Over the last 14 months I have gone through several big life changes, making me grow into a healthier and happier person and mother. September to October of 2015 brought on some unexpected business and living transitions. The personal training studio that I had been running on my own for five years was successful, as in, I had a client base of about 15 people seeing me two to three times per week.

With more bills than income, I was forced to give up my apartment and move into my dad’s apartment with my two year old daughter. My relationship was also on the rocks and my anxiety was at an all time high, especially during the PT sessions that I had to bring my toddler to, pretending to be some kind of super woman.

I wasn’t sleeping well, I was working seven days a week off and on all day, I was remodeling my gym and trying to rent part of it out, and I was barely eating. Little did I know, I was headed for a huge “nervous breakdown”.

Living with my dad lasted about a month before neighbors called in noise complaints, not understanding how two year olds operate.  At that point it seemed best to move into the room in my gym that I planned on renting out. This was even worse for my mental stability. When your basic needs are not fully met, depression and anxiety escalate.

My boyfriend at the time had to move to Eastern Washington to his mother’s farm and take work at their family business. The relationship was already toxic, but he had been playing the role of dad to my daughter from the day she was born, and I was out of options in West Seattle.

I made the big decision to call the owner of my building and have the dreaded meeting, which involved us both ending up in tears, to say October 31, 2015 would be my last day, the end of my five year lease. At least I honored my commitment to these valued building owners, the best landlords anyone could ask for. The fact is, this building has either already sold or will in the near future, the transition was inevitable.

I had been to Yakima one time, but I liked it. I like the change of seasons, especially the hot summers. I don’t feel overwhelmed by anxiety triggers (too many people, cars, noise, stress, high costs, construction, etc.). The problem is, even with the financial, mental, and physical support of my father; my ex could not find a place for us to live after a month of “looking”. This made for worse conditions.

Living in a old and dirty glass shop in Sunnyside with a two-year old made my depression peak…especially being trapped inside for ten days with bad weather. The fights between my ex and I escalated to a physical level and I felt like I was losing my mind. I missed my clients and my business, as it felt like my only real purpose at the time. My daughter needed me more than ever and I felt like I was slipping away.

I forgot to mention, I was still breast feeding and in the process of beginning to wean her. I was having severe hormonal mood swings, brought on by having no stability in my life. My weight was also at an all time low, in a bad way.

We got our duplex in Yakima, things were turning a corner for the better. My ex promised to take care of us for a couple of months until I was ready to find work, I do have a Master’s degree after all, I should be able to find lots of options. Then I was hit with more bad news. My ex took a lay off from his family business. How could this happen? Now we don’t have money to pay for our new place.

Early December, 2015, the financial pressure and lack of respect resulted in a huge argument at 7:30 in the morning, before eating breakfast. I said horrible things I didn’t mean, like that I would kill myself and give my daughter up for adoption. Also, that I would leave my ex, which ended up not being just a threat. He made a call that changed my life forever.

The cops were called to my house because my 6’4″ boyfriend at the time felt threatened.  I was in a panic attack state, hyperventilating and sweating, screaming for him to leave with our daughter until I could calm down.  He fueled the fire by refusing to leave, and when he finally went to the door, after calling 911, I shoved him in the shoulder and said, “don’t come back!”

The officer was pulling up and charged me with assault in the fourth degree.  The boyfriend begged for them to not arrest me, and I explained my depression and situation, and even the breastfeeding weaning process.  The officer did not believe me, she said, and I’ll never forget this, “that child is too old to be nursing, I’ll have to look into that!”  This made me rage more.  I said, “people like you are the reason many women don’t talk about breastfeeding their babies after the age of one.”

There was nothing that could be done at this point, I was arrested and booked into Yakima county jail in a velcro suit, in a suicide tank, I was to spend the next 36 hours in a bright, hard, padded cell that was cold and had a hole in the ground for a toilet.  This was not good for my mental state and brought on even more sadness, feelings of failure, and horrible separation anxiety from the two year old I never spent a night away from at this point.

On top of all that, I missed my appointment to have medication prescribed, finally, after a month of evaluations.  I was seeking help on my own before law enforcement got involved, and now, the much needed medication was even further out of sight.  I had serious anxiety and PTS after spending those 36 hours in that room, starving, and missing my baby.

The state slapped an automatic restraining order on my bf and I, something neither of us wanted or needed at the time, but it was out of our hands.  My dad had to move in and help me out while I adjusted to life on my own and on new medication.  I am writing this blog to help people in similar situations, and let you know that sometimes we are blinded by the depth of damage being caused by too much stress at once.  I definitely needed these meds the past year, but made huge changes to go through my own weaning process…Paxil, Buspar, Abilify, Prazosin, Klonopin, Lorazepam, hydroxyzine, and probably a couple others, who knows at this point.  Nothing to quit cold turkey.  Even after five weeks, I still get electric shock sensations throughout my body.

The meds helped, but side effects took a toll on my body too.  Disrupted sleep, extremely vivid dreams which were highly recurring and continual in reality, as if I was living another life, loss of appetite, loss of energy at times, and loss of interest in doing things I used to enjoy (like working out).  It was time for even more changes to get my life back on track, or at least pay the bills!

I went through twenty weeks of Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy, which was highly effective and gave me tools I can use to this day, to acknowledge and stop negative thinking patterns.  I left a relationship that wasn’t working, but before that, I took a bartending job to make ends meet.  This was highly stressful and triggered my weaknesses, so that ended after a month.  I then went back into business, training clients out of their homes for a reduced rate, and networking like crazy.

This didn’t allow for enough income to get ahead, so I took a second job working as a busser at a restaurant.  Yes, I could have bartended, but I needed something less interactive and better hours, so I worked for minimum wage plus a few tips.  All the while, keeping my head strong and knowing there would be better opportunities for me if I just stay consistent with my job search.  Lord knows, I did not need the black mark of Assault 4th degree on my record while looking for health and wellness positions!  My attorney was in the process of getting the charge dropped (and it is currently :)), but once an arrest is made, it shows up on the WA State Patrol background check.

The other thing I worked on within myself is how I am in relationships.  I take full responsibility for all that I said and did to land me in the position I ended up in, but I’ve also learned that there was somebody out there for me who could take care of me when I am physically or mentally not well, who could bring me back to Earth when I over react, and who can walk away when I need to be alone.  I did a lot of Tinder dating, and filtering through the one night stand seekers, I found that person who makes me feel complete and safe and happy.  I am independent enough to go at life alone, but I’ve always wanted a true partner and friend for life, someone I think (I know) I’ve found.

I re-evaluated my life and the goals that I set for myself when I began my therapy and medication journey, and I made a choice to reduce dosage and listen carefully to my body, and after a month of that, completely stopped all pharmaceuticals a week ago today.  I’ve been taking L-Tryptophan for sleep, Pharma-Gaba for anxiety, and Estro-Sense for hormone balance, all herbal supplements, and I feel wonderful.  My appetite is back, I’ve gained a healthful amount of weight back, my blood pressure has dropped significantly, and I just all around feel good.

For me, it seems the mental health problems that brought me down to the lowest level of my life were brought on my environmental influences that I was able to overcome.  I did things like journaling, art, music, walking, goal setting, spending time with people who love me, and focused more than ever on my daughter.  All of those therapeutic things are helpful in coping with stress and anxiety, at least for me.  These issues are highly individualized, and I am not saying that I am cured, by any means.  I am fully aware of my personality and what triggers my anxious feelings and I do my best to avoid any and all triggers.  Leaving an overcrowded city was one of the big choices I made that resulted in a happier life for me.

I really hope this helps any and all people who have struggled with mental illness of any kind, there are different levels of anxiety and depression, but not one case is any easier or more difficult than the other.  It’s all hard.  Positive changes are possible with the right support system.

As I said in my last post, I am the Ideal Protein Coach for Selah Chiropractic in Eastern Washington, near Yakima.  This is a wonderful place to work and an excellent facility catering to many aspects of prevention and recovery for individualized client needs.

We can do massage, rehabilitation, Graston work, x-rays, adjustments, nutritional advice, Ideal Protein weight loss method, and sell products such as pillows and vitamins that are  highly recommended by our doctors.

Call for a complimentary consultation, either for chiropractic care or weight loss.

(509) 697-4123

318 S. 1st Street

Selah, WA 98942

Ideal Protein Ideal Protien Office

















As of the end of November 2016, I have taken on a new role as the Wellness Director and weight loss specialist at Selah Chiropractic and Wellness Center! This is much more rewarding than trying to run a fitness program out of my home, or travel to different client’s homes to meet their needs.

Ideal Protein is a highly successful, clinic-based, scientific ketogenic prescription diet.  Many people have heard of it, and most referrals come from client testimonials.  The most rewarding thing about this new career is that people are actually losing weight, reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and many more positive side effects.  I did not see this in Personal Training, as weight loss and health problems greatly reduce when dietary changes are made, not by adding exercise to their life.  Don’t get me wrong, exercise is necessary and beneficial, but the real evidence and results are with Ideal Protein.

Please call or text me to book a complimentary consultation, if you are in the Selah or Yakima area.

(206) 276-6888


Selah Chiropractic and Wellness Center

The past two weeks have been filled with positivity, new names and faces, and the realization that becoming a successful fitness coach here is much more possible than I ever believed before.

The BNI groups I have been going back and forth on, (because I love them both) have lined me up with a list of businesses and events that will keep me busy well into July. Fun things I can bring my daughter to, and others more professional and collaborative.

There is a real need for healing everywhere you go, and the people I have met here are true healers. I will eventually post links to health websites through my group, so you all have more resources.

I am very much excited for this journey that I am on, and a new niche to add to my specialized population training (disease management and recovery, pregnancy, postpartum) which is the ability for me to come to the client’s home to accommodate convenience and break through motivating barriers.

Once again, call or text or email to set up a complimentary assessment!! 🙂 🙂

How fast a year goes by!  All the strength training and working out clients paid off…I went from 197 lbs the day I went into labor, to 135 lbs today.  I think building a healthy metabolism before and during pregnancy is the best way to lose the baby weight.  Here are the highlights from my journey….

  • Birth Plan went exactly the way I hoped (except for the 28 hour part)
  • Absolutely no chemicals or interventions during labor and post-partum
  • Baby girl was the perfect size, very healthy and happy
  • Mama was healthy and back to work in 3 weeks (easing back with 2 clients)
  • Currently taking on new clients, I am stronger and healthier than ever
  • Would love to help out any new moms, expecting or planning to have a baby, with fitness and nutrition
  • BRING YOUR BABY TO YOUR TRAINING SESSIONS- an accommodation for those mothers who need and want this

Well, the personal training days are looking like 4-5 clients per day lately (instead of 7), but I’m still feeling good if a little tired.

Angelina's strength training.37weeks I can still work you out, even if my own workouts are really different lately~ :)



This is what 35 weeks is looking like….as of last Wednesday…time is going fast and it’s exciting all right.

Angelina Garrison.35 weeks

Hi All –
It’s getting pretty busy here! Weather changing, baby growing, school is back in session and folks are back to work after summer fun.
I’ve been thinking of you lately. My maternity leave will be about a month long, it turns out, and I have a couple of things in mind to continue to support you and your fitness goals while I’m away. Let’s think about this & talk about this now (& during your sessions) instead of scrambling to come up with a plan

Demo videos are up on VineApp
Vine App is a mobile phone application that loops a 6-second video. Perfect for exercise demonstrations of proper form! I’ve recorded 3 of them and they are all up and “looping.” Just a few to give some ideas & support.

I’m still working out how to add the videos here to the website, but they are up on my Facebook page, so the current options are to either: See them on VineApp, or see them on my Facebook page.

Please follow & like both pages so you’ll have easy access to photos, videos, tips & other developments.


Angelina's Strength Training. 31 weeks pregnant This is what 31 weeks looks like.
Yesterday I entered the 3rd trimester, so baby (and I) are in the proverbial home stretch regarding this pregnancy.
She’s a SHE. Still in the process of name selection …and she’s still kicking and swimming a lot. This week’s medical appointment will identify the position of the baby, she may be into the birth position at this point. Baby’s heart rate has been between 140 and 150 bpm, healthy range.
More stats & experience:

* My blood pressure was 110/72 at 21 weeks pregnant …and more recently 115/70.

* All blood tests, triglycerides, blood glucose, and iron levels have been in the healthy range

* I haven’t had any swelling, dizziness, rapid weight gain, or headaches.

* I have maintained a healthy diet consisting of all whole real foods, no processed, pre packaged, or fast food.

* Cravings have been all surrounding fruits and healthy fats/proteins (yogurt, walnuts, avocados…probably nutrients my body needs in abundance to support placental and fetal development.

* I have taken a prenatal vitamin with DHA everyday since the day I found out I was pregnant.  (Women are recommended to start this regimen before conception, but I did not plan this pregnancy, but led a diet rich in nutrients for years prior.)

I have been dealing with round ligament pain (feels like side aches) when I walk, making it hard to walk without stopping.  My gym workouts have caused no pain and are helping me keep my back, chest, legs, and abs strong!  I have been doing standing ab exercises like variations of squats and deadlifts, a variety of back and shoulder workouts, and incline bench chest exercises.
I have gained 23 pounds to date, but it all seems to be baby, chest, and amniotic fluid weight.  Zero swelling (no edema), no added body fat around hips, back, legs, or arms.  My diet has remained balanced and nutrient dense (midwife looked at my food log and said I am “a model client”)
I am maintaining a client base of 15 clients, making my cut-off for each day total 7 sessions.
Starting to get more tired and you’ll have noticed I’m talking you through the exercises more in sessions rather than full out demonstrating for a couple of reps.
Upon Delivery…the Pregnancy Plan
We’ve been talking in sessions about what’ll happen when the baby comes and I wanted to put it into writing in a couple of places so you’ll never need worry or wonder…or stop your own training!
Let’s start with YOUR training
This next week I’ll begin shooting video demonstrating specific exercises for you to refer to – AND USE – for the two weeks (or so) after baby arrives. We’ll be using VineApp and the clips will be available on my Facebook page  as well as from my Vine account. So, if you haven’t yet, please like & follow.
Vine clips are to support you in your fitness goals. When you view them, they show in a continuous loop, so you tech savvy folk can even watch and work along with the clip for the specific number of reps!
Safety is in your form
The exercises selected for video are based on ease-of-use, safety and effectiveness. The most important thing to keep in mind is your form. Performing each move safely will keep you in your fitness game…rather than overdoing it or injuring yourself, thereby taking you out of strength routine.
Other tidbits about “The Plan”
Of course, it’s impossible to plan every detail, but here are a few more bits for you regarding what to expect toward the end of October.
I’m planning on training you in sessions up until labor starts. Healthcare providers are onboard with this and I am grateful the baby and I are in excellent health.
When labor starts, my sweetheart will contact Wendy Sloneker, who will notify you via email that the baby’s on the way.
Expecting to take two weeks after the birth to be with my family, rest and just be in love with the little one.
If you have a medical condition that requires exercise to maintain healthy numbers, you will be of the first to come back to the training sessions as I re-enter a light training schedule.
What else? This is all I can think of at the moment – so if any questions come to you, please ask and I will answer here, on Facebook…and in person!
This is how we’re moving forward though it really is up to the baby in the end. 🙂
Thanks so much for your excitement and loving support throughout all of this exciting time!
My best & much love, A