but the majority of my professional career was spent in the field of Human Resources Technology.
Growing up, I was a ‘skinny kid’, that could eat just about anything – and I did! Portions of my weekly allowance were either spent at my favorite ‘dime store’ or a bakery near our home – or both 🍭 🍪 ! But I was outside the majority of the time riding my bike from park to park and playing baseball or basketball at our area neighborhood parks. Even when I tried shakes and increases in protein to gain muscle, I lost weight.
I enjoyed fun, considered myself a pretty funny person (still do), and had a very happy childhood in a loving household. It was also a childhood where practical approaches were the norm – my father missed 1 day of work that I recall in 42 years of work for a major steel manufacturer (that is no longer in business). The example I saw as a child was up at 5, to the office, and home at 4:30 to help with dinner and have time with the family. Then off to bed by 9 – to do it all over again
As an older teen and into my 20s, I enjoyed my share of parties. And my diet consisted of a lot of fast food and pizza, with the occasional visit to a Chinese Food buffet. But I was still extremely active, my days revolved around work and pick-up basketball, and with my metabolism I was still that ‘skinny kid’. Transitioning to the traditional world of being a ‘grown-up’, my share of parties continued. but my level of activity decreased. I let it become easy to find ‘da club’, but harder to find a pickup game. It became a subtle joke in my family as my waist size went from 26 to 28, 30, 32 and…
In my 30s, I was carrying about 197 lbs on my 5’ 8’’ frame. Acid reflux was a nightly occurrence, and I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I got to experience the ‘joy’ of a c-pap machine, and the doctor was recommending a new surgery at Johns Hopkins that would effectively ‘cook’ the tissue in my throat as a treatment. What I realize now is that the weight became a sort of cloak or armor, and part of my fun side was getting lost, and I was hiding behind the effects of enjoying to many beers and late night fast food drive-thru visits.
As my 40th Birthday was approaching, I knew something needed to change. I understood that with each year, changing my habits, my choices, and my body would become more difficult. I decided to stop drinking all soda and carbonated beverages (except the occasional beer!). I also committed to 40 workouts in then 45 days before my 40th birthday. I was finding the right physical path, but in hindsight still had an underlying unhappiness, that my ongoing path of personal development and coaching continues to uncover.
I experienced the end of a challenging first marriage, and shortly after was blessed to meet Deb. As we formed our family unit, we were focused on deepening our Healthy Habits, not just for us but for our children. The right habits were forming, and I had some success, but plateaued in the 175/180 lbs range. Exercise was part of our lives, and we began exploring more deeply the foods and ingredients we put into our bodies. Anything ‘white’ was cut out of our grocery lists- sugar, flour, salt – gone! We began moving to an all organic lifestyle, and the table salt was replaced with sea and Himalayan salt, the sugar was replaced with stevia or monk fruit sweetener. And we began our journey of personal self-development in earnest.
Seven and a half years ago, we found Isagenix, a nutrition and holistic wellness company. The foundation of Isagenix- is viewed as shakes, bars and a cellular cleanse- but for us it’s so much more. We love that our nutritional products have the purest ingredients, and leverages the best of western and eastern philosophy. With ingredients like aloe vera, ashwaghanda and rhodiola, your body is flooded with amazing nutrients, minerals and healing compounds. We found a success with this lifestyle that we hadn’t experienced before. And with kids that at the time were 9 yr old twins, 7 and 1, we couldn’t have been happier that this grocery line of products was food that our children also loved – and better yet, these healthy fast foods were so EASY for our lifestyle. For the last 7 + years, I have been in the 145/150 lbs range. I am healthier today than I have been since I was in my 20s.
One year ago, my father who suffered from Parkinson’s disease took a turn for the worse. We didn’t expect him to survive 24 hours, and I flew to Indiana to join my family. Amazingly, my dad hung on for over 2 weeks, and in an ultimate display of love and support from Deb and our children, I was able to spend the entirety of that time at his side. I realize there are many reasons why he took his time transitioning, and know now one of them was to allow me to reconnect with my home, my family and that he wants more for me than 42 years of 8 hours a day every day, what some might call the ‘rat race.’
As we continue on our personal development path, I have to give a major shout out and thank you to Gordana Biernat (@mypowertalk on Twitter and Instagram). Gordana is an Oprah Supersoul 100 Teacher I have been fortunate to have as a Coach/mentor. Deb and I recommend her book #knowthetruth for everyone on a journey of self discovery, and have been blessed to gift copies to some of our family and friends (hint for a future giveaway?!).
In an initial coaching session, it became apparent that my view of my work and career was that it was ‘consuming’. Consuming me, consuming my time, and consuming my opportunity to connect with my highest self. With continued coaching, and support from Deb and our children, I decided to leave my corporate job, and have dedicated myself to this time freedom path of helping others as my ‘career’.
A huge part of ‘the why’ for Deb and me is our 4 children. But it’s also each other, and being the healthiest version of ourselves so we can be around and enjoy our love and life together as much as possible. As we move forward to the next phase of our lives and career, and now working together, we are excited to bring you blog posts, healthy habits and lifestyle tips, as well as offerings from our nutritional program and partners.
This isn’t the beginning of my journey, but it’s turning a new page of sorts. And one I am excited to share with you along the way. I will explore many of the topics above, and others, in future blog posts. I have to thank all of you that have trusted us and joined us on this journey, and am so thankful to those of you we have yet to meet and whose paths we will inevitably cross. Sending all of you love, light and laughter! ❤️🙏
@strauss51 on Twitter and Instagram